Sunday, December 4, 2011

I am still here

Thanks to everyone who keeps asking "when are you going to blog again!?"

There has certainly been plenty to blog about in the past two months. The problem is our computer which is so agonizingly slow and unresponsive, spending much time on it at all leads to melt-downs. I feel that soon, I really will grab the whole thing and pitch it out the window.
I was somehow relieved the other day when my sister-in-law came over to take a look at it and agreed that it really was horribly and awful. And she assured us we really do have a good computer (it's only two years old!) and it really shouldn't be acting this way. I think we're going to need a total back-up and reload the harddrive, etc, etc. But who has time for that!? Hopefully in January I will.

So, that's mostly why I haven't blogged - it is just too painful and takes 10 times longer than it should! The picture part is the worst, so this will be a picture-less update.

I was thinking about my to-do list for this year that I made back in April. We just had a lovely snowfall yesterday and it seems likely it will stick around now until spring arrives sometime next year. So most outdoor activity will cease (unless you're Jeremy who thinks nothing of working out of doors when it's only 16 degrees out!).

Here's the list, and what happened:

- build a retaining wall on the south side front lawn.  I got two-thirds of this wall done before I ran into raspberry canes that were growing in the dirt that was oozing out of the sidewalk. There were flowers and berries forming on the canes and I didn't want to transplant them then. So I stopped. I never got back to this project so I'll be finishing the last part of the wall next year.

- dig up one of the laundry line poles from the north side of the yard and move it to the south side. And then use it. For hanging laundry.  Okay, so we did manage to move the pole to the other side of the yard. But we never got the line up. Which means we never hung laundry on it. One step at a time! Next year, next year...

- move our back fence all the way back to the alley as far as it will go and expand the chicken run. We didn't get to this either. There are probably going to be issues with zoning or some stupid, pointless government intervention, so we're figuring out what to do. But I think it will happen. Someday...

- finish constructing the terrace. I did make a good effort on this and got a good portion of the west side done, but it's not finished yet. Through this growing season I started re-defining what the terrace would be for. It had lots of strawberries on it but the squirrels were getting those and I couldn't protect them. I moved a good portion of those to one of our raised beds and I'll move the rest next year. Then I plan to plant more herbs and things, tons of basil, lots of chives, parsley, and other things I'm pretty sure the squirrels don't care for, on the terrace.

- dig up the boulevard strip in front of our house, build a short raised bed, and plant stuff. I went back and forth on this project several times throughout the summer. Yes, I'll put a raised bed there. No, it's a bad idea.  Yes, it will be great! No, it's too much work. In the end of course it never got done. I think I've settled on a very low raised bed (for next year of course). I did dig up a lot of wild violets from that spot and moved them elsewhere. And I transplanted some of our rhubarb there. I hope they come up next year!

- I have visions of helping a bunch of people on our block also dig up their boulevard grass and plant flowers, etc. I did help a neighbor across the street with a part of their boulevard, donating lots of wild violets. We'll see how they do next spring. I think they'll need more to fill in the area.

- Plant something in the one garden bed Jeremy is leaving me, after he takes over most of the yard for mushrooms. I think we'll have room for a tomato plant and some lettuce or something. It's so funny reading this now. Jeremy changed his mind about mushrooms of course and I had all the garden beds to myself. But because of our other decision not to raise a lot of stuff from seed ourselves, we didn't have much to plant! Most of our plants came from friends and neighbors who had planted too much and couldn't fit the starts in their gardens. We ended up with 5 tomato plants from seed (and dozens more that sprouted up all over the yard all on their own), kale, spinach, leeks, spring onions, some broccoli that never made any actual broccoli, some turnips that never made it, and some beautiful parsley, sage, and rosemary.

- I want to plant a cucumber on our south fence so that it grows up the fence and then we have to use little slings to support the growing cucumbers. We did get cucumber from a neighbor which did well, but I had those in the raised beds. I put some squash of some sort on the south fence, but then it turned out that the crazy growth of weeds and flowers on the neighbors side blocked all light and nothing survived.
- After seeing a post about a giant pumpkin, I kind of want to grow a giant pumpkin. I'm not sure where to do it though... Nope, didn't do this either!

- I want to take out the ratty old dogwood in front of the house (it's in bad shape from bad pruning) and put in a fruit tree or two and espalier them. Did I even say that right? I have a lot to learn about this subject. Haven't taken out that tree yet, but I'm hoping to dig it out when the ground thaws and then look into those trees.

- and of course keep working 30 hours a week and sewing like a mad-woman to keep up with Farmers Market on Saturdays and various craft fairs and art shows! This I have certainly done! I suppose sewing like a mad woman has also taken me away from blogging. In fact, I have a big show next week - I'd better get back to sewing!

Hopefully we'll get this computer fixed soon and I can get back to blogging. I'm dying to tell more about our chickens, our brewing experiments, how the mushrooms are doing, and more!


Michael said...

"...(it's only two years old!) and it really shouldn't be acting this way..."

Most computers from 2 years ago should still be plenty good for everything you need to do today. Over time they build up cru, and need to be reinstalled or thorougly cleaned out. Reinstalling is much faster and easier.

Think of it as tilling and replanting. :-)

- "move our back fence all the way back to the alley as far as it will go and expand the chicken run. We didn't get to this either. There are probably going to be issues with zoning or some stupid, pointless government intervention, so we're figuring out what to do"

If there isn't a power pole and you're not on a corner you should probably be able to get within several feet of the alley. Power poles get easements for power company access, and corner fences usually can't block drivers view of the intersecting streets. Easements are a hassle though. Good luck.

- "I want to plant a cucumber on our south fence so that it grows up the fence and then we have to use little slings to support the growing cucumbers."

I grew cuces (straight-8, white wonder) on our chain link fence the last two years and never needed slings. Squash (butternut, buttercup) that climbed the fence did alright too. I bet melons and pumpkins would need slings though with their skinnier stems.

Best of luck with all the projects!

Mom said...

Aimee, we have computers that are 8 years old at the state office where I work that work better then yours does! do you have Malwarebytes installed? It is a free program you can download. One antivirus program won't do it, and if you are running AVG, you need to make sure the updates are installing regularly. Malwarebyte is a great program, but the updates have to be done by hand - they are not automatic. Clean up all the spyware, adware, you might have some issues with the registry - If you can back it up, and then reinstall, that is great, but then you have to be careful reloading stuff on - what if your reload the problems right back on?

Since you use your computer for Etsy, your crafts, etc., fixing it is a business expense. At least a percentage of it. You could take it to someplace and have them pay to upgrade it. I remember when you bought that computer - it shouldn't be running this way!