Thursday, March 30, 2006

Those melon plants I started back in late January are not going to tolerate being in containers much longer. I already had to pull blossoms off of them. I’m just not comfortable with outside temperatures enough to put them outdoors yet. I did transplant them into larger containers though.

Bear finally got around to plowing up that section of the backyard I have been asking him to plow. I plan to plant corn and anything else that will fit in that section. It’s the only area in our yard that gets full sun.

I asked him to do it Sunday and he didn’t. He did it Monday when I wasn’t here. My elderberry bush got cut down and he plowed to far to the east, which is under some trees and not far enough to the west. There is a big mound of dirt that was piled up in front of the brush pile and I wanted that mound of dirt plowed also. He said he isn’t done with it yet. It’s a good thing because its going to need to be bigger if I am going to fit all of these tomato and corn plants in it.

As far as my elderberry bush, well. I let its berries mature last year and those will grow into new plants and the old one will grow back. Its not as if they uprooted it, they just cut it down. It’s not like those raspberries I pampered for 2 years that he hacked up with a weed eater last year. I could have killed him and hidden the body for that.

Speaking of invasive, aggressive, plants my mother has discovered two plants that round-up won’t kill. About 5 years ago she let some garlic go to seed in her back yard and its been coming up all over the place ever since. She sprayed it along with some orange ditch lilies with round-up last year and every damn bit of it is coming back.

I bought another package of pepper seeds and started them on the heat source. This time before planting them I held the plastic container over a candle and burned holes in it. There are 22 sprouts so far.

I also gave up on finding my package of Chinese bottle gourds and bought some. There still isn’t any sign of the gourds I planted at the top of the hill two weeks ago. I dug a few up and there not rotten, but they haven’t sprouted either. The dirt felt cold in my hands so it may be to early yet.

I missed work Saturday. My cough had gotten worse and my voice was shot. A persistant cough is easy to take care of. I make a simple cough syrup with 6 onions and 1 cup of honey. You chop the onions up small and put into a large pot, then add the honey and saute on low for 2 hours. Strain the syrup thats left and take it when needed. It won't prevent the cough, but it will eliminate it. To prevent the cough you need to add an infusion of black cherry bark.

It was a beautiful day Saterday and I couldn’t resist checking out at least one garage sale. My first stop when garage saling are the wealthy neighborhoods with the big huge houses. It’s amazing what those people will throw away. When I worked at home I used to find out what day trash pick up was in their neighborhoods and drive around to see if they had anything of use on the curb.

I found a garage sale in which a woman had a bunch of stuff out that was my size. Mostly winter stuff and all of it Eddie Bower. If I had had enough money with me I would have bought several winter outfits. I have a hard time finding long sleeved dresses for winter and she had a lot of them out. I found a beautiful short sleeve outfit made from a fuzzy t-shirt type of material. It’s gray and sprinkled with tiny navy blue Roses and darker gray Babies Breath. The top is short sleeved and looks like a typical T-shirt, but the bottom (made of the same fabric) is an ankle length, drawstring skirt that falls in one straight swoop to my feet. It’s stretchy and incredibly comfortable. I bought it as something attractive and comfortable to wear around the house. Its pretty enough to wear to work, but I have this habit of pulling my legs up and sitting Indian style in my seat at work and you can’t do that with a straight skirt like this.

Between being sick and all of the cold wet weather we’ve had I haven’t worked outside much at all. I feel really guilty about it. That pile of construction waste sits untouched in my backyard and so does my dig site. The foundation needs leaves cleaned out of it as well as loose particles of clay that frost broke loose.

Sunday I pulled up some strawberry plants that had taken root in my dry streambed. They came from a strawberry plant i stuck in my mint, which is stuck in a small section of the rock garden, and it put out runners last year. Those runners got ignored and rooted in the streambed where they started catching silt and debris and blocking the flow of water during our recent spring thunderstorms. I pulled up 20 of them. Isn’t that amazing, 20 plants from 1. I’ve got them stuffed into a gallon zip lock bag and I’m going to give them to Sheri this week. I don’t remember seeing any strawberry plants at her place.

Speaking of Sheri brought over 18 fresh eggs from her hens the other day. I mentioned to her what I had read on Eleutheros’s blog, The Free Mans Table last week about eggs that have not been washed lasting so long at room temperature. She is going to quit washing her eggs.

She has apple trees on her property and didn’t have one edible apple last year. She says by the time the bugs were done with them there was nothing left that was edible. She doesn’t want to spray her trees with poison but would also like to have some apples this year. Does anyone have any suggestions for keeping the bugs off of her fruit? (I wouldn’t mind getting a few of those apples myself if she has any left ;).

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Look what Bear and i saw while driving on the Arkansas Pig Trail Tuesday :). I tried to pet it, but it's tossed horns at me so i figured I better leave it alone.
The front of my favorite Hotel. The Cresent Hotel was built in 1886 and ismy favorite vacation spot. I also really love this moon by the front door.

Mouse has these pairs of blue jeans that she refused to wear. She kept insisting that because they didn't have glitter or rhinestones on them they were "boys" jeans. Lets see her call them boys jeans now!!!! Thiswas all done using acrylic paint mixed with textile medium, glitter, and stamps cut out of potatoes.
The little garden in front of the house and the half finished rock wall.


Bear decided Monday night when I got home from work that he wanted to work in Eureka Springs today. Knowing how much I love a drive in the mountains he asked if I wanted to come. I agreed, looking forward to the drive. I woke up at 4am with my throat on fire. This was definitely not caused by sinus drainage or dry air in the house. I had a feeling it was Strep the way my throat burned. I stayed up for a few hours nursing my throat with lemon juice and honey and Echinacea tea before falling asleep on the sofa. Echinacea is antiviral. We left the house at 8am and took the interstate to Ozark, and then we turned right onto the “Pig Trail” and started our way up through the mountains. I love driving in this country. The mountains are so much taller than they are around the river valley.

To be honest I would have much rather moved deeper into the mountains when looking for property, but there were to many issues at the time. Such as the expense of getting electricity to the site, Internet connection since I was working at home, distance to Bears job at the car lot. My favorite area is the Buffalo River Country. If we ever won the lottery that’s where I would want to move.

But our seven acres on the hillside is beautiful. It rolls up and down and there are two streams, one in each of its little valley’s. The trees are big and very tall and to the north and the far northeastern corner I can see the mountains.

I am envious of the many lichen-covered rocks we saw while traveling through the mountains though. I may have to go up there sometime with buckets in my trunk and snag some. I doubt they will be missed, lol.

The days have been cold and gray and rainy lately and today was no different. The high in the valley was expected to be 50, but in the mountains it was much much colder. The local weather stations kept predicting sleet and snow for the evening.

Sprinkling rain and fog followed us. I sipped a soda and sucked on cough drops, trying to enjoy the scenery and ignore the increasing misery I was feeling. Bear was in good spirits, talking about buying lottery tickets and what we would do if we won. There wasn’t any way for me to bring my tea with us since we were traveling through the mountains and I could feel that nasty little virus growing in the back of my throat as my ears and nose became irritated and a fever developed.

We reached Eureka Springs and learned that Ram Enterprises had saturated the entire area a week before (a large traveling sales group that sells industrial cleaning supplies similar to Bears. Bear used to work for Ram.). All of the local sales groups have been in this area all winter long. There are 6 different “groups” that we know of.. Bear has worked for all of them at some point in time. They always work in the south during the winter to avoid bad weather in the north. I guess with the states on the gulf being hit so badly by hurricanes they are avoiding those areas and staying up higher for the winter.

We came home and I started sipping on Echinacea tea. I was running a low fever by evening. At 2am my fever dropped. I was still achy and took some Tylenol to help me sleep since I don’t really have any good herbal painkillers. I was feeling well enough to go to work by morning. My throat was still sore, my ears felt strange and my joints were sore from the fever still. I worked 9 hours before going home early. I took some homemade lemon honey throat syrup with me and made up several bags of tea (Echinacea, mint, and willow leaves), which I continued sipping throughout the day.

Bear has not been feeling well either but Mr. Stubborn Ass won’t drink tea to treat it. I have an Echinacea tincture made also but I doubt he’s been using it either.

I came home to a spotless house once again and dinner made. Bear borrowed a movie from a friend we all have wanted to see. “The Ring Two”. We ate dinner and the brownies he made for dessert in the family room while watching the movie. Bear also worked today. He made 300 dollars. Just enough to get a license plate put on the Rav. He still has to come up with 200 to pay the electric bill before we can consider hiring someone to dig the rest of the foundation. He has another week of spring break left though.

Thursday morning

I feel much much better. My ears feel a little weird and my nose is running. I can feel draining running down the back of my throat and it’s making me cough a little. Each day has shown a big improvement from day one. And modern medicine still insists Echinacea doesn’t work. If you stuff plant matter into a capsule and take that its not going to work. Before its medicinal qualities are released it’s already leaving your body. You must make a tincture or brew a tea with the plant. The root is the best part to use, but that would mean pulling up my plants and that ain’t happening. I use the leaves.

It’s a good thing I feel better. I have a lot to do today

Thursdays list of things to do
Get all the laundry done(probably six loads, its cold and rainy and will have to be dried in the dryer) (half way done)
Plant the 93 Onion starts bought at Wal-mart last week. (done)
Plant the spaghetti squash seedlings in the plastic bag on the windowsill (way past due) (done)
Re-pot melon plants (there root bound)(done)
Start some basil seeds in a plastic bag (the ones in the pot aren’t doing anything yet) (done)
Make it out to Wal-mart and see if they have any more of those 10 cent packages of mixed bell pepper or spearmint seeds. (done)
Get Bears new supplies out of the Rav and bottle cleaner today. (done)
Go to my mothers and make this entry (done)

As you might have guessed the spearmint and onion seeds I planted never appeared. My last bunch of bell pepper seeds was doing really well, until it rained heavy and ripped loose the patch I had on top of the cold frame. Cold water poured in on top of my seedlings. Most of them were fine, but the bell peppers were in a container with no holes in the bottom and the rain flooded it. I punched holes in it afterward but it wasn’t draining well. I dug out what had already sprouted and planted them. These were to young to be moved and only 5 of them survived.

The seeds still in the dirt rotted

The super Wal-mart in Morrilton was completely out. Hopefully they will still have some here in town. If not I may not get the 50 plants I wanted.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Its beautiful spring day. Although not warm enough to keep the heat from kicking on during the night, it is warm enough that I left the plants in the cold frame. Yesterday evening I started orange-fleshed watermelons and a red watermelon, which is small and round and has green stripes on it. I also planted a yellow rose bush that Bear bought me last weekend and dug up a Sensitive Fern in the rose garden was trying to take over my Peace Rose. Its funny about that Peace Rose, it’s never done well, no matter where I put it.

I like roses, a lot. Yellow roses are not exactly my favorite, but Bear wouldn’t let me take it back and exchange it. It doesn’t really matter what color the roses are when your harvesting the petals anyway. Any type of rose makes a good rose petal tea loaded with vitamin A. Maybe for mother’s day they will get me lavender, silver, or an unusual pink rose.

I really would like to have a mint Julep Rose. I have 4 green ice minis. The green ice rose is a mini rose that starts out with pale pink buds that fade to white when they open. As the blossom fades they change to mint green in color. I have 4 green ice roses. One original bush and 3 that came from rooted cuttings. A Mint Julep is a full sized rose, which does the same thing. I don’t think there will be anyplace on the back of the property sunny enough to a rose garden and cutting down trees just to plant one is out of the question. Were thinking a lot about just selling the mobile home, moving it off the property, and putting a green house in its place. An 80-foot long green house would probably be way to big. . Then again, it may not be ;) . This morning Mouse is the only one going to school. It’s the last day before spring break. Coyote and his friend Nick did something really gutsy yesterday. They called their principle and asked him if it was really necessary to go to school today. Sigh, no one can accuse Coyote of being shy, LOL. The principle got on the phone with Nick’s Mom (Sheri) and told her that he couldn’t legally tell them they didn’t have to go to school tomorrow but there wouldn’t be any assignments or any grades. Well, Coyote and Nick are not going to school.

While my coffee brewed this morning I went through my seed bags and found leaves on the remaining Beets, which I planted. I have 19 beet sprouts. Still more than I planned on having. I didn’t realize almost ever seed I sprinkled onto the coffee filter was going to contain two plants. I also planted Basil yesterday. Only 9 tiny seeds in a pot. They will probably all sprout. I’ve had a lot of 100% germination this year. I had 12 or 15 basil plants last year and had more than I knew what to do with. I still have 1/3 of the gallon bag I stored last summer. My mother made a bunch of pesto with hers. She only grew 4 plants and still had more than she could eat before spring. If all 9 sprout and survive I will probably have more than enough for myself and to give away.


Went to work today and wouldn’t you know it the bastards had Donuts. Grrr. Like I can “not” eat donuts. After another long boring day I came home to a spotless house (as usual) and Bear starting the marinade for the steaks he is going to cook tonight. He is going to make twice-baked potatoes as well. Its cold and rainy outside and the kids are both somewhere other than home. The house is quiet. At least it will be when Bear finishes vacuuming.

I came home from work last night and found a note that he had left. He was at the bar with friends celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day and the beginning of spring break. And he really wanted me to join them. I figured I better make sure he didn’t try to drive home so I went up there and sat and watched for two hours while a bunch of drunken idiots tried to sing Karaoke. Drunks seem a lot stupider when you’re sober. Trina was there and came back to the house with us for a little bit. I had some plants to give her (a Purple Striated Wandering Jew and a Sensitive Fern).. She had been drinking coffee so sober up for a couple of hours and was really really wired. Getting her to shut up and leave was a challenge, LOL. She finally left at 2am, leaving me 4 hours to sleep before I had to get up and get ready for work.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

100% Germination.

White crocuses with purple stripes. These are about done for the year.
We had an unusually cold night and with the top of my cold frame ripped (one of the cats jumped off the roof onto it) I didn't want to risk leaving them in there with a possible frost in the air. Its funny how you don't realize how much you have until its all spread ut over your kitchen counters.

I've been thinking of changing that color on my walls. I'm a little tired of the pale yellow. I want something with a little more punch to it. A brighter more earthy gold.
There is a woman who lives near us with a daughter that is a little older than Mouse. She doesn't work and is able to go garage saling every weekend. She buys her daughter the most awesome clothes. I always tell her how much I like her taste. Well, she had her daughter clean out her drawers this week and give Mouse some of the things that didn't fit her anymore. Including these really awesome pants!!!

Well, we have 3 new little additions to our family. Sugar had 3 healthy babies. A little black one who looks like her grandmother did, a grey striped one that looks like the twins, and an interesting looking one with a black body and striped legs, tail, and face. The stripes on his face are thicker than an ordinary striped cat and remind me of a mask. Were calling it Bandit. I can't tell if there males or female yet.

Sugar is protecting them fiercely. None of the other cats are allowed to even come into our bedroom. We've put a bowl of water and food under the sink for her so she doesn't have to go to far for food. She has even hissed at me a couple of times when I stuck my head under the sink to check on them.

Bear got his midterm grades and proudly annouced to me the other night that he has 3 A's and two B+'s.

For dinner Sunday we treated ourselves to ribs which Bear cooked in the oven and I made my homemade barbecue sauce. This is the first time I've made the sauce for Bear. When ever where at the grocery store he has always been insistent on buying barbecue sauce in a bottle. He wasted 3 dollars on 3 bottles last time. Well, he finally agreed to let me make it for him and was really pleased with it. Although he did say he though it needed a little more brown sugar. I made some extra and put it in a glass bottle in the fridge for him in case he wants to barbecue anything while I'm at work.

While the ribs cooked Bear and I worked together cleaning leaves out of the rock wall and the goldfish pond in front of the house. He pulled the pump out of the water and cleaned it out and hooked it back up. The tubing we were using for the waterfall is clogged with algae and to be honest I think we need a bigger tube anyway so we just sat the pump down into the pond and made a fountain instead of hooking the waterfall back up.

After dinner we went for a walk in the falling twighlight and then sat on the deck out front for a while listening to the frogs and crickets and the sound of the water. We discussed the house and what we plan to do with the trailer. We talked about possibly getting a trailer moving company out here and seeing how difficult it would be to move the trailer off the hillside. But a lot of what we do is going to hinge on if our mortgage will qualify for a modification ro not. If not we can still rent the place. We discussed what we would do with the spot is sitting in if we did just sell of the mobile home. I think this would be a good spot for a big green house. I'm still kinda hoping it will just get destroyed when we move out. Maybe a big storm will come along and blow it to pieces . . .

My rose bushes are leafing out and the redbuds in the gully are blooming. My yard is not green yet, but my parents yard is. Mom and dad have never used fertilizer or weed killer on there lawn. Mom has often joked that if they used a product like "weed and feed" (which kills weeds while fertilizing the grass) that they wouldn't have a yard anymore.

With the red buds blooming the dogwoods won't be far behind. My seven acres is covered in dogwoods. When we first bought this place I walked through it trying to count them. I lost count roughly I learned the following spring that most of those dogwoods were to young to bloom though.
I worked on the pile of construction waste in the back yard yesterday and dug 4 more wheelbarrel loads full of brick, rock and broken concrete out of it. I started out digging with my hands but I had to switch to a pick ax. The sandy clay in the pile is full of grass and weeds and now that its drying out after the rain we had its starting to harden like cob. I worked on it for 3 hours and made a pretty good dent in it. This may not take as long to dig through as I thought. If I can get rid of it a few weeks time I may consider having another pile of it dumped out here when they start building again.
While digging I come across a lot of what I have been referring to as "brick chips" which is there a small chunk of the brick is broken off. I had originally thought that these would just go into the bags with the dirt. I couldn't see any real use for them. But as I dug through them yesterday I suddenly got this vision in my head. I picked up a few pieces and pieced them together on the ground. Imagine for a moment a a wall with these small pieces of brick pressed into it, all different shapes and sizes and colors, like a mosaic tile wall only using brick instead of tile. Then I started envisioning pressing other items into it as well. Some of the smaller pieces of rock I have seen with quartz glistening on them. Some of those smooth shiny glass pebbles that you buy in the silk flower section at wal-mart. Some interesting decorative tile. The possibilities are endless.
As far as moving the dirt to the back of the property. . . We have this cart in the back yard. Its one of those things that you can hook up to the back of a lawnmower or four wheeler and haul stuff around in. Bear insisted on having it when we moved out here. The the riding lawmower we bought quit and we haven't used it since. Its been sitting in the back yard next to a large dogwood for 2 or 3 years now. Bear said the tired are flat, but they don't look flat to me. Maybe we could borrow our neighbors riding lawnmower or one of my brother in laws 4 wheelers and haul the dirt and brick back there with that.
It would certainly make things easier if we had a 4 wheeler or a tractor or something to help move heavy objects with. A thousand feet is a long way to carry anything heavy.


I stayed up late watching a movie with bear called Jarhead (which I really didn't like) and slept late this morning. I woke up at 10am and went for a walk in the garden.

No onions, no spearmint, no gourds. Lots of California poppies though. About mid summer I will pull up last years California poppies and make a tincture with them. They make a very good sedative, but the entire plant, root and all must be used. I will wait until mid summer and use last years plants because they will start to poop out in mid summer. There a very short lived perennial. The corn has finally come up in its egg carton. I have 25 sprouts out of the 30 seeds I planted and I suspect there will be more. I wouldn't be surprised to have almost 100% germination out of those as well. I got 100 percent germination out of the Beet seeds I started in a bag last weekend. I have 12 seedlings sitting in one of my north facing windows and more in the bag (I usually wait until they have leaves before I plant the seedlings started in bags).
I brought my plants in earlier in the week from the cold frame. We were having a cold night, in the mid 30's and I was afraid there may be a frost. The cover on my cold frame is town and I haven't repaired it very well (tape and a garbage bag) and I was worried about a frost on the delicate plants. After bringing them in I counted my tomato plants. Including the white wonder, the yellow pear, and the red marnada I have 50 tomato plants . . . I know I was going to make a lot of stuff using tomatoes this year (canned whole peeled tomatoes, Italian tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce) 50 plants is way to many. I have 5 white wonder tomatoes. I don't plan on canning any of those. I was just growing them to eat. I think that's to many though. I also don't plan on canning the yellow pear tomatoes. The bag the seeds came in says they can well, but I can't imagine anyone in my family being convinced to eat yellow ketchup or yellow spaghetti sauce. I think I need to give away at least half of my yellow pear plants and at least 10 of my red ones.

When we were over at Sheri's house she showed us her seed starts and talked about expanding her garden and I don't remember seeing any tomato seeds or seedlings. I'll have to make sure she likes tomatoes first but if she does I can give some to her.

I've thought about giving some to my neighbor Chuck but bear mentioned that last year all he grew were his muscudine grapes for wine making. He has developed some heart problems as of late and I don't think he has the ability to grow a large garden anymore. We talked to his son about his Dads heart problems last weekend. He says his dad refuses to see a Doctor about it. The man has been a terrible alcoholic for years so its not really a surprise to see his health failing. His son mentioned that he thought his dad wasn't going to the doctor because he was afraid of what they would find. I don't think this is the case. I think he isn't going because he is ready to pass on to the next life. Either way, its his choice.

Speaking of wine, I need to start some watermelon seeds. I love watermelons for one thing and I had some watermelon wine last summer that was really really good. Martha Stewart usually has some beverages made with melons in her summer magazines also. My mother bought me a subscription. She had a section in her magazine this month on growing lettuce, tomatoes, and hot peppers. Lately I've noticed her encouraging people to grow heirloom varieties.

Speaking of peppers, I now have a total of 44 bell pepper plants. I still think there will be more sprouts. I want to have at least 50. Bell peppers seem to be slower at producing for me than most plants.

The great mother has made me a wonderful natural fertilizer :). I had a metal bowl in the laundry room with a little bit of dirt in it. Some of the cats while in the house decided this was a litter box and peed in it. I put it outside when I saw this, planning to dump the dirt out later. Then the mother brought thunderstorms and filled the bowl with water. So now I have an earth worm casting tea with cat pee in it, LOL. My plants are loving that ;).

Sunday, March 12, 2006

That's the last time I complain about being board!!!!

I think I have mentioned before that a land developer bought an 80 acre parcel up hill from us last summer and is turning it into a high dollar subdivision. The houses there are 2 and 300k and that's a lot of house for Arkansas. There are 4 houses built there and 2 of them were sold before construction was done.

They were using brick on a few of them and I noticed they had a lot of scraps left over on the ground and I have been begging Bear to find out who the foreman is and ask them for them.

Well he didn't catch the guy until they had loaded the entire thing onto a dump truck full of broken concrete, dirt, unused sand, mortar they didn't use, cinder blocks and other objects they didn't use. So Bear had them bring the dump truck over here and dump the whole thing in our back yard.

Its mostly brick and a nice sandy clay that can go into the bags, but I've also dug out some slabs of rock and cinder blocks and broken concrete and some interesting lumps of unused mortar that look that red lava rock. I even found a broken floor tile in it. I was a little alarmed when I saw this big pile of crap in my back yard, but after inspecting it and digging through it some I've realized we can use pretty much everything in it. At least we can if we can separate it and haul it back there.

The brick came from two different houses. One is an orange color and the other red. I realized as I stood ankle deep in sandy clay digging bricks and broken concrete out of the pile that I can use almost everything in it and the entire thing was destined for a land fill.

This is what I have dug out of the pile so far. I've only worked on it one day.
Speaking of the rain Bear left the top off of the Rav Friday night. It rained heavily early Saturday morning and filled it with water. He took it to the car wash and managed to suck all of the water out of it though. Its Another one of those moments where I can say "I told you so." He drives with the top off of it all of the time and is always elaving it off at night. I keep telling him that it could get rained on even if the forecast doesn't call for it . Maybe he will listen next time.

All of the plants our outdoors now and the flap on the cold frame stays up all of the time (except for the bell peppers I planted last weekend which are on the heat source). The corn I planted last weekend isn't showing up yet, but I dug a seed out of the tray and it had a long root on it and a little green sprout poking out of the top so I know there not rotting in there. There are absolutely no signs of the onion seeds or spearmint I planted last Thursday. Its to early to see the gourd seeds yet. If I don't start seeing some onion seedlings soon I am going to buy onion starts from wal-mart.

Yesterday evening I started the beet seeds and the spaghetti squash in bags and put them on top of the refridgerator. I still haven't cleaned out the planter box I'm going to put carrots in. I may plant them somewhere else though.

I always know its spring when I can start coming over to my mothers house and leaving with a bag of plants. She has been digging in the yard all morning and unearthed Some widow's tears and divided a large striated hosta for me to take home.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

More spring flowers

" Oh man I should not have had that last drink." My big 15 pound tom cat Irish stretched out on a bed covered in laundry. He is a mixed cat but resembles a blue point Siamese and is 15 pounds of solid muscle. This is his sister sugar. She is his sister but is from another litter and is a year older than him. They both have the same big blue eyes, but unlike her brother she is not cross eyed. She is pregnant and were expecting a litter within the next week. Although I am not looking forward to having more cats around I am pleased to see her carry a litter to term. She has had one successful pregnancy and more miscarriages than I can count. She desperately wants to be a mother again and when ever one of the other females has had kittens she takes on the task of carrying for them.
This is smoky on Bear's shoulder. When ever Bear sits down in the evening to do home work he can expect to have smoky looking over his shoulder. Does anyone remember that TV series smoky and the Bear. Ice Follies Narcissus
Yellow Cheerfulness Narcissus
Jubilee Narcissus with a nadina in the background and flowering tobacco sprouting all around.

Jubilee Narcissus growing next to pink hollyhocks and blue hyacinth getting ready to bloom
Does anyone know what this is. I vaguely remember buying these on clearance at wal-mart two years ago.
I think this is a Sir Winston Churchill Narcissus

Well today is certainly a source of frustration for me. Bear and I both agree we are not looking forward to resuming our digging. We'd like to have the rest of the foundation for #1 dug by machine and we've found a man who can do it for 150 dollars. If he is selling cleaner full time that 150 dollars is not an issue. Neither would money to pay for bags which we have decided to buy 100 dollars worth at a time. I'm frustrated because nothing is happening back there at the moment and I want it to be happening!!!! I would like to clean leaves out of the foundation but they would have to be burned and there is another burn ban on. This also means I can't clean leaves out of my flower beds either, because they have to be burned. I have my plant starts to occupy my time, but lets face it, once there planted, watered, and moved to where ever your going to move them for the day they don't need you anymore. The only thing this leaves is preparing the dirt in the areas I plant to transplant the plants into. The onion and tomato bed is done. I have a cedar planter I need to clean out and refill. I plan to put carrots in it since the package says to plant them in stone free soil (that's not an easy thing to find in Arkansas). I also need to prepare the dirt where my bell peppers will go.

Here is what I have going so far

6 mammoth pumpkin vines
4 white wonder tomato plants
8 leeks
16 mixed melons
28 bell peppers and 2 more packages I planted Sunday
16 lemon cucumbers
16 pickling cucumbers
36 red tomatoes (transplanted from the jar to seedling containers)
11 yellow pear tomatoes
3 small patches out lettuce seed started outdoors and already sprouting
1 large patch of spearmint ( not sprouting yet)
onions (early starts as well as seeds planted outdoors)
28 kernels of corn (planted not sprouted).

You know, I suddenly remembered I was going to dig trenches near the fence on top of the second hill to plant the ornamental gourd and luffah gourds in. I'd plant some Chinese bottle gourds if I could find the damn things!!!!. That's really ticking me off. There here somewhere.

You just don't loose a big bag of seeds like that.

I pulled out my earthbag construction book last night and looked longingly at the picture of earthbag walls rising out of the ground, joining at the top in a pointy dome. Im sick of just seeing a big hole in the ground. I want to see something coming out of that hole!!!.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cloudy chilly Sunday

I had some more pictures taken but coming here today was sort of spur at the moment and I didn't get to bring them.

Its not a very motivating day today. I got some little plastic seedling containers from my mother last night and while walking out into the woods to get some more dirt I noticed some sitting near the chicken coup. I knew I had more than what I had found. I have no idea how they ended up by the chicken coup though.

I spent my morning separating Super Marnada tomato seedlings from the clump I dug out of the jar I sprouted them in. I ended up with 30. I also planted some more bell pepper seeds and I'm secretly wondering how in the heck I ended up staggering them. It wasn't on purpose. I current have 28 plants. I had 25 last year and still didn't get enough bell peppers to roast and can. My bells are always small though. There the size of the mini ones you find for sale in the super market (and there not supposed to be mini)

I started my cucumbers. My pickling cucumber and my lemon cucumbers for munching. I had planned on staggering them like Ethleros does, but forgot to and started them all at once. I have 18 of each planted in the egg cartons and 7 or 8 more of each still in paper towels. I think I will give the ones still in the paper towels to my neighbor Sheri. Bear saw her at wal-mart earlier this week buying seeds for her garden. She is pretty new at Gardening. Sheri and her son Nick moved here from California. The largest place shre could afford while living there was a 1 bedroom apartment. Her son got the bedroom and she slept on the couch. She then decided she wanted to raise her son in a more country environment and found a job online in Arkansas. She went to see a real estate agent and told her her price rang expecting another apartment. Surprise, your money goes a lot farther here Sheri. She bought 18 acres and a 2000 square foot home. She's trying to get her sister and brother in law to move here now. I overheard her talking to them and they have 300k in equity in there home. They could buy a very nice place here and not have to have a mortgage.

I was going to give the seedlings to my mother but I learned saterday night that she had bought lemon cucumber seeds also. I guess she liked the lemon cucumbers I gave her off of my vines last year.

I have a lot less melon vines now than when I started. Time has taken its toll. A few shriveled and some got broken while being moved from the cold frame to the fluorescent lights indoors and I now have 16. That's actually a good thing. I was feeling a little overwhelmed with 25 melon vines.

I'm going to start my peaches and cream sweet corn today. Its actually Bears sweet corn, he picked it out. I probably wouldn't have picked out a hybrid corn if it were me. I was going to get my gourds into the ground today as well but its getting late, its chilly, and I'm kinda tired so it may not happen.

Thursday, before we went car shopping I scattered spearmint seeds on a section of creepy trail (the package said they will grow in part shade) as well as some sensitive fern spores. I also sprinkled the remaining onion seeds near the rose garden and some lettuce seeds near the strawberries.

Bear and I were going to dig today. It kind just never happened. We really need to get busy back there again. I would like to start putting walls up by fall at the latest.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

This is an easy one. Daffodil's!!!
Purple Crocuses. They say crocuses are supposed to naturlize well, but I swear I have no more now than when I started 3 years ago.
A patch of spring flowers
White Crocus
Dew Drop sedum
Another fiery sunset

This computer is really moving slow tonight. Either that or its the internet.

Feeling better now. I actually felt pretty decent Wednesday morning and completely better by Wednesday night. I must have really looked sick Monday because at work today I had several people walk up to me and say they were glad I was feeling better because I really looked miserable Monday.

We sold the Explorer Tuesday. A guy flagged Bear down after class the other day and offered him 3500 for it. We were about to have to sink 700 dollars in the front end and another 2000 into the transmission so after talking to dad about it we went ahead and sold it. We found a replacement vehicle today. Its a Rav4, 97. There's 140 thousand miles on it but it has a new engine, new tires, new breaks. The lady at the lot says it was a rep. We paid 4250 for it. Its little and white a cute and much more sensible for a poor collage student.

I will miss the explorer. It was very elegant inside and had all of the bells and whistles, but that 45 dollars to fill its tank was really painful, as well as the repairs we were about to have to make.
I got home Wednesday night and looked through my seed bags. I went ahead and started the cucumber seeds a few days ago and wouldn't you know it, every single seed germinated. This left me without enough pots to put them in. Then I remembered reading about a woman on Gardening web using egg shells to start seedlings in. I have 4 18 count egg cartons in the laundry room. Our egg lady only uses 12 count egg cartons and other than swapping back and fourth with Sheri during the summer when her birds are laying I don't have a use for the 18 count ones, but I can't make myself throw them away either.

I punched holes in each egg cup, then I cut the lid and the tabs off. I cut that piece in the middle of the lid out half way and filled it with water. Then I filled each of the egg cups with dirt, put one seedling each in them, and sat the egg tray into the upside down lid with water in it. My only problem was those two little holes where the lid connected to the bottom, but I soon discovered I could use those holes to check the water level in the lid without lifting the egg tray out.
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