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CritterPainter's Blog

Various ramblings of a country gal

Rural Washington Lives!!!

Category: tips I don't want to forget | Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:34 pm

The thread I started about the storm devastation here was strictly to help me deal with it. But this story was just too much fun so I'm blogging it to remember.
DH has been fixing phone lines in storm-damaged areas. Since some major areas are still unreachable (still underwater 2 weeks later!) the company sent him off to tend to the hinterlands. So way out beyond Humptulips (yes, that's it's real name, a tribal name) he went. The lone road to a few scattered homes had washed out completely, leaving nothing but a 10-foot-deep and wide gorge where it had been. And low in that gorge in the middle of nowhere was a broken phone line. The walls were still crumbling as DH walked up to the gap, and he was more than a little concerned about working so deep, 45 highway minutes from the phone garage. So on an off chance, calls out to the unresponsive wild rhododendrons, madrona, and firs. To his amazement, a voice calls back.
"I don't think anyones home", a response aimed at the woodland cabin nearby. Steve (DH, that is) replies that he just wants a spotter as he climbs down into the gap . So out of the woods steps a very kind-faced hunchback.
Seems he'd been riding his quad nearby and a belt broke, so he was headed out to find someone to tow it for him. He stayed to make sure the rocks didn't collapse on DH, and went on his way.
So Steve is working on splicing the phone line in the silence of the woods for awhile. Suddenly, there's a woman standing at the edge of the hole. In Carharts. Just checking on his progress. Seems she hadn't been able to call another fellow, who lived about 3 miles into the woods, so she'd parked her car nearby and hiked the distance in to check on him. In the freezing weather. Made sure he was ok and was now on her way home.
This is the way I remember rural Washington from my childhood. Even the way I remember the once-microscopic-now-bedroom-community that I live in now. I'm so glad there are still places like that out on the penninsula, even if they have to endure names like Humptulips and Lilliwaup!

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Pest spray, coreopsis, concentrated roundup

Category: tips I don't want to forget | Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 2:11 am

To control bugs, steep a handful of chopped garlic (from the big jar I get at Costco) together with 1T. red chili flakes (I'm assuming cayenne is the same thing as it seems to work) in a quart of water for several days then spray it on plants.
Be sure to pick up a couple of those cheap sprayers that Big Lots has before they are all sold out, one to hold this and one to hold vinegar for weed-killing. Just be sure to label them, bubblehead!
Apparently, I've been working too hard trying to keep the blooms on my coreopsis tidy. Word is, if I just let a bunch of the blooms poop out, then shear them all off with hedge clippers, the plant will put out a whole new crop. We shall see how this goes.
Read somewhere that the best way to use those pricey ultra-concentrated weed killers (not my idea of healthy, but desparate times...) is to leave it concentrated, put it in a cleaned-out and delabled bottle with an eyedrop-squeezer. Like one of those fertilizer bottles. Then I can just put a very small amount right into the center of any nonnative obnoxious weed. I am SO going to try this on the Scotch Broom!

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