Thursday, March 25, 2010

Something Wicked This Way Comes..


So I'm minding my own business, and I hear a strange sound coming from the opposite end of the house.

It's crinkling, rattling type sound, sort of like if someone were playing with a couple of large empty potato chip bags.

I think, "Grrrrr, must be another mouse." I tip-toe my way across the floor,

wishing my bare feet didn't make a sticking noise every time I lifted them up to take another step.

The crinkling goes on. I attempt to take my steps during the loudest crinkling sounds.

I get all the way to the utility room where the back door is and the washer and dryer. The sound is really loud now. And coming from somewhere around the dryer.

Whatever this is, it sure sounds big. Could a possum or somethimg somehow have darted in when I went out the back door?

I slowly and quietly unload the junk from the top of the dryer... a laundry basket, a small bucket of paint thinner, which always makes the room reek (why haven't I gotten rid of that, anyhow?), a toolbox, rattling is still going crazy back there, a little hex wrench, the detergent bucket....

You have to have a clear floor in every direction. You never know which way a creature may choose to run across your body as it tries to escape, so you want to be prepared for every eventuality.

I am finally prepared. I climb over the top of the dryer and peer behind, expecting to see an opossum or small raccoon. Instead I see nothing. But the problem is clear.

There is something in my dryer vent hose.

How did it get in there? Inside? Outside? In between?

I decide to do the only logical thing. Turn on the dryer and make the new digs more like the Sahara Desert than a nice vacation spot from the rain.

.....mad scrambling.... good... it's not happy.... more scrambling..... quiet... it's thinking about its options....

.... more scrambling....



Silence from the scrambling, and even worse, deathly silence from my dryer! Not good.

Now its my turn to think. I cautiously peek inside the door, nothing visible in the barrel. I try to turn on the dryer. Won't come on. I try to move the barrel. It's not free moving like it should be.

So. I can take on yet another project - which I love to do and learn by - but add yet one more stress to my already overly full life and schedule. Or I can call a hero. Yes. That's it. I need a HERO!

Michael is off with friends today. My dad is sick. So I call a repair man. He's going to be here in a few minutes.

I hope it's not too messy.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Country Means Something Different.


This is one of those humor pieces that some people will crack up about willingly, crack up about unwillingly, or will hate. I was in the first category, and in my group of friends, I have people of the other two categories. So watch and see where you fall. ;o)



Monday, March 22, 2010

Whoops! Hip-Hop! Tilling up the Garden


Some friends dropped by while we were celebrating Shabbat by doing nothing but relaxing and practicing some hip-hop. Here's Michael working one out.

I didn't take any photos of my friends doing hip-hop moves, but I did take a photo of the scarf project I finished up. Elaine wanted to know how to do the fringe, so I demonstrated on one end and she tackled the other. Here is the wildly successful new fashion statement that came about as a result of being very deep in conversation - the "Off-Fringe".

What you can't hear is the hysterical laughter taking place as we all gathered around.

This back porch is getting quite adventurous! I am going to have to start buying a few pieces a week so I can build something back here.

This front yard excavation is 7 years old. Still nothing will grow here, not even weeds. Beyond hauling in truckloads of topsoil, I have no idea what to do. I will have to get out an old video I recorded of Elliot Coleman turning soil like this into good soil within a year. I don't know how expensive it will be, but maybe he is very creative about it. I seem to remember Daikon radishes being part of it...

After a couple of days of clear weather, the soil had dried out enough for Michael and I to begin tilling in the garden. He's putting the cover back on after installing the new belt.

While he did that, I mowed the weeds over the area we are going to plant peas.

I found several items still growing from last year.

Swiss chard.

Large onions, thought not very large.

A bunch of bunching onions.

Two different types of leeks. I'm very excited about these. I love leeks for soups, and hate to pay the grocer prices.

And this is why we mowed first, to eliminate getting weeds wrapped around the tines.

The sky was beautiful. The weather fairly balmy, though very windy, so we needed jackets.

Soaking up the sun.

Getting the knack for starting it up. So often you have to play with the choke, backing it off, bringing it up. Each engine is a little quirky. We figured it mostly out within about 20 minutes.

What shoes are you wearing, Michael?

That's better!

Since the garden is mostly sloped at the top, we decided to tier the beds up here. So after Michael went over the lower side of the bed to break it up, I spaded the upper side and tossed it onto the lower side. This also made it easier to keep the tiller going in a straight line on a hill. They like to wander downhill while you are struggling to make beds.

Found a praying mantis egg sac in the branches of one of last year's pepper plants.

We're going to let this sit for a couple of days, letting the weed roots resprout, then til it again. Probably do that one more time to make sure they are worn out, then plant peas by the weekend.

We dug up some of these giant frustrating weeds. The roots are massive and you can hardly kill them. I hope we got all the roots.

Coming back up we see the wind has taken out the shoe bin, again, and all the patio set along with it. I've got to do something else. I've had it with that thing. Currently, it is propped up against the back of the house with a step ladder and cement blocks holding it all still. Not pretty.

But this incoming storm sure is!

Crazy weather year, hasn't it been? I guess we'll all see where this year takes us. Happy garden planning!