Friday, November 12, 2010

A Potential "Event"

One of my neighbors who is particularly gifted at decorating and arranging things once told me that as you walk through your house or garden that you should have "events" -- random items in random places -- to catch your eye and guide you along your path.  I was taken with the use of the word "event" and of course wanted some, and immediately began thinking about potential garden "events."  (As per typical with me, I see my house merely as a portal* to my backyard.  That is probably why I can't really get any decorating going on in there, much less any events!)

Looking at photos I've taken and magazine pages I've ripped out, I realize that I have already been thinking of events, I just didn't know that was what they were called in decorating parlance!  Whew.  I haven't totally missed the boat I guess...

One item I have been keeping my eye out for (and who came up with that saying?  And did they have a glass eye they carried around in their hand??) during my many excursions to thrift stores is a grouping of 5 balls, about the size of grapefruits.  In my mind they are painted bold colors -- probably each a different solid color, and they would have a shiny luster to them.  They would probably have to be something fairly unbreakable.  They would rest in a grouping in the grass.  Does that sound eventful?

And then the other day I came across these in the Uncommon Goods catalog (which I dearly love):
They are described:

The Golden Globes
Elegance goes eco-friendly with this set of six hand-blown, solar-powered string lights. These artisan-made glass globes feature beautiful swirling colors of sea green, blue, gold and purple. Perfect for decorating arbors, archways, trees, umbrellas, railings or eaves. The solar panel is designed to orient 360 degrees for optimum solar collection. The panel can be staked, hung or mounted. Powered by the sun, these turn themselves on at dusk and off at dawn. Hand blown in China. Each is one-of-a-kind and will vary.

Aren't they great?  I wouldn't hang them up; I would cluster them on the ground, maybe in a re-purposed copper bowl, or a grouping of branches fashioned into an oversized bird nest on the ground.  And they would glow at night!!  Ohhhhh.  I really must start buying lottery tickets.

* An unconscious shout-out to Harry Potter


Who knew that one could be in love with a refrigerator?  Since mine was delivered Wednesday evening, I'll admit to standing, leaning against the sink and just staring at it.  Is that wrong?

It's so shiny and beautiful that so far I have been unable to bring myself to put my magnets and paperwork back up.  I.    Just.    Can't. 

Last night I went and picked up a few essential groceries... again, somehow, I can't quite bring myself to clutter up the shelves just yet.

I told Red we are eating in tonight -- no going out, no delivery, cooking and eating in.  Ahhhhh.  I see sweatpants and Netflix in my future.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I realized today that several of my posts had your ability to comment blocked... oops.  I've gone back through several old posts, and I'll continue to go further back and enable comments.    I'd love to hear from you!

Is there a chill in here?

Not yet -- but if all goes as scheduled, there will be tomorrow.  I give you the Samsung RF266AE[WP]:

And I'll just add that if you have your refrigerator model number memorized, you probably need to stop looking at refrigerators.

This has not been a fun process for me.  I'm cranky: 

#1, I am not a shopper.  I generally do not enjoy shopping.  Add in having to compare reviews, decipher minute model differences and hunt down floor models for viewing all over town... mmmm hmmm.  Yeah.  Not fun.  Oh, and then since this is a fridge that upon which Consumer Reports bestowed glowing reports, it's sold out and back ordered in many places. La la la la la la!

#2, I feel financially hijacked. Despite the fact that I got completely reimbursed for my old refrigerator, I did not exactly break even.  Apparently the refrigerators that DON'T burn your house down cost more!  Who knew?

#3, I am soooo weary of eating out.  The first few days it was sort of a novelty:  "Oh, gosh darn, I guess I have to eat out again tonight!"  Yesterday marked the beginning of week 3, and the novelty wore off, well, weeks ago.

#4, Due to all the eating out, I feel fat.  And doesn't that make one cranky?

#5, This lack of cooled space has had me changing my dog's home cooked meals diet, and we all know what happens when you do that.

And so, hopefully the delivery folks tomorrow will be reliable, and I'll be chillin' again.  Of course, I'll have nothing inside to chill -- no salad dressings, no condiments, no butter -- nada.  Which brings me back to the financially hijacked feeling.  Yeah, I know.  I'm sort of whiney today.

But on the upside, which I do generally choose to look at:

#1  I will not have one single thing in my fridge that is out of date.
#2  I will no longer have the guilt of that bottle of salad dressing that I didn't really like, but couldn't allow myself to throw out.
#3  It is indeed a beautiful refrigerator.  And I have a lovely home in which to plug it in.
#4  I like organizing things -- do you see all those little bins and drawers??  They are adjustable!
#5  I think the data sheet on this fridge said it has its own filtration system built in.  That means Red and I can cross "ice maker filter systems" off our Home Depot shopping list.  Score.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hairy Vetch

It sounds unattractive, doesn't it?  Hairy Vetch.  Who names these things anyway?  Although it sounds like a skin condition or a medical ailment, it's actually a cool weather cover crop used in organic gardening.  I'm told that it is a succulent, so when you till it under in the Spring it decomposes rapidly, leaving behind soil rich in nitrogen. It should also prevent weeds from growing where you plant it.

Since I had the rented tiller this weekend for 4 hours and the raspberry patch only took about 2 hours... You can imagine that more tilling was going to happen.  Somewhere.  Perhaps somewhere that didn't even truly need tilling.  Because when you have a tiller ...

I had an area along my carport where grass wasn't growing.  I haven't decided what will be there -- the outdoor dining table, or landscaping... but given the opportunity to enrich the soil in the meantime, it seemed like a good plan.  Here's a tiny photo of what it looks like -- sort of like a fern with blossoms.  Let's hope it takes off.

Fall (Just Say No to Winter)

Fall is here -- mostly I can tell because I am already ankle deep in leaves in my yard.  No pecans yet ... I wonder what type of year for pecans it will be.  I look up at the tree and I don't really see any up there. 

Red got up on my roof this weekend and swept the leaves off for me, and threw down some tree branches that had fallen down.  I must admit that while I have been under my house twice (once without a zoot suit even!) I have not been up on my roof.  It's precarious -- the front pitch in particular is very steep.  I'm really grateful that he was willing to climb up and do a little fall maintenance for me.  And my dog was pleased to get brand new dried sticks to chew on -- they just fell from the sky!  Dreams do come true, Toto.

My lawn doesn't need mowing, but I sure do have leaves that need mulching, so I'll probably run my mower over the front yard tonight.  The leaves will be so good for the lawn.  (And it would be nice to be able to see my sidewalk again too...)

In anticipation of cooler temps and winter winds, I fussed with door weather stripping in the last week.  The front door still needed some attention, and Red attended to that yesterday morning.  I still have a bottom door strip (brush?  I don't know what you call it -- it goes under the door) but I need help taking the door off the hinges to install it.  I've got time... it's not winter quite yet.

I swapped out my jack'o'lanterns for solid pumpkins, and added my wooden pilgrims to the bale of hay.  I don't know if I will get any mums this year or not; they never seem to last long.  They are beautiful, though.  The day after I put the pilgrims out in the yard we got 3.25" of rain in 24 hours.  Poor Grandpa pilgrim couldn't take the weather and he's doing quite the backbend now.  It's really funny.  I'll have to take a photo to post...

UPDATE:  Pilgrim Limbo

Raspberry Canes

You may recall this post from back in April wherein I posted about planting raspberry canes.  I'm sad to report that only 4 of those canes appear to have lived.  (I hold out hope that some are dormant and will sprout back to life in the Spring.)  My excuses are that we had summer heat very early this Summer... and I didn't water them enough.  And when I got the new fence I miscalculated the increased amount of sun in that part of the yard -- too much, I think. 

But!  Good news:  I am fortunate enough to have another chance -- my sister visited from Minnesota over Halloween weekend, and for my hostess gift she brought me 18 raspberry canes from her garden.  Awesomeness!  They are the from the same canes that are at mom and dad's, the ones that were brought over from Finland.

When my sister arrived we liberated the canes from the giant Ziploc in her suitcase and put them in a bucket of rain water from my barrel.  They had been in there for a week so this weekend it was time to get them in the ground.   Project time!  (I have so many projects in my head right now it's insane...)

Red and I went to Home Depot and rented a rototiller -- I was positively giddy about it -- frankly nearly purchased one but was able to divert -- and toted it home.  The guy at the rental counter was knowledgeable and helpful but yowser -- he tracked about 2 conversation topics behind the entire time.  

Next I took Red's truck and went to Redenta's to get compost.  I love the Living Earth Technologies organic compost ( and Bucky at Redenta's advised that for the square footage I was working with that I would probably need 6 bags.  I added a bag of Bed Prep to that, which includes earth worm castings.  Gold, baby, gold!  Toted all that home.

When I got home, Red had already started tilling.  He'd done the most difficult part, which is making the first passes through ground that had not ever been tilled.  It didn't have grass growing on it  -- bonus -- but it was fairly well packed.  I did a pass through it, and then dragged the tiller aside to start adding soil amendments.

In went the following:
3 bags of LET Organic Compost
2 wheelbarrows worth of my very own compost from my compost tumbler
1 bags of mulched dry leaves (great nitrogen, which raspberries love)

And then we tilled again.  We reminisced about the similar equipment rental at my lake property... laughed...

Then I added the three remaining bags of compost, another batch of mulched leaves, and the bag of bed prep.  Talk about some beautiful soil!

I was so pleased that my home made compost was successful!  I had just said to Red earlier in the weekend that I needed to do a better job on my compost tumbler, and that maybe I would get an earth worm farm for my kitchen scraps instead.  But then I opened it up and found I had some great compost.  I know I could still improve my method for it, but it did look great.  It's also nice to have the older barrel empty going into winter.

I staggered the canes about 2 feet apart, stuck in flags so I wouldn't lose any, and hand watered each plant with rain water, and  topped it all off with 6 bags of cedar mulch.  I vow to do better on the watering, plus the cooler weather will help.  As I was kneeling in the dirt, planting, Red shouted from the driveway, "You look happy."  It was an awesome day.


Aren't they beautiful?  The photo doesn't do them justice... totally organically grown poblano and jalapeno peppers from my garden.   You can almost smell the heat from the photograph, can't you?  The poblanos are the perfect pepper for making chile rellenos -- YUM!  (Too bad I am majorly handicapped in the kitchen at the moment... ahem.  But that is being remedied soon.)  Instead, I shared them with neighbors.  I meant to bring some to work to share here today, but I forgot!  Maybe tomorrow.