Monthly Archives: March 2012

Adventures in Gardening Part 4 ~ Build a Box!

Not gonna lie…  This next part…

Nearly.  Wiped.  Me.  Out.

I am completely wasted after building the box for my new veggie garden.  Thank God for my sis who is totally bad-ass in wielding a circular saw as well as a drill.  There is no way in heaven or hell that I would have been able to do this without her!

Men, don’t ever take your upper body strength or muscles for granted.  I’m sure this would have been a snap for you, but I barely escaped with my meager life after building this thingI have a new sense of appreciation for your manly abilities, to be sure.

But despite my weakness…

I am woman hear me RAWR!  After about 4 laborious hours of toil, we got the majority of it done!

We were feeling quite victorious after completing only the first layer, and paused to snap a photo of our accomplishment…

Little did we know, that was only the beginning of what turned out to be some very strenuous work.

~

We did not stop to take photos of the progression, because we were too busy busting our humps and trudging along to get as much of it finished as we could before the rain came, but here are a few shots we took afterwards.  It ended up being a few inches higher than I had originally planned, but it will be easily accessible for me to garden in without hurting my knees.  🙂

Here it is from a few different angles…

Not too shabby for a couple of girls!  😉

~

It’s hard to tell from the photos, but there is about 3 feet around the perimeter of it which will leave plenty of room for maneuvering while gardening, and also for the mower to cut the grass around it.

The cedar we used smelled sooo amazing as we worked with it, and it’s such lovely wood.  I wish the photos showed just how pretty it is…

We still need to drill in the two supports along the sides, and decide which is the best way to seal the inside between the boards so that dirt doesn’t seep through, but wow what a cool thing we’ve made so far!

I know I already said this in an earlier post, but I’m so thankful to my mom for letting me put this in her yard since I don’t have one of my own at the moment, and I can hardly wait to start planting!

Gardening is therapy for me! ♥

Adventures in Gardening Part 3 ~ Breaking Ground!

Finally “broke ground” in the spot where my new vegetable garden is going!  Even for such a small area, it was a lot of work digging up all that grass ~ but it felt really great at the same time.  🙂  Got to use my shiny new shovel too, and it worked like a charm!

I felt a little bad for digging up all that fresh new spring green grass, so I transplanted it to a bare spot on the side of my mom’s garage.  I don’t know if it’ll take though because it might be a bit early in the season for that yet.  I guess time will tell.  One can hope.  If anything, it was nice to have a place to put it so I didn’t feel like I was being wasteful.

~

Check this out!  You just never know what you’ll discover once you start digging.  I’m pretty sure this is a shotgun shell.  Yikes!  Wonder what the story behind this is?  Maybe I’d rather not know…

~

There were tons of worms!  My daughter was very careful as she was helping me that she didn’t injure any during the digging process.  Such a tender heart she has ~ even for worms.  But hey, I’m all for saving the worms because they are very good for a garden!

“No worms were harmed in the making of this movie.”  Er, I mean, in the writing of this blog.  😉  Well, maybe some were…

~

The finished plot!  Hmm, kinda looks like a grave.  Or maybe I’ve been watching too many zombie movies lately…

It looks a lot smaller than I imagined it.  And actually… it is.  About an hour after I cleaned up and finished working for the day, my sister told me that I should have measured and extra 2 inches all around to account for the depth of the cedar beams we are using to build the box.  Oops!  Guess It’s not a finished plot just yet…

~

Adventures in Gardening Part 2

The latest in my gardening adventures…

Thought I should take a “before” photo of the area where my new garden will be going.  Please forgive the bad quality, this was taken with my cell phone because… I don’t always have my camera with me, but I always have my cell.  🙂

Here’s the spot for the plot…

It’s going in the middle of the grassy area.  Despite the fact that it’s in between two houses, my mom assures me that it’s a nice sunny spot for a future vegetable garden.

~

Before I can do any digging I’m going to need something to haul it all away in, so I got m’self a lil red wheel barrow.  Had to assemble this bad-boy first and it was a BEAST!

Who would have thought it would be so difficult to put something so simple as a wheel barrow together?  I certainly wasn’t prepared.  But I conquered it!  I imagine there will be more obstacles to overcome as I continue with this project…

~

Went to Linders today and got some SEEDS!  Yes, it’s a bit premature seeing as I don’t even have the garden bed yet, but I couldn’t resist.  Besides, lettuce and peas are sown in early spring, so I just see it as being ready when the time comes.  😉

USDA organic baby!  I can’t wait to plant these seeds and watch them grow into something delicious!

~

An Experiment in Story Writing

Okay, so I may chicken out and remove this after posting it, but I’m feeling desperate for more feedback on this.   All of one person has read this other than my immediate family, and hers was encouraging :), but before investing more time and energy on it I’d really like to hear from a few more people.  I’m really embarrassed to share it.  So please be kind.

This is a story that I’ve been working on that up until now has only existed in my head.  It’s still only in the very early stages and I don’t have all the details of it worked out ~ it doesn’t even have a title yet.  I’m unsure of some of my wording and punctuation, but I kinda think it’s a good story.  At least it is inside of my head ;).  I guess it would be considered science fiction genre since it’s set in space (I’m such a nerd), but it’s main theme is a love story…

~

She had been hiding out in the cargo hold for nearly two days now since the attack.  She was tired, thirsty and at her wits end, when she heard the lone footsteps coming down the aisle toward her little hiding spot.  Fear gripped her as her mind raced frantically, trying to formulate a plan of action for what to do when those footsteps would reach her.

Celeste had spent the past three years working on this research base as the facility’s computer systems analyst.  Being motivated and brilliant, she had finished her formal higher education early and eagerly began looking for positions that would be not only challenging, but interesting and exciting as well, and this one provided all three.  She had been highly recommended for this position by her professors because of her superior intelligence, extensive knowledge of computers, and also because of her natural ability to problem solve.  Well, problem solving was exactly what she needed now.

She wasn’t quite ready to surrender just yet, but she wasn’t exactly the fighting type either.  Not weak by any means, but definitely more on the feminine side.  And beautiful.  She always tried to play down her appearance in public, and in wanting to be taken seriously in the career world, would often pull up her long, dark, wavy hair into a tight formal looking bun.  But while in the privacy of her own quarters she always let it hang down, and that is how it was now.  Except at the moment it was wild and scraggly looking in her overwrought condition.

In those few precious moments listening to the footsteps as they drew nearer, her mind raced through various scenarios and possibilities of how this impending confrontation could play out.  You’d think she could have contemplated this during the two days she’d been holding up in there, but most of that time had been spent in shock and simply trying to decompress from all of the violence she had witnessed during the initial onslaught.

She had been reading in her quarters that evening when she heard the outbreak of fighting out in the corridor.  At first she thought it strange that someone would have the volume setting so high on a movie they were watching in another room, but when she felt the vibrations from things thudding against the walls, she knew it was much more than a loud movie that was happening.  Her first impulse was to go and look outside the door of her quarters, but her higher reasoning told her that would probably be dangerous, so instead she went to the computer console located on the wall, entered in her security clearance ID, and pulled up the surveillance cameras for the base.  It took her brain a few moments to process what she was seeing; she just couldn’t believe what the images on the screen were showing her.  Dozens of Treylorian soldiers were pouring in from every direction and like the ocean’s waves crashing against the rocks, they brutally laid to waste everything and everyone that lay in their path.  It was truly horrifying.

Humans and Treylorians had been at war for as long as she could remember, but she wasn’t sure of the history as to exactly how or why it had originated.  She knew when she was hired for this position that this planet, where the research base was located, was in a contested area of space and that there was some risk of a possible attack, but she had been assured by her superiors that because of the nature of their work here it was very unlikely to happen.  Up until now that had been correct.

Celeste spent several minutes watching the surveillance cameras, and when she thought she noticed a slight pattern in their attack, she began trying to formulate a way of escape.  But there were none, so all she could do was to try to think of a place to hide.  That was where she came up with the idea of hiding in the cargo hold.  It was a vast chamber located in the far reaches of the facility and loaded with thousands of crates containing various cargo for maintaining the base’s operations.  She thought maybe if she could reach it, she could hold up there, and when things calmed down, possibly sneak out and find a way to contact the base’s headquarters for help.

She was terrified at the idea of leaving her quarters, but she knew if she stayed there it would only be a matter of time before she would be taken captive, and the way she saw the Treylorian soldiers viciously treating their captives on the surveillance cameras frightened her even more.  Watching the cameras closely, she timed it just right, and wearing only her pajamas which consisted of a pair lounge shorts and a camisole, she slipped quickly and quietly out of her quarters and made her way to the cargo hold.

It was a long and arduous journey, and with her heart pounding so fiercely in her chest that the sound of it vibrated in her ears; she weaved stealthily in and out of the small nooks and crannies along the corridors.  A huge sense of relief washed over her when she finally arrived undetected at the entrance of the cargo hold. As she stepped inside and tiptoed down the long aisles, she found what seemed to be the safest hiding spot, and there she had remained ever since.

The footsteps were almost upon her now and she reacted on impulse without thinking and grabbed a nearby metal bar that was used as leverage for moving the crates of cargo.  In an instant she sprang up and positioned herself to swing that bar with all her might at the enemy belonging to those dreaded footsteps.

And then she saw him…

~

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.  Let me know what you think…

Adventures in Gardening Part 1 ~ The Adventure Begins!

In my post Lets Talk About The Weather, I mentioned that my mom is giving me a little 4 x 8 sized piece of her yard so that I can put in a raised vegetable garden!  It’s not much, but it’s something, and I’m extremely grateful!  It needs to be a raised bed because my parents have treated their yard with TruGreen ChemLawn for so many years that I would never eat anything grown in that soil.  They’ve always had a lovely lawn, but I cringe at the thought of consuming all of those chemicals that have built up over the years ~ I’m an organic girl.  🙂  Having a raised bed will also be easier for me with my bad knees.

Anyway, I thought I would start a little series of posts documenting and sharing the progress of it as it goes along.

Prior to the past couple of years, I always had gardens of my own.  Gardening was a major part of my lifestyle for nearly 20 years.  Along with my ex husband, I grew much of my own food, and canned, froze, and dehydrated some of it for later use.  There is something just so unbelievably rewarding about growing your own food.  I also had lovely perennial flower beds that I painstakingly tended and added to each year.  But since moving into an apartment (that I rent), I have had no place to play in the dirt so I am in great need of a gardening fix.

Today my sis and I went to Menards and bought some lumber.  She’s quite the handyman.  Um… I mean… handywoman.  Seriously there is nothing this woman can’t do!  She’s a walking talking wealth of knowledge and information on all sorts of random subjects.  You should see how many various books she’s reading at the moment ~ on everything from making your own cheese, to building an outdoor brick oven.  She and her husband built their cabin themselves ~ like with their own two hands!  Last year they tapped their maple trees and made their own maple syrup, and even took a bee keeping class to learn how to get honey.  If the end of the world or a zombie apocalypse ever happens I’m sticking with her!  😉

~

We snapped these photos of each other as we were leaving the lumber yard.  We had it stacked so high between the seats of my SUV that I could barely see over it!  I ended up choosing cedar to build the bed with.  It’s more expensive, but it will last forever.  And it was on sale!   It smells amazing!

I was laughing because some guys in the car next to us were shouting stuff out their window at us.  I’m not sure what though.  And yes… I squint when I laugh.  My mom always tells me not to laugh while I’m driving because my eyes close.  But I almost always laugh when I’m with my sis!  ♥

~

She looks slightly creeper-ish here peering over the boards at me, but in reality she was actually protecting me against a possible avalanche of lumber.  And I know she’d protect me from the zombies too.  😉   My sis… she’s always got my back.  Or in this case… my face.  😉

~

Stay tuned…

Lets Talk About The Weather

I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere, but here in Minnesota we seem to like to talk a lot about the weather.  Maybe because it’s only in Minnesota that you can experience all four seasons within the span of one day.  Heck, within the span of an hour even!   As the saying goes… “If you don’t like the weather we’re having, just wait five minutes and it’ll change.”

Well today… I wouldn’t want to change a thing about the weather.  It was absolutely glorious!  I don’t know what the high was for the day around the state, but it’s currently 71 degrees at 8 p.m in the Twin Cities Metro Area and it’s the middle of March!  I even heard Robins singing today ~ a sure sign of spring.  I’ve been hearing a lot of birds singing lately actually.  So lovely. ♥  It’s amazing how much joy you can feel at the sound of something so simple as a bird’s song.  At least it is for me, because I’m a dork like that…

The only thing missing is the color green.  I miss green.  Green would be unusual to see in March here in Minnesota (it’s usually still white), but so is 70 degree weather!  I guess since we didn’t get much snow this winter, we’ll have to wait until we get some rain for the green to show up…

As my daughter and I ventured out and about today to enjoy the nice weather, we ended up near downtown Minneapolis along the Mississippi River at an area called Riverplace.  I grew up not too far from there.  There are walking/biking trails all along the river, and buildings and bridges with interesting architecture to look at.  It was the middle of the afternoon and there were tons of people out.  They all must have been playing hooky from work and school.

We had a bit of a difficult time on our walk because of my daughter’s dog, Teddy.  He has absolutely no social skills whatsoever and freaked out and barked at every single dog we encountered along the way.  It was so annoying!  He however, seemed to be enjoying himself immensely.  He was all plumb tuckered out by the time we got back to the car.

He’s lucky he’s so cute, because he can be awfully aggravating.  You’d never guess how naughty he is by looking at this adorableness…

~

Afterward, we took a nice drive along the river road and then ended up at my mom’s house.

Another wonderful thing about this weather is that with the hope of approaching springtime comes gardening time (or rather “planning” for it).  For nearly half of my life, gardening has been a major part of my springtime excitement ~ planning and drawing the layout of each year’s vegetable garden, and deciding where and which perennials and annuals to add to my flower beds.  Since losing my home, I have been greatly deprived of this pleasure for the past couple of springs.  Until now… my mom has agreed to let me put in a small raised vegetable garden in her yard!  I am so pumped!  I’m sure I’ll have more to follow on that as it gets underway.

Look!  My mom’s lilac bush has buds!

~

Since it was so nice out we decided to eat dinner outside on my mom’s patio and guess what?  One negative about this warm weather… unfortunately the stupid bugs have awakened with the warm weather too and the wasps are out already!  Okay, it was just one wasp.  And it was not at the top of its game.  But I barely escaped with my meager life as it landed on my hand and tried to take over my burrito!  Funny thing… as I was attempting to flee from the wasp’s angry grasp,  I accidentally flung the innards of my burrito all over the back of my mom’s shirt.  Oops!  Omygosh it was hilarious!  I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.  Felt good.

My brave daughter had taken this photo earlier ~ before its brutal attack.  We should have smashed it while we had the chance.  Here is the evil culprit of my burrito’s untimely demise…

~

The extended weather forecast is looking good.

Five-day forecast

Tomorrow

Mar 15

Friday

Mar 16

Saturday

Mar 17

Sunday

Mar 18

Monday

Mar 19

Partly CloudyPartly Cloudy Mostly SunnyMostly Sunny Scattered ThunderstormsScattered Thunderstorms Isolated ThunderstormsIsolated Thunderstorms Scattered ThunderstormsScattered Thunderstorms
Hi:
67°
Lo:
48°
Hi:
75°
Lo:
56°
Hi:
76°
Lo:
57°
Hi:
71°
Lo:
56°
Hi:
74°
Lo:
56°

The thunderstorms don’t bother me.  I love them actually!  And besides, that will bring the green!  The forecast doesn’t really mean anything anyway because this IS Minnesota and it could all change in the next five minutes…

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How’s the weather where you are?