Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Diary 12/31/12

2013!!! Well, I don't think I am going to make it to midnight. Tostadas for dinner and fireworks while it snowed!  I spent the evening with good friends and neighbors and it has left me feeling blessed once again.  So, can't beat that for seeing out the old year and sleeping through the ushering in of a new one.  Blessings to you, too.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Diary 12/30/12

Only one more day for this year!  It was an OK year for me.  Not too much delirium or chaos.  It contained the usual milestones of births and deaths, and get togethers, politics, and the basic emotional involvement with life, but nothing so strenuous that I felt overwhelmed by what was dealt to me.  I am making changes and that is good with or without a new year.  I am heading into the "golden years" and I really what them to be as much that as possible.  I will miss who I have lost this year, and I wholly welcome the new comers. I hope for as meaningful assortment of events next year and nothing more traumatic, if possible.  Happy New Year to you all, my kind readers.  I wish us all a good fiscal year, whenever your fiscal starts and ends. For a gardener it is often Fall to Fall or maybe Spring to Spring. January 1st is a good quiet time for thinking about crops for the next season without having the ability to do much about it. Maybe look at a seed catalog or plan a design, but that is about it for a couple of months at least. 

Friday, December 28, 2012


Well, a hot toddy, some echinacea, some vitamins, plus 10 hours of sleep and I am a new woman. Very appreciative of not being sick. It snowed all day though it wasn't a pretty snow, more icy.  It didn't accumulate here, but the trees across the way and up the hill held some new white on their branches.  The Cascades are doing well for snow pack.  The temperatures have been cold enough to seal it on the mountains for awhile.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Diary 12/27/12

Suffering from a little bit of post Christmas letdown, but also fighting a virus which is making me tired and giving me a sore throat.  Hoping I can lick it before it really gets going!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Diary 12/26/12

Maybe they are not going to be great for hiking, but they are made for cold, wet, mud, and snow.  Thank you for my new Boggs! I hiked up to take a picture of this bull elk's bed.  He must have been feeling mighty frisky, stabbing his horns in the dirt and flinging it about.  Five of his harem cows slept uphill, but their beds were polite ovals.  The heat of their bodies melts out the snow from beneath them, so they are easy to spot.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Diary 12/25/12

Enjoying our Christmas with kiddos.  Playing Princess, Busytown airport game, eating too many treats, and watching it rain. The Dr. is in and secretly perpetuating her business. Merry Christmas to all.  I feel so blessed.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Diary 12/23/12

Twas the night before the night before Christmas and the Dog was awake and all ears.  No guy with a red suit was coming in his house!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Red Bull Report

The bull that we chased out of the greenhouse was picked up at 9 1/5 miles away headed for the state highway.  I was actually the one who gave the cowboy the heads up when my friend called from the bottom of the creek to say the bull was in her yard!  We saw the tracks, but it is still hard to believe he went that far just to try to get out of the snow!

Diary 12/21/12

Well, we made it!  I don't feel too much more enlightened than I did yesterday, but I'm glad the world is still going and so far no asteroid or polar shift.  I am not being snide by any means. It could have been that the Mayans figured it all out a long time ago, but I was hoping for a reprieve and here it is.  I have so much more I want to do first, lol. It has rained for the last 24 hours and turned our lovely 7 inches of snow into something to make snow cones out of. Wet snow cones.  Really yucky, and not much fun for anyone who would rather not get soaked. Not sure if the snow level will come back down before Christmas or if we are just going to have a wet Christmas rather than much white. Versus the Mayan alternative I take it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Diary 12/19/12

Ut oh!  Snowman Down!  I repeat, Snowman down (and snowed on...).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Diary 12/18/12

What do you mean, "this isn't a barn?" It's snowing out there and it looked good to me.
How do you convince a half ton animal that you really don't want him in your greenhouse?  Carefully, very carefully...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Diary 12/17/12

First it was too much snow on the satellite dish, then it was a complete outage of phone and power.  So, with the help of a gasoline generator, I am online for a moment to say hi!  and let you know that we are still here, ha-ha.  I will take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas, just in case the storm warning we are under after noon, comes to fruition and we are without power for another two days or ???!  Here we are standing in the snow as the flakes fall all around us.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Diary 12/14/12

Maine Coon cats are made for the snow.  Notice the black "M" on his forehead a sure sign of the breed.  Boxer dogs are not!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Diary 12/13/12

Last work share of the year
We had our first real deep freeze last night.  It frosted several times and froze a little over the weekend, but this morning it was 25 degrees and that was right here by the house, so out at the garden it was probably more like 23.  That'll do it.  So, out came the cherry tomato plants today.  They still had a few on them, but pretty sour, unable to make sugar in the cold temperatures.  The perennials also got a trimming and the lower greenhouse looks pretty clean and free from moldy stuff, thanks to Allen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Diary 12/11/12

Do you ever look at something with new eyes as if you are seeing it for the first time?  That is how I feel about the Christmas tree skirt I have been putting around the tree for the last 35 years or so.  It is the family one that went around the tree my entire childhood, so it is at least that old.  I never really looked at it until this year.  Other than saying "Merry Christmas", it has Santa, a reindeer on it, and snaps to close it around the trunk.  Now I am wondering if someone made it out of an old table cloth or if it was store bought. No tags to indicate. Maybe my siblings know...Anyway, I take good care of it and I am proud to be the owner for now. Will someday hand it down to the next generation or beyond. Hmmmm. I made dolly bedding for my grand daughter last night.  I had a good time especially because I collected some pretty princessy fabrics. We used a dish towel for bedding when I was visiting, and the idea was born. I hope they get good use. Plenty of dolls waiting on the other end.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Diary 12/9/12

Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.  Annual wreath party turned out some beautiful creations from 15 gals. Good food, good friends, and some communal wreath making for neighbors and friends who were not able to attend, all good.  I worked until 10 making a few I wanted to pass around.  One more to decorate and it needs alot.  What do you think, to bling or not to bling?  I LOVE fall, but I love this time of year, too.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Diary 12/8/12

Still working on trees along the driveway, especially those close to the house.  This is all part of our interface fire protection that the county wants us to be responsible for.  If you start a fire on your property and it spreads to others, you can be found liable for it. In the case of wildfires from lightning strikes, you are your own best defense. Cleaning ladder fuels, the low, dead branches that allow a slower moving ground fire to climb up to the tops of the trees and better air flow, should be removed.  We will work on this for the rest of our lives as the forest continues to grow.  The trees we are working on all have signs of previous forest fires.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Diary 12/6/12

Cleaning out the greenhouses and looking at them with different eyes as to the possibilities gardening for fun could have compared to gardening for profit. Allen helped clean upper greenhouse out and rake the raised beds flat so I can put a play area lawn in there.  There were gopher tunnels under the beds which is exactly why I am retiring the area.  Cleaned the top greenhouse last week and will keep the beds as is for now, in that it was the best producer this year, and I plan to do most of the indoor stuff in it next year, just less. Thinned the massive carrot bed, still more to do, but have plenty of carrots for now and passed some around.. Yum, they are sweet!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Diary 12/5/12

My son took this picture of this guy hunting in the snow.  At first we thought it was a Great Horned Owl with his "horns" too wet to stand up.  Now with the help of a bird expert friend, we are thinking it is a Great Grey Owl which is a rarer sighting.  Either way, he is majestic and his look is piercing, probably because my son interrupted his hunt.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Diary 12/3/12

We have had rain, rain, rain, with more due tonight and tomorrow.  I am ready for some snow.  I saw it on the mountains today, and it looked so pretty. I want some of that action.  But no, I am saving my snow wishes for later, when the children who really appreciate the stuff are out of school.  Like around Christmas, I am thinking.  Then I think of people traveling, and I don't want treacherous snowfall.  It is difficult to judge when to do the snow dance and for how long...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Diary 12/2/12

We have received 7.4 inches of rain since Wednesday.  With the 2 1/2 inches that fell last night and the already high creek levels, the flows were very high this morning. The picture is of the overflow we created to prevent flooding of our old garden site along the creek.  As the overflow's banks disappeared, I could see the creek beyond just wanting a another couple feet so that it could hop out of the carved canyon and spread across the land.  Luckily, the rain let up and there was an occasional glint of sunshine while showering today and a rainbow somewhere, no doubt. The poor bird was drying off in a tree.  He looked as if he had had a rough night. Tried not to disturb him too badly, just wanted a picture.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Diary 11/30/12

The rains have moistened the soil deep enough and the temperatures are still mild enough that the mushrooms are starting to poke up on the forest floor.  I have spent a great quantity of time trying to learn new ones only to come up against either not being able to identify the mushroom for sure or finding out it is maybe not poisonous, but not palatable. So I just don't mess with the the ones I don't know anymore.  I think these might be Slippery Jacks, indicated by their slimy tops. I love to admire them, but for now that is all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Diary 11/28/12

Sounds like we are for some wind and quite a bit of rain.  Sometimes they build these things up to a frenzy.  Talk about a frenzy, the power ball mania is a sad state of affairs.  1/175 million? I guess. What if there isn't a winner? Where does all that money go?( the $2 each ticket cost, not the measly prize ___million.)Where did the money go when there was no winner last week? Schools? Jobs?Food and shelter? How much really accomplishes what we really need?  I don't know.  I think I am a bird-in-the-hand kind of girl. Buy a ticket for fun, to be involved in the biggest scam ever, but don't start planning your life around it. I'm sorry.   
We had some cool lighting the last two evenings as the sun gets low enough to peek in under the cloud cover.

Diary 11/27/12

Kitty yoga on one of the last sunny days for awhile.
Warm wind and dark clouds coming in for the first of three strong storms headed our way.  I will get some town shopping done this morning and then hunker down doing crafts and decorating for the next few days.  Cats are outside feeling frisky in the excited ions of the low pressure.   These storms should certainly knock down the rest of the leaves which have hung in there on the trees way past what used to be usual. Glad the trees in the yard are so well trimmed by Monkey Man.  Maybe our power will hang in there.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Diary 11/26/12

Another cool, but sunny day.  Working outside on roads, trimming overhanging branches and having a fire to burn them up.  Long period of rain ahead, so good day to further get ready for winter.  Moving vehicles, charging batteries, sealing the stove pipe leak on the roof, and raking leaves.  One of the added bonuses of blueberry bushes is their beautiful autumn foliage(and even a late berry!).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Diary 11/25/12

Another week of mild weather in the prediction.  So weird.  I still have zinnias in the yard and a continuous harvest still coming out of the top greenhouse.  Nice days for walks in the forest though the afternoons are short.  It is dark by 5.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Diary 11/24/12

The forest is appreciating the rain we received last week.  Although it caused some flooding in the coastal rivers, locally it swelled the creeks to a healthy wash out. Everything is alive and well for the moisture; the mosses, the trees, and the clear water in the Bitter Lick Creek.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Diary 11/23/12

Worked on cleaning out tomato, cucumber, and bean plants from one of the greenhouses.  I salvaged what was not getting moldy or had splits.  I left the cherry tomatoes, a cucumber plant with lots of almost ready cucs on it, and one side of the beans that I saw some I will pick tomorrow.  Turned the compost pile and added the old compost to the greenhouse clean out.  It is too cold for it to work at this point, but we can be ready for spring when it will.  The beds I pulled plants out of will get to take a break until late winter when things like peas, kale and spinach can go in.  Only enough for us, I keep reminding myself. On these nicer days, I have let the chickens come out to rove around.  There is really nothing they can hurt at this point and they love it.  I stapled plastic on a couple of the windows in their coop to help keep it warmer in there for them.  They are molting and the egg supply varies day to day including zero on the really gloomy days.  May get a couple new hens soon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Diary 11/21/12

The bread is torn and drying for the dressing.  The pies are made.  I have so much to be thankful for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Diary 11/20/12

Glad to be able to stay home today.  Cleaned house and organized piles here and there.  It still has not frosted inside the greenhouse, so there is still quite a bit of food out there.  I found zucchini, cucumbers, and more tomatoes today.  We had fresh salsa with a jalapeno and green chili which were still left over from my previous picking.  I think I will pick about 30 lbs of orange tomatoes tomorrow.  On top of that, the lettuce is starting to size up, the turnips are large enough to eat, and I have carrots and a few beets. So, after a big stir fry tonight, I think I will make a large salad tomorrow :).  Time to attack a pumpkin for pies on Thursday.  I have several pumpkins left and this one was one of the biggest.  The chickens will get the insides and I roasted the seeds for a great snack. I have set the chunks inside down in the steamer and heated them until they were soft.  Will render the orange flesh in the morning and freeze what I don't need for two pies.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Diary 11/19/12

One of the perks of being a grandmother is being the recipient of some of the earliest works by budding artists.  They are often signed which of course heightens their already priceless value.

Prize Winning Flowers

...and the prize for the best surviving flower inside the greenhouse goes to~ The snapdragon for its vibrant color compared to everything else in the garden.
And the prize for best of show outside is the Tatiana rose, which despite all conditions, continues to bloom.

Diary 11/16/12

When you are a little boy and you live in the city and the guys come to pick up the leaves with a dump truck, bucket loader, skid steer, and a sweeper, it is a good day!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Diary 11/15/12

Getting ready to go play Grama again, and someone wants to go with me...He can't resist a bag or box. Not sure he would enjoy the ride, so gonna feed him(his other passion) instead.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Diary 11/14/12

I am lucky to live in the foothills of the Cascade Range at an altitude of almost 2000 feet, so it was sunny here today.  In the valley, they were not so lucky and stayed in the cold fog most of the day.  The inversion will last until the weather changes which is only a day away, so they won't have to deal with it for long.  It can be depressing to not see the sun for weeks on end as can occur this time of year.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Diary 11/12/12

It was a gloomy rainy day with just a spot of sun this afternoon, one time.  Tried to be interested in cleaning one of the beds in the top greenhouse for some lettuce I still need to transplant, but I could not stick with it.  Instead I picked some of the last zinnias and went back inside to peel the tomatoes I picked yesterday for yet another small batch of something tomatoey.  Tomorrow a friend is coming in the morning to haul of some produce to make lunch at the community center.  I will feel better knowing those cucumbers go to a good home.  We can eat only so many, and they keep coming.  She will also pick the orange tomatoes in that greenhouse as she didn't get very many out of her garden this year, and I already have a box to watch change from orange to red.