Saturday, June 12, 2010

9 Lives For Columbus

Columbus & Frances: a birthday photo just a 
month ago with his sister and litter mate.

Our beloved cat of 16 years became critically ill Friday night.  He was having labored breathing, and we took him to the emergency vet.  He has some sort of blockage in his upper respiratory airway. They put him in an oxygen chamber, which helped him breathe.  He was in so much pain, and seeing him suffer is breaking my heart.  He has already been through one cancer treatment 2 years ago.  I lay awake all night seeing his face through the plastic wall of the oxygen chamber.

I hated to leave him there alone in a strange place.  We are waiting for a report from the vet. They hoped to do a cat scan to see what is causing the blockage. 

On 6/12/10  Columbus made his transition.  With it, he took a piece of our hearts.  I will write a blog about him when I feel I can.  Thanks everyone for your kindness during this time.

Thanks for reading. I'm still amazed that you do.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's A Garden!!!!!!

 A wall of old fashioned hollyhocks line the front porch.

Visualization is easy when one is a visual thinker.  I get images in my head constantly.  Someone will say something, and a movie begins to run in my mind.  Until the next verbal clue interrupts that show and another begins.  I could see this garden in my head when we bought our house.  Today the vegetable garden I was standing in  began to match the "garden movie" in my brain.
 Risers attached to tomato bed.
 Trench planting to hold water for hot peppers,
cabbage, and various eggplant.

Eight raised beds  fill a 24 x 40 foot corner on our property.  They are enclosed by 6' wire horse fence on 2 sides, and 4' (that will increase soon) on the other 2.  The entire floor is lined with chicken wire that is sewn together with baling wire like a quilt. Then that chicken wire is sewn with baling wire to the bottom of the fence.  It's rabbit proof and ground critter proof.  It's basically a 24 x 40 x 6 foot wire basket.  Ground cloth to keep weeds out was laid on top of the chicken wire.  I had 2 posts put in the center in case I had to put netting up to keep out the birds later.  To put it mildy, it was an undertaking.
 "Pedro" and "Poncho" work on the tomato risers together.

Bob continues to build what ever I ask him to.  Andy, our tenant and friend helps where ever he can.  John Paul and Ami helped tremendously to get the bones of this garden together.  I'm not a kid anymore, and I couldn't have done it by myself.  I am so grateful to all of them for their help. Tonight Bob and Andy put together the upside down U shaped wood risers that I will tie the tomato plants to.  They were pretty funny together.  Andy started calling Bob "Pedro", and speaking Spanish the whole time.  They were the New Mexico Laurel and Hardy, with a bit of Andy's El Paso thrown in.
Bob actually let Andy use his cordless screwdriver.  I laughed for an hour listening to the banter, and Andy teasing Bob (and me) in his loving way.
Scarlet runner beans planted in crop circle formation.
They will climb a teepee shaped trellis in a few days.

It seems like light years ago when I struggled with getting enough soil to fill the beds.  Now I battle new demons: like shade...too much sun out there at a mile high burns the little seedlings when they pop their head up.  Tomorrow, frames stretched with shade cloth like canvas' will be built and added in places.  I am trying to build a "shade shade" that I can roll open and closed as needed.  Bugs have discovered the garden.  It's got to be the best tasting thing around.  End rot on the tomatoes mean they haven't been able to get their nutrients properly. So I spent 2 hours softening soil, and digging in peat moss.  Tomorrow night with my head lamp on, I will do the same to the peppers, eggplant, cabbage and herbs.  It is a work in progress.
The POV of the heirloom tomatoes.

And dear dear Buddy.  He follows me all around the yard, and steers clear of hoses and sprinklers. At night he curls up keeping one watchful eye on me.  He's run after a rabbit a few times.  But now I put him on stay command, and he obeys.  Sweet boy.
Buddy guards the topsoil...he knows what it took to get it here.

Next on the list is the gate.  I have metal birds arriving daily from various Etsy shops to put on top of the posts.  I ordered 2 black crows to go on the posts on either side of the gate.  This summer is the beta test...I will continue to work out the kinks.  Alex has promised to put in the drip system starting Saturday.  It's exciting to see it all come together.  Someone must get a picture of me with my head lamp on.  I put it under my shirt like Ironman and came into the shop exclaiming: "I am Iron Gardener."  Bob laughed!

Thanks for reading. I'm still amazed that you do.