Back Forty Update

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I got a false deadline stuck in my head and now that I realize that I don’t have to DO ALL THE THINGS!!!! before I go to Oregon on Wednesday I feel a whole lot better.

Between a really horrible, much worse-than-usual bout with pollen allergies and buckets of rain here and work, not much got done on the homefront this past week. However, I do have pics and news from the week before.

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These jonquils are gone now, and seeds and herbs were planted in the Back Forty last Saturday and Sunday.

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In the above plot, I’ve concentrated my herb garden and planted Oregon Giant snow peas and sweet snap peas in the hoed up area next to the blueberry bush. I discovered that I transferred my surviving asparagus to this area when the shoots came up and surprised me. Good for me. I put in basil, lemon thyme, more English thyme, a globe artichoke, and three kinds of peppers here. Comfrey went into the shady front yard. Rosemary, catnip, parsley and dill went into the whiskey barrels this year.

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I’m taking a cue from what worked best last year and planted a variety of lettuce and arugula and a couple of broccoli plants here. Butterbeans and field peas might be planted tomorrow along here. They can climb up the fence and they get sunshine for most of the day.

Susanne and I planted about half of our community garden plots on Sunday. I put in a few Japanese eggplants, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Sungold, Roma tomatoes, and four yellow crookneck squash. It’s a little early for the tomatoes, but I think they will be fine. At least they got a good soaking rain.

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“Hammock View” progress

I’m probably the only one who can see the difference from day to day!

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Since everything on this side of the design kind of leans to the left, I’ve worked more on the left side this weekend.

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I was at a point when I didn’t have a lot of ends hanging down, and my tension was getting looser. So I bit the bullet and loosened the tension, wound it down about six inches, and retightened it. It wasn’t easy, but I have gotten that sucker so tight I can play bass on it now. I’m a little worried that it will go “sproing!” on me since the tabs on the bottom beam are kind of wonky, but I think that they will hold. If they don’t, I can fix it.

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Saturday morning coffee pot post

I’ve nearly finished the coffee pot, but whatever. I needed to get right to the weaving this morning.

Here I have rotated it so you can get an idea of how it will look when it is hung. About two inches on the right will be turned to the back for a hem. So I am not along very far at all. I will weave on the front porch in the natural light as long as the weather allows. Right now there are cherry blossoms blowing all over the porch. It looks like snow.

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See Pablocito and Theo in the window? They have a turbulent friendship now.

I have my new (two-year old model but new to me) little camera and a stick card reader for my (new to me) laptop so I am starting up my visual journal again. I will often do catch-up posts after I take the photos but whatever gets ‘er done these days is what I’m all about.

I’m about to go out into the Back Forty to plant some lettuce, arugula, and turnip greens if I can find those seeds. The community garden will have to wait until I get my order from Pinetree Seeds and the plant sale at Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. I’m going to plant okra, tomatoes, and carrots there, and the okra and tomatoes need for the weather to get a little warmer. We also have green cotton seeds saved from last year, and flowers galore. I hope that we will get some volunteer flowers from last year, but an over-enthusiastic and well-meaning student cleaned up and prepped our plots for us. The woad is gone. In a way, I’m relieved, because I didn’t know what the hell to do with it anyway.

I might need two claritin before the day is over – whoa.

Because I am alone for lunch, I get to eat beets for lunch.

Here’s a flashback to six years ago when I helped Mama plant her garden on Good Friday. She was 85 then. I miss our gardening conversations so much. Last year we planted tendergreens and carrots in her container garden. I’ll be thinking about her all day today as I plant.

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Visual journal, April 2, 2015

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Crabapple tree on my walk to work.

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I bought this to remind me of my grand plan six years from now.

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Saturday morning coffee pot post

This is my occasional, once upon a time weekly, blog post where I brew a little pot of coffee and then just start writing whatever pops out until I’m tired of writing. Most of the time it is my news and plans, but sometimes it ends up being therapy.

The big news for me this week, which has been super stressful at work, is that Sandy bought me a refurbished Dell laptop to replace the one that died last summer.  Blogwise, that means that there will be more writing here, since I hate typing on the Kindle and I don’t have to blog on my lunch hour at work any more.  Work is busy this time of year.  I’m juggling a lot of different and related tasks but I enjoy most of it. It makes the day go fast but I come home rather mentally exhausted. It simply falls out that most of my work falls in the months of January through March. In April it will begin to taper down, and then by mid-May I have time for other projects that aren’t required or time-sensitive. So I’m taking lots of vacation time beginning in late April through early August this year.

I have not started any seeds this year, which I regret, but I no longer have a good place to shield them from curious and destructive cats.  Last year I started seeds at my office, but now I have so many plants from my mother’s house in there that it seemed like too much.  Susanne and I have rented three plots in the UNCG Community Garden this spring, but due to weather and sickness and busyness we’ve done nothing with them so far.  We planned to work on preparing them to plant next weekend since there is supposed to be a quick hard freeze this weekend, but I just stepped outside and the cold wind is wicked. We’ll see about later. Susanne will take one plot, I’ll take one plot, and we’ll do one together like we did last year. I’m going to plant at least half of mine with paste tomatoes, probably Roma, because I want to can tomato sauce with my mother’s pressure canner this summer.

Tapestry obsession is the main thing with me right now. It’s hard to think about anything else. I try to weave about an hour every night if I have the mental energy to begin.  Once I begin, I relax into it. It is like meditation for me.

Sandy has been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, which was no big surprise to either of us. He has been pre-diabetic for some time now. That boy loves his sugar. He has been pretty good at adjusting so far and has lost some weight since he gave up soda and sweet tea and lemonade. We are attending a three-week diabetes class together on Tuesday nights and I think that the next one on carb counting is going to be a big shocker for him. I’m attending as support, and as the cook in the house, but since my glucose is on the rise and I have such a huge amount of diabetes on both sides of my family I suspect that I’ll be in the same boat at some point.  Either way, it’s a good idea to cut down on sugar. I’ve lost about seven pounds since December and ten since last June. Slow, but I like my grains and beer and I sit on my butt all day.

I bought a new Canon point-and-shoot camera since mine has a cracked display and a fuzzy spot in the photos now. It should get here next week, in time for me to carry it to Oregon with me on April 22.

My sister Lisa has done a lot of work and cleaning out closets and under beds at my mother’s house, which we now call Marietta Manor. She has hired someone to remodel the main bathroom and do some painting to get it ready to sell. I have a feeling that she is going to have a hard time letting it go. I will too, of course, but not like Lisa and Thad. I’m ready to start my life over somewhere else, and the thought of a clean break from North Carolina and its politics feels like a breath of fresh air to me.

Last weekend I brought home my mother’s drawing desk and a ton of old photos that belonged to my grandmother and Aunt Lib (on my daddy’s side). The box with Aunt Lib’s photos had my name written on it in Daddy’s handwriting.  I cried because I remembered the day that he talked to me about it and watched him write my name on the box. I miss my Mama and my Daddy so much. It seems particularly hard these days. Maybe it is a phase in my grief. I’m even dreaming about my cat from my childhood. Going “home” is hard.

Okay, I think that I’m done. Time to clean house a bit, weave a bit, then go buy groceries.  Garden prep if the wind dies down.

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