May 8, 2017

A little jaunt

We were in New York City for three days last week, celebrating a wedding anniversary and checking out a new camera lens. When you live out in the country and you are limited to Internet shopping and miss the touchy-feely thing, it is fun to come up with these types of excuses 😄. For me, a vacation is also about the food as we have little opportunity to go out to eat: I looked forward to good pizza, good hotdog, good bagel, that type of thing.

Dan had never been to New York and it had been years for me, while I was working. My colleagues had shown me a great time there though and I did not need much convincing to go back.

We stayed at the Wyndham New Yorker in Midtown and I highly recommend this hotel. Centrally located, quiet, caring staff. I had done homework and had planned the days according to the weather. We were very lucky two of the days so we walked and saw the main sites. These photos are but a small sample.

The last day, one planned for the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan, we got soaked like  we have not been in years but even walking between buildings through Central Park was memorable.

We had a great time and will go back to enjoy that city's energy and cosmopolitanism, where English is a minority language. How refreshing!

April 18, 2017


It took some careful planning, cooperating weather, and special tending by my sister-in-law while we were vacationing in Florida, to allow me to plant the garden over the last two days. It makes me smile to be able to do this in mid-April as I planted the garden over Memorial Day when I lived in Oregon ( aka the land of the green tomato).

So far, things look good. I took some extra precaution with the bean seeds (double hardware cages) as they seem to be prime sustenance for the wildlife.

As for keeping out rodentia ...., we will see. When the nights were still too cool outside for my tender seedlings (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant), we brought the flats into the garage where I thought they would be safe. One flat was stored on the hood of our 4x4 pickup, the other on the freezer. Then a mouse got into the eggplant and nipped the growing tip and ate several dill seedlings. If a mouse can get on top of a truck and a freezer, I doubt there is any place that is safe from gnawing teeth, including my lovely, well-protected, metal-and-hardware-cloth-fortified, garden.

The mouse, meanwhile, has been life-trapped and relocated far, far away.

March 27, 2017

The new garden fence

At the end of last year a part of the garden fence blew down in a wind storm, taking the irrigation supply with it. This put an end to any thought of a winter garden, and made putting up a new fence a priority in the new year. It really was time to replace the old fence as some posts were loose in the ground, the lattice was coming apart here and there, and a javelina had tried to push his way through.

Having lived here for 13 years now (gasp!), we have dealt with a number of challenges in keeping our veg safe from animals: from mice to javelina and everything in between. We have built a couple of fences to deal with the problem but our rodent protection remained inadequate.

Our neighbors have the same challenges of course, and after some persistent javelina incursions, they added metal to their garden fences. Not ones to have to reinvent the wheel, we decided to follow suit and in addition buried a foot of 1/4" hardware cloth on the bottom of the metal to discourage animals from digging under it. The metal is attached to 5' field fence which will help keep the javelina at bay.

In this scheme the garden is not safe from deer or birds; deer seem to have enough to eat in the National Forest next door and have not been a problem. We would have to build an overhead structure to keep the birds (mainly quail) out, but we will discourage them with crop protection, which we have in various configurations.

Will this be the Final Garden Fence, and the Final Big Project? Time, and the animals, will tell. Regardless, this is the best looking garden I have ever had, and I am looking forward to planting the seedlings which are happily growing in the cold frame.