Happy Mother’s Day and yard maintenance.

My sister is just “giddy” about doing a Mother’s day meal for Mom. She got some lobster tails on sale from Albertsons this week for $4.99  and I have the sirloins and 16/20 count shrimp I got on sale last month so it should be a darn good feed on Sunday.  I think my sister felt a bit hurt we didn’t do anything special for Easter so she is just “champing at the bit” to do a great Mother’s day thing.  My sister is a darn good cook and she is finally asking me about sales on stuff.  In her mind I’m still the “little sister she had to protect” though that fantasy does not have much basis in reality. Heck we all go through our trials and tribulations with family.  I don’t know if things are getting better, but at least they are getting different!  I may whine, piss and moan about my sister but she was there cleaning my house when I got disabled and shopping for the few little items I could afford to buy when things tough for me. Yes she’s a bit of a nut, but she has a good heart and will help out when she is needed.

Overall the Mother’s day meal turned out good though my Sirloins were medium or well done rather than med. rare.  My first BBQ of the year and I always have to re-learn my charcoal heat for cooking. My sister’s lobster turned out awesome and she made a very nice salad plus pie and cake. I didn’t cook up the shrimp as we had plenty and Mom said that worked out great as she would not have to share her shrimp dinner with anyone else, LOL.

I got the grass mowed for all of the yard in just a couple of hours. That’s kind of unusual for me as I usually need a break it down into a couple of days.  I have been adding a lot of mulch around the garden/flower beds so I don’t save to mow as much grass.  The part of the front lawn I de-thatched, aerated and fertilized this spring is looking green and vibrant. I added a bit of fertilizer to the other half of the lawn but did not de-thatch or aerate the soil is sort of green but it is not doing as well as the area where I did all the work. The wood mulch seems to be having an impact on the front rose beds as well as the holly plants along with retaining moisture. While SW Idaho is not quite as desperate for water as Cali. I believe in being pro-active on water conservation and adding mulch seems to be one of the best things I have done for water conservation in my lawn and garden.  Another thing I have noticed where I have laid down mulch is weeds don’t seem to send deep tap roots, but tend to spread roots in into the mulch that is decomposing. You still have to weed your beds but mulch seems to make it a much easier job. This is only my second year of adding a thick layer of mulch to my first thin layer of mulch to my beds.  Remember water does not move simply by gravity but also through osmosis to find a it’s level. If you mulch heavily to cover bare soil, any available water will move to dryer sections if you have a semi- level yard.  Trust me if you don’t think water is important simply cut off all your access water via city/power pumps of water for one day.

I got the compost pile turned over and working again. Oh! my gosh, it was a job and half! I’d like to blame Mom about adding compressed hay and straw but I dug deep and got compressed hay and straw I must have added earlier.  The compost pile has broken down stuff though it would do a better job if I kept up with the turning it over and adding water regularly. Smokey the cat was very happy with me turning over and soaking the compost as she got 3 mice today!  I’m using Pallets for my compost pile walls but I think a person should add wood slats or some rigid wire at the middle board so the compost drops and I think it would be much easier to gauge your water saturation level as well as add more air to your composting. Plus it will make gathering the finished compost easier to remove from your bins. I’m getting some lovely compost on the bottom layers of my bins. It is just a lot of work to dig down to that layer.

Some good news I have a few peas that are coming up in the front garden beds.  I had about given up on those plants but they are coming back. I had great luck cutting back the rose bushes and all but one old bush is showing new growth.  My apple tree is already setting fruit though my cherry trees are looking pretty sad this year.  I will cut the cherry trees more this year to get rid of a lot of the dead stuff, suckers and crotch growth. I’m not the biggest fan of cherries though it is a great fruit and the wood from the trees is great for adding flavor. I won’t be heart broken if my cherry harvest is minimal. I added a little bit of fruit wood to my wood pile via a neighbor pruning his trees. All I have to do is cut the wood to size and he doesn’t have to haul it to the dump.  That is a win/win in my book.

One last thing please stock up on all poultry and poultry products while the cost is low. Freeze it or can it, get all you can acquire now for under a dollar per pound before the price hike after “avian flu” gets on the Main Stream Media.  Approx. 30 million birds are already infected and will go to the garbage dump. So based on supply and demand I expect the price for any poultry product cost to jump  a lot higher.

Sorry to be all doom and gloom but you must buy low wherever you can and survive high.  While I do not expect an empty  meat department of poultry items. I think $2.50 per pound price and higher would not be out of the ordinary.  Buy now for less than a dollar per pound or wait an pay $2.50 + per pound. Your choice….

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