Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hammock Time

Today is as nice a spring day as I could have hoped for. I worked in the garden and puttered around the yard all morning in the sunshine. About noon I was ready for a rest, but it seemed way too nice out to go inside... so I decided to put up our hammocks. It actually didn't take too long to find what I needed (hammocks, ropes, carabiners, ladder) and hang a pair of them from the pergola.
Ahhhh. A hammock's eye view.
I took a nice afternoon nap in the sunshine, listening to the birds tweeting and the neighbors lawnmowing. The pergola happens to be absolutely ideal for hammock support. I'm so glad we built it, and soooo glad I decided to put the effort into getting the hammocks out today!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Planting Progress

I dug and planted a second bed in the garden after work today. From far to near it's broccoli, rainbow chard, and pak choi.

Chard seedlings are so cute!

The soil is still surprisingly wet about 2 inches below the surface. It's also really lumpy. It'll have to do, though. I just keep telling myself that after a couple of growing seasons it will get better.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This time it's really spring, right?

It sure feels like spring, anyhow. I went ahead and planted some pea starts that Dave gave us. (I think they are shelling peas, not snow peas, Andy. But clearly great minds think alike!)
They are already pretty tall, some of them already reach the trellis. It's like jump-starting the garden! I built the trellis myself out of bamboo, some sacrificial alder saplings, wire and string. I hope it holds up...

On Saturday at the farmers market we got some other early season starts too: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, artichokes and some lettuces. If it doesn't rain (or snow) this weekend I hope to get them planted too! Between those and the starts Keeley has so kindly offered to share with us, it'll be feeling like spring in my garden in no time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Snow

April 20th! It's not supposed to be snowing. I want spring! I want to plant my garden!

The Bellingham Herald has a gallery of snow pictures online. I didn't take any. I was too bummed.

Update: 4/21/08 and it's snowing outside my office right now. Arrgh!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Rototilling Success!

We have a garden! We rented a large rear-tine tiller from Hardware Sales and really did it up nicely. Before we started tilling, we covered the native clay with 3-4 inches of 3-way (topsoil, sand & compost) blend - about 40 wheelbarrow loads raked out. It took 6 passes over the garden with the tiller to integrate the 3-way with our heavy, wet clay. It was slow going at first, we had to stop and dig out a lot of woody debris, rocks, and concrete chunks. After 6 times over it with the tiller, things were looking pretty good - plants would grow in it - but it was still really heavy. So we decided to put on annother layer of 3-way.
We only did 25 wheelbarrow loads (5 x 5) this time before we started tilling again.

After raking out the second layer of 3-way, we rototilled 3 more times. The soil is so much lighter than the clay we started with, though still fairly wet. It looks amazing!

I can't wait to plant. I don't think it's too early for peas and spinach, maybe some lettuces. Hopefully next weekend, if the weather is nice, we can get some in the ground!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Poker Party

Last night we had a couple dozen friends over and played poker (Texas Hold'em) until the wee hours. It was super fun, everything came together just right - the people, the timing, the snacks & beverages, the chairs & tables. We had three tables going, two smaller ones playing for change and one larger 10 person "tournament-style" game with a $10 buy-in played with chips.
It took a little while to get set up and find enough chairs for everyone, but we got everyone playing by 9 pm. The weak were quickly eliminated from the tournament table, and then Charlotte, Brian, and Paul battled it out for the top spot (and the pot) for hours. Paul was eliminated about 12:30 and Charlotte & Brian traded chips until Charlotte finally took it all about an hour later. As the runner-up, Brian got his stake back, so Charlotte went home with $90 in her pocket!

The change tables had an open buy-in, so folks could play for a while, then take a break and come back, or those of us eliminated early from the tournament table could sit down and play. Fun and friendly, but those quarters, dimes & nickels sure can add up if you're winning (or losing)! This was an especially fun draw:

Would you believe that the river* was a 10? The man with the 9 in his hand took the pot. :)

Hank and Silas were on hand to provide baby cuteness all night. Both little guys enjoyed being passed around from person to person and got tons of attention. They are around 6 months old now, and were so good, no fussing or crying at all! Here Hank enjoys a card box, the way only a baby can:

Thanks to everyone who came out & played, we'll definately do this again sometime soon, if only so I can win back some of my money! :)

*The fifth card dealt on the table is called the river. I have no idea why.