It was short lived

The sun came out, it only dried off a little before it rained again, most of the afternoon, though not as torrential, mostly light drizzle. This morning was thick fog again and it is beginning to rain now and tomorrow. During the brief respite yesterday, I did get most of the catmint dug from under the garden fence line as well as the thick clump of that dreaded grass with the long stolens underground that send it everywhere. A little more weeding inside the fence was begun and then the rain started so I quit again.

Before lunch yesterday we made our weekly trip to get our curbside pickup from the local natural foods store and we always use my car when we go because the lift hatch on the Xterra doesn’t stay up unless someone stands there and holds it. A week or so ago when we went out in my car after a rain, there was a very wet floor mat on the front passenger side and some water in a dash cubbyhole. Early on in the 3 day torrent, I put my car in the garage because of that prior leak, not knowing where it is coming in. Yesterday when I backed the car out to load the garbage on our way to the store, I noticed that the passenger seat, armrest, and floor mat were damp, so obviously I didn’t get it inside in time. I think the seal around the sunroof and/or windshield is leaking. The car is 15 years old and has well over 233,000 miles on it. Not worth having the seal replaced, but maybe the entire sunroof can be sealed shut. I will ask our mechanic the next time it goes in for an oil change.

Daughter had a plumbing flood at her house a couple of months ago and because of the damage, had to pack up lots of books, clothes, and other goods to store until it was repaired. Her house is finally back together and stuff is being unpacked and returned to the home giving me a windfall of empty cardboard to use in the former chicken run around the garden. The entire perimeter is going to finally be covered with cardboard or weed mat and thick spoiled hay to keep the weeds down. With the fence line cleared from the outside, I should be able to get a clean line with the line trimmer around the garden. I really hope that I have created a lower maintenance garden this year. Any extra boxes are going in the walled garden and will be weighted down with more spoiled hay and ultimately compost and soil. I know it is going to get too hot to want to spend a lot of time in the garden soon, so having it lower maintenance will mean I can weed and harvest in the early mornings when it is cooler or at dusk.

This is from the bridge we have to cross over what is usually a calm creek about 15 feet wide to get off of our mountain, taken yesterday morning. There is a road to the left just before the bridge that runs along the creek, sometimes just a few feet above the waterline when the creek is high. That road was closed to all traffic yesterday. There are a few houses in low areas along the creek, I hope they fared well, one of them the residents just got back in their home from where it had to have major repairs done from having a large tree fall across the kitchen end of the house early last spring. We have never seen this creek this flooded before. There are reports and photos from the 1980’s where this bridge would have had water flowing over it, but we weren’t here then. I often wonder the wisdom of building in low areas near a large creek or river.

It looks like it may be Monday before I can get back in the garden.

A Sewing Day

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A few weeks ago, I made 5 cloth masks, 2 for each of us and 1 for daughter as she has been doing grocery runs for us. This morning daughter initiated a text exchange and finally a phone call asking for a mask for her daughter so she can resume Taekwondo outdoor classes. They will be limiting the number of participants, spread out 10 feet apart, and must wear a mask. We ended up on the phone to determine style and size. While on the phone, her son asked for one too and we decided daughter needed a second one. I don’t have any fun fabrics, but do have two different gray fabrics and some ribbon that could be used as ties. The afternoon was spent cutting and sewing 5 more masks so they each have two for being out in public.

Hopefully this will help keep them safe as the state is allowing more and more activities to resume. We are still self isolating except for curbside pick up of some groceries and animal supplies. We will go through a drive through or curbside food delivery occasionally if we are out on one of the other errands.

Daughter set out today to get the remaining plant starts for the garden for her daughter that I helped with via emailed garden plans, instructions, and support. They wanted two Jalapenos plants in what they bought, but couldn’t find any. There are a couple of other places to try, but I may end up starting the seed for her which will slow them down some, but they will still get peppers before the season ends in the fall. They sent me a picture of granddaughter’s garden with plant seed up and starts planted. I wish I could have helped more with it, but pleased that I could provide guidance and planning.

Such a neat little garden and a great lesson for the 8 year old.

Two nights ago, when I went out to lock up the hens, 5 of them had apparently gone under the garden gate and again wrecked havoc. They dug up 3 of the tomatoes, trampled peas, scattered the hay from the aisles. I had to call for help to get them out, did repairs in the falling dark and finished the job yesterday morning. I finally got a new battery for one of my solar fence chargers, so I will be stringing electric wire to keep the deer and fence climbers out. The charger isn’t my preferred one, but I can’t get that one open to see what battery it needs. The back is screwed on with tiny star headed screws and I don’t have a star bit that small. I put a board across the opening under the gate, but I haven’t given the hens any free range time since. I guess I will have to expand their run and only free range them when they can be supervised. Several of them will go over the gate in the garden.

I really don’t want them in there now that the sunflowers and corn have been planted this evening in anticipation of 5 days of rain. In a week or two, the pole beans can be planted in there as well.

The blueberries have berries, the raspberries have flowers, and there are potato sprouts showing. The garden is now fully planted except for the pole beans, a second planting of bush beans in a few weeks, and some herbs that will be tucked between the tomatoes and peppers so that we can have dilly beans and pesto. The pumpkins are started in a flat and will be planted out when they have secondary leaves and I can see where the sunflowers are. The corn block is 4.5 feet by 13.5 feet. That should be a sufficient sized block to get some corn. If the electric will stop the raccoons.

The Yard (Wo)Man

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The grass was tall again, the morning beautiful, the mate still in bed, so after critter chores and breakfast, I took to the mower.

Front northwest. It takes several hours to mow what gets done on the riding mower. You can see the delineation between the hay line and the lawn line. This was the third mowing this year and should have been done a week ago, but it is done. There is hay behind that row of trees and hay to the northeast, east, and south of the mowed area. The hens had supervised free range time while I was doing the mowing. It stirs up bugs and they have a feast. After a break, I broke out the monster Stihl line trimmer, got it re wound with new line, fresh fuel, and worked around the culverts, the transformer box, and the well head. I still need to do around the mailbox and around the lower yard hydrant so the hay men don’t hit it.

Haying has begun in the region, but the guys that do ours either haven’t started yet or they are doing more distant fields, I haven’t seen any evidence of them being out. We are one of the last on their list so it is usually the second week in June before we see them.

The bearded Iris were gorgeous this morning.

Last night after dinner, I plied the two balls from my spindles. I ended up with a tangle on the lace weight and lost a couple grams of yarn, but got 109 yards, 19.7 grams of lace weight yarn from the shiny blue Merino/silk blend and 132 yards, 42.08 grams of fingering weight from the gray Shetland. Only one spindle has been started again, with the Rainbow punis that arrived in yesterday’s mail.

There are 4 one-half ounce punis in the package, 2 each of the red, orange, yellow and green, blue, purple. I am going to spin them in rainbow sequence and then ply them in the same sequence. It should make an interesting scarf or cowl from the finished yarn.

I guess I should get back to work and see if I can finish the lawn chores before time to prepare dinner. Different hats for different times of the day.