Saturday, May 08, 2010

Happy Mother's Day :: I Got Myself Fired

First of all, please note that there is a cute bunny here. It's Joe. The oldest bunny we have ever known. He's ten years old, and still quite spry. Dear Joe. Sweet bunny Joe.

Joe lives on the SouthSide of the Bird House, the corner where we moved Betty and Joe, then put in some trees. Now we want to build garden beds for veggies.

Funny bit: I tossed a rotting pumpkin in to the worm bin. I don't know how the worms are doing, but the rotting pumpkin has sprouted in one hundred different directions, so the worm bin is now a baby pumpkin nursery.

And so... for Mother's Day we are building raised beds. The baby pumpkins need room, and we want tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn, sunflowers, basil, cilantro, zinnias, zukes, and honeydews.

Our three half barrels are full and happy, keeping onions and flowers safe from tunnel monsters, like gophers and moles. But we need more. More veggies. More flowers. More room.

Max wants his own garden bed. Maria has her own half barrel. Alex thinks we need at least three beds exclusively for pumpkins.

I think I should be scattering cilantro seeds all over the yard. I love it when coriander flowers, then goes to seed.

The pineapple guavas that we moved from the bottom of the yard, up to our reconfigured garage side of the yard, are blooming! That was a long sentence. Sorry. Feijoa blossoms! You can eat the fleshy pink petals. They taste like a delicate, floral marshmallow.

I never did plant all of the red onions from the little nursery six pack. I gave most of them away. But each compartment had so many seedlings, that I am looking at about a dozen almost fully ripe red onions. I think I will be giving away more produce, because even on my most oniony day I cannot imagine using up twelve red onions. Though I guess they should keep... must look in to that...

Roses I can share too. Roses and onions. We are blessed! We have more roses than I can cut. This is not a problem. They are so beautiful.

Alex cannot understand why anyone would be happy with florist roses, when garden roses are so huge, and fragrant. He much prefers the homegrown variety, and so do I.

I also like poppies, sweet peas, zinnias, pansies, dahlias...

Right now we have poppies.

With raised beds, I will finally grow zinnias. I cannot recall the last time I had a place to grow zinnias.

So. We need raised beds because of the gophers, and they will be good for containing the soil and raising everything... it's a nice look. We decided to make them 4' x 4'... square, and big, but not too big. The next question was about depth. I figured about carrot depth would be good... give or take an inch. Alex estimated eighteen inches, and Geoff discussed varying heights and widths of varying wood cuts. There was debate, discussion, design, and re-design etc...

Last night at the build center we decided we would construct four boxes, and that they should be between eighteen inches high, and two feet. No one thought to bring out a tape measure. Our discussions were always punctuated with hands and gestures... About this high and then hands apart to show the "measurement." I walked away from lumber and saws with Maria. Geoff and Alex were selecting the two by twelves.

Geoff called me: "Come back here, and tell me again how deep these should be."

I had just got Maria across the entire store to the section where we could sit and read gardening books, and we could not be bothered to walk back, so I said: "Eighteen inches or 24 inches, or something. It'll be fine. It's all good."

And he said: "Are you sure?"
Because the depth of gardens beds is more my area of "expertise" than his, but now this point is arguable.

Alex and Geoff chose sixteen big boards and then had them cut. Maria and I showed up when they were just about finished cutting all those big boards. And you know what? Twenty four inches is really big. Large big. Quite deep big.

After six months of pining for raised beds, and demonstrating my "expertise" about garden beds, after two hours figuring out the details in the build store, I was somewhat reluctant to say, "Dang. Those boards are way too tall. We don't need beds that deep." So, I went a different route and said: "Super! Eight beds!"

But he caught on.

"What? This is enough for four beds."

And I said, "I don't know. I bet we can get eight beds out of all this lumber." Then I grinned sheepishly, which as it turns out is my real "expertise."

Then he fired me. "You are fired from all measuring jobs," he said. And really, I thought he kept his composure quite nicely.

Joe, we will see you tomorrow, when we spend Mother's Day in the SouthSide, putting together four, or eight, twelve, or twenty-four inch garden beds.


Anonymous said...

What a joy it is to see your garden growing, Natalie. And sweet Joe-- I love the tilt of his sweet face. As for the onions, try carmelizing them. It takes a lot of onions and many hours, but well worth it :-)

judy in ky said...

You are SO lucky to have clever builders in your family! You do know, do you not, that not everyone can do this?

mtnchild said...

All these photos are beautiful - even the lumber!!! LOL I need to build a proper chicken coop this year, so lumber is nice.

Please stop by my blog - I have a surprise for you ... Hugs!

Stella Jones said...

What a delightful rabbit and so old. He must be so wise...

I wrote a story about my rabbit, 'Bertie'. You can read about it here.

Love your colourful roses too and good luck with the pumpkins.

Blessings, Star

Julie said...

:) I love that your family does so much together. It always warms my heart. Have a great Mother's Day!

Jennifer said...

I love Joe! Deeply! Unmeasurably deeply! And everything in your garden is more beautiful than I could ever imagine. Who needs measuring prowess with all those other gifts you've got?!

Tracy said...

Hi, Natalie! So lovely to see all that's growing there... it's all so beautiful! And I LOVE Joe--what a cutie-cakes! And you're not alone... I was long ago fired by hubby for measurement and map-reading jobs... LOL! Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend ((HUGS))

Mama Spark said...

I love Joe. He is adorable! Your garden sounds amazing. Ours is still in the planning stage as we are still getting frost here in the morning, sigh. Send some of your bounty to MI! LOL

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe, I'm starting a Free The Bunny campaign for you. Please ask your family to use some of that lumber to build you a wide enclosure on the ground. Your toes should feel the cool blades of grass and your twitching nose should smell and touch the flowers. We put my bunny's cage lower to the ground and built a small "yard" around it. He spent his life running and exercising and digging in mounds of dirt. At night we enticed him back in his cage for safety but in the daylight he was very busy in his yard. I hope you will experiece the same happiness. Love, Zan.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Dear Zan,
Thank you. I would pay you in carrots if I could reach the mailbox. When I was a wee bunny my family kept me in a "rabbitat"... it was an aviary they built for me and their budgies. In it I had lots of free space and dirt to dig and roll in. When we lived out on the Rancho I also had some free ranging room in the chicken yard and that was nice too. Then came the Tree House and Garage Mahal, where the options were limited, but they regularly brought me out on the lawn and let me run around and dig. These days I get to enjoy jumping and digging in the SouthSide, where there are greens growing and a huge dirt pile where I scratch, stretch, and scamper.
More freedom! Yes, it would be grand, and I will show them your letter, because I know that they support your vision and have good visions of their own. And next time I am out, we'll see if I can get my picture taken, so you can see me living the good life. Thank you for thinking of me.
Hoppily, Joe

Sabine said...

That bunny just stole my heart!

warren said...

My wife keeps getting fired from jobs too...hmmmm......