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chickencoupe1

Merry Christmas, Hannukah and New Years

7 years ago

I'm free from all my jobs for about 3 more days. Having the chance to breathe has become a time of reflection (and sneaking out at night to winter sow). I could not sufficiently wish a Merry Christmas or Hannukkah for you, my friends, that would repay all the wonderful times shared, the experiences pondered and the wisdom doled out from this forum. 2016 has been a year of extreme growth where I put all that goodness into action. May your 2017 be as fortuitous in all your endeavors as I desire mine to be.

A bow-topped present would not suffice.
To repay all the debt of sincere advice
or the know-how that comes from the soul
only true gardeners know.


Comments (32)

  • 7 years ago

    Happy Holidays to you too!

    A few days off from work to reflect and rest is so good. Enjoy!

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  • 7 years ago

    Happy Holidays to you too, Bon, and to everyone else here who are members of our large, extended family of gardening maniacs. Or, maybe we're all just maniacs in general. No White Christmas for us this year, and that's okay with me.

  • 7 years ago

    @hazel, ty
    @Amy I really miss u guys.
    @Dawn, rain is good enough for me! We have a 70% chance, today. And it's already 63 degrees. I'll be outside at sunup.

  • 7 years ago

    Merry Christmas everyone! I wish, you are happy and content.

    Moni


  • 7 years ago

    Merry Christmas to you all from me, too. I love this group.


  • 7 years ago

    I hope everyone's day is fantastic today and that you get to spend the day with folks you love. I feel like we all are so lucky not just to have our own familes and friends, but to have our entire gardening extended family here.

    We're also pretty lucky that we're not snowed in, freezing, slipping, sliding, or shivering. Our overnight low here was 65 degrees. How wonderful is that? We can almost pretend like it is a Spring morning today. We certainly have the wind.

    I don't know if anyone here is in the TX/OK panhandle or in far western and northwestern OK, but if you are are, please keep your eyes open for fire and please report smoke or flames if you see them. The panhandles have a Red Flag Fire Warning which includes wind gusts up to 60 mph today. In addition, several other western and northwestern OK counties are under a Red Flag Fire Warning that includes wind gusts up to 45 mph. Some counties also have wind warnings. So odd to have these Red Flags on Christmas Day, and I hope everyone in those at-risk areas is extra careful and able to avoid having any massive, fast-moving wildfires on Christmas Day.

    We did all our family holiday parties yesterday and Chris is at work today, so Tim and I will spend a lazy, quiet day at home with the dogs, cats, and birds. We're going to grill steaks (following yesterday's traditional holiday meal with our favorite family meal) today and watch NFL football this afternoon and evening.

  • 7 years ago

    The panhandle got wet this morning. Not much. I don't think that squall line is going to produce anything significant for us. I might end up watering the garden soil tomorrow before covering it up.

  • 7 years ago

    I was watching the squall line throughout the day and for most places it seemed like it mostly just produced wind and some cloud-to-ground lightning, but very little rainfall. While it is great that no one got severe weather with damaging hail or tornadoes or anything, more rain for the parched parts of OK that have been awaiting rain a long time would have been a better Christmas gift.

    The wind gusts have been pretty incredible. You don't really expect wind gusts up to 69m mph anywhere in Oklahoma on Christmas Day....well, unless there's a blizzard ongoing, and that would require snow, which we don't have. Even as far south as I am, the wind overachieved. Our forecast includes gustd up to 32 or 33, and our highest gust was 41. The wind has been bringing down tons of leaves that stubbornly have been clinging to the trees forever, so I guess that's good.

  • 7 years ago

    It wasn't enough to call rain. I'll saturate the soil with tap water, tomorrow. I got a lot done today. Tomorrow I'll get some of those leaves.

    First time I noticed the weird position of the sun.

    Well. Hello, Mr. Sun. Whatcha doin way over there?

  • 7 years ago

    A little squall line came through here about an hour ago and dropped 0.09" of rain here----I'm not bragging (cause that's not enough rain to brag about!)----just stating the facts. : )

    Mr. Sun is hiding way over there because he doesn't want for Ol' Man Winter to find him. Just wait and see....once Mr. Sun knows that Lovely Lady Spring is looking for him, he'll come sliding back over into a more normal position. It happens every year, just like clockwork. I hide from Ol' Man Winter too when I know he is arriving at a location near us.

    Now that Christmas is over, I can stop avoiding the frenzied crowds at the stores like I've been doing for the last week. You know what that means? It means I can pretend I'm going to do some shopping at the after-Christmas sales, but what I'll really be doing is wandering through the lawn and garden aisles, garden centers, nurseries, etc. to see if the first garden items are popping up yet.


  • 7 years ago

    Come on down to Denton

    Lowe's had theirs out yesterday

  • 7 years ago

    "...wandering through the lawn and garden aisles, garden centers, nurseries, etc."


    Heck yeah!

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Merry Christmas to all!
    We enjoyed a quiet day yesterday and, we're off until January 3. Jerreth and our daughter who lives at home spent most of the day working on daughter's house (on our property) and learning to do some video production for our website (www.homesteadingedu.com, which has not officially launched). I spent a good deal of the day out in the garden, cleaning up from last growing season. I also planted parsnips. And, while cleaning up, I found a fair number of bean seeds, which I had missed. They appear to still be in good shape. Today I hope to get some more garlic in the ground and continue with clean up.

    Oh! Also, Jerreth has a beloved Arabian Jasmine plant, a gift from our other daughter, which is looking peaked. I plan on repotting it. Anyone here ever grow Arabian Jasmine?

    George

    Here's a picture from our kitchen counter. We're still using "fresh tomatoes." Heidi has found a permanent home in my garden! The peppers are mainly Frank's Thai Hot, which I had gifted to Carol some years ago. Then, in 2016, I discovered that I had lost my viable seed. Carol sent me some seed and ... I'm back in business! This is a good reason to share seed with others. (Sorry, color is a bit off.)

  • 7 years ago

    Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend. We still have one more family get-together next weekend. The tree isn't going to make it--it's very dry.. I'll take it down but leave up the other decorations because the celebration is at our house.

    About to head out to shop. I did notice last week that Hobby Lobby was preparing the aisles for spring stuff.

    Maybe today would be a good day to cut the asparagus. Do y'all cut them at soil level?

    Looking through pictures of Christmases past, I came across this picture of my cousins and me (Hello 1985!) and noticed the macrame in the corner! Lol It made me think of our macrame discussion here (don't remember which thread). I'm pretty sure macrame was not in style in 1985 but it's doubtful my Grandma cared.


  • 7 years ago

    I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! I love family time. Hazel, I'm going to watch and see the answer you get regarding asparagus. As much as I don't want to, I may have to start over completely with a new asparagus bed. My current bed was invaded with a weed that I've only been able to curb with deep wood chip mulch. I don't think that's conducive to growing asparagus.

  • 7 years ago

    I thought I had a Merry Christmas to all post but I lost it.

    Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday. It was great to spend time with family kids friends and now I am ready to get back to my garden. I am such a homebody :)

  • 7 years ago

    Moni, I haven't had a chance to write that I'm happy you're back!!

  • 7 years ago

    Bon, I am happy to be back too! Need to make a decision soon, if I plant, or do a bike tour this summer.

    Have you had a chance to do anything with those windows yet?

    Moni

  • 7 years ago

    I know that's a tough decision as you love biking! How's the weather going to be on the tour?

    It was someone else who nabbed those windows, but I do remember them!

    bon

  • 7 years ago

    We went out after-Christmas shopping today, but had to shop for business suits, shirts, ties, etc. for Tim's new job so I really didn't get to wander through those garden center aisles after all.

    I did notice the Baker Creek Whole Seed Catalog (a huge magazine-like expanded version of their standard seed catalog) was on the racks in both Wal-Mart (which is getting in potting soil and such, but not plants or seeds yet) and Barnes & Noble, and that CostCo was putting in gardening supplies (garden carts, gloves, bags of Miracle Grow, some decorative garden items, etc.) on Christmas aisles that were being cleared out. Maybe I'll get to garden shop on some other day this week, but I have a pretty full schedule for the next few days so it might not be until late in the week.

    It sounds like everyone had a great Christmas. We're all so lucky and, it goes without saying, that being with family and friends is everything and stuff is just stuff (except for the kids!).

    We still have a couple of tomatoes on the counter too. I've been trying to make them last as long as possible.

  • 7 years ago

    Holy crunch! Ya'll read that? Dawn was right there and she didn't go there.
    \
    She's not old enough for dementia yet, is she? Poor soul. Such odd behavior.

    hehe

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh c'mon, Bon, cut me a break. Every now and then, there is something more important than gardening, ya know. (grin) This was one of those days.

    Here's the back story, and I have to venture off-topic from gardening to ensure y'all understand I am not, in fact, suffering from dementia. Ten years ago, Tim came out of the Central Investigation Division, where he worked as a Detective Sergeant in standard business attire and took a promotion to a Lieutenant's position in the Patrol/Rescue division, where he wore standard police uniforms. About 15 months ago, he moved to the Special Operations Division as a Lt., where he gained more uniforms (mostly dark military green or camo for the SWAT team operations) though on most days he still wore standard police dark blue uniforms.

    So, for the last 10 years, he hasn't had to wear standard business attire, and the stuff he wore 10 years ago is fairly out of date and mostly 1 size too small, and lots of it has been discarded over the years.

    Now, for at least the next three months while he fills (temporarily) an Assistant Chief's position in the Special Operations (SWAT/Bomb Squad) Division while his boss, the current Asst Chief, is away attending a course at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, , he has to wear standard business attire most days, though occasionally they wear their dress uniforms. He only has 1 really nice suit that is current and fits well, so it was time to update the wardrobe. We've known this for a couple of months, but he didn't seem to be in any hurry (at all!) to shop for new clothes. When I would mention to him that we needed to shop for him some clothes to wear to work for that 3 month period, it went in one ear and out the other because he just wasn't in the mood to shop and that 3 months seemed so far away to him. So, he came home from work Friday, suddenly a little freaked out because it was his boss' last day to work before he leaves for Quantico, and Tim had finally realized that he needed to get that wardrobe upgrade done, and quickly at that. Well, unless he wanted to wear the same suit to work every day.

    So, off we went yesterday, to quickly buy enough business attire to get him through the next three months (and beyond). Did he care that it was the day that gardening stuff magically begins to appear on store shelves? Nope, it probably never entered his mind. Did I remind him? Nope. Shopping with someone like him who completely hates to shop is bad enough, and I didn't want to make it worse by telling him there was some other form of shopping that I'd rather be doing. Hee hee. So, shop we did, and I was immersed in the world of suit jackets and slacks, long-sleeved shirts and ties, and very uncomfortable-looking dress shoes, while in the back of my mind what I was really curious about was not what color shirts and ties he wanted to wear with each suit, but rather what gardening supplies were hitting the store shelves.

    And that is the story of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day......a day in which gardening definitely had to be on the back burner. The fact that we stopped by CostCo to pick up a few groceries did allow me to see that their gardening supplies were out on one row formerly occupied by Christmas decorations, and the quick stop at the book store allowed me to see the Baker Creek's Whole Seed Catalog also was on the shelves (but I'll wait and buy my copy of it when it arrives at Sam's Club or CostCo, both of which discount its' price quite a bit compared to the cover price).

    And that is the long, convoluted story of why I didn't get to look much at garden stuff. But, wait, there is one more twist. Tim's department has 4 Assistant Chiefs. One Assistant Chief left the airport to take a job as the Chief of a D-FW metro area police department. Tim recently has been involved in the interviewing/selection process (which, to him, is like torture) to fill that vacant Asst Chief's position and found out last week that he is one of two finalists for that job. So, if he were to be the person they choose to promote to that position, then he'll be wearing business attire, presumably for the rest of his career, until he retires. It gives me a headache to think about it because, while we bought several suits and a bunch of shirts and ties and stuff, it all is pretty heavy winter weight type stuff. If he promotes to Asst Chief permanently, eventually we'll have to get at least a couple of lighter weight suits for summer and short sleeved shirts and ties in colors more appropriate for spring and summer than the fall/winter colors we bought yesterday.

    Did I mention that he is a pack rat who hates to clean out clothing and his half of our walk-in closet is crammed full of lots of old stuff he never wears? I hung up all his new clothes in the spare bedroom closet (the same spare bedroom where the light shelf resides) so at least I got to spend 3-5 minutes in the room with my tomato seedlings yesterday, but now he is going to have to spend time this coming weekend cleaning out his portion of our walk-in closet so it will have room for his new clothing. I'm kinda excited about that. I feel like he has clothing in our closet that he hasn't worn in 10 years or more and I'm ready to see it go. If I'm feeling really brave and bold later this week, I might clean out everything of his that I think needs to be removed from our closet, but then I'll have to listen to/watch him try to put it back in the closet because "it might come back into style someday" or he might lose enough weight to wear it again or whatever. Keep in mind that, when we moved here in 1999, he brought with him some clothing from high school (from which we both graduated in 1977) and it took me several years to get him to get rid of all that old crap which he'd never worn in all the years I've know him. Pack rat might not be a strong enough word.

    I want to be out in the garden today. I need to be out in the garden today. Will I be out in the garden today? I highly doubt it. Among other things, the dishwasher repairman is coming so I'll probably be trapped indoors and hating it. However, I don't want to be filthy dirty, muddy and have grass clippings and leaves in my hair when the dishwasher repairman gets here, so staying inside seems to be a better idea. I hope he arrives early in the day as opposed to later in the day.

    My need and desire to be in the garden or at least window shopping for gardening stuff is being overwhelmed by forces beyond my control, like clothing shopping and running our household. Bah humbug.

  • 7 years ago

    Nowyousedum, I'm certainly not an asparagus guru. But I believe Dorothy (Mulberryknob) and her husband Glen would lay down a thick wood chip mulch on their asparagus every year. They tell me that it cuts way down on weeding and that the asparagus loves it.

  • 7 years ago

    How close to the soil do you cut back the asparagus?

  • 7 years ago

    Merry belated Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.

    looking forward to all the good advice and spring fling in the coming yr!!!!!

  • 7 years ago

    George, that's really good to know because I had picked the best spot in the yard for the bed. I was going to have to figure out where to plant new.

  • 7 years ago

    Cut it back as closely to the ground or the top of the mulch as you can.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm sorry Dawn, sounds like you're going through one trauma after another. I can relate. We have had to deal with plumbing problems at our rental last week,DH took me to a mall Friday, which gave me anxiety attacks and we had the heater repair people out today to look at our 1 year out of warranty heat pump. Yike$.Up until recently my DH's old clothes still fit. He is very sad to be buying "fat jeans". But I admit there are still some very old suits in his closet. He only wears them occasionally to church or special occasions, so they aren't worn out. I look at my clothes and think "it's not that old", then I think I bought it when I was working for...(I haven't worked in 5 years, and my dressier stuff goes back to the previous employer, which was 7 years before that.) Oh well.

  • 7 years ago

    Thanks, Dawn. I"m going to work outside a bit tomorrow. Asparagus here I come!

    Wait. The dishwasher isn't one of the new appliances, right? And shopping for men's business clothing seems boring, but I'm sure he looks very handsome in his new clothing. And he is bringing home the bacon...so that's always worth a boring day of shopping for men's suits, etc.

    You mentioned tomato seedlings! Yay! Makes me happy. I probably won't start any for a month. Still have a couple more projects that MUST be done first.

    Amy, let's not talk about "fat" clothes, please! LOL! Y'all I gotta get it together--start cooking real dinner again and leave the "chips for dinner" in the past. Whoa!

    I also went shopping yesterday--yes, a certain store was already putting Easter goodies on the shelves.

    I feel excited about the upcoming year. Just need to "get through"/enjoy the next few days and then I can start focusing on the garden.


  • 7 years ago

    I was sleepy giddy in a bully-ish mental frame of mind when I read your post, Dawn.

    Okay, Tim is fat ... complacent and a baby at shopping. Dawn is superficially trying to help all the while not admitting she really wants to be in the garden area. Shallow!


    ROFL !!!!!! My mind.. .yeah... works funny when I'm tired. I fell asleep giggling.

    I'm glad he's doing well at work and he got some new duds. Don't worry, Tim, my husband had to get married so he could buy a new beard trimmer. For more than a decade, female friends in 'need' (read: troubled lives) would swing by for a place to crash. Before they took off, he'd use them to go shopping. This happened every few years or so. He's a real piece of work! After he married me, he got some rest as well as safe shopping sprees. hahahaha


    But when it comes to providing garden tools, sheds and makeshift greenhouses, he's the bomb with enough materials! Won't weed tho... dang

    FAT CLOTHES, FAT CLOTHES, FAT CLOTHES! hahaha

    I'm the last one to be joking about someone putting on weight. **fizz**


  • 7 years ago

    Amy, At least we are at the point where practically everything that can break and need repair already has done so! We ought to be free and clear on appliance troubles for a few years. (I hope the washer and dryer didn't hear me say that or they're likely to feel like they have to prove me wrong.)

    I do a better job than my husband when it comes to cleaning out my side of the closet and disposing of things I don't wear, but he's going to have to do it to make room for his new stuff. I do have things in a range of sizes because my weight can fluctuate quite a bit depending on whether I've been eating healthy or eating too much junk.

    I hate malls, but on the morning after Christmas, we got out really early and beat the crowds and it wasn't too awful.

    Bon, You know, it is shockingly hard for a man to admit he's gained maybe 10 lbs. and buy one size larger than he wore over a decade ago! I think it might be a sort of midlife crisis thing too because he just turned 59 and refuses to admit to himself that he is getting older. And, in fairness to him, he has worn pretty much the same size of clothing for about the last 25 years, so going up even one piddly size was traumatic for him. It happens, you know.

    Hazel, Oh it is a brand new, just-purchased, just-installed dishwasher that installed easily and quickly, looks beautiful and totally refused to come on and work. The old dishwasher just abruptly died a couple of weeks ago and since it wasn't in good shape, we went and bought a new one. You know how cursed we have been with appliances ever since we started remodeling the kitchen. We're about to the point where there's nothing left to replace, so I guess that's good.

    When Tim installed the new dishwasher, it gave us an error code and said to call for repair. The repair guy came within a couple of days, then had to order a bunch of expensive electronic parts and made some sort of comment like "they should have tested this....". So, I assume that means it came out of the factory with some electronic components that don't work (lol, by some I mean that ALL the electronic components had to be ordered/replaced). If the parts he ordered don't fix the problem, they'll replace the current dishwasher with a brand new one that is the same model.

    Having done my duty for every one and every thing else for the last few weeks, today is MY day. As soon as the weather warms up a bit, I'm going to do a lot of garden cleanup, and I'll do it happily and guilt-free because there is nothing in the house that I should be doing instead of being outside playing in the dirt! We are supposed to hit 70 degrees today so it will be a great day for it, but I'll have to be careful---last January, we had copperheads out on a 70-degree day. I don't expect them to be a problem today because of the cold nights we've had lately, but I learned a lesson last year about snakes being out at odd times in what was a warm winter overall.

    My compost pile is going to be fed a ton of old plants today and then, if I have time, I'll rake out the chicken coops and add all that stuff on top of the dead plants to get some nitrogen in there to help kick-start everything right into rapid decomposition. I have an older compost pile in a different location that is nothing but compost now and I need to move that compost to the garden beds after I clean them out.

    The only thing that could ruin my day in the garden would be if we were paged out to a major winter wildfire, but that usually doesn't start happening until almost March (you know, right about the time I'm trying to transplant tomatoes into the ground). I know exactly what causes massive wildfires in my county. All I have to do is tell Tim on a sunny March morning "I am going out to transplant tomatoes and I'm going to work in the garden all day long today and nothing is going to interfere in my plans", and it is pretty much guaranteed that the fire pagers will go off and drag me away from the garden at some point that day. Maybe I shouldn't announce my intentions to spend a whole day in the garden because maybe that jinxes me from the start.

    Dawn