Garden update (again)

Posted June 5, 2016 By Ruth

Rain barrels are full, and I had to rush out and put in the overflow drains (cause I’d been lazy and not done them) to divert the extra water away the way I wanted.  For proof of concept I bought a 50ft soaker hose, put it on the end of a 25ft regular hose, and wove it around the garden for as far as it would go, and there was enough water pressure from the barrels to push water all the way to the end of it.  I’ll need more length for the rest of the garden, and it’ll take some fiddling to make sure that everything is getting appropriately watered, but as proof of concept, I’ll take it!

For reference, all the tomato cages are made out of 3ft tall welded wire.


These are the white cherry tomatoes



Blue Berry Tomatoes



Black Plum Tomatoes



Black Icicle Tomatoes.  No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, yes, they are that tall.



Melon Pear.  Not sure these are thriving, but they aren’t dying either, so we’ll see.



My Variegated Japanese Willow bush.  I planted this as a little 2ft tall stick a couple years ago, now its taller and wider than my Husband.  I need to give it a quick trim and even it out, but its survived and thrived through two screwy winters.  The only reason I’ve not planted a ton more of them is cause I’d really prefer either flowering or native or both.



The darkest of my Lupines.  I’ll have to remember to save the seeds from it this year and spread them around.


The Hibiscus have sprouted, and are infact a couple inches tall already, no pictures, I forgot.  And we’re going to have a bumper crop of strawberries this year.

Potatoes……last time I tried potatoes despite my attempt at hilling them they only produced more potatoes around the base.  Doing some research it turns out that many short season potatoes will do that.  So I got longer season ones this year…..but do I keep hilling?  I mean sure, I’ve seen those “grow 100lbs of potatoes in 4 square feet) things, that have you hilling and hilling and hilling.  But “conventional wisdom” says hill twice and after that just do a layer of mulch or straw and thats it.  I have enough of the garden bed kit to put at least two more layers on the bed, so in theory I could just keep going up……

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Heat (rash)

Posted June 4, 2016 By Ruth

TMI warning…..

A week ago I almost collapsed from the heat.  Steps have been taken, not only by me but also by my work, as I wasn’t the only one to have issues (for the record, they were taking steps to prevent it prior too, but the insanity that is the Memorial Day weekend sales resulted in alot of distracted folks).

I spent a couple days not feeling right after that, but by this time I’m back to normal.  Well, mostly.

I also picked up a case of heat rash that day.  In the fold of the hip between hip and crotch.  I’ve had it there before (not frequently, but if I’m going to get heat rash thats the spot), so I picked up a bottle of baby powder on the way home and reminded myself to use it regularly.

A week later and the heat rash is still here.  And I’m not a happy camper.  Even if I manage to stay inside for the majority of my workday I still sweat quite a bit at work.  Its the nature of the job.  And the rash has turned outright painfull.

Yesterday I finally gave in and picked up a package of boyshort style undies to wear for a while.  I dislike the style immensely, but any underwear with an elastic band around the hip is irritating the rash further.  I may actually have to see a doctor for this one……

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Posted June 3, 2016 By Ruth

Re: my work rant.

The excuse was that stocking levels were so bad that the time had to be taken before the Memorial sale started to fix things.  Though the store manager said all the right non-commital things she’s clearly not happy either (tone of voice, exact word choice, and her own actions tell me ALOT).  The Garden-seasonal department’s spring-summer sales carry the store, literally.  From the months of April to July our departments sales equal or better the sales of the rest of the store (with the occasional exception of Lumber) for the rest of the year.  I know the fuss is always made about Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for big box home improvement stores, at least in this area of the country the really big thing is spring-summer.  Having a department manager who cannot keep up has the potential to kill the store.

Mind, its not all her fault or under her control, but she’s not keeping up with basic stuff.

Example: back on 4/20 a $50 trash can went to its final clearance price of $13 before the “throw them out” point.  $13.  These are nice 13g stainless steel cans.  That SHOULD have been the trigger for the department manager to check stock, pull them out to a highly visible spot if they weren’t already (this should have been done at least one markdown prior really, but it should have been checked within the week after 4/20 too) and make them go away before they have to be trashed.  If not herself then by handing the info to an associate to do.  We as associates can’t see the markdown schedule so it has to be handed to us.

Yesterday, 6/2, an Assistant Store Manager handed me an info tag for these trash cans, informed me that the system says we have 35 of them, and to please pull them, tag them, and make them visible cause we have two weeks before corporate automatically orders them trashed.  35 of them, and we haven’t sold a single one in two months (that I can check).  Thats $1750 worth of sales down the drain if they get trashed.  Shit happens, the occasional box of clearance merchandise gets missed and ends up trashed.  35 13g trashcans is 3 PALLETS worth of merchandise.  Hell, if nothing else, making sure that they were out and tagged during the Memorial day sales madness would have likely fixed the whole problem!

It took me 5 minutes to find them.  It took me longer to find an appropriate spot to display them, mostly because of the bulk involved.  But not that much.  Another half an hour to get them out of the overhead, tagged, and in location.

Maybe an hour of my time total.

While I helped customers and answered phone calls, by myself cause the only other person in the department was Newbie M who I saw all of three times for my entire 4hour shift.


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Posted June 1, 2016 By Ruth


Buena Mulata Pepper plant, and flower.  Pretty little thing!


Arty of course was delighted to help me in the garden:


He was only interested in the potato bed too, and not for digging either, he just wanted to stand in it.  Go figure….

And there’s a House Wren building a nest inside the pump head for the old manual water well pump.  I know we don’t  use it much, but we DO try to keep it functional……thats going to be a fun one to clean out!

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Memorial Day

Posted May 30, 2016 By Ruth


What can you see from your window?
I can’t see anything from mine
Flags on the side of the highway
And scripture on grocery store signs
Maybe eighteen was too early
Maybe thirty or forty is too
Did you get your chance to make peace with the man
Before he sent down his angels for you?

Mamas and grandmamas love you
‘Cause that’s all they know how to do
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

Your wife said this all would be funny
When you came back home in a week
You’d turn twenty-two and we’d celebrate you
In a bar or a tent by the creek
Your baby would just about be here
Your very last tour would be up
But you won’t be back. They’re all dressing in black
Drinking sweet tea in styrofoam cups

Mamas and grandmamas love you
American boys hate to lose
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

Now the high school gymnasium’s ready
Full of flowers and old legionnaires
Nobody showed up to protest
They just sniffle and stare
But there’s red, white, and blue in the rafters
And there’s silent old men from the corps
What did they say when they shipped you away
To give all in some God awful war?

Nobody here could forget you
You showed us what we had to lose
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

No, no you never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

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General updates

Posted May 30, 2016 By Ruth

My rain barrel system that I was putting together when I caught myself with the drill bit is up and running.  Course, it helps when you remember to close the drain taps before you try to fill them.  But I’ve got one barrel full, and two more half full, so I’ll take it.


Now to set up the soaker watering system so I can use that water!  BTW, that scratch is well healed now, just a shiny scar down my arm.  Though you can still see the marks from the bandaids too.

Good god Robins are stupid birds…..ever since we put in solar power the Robins have been determined to nest on top of the switch box for the panels.  Several home made deterrents failed and we resorted to bird spikes to keep them off the box.  It was a bad place for several reasons, including that in the event of a fire we would need access that box in a hurry.  Plus it was easily accessed by a pair of dogs.  A week or two ago a Robin tried to build a nest on top of a tiny light fixture on the side of the garage, equally accessible to the dogs, though at least a few more feet higher in the air.  I went to go dig out the spare bird spikes, but by the time I got back I discovered that the nest had fallen off the light!  Over the next 4 days the scene was repeated, Robin would build a nest, and an hour later it’d fall off the light.  The bird finally gave up.  Yesterday I found where it had moved too.


Those boards are the remains of the A-frame I used to cover the broccoli over the winter.  The nest is nose height on Apollo, along a path we walk along several times a day with the dogs.  Its under the edge of the pool, which is only about 4feet high, which is why we’d not noticed it till I happened to look in the right direction while gardening.


To late to try to convince the bird to nest elsewhere, we’ll just have to watch out for the nestlings I guess.

The weather has been an almost literal killer lately.  We’re pushing record breaking heat, temps in the upper 80’s to even low 90’s, and harsh sunny.  Very little rain, what there is has been only in scattered showers, or thunderstorms.  So I’ve been watering the garden daily.  Course, then there’s me, working in the garden dept of said big box store, during the Memorial day sale madness.  Normally SPF 55 is all I need, but when its this hot even reapplying it twice throughout the day isn’t enough.  I came home from work Saturday decidedly pink.  On top of almost collapsing from the heat despite drinking water constantly.  I spent my last two hours on Saturday inside the building doing non-difficult tasks after that.  Yesterday I picked up some of the sun screen that is supposedly sweat proof, and while I was at it made I picked one that was 70 SPF.  Gotta find a hat I can stand to wear at work that’s legal for the dress code too.  They’re predicting a hotter than average summer, so I’m going to need it.

Yesterday (Sunday) started out equally hot and nasty, but mid-afternoon a string of storms rolled by and we even got some rain, cooling things off enough to make it possible to work outside.  I got the 2nd level of the potato bed on and the potatoes mostly hilled:


Here’s a shot of the entire garden from a few days ago:



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Had THIS article run across my feed this morning.

New Orleans Pelicans player Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot to death early Saturday in Dallas, with his agent saying it happened because the player mistakenly entered the wrong apartment.

Emphasis mine.

Ok, he “entered” the wrong apartment.  That implies the door was unlocked and he walked in.  Still not sure I blame the legal resident of the apartment for the shooting, certainly not enough details there one way or the other, but “entered” certainly sounds not violent…..

….but wait….

A Dallas resident told police he heard someone enter his apartment by kicking open the front door, police spokesman DeMarquis Black said in a statement. The resident said “he called out to the individual, but was not answered,” and when the resident’s bedroom door was kicked open, the resident fired his gun, police said.

Emphasis mine.

Assuming that the legal resident of the apartment isn’t lying I don’t blame him one single bit for shooting.  Nor does race enter into it, though I’m sure someone will try to insist it does.  Really, I don’t care what color the skin is on the guy who just broke down my door, the reaction is the same across the board.

(Why was Jones trying to break into his girlfriend’s apartment?  What was his intent when he found her?  Did this random guy just save the life of girlfriend and kid?)

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……but I don’t think I’m quite up to capturing my own swarm yet!



In a baby pine just over the line onto my neighbor’s property.  Who is, of course, out of town this weekend.  If the swarm is still there tomorrow I’ll try her cell phone and get permission to call a bee-keeper to remove it!

Update: swarm has been removed, I took a video, but its a HUGE file…..not sure uploading it is going to happen!

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Posted May 24, 2016 By Ruth

Look, I don’t care if your dog is always in your yard when you check on it, if its not restrained in some manner it is very likely it is leaving your yard at some point through out the day.

I need one of these.

I can’t imagine not being able to picture…..

New Orleans is sinking (not that I’m surprised).

Some of those folk remedies actually work.

I can’t wait till I can add this to my first aid kit.

Quaker Oats…..Quaker Oaks… difference, right?

If your computer gives you a popup about installing Win 10, do NOT just hit the red-X to close the window!

Some of the odd laws you run across… AZ you can’t hold a potluck in a private home!

The opioid epidemic might not actually be.  Course, now that its on the public radar we’ll never be able to back-track either.

If you see something say something.  Cause a camera is scary…..

Beaten for looking too male.

I don’t care what it looks like, if it really works that well on motion sickness, I want one!

The stupidity of the general public.

Why you should always take a close look at those parking tickets before just paying them.

I love this idea, and not just for the animals either, I get really tired of listening to them all summer.

Maybe, just maybe, there’s finally some pushback on the various .GOV organizations using SWAT style raids for everything.

Yet another reason to buy Carhartt!

If you don’t read the Bloggess I highly recommend her.  For reasons 1, 2, 3, 4……

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Healing nicely

Posted May 22, 2016 By Ruth

See here for a description of the incident.


The Nexcare bandages worked awesome.  Except that the 2nd day (Friday) of wearing one, two hours after putting it on, I had to pull it back off because it was causing my arm to itch unbearably.  That day I wore one of the Curad bandages for the remaining couple hours of my shift with no obvious problems.  They might not be technically waterproof, but they did a perfectly fine job at sticking to my skin and keeping things clean.  The 2nd day (Saturday) I wore the Curad bandages however things didn’t go quite as smoothly.  I made it through the 8hr shift with it on, but the above picture is what my arm looked like after pulling it off.  This morning that irritated red area has evolved into rash bumps.


So basically either bandage is fine for short term use, but once again for any situation where I’ll need to keep a wound covered for an extended period of time I’ll have to come up with another solution.  Dammit.

At least I don’t work again till Tuesday, so I can leave it bare for a while and hopefully the rash will be gone by then…..

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