sb158 | March 1, 2011
So much has changed in my life since then, it’s no wonder I haven’t blogged. I see that the last I wrote, Alex was threatening. Fortunately, He went south, but did dump a bunch of rain west of us. Mexico and parts of the Valley got badly flooded. We got some rain, and then more rain from assorted other storm systems, but it really hasn’t rained much at all since then. We need some, but I’m afraid if I did the rain dance, we’d end up with a hurricane (or a blizzard), as crazy as the weather has been. I did plant a fall garden, though not much of one. We’d been house-hunting, and I didn’t know if we’d be moving, so took it easy.
As it turns out, that was a good thing. My daughter in Colorado had been having serious car issues, and in October, her 12 year old Passport just totally died. We started looking for a used vehicle down here, as Hubby wanted to be sure she got something safe. My son, who worked briefly at a car dealership a few years ago, came with us to prevent rip-offs. He saved us at least 10 grand; we ended up buying a new Chevy Silverado and giving the Dodge to my daughter. This meant, of course, that someone (yea, that’d be me) had to drive it all the way from south TX to Colorado, so off I went to stay until just after Thanksgiving.
Things didn’t quite work out that way. My other daughter decided she’d had enough after her son and husband nearly came to blows. I flew home to rearrange my house to fit 3 extra people – no easy task in a mobile home, let me tell you! Hubby and son went to FL the weekend before Thanksgiving, loaded the truck, and turned right around and drove all the way back to TX that same weekend. Then we had to cram a bunch more stuff in an already jam-packed house.
We immediately started looking for a bigger place, but ended up just moving to a bigger mobile home in the same park in mid-December. We’re still house-hunting; this place is better, but still way too small. The kitchen drives me to distraction, and occasionally to drink…
In between moving and rediscovering the “joys” of teenagers – 2 grandsons – all over again, I did a bunch of garden reading. Paul James, the used-to-be Gardener Guy on HGTV (before they went all “landscaping” and “curb appeal”) mentioned a book called “The One Straw Revolution” written more than 50 years ago by a Japanese farmer named Masanobu Fukuoka. Paul said it changed his perspective completely; he might even go so far as to call the book life-changing. Of course I had to read the book after a recommendation like that! And he was right; it did change my perspective completely, and set me off on a research binge that has been most enlightening, and maybe even life-changing.
I read a gazillion web articles, watched Youtube videos, and Googled any number of gardening things. The most useful book I found is called “Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture (Second Edition)“, written by Toby Hemenway. Found it as a pdf on the web, and was so impressed I spent the money to buy it from Amazon. IMHO, every gardener should read this book. In fact, it ought to be required reading in every high school biology class. Also found Rosalind Creasy’s “Edible Landscaping (Second Edition)” to be very helpful. I’m going to be adding pages about these books, and the garden ideas that result, as I have time.
After we were more-or-less settled and Christmas was gone, it was time to translate all the new garden ideas from abstract to stuff we can eat! Though my plans keep changing (a gardener’s prerogative, of course), I started a ton of seeds and started making garden beds. Had a bit of a setback when we had a 3-day freeze, and even some (very little, actually) snow, but Hubby’s brilliant idea saved all my container plants. He told me to move them all to the picnic table, then he hung two big high-intensity work lights in the roof. Wrapped it all up in a big ole tarp and turned on the lights. Even when the power went out, it was warm enough in there (though NOT so much in the house) to keep the plants all above freezing. After it finally warmed back up, we unwrapped it all, only to have to wrap them all back up again a week later when we had yet another deep freeze. Never in the almost 40 yrs. since I first heard of the Valley have I ever heard of weather like that down here.
So, to make a very long story much shorter, I’ve got some garden beds started, more in the planning stages, and a gazillion baby plants growing bigger every day while they wait for me to get my tush in gear and make them a home…
I’m about out of steam for tonight, so I’ll quit for now and continue this novel another day.