May 27, 2011

it's a jungle in there

The greenhouse. By request.

The greenhouse is bursting at the seams.

Bursting, I say.

You have to see it to believe it, so let's take a stroll around.

I know you're all wondering how the zinnias are doing. They are doing well, thank you very much. A few of them even have flower buds on them, but I'm pinching them all back so they'll bush out a bit. It's painful to pinch off a zinnia bud before it's bloomed. It's an ugly job, but somebody's got to do it. They'll be heading out to the garden shortly, and if we actually get some weather that even remotely resembles summer, they should really start to take off.

Next on the tour...geraniums.

This is the third year we've overwintered our geraniums. After the first year, I got smart and instead of planting each geranium in its summertime oak barrel home, I simply left the geranium in its pot and sunk it, pot and all, right into the dirt. That way when the first cold snap is upon us, I just pop the pot out of the barrel and whisk it away to the safety of the greenhouse. Much easier than having to dig up and then re-pot the plants before they are moved inside.

We ran out of room in the greenhouse approximately thirty seconds after it was built, so the geraniums spent the winter on a makeshift table. The size of the makeshift table required to hold all the geraniums means things are pretty cramped in the greenhouse.

Side note:
It would seem that a person's intake of Reese's Peanut Butter cups, Oreos and Snickers has a direct effect on the ease with which a person is able to navigate their way around the cramped greenhouse these days.

Just sayin.

We overwintered quite a few of our petunias last year, so we were able to take cuttings this spring. Cuttings are so fun. You take a tiny stem, dip it in rooting hormone, place it in the dirt and before you know it, you've got a whole new plant.

Once they're well rooted, we transfer them to four inch pots and then they really take off.
When I say take off, I really mean that they pretty much turn into a wild and crazy tangled petunia mess. Petunias need a lot of room, and as previously mentioned, space is a bit lacking this time of year.

Eventually, we place the petunias in two gallon pots and sink those right into the ground, just like we do with the geraniums. Knowing we'd be taking fresh cuttings, we didn't need to overwinter all the petunias, just enough to get cuttings from each color. Since they're in such big pots, my hubby built a shelf so they wouldn't ramble all over our other plants once they kick into high growing gear.

(Please ignore the ugly yellow sticky bug catcher.)

In the background of this next shot, you can see our tomatoes in their cedar baskets. This is the second year we've planted them upside down and it seems to work very well. The tomatoes are the only thing that will stay in the greenhouse all summer. We'll keep all the windows open and they are on an automatic watering system, so other than a weekly fertilizing, they are pretty much care free.

Deliciously carefree. And delicious.

June first is the earliest we're comfortable moving things outside, so come next Wednesday, we'll be in a planting and moving frenzy.

Then it's Mother Nature's turn to take over.

Dear Mother Nature,
Please, please, please send Summer to Montana this year. She gave us the cold shoulder last year, so I'm thinking maybe we've somehow offended her?
Whatever we did, we're sorry. Very sorry. Very, very, very sorry. If there's anyway you can put in a good word for us and talk her into an extended stay, I'll be forever grateful.
Sunshiny Love,

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

May 23, 2011

hold on to sixteen

Hold on to sixteen, as long as you can.

(I was sixteen when that song came out.)

(Please don't do the math.)

(Pretty please.)

My baby.

In a few weeks, he'll be a senior.

In a few weeks, he'll be seventeen.

Say it ain't so.

I have found the key to getting my boys to pose for pictures.

Can you guess?

A cute girl. And seriously, could this girl possibly be any cuter?

When a fella gets double-teamed by the cute girl and the mom with the camera, he stands no chance.

It worked with his big bro, and it worked again yesterday.

Adding a vintage soda to the mix doesn't hurt either.

Junior loves the vintage sodas.

Life is good.

Summer's coming.

School's almost out.

They have plans for picnics and swimming and ice cream.

(He has plans to make her play Nazi Zombies on the X-box, but I think for each game she plays, we should get a photo session in exchange.)

Hold on to this time, kids.

Real, grown up life is right around the corner.

It will come soon enough.

Just. Hold. On.

May 19, 2011


I am currently in love with the list format for blog posts. It's much easier (for me) than trying to form coherent sentences that somehow then magically turn into paragraphs, which then transition into a cohesive and succinct post that ultimately leaves the reader both informed and at least somewhat entertained.

See? I'm already exhausted.

So, since we did bullet points last time, let's go with a numbered list this time.

Sound good?

1. I went on a road trip last week.

2. My brake line broke in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.

3. My brake line broke while I was sitting at a stop light.

4. Mere minutes before my brake line broke, I was hurtling off the freeway at seventy miles per hour.

5. Okay, probably about seventy eight miles per hour, if we're being honest.

6. It would have been very, very, very bad if my brake line broke while I was exiting the freeway.

7. Very bad.

8. Thank. You. Lord.

10. My road trip was more than 500 miles each way.

11. I used to be able to do this trip without batting an eye, but these days, Ye Olde Bod starts screaming in protest somewhere around mile 350.

12. It takes several hours to de-pretzel myself after I arrive at my destination.

13. I'm getting old and it makes me sad.

14. My camera lens is back.

15. The diagnosis was that the auto focus assembly had suffered traumatic shock damage due to impact. The remedy was replacement of the auto focus cam barrel assembly.

Say what?

16. I also sent my 24-70 in for calibration because the focus has really never been that great.

17. I have taken approximately fifty photos of my son's eyelashes to test the focus. Eyelashes are a great way to test your focus.

18. My son does not enjoy having me take numerous photos of his eyelashes.

19. Cry me a river, bud.

20. He loves it when I say "cry me a river". It makes him happy.

21. Speaking of my son, he found my Oreo stash, so that takes care of that little problem.

22. I've moved on to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

23. And Snickers.

May 3, 2011

bullet points

* I dropped my camera.

* I said a bad word.

* My favorite lens is going to the hospital.

* It didn't appreciate being dropped so hard that the lens cap got wedged into the lens itself.

* I think my camera is okay.

* Time will tell.

* We finally had a sunny, warm day.

* I need about 10 more days just like this one to get my yard ship-shape.

* But that was yesterday.

* It snowed at my house this morning.

* I found some leftover zinnia seeds from last year and you know what that means.

* I'm planting them, oh yes I am.

* I cleaned out my drug cupboard.

* I found cough syrup from 1995, several Costco sized bottles of Dimetapp from 1997, and some really good prescription pain killers from 2004.

* I need to clean out my drug cupboard more often.

* I finally finished watching The Kennedys.

* I can't stop eating Oreos.