Saturday, April 30, 2011

R.I.P. Travis

Our boy had had a rough couple of days, and we decided to bring him peace today.
But first, we hit the doughnut shop and brought him to the beach.  (Unfortunately, he was suffering too  much to enjoy any of it.) 

We are so lucky to have had him in our lives, and he will be desperately missed.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Garden Update and 1st Harvest

Garden Update:  The eight tomato plants went in on the 25th, and happily, it was been quite balmy in the evenings.  Texas Tomato Cages are being used for support this year, and though I only set the bottoms up for spacing purposes before planting, I think I am in love.

Things are looking quite green out there, as I sowed peas to cut for greens in just about every vacant inch of dirt.  (GOOOOO pea greens!!)  Bush beans are sprouting up under the walls of water.

My first carrot sowing failed to germinate, but this last one is a success.  Things are moving along quickly now that the weather has warmed.

Cucurbits need potting potting up; still waiting on sweet potato slips and the replacement potato seed, so spuds are off to a late start this year.  The fingerlings I do have are taking their sweet time to chit.

Today's harvest: Pea greens and the first of the asparagus.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunshine & Rain

We are in a wonderful weather pattern here, rainy nights and sunny days.  Little splashes of life are sprouting up everywhere in the garden.  These photos were taken yesterday morning.




And most exciting of all, I finally have Claytonia growing.  Hey, it only took three seed packets and countless sowings to make it happen.  I need to go lay down another row before my luck runs out!

My carrot seeds and some of my lettuce mixes need replacing, I have quite a few barren rows.  My little garden helper and I planted out the Red Barron onions yesterday, and sowed a 4x6 bed of pea greens the day before.  I also potted up the tomatoes.  They will likely go out next weekend under row cover and plastic as I won't be fit for planting on the first of May this year.

Wineberry and raspberry cuttings were planted around the shed.  A friend has 2 wineberry plants for me, which we are all quite excited about.  I hope to get a nice patch of them growing around the yard so that we may enjoy them along with the birds come summer.  I am expecting potatoes, sweet potato slips, a currant, a gooseberry, and 2 beach plums to arrive in the coming weeks.  (One of these years I hope to be almost self-sufficient in the summer fruit department for fresh eating and jam making, though it is probably an unrealistic fantasy.)

On a food note, I tried making pizza just like Thomas did recently (here) using a Peter Reinhart recipe, and it was a unanimous two thumbs up.  His book on searching out the perfect pizza is on my wish list, as I think I could sustain myself on the stuff if need be.  This pie had some garden goodies on it (Garlic-Chive Pesto, sliced Garlic, & Oven-Dried Tomatoes) along with peppers, mozzarella, and herbed goat cheese.  Mm-mm good.  Throwing the pizza stone on the grill is the way to go, no more 500 degree oven for me!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

An Update....

The dog is doing MUCH better.  He is no longer going to the doggy doctor twice a day.  Next we need to ween him off all the meds and see if he can still function without them, but the plan is to wait until Monday to do it.  We are just thankful to get a little extra time with him, and that he is comfortable.  Next week will be the big test, to see how he does sans steroids.

As for the garden, the new bed is up and running, the heating cables are keeping the soil a toasty sixty-something degrees.  Here it is before being filled:

The newly expanded fenced in area is working out nicely.  We of coarse ended up having an Invisble Fence system put in for the dogs this week, and that now keeps them out of the front yard completely, but I had already ordered addition garden fence panels in attempt to keep them away from the blackberries etc. before we decided to do the other.  (Don't mind the dog kennel, luckily we are no longer needing it for a doggy sick-bed.)

Still waiting for my peas to pop out of the soil, for the carrots to germinate, and for the asparagus to show itself.  Spring is surely dragging it's heels this year- at least the daffodils have begun to bloom!

Edit:  I forgot to add that had an interesting discovery today.  A weed I have been pulling and discarding for years is actually edible and quite good at that, chickweed.  Turns out I like to munch on the stuff and it is now a welcomed addition to the greens in the garden.  Here it is growing amongst the garlic chives:

Who knew?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crazy Days

Boy is my head spinning.  We have so many things going on I may soon collapse, face down in the dirt......but, I am hoping not.

There those garden and household projects we continue to try to tackle every weekend.  (If only there were more than 2 days in a weekend.)  Then, last week one of my canines went stiff in his hind end, which progressed to constant pain and limping.  We took him in, had some x-rays & blood work done, but nothing concrete was ever diagnosed.  He was kind of stumping the Vet.  Then his bladder went next, or at least his ability to empty it.  And his discomfort continued to grow.  I did lots of crying.

The good news is after many, many sleepless nights and vet visits we have our old boy peeing again (yippee!!), and he is comfortable.  Conclusion?  Neurological stuff, a slipped or ruptured disc, blood clot, or most likely a spinal tumor.  Not sure how long we can maintain him in his current state, but every day we have with him is appreciated.  If the steroids hadn't helped get him the ability to eliminate back we would have had to 'put him down' by week's end.  And when he again loses that ability that will be the only alternative to twice daily catheterizing him at the vet's office.  We did that a couple of days, but long term it is not financially feasible.  It just plain sucks when our pets get old and sick.

On a brighter note I sowed some peas, carrots, and greens out int he garden this weekend.  My daughter keeps asking when we will grow our own food, I keep telling her I am trying.  Lol,  I think after she planted the seeds she expected instant snap peas.

Turns out most of the potatoes I ordered are out of stock, which is beyond annoying being I ordered them the second the 2011 catalog became available.  Something is fishy there if you ask me, but I scrambled and was able to find others to take their place from another New England supplier.  Thank goodness for that, no spuds would have been another thing to cry over.

I have been trying to read some blogs while up at all hours of the morning with the dog, but if I go missing again for a while you all know why.  I am not spell checking or proof-reading before I post this is I am about to late for a vet appointment with my sick boy- happy gardening and wish my boy Travis luck as he hopefully hangs on to his precious life a bit longer here.