Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Day

Well, it seems as if summer is well on its way. We've had more hot sunny days already this spring than we had all of last summer. It's looking like we're going to have a good year for gardeners. My Mom likes to garden but she has a relatively small yard in a pretty populated neighborhood. She gets plenty of sun in the front yard where she keeps a couple beautiful perennial gardens; but it would be too unconventional for her taste to plant our vegetables in the front of the house by the road. Oh, how the neighbors would talk about us then!

So we have our vegetable garden in the back yard in the space she has allotted for us. She probably would have planted a small veggie garden whether we were here or not; but I believe that us being here lends some excitement to the task for her. So I'm hoping the year will be a good one, with plenty of sun and just enough rain. My Mom ordered some rather cheap siding for raised beds and Mikey assembled them in the back yard. For some reason, though, my Mom insists on them being in a location the doesn't really get full sun. Maybe it gets about three-quarters of a day of sun, but that's about it. And almost all veggies need a lot of full sun in order to produce fruit. So hopefully we'll have enough sun for all the stuff we planted.

There is a decent herb garden in one bed with all the typical herbs present: parsley, basil, oregano, dill, thyme, sage, chives, mint, rosemary, and savory. Among the herbs we've planted nasturtium which is supposed to help keeps the pests at bay. And in addition it has beautiful, bright orange and yellow blooms. The second bed is filled entirely with types of squash. Of course we have zucchini, summer squash, and cucumbers. But we also have lots of acorn squash. My mom must have figured we would need a lot of squash this fall. We didn't get any pumpkin plants, but I think we should. And we still have time as long as they are started already in a six pack. I like ti carve designs or names into green pumpkins and when they are grown the scar remains. The third new bed is filled with cold crops, like broccoli, cabbage, and kale on the upper level, and peppers on the lower half of the bed. We have some decent patches of rhubarb and a fledgling bed of asparagus. And we couldn't go without a small raised bed, constructed two years ago, filled with tomatoes. We have mostly cherry varieties but also a couple big beef types just in case. I'm sure our neighbors, however much they despise us, will gladly accept gifts of vegetables come mid-season and we have more than we can possibly eat. I'm sure we'll have plenty to jar after giving too.

One of the things I'm most anticipating is the growth of our morning glories. They have taken to dropping seed every year and we don't even have to bother with them and they come back fierce every spring. They are practically six inches high and twining amongst themselves already. They grow so lush that they almost cover the two sides of our screened-in deck. They twist up both sides and over the top of our front door, cream centers glowing in their deep purple halos. I hold a certain regard for plants which are both beautiful and dangerous. And morning glories fit that bill with their gorgeous flowers, heart-shaped foliage, and psychedelic seeds.

It will be interesting, as well, to see if all the work of dead-heading the supposedly ever-blooming lilac bush will pay off. Apparently, if you remove the small, browning flowers that appear at the end of the spring, this variety will produce another couple rounds of fresh, scented blooms. Here's to hoping.

I've always been into gardening myself, and so I don't mind helping out. Most of the time it's pretty enjoyable. But it's a lot of work and a lot of time. It takes a couple hours just to water the whole shebang. And we had to fill each new bed. I filled one, my mom filled one, and Mikey filled one. And we all planted a bit of each. But it takes constant care to keep them kept up and producing. We still haven't even come close to mulching all our existing beds for the summer. I believe mulch does a great job keeping moisture in. It's worth the effort alone in the amount of time and water it will eventually save. But it's a big job. And my Mom is away a lot, so it pretty much falls to me. My brothers are finally working, which is great. So they're gone on weekdays and sometimes Saturday. So I don't mind doing house jobs since I'm not working. But there are just so many. My classic complaint. I can't get a single post written without bitching about housework.

Anyhow, my Mom also rented a dumpster for "spring/all the crap since she moved here" cleaning. But we only get it for a certain amount of time. So she's been on me to get everything thrown away before it's too late. But most of this stuff isn't mine since I just moved here. So I don't really know what I should throw away. I want to have a huge yard sale too, before just throwing stuff away. But even with just throwing away stuff I know for sure is crap, I've half filled the thing. And it's enormous. Since my Mom couldn't care less about any of it, I'm hoping I'll be able to keep any money I make from the yard sale and save it towards buying my own car. Once I actually, finally, get my license straightened out that is. I've been tossing a ton of stuff from the basement. And that's been making it better to stay down there. It's opening up the space and I feel like I can breathe. Getting rid of all the crap will cut down on the cost and the labor of having it remodeled. I'm trying to talk my Mom into having the basement re-done before the fall. It would be pretty nice if it were just me down there and it was just re-finished.

Well, writing of all this work that needs to be done is making me feel guilty about just sitting around blogging. The day is more than half over and I've been taking it pretty easy since I woke up. I had to drive to the clinic first thing, of course. But even that hasn't been so annoying ever since I found out about the clinic that is much closer and discovered I may be able to go there instead. It would cut down on my travel time significantly.

I hope all is well with everyone. Have a great Memorial Day. That is the holiday we're celebrating, correct? I can be a little spacy sometimes. Until next time......

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mount Hale/Mount Hell

So, I still have not been able to figure out how to get my pics to go to in the order I want them. But oh, well. What're you gonna do, I guess. It's alright the way it came out.

Mike and I went for a quick hike on Sunday. Getting there wasn't quick though. We drove all the way up to route 302 in the White mountains. It took about three and a half hours and then we had to search for a place to hike because we didn't plan very well. Mike thought he knew where he wanted to go because he's been going up on a few day long hikes with his buddies the past few weekends. But he wasn't driving and he has a really bad sense of direction. So we ended up driving around for a bit before we picked a place. I haven't been to the white mountain area since I was a teenager, so I was no help, it all looked the same to me.
We ended up on the same trail Mike had been on a couple weeks earlier. Only a mile or so up the trail, though, we hit a river that was totally uncrossable with the dogs. Because, of course, we had all seven chihuahuas with us. How practical. Anyhow, Mike still wanted to cross after several failed attempts. I was up to my knees in white, rushing water. Standing upon slimy rocks in my bare feet and clasping to the harnesses of my dogs. They could make about half to one third of the way across before they encountered water that was rushing so furiously there was no way they could make it across.

So, basically, I refused to go any farther. If it was this hard to get across the first time, while we still had plenty of energy, what would it be like on the way back when we were exhausted and the sun was going down? The water was totally freezing as it was, and the dogs were already soaking, having fallen in and caught themselves on rocks, thankfully, several times by now. Mike thought I was being a picky bitch by making us drive to a different trail. But it's instances just such as that, where you know it's not the best idea, but it would be a pain in the ass to switch courses at such a late date, so you go ahead regardless of the possibly disastrous consequences. I didn't want to end up the late spring version of the people who freeze to death trying to climb Mount Washington in early March. I finally convinced him that I was turning back, with, or without him. So we trekked back to the car, loaded the dogs back up, and went in search of an alternate trail.

We finally found one nearby and I couldn't say much about it since this was already the second pick. There were no white water rapids crossing the trail at least. It was, however, straight up about two thousand feet. Maybe it wouldn't have seemed so strenuous if we hadn't had to race the sun to the top and back down again. Because we got there so late (bad planning, again) we had to hurry not to get stuck in the dark. Mike was super intent on getting to the summit. He's recently obsesses with hiking all the four thousand foot peaks in New Hampshire. One of his ole friends who lives around here is really into hiking. He hiked the whole Appalachian trail, like, twelve years ago. And Mike really respects him and is therefore adopting his tendencies after spending quite a bit of time together. And don't get me wrong, that's awesome, I just wish I didn't have to adopt those tendencies as well. I thought we were just simply going on a nice, leisurely hike. Nothing too crazy. Boy, was I mistaken. It was totally breathtaking. But not without working for it.

I shit you not, this is snow that was on the trail. It was getting towards the top, and it was pretty high up, and only late May, but it proves how high we must have been. There were places with even more. And Mount Washington, that could be seen across the way, was still covered with it.

This is a sign post for the trail we took. It was called mount Hale. It was two miles up and two miles back. But there was hardly more than ten feet of semi level ground at any one point. My legs felt like noodles.

There wasn't much of a view from the top unless you stood on that pile of rocks. Even then it could have been better after that crazy-ass hike up there. There should have been a golden unicorn at the top that flew you down to your car upon its back. But all there was was a big pile of rocks.

The best thing was that my dogs were so freakin tired from hauling up this mountain that they slept all the way back and all the next day. They were too tired to even bark at my brothers sitting on the couch when we got home. I wish I could devise some sort of pulley system to drag them up a mountain once a day. They would be so much better behaved. I don't think I could deal with that much of an incline on a daily basis. It really takes a toll on the knees.

Anyhow, I'm done with this post. I've been coming back to it for days. It's haunting me. So that's it, hiking pictures.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Here are some pics of our Mother's Day celebration. I think my Mom had a really good day. Her, whatever he is, I guess her boyfriend, came up for the weekend. I made a nice brunch. All us kids, except Lily, of course, were present. And I got her a necklace she had mentioned she wanted for Mother's Day.
It must have been February when she pointed it out in a catalog that we have delivered to our house. I remember having made a mental note at that moment that it would be the perfect gift for the occasion. I was determined that was what we had to get her. But once May came around the original catalog was long gone. Of course I should have kept it hidden away in a safe place; or better yet, ordered it right away and kept the necklace itself hidden until the special day. But I'm not organized enough to carry out either one of those practical plans. No, I waited until the very last minute and was very lucky to have found the exact necklace online. I had to pay a little extra in order to insure that it would be here in time. But it was totally worth it because I think she was really happy that I remembered it.

This is a close-up of our table on Sunday. I stole some of the lilacs from our neighbor's yard at five-thirty that morning. I really hope they didn't see me. I had meant to do it the night before but I fell asleep waiting for my mom and Larry to go to bed. Then I snagged some more for a big bouquet that I put in the living room adjacent to the dining room. They were so beautiful and fragrant, the scent filled both rooms.
And lastly, this a picture of my Mom herself on the big day. I think she was happy. Of course for her it would all have been better if Lily had been there. She is the only person in the world who can be treated like shit by that girl time and again and she still sees her as an angel. I don't think I'll ever be able to accept that fact. But I'll keep trying.

All I can really do is do what I know is right and try to be okay with myself. And I feel really good about all the effort I put into celebrating an important day for her. I can only be me, right? I can't be my sister or my brothers or Mikey or my father. They are them and they are responsible for their own actions.

I hope everyone else had a good day.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

VV is the shit

VV is the shit
We all have to love VV