Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Planting Veggies


Haogen [saved seeds]
Hale Jumbo Best Cantaloupes [saved seeds]
French Cantaloupe [saved seeds]
Filet Beans, Maxibel
Straight neck Sqash
Patty Pans

Also, rototilled new annual flowers area.  Got sprinklers up with pipe extensions in front and on wind fence.

Watered back and front for one hour

Yesterday we lazed around.  Did water East side windbreak.

Tonight watering fruit trees.

The morning was gorgeous and cool.  The afternoon is windy, maybe 25 miles per hour.

Also, redid the pond pump.  Hubby took all the rocks out.  I got the pump situated deeper in the pond and pieced together some extensions for the bubbler.  I got two flat rocks around the pipe and the bubbler is causing the water to flow over the flat rock in front onto another rock and then into the pond.  I put some logs to the left side as a "windfall" near the pond.  There are some nice rocks sticking out of the shallow end for the birds to bathe on.  So far it is a big hit with the birdies.  It has a really natural appearance and I am very pleased with the results.

Cleaned the hummingbird feeder.  Took the old truck in for new hinges.  The doors are sagging.  Of course, it is 33 years old.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Faucet

Okay, it is 9am and we still haven't gotten the bathroom faucet fixed.

It rained last night and it really soaked in.  It is a chilly 40 degrees out.  I am not opening the greenhouse, that is for sure.  No need to water anything today.  That will help make up for the water dribbling down the tub drain!

Naturally, once we opened up the wall after moving two cabinets from the guest room, Hubby decided the other faucet choice at the hardware store would work better than the one we chose yesterday.  So, 25 miles back to the store and 25 miles back to the house with the new parts.  We returned $73 worth of faucet and plumbing stuff and bought a $62 faucet and still the bill came to $99.  $26 extra dollars.  How do we do it?

 Of course, we figured out we needed a new toilet flush assembly and I had Hubby buy it while we were there. I always stand in the electrical or plumbing department gazing at all the bins of stuff getting cranky and buying the wrong item after thinking really hard for 20 minutes so having Hubby with me was a bonus.  Hubby had to have a back up bag of hickory chips for the BBQ.

We needed a new shower curtain liner as the old one was grungy.  Sure, you can try to wash those in cold water and hang them out to dry.  They generally don't clean up very well.  It is only $3 for a brand new shower curtain liner.  I got 2 so that I can change this one out in 6 months when it gets grungy.  All in all it added up to the extra $26 dollars we spent:)

We got our parts home and within no time Hubby had the new faucet on.  There was a replacement shower head as well.  A nice shiny bonus for our work.  We still have to reinstall the plaster board in the guest room.  I'll have to tape and mud.  There is no matching paint but the good news is the cabinets totally hide the hole.

Rainy and cold all day!  So, not doing much but relaxing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cold and Windy

We tried to go out of town this holiday weekend but it just isn't working out.  The faucet broke so we spent four hours today going to town and getting a  new one.  We fell asleep on the couch and it is now evening and we are turning the water off for the night again since the faucet is dribbling and dribbling.  We are on a well so it is easy to turn the water off and on anyway.

Looks like we may have snow to the valley floor although the predicted low is 38 degrees so nothing should stick.  A cold, windy spring for sure.  Memorial Day weekend is turning out to be a lazy indoor weekend.  I needed the rest so I will relax and enjoy watching old movies with Hubby tomorrow after we fix the faucet.

I Broke It!

Yep, I broke the faucet in the bathroom last night.  Its been dribbling fearsomely ever since so instead of going fishing today we are running up to the Lowes, buying a faucet, cutting a hole in the wall [we live in a modular home and it isn't plumbed "normally" so we have to open the wall up to replace the faucet.]  The good news is that the patch will be behind a cabinet in the bedroom so I won't have to repaint the room when we are done.  So, instead of a hurried morning of throwing and going we will have a leisurely day and get out of here later.  The kindly neighbor will let the dogs out and feed the goats this afternoon so we don't have to be back early.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Clematis Sangria

The name of the new clematis is Clematis Sangria or Clematis Rhapsody.  It is doing pretty good but the winds have been howling through there and it looked a little wilty day before yesterday.  Oh well, busy this weekend and no time to do much about that except water it once a day and hope for the best.

Cool and cloudy today.  I like it but the weather so far has been rather cool and very windy [that part I don't like].

Watering north zone overnight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beautiful Day

The day has started off beautifully.  There is always plenty to do around here but I need to rest up a little.  I'll see what I can get done.  Have to go to town later and not looking forward to it.  I think I will try to make it a quick trip.

Update:  Take it easy?  Guess that didn't happen.  Let's see, transplanted nine pumpkins, 4 tomatoes, 11 pepper plants [I'm growing the hot cayenne peppers again this year], 15 Basil plants [Patio and Large leaf].  Weeded a bit this morning as well.  We ate lunch and then we had to run.  Kragen's to recycle the motor oil, Starbucks for coffee, banking, then drive in to town for groceries and cigs.  Yeah, I left at 1pm and didn't get home until 5pm. Get the groceries in and the cold stuff in the fridge and the freeze me stuff into the big freezer.  Then, run out to close up the greenhouse, feed the goats, refill the hummingbird feeder and feed the dogs.  No, really, I am resting up tonight!  Except for all the groceries I have to put away and divide up for camping and the dishes that are waiting to go into the dishwasher. And, I still need to organize for tomorrow's cleaning job.  Whew.  Can't wait for the holiday weekend.

Hubby planted watermelons, eel river melons and something else.  Need to ask him what that was.

Watering street side zone

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Barn Door Shutter

Well, today was the big day.  We placed the wheels into the track and they rolled so smoothly.  Yipee!  The barn door shutter is working as planned.  Can't wait to see how it holds up.  I am buying the long piece for the next shutter shortly.  It will be about 2 feet longer and a foot or so wider.  Yep, that is about 6 feet by 6 feet.  It is going to be fabulous.

Bailed out the pond for an hour.  Then, got the pond pump working.  Then decided that the arrangement wasn't right so I took out all the rocks.  Some big rocks.  Put a milk crate in there for the pump to sit on.  Put back all the rocks.  Now I am worried the pump doesn't sit low enough and might go dry.  I'll have to see how fast the pond losing 4 inches of water.  The set up is very artistic with a fabulous flat rock in front of the fountain.  The water comes up like a geyser about 4 inches and then cascades over the rock into the rock filled basin.  We call it the pond but really it is just a fifty gallon cheap plastic pool for a small pond.  It is great though since it draws in the birds and the big dog  and his friends love it.

I am working on a few minor points of irrigation today and then I am hopefully done!  Oh, and I do need to figure out where I put the Wall o' water for the tomatoes.  No idea, so far.  Darn.  This could turn into quite the search.  Can't wait until I finish the long shed.  I need the storage.

Wow.  The wind came up suddenly about 11:30 or noon and it was wildly strong.  Picking up sand and sand blasting your face strong.  I got the bobblers and sprinklers set that I needed to get done anyway.  Yeah, I'm a stud!

The barn door shutter did really well until the wind reached 35 or 40 mph.  I wedged a two by four onto the bottom to keep it from swinging out.  Hubby is going to make some wheels for it to hold the bottom in place.  For now, the two by four is working!

Hubby asked if I want to go out of town this weekend since he suddenly has four day off in a row.  Sure thing!  Can't take the little dog though since it is California and they don't like having dogs anywhere.  Have to see if the neighbor is available to babysit.

Watering fruit tree zone overnight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The first batch of corn is in as of today.  Of course you have to plant it in blocks so we did about 20 feet by 4 rows.

The weather was gorgeous with sun and a few puffy clouds going by.  Maybe 75 degrees.  Nice!

I got the two five gallon weigalas in but one looked pretty darn wilty this morning.  Let's hope it starts looking a little happier by tomorrow.  Watered it so.  The other one looks great.  The little tiny honeysuckle I just put in a couple of days ago looks quite happy and so does my new, cute little clematis.  The licorice mint seems happy as well.

I am disappointed that I don't see much, if any, hummingbird mints coming back from last year.  My trumpet vines are coming back but they are coming up from the roots.  I thought they would get bigger and come up on the vines that were left from last year.  Might have to read up on those.

We got the shutter built.  We are trying a barn door style shutter for the front [south facing] windows.  We had hinged shutters but they were bad about the wind so I hope the new barn door slider style will be better.  They sure help keep the house cooler in the summer and I think they help in the winter as an  extra barrier between us and the harsh cold winds that buffet the house.  Hubby did a marvelous job and the shutters were definitely over my ability to do a good job.  Let's hope it works as planned when we hang it tomorrow.

Hubby also got the outdoor pug wired up for the pond pump.  It isn't areal pond since it is only fifty gallons but the Aussie shepherd loves his pond and so do the other dogs that visit.  The birds like it as well.  I will have to get the pump going soon as I keep having to change out the water.  The pump will keep it much more aerated and the mosquitoes don't lay eggs in moving water so that is a worry off my mind.  Because the water keeps getting changed over by over spilling with new water I haven't seen any mosquito larvae but it is better safe than sorry on that one.

Wheel barrow wheel is aired up and ready to go again.  Have to stay on top of that.  Yes, we have tried foam.  They had a no flat wheel barrow tire at one of the stores last week but at $40 I thought we could just keep air in the tire we have until it wears out!

I worked on the irrigation and the back berm is watering well now.  The spring garden has sprayers so no more hand watering the new guys.  The back berm near the wind fence was a bit of a mess but that is now watering properly.  I made risers for the sprinklers out of PVC pipe to get them up over the irises , grasses and shrubbery.  I also made risers for some of  the rest of the berm area but I have lots to do so I am going to worry about more risers if the plants get taller.  That back watering system also got an adjustment by the wind fence and is watering quite well now.  I got rid of the center sprinklers, moved all the sprinklers to the front and aimed them towards the fence and used half round sprayers instead of the full circle sprayers.  I think the fence will stay drier and the coverage is better.

I managed to get the landscape cloth down on the right side of the house.  Maybe I already told you. Then, over the last couple of days,  I got the irrigation straightened out over there.

Did I mention that area got some low white lattice pieces for fencing?  They are about 2 feet tall and four feet long and they were free.  It looks pretty good actually and maybe in a few years I'll change it up and make it look even prettier.  Keeps the dogs from playing in there and cuts the wind down a bit.

All the dog fencing I have put up is great and now that the dog isn't trying to drink out of all the sprinklers they are remaining pointing in the right direction!

Weeding is ongoing and the goats got 4 or five bins of weeds to eat today.  They even quit begging they were so full.

The irises are glorious clouds of color and I have a pink iris and an orange iris blooming.  Really unique and really pretty.  The yellow irises were hit by the freeze nine days ago but may manage to start blooming again.  The purple irises are classics and do well every year.  The blue irises are starting to bloom and have lovely shades of medium and dark blues.  One iris on the east side is almost black and very velvety looking.  The red iris is in its prime this year!   The two toned German irises are also starting to bloom.  I can count on my irises for clouds of color every year and may get a few more different colors.

I am finally feeling rested up, caught up and I think I can start keeping up!  We'll see.  Thursday I have to go to town and Friday I have to clean a house so maybe by Saturday I'll be back to tired and not getting enough done.  I promised myself that whatever I do this year will have to be enough.  There is only one of me.

Watering east side zone overnight.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

High Noon

Well, it's high noon at the whole homestead and the work ethic and I are staring each other down right now.  I have gotten 2 sprinklers up and running, the goats and the dogs fed, some weeding done, about 200 feet or so of mainline drip irrigation tubing stretched out ready for the next step [that is for the hedge going around the veggie garden] and landscape cloth laid out on the right side of the front of the house.

The landscape cloth is a great idea long term but it  is taking a lot of time and effort today.  I had to shovel out a bunch of sand that had blown in since I don't want to have the dirt build up onto the house siding.  I had to remove quite a few plants as well.  And then I had to cut the landscape cloth, put it in place and make cutouts for the junipers and the knock out roses.  There's a tallhedge and a Feather Reed grass as well.
So, my work ethic and I are having a stare down I hope the weather helps decide who wins - lunch and a nap or going out to get more done right now.

 So, all my plants are laying out there in the sun and I am tired and hoping the clouds will thicken up so I can leave them out there for a little while.  I need a break.  One last thing before lunch and a nap.  I need to check the greenhouse.  Baby plants don't appreciate being short on water.

Update:  It is a good thing I checked on those baby plants.  They definitely needed to be watered.  I got the VF11 on them, as well.  The clouds are coming over and my chili is thawing in the microwave and I will get back to work in 3 or 4 hours.  Break time!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End of the World

According to Harold Camping today is the end of the world.  I guess hope springs eternal in the heart of all gardeners since I was out transplanting bulbs under the sand cherries by the street.  They are going to look so pretty next spring!

Does it seem like the apocalyptic end of the world is a theme running through America right now.  Getting a little tiresome what with the asteroid, comet, tsunami, earthquake, super volcano that will be ending us all soon.

The split pea soup is in the crock pot.  Speaking of crocks, it should be ready at precisely 6pm.  Throw in a few hot biscuits and we are ready for the show.  I don't think too many people will be raptured from our town though a few a the fundies are quite certain that if a rapture were to occur, they would be in it.

I wonder what kind of dessert goes best with the end of the world?

Maybe Cherries Flambe?  Or Baked Alaska?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring is going to be summer soon...maybe.

I am so happy that spring has been lovely and cool and oh so rainy.  Okay, it rained really well twice.  It has been a joy!

Yes, I am dog tired and my arms hurt from doing too much but after my cleaning job today, I picked up rocks for the front garden that would be about 40 feet by 8 feet of rocks that I need.  Minus the square footage for the boardwalk.  I really will be picking rocks up once or twice a week for the rest of the summer.

Anyway, I got a nice load of rocks including one so big I am going to get Hubby to carry around the corner to the new spring garden bed. It is starting to look like I envisioned it.  The pennestemon are small and probably won't look great until next year but the Feather Reed grass is very pretty and already about 9 inches tall.  Most of the lavender I split into little plants is growing.  It probably won't look great until next year either.

The greenhouse plants are thriving.  A little more VF11 tomorrow and then, in a week or 2 I will be planting them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pulling it Together

Sometimes you gotta take a break and cut yourself some slack.  I am working on a letter to the editor in reply to our local crazy Christian letters-to-the-editor writer, Rosalie.  She should keep her mind off of other people's sex lives.  It's just none of her business.  Last time it was Biblical marriage is one man and one woman.  I did a pretty good job of correcting her on that one.  Let's see how I do on this one.

I have been bone tired for the last few days and I am resting up tonight so that I can start all over again on Saturday.  I have a house to clean tomorrow and that will probably be enough hard labor for one day.

The weather is cloudy.  The gardens are doing great but some of the trees look very unhappy about the frost earlier this week.  I am thrilled with the fruit orchard.  The trees are starting to put on a little size.  You can actually see them as you drive up to the gate.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grocery Shopping

Living a good hour away from the major shopping means that yesterday was spent going to town.  Lowes to return the battery powered hedge trimmer that only lasted four days.  We  shopped for other alternatives and left our options open.

Then, lunch at Ming's.  You get a large plate of really tasty food and a drink and it is sit down dining and the cost for 2 people is about $20.  Yes, it is extravagant but what the heck, no dishes and no cooking later.  Snacks for dinner.  

Starbucks where Hubby has a discount and a free pound of coffee.

On to Costco where we spent too much money.  That is sort of normal.  I would like to think we can run the household on less than what we can run the household on:)  Finally, Walmart and done.  An hour  and fifteen minutes later and we are unloading and putting away groceries. We left at 11am and weren't done until 4:30pm.  I think I miss living in the city when it comes to shopping.  That is probably the only time.

It Monday night and we woke up to a nice wet world again this morning.  This is pretty unusual and makes me wonder what kind of a summer we might be having.  Oh well, I have dedicated this summer to straightening out the last few major projectsI want to get done around here.  Next spring I want to spen hours sitting in the shade reading a book!  We'll see.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Burn Baby, Burn!

Well, got the last of the burning done with help from Hubby.  I know it's only 11:00 am but it is lunch time and break time already.  Hopefully we will check more off the list of projects this afternoon.

This post should have been called Fire and Ice!

Last night we had a hard freeze an I didn't see it coming.  Busted my cheesey hose Y in the back.  Luckily I already have a replacement bought for when the new manifolds go on.

Casualties include freezer burn on Staghorn Sumacs, a few Buffalo Berries, all the Locusts that were just starting to leaf out [Golden, Purple Robe and Black] and the Green Ashes that were just starting to leaf out.  Several others including one or two of the Hackberries.  Oh well, we won't know what damage was really done for a day or two.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Catching Up!

Blogger has been down for a couple of days.  Looks like it might be back up.  I have had a lot of fun reading the comments on exChristian.net for the last few days.  Some of the comments are soooo funny!

Yes, it is spring and I have been extremely busy.  Last year I determined that the Needle-and-thread grass was a disaster.  Everyone, including the dogs, had pointy seeds with strings on them in their clothes and fur.  This year I have been cutting all of the developing seed stalks off.  Let's hope it helps.

So far we have some really stunning developments in the garden.

Raspberries, blackberries, dewberries are all finally starting to take off.  I replaced so many of them, so many times, I don't know what is what anymore.  I will have to label them as they produce fruit this summer.
Five years of trying and it is finally starting to pay off.

Crab apples - finally hitting their stride.  Hopefully they will put on a little size this year.  This will be most of the crab apples third year.

Irises are starting to bloom this week!  So far we have purple iris, some blue iris and some German iris blooming.  The yellow iris are just coming on.

Hummingbirds - So far we have at least two.  They are a bit hard to tell apart but we seem to have a male and a female black chin hummingbird in the yard this year.  The little gal was sitting low on the wire fence in the back last night.  The male was zipping back and forth in front of her, maybe a foot off the ground.  Zipping back and forth, back and forth. His wings were buzzing as he flew. Very unusual and we don't know what to make of it.  I think he was showing off for the little gal.

Orioles - We have at least 3 orioles coming in to the sugar water feeder.  A male, a juvenile male and a female.  Could be more since they all look a lot alike but their behaviors tend to differ with each bird having their own "style" of approaching the feeder.

Pennestemon - I got ten last year, 2 different colors.  They are all doing very well and the pink ones are starting to develop flower stalks.  Very exciting.  I would like the yard to hold a lot of hummingbird flowers.  The other pennestemons are doing very well.  I split up the coral colored ones that I have had for 3 years and spread them around the front garden.   They seem to be doing well.

The greenhouse is wonderful.  I only completed it last year just in time to put some plants in it for spring.  This year it was already built so I have had an easy time using it.

Very cloudy today.  Hope it rains.

Fencing - Hubby got my backyard fencing up [although we still have to work on the west corner].  I put some temporary fencing up on the west corner so that I could get the low fencing around the garden beds.  The dogs are not going to be playing in my gardens this year!  I spent all day at it yesterday.  I also got some temporary fencing up for the dog free area that is in front of the goat pen and wraps around to the large and improved veggie area.  I also got some 2 foot tall white lattice pieces up for the south patio/succulent garden and along the back driveway in front of the tall wind fence.  Again, to keep the dogs out.

The dogs aren't really destructive but the Aussie shepherd like to drink from the sprayer and it messes them up.  Also, when his brother comes to visit or I babysit the other dog that comes over, they tend to run amok and knock the sprinklers over or pull the tubing and such.  The fencing should help!

The sun is up and it is time to get a move on!  I really must pick up the yard as I am babysitting a dog that tends to rip open bags of potting soil and otherwise cause a bit of trouble.

Got one burn large burn pile created and destroyed by fire!  Then the wind came up.  I have gotten some low fencing done for the new spring garden by the dog kennels.  Short green fencing that I am weaving white strips of felxible horse fencing into.  Looks good and the white should make it easy to see in the dark since it is right next to the walkway to the backyard.

Got a huge burn pile ready for tomorrow when it is supposed to be nice.

Break time.  High noon.  Need a cup of coffee and a little break.  Then I will try to get another hour in before my main break in the afternoon.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I am glad that someone is broaching this topic. These two ladies are to be commended for taking on a tough topic. The children deserve better than the treatment they are receiving. It is a travesty to allow religion to continue abuses that we no longer tolerate within our society.

Although Dealdoctor has pointed out that the golden rule states "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" this does not seem to apply within family units. For instance, what man wants to be totally submissive to his wife? What parents want to be "paddled" until they submit their will? So, the Golden Rule just doesn't seem to apply to families.

Although many times I was bothered by the teachings of the Fundie church I was going to, one of the items that really still bothers me is the way children are taught to uncompromisingly obey. Now, a certain amount of obedience is a good thing. It can be a life saver. But to squash the will of the child because that is what the Bible says is really sad.

The Bible has virtually no good advice on family relationships and raising children. Aside from love your wife like Christ loved the church, there is almost nothing. And how does God love the church? How does God love his creation - humankind? He smites them, beats them, humiliates them, destroys them and then says "I am a loving God!". What a lie.

God doesn't have decent people doing His will in the Bible. He has Solomon with his 800 concubines. He has David an adulterer and murderer. He has Lot and his daughters who perpetrate incest [along with several other incestuous incidents by His chosen]. He has Abraham who is willing to sacrifice is son on an alter. He has Jephthah who actually does sacrifice his only child, a virgin daughter. Time after time after time God seems to choose people to lead His flock and the people He chooses are not decent. They are terrible people.

God then blames humanity for all its ills. Does God help us find the best way to raise up decent people through our children? NO! He tells us to "Spare the rod and spoil the child." He says "Train your child up in the ways of the Lord and the child will not go wrong". Yet, we know that the ways of the Lord aren't very nice in the Bible.

So we get to churches like the Fundie church and we find that squashing the will of the child and crushing the child so that Satan won't have a chance at the child are promoted. Along with you are born sinful. Even small children are sinners. It is a recipe for disaster. I am still worried about the children of those fundie parents. How does it feel to grow up knowing that you can be spanked for just about anything you do? How does it feel knowing that you deserve to be hit? How do you grow into a loving adult with this kind of mental and physical abuse heaped on you day after day, year after year?

The Bible should be thrown into the garbage heap where it belongs. It has no redeeming family values in it and families are the basis the entire society rests upon. Can I get an Amen!?

Thanks, XPD. Coming from you that is high praise indeed. I was remembering back to when I was maybe 18 or 19 and I remember searching the Bible for the answers to my relationship problems with my ex. You know what? Not once in that book does it say "You will care for your family members with all tenderness and due caring. Husbands and wives will look into one another's eyes to see the light that shines from within their souls. Each child will be taught discipline and good work habits and the meaning of love by following their parents example. Parents will exercise discipline in order to teach the child the value of others and to encourage them to be patient, loving and kind. Children will be taught to be empathetic and to share and show encouragement towards others. Children will learn to put off wants until tomorrow and to take care of needs today. For neither greed nor procrastination is the best way to live a life. Love - the kind of love that cares deeply about others and yet encourages others to learn and be themselves - love, should be at the core of your family."


Hubby had to go to work early today so I helped get him out the door and then I went back to bed. I finally wake up a bit late.  So, it is 7am and I walk by the window and what do I see?  The sky is cloudy and the ground is wet!  It has rained!!!  And it is still drizzling just a bit.

Rain around here rarely makes much of a difference but I might not have to water the veggie garden today and it will certainly make pulling weeds easier for a day or two.  Who knows?  We might even get a bit more rain today and tomorrow, if we get lucky.

A nice cup of coffee, a few comments on the internet, a bowl of cereal and then we will see if the goats can be talked into eating some weeds despite the weather.

Geez, should have put on a sweatshirt along with my flannel jeans and a ski jacket.  Really chilly with the wind howling out there.  The sun is sort of out now.

I took the battery powered hedge trimmer out and started working on cutting back the needle-and-thread grass.   That stuff was a mess last year.  I may not be able to get it all but I can try!  I need a gas poered hedge trimmer or a big weed whacker or something to mow down this much stuff.  I think I will drag Hubby to the power yard tool department tomorrow while we are in Carson City.

We are taking Mom out to lunch for Mother's Day.  It will be lovely to see Mom and Dad plus we can do a little shopping.

I didn't dare open the greenhouse this morning to see how warm, or should I say how cold?, it was but I did open it up a bit around 10am.  Right now 5pm it is a nice 72 degrees in there.  I closed it up for the night.  Let's hope all the little plants stay happy.  Gave them just a bit of VF11 fertilizer yesterday.  I need them to come on pretty fast this year as I got a bit behind.

Too tired to get much done.  I took a chair out to the North where I am grazing the goats and sat and enjoyed watching the clouds try to rain on the hills nearby.  The goats got a bit over an hour of eating and look quite content now that they are back in their pen.  I got them some new straw in their goat hut today but haven't the oomph to actually clean the goat pen.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mosquitoes and Goats

The mosquitoes are out in full force this morning and not a lick of wind to blow them away.  The goats and I went out to graze.  The goats were shaking and twitching, dancing, scratching, jumping and running to get away from those horrible creatures.  I kept my coat tight around me and vowed not to go out again without bug spray. Finally, Taffy the cutest goat ever, decided he had enough and took off for the pen.  No amount of oats can rattling was getting him back.  I trailed Taffy quickly so that he wouldn't pause to eat on the Sea Berry shrub and Obie got worried and ran to catch up and then Spot got really, really worried and triple timed it to get back into the herd. The goats are very cute and very fun!

Eight am and time to go out and check the greenhouse.  I will have to keep an eye on it today.  It is cloudy so I don't want to open it up and lose the heat but if it starts overheating I need to open it up some.  No heater.  I am relying on the greenhouse to stay warm enough overnight to support the baby plants.  During the day it can get very hot in there.  One sunny day during winter it was 100 degrees.  Not kidding.

Bug spray and then need to get the onions into the veggie garden followed closely by moving the last of the daffodils from the front garden to the back yard.  I put them in the new spring garden by the dog kennel and I did a circle around the two crab apples and the golden locust.  It looks like my will is alive so I think I will put the last few daffodil around that.

Two pair of quail are out here eating.

Yesterday I cleaned the 50 gallon pond out.  The cutest little hummingbird sat on the new wire fence watching me toil.  He [nice bright bib so I am going to say he] was so tiny and adorable.  He was within 10 feet of me and I could clearly see his bright front spot and his tiny straight beak and the band across his teensey little chest.

An oriole came in yesterday but she hasn't stuck around.  Maybe I'll see her again today.  The brightest colored bird in our yard every year.

9:22am  I only lasted long enough to fertilize the greenhouse plants and plant the white onions.  The mosquitoes are soooo bad they sere maddening and, yes, I did use DEET.   The winds are supposed to come up by 2pm to 15 to 20 MPH.  Gusts to 35.  I can't believe I am longing for wind but those skeeters are just too much!  I am seeing the tiniest breeze.  If the wind comes up a bit I will go out and work some more.

Got red onions planted.  Got front fertilized and watered.  Got back fertilized and watered.

Watering East Side drip, fertilize too.  Overnight.

Weeded fifty feet of  garden edge walkway.  Looks like foxtails and I don't want that to get established in the yard.  Weeded 2 bins of weeds from garden.  Fed to goats.

Grazed goats from 3:30pm to 4:30pm.

Hubby working days so I had to quit and cook chinese for dinner.  Dishes needed doing so now I have to still so the evening dishes.  Also, finally getting to the bathroom for a good scrubbing.  Boy am I behind!

Friday, May 6, 2011


I am awake far too early today.  The faintest light in the East becomes a gray light that just illuminates the trees and shrubs out back.  The goats are sleeping in their goat hut still.  Waiting for the sun to blaze up over the horizon.

Sunrises are often beautiful here.  Distant clouds over far mountains are illuminated by the sun from below and reflect soft oranges and pinks.  The unlit cloud tops are a subtle gray, turning to white as the sun brightens.  The colors spread along the horizon and then you can see the blazing light of the sun pinpointed on the bottom of a cloud.  An intense orange spot where the sun will first peek over the dry, brown mountains.

The sky slowly takes on a soft blue hue and the day is ready for the business of spring to continue.  It is fortunate that spring comes only once a year.  It is such a busy time of the year.  Once the heat of the summer comes on there is time to stop and sit but, for now, we must get all we can done.  There is the vegetable garden to prep and brush and dried up tumbleweeds to burn.  There are projects to be completed that help cool the house.  This year we are redoing the shutters.  I am very hopeful we will finally get a cover over the patio to shade the north sliding glass doors.  There is the misting system that cools the south side of the house and a bit of the north side as well.

Today, I clean a house and graze the goats and worry about all the rest tomorrow.

Greenhouse 50 degrees this morning.  That will keep the tomato plants happy.

Need to close up the greenhouse as the sun is getting low and the air is starting to cool down a bit.  83 degrees today.

Grazed the goats this evening.  They are doing a good job but there is an awful lot left to eat out there!

A bit windy this afternoon but at least it keeps the mosquitoes at bay.

Did I mention that I got the yellow onions planted on Wednesday.  About 40 feet in a double row.  Still need to get out there and put in the white and purple onions.

Asparagus isn't coming up very well.  I put leaves on it last winter hoping for better results but so far not looking too good.  Nice that it is waiting until after the freezing temps.  Maybe it will come on later.

Got the irrigation parts and set up the NOrth windbreak drip system with its filter, pressure regulator and spliced in a set of connectors for the fertilizer.  Watering and fertilizing overnight tonight.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Busy Day

Goats grazed.  Dogs fed. Greenhouse opened up.  Hubby's lunch and coffee organized. My lunch and  coffee organized. Irrigation off.  Time to get out of here 8:02am.  Right on time!

Okay, I got my cleaning job done and I met Hubby for coffee on his way to work.  I got home and laid down for an hour.  Grazed the goats for almost an hour.  They are bleating pitifully every time they see me but I think they got enough to eat until morning.  I am exhausted.  I am going to hit the shower and watch American Idol: One of the Contestants Goes Home.

By the way the greenhouse was 50 this morning
82 this afternoon
78 when I closed it up at 6:15

Nice day but the wind has come up this afternoon and it is fairly breezy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring Garden

A beautiful day.  Wonderful clear skies.  Looks like it stayed above freezing last night.  Right now it is 38 degrees.  I need to rest up today.  I have to clean a house tomorrow and I don't like being tired for my housecleaning jobs.

I feel that spring is on track.  One cannot slow down too much but I am really quite thrilled with what has been accomplished so far.  Prioritizing on finishing any transplanting and getting the new shutters done.  Looks like the winds will be reasonable today and tomorrow but gusting to 25 tomorrow night.

We will have been living at this house for 6 years in July. It was so hot that year and the house just couldn't be cooled enough for my taste. The second summer wasn't much better.  Now that we have some greenery around the house it is a lot better here.

I was thinking back to our first spring here.  That was five years ago.  I worked so hard that spring to get the dead tumbleweeds and brush burned.  I weeded and weeded.  Well, I am still weeding.  But it has improved.  I put in a lot of little plants.  And half of them died.  The second year I put in quite a few little plants and about a quarter of them died.  By the third year I was getting more proficient at gardening in the desert.  It was success at last.

This will be our fifth spring here.  I am not ordering any new plants.  I am making sure that the plants we do have [and there is plenty]  get the best fertilization and pruning and such they can have.  I am transplanting some items to make better use of the drip system and the area nearer to the house.  There is still plenty of weeding to be done and I am not really doing as good a job as years before.  The plan is to get the goats working for me on the back two acres.  That leaves me with about 3 acres to do my best on.

The only new plants I put in, so far, are some native brush from down near the river.  My friend down there let me dig up two kinds of thorny looking babies [I don't know what they are, I'll have to try to find out] and some baby sagebrush.  I am having native shrubbery out back along the fence by the road.  They don't need much water and they are my first line of defense for the winds that rip through here.  So far they all seem to be living through their transplanting.

I think I will fertilize the new North windbreak today.  It has been well over a week since I transplanted and I want them to grow fast!  Just a light fertilization.  I suppose it is time to get moving.  Looks like I can hang the laundry on the line today.  That is a money saver and it is good for the environment.

Couldn't fertilize North windbreak since I need parts that should arrive tomorrow.  Laundry done.  Spring garden transplanting, not done but I did transplant a bunch of Japanese iris and a bunch of daffodils.  Have to wait and do more on Friday or Saturday.

Fertilizing fruit tree zone  with overnight watering.

Grazed goats this evening.  Cleared weeds from the garden this morning and fed them 3 bins of weeds.

Mosquitoes are out this evening.  Hate it.  So far no buffalo gnats.  Hope it won't be like last year when my eyes were swelling shut.  I am definitely allergic to the gnats.

Plenty left on the list so starting again on Saturday to get it all done.

Happy springtime to all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring Garden

Yeah, "Today is a permissable burn day.  You may burn daily from sunrise until 2pm."  The recording is in my favor!

First things first.  I need to finish my cup of coffee.  Then, out come the matches.

Two hours later and seven piles of brush are ashes! Yeah!!!  It doesn't seem like much but I didn't want those piles of brush blowing around all summer long while I work on the new side of the veggie  garden.

A bit of a break, maybe another cup of coffee and then off to transplant the spring garden stuff.

Watered street side overnight last night.

Just checked the greenhouse and already 62 degrees.  I am sure it stayed above 50.

Oh, and I need to get the baby pumpkins into bigger pots.  I started them in peat pots but now I realize those are such tiny peat pots that isn't going to work so... live and learn.

Got the pumpkins transplanted.  Got some of the spring garden transplanted.  I am taking the daffodils from the front and putting them into a bed with the newly transplanted forsythia.

Hubby stretched the wire for the back fence today!!!!!!!  Yeah!!!!  We still have to do the other half of the property but cross fencing is getting there.  Hubby also has to install a gate across the driveway into the back area and the goats will be officially contained.

Successfully grazed goats morning and evening.  The dogs are a big help with keeping them in line.

Watering East zone over night.  Watered front 3 hours, back 2 hours and North windbreak 2 hours.

Beautiful day though it did get a bit windy by 10am.  Luckily I got out there and got the brush burned early.

Ordered irrigation supplies today.  Busy day but a lot got done that needed doing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Garden

Definitely a bit below freezing in the garden.  I watered overnight and had a bit of ice building up on the ground and fence line.  Oh well, the plants seem to be taking it well.

Morning stats.
Greenhouse 46 degrees
Breezeway  31 degrees

I hope the greenhouse will start staying over 50 degrees as the tomato plants probably don't appreciate the chill. Maybe I will bring them in tonight and take them out again tomorrow morning.

Pulling weeds in the veggie garden this morning.  The goats ate well.  Time to get started on the rest of my list.

Looks like it will be up to 30 MPH winds later today.  Hoping it will calm down so I can burn brush piles this week.  It is all over on the burning May 22 so time is starting to run out.  Darn wind has really been hampering burn season this year.

A successful day all the way around.  DMV was in and out.  They were calling our number before we even filled out the form.  Sonic burgers for dinner in town.  What a treat!  Haven't done that in months.

The dogs are becoming quite good at herding the goats.  Of course it helps that Hubby is home to assist in training.  Much easier with two people.

Ready to stretch fence wire tomorrow.  Yoohoo!  That means we are so close to finishing that cross fencing.  Next year the goats can eat on their own without me corralling them into the North field.

Got the Donkey Tails planted under the fruit trees plus got the built up sand smoothed away from the trees and got the drippers sitting nicely for watering.  Steadily weeding the veggie garden.  Also, got a bit of brush cut back and piled up for burning [hopefully tomorrow.]

Time to relax as the sun fades away.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Garden

I was so busy yesterday that I didn't write a word!

Yesterday's stats

Morning temps

28degrees breezeway
41 degrees greenhouse

46 degrees this morning greenhouse
29 breezeway  a cold morning.

Plenty of baby plants coming up in the flats.  Moved most of them to the greenhouse!

Grazed goats with Penny's help.  Got the fencing 2/3 way around worth windbreak.  Arranged to get manure today at 11:30 [only  a gardener can be excited about that!]  Transplanted and got on drip about 10 small trees. Also managed to get cages around those little trees so the goats don't take a nip out of them.  They have managed to nibble to death about 3 pine trees which they seem to have taken a liking to.  When you are only a foot tall a little nibbling doeas a lot of  damage! Did a bit of weeding in the veggie garden. Yep, it was  a very busy day.

By the way, the Royal Wedding was spectacular.  Love the horses and carriages.  Lots of Father, Son and Holy Ghosting in the ceremony which I don't think an educated young couple like Catherine and William are going to take too seriously.

Time to get moving.

Weeding and clearing brush were the name of the game today.  Truck wouldn't start.  Battery totally dead.    No manure.  Couldn't find spare keys that worked so I don't know if the trickle charging the battery worked.