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Up dates April 8, 2009

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie, crafts, garden thoughts and ideas, good things, life.
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The tree guys are coming today to start removing the old tree.  It’s exciting and sad at the same time.  I’m sorry to see it go but at an estimated 120 years old it had a good life and we won’t have to worry about it damaging our house in a wind storm.

All the tomato seedlings are doing great.  The first pepper seedling popped up yesterday.  Now I’m just waiting for more.  I’ll keep a close eye on them the next couple of days.

Bubba is finally regulated on his insulin and diet.  He has lost about 4 pounds and doesn’t have to go to the vet again for 3 months.  I know he’s happy about that.  He’s such a good boy for the vet techs but we know he hates having to spend the day there.

With any luck I’ll get a load of manure to add to my compost this weekend.  The last several weekends have been crappy weather (pardon the pun) so we couldn’t get it.  Along with the manure I’ll get some straw to use as mulch.  It’s all coming from a local dairy farm. 

Great news, the afghan is done.  I finished it Monday night.  Now I need another project to keep me busy at night. 

And after 13 years in this house we are finally doing something to the kitchen.  Paint, some new cabinets and counter tops and a new floor.  The old floor is from about 1950.  It sucks

Life after Death March 15, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, good things, life.
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In about 2 weeks the old tree will be gone, or most of it anyway.  But the old dear will continue to give and add to our lives after it’s own life is over.tree_photo1

It will kind of be like a tree organ donor program. 

The tree guys will cut some of it up and leave for us to use as fire wood in the fire pit.  So this summer when friends and family gather around to enjoy each others company, the old tree will be adding to the warmth of the evening.

The tree guys will mulch some of it.  I’ll keep a small amount and they’ll sale the rest locally.  So our old tree will be providing water conservation and weed control all over the area.

There is no way the stump can come out without damaging the foundation of our house and that of our neighbors, so it will stay.  We’re going to leave it about 3 feet high and make a table top on it.  I’ll use that as a potting area.

So in many ways the old dear will enjoy a full life after it’s death.  I kind of like that idea.

What’s Your Favorite??? March 11, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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veggiesWhat’s your favorite type of plants to grow?  Flowers, vegetables, berry bushes, trees or shrubs?

I really don’t have a favorite and I’ll try almost anything.  I spend most of my time concerting of the vegetables but probably enjoy the flowers more.  But I really like eating the berries while I’m watering.  In fact most of the berries never make it to the kitchen.

So what’s your favorite?

Good Bye Old Friend March 6, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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tree_photoPart of the garden plan this year will include cutting down a very old and dying tree.  It has not been an easy decision.  I’ll entertain the idea of just cutting out the dead, but I think it’s to far gone.

I worry every year that during a storm a large, dead limb will either go through our roof  of the neighbors. 

I worry also about the birds and the squirrels that will lose their homes.  It is a bit of any irony, but I had tree specialist out a couple of years ago and he said the squirrels were actually killing the tree.  I guess if that’s the case, they won’t be surprised that they have to move.

Home Made Christmas December 10, 2008

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christmas-crafts1I had a lot of crafts on my Christmas to do list this year and I can’t believe but I almost done.  I like doing crafts and it’s makes me not feel so bad about watching TV at night.

So what have I done?  I made a rag wreath.  It came out pretty nice.  I made a button and bead Christmas tree.  I love buttons and have always wanted a button tree.  I added the beads, well, just because. 

Today me and my daughter made tin can lanterns.  You should have seen us with the drill.  We probably should have used the nail and hammer that the instructions called for.  The drill was my husbands idea.  Go figure, a guy wanting to use a power drill.  I’ll get the candles in them in about an hours and see how they look then.  One reason I wanted to make them was because they reminded me of the old fashioned luminaries that I grew up with in New Mexico.

Tonight I’ll finish my gift card envelopes.  This year I’m doing something pretty simple.  I took wrapping paper and cookie cutters to make snow flakes, Christmas trees, stars and bells.  I’m using fabric paint to help them stick to the envelope.  The paint also gives it a 3-D look.

My last project will be magnet boards for my co-workers.  I’m using a cookie sheet that I had my husband drill a hole in for hanging.  Then I’ll cover them with a material (which I have tubs of) to match the personality.  I did cheat and buy magnets to go with them.

Yeah, I can’t believe I’m almost done.

Raking up the Gold October 24, 2008

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Okay, not real gold, just gold colored leaves.  But I’ll be raking them up most of the day on Saturday.  I really don’t mind the leaves, but we have this one tree out front that grows these long bean pod things.  They are a royal in the ___.  They’re about 12 inches long and when they dry out they are be sharp as spears.  Not fun, not to mention all the holes they put in bags. 

Okay, I just had a side thought, (it happens sometimes) does anyone make canvas leave bags?  They would be SO MUCH better than plastic.  I don’t throw my leaves in the trash, they all go in the compost, but I use the bags to get them there.  I can reuse a plastic bag about 6 six times, but canvas, that would be cool. 

Back to raking now, it’s supposed to be a nice on Saturday and the raking will get me out of the house so I can soak up some sunshine.

Squirrel Feast October 16, 2008

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Now that my harvest is over I don’t mind sharing the left overs with the squirrels that live in one of our big trees.  The sunflowers are a big hit with them this year.  It was the first year I planted them and I had several reach over ten feet tall with quit a few flowers.

Twice this afternoon when I went to let the dogs out a squirrel was on the fence of the vegetable garden with a flower in his or her mouth.  They make a hasty retreat as soon as the back door opens, but not with out their prize.  I know the squirrels will be eating good well into the winter.

I’m also thinking I’ll have about a million sunflowers next year all over the yard.  Where ever you look there are sunflower seeds all over the ground.

Fall Color October 15, 2008

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When most people talk about the fall color in Colorado they are referring to the changing leaves in the mountains.  Not me.  When I talk about fall color, it is the changing farm fields that get me excited.

Yesterday I took a different route home so I could enjoy some of the fields.  To truly appreciate them it helps to drive on a road that has rolling hills going through the fields.  The hills allow you to see more of the landscape.

What I saw on my drive was winter wheat just breaking through the soil.  It almost looks like grass, it has the same green color.  A harvested corn field lays bare the dark colored soil with the off white or tan color of the pieces of stalks left behind.  Freshly cut hay is a darker green than the new winter wheat.  And of course the pumpkin fields are orange with the vines turning dull green and brown.

Yes there are trees.  Almost all the farm houses are surrounded by them.  When you top the last hill about a half mile from the town I live in you will see lots of trees.  They are not in town, although we do have quit a few, but the ones I’m talking about are along the South Platte River.  The colors range from still summer green, to gold, yellow, red and brown.

Yes I really love the fall color of farm fields.

Backyard Ecology October 13, 2008

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I’ve been reading a lot about ecology lately.  Not a subject I would have thought I would have been interested in a few years ago.  But a few years ago I wasn’t practicing organic gardening.

Knowing some basic ecology and especially micro ecology helps to put some of the organic practices into prospective.  It amazes me how many little critters can live in a teaspoon of garden compost.  It also amazes me how delicate they are and what a wonderful job they do working in the garden. 

Trust me, after reading just a couple of books I will never look at fallen leaves or dirt in the same way again.  I know now just how many critters they feed or house.

I also have a much better understanding about underbrush around our trees and just how important it is to an entire different set of little critters.  I now realize that while a nice and neat garden may look lovely to me, it doesn’t offer much protection or as much food to the animals that live in my garden.  

Sometimes I think we get to concerned with the big picture.  And while global ecology is important it will help a lot if we all start in our own backyards.

I want a farm October 6, 2008

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OK, maybe not a real farm, but at least five to ten acres.  I want enough room to have vegetable beds and greenhouses.  There are so types of vegetables and fruits and berries that I would love to grow and eat.  I would like fruit trees.  I don’t have any place to put any now without cutting down elm trees that range in age from 100 to 35 years old. 

I would really love to have chickens and goats.  Our town won’t let us have either in the town limits.  I would need enough space to keep them seperate from our dogs.

I guess I shouldn’t complain.  I know I have a lot more room to garden than say someone living in an apartment in the inner city.  I do have a greenhouse and vegetables beds, I just can’t grow everything I’d like.  I can keep buying fresh eggs and milk from the local farmers.  Now all I need to do is find a friend with fruit trees and trade with them.