Gallery: Tree Removal

We had to remove a tree from our front landscaping this morning. I was sad to see it go, it was a lovely tree just under my son’s window.  In previous years, he could hear baby birds chirping from their nest each morning from his bed. Thankfully, no nests were inhabited yet this year. The tree started dying off in recent months, having grown too large for the small area where the landscapers planted it. To tell you the truth, we’re a little befuddled at some of the choices our landscaper made several years back – everything seems to be outgrowing the space that was given for it. But I guess that’s par for the course. So here’s a little gallery of Hubberman with his new chainsaw, the kids keeping watch from my son’s room, and Fluffy, who kept watch from the front door. :-)

Clothes Pin Garden Markers

My husband goes to a lot of conferences for his job. At each, he gets a lanyard name tag. He saves them on the door knob of his home office. In the past, I have put them to good use on diaper bags and lunch coolers (my son had a food allergy so I would have to prominently label “NO EGG” on all his belongings,) but since the days of diapers and allergy tags are behind us, the tags have kind of accumulated, unused. Until now!

Today I was trying to devise a semi-waterproof garden tag using what I already had on hand. I knew I wanted to use the wood clothes pins I had lying around – their “clipability” seemed perfectly suited for garden tags, but I wasn’t sure how to waterproof the tag itself. Enter the lanyard tags.

I simply removed the tags from their lanyards and slid the front of the seed packets into the pocket. With the opening of the name tag facing down, I clipped the clothespin to the tag. For the packets that still had seeds in them, I ran off a copy of the front of the packet instead (Hubberman’s home office is helping out a lot with this project.) :-)

Time will tell just how water-resistant these guys will be. I’m sure the clothespins will break down over time, but no less than the popsicle sticks I used last year.

I also found some other adorable ways to use clothespins as markers on the web. If my idea doesn’t float your boat, try one of these:

http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2011/08/08/seed-starting-adventures/

http://www.glueandglitter.com/main/2011/06/29/clothespin-plant-markers/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/3549735749/

http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/2012/03/plant-garden-markers.html

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20390908_20793608,00.html

Have a terrific weekend!

 

Garden Goings On

I realized today that I’ve been at this blog for a week and have yet to actually post a photo of how the garden looks so far this season! For shame! So here it is!

On the left side, I have a row and a half of red cabbage plants (nursery bought,) a row and a half of spinach (also nursery,) onion seed that is yet to sprout, and a stubborn but beautiful oregano that refused to die this winter.

The oregano just liked its home too much to leave.

On the right, I have a row of swiss chard that has sprouted (no true leaves yet,) a row or “salad bowl” lettuce mix which has sprouted, a half row of arugula that’s just peeking up, and a row and a half of lettuce plants I bought at the nursery. I’ve already gotten a salad and a sandwich from those plants!

A little oil and vinegar and you're good to go. Scrumptious.

and this is where I’ve decided to try some micro-greens. I planted the rest of my lettuce mix, arugula, and chard densely in these takeout containers in the hopes that in a few weeks I’ll have some lovely little baby greens ready for harvest. Can’t wait!

Up on the deck, I have my herb planter stocked with nursery bought parsley, lemon thyme (my absolute favorite and the inspiration for my blog title) and there is a half row of basil just peeking out (not pictured.) No sign of my cilantro and chives yet. But they are old seeds so who knows.

That’s it! It’s been a bit of a challenge keeping all these guys warm this week, but so far they are doing great.

Our Cat Has Street Cred.


I’d like to introduce you to our family’s first real pet. Eleven years ago, the hubs and I had a cat, Max, but he died while I was pregnant with our first child (I seriously thought I was going to go into labor I was so grief stricken.) While the kids have been around, we’ve only had a fish named Trixie who always acted dead, and a short-lived cricket, Ricky. Needless to say, we needed another real pet in our lives, real bad.

This need was unexpectedly filled last year when a stray cat began hanging out in our yard. All summer he pretty much camped out on our back deck. For the longest time I was convinced this cat must have an owner, because he was so clean looking, and from looks of his furry girth, did not seem to be lacking for food. Then came one extremely hot day in July when this poor feline spent the afternoon panting on our deck. I quickly surmised that if this cat had an owner, surely he would be in that owner’s house instead of coming to the brink of heat exhaustion here on our deck. We began feeding him, and as they say when it comes to feeding cats, the rest is history. We did our due diligence, putting flyers in every mailbox giving any rightful (yet neglectful, in our opinion) owner a chance to step forward, but none did. One $100 vet bill and microchip scan (he did not have one) later, the cat was officially a member of the family.

So what is this darling kitty’s name? Well, all spring and summer long the neighborhood kids called him Fluffy. Thinking this was a bit lacking in originality, we decided to call him Fluffernutter, thus staying true to his original name, but adding a bit of flair. Though truth be told, he is known by Fluffernutter on vet documentation alone. We find ourselves still using his “street name” of Fluffy all the time, along with Fluffers, Fluff, Fluff-muffin, and Senor Fluffy Pants among others. When the FIOS guy came in our house recently, he took one look at the cat (whose name he did not know) and said flatly, “That is one fluffy cat.” So, there you go.

RAWR!

Froo Froo name aside, Fluffy’s a little bit gangsta. In his stray days, he was always fighting with one of the neighbor cats. You know in the comics when animals fight all you see is a crazy ball of frenzied action with an occasional paw sticking out? That’s exactly what it looked like. At vet exams, they can tell whenever they “cross the line” with the poking and prodding. He goes from mildly irritated to a seething, hissing wild cat in an instant. He’s got a bit of a reputation. There’s a warning on his chart that reads, “Do what you need to do quickly.” When the vet assistant comes in, he now wears oven mitt gloves. Yep, Fluffy’s a tough guy.

Despite this reputation, he’s proven to be a wonderful housecat. He’s very tolerant with the kids, and in spite of still being in possession of many very, very sharp claws, the children have rarely been scratched. Frankly, on the rare occasions when they have been scratched, they kinda had it coming. It’s taken some time to build trust, but we seem to have won him over. That or he just really likes the holistic food we feed him. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

"You lookin' at me?"

Regardless, We’re delighted to have the Fluff-muffin in our lives. Our hearts (and couches) will never be the same.