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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Finally starting our 2011 Garden

We have finally started working on our garden. YAY! This year we are changing a few things around....again. It's always fun to try a few new things. If you look closely at the picture at the top, you can see some wire arches. We used cattle panels for that. We decided to hold them in place by using stakes as opposed to concreting them in place, just in case we change our minds later. The plan is to plant Sugar Snap Peas and Snow peas next to the trellis until things heat up in the summer. When those start to die back I am going to replace them with the Chinese Red Long Beans that I planted last year, and a green Asparagus Bean that is also a long bean. I'm hoping that the arched trellis will work because it will look better than the trellis that we had leaning against the house.

As for the 3 beds next to the trellis, I will number them starting from right to left...the first being the structure.

1. Tomatoes
The plan is to remove the chicken wire from the structure. We initially put that on there to keep out any animals. Well, the only critters that seem to steal the tomatoes are the birds and the squirrels. Seeing as they can still get in through the need for the chicken wire. We are also going to remove the structure itself, except for the vertical posts; those are concreted in.
We purchased some flexible wire to make cages. The cages will be 5' tall and around 2.5' in diameter. I am hoping to start the seedlings soon. As for the types of tomatoes, I finally narrowed it down to 8 varieties: Aunt Ruby's German Green, Kellogg's Breakfast, Ozark Pink, Black Cherry, Old Italian, Riesentraube, White Tomesol and Yellow Mortgage Lifter.

2. Spinach, Leeks, Celery and Daikon Radish
Because our beds are all 8' x 12' we are splitting this one in half. It's always better to not stomp on the soil so....we are going to prevent that this year. We still need to go to Home Depot to pick out a simple stone to make a path down the middle of the box, lengthwise. Half of the bed will have Spinach: Giant Noble and Bloomsdale Longstanding. The other half will have the Leeks, Celery and Daikon. Of course, after I had already ordered the celery, I read about the planting instructions. The first article that I read stated that homegrown celery doesn't taste much different from store-bought and it is really hard to grow. They also said that most gardeners just plant it as a challenge. Looovely. JUST what I wanted. Arggg

3. Squash
We are going to plant Butternut Rogosa and Blue Hubbard Squash. I'm hoping that we can keep them nice and healthy and that the vines and fruit will take over the box. The other hope it that we won't have any problem with borers as per usual.

On our deck we have 2 big planters. I will be planting Carbon Tomatoes in one and the other will have herbs again.

Our watermelon crop will be limited to 3 types this year. We planted quite a few last year but there were definite favorites as far as flavor. I have so many types of watermelon seeds in my collection so only doing 3 is killing me. We both love the Crimson Sweet and the Missouri Heirloom Yellow Flesh. This Year we will be trying the Cream of Saskatchewan. It has a cream colored flesh! How cool is that? Hopefully it will taste yummy!

Normally we try planting cantaloupes or cucumbers next to the melons. This year we will be doing a Long of Naples Squash plant.

There are 2 other types of squash that I want to plant: Lebanese White Bush Marrow and Benning's Green Tint Scallop. I am trying to decide between 2 locations. One is where we planted the radishes last year and the other is the planter that is below the watermelons. I'll let you know what we decide.

I realize I keep interchanging "we" and "I" as I type this. It's a little hard to keep track of. Adam is the manual labor for the most part. I try to help when I can but hey, I'm not as strong and can't last as long. I do love planting the seeds though so I usually do that. =)

Here are a few pictures of our nephews helping us clean out the garden. My allergies started attacking me that night.

Getting rid of the tomato vines that I removed from the structure.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Netbook Story comes to an end

Well, it's finally over. The Netbook is gone. Here is what has transpired as of January.

A few weeks later my Netbook, once again, had to be brought in. All of a sudden it would not power up. I believe it was my 5th time using it since I had gotten it back from Best Buy.

When I got to the Geek Squad desk I was greeted and asked how things were going with the Netbook. By this point most of the Geek Squad recognized me from my previous trips. They said that they thought it was the motherboard and had to send it in to be fixed.

A week or so later I got a call saying that they would do a "junk-out"....very telling phrase, "junk-out". Yes, you did sell me a piece of junk. They told me that I could get another Netbook that was the same cost. Of course, they don't normally carry that model so....I was told I could trade it for something comparable. I asked if I would have to pay anything additional since I had only used it a whopping 5 times since Black Friday because it has been in their possession most of the time. I was assured that I wouldn't have to pay as long as it was basically the same model. I was told to wait for the salesman so I did....for literally 35 minutes. Apparently the only guy in the computer department was also working the customer service desk. Thank goodness for Netflix on my iPhone. Woot! He showed me three models that I could choose from and helped me decide. We got to the paperwork part and then I was told that I owed $109. Ummm, huh? I thought I wouldn't have to pay anything additional. Sorry, not paying around $300 for a Netbook when I already have a laptop, desktop and iPhone. I was ok spending $170 + tax but not another $109 for something that I really didn't need. It was more of a convenience so...I got store credit instead.

With that credit I decided to get a Kindle to add to my eBook reader collection. I still have credit left to spend but I think I'll just hang on to it for now.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pictures of our frozen/defrosting pond

Here are a few pictures that we took of our pond while it was frozen and also when it was slowly defrosting. Some of the pictures were taken with our phones so please excuse the quality.
It was kind of neat watching the pond defrost because the icy layer would remain intact, almost suspended in air, while the water level lowered beneath.
If you look closely you can see one of our fish.