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CritterPainter's Blog

Various ramblings of a country gal


Why Washingtonians are bad snow-drivers

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:49 am

Some radio talk show guys were railing against how badly we Washingtonians drive in the snow. Apparently, we either go maddeningly slow or foolishly fast. Interesting thing, the people who were calling in to agree with him were comparing us with drivers in, say, Wisconsin or New York or someplace else that gets alot of snow. But that's just the issue! We don't have time to learn to be good snow drivers! The snow comes down in a big WHUMP, hangs around a day or two, then it's gone. And when it does show up, the vast majority of people who can avoid driving in it do so. So we never have to learn how to drive in it!
I guess we are in a really unusual climate here. Every Thanksgiving, I hear horror stories about people who have to drive here or back through the passes- Never gave it much thought, but yeah, the only way to get here from anywhere east of here is either through the mountain passes or go down to Oregon and catch I-5. I just hope my son stays on this side of the mountains when he moves away (IF he does. He gives us the puppydog eyes everytime we suggest selling this place)
It's been snowing lightly here all day, lovely floaty stuff. Since it's supposed to get down into the 20's F tonight, that'll all stick. Just hope the sanding trucks get out early! Tomorrow should be a good day to work on cards. I was really looking at the way snow sits on the branches today and realized my cards are all wrong. O well, in future they will be more accurate. Maybe the one I'm planning to post here will be a real Washington-ey one. Seems every "washington" painting I see has Mt Rainier in it, but I love my Black Hills better. So much more friendly looking than the big volcano poking up into the clouds, lol! Besides, great-grandaddy thought they were good enough to settle in when he came out west, so they are good enough for me, too!
O well, enough rambling for one night.

This blog entry has been viewed 636 times


down into the rocky depths

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:10 am

I'm going to transplant the 8' evergreen that's growing too close to the house. It was relatively warm today so I started on the hole- from what I recall, I need to dig it the diameter of the reach of the widest branches and a depth roughly half the height of the tree.
Don't know if anyone is interested in strange soil layers, but here's how mine is laid. There's about 5 inches of dirt, rock, and moss. Then you get to what I call "Potato Rocks"- they are about the size of a big baking potato, some quite a bit larger. These go down about a foot & a half, with a sandy soil in between. Then just when I'm about to despair of ever emptying a hole, I hit this coarse, yellowy grit with only a few potato rocks scattered through it. There's sometimes a layer of ash from the explosion of St. Helens under that, then some relatively nice, though rocky, almost-soil. That's as far as I got today, but it's a start anyhow.
I'll mix the almost-soil with composted bunny pellets to back fill around the tree. The best part of it all is that it will leave me a roughly 4' square of churned up soil in my front garden bed to put some new plantings in, woohoo! Get to spend all winter thinking of what to put there!
I pulled out the lilac shrub that came down in the last windstorm, and yipe, no wonder it hasn't looked too healthy! Something had bored through the wood, just under the soil surface. Going to have to look into exactly what it could be, so I don't lose the rest of the lilac.
Rotten, I studied all this stuff in school, but seem to have completely forgotten it, sigh.

This blog entry has been viewed 478 times


Of storms and such

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:26 pm

My power is on for now. It's been out since Sunday night, and several circumstances made it more difficult than usual. With the windstorm, my 14-year-old lilac bush out front split and is reduced to one scraggly bit. All the evergreens are pruned, and after I get outside (when the frost is gone) the goats will have a pre-thanksgiving feast on it all. This morning, I took pity on my teenage son and drove him to the Bible camp where he works on weekends- they have showers there. I picked up muffins for he and DD, she & I snuck into the game room and had a quiet breakfast while we waited for him. It was nice to get out, and I'm mighty grateful for that camp!
Now I've gotta get back to housecleaning, there is another severe storm predicted for tonight and I'd like to start with a clean slate if we lose power again!

This blog entry has been viewed 392 times


warning, sad blog (dog woes)

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:10 pm

I thought I was struggling with my dog, Lily, for the past 4 or so years because i couldn't put my kids through losing a dog. She has killed a rabbit (while playing with it), and a chicken (ditto), digs holes in the yard, chases and bites cars (we had to fence in the whole 5 acres because of her), and on and on. And today she tried to take a bite out of me when I was scolding her for yet another hole in the yard. Tomorrow she goes to the shelter. And instead of being relieved, I'm on the verge of crying. I've tried everything within my reach to deal with her. She's got a good heart, but she's the middle and both ends of a bad dog in every other aspect of her life. Believe me, if there were another way, I would have found it by now. I'm just surprised that I'm the one crying.

This blog entry has been viewed 620 times


and still more rain

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:33 am

Just because I'm a 4th generation Washingtonian, let me say, I do love rain! I love sitting in my art studio (fancy name for a painting corner) working on Christmas cards and listing to the sound of nothing but rain coming down, splashing in puddles and rattling in downspouts, the pinging on the roof of my old pickup truck and the splats on the tarp over my firewood.
But, here's a pic from a few days ago, for all of you who've never seen a Washington prairie or the Black Hills (the not-so-famous black hills, that is)

Just missed snapping a coyote, he ran across the field. It's a bit dark, but this time of year it's tough to get a full daylight shot!

This blog entry has been viewed 402 times


prairie rain

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:02 pm

Looks like we are officially into rainy season, the puddles on the driveway and drips down my neck when I feed the rabbits attesting to it. The oak tree is bowing to it's fate, leaves weighed down with shimmering drops. The hens look quite disreputable, their feathers plastered down- they do have a place to get in out of the rain, but I need to put in fresh straw later today. The goats have no opinion whatsoever about the weather. There is no sight of them but a nose poking out the door of the goatshed, a rather forlorn sight. I stopped at the feed store yesterday to pick up a bale of grass hay and another of straw- sort of a bed-and-breakfast deal for herbivores. There was a lone, lonely Netherland Dwarf huddled in a cage there, it was so hard not to come home with it!!!
I've got to get to work painting, trying to paint up a bunch of Christmas cards and such. A more indoor task is definitely in order now that the garden is busily mulching itself.

This blog entry has been viewed 414 times




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