Sunday, March 28, 2010

At least it is not snowing

It is not unusual for us to get a wet snow in March, but we are almost to the end of the month without it.  I don't mind the rain - we are a bit behind in precipitation this year - and it gives me an excuse to stay inside.

Last weekend I borrowed my neighbor's truck, and my SO and I brought home the scratch 'n dent freezer from Wisman's.

If you look at the lower right area of the door, you can see where we added to the damage.  We also neglected to secure the door, and on the way home; it blew open and the user manual disappeared before we could find a place to stop.  Fortunately, with the magic of the Web, I was able to download a new one.  And now that the freezer is in situ, I am finding it just noisy enough that I may end up moving it out to the garage, because the manual said, while the freezer is not meant to withstand temps above 110 degrees, temps below 32 are okay.  My garage never gets that hot and rarely falls below freezing.

We also brought home the cabinet/hutch from Furniture Crafts.

I still have not secured the hutch part to the cabinet part.  That involves drilling holes, something I have to be in the right frame of mind to do.  Then I will install the shelves and load that baby up.

And I bought a new mower (no pic, but we all know what Toros look like, right?)  It is basically the same model as my old mower (Personal Pace), but ten years newer.  It also has some improved features, like easy switch to mulch mode, easier bag handling, etc.  Crescent Avenue Gardens did not want my old mower - they don't take trade-ins anymore - so I am having it serviced and may sell/give it away.

Even though it is raining today, we have had enough nice weather to bring out the early signs of spring.  

This crocus (sorry for the lousy focusing job) has been nibbled by rabbits.

I can't seem to have enough daffodils.  They are popping up in places I forgot I planted them. 

The "naturalized" ones in the 3B (bird, butterfly, and bees) garden are so dense I am making tentative plans to lift and separate the bulbs this fall.

The garlic definitely survived the winter. 

This is my first time growing garlic.  I am anxious to see how it turns out.

Back inside, the parsley is showing signs of spittle bugs.

According to my sources (the Web), spittle bugs don't do any real damage.

"Can we go out and play?"

Soon.  Real soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Three left legs

My new bistro table and chairs are from Vietnam, where apparently they don't get the R and the L thing.  After some struggle with the first chair, I determined that I had to mix and match the R pieces and the L pieces.  Chair number two, however, had two L legs.  Others had offered to assemble this set, but I'm glad I did it myself because I would not have believed their tales of R and L.

I was already piqued about having to assemble the chairs in the first place.  Silly me, all I expected to have to do was put the legs on the table top; I thought the chairs would already be whole.  Let that be a warning to those planning to shop for furniture:  ask if some assembly will be required.

Sunday I repotted the basil seedlings because they were not very seedling like anymore.

I must have done something right - look at those roots!

I really don't have a good place to put all twelve of these.  For now, they are crowding about in front of the French doors in the West Wing.  The seed-starting bug has bit me, though, so I think I will buy another light fixture and bulbs.

On the way home from work today, I stopped at Wisman's and bought a scratch 'n dent freezer.  My original plan to purchase a 13 cu. ft. chest freezer fell apart when they had a manual defrost 14 cu. ft upright.  The chest would have just barely fit in the space allotted.  A corollary to that is the upright will leave enough room for a storage thingy of some sort.  Right now I am all about storage thingies.  Another thought is that I will probably be using mostly jars for freezing tomato juice and sauce, and they will fit on the upright shelves better than being relegated to the bottom of the chest.  At least, those are my thoughts on the matter.

Once home, I took advantage of the gorgeous day to prune shrubs in the front yard.  The only ones I'm afraid to tackle are the two full-grown boxwoods.  I love how big and dense they are, but how big is too big?  I would show you photos, but my camera and I are on the outs.  The above pix are all I could manage.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Last night, while making a butt dent on the sofa, I kept hearing these odd noises.  It took a while, but I finally identified them as wind, rain, and thunder.  I had forgotten what they sound like, all mixed together.  The storm got going in earnest after lights out, when I was reminded of something else:  my dog hates thunder.  She trembles, pants, and drools when it storms.  Not very conducive to sleep.

The zinnias look healthy and happy, when I remember to keep them watered.

The Italian parsley has germinated, too.  Compared to the zinnias, the parsley seedings are spindly and small.

I finished cutting down the ornamental grasses and planned to do some pruning, but the weather is not cooperating.  So, time to focus on indoor things.  Like assembling the furniture cluttering up the West Wing - there is no room for yoga!  And making arrangements to pick up my new cabinet, which requires the borrowing of the neighbor's truck.  And if I am going to borrow the truck, I might as well order that freezer so I can pick that up as well.  And get rid of the old non-working freezer in the garage.  And maybe the lawn mower will be ready for pickup by then.  Yup, it is definitely time to get into gear.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Where's the garlic?

Cut back the sedum and some of the ornamental grasses tonight (after poop patrol).  The daffodils, iris, and some day lilies are poking out of the ground.  Even the chrysanthemum has a few leaves above the surface.  But no sign of the garlic.  Mice and shrews don't eat garlic, do they?

Chili and corn bread for supper tonight.  I've been wanting chili for a while now, and if it gets much warmer, it won't seem like chili weather.  I thinned some of the cilantro seedlings and threw the choppings into the soup.

The aforementioned rain never materialized, but tonight it is spitting a bit.  Except on the north side of the house and where I created big piles, the snow is gone.  The earth still feels hard and frozen, though.

Yesterday I picked up the tall small table and chairs but some assembly required before a pic.  I still have not finished assembling the over-the-toilet cupboard.  Some tasks you just need to be in the mood for, or else they turn out badly.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Blinded by the light

At long last, the sun has appeared multiple days in a row.  I'm wondering if February went down as the grayest month in history this year.  Tomorrow the rains come, and that should be the end of the heaps of gray snow.  Margaret Roach at A Way to Garden said something about planting peas on St. Patrick's Day, but the ground has to thaw first.  Doesn't it?

Margaret also urged patience re seed starting, but obviously her warning came too late for me.  I'm about ready to transplant the basil into larger containers - they will make nice gifts, don't you think? - and I planted Italian parsley and yellow zinnias last weekend.

The zinnia seed was several years old.  I did not hold out much hope for its germination rate, so dropped 5-6 seeds in each compartment.  And of course, almost every seed has germinated.  Now I have to thin, thin, thin.  I should have performed a germination test, another suggestion from Margaret.  She is wise.

The Year of Bread has reached limbo, thanks to its delicious goodness and my bathroom scale.  Last weekend I did make some cornbread, using my favorite cornbread recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure.  Except I ran out of unbleached flour and substituted some whole wheat instead.  The result was even better!

Despite the not-quite-springlike weather, I did clean off the flower bed on the south side of the house.  If I weren't feeling so lazy today, I would hack down the ornamental grasses, too.  Much dog poop has been picked up in the meantime.