Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Inner Magnet.

Do you have those days when your inner magnet has you so firmly attached to a comfy surface that you are almost forced to rip your pants off the sofa?  It has been very un-summer-like the past few days (sorry, Joyce) with morning temps in the low 40s.  This has me unable to fully summer-ize my bed linens, closet and anything else.  The only thing I have done, is to put up the summer sheers in the living room windows.  I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop, weather-wise.

This kind of weather is very confusing to me.  In my mind, I know what lies outside - the war of the weeds, the endless to-do list - but the chill in the air is telling me, "cocoon! cocoon! hygge! hygge!", so I curl on my chair with my furry heaters clustered around me, swaddled in a woolen shawl, latest knitting on my lap.  The magnet is fully engaged and I swear I heard my jeans rip when I finally wrenched myself up and into action this morning.

The seeded "No Chicken Zone" off the deck

Rain barrel in situ.  Now, all I need
is, as the Navajo say, real male rain.

The rhubarb explodeth!
We have had overcast, drizzly skies with very little real rain.  I need a gully-washer to fill my brandy-new rain barrel so I can quit hauling 5 gallon buckets of water over hellshalfacre for the poultry!  The rhubarb is particularly lush this year and I have been raiding it every other day.  I have discovered rhubarb juice and there is no looking back!
Bunny and the Girls are plotting their
invasion of the Chicken Free Zone.
Trying not to hyperventilate over all the clearing of the flower beds that needs to be done, I am, instead, enjoying the beauty that has been able to overcome the weeds.
My all-time favorite flowers.
As far as what little garden I have this year, it's holding its own, but I have noticed that the voles are already digging fox holes.  Anyone have any non-toxic anti-vole advice?  I may resort to traps.
Cucumbers, a stray sunflower, lemon balm
and a few piddly onions that braved the winter.

Four tomato plants, because I have to,
jalapenos and one sweet banana pepper.
(Notice Sweet Sandy's OK irrigation system...)

Two kinds of kale and collards

The herb bed mostly survived - the
golden oregano is wild, the sage held up and the Greek
oregano is holding its own.  I planted cilantro
and parsley.  Dill, chives and lemon balm are
rampant throughout the garden.
Even my darling, dear Meyer Lemon tree is starting to perk up. 
If you biggify, you can see new
leaves and flower buds!
Inside, I finished one of my favorite fast projects - the hanging hand towel. 
I am using it for the dirtier jobs because I am having a hard time getting this baby dirty...
I did manage to dry my clean eggs with it,
but mostly I like to look at it and sigh with
Even Princess Pea realizes how special it is and guards it from Slimmie, who likes to rub his face on all things fabric.
She works for biscuits.
I may be losing my little guardian, as there has been a flurry of applications to adopt her.  We have our first meet-and-greet this Sunday.  It's going to be hard to let her go.


tpals said...

How strange that your summer won't start and ours bulldozed spring out of its way. We aren't supposed to have temps in the 90s in May and June and that changed my garden also. I'm skipping spinach and peas in favor of heat loving plants.

A lot of people have been buying replacement herbs for those that didn't survive the winter. Even my dill didn't reseed.

Good luck to Layla! I hope she finds a wonderful family.

Kristina said...

It's been fairly chilly here the last few morning, and the rain is about every other day if not daily lately. Very strange year, and I am not done planting, and much needs weeded too. Love the towel!

Susan said...

You sure have to be flexible in order to garden. If this keeps up, I won't get a ripe tomato.

Susan said...

You sure have had the rain! That towel is so wonderful, I just look at it in awe. It seems so complex to me, not only is there the pattern, but the towel is textured. It's amazing!!!

Michelle said...

This is a more expansive view of your place than I've seen before; your chickens have a BIG yard! Rhubarb juice? Do tell! Although I've gotten hung up on rhubarb custard this spring (my grandma's pie recipe sans crust), so don't know if I'd "waste" my rhubarb on anything else right now. After record-setting May temps, June has started off quite cool but dry – perfect weather for hauling and stacking hay, if not for my garden. Oh, that beautiful towel! I know the generous hands from which that sprung; she is such a dear!

Susan said...

It's hard to get the perspective right. I'd love your grandma's rhubarb custard recipe - I've got eggs coming out of my ears! (poor me) The rhubarb juice is so simple - 2 cups chopped rhubarb in 4 cups water. Heat to boiling, turn down to simmer and simmer until tender. Drain through fine sieve, pushing out all the juice. I mix just enough honey into it while hot to take the tart 'edge' off, then refrigerate and enjoy. It is so refreshing! I know - she is something else, isn't she? And so talented!

DianeF said...

The best trap for voles and moles (pocket gophers) is the Black Hole trap. It is a black cylinder that squeezes the life out of the buggers. Easy to set up and release the dead body. Try to get the trap as close to horizontal as possible because they don't want to push the dirt up too much. They don't like the hole at the end of the trap so they try to push dirt into it to block it. Probably too much info, but I hope you find something that works!

wisps of words said...

Oh how nice for her. To have a flurry of interest. Sad for both of you though.

The weather is crazy. That's all there is to it.

But I was reading a Canadian blog, and she lost a lot of things, because of it. And because she planted too soon. They are getting frost, so that's worse than here.

Watch those chickens! They just might hatch a plan, to invade!!!!!!!!!! ,-)

Susan said...

This is great! I had never heard of this type of trap - I've just ordered one. Thank you!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Rhubarb juice! I have never heard of such a thing. Is it bitter to drink?

Just Jood said...

We are finally getting rain here in Western Australia - and it is bucketing down. I had to chuckle at your "inner magnet" as this is me today. How do you get your rhubarb so lush? Is it the chicken manure? I would love to grow some. Best wishes.

ellen abbott said...

cold weather is so far behind us here that your temps sound quite tempting. and if I don't get out this morning and cut the grass in the little back yard it won't get done for another day. almost high enough to lose the dog in.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

go ahead...flaunt your cool weather...haha!!! i am so jealous. we actually has a couple cool days but they are history now! i am going to order a black hole too. i have voles everywhere!

Susan said...

The weather is just crazy, that's for sure. I'm glad that there has not been a break out in the chicken yard yet - I don't think that, even with all their pin-sized brains put together, they can figure out how to get in!

Susan said...

Debra, I put just enough honey (you can use any sweetener) in to take the edge off. I tend to like things on the tarter side.

Susan said...

It's either feast or famine, isn't it? Hopefully, you will get enough rain to make a difference. I use composted llama manure (also known as llama 'beans') with my rhubarb. The stuff is magic!

Susan said...

I could lend you a sheep for that grass... If I had my way - and if my sheep were at all manageable - I'd chuck the mower and just use wool-power. However, they'd go rampant and chew up everything. I don't know that I could take Texas heat. I'd spend my summers prostrate.

Susan said...

Dare I tell you it was still in the low 40s this morning? I'm enjoying it while I can, as I know the weather is so fickle and we'll be back to heat and humidity in no time. We have voles everywhere, too. Every year it seems that one type of rodent is rampant. I'm hoping this thing works!

Ed said...

40 degrees sounds plenty inviting. We had one of the coldest Aprils in history followed by the hottest May in history. June is starting out more average.

Goatldi said...

Funny that. We have goat berries and they too are great for just about everything that grows. i have had a goal for 32 years. To somehow teach my goats to use the same spot to deposit their berries as llamas do. I believe it is formally called a dung pile.

Just Jood said...

Thankyou, Susan. Will have to ask around re: the llama beans.

Peter said...

I am so glad it looks like Her Highness is getting a good home. I was beginning to think that a "sister" for my guys might be a good idea. But wasn't sure I was ready for three dogs again.
No I am probably not going to be at the Clark on Monday. As a docent I have already had a sneak peek at the new shows and this afternoon will have a walk through with the curators. The shows really look wonderful. Hope to see you there some time this summer.
Cheers Peter

Susan said...

I will keep you and your guys in mind, should this not work out... I'm sure we'll be there multiple times over the summer, picnic in tow.

Susan said...

It seems like every corner of the country had out-of-the-ordinary (if there still is such a state) weather this year.