Wednesday, January 20, 2010

That to-do list I was talking about...

It's January, so I have a lot of different to-do lists floating around on scrap pieces of paper. There's the "Grad School Application" list, the "Teaching Kindergarten" list, the "Re-arranging the Clams" list, the "Organize and Clean House" list, and so on...
This list is titled "The Yard"
- dig up, repair, and update almost all of the irrigation
- lasagna mulch where possible
a set up cold frame outside
a start seeds now (indoors and outdoors)
a prune fruitless mulberry trees and pine tree
a dig up and freecycle chitalpa trees
a plant fruit/nut trees in chicken run
- attempt to grow clover in chicken run
a plant sunflowers in as many places as possible
- finish turtle pond
- build an herb spiral
a build a pole bean tepee
- plant a three sister garden
a build raised beds around fruitless mulberry trees
areplant all desert plants into rock yard
a espalier grapes
- build a shade like structure over back porch for gourds to grow on
- repair shade structures for raised beds
aorganize shed so I can find my tools!
a get rid of oleanders and replace with something edible/useful
That's the beginning of it. :)

A rainy day in Henderson...

I couldn't decide where to start today, so I decided to make cupcakes instead. I am so glad I did. I used the Peanut Butter cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Moskowitz. I have to preface that I am throwing a Mustache Bash for my husband's birthday this weekend. So, the peanut butter cupcakes are decorated with chocolate mustaches. You never knew a cupcake could look so manly. I would most definitely have a picture if my camera didn't decide today was the day to croak.
The weather was extraordinarily dramatic today for southern Nevada. The sky is almost always clear, dry, and painfully sunny. Last week, conveniently coinciding with a cloud lesson I taught fifth graders, heavy cumulus clouds crowded over Mt. Charleston. It rained so much yesterday that my carport flooded. I spent at least 40 minutes squeegee-ing (new word!) the water over the concrete into the front yard. It makes me want to jackhammer all that concrete more than ever. As part of this urban homestead project, I want to try to harvest what little rainwater we get here. Currently, I have trash cans, coolers, buckets, plastic bottles, and watering cans set up around the perimeter of the roof overflowing with water. Normally this impromptu and primitive rainwater harvesting system I have suffices because the water comes in little spurts. I am glad that Lou and I picked up all of the concrete pavers on the back porch before all of this rain. The dirt back there is eagerly soaking it all in. I fantasize that one day I can get rid of the concrete in the carport and replace it with gravel and brick tire paths.
Back to the weather... Lou and I were standing out back around our newly built fire pit with some friends this afternoon admiring the filtered sunlight and drizzly air. (Anyone reading this from the Northwest United States is shaking their head right now. ) The chickens were contentedly preening themselves in the drizzle while clucking happily to each other about all of the fat worms they gorged on. Rain makes Henderson kids happy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 in pictures

Building the raised beds and laying down the irrigation.

My sister calls this the cemetery.

First little seedlings poking through.

Mexican sunflower wearing a seed hat.

Seedlings in my cold frame.

Sunflowers, pumpkins, snap peas, and pole beans.

Gorgeous squash plant.

The third attempt: eggplant, cherry tomatoes, carrots, kale, spinach...

...pumpkins, sunflowers, watermelon, and artichoke.

The ladies taking a dust bath on their first day home.