Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grow, grow, grow

Grow, grow, grow your garden
Gently all summer long
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Fresh veggies inspire my song!
 Lame, I know. But getting out in the garden, in between rainy, cool days has been inspiring. It’s giving me energy I didn’t know I had. And that, ladies, is a really good thing because lately I have felt like a slug. I sometimes look behind be to see if there is a slime trail.

I got one garden weeded and planted last week and what an accomplishment that felt like! We decided that the little garden behind the house, that was formerly the veggie garden until last year, would serve well as what we are terming the kitchen garden. I planted onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, herbs, strawberries and lettuce. Things I may want to harvest little by little as I need them. Oh, and, of course peas. Peas never make it into the house. We pick ‘em, shell ‘em and eat ‘em as a quick, fresh snack.
I am not so sure the strawberries were the best idea. We will have to wait and see if the chipmunks discover this fruit. Growing up we had strawberries out back and those cute little rodents always seemed to find the ripe berries just moments before we did.  

We also started prepping the big vegetable garden for planting in about a month. A lot of weeds have started growing back so we used the garden a dumping ground for sticks and branches that came down off the trees this winter. Himself also tossed is the ornamental grasses he cut back while I was out of town. I got to do one of my favorite springtime chores – burn, baby, burn. I don’t know why I like to do that. It’s hot, stinky and dirty. But, later on, in that former path a of destruction, will be fertile ground that will yield a great bounty.

We learned many lessons from last year’s newly expanded garden. Preparation, weeding, and good watering are essential. More isn’t always better. There’s always enough to share. Save something for a rainy day. Not everything will do well.

Hmm?? Those sound like lessons for life!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Houston, we have contact

Contact dermatitis that is, aka Poison Ivy! I think this is the earliest I’ve ever gotten it.

It must be summer!


Friday, April 26, 2013

There’s No Place like Home

“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered;
an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.”
– GKC, All Things Considered, 1908

Last week I had to do a bit of traveling for work. I visited two of our plant locations to present some training for our new website. All-in-all, it was a good and productive trip but there were occasions during the time away that reminded me of just how much of a homebody I am.

While on the west coast I had a meeting with several co-workers who live out there. One is a transplant from Ohio. In fact, he still keeps his home here and comes back as often as possible. Pete and I got to talking and I was surprised to learn where he lives – less than a half mile, as the crow flies, from our house. Even funnier still, he lives in the house whose barn I’ve been coveting all these years!

I have been wanting to photograph this barn for ages. In the Spring one side is fronted by beautiful Forsythia bushes that just pop out against the dark red siding. The other side of the barn is adorned with old tools hanging on it. I found out it’s listed on the national historic register. I had to fly 2,000 miles to meet my neighbor. Next time I’m just going to ring the doorbell!

After two days in Washington we flew to Denver and that’s where the fun really began. It was cold and snowy. What the heck??? We just left sixty degree temps and back home it was supposed to be in the 70s and 80s. Snow, 40mph winds and 19 degrees is just not what I bargained for!

As I drove us north towards Cheyenne I kept seeing signs saying that the highway was closed ahead. It didn’t say where and the roads seemed fine to me. I live in northeast Ohio, I’m used to a little, even a lot, of snow. Well, they weren’t kidding. Just before the Wyoming state line there were gates and barricades across the road.

What to do now? We didn’t know how or if we could get through to our plant. We did what every self-respecting traveller would do – we pulled into the first open establishment we could find – a laundromat! It was warm, dry and they had a plug for Julie’s wireless hotspot.

We weren’t sure if we should turn around, go back to the airport and find the first flight home, hunker down for a night in a nearby hotel and try again the next day, or find other roads to just keep trekking on through.  There were a couple of people there busy with their laundry that offered us assistance. The woman told us of a phone number that we could call on our cells to get more info on road conditions and closures.

The man, though, that was there made the greater impression. He was poorly dressed, unshaven and missing a few teeth. In a different setting, his looks might have raised a few red flags. But, he had the kindest eyes and, when he heard we might want to stay in a nearby hotel, warned us which ones not to go to as they were rather seedy.  

Several phone calls later, to both our travel agent (no open flights until late the next day) and to our coworkers (an alternative route) we had a plan. We arrived several hours later than originally anticipated, but we made it safely and in one piece to the office.

And, you know what? I’m glad we did. I was greeted by some of the nicest people that I’ve worked with and we had a great and productive meeting. The next morning went just as well. 

On the drive back to Denver we got a little taste of what we had missed on the highway the day before. Drifts covered much of the road, cars were spun out here and there, and traffic came to a standstill in several locations.

After boarding a supposedly delayed flight we made it back to Ohio right on time. Got to love those tail winds! When I pulled into our drive my headlights caught the now blooming hyacinths. Such a sweet, sweet sight! And, an ever better one awaited me inside. At almost 2am, Himself and the hairy beast were awake and waiting for me.

There’s no place like home!