Garden and general update

Posted August 5, 2019 By Ruth

Cross your fingers, but the Noir d’Comes melon has two baby melons on it, and at least two of the other melons have what appears to be fertilized female flowers…..now if only fall will hold off long enough I might get melons after all!

The biggest of the sunflowers is blooming.

Not as giant as hoped, but I’ll take what I can get.

The pool has gone from this:

to this:

Once the whole thing is gone we’ll fill the remaining hole with gravel, and put my to-be-greenhouse on it.

In completely unrelated news my new spinning wheel has arrived!

And I’m having to remind myself to finish chores before sitting down to play!

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a request

Posted August 3, 2019 By Ruth

Update: ok, its clearly a blog problem.  Using a troubleshooting/health checker plugin I narrowed it down to something specific about the theme I’m using.  So now to decide if I want to try to fix the theme, or use a different one.  Yay.

 

Over on the left side bar is a search option.  Can a few people try that search function and let me know if it works for them?  Something simple, like searching for “garden” ought to do it.  Its not working for me (I get an error message), and I’m trying to figure out if its my computer or the blog.

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Garden update

Posted July 28, 2019 By Ruth

The garden in general is not going to produce much this year.  That cold wet spring/early summer just completely shot it.  Everything’s alive, well, except for the Golden Jenny melon, which apparently I missed getting rabbit repellent on, but only about half the peppers have peppers growing on them, and I’ve not seen a single melon yet.  Tomatoes are producing, but aren’t nearly as big as usual.

Its not just the garden either.  Usually by this time the hibiscus are getting ready to bloom.  But not this year.

They’re not unhappy, as you can see, but they’ve got only the tiniest of buds on them.

The sunflowers are getting bigger.

The biggest is now at least a couple feet taller than Husband, who’s 6’2″.

The tadpoles in the rain barrels have started turning into frogs.

 

 

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Antiperspirant

Posted July 14, 2019 By Ruth

I’ve posted before about how I’m allergic to some antiperspirants.  I’d been using Almay’s hypoallergenic formula for years, in the solid form as I’m not a fan of gels or roll-ons, but a few years ago Almay discontinued the solid form.  I never did find out why, attempts to contact them failed massively.  Since then I’ve been using Dove’s unscented Sensitive Skin antiperspirant with no problems.

Till the past couple weeks.

The past couple weeks I’d started noticing my underarms itching on occasion.  It didn’t really penetrate my brain though, till this past Wednesday evening when I realized that my underarms were ITCHING.  Crap.

Dug out the stick of Almay gel antiperspirant I’d stuffed in the back of the cabinet.  I’m working a job that not only requires me to be outside in the sun a fair bit, but also requires me to do a fair bit of physical labor, and I absolutely sweat.  Not wearing anything wasn’t an option.  But thankfully the itching went away pretty much as soon as I switched.

But that puts me back to using a gel, and I’m really not a fan of gel antiperspirants, I really really prefer a solid.  If a deodorant worked well enough for me I’d totally be willing to go that direction, but not one of the ones I’d tried previous worked for more than a couple hours for me, even when I wasn’t sweating all the time!

But this time I noticed something interesting as I was looking at ingredient lists.  Almay’s aluminium of choice is Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate.  The aluminium in most of the other antiperspirants on the shelves, including the Dove formula I’d been using is Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex Gly.  I’d swear that when I was checking back in 2008 that they all used to same form, but I can’t prove that.  Not sure when it changed either.

Going through the lineup of antiperspirants and deodorants at the grocery store I found one other antiperspirant that uses yet a 3rd form of aluminium, and one deodorant that says that it works for up to 48 hours.  I guess its back to experimentation time!

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Garden Update

Posted July 13, 2019 By Ruth

The weather has settled out some.  Several days of hot and dry and then some rain.  That I can live with.

On an amusing  note, apparently I didn’t need to worry about mosquito larva in my rain barrels this year:

There’s upwards of a couple hundred tadpoles in each barrel!

Went out to the garden today to do some weeding and thinning.  Came in with a handful of “baby” carrots, 5 or 6 early tomatoes, and then had to go back out for a handful of Miniature White Cucumbers.

The Hollyhock is blooming.

The Noir d’Comes Melon is taking off.

 

But most of them melons look more like this one (Kaho Watermelon).

 

Most of the giant Sunflowers are looking good, this is the biggest of the bunch so far, and its just a bit taller than I am.

The garden appears to be home to a bunch of Garter snakes this year.  I always see a few, but this year every time I turn around I see another, and they’re all different sizes too, so it’s definitely different snakes.  Everything from a little tiny fellow who was MAYBE 6″ long, all the way up to this one, who was bigger around than the garden hoses and had a head the width of a quarter!

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I actually had to water the garden!

Posted June 30, 2019 By Ruth

Its been over a week  now since we last got rain here.  Which is kinda amazing.  There’s been rain in the area, but none of it fell on us!  So we managed to get the rest of the yard mowed, and I even had to water the garden!

The cucumbers at least are  happy:

 

And I finally got up a shade structure for the peppers that need shade:

Now to see if it’ll hold up to wind.

I put together this fountain/bird bath a few weeks ago and kept forgetting to post about it.  Its got a small fountain pump in the bucket, that pumps the water up, which over runs over the side and dribbles back into the bucket.

 

One of the random seeds that caught my eye when I was buying seeds was some dwarf pomegranate seeds, so of course I bought some:

 

 

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Garden update

Posted June 25, 2019 By Ruth

The garden is not, in general, happy this year.  To much rain, not enough sun and warm.  In addition something has attacked a BUNCH of the melons.  It almost looks like borer damage, except that it happened WAY too early to be borers.  The good news is that most of the vines appear to have survived, the next question is if they can recover well enough to produce.

The last couple years the germination rates on my carrot seeds has been lacking.  I put it down to old seeds, most of my carrot seed packets are old due to the fact that I don’t grow that many of any one variety in a year.  So this year I decided to just do a quick broadcast spread of whatever was left of the oldest seed packets and then next year I’ll buy fresh seeds.

So of course every single freaking seed germinated *rolls eyes*

Here’s a picture of the carrot container AFTER I did some thinning:

More thinning will  be required, but at least this way they have a bit of room.

Here’s the celery tire:

And one of the giant sunflower plants (in a jalapeno tire)

Both the Hollyhock and the Foxgloves I planted last year have come back up, and the Foxglove have been blooming:

 

Here’s my updated garden plan for this year:

Rain

Posted June 20, 2019 By Ruth

Two weeks ago we started a 3 day long “dry spell”.  At which point local news pointed out that the last time we had 3 days in a row with no precipitation at all was back in Sept.  No wonder my yard is wet.  At the end of that dry spell we had barely half the yard mowed.  We managed to get an additional ~1/4 of the yard mowed later last week, but thats about it.  A not small portion of my yard is still waist high grass.  And it just keeps raining.  As I type this its pouring outside, with predictions of up to another 2″ of rain between last night and tomorrow morning.  Blah.

Garden update

Posted June 1, 2019 By Ruth

Garden is officially all planted.  It was 90% planted last week, but I ended up ordering some extra jalapeno plants, and those didn’t arrive till this week.  I swear I started plenty, but somehow when it came time to plant I only had half of what I thought I had.  Oh well.

 

The rest of the yard is a mess.  Its been so rainy that we’ve not been able to mow most of the property.

Its hard to get perspective in this, but most of that grass is taller than my knees.  And the ground under it still squishes when walked on.  Its going to be “interesting” to mow it all  once we can finally get the mower back there.

House Wren

Posted May 23, 2019 By Ruth

We have a fairly large population of House Wrens here.  They can be a bit of a nuisance, taking over BlueBird boxes (and even occasionally damaging eggs), but they’re feisty little things who’re totally not afraid of the House Sparrows.  They tend to stuff the boxes (and occasionally my manual well pump head) full of sticks to make their nests in.

This year we have a new twist.  We have a half dead tree in our yard.  The Pileated Woodpeckers love it.  Last fall a Downy appeared to make a nesting hole in it, and at one point we even saw a layer of feathers in the hole, but nothing came of it.  Then, last week, I noticed the House Wren dragging sticks to that tree, but NOT going into the Bluebird box!  A change of viewing angle and I realized he was stuffing them into the woodpecker hole!  Today I got a picture of it.  That little Wren has been singing his heart out in that tree, here’s hoping he decides he likes that spot better than the well pump this year!