Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Crazy Tuesday

 This was a crazy Tuesday!  

It got off to a wild start with Grandpa, then I didn't really love the passages I was reading this a.m., and I kept dropping everything, I got out of the house a bit late but managed to get to CoRielle's in time for her to make it to the staff meeting and to spend some time moving classrooms and closets. 

I got breakfast for the boys. Danny had been up as early as Grandpa and my goal was to get him to take a nap today. I finally texted Arielle for some pointers, and we GOT HIM TO TAKE A NICE LONG NAP. While he napped Benny and I went fishing off their front porch. We threw everything we caught back. 😏

Danny woke and we had lunch. We went for a walk...and finally we settled in to watch Encanto...or maybe we watched Encanto during the nap....it's all a blur. 

Arielle got home with just enough time for me to make it to a doctor appointment. Everything was fine...numbers a bit elevated but all still within normal.  We discussed my hands. Seems it is not carpal tunnel. I'm to try braces and an anti-inflammatory at night and see if that helps. If not, I can choose between a neck x-ray or some needle and nerve test. Or I can keep putting up with tingling, stiff, weak, numb hands...I may go this route as I don't like the options. LOL  I need to do some research. 

I ran to pick up Chick starter and grit. 

I got home to discover it had been quite a "day" around here with Grandpa. We couldn't do what we do if Michael and I weren't both able to be at home. Stacia had spent an hour plus in the garden - even though I was gone. She'd weeded the beds in the greenhouse and hauled dirt to them. Allie, Nolan and Alex were working most of the day. 

Nolan's hand was burned pretty significantly at work. I mean just a few blisters, but it is swollen and still painful. He had to go back to work to fill out a worker's comp claim as he may well end up going to the doctor tomorrow if it is still swollen. 

I was itching to get into the garden. Stacia and Allie made dinner so I could do just that. I spent an hour outside watering, a bit of weeding, a bit of picking up storm trash and planting these beds...melons. We shall see. It is plenty hot in the greenhouse.  I followed the guide and ended up planting way more than I thought I would plant in this space. 

The weather has been amazing! 78*...no rain for a couple of weeks. This is our second week of nice weather...I'm about ready to admit a transition from spring to summer...because really fall comes early around here so it's best to move on to summer. LOL  Memorial Day has come and gone and the weather is as nice as we get in summer....yeah, it's summer. 

I was finishing up in the garden when Stacia called to say dinner was on the table! What a great way to end the day....well actually all the at home Gherkins turned the living room into a theater and we watched Obi Wan Kenobi. 

They all headed to bed. It's still light out so I'm still puttering...guess what? I wasn't supposed to quit taking Vit D when the sun began staying up all the time.  Who knew? 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Both Productive and Restful

Michael and I opted to skip respite today as it was a holiday and we knew Arielle would appreciate the time with her guys. We had jobs we wanted to get done more than we wanted respite care this week. We also have several in our gang who don't love crowds. Focusing at home made sense. 

Allie cleaned the inside of the house, while Stacia and I hit the garden for an hour and a half. We planted one of the shallow beds with a Japanese carrot, Scarlet Nantes carrots, Red Russian kale, Dinosaur Kale, radishes and spinach.  Both types of kale were starts we had begun a couple of weeks ago, the rest were direct seeded. 

Things I had read said to cover the rows seeded with carrots with boards. This would keep them from washing away or birds from getting them. The clear plastic seems to do the same thing - so we covered all the seeded areas. 

We moved on to one of the deeper beds and filled it with beets. 

I must say I am planting WAY less in each bed with this little planting gadget. This is, by far, my best sleep shopping purchase. We got 30 rows in the bed...Everything we direct seeded today used the little red spots...16 per foot.  The kale was one plant per square. 

Stacia and I came inside and showered. GG woke from nap 2 of the day and I got him settled with lunch. Nolan was working on college at the table and kept an eye on GG while the girls and I enjoyed our "end of the year" tea party. I'll blog that next. 

Michael and Alex worked on getting this mini hoop house set up...we still have the other 1/2 to figure out how to salvage. This may not be a permanent plan as we really liked the idea of the big house Michael had made...but it will work for now...and we are ready to get things out of the greenhouse and into the ground. We'll put some warm weather crops in here...

CoRielle came by!!!! It's always fun when they visit. Benny stopped in the greenhouse...shew it's hot. 

Danny checked in on GG!

One of the fun parts of the boys' visits is finding little reminders of their visit after they go home...like these in the greenhouse.  This boy sure does love to surprise the gals in his life. 

Benny and Allie were here! 

Flowers for the dinner table. 

Flowers on the windowsill. 

Danny picked his first flowers for me today....
Oops - he pulls the heads off before gifting

Sweet boy! 

I fixed pork loin on the grill while Michael and Alex finished with the hoop house. The girls made broccoli, asparagus and chopped melons, and washed berries. I sautéed some Brussel sprouts. Yummy meal. 

The older 3 headed for bed as they will all be working in the a.m. 

When I went out to close up the greenhouse, check on chicks, turn off the sprinkler and make sure the fence was plugged in...I noted the completed hoop house. I don't like the way the placement blocks a sweeping view of the garden plot...but it hides a lot of the jungle mess behind it. LOL  AND this will make it possible to grow cucumbers and tomatoes.  I'm excited to start to salvage the mess the storm left behind. 

Tomorrow, I have a couple of appointments out and about...but I can hardly wait to start planting melons in the greenhouse and cukes in the hoop house. I've up-planted the tomato starts to a 2 inch cup....probably need to wait a bit before putting them in the beds....maybe. I'm not sure. LOL  I usually buy established pots of tomatoes.... I should probably hedge my bet and look for one in a 2 gal bucket to plant too. LOL 

Michael, Stacia and I stayed up and visited for a bit.  It was a good day...productive and restful. 

Why is it still light at 11:15 p.m. I really need to end this day. 

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Extra Shots and Ending the Week

The weather this week has been fantastic! 70's every day. Stacia found some time to "write" outside...

And this looks to be a great spot for a study break.  

I'm not sure where Danny expected to end up - but stuck was probably not his original goal. LOL 

I thought the chickens would like this tray of left over Brussel plant seedlings. No, they did not. Bertha was the first to try (as she often is) and somehow communicated to the others that it wasn't worth their time. 

I had my A1C on Friday. I grabbed these in celebration. It turns out neither really tempt me...but the family is enjoying them. LOL

Driving our local roads never gets old with views like this. 

Stacia - still driving - not the same day as the 1st photo

It happens seemingly overnight. The trees are filled with leaves, the devil's club and stinging nettle are out. The woods are magical. 

Unfortunately, this means it's ALSO time to start mowing....once again I am wondering if we could hire a team to  take care of the yard....it takes us so long.  Stacia and I spent a couple of hours working on the small bits of the yard. We ran out of gas so I'll continue later....If we hired someone it would be all DONE at once....and we'd have those 10 - 15 hours back in the week to work on other projects such as staining the house, building a retaining wall, terracing the garden....hmmm.....

Michael had sermon prep. The older 3 "kids"  put in 8 - 10 hour work days. Stacia and I worked in the yard. Grandpa is sleeping more than I've ever seen him sleep.  This evening the kids stayed home with Grandpa, who doesn't feel strong enough to get up, let alone go out. 

Michael and I drove into Eagle River and had dinner with JaRissa and Jamin. It was quite fun. 

Another week is in the bags. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Friday's Progress

Friday morning Breakfast & Bible with Stacia. We left a bit early so I could try to get labs drawn. I knew I didn't have an appointment, but I didn't remember I needed labs until late yesterday...and my appointment is Tuesday. Monday is a holiday. The 7:30 appt CANCELLED and I was able to walk right in. The gal was giving me a mini lecture about making an appointment and not walking in, when I told her I knew it was a risk, but decided to just pray and try it as I hadn't known early enough to make an appointment and the site showed no appointments. She agreed with me that God had blessed me. LOL

GG went down for a nap and Allie was home...she joined us out in the garden for today's hour of fun. The girls brought dirt from the pile in the driveway. We filled the five beds we worked on yesterday with dirt. While they hauled dirt I got the space around three beds weeded and I leveled dirt in beds. 

LOOK! More life. I hope this bodes well for this year's garden. 

The girls put in our agreed upon hour. I spent an extra 1/2 hour puttering around and up-planting these tomato plants. I'm sorely tempted to go buy a plant...but these are doing well. 

Artichokes - a long shot but fun to try. 

It can get discouraging to look at this mess!!!! This is the side of the garden I've not touched yet this year. The part without beds. We add a few new beds each year. 

If I train my eyes to look at THIS part of the garden I feel like progress is being made. LOL 

The older girls enjoyed their bug ball treat. 

The chicks have been moved to their new home. I think they'll be comfortable and I'm happy to have a quieter kitchen back.  We laughed as they began running and flying in their new space. 

Allie met with a friend this afternoon/evening. Stacia and I drove her to town and decided to stay to enjoy the Friday Fling. This is a small open air vendor market. Sadly, there are more food trucks than vendors or Farmer's Market type offerings...but it was a beautiful day and this was the first time we made it out this year. The fling runs from mid May - mid August. 

Nolan, Alex, Stacia and Michael moved the re-purposed hoop house to the top of  two of the beds. The other 1/2 of the hoop house can be made into another small covering or we may join them together some day for the big hoop house we originally envisioned. For now, we needed this space back. LOL 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Great Thursday

 Allie and I have been having a weekly Bible study at 0900. We made plans to sneak out at 0715 today. The thought was this would begin easing Allie into her earlier work routine...and get us home earlier which would help with Michael's routine. He'd be able to tackle a project, rather than wait inside for us to get home.  This will be our last Thursday morning study - we're looking for a new time now that her mornings will be filled with employment. 

GG changed our plans by waking up at 0400 and insisting on breakfast. We begin to think he wakes up early if he knows I am going to be out in the morning to ensure I fix him breakfast rather than Michael. Michael fixes him oatmeal. With me his standard breakfast is fried potatoes, 2 eggs, 2 pieces of toast, bacon, fruit and COFFEE. ::snort:: We are going to check out our theory. GG was sleepy and went back to sleep which allowed Michael to get a few things done, it all works. LOL 

In any event, Allie needs a few things as she begins her new job. We decided a trip to Wasilla was in order and Michael agreed a good time to do it was after breakfast/study as we were already out. Allie drove to Wasilla - and around Wasilla! Woot! 

Stacia and I were eager to spend our hour together in the garden. Allie got GG lunch and stayed inside with him.  She sliced up a watermelon and made fruit salad for us to take to Lifegroup this evening. I think she also swept the upstairs. 

Our goal today was to get these two beds ready for the renovated hoop house to be moved over them. This will give me extra space for warmer weather crops.  The bed on the right was our lasagna bed over the fall/winter. When the greenhouse arrived Alex had taken apart the old compost bed and piled it all in this bed. It was three times that high...we began spreading the compost in that bed amongst the other beds. The goal is to take it down to about 1/2 and then fill it the rest of the way with the topsoil/compost we purchased last year. 

After filling the bed on the left to 1/2 way....we took the plastic off the next bed. Putting black plastic over the beds last fall has paid off huge now. The beds are usually as full of weeds as the space around the beds. 

We weeded and then noted fine roots running through this bed....I suspect chickweed. I decided the best bet was to lay newsprint down from our handy dandy end of newsprint roll from a local paper.  We layered interlocking strips of paper over the bed and watered it.  Then we topped it with the compost from the bed in the first picture. 


We repeated this process in five beds. The hour was up and Stacia was ready to be done. I spent another 30 minutes pulling weeds, watering and such. My goal is to have all the beds planted by the end of Memorial Day.  We may make it. 

One new thing this year is LIFE. The first year NOTHING grew in our garden. The last three years we have worked with the soil, built beds etc...and this year our fifth garden year here...I am excited to see life in the garden...caterpillars, spiders...not sure it's good life but it's life. I thought caterpillars were bad news and then googled and they said they become butterflies which help pollinate plants. What do you think? Move the critters or let them thrive in the garden? 

Five beds - weeded, weed barrier, watered, filled with compost. Ready to add more topsoil/older compost tomorrow. 

The chickens love a treat of watermelon. We bought a LOT of watermelon from co-op on Tuesday. The co-op purchased a bin. I believe I got 50 - 60 lbs of melons.  We are LOVING it. 

Wait...he is heading away from the garden with my new garden bed! Yes, it didn't take long for others to weigh in with their thoughts on how to use the new bed. We talked, compromised and I think it will work.  The chicks are load, boisterous and stinky. I want them out of the kitchen.  They aren't full feathered yet and we can't move them to the chicken yard.  This will make a nice home for them for a couple of weeks in the garage. When they are done with the home, we'll move it to the garden plot. 

My sadness at not having the bed in the garden is tempered by having the chicks OUT of the house. 

We had just enough time for Michael and I to shower and leave for Lifegroup.  Oh! Allie drove us to Lifegroup with Michael in the car. 

It was a great day....one on one time with both girls...at breakfast/study and in the garden, progress on projects, and friends in the evening.