Sunday, April 30, 2017

April's Garden (2017)



Move along.  Move along.  There is nothing to see.  Move along.

That is the theme of this month's garden.  There is nothing to see.


It won't stop raining.  Bill has not been able to get the plowing done.  The grass is growing nonstop, which does not make him happy; but at least we can use the grass clippings to make walking paths.  Otherwise, I would not be able to walk into the garden to harvest the greens still growing from the winter garden.

Coffee cup is not placed for scale.  I put it down to focus the camera. Scooter was not around or he would have lapped it up .  He is not allowed in the garden when it is muddy.
I am allowing some things to go to seed and darn it, I have lost all the labels.  I don't know what is what...again. It was one of my resolutions this year, to keep up with the names of everything.  Epic fail.  I suppose I will do as I have always done, put all the unknown seeds in one bag together, then broadcast them on a windy day.  To quote my late father, " It will fun to throw them out and see what comes up!"  He was always experimenting and trying crazy things.  I inherited that trait from him.

Something blooming and going to seed.
This is the row close to the field which is still alive from the winter garden. I will be putting the cover over it to see if it will protect the new plants against bugs.  In the empty spots left by harvested vegetables, I have planted seeds from my bag of harvested unknowns.  We will see what comes up.


I do have a few success to share.  Remember the lonely savoy cabbage that survived the  armadilloswinter snows, and hungry rabbits?  Just like the turtle that won the race against the hare, this cabbage has finally made it to the finish line.

A few bugs have munched on the edges.
It was planted last fall and SLOWLY grew all winter.  This is it, not very big to have taken all winter to mature. No wonder the price of food is so high.  The flavor was great but it would have taken an acre field to feed just one person.  It was cold weather hardy, but very slow-growing.


I sliced the head off above the root because I saw these little brussel sprout size heads beginning to grow. Perhaps they will be ready to eat someday.  This fall, I will again plant some of the remaining seeds to give this cabbage another try.  Maybe it was on top of a rock or something?  


I am still getting plenty of salad greens.


And the walking onions are happy.


These are parsnips and it is the first time I have grown them.  They were planted in the fall between the strawberry plants and survived the winter.  A long growing season is something they need and are supposed to taste better after a frost.  I have only eaten them once so I don't know what is a good flavor and what is not.  I will dig around the roots during the summer to harvest a few, then wait and dig the rest after cold weather.  I just love experimenting with new things.


Collard greens, my favorite, has grown into a huge success.  WOW!  Look how large even with me cutting and eating all I wanted.  They are beginning to bolt but still taste fine.  I thought they were finished during the winter but instead, they overcame all the obstacles mother nature threw at them.  I would like to brag, but everyone has seen the rest of my garden and would know the truth.  All I need is a few successes to keep me going and that is all I have, a few.  It will have to do.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

An "O"utstanding Rock


We passed this rock sitting in an unknown person's yard while driving through a nearby small town.  It was right by the street and it would be easy to slip (trespass) just a few feet onto their property to snap a picture.  I could be in and out before anyone knew.  This rock was just too amazing.  I had to get a picture.  While I was hastily focusing my camera, a truck slowed, then stopped on the road beside me.  A voice called toward me, "May I help you?"

BUSTED!

I immediately confessed to the man inside the truck, "I was impressed with this rock and had to get a picture." Both the man and his dog grinned from ear to ear.


"I found the rock," he began to explain, "and then told my neighbor you have to put it in your yard so everyone can see it."

His neighbor complied!  How can you argue with a man who has such a happy wife and friendly dog?  


He began to explain, "Found it...way back over there...then we got the tractor...and then...and then...."


I kept snapping pictures while he expounded on the finer points of rock moving.



"What a fascinating story," I agreed.  "Can I take your picture and post it on my blog for the world to see?"

Yep, I think I made his day.



Definitely an "O"utstanding rock.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Doctor Scooter


Hello, my name is Scooter and I have magical healing abilities.  I overheard (with my super-sonic-
radar-detecting hearing) my Mom talking to my Nana.  They were discussing Nana's recent physical at the doctor's office.  Being Nana's favorite grandchild, I began a search on the internet and discovered I am the cure for everything that ails you.  ME!  I am magic.  Why did I possibly think otherwise?

Scooter, surfing the internet.
According to the internet, which is always right, petting a dog releases the bonding hormone oxytocin which lowers blood pressure, wards off depression and boosts immunity.  All this from just rubbing me. 


Don't be fooled by my lazy appearance.  I am really hard at work healing the other members of my pack.


Nana's blood pressure is fine, her immune system is healthy and she only gets depressed when she hasn't seen me for a while; but, I still think I can cure everything.  Don't worry Nana.  Even though I don't take your insurance, because you are family, I will work you in, at no extra charge.


Are you already feeling better?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wheat Grass or is it Wheat Lawn?


Today I will be linking up with the website Clay and Limestone to celebrate wildflowers.  It is enjoyed every fourth Wednesday of each month and today is April's link up.  The blog's host, Gail Eichelberger, bless her heart, is also a Tennessee resident like me.  She too, fights the clay and limestone soil in this area.

In her own words, she describes her garden soil:

"It was hard as concrete after our usual dry summer.  A month later, the fall rains arrived.  The soil quickly became saturated and could only be described as a sticky, icky wet mess.  My garden soil was terrible, nothing like the moist, well-draining, loamy clay soil that the garden magazines described as ideal.  It killed everything I planted.  It ate the amended soil I added to the planting holes and pushed up more rocks and clay!  Gardening became a frustration, not the delight I thought it would be."

Gail, unlike me, has embraced our difficult soil and has triumphed!  Her website is a wealth of knowledge and her wisdom is a breath of fresh air.

On Wildflower Wednesday, everyone posts pictures of beautiful wildflowers (with the correct Latin names) in weedless gardens from countries all around the world.  I, on the other hand, scrambled this past winter to find anything blooming in my yard. Instead I posted about the Limestone Rocks in Tennessee.  Gail did not delete any of my crazy posts, but, instead graciously overlooked my horticulture shortcomings.  She is a true Southern belle who understands Tennessee.

To keep up my tradition of unconventional wildflower postings, I am sharing a house I passed this week when I turned down the wrong road by mistake (being lost is not unusual for me).  It impressed me so much I must share it.  The owners, who live in an old-fashioned, well established neighborhood, have planted their front lawn with WINTER WHEAT!


They had harvested the narrow area by the street in front of the rock wall, I suppose to grind the grain for supper, but the rest of the yard is not yet ready.  It is still a little green and will need a little more time.  Wheat blooms, then goes to seed, and also grows wild, so it could be called a wildflower.


The next time I am driving close to this little town, you can bet I will be turning down this road again...if I can remember how to get there.


So in honor of Wildflower Wednesday, I am going to get it right for once and at least post a picture of some real wildflowers.  I don't know their name because I could not identify them without wading through a ditch, climbing over a fence, getting up close and putting on my reading glasses.

Happy Wildflower Wednesday

Something blooming in somebody's field somewhere in Tennessee


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Junkyard Sheep and Goats




Hello.  May we welcome you to our business and share our ideas for the jobs of the future.  We are professional landscapers and lawnmowers.  Our job description profile explains how we are responsible for cleaning the company's grounds of all unnecessary foliage, a profession for which we are aptly suited.  We are employed full-time, 24/7, and are unaffected by recessions.  Our profession is on the cutting edge of economic and environmental excellence, trend setters.  The wave of the future.  Everything we do is completely organic, environmentally friendly and sustainable.  In addition, we are solar-powered, energy-efficient and off the grid.  


  At present, we are employed at a junkyard, or to be more correct, an automobile recycling factory.


Another business associate employed at our factory is sergeant of the security force, handles public relations and marketing.  We respectfully call him "Officer Dog".  If you scratch his back, he will do anything to keep you, the valued customer, satisfied.


As an aggressive sales-person, he devotes his full attention to the customer, never taking no for an answer as he details the wonders of our company.

"We are the leading authority on radical new technologies steeped in ancient practices.  We know what you need before you need it!"


"Don't think you can run away from me without buying something, I work on commission." pressures Dog.


He will pose for pictures, at no extra charge, to be used in advertising, marketing and on idolizing blogs.  Do take his picture quickly because his responsibilities are many and his time limited.


"Pack Leader has summoned and I must return to my other responsibilities, guarding the flock." Officer Dog announces.


"It was a pleasure meeting everyone and I look forward to working with you.  Text me the next time you are in town and we can do lunch."


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Petrichor


Petrichor, pronounced (pe-trahy-kawr, -ker).  It is not the Latin name of my peony, Southern pronunciation (peeeee - own - eeeeee).   Northern pronunciation  (pe - a - ne).


Petrichor is something we all recognize but never mention by name.


It is the smell outside after a rainstorm.  It is the distinct scent of rain in the air.  Or, to be more precise, it's the name of an oil that's released from the earth into the air before rain begins to fall. Dictionary.com


To help everyone improve their vocabulary by learning to include it in their everyday conversations, I will use it first.


Today I wanted to plant flowers but it has petrichord outside all day long.  This caused me to be stuck in the house going stir crazy with only a dictionary to read.

Petrichor.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What is He Thinking? A Second Rainbow?

Rainbow right after sunrise

I awoke this Resurrection Sunday to the second rainbow in two weeks  in the sky above my neighborhood.  In the thirteen years we have lived here, I have never seen one, that I can remember.  Is the Good Lord trying to tell me something?

As usual, I awoke around sunrise with pain in my shoulder.  My first step every morning is to get a cup of coffee and head to the heating pad on the couch.  This morning however, it was rainy, dreary and cool outside; so for the first time, in a very long time, I took my cup of coffee to my favorite place, the swing on the front porch.  As I opened the front door, I called Scooter to join me.  He looked up at me, yawned, then snuggled down further on the blanket to rest his head on Pack Leader's feet.  I told Bill to kick him off the bed and make him join me outside, lazy dog.  Bill mumbled something and turned over.  Not even the dog likes me, I whined as I headed to the porch.

This is the view that brought tears to my eyes as I sat in my favorite place, a rainbow over our field. It had to be for me.  But what does it mean?


It has been a hard year, a very hard year.  As I turned over the calendar page for April, I realized I have either been sick or in pain every day for the past year.  It has been wave after wave of difficulties.  This past week my dear aunt died, my Mom's close sister.  I know, without a doubt, she is with Jesus, laughing, joking, dancing, and probably trying to tell him how to run heaven.  At the funeral I felt envy for someone who has finished with this world.  She is blessed to finally be done with the misery and suffering.  Am I crazy to be envious or am I just exhausted?

All these thoughts circled my mind as I sat looking at the rainbow.  Joshua called before he left for work and we discussed it.  He said it is a sign of hope because it means the disaster is over, you were protected through it and something good is ahead.  I said it means destruction with fire is ahead so get ready, prepare to duck. Joshua and I never agree on theology.

So, are there any prophets out there with answers?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What Were They Thinking? Frou Frou Folly?



OH! It is an Easter bunny.  (Palm slap to forehead)  How could I have been so stupid?  Too cute.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Rocks In My Neighborhood


This is my neighborhood.  I am not joking.  We pass this spot when we take Scooter for an afternoon walk.  This is the direction we must go because there is a big dog the other way that barks and scares Scooter.  OK, OK. The truth is that it is a small dog that barks BIG.  What matters is Scooter thinks he is BIG and scary.

I do obey the "No Trespassing" sign; however, a few years ago this property was for sale and we considered buying it.  Why you ask?  Because it was in our price range.  We called the realtor and carefully walked the land, very carefully walked the land.






The rocks are limestone which are dissolved by rainwater slowly over a long time.   This causes cracks, crevices, sinkholes and caves to form everywhere.


We call this the "turn-around-hole" because when we get to this point, we are finished walking and turn around.

Turn-around-hole


Someone else bought the land and built a house.  If you look carefully you can see the house through the trees in the back of the picture.


Across the street from the new house in the woods sits this new house (everyone is moving to Tennessee).  If you are wondering what the land would look like if the trees were cleared, this is it.  These people decided to clear the land and plant a lawn.  Why????  I don't think they have ever mowed it because, well, how would you mow it????


All this begs the question, who likes this type of land?  There are two kinds:  people like us who can't afford expensive land and, well, the other type...

Yep, the rest of our neighbors.



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