Monday, May 18, 2009

Garden Is Looking Good

Now that I am retired I am enjoying working in the garden. Having Rey here is a big help, too. We have been using the manual tiller that I inherited from Dad. (Rey's Mom called it a Medieval Torture Device.) We aren't certain if Dad found it this way or put two things together, but it appears to be a manual aerator with cultivator tines behind it. I've been the one operating it the most, but Rey likes to run it up and down the rows, as well. Unfortunately, he poops out on me faster than he should. Oh, well, wait till the summer is over. He'll get stronger. We have both lost a few pounds from the work.

It has rained so much that the west side of the garden is still too damp to till. I have been keeping the weeds out of the rest of the rows fairly well. Pat says he's going to rent a tiller again and run it over everything one more time. The "wet side" is where I have the melons, cucumbers and pumpkins planted. I hope they like it wet. Fortunately, the rains aren't coming daily any more. Occassionally we even have to water. Maybe the west side will dry out a bit.

Last year's raised beds are still being used. Three of them will be permanent strawberry beds. The fourth one is the salad garden. The spinach and some of the lettuce doesn't want to come up, but the Swiss Chard, cress, two kinds of lettuce and the carrots are doing well. We'll be able to harvest our own salads by June 1.

When George and I lived in Waverly in the mid-1980s, I found two wagon wheels that I used to plant an herb garden. Mom salvaged the wheels when we moved to Texas. One of them is still around. I painted it flat black and put it near the back porch for -- yes -- an herb garden. I want to grow more than six herbs, but it's a good start. I have dill, thyme, cilantro, chives, and rosemary planted with more to come.

I LOVE My New Door!

Isn't it beautiful? This is the window in the new front door. Taking out the old door wasn't a simple switch. The new door is larger than the old one. Pat had to enlarge the opening.

Half-way through the process he realized of all the tools he owns, he didn't have what he calls a Sawz-All and of course he HAD to have it to finish the project. The old door was lying on its side on the porch. The new door wasn't in place, and we had to run into Ottawa for the tool.

Gee, it's nice to live in a small town. Pat laid the old door crossways over the opening, and we left Max, the Labrador Retriever, sleeping in the living room. He's not much of a watch dog, but he'd surprise anyone that tried to enter. When we lived in Dallas, I would never have left my home without a door while running an errand -- especially when it takes an hour to get there and an hour back! Max didn't even miss a snore while we were gone.

I haven't decided how we will finish the inside of the door. The wood work will be red oak. If I can put a red oak stain on the vinyl door, I'd like it to match the wood work. All that is left outside is to add the "dental shelf", bend the green trim, and paint the door to match. Then it's on to replacing the roof and rebuilding the porch railing!

And the old front door? Pat's going to enlarge the opening for the back door and install it there. It's original to the house, and I like it. I don't want to lose that door. (I won't mind losing the porch rails, but that's another story. Dad planned to replace them all the time he lived here -- 50 plus years. I intend to get it done!)