Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mishmash Days

This week has been such a mixture that the best word to describe it is a mishmash. Garden work, including picking and freezing broccoli, picking raspberries, lettuce, green onions and herbs as well as the usual hoeing, watering, replanting, and mulching has been the top task for the week, not unusual for this time of year.

The gardens are in better shape than I can ever remember them, except for the potatoes. Once again we've been hit hard by the Colorado potato beetle which has pretty well destroyed our crop for the second year. Fortunately we don't eat many potatoes, but still I hate the waste of time and money these bugs have caused us. Larry broke out the bad poison finally and the bugs are gone, but I'm afraid the potatoes are ruined. We may get a few messes of new potatoes from them but that will probably be all.

 Larry has been in the gardens after finishing the subfloor on the new log room. The photo is granddaughter Haley and two of her friends who helped put the joists and plywood down. Teenagers are great workers! Yesterday and today Larry's been back at work on his poutin' house, finishing the plywood floor, the front door, and getting ready to put in the windows. He also cleaned up around there--it was a right mess of wood scraps, bits of log, etc and he was worried about snakes. So he took the weedeater down and cut around it and cleaned all of that up.

We'll get paint for the floor tonight, then we can actually move the furniture in after it's painted. We don't plan to put down any other flooring for the time being; I'll just paint it and that will be that, maybe add a rug or two. The goal is to keep this cabin simple. It will have a twin bed with drawers under it (where the air mattresses can hide), an end table, a drop-leaf table, two chairs, a couple rockers, some shelves and hooks on the walls and some lamps and that's about it. Larry will build a porch on the front where more rockers will be added. This is to be a simple, rustic getaway with a path out back. Eventually we'll run gas and electric down there, and maybe water (or just put a tank up on a rack for gravity feed).

I'm still working in the flowerbeds and spread 20 more bags of mulch this week. I still need 5 to complete the job. It's been nice to have Tommy home to lug those bags around for me--he puts them close to where I need them and that saves me a lot of time. I'm puzzled as to why my cats, or maybe it's the dogs, are digging up some of my new plants. They don't dig a big hole, just enough to pull the plant out of the ground. I was pretty aggravated this morning to find my new rosemary dug up and many of its branches broken. Does anyone have an idea why they are doing this? So far they've dug up about a dozen different plants; I've been able to save some of them but others have been lost. Tis a puzzlement to me.

Watering takes a lot of time. This morning I hand-watered my flowerbeds with fertilizer, then turned on the sprinkler. Now it's raining and I am one happy woman, I can tell you. No matter how much watering we do, nothing equals a good rain. This photo is of my "volunteer" pot on the porch. Do you remember the moss gardens I created last winter? This pot grew a beautiful wild mint plant and a sunflower, all on its own, so I've left it be.

I am also working on updating my records for my re-selling business this week. I don't like doing data entry but it must be done. I am working on a way to print out labels for my items from the spreadsheet instead of handwriting them as I currently do. It should save time and be easier for customers to read if I can make it work like I want it to. I am going to start taking my computer with me when I go to my booth, too, so that I can make sure I add any changes to the spreadsheets.

My records are way, way behind. I love finding stuff, I love arranging it in my booth and I like selling online but I hate the paperwork side of it. My business license arrived today--that has been holding up the Spencer booth--and now of course it's too late to get that project underway this week because the WV Writers Conference starts tomorrow and that's where I will be. At least this step is completed and I can move forward. I have almost finished painting shelves for the new booth and they came out pretty well. This green unit was a gun cabinet, apparently, and still has the holes in the top shelf! I'll cover that with something, or maybe I'll find the holes useful for display. What would I use them for, though?

Still need to finish the bottom of this kitchen cabinet. I debated for months as to what color to paint it but in the end left the red back and went with bright white. I think it's probably the best choice if I decide to sell this cabinet. The hardware needs to be re-installed, the bottom part painted and then it is done.

This is the third shelf for the booth. I am planning to take other furniture to fill the space, along with the usual glassware, kitchen items, etc. This booth project will have to wait until later next week, however.

We've had some nice visits with family this week, too--granddaughter Jordan and her husband and daughter came for a hot dog roast Sunday evening (I managed to burn boiled eggs so I knew it wasn't a cooking day for me), and last night we went to Derek's for some of his superb grilled steak and chicken, along with grilled bread, roasted veggies, and three kinds of salads. It was a feast, I can tell you. This get-together was for everyone to say good-bye to Tommy; he'll be leaving for California next week. He was accepted to grad school there and has been busy job-hunting. We've been juggling the computer and internet between us as he hunts for a place to live and submits job applications as well as information for the graduate program. So my computer time has been more limited than usual, which is not a bad thing because I've been catching up on lots of other tasks. Computers are amazing tools but they can certainly suck up time like a vortex. We're going to miss Tom--this is the longest he's been home in years and it has been nice to spend time with him.

The weekend will bring the Writer's Conference and immediately after a trip to Virginia for me as my granddaughter Kate is graduating from high school. I'll get back in time to see Tommy off, and then? A week of open days looms, and I am sure I will find plenty to fill the time.

Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Michelle said...

I am tired just reading this! Glad to see your garden is doing so very well. Ours is doing rather well this year too. Must be the early warm weather start, but whatever happened I like it!

kvsmm said...

You are a blessed woman. Your photos show how much you love your land, and your words tells how much you are loved by so many. Have a ball at the WVWriter's Conf. I am going to get there next year - Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise!

Rowan said...

I feel totally exhausted just reading about all the things you've done! Hope you have a good weekend at the Writers Conference:)

Granny Sue said...

It's been a good week; I am tired but on the plus side I've lost about 5 more pounds :)

kv, I'll hope to see you at the conference next year!

storytellermary said...

I wonder about the digging as well. I planted some mint, which was half-dug-up by something. Maybe there's something about those tender roots, or the fertilizer in the pots??
Your new little cabin sounds lovely. You do have a great balance of work and fun!

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