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Feeling Drippy

Ugh! Today is a weather day. It has been rainy and dreary here now for months…..Not to mention that last summer and the summer before were also both quite wet and dreary. If I wanted to live in the rain forest I would have moved to Washington for Pete’s sake! Our ground is so waterlogged that most of the seeds won’t even germinate, not to mention, in these mountain altitudes, when there is no sun, there is little heat. So this week we get fifty degree days and rain. I looked at the ten day forecast yesterday and Tuesday, June 14th is the next day they have predicted sun! My poor, poor peppers and tomatoes do not know what to do with all of this stinkin rain!

A couple days of clouds quickly steals the ambition right out from under me and I just want to cover my head till the sun comes out…..

Blue light receptors or something…. nonetheless, I get a bit grumpy and cynical when the sun hides for days. Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I have plenty of drive and motivation, but a complete lack of ambition and focus. I can make lists all day long of the things I want to accomplish despite the dreary weather, but when I look at them and pick a chore, I wander aimlessly around avoiding any real projects.

We have it much better than ND. Those poor folks are drowning in our runoff….. My prayers are with ya folks! We ALL want it to STOP RAINING!  Anymore it seems like all April showers bring, is more May showers, and June Showers…is it ever gonna stop?

Tomorrow is my son’s last day of school for the year. I look forward to some quality time with him this summer. The other day he told me that his best friend (who attends church with us), has decided that he believes in the Egyptian gods, and that he is sad because he really wants his friend to remember Jesus before the end comes. He is worried about missing his friend in heaven. Is that not a sweet thought from a twelve year old boy? All I can do is pray for his dear friend, and hope he finds his way back. Children are so amazing!

I can’t wait for this blog to grow into a large enough domain that I actually have a reason to make tabs, and keep track of the seasons. I sure wish the weather would dry up enough for me to go out and get some photos. I did take some of the front bed, which is going to be a perennial bed. Before pictures from last week. I have since dropped several pots of perennial herb seeds down into the soil, of which, a few have germinated. We might get a spot of sun tomorrow, I will try for some new photos of the herb pots pre growth.

Before I was a Christian, long long before, I often spent time online reading blogs about crafts, sustainable living, and gardening. It seems like I felt like I was constantly coming across Christian sustainability web pages and blogs. By this I mean web pages published or blogs maintained by Christians who are mostly or completely self sufficient. Off the grid I suppose. Now, I go looking for those blogs and I cannot find much. What’s up with that?

My boy wants meatloaf…I want to be lazy, meatloaf it is then. Funny how much you will do for your children. I take way better care of him than I do myself. I insist he eat healthy meals when I can barely stomach them (or maybe chew, can’t wait to get these stinkin teeth fixed). I insist he have a sleep routine when I cannot establish one. I insist he go to the dentist, while I myself procrastinate…. hmmm? Whats up with that?

I am the volunteer coordinator for the local Spay/Neuter task force. Three times a year we hold a local event during which we Spay/Neuter almost two hundred low-income animals for free. I live for this event. It puts some worth into my otherwise, somewhat boring life. This particular event, we happened to schedule for what appears to be vacation week. Five of my regular volunteers have called me to tell me that they will be on vacation for that week! Oh Crap!   Not quite in panic mode but not really comfortable either!

I find that i go through a cycle of feeling both blessed by where I am in life and how far I have come, and feeling quite stagnant. It really feels, sometimes, like my life is just a series of naps, chores, and snacks. I desperately wish that my husband and son would help me keep our house clean without me having to get angry or sad. Most of the time when I get angry or sad, they help me out for a day or two, and then right back to the same old routine. I clean all week, and then we trash the place on weekends. It sucks to feel like I have no real worth except to clean up and feed after my husband and son. I want to garden and craft and write a book. I want to take my dogs to the park on a routine basis. Ugh! I want some help. How many housewives feel this way? And yet, as meaningless as it all seems some days, I feel more blessed than I ever have…..Hmmm. Whats up with that?   I gotta go make meatloaf!

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Rain Rain go away

My goodness, we have had some serious moisture this spring. We have successfully flooded ND with all of our snowmelt. I have had this raging infection in my jaw due to an abscessed tooth! Mouth pain has got to be the worst. I have had the hardest time focusing this week. I got some new seeds, and this great greenhouse, but I can’t bring myself to go out in the wind and rain to garden with this stupid face ache. I find that the more I read and learn about gardening, the more I want to try and the more I want to grow. I have some nasty little army worms that have effectively destroyed one of my Columbine plants this week, but tomorrow, when all threat of rain has passed, they are doomed. I have not been able to get myself excited about the garden this week through the cloud that has come with this infection. I look forward to a bright sunny weekend that is pretty well devoid of obligations other than gardening. I got some cool Cauliflower that I have never seen before, and picked up a few seeds that I had barely heard of before this spring. I also ordered my fruit trees for indoor container gardening the other night. I am so incredibly excited about the prospect of growing fruit in my living room. I have also become aware of how much fruit grows naturally in Montana. I wonder why more people don’t grow fruit here? I need to go to bed. I always find myself at the computer late at night. I am just waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in and the throb to come down to a dull roar. In the am I will have been on antibiotics for twenty four hours and should start to feel some improvement.  I am going to try and get some good garden pictures over the weekend and load them to the blog, so I can share my excitement. Have a great night all, and Happy Gardening!

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R.I.P Stevia….and it was doing so well

I mourn the loss of my Stevia plants with a frustration and irritation. I have read all over the place that Stevia is hard to grow from seed, however, after searching for almost a month to find some seeds locally, I purchased a pack of ten measly seeds for almost four dollars! Are you kidding me, these things must be like gold. At that same time I also purchased a pack of Spearmint seeds, which for some reason, are also incredibly difficult to come by in this region. To my dismay, the Spearmint also contained very few seeds. I planted my little seeds and diligently cared for them as they sprouted and grew. As I read more I learned how lucky I was to have four strong little seedlings from those ten seeds I planted, and nearly all of the Spearmint seeds had germinated and I think I had eight or ten baby Spearmint plants as well. Tonight, the dumb-arse cat that I am cat-sitting, knocked down and killed all of those healthy little seedlings. They are smashed behind a greenhouse table and a window and any attempt I make to rescue them is going to result in their complete demise….so I must say so long, and hopefully I will find these seeds again. (clearance season on seeds, so I will rush out tomorrow and hope they are not all gone). I am irritated by a general lack of respect for my plants and garden by my visiting pets parents. Every single time someone brings a dog to my house, a plant gets destroyed. Now the visiting cat is joining the torture. I love animals so much, but I am tempted to just ask people to leave their animals home at this rate. Today alone, two different visiting pets managed to destroy over twenty five seedlings….Grr….Argh! How do I get my friends to understand how frustrating that is, how much time, energy, and money I put into raising those little things? I cannot get that time back. There is nothing I can do about the lost Brussels Sprouts and Stevia plants. I really put a lot of heart into them and as they are destroyed, I don’t think it’s cute the way your dog is standing in my raised bed! Please manage your pets or leave them home! Well, there is always next year I guess. I do still have a patient part of my that thinks maybe I can try purchasing greenhouse plants of theses varieties yet for this year, but they are so much more expensive, and so much less gratifying!

On a happier note, I had a fantastic day building gardening planners for one of my girlfriends and I. They started out identical, and we are gonna sit down and compare them in a year to see how we have modified them. I think that will be quite interesting really. I put in a few pertinent charts, and made is realistic for outside use by placing everything in sheet protectors. She was pretty excited to get hers, and I started prettying mine up as soon as I had a chance.

I am anxious for the holiday weekend to come and go. I am hoping that with the onset of the last frost date, we will also receive some good, hot, sunny weather. We have a gutter leak that drowned some of my little Cherry tomato babies the last two days. I hope they dry out. So far they are hanging in there, but if we don’t get some sun soon, they are gonna wither and dye. I am anxious to get out to the beds and finish up my planting in the next couple of weeks, and I look forward to experimenting with the greenhouse and succesion planting. Well, I guess that’s it for now, it’s late and I should be sleeping. ‘night.

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Gardening on my mind

I can’t get myself motivated for these menial indoor tasks. It has been raining for two months, it seems…..
Floods are everywhere and I have no ambition to do indoor chores. My greenhouse is finally erected and I cannot really do much outdoors. The last couple of weeks have been quite busy in the garden, when I get a break in the clouds. I cannot wait for it to warm up some so I can spend full days in the sun; so that my plants can get a break from some of this rain, and enjoy some of the hot Montana sun that they so love.
I spend countless rainy hours searching for solutions to my ant problem. They are not fire ants, but they are everywhere! I cannot figure out how to get rid of them, and I have yet to see an anthill. I have tried countless things, so far Grants Kills Ants have been the most successful thing, but they are hard to find around here. Cinnamon seemed to do the trick when I spread it over my garden, but when I pulled up my radishes, I was quite dismayed to see that the ants had just gone under the soil. Alas, they eat my radishes every year without fail! I have moved the radishes, I have sprayed pesticides (much to my dismay), I have tried soap and water. Nothing seems to work. As far as I can tell I don’t have any sign of Aphids (I read that Aphids attract ants and that to get rid of the aphids would solve the ant problem). I have a new organic trick I read about as a general pesticide. It is a concoction of onion and garlic that I chopped up and put in a milk jug with water. I let it sit for a week and strained it, but it has not stopped raining long enough for me to apply it. Also, it seems I would have to make quite a lot of this to soak my whole garden (as there do not seem to be any areas free of ants). I guess I have to stick with good ole grants stakes for now and hope I can find something natural to replace it with, or at least something that I have easier access to. I have just established a large garden, nearly free, thanks to my very resourceful husband, who was able to score me some really good used potting soil that I could improve some of my very clayey soil with. He was also able to get me some shipping crates that we were able to fill with some of this same free soil and square off for raised square foot beds. I have spent endless hours scouring books and the internet looking for frugal gardening ideas. I was also lucky enough to get a small greenhouse for mothers day from my wonderful son and husband. I am in garden heaven…with one exception, everything is flooded and we are looking at seven days of forecasted rain. In the course of this blog, I hope to share my adventures and learning experiences as a relatively “baby” gardener. As each season progresses, I become more and more interested in the details involved with gardening. I learn more about pests and disease, companion planting and crop seasons. This year I add a greenhouse to the mix. The adventure ahead of me is so exciting! For as long as I can remember, I have daydreamed about my little place in the country. I have wondered and waited and hoped and dreamed, but never imagined it would come true before me. Today, I sit here, on the edge of the country, looking at the flood in the cow pasture, and think how far I have come form those young city girl aspirations. I revel in the many blessings which I am surrounded by, and thank God for the many blessings and opportunities that have come my way! Today I realize that I have started my journey to self sustainability, or at least have learned to walk and taken a baby step or two. I hope to build this blog into a wealth of frugal information and curious journey. Won’t you meander with me, as I learn how to turn my semi-rural yard into a productive garden? I intend to learn to garden and harvest proficiently. I intend to process and preserve my harvest. I intend to live off of this bounty for most of the winter, and God willing, my husband has a good hunting season, we shall eat fairly inexpensively for the next several seasons. I love the idea of making homemade gifts out of garden goodies (like veggie baskets and herb vinegars and oils). I intend to gift seedlings to friends not blessed with greenhouses, and maybe one day when I can expand my little greenhouse I can consider farmers market as a way to share the wealth as well. I find myself daydreaming of the endless possibilities that this little greenhouse has opened up for me. I intend to square foot garden and container garden on this tiny little piece of land that I have available to me for now. I am greatly interested in growing a large perennial bed of herbs and I am also completely enthralled at the idea of companion planting and organic procedures. Frugal by nature, I love finding great ideas and sharing them with others. I can’t wait to share them with you! When the weather is less than pleasant, I love to work on my numerous craft projects and writing is always a favorite pastime. I find much more time for these activities in the winter, which can be quite long in Montana. For now, the clouds have dissipated and I find myself called to the garden, until next time…