Monday, March 22, 2010

Status update on life.

Life is good. Things are not on schedule, and I'm still an independent contractor, but that's ok. Our house isn't always clean, and there are always things do be done, but that doesn't really impact the concluding sentiment that life is good.

On Saturday, I became an old woman. Or, at least, that's how I felt after I rototilled part of my yard. 6 hours of labor and a gigantic swath of land is tilled, but (oy) it's rocky and (sigh) it's not all finished. And I hurt, badly. The 6 hours was preceded the night before by 2 hours of high-weed mowing, and 4 hours both days of clearing junk from the yard. I think I will have my rototilling guy come back this week (he has a rear-tine tiller-- much more sense) and give me a hand.

I finished the day on Saturday by working on one of the flower beds. I'm using a lot of those annoying rocks to build it, and I love the results. I think I'm going to repeat the idea elsewhere in the yard.

Made more homemade plant pots on Sunday, but this time, I used two stuffed-together toilet paper rolls (two together= more strudy roll). The result was about a 1.5" tall and 1.25" across little pot. Love it. I finished planting my last few peas in there last night, and put red onion sets in the rest. Quite amazing; a 1'x2' planting tray held 72 little pots. Quite a sight.

I found a new canopy for the back deck. B hated our old one, mostly because he put it together and put it up, and he didn't like the color or the fact that wind would bust apart pieces. It was really meant to be put in the ground, since the legs on the canopy would splay and we'd have to duck in order to get under the canopy (it would sag that much). This one is much nicer, and B was very happy. Tanish gray covering, metal posts, and even mosquito netting if we want it. Much higher, and we can put it in the corner of the patio and the door won't hit it when we go out on the deck. I also found B a little fire pit. He's been wanting one very badly for the deck. This one has a nice metal bottom on legs, plus a screen. I'll put it up on concrete blocks soon. B was happy.

We have a lot of firewood in the yard, but it needs to be gathered and stacked. I think I'm going to stack the firewood under the deck. It will somewhat protect it, plus it's sort of a built-in firewood holder (because the legs of the deck provide support).

Bought blood meal (yes, you read that right) at the yard store on Thursday night, and yesterday, I cleared the mulch from my garlic and side-treated each little bulb with about a tablespoon of the stuff. I also treated my roses with some. Supposedly, it will help increase bulb growth in my garlic, and roses love the stuff. Both got watered afterward.

It rained yesterday, but it was almost a tropical-type rain. Temperatures in the mid-ish 60s, so I wasn't prevented from being out in the yard a little bit. I still can't do heavy yard work due to my hands not working properly (darn rototiller), but I got some things done.

The chickens are so stinking happy that they crack me up. They twitter around their pen and are becoming ridiculous fluffballs. Two of the newbies will be able to go outside two weeks from tomorrow, with the other two following a week later. I'm going to keep them separated from the others, but they'll be able to check each other out in their pens. I'm thinking of maybe putting the newbies in the coop but in a small cage for the first two nights. I don't know... Or maybe having one chicken at a time spend a few minutes with them? I don't know. I don't want the new girls to get beaten up. Luckily, my older hens haven't established too much of a pecking order yet, so I may be ok.

B and I paid off one of his student loans last week. It's a great feeling, but it coincided with us putting money into our savings account, overpaying our mastercard (so this month was paid off and part of next month to make next month less painful), a big payment on B's other student loans, and an extra payment on my student loans on the principal. OUCH. Being responsible is pretty overrated. Oh, we're more than fine, but I'm still grumpy.

I need to work on my planting calendar. Things here are so different than places south where there is more of a window for planting. While our summers are nice, it's all about light intensity. There is a rather narrow window for when the light intensity is suitable enough to be able to grow plants like tomatoes, etc. So everything has to be researched and done on particular timetables. I THINK I need to start my tomatoes soon, keeping them indoors for a long while, until like the first or second week in May. That would be 6 weeks indoors.

I think I'm going to build some wire shelving in the laundry room. That way, I can keep my plants indoors for a while, then in the cold frame to harden them, and then into the ground. I cannot schlep my plants in and out every morning and night (just too many of them!!) so a better solution needs to be found. I think the laundry room may work, especially since I got some flourescent bulbs to aid a TAD in the light department.

Off to work I get. Sorry for the rambly post, but some days, the blog just needs tobe a spot for me to download thoughts.