Wednesday, April 26, 2006

National Arbor Day

April 28th is National Arbor Day -J. Sterling Morton, the originator of the Arbor Day idea, was among the many pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854. With the decided lack of trees on the
Nebraskan plains, Morton made it his cause to plant trees, not just for beautification but also to preserve the soil. He encouraged civic organizations to join in the effort, proclaiming the first Arbor Day in 1872. Today, the most common date for observances is the last Friday in April, although many states celebrate it whenever conditions there are best for planting trees.
I just noticed that OR celebrates Arbor week the first week of April... You can still plant a tree!

No Tv week has been going pretty well- I did break down and watch Gilmore Girls last night. Watering the garden at night has made staying away from the tv a bit easier. Making sure the newly planted stuff and the little sprouts don't dry out takes up most of my evening.

Tomorrow is Last Thursday on Alberta St. All the shops stay open late and people sell their art work out on the sidewalk. I plan on poking around a bit, hopefully it will be a warm night. It has been chilly the last few days.


* When the down of a dandelion contracts, it is a sign of rain.
* When spiders build new webs, the weather will be clear.
* A dream of gardens foretells great joy.
* An open anthill indicates good weather; a closed one, an approaching
* Dust rising in dry weather is a sign of an approaching change in the
* Many thunderstorms in May, and the farmer sings Hey! hey!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Turn OFF your TV

Tomorrow is the first day of TV-Turnoff Week 2006

Why Turn off the TV?

Television cuts into family time, harms our children's ability to read and succeed in school, and contributes to unhealthy lifestyles and obesity. Here are just a few of the facts:
On average, children in the US will spend more time in front of the television (1,023 hours) than in school this year (900 hours).
Forty percent of Americans frequently or always watch television during dinner.
As US Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher said at the Kick Off of TV-Turnoff Week 2001, "We are raising the most overweight generation of youngsters in American history...This week is about saving lives."

I am more likely to have the tv on as background noise than the radio. I have been better about not doing that. On the weekends I have NPR on or just go with the peace and quite of no noise. During the week by the time I get home, walk Miles and get some dinner I am ready to lay in bed and read. Joining a book club helped my tv watching as well. When you only have so long to read a book it cuts into tv watching time.

So the rain finally let up enough for me to get out into the yard. I spent yesterday at the garden center and then in the yard planting my treasures. I have never grown zucchini or cucumbers, but thought this year I would like to. I like the pickling cucumbers so I bought two plants and two zucchini plants. With not a lot of garden space to grow these winding vines, I found a great trellis.

It's a bamboo tee pee. 6ft tall it fits perfect in my space and I can train the vines to grow up it. The end of the garden where the bulbs are it's hard to plant veggies so I put part of the tee pee over the daffodils and planted the zucchini around them so when the bulbs are done the vines will be growing up and will cover the bare space under the tee pee.

I planted some snapdragons and cosmos in between the bulbs so as they go away the annuals will fill in the empty space. I love bulbs when they are in bloom but it seems to take forever for the foliage to go away. You don't want to cut it down because that is how the bulbs get their nourishment for the next season.

Today I have to put up the netting for my peas to start climbing up. I am going to use the netting that goes over plants to protect them from the birds. I think it will be strong enough for the peas. The first batch is about a foot tall and the second batch are just starting to stick their heads up.

As for compost this time I bought enough to finish up the garden and still have two bags left. It was nice they had buy two get one free.

My blueberries have tons of flowers. I had to be careful when I was mowing not to knock off the flowers. I put some compost around them and also bought some hand shears so I don't have to mow to close to them.

My next project is to dig a border around the side of the house. When mowing it's so hard to get right up close to the house and I don't have a weed whip and besides doing all that is a lot of work. I am going to try the border with some wood chips. Maybe this fall I can plant some bulbs. Since we are renting I don't want to put a lot of money into perennial plants. Bulbs are cheap and they have nice impact the next season.

Between all of this I was able to start a scarf. I know you say a scarf but I didn't feel like thinking about anything and I had the yarn so I got started. You can never start knitting Christmas gifts to early.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Rain, Hail, Sun, Rain, Hail, Sun...

That is about how fast the weather is changing today. They say in OR if you don't like the weather wait 10 minutues and it will change. Today it's more like 3 minutes. It has hailed twice in the last 1/2 hour.

Here's a little glimpse at my lawn. No that's not an easter egg in the background.

It's a Fosters beer can- showing you how tall my grass is!

I was able to cut my other butterfly bush back. I now have a huge pile of debris in the alley that I need to deal with. I like butterfly bushes but they grow like weeds.
Here's the one in the front yard. I went a bit more drastic on this one.

This one I left high enough to cover some of the garbage can. We'll see how fast they grow back and how tall they get this summer.

Since I couldn't be outside much today I spent the morning doing some spring cleaning. The fun thing was I did it in my PJ's. I came in from walking Miles and just got started. All of a sudden I had the shop vac out and was vacuuming the base boards, changed my bedroom around, washed windows and baseboards, did laundray and even found time for lunch. This is how Miles spent the morning.

He has now moved to the futon in the computer room and is snuggled into the sleeping bag.

On our walk this morning I found a couple Lilac bushes that are getting ready to bloom. Mine only has one flower on it. I wonder why? I feel like they are starting early. They are usually starting to bloom around my birthday- begining of May. I guess it's not that far away, it just seems early.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Where have I been all week?

Well it all started with some car shopping. Josh and I spent Sunday afternoon/ evening at a car lot. It was time for the Jetta to go. A nice car when the check engine light wasn't on. I would often find myself thinking this car is not so bad then after about 3,000 miles when the check engine light would come on I would curse myself for liking it. As we cleaned it out for the last time I felt sad. It had been with me for 4 years and did serve it's puprose, but with the warrenty ending I just couldn't risk it. A note to future car buyers don't buy Volkswagons.
We have been looking for the past few months for a car- going back and forth between a Subaru and a Honda CR-V. Neither of us had driven a CR-V so it was hard to truely compare them. I found a 2000 Subaru on line with low miles... so we headed out for a test drive. When we got there they also had a CR-V on the lot. After driving the Subaru we decided to take the CR-V for a drive... Loved it. There is so much room and it drives so nice. It's a 2002, Maroon and had more features that we liked than the subaru. Moon Roof, tinted windows, 6 disk in dash cd player. After the haggeling we were able to get the Jetta paid off- even made a bit of $- and were able to drive the Honda home. At the end of the deal we found out we could get a 4 year warrenty. I never though much about warrenties- except you spend money on them and never use them- after the Jetta I think warrenties are important. Something else we used in purchasing our car is Carfax. It shows you what the car has been up to and if you really want to buy it. Some sites do it for free and the dealer might do it for you. I had run one on the Subaru and then the dealer ended up running one on the Honda.

(not our actual car- to lazy to go out and take a photo)

The other thing I have been doing this week is starting a new job. Tuesday was my last day at Willamette Week. I started right away on Wednesday at McClaskey's Wine and Spirits. I am an Excecutive Assistant... basically I take care of the front office and assist the owner of the company. I will also do things for the sales reps- get menus together. Deal with walk in wine sales and will call wine pick up. They travel quite a bit so I will take care of that, special events go on and I will help cordinate and organize. It was a bit of a culture shock, a bit more structured than WW. Friday I started to get the hang of things... there is a lot to learn it will probably take about a month before I feel comfy and at home.

I am glad I have the weekend off... I was looking forward to working in the yard, mowing. I woke up to rain and just heard it's suppose to rain all weekend. Mowing is out but I might try to do some other stuff- you can always pull weeds in the rain.

I think it's time to get carrot and radish seeds into the ground.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sun Showers

Today is an odd day- 1) it's April Fools day 2) It's day light savings. Next year it's going to be even earlier. I think March 11th... Maybe that is why it's currently sunny out and raining at the same time.
I just finished in the yard so I guess it's okay. I bought 3 bags of compost and I need 3 more to finish up. I always think I am buying enough. The garden is set so tomorrow morning I can get up and plant some seeds. I was able to thin some of the lettuce. Once I started I found a nice pattern and was able to do two of the rows... The rain was getting to be a bit much so I stopped. The birds might be happy that I cleaned their birdbaths today. I moved one over by the feeder maybe it will draw them in.

Today was fuschia Saturday at Fred Meyer.

They have cheap starts and if you bring your own containers they will plant them for you for free. I don't have enough shade for fuschias so I passed.

Today was also the first Farmers Market on Portland State Campus.
I didn't make it- but have it on my to do list for the next weekend. Only a month and the Hollywood market will be open. It's so close to my house- but my over all favorite is the Beaverton market.

I have this butterfly bush on the corner of my yard. It is so overgrown and woody. I cut it down today. It was hard to do because now the space is so open and it kind of hid the neighbors ugly trash cans. I know it will grow back lush and beautiful (and more manageable) but for now it's ugly and a eye soar and I am doubting my decision...