Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sassy and the snake

Have I ever told you how much I hate snakes?? Oh yeah. Right here buried in this long post.

I let the dogs out this morning to "help" me pick strawberries. Usually, they check out what's happening under the shrubs and enjoy chasing frogs and crickets. Today was the same, except that today Sassy emerged carrying a three foot black snake and started beating it against the walkway!!

I ran to get camera and she and Nick (who stuck to supervising) took the snake into the shrubs.

Sassy was quite proud of herself and continued to sniff and paw at it. I went on to pick my strawberries and eventually Sassy joined me for a few berries. As I left the garden, I noticed that Nick had brought the snake into the entrance of the garden. Ugh!

Later, as I drove past the garden on my way to getting the mower, I checked on the snake.

Missing!! Cr*p!!

So now I have a wounded, p*ssed off snake hiding back in the shrubs just waiting for me! Great.

In happier news, I got to pick my first baby lettuce, spinach, chard and kale last night.

It made the tastiest meal-sized salad with added red cabbage and orange bell peppers, topped with balsamic dressing, feta cheese, dried cranberries and croutons! Super yum!

Have a Happy Easter, everyone!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


The first strawberries from my garden!

The one on the top left is for Barefoot Gardener. I changed my mind and let her have one even though she was kinda snarky about southern gardeners on Facebook!

I don't think this years crop will be as prolific as last year's because I thinned the plot quite a bit. But I should still get enough to freeze some after I've eaten my fill!

Yogurt and freshly-picked, homegrown strawberries. Breakfast of champions! Excuse me while I close my eyes and savor this treat.

Later on I will pick some lettuce and spinach for a salad. Have I mentioned how much I love Spring??

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Working all the live long day...

I have been spending a lot of time working to improve the flower beds in the back yard. Nothing has been done with them since we initially moved in 4 years ago and it was time. Many plants have died, the mulch was gone... you get the picture.

But, the stormy weather makes it difficult to work in the clay soil, so it has been very slow going.

I managed to get one side of the stairs planted with new gardenia and evergreens, and get the weed barrier put down. Now it needs mulch brought around from the driveway.

I even planted an Eastern Redbud tree to give some height to the area. The other side took even longer to get planted, but it too is done. Now it needs weed barrier and (*sigh*) more mulch.

I planted a crabapple tree outside of the fence (technically in the front side yard) to kinda match the redbud tree. This one can handle full sun that the redbud can't.

I have also been planting the seedlings I grew into the raised beds and behind the orchard, but I need to take some pictures of that! The weather is too cloudy for decent photos.

Mostly, though, I have been feeling like someone stapled one foot to the ground and I am running in circles. The weather report dictates what gets done and in what order. So I have many projects in the works and none completed. The violent storms keep right on coming and either undo what's been done or cause me to re-prioritize the list.

Courtney came done last weekend and helped me clean up storm damage on the only nice day. Of course, we were working so no pictures, but here is one of her in front of one of the uprooted trees.

Last night brought another major storm with 85 mph winds. We had to sleep in the shelter for over an hour last night. Cheryl asked to see pictures of our storm hangout, so here there are.

Shelter bolted into the garage.

The backrest folds up to make an upper bunk held by chains. I have some blankets and dog leashes on the wall, a radio and some closet lights on the bench.

Behind the door (and hard to photograph) is a bed for the dogs, an oscillating fan (it gets hot and muggy with upset doggies) and some supplies in case the worse happens.

After sleeping in the shelter until about 1 AM and being blown out of bed my the endless weather warnings all night, I struggled out of bed this morning to a phone call from my neighbor. He wanted to let me know that my driveway was blocked by another fallen tree. *Sigh*

How come only the good living trees fall over?? Can't the dead ones come down so I don't have to pay someone to remove them??

So while drinking my morning coffee, I was also chopping off limbs so I can get the car out of the gate!

Pile of limbs on the other side of the drive.

I'm free!

I placed a call to the tree man and he will come out this afternoon and give me a quote to clean up the rest of this tree, plus the downed cedars in the spring house and some standing dead trees that will eventually fall onto buildings.

And we have another storm coming tonight!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I get the hint!!

MIL has been whining (Yes! At her age, she still whines!) that my blog is boring. And she is right. I just haven't felt like there was anything blog-worthy going here. It rains every couple of days, no outdoor work, blah, blah, blah. Exciting stuff, huh?

Then last week, a trip was made to California to visit family and friends. I dutifully packed my camera, and then only took 1 picture on my first day there. See? Here is Stud Muffin enjoying soup in a bread bowl at the Boudin sourdough bakery.

In my defense, we spent all of our time buying art and decorating a friend's apartment and visiting with sick relatives. I did spend a whole day with my sister Christina and her man, but forgot the camera. (Yeah, I'm a loser!)

But now that I am home, I took pictures of some fabric I bought on my trip!

Two really cool fabrics from Ikea.

Another two from Joann's. I also got some silky soft bamboo crochet thread.

Today, we have suffered through one hell of a storm. The dogs and I spent over an hour in the shelter listening to the wind howl and the power go out. Once back out, I noticed how much yard crap was sticking to the sides of the house. All the way up to the roof! Sticks and leaves covered the driveway.

After the rain slowed to a deluge, I ventured out to check the at least the area around the house. First thing I noticed is a tree down in the orchard and a missing row cover from the lettuce bed.

As I proceeded towards the gate, I realized things were a bit more serious.

Oh well, the spring house needed to go anyway, but the cedar tree was still living! There are more trees down next to the shop building.

But THIS is a problem!

The entire (live) tree uprooted and was blocking the way to the gate and the world beyond! I drove the buggy around the fallen pine to investigate my neighbor's properties. Everyone had broken trees and roofing off.

(Might be hard to use the picnic table this way!)

I returned to the house for the chainsaw, cut up the road-blocking pine and used the tractor to haul away the parts lying on the drive. Thank God for having the right tools! Three and a half hours after the storm passed, the electricity came back on and my big-ass generator could shut down. Apparently, a pole and transformer came down blocking the highway near my house, and somebody ran it all over and left their bumper behind!

So there you have it. All the news that's fit to print. Let the whining cease!!