Wednesday, July 29, 2009
2. Tomatoes, sunflowers and squash are having a FANTASTIC time. This will round out the garden nicely.
3. From the kids perspective: unlimited otter pops are a fantastic thing.
4. An excuse to use water in spurious ways, like slip n slides!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
N-meister in particular, could have spent four times as long there. Still really into science and understanding, he didn't just enjoy the cool whiz-bang affectation of the center, he kept trying to go one layer deeper. Love that!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
10 ways to garden with your partner and stay together
from the Seattle PI, 2003
1. Eliminate the competition.
The most important thing is to avoid getting your partner interested in gardening in the first place. Then you get complete control over the garden.
2. Divide and conquer.
If your partner is keen on gardening, divide the garden down the middle. Better yet, try to interest your partner in mowing, weeding and general maintenance. That will free up your time for the really fun stuff.
3. Hoard the good stuff.
Spend at least a quarter of your free time going to nurseries. This will allow you to find those rare and attractive plants that will make your side of the garden look better than your partner's. Don't even hope to have any money saved to see you through your golden years.
4. Avoid the cutting edge.
Hide pruning shears from your partner until he or she promises not to turn any more plants into balls and doughnuts.
5. Don't throw the rocks.
Use super huge boulders in the garden. There are two ways to do this: Have them delivered and placed by the quarry where you bought them, or rent a truck and a backhoe. The backhoe method is much more fun, but remember: Place the rock in the garden, not through the side of the house, particularly if your partner is inside.
6. Secretly encourage sharing.
Use your partner's gardening tools with reckless abandon, but only when he or she is not home. Get them as dirty as you like, but wipe the evidence away before your sweetie comes home.
7. Subtle is good.
Enlarge your garden space by chipping away at the lawn. Do this by removing a few feet of turf at a time, and quickly filling in the new garden space with relatively mature plants. Hopefully he or she will not notice until the next time you set up the croquet course.
8. Acquire new lands.
Be quick to search for and claim new areas that become open. While my wife was away one weekend, I dug out a large camellia that she wanted removed. She was delighted until she realized that I had already filled the entire area with my new acquisitions.
9. Don't overlook concrete.
Cram every open space with containers before your partner has the same idea. That will give you somewhere to plant all of those incredible rarities that you couldn't resist buying and have absolutely no space for in the garden. Don't expect to ever park in the driveway again.
10. Claim bragging rights.
When neighbors and friends come over, lead them to your garden areas and wax poetic over the design, plant combinations and rare treasures. Be sure to denigrate your partner's side, particularly if it is gaining more compliments than yours.
If you follow these tips, don't throw away the marriage counselor's phone number. You will certainly need it soon!
-- Ciscoe Morris
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
For about two weeks prior to that, they were inside at night and then we would put them outside in a "play pen," a range shelter we cobbled together out of a soccer goal and unrolled chicken wire just leaned against it. The chicks grew so fast for we inexperienced poultry tenders; the unhappy limbo for us came in the time during which they lacked enough feathers to be outside at night but they had so much energy and poop that they made our home miserable when they were inside.
We finally gave up on the brooder box entirely when they were about a month old, and just barricaded off the breakfast nook with baby gates and plywood. We spread a gigantic tarp over the linoleum, covered that with pine shavings and just ignored it. Or tried to-- while they happily accepted dominion over our table, they also began roosting on the baby gates themselves, perched about 5 feet in the air. Sometimes their combined weight would take down the gate and defeat the whole setup. P-Daddy was most unhappy.
One of the books I read while embarking upon my self-directed, intensive get-er-dun course on raising chickens serenely suggested that like the author, the reader would probably raise the first batch of chickens in a box in the kitchen. The author sagely noted that "the dust they raise can be considerable" and that the rest of his broods were raised in the garage. This, my friends, is called UNDERSTATEMENT.