Sow: here comes the sun

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Final carrot harvest. While these are super cute, carrots are another vegetable that I’m buying from the store.

Finally, a weekend filled with lots of things that I like best (and some housecleaning). It was a big gray and cool on Saturday, but everything worked out fine since that was the day when Boy Scout Kyle who is trying to raise money to fund his Scouting activities delivered, yes, delivered 10 huge bags of compost and 18 huge bags of mulch. Sweet Kyle even stacked them neatly. And delivered they were cheaper than the place where I have gotten compost and mulch in the past. Best of all, Bruce and I didn’t have to load and unload it. Score!

While the mulch for the front planting beds will wait for another weekend, after cleaning up what was left of the winter garden (lots of death and a few fancy mini carrots), I made quick work of getting the compost into the beds. 8 of the 10 bags of compost were added to the raised beds and stock tanks.

In case you’re curious, my faithful birthday composter is still doing it’s thing, breaking down scraps and keeping them out of the landfill, but it’s not ready yet for the garden. I’m thinking I was a big overzealous with the size of the peels and scraps. But the composter beasties seem happy enough with the variety. So they’ll need to get busy and the compost will wait in the composter until fall once it’s ready. That’s where all of my sad and very dead kale, collard greens, and cilantro went. (They looked beautiful and then the sleet got them.)

The other two bags of compost will be great for helping along the flower planters that I intend to get for our patio and the kitchen herb planter which has been 80% wiped out by the weather. All that’s left are the chives and truthfully they look like they may have finally succumbed to the awfulness of this winter. And yes, I did say flowers. They may be edible or just pretty. I’m not sure what I want to get yet, but I would like them to be attractive to both butterflies and bees.

And because I couldn’t help myself when my hands were in the compost and my face was smudged with dirt, I went ahead and planted spinach, mixed salad greens, kale, chard, and cilantro seeds. Beets will be this weekend, provided I remember to soak them on Friday night and I think it’s nearly time for beans. Hopefully we will not get any additional freak ice storms or sleet. I’m really thinking about getting a bunch of herb transplants this weekend at the local yuppie-hippie store. I was tempted Friday night when Bruce and I went on a pizza run, fueled by exhaustion and dinner ennui and then on Saturday morning I kicked myself for not getting them (they were a really good price and organic too).

To top it all off, Sunday marked the day when we spring forward. While plenty of my friends and coworkers complained about the loss of one hour of precious sleep (I went to bed deliciously tired at 9:30 pm), I rejoiced. It makes me so happy to have light when I leave the office and it’s much nicer for our dog walks in the evening.

So not only is it so sunny that at 5:30 pm I thought it was 3:30 pm, it’s also TIME TO DIG IN THE DIRT! I have missed it so. Seriously. I was wondering what was wrong with me in January and February and besides the broken ankle bone, I think that might have been one of the reasons I was so blah.

Blah no more. I am excited about the promise of beautiful plants. Time to spend outside even if it’s weeding. And so many good things to eat.

One more thing made me excited this weekend: my neighbor’s little French bulldog puppy Sophie. Don’t worry, I’ve already offered to puppy sit so I can snuggle that sweet little snorter. We lent her people one of our doggie gates so I had two chances to see her: once on Saturday to meet her and then the excuse of helping to install the gate on Sunday to see her again.

If she goes missing, her people will certainly come looking for her here. So without further adieu, here is today’s gratuitous dog photo:

Sophie

Sophie

 

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Sow: spring forward

According to my Facebook feed, it would appear that Daylight Savings Time is universally loathed in North America*. I actually like it a lot, despite accidentally oversleeping today (I blame my new super duper pharmaceutical strength allergy drugs and the fact that I haven’t slept well for about 3 weeks) and having a pile of work that has filled my conscious and subconscious thoughts for the past week or so.

Here are the top 10 reasons why I love to spring forward:

1. Goodbye to Headlamp Harvests. And headlamp watering. And headlamp yard cleaning up after the 3G Network on Garbage Night Eve. Since I get home from work after 6 pm on a good night, I’m often out mucking about in the Urban Farm when it’s dark. The solar lighting helps somewhat (thanks, Bruce!), but it’s still not as nice as being able to see what’s going on until 9 pm or so.

2. Happier plants. Longer days equal more sunlight. More sunlight equals better, faster growth so that when the temperatures turn North Texas into the surface of the sun (July through September), the spring crops should be harvested and I’ll only be stressing about keeping the fall transplants alive.

3. Better visibility for the 3G Network. Guinness, Godiva, and George prefer days with two long walks. Guinness usually insists upon them. I, on the other hand, am afraid we’ll all die if we do our walks much past dusk, despite light colors and a flashlight to show oncoming traffic where we are. A lot of our walk route does not have sidewalks (our street for example) so I fear the happy hour revelers, the soccer moms, the late for dinner parents, and the senior citizens returning from early bird dining. I’m a much happier walker when it’s light (or when no one is awake at 5:30 am).

4. Patio action. Until North Texas becomes the surface of the sun, it’s awesome to gather up friends, sit outside, and sip something refreshing. Sometimes this also involves a swimming pool if the gathering isn’t at our house. If it does, it’s better to have a longer day so the water is warmer and more people will get in. (I don’t mind what the water temperature is as long as there’s a towel waiting for me. Neither does Godiva.) If it’s at our house, there will be lots of dogs running around since our visitors know to BYOD (bring your own dogs) because the backyard minus the Urban Farm is a dog park. And “Uncle” Bruce usually is planning to smoke/deep-fry/grill something dog-friendly.

5. Flowers galore. I’ve stopped buying cut flowers even though I love them. When it gets warm here they just do not last. And I like flowering plants because they usually keep giving you more flowers if you remember to water them. But in spring about this time of year, everything that flowers is. The only parts of me that minds this are my nose, eyes, head. Damn you allergies.

6. Trees with leaves. There’s nothing uglier than a crape myrtle without leaves. It looks like a pile of bones standing upright on the grass. It looks dead and uninviting. And then the local landscapers decide to decapitate it and it looks like an awkwardly trimmed pile of bones.

poor crape myrtle

poor crape myrtle!

crape myrtle in spring at our first texas house

crape myrtle in spring at our first texas house

I’m glad to see leaves popping out on trees of all kinds, but especially crape myrtles.

7. Green grass. Although it doesn’t get all that cold here and only snows on important days like Christmas Day or when the Super Bowl’s being played in town, our grass goes dormant. It looks like straw from November until now. By the time I get back from my business trip this week, I’m hoping all the grass will be Ireland-green.

8. Rain. It’s a problem around here. We don’t get enough and when we do get some, it’s like God’s just pouring a bucket on the whole area and it just runs off. So I look forward to this time of year to fill the rain barrels, decrease the chances of drought, and make my friends with boats happy. Because you know what they say about boats: the best thing about boating is having a friend with a boat.

9. Happiness. Despite it never really staying dark, gray and gloomy around here for long, when it does, my coworkers aren’t as fun to be around. Everyone gets a bit down in the dumps. I think it’s because most people after living here for a while don’t like wearing socks. Last night at dinner one of my friends who is a native Texan explained how he feels happiest when he is wearing flip flops and shorts so even if it means being a little cold or wearing a sweatshirt when it’s windy or cold, he does it.

10. Pedicures and sandals. Open toe shoe season means that feet need to look pretty says the gal who desperately needs to head to the nearest nail salon. Even if you’re a dude. It doesn’t make you metrosexual, men friends, it just means that your feet will be presentable and clean. Ladies, even if you don’t let your feet experience a professional’s touch, lotion and polish will make your sandal wardrobe look even better. And as you dust off your sandals, be sure to be ruthless. Even if you love them, worn out shoes don’t do your body any favors.

Happy spring, y’all!

*Except for Fransi at Three-Hundred Sixty-Five. She actually used the word “Hallelujah!” in today’s post referencing Daylight Savings Time. I agree with her 100% as you can see.