Sunday, September 23, 2012


I'm calling the scattered content of this post "Spokane" because it all happened in Spokane. But it's really not much about Spokane.
I took two trips to Spokane last weekend because Mom had a hip replacement done there.
It's been awhile since I have spent any time in the city- not much since the girls have been born. I realized how much I've changed, become more entrenched in my country ways. I don't like the traffic; it's so rude. I drive politely and gum up the whole works and miss exits and such. I don't care for the food; I don't know where it came from, and I have to pay for it. (but something so necessary I hate to complain about too much). I don't like the sensation of elevators as they rise and fall, and the personal space is pretty limited in there......
I also did a little shopping. Now I love nice things. I'm not snobbish about the Faded Glory brand, but I realize that spending less on things doesn't always save money. But my strategy has been the Goodwill. Picky Goodwill shopper. Well anyway, I tried Old Navy and I found I just can't bring myself to pay new prices anymore. I am a confirmed country girl. It feels good to know that. These were my discoveries on Thursday, the day of the surgery.
Saturday night we (Jay and I and the girls), stayed overnight. I stayed at the hospital with Mom, and Jay and the girls stayed at a motel across the street. That was an uncomfortable night. I slept in a hospital version of a lazyboy. I hope you never meet one. Also, I didn't realize how much patients are woke for who knows what all night long.
However, the most important impression made on me was listening to my mother pray for each one of her living descendants by name. Here she is, a little foggy from the pain meds, the four walls she's been looking at for two and a half days solid, and she can remember all 70 of her descendants by name. AND she makes the effort to pray for them. I remember when I was a teenager and pretty idealistic about all things spiritual, thinking that mom's prayers for her offspring were not selfish, but at least too limited. I thought she should be tackling more important issues, such as missions, the abortion issue, etc. Well, I heard her pray for her whole family by name, and then she prayed for an ungodly president, with respect, and I was ashamed and challenged. Some days I think I'm so busy that I hardly pray for my own two kids, much less Obama. I think it is so important to be faithful in those "little" things. God help me to do better!
Sunday we took the girls to Riverfront Park, even though all of us had had a rough night and were pretty much exhausted. The park is big compared to our little parks here in Smalltown, USA. It has a carousel that is about a hundred years old I believe.

And now here we are a month later, and I still haven't posted. I went to Spokane again today, but that really has nothing to do with this post.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back To Eden Project (What We Think Of It After Our First Season)

Two weeks ago I had a post on this subject drafted, almost ready to be published. I got too busy to finish the post, and then the information became obsolete. Had to start over.
I will say right off that if we had any problems with the woodchip mulch they all came from one problem. That is, the mulch kept the soil too cold this June and July. June was cold and rainy and everyone's garden looked cold and wet. July came in all her lovely, hot glory and the gardens took off. Except ours didn't. While others were harvesting green beans, ours were just blossoming. While others were harvesting cucumbers and zucchini, our plants were dropping unpollinated fruit right and left. Needless to say, I was sad. But then the beans began to look like this about the beginning of August.
And they're still at it.
By the end of August, the potatoes finally perked up. This spring they were taking so long to emerge through the mulch that Jay thought maybe they were buried too deeply. So he scraped away some of the mulch for about half the plants. Ironically, when they did come up, it was the plants that he didn't help that thrived. The rest were stunted. In August, the stunted plants either died off, or took off. At least some of them look like this.
The carrots were planted late. They're doing fine. They are so good; there is nothing like a fresh garden carrot.
I had sadly given up on the winter squash, the pumpkins, and the ornamental squash. They got big and spread out, but they seemed to just not pollinate. They say that they don't pollinate in hot weather. Sure enough, when it cooled off they began to set fruit. Sad, because I think they're out of time. If only they'd been ready to set fruit before it got hot. If I cover them at night maybe I'll get some....

Conclusion? I think we started out too cold this spring. We put the mulch down while it was cold and wet, and it stayed cold and wet for awhile after it was laid. I hope that this next year the soil and mulch will warm up a little more quickly. Maybe the soil won't get as cold this winter? Or maybe we can pull the mulch back from ths rows to warm the soil sooner. But really, I do believe that soil temperature seemed to be the only problem. I absolutely love the absence of weeds! We did have to do some watering. Every summer we have 4-6 weeks of sunshine without rain. The mulch helped us through that time for sure. We watered, but very little in comparison to most years.
Jay also has a row of baby trees, some blueberry plants, and I have flower beds that benefited from the mulch. It was so nice to see these things thrive instead of just "hang in there". And the herb garden? It went from a dusty weed patch to a bonafide overgrown mass of herbs.

And now for my true love: these too, waited until the last minute to do what they were meant to do, but oh the joy! :)