Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday is a Projects Day

I have been substitute teaching a lot this year. Politics being what they are, here in Wisconsin; there are a lot of teachers re-evaluating their life choices. One teacher I know is getting his CDL and I moving to India (where is wife teaches in an international school. Another, having her first child at the advanced age at which I gave birth to Handsome Son. All of this subbing, although great for my paycheck, is not so good with just getting everything done in a single parent household. It seems my car is constantly behind on its oil change. The vacuuming is never done, a job I thought I could delegate to Handsome Son who failed to realize we had a busted belt and the roller was not turning. It wasn't until I attempted to follow up on his shoddy performance on his bedroom carpet, that I realized what the problem was.
So today, I have a full day looming large. A day filled with laundry, replacing said belt and vacuuming, cleaning, potting on seedlings, planting seeds indoors and out, and also, in general, sprucing up my home in anticipation of the Commencement of Handsome Son.

I have also taken on a quilting project  for the mother of the manager my Handsome Son's basketball team.  She wanted a memory quilt comprised of squares from T-shirts her daughter had collected from various school and extracurricular activities.  The quilt sits at the top of my to-do list because the mother wants to display it at her graduation party.  The top of the quilt can be seen in this picture.  It gives you the general idea of the project, although unfinished.

Watering my potted seedling like the pretty peppers, pictured here, is also taking up more of my time. I am not sure what sort of harvest we will have, but with five weeks until the earliest plant out date for peppers they will demand a lot of care. One thing gardening does teach is consistency and follow-up. It is so easy to lose an entire crop with one day's indifference to the goal.
These are petunias I have grown from seed without special lights. I used regular shop lights, 4' florescent bulbs. They have been spending most days on the deck (out of room under the lights as I continue to pot on more veggies) that needs it yearly painting (being south-facing), but although frost-tolerant, even these guys have been brought in most nights. As for the beginnings of our local food harvests: There was no maple syrup season to speak of this year. My apricot tree looks pretty sad, its leaf buds and any small leaves having froze; I can not foresee a crop. Not only have the first blossoms of my strawberry plants froze, but additional blossoms as well, all spotting the "black eye" foretelling a sad tale. My very early 'Honeoye' are probably a loss. My neighbor has been putting a frost blanket on his,but as cold as it has been, Dr. Apps reports it has frozen through this safeguard, as well for his earlier cropping strawberries. He does have hopes for 'Sparkler', though. I do not have any 'Sparkler' planted this year. My blueberries, I have 'Blue Ray' and I think ' Northern Blue' like it cold, it seems; and the early variety is loaded with blooms. I may get a quart or two on the small number of bushes here in the potager. The family garden's blueberries, I do not yet know the status. As for the rhubarb, one of the earliest perennial fruits, it has a number of stalks, all very short. There are two flower stalks forming already though, which I will need to yank out. I thought this year to make rhubarb juice using my brother's fancy steamer. Hopefully, adding a fruit juice to our larder, low on juice types Handsome Son will consume. So start your projects people. It is a spring Saturday-- although at 47 degrees here-- it does not feel much like one!

1 comment:

  1. I grow blueberries in pots, since the soil here is not acidic. I've got a couple of low-bush varieties and Top Hat from the University of Minnesota. Looks like we'll have a couple pints this year, the first time we've had a measurable harvest. Although I may just let the birds eat them.

    I know that feeling of having so much to deal with on the weekend. Teachers have been getting a raw deal lately, here in Chicago and lots of other places. It's a shame. Hang in there.