It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Getting Rid of the Lawn and a lot of Corgi Attitude

The old lawn area redo is coming along. The Prospector is working so hard on this. He is a perfectionist and always does everything with great effort and precision. This job has been more of a supervisory position for me, this time. I'm giving credit where credit is due and that would be to the man that I live with.
He's amazing. At 66 yrs of age the only thing that slows him down is his left knee. He has had one replacement on the right knee and will need another one soon... but so far he is doing well with one of those miracle injections that keep the old knee joint moving with less pain.
He took the day off today because he has a meeting tonight. The top soil is in the planters and waiting for some planting mix and compost. After that the old lawn will be scraped off and then, after laying some weed cloth, we will cover the area with pea gravel. Then I get to do the gardening in the flower beds and do some wine barrel planting.
Everything that goes into these planting beds will be drought tolerant and on a drip system so the water use should be lessened considerably.  Any ideas??
I'm not sure what the Corgi pups are going to think about not having a lawn any more. They have loved the lawn. They play on it, sit on it and .... shoot, I'm going to miss the lawn. Who am I kidding. But, I won't miss worrying about the water and the gophers and the roots from the trees that have plagued the lawn from the first year that we planted it.
Carl seems to have decided that this new dirt area is his new domain and he's already playing KING OF THE HILL with Cutter.
"Just try to get in here, Cutter. I dare you.", he says.
Then there is a stand off with lots of eye contact and then.... Cutter starts circling the planter, faster and faster, until he takes a flying leap into the dirt on top of Carl.
This went on all day yesterday. I may need a fence here. I can see the paw prints on the wall.
Look at Carl. He thinks he owns the place already. I've got news for him.
You are going to move your little Corgi butt, Carl. This is not your garden, you sly dog. It's Farmlady's  and the larger person will win out.
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I'm leaving for a long weekend with my sister and cousin. We are going to Susanville tomorrow for my uncle's 90th Birthday party this weekend.
See you on Tuesday. Have a nice weekend.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gourds and Garden Work

Yesterday I spent most of the day at Amador High School in Sutter Creek. The Art's Council put on a really fun group of classes called "Taste of the Arts". and our gourd group gave one of the classes.
We told them about our group and invited people to come join us.  One of our members, Christie, was the "ring leader" for the day and talked about the history of gourds, how they are grown and some of the techniques that we use on the gourds.
We let people pick out a gourd that was already cleaned, stained and ready for artwork.
We showed them some of the gourd art from our club.
Gave them some ideas and a table full of paints, feathers, and all kinds of embellishments. Then we let them have fun. We answered questions and helped when needed.
These folks just had a great time. They didn't hesitate to create some "gourd art" of their very own. Here are some of the results.
If you are interested in this just  Google "gourd art" and take a look at what is out there. Make a birdhouse for some lucky bird this summer. Gourds have been used for utensils, bowls, water carriers, birdhouses, baby rattles, instruments and many other useful items long before people bought these things at the local goods store. The American Indians used gourds for everything.They are easy to grow if you have HOT summers and the plants are beautiful.
It was a full day but we had a good time and gave some folks "A Taste of the Arts." Maybe we will see some of them at our next gourd meeting.
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Today, The Prospector and I spent the day outside. We are getting rid of our lawn. It's the right thing to do. As much as we enjoyed the lawn, it took too much water from our well every summer and the gophers thought that it was  a really fun place to build there condos. By the end of last summer it looked like a bombed out war zone and it was time to have a cease fire, so..... NO MORE LAWN.
Just pea gravel and a small garden area that will be as "zero scape" as possible. I really will miss the lawn but not the water that is required to maintain it. I will post a photo of the finished area in a few weeks.
The tulips are blooming.
And the goats are happy. The sun is shinning and "...all's right with the world." The goat boys are getting along.
Brownie doesn't play with them when they rough house and butt each other. He keeps his distance. He seems to have lost weight  and is still very subdued. He is eating both the grass and their hay so I'm not too worried.
Today they were in the south pasture and all laying together under the big oak tree. I think that things are going to be OK now. The beautiful weather has brought peace to the farm. Brownie is healing and the goats are accepting him back into their fold. I can't tell you how worried I was that this wouldn't happen. But it seems that things will be all right.