Saturday, May 30, 2009

An Accomplished Saturday

Today, I put over 100 miles on my motorcycle, riding both boys around town and then buying parts to rebuild the fuel system on one of my new free weed eaters. Yes, free! My friend gave me his two, neither of them in working order. I've spent about $13 on this one so far. I had to replace all the fuel lines and the primer bulb, clean out the fuel tank, and purchase new string for this one. Right now it's outside where the remainder of the leaked fuel can dry off it before morning when I will attempt to start it if it's made it through the night and is still leak proof. The dirt that's on it is new, from when I tipped it up to attach the rewound string head. I've also cleaned the air filter & spark plug, and regapped the spark plug. So if it doesn't work at least I'm only out $13.

Outside of using a weed eater a couple times over the years, I have no knowledge of how they work or are put together. I checked online for the spark plug gap information for this model but everything else has been guesswork. I am going to feel SO GOOD if this thing runs tomorrow!

Look below. This is a little tiny mushroom I found growing in my tomato pot yesterday! Isn't it beautiful?

My tomato plants are getting big, I should probably put them out tomorrow in their forever home. If it's not good motorcycle riding weather, I probably will. If it's pretty outside though, I will more than likely grab one of my kids & head out to Bowling Green to meet my riding buddy.

Useful gardening time is easy to squeeze out of a busy schedule, you can even do that in the rain. Motorcycle weather isn't as easy to come by!

And finally, these are my grandbeans! Look how eensy beensy they are! All my bean plants are covered-up with them, too. I could just eat them up with a spoon. Actually, I probably will be eating them up soon, as fast as they're growing. My others, the red 18" long climbing beans, aren't growing as quickly as I'd hoped & they don't have any flowers yet either. I think they're not getting the optimum amount of sunlight that they need. I will have to move them around tomorrow to see if they become happier growing somewhere else.

Hope everyone had a great Saturday too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

My husband is an ANGRY man! There's finally proof, look at how menacing & scary he looks, threatening me with grill tongs. *shiver* Ok, so -maybe- I'd just taken a terrible picture of him that may have portrayed him in a less than flattering way... or maybe he really is a mean ogre who would threaten his precious wife with grill equipment. You can decide.

Here are my Chinese Red Noodle beans, looking fetching and growing like weeds. I'm actually a little worried that they may not be getting enough light where they are now. I might move them before they get really attached to where they are now & put something else at the bottom of the pole. No flowers yet on them, I'm keeping my eyes out for them though!

Tomatoes below. Look how big they've gotten just in the couple of weeks since I blogged last! They're ready to transplant in the next few days.

These are my Soleil bush beans, THEY'VE ALREADY GOT FLOWERS! I'm about to be a bean gramma! My little bean babies are about to have beans of their own. My husband says that's a ridiculous thought, but these beans ARE my babies. I wonder why one of the blooms is cream colored and the other is white.

Here's Kara and Pixie fighting over a rawhide chew. Aren't they precious? My little dog-babies. Kara is my shelter hound that we just got in January. We've had Pixie since before Kieffer was in school. They each got a rawhide chew for the holiday today, but you know the best one is the one someone else has so they've been bickering over them.

And this is the CAKE that my fabulous hubby bought us as a surprise. It came from Publix. We saw it when we made a trip in for charcoal and I thought it was adorable; a cake that looks like a hamburger! He snuck back out there & bought it for me because I'd loved it so much. I guess he's really not such an ogre after all. Possibly the most fantastic husband in the whole entire universe and he's all mine!

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I'll have knitting pictures next post. I'm in the home stretch with my Icarus, it's HUGE!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sit & Spin, if that's how you feel about it.

There's been a great deal of flooding this year. Not sweeping people's houses away flooding, but we're at least out of the drought we were having last year. The picture below is a bench that normally isn't in the water - overlooking Percy Priest Dam. As of two days ago, this bench is now completely submerged and more rain is in our forecast!

Pretty flower after the rain, taken at the Nashville Zoo.

Saturday, 5/9/09, I managed to get my lazy butt up and at the zoo by 9am to see some sheep get sheared. I took both boys, who were fascinated for a fraction of a sheep and then disappeared at the speed of light toward "fun" stuff. I found them later soaked to the bone and thoroughly exhausted.

Devon is the shearer's name, if I remember correctly. Not a zoo employee, but hired by them the past 7 years to shear their babies. This is the fattest sheep in the bunch, he called her "Rotunda" but she didn't seem to appreciate the fat jokes. See how ROUND she is though?

Look at all that beautiful fleece! I want it I want it I want it!!!

Apparently my sheeping made a big impression on my family because my Mother's Day present from them was two batts of hand painted roving, a drop spindle, and a hour-long private spinning lesson that I redeemed after work this evening. Look what I made! My teacher said I was doing a remarkable job for a noob & she didn't believe I had never done this before. I think she was jerking my chain, but flattery sure does whet the addiction stone!

I can't wait to make something with this yarn. I'm not going to ply it, I'm going to make something lacy with it just like it is. Something I can keep forever. My other roving is yellows & greens and there's a flat ton of both of them. Plenty to make something special, I'm sure.

I'm off to spin some more!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

We Dig It

This is our beautiful new raised garden bed! At Home Depot today the boys and I bought two landscape timbers for $3.94 apiece and four HUGE nails that looked like baby railroad spikes for $1.95 apiece and came home & built this. Built is a word used loosely in this scenario.

We also purchased a mild jalapeno pepper plant, a stevia which has the sweetest leaves in the whole world and taste nothing like that horrible sweetener that carries their name, and a cilantro.

We'll have to go back tomorrow for another landscape timber and some more nails but this is very exciting stuff. We had a rough time getting rid of the grass. It's a very small planter and in my mind the grass shoveled up very easily with our flat edge shovel but in reality it was hours of hard work with shovel and hoe and two very tired boys helping me.

I didn't get a picture, but we found a record breaking earth worm that was easily two feet long and was VERY snake-like. Since our hands were coated with loads of clay dirt, he didn't squirm to get away from us when we picked him up like they normally do. I'll show pics tomorrow if we get another rain-free spell and can finish our creation. It's about 2 feet wide and 8 feet long.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Today the Spring Monsoon Began

I got a call at work from my hubby, in a panic, because as he walked out the door to leave today he realized that our courtyard was flooded nearly into our house. He would have had to swim to his car to leave. We have a sump pump set in a hole in the corner of our courtyard because flooding happens frequently; we have a big creek just a few feet from the back of our house, it's inevitable. Unfortunately the sump pump wasn't getting the water out as fast as it was coming in. In the picture below, you can see my hubby standing over the sump pump corner, on top of our wall, with a rental pump to supplement our own in the hopes that we wouldn't have to file our first flood claim within a year of living in our new home. Joy!

Below you can see him, standing fetlock-deep in our "pool" (as the kids are calling it) and plugging in the new pump. The most hilarious part of this picture, besides the electric shock potential, is the yellow kitchen glove he was wearing a la Michael Jackson.

Thankfully the rented pump worked just fine, if a little slowly, and we were able to get our own pump unclogged when the water drained down far enough for us to reach it without diving equipment. Among other things, there were pieces of plastic bag wrapped around it! As of right now the rain has resumed its deluge and there's no standing water in our courtyard. Much to our children's dismay.

I looked for my pictures of my crape myrtle from this past summer. I've been telling you how much I cut off it. Well I couldn't find anything except this one picture (below) of it from this winter. You really can't tell how bushy & overgrown it is from this picture so that's disappointing. It looks to me like whomever lived here in the past like crape myrtle shrubs and they must have trimmed them as such every year. They were so bushy & thick they were a hazard. You couldn't see around this one when you were pulling out of the driveway.

Well I love them, they are the prettiest TREES! I hate to see them trimmed like shrubs, it breaks my heart. They have this magnificent mottled bark and they grow in elegant shapes with arching plumes of leaves & flowers. So I pruned the Hell outta' them in early March before they had any leaf buds. We only trimmed two of my three, in case I accidentally killed them with the drastic cutting. But apparently they're just fine! Next year they will be thinned out even more, now that I know they won't croak from it. This one here by the mailbox is a bright vibrant pink when it blooms. It's like a fluorescent pink torch at the end of my driveway. I adore it. The other one (that's not shown) is a muted dusky pink that's not nearly as flamboyant.

I love my yard! I am hoping there's a few times this weekend when the rain dries up so I can try to get some more gardening done. Other than that, and making cookies @ Gramma's house sometime tomorrow, we've got no plans - and that feels GOOD!