Friday, April 17, 2009

The joys of living in a real house

Finally! I took advantage of the weather lull today before more promised rain, spent some money at Lowe's, and planted the garden. Yes, it's pretty small, at least compared to ones I've had in the past, such as the one to the left in Portland a few years ago. Last month I dug this one completely by hand--I mean, with a shovel instead of a rototiller. I kept hitting tree roots, but pretty soon it looked pretty good. I mixed a few bags of compost with the topsoil and raked it all pretty smooth. No dance floor by any means, but it will do the job.


So, now I have two kinds of fledgling tomatoes , cucumbers, zucchini, jalapenos, parsley, lavender, and cilantro. If nothing else, I'll at least be able to make some pretty decent salsa. Wish I could claim these beautiful tomatoes in the picture, but, alas, they're from google.

To save money, I bought some eight-packs of small plants instead of the larger one-plant-per-pack plants, so had some tomatoes and cucumbers left over. My next-door-neighbors were tilling their garden last night, so I put the extra plants in a spot for them. The woman came over later and introduced herself, offering the use of their rototiller anytime I needed it. Hmmm. It's tempting to dig up the whole yard. No, not this year. Let's see how this small garden grows first.

Yesterday I spent a few hours opening some windows. This is an old house and they'd been painted shut a long time go. I like fresh air, so they needed to open. I first tried to do it with a paring knife - well, that was pretty dumb. Finally bought a nifty tool at Lowe's - a strong putty knife with a sharp point on one end - worked beautifully. I've now got to sand and re-paint the windows, but at least now they open. And the cross ventilation feels so good. The landlord is having a storm door installed at the front door next month. Because the door is an uncommon size, it has to be specially made. So, we agreed I'd pay the installation fee. Good compromise, especially since I'm the one who requested the door. The house has central air conditioning, but I'm partial to fresh air, especially since it doesn't cost anything. Cheapskate? Of course.

Time to do some reading. Ever since I moved into this house, my stack of books to read has kept getting larger and larger. I couldn't do that in the motorhome, so this is kind of fun. Let's see--what will it be tonight? Byron Katie's latest, one of my books about new kinds of small church, a Jeffrey Archer thriller I haven't read yet, or something else? Ah, decisions, decisions. So much fun.

10 comments:

Chuck said...

Sounds like you're well on your way to being the local master gardener, especially with pictures of what you've been able to do in the past.

Those summer rains, balmy evenings in the midwest can produce some record crops of most everything. It's still too cool at night here in NorCal to do much planting but we're getting close.

Keep up the good work.

Chuck

spiritualastronomer said...

I wish those tomatoes in the picture were mine. Google has some decent pictures.

Yarntangler said...

Everyone here at theRV park is trying those new "Upside Down" tomatoes the guy next to us has an ingenious irrigation system made up of IV bottles and hamster feeding tubes!

Bob said...

Our last house had 52 double hung windows that were all painted shut. Replacing the broken ropes with little brass chains and getting each to operate with the pressure of of single finger was a source of great spiritual satisfaction. Nice tomatoes.

Phred

Bob said...

PS...some of my best blog shots are lifted from Google

spiritualastronomer said...

And the promised rain has finally come, along with some thunder and lightning. Knew there was a good reason I didn't water those new plants.

Old Newsie said...

There's a good book on living on the cheap if you're interested in more ideas. It's "The Tightwad Gazette" by Amy Dacyczyn, aka The Frugal Zealot. Maybe your local library has it or can get it on inter-library loan, or if you care, to, come on back here and read our copy.Thre hundred pages Pulished by Villard Book NYC copyright by Randon House Inc 1992. Has a recipe for homemade pancake syrup, underground bird house, etc.

spiritualastronomer said...

Old Newsie, I can see we're kindred spirits. I read Amy D. online before she wrote her book. I sold my first copy when I moved into the RV - found another copy about three weeks ago for ten cents at a sale. Love it! Thanks.

Sara said...

I'm so envious. It's still not quite planting season here, too cold.

Francine said...

My brother got his garden plowed the other day and as soon as it dries a little more the guy will come back and till it. He's going to have a fairly big garden. I look forward to helping some before we leave for summer jobs.