Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gardening prep

My favorite new weather phrase:
a frog strangler = a big rain storm

Keith and I have placed our preliminary orders for seeds.

We spent $42.50 @ Johnny's.
Cauliflower: Cheddar Total:$5.60
Costata Romanesco (Italian zucchini) Total:$2.85
Golden Beet Total:$3.65
Pickling Cucumbers: Amour Total:$1.20
Heirloom Tomato: Reif Red Heart Total:$1.25
Green Beans: Fortex Total:$4.15
Mini Onions: Purplette Total:$3.65
Cumin Total:$2.95
Bell Peppers, Sweet Orange: Gourmet Total:$4.00
Okra: Cajun Delight (F1) Total:$2.95
Watermelon: Orange Sweet Total:$5.95
Wildflowers: Northern Lights Mix Total:$2.95
Eggplant, Round Baby: No. 226 Total:$1.35

Red Strawberry Popcorn from tmseeds.

And from (they have neat bonsai trees!)
Carrot Nutri-Red (red carrots)
Carrot Purple Dragon (purple carrots)

We also filled a shopping cart with plants and seeds from richters, but then the shipping was over half of the cost of the total order and we couldn't see forking out $90+ for 12 plants. we're too poor. so we have to revisit that list and decide which ones we can't live without.

alpine strawberries, amish paste tomatoes, peppers, oregon sugar pod peas, and my favorite thing i've seen in the catalogs so far....
"Produces nice long, straight branches that can be cut to skewer lengths to grill meats, veggies, and even fruits such as strawberries or pineapple. The savoury essence of rosemary comes through beautifully without overpowering the food. After one try you won’t want to go back to ordinary skewers again. Neat upright growth habit, reaching up to 1.5m (6ft) high."

Um, I don' t want to give away all my farmers market plants, but diversity is key. And we could totally sell rosemary to people to use on the grill...

We also worked up the courage to try pruning a tree.
Another post on that, separately.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Friday

Siding is mostly done. Except for the corners.
And the end where we have to replace the broken window.

On the corners we're going to make metal pieces to match the rafters to support the corners of the roof. And then cut the siding to fit over the bracing leg... Maybe it will make sense once it's done and there's a photo illustration.

We made a porch light today with a $1 glass lampshade we found at Rockin' Rudy's. (Some sand and then a candle will go in the jar.)

And made a shelf for it that also has a doorknocker underneath.
Not sure about the jar yet. I have an Adams peanut butter jar I think I like better (labelless). Put a bead of silicone around the top of the jar so the shade doesn't slip around.
The door knocker was a wedding gift.

Everyone is enjoying the sunshine.

Tomorrow I think we're working on the deck/porch. (What's the difference?)

And pruning a fruit tree! Amateur hour with sharp cutting implements and only a library book for guidance. How can this not be successful?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Too much, too soon

I can barely lift my arms to get dressed, let alone wash my hair. I feel like I've been beaten with baseball bats embedded with nails. And it's from yoga.

I switched gyms and I'm feeling the change already, after only 4 workouts. The new gym comes with a trainer for the first month (actually, until the end of March), so I have been getting pushed harder than I push myself. A workout usually includes (2) 12-minute elliptical workouts (plus (2) five-minute intervals of cool down on the elliptical) and then exercised like crunches, ball work, or yoga. My goal is to go at least 5x/week. I want to see noticeable changes by my 30th birthday, which gives me a little over 2 more months.

It's a good pain. It's just hard to do anything.
What I need is a Slanket slathered in IcyHot!!

Friday night we went to a meeting at the town Welcome Center for people interested in gardening, farmers market, slow food, etc. Basically people who think the economically sound thing to do is grow local food for local people. About 30 people showed up. My editor sent me there to cover it for the paper, but I was there for personal reasons, too. It might work out into a regular column in the paper and I let the group know I was interested in facilitating that... ahem.

The siding on the house isn't finished, but well underway. Neither of us felt like tackling it anymore this weekend. It will be nice to have a deck/porch, which is on top of the list.

Our outside work today was emptying the greenhouse of the shriveled up heirloom tomatoes and herbs we left in there after the summer. You know, 'cause we're on top of it. And measuring the garden space so we can map out planting plots on some graph paper. We marked off a 31'x41' space. The jury is still out on what design the planting will follow.

And this nice man delivered some firewood for me today! I like to chop wood, but my arms were NOT capable of that today.

Mia hung out in the house with me for a bit this afternoon. Such a sweetie. Really enjoying her new life.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The tiny house is looking more like a house and less like a bad art installation.
Operation Exterior is underway. We (Keith) got most of the main boards down.
Tomorrow we're hanging the ledger for the deck and we'll finish siding the front.
Then battons all around.


Yesterday we noticed a crack in the top of the bathroom window.

And today there was another, about half way down.

NOT. Good.

We were just planning on epoxy-ing the top crack to keep condensation from collecting. But this second crack means taking it out sooner rather than later, I think.

We don't know why it cracked, other than it was obviously under some stress.

So far our idea to fill that space is some kind of bottle window. Just a general idea right now, so if anyone knows any good resources, please let us know. So far, I found this in The American Boys' Engineering Book?!

Comic relief today was courtesy of Dad. Keith and I were standing around the chop saw, measuring or something, and Dad walks over all non-chalantly. After a few seconds of small talk he pulls the front of his shirt out and says, "I about had a runaway."

He was welding under a car and "smelled burning" but figured "it would go out" but it just kept getting hotter so he looked down and saw his shirt on fire in three places. And his cigarette lighter was hanging out of his pocket----the one ON FIRE! Luckily, he wasn't hurt. That's why it's so funny. If the lighter had exploded, I wouldn't be cracking jokes. But it was HILARIOUS.

Might want to empty your pockets when you get under a car to weld something.

The dogs are loving that Keith is home and that the weather is getting warmer.
We all are.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Days Are Here Again

Keith is home. We're happy to be within touching distance again.

Drove around and did a few errands in Missoula after recounting a friend's night in the hoosegow.
Had lunch and then did some shopping at the Good Food Store (after being too late to meet up with Chris...darn.)

Saw an eagle and a bird print in the snow bank on the drive home.
Roads were clear over and back.
Plenty of naps and sleeping in the past few days.
Can't ask for a better weekend.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It won't be long now...

Keith's coming home next week!! The refinery actually never went on strike, but he's been working pretty steadily so it has worked out okay.

He's taking the bus to Missoula and I'll drive over there on Friday to pick him up, saving him a good six hours on the bus. Which, on a Greyhound, translates into much more than six hours, you know.

I haven't been to Msla since we moved after college, so I am excited to visit. It's my second favorite town and I have a lot of good memories of living there. A lot of people from Missoula graduate to Portland, and for good reason---it has a lot of the same vibe, only more western and less city. It's like the perfect combination of city and town, I think.

Keith proposed lunch at the Staggering Ox or Sa-Wa-Dee and I suggested hiking the M one more time, at which point he laughed his head off.
(when we hiked the M and came perilously close to dying)

I think a trip to the Goodwill is in order, too. Also, the Good Food Store, of course. Mostly I just want to go gawk and see what's changed since we left. Also, seeing some friends.

In preparation for Keith coming home I decided to go clean the (abandoned) tiny house. It was a great sunny day outside. I opened the door on the house, cranked the music, and cleaned. It only took about 15 minutes, but it made a big difference. It's always nice to come home to a clean house. Especially now that the weather is getting better, we're going to start inhabiting it full-time.

(see: cedar siding waiting in the wings)

Then we all sat outside and enjoyed the good weather until the sun started to go down.

(I cut my hair.)

My new shoes came in the mail Friday! Other than my winter boots, it's been YEARS since I've had brand new shoes. Small pleasures.

We're going to have to get SERIOUS about the garden when Keith gets back... I've been doing a bit of research online about ordering plants and seeds and thinking about what we want to grow. So many possibilties!