Monday, May 23, 2016

T STANDS FOR TUESDAY :)

HELLO! 
It's time to party with my Tuesday friends again :) if I can stay awake that is :) 
I have been working so hard long hours on the garden for the last 3 days. The bight side is things are starting to come together and the really hard work is just about over...well maybe. You know I'll probably come up with some new project to  work on. 
Let's get the beverage out of the way first because we all know I'm terrible of forgetting that part :( 
We went to our friends house last week and we had coffee after dinner. I love these place mates she found :) and the cup was really nice. She always has some cool cups ! 
I've told you all about my straw bale garden and how I tried to make my own bales this year. They were not as good as I had hoped and was worried about hoe well the tomatoes would do. I'm sure the sweet potatoes will be fine . So I did one last search on Craig's List for real straw bales and low and behold there they were!!!
So I sent the email off and Bob and I went to pick them up the next day. I wish I had taken a picture of Bob's little Nission truck loaded with 10 bales of straw. 
So we unloaded the truck on Friday evening and then bright and early Saturday I rearranged the all of the hand made bales and set up the new ones. The handmade bales were already processed and ready to plant in so they were HEAVY! Thankfully I have a moving  dolly ♥ 
So here's the new set up..


 The big pile by the wash tub is a compost pile and the pile to the left of that is grass clippings and leaves. We may be moving one of those to a different area to use that space for more veggies. :) Not too far away because I still want it close to the garden . 
This is the inside of one of the wooden crates you see in the middle of the garden. These have regular potatoes planted in them . As the plants grow I will be adding compost and straw to the bin. The bags you see at the front of the garden are also potatoes.The bags are folded down and as the plants grow I will be unfolding them and adding compost and straw to those too. Both of these methods are experimental first attempts for me. I could get the bales in time to plant the tomatoes so I tried these instead. Keep your fingers crossed. 
On Saturday Bob & I worked on cleaning up the wooded area in back . We've been building stacks of broken tree limbs and  dead bushes etc. It was time to burn these piles :) 


When we looked up at the smoke you could see the sun shining trough the smoke and trees.


After the fires were done we then worked in the veggie garden some more. I tended to the straw bales...which have to be conditioned for 10 days before planting in them. Bob cleared the dreaded creeping charlie out of one of the raised beds so I could plant corn in it today.  I also plated more winter squash in the middle of the bed. 
Today Bob went back to work and I planted the corn... took care of the straw bales... picked some strawberries and then I tackled the fish pond. It took me 3  hours to pump all the water--tadpoles--frogs and goldfish out of it. Then 2 more hours to pump the most mud and yuck form the bottom.  The tadpoles and goldfish are in buckets for the night and the frogs I let loose. The mud and yuck was scattered around the garden, flower beds and compost pile. I filled the pond back up and tomorrow I will hopefully get the fish and tadpoles back into the pond. NO pictures of all of that mess cause I was to muddy and dirty to handle the camera or my phone. I'll take pictures tomorrow of the cleaned up pond area. 
Tomorrow is a day for relaxing for me... nothing heavier than putting the fish back in the pond. Lot's bird watching and reading. 
So that's it for this week ... hope I didn't put you to sleep :) 
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 T Stands for Tuesday

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

T Stands for Tuesday

DEAR MOTHER NATURE,
PLEASE WAKE UP AND TURN THE SUN BACK ON!
It's been cold and wet long enough here. I'm ready for warm Sunshine and dryer days for sure. So happy these days didn't happen last all of last week while I was on  vacation. It didn't start until Thursday but got much worse on yesterday. I'm chilled to the bone . 
I don't do well with cold and damp together. 
Okay... I'm done whining for now. 
During a few minutes of Sunshine I took my coffee outside in my Sunshine cup hoping Mother Nature would get the message and stay awake for the whole day . It didn't work. So the big burst of ripe strawberries hasn't happen yet. We had had a few here and there though that were delicious ♥
After today the sun is suppose to return so I'm sure we'll have a bunch real soon :) 
Hairy the turtle has been loving the wet days. He's lived here the whole time we have :)  Once in a while we even have small baby turtles around the fish pond so there must be a mate somewhere about. Hairy is easy to identify by the scar on the back of his/her shell. At the moment he is hiding from the dog. Which you can barely see his nose in the upper left hand corner. 
The dog is always around trying to get into everything I'm working on. 

I'm really hoping to get the pond cleaned out this week and all the over growth at the end of it cleared out so you can see the second shell. I really wanted to get it done over the weekend but it was too cold to play in the water. :( 
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T Stands for Tuesday

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

T Stands for Tuesday

It's Tuesday.
Time to have a drink with friends and catch up on everything that did or didn't happen since last week . 
I'm drinking ice water today... while trying to make a gift box cover out of one of my background pages. 

We're on vacation this week...actually started on last Thursday :0) By no means have we been setting back and relaxing at all though! It's been four days of almost constantly working on the yard and garden.
After getting the overly tall grass all cut it was time to tackle the backyard shade garden. It was completely over grown with weeds and those horrible invasive Bush Honeysuckle and Autumn Olive Shrub. Our whole wooded area is being overrun by them and will probably take most of the summer to get rid of. The Honeysuckle is blooming right now so the whole place smells so good :0) just wish they weren't so darn invasive. 
Just five years ago this was an open woodland that was easily walked throw and was beautiful. Finally I have convinced the husband to get it back where it used to be. 
The shade garden at the edge of the woods has become a mess since I hurt my back. So we tackled that. 
The before...


The husband tried to use the tractor to pull the bushes out with the lawn mower...but the ground was too soft and he just spun the tires :(
So he had to chop ..cut... and dig out the blasted things. In the process he broke both my pitchfork and my 4 prong rake. The two tools I use most so we will be shopping for
 replacements today.
Here is where we are with the shade garden now. 


There's still a bit of clean up to do but the hard parts are done. The fallen tree in the first picture has been cut up and moved to a different area in the wooded area that we kept clear. I will have another shade garden bed there with jewel-weed and other plants. 
I'm doing another experiment in the veggie garden this year. I loved the straw bales last year but I was late buying them this year and everyone is out except one place and they wanted $12 a bale. That's over twice what I paid before. The bad weather last Spring and Summer caused the shortage. 
So I am making my own out of yard waste and chicken wire. 
The Straw Bale Gardening book I have gives directions on how to do it. So I'm giving it a shot. We'll see if it does as well as the real straw bales. I did learn a BIG lesson in the process. When working with chicken wire, WEAR LONG PANTS AND LONG SLEEVED SHIRTS!!!
Or else you look like this....
It doesn't hurt at all and I didn't even realize I had done it until I started seeing blood on the ground :-/ 
  So that is where the yard and garden stand now. It rained yesterday and today it is raining so we aren't working outside. 
We are clearing out the spare bedroom to replace the carpet and make it into a hobby room for the husband  so we both have out own spaces :) 
I'll stop here before I totally overload the place with photos :) 
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 ♥

Monday, May 2, 2016

"T" Stands for Tuesday :)

Hello Tuesday Friends :) 

Two posts in one day is almost unheard of in my world :) but I just didn't want to combine the two topics into one long post and didn't think of posting 2nd on the 2nd last night when I should have. 
My drink of choice today is Herbal Ice Tea again. Today's flavor is a combination of Mints with Lemon Ginger. 
The art is just a couple of backgrounds I'm working on for the challenges I'm doing this year. Mostly just paint smeared so far :) 

The Hummingbirds have finally made an appearance ...they seem late to me but then my memory doesn't work all that well any more so who knows :) 


The Goldfinch have really brightened up now. The darker ones are the females and the really bright ones are the showoff males :) 
Even the House Finch have brighter red heads now. 


The Blackbirds are still hanging out on the suet feeders. 



More Iris are blooming and it's still wet out there. 


These were in the Eastern Sky at Sunset after a storm. I walked out to the road to see how the Western Sky looked and there were no clouds there and not color. I just thought these were so pretty. 
It was supposed to be sunny and warmer today... but that didn't happen. I guess Mother Nature didn't see the weather report last night. So it was wet all day and much colder but I swear the grass grew another 3 inches. It's really, REALLY, REALLY  tall now. It will be more difficult to mow it but I'll have lots of clippings for the veggie garden. :) 
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Grab button for T stands for Tuesday