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When it Rains, it Pours – or Not

Wasn’t I just complaining about how much rain we’ve been getting?

Yeah, that’s what I thought…

Well, the truth is that we were getting a lot of rain – which if one is prone to doing some gardening – can be a good thing.

About 5 years ago we purchased three 50-gallon rain barrels.  An environmental and financial good idea.  Water with the rainfall, save some cash and divert some of the water from the over-worked storm sewers.  And for 5 years it’s been a very win-win situation.

One of the lessons we have learned is that during a typical summer rain storm, the amount of roof run-off into the gutters then into the rain barrels is amazing.  50 gallons fills in virtually no time at all.  After about a 2 hour steady rain – 150 gallons of rain water is at our service.

Only on very rare occasions have we had to resort to dragging out the dreaded hose to water our flowers and vegetables.  When droughts happen, 150 gallons of rain water seems to get used almost as quickly as the barrels got filled up.

With all of the vegetable garden expansion we’ve done over the past two summers, along with sacrificing more and more lawn for additional bed space and berry bush plantings – we have a lot more green stuff to water, so the need for additional rain water collection became especially apparent.  We have been tearing through and draining the rain barrels faster than ever before.  Fortunately we did have a pretty wet Spring, but more rain barrels were needed – there was no doubt about that.

So we purchased and combined 3 more barrels into our system – doubling our capacity.


two behind our garage and


two more beside our deck.

We have a third set on the driveway side of the house as well – but I think you get the picture 🙂

Our now 300 gallon rain water capacity should serve us well as we move into the heat of summer 2011.

Should.

All we need now is some actual rain to fill them…

Lettuce Give Thanks

Lotsa lettuce…

and other stuff…

What started as this (from my last post)…

Has turned into this…

Lettuce not forget the Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Basil and Asparagus…

Lettuce eat many Salads!

Angry Plants…

The last couple of months has been pretty wet….rain, rain, cold temperatures and more rain.

So in between this….

We made this….

We have been wanting to try this new garden style called no till, lasagna style, no dig etc. It is super easy!

….and because this is Ohio after all, we went from a windchill of 39 degrees last week to 80 something for the last 2 days and now I have very angry plants.

We have about 130 or so plants and herbs that we started from seed, plus we purchased another flat of veggies today with 6 berry bushes.

Hot temps, full sun with high winds don’t really make a good start for young plants. The kids will have to say one more day in their temporary homes, at least they are at they are safe from the elements.

It’s the 1st of the Month…..

Do you hear that sucking sound?????

That would be every ounce of energy that will be sucked out of my being by the end of the day.

“I want”.

“I want”.

“How much is…..”?

“Give me…..”.

“Give me…..”.

“Give me….”.

At 8:59 a.m. I will be thinking of this….

Salvation!

No Damage Done

I was eager to see if any damage had been done to Stella psychologically from that past Monday night when I walked the dogs in the neighborhood. Saturday was socialization class day and Stella is actually doing really well. Watching my girl go off on her own and check other dogs out from time to time – priceless! She is still not engaging in play but that’s okay. No damage had been done and that is all that had mattered.

Lena has become Scott’s helper. Miss Lena corrects dogs, how dogs should be corrected. A growl, a bark it’s actually very funny to watch young dogs get corrected for things like getting in personal doggie space with way too much energy. Watching dogs interact and learn is very fascinating and you can really spend hours watching all the intricate body language that goes on when it is on video. Yes, I do this from time to time because for me I find it that interesting.

We are waiting for the weather break so we can start getting busy with the new gardens. Can someone send me some 45 degree weather?

Spring is here….

Spring started off with a lovely party with friends, food and drinks. We could have not asked for a better start. Right now it’s about 30 degrees here and well I think spring is on hold for another week.

A little catching up – the house – not touched – nope – not one thing. I am struggling to find a reason why we should do anything more here. Our neighborhood looks for the most part like shit, a ghetto.

The neighbors next door think that our drive-way apron has an “enter” sign on it as they are driving up and across to their part of the side yard. I guess side yards and driveways are one in the same because it is trashed with tire tracks now. Lucky for us we have very big rocks that will be placed as landscaping material – cough, cough – to stop them from driving on our part of the side yard and trashing it. The neighbors across the street – silent! However, I have learned that when one neighbor starts to behave and get a clue – that someone else in the neighborhood must – there has be a “Ghetto Code of Ethics” somewhere written – pick up the slack. The award for ghetto-ness now goes to the next door neighbors.

I walked the dogs for the first time in a very long time around the neighborhood Monday night and imagine every part of your being just shaking because you are being stalked by 2 hoods and one dog. Not because I’m scared, no, because I am pissed off. Minutes prior to the run in with these two there was a group of 3 males and a dog on the opposite side my street that we passed. This was not a leisurely stroll with Fido, Fido didn’t even know how to walk on a lead. Most people do not walk their dogs here and for the few who do, you can painfully tell that they are not looking for (fill in the blank).

Back to the the disrespectful youths, they are now walking in the middle of the street, the one youth is telling his dog “get it” (meaning us) over and over which is causing the dog to get really amp-ed up. They were gaining on us and Lena is feeling the need to protect due to the out-of-control dog and Stella wants to run like hell and then thinks well I need to protect my human. Rage does not even begin to describe how I felt. I don’t think that there is a word for it. All I did was shake and try like hell not to pull on the leads. I have no tolerance for this. I have no tolerance for a couple wannabe hoods with a dog playing a game of intimidation. I have no tolerance for people who dishonor a certain type of dog breed and were doing it at that moment to me. I don’t think so little man-child!

I had to get control of this situation. I stopped and turned around, faced them, and confronted them. I stood my ground and waited for them to make a move. I know I was glaring at them because I don’t hide how I feel very well. I probably looked like a crazy lady to them, I’m okay with looking like a nut job when I need to. I was firm with my words and loud. I was hoping that some neighbors were watching. They made a wise decision and walked away. Yes, I always carry a cell phone with me for those who are wondering. I know I put myself and my dogs at risk. I realize that this could have gone a very different way. I will be damned if some disrespectful man-child thinks that intimidating people with a dog is a good idea and that this is a tool that they can use. I’m not easily intimated and I have zero tolerance these days. I continued our walk making sure I wasn’t being followed and headed for the main road. I’m not really sure if I did the right thing and yet I’m really not sure if there was anything else that could have been done. Socialization class is on Saturday, we will see if any damage has been done by this incident.

There is stuff going on in our neighborhood – again, what would appear to be normal to some is very much the opposite for us. I don’t like the vibe here, I don’t like it at all.

We will always out-last them I keep telling myself, we will always out-last them.

First Sunday of the Month

There is nothing like a pack walk on a Sunday morning with a lite snow and 10 other people with 11 dogs. I am still truly amazed that all these dogs are in various stages of rehab/training and their owners who like us, are willing to get up on a snowy Sunday morning to walk about 3 miles just because.

Happy dogs and people.



Happy Lena.

This is a happy Stella!

This why I love getting up at 6:30 on Sunday once a month and doing this one hour drive to a beautiful park. I am counting down the days till we all meet up again. Thank your Versatile K9 for making this happen.


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