Monday, May 31, 2010

dulcette is in the house but here are the others in the garden

thank you all so very much

i miss momma duck...
while she was on the nest i would hold food and water for her a couple times a day.
it's so strange to only see three ducks now
i want to thank you all so much for your comments
(catherine i accidently deleted yours, because i am not awake yet and pressed the wrong button, i'm so sorry)

dulcette, who now has a lot less then half a comb is doing well....she laid an egg yesterday.
actually we got 5 eggs from 4 chickens and two of them were full sized so henrietta is also laying i think

i am thinking of ordering 6 ducklings from country hatchery in oklahoma tomorrow
not to replace momma, but to raise babies
bernie thinks i'm crazy  --since colleen is coming july 3-17
but i think i am going to do it
and worry about space etc later
i will keep one drake and all the ducks out of this if i do it
and yes i know that we don't really have enough space....but i was thinking...
IF we take the temporary pen and make a REAL pen with cinderblock and such.....so it's predator proof
we could put them out there in night crates......?
now the only flaw in this plan is how to get the pen thingie actually MADE.
any ideas?

i got new batteries for the camera so i am going to start taking pictures of the chickens and ducks dancing (yeah right....more like hunting worms) in the sun

Sunday, May 30, 2010

i still can't wrap my head around yesterday

momma duck is gone
i don't understand it
we think it was heart issues left over from that pneumonia last fall
we think that she wasn't right when we got her from the duck farm                      all i keep thinking is...... what kind of heart does it take for an essentially wild duck to trust someone so much that i could handle her like i handle all the other ducks here, the ones i raised from a few hours old? and how can we all manage without her

this is momma duck in the back of the day pen look at her chubby little cheeks, aren't they the cutest? she was such a pretty little duck. i am going to miss her so very much

Saturday, May 29, 2010

and to top off the day

dulcette ripped half her comb off....jen had to help me
i held her and jen cut off the comb

today is not a good poultry day around the herron homestead

momma duck died

we found her this morning
she was off her nest which is also dead

we don't know what happened

Friday, May 28, 2010

it's friday, payday, and we're now broke!!

cause i paid ALL the bills, and i am so grateful that i could pay all the bills. there was a time when i couldn't.
ok first off
angie- i think i am going to do exactly that ......... this iron thing is insane
and catherine i am going to get a cheapo iron for like 10 bucks and not put water in it....
garilynn, i have so many books in this house there is no room for us, we have the same delemia, no one to leave our stuff to
our family doesn't care about books
or antiques (they see old things as just so much junk...... )
ok
today, it's cooler!!! so chickens go OUT thank goodness
ducks go out
vi goes out and hangs the laundry she had to rescue in the storm....(bras when flying into TREES- it wasn't pretty)

so it's supposed to be cooler all weekend, that means chickens out all weekend..... and hopefully the garden bed that is waiting gets filled as well as planted.

i again hang out the laundry that is still wet from yesterday (but extremely well rinsed)
i discovered that it would be a very good idea to put a small apartment sized washer in the studio... this way i only have to schlep one flight of stairs instead of two.
now, to convince bernie of it

let's see what else is on the agenda for today.... oh, ahem...... cleaning the FRIDGE......
yeah, i was trying to forget about that... oh man was i trying to forget about that. at least doing two shelves and a drawer.

**what usually happens is that i dread doing something....putting it off.... then i say ok i will do just THIS part of it today, next thing i know it's 6 hours later and i am done with the whole thing*** i have to take breaks sometimes to rest my legs a bit..... or sometimes my back or shoulders
gee when did i get this old?
i remember when i used to be able to go all day

i also do have to get the iron. FAST actually, since i have clean shirts but can't wear them as they are way too wrinkled from washing and hang drying.

ok so today it's more of the same after chickens and ducks.....gardening and laundry (handwashing does take a bit more time then machine washing, and i am doing all the change of season..... YES I KNOW i'm late.... gee i'm lucky i got it going NOW, instead of september)

meanwhile there is an art supply sale on..... saunders waterford paper on sale...... but i am being good as i can't afford it
sniff
ok
well i will talk to you all tomorrow (or tonight if i don't think i can get to you all in the AM)

oh and bernie did something sweet for me both last night and this morning, last night he bought me swiss cheese, as i had mentioned a bit ago i would like some.
and this morning he TRIED to call me and wake me up ......i was already up and down, pouring my first cup of coffee.......
he admitted that with all the responsiblity on his job, he's sort of been a bit neglectful of me

i think i'll renew his contract and keep him a while longer.....

hmmmm

vu

Thursday, May 27, 2010

pullet eggs!

ok i am squeezing out the last of the camera battery juice, it's still flashing low battery but here are pullet eggs!!! i hard boiled them last night for deviled eggs today- cool huh? then i went down and another one was down there!!!! that makes two girls laying.
in further chicken news, all the hens are together-they have or still are establishing pecking order but it's not bad at all anymore. they also will be staying in again today as the weather has been way too hot for them out there. i put the ducks in the back pen with a pond and falstaff in the upper pen with a pond......... and kept chickens in the cool basement.

yesterday i got all my summer tops washed but not ironed.....which began the quest for a new iron.
hmmm if any of you have shopped for a new iron lately (and started that shopping by reading reviews) you will understand the state i'm in at the moment....... no one iron is good... it seems that even with in irons that have the bulk of good reviews there are a ton of bad things. seems to me that it's an "iffy" thing this whole iron business.
some irons work fine but sometimes the very SAME model is a total garbage experience. with the manufacturers not really caring either way.
and bad irons are actually BURNING
great
now what do i do?
i can't wear wrinkled seersucker, i just can't
ewwwwww
do i go back to the old fashioned sad iron?
and don't think i haven't considered it...........

oye
today's agenda:
first up the post office as my post master called me that there are packages for me (must be a lot of them)
then maybe kmart for an iron
if i find one under 12.00 then that's the way i'll go. considering it is most likely disposable
after that...... winter clothes washed... (they'll be needing the iron too)
flannels hand washed and hung...... with one sweater a day washed as all my sweater dryers have broken their plastic stretcher thingies.....( i need to make something for the sweaters..... the netting is still good)

has anyone noticed that at no time do the words..'dust, .... vacuum,...... sweep' enter the conversation...
oye
i have to do them shortly and really i hate them
i'll be ok once i start doing them, it's the starting of doing them that is my problem......that and i don't have a vacuum.
doesn't everything stay better with ohhhh sayyyyyyyy two or three inches of dust on it? did wonders for Pompeii didn't' it?
and i love early halloween ..........no?
well that's my story
and i do love halloween so there

anyway being forced to have to consider dusting........ i also better consider a strategy as there are area's around the bookcases that i am not kidding about the 2-3 inches of dust.
please i never READ THOSE BOOKS anyway....

i also need to decant budgie seed into jars,
start brussel sprout seeds
continue to weed the garden
battle slugs ( i hate slugs- currently i am slightly ahead.......but that will change with the rain)
grind some wheat (which i will again find a reason to put off)

i have to bundle some old magazines and catalogs for recycling, they can't be used in the garden or composted due to the paper (and inks)
however most of the mountain of cardboard can and has been SAVED for garden use.
i think that needs to move out of the front room though

for right now however i am drinking my first cup of coffee
talking to you folks, hoping i didn't make too many typo's in this post
morning everyone

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

no chickens will go out

it's already over 90 on the deck so no chickens go out
ducks go out with a pond each (not that i was in any hurry to put them out as that bitch lilli has been holding the eggs AND laying OUTSIDE where i can't get to them... all this AND she tells me i am porcine)
i watered the cucumber seeds and now i am handwashing all my summer tops and then will do more winter knits, woolens as well as winter flannels
i found a lot of canned chicken in the basement......bernie said there wasn't any but there is
soooooooooooooo chicken salad sandwiches and maybe deviled eggies
(tiny deviled eggies as all we got is pullet eggies)

i gave the chickens a scant armful of assorted weeds
then i came up and put the AC on
momma duck is in with her nest of eggies
falstaff is in the temporary pen...... phoebe and lilli are in the big pen in the garden
everyone has ponds filled with cold water..... at about 2pm or so i will refill them with more cold water

i have 4 tops out on the line right now that i already handwashed; one soaking ready to get rinsed, with i think 6 more to go... all of them summer tops
then i start on the cold weather stuff... some i can machine wash if i only can find my net bags that i put that stuff in. (i put them all together in a safe place you see......so i can't find them now....someone please remind me to make a small wall hung cabinet that will hold them, my iron, my handwashing soap, and maybe my sweater dryer thingies-it's actually a doable thing)

i got up late this morning...after 7. my chicken friend teri who sold me the 4 new pullets called shortly after
her pullets ( the sisters to mine) started to lay
then i called louie at the post office to tell him i put his thing together that i promised him about the online eyeglasses

i am still working the plan for cleaning etc in preparation for my sister in law to come... EVEN THOUGH, ......................................         i lost the list
.
.
.
.
.
yes i am hanging my head in shame now...... hmmm

i am trying
yesterday i figured more foods, drinks, snacks.
i planted summer lettuces that will hopefully be ready for when she's here.
i am going to need a few days cooking to get these done, not to mention a BIG shopping
depending on what day she actually arrives, i may plan a sort of cooking day  for after she gets here, as she loves to cook also.
we can sit and laugh while we are doing it.
i sent her the dates bernie's got management classes. so she knows not to book a flight.......cause if it's that day...she'll sit until the next day in the airport, i don't drive to the big cities

another thing on the list: new sheets, new towels, 4 new pillows (she's allergic to cats so new pillows for her) new bathtub mat, new shower curtains... i do this every time she comes
this year i am thinking of getting one of those big glass jug thingies with the spiggots in them
to bring out on the deck or even keep in the kitchen for tea for bernie. maybe i should think of the plastic ones? i found a three gallon plastic one that is easy to clean....19.00. that may be worth it for bernie

he makes ice tea for himself, putting it in a cranberry juice bottle, which i found to be a nightmare to clean
so this may be a better idea
ok
i have to do the last of the tops i got down here now
you all have a good day

OHHHHH i also have to clean the dehydrator .....tis the season huh?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

plan the work and work the plan

then pray that you don't fall or have a bout of extreme pain in between.
my sister in law is coming to visit
i love her
i have planned out the stuff that needs doing between then and now
oye
then i started to do it
however i forget all the time how long stuff takes to air dry without the woodstove...........oye oye
so instead of starting with one group of things such as 'winter handknits' to be washed
i am going to do the 'hang on hangers' to dry group but just freeze the handknits for now
so i have to find the delicate things net bags that i use to wash acrylic sweaters in the machine-
i'll start doing that
i'll freezing winter coats ( wool stuff gets frozen for bug control-just in case)

i am up at 5am.........i am hoping to get back on track with house work and knitting work
i haven't knitted in a while with all the other stuff plus my shoulder...i have sample knitting that i want to get done for a very wonderful person. i feel bad that it's not done yet

last night for supper (warning..abrupt change of topic..... opps too late for the warning) i made a roast angus beef, scalloped potatoes (with cheddar) out of my home dried russet slices, and fresh broccoli cause we had it in the fridge
it was a fantastic dinner
i soaked the potato slices in water for a few hours before i added the homemade onion/white/cheddar sauce then baked it in the oven with the roast.......BIG HIT
so that's a good thing
boy, it was fast
now drying potatoes is not an easy thing to do
you scrub them very very well, slice them 1/8'' thick ....blanch them
- wash the starch off then dry them until they get a bit translucent or even transparent
i did 50 pounds of russets.......OLD russets
but it was either that or we would have lost the bag
dried potato slices are a good thing to have around as they are FAST in stews, soups and scalloped potatoes or fast ham/potato casserole
so the work pays off big

(another abrupt change of topic.......you should be used to this by now) i planted cucumbers. not enough cucumbers, mind........... but a few.....three different varieties
northern pickling
burpee pickler
bush pickle
( i think those are the names)
the northern is a vine about 6 feet tall,  i put that on the fence post, the other two are bush, one is two feet tall the other one is 1.5 feet tall.
i am going to have to get small trellises for them (small tomato cages will do)
i moved a few more bush beans, i snapped one plant clean off......damn- as i don't have more bush bean seeds right now, (ordered them from heirloom acres........we'll see if we get them before august.....they have good seed but TERRIBLE customer service and shipping, so i don't recommend them)
i have to fill the next bed which will be pole beans and cuc's
now the last bed will be i think chard and salad.......or maybe spinach later....
the slugs are going to town on my bush beans so i put the sluggo with diatomatous earth down.
i have to pick them for the chickens

the chickens btw, are learning the joys of slugs, bugs, digging in the dirt, eating weeds....so they will be Xpen'd in the main garden to weed for me.......good chickens.....very good chickens
the new pullets are taming down fast now
the one that is laying is coming to me the second she sees me now..... so we are going to name her
i think collette..... (YES we still have budgies to name...... i am thinking emma, with the other one,  maybe fanny...so far nothings fit that yellow one)
anyway this chicken is the partridged one with the lighter head....... there is another partridged one with a darker head......then the chocolate one, last the orpington looking one
they glisten in the sun
henrietta as well as dulcette are getting on better with the new ones.... henrietta though i think is having a few problems with her little arthritic feet

now you are caught up with most everything right? it was so humid yesterday that i bought a folding chair out to sit in for a bit until i could stop sweating. i pitched a bit of weeds into the chicken palace after i realized that the girls are trying to get through the fence to eat the weeds.....that's FAST.......so i am trying to pitch as much weeds into the pen as i can
they are voracious- mommy's little garden bulldozers.......hahahaha
they need to get the slugs now too.

as to pictures..........i need to get batteries for the camera, which won't be today that's for sure... so right now no pictures. i am so sorry
ok coffee's ready

Sunday, May 23, 2010

rainy sundays turn to sunny

as you can see from my really crappy photo's the garden is slowly coming along. the chickens are out in the day pen (they have shade in there so it was hard to take their pictures-i lightened it on the computer, i hope you can see it) this is part of the flock. the old girls are starting to get on with the little ones, for the most part. henrietta is still a bit bitchy. i think she's got arthritis in her feet which i think that makes her a bit short tempered with the babies. the big news tonight is that the chocolate brown one (see her on the left?) crouched for the 'rooster' (that would be me!) so i picked her up and carried her in, i can't help but wonder how long it will be until the chickens figure out that if they let me pick them up, i will take them out? meanwhile they ate all the weeds that they could reach through the chain link, someone laid an egg in the hay in the back. so tomorrow i am going to put the little cover of the litter box with hay in it for them to lay in-
i hope that will make things easier on all of us
now today was rainy, but if the weather is really bad with rain.....that pen will not be able to be used. so the chickens will stay in for those days
they won't be happy about it i think
i don't know what to do to divert the heavy flooding out there
now bernie did litter boxes, and that was about it for today
i drew some, we sort of piddled the day away.
we did have lunch on the deck.  i repotted some more seedlings.....
all in all a lazy day no?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

clean chicken pens are a very good thing

as they were overdue.
i was doing them the week i fell, and haven't gotten back to them
they can't go this long again
meanwhile we put the chickens out in the big duck pen
they had a blast......digging to china after worms (they excavated a corner of the pen)
eating mustard and jewelweed leaves
the next batch of chicks are getting trained to follow me around i think....... and i am going to get them SOON i should call jody and charlie and ask them to set the eggs now.
my new friend terri who is the lady that bought the sussexXorpington pullets out from under me and then sold me 4 of them for what it cost her wants more chickens too, she asked if i would raise them for her also.
i said yes as i love raising chicks.....this next batch follows me
i am going to teach them too
and they get an Xpen to have as a portable chicken tractor too. just like i did the ducks
(as soon as they don't fit through the holes in the pens.....ducks used to pop through, i remember i could NOT wait until they were too big to fit)
ok so we did that
and bernie built another 4X8 raised bed, it isn't filled yet....... i sorta goofed off
i helped with the chicken pen mucking
and i brought the ducks out and the chickens out (bernie helped with chickens)
i cooked and hung the second load of laundry (which got rained on)  after i took down and folded the first load
washed all the hand washable dishes
did a tiny bit of drawing
oh and i am going to do a bit of primitive style decorating on that end of the studio, as i got the stuff laying around .......... until i can do something more polished in that area
that's about it for saturday
i made fresh strawberries in strawberry syrup for the poundcake and then bernie put cool whip on it ( i hate that stuff.........ewwwwwwww)
we are going up in a few minutes too
i have to get some pictures (i hope tomorrow) of the chickens out in the sun so you all can see how pretty my girls are
and the new garden bed.....and the new trellis

oye
i didn't get much of anything done today
as i was terrified of hurting my shoulders again or something
the muck shovels are very very heavy for my hands too
we really need to get a better way for me to clean pens....i got a doggie pooper scooper now (left over from my beloved doggie kisses) and i do use that but it's all still really heavy for me

i guess hauling water buckets is really heavy for me too
but i thought weight bearing excersizes are good for your bones? no?

oye

vi

Friday, May 21, 2010

i think we're going to be busy this weekend

since i was so out of commission this week, and didn't do pens.....i think bernie is going to help me a bit over the weekend.
i am feeling better as long as i don't overdo anything
not too much typing
or drawing or knitting or lifting etc
ok
now i got to show you..........first a new violet i got last weekend. isn't she pretty? her leaves are super glossy too, i don't know if they are glossy from a polish or is this variety like that (some are) of course due to the amount of light in that corner she may get a bit hairier to shade herself, some of the older ones are laying their leaves WAY down ---ok so i need a curtain or something for them- i AM looking for a sheer tier for those windows--- but maybe i should rethink that as well? maybe a tiny folding screen? with sheer parchment paper that is pricked with a pin into a design? or maybe bridal veiling..... sort of hung with all sorts of fabric leaves on it? or even calico yoyo's here and there
just something to filter the harshest of the afternoon sun?
or maybe another house plant? could be.... but everything is outside for the summer so they'll have to wait. now the second thing is this - a couple of baby violets. i put down a leaf. i do that sort of out of habit, every time i get a new violet i put down a leaf....OR if a leaf breaks off i put it down too. most often they grow for me. my mom used to get violet leaves and make me put them down all the time, as she used to say if she did it, they would rot but if i did it, they would grow. so there is a baby violet. actually that one pot has about 4 baby violets all crunched together.

i also got a sewing box today in the mail. it's an old expandable one that i am using for paints...... it will hold a LOT of watercolor paints, and i think a TON of dry pigments not to mention the binders etc (which are almost all powers, except for maybe oil or acrylic paints-eggs are held onto by the chickens)  i have a smaller one coming as well. i like the light wood and the tiny feet on this. -when i was in art school i used fishing tackle boxes to hold supplies for class, this is sort of the same idea only wooden. i would love a wooden machinist box too........ and old map files. (btw, that is the seller's photo, not mine.......my sofa's are burgundy chesterfields....with buttons all over them)
the mail also brought me some depression glass plates and some mugs that may or may not be depression glass but are very pretty ( they are kind of thick so may not be true depression glass but i didn't pay a lot)  i did get to town today, picked up studio magazine and a primitive magazine.
i don't do primitive but i really like primitive stuff.... go figure
i have TRIED to do it but it all ends up like you folks have seen...... a far cry from prim.
i can't change it so i do my own thing

now i am still with the wall dilemma, i was thinking of doing milk paint thanks to garilynn's dh's blog...
cause it shouldn't bother the budgies....... (hey two more weeks and the easter budgies are out of quarantine-then we slowly get them closer to the no more baby budgies*** eventually they all share a cage....and we get two boys)
then i was thinking of starching fabric (unbleached muslin) on the walls.....maybe with some toile.... and some checks and ticking stripes.

hey i need some help brainstorming here cause you all know i don't have much of a brain at the moment....
i hate the darkness of the walls in the studio and i have always HATED the dark wood. it's lighter then the rest of the paneling that was in the house but it's still way too dark for me
if it was a very light almost white pine i would be ok- but it's a medium brown tone-- YUCK .........
double YUCK  i don't actually want a white, more like a sort of cream, and actually if i can rub those walls with an opague-ish buff-ish sort of color over the wood i would be fine with that ** maybe pigmented wax?**
anyway that corner is coming together

sort of........ ok not really but i can work there and i am liking it

anyway please don't mind me rambling away....this is what i am thinking of and any help or suggestions would be a wonderful thing
????

have a good weekend everyone

better but i really don't think i should push it


if i have a liver left after the extreme amount of Tylenol arthritis and aspirin i have been swallowing
i am still in pain but not that excruciating hot burning blinding pain.
i felt so useless for a few days, and indeed i was, as i couldn't draw, knit, hold a book, cook, garden or even dress myself.
figures that the day would have been a really nice day, and that my neglected chores are piling up now.

here are some photos for you all, the shot with the two ducks is in the garden, that's lilli in front and phoebe bringing up the rear. both are border line broody.......a bit squeeky and a bit cranky. oye......next is a very blurry and adjusted picture of momma on eggs in her crate.....sorry about the quality but even that much upset her. i didn't want to use the flash on her....her wings are spread to protect the eggs, and you can't see her (or hear her) but she's warning me off...... yup my sweet little mommaduck is warning ME off her eggs.....i love her so much.

 and last is a bean seedling in the garden. that one is a tendercrop bush bean seedling. i am impressed by it's vigor, now we'll see how it trials as to yield.- if the yield is good then that will be my green freezer bean, as it will yield all at once so i can process it all at once into the freezer. i have a yellow freezer bean that i am trialing and also some for canning. the pole beans i love so much are for fresh eating.  i want to try, yet again, brussels sprouts. as we love them. if anyone is in zone 6 on the east coast please let me know your experiences with brussels sprouts. it would be really a wonderful thing to have at least 5 stalks full this year to put by.
i want to grow a bed of spinach for the freezer this fall, and lettuces in the cold frame.
i had also wanted leeks but i think that it's too late for them now .......

ok since i am tentatively back in the land of the productive again, i am going to start another 'big' black and white drawing of the girls....this time in the garden hunting worms, and following that with momma on her eggs (which if the eggs are viable, they are due to hatch on june 11..mark the calenders)
i may even have at least one of those drawings done by then....

i still want to do egg tempera. i am slowly gathering supplies.
i have to try the watercolor methold at first as i don't have pigments yet.
and i need to get a few grounds
i am keenly aware that with egg tempera you need top quality supplies or it won't work
so it's slow

ok i have to stop typing now
as my shoulders are actively burning

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

i'm having a bit of trouble

with my right arm, it's hurting very bad
so for a few days or whatever time it takes to heal
i won't be typing much
sorry everyone
i'll try to just post pictures instead ok

Monday, May 17, 2010

i hadda dream......

it was actually pretty interesting
it was about a man finding out that he had a son, who was 17 or 18...... and meeting the parents of his son, as well as his son....who looked exactly like him!
how the mother was so afraid that this man was going to try and take her son away, how the father was so protective and fearful and confused about his role in his son's life
and how the man who's biological son it was, just wanted to know the boy and do right by him
it was a dream about rights, who's rights, and what is right.
it was a dream about emotions, about time, and raised a lot of questions in every direction
and in the dream i got to see and feel each position from inside the person who was in the dream!
i dreamed of the mothers hopes and fears, the love and pride when she saw her son, the dedication she had to his well being
i dreamed of his father's pride, and patience, and love, even though the man knew that he hadn't fathered this boy. he HAD parented and raised him and in the end that is the part that matters, he IS the parent. how this man had sacrificed so many things that this boy would do well in the world.

then there was the biological father, who didn't know he had a child. who wanted to be part of this boy's life but didn't want to take anything away from the boy's parents. who was broken hearted but not angry that he hadn't known. and who took an almost childlike delight in finally realizing that this boy was a part of him, and looked just like him

interesting huh?
over all in this dream i was amazed at the levels of love for this child's well being that the adults felt
the fierce love and protectiveness they had. and the biological father was truly childlike in his wonder at this boy..... this finding suddenly that there was a person related to him that he knew nothing about-the sadness that he'd never had a part in this boy's life. the hope he had that the boy would have a better life then he did.
the mother's feeling that the biological father was not mature enough to ever go near her son

the complexity of emotions, and the clearity and honesty of emotions
it was like watching a very good movie.....and i could even SIT THROUGH IT~!!!
hahaha
i can't actually sit through movies much in real life
I LOVE dreams like this....love them these full story dreams

so many things where going on all at once, there was not any actual resolution to the delemia, but there was a sense of understanding for me to see how it all connected together overall.
that the fears were expressed in different ways and overall how much love for his one child tempered everything.

i loved how the biological father and the son stood right next to each other... looked almost identical, and took everyone by surprise. even their mannerisms were identical.
meanwhile the son had NO IDEA none........... typical of his biological father at the same age!
hahaha

gee really i am not this deep in real life.....i just dream deep

ok now today i am to go with jen somewhere, i don't know where.
i am still extremely sore from the fall (remember that fall?) actually my shoulder is getting worse. so are my knees
so after my sister in law comes i will be going to the doctor and then most likely into pt

now over the weekend, we got some stuff done. bernie repointed the stone on the house, he was in a good mood too as he did it and it wasn't hard. so he's feeling pretty good about himself.
he is going to help me do the trellis for the beans and cuc's in the garden too
i picked up some seeds in town and i am going to start some of the fall crops
and while i was having this incredible interesting dream i also dreamt a solution to my tomato planting delemia as well.....so i am going to be making a bamboo and plastic 'greenhouse' for them

we had burgers on the deck with my mom's potato salad, which this time we made with yukon golds, and it was a LOT better then the little reds in there....so from now on....yukons!!!
my beans are well sprouted out in the little bed. i am so happy to see them. i also saw one nasturium sprouted out there.. i got seeds for the climbing naturiums yesterday so they will climb the cucumber trellis with the cuc's, i think i will have two flowers for every 4 cuc's and then border the bed with marigolds and chives
we got some strawberries and a pound cake so tonight........strawberry shortcakes!!!
and we picked up wood for another 4X8 bed... this one will be made next week end..
the following weekend we will have to make the cold frame up.... i think we are also going to have to figure something out as we can't sink a bed 14'' under ground level for it
so insulation must be our friend...
ok off i go now
enjoy your day everyone

tell me what you think of my dream
now i just took a tylanol arteritis strength and two aspirins to get me through the day.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

good morning every body

we went out last night with the cousins, i woke up hoarse from laughing.
this morning i am amazed at the light in my studio
there are white sheets on my clothes line and the sun is bouncing off them into the studio
i love it!!!
BRIGHT light in the studio
today is food shopping and errands we used to do saturdays, which sorta sucks as then i have to process meat all day sunday
also i noticed that the vadalia onions aren't in the stores yet
i normally get the 10# boxes for 4.99 and dry them all..... (50+ pounds dry to 8 quarts), each box actually weights 12-14 pounds
now onions stink while you are drying them but dried vadalia onions are wonderful
seriously wonderful
no fat, no salt 'potato' chips
seriously W O N D E R F U L
now in garden news, my bush beans are really starting to pop out of the soil, i left them uncovered last night so we'll see how they go
i need to cage and wire the next bed and hoop the tomatoes and that in there

i am running late today so i'll sign off now
ttyl tomorrow
ok?
everyone have a good weekend i hope

Friday, May 14, 2010

warning.... yarn porn ahead


hahahaha, don't say i didn't warn you... ok in the left corner... an amazing hand dyed laceweight from my friend lotta in sweden....... you should see it in person....people have DROOLED over it... and in the right corner an equally amazing silk from spirit trail........in red......... yup it was a RED LETTER DAY....... my favorite kind of day.  today i received my favorite colors in yarn form from two of the most gifted colorists around........yup good day for me!!!

i picked up 34# of chicken today ( split chickens) and packed them for the freezer, i need a bit more chicken and of course a few cases of breasts to bread and to can, and then i will feel a bit more secure with my freezers. i have a turkey to can out of the freezer as well.

a few more bush beans are up now. and beets are sprouted as well as a few radishes!!! maybe some carrots. but i don't know about the slenderette beans that were disturbed by that damn cat. oh and mark up the hill is trapping whatever killed his chicken. we all think martin, weasel or fisher... it was a nasty attack. much like when my serafina was killed

momma is sitting tight and very close i couldn't get her off the nest today to eat anything so tomorrow i may just drag that crate out where it's warmer.....so she'll get up-stretch ......eat..........eatting is good.. drinks some water
you know......keeping life going
i didn't plant the cuc's...i went out to but a thunderstorm came in, so i took myself, the ducks and my seeds in the house


now i am hoping that tonight calpurrnia won't feel the need to kickbox the air conditioner....i have spoken to the air conditioner and told it that i expect that it won't annoy the blue eyed one....... oye

ok i am going to wrap this post and publish it.....
i may not have time in the AM
so if i don't get to you folks
have a wonderful evening, and a fantastic weekend ok?

i am up at 5am due to bernie's sinus headache

as well as his forgetting his house key in alpha!, he almost took the one last remaining house key....which would have meant a locksmith coming out to give us either a new lock on the door (double key deadbolt) or a new key.....

he told me i had 'a spare set' ha.........NO that was the set you took the last time you lost a key
so i'm up
it's ok though, as i didn't sleep anyway, due to his snoring because of his sinus headache and his need to sleep on his back... yeah right

then there is calpurrnia, she feels the need to batter and claw at the new air conditioner at about 2am, just around the time when fawn catches another very loudly protesting mouse.....
amazingly thaddeaus is the GOOD one in all this......has the world turned on it's axis? and are we all now through the looking glass?

ok now real fast, i got news......colleen my invisible but favorite sister in law is coming next month.
it's sort of spur of the moment, she is going to kill her husband through what we all hope is the last phase of the endless rebuilding after IKE.....(yes still with rebuilding after IKE) she lost a year due to the mortgage company from hell holding the insurance check HUH??? how can you rebuild if the MONEY is being held???? she sued....they sent her the money
her husband decided she needed a trip home, and he was looking for flights....... hahahaha
so she called and let me persuade her  (ps: my mouse is messed up too, so i can't spell check this easily please forgive me for the bulk of my spelling trespasses)

ok so that is one news thingie........ which also means i have to clean the house...... i am thinking i may not survive that

next up
momma duck is setting eggs..... oh my, if everything goes ok, we'll have ducklings june 11
which is about the time colleen is coming

and there are beans in that thar garden............YUP beans!!!!! well, the seeds have sprouted anyway.
i been covering the bed up at night now with plastic. but as the weather has warmed up, we should get more plants up
inspite of the neighbor's cat from hell.

sooooooooo since colleen is coming, we need to buy a mattress!!! ( yes, i love my sister in law)
which we've only needed for like 10 years.......( them 25 year warrantied mattresses really only last about 28 years.....not 33 and the last few years really aren't worth it at all)

now what else? well i am still in pain from that fall a few weeks back.... it's gradually working it's way down i suppose.....right now it's my shoulder and ironically my knees! so today i am not only going back to bed (in a few) but today i am wearing tie shoes all day....and for the next few days i think
maybe that will help
these crocs suck btw
i wear them all the time cause they are easy but they hurt my body
(maybe that would be a sign not to wear them huh? but they are easy to get in and out of to put muck boots on etc.)
oh and it's warm out so i put the plants out again
they were glad
and danced with happiness.......... (hey plants can dance with happiness, really they can.....sorta)
ok that's my whole news and nothing but the whole news........
so there you go
i told you all first

Thursday, May 13, 2010

i think i got spring fever...... and sinus


i been trying to paint roses.....now you folks know i am really not good at flowers at all...seriously not good at them. i do sorta try at times.... but well.....the duck drawings are powerful, they are authoritative, they are good..... my flower paintings are sorta anemic, timid, and a bit pokey.
cause i am NOT sure and confident with them.
(ironically i am good with figure drawing, but that is because i always had live models when i was doing figure work)
anyway, until the muse hits......i been doing a bunch of tiny painting of pumpkins, and today tried a rose because i am so freeken sick of this really cold weather.... SICK OF IT i tell you.
anyway i have come to the conclusion that i suck at flower painting, give me a duck i am in my element, guess some refined and cultured florals are beyond me and i am much more comfortable in a barn (which btw i am convinced is the BEST PLACE ON EARTH....i love barns....i love being in barns if there are animals in there.....LOVE IT)

here is a shot of my first garden bed, it's 2' wide by 8' long, at the far end are my multiplier onions, some garlic and at the near end my ONE tiny little walking eygptian onions... i had to move them, i had no choice. if i didn't they were doomed to be trampled by someone's size 11.5 sneakers.... (i wear a size 6.5) so we moved them. i think that the multipliers should bulb up well at least the small ones the big ones tend to make lots of baby bulbs.... which you replant and THEY make the big onions....cool huh?
anyway that is one bed.

i didn't pull the plastic off the bean bed today, as it was raining and quite cold.......i was cold. so i made the beans 'put a sweater on' which was the plastic. meanwhile i spend the day trying to keep warm. (i am typing this wen night, while waiting for bernie to get out of the shower)  due to cold and sinus, the ducks didn't get out until late. momma didn't want to go out.... she ran back in a few times. as she's got a crate full of  eggs now.
i let her in and wouldn't let falstaff in with her.....i am going to let her try and set i think. i don't like the idea as she doesn't have access to outside if she sets..... the crate is still in the house...i can carry the crate in and out i suppose..... maybe we'll try that..the worse that can happen is she abandons the eggs right?
she was very cute, one egg was broken so she carried it out of the nest and out of the HOUSE..... dropped it outside!
i said to her.....'you want water now'?
she didn't
she also tried to get lilli's eggs.....which i find funny as lilli kept eye momma's eggs.....
those girls crack me up
ok so this is going to post in the moring........ i will hopefully be asleep....
gees....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

feather care is so important

these are actually from last summer, as the weather here is pretty bad lately..... no baths on the driveway. i miss my girls. i so love to see them bathing in the sun. they happily splash water all over. the droplets sparkle light diamonds. it always makes me so happy when they are doing that. now THAT i wish i could video and slow down the images. thousands of tiny drops of shimmering flashing water- it's better then any grand fountain in oh so many formal gardens.... gees i love my ducks. hahahaha.    now in garden news, we have bean sprouts!!!! yeah for bean sprouts! it's the tendergreen bush beans, or the soleil, and i think that the indy gold wax beans are sprouted as well..... along with some beets, carrots and radishes....and i hope what is really nasturium... and i think that the marigolds are thinking about it.  i am hoping that i can get the other beds in soon. i want to get my pole beans in, and the squash stuff as well as the tomatoes etc.......i hope it is a good summer but i doubt it.......

ok i am running late and behind...blame my sinus headache
and i forgot i was writing this
i was out with the ducks....it's cold, rainy and a bit greenish out....the sort of weather i imagine that nature spirits adore....
now i am going to take myself to my drawing board and fight with paints
wish me luck
ps: i am in such a fog lately.......you all have to forgive me please ok?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

frost over night, but the house is a garden!

here are some of the african violet flowers, but i have all the deck flowers on the floor in the studio right now ........so the studio is all in bloom. i so need a greenhouse. - i had covered the bean bed with plastic the other night, good thing i did. AND THERE IS A sprouted bean out there!!! yeah for mother nature doing her thing. yesterday i cleaned a bit..... cooked a roast for bernie for supper (leftovers tonight) and painted some small birdhouses. they are the decorative ones that you can get at the craft store for like 1.00 each. i have a few kicking around......so i based coated one with pink and one with yellow (that was way too bright so i dry brushed over the yellow with cream)  i'll paint flowers on them as i ususally do and then stick them in the window. ONE of these days i plan on putting fabric on some as well... i have a few abiding loves in my life. (i mean besides bernie and all the animals etc) i love bird houses, bird nests, fancy bird cages, plants, goldfish, fish bowls and tanks. ** you all already know about the weakness for good china and glass- three peices of pink depression glass are on their way, next up..yellow***              now here are very blurry shots of the tiny birdhouses in the window.... the green from the leaves outside tinged the photos....these are actually in chalky pastel colors. these are another thing i do while goofing off. (maybe this should be titled 'how an artist wastes time')
so i suppose i am feeling very springish.  i keep wanting to feather my nest and rearrange my space. i reminded bernie last night that he hasn't had a day off since january 11...not a sick day or vacation or personal day. i would like him to take a few fridays off........payday fridays. i want to get some painting done on the walls in the house, i want to get some odds and ends done and i want to go to a gallery in bethlehem. maybe a few day trips. do you all think he'll go for it? i think i would like to go to the camden aquarium again, this time with my camera, and indoor glasses.   in poking around here and there on the net, i have discovered 'primative cupboards' which i see are super easy to make.....so i think i may........i could use a few narrow but long ones for walls that i don't really have..i can't afford to buy them but make them......yes i surely can i don't have a table saw but i can clap a guide on the wood and work that way (although a table saw is now on my list) i used to work with wood when i was in highschool and art school....maybe it's time again?    just think..... every sliver of wall space that doesn't work can have a small floor to ceiling cupboard with books etc behind the doors......

ok in cat news, they have GOT to stop bring live mice up to the bedroom to play with ....... all in the middle of the night...did you know how LOUD mice squeek? trust me......LOUD
wakes me right up
oye
the baby budgies and the easter budgies are starting to talk to each other a bit...... the easter budgies are both girls btw, i am a bit disappointed that the light blueish/lavender one is a girl but that is what she appears to be.... the yellow one is a pip..... oh man does she have personality......the little blue one is very quiet and laid back.... i think that one is much younger then we thought.
so i have to get two boys next........ no doubt a blue one with white or gray wings and i would imagine either a violet factor or an all gray. as we have enough green with mrs fezziwig.

in chicken news......there is nothing to tell at the moment....... the uphill (way uphill) chicken neighbor lost a bird yesterday to what we think is a north american fisher.

in duck news.......mmmmmm i didn't put the girls out in the back pen.... not since mark's chicken was killed....i figure that this fisher may be becoming a bit desperate what with the steady stream of jackass neighbors kittens and rabbits unavailable to prey on.
we are cutting the forest further back from the duck pen out back and maybe will be finishing the upper pen sooner then we think

although this weekend in another bed in the garden and a cold frame
maybe we can also do a cover roll of welded wire and wood strips to hold it in and do the doors.....at least then i can use it as a day pen

now i had a slight coffee accident this morning.....my coffee pot is one that doesn't drip if you remove the carife ............. ahem...i didn't have the carife totally in the pot and the coffee (which sucks this morning btw) spilled over the TOP
lovely
it pissed me off first thing ( even more then the mouse squeeks and i wasn't real thrilled with them either)
oye
that's about it for today i think....
i hope to plant cuc and pole bean seeds today...in the back bed. and zukes, squashes etc in cups to go out in like three weeks into a new bed on the side.
oye
next up is trellises for the garden EVERYTHING that i can put on the trellises will go on the trellises.......
i have spoken

oye again

oh and garilynn, i am going to use that milk paint recipe of your dh...... thank him for me for answering my question too ok?
i think we are going to do the walls in the studio with milk paint! cream no doubt
i don't quite get when exactly to add the pigment and if the pigment is to be slaked first but i'm pretty sure it's not a biggie

Monday, May 10, 2010

MIA? apparently sorry about that

susan emailed and informed me i hadn't posted since thursday afternoon!
hmmmm, i am assuming that friday was uneventful as i don't remember it!
bernie was naturally late though friday night, THAT i remember

over the weekend we got another bed into the garden, so our total now is 2-4X8 and 2-2X8 beds, next up is the cold frame.
we also have space on that side for another 4X8 bed then we start the center beds
bernie also took 2 of the 4 trees down that are shading the garden on the southwest side. we need to limb up the very very large maples that over hang the bed from the west side.

i had to bring all the plants in as we got a light frost! i also covered the planted bed with plastic.
there were really high winds all weekend also. so it was cold really cold......
if the easter budgies weren't down in the studio on the cold woodstove, i would have lit the woodstove yesterday and last night.
it was too windy, in my opinion to light the BBQ even so while we did have BBQ, (ribs) we baked them in the oven

we picked up the mortar for the house, so we can re-point the stone. i felt it was too cold to do it.....so that will be next weekend

i need to rethink a way to grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and squash. i am seriously thinking that the two beds out in the garden right now are going to have to do the job, with hoop houses over them.
all the gardener tricks (as well as hot manure) of cover and mulches may have to come into play

i moved my multiplier onions over the weekend, as well as some garlic and an egyptian walking onion ( i have one tiny plant of that, i hope that it increases) i have three batches of garlic to move. i know it's the wrong time but it's either that or no garden bed progress so i moved them
i want to find a place to put rhubarb, horseradish, asparagus, and any other perennial food plant i can think of, in that garden. (and i am going to add red or gray shallots i think in the fall as well)
i really like these raised beds in the garden, i think i am going to end up with more usable garden space.

the upshot of the extreme wind weekend was:
clothes dried fast but wrapped around the line
plants dried OUT fast and fell over
i was cold

i also tidied up my drawing corner, then searched for ideas for a bit of privacy through the windows without sacrificing light-without spending a fortune. 16 windows are a LOT of windows......and that is just the studio alone....(there are 13 windows *not counting the kitchen window* in the main house and 16 our here) ok i am still sort of stuck on that one.


i am looking around for alternative storage for paints, and i think i am almost figuring it out. i got them in the little plastic drawer thingies but soon pigments will be here..... i am going to store the pigment in uniform glass jars, and put the jars into some sort of chest with drawers but a tiny table top one
i been cruising ebay and etsy looking for something i can use that's cheap

the upshot of a lot of this as well as the colder weather is that i am not spending as much time with my ducks as i would like, nor with the chickens. but i am spending time with the cats and budgies
so not a lot of new duck tales.......which also translates out to not a lot of new drawing ideas either
i hope the weather breaks soon.while bernie cut trees down saturday, i did have lilli and phoebe in the garden, hunting for slugs........(yeah right, they scoffed up worms by the hundreds) when they moved over into the area that has the taller jewelweed growing in it (which i have to cut and dry soon) they so looked like dinosaurs i couldn't believe it
i suppose that since muscovy have that carunkling on their faces, it's a lot easier to see them as dinosaurs. then with that in mind, watching them walk and balance.....yup dino duckies all over the place!

so that was my weekend, now i am going to have my coffee....and see what on EARTH thaddeaus is crunching into his food bowl
(oh and fawn caught a mouse friday night, she naturally brought it into the bedroom where it woke me up squeeking......i don't know if she ate it or not)

so everyone have a nice day, another cup of coffee and we'll talk tomorrow
seriously...i think i promise

Thursday, May 06, 2010

a bit of drawing, a bit of dishes, a bit of ducks....all the Ds

there's our girl!!! that's phoebe! she had just come out of the duck pond and was shaking off her wings in late morning sun (hot sun though), i am actually thinking that this one is DONE! hahahaha...   maybe a bit more shadow in front of her toes, (maybe not) and a bit more work on her chest but that's about it i think. this is on that new vellum surface bristol that i paid a lot for........ i can tell you all, that it was sooooooooooooooo worth it! totally. the lines are like etching lines. ( and i used to do etching and would love to go back to it-can't you tell?) i had penciled in the whole drawing, then after inking i erased the pencil lines. without any damage to the drawing, or to the paper....ok so i'm sold. this is the only bristol i am going to use from now on i think ... i also have the plate finish in this very high end bristol....i'll try that but i think i am going to stick with the vellum for the drawings...
now i am wondering if i should do portraits of all the others....? hahaha, but that one is a great pose that phoebe was in when i took the picture. it captures her true personality in my opinion.
a portrait of lilli would have to be with her squeaking at me

btw, donald, i am having trouble loading the video i took of the ducks....blogspot won't take it anymore. i would have to load it to photo bucket and then link to it.

when i put the ducks out this morning, i went to check out my perfect little garden bed......... only to find out that a feral un-neutered tom cat had used it for a toilet and messed up all the seeding at the end...
i have no idea how much these seeds were either buried or tossed or what.
today i put hardware cloth and rocks over the bed.
i want to now build a cage for netting etc over the beds.

now i again put falstaff and momma out in the garden pen....as it looks like yesterday he actually BATHED in the water, instead of just dipping his fool head and thinking his ass was in water when it soooo wasn't
so i figured, he'd go into the pond again
i think he did
i am pleased

now, i goofed off drawing almost all day.......as you can see...
i did the dishes!!!!
then discovered my 5 year old rosemary plant had scale. so i basically tossed it
i hope that the african violets don't have it
i was pretty upset
there was so much that i couldn't get them all off with the alcohol and swabs

so that was pretty much my day.
now no one said anything about the giclee prints so i would take that as a no?

now tomorrow, which i have just discovered is FRIDAY......... damn
i am going to have to find the energy to clean the pens.
and see about if this portrait of phoebe is finished....... and then start the next drawing
i still have to deal with the polar bears and the killer whale drawings....i've done them both once and really liked them. now it's coming time to do them again

although i am thinking that the polar bear one should be in color and in egg tempera....

oh and i have decided on a pigment palette, so now all i have to do is afford it and get the panels......
by then the chickens should be actually laying no?
oye




Wednesday, May 05, 2010

wednesday was a pretty pretty day

first off.... DONALD where the hell you been??? painkillers? what happened? i been wondering why you haven't said a word.....it isn't like you

first off it IS wednesday right now......
i started out at 5am (don't ask) read email, etc.
took the duckies out pretty early, i don't think momma laid her eggie yet...i know lilli hadn't
momma and falstaff went to the back pen as it was their turn....... i put the big pond in there so they had bathing water ALL DAY......i sincerely hope falstaff actually got in the damn pond instead of dipping his head and THINKING his ass was in the water
i let them out to graze in the garden while i planted

i finished planting one bed, (it's got the little white markers -that would be the center bed) it's got bush beans, carrots, radishes, beets, nasturtium, and marigolds-which should be a productive as well as pretty bed if there is enough sun for it...those trees are growing over the garden now
meanwhile i had to shoo the ducks back into the garden pen as there was a hawk checking out their tender little feathered butts......
i let momma out for a bit after until i had to come up to the house to get ready to meet everyone.

jen was at borders when i arrived, she looked so pretty and fresh and spring like.
lesley unfortunately couldn't come as her mom had an emergency

jen and i had a light lunch and then went looking at books..... i got my 'where women create' magazine and an english cottage garden magazine (that one is for bernie.....i need garden help and that may do it)i had a 5.00 off coupon, and that tail end of that gift card so the two cost 9.00 which is a lot, but 'where women create' is 15.00 all by itself
we checked out the budgies at petsmart next door.......
 i couldn't do much of my errands as i didn't have gas in the truck.....but i did get to the post office and my watercolor paper was there, as well as my egg tempera book............ woohoo........now......
the chickens aren't laying
figures no?

now here is a picture of the small watercolor box i sort of adapted- this is an old binney & smith 'peacock' watercolor box from like 1975... (i got a picture of the front of it, and the price was .59 cents)
i filled the half pans with mgraham watercolors and labeled them with 4 point type. the labels have the color name, the PIGMENT number the chemical name of the pigment, and the mgraham stock number on it....... so i can reorder and not be confused.--- i am still working out palettes for mixing....i think with the new ones........ as long as i get something to PUT THEM IN so not too much hair/fur etc gets in them i will be ok for a while like this
meanwhile i been studying pigments, especially modern light fast pigments. as much as i love historically accurate stuff, i have to say this is one area where today has yesterday beat by a million miles..... the light fast pigments. i believe that all the historical great masters would have KILLED to have been able to get their hands on these pigments.....
and i like them a lot.
i also like earth pigments..and i tend to mix earth pigments with the modern stuff which is going to make a lot of colorists and artists roll either into their graves or over in their graves but that's me

last nights 'garbage salad' that was my mom's term for something that had everything in it
sorta a clean the fridge sort of thing....... she used to call minestrone soup 'garbage soup' our salad had
purple cabbage
sweet red pepper
sweet green pepper
sweet onions
hard boiled duck eggs
chunks of roasted chicken
tomatoes
grated cheddar cheese
and mini cheese raviolis
red loose leaf lettuce

we ran out of swiss cheese, olives, croutons, and didn't have yellow squash, zucchini, snow peas, broccoli, spinach, mache, and chunks of ham....which is what i also normally put in these garbage salads
and believe me...they are wonderful
ok now i am going to post this and most likely not post tomorrow morning..... ok?

btw, what do you all think of me selling prints of my work online? i was looking into giclee prints and they are the very best top of the line in fine art reproduction, archival and pigment guaranteed for 200 years (or so they tell me- none of us will be around to know...but our heirs will be) i am still checking into prices but i think the black and whites would retail around 75.00 for life size (the size they are in real life) and of course cheaper smaller.
could i have some comments or opinions on this?

gardening and worms

i finally got my hands in the dirt........ only to come up with fist fulls of worms....
tons of copulating wormies in my new raised garden beds ( i shoulda taken a pix huh?)
ok, let's start the story,

once upon a time (don't they all start that way?) there was a small garden behind a small cottage in the woods...........lovingly turned and toiled over by the wicked b*tch that lived there ( ask my neighbors...they'll tell you i am a wicked b*tch) one spring, the garden was left fallow, to molder and to weeds as the person who tended the garden hurt her back wrestling sheep.
then low and behold, the DH of the wicked b*tch started to build raised beds for her.....and she happily started to plant seeds..... bush beans and carrots at first
(then discovered the unneutered semi feral tom cat of one the neighbors using her pretty little beds as a toilet..... his death is being plotted)

ok so now, every single time i see those beds i smile......i love them
i seriously love them.
 SERIOUSLY   LOVE
i think they are the best decision we ever made.
now even though i didn't garden last year i never stopped making dirt. if you are a gardener you understand that.
if you aren't a gardener, let me explain the joys of compost
hahahahaha
first off compost is alive........ seriously
it's teaming with all sorts of bugs, bacteria, microbes...... it breaths, it changes
and if it's finished it also has a rich earthy spring smell to it
oh and it's DARK........my dirt is BLACK
you want that in a dirt you know.
worms love my dirt
they love it so much they spend all their time rolling around in it nekid and copulating
it's rather difficult to plant the garden with these nekid copulating worms rolling around in your dirt.
(and my dirt MOVES around if you watch closely)
now in my garden and surrounding areas, what LOOKS like untidy piles of leaves or hay or manure really is my dirt making operations
yup
i just pile it all over
martha stewart just had a stroke
but mother nature loves me..... cause i do it her way
just piles
just keep adding here and adding there..... all over, as i figure whatever i can't use in the garden is going to enrich the mother anyway.... so mother gets her own back in her own way and i get to borrow some for my slightly weedy garden
now compost to a plant is life blood, air, and all goodness rolled into one soft dark patch of dirt.
worm and chicken and duck poop mixes in and grows tall happy rows of green beans so sweet and so healthy that your entire life is uplifted just by looking at them glowing in the garden
HEY mother nature knows her shit.....literally
anyway back to the beds and all

i couldn't find my very mostest favoritest pole bean seeds..... i had a HUGE pack of them...HUGE

(and this wonder of a pole bean is called appropriately enough Meraviglia Venezia!! the wonder of venice!,*the white seeded not the black seeded***not only that but venezia is my maiden name!! how cool is that?- oh and they taste slightly like vanilla) my second favorite is an heirloom called turkey craw or turkey gizzard.........i love them too.

so i planted bush beans 'slendertte' and 'yellow wax' , along with purple haze carrots and lil finger carrots...... today i shall put in radishes, beets, turnips and more bush beans, green ones for the freezer.
now i don't really like bush beans, pole beans have a ton more flavor but bush beans mature all at once which is good for canning or freezing so that will be my can/freeze bed no? also the annual herbs will go with these guys .....and some flowers. i am hoping that this year with the raised beds, that the weeds won't get ahead of me and swallow the border flowers ( and bernie won't walk all over my carefully mounded beds and compact the soil....the man doesn't freeken LEARN)

the next bed needs to be cucumbers.......i NEED my kosher dills.......NEED THEM *heavy on the garlic* i will add the pole beans to that bed i think.......and mix up some other stuff in there as well
some tomatoes on the deck, peppers in the end bed with eggplants
a cold frame that i want to start stuff such as cabbages and leeks etc.....
oh my the anticipation and hope of the early garden
of course this year will be the BEST EVER don't we say that every year?  never mind that these garden beds are WAY expensive, and even with all the dirt i have continued to make over the years we've been here..... we still won't have enough to fill the all the beds i am planning.......
and never mind that i am thinking of hooping most of the beds to temper the uneven climate lately.....
which will add to the overhead....it's going to be the BEST EVER.
no?
all my garden will BULGE with the brightest colors, the BIGGEST most delicious veggies that will convert the most dedicated carnivore...... right?
hahahahahaa
oye
anyway the beds do make things a bit easier to plant, and i imagine to weed also
i am going to eventually make a movable section for adding so i can put in root crops that really need more depth then the 12'' we are making the beds
the cold frames will be deeper as well...... and i think with polycarb panels and auto vents

anyway, yesterday while i was planting i let lilli and phoebe out to hunt bugs and keep me company, phoebe didn't get that one very long centipede that i had hoped she would but they got millepedes and sow bugs and spiders and a ton of other bugs.... some good ones, mostly bad bugs
and they ate copulating worms.....
*have i told you all how unbelievably beautiful a pair of white duckies are when they are right next to each other and scoffing up nasties in the garden? *
now what i didn't tell you is naturally i got eaten alive by mosquitos...... i don't think i got a tick although there are some tiny nymphs out there so i don't know (1/16'' by 3/16'' are about the size of the nymph ticks......so they aren't too easy to find) bernie checks me when he gets home (yeah like 5 hours later)

there......now....
today, i am going to town at noon to meet jen and lesley for coffee.....and bitching.
hahahaha
lesley has man trouble so we will gather and support her by telling her how right she is (she really is) and what a rat the man is......(he sorta is.....)
and we will laugh...... a LOT......LOUDLY
we won't solve her problems but she'll feel better about them for a while after
i also have to go to the po for watercolor paper that was out of stock
i hope my egg tempera book will be there

now bernie got home after 8:30 last night so we had a fast garbage salad and then went to bed
nothing was from my garden except the hard boiled duck eggs... as i really did have to take a year off...and that is hard when you garden (or try to) year round

but soon........
soon

very soon...........

(visions of the perfect garden salad dance in my head)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

not too much to show and not too much to say

yesterday i just potted up some plants, and forgot to eat!
it was terribly hot and humid out
that's about it
today should be better

Monday, May 03, 2010

monday always fresh



now i am not totally sure how these are going to load but we'll have a go shall we?

hopefully first up are the flowers bernie bought himself and the ones i picked out.......his are the multicolored petunias, mine the rose flowered pink impatients.
sorta makes up for that tick thing last night......

now the bowl of mixed ground veggies is the base for my mac salad, the veggies are
  • purple cabbage
  • sweet red pepper
  • sweet green pepper
  • sweet onion
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • fresh celery
salt and fresh ground pepper (add more salt then you think you need if the weather is hot...do NOT salt the finished salad, it has to be done in the dressing)
the next bowl shows the mayo added and it stirred up (use REAL mayo)
add the elbow mac well drained but still hot
mix throughly and chill
at serving add a big heaping tablespoon of mayo just to 'wet it' and stir well
it is going to be multi colored, blue and purple and pink and green etc
any leftovers will be a purplish color but will be just as good...... FYI there are RARELY leftovers

 next i hope that the picture of one of my living room walls is showing up, with my old calico red china...and those antique etchings from england. that's my favorite wall in the house, i love china, i love transfer ware in red or purple, and i also adore china with violets on them (and occationally some roses) i love vintage english teapots too, (and i got some good ones) and yes i love hanging plates on the wall...... oh my..... i also love depression glass, in pink, yellow, green but not blue......however i do like blue milk glass go figure...(and pink and also the white milk glass)
i have a bit of modern colored glass, in pinks also.
eventually  (if we stay here) i will line the walls of the front room with shelves and put my collections up there with earthquake wax
we do use them sometimes....not often, but we do use them. bernie loves them btw, he oftens shows me a plate or a teapot and tells me 'i want that one' we get it too. he's got one with purple pansies on it.
and a cobalt blue one.
so this is a part taste of how our weekend went. it was hot, we ran and got a monster AC unit for the bedroom 12000 btu's (for a 9x10 br) but we'll leave the door open and it will do the downstairs main house as well. the other unit in the studio just does the studio so between the two we're covered.
because of the new AC unit, the easter budgies are now in the studio (they are sitting on the woodstove....we've run out of space) and they are going to be just fine i think.. they were afraid at first, but now they are starting to watch the others and chirp and such....so we expect that within the week we can add an apple wood perch and more toys etc.
i am also going to put them on a water bottle instead of open water bowls
and a mouse committed suicide in an open duck water bucket i had forgotten to empty out of the Aframe pen
so that is what happened this weekend.......
the only real mar was the heat overnight and that damn tick

other then that it was a pretty perfect weekend