Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lovely day

I love these flowers. We've always called them tiger lilies. I'm not sure why since they're spotted instead of striped, but still beautiful.

This is the first one to bloom this year. I've tried sending the seeds to England before but they didn't sprout that time. If anyone would like to try again, please let me know.

Obviously, watching me work is a high-stress, exhausting business.

The final roof post

Ooohh Ahhhh! Completely, totally finished. I've even paid for it. Look at the shiny new roof vents! Ok, it doesn't take much to make me happy.

The gutters should work more efficiently also since it's increased the area open to catch runoff.
Some year I'll get solar. Until then, the roof is done.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


No pictures tonight since it's raining, but the roof looks great. A lovely soaking rain that's filled up the barrels and refreshed the garden.

My contractor will be stopping tomorrow to pick up his check. This is going to feel very strange after saving for months to suddenly have my bank account down to a pitiful amount. I know it's a worthy investment though. Not a cosmetic or luxury item, just something badly needed and now good for decades.

I would like to stay up and chat, but work has drained me and my eyes won't stay open.
Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


This is a small portion of the mass of old materials removed from my roof. The roofer estimated that thousands of pounds of weight have been lifted off my poor old house. There were actually wooden shingles in the layers! I've never even seen a building with wooden shingles. I wonder if these layers have been added ever since the house was built back in 1935.

Here it is with a clean paper over the new sheeting. Tomorrow they will put on the shingles.

A little peek at the second cropping of peas, lettuces and spinach. Besides a tendency for the spinach to bolt, I'm quite pleased with the experiment. Will definitely plan on doing this again next year.

I picked a nice bunch of peas today and just finished munching on them for a snack. The shells were tossed to the guinea pigs as a treat. Yum all around.
Finally, I had to admit that the animals had brought an invasion of fleas into the house and I got out the foggers. It's a big job of moving the pigs down into the basement, covering the fish tank, making sure all the cats are out and clearing the house of anything that must be kept clean of the insecticides. Even when it was safe to return the pig cages had to be stripped down and cleaned so they would have a safe environment to come home to. The cats got another frontline treatment and we're done!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My addiction

I love reading blogs. When I find one written by somebody who is interesting, intelligent, funny, informative...I feel like I've struck gold. And that's where the addiction (or is it compulsion?) comes into play: I have to go back to the beginning of their archives and read it all. It's not a hardship really; I love reading and can take my time. Right now I'm in May 2007 of Mrs. Nesbitt's Place. This is a treat because she posts lots of pictures and I can explore Yorkshire through her camera. Sometimes they visit places I've seen (Blackpool and the Lake District) and I get the pleasure of remembering.
Thank you to all the bloggers who take the time to share their lives.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Phew! Another long day.

I'm trying to think over what I did and figure out why I'm so knackered.

Laundry washed and hung outside.
Washed dishes.
Garden watered (emptied an entire rain barrel) -- this might be part of it. Lots of trips with the buckets.
Some organizing of the pantry.
Finances -- figured out what is going out in August and how much has to be transfered from savings to pay for the roof.
Farm -- another load of chicken compost and a chat with the parents.
Roofer -- discussed the schedule for next week and arranged for my son to work with them. He can always use the money!

It doesn't look too bad listed out like that. I'm desperately in need of a shower though. I had no choice but to use mosquito repellent; they like me too much. Tomorrow is supposed to be another hot one. Oh joy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The first addition to my pantry this season and it's not even from my garden. I received a grocery bag of green and wax beans from a gardener who had a glut even after doing her own canning. I'm trying to imagine just how large her garden must be!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One aging female

I'm going to have a bit of a moan about the aging process, so the squeamish may choose to skip this post.

Actually, the gray hairs don't really bother me and the 'freckles' on the backs of my hands I can ignore easily enough; the wrinkles on my face keep surprising me though. I don't feel all that old, yet the signs are there and more obvious all the time.

I'm looking forward to the end of monthly cycles (especially since my son is 17 and I have NO desire to start over with a baby!) There has been a slow-down; the longest stretch between cycles so far has been 13 weeks. Unfortunately, there's a negative aspect as well; when I have a long delay between cycles the next one tends to be extreme. I went through every pad (yay for washables) I own in one and a half days. No hot flashes yet!

There's probably a way to age gracefully...I haven't found it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ahh Torchwood!

It's raining tonight so I'm posting pictures I took yesterday. This is my second planting of peas lettuce and spinach for the season. Definitely experimental.

The zucchini plants are off to a good start.

If there ever was a show to make you look sideways at government officials (more than you already do!) it's Torchwood. Excellent episode. I can't wait until tomorrow night.
Work was normal enough but I really missed my nap.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 9

It's the end of my vacation and I'm ok with that. Having fun, relaxing, and accomplishing things all balanced out nicely. Tomorrow is back to more sleeping in!

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 8

Because it's been a surprisingly cool and wet summer so far I decided to make today a baking day. Zucchini bread is a favorite. I used the shredded and frozen surplus from previous years to make this; making more room in the freezer for this year.

This was a first for me: rhubarb cake. Served with sugar-free cool whip (for the diabetic) it was a success!

The rest of the day was spent puttering around home and finishing up the garden hoeing. My dad came over to cut up the last of the wood piles. Very strange to see my son using a chainsaw!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 7

I stopped over at the farm to steal some well-rotted chicken manure. You know it's matured when I've got 4 buckets in the back seat and I (of the super-sensitive nose) can't smell anything! I've got to start thinking things through ahead of time though. Shovelling in slip-on shoes with no support always messes up my ankle.

This old barn is the treasure trove of chicken leavings. I wish my dad had done maintenance back when it was salvageable. Now that the roof is mostly decayed away, it's too late and they couldn't afford the fortune it would eat up.

Happier news: we put the roof vent in over the louvre window and finished the door support. Hooray!!!! My part is done.

Two days left before work calls me back. I'm feeling very relaxed.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 6

Today we went to see the King Tut exhibit. I've always been interested in Egyptology; thanks in part to Amelia Peabody. Having read her stories makes me feel as if I knew Howard Carter. Funny how a fictional character can make history seem more real.

Other than a few pieces of jewelry, all on exhibit were replicas of the actual artifacts. My favorite parts were the photographs of Carter and the unearthing of the tomb.

This afternoon I ran some errands in town and stopped at the farmers market. I had hoped to find honey and some of that delicious bread sold last year, but there wasn't much to choose from at any of the tables. Hopefully, later in the summer it will offer more.
I just finished turning my compost piles. Too dry again. I must remember to check that more often.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Days 4 & 5

Tuesday was just a quiet day with some more rain showers. I did sell my mantis tiller so that's a little more to pay the hospital with. As a treat we went to see Transformers 2 on it's last night at the local theatre.

Today was beautiful. I got the lawn mowed and some more weeding done. I never seem to catch up completely. My mom is already canning beans and mine are still blooming! It looks like the tomatoes are going to be a complete failure. I'm afraid they're just too sensitive to the black walnut trees to prosper here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 3

An interesting day to be sure. My parents had been away for a few days so I went over to visit them. We decided to get some work done on the greenhouse while the weather was cooperating. My dad and I loaded it onto the back of the pickup to haul it up near the house. Unfortunately, it's much larger than the truck bed and he put a 10 foot long 4x4 board under it to prop it up. I walked behind the truck to balance the greenhouse...and naturally, when the board fell off it bounced off my foot. Sigh, a nasty bruise and we were barely out of the shed. We kept going until he drove under a tree and the branches pushed the greenhouse off the truck. I yelled at him to stop before the whole thing came crashing down. Finally, it was in place.

Neither of my parents are interested in reading obscure and poorly illustrated instructions and messing about with the fiddly bits (which is why the greenhouse kit has been lying about the shed for years). Lucky me. Everything was done except the louvre window and the door. Actually the window was easy enough, but the door was horrible. I've given my dad the assignment of buying longer bolts so the door track can be mounted properly. I'd still like to finish the job completely this week.

On a lighter note, I've been watching Midsomer Murders from the beginning and last night dreamt about a murder. The funny thing is that my dream had theme might be a sign of a few too many shows.

Day 2

The day began with a torrential downpour. So I've been spending most of the day inside reorganizing the pantry and making an inventory/shopping list. When it stopped dripping I took the camera out to my favorite places...the gardens.

The part that got weeded yesterday is looking not too bad. Marigolds, peppers, red cabbages, onions, carrots and bush beans.

A close up of the flowering beans.

A quick peek at the small garden. I LOVE how the squashes are so vigorous that weeds can't compete. Definitely cuts down on maintenance.

All of the voluteer squashes are yellow crooknecks. Good thing I didn't plant any by plan this year!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 1

Today is the first day of my vacation. A REAL vacation without having to finish that last project over the weekend! Thanks to Matt for wanting to do some more testing. I've got lots of things I'd like to accomplish so I'm going to keep track of what I work on as I go.

So far today has been laundry and weeding in the big garden. I've also pulled out the spent pea plants. About half the weeding/hoeing done. It's amazing how fast the weeds come up when we get so much rain. I smell like mosquito repellent...bleah. I'm going to clean out the guinea pig cages yet this evening and have a look at the mid-month bills. I received the last of the medical bills from my son's hospital stay today.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My brother

It always makes me smile when I see my brother has visited the blog. Just knowing he takes an interest in my stuff is rewarding because he is...awesome. And that's not just leftover hero worship of the eldest sibling either.

Of the entire family, he is the one who is the most together. Debt-free (including the house), work he enjoys, a happy and stable relationship with his partner, good friends, and a balanced view of environmental/green issues. All that, yet he doesn't boast and make others feel bad about their situations.

He definitely thinks more deeply than I. My thoughts tend to skim along the surface where he searches out the depths.

With no reservations I can say I'm proud to have him as my brother.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Yesterday my computer updated to IE8 and I hated it. Annoying little popups, extra junk all over the toolbars, even the tabs got messed I uninstalled it and hooray! it went back to IE7 without any hiccups.

This was the second year that I've skipped the fireworks show. I simply couldn't be bothered and I find myself more than a little irritated that the town spends so much on the show when our streets are rubbish and in a horrible state.

At least the lawn is mowed! Small victories.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


This is the story: last fall there were a few squashes that either were too small to bother with or rotted on the vine so they were left in the garden over the winter. This spring when my son tilled up last year's squash patch for root vegetables he went right over the bits left and tilled them under with the compost.

This is the result:

Mixed in with the beets and turnips and doing an excellent job of keeping the weeds down are my volunteers. These are all weeks ahead of the squash I planted this year.

What I'm wondering is if this is something I could try for next year (except where I'd planned). It could be a bountiful year.