Saturday, May 31, 2008

I DON'T DO SNAKES!!! (Long post)

It's getting hot here, folks! Really humid. And when you get up to pee use the ladies room in the middle of the night, and you can't see out of the window because it is steamed up on the outside,

Photo by lyle58.

you just know you aren't going to do fence painting in the morning! It's the kind of day when Kit Kat bars die a horrible death if not eaten quickly (or if left in your purse in a hot car.) I did not do that!

Photo by princess_of_llyr.

A day when, nobody and nothing has the energy to move.

Photo by afagen.

Almost Grown wasn't the slightest bit disappointed about the not painting part, since both of us have very sore and tired arms from our efforts so far. There actually has been progress. We got the first coat on the entire fence. Now it just needs the finishing coat. (Coat?? Ack!! It's too hot for a coat!)



More After

We had to postpone painting for a day or so last week because of thunderstorms, so we decided that even if the fence was too wet, we'd attend to the lawns that needed mowing and edging. I mowed, she edged. Her arms gave out after tackling the backyard, with all of it's trees to weedwack around. I mowed the backyard (except for the low spot with standing water!) and went on to mow most of the front yard sections.

As I started on the last little triangle section next to my studio, it happended. I mowed a snake. I MOWED OVER A FRICKIN' SNAKE!!

I hate snakes! We don't have or allow snakes in Hawaii where I grew up. I don't think anyone should allow snakes! Eeew and Yuck and Shriek!

I saw it as I came around for the second pass at the perimeter. There in the grass, a black and brown coil of snake. I about drove the zero-turn mower off into the forest when I realized what it was. I wasn't sure if it was dead, but it was bloody and part of it was about 3 feet from the rest of it!

(No pictures... it's just too gross!)

I made up my mind (and girded my loins) to run the coil over again when I came to that spot, but when the time came, my hands pushed the control arms of the mower and I lurched off in another direction like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland! I'm such a coward, but I bet not many people have seen my famous zig zag mowing pattern!

Another pass, and I noticed that the coil was pissed and moving! Oh cr*p! I'm not sure what it was I mowed off the bugger, but he was miffed to say the least, so I'm thinking I did not get his head. I did finish the mowing, but there is a distinct hi-lo texture to the area!

A liberal application of chocolate (and calling Stud Muffin at work to eeew and yuck and shriek) and I felt a bit better. He wants me to carry a gun when I go off into the forest (or the front yard) and I can just imagine myself shooting holes along the lawn defending myself from sticks, spindly shrubs and such.

My garden is flourishing, and the peas have gone bonkers!

The peppers are peppering.

The spaghetti squash is squashing (and escaping it's bed!)

These are Oregon Sugar Pod II and they are by far the most prolific edible pod pea I planted this year.

Oregon Sugar Pod II

Peas harvested just today.

Everyday, AG and I harvest more peas and yet they keep on coming! So, I wandered into to town to the local farm stand set up in an abandoned gas station and asked if they wanted to buy my peas.

AG says I'm a "creeper" for taking a drive-by photo!

They did, and in true country style, I left the peas (four little square boxes) for them to sell, and would come back later to get paid. AG and I went to see the Sex in the City movie (fun) and returned later. They hadn't sold any peas (I don't think rednecks know what snow peas are,) but wanted to pay me for them anyway.

We negotiated a 50/50 split and so, dear readers, I have made my first "farm income!" All $6 worth! I'm struttin' now!! I must be a real farmer if I sold something grown on my property, right?

Oh! And my road guy brought over his big ass dozer so he can start on the road next week (if it doesn't rain.)

I think the dozer knows it's too hot too, or maybe it is hiding from the snake like I am!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The no-update update

This is the no-update update.

For some reason, all of us are feeling a bit "off" today. Yes, I know I am always off, my humor is "off," my cooking and cleaning is "off" and I probably smell "off" after painting. But today, nobody seems to be able to get it together or get motivated to do anything.

Almost Grown and I were on a roll with the fence painting yesterday, until the humidity skyrocketed and we were melting in a puddle of sweat. Later, the thunderstorms and lightening started, the power went out and then back on, and a rocky noisy night was had by all.

Now I feel drained, achy, and unwilling to do much of anything. We were supposed to go see Indiana Jones with Stud Muffin (today is his day off) but the weather was still stormy this morning, so we didn't. We will watch the second Indiana Jones movie at home and try for the theater another day.

The mailman brought AG some long awaited books from Amazon (yeah Super Saver shipping!) She loves her books.

I went to my studio, and worked on some new produce bags. I had a customer request some bags that were taller to hold things like romaine lettuce and celery, and I thought it made a nice companion to the standard size bags. These are now available in my shop.

These are about 16 inches tall to hold big stuff.

In other shop news, I am working on a reusable sandwich wrap that doubles as a placemat. I am trying to find a truly food-safe plastic to use on the interior and this is proving difficult. I settled on the Foodsaver bags, but they aren't as wide as I need. Back to the drawing board. I may try a wrap that has no plastic and see if it will contain leaks (like jelly or mayo) while at the same time, keep the sandwich fresh and soft. We keep you posted.

But, for all my lethargy, I really can't complain. A spin through my blog favorites this morning showed me people with bigger problems than my own.

Marmite Toasty is having a horrible time recovering from knee surgery and is feeling hopeless (needs more chocolate!)

Mysti woke up to find her 11 year old son having what appeared to be an asthma attack. After an ambulance ride to the hospital, she found out that he had a rare case of croup that isn't supposed to affect kids over that age of six!

And Catty Ax Lady is having nightmares, and daymares, about hitting a girl who dashed out in front of her car! Everyone is physically okay, but the panic remains.

All I can say is Holy Cr*p!!

And now, I'm going back to bed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fence painting update

Well. We worked so hard today, and yet it doesn't look like much! Almost Grown and I started at about 7:30 AM to put the first coat of paint on the arbor and figured we could certainly get the second coat on too before quitting for the day. Yeah, right.

First thing this morning.

Let's start by saying that today was the hottest and muggiest day we have had so far. And this arbor has so many little corners and joints and rough cut edges!!

AG hard at work.

Now, normally, at this point I wouldn't have my camera out, but I had to take a break from painting to attend to a small problem. You see, our canine helpers got bored when we wouldn't get off the ladders and play, so they went for a little adventure. After a while they returned, but not until Nick had enjoyed a roll in the bull poop and a dash (or 12) through the muddy creek.

Look at that face!!

So a time out was needed for a dog bath on the lawn. Believe me, even vanilla dog shampoo can't cover up the smell of fresh bovine excrement!

But then it was time to get back to work. AG graciously painted the overhead stuff inside of the arbor, which left me with the underside pain-in-the-*ss pieces. The humidity had risen and the temperature was approaching 90 degrees. We had been at this for about 3 hours.

Progress being made.

There will not be one comment made about the beached whale who CHOSE to wear striped pajamas and a fat suit while painting in the midday sun!

This was a sneak attack with the camera! I object!

My true feelings on the matter.

So after almost four hours, and only one coat completed, we conceded defeat for the day and retreated to the air-conditioned house, glasses of water, and cool showers.

On another front, there has been no improvement on the road repair since the repair guy is finishing up a county job. In fact, the road has continued to disintegrate. This was the road back in March:

Looking down the road from the top. Small erosion that required a bale of straw to drive the Buggy over.

A couple of days ago, I drove the Buggy around the other way and found this.

Looking up the road (opposite of the previous shot.) See the straw bale nowhere near the side of the road?

So, that was the day. There is a chance we will have thunderstorms tonight, so we will have to see how wet and humid it is tomorrow, before torturing ourselves with the arbor again.

Til then, I am paint covered and pooped, but happy with the progress!

I'm so boring!

Attention Kmart shoppers! Would the owner of this snakeskin under the shrub please come claim their property and promptly relocate to another farm?!?

This is a post about having nothing to post about, well, because I'm so boring! Oh, I'm doing stuff and enjoying having Almost Grown home, but nothing is really blog worthy.

Same sh*t, different day.

Yesterday, I weeded the spaghetti squash bed, which for some reason, all the weeds have taken up residence in. Then I used the last of the nasty, soggy straw from last year to mulch the bed in the hopes that the weeds go to some other neighbor's veggie patch. All in all, the job took longer than I thought it would.

With the sun full up, and me in full sweat, I decided to tackle another area of metal edging, especially since as he drove away to work, I told Stud Muffin that I was going to do it. Me and my big mouth!

AG struggled out, blurry-eyed, as I banged away at the edging with a mallet right outside the bedroom window. But with a shot of coffee in her system, she readily helped me with the last half of the job.

Okay, a bit wonky, but we were following the lay of the land!

Having sweated out more liquid than I had taken in, I had to peel my clothes off like a wet bathing suit before taking a cool shower. A couple of glasses of water later, and I simply had to lay down for a bit of a rest. Okay, I admit it! It was only 10:30, but I had worked hard!!

Then it was homemade chicken salad sandwiches and homemade vinegar and honey coleslaw for lunch. After a quick trip to the Piggly Wiggly, it was home for housekeeping. (I told you this was exciting stuff!)

Laundry was run, tables were dusted, AG Swiffered up enough dog hair to make a puppy, and I vacuumed up the "puppy" and residual grit and dirt. Sassy, who thought the old vacuum was a playmate and would bring it balls to nudge, is not so sure about the new canister vac. She keeps trying to engage it in a rousing game of fetch, but it just doesn't "get it!"

AG was ready for her nap (a requirement of the recently graduated) and I went to my studio to finish an order of produce bags that had sold in the morning. Stud Muffin came home from work early, startling the sleeping dogs on the studio floor, and I thought they were going to attack the car as it went up the drive!

Dinner of spaghetti and ice cream sundaes followed by some relatively boring television rounded out the day. AG and I harvested the first of the snow peas, which I would show you, but we ate them right there in the garden!

Peas still filling out.

Bedtime came early, as we (AG and I) have hot plans (literally) to start painting the fence this morning before it gets too hot. Going to be 89 later today and 91 tomorrow.

Left to right as seen from front porch.

Dog doesn't need painting!

Not too much fence to paint.

Aren't you glad you popped in for a visit??

Monday, May 19, 2008

How does your garden grow?

Another picture heavy post about my garden. It's kinda like my baby, you know!

Every morning, when I let the dogs out, I go and check on my garden. I just love seeing what seems like overnight growth out there!

Carrot forest in the early morning shade.

Spaghetti squash plants

Look! A baby spaghetti squash!

Peppers, tomatoes and peas.

I have been pulling out the row cover frames and stringing up a nylon rope trellises for all the vining plants. I think I've cleared out every store around here for stakes, but then, I won't need to buy them again next year.

I even have baby apples that look like apples!

A few "puzzy" peaches, as Almost Grown calls them.

So, I am trying to get recovered from the travel (Did I ever tell you I hate air travel ?) and stay ahead of the produce bag orders. Now that AG is home, we have some big outdoor projects to tackle; painting the fence, installing the drain system, putting down a small patio section where the grass won't grow, etc. I don't know how much we can get done while she's here, but we will make a start at least.

The pain in my shoulder is subsiding, but the burning in my elbow (which I thought was connected to the shoulder problem) won't go away. It feels like the sensation you get when you bang your funny bone, only it never stops! Back to the doctor today for my help, before I rip my arm off and beat myself senseless with it!

And so starts another week, down on the farm!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Soap and the Naughty Blogger!

I got soap! Real fancy soap! The kind that is heavy and pale colored with such delicious scents that you wouldn't mind having your mouth washed out with it!

I received this wonderful soap from Lisa at The Tardy Homemaker in my very first internetual trade. I was drooling for her handmade soap, she had her eye on my bulk food bags. Seemed like a good idea! Besides, she has a great first name!!

But I've been a bad blogger, because I didn't get around to thanking her properly the very moment the soaps arrived! I know I should have (*wrist slap*), but I left for the graduation the next day. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

But look how pretty they are!!

Such great flavors, I don't know whether to wash with them, or chop them up into a salad!

The are even in a fancy sleeve with information on the back. That Lisa must be a real grown up business woman person!

So I hereby, humbly thank you, Lisa for your wonderful soap! (*Bowing as low as my sore body will allow!*) Go get your own fancy soap at her website My Morning Glory.

And yes, Marmy, I do know what soap is for and have even used it on occasion!!

Is there a flaming arrow sticking out of my back??

Photo by jonathan_moreau

I have pinched or inflamed or perhaps insulted a trigger point in my shoulder blade. It burns so bad and twinges all the way down to my elbow like I've been hitting my funny bone over and over again.

I dropped the in-laws off at the airport yesterday and called the doctor on the way back home. Thank God for living in a small town. You can get in to the doctor right away and get treatment immediately.

He shot me up with steroids and Lanocaine and I immediately felt a bit better. At least my toes uncurled and my eyeballs stopped rolling up into my head when the pain came. Driving like that is not safe!

But this morning I have the expected bruise from the injection. I think the doc replaced the flaming arrow with a bullet hole.

Photo by narisa

This is going to take a couple of days.

In the meantime, typing and sewing are tough since my arm jerks randomly and I fling coffee (or Diet Coke) all over myself. Be patient with me. I will be back to my normal ornery self soon!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Almost Grown is a Graduate!!

Whoo hoo! She did it! And Stud Muffin and I got the fly across country to make sure there really was diploma in the fancy leather folder. Inconveniently scheduled for Mother's Day, we crammed in brunch with Tech-Nija (the fiance) and his family at the sorority house, the graduation, and a fancy Mother's Day/Graduation dinner at Carl's Jr.

Happy AG and Stud Muffin

Almost Grown and Tech-Ninja

AG, TN and his family: his mom between them and his Aunt on the end.

While waiting for TN and his family to arrive at the sorority house, I snuck upstairs to assess the work ahead in getting her moved out. This is what I found!

Holy Cr*p!!

We have to fit all of this in her little car??

And this??

This is half of the boxes to be mailed!

The graduation was typical, except that it was held in a large tent, on a sunny but windy day. And did I mention that it was only 50 degrees out? The maintenance men were handing out blankets to those of us flash frozen to our folding chairs. I would have taken a picture of that but my fingers were frozen!

I did sneak forward a bit to see if I could snap a few shots of the "awarding of the very expensive piece of paper."

There was lots of lip-locking and tonsillectomy action going on!

Oh alright! Here is a token photo with me in it. Ack!

We had until noon the next day to get her out of her room, and after a trip to her storage unit (yes! Even more stuff!) and two trips to the post office, we got it all out! Whew! The next day, I took off for the airport while AG and Studly drove to Reno to move her in with her sister, Not Quite Grown, in their new apartment. The two road warriors will fly home this weekend, but poor NQG has to keep working at her new job so she can support me in the manner to which I would like to become accustomed!

I flew home to relieve MIL and Borrowed Grandpa from doggie sitting duty. They did a wonderful job, including weathering a severe thunderstorm, and the dogs were happy and healthy!


Sassy begging for tummy rubs from MIL

And so we are "One Down, One To Go" on the graduation front. Thankfully, I have two years before the next one. I'm pretty sure I can recover by then! In the meantime, I am woefully behind in my sewing and the produce bags are flying off the proverbial shelf!