My first Humming bird!

July 31, 2021

Today was the first time I saw a Humming bird try and take a drink at my feeders.  I had sort of given up on seeing any of the little birds coming to feed the last couple of weeks but I made up a new batch of sugar water for the feeders.  From what I understand the Males tend to be the first feeders during the migrations following the seasons.  It seems if the birds are showing up they are looking for a quick and easy meal.  I wonder if the new hanging baskets of flowers are helping to attract the birds to the feeders? 

I found a new supplier of the frost fabric for gardens and Sunshade panels. The price looks very good but I will have to wait and see how good the quality is before I give out the name of the company.  I bought a thicker material weight of this “frost fabric” protective to 26 degrees F. compared the the lightest weight Agribon cloth rated to about 28-30 degrees F. That is not a dig at the Agribon cloth as it held up well over 2 seasons.  The first season was a lot of trial and error on my part learning how to use frost cloth to protect my garden beds.  I have found draping frost cloth over my raised garden beds works as good as my “temporary fencing” at keeping out  my cats and dogs.  Not 100% effective but much better than not blocking off the garden beds at all. 

I like how the the “frost cloth” helps contain the over spray of water by some soaker hoses.  If you are using a drip watering system it does not matter but if you use soaker hoses get the thicker flat hoses rather than the cheap black hoses that spring massive leaks and usually won’t survive one summer season of watering garden bed.  There seems to be a reason that the only soaker hoses left on the shelves in July is the poor quality black soaker hoses. 

We have a few rain/thunder storms moving through the area. So I covered up the latest fire wood purchase with some tarps. I have left most of this year’s fire wood exposed to the hot summer weather to encourage the wood to dry and season.  Fire wood that is dry is firewood that burns clean and works most efficient in a wood stove.  I would recommend you start filling for kindling box.  I mean a big box at least 3 feet tall 3 feet wide an about 18-20 inches deep.  Cutting kindling in the cool morning hours in Fall beats trying to cut kindling in January to start a fire.  Having more kindling on hand than you use is not a bad thing. 

I will not take this “Experimental vaccine”.   I have had Guillume Barre Syndrome and live with the chronic  version labeled CIDP. I am 100% disabled and can not work a normal job because of this disability.  I spent 3 months in a VA Extended care unit. I was so weak that I could not pull on socks or my own underwear.  I could not take a bath without a nurse present and block and tackle to lower me into a tub.  Heaven to me was I could lift 2 cups of water into a small coffee maker and make myself a cup of coffee.  I ain’t doing that again and I know my Mom won’t let me do that again. 

Bring on the Delta Variant!  It seems to be a milder case of the Covid-19.  It seems a very survivable cold/flu and it seems to grant covid immunity better than the vaccines.  I’m not seeing a lot of downside to the delta variant of covid-19. I’m not saying take any vaccine or refuse to take any vaccine. You should weigh the cost and benefits for yourself. 

I trust you to make the best decision for yourself and family.  You might be incorrect,  but you made the choice with the best info you had at the time. 


100 +degrees F. I’m painting indoors and OMG huge crook neck squash!

July 26, 2021

My squash is growing like crazy and the plants are about 4 and 1/2 to 5 feet tall. I got one crook neck squash that is about 10 inches around that was growing at the top of the plant. I think I’ll use this squash for seed. While my (normal beds) did not do very well in the heat the squash and pole beans of the 3 sisters bed have done better than I expected.

I’m going to clean out my (normal beds) and start some crops for fall harvest. I’m focusing on cole crops I start indoors through a few weeks in August and hope for cool conditions and enough days to get some Brussel Sprouts, some different types of cabbages and some root crops. I don’t care for the Black soaker hoses as the crack and don’t maintain a consistent soak for the garden beds. I’m adding in a flat green soaker hose that is a bit thicker and sprays water more consistently.

The heat has been brutal on my front lawn. Between the bugs the weeds and the heat the lawn is looking awful. I was not pro-active staying ahead of the bugs and heat as it seemed all I could do is try and keep up with the daily stuff. The backyard lawn area did take a beating but where I sowed grass last fall has filled in better than I expected. I have a lot of work to do this fall getting the lawn back into good shape after this heat wave.

I got to painting the living room with the semi-gloss paint. I don’t have the stamina to paint the room in a day or two so I’m doing a section of wall an afternoon/evening. I try to cut in first then use a roller to fill in the large sections of wall. I recommend using a semi-gloss paint as it is much easier to clean as many latex paints literally come off the wall when you clean them with just normal soap and water. I’m using the Color “Dover White” I got from True Value. It is a very white paint but it does not seem to be a “hospital/sterile” white paint. Mom likes the look of the paint and that is good as I have a little color blindness. Nothing crazy, but I sometimes have a problem detecting tones or mixing pastel colors especially blues and yellows. I think my colorblindness makes me go for bold/vibrant colors using muted greys, whites or black so attractive to me as I can’t have a color clash.

I love my new couch and the neighbors that haled most of my old furniture but kept the big rolling ottoman are happy with the trade off. While I loved my old furniture I like how spacious the living room feels now. I can bookcases and bring out chairs that have been stuck in backrooms simply because I had no space for those items. . Of course I need to finish painting the walls.

Week 4 of 100 degree heat, but my squash is loving it!

July 12, 2021

I’m very surprised that most of my lettuce has not bolted in the long garden beds.  It seems the beds that I used soaker hoses and direct sowed seed have done very well despite of the heat. I have squash plants that are climbing taller than my grape vines that are in the 4 foot tall range.  My Kale bolted in the heat but I used an overhead sprinkler to water that bed.  I’m a firm believer that soaker hoses are much better than overhead sprinklers if you can’t afford a drip irrigation system. 

Most of my transplant failures were my fault not hardening off plants but the excessive heat sure did not help make the garden bloom.  It’s okay I’m learning from my mistakes even though this garden season has been more of a challenge.  I live in an area that has lots of farms and farmer’s markets so buying produce to store is not a  huge problem.  I’ll just have to buy what my garden did not produce. 

I had a big front yard clean up day!  It was mostly trimming and weed wacking but I cleaned out some bad vines that were overtaking the bed in font of my big living room window.  The vine is actually pretty with lovely purple flowers, deep green leaves and small green berries, and that plant will wrap and overrun every other plant in that bed.  I pulled out by hand most of the vines and then I used the Ryobi weed wacker with the plastic beater bars to knock down the vines as close the ground as I could get the tool.  

I washed down the front side of the house using a power washer attachment to my garden hose.  Not a (real) power wash but it got rid of most of the dust and grime on the vinyl siding without forcing water under the siding or putting dents in any parts of the siding. 

I got some more real milk and figured out a better way to skim off the cream rather than trying to finagle a spoon through a half gallon jar top. I’m liking having real milk straight from the Moo.  I’m adding some pork from a local butcher that is (RED) meat pork and not the white tasteless stuff you tend to find in most stores.  Is it more expensive?  YES!  It also tastes like pork.  I liked the flavor of the bacon as it was more salty rather than sweet.  

I can’t tell people what to do. I have built up a small stash of okay quality meats buying from grocery stores and vacuumed sealed it to preserve the quality.  Now I can afford to pay more for better quality meats,  and my local stores don’t sell high quality meats.  I don’t blame stores as a store’s profits are damn slim and cutting quality or raising prices is about their only two option. 

If meat and produce costs are rising you should buy the best quality you can afford.  I think it is very important to find a local supplier for the things you want to have on hand.  The USA can’t grow the fixings for Chocolate or Coffee so you better stock up. Find a supplier, make your own or go without.  I don’t care if someone has to struggle through the day because they could not have an avocado toast.  Farmers in California are literally cutting down their own almond orchards because they can’t get enough water to the trees.  An Almond orchard takes 8-10 years before it produces a commercial level crop.  Do you think that the farmers can not water the trees for months, and then trees will start producing in a couple months when there might/might not be irrigation water.  

I get peeved that people things will stat the same. Nothing ever stays the same! J&J vaccine now is reporting that over 100 vaccine folks have got Guillume-Barre syndrome. Basically the immune system attacks the nervous system and you can die with your breathing or heart beat sort of stopped. I have the chronic version of GB called CIDP and I can say you do not want this version though unlike GB it does not shut down you breathing or heart beat.

You are much better of fighting off any Flu with the basic of fluids, bedrest and time.

Happy Birthday America and week 3 of the 100 degree + heat wave.

July 3, 2021

It is good to see that many people are celebrating the 4th.  Plus many people are pushing back against the “Powers that Be” telling us Americans what we can and can’t do with our lives.  Things are getting tougher but Tough times tend to make people stronger so I'[m a little optimistic seeing the push back and folks reclaiming their rights.

Did any of you see the what the government thinks is a Forth of July BBQ menu that is 16 cents cheaper than 2020 4th of July menu.  My Gosh there were no Buns of any sort, no fruits, no veggies, no condiments, no freaking corn on the cob.  A skillet full of crumbled hamburger, some pork chops, pork and beans and potato salad.  This is what the US government considers a Celebratory menu 4th of July BBQ for us serfs.

I know many folks can’t afford steaks but what is a BBQ without Hamburgers with buns, Hot dogs with buns, chopped onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, relish. I like pork chops but where are the ribs and brisket the BBQ chicken?  Where is the melons and I don’t consider generic vanilla ice cream a holiday desert.  There is no way I could say what the USA government calls a 4th of July meal even a good normal meal.  Certainly not a holiday meal.  This shows me just how stupid Washington DC thinks of the citizens. That we will believe food prices are lower and what they propose is a good meal for the 4th of July.

I’m not saying you have to spend a lot of money to make a nice 4th of July holiday menu.  But we all know food costs are going up and what the government considers a good menu and there is no food inflation costs is laughable.

I changed the position of my Portable A/C unit to my living room and the move went much better than I expected for cooling the front part of my house.  It helped that I cleaned out the filter that was very dirty and all of the side and rear vents.  I dropped the ball on cleaning out those vents on the portable unit and it was so dirty, it is amazing the unit cooled at all. I have had about a 6-10 degree drop in the temperature in the front part of my house since moving/cleaning up the A/C unit.

I have added some thermal reflective barrier panels to my south facing windows to block some of the afternoon sun.  While my windows are new and do a good job blocking the heat this heat wave is one of the longest  I have seen in in SW Idaho and every little bit helps.

The weather forecast is another 10 + more days of 100 degree F. of heat and it isn’t even August that tends to be the hottest/Dog days of summer.  So it looks like we will have at least a months worth of 100 degree heat with very little cooling at night.

Most of my garden beds are toast, but some of the melons, squash and strangely some of lettuce plants are going strong. I have been using soaker hoses on these beds and the plants seem to be doing better compared to the beds that I use a sprinkler to water as most of those plants have bolted or outright failed to grow in this heat.  Mom’s new garden beds that are protected by the Agribon frost cloth seem to be handling the heat, but she has a bug problem with some of the squash plants.  Gardening might be simple but that does not mean it easy because the weather is completely out of your control and that is a big thing that affects your garden.  I’m going to focus on starting and growing plants for a fall harvest as this summer garden is a bust.

There is always more to do. I let things go in my front yard and it was an Physical workout trying to clean up, weed wack and mow the front yard.  I moved a few things around for a new work area in the house. Goodness knows I need to get more painting done.  But I have got a lot of things cleaned up and moving towards getting rid of clutter.  It was much easier moving the A/C unit to the living room since I removed the oversized furniture.  One step/project at a time and I’ll get things working better.  At least for a time.