Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Sky is Falling!

This just in from CLN, the Chicken Little Network.


The H1N1 flu is spreading like WILDFIRE! ALL of humanity is in grave danger. FEAR FOR YOUR VERY SOULS!

Ok, ok. I'll admit. I listened to the news reports today. Is it just me, or does the whole of the media seem to be chomping at the bit for this pandemic to start? At least the folks at NPR let their expert say that we should not panic. I watched a couple of news reports that sounded like the end was indeed near for life as we know it. And the ever moronic Rush Limbaugh tried to make it into a Democrat Disease! Sadly, people believe him. Most notably one of my states politicians, Michelle (I knew it was their fault all along) Bachman.

We've stepped up our preparedness at the hospital I'm at, including cleaning out our one and only negative pressure room in anticipation of the big event. I don't know what exactly we're supposed to do if we get more than one patient presenting with symptoms at a time... but that will work itself out in the end I suppose.

What is really humorous to me is listening to the planet trying to come up with a name for this particular flu strain. We here in the US are either calling it the H1N1 novel virus, or the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Strain (that's easy to say for patients presenting with symptoms.) I guess we can't call it Swine Flu because for those few dozen people left who don't know what it is, it could alter their consumption of pork.

My favorite shudder inducing name comes from the EU, who want to call it the Mexican Flu. Because it's insulting to pig farmers to call it Swine Flu. Apparently they don't mind insulting the entire population of Mexico!

We've had our states first confirmed case just today. I'm guessing it won't be the last. The media has done a fine job of trying to stir the general populace into a frenzy. I'm just not jumping on board.

Now, I'm not saying it isn't serious. All influenza has the potential to be deadly. But the Swine Flu can't be caught by eating pig. It may spread through the entire population of the planet, but it just isn't a species ender like some news reports would make it seem. You want to stay safe? Get your sleep, eat healthy, take some vitamin C. And for goodness sake, wash your hands! Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. And don't travel if you aren't feeling well! It's really very common sense stuff. But unlike me, common sense seems to have taken a long vacation. (My guess is to Mexico... probably Cancun)

Just for a tiny bit of perspective. The Swine Flu has caused 1 death in the US so far. And that was a Mexican resident who came up here for treatment far too late. In the US 115 people are killed in car accidents... every day. Five to ten people are killed each year fishing. And that's just commercial fishing, not even counting the boating accidents on US waterways. Heck, you are more likely to be killed by a snakebite or eaten by a bear or a shark than suffer death by Swine Flu. Where is the outcry for protection from these killers!?!

Until the whole thing blows over though, watch out for scammers and the Chicken Little freaks that would try and play on your fears. FDR said it best. There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

More Later

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Garden Goodness, Part 1

Today was a grand spring day. The sun was shining, the air was crisp. Cool but not uncomfortably so. I saw my first dragonfly today! This is surely a sign of spring. Much more so than the traditional robin. Robins will turn up well before the cold stuff goes. But dragonfly larvae won't come out if they can't survive. They like things reasonably warm, and they like it when it stays that way. So I always relish the first sighting of a dragonfly.

I also got a ton of stuff done for the garden. I separated my tomatoes. Usually I start two per pot, just in case one doesn't germinate. This year they all did pretty well, so I weeded out the weak looking ones, and put the stronger looking ones in their own pot. These I will give away to friends and family. I also finally got my tomatillos planted. Fortunately they grow like weeds, so I'm not expecting them to pose a problem as far as timing goes. I planted a flat of basil and a flat of sage. All that's left is direct sowing the beans when it's warm enough!

All in all I'm pretty pleased with the way the garden is going. I'm very excited for the end result of all of this work. Fresh veggies of all varieties. Delicious jellies and salsas. Pesto that lasts all year long. Mmmm.

I got the tiller running too! It was a little crotchety after the long winter, but finally fired off today, so I set to the task of tilling. Tilling goes in stages for me. After the first few rows, I look at the remaining garden and think, "Whoa - there is so much left to do. This is going to take forever." Then after a few more rows, and what seems like forever, there is still so much to do. But I persevere. At some point after what seems like days in the dirt, I look over my little plot and see that most of it is tilled under. At this point I get a very contented feeling. It's almost done! And the rest of the till goes quickly, it seems.

I do love working the earth. Amending the soil. (With all organic materials. No chemicals for my food.) Tiling, preparing, planting, tending, harvesting. I feel most at home there. Anybody who loves gardening will understand the thrill of seeing the little seedlings pop through the surface and grow. Anyone who doesn't should try it a time or two and see if the bug will bite. It did for me. I never thought I'd love gardening as much as I do.

More Later

Monday, April 27, 2009

Birthday Weekend

What a weekend.

Enjoyed the Sweet Peas very first ever birthday. She had a wonderful time with it all. The Wife made a yummy pound cake which was thoroughly enjoyed by all, especially our little growing daughter.

We all trekked up to the big mall to meet my folks and my sisters family for a quick meal for Nana weekend. They haven't seen the kiddos for awhile, so the amazing growth of both was duly noted.

We're going to have a big joint birthday for the two so that we can get as many of both families together as we can, as well as a few friends. Our house is getting Spring cleaned for that event.

We had a very nice thunderstorm that ended with a hailstorm. Pretty good sized ice cubes, but no damage was done. Here's a group of hail stones just after the fall.

In other news, the Swine Flu (like June) is bustin' out all over! 40 cases in states peppering the country. Lots of panic and serious tones from the experts, but since it has only killed two people in the last thirty years, including an outbreak in 1976... well, I'm not going to get my panties in too much of a bunch over it. Just remember to wash your hands and cover when you sneeze or cough. And as the CDC recommends... Stay away from sick people!

OK, time to keep cleaning!

More Later

Friday, April 24, 2009

Someday an Anniversary... the movie.

So. Tired.

It's one of the perils of the life I have chosen to be forever tired it seems. My shifts are forever random, beginning at 7am rarely, 11am or 3pm only slightly more often, and 7pm more often than not. They can fall on any day of the week, including weekends, and sometimes involve "taking call" which is cooler to say than "after your twelve hour shift, why don't you hang around the hospital for another four hours at considerably less than minimum wage just in case we need another body". We do get to rest during those four hours if we so choose though, so I guess I can't complain!

I had a tough time getting motivated to do all of the "busy work" required in my position last night. After all, it was anniversary number six, and it had gone the way of the majority of our other anniversaries. So here's a list of "What I Did on April 23rd" for the past seven years, along with a grade for the day. Let's see how they add up...

April 23rd, 2003
A beautiful spring day! Warm, fresh air, and many loved ones. The Wife and I are joined legally and spiritually as Husband and Wife. What a great day! A+

April 23rd, 2004
A nice spring day. Sort of rainy. The Wife, now eight months pregnant, and I close on our house and chose today as moving day!! Had a moving truck and crew to move stuff, and while they were awesome, they essentially just brought stuff in from the truck and set it down, so we spent the day unpacking and starting to get settled in. Good day, much moving of stuff. Wife very pregnant and understandably tired. We would spend much of the next day in the nearest major metropolitan city, celebrating the life of Nana, my grandmother who passed away in 2001. It was a yearly tradition at the end of her life, and we just kept it going after she was gone. Turned in early for the night due to fatigue and prep for travel the next day. But not too bad a day. Solid B day, but maybe we can have a good old fashioned two person anniversary next year.

April 23rd, 2005
One year in the house and our second anniversary. Finally falling on a Saturday, the clan decides this will be the big day for the Nana weekend. It's up early with the almost one year old Boyo and off to the big mall again for a day with the whole famn damily. A pretty good time is had by all, but the Wife and I are hoping for an anniversary off next year. A for family fun time, D for romantic alone time with my bride. Overall day, C+.

April 23rd, 2006
Sunday! Yesterday was Nana weekend. Today brings church, tiredness, and unexpected allergy attack for me. Romantic alone time with a near two year old is about as realistic as the Pope marrying a nice Jewish girl. So early bedtime required. Next year will be a Monday though. We promise each other that with no Nana weekend, we'll take off work, find a sitter for the Boyo and have a proper anniversary! What could possibly go wrong! C-

April 23rd, 2007
Diagnosed with uterine cancer the week before, my aunt Bobbi goes under the knife at Mayo today to see just how bad the damage is. Family has rallied at our house, and it has become more a hostel than a home. We have the added pressure of hosting a flock of relatives on top of the worry and dread that comes with the nightmare of a loved one with terminal cancer. After the surgery, the surgeon - one of the very best in the business- tells the assembled clan that he has done what he can, but further treatment or surgery, no matter how aggressive, will not save her. Bobbi leaves Mayo on May 8th and relocates to my folks home in Iowa. The flock of family mostly travels with her then. She dies two days later on her birthday. She was 56. F-

April 23rd, 2008
The Wife is pregnant again. This time due any day. (any minute seems more accurate) Sweet Pea will join the world in two days. My sister is getting married in four days, and today is the rehearsal for that totally wonderful musical extravaganza! Figuring anything would be better than last years anniversary, we agree to send me down to the rehearsal after a quick breakfast together. Wondering if we will ever have an anniversary that is just the two of us, I head off to the rehearsal as we decide to skip the day again. C

April 23rd, 2009
Having worked an 11am to 11pm shift the day before, with call until 3am, I spent the day sleeping in the sleep room of the hospital, preparing for a night shift this night. Didn't see the kiddos, but did get to talk with the wife for ten minutes or so. Instead of cuddling with her tonight and kissing my kiddos goodnight, I'll spend it helping the sick and injured get better, and cleaning up almost every bodily waste product possible from floors, beds, walls and in one amazingly unlikely shot - the overhead spotlight used for suturing. The Wife and I are planning an actual date night sometime in May, schedules and the gods of weather, illness and children permitting. Maybe we'll have some luck on anniversary number seven next year. D

So, we had a great start with that A+! Then our report card looks a lot like an underachiever at a small school. B, C+, C-, F-, C and D. GPA so far looks like about a 2.0? Solidly average I guess. But man alive I'd like to get a few more exceptional anniversaries under our belts and raise that average! Guess time will tell. I'm hoping we have a great many years together to try!

More Later

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Wife

Six years ago today, I married the Wife.

She has, and continues to be, my biggest fan, my biggest support, a woman I am truly awed by.

Hers is the little voice of reason and compassion in my head.

She is one of the most beautiful, brilliant amazing people I have ever known.

Some days I can't believe that she married me, but I am forever thankful that she did.

I love you dear. Thanks for saying yes.

More Later

Monday, April 20, 2009


The game, not the Shakespeare. This morning Holly the dog woke me with her morning whine saying she needed to go out. After a brisk walk with her, I returned to the domicile hoping that all was still quiet so I could go back to sleep. It was not meant to be.

The Boyo greeted me at the gate and wished me a good morning. Then we decided that since Mommy and Sweet Pea were still asleep, perhaps a quiet game would be a good idea. The Boyo's first choice was Frogs in a Bog. A delightful marble game where a player slides a little thingy that makes his opponents marbles drop into the plastic tray with a nice loud "chlank".

That was nixed quickly, and he next chose Othello. "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master." Well, we've also been working at the whole concept of "between" as well. So I figured what the heck, let's play Othello!

I showed him how to put his pieces down so that one of my white pieces was between two of his black pieces. He was still a little shady on the whole concept though, and didn't understand why he couldn't just put the pieces down in a neat pattern. I gently guided him in correct piece placement and the game progressed. Now, one very winning strategy to Othello is to capture the corners. If one can accomplish this, then one can pretty much dominate the board.

The Boyo however had not learned this strategy and had not learned that since Daddy had the corners, he was supposed to lose. He made moves that were counter intuitive due to their extreme randomness, and had the very good fortune of thwarting my normally dominating game. In the end, he won by two pieces, pretty much oblivious to how he had done it. To be fair, I was a little distracted at first by coaching him on the rules. But by mid-game, he was placing them pretty well on his own and giving me a sound thrashing!

He asked if we could play again, and my bruised ego almost said no, but I agreed, and the second game we played his way... putting all the pieces in neat patterns and flipping them back and forth. That game was a tie by confusion, and a good time was had by all.

I'm hoping that this natural ability he seems to have to be random yet successful holds out for him throughout his life!

More Later

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Youth Garden Assessment

Last week the Boyo had his kindergarten assessment at his soon to be new school. He was not at all nervous about going in and getting tested, as school is a very fun place to be for him. His mother and I had our trepidations however, as we have known and loved this kid since long before he was born.

First off, the Boyo is a pretty smart kid in my opinion. he's known his alphabet since he was two, and has been reading mono and multi syllabic words for quite some time now. Unfortunately, he has also acquired through some cruel twist of genetic fate, his fathers slightly smart alecy attitude.

So during the assessment, he goes off with one of the kindergarten teachers who essentially puts him through his paces. He did one of these last year, and we got to be in the room with him for that one. I remember that they showed him flash cards and he had to identify objects. I also remember very specifically that his mom and I were quite surprised with the number of objects he identified that we had not directly shown him. But he was having fun and showing off and he did quite well at that one.

Well, we didn't get to go for this kindergarten one, but soon the teacher and our little learner came back and we sat all sat at a table with ridiculously undersized chairs to discuss the results.

He had done well, but he had missed quite a few of the letter sounds, said the teacher. This puzzled me, as I know that he knows all of those sounds. He had missed sounds like 'buh for B' and 'ks for X'. I looked over at the Boyo, who was following instructions and drawing a picture of himself, and I knew immediately what had happened.

Sometimes when we are reading or counting or playing some learning game, he will try to reverse the tables on me. Usually when we are, say, making letter sounds I'll ask him what sound B makes. He'll say "Buh. Now what sound does C make?" and I'll say "I don't know. What sound does C make?" And he will answer. But when he starts feeling his oats a bit, and I'll ask him something like "What does C-A-T spell?" He'll respond with "I don't know Daddy. What does C-A-T spell?"

He thinks it's very amusing to see the look of frustration on my face when he says things like this. So I'm pretty sure he was testing his teacher a bit during the assessment, because she told us that on some of the letter sounds he would say "I don't know. What does that letter say?"

I remember as I grew up being just quick witted enough to be either funny and amusing or rather aggravating to my teachers. A bit of a smart alec. And lord help me, my son is showing the same tendencies.

Oy. It could be a long thirteen years.

Overall he did just fine, as all a kindergartener really needs to know is the alphabet, counting one to ten, four basic shapes and six or seven colors. So he's waaaay ahead of the curve in most regards. Now if he'll just follow his mothers lead and be a little serious as he's learning!

More Later

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Business and Pleasure

The weather is warming up! The sun is shining, the my seedlings are growing, life is renewing at a remarkable rate.

Not much to complain about on a day like this. Life's usual challenges and headaches. But life goes on.

We are closing in on the launch date of my official website, the website for Bluefeather Gardens and Workshop. It will be a work in progress for a time, but at least I'll have an official web presence. In my own little fantasy world, I'd be able to drum up enough business to be a stay at home dad, make fun stuff in the shop and garden, and have no more financial worries!

In real life, I think it will probably be a nice source of occasional additional income. But I'd never know how far it could go unless I take the chance! I've made a few mistakes in getting started, but nothing to hold me back from getting going.

In other news, the kiddos are growing like weeds! Seems like everything the Boyo wears is getting smaller, until it's time to move him while he's sleeping. Then I realize just how much he's grown! Yesterday he was asking me if he could be the Daddy and I could be the Boyo. I think he really wants to be in charge around here! I keep telling him that even for all of the choices we let him make from day to day, Mommy and Daddy are still in charge.

Sweet Pea meanwhile is learning to communicate VERY effectively. She'll point at what she wants with a firm "Dat" and is not at all afraid to mix it up with the dogs or the Boyo when she wants whatever they are playing with!

I live for their smiles! They get each other giggling and it makes my day.

Yes, life is good. For all it's challenges, life is good.

More Later

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Time Bank

So, I've joined up with an organization called Time Bank. The idea is this...

I offer services to other Time Bank members, for example, I posted an offer for beginning guitar lessons. For each hour of lesson I give I earn one Time Dollar, or $TD. That $TD goes into my account, and I can spend it on services offered by other Time Bank members. For example, an hour of massage, horseback riding, plumbing services, or whatever others offer! It's a really fun idea, and is nationwide Check HERE for a Time Bank organization near you!

Seems like in economic times like this, and especially on today, TAX DAY! An organization where skills and talents become worth something is a really great idea. I wish I'd thought of it first!

More Later

Monday, April 13, 2009

Taxes and Peppers

Done with a two nighter. uff. And about a billion things to chat about. On the commute home I usually come up with one or two things I'd like to ruminate on here. Yet somehow by the time I get home, I forget most of them.

Today though I got to thinking a bit about taxes and the financial situation of our country and world. I have nothing new to add to the gripes and woes from folks who have already been heard. We've lived beyond our means, we've racked up debt, we have greedy people who know the game running the game and screwing the rest of us. Yada yada yada.

It seems like it's time for an actual change. A return to something logical and comprehensible by average mathematicians like me. I can't figure out the logic behind giving out tax refunds, then taxing them the next year. Or the fact that the tax code reads like legalese vomited from the heads of twenty completely insane lawyers.

In other news, the peppers are starting to come up! Very exciting. Only a month and a half until planting day, and I can hardly wait! If all goes well, I'll have peppers of the red, yellow, green, purple, chocolate and orange colors, from very sweet to very hot!

Good times, good times.

More Later

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Second Birthday

Seventeen years ago today I woke up to a new world. It was the first day I could put an EGA on my dress blues, which I did. Then I dressed in those blues, along with 90 other freshly minted Marines, and we hit the parade ground for our final review and graduation.

It was a pretty awesome day. I still remember marching past the grandstand, seeing from the corner of my eye my parents and relatives. I had dropped about seventy pounds in those thirteen weeks, so they didn't recognize me at first.

I remember my Drill Instructor telling me that this wasn't the end, but only the beginning.

I remember saying goodbye to the friends I had made, none of whom I have seen since.

I remember feeling very mature at twenty years old, ready and able to take on the world.

It was just the beginning of a whole new adventure. Never again would I be treated like a child. Never again would I shy away from a challenge. And I really was forever changed by the training I went through. Not brainwashed as some had feared, but enhanced. My folks did a great job of instilling who I was, the Marines just polished it up a bit. Oh, and taught me a dozen ways to kill with just my bare hands and a pencil.

Of the skills I learned in the Corps, I use the honor, courage, integrity and commitment the most. Everything else was gravy.

Seventeen years ago this morning, I became a Marine. And though I've been out for almost a decade now, I will always be a Marine.

More Later

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Hawkeye State, Seeing Clearly

Back on April 3rd, my home state of Iowa passed a law saying that gay and lesbian people have the right to be married. Now, I must admit first off that even though my cousin Kate and her partner Trish were literally at the tip of the spear for that legal fight, I didn't follow it too closely. Life was happening here, and in all reality I figured it would all go the way of proposition (h)8 out in California.

But then something amazing happened. Iowa is going to let all people have the right to be married!

What? I thought. What happened to those self-righteous twits who always seem to be able to jam their opinions onto everyone else? Where was the ever-present homophobia in the system? What about all those protesters with the signs saying that if gays are allowed to be married it would ruin the institution? Where, oh where was the fear mongering!?!

Could it be possible that common sense actually prevailed?

It has taken me this long to really get even a part of my brain around it. Because, you see, common sense rarely survives in bureaucracy. Common sense is often somehow misplaced the higher one seeks it in an institution. Common sense is often the first victim in a fight between religion and, well, almost anything else.

I am very proud to be a Christian. It took me a long time, and many years of study, to finally believe. But there are times when I wonder if many Christians understand what being a Christian means. As a group, we should be the most accepting, most loving and most forgiving people one could meet. But in reality, we can tend to be quite elitist. Most "Christian" communities I've experienced would probably exclude Jesus if He came to their church or organization.

As a Christian, I believe in the sacredness of the institution of marriage. That two people joined by God become something quite different than the two individuals that stood before Him just moments before. But I don't believe God sees gender. Just like I don't believe he sees color or nationality or even religion. God is bigger than all of that. God is bigger than the two that stand before Him. Bigger than the officiant who heads the service. Bigger than any single organized religion. And WAY bigger than any who cling to bias and hatred in His name. Wanna use the Lord's name in vain? Use it to espouse your homophobia. (Or your racism)

I know some gay and lesbian couples. Quite a few actually. When I stopped to think about just how many, I was a little surprised. (Mainly because I don't really care if they are gay or not. It just doesn't hit my radar) I wondered if I had them as actual neighbors, living right next door to me and my family, if somehow that would threaten my marriage, or somehow corrupt my children.

But what I know for a fact is that nobody can threaten my marriage except me or my wife. And there are about a billion things far more dangerous than a loving couple living next door that could corrupt my kids. And while there are some narrow minded folks out there that would condemn them for their "lifestyle", I know that I would much rather have Kate and Trish living next door to me than the guy who chops down my lilacs and sprays weed killer in my yard. Their "lifestyle" is about as innocuous as mine. Probably more so.

So congratulations Common Sense! You scored a victory in Iowa. May many more states follow. Congratulations Kate and Trish and Mike and Brett and Jake and Kevin and all of my other friends and acquaintances who just happen to be gay. 'Bout time you were given your rights. Rights that I swore to protect and defend as a US Marine.
Here's a pie graph for those who need an illustration

If you are someone who shudders to think about two people of the same gender being married, someone who believes that "those type of sinners" have no place in society... Well, just try and remember two things. First, I'm pretty sure the Bible says someplace something about judge not lest ye be judged. Second, Jesus hung out with the undesirables of the time. Prostitutes, lepers, tax collectors, the poor. He loved them all the same and accepted them for who they were. So I ask you... What would Jesus do?

More Later

Sunday, April 5, 2009


So one of my favorite musicals is "1776". It's one of those that if it is ever done around here, I'd audition in a heartbeat.

Anyway, besides the great music and very obvious theme, the characters include many of my favorite people I'd like to meet someday but just won't in this lifetime. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Samuel Adams (not the beer), Caesar Rodney, and of course, Thomas Jefferson.

Amongst other things, Jefferson was a farmer, an architect, a writer (he did the Declaration of Independence as you probably know), a lawyer, a diplomat, an inventor, a Vice President and a President, and as the song from the musical says, he played the violin. The guy was a real renaissance man. He did a little bit of everything.

I have been interested in historical figures for a great many years now, which probably explains why I "want to leave a mark on the world", as I read about people like Jefferson, who had many of the same interests as I. I am actively pursuing becoming a renaissance man, but I don't know what has to happen to finally earn the title.

When I was in boot camp for the USMC, we were constantly being told that we were not Marines yet, we had not earned the title. And it wasn't like we could just title ourselves. That graduation day on April 10 of 1992 was life changing for me, as it was the first day I could wear the EGA (Eagle Globe and Anchor, the symbol of the USMC) and really claim it as my own.

How does one do that to be a Renaissance Person? There is no symbol for it. No tests or degrees. Here's a list of things that I do. I'm a writer, a musician, a craftsman in stained glass, metal, wood, I'm a bowyer, a knifesmith, a blacksmith, a gardener, a pilot, and although I have no "formal" training (ie: no degree in the subjects) I have studied astronomy, architecture, botany, animals of various shapes and sizes - including how to fix them when they're broken, I've studied renewable energy like wind, solar, and biodiesel (and have a great idea for a little home based wind and sun powered generator) oh, and I'm a bit of an inventor too.

If I had lived back in 1776, I would probably have fit right in. These days it seems like you have to have the special paper from an accredited university to actually count for anything. Maybe I'll start a Renaissance University where people can submit examples of their works and studies and get a degree. Hmm. Gotta run, maybe it already exists!

More Later

Not So Oldies, but Still Goodies

My wife is a fan of 80's TV. Since we disconnected our cable back in 2003, we've relied on DVD's and videotape for our viewing pleasure. We have a pretty extensive video library in many a genre, and of course a goodly supply of "Baby Einstein" and "Clifford the Big Red Dog". Now my wife has discovered that our local library has on hand a great many videos of all shapes and sizes as well. Amongst them, "Remington Steele". That early 80's gumshoe classic with Pierce "I'll be James Bond Soon" Brosnan, and Stephanie "Not Going to be in Much Else" Zimbalist.

Unfortunately they are very addictive and fun to watch. They are also an obvious precursor to "Moonlighting" the Bruce Willis, Cybill Shepherd. Also addictive and fun to watch.

So, I'm up late, late, late. Watching Remington Steele and cleaning up after the two wild children. Sweet Pea is crawling. She's fast, and she knows exactly what to get into to create maximum chaos. The Boyo is the same. But he runs. In fact, he is so quick that we have actual pictures of empty spaces that he used to be occupying just moments before. Of course, we get very little done around here when those two are around. But they are a sheer delight to watch and play with. I don't think I giggle as much anywhere else or doing anything else as when I spend time with those two.

Anyway. Dishes are done. I think I'll unload those, solve the current mystery on RS and hit the hay.

More Later

Friday, April 3, 2009


Amazing things can happen in one night. Last night as I slept (lots and lots, as I was coming off a couple of long night shifts) the wonderful mixture of seed, soil and my special see starting soil mix brought forth the first sprouts!

Here they are in all of their glory.

They aren't much to look at now. But give them a couple of months.

More Later

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Seeds Are Started

Or were started a few days ago on the 28th. I couldn't find my cable to download pictures until today, but here they are.

The Boyo was a great helper, of course. Together we filled the little Cow Pots with my special dirt mix, then I labeled the Popsicle sticks and he helped me put those in. Then we planted the seeds and watered them and moved them to a warm spot to germinate.

We've got 40 peppers planted and 24 tomatoes. Each pot gets two seeds (one for a back up) and I'll weed them out as they sprout. When I first started gardening I used to re-pot all the seconds, because I felt bad just letting them die. But that just led to an overabundance of seedlings and not enough space in the garden for all the plants. So I've become a bit more of a realist, and I'm no longer afraid to "thin the herd".

I did plant a few varieties not on my master list. I figured that my Dad would want a Brandywine tomato for his garden, and I'll swap out a few peppers on the list with others if they all germinate.

Anyway, we are now waiting with great anticipation the arrival of the first little sprouts. Then it's out to the grow rack and under the lights until planting in the garden day arrives!

By the way - if anybody wants a plant or two, I can re-pot the seconds and send them along. Just let me know!

Here's the list of varieties...

Amish Paste
Green Zebra
Gold Medal
Japanese Trifele Black
White Beauty

Ancho Gigantea
Marconi Red
Napolean Sweet
Orange Bell
Purple Beauty
Quadrato Asti Giallo
Wisconsin Lakes

The "spare varieties" are as follows;

For Tomatoes, Czech Bush, Italian Heirloom and the Brandywine.

For Peppers, Buran, Chervena Chushka, Chocolate Beauty, and Hot Portugal

Prayers for a good growing season!

More Later