Monday, May 24, 2010

Yawn....... Update request?


UPDATE - I would like to add some comfrey and Echinacea to my herb garden. Does anyone have some roots and/or dried flower heads they would be willing to send to me, if I pay postage?

Back to the original post! :o) ~~~

Sorry, that was the best title I could come up with this morning.

It was a big weekend, despite there being two Shabbats to enjoy, they were busy ones spent in our very favorite way, with friends. I wish I had lots of photos to show you, but honestly, I was too busy just sitting around talking and I missed most of the adventures.

However, there was a little work to be done before it all began. Friday morning we really tried to get to get the pool deck done, but we hit a snag.

First thing we did was screw down the outermost deck boards, flush with the joists underneath.

The reason we wanted them flush is because we hope to put umbrella holders on the sides, and deck boards sticking past would get in the way.

Then we had to find the center point and mark it, as well as having the boards lined up straight on their ends.

Here, this board is screwed down right up to the center line. Spacing can be a little intimidating, so I usually lay them out and get an idea for how much spacing to go for.

Screwing them in is both fun and aggravating. Fun ~~ who doesn't like to operate power tools? Aggravating ~~ the boards are rarely perfectly straight, and have to be pushed or pulled in various areas as you screw them down so they line up neatly.

In this photo, you can see the garden tool we used as a spacer to hold the boards apart while I shoved on this end and Michael screwed it down quickly.

That ax head makes a nice wedge spacer as well, anything you can find is handy. Oh, and don't you love the numbers on the boards? LOL Michael did not hear me say "pencil" and instead used permanent marker....

Here is one side of the deck where we did not get the spacing right. The old board just would not give enough. At a distance it is not that noticeable...

But up close you can see the end just would not get over enough. We are trying to economize and not buy new boards, so we let this one go.

But at the other end we had three boards that were excessively tweaked as you can see here. There was no amount of pushing and pulling that I could do, feet braced against the poles, that would do the job.

So we had to call it quits and get some new boards when we went to town for office cleaning, gymnastics, and some grocery shopping for the Big War the next day.

Saturday morning, amidst a bit of house cleaning, I quickly planted some Dwarf Grey Sugar Peas, some Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, and a couple of cucumbers.

I don't know how well the peas will do, but I really wanted to try a second crop. I'm hoping with the mulch the beds will be cool enough to see something come of them. This variety is a low bush type, that trellising is not supposed to be necessary for. I will transplant them closely so they support one another.

The lettuce variety is a hot weather resistant type, and is going to be my attempt to grow in the summer, out in the garden area. I may plant them underneath another crop to shade them.

The cucumber plan for the year is to not harvest a bushel a day, like we did last year! So I want to plant just one or two a week, to have a slow but steady supply of salad cukes.

The eggplants are doing great, so far! At least a lot better than I expected. They are withstanding the flea beetles. I believe the mulch is helping. They all have flowers, though they are still on the small side. This is quite an accomplishment here. Usually flea beetles completely prevent the growing of eggplant.

Then we were blessed to have a good supply of friends over for the afternoon and night. Michael had been planning an airsoft war for months, and about 10 young people came to participate, bringing along parents as well.

I wish I'd taken lots of photos, it was a wonderful time, but I was too busy visiting and being spoiled rotten by help!

This brought tears to my eyes. 10 heads out there, all picking strawberries for us. What would have taken over an hour for the two of us, they all swooped in and got done very quickly. I hope they enjoyed a lot of berries while picking, they are so good when fresh.

They brought in 3 large bowls of berries, and we ladies enjoyed chatting and processing them. Then we went out and picked a salad with all sorts of things from the herb garden thrown in. It was fun to pick and choose what flavors to add.

The young people came back from war for dinner, promptly ushered me out of the kitchen, and proceeded to finish fixing dinner for me. I'm so spoiled!

I did manage to snap a couple of shots of only a small portion of the battle paraphernalia strewn about the house and front porch.

Good times!