Saturday, April 28, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I have to face the facts -- my heart, my muse, my furry soulmate, the love of my life is getting old. Chelsea turned 13 last September, and while little dogs live long lives, she's still considered geriatric and she can't do the things she thinks she should be able to do.
Chelsea is as close to a cat as a dog can get, without all the aloofness that a dog could never pull off. She stalks prey, she isn't afraid of heights, she sleeps on the windowsill in the dining room, she's nimble-footed. I love watching her jump from the sofa to the chair to the ottoman to the other chair. She can just about make a circuit of my living room without setting foot on the floor. She jumps from my bed to the side chair and back again, and hardly shakes the bed. Until last night.
When we go to bed, Doodlebug hops up his little doggy steps and settles right in beside me. Chelsea comes to bed until she thinks I'm asleep, and then she hops into the chair to sleep alone until about a half hour until the alarm goes off, then she comes back to bed and stays there until I get up.
Last night, she missed the chair and landed in a heap on the floor. She sat there a bit dazed for a minute, then literally shook herself off, jumped into the chair and settled down for the night. She moved a little slowly this morning, but she does that from time to time -- we're all getting older. When I got home from work tonight and let them out of the bedroom, she made a mad dash for the chair in the living room -- she likes to be as close to my level as she can get, probably in a ploy for the alpha position. She tried to jump to the ottoman, but misjudged the distance and fell again. She sat hunched over for a few minutes, and I felt everything to make sure she hadn't broken or dislocated anything. She seems ok now, but she's still moving slowly. A visit to the vet may be in order ...
I'm not worried about losing her -- she promised me the day I picked her up from the shelter that she's immortal. But, damn, it sure is hard watching her get old.
And on the garden front, the beans are growing, the lettuce is starting to look like lettuce, the zinnias are working on their second set of leaves, it looks like the blueberries will survive (even though I haven't put peat in the container yet to acidify the soil), the daisies are getting taller and the lavender is still a no-show.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Lots happening in my happy little garden today (anyone else miss Bob Ross?) -- the tall plants in the planter on the left are the blueberries (there are two in the planter -- you can't see them both in this photo). I didn't get the soil amended with peat to make it more acidic, but unbeknownst to me the box was sitting in the apartment office for a week, and I thought it maybe was better to plant them and get them rehydrated than it was to have acidic soil. I'll go to the garden center tomorrow morning and amend the soil around the plants. Fingers crossed all will be well with them. They weren't totally dried out, but they were close.
In the center planter, making their sunshine debut, are the beans! I can see two of them that have broken the soil in this photo, but unless you know what you're looking for, you might not be able to spot them (and I haven't figured out yet how to put text on photos). See the greenish clump in the center? That's a bean spout breaking the soil. There's also one right above the white watering tube. There are also several others that are thisclose to breaking through. The green seedlings in the bottom right corner are marigolds. The other green sprouts you can see throughout are lettuce.
And in the right planter, the row on the left is thickly sown lettuce. The thin line in the center contains white zinnias. The daisy plant is in the upper right corner and the lavender (lower right corner) is still a no-show.
I'm still expecting tomato plants and herbs. I almost bought a beautiful rosemary plant last night (along with parsley plants), but I'm pretty sure I have one coming, so I didn't. I can pick it up later if I still want it.
I watered these containers thoroughly last Saturday and filled the reservoirs. The soil has been nicely damp all week (not too wet, though), and this morning's check of the reservoirs shows them about half full. Of course, our weather this week has been coolish and overcast most days, with high wind the beginning of the week.
In other news, I spent too much money at Wally World this morning. I stopped in specifically for dog food, light bulbs, batteries and hair color and came out with all that plus ribbon, snacks, rechargeable batteries and a charger, the latest People magazine and Joe Hill's novel -- Heart-Shaped Box. Joe is Stephen King's son, and it's interesting to see that he has chosen to write in the same genre as his father. I can't wait to start this one! And what is it with Wal-Mart? I seriously cannot go in that store without dropping at least $100, and here lately, it's been closer to $200. Every time! I think stuff just jumps in my cart when I'm not looking, because I totally don't remember buying Crunch & Munch, but there was a box in the bag when I got home. And it's the good toffee kind, too, with peanuts and almonds. Yum!
It's in the 70s here today, and sunny, so I think I'm going to annoy the dogs and go sit out on the patio and read for a bit. With the Crunch & Munch, of course, and a glass of pomegranate juice. And I'll wave to the dogs through the window ...
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Ok, I've started this blog entry twice, and I've deleted what I wrote both times. I'm not going to try to comment on current events, because it just makes me sad. I'm also not going to comment on my job, because I didn't like it today. And I suspect I won't like it for the next month, but it's my job and I have to go to work to pay for all the dog, bird and fish food (because Ryukin goldfish get constipated easily and have to eat the really expensive goldfish food to prevent Swim Bladder Disorder. constipated fish -- who knew?). Anyway. Stupid job.
Since the point of this blog is my patio garden, let's see what little surprises were waiting in store for us today, shall we? And look -- here they are! Lettuce seedlings! They're almost microscopic in and among all the rich, dark potting soil, but they're there all the same. Right now, the only thing sprouting is the lettuce mix. I also planted marigolds, lavender and green beans, but none of them have broken ground yet. I'm sorely tempted to dig around a little to see if the beans are sprouting, and if this were an earth garden I would, but since I planted containers and the number of seeds is very limited, I won't disturb what's there just because I'm sometimes very impatient and I can't stand to not know what's going on under the soil. Since this blog is supposed to my record-keeping attempt, I'll just note here that the lettuce seeds sprouted in 4 days (temps were cool -- in the 60s, and weather conditions varied from sun to high wind to rain to overcast).
I think I'll just zen out a little and watch the lettuce grow and pet the dogs and listen to the bird chirp and watch the fish swim and forget about my stupid job for a bit. And maybe in the morning, I'll sit out there again while I drink a cup of tea -- just so I have enough calmness banked to get through another day at my stupid job. You know, the one that won't be any fun for another month and then will be a total blast again for a while.
(Disclaimer: If anyone from work is reading this, I really do like my job! Just not this week. And not until all of these books get to the printer.)
PS -- I do have to share something I read today: "God bless everyone. No exceptions." I won't comment on this any further except to say it was in the back of my mind all day. To go any further would be getting into current events, and I'm just not going to do that.
Monday, April 16, 2007
I hope they rescued the mice. Seriously!
This is a really interesting article and doesn't take too long to read. Check it out -- you might need to copy and paste the link. (and thank-you, Angie, for sending it to me -- big hugs to you)
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
... the seeds are germinating.
I planted two of the planters today -- the one with plant already growing contains a Crazy Daisy (the green stuff you see), lavender from seed (which may not grow -- lavender can be weird that way) and lettuce of all sorts but mostly red. And green. And frizzy. And mixed in with other yummy lettuce-y things like bull's blood beets and mustard greens (which were both in the mesclun mix I bought).
The second seemingly naked planter contains green and yellow (my fave) beans -- why did I plant green beans which I like when I LOVE the yellow ones -- marigolds in the corners and lettuce broadcast thinly over top everything. Yes, I know the lettuce is going to grow where the beans are, but by the time the beans are getting big enough to do anything, the lettuce will be bolting and I'll pull it out to give the beans more room. And I did warn you -- I push the limits of what can grow in a finite amount of space. I'll fertilize and thin. Don't worry -- it's all good.
The other three planters are still empty. In two weeks, I'll sow more yellow bean seeds in one (with more lettuce and marigolds) for a continuous harvest. My blueberry plants are on the way, so I'll plant them in one when they arrive, along with whatever else I can find that will grow in acid soil. And hopefully my tomato plants will be shipped soon and I'll plant the last one with them. And basil. Lots and lots of basil. I grew Summerlong two years ago and absolutely loved it -- the flavor was superb. I kept the flower heads cut off, and they just branched out into gorgeous mounds of green deliciousness that smelled wonderful whenever I walked past.
I bought Summerlong again this year, because I just think its the best. I'm not into lemon or chocolate or cinnamon or other unusually scented/flavored basils. While they probably smell wonderful, I really think basil should taste like basil and not cinnamon. Or lemon. Does it taste cinnamony enough to put on my oatmeal? Will my green tea taste better with the addition of lemon basil? And how about a nice glass of milk with lots of -- you guessed it -- chocolate basil. I think not, so what's the point in growing them? My basil will go into summer salads or be layered with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes and dressed lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I can hardly wait!
For now, I'll just be quiet so I don't disturb those little seeds from getting on with what they do best.
And come to think of it, I don't think there's a chocolate basil plant. Maybe I'm thinking of Chocolate Cosmos ...
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Or else after being here over a year, all of our blood is getting thinner ...
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Take a tomato seed, for example. One little seed, if watered and given sunlight, can grow up to be a plant over 10' tall that willingly provides a bushel of luscious, juicy red fruits that are perfect for adding to a slice of bread slathered with mayonnaise and garnished with lettuce. And bacon. And sprinkled with generous amounts of salt and pepper. One tiny, seemingly lifeless seed is where it all starts.
I've had tomato seeds survive the worst of winters in my garden (I was never very good about cleaning out the beds at the end of the growing season). At the first thaw, those little seeds crack open and out comes this amazing plant that can grow inches in just one day. Multiply that by the dozens of tomatoes that got left in the beds in the fall, and you can just imagine what I had growing in the spring! And nothing smells more like spring than a tomato plant.
You know, God sure knew what He was doing with all the seed business. And I am so humbled by it all.