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wildlife garden!
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long absence!
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I'm replacing a floor... soon... really...
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CritterPainter's Blog

Various ramblings of a country gal


may's winding down...

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:52 pm

Short blog of the day, I'm just too tired! Went down to Mom's in Daffodil- she wanted to go for a ride so we went down to this amazing little shop hidden on the back road. They sell koi, garden art, plants, and it's also the corner grocery, all in two little buildings. A fellow Mom knows wandered in to pay his rent (he lives in a house out back of the place) and appropriately admired my pickup. Then I went and spent about 3 hours in the heat of the day running a weedeater and doing other garden work. Got home and there were 7 messages on my phone, all of which needed my Immediate Attention (yeawn). Good thing I set up dinner in the crock pot before I left, I've just got very little steam left in my tranny. Daffodil, however, ran like a trooper.

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Memorial day weekend thoughts

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Mon May 28, 2007 3:49 am

OK, I'll admit it, I'm just not much into visiting the tombs of my ancestors. But Mom managed to get my Becky & I to go along to the two pioneer cemetaries to tidy up. The first was the site of my dad's mother, a McCash. I've always wanted to learn more about that side of the family, and while I was pulling weeds and brushing off moss, this tiny old lady walked over and asked how I was related- turns out she was my grandmothers cousin! Now you must understand, my grandmother died when my dad was a baby so not only did I never know her, noone spoke of her either. I wound up chatting with this dear lady for an hour, about grandma and the family. She showed me a long-hidden gravesite at the base of a tree, where my great-great grandparents were buried in the 1800's. We never knew it was there!
Then it was off to the graveyard on Mom's side- the oldest monument there is from the mid-1700's and yes, was an ancestor. Cornelia Griswold, always liked that name. I'm named for my grandmother and her grandmother- another Scot thankyouverymuch. This graveyard was fully equipped for generations who would walk from town, and the mound of earth where the outhouse stood has several very-healthy shrubs ornamenting it's top. The hand-pump wasn't working, but I'm sure it just needed a part replaced. My littlest niece was too tiny to pull the handle down even when she was hanging full-weight on it. She's my brother's daughter. Waaay back,when my brother and I finally, together, triumphed in pulling the pump handle down, and felt that rewarding gooosh of water into the bucket, was almost a rite of passage. Mind you, I'm very happy for indoor plumbing, especially since our well is 150 feet deep, but turning on a faucet could never inspire the same memory-feelings as that distinctive gooosh sound.
I got a bunch of new freebie plants, a couple of "wild" geraniums, an oak trying to grow where it ought not, a huge lot of iris rhizomes, and a sad-looking displaced fern. I'm challenging myself this year with relearning everything I used to know about propogation. I'm a complete faliure with seeds, But grafting, layering,tip cuttings, I had great success with all that back in the day.
Had my little Max into the vet for his first visit and rabies shot. The gal I'd bought him from said he was "fixed", but the vet showed me otherwise. Oops.
So I'm going to assume that the other things she told me were, um, creative embellishments, and I'll start his series of puppy shots next time I can get up to the feed store.
I think my Becky shall be too sick for school Tuesday. Though not too sick to see a matinee of Pirates of the Carribean. Oooo, what a naughty mommy I am! Hope this nausea from a medication adjustment corrects it'self by then, or seeing Davey Jones and his slimy tentacles... *shudder*

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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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Pheeling Philosophical

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Mon May 21, 2007 11:45 pm

Should be tending my phlox and phlomas at this rate!
Anyway, don't know about anyone else, but once my fever crosses about 100.5, I get pretty loopy. So naturally, when it hit 101 this afternoon, I went out to my dear Daffodil to turn the engine over. Cranked it about a dozen times but no luck. Just when I was about to quit, DS came strolling up from school and, being the philosophical boy he is, prayed over her. Then she started right up. I informed him that holiness is rarely accompanied by such a smug smirk!!!
But ya know, in all the years I've been wanting Daffodil, one of the reasons was because I liked being able to pop open the hood & know what & where everything was. Well, all this needed tinkering has been a marvellous refresher course in engine mechanics. Dad was a heavy-equipment mechanic, and made sure I knew how to do all this myself, though I've forgotten an amazing amount of it. But a couple of years after we lost him to cancer, Mom hooked up with her old high-school sweetie, and he's been a star for showing me all this, checking the sparkplugs, how to listen for misplaced engine noises using a stick of wood, cleaning up the battery terminals, etc. Don't think I would have gotten around to relearning all this but for the mysterious engine problem that plagues Daffodil. And when she's running, man does she purrrrr!

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What I've been up to all week

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Fri May 18, 2007 2:16 am

So, I've not been on the internet much this week. Except to look at old-car-parts places.
Have you ever had a "dream car"? I have. A butter-yellow 1949 pickup. I've vaccilated between wanting a Dodge, Chevy, or Ford, but no matter. A 1949 pickup has always been my dream car, since I was a teenager. Well...
A week ago Mom was tooling around town, her tiny hometown, when she saw a guy pulling a pickup off to a grassy spot, to put it up for sale. A 1949, one-owner, much-cared-for, butter yellow pickup. Sooo, having recently gotten out from under a big financial burden, and being a Mom...


Aint she purdy? Her name is Daffodil, though I've opted to not pop the 50 bucks a year to have a vanity plate, I'm going to try to find one of those self-customizable "plates" to mount beside the real one. Perfect for a gardener's truck, eh? She has a longbed, with wooden boards (so cool) which will be ideal should I ever need to transport my mower. I'm adding wood rails soon, and changing some of the silver-painted bits to white-painted. Now I can join my brother at the local car shows! He restored our dad's 1964 1/2 Mustang convertible, bought before my brother and I arrived and made our parents too broke to buy fancy cars, lol!
I've been rather surprised at the stares Daffodil gets, though I guess I shouldn't be. We broke down on the way to Bible study last night- did the two Sherrifs that passed me stop to render aid? Noooo, but the two teenagers in a 70's vintage sure did. I let them poke around under the hood and, in general, get a good look at her before I told them that my DH was on the way with jumper cables. Nice to share such an awesome car. Actually wound up having her towed (thank you, AAA!) and the old-timer who did the job said that when the call came in, he had to fend off several young guys to get the job, lol! Makes me think, why on earth would anyone want a complicated new car? Well, there's the gas mileage, but my driving is so limited these days, it's really a nonissue. I'll take her to Mom's, the feed store, grocery store, and Church. Yup, that's about my limit.
Really sore from working today, on a garden with really funky soil. It really needs to be beefed up with bunny poo, guess I'll take a bucket over next time I go.
Great weather lately, but that means the gardens need water. so back to work I go!

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warm & breezy

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:19 pm

It really amazes me how so many people can find the time to post on here. Also a bit bummed that I don't have time to read all the great posts- I think my Life needs DSL!!!
Today I finished building my dog pen. Hopefully I can get pictures up here soon, it's awfully cute with a picket fence. I bought a squirrel feeder at a church sale last weekend, and mounted it to one of the support posts on my bird feeder. In another lost photo op, the silly grey squirrel was dangling outside my kitchen window today, gripping with just two toes, chowing down on my hanging suet block! I really can't see buying a bag of peanuts to fill the feeder for such a nonpicky fellow, so it's filled with cracked corn, compliments of the chicken feed barrel.
The folks I've been gardening for are away for a few days, so I get to focus on my own yard. Good thing, weekend after next we are having a swarm of people out here to meet the young missionary couple that our youth group is looking to get involved with. We are going to set up a croquet game and maybe a Mima Mini-golf Course. Lots of prep work to get the gardens looking their best! I'm hoping for a big ol' load of gravel for Mums day to put around my goldfish pond, but the trucks been acting funny.
Time until DS graduates is absolutely flying by! I'm starting to get pretty weepy about the whole "what happened to my little boy" thing. I'm about to lose my place as his Mom! I mean, I know I always will be, but it just is going to change...
I was oh-so-thrilled (not) to hear that we are currently paying the second-highest gas prices in the country. Huh?!? All the oil from Alaska comes by here, there is a oil refinery just north of here, but it's hit over 3.75 a gallon. *fume*
Meanwhile back at the ranch...
There were a half-dozen male quail having a male-bonding time out on the road. Which means the females are sitting on nests. Just the thought is heart-stoppingly cute. Quail are definitely God's idea of comic relief, with the silly "deedle" thing on their heads. Gotta love 'em.
Enough time sitting. Work and weeds are a-calling, and I need to stick post-it notes everywhere so I don't forget (again!) to spray Bordeaux on my blight-prone lilacs next fall!!!

This blog entry has been viewed 760 times


Couple of roller-coaster weeks

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 7:56 pm

Yup, went to the doc for a screening, and they found something suspicious. So I got to jump through a bunch of hoops and testings, and it looks like just a fibrous mass. They are going to do a "needle biopsy" (sounds like ouch to me!) but are pretty sure it's nothing.
Alas, my tomatos are shot. They just got too wet. I have some new ones started but not the kind I wanted, couldn't find the seeds for them. Aaand, it's supposed to hit freezing tonight. Then get up to 79 by Sunday afternoon. Poor plants!
The bunnies have discovered that the big dogs are all gone, and my little guy hasn't much interest in them. So I'm getting some wild bunnies skipping around the yard. Not a problem, since most of my garden areas have chicken wire on the lower part to keep out critters. And there was a goldfinch in my oak tree just singin' his little ol' heart out this morning.
Wish I had time to read up on what everyone's up to, but there's just too much going on- DS's cap and gown arrived yesterday and I'm SO not ready for this!
Weeds are a-calling!

This blog entry has been viewed 461 times




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