Saturday, July 25, 2015

Blessing In Disguise?

Where's Grant when you need him?!?  (Hehehe - I'm for sure he's glad he's not here....)

Thought I was on a roll getting this year's projects done, but my painter didn't show up today.  (And he's the one who suggested Saturday ... twice in the course of our conversations.) A tad aggravating since my knees took it on the chin (so to speak) getting it set up, especially bringing out the ladders.  Obviously, if undependable, I'm better off moving on, don't you think?

But all is not lost!  When buying all the supplies I commented upon my seeming inability to find someone willing to do the job (have been on the hunt for months), and the boss said for "next time" he had an excellent reference.  So "next time" if I have any luck at all (keep your fingers and toes crossed) will hopefully soon become "this time".

I did have good luck getting this project done:

Out with the Old -

Still in decent shape on the porch but a rather strange mauve/salmon combo, and the stairs were awful, all crispy and black on the edge with the most shade (failure to dry fast enough over many winters).

 Plus at the bottom of the steps, an ant colony was propagating and nesting under the lip of the carpet and the inch thick dirt den extended the length and height of it!

In with the New -

I've used this company twice before so no expectations shattered on this deal.  They're actually kind of a hole-in-the-wall outfit but their carpets and crew are top notch!

This is the actual true color of the carpet (a tad more gold than other views):

And this porch plant is starting to bloom!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Gardener's Lament

Can you guess the goal of this project?  Give yourself a pat on the back if your answer is correct!


(And no, I'm not joining ranks with you home chicken egg hatchers.  Been there, done that.)

I fancy myself a person who likes yardwork. And it's true, I'd rather do that than housework!  I am not particularly good at it, however.

(Apparently using straight mulch isn't recommended if you happen to prefer an annual repeat of a combination of squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers.  Even if you flip the location the following year.)

I left my grow box lie fallow this year, because of last year's legions of squash beetles!!  (Is there something greater than "legions!"?)  It has worked – no sign of them this year.  

However, now that it's dry (no drip line usage), the neighborhood cats have discovered it!  Who knew there were still farmer types who let their cats wander the neighborhoods!  I would've thought that went the way of the all the rest of the PCness involved with them becoming like little pet children.  And now the cats have discovered it, they're not going to give it up without a fight!  And even if I wait to tackle the issue until next year, all I would've achieved is a bigger pile of poop to deal with!

And so I spent 30 bucks for some galvanized netting and pegs, to stop the process!

Well, the last several years I had the best crop in the valley of cherry tomatoes. (Yes, I'm bragging.)  Reminded me of Daddy feeding the town out of his monstrous garden, in the sense of me taking cherry tomatoes to work and people reminding me not to forget their share! Or coming to my office and chowing down.  (Was an interesting discovery – instantly my popularity grew by leaps and bounds!)

I did plant peas and tomatoes on the south side of the house, got a relatively decent crop of peas, but the tomatoes are going to be sparse.

Back at the grow box, there's two volunteers I've let grow and watered just their small root area just to see what happens.  (Note their size - that's what mulch, even last year's, will give you!)

Oft times volunteer vegetables don't turn out as good as  their predecessors.  If that ends up being true in this case, I'm not going to be a happy planter.

(Did buy enough though to cover the whole thing next year in one fell swoop, as it came in exactly the right width. Might not need it in the sense that the cats won't like moist soil, but I'm afraid the drip hoses left on around the clock were part of the beetle problem so I may end up amending that train of thought.)

Any more suggestions – any of you grow box gardeners out there?  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hot Summer Hodgepodge

I must be a “weather” person. Changes in it remind me of places I’ve been. Hanging out clothes in a stiff breeze reminds me of Holland. Hot, sticky, overcast days remind me of Michigan. Big fluffy clouds and breezes remind me of mountainous Hawaii.  This year so far has been the weirdest weather I remember (in Utah).  It does not remind me of anywhere else I've ever lived.  One TV channel (which normally shuns or derides anything religious) with a straight face said the excessive rain in May (after months of the lack thereof!) was a "miracle"!  In Utah during June, 15 daily record highs were tied and 26 were broken, some as old as 100 years.  

(Note the greenness courtesy of the May rains.)

Because I'm cheap, sometimes I have extra legs in my air travel, and after I got back from Raygen's K graduation, the thought of going anywhere else was daunting after all that walking, carrying my computer+.  Hard on my shoulders and I don't think my knees are back to normal yet!  Well, not that "normal" is anything to brag about either.  Contemplated getting a smaller computer, then researched whether or not an under-the-seat bag with wheels existed which would hold a 15".  Voila!

Also researched more I could do to relieve my arthritic toe pain ... it actually works!  (For a day or so.) 

Spent most of June working on Jewel's early year's life story to get it done in time for her birthday.  I think she liked it (caused a few tears).  Here are some pictures I included:

(The picture we gave the agency so they could look/pray about us.)

(Four months old)



So next is to get Grant's done for his birthday.  (Don't tell him!!)

Sat with Jessie while Bob was off to a doctor appointment, and we were paid a visit by this:

(View from the kitchen window, can you see the velvet?)
[I haven't seen any signs of them at my place - thank goodness!
Bob says they're gnawing on his tree bark!]

Because Jewel is working in a GL department, her life at month- and quarter-end is not her own!  So her family didn't come up and I didn't go down, and celebrating Independence Day was, shall we say, interesting?  I had no idea my own neighborhood was so noisy!  Not just fireworks at the church parking lot, but jeeps (with patriotic music blaring) and motorcycles roaring up and down the street!  Add to that the nearby junior high post city fireworks line-up of cars the full block!  (Yes, a vicarious celebration was fun.)  Got to witness this, as a result:

Flag Ceremony  (Watch the short/totally inspiring program.)

It's been all over Facebook, and Johnny in Vegas even saw it on the news, but if you haven't seen the video, you'll not want to miss it.

This flag was hung on a guy wire across Grove Creek Canyon.  They lit it up at night as well, and from my house, you just saw the shadow, but just knowing what it was touched my heart as well.  

For those of you who may hunger for more panorama of the event and the canyon:  PG Flag Panorama  The flag is 30 x 60 feet!

I like to pick "themes" for the grandkid's birthdays.  (Parents, be warned:  If you have a theme in mind, speak up!)  Jewel sent me a picture of what I picked for Raygen (they're going to the beach in September):

(For Lucy's birthday July 1st, I picked a cat/kitten theme - Puss 'N Boots and Alice in Wonderland [Cheshire cat] movies, etc.)  ...Did you know that in the late 18th century, purportedly cheeses made in Cheshire were marked with the face of a smiling cat?!