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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our Three Hour Pet Turtle

No, he didn't die.  As the great Sting says, "if you love somebody a turtle, set them free."


My wife and son were driving back from the store, when my wife, using her catlike reflexes, missed crushing the little guy to death.  Don't ask me how in the name of all that is good and holy she saw this thing, but she did.  Then, her an my son walked back down the street to pick it up.

My son immediately took to the internet and deduced that it was a Red-Eared Slider freshwater turtle.  Unfortunately, with our current lifestyle, we have a no pets policy, which went over like a fart in church with the kids.

My wife took my son over to the local pet store to ask about the turtle.  It honestly couldn't have worked better, as the clerk was pretty straight forward about how difficult these little guys are to take care of.  I think the clincher was when I explained to my son that it's not like a dog, and he can't take it out and play with it.

So, with heavy hearts we took the little guy over to a park a mile or so away.  It has a large lake and is currently inhabited by a number of, you guessed it, Red-Eared Sliders.  I'm not saying anybody had stolen him from there, but that's quite a coincidence to find him in the street.  Anyway, good luck.


And, don't let the garbage fool you.  It's a really nice lake.  Garbage is one of the joys of suburbia.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Next Time You Think Something is Too Hard...

...or will take too long, or your team has just lost their 900th game in a row and dropped to fifth behind Newcastle watch this.  Then, shut up about it.  And do it.  Or deal with it.  If this guy can do this, you sure as hell can pull some weeds or silently curse Harry Redknapp and the FA for firing Capello.

Yea, he's using his feet.



Thanks to Kari at The Village Carpenter for this one.

New Hardiness Zones Are Available

They're here.  Just punch in your zip code.  And, apparently, I've moved.  I was 11b, now I'm 10a.  Crap, how do I break it to my 11b plants that they're all going to die?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day: Yea, We're a Little Early

My son's class heads off to the Chino Wetlands every year to celebrate Earth Day.  There are a number of educational activities they partake in, but his favorite is that he gets to bring a plant home!!!


I/we have no idea what kind of tree it is.  They told the Boy, but he doesn't remember.  If we can't figure it out, it will get planted as far away from the house as humanly possible.  All I need is an oak uprooting the foundation.


Here we got it planted into a larger pot.  The pot is probably too large, but it's what we had.  Unfortunately, we're also fresh out of fertilizer, so it will be getting that this weekend.  In the meantime, lots of water as we're suppose to hit 95F (35C) this weekend!  Welcome to a Southern California (inland) spring, bouts of hotter then bejeezus followed by winter like rain (which is due next week).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Subversive Plot and Watch More TED

I love TED.  It's addictive.  Below is a clip I hope you'll find interesting.  It's a talk given by Roger Doiron.  Here's his bio:

"Roger Doiron is founding director of Kitchen Gardeners International, a network of people taking a hands-on approach to re-localizing the global food supply. Doiron is an advocate for new policies, technologies, investments, and fresh thinking about the role of gardens. His successful petition to replant a kitchen garden at the White House attracted broad international recognition. He is also a writer, photographer, and public speaker."



I think one interesting (frightening?) note is that in order for the world's population of an estimated 10 billion people by the century's end to be fed, the world will have to produce more food in the next 50 years then in the previous 10,000 combined.  We can't even make decent food now, how on earth are we going to do it on that large of a scale?

I'll tell you how, we're going to grow it ourselves.  I'm heading out today and planting something.  Ok, I'm pulling all the weeds first, but damn it, then I'm planting something!!  Who's with me?!?!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Nice Spring Day

We had a rare occasion at Castle Turling this past weekend...a significant amount of time with nothing to do.  So, we took advantage and spent some time relaxing in the backyard.  I grabbed the camera and snapped a few pictures of stuff coming in.  Yes, we have a few things in dirt here.



The wysteria that I spent three years trying to kill before giving in to the losing battle is marching on as it continues its takeover of the patio cover.


Sweet Mary of Jesus is there ANYWHERE the damn weed don't grow?!?


On the left is a Kalenchoe and on the right is an, err, Pinkus Plantus.



My little row of daylillies.  I grew these from seed, at least I think they were seeds, there is probably some other name for them.  However, once I put them in the ground...BOOM...dead.  All went brown.  I went to tear them out and found some of the tiniest points of green coming through, so I left them.  Look at these soldiers coming back, now.  I'm so proud.


The previous owner planted irises.  I dug up most of them and gave them back to him (he is my father-in-law after all), but seem to have missed a few.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Orange Tree Dilemma

Ok, maybe dilemma is too strong a word.  No, actually, it's probably not strong enough.  This damn little tree has caused me too many sleepless nights.  I sit at my bedroom window staring out at it willing it to grow.  Ok, I made all that up, but it's still pissing me off and forcing me to never buy a fruit tree from a big box store (rhymes with Rome Repo) again.  Anyway, my little orange tree is still alive, but now it's spring time and it's doing this:


Everywhere.  All over it's little tiny trunk it's sprouting spuds.  Now, I'm not sure if I should peel them off and force the little bugger to put its energy into the couple of trunks it has or let it run its course.  Keep in mind two things.  First, when I say trunks I mean one main trunk and one Tyrannosaurus Rex arm that I consider a trunk.  And, second, I have the patience of a four year old on Christmas Eve, so I'm not really wanting to wait for it to put out 900 spuds and in six years for it to widdle itself down to its three favorite arms.  So, perhaps, you can see my dilemma?  Too scrape or not to scrape?  That is the question.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Time: Time for Work

Spring time here, like all other places I'm sure, means one thing.  Work.  And, unfortunately, the bad work comes before the fun work.  This is why:


Yea, baby.  Those be weeds.  And, a sage in the background that needs to be trimmed back.  Actually, it needed to be trimmed back six weeks ago.  And, yes, that weed in the front has gone to flower.  That's how I roll.

You see, living where we do, we get a lot of weeds.  I mean A LOT.  There is a field directly behind our house that is a la naturale.  So, every California weed known to mankind blows into my yard.  I can't bring myself to pull them in the winter for a couple of reasons.  First, I'll just need to pull them again in the spring, thus doubling and/or tripling my work.  Second, it's cold in the winter.  Yes, I live in California, so we have "winter", but we're also "weenies", because we only have "winter".  Plus, I had other winter time things I was working on.

Normally, for my weed chores, I'll use this for the majority of the stuff:




It works pretty good on stuff like this:


Not so good on grass, though.  And, it seems I have a lot of grass growing in places it shouldn't.  Kind of like hair when you hit 40.  Anyway, with grass it tends to leave it like this:


Yep, it just scoots along the top.  Scoot being the technical gardening term used by master gardeners everywhere.  So, the grass I'm going to need a different tact for.  Unfortunately, grabbing and pulling leaves most if not all the roots, so that defeats the purpose.  But, I have a plan.  I concocted it while driving home from work.  So, it's bound to work.  And, no, it does not involve chemicals, as I don't put that crap on my yard.  It involves a stick.  And, a lot of duct tape.

Ok, I'm kidding about the duct tape...