Thursday, April 28, 2011

The house is silent

I have not experienced a quiet house for more than 8yrs.
Always a rattle of the cage, a flap of the wing, a greeting or a pitter patter of little feet across the floor.

Our beloved parrot Fred passed away early Thursday morning, 2 weeks ago on the 14th of April.
He was a male Eclectus who was such a huge part of our flock. In fact, he made us a flock.

Before I met Travis it was Fred & I.

 it was Fred & Travis and I cooked and cleaned...

...While the boys took a nap
Travis ACTUALLY does approve this photo

He followed us everywhere. What ever we were doing. He wanted to be doing that too.
Eating at the dinner table.... 

Actually a rarity-we served him at his cage

Sitting on the mirror watching us get ready for the day.

Taking showers with us was a big love of his and the blow drying that came after.
Travis made this perch so he could grip better.

He would even bare the cold dirty garage for papas sake.

He enjoyed a bit of our every meal and snack.
I would say his favorite was cheese, but really his favorite was FOOD
Tortilla chip, triscuit or wheat thin?

 He enjoyed our company just as much as we did.
Especially women. He could hear higher tones better and respond to them.
Our friends were excited when he finally warmed up to them (without biting)
I always had band aids available!

 We thought he looked a bit like the Instant Martians from Marvin the martian cartoons.

 I was always trying for a family portrait and this one is my favorite:

Laying on the carpet we were in his domain.


 He was the perfect subject for taking photos,
but he always wanted to bite the lens and move before I could shoot.

 Fred Fridays will return once I collect all the photos from various computers around here.

"She was not quite what you would call refined.
She was not quite what you would call unrefined.
She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot."
Mark Twain

Fred Franklin Finger-Biter Beak, you will be missed more than I ever knew possible.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thought we would never finish.

A whole lot of progress happened Saturday in the garden:

These boots are made for gardening

We finished filling in the hole!!! 12 yards of fresh new dirt.
Cedar Grove Veggie Mix & Booster Blend is amazing stuff.
If you live locally and need good soil this is the place to go.

I also found a new favorite view from upstairs!

10 yards on the new side filled in the hole and we amended the original garden side with another 2 yards to improve drainage and raise the level. With a punch card we got 1 yard free with purchase of 5 yards. Cedar Grove also has a happy hour(!) during late afternoon on Saturdays where you save 15%.


We had help from some (awesome) friends Saturday, so the last 4 yards went much quicker.
I mentioned how much faster it went with 2 people shovelling in the wheel barrow,
 as I was on the rake duty spreading it out and could barely keep up--
and the wise ass in the picture below(right) chimed in with 
"What like 2x faster?"
 I promised to put this pic on the Internet for it.
I was down to primitive brain with all the labor

What a dirty job we had! I am so grateful for the help to get it finished.
I wanted to rake it all out nice and pretty but I was out of energy

Here we were a month ago... a big muddy hole that I could hardly imagine the finished project.

Now we can get on to the planting!!  I have peas, lettuce and spinach waiting. Along with kale, collards and chard coming on Wednesday!! Luckily I have a seed starting fiend of a friend that will be supplying all these babies. I'm not ready to be starting seeds with my current set up. Now I just have to plan the layout and pick out a few new things. We are on for broccoli, carrots, potatos, zucchini, cucumber, yellow squash, tomatoes, & peppers. Also outside the fence we have asparagus and pumpkins. I just may run out of room!
Any suggestions? Requests? Horror stories?

Friday, April 8, 2011

April is a fool

I really think Aprils Fools day is more about the weather in April than any prank playing.
The hour I worked shovelling dirt on Wednesday had to be the worst hour of weather all month.


Yesterday I was glad to see the sun again... and when I got home? It looked like this:

So I took a tour around the yard with the camera. I didn't even get my feet wet!

Love the daffodils! They make me feel like a real person with a real house!

Daffodils surround Autumn Joy

Spring is here! Spring is here!

Travis' grass seed is sprouting!

Look what I found!!
A lily was forced upon me at the NW Flower & Garden show and it needed to be planted asap!
And it is still alive!

This is what we do for fun!
Cut circles around our trees while we avoid the heavy work in the veggie garden.

Bloom already!!!

A great sunset while relaxing makes up for the foolish weather.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rain with a chance of rain


So far this month has been full of failed plans in all sorts of unexpected ways.  Too many changes of plans for me to be able to think clearly. So this lead me to scramble to get the garden filled before May 16th so I am ahead of last year. After trying to get a load of dirt each day last week and only finding 2 sunny days, I thought Saturday we could try for 10! Ha! Then I had a planned and forgotten breakfast and my high hopes diminished to 4 yards... and then it was raining and I was happy for 2.
This lead me to think it was a good idea to get a truck load of soil Wednesday. At lunch it was glorious and sunny, birds chirping and bees singing(?)
Travis wanted to work on the beam(almost done!!) So I said to just fill the truck on his way home and I would unload it.
I got home and the sky looked like this: 

And then it hailed so I waited that out til it turned to a medium rain. Once you are wet, it really doesn't matter too much.
And then the lightening
....and thunder!
As I stood shaking my fist at the sky & cursing under my breath I looked toward the windows where Travis was working inside, hoping he would feel pity and come save me. I was in a position in the truck bed, that is exactly in line with him standing on a ladder thru that window and he saw me.
He smiled and gives me a thumbs up!!
I gave him a finger up too, but he had already gone back to work.

And then the hail started again. And more rain.
I did eventually finish and luckily Travis didn't take any pictures because I was one dirty mess.

Here is a little evolution of the garden in the last  few weeks.

Below we have finished the hole we were digging and then the rain started to fill it. I am seeing a trend here...
Travis got a new pitch fork to help the clay drain. Along with adding drainage, he was plucking out rocks.

Like 3 more buckets of rocks.

 Here we are after 1 yard is dumped. Oh boy, that's gonna need alot of filling in.
 And after 4 yards and some rain I did not see the mud coming...
who knew dirt + rain = boot gobbling mud 6 inches deep. It looks so innocent in this photo.


 Piles I made after unloading the dirt last night. I surely was not going to level it out after unloading in the rain. This is the 5th yard in the hole we dug. Only 5 more to go!

 Here is the muddy path between the truck and the hole. This WAS the garden last year. It will be this year too as soon as we get there.

 I had to interrupt Travis' work to help me clean up and put the fence back together. I was so done. 

He wasn't happy coming out in the rain to hose out the truck 
in his pj bottoms so he sprayed me whilst I made comments from inside the house.

And this is what is happening outside the fence:
Dead bodies Dirt we did not sift in piles under tarps in the background, 
and rocks getting washed on the sifter.

It is as much fun as you can imagine!

This is the pile we have left. We actually have several uses for the rocks once they are cleaned and sorted in different sizes.
Hey--Don't laugh! At least I'm not trying to sort in to colors!

I will report back once I have something exciting to say!