Archive for the ‘the list’ Category

No rest for the wicked

August 16, 2009

Vacation is over.  Today, we stained the deck.  Twelve glorious days of sun left the deck nice and dry, and we were ready to go, having done the prep before vacation, hoping it would be dry enough to stain before we left.  Not.






We used Cabot Semi-Solid Oil Stain (yay VOCs!) in Sycamore.  Dan used a brush to paint between the floorboards, and I used a paintpad on a short pole to spread the stain on the boards.  The color is a little grayer than I hoped, but I am so damn glad it is done that I don’t care.

Did I mention we built this deck in 2005, finished it in 2006, and are just now getting to it?  Sigh.  Now on to painting the front of the house, and touching up the shed wall seen above.  One to cross off  The List.

Winter preparations, just in time

December 2, 2007

Saturday we had a cold and very windy day, brr. In light of predictions for a big nor’easter on Monday, we bustled about putting clear plastic over the draftiest windows, and I roasted yet another turkey because I am craving some turkey sandwiches and a pot of turkey soup . Turkey with cranberry sauce, and hot open-faced turkey sandwiches with gravy now await.

This morning the weather service has forecasted even more snow all day on Monday, with accumulations of 2-4 inches Sunday night, and 8-12 more inches on Monday. Today, we need to finish as many more outdoor chores as we can. I started by filling all the birdfeeders this morning, but there’s a lot more–
repair the broken barn window
put the lawn mower and riding mowers away
finish putting cardboard down under the flowering crab tree
pick up the cardboard that blew around the yard yesterday
get some more straw for the chickens
and do a final patrol to put overlooked items away, etc

Yikes! time to get moving!

I’m still a trend setter

August 25, 2007

Friends laugh when they see my lists, but list-making works for me, and
apparently I’m not alone. The New York Times has an article about the growing popularity of life lists, a list of goals to accomplish while still on this earthly plane. Well, shucks, I’ve had one o’ them for years. I’ve even accomplished a few of the goals. I need to dig it out, but I’ll look for it and if i can find it, I’ll post. If not, I’ll try and recreate from memory.

Sunday’s list

June 17, 2007
Saturday morning, I made a list. Dan added a few items.Then Bill came over to do some tree surgery on the ailing sour cherry tree. Bill trimmed off the loose bark, looked for insects, and then later I sprayed it with wound cover to keep any insects out. (I crossed this task off the list right away.)

Later we loaded the lilac trimmings into the truck to take to the town brush dump, then went grocery shopping. Sunday, I got up and planted seedlings, then Dan and I attacked the Japanese knotweed. Although we both hate using the stuff, we cut the tops off and sprayed Roundup into the hollow stems, hoping to kill it.

We tried this to some knotweed last year and it was successful, so this time we tried to get as much of it as possible. See all the cut stems? This was one of three patches, ugh.

We took 2 huge truckloads of knotweed to the brush dump. I love having a truck!

Then mowing, first with lawn tractor, then mower, then weed whacker. This is why you should always wear long pants when you use the weed whacker.

We crossed a lot of tasks off the list this weekend. I love that.

Slower Sunday

May 14, 2007

Sunday we moved a little slower, no doubt in recovery from Saturday, but we did cover a lot from the list, and added some new tasks:

  • Planted salad greens, yay!
  • Set up hoop house frame over salad bed
  • Connect waterline to hose bib
  • Laid the waterline to the back yard, including solving some hose connector problems with help from our fabulous local hardware store
  • Watered the salad bed and the new blueberries with the new waterline
  • entertained my student employees for dinner
  • did 2 loads of laundry and hung it on the line, mmm I love that scent!

Still to go….

  • Add compost and turn over vegetable garden
  • Fertilize and weed perennial beds (4 of 7 left to do)
  • Turn over working compost pile (when finished bin is empty)
  • Move Golden Mops to new bed
  • Plant new plants
  • Prime the barn wall above the hosta bed
  • Transplant perennials to grape arbor bed –still to go, Lamb’s Ear, Flax

Ah, well, that’s what the evenings are for!

Thank Heavens for Sudafed

May 12, 2007

The weekend list:

  • Plant sale
  • Add compost to raised beds
  • Fertilize raised beds and pumpkin patch
  • Close off vegetable garden to the chooks
  • Plant salad greens (at last)
  • Add compost and turn over vegetable garden
  • Fertilize and weed perennial beds
  • Mulch hosta bed with leaf mold
  • Turn over working compost pile (when finished bin is empty)
  • Move Golden Mops to new bed
  • Plant new plants
  • Pick up sticks in lawn and mow
  • Prime the barn wall above the hosta bed
  • Connect waterline to hose bib
  • Plant arborvitae
  • Transplant perennials to grape arbor bed

Remaining for Sunday:

  • Plant salad greens (at last)
  • Add compost and turn over vegetable garden
  • Fertilize and weed perennial beds (4 of 7 left to do)
  • Turn over working compost pile (when finished bin is empty)
  • Move Golden Mops to new bed
  • Plant new plants
  • Prime the barn wall above the hosta bed
  • Connect waterline to hose bib
  • Plant arborvitae
  • Transplant perennials to grape arbor bed –still to go, Lamb’s Ear, Flax

Whew! We accomplished a lot today. If it weren’t for Sudafed, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have been gardening, and that would have been a tragedy! It was a perfect gardening day, clear and sunny, but not too hot, with temps in the low 70s and a nice black-fly reducing breeze. The gardens are looking great, and the chickens have the vegetable garden looking better than I’ve ever seen it in the spring.

It was a wonderful day in the garden, and we are following it up with dinner at a local church supper, with friends accompanying. Phooey on the common cold.

More details on our gardening efforts today:

This third raised bed (on right) is completely overgrown with apple mint, which I love and I think makes the best mojitos, and an anemone of some kind, which is incredibly invasive, and not pretty enough to put up with bullying behavior. The mint, on the other hand, is so worth it. I’m going to dig some of the mint out and try a containment strategy, then we’ll solarize this bed.

The Asiatic lily bed, sans red lily beetles. I checked periodically throughout the day, and crushed 8 of the little buggers (wearing my rubber gloves, of course) with my fingers. VERY satisfying.

The cart is full of weed barrier fabric from the Russian Sage hedge in front. After the mulch began to break down, was colonized by turf grass and creeping charlie, exactly what we used the product to prevent. We ripped it out this afternoon –I’ll never use that useless product again!

The Master List

June 28, 2006

We created this list 5 years ago when we bought the house. As you can see, we’ve made some progress, and have also changed some priorities. (The priority changes are usually the result of some unfortunate discovery.) We both agree, crossing things off this list is a fantastic feeling.

Another Sunny Sunday

May 8, 2006

Well, another gorgeous Sunday of gardening excess — I love it. Again, we spent the entire day outside, and I suffered only periodic episodes of minor guilt over the disreputable state of housekeeping — somewhat mitigated by collecting a pile of newspapers from off the couch to use when mulching around the fruit trees.

Here’s the state of the list. Bold indicates the tasks which were successfully completed:
transplant seedlings
clean bathrooms
re-pot apple mint
plant Fedco shrubs
finish Henbogle House (coop)
pea fencing — dog deterrent
dig & amend blueberry hedge
oranges out for Baltimore oriole
succession planting lettuce/greens
clutter patrol
mow the lawn
mulch shrubs
pick up plants at Hedgehog Hill Farm

Perhaps you notice a pattern emerging? Fortunately for both the garden and the housekeeping, a week of overcast and showers is called for. Hmmm, I wonder if I’d have time to get to Hedgehog Hill Farm after work one night….

Sunny Sunday in the garden

April 30, 2006

Henbogle coop was put on hold today, we decided we needed to work in the vegetable garden. It was gorgeous today, but we’ve got rain in the forecast for the coming week, (and we need it) so gardening after work is unlikely this week.

Today we direct seeded the following:
Broccoli — Early Dividend
Cauliflower — Mixed selection
Swiss Chard — Bright Lights
Carrots — Red Cored Chantenay
Radish — Easter Egg
Beets — Ruby Queen and Burbee’s Golden

The garden looks beautiful, full of promise of good eating to come. Dan did a lot of weeding while I planted.

We also cut some poles for the pole beans (seeds from my colleague and garden pal Mike), and wrapped up the day with work on our rain barrels. We got word from the Richmond Utilities District to expect our water and sewer rates to increase, probably by 30%. Yikes! We’ve been thinking about rain barrels for some time, but the proposed increase moved thought to action.

We had one barrel, which we set up by the garden shed, using leftover gutter material to add a gutter and downspout directly into the barrel. We found some additional barrels via Uncle Henry’s from a guy who works at a bottling plant in Lewiston. We added one of the back of the barn, and one on the front of the house, in the far corner. We’ll add one more behind the house by the grapevine. We will order barrel taps from Lee Valley, and, I hope, reduce drastically the water we use in the garden. We still need to make covers for the barrels, to keep out stray animals, mosquitos, etc.

Working the list

April 9, 2006

Whew, what a day…. Yesterday was overcast and cold, thus we devoted ourselves primarily to housekeeping. We embarked on the great laundry challenge, earning a bronze in speed folding, and finally cleared up the backlog of laundry enough to make room for the seed starting cart. I love this cart, it’s perfect for the task, and, more importantly, it was free. Yes, Dan found the cart in the Shop n’ Save trash pile, and rescued it from the scrap metal factory. Soon it will be full of translucent plastic bins with seedling pots. I meant to start tomatoes this weekend, but we cheated and added a new project to the list. (And of course, I still need to make some paper pots with the potmaker— what else is new.)

A guy we know in town is building a straw bale house, and had a big beautiful pile of organic wheat straw tailings. So, to make a long story short, we now have 8 pickup truckloads of gorgeous chopped straw. It is currently piled on the freestanding deck, until the ground firms up enough to get it back to the vegetable garden. We put some straw on the perennial beds in front, but we will use most of it on the vegetable garden, once the soil warms up enough and we finish turning the soil with the broadfork. I did turn a short row today, but I’d been hard at it since 7 am and ran out of steam.

I love the broadfork. It is fairly easy to use and silent… no noisy smelly rototiller to scare the birds away. I hope we don’t get too much rain this week, and that we have good dry sunny weather next weekend so I can get the garden turned and the peas planted. Plant your peas by tax day, eat peas for the 4th of July…. let’s see if we can manage peas for Independence Day this year.

Here’s an old picture of Dan with the broadfork in the garden.