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dooley's Blog

Spring and choices or decisions!

Category: Choices | Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:22 am

Choices! I've always hated making decisions or choices. Here again I'm faced with decisions. I moved from Arizona to Texas. I had flower beds and gardens all set and every year I added things to them. I moved the vegetables around so they didn't grow too many years in the same spot. I grew things in pots if they didn't do well in the desert soil such as it was. It was very alkaline. So, now I am in Texas. What grows well in the Texas soil. It isn't the same as Arizona soil. It isn't even the same as the soil we had when we lived in Wisconsin. It seems to be sandy. I added some mushroom compost along the front of the house and raked it into the soil. Maybe I should buy a big bag of potting soil and mix in with it, too. When I planted my lettuce and spinach I mixed potting soil, MiracleGro moisture control soil and mushroom compost and it seems to like it. The spinach is outgrowing the lettuce two to one. I bought a new tub yesterday and will start some more lettuce and spinach. I'm thinking of adding a row or two of beets for the greens. dr likes the greens and they would add to the salad, I think.
I dug along the front of the porch to plant vines. dr put up fencing for the vines and tomorrow he is going to add a gate so we can close off the space. Chance will be able to go out with us in the afternoon and evening when we sit outside. I'm hoping the vines will grow up the fence and provide a windbreak and close out some of the afternoon sun. Now, I'm trying to decide if I need to dig it a little wider to plant some lower growing plants. Do I need something other than the vines. I know the morning glory vines have flowers at all the levels but I think the sweet peas only have flowers higher up or am I mistaken there. I think I will look for some more vines too. I found some hyacinth beans. I think Netty sent them to me and Glenda gave me some. I like Scarlet runner beans, too. I have a small packet of cardinal vines. I have a melon that my son Tom sent me that is grown mostly for fragrance. They are called pocket melons because ladies used to carry them in their pockets for the scent. I am thinking I will also plant some morning glories around Chance's fence in the back. I want to put some hollyhocks along her fence, too. Maybe some lower flowers. She likes to "stop and smell the flowers." I've seen her doing that sometimes. She loved the rosemary that grew in her yard in Arizona and I just might plant some more for her here.
So, with the big yard I still have a lot of space. I'm going to dig a circle around the windmill in the front yard and fill it with mixed flowers. I was thinking of planting the cottage mixture and the wildflower mix and a perennial mixture. I have a package of each. I also have some zinnia that I could mix in with them. But, dr thinks that would require a large circle and he thinks about four feet all around would be enough. That would make the bed eight feet across. I don't want something that climbs on the windmill though because I like to see it turning. Do you think beds dug around trees look good? There are several trees and bushes in the front yard. Some of them have oxalis growing around them and it looks good. Would it be too much to have circular beds around the trees if I have the big circle around the windmill?
I need to get a start on some green stuff like Swiss Chard before it gets way too warm for it. I did see some Swiss Chard listed that says it's tolerant of heat and drought and would grow through the summer. I'm not sure of that. It may be too late for Kale. I usually grow it more in the fall so it can go through a frost.
I have 10 different tomatoes and 8 different peppers and 18 different melons to find a space for. I know the yard is big but I really wasn't planning on digging up the whole space. Whatever I plant has to have a fence. I mean for the vegetables and melons. The neighbor works nights and he said when he came home at 6:30 am the other morning there were nine deer in his yard. He has dogs too and they didn't chase them. I just know they will move here if I don't put up a fence. In Arizona we had to put up fences, too. They were for javalina and cattle that roamed at will. Ranchers didn't have to have fences. If you didn't want the cows on your land you had to fence it. Most people did fence their yards. Who wants to clean up after cattle and javalinas?
I'm going to start seeds in my peat pots tomorrow, I think if it isn't too windy. I probably should have started them already but there is that word "decision" again. I'm really not good at making decisions so tend to put things off rather than making a wrong decision. I'd much rather someone else made decisions or told me I was making the right one. dr says I have to decide. He's not the gardener.
There is just too many choices here and I'm still learning my way around. I ask a lady at the garden center about the soil here and she told me she didn't know. She was just buying what her husband put on the list for her.
Does anyone want to make a list for me?

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Civil War Enactment

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:30 am

Today, dr, Glenda and I went to a civil war enactment. We had a great time and walked all around the encampment and took a great lot of pictures. We will post them as soon as we get them uploaded and sorted out. The enactment people were trying to be as authentic as possible and were dressed in period clothing and camping in old fashioned tents. We asked if they were waterproofed. The man we talked to said that each year they were dipped into a waterproof substance which generally worked. We just asked because it was quite cloudy and windy. Rain wasn't in the forecast until Monday but they are there tomorrow yet and it could rain on them. They were all cooking over campfires and using the iron pots and old cooking things. A few had some modern things interspersed but not too many. I had to laugh at one lady. She had on a really elegant black dress with red lace and a hat with the lace hanging down the back. She was wearing high heeled boots and holding her dress up with one hand and trying to keeping her hat on with the other hand. Over her arm she was carrying supplies in two WalMart plastic bags. I wonder couldn't she find any cloth shopping bags. When the enactment started they were shooting with black powder and fire came out the end of the barrels of their rifles or pistols. There were big cannons going off and filling the air with more smoke. Sometimes it was so smoky it was quite hard to see the people. Soon, there were "dead" bodies laying on the ground and these wagons were going around picking them up. The confederate army wouldn't pick up the union guys but they went through their supplies to see if they had anything then left them there. There was a union officer who "died" right near us. But, he kept sitting up and shooting. Once the horses ran right over him or so it looked. He sat up and shot at them when they were past. I think he was supposed to be out of action but didn't want to quit.
There were vendors there selling things like you would have bought. Candles and clothing and cooking pots and dishes. Glenda bought a really cute miniature tea set. I would have bought some books but they were a bit overpriced. They did have some nice dresses though. I wouldn't have any where to wear one but they were beautiful. I'm glad we don't have to wear those long dresses and all the petticoats under them. I had a hoop under my wedding dress and it was a pain to walk and sit in it. Pictures will come tomorrow, hopefully. Between dr and I and Glenda we certainly took more than a few.

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Chance took a walk!

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:27 am

Well, actually Chance took a run. dr and I were getting ready to walk over to Glenda's this afternoon. When I opened the door Glenda was coming up our step onto the porch. I was surprised to see her when we were going out and forgot that Chance was in the house instead of out on her deck. She heard Glenda and darted past me. She did actually stop by Glenda and then seemed to realize she was out in the front yard. She took off like a streak of lightening. I thought she was going over to Glenda's which is what she done last time but she headed down the driveway and out into the road. I'm sure glad none of those pickup trucks were flying low through there. I was right behind her, going as fast as I can which isn't as fast as Chance. I can't run much at all anymore since I hurt my knee. I kept hollering at her to stop and she kept going. She did stop down by Bob's house when his four dogs came out to check her out. I thought I would catch her. I was trying to sort of sneak up on her so she wouldn't run. Bob's dogs went back under his fence but Chance couldn't figure out how to get under the barbed wire. I almost caught her but at the last second she sensed me there and took off again. She made it to the end of the road and turned the corner. I was still back by Bob's and thought now I would never find her. dr went back after the truck figuring he could catch up to her if she got too far ahead of me. When I was almost to the corner that DOG came back around the corner, smiling and wagging her tail, and sat right down in front of me. Of course, I grabbed a hold of her harness and started chewing her out and turned to go home. It was by now a few "city" blocks from the house. Luckily dr was coming with the truck. Chance was panting hard and thought "Oh, boy! A ride back home." Wrong, dr got our and hooked up her leash and he walked her back home. I was panting hard too, but I got to ride home in the truck. Chance got hollered at all the way home and stuck out in her yard. We ignored her until supper time. We went on over to Glenda's and fixed the railing on her steps. When we came home she was laying right up against the door. She now realized she goofed. Will she do it again? Sure, as soon as she catches us with the door open. I want to get a screen door for the front as we had one in Arizona and she never went out of the door even if the screen was open. But here, it's every chance she gets. We are thinking of sectioning off a bit of the porch with lattice so if she gets out she can only get onto that section of the porch. It would have a little gate. Sort of like the entryway some stores have to keep the heat or cold out of stores. Chance may have recovered from her walk but I'm not so sure about dr and I. We are getting too old to run races with the dog.

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MORE seeds

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:48 am

When we moved here and I saw this big yard I thought,
"Wow!" I can plant lots of things. I thought that one section of that long porch would make a fine greenhouse. But, we've rethought that for now and are building something on smaller lines on the east side of the house. I bought a black tub, 25 x 19 x 6 inches high and I'm going to use it for salad fixings. Lettuce, spinach, radishes, etc. I have several kinds of lettuce seeds already and some spinach, too. I thought I would buy a couple more of those tubs, too and try some early vegetables in them. I think beets might grow in them and some other greens that I can use in salads while they are small. They will fit in our cold frame/greenhouse type thing very nicely.
As for seeds, my oldest son sent me seeds, I brought a few saved seeds with me, Glenda sent me some seeds, I bought a few seeds and today I got a package from Netty. Thanks, Glenda and Netty. Now, I started a garden book for myself listing seeds I have, seeds that I would like to have and seeds that I will still buy. I listed in the book all the seeds that I have now and there is 135 different ones. Now, I wonder if that is enough to fill up this big yard. I still want to buy some herbs as plants so I can use them earlier than seed started ones. I did so hate leaving that big rosemary bush back in Arizona. I do have a basil plant already growing on my counter.
I need to make a list of the seeds that are annual and the ones that are perennial and think if I want mixed up colors or beds of all the same colors. Do I want a huge bed or small beds, close or apart? Yikes! It's a good think I still have a bit of time to start the ones that need to go into the ground as plants. Some seeds do better put right in the warm ground. I'm going to put some dianthus in a bed maybe tomorrow and I'd like alyssum in with them but it's just a bit early for those I think. The ground is too cold. So, I have some research to do first and maybe I'll start on it in a bit. I wonder if I google some plants if I will end up back here.
On another note, last week I went to the doctor. Glenda kindly consented to share her primary care doctor with me. I found that I liked him very much. He sent me for a full panel of lab tests which I went and had blood drawn for yesterday morning. This afternoon a girl from his office called and said that they had the lab work back this morning and everything looked very good and the doctor told her to tell me, "Good job!" I'd been worrying about the thyroid levels since it had been three months since I had a test for it. But they are still in the middle of normal. The doctor did assure me that they would go down. It sometimes just takes longer in some people. Of course, it took many years to grow back and over produce and raise the levels so I guess maybe a year isn't too much for the going back down part. My diabetes is in good control. My A1C was 5.9 which is lower than last time so I am pleased with it though I will work at lowering it just a bit more. I'd like it to be down around 5. Andy said his was probably higher but I'm diabetic and he is not so it doesn't count with him. Not yet anyway. My son Dan just went through the testing and came out very good. His was borderline a couple of years ago but he's got it down to normal levels now. He'll just have to be tested every so often to make sure it's staying in control.
So, the list of things needing done is growing shorter. I still need to have my eyes tested and see if I need new glasses. The eye doctor called just before we moved and told me it was time for a checkup so I guess that's on the list.
Now, I guess I will look and see what I have to do next. I think, go wash the supper dishes.


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I have seeds now

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:21 am

Today, I was going to work outside and I did start out to do that. But the mailman came and we had to go make a deposit at the bank from a check that came in the mail and the bank closed at noon. The truck didn't want to come home so soon so it turned and headed too Huntsville. We ended up at the super WalMart. dr wanted to look at ladders and find out how much they would cost. Now, he knows and can plan on when to fit one into the budget. Some things don't fit into a budget, they just have to come when they appear. But, a ladder will have to fit into the budget. But, we had to go in through the garden dept because that is where we could find a parking place that wasn't out in the back forty. I bought two six paks of dianthus, a wine color. We bought nozzles for the hose we bought last week. Then, I found the seed section. I bought 20 paks of mixed flowers and vegetables. They are the cheap seeds but if any of them grow it will be worth the money. I probably won't need to buy anymore seeds. Tom sent me seeds, Netty sent me seeds, Glenda has seeds to share. I probably won't need to buy a lawn mower with all the seeds I have or will have.
But, I do like flowers and would maybe just grow flowers but then I like vegetables fresh out of the garden, too. I don't like weeds too much and there always seems to be more weeds than flowers and vegetables. I wonder why? We plant seeds for flowers and vegetables and water them and feed them and end up with a reasonable amount most of the time. But, the weeds just come up on their own and no one waters them unless it rains and no one feeds them and they grow just fine and dandy. They try to take over the flower beds and garden. You keep pulling them and they come back twice as thick because you loosened the dirt for them. But, they'd be there anyway. I've seen weeds growing out of little cracks in rocks. Why won't our seeds do that? Is it because we baby them too much? Maybe they've been bred to be finicky. It must be the seed people's fault. Oh, well! I think I must be about ready for bed. Tomorrow is another day and while it is not going to be as warm as today it won't be raining and I can finish cutting those weeds and make the goat happy.
I may even fill my peat pots and plant a few of those seeds.


Last edited: Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:21 am

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