Monthly Archives: December 2012

Winter not-so-down time

Hello, dear readers! I know I’ve been away again, and my posts have been slacking profusely. But I’m back! Yay!

This past fall, I made a decision that I’m hoping I’ll stick with. I’m very excited about it, and, since it’s inception, has grown to become a monstrous project.

I want to plant a vegetable garden in my back yard.

Now, for most people, this would be pretty simple. Decide on where to put it, plant the seeds/baby plants, and maintain. However, my life can never be that simple. My back yard is, for lack of a better term, trashed. We’ve got a nice dead branch collection along the back fence, massively overgrown weeds around the shed, and some various trees, including that pesky palm, have made themselves comfortable all the way around the back porch. Not to mention the fact that I don’t have the slightest idea where my septic tank is, and there’s a sturdy, though slightly decrepit picnic table smack dab in the middle of my yard.

So, since I have until mid-February before I have to start planting and taking care of itty bitty green things, I’ve decided that this winter, I’ll fix up the backyard and the back porch, and seriously take some time to rethink my life.

Let’s just take a quick little look-see at my to-do list before Valentine’s day.

First and foremost, I need to dispose of the dead tree limbs, which, I should note, didn’t even come from the tree in my yard. No, the neighbors behind me couldn’t be bothered to haul the branches out to the street before the city switched over to automated trash pick-up, so they just casually dumped them over the fence into out yard. Wasn’t that sweet of them?

Once those are out, I have to cut down/dig up/poison the volunteer trees and weeds cropping up all over the place. I swear, we started with two little palm trees, one in the front, and one in the back, and now, suddenly, we’re up to our noses in them. Their reign of annoyance is coming to a close, though. I’m sorry, Lorax, but these trees have got to go. I’ll also be trimming back a lot of the wanted trees that are blocking out my precious sunlight.

Next goes the “salvaged” trash piled up against the shed; screen doors, half-rotten sawhorses, planks of wood that were going to be used, but that just never managed to happen, and a bird cage that’s a quiet, though sharp reminder of the little feathered friend my brother and I had once upon a time. I might fix that up and make it a decorative plant hanger, or something.

Moving on to the picnic table. I’m actually not totally opposed to keeping it in the yard. While carefully inspecting the wholly disheartening space, I tested the table, and it’s still in semi-decent shape. I will have to scrub it down and sand it smooth, and invest in some carpenter’s putty and varnish, though. I’ll get it all spruced up, and probably leave it right where it is, since it’s directly between where I wanted to plant a couple of apple trees. Just to keep myself from turning my yard completely into a stereotypical housewife garden thing, I think I’ll paint it black. Maybe put some studs in it.

Or a giant devil face in the middle of the table.

No, I’ll probably just see if I can stain it really dark.

Kinda liking the studs, though.

Anyway, I also have to figure out the cheapest way to kill a large patch of grass/weeds without putting a load of chemicals into the soil sand. (Because this is Florida, and we don’t have soil.) I don’t want my garden choked out before I get a chance to test my gardening skills, and honestly, our lawn could use a resent anyway.

And by reset, I of course mean “kill everything and pretend I didn’t feel like a god.”

Sometime during all of this, I’ll figure out where the septic tank is, and rope that off, and then it’s on to the back porch!

That should be less of a time suck, as all I really have to do to prepare it is get rid of all of the junk that’s been sitting there for ten years and clean it up a bit. Granted, me being me, I’ll find a way to make this considerably more complicated than it has to be, such as making an attempt to turn it into a dual-purpose gardening/social area, and I’ll end up running myself ragged before the end of January.

I’m so excited.

Do you any of, my darling readers, have any tips or suggestions for my upcoming projects?

Have any of you had any experience with gardening, or restoring a neglected yard?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

 

Meteor Showers, Thanksgiving, and Christmas bells, oh my!

Well, I’ve been slacking again, I know.But I have an almost legitimate reason this time!

Granted, it was mostly due to not knowing what to blog about until around thanksgiving, and then Thanksgiving happened, and things got tense. Then I forgot I was supposed to blog. Then I remembered and I felt bad.

Anyway, coming up during the indeterminate hours between December 13th and the 14th, the Geminid meteor shower is supposed to dazzle us with hunks of space debris falling through our atmosphere at an alarmingly fast rate.

I’m excited. The last two meteor showers were very disappointing. Not because they didn’t wow me, but because I didn’t get to see them. For the first one, back in early October, I happened to get very sick on the night the space rocks were due to visit, and, instead of giggling and shrieking with delight like some overexcited five year old. I was laid up in bed with a 103 fever. 

But wait! November held the promise of another shower, and you can bet your sweet patooty I was making no plans to get deathly sick, or otherwise engaged for this one. So I stocked up on vitamin c, and prepared to spend most of the night looking up at the stars. But the sky had other plans and seemed to mock me with a completely cloudy sky. And when I say completely, I mean you couldn’t even see the moon glowing from behind the cloud cover. Needless to say, I was livid.

This time, the skies will be clear, I’ll be healthy, and I’ll spend most of the night wondering how I ended up crazy enough to feel like I have to watch every meteor shower ever. Everyone else seems to think “Well, you’ve seen one mass of space junk fall into the atmosphere, you’ve seen ’em all.” Wrong. It’s different space crap this time.

Don’t judge me.

Also, thanksgiving was recently, for all of my American readers. As an American, I was pretty much obligated to produce a magnificent feast of heart-clogging proportions. And I did. Turkey, Stuffing, vegetables, pies, and I only burned myself twice! Go me! We had a decent 22.5 lb turkey, which I brined for around 30 hours (give or take), stuffed, and shoved bacon under the skin. Next year, I’ll probably post a “recipe” when Thanksgiving time swings back around.

I managed to burn myself before I even put the turkey in the oven. This year I preheated the oven, half asleep, forgetting to take the top oven rack out. When I went to go pull it out, it had already had plenty of time to reach the proper temperature, and, me being so wonderfully graceful, let it knock against something else in the kitchen, which sent it right back against my unprotected arm. The long, pink burn scar is still with me, and has just recently started to itch. It’ll be my “Don’t be stupid” reminder when it comes time for me to cook Christmas Dinner.

Speaking of Christmas! The neighbors have put up their traditional Christmas musical lights!

Shoot me.

All night, those twinkling little shits play snippets of beloved holiday carols, and I’m starting to turn into a Grinch because of it. There are only so many times you can hear the first few bars of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” before it starts to make you crazy. Doesn’t help that some of my local shops started their Christmas spiel in mid-October.

 

Well, I don’t have much else to report this time, kids.

Maybe next time I’ll have an amusing anecdote that doesn’t involve me causing myself bodily harm.

Ciao!