Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Insulted

After a full year of hard labor I just received a .25 pay increase. Yahoo.

Heat wave

I survived yesterday’s heat. Spent most of the day indoors with a couple of foray’s to the cool tub until it wasn’t cool any more. Using my little temperature gun I got a reading of 100.2 on the water while the floating thermometer was saying it was in the 90’s. It was like bathwater, not refreshing at all. The water is back down in the 80’s this morning, but will go back up as the day passes.

I got a couple of things done before it got to hot to do anything yesterday. I didn’t have to go to the hardware store for lumber for my bench project as I had an 8ft 2x4 and some scraps. Enough to build my bench for the cool tub. I need to tweak it a bit. I put a book/kindle holder on it, but need to move that to the side so I have enough room to sit on it. Otherwise I could have used 1x4’s. 



It is sturdy enough to sit on and soak my feet but I need to move the kindle holder to the right to allow sitting space.

I got my beans and ham cooked in the crock pot and had them for dinner. I also found a spot and ran the cord for the new clock in the living room. I can’t see the clock on the stove from my chair any more since I moved the chair into the corner, and I needed to be able to see a clock in the dark. I bought a large display digital alarm clock and it is now on top of the stereo which is on top of the living room corner cupboard. I can read it now. Although the angle makes it a bit fuzzy. 

I made a beach cover up out of one of my sarongs. I hate having to tie them on and decided to try tacking in some shoulders. It worked quite well. Now I don’t have to tie it, just put my arms thru the holes and it is good. I have another that I want to try a different setup, crossing the front. Don’t know if they are large enough for that, but will give it a try. Something cool and loose to wear on the patio. 

I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to get done yesterday, it got too hot too fast. The garden topped out at 128.2 degrees yesterday, and will be warmer today. Then tomorrow it should be a fraction cooler. This morning I set down the computer as soon as it was light enough to see and did my gardening. I removed all the dead plants that were in pots on the shelf, cut back the tomatoes in hopes that they will regrow, and removed the bunny cages from both the natal plum and the cape honeysuckle. The bunnies haven’t bothered them since they have matured, so I think they are safe. When it cools off I need to prune the honeysuckle and relocate the plum. I also shut down one leg of the irrigation that no longer has plants on it. Save some water. 








While I was pulling the bunny cages the female hummingbird decided I wasn’t much of a threat. Although I couldn’t get any closer.






I think she is a black chinned hummingbird. I should get out my big camera and try to get a closer shot. The big cameras haven’t been out in ages. 

While I was running the cord for the clock in the CD cabinet I pulled out the Sex and the City CD’s. Started watching that again. I watched as much of the first season that the DVD player would play and moved on to the second season. It had been several weeks since the TV had even been turned on. 

I’m tossing around the idea of clear tarping the cool tub area. It stays a few degrees cooler than the rest of the patio and am wondering if the clear tarps would keep it even cooler. They aren’t cheap tho and I would have to build a wall with a door on the inside. More money….But I hate being stuck indoors. I stay out as long as I can stand it and make occasional forays out for short periods of time. 

I know I said I was getting tired of reading, but that is probably what I am going to do today. That will keep me in front of the little swampy which is quite comfortable. I do want to get a dip in the tub before that gets too warm. And I want to dig out another sarong and experiment with that. But other than that it is too hot to do anything. 

Found this dead bug on one of my pots the other day. It is big enough to use as a garden ornament. 



Lisa sent me some perennial flower pics from the house in VT. Wish I could grow some of that here, I would have her send me some divisions. The peonies are third generation divisions from my grandmother's plants. The (grand)parent plants are over 50 years old and I believe are still growing in Gray Maine.














Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Garden pavers

We had a few days of really nice temperatures and a couple of blanket nights. That all pretty much ends today with the temperatures rising each day. Supposed to be 119 by Tuesday. You can expect it will be warmer than that here.

Turned off the water heater for the summer on June 5th. Will save a few pennies there.

Last week I received and assembled my composter. I have a bit of stuff in it already and am now saving most of my coffee grounds and kitchen scraps for it.



I cut all my purple statice and brought it in to dry. I may try some other "dry" flowers since these did so well. The statice is supposed to be a perennial, but I am not sure it will survive the summer heat. Gonna try anyway.


I had pulled up the bird feeding patio since I am not feeding the birds and bunnies any more, and moved the hummer feeder post into the cactus garden. The pavers were stacked and ready to recycle. Monday I put the first 12 pavers down in front of the garden and yesterday I bought six more and completed the little section. It looks pretty good for an amateur job.




I am seriously considering moving the whole cactus garden and paving as much of the yard as I can. I am tired of the rock and the dead leaves. Ready for something different. I would like to have trees or tall shrubs along the fence and paving that is easy to keep clean and that won't collect leaves. The cactus in the garden have all grown too large and I have to keep a wide berth when I want to get to the composter and I can't see the cape honeysuckle that is behind it any more. 


There is a section of driveway beside the palm tree that is pretty much useless and I think that might be a good spot for the cactus garden. It would be out of the way as I don't use that area or go out there very much. So I guess that might be my next project. I am also thinking I will pave in bits and pieces. A little here, a little there and it will eventually be done. 

The fountain will also have to be moved eventually. Not sure where that will end up, but it won't be in the cactus garden as there is no water to that location. 

Last week I also put up some black out curtains over the wide patio doorway. When I sit on the patio, the shade cloth wasn't enough to block the morning sun so I would sit there and bake in the sun. The curtains were half price clearance curtains from work and some binder clips. An easy fix that seems to be working very well. Easy to remove in the fall when I will want the extra sunshine. 



I have asked Mark to pick up some poly carbonate roof panels for the garden. Monsoon season is here and I don't want to have to go and remove huge channels of water from the roof of the garden. Put a bit of a tilt on them and water will no longer gather on the roof. 

I'm going to wait until fall to figure out the perennial garden against the fence. It is too hot to start it now.

The garden is doing OK. It doesn't like the heat, but there are some things that are thriving. My dandelions have settled in to their new location and have actually put out a couple of blossoms. The pepper plant has recovered and is putting out new blossoms as well. On the other side the black eyed peas are growing and most of the seeds have germinated. The rhubarb does NOT look like rhubarb and the beets and chard are leggy. The eggplant looks good tho. The citrus and asparagus have done nothing yet. 




Asparagus!!


The desert willow seedlings are growing, but are falling over. I have propped them up hoping they will start to have sturdier trunks. These are the first that have survived after many tries getting them going. I always get seedlings, then they die. These two just might make it.


This is supposed to be rhubarb, but it isn't. I'm disappointed. I have no idea what it is. Will have to wait and see. 


Eggplant is doing well. 


The tomatoes are pretty much over. They have a bad case of whitefly that I can't seem to get rid of. They are still putting out green tomatoes, not many ripen tho. I think I am going to take some cuttings and then pull them up. 


As for my foot, it isn't bad until I go to work. I finally broke down and bought some ibuprofen and will be taking it before I go to work. I have no idea if it helps or not, but it doesn't hurt. I am also changing my shoes from my Teva's to my Telics mid shift which seems to help. The Telics are really cushy and takes some of the hurt off after I have been standing for so long. Last week and the week before I had to add a back ache to the whole thing. I was not a very happy camper. 

I have started receiving the bills from the doctors visits. This foot is costing way too much money. Between the doctors visits and the prescriptions, I have spent over $500 over and above my insurance just to go and talk with him for about ten minutes per visit. I am going to cancel the next one, I just can't afford it. i have no idea why I am paying over $100 per month and still have to pay the lions share of the bill. 

Back to work today. Sigh...It could be worse, inventory is over and it is now the slow season. Plenty to do, not enough hours. It does go fast once I get there. But I hate sitting around all day waiting to go in to work. We keep hiring cashiers and they keep leaving so it is pretty much perpetual training. That means I can't get a whole lot done in a shift especially when half the shift I am working alone. Can't get away from the register long enough to get anything done, plus all the extra walking back and forth, to and from the register from whatever I am trying to get done. 

I have no social life at all. For now, we still have Monday morning coffee and I go to that, but that is about it. I can't do Sunday morning breakfast any more because I open the store on Sundays now. I work Thursday nights so I can't do Silly Al's taco Thursday...Basically the only people I see are the customers and some of them are real jerks. There isn't much going on here right now anyway.

I would eventually like to travel some more, but would like to do it with a companion or a partner. Not sure that will ever happen. I miss Jake each and every day. Hard to believe it will be eight full years in February. I miss my other half and my best friend. 




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

More garden work.

Spent some time in the garden after coffee Monday morning. Pulled some stuff and added one bale of pro-mix. Then I moved the perennial stuff over to the newly filled section. I added the second bale to the side where the perennial stuff was and want to plant some new seed. I had to block off the new soil as the back section still has producing tomatoes and some other stuff. It is amazing how much the soil had settled. 












I will have to see what I have for seeds that will stand up to the heat. I know eggplant will be one of them. Rhubarb will be another. The rhubarb should really go on the other side, but I can transplant it later. 

I am going to have to order four more bales of pro-mix. I will do two next month and two the month after and I still have one of the three that I ordered this time. It will take five more bales to bring the soil level up to where it is supposed to be. More than I put in initially. Go figure. Hopefully I won’t have to do that in such large quantities again. Very, very expensive.

I got the filter on the cool tub changed and I removed the electric fixture over the sink and hung the new solar one. I will pack the electric one away for now until I can figure out a way to use it again. It was a gift from Jake that we bought at a yard sale, so it has sentimental value. Plus, it traveled 3000 miles without breaking…



I got rid of the garbage and all the cardboard before coffee on Monday. So that is done. 

Went to Silly Al’s Pizza for dinner Monday with the neighbors. I had the taco salad. That is the cheapest I have ever gotten out of there. With tip and an iced tea the meal cost $9.50 so I didn’t use my $20 gift card. I will save that for a pizza. Their pizza is very expensive. After I left there I went to the Roadrunner to buy lettuce so I could make my BLT with my fresh garden tomatoes. I haven’t bought veggies or been to the RR since last fall. They had some nice looking stuff, so I left there $28 later. I got some very expensive cherries, some very expensive plain yogurt - the less expensive stuff was about to expire, mushrooms, feta and bananas. Should have bought some lime juice while I was there, I like it in my water better than lemon juice, but didn’t think of it. I did pick up a head of garlic that I am going to plant. Some of it has already sprouted. I also have some potatoes that have sprouted and should plant those up too. But I won’t plant those in the garden I will do those in a pot. I will have to get another large pot from work. 

I just messaged Mark to see if he would be interested in building another garden structure for me. This one would be long and low with the 4x4 corners to put chicken wire on it to keep the bunnies out. I would like to have a perennial garden. It would also give me some privacy from the lot next door the next time it is rented. Especially if I can get a vine of some sort to grow on the wire. I would need to have the capability of putting shade cloth over it, so it would have to have the roof supports like the big garden has. If I can get him here to do that, I am going to have him put an addition on the roof of the big garden with a tilt and some clear solid roofing. The vinyl works great except when it rains, then I have the huge puddles in the roof where I have to use a broom to get rid of them. It will wipe out half my savings, but I should be good for a while after that. I would have to move the two bushes I planted last year and the chiminea plus trim the cactus garden, but none of their placements are ideal anyway. As for soil, I will get the less expensive stuff at Herbs. I don’t need the good stuff for non edibles. I already have irrigation there, would just need to extend it a bit above the soil. I think I am going to order a compost tumbler too. I have wanted one for a long time and since I don’t have the room for a bin here a tumbler would do the trick. No sense in wasting all the leaves and used soil. I have been just tossing the stuff under the grapefruit tree, but that doesn’t look very good. The tree doesn’t seem to mind tho and the bunnies eat the green stuff and then fertilize the tree.

This is where I would like the perennial garden, along that fence where I can see it from my chair…


My camera hasn’t been out in a long time, but I just had one of these bathing in the bird bath. :) Very pretty.


I did spend most of the day outside yesterday and it was over 100 degrees. I had one thermometer that said 108 and the other said 111. Between my fan and the cool tub I did OK being outside. I am wondering tho if it would use less electricity to lower the AC temp and not run fans or to keep it where it is and run fans. At least the fans don’t run when I am not here, so that is probably the less expensive way to go. 

I planted several things yesterday. Garlic, asparagus, rhubarb, black eyed peas, swiss chard, and eggplant. Hoping some of it will grow. I expect I will have to relocate some stuff later, but that is OK. The pepper plant that I relocated the other day isn’t happy and I think I am going to loose it. Oh well. The smaller pepper plants look OK in spite of being relocated.