Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness – Don’t ya Know?





I think I must post about cleaning the church at least once every four months.  I don’t mind cleaning the church building.  I really don’t.  There have just been some weeks in which I have been appalled over the tremendous amount of litter that is left behind. How can people be so careless and not take any consideration that they are in God’s house?

         Today I put myself in charge of vacuuming the chapel – which is what Bro. McDobb had done every Saturday morning in which our ward had been assigned to clean the building.  Roland joked that he wouldn’t have been surprised to find him there this morning – even though he moved out of our ward over two weeks ago.


         Programs had been left on several pews.  I get it.  I’m sure I am guilty of that as well – though I have tried to make a conscience effort to check the pew before I leave.  Usually I’m making certain that Jenna hasn’t left a mess on the floor or in the pew.

         I couldn’t explain any of the torn paper on the floor or candy wrappers and lollipop sticks.  Come on!  This is the chapel, not a picnic area!  Many children were given treats for whatever reason.  The snacks provided seemed to produce a tremendous amount of crumbs – not just where the congregation sits.  Bro. Drake, who came to assist me in the chapel, said they were behind the pulpit as well.  He and another brother joked about the bishop eating crackers and then moved on to believing perhaps a primary program had been involved.

         Ladies and Gentlemen – last Sunday was FAST SUNDAY – therefore there should have been NO FOOD distributed.  So either none of the members (of the last ward which meets in the building) fasted last week – or else it was broken during Sacrament meeting.  Or (here’s the most logical explanation) the first ward that meets in the building (and had been assigned to clean the building last month) failed at cleaning the building AGAIN.



         Bro. Drake had the stupid upright that was designed to glide be moved between the pews.  I had a cool canister that actually reminded me of the one that Wilma Flintstone used – only without the attitude.  But I probably had enough attitude for both of us.

 

         Brother Drake said that someone had put something that looked like sawdust upon all of the folding chairs set up in one of the class rooms.  I remember cleaning up a similar mess in the scout/storage room.  Only two small glitters to behold and not the obscene amount that I have had to deal with before.

         I had wanted to go to the garden before the church.  There is a lot more shade at 7:00 a.m. than at 9:00.  I had forgotten to bring hats.  Roland and I have decided to just do the community garden this year.  Roland is busy with other things and I don’t want to make the time to try and do a home garden on my own.  I get enough sun just in waiting for the bus. The community garden will be enough this year, thank you very much.

         It has been well over ten hours since I started this post.  I’ve actually experienced a lot more wearing out.  I’ll have to save it for another post.  I am pooped. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mixed Cereal and Mutant Corn



            When the boys were younger and left cereal boxes on the table, I would say to them, “If you don’t put the cereal away, I will.”

            That actually sounded great to them until they realized that I would not be returning all of the cereal boxes to the cupboard.  If there was less than a forth of a box (or bag) left, I wouldn’t allow for it to have it’s own space.  I would combine the cereals into one container.   And I would not purchase more cereal until what ALL of the cereal was gone



            The boys came to a fast realization that mixing TRIX, Raisin Bran and Sugar Puffs together was NOT cool.  (There was generally three to five flavors of combined cereals)  They learned rather quickly to put cereal away on their own.

            And then there’s Jenna who thinks having Froot Loops mixed in with Lucky Charms is quite delightful.  It’s what she had for breakfast this morning (well, knock offs of those brands anyway) Gross. 



            We took some rather lush looking corn from the community garden.  Ours was still in the mutant stage.  But our 12 kernels actually tasted better than the kernels that covered the community corn.  Ours were sweet.  The community’s looked a lot better than they tasted.

            We also brought a cantaloupe home.  I’d never seen cantaloupe with the exterior that it had.  It looked more like a squash.




            It was juicy though.  Possibly the juiciest melon I’ve had – though I’m still not convinced that it didn’t contain squash seeds as it grew.  It wasn’t sweet at all.  It tasted like a squash and melon combined.  Not impressed.  I’m NOT a gardener.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Just a Hint of Fall



There have been some mornings
in which I could feel a touch of fall in the air. 
Some mornings. 
Not all mornings. 
Not Yesterday. 
In fact it was hot.
 Jenna’s first day of school and
I put Highness in the car so that
I could take him for a walk. 

It was hot. 
Very hot.
The sun shown in my eyes.
Too bright.
I couldn’t drive home towards it
so we walked around until
The sun rose higher in the sky.
 
Yesterday was very unlike today
which has a coolness about it. 
I don’t know the temperature outside.
 But the promise of fall seems real now. 
Not like the overcast days in July when
the dark clouds filled the skies with
malicious teasing creating
a sticky hotness that wasn’t felt from the sun alone.
 
Today the sun peaks through
but there is still a touch of fall in the air. 
A touch of a promise. 
I don’t think we’re through with summer. 
The tomatoes have just started turning red,
and there are two fetus melons in the garden. 
I’d like to see them mature at least and
have others join them.



We did get peppers this year.
 I’d like to see them get bigger. 
The small ones have such a poignant sharp bite to them.
I don’t like them when they have a bite. 
But sometimes we have to pick them
before the brown disease sets in.

We have a garden. 
Not the one we had hoped for, but still. 
Things have been growing. 
Even though the heat has been unbearable.
 It was in June and it was
quite hot yesterday.
 I like the way the air is right now. 
Not to hot,
not too cool. 

I hope winter isn’t as cold as
summer was hot this year.
I’d like to see the skies
invite the rains
for real
in this state
in this city. 

I love fall.


                                                kfralc

Friday, July 12, 2013

Garden Enthusiast

-->
-->
When Jenna was three she discovered some blue gravel that had been dumped by the shed.  Biff had left it there after cleaning out a fish tank.  Jenna thought that they were beautiful seeds and wanted to plant them.  I tried to explain that they weren’t seeds – but she was insistent that we bury them so that they would grow into a beautiful flower.







Everyday she would check the spot where the “seeds” had been planted – impatient that the flowers had not bloomed overnight.  Again, I tried to explain to her that even if the seeds had been real seeds – flowers do not spring up overnight.  It takes time.  Especially in our family, it seems.



Jenna did not stop checking.  She was determined that her flower would grow.  She watered the area.  She talked to it.  She was certain that a flower would grow.  I really did not want her to be crushed and so devastated that she would not want to try real seeds later on. 







I went out and purchased two pinwheel type garden decorations and put them in the ground above where the gravel had been “planted” – real as the seeds.  Jenna was thrilled.  And so when the time came for the preschool students to grow their own seeds she was not at all reluctant.  Her bean would grow just as her flowers had.  It was very exciting.







Jenna also liked snails.  They were very fascinating creatures.  She would watch them and talk to them.  One day she found a whole family of snails.







“Look mom!” she pointed with sheer excitement, “A mommy, a daddy, two teenagers, and a little bitty baby.”



She stopped to talk to them.  I gave her about ten minutes before I reminded her that we had barely just left the house and had to continue on our way to school.



“Bye snails,” she waved and continued on her way.  She was so disappointed that they weren’t there as we walked back from school – nor were they there the next day. 



Perhaps a week or two had gone by before she found three snails out on the sidewalk near our house.

“Do you think these are the same ones?” she asked.  “I wonder what happened to the parent and the other teenager.  Maybe they’re out looking for food.”



It was a year and a half later when Amber’s mom asked if she could leave Amber with me as she a mandatory class for her work.  I told her that I had planned on going to Midvale to pass out invites for my mom’s surprise birthday party but I could take Amber just as well – and that was fine.  Amber came with car seat and I strapped both girls into the car.



It was nice having them with me as I could just hand each of them invitations and give them direction to take it to this house or that and then I didn’t have to keep stopping the car and turn the motor off to do it myself.



When we got to Ruby’s house, I had only five invitations left.  The girls found a haven in Ruby’s yard, and I asked Ruby if it would be okay if I left the girls with her while I went and got the last five.  


Ruby was working in the garden and her yard was lovely.  She was digging holes and making remarks about “all the snails” Both Jenna and Amber perked up and assisted Ruby by picking up snails and each started her own collection.







When I returned, the girls had lined their snails up on the table and were eagerly watching them “race” as they’d speak words of encouragement hoping that one of her snails would win.  Jenna announced that we’d be taking them home.



“Snails don’t belong in the car!” I said firmly.  “Not my car anyway.  Even if they’re in containers.  We are not taking the snails home.  Sorry”



I think Ruby distracted them with something else.  I believe we threw the snails away.  Ruby and I told both girls that snails are bad for the garden.  I don’t think Jenna believed me.



She wasn’t reading when I purchased a kid’s gardening book at a thrift store. We looked at it.  I pointed out that snails were in the “pest” category.  But then so were caterpillars – her absolute favorites creature.  A book against snails and caterpillars certainly was not a book that she was interested in.  I put the book away and forgot about it.







 Recently, while searching for something else, I came across the Kid’s Gardening book.  She has been reading it and telling us everything that we’ve been doing wrong in our home garden and how to improve it.  She still loves snails and caterpillars but has accepted that they do damage to gardens. But they are fascinating creatures and she loves them.



Some of us are gardeners that plant and sow seeds.  Some of us plant actual seeds.  Some of us bury gravel or “magic beans” in the ground and leave it at that.  Some of us work like lady bugs or bees and help the garden.  Some of us are like snails and caterpillars that crawl through life expecting free handouts without working for it.  And it doesn’t matter our capacity.  God loves each of us.  He doesn’t attempt to throw any of us away.  His love for us is perfect. Even more than Jenna loves snails.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

You’ve got to be kidding me



I had once heard a commentary that if you kill a spider, at least three more will show up for its funeral.  My husband said that isn’t true.  But it sounds accurate to me.

I went out to the garden on Tuesday.  I weeded so much of it.  I can actually tell the grass blades from the onions now.  But it’s not the naughty grass blades or even the net from this post that now give me trouble.  It’s the blasted pigweed that I wrote about in this post over a year ago.  

 

It’s back – right after I got rid of it – I couldn’t believe the growth that had taken place overnight.  I kid you not.  It had completely grown back (and then some) overnight and I have come up with even more uncouth descriptions of the pigweed that seems to live up to my first paragraph – only a pigweed instead of a spider with over 500 funeral attenders.  Give me a break. 

At first I did not realize that it was pig weed as I have never seen it quite that small before.  It’s easy to pull – but still.  Is that really how I want to spend my summer?  Pulling roots every single day?  The answer is NO – as previously mentioned, I don’t even want to be outside if it’s over 72 degrees out.

The first pigweed came up in the row of beets.  Excitedly I wondered if it was a beet and had gone to the computer in search of images that might show leaves of newly sprouted beets or pigweed.  Turned out to be the latter.  I found this picture among my search.




Perhaps I should it as it can be grown without my even trying.  For step by step instructions at click here.

Oh, how I wish our produce would grow like pigweed!  How amazing that would be to pull one tomato from the vine only to have ten more hanging there the following day, and then 80 and 400.  We’d only have to plant one of each plant and still have plenty because it would be growing rapidly as pigweed and we actually might not be able to keep up with it.  But there would be plenty to share with the neighbors who are in condos and do not have land for their own gardens.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Exploring is a Natural Part of Childhood Growth


Someone from the community garden had made the comment that each of our kids will look back to the days they went exploring and played while their parents worked in the garden.  Jenna has always found pleasure in farm equipment and likes to pretend she’s driving the broken down tractor, but she is especially enthralled when Parker comes to the garden with his parents.


Last Monday there were four of them who went exploring.  Jenna wore my garden hat, and it made for a cute picture – though I did not have my camera to capture the children as they prodded and poked through the trees.  Watching the four of them reminded me of my own youth when my brother, cousins and I would explore beyond Grandma Helen’s backyard and delighted in our adventures – well, at least two of us did.


Grandma’s house was located on a hill right behind the Salt Lake City capitol building.  I have the fondest memories of her house.  At the time, I did not realize that Grandma had designed the house – her dream house.  I don’t know if she described what she wanted and had somebody else draw the blue prints or if I misunderstood altogether – but I had heard that she designed it – though I do not know to what extent.


I think if I try to count how many rooms were in that house, I will forget a few as it’s been several years since Grandma left her house on the hill and moved into a condo that seemed more convenient as far as upkeep and being closer to where her boys lived.  I was the same age as Jenna is right now – so obviously your perception of life is a lot different at age nine than almost 51. 

I remember there was a door on every room and one to the hall and that if we shurt every door we could shine the projector on the wall and watch cartoons.  I remember spending the night and sleeping in the bedroom with the twin beds and yellow bed spreads.  I remember practicing skits near the fireplace in the basement.  I remember the excitement of discovering the cellar and all the other rooms in the basement.  I remember losing a boat load of toys in the bushes outside.


Grandma had a snowball bush and I remember one year when we tore off all the snowballs and jumped into them the way one jumps into leaf piles in the fall.  We had a lot of fun – but when grandma had learned what we had done, she was mad.  I don’t remember her ever becoming that angry with us.


Sometimes we would actually venture away from the property.  Explore abandoned cars, try to hike to the W (I think it was a W – four burnt logs on the hill – or so I believed) and fearing those riding dirt bikes and motorcycles. I think we may have tried walking to the capitol building – though we never made it.



Roaming Lacy’s property is not quite the same as exploring the hills behind the capitol.  It does make me smile to watch Jenna make discoveries.  I’m sorry that she will never know the house where my grandma lived.  Corey and Kayla both missed out as well.  The condo was the only house they ever knew with grandma – though Corey is familiar with the concept of the house on the hill – because there are pictures.  But he was just a baby when she moved.  He wasn’t even walking, I don’t think.
There are pictures of each of us at mom’s house – different years and different furniture.  The evolution of rainbirds and manually turning the on the water as opposed to the automatic sprinkler system and dry grass and garden attempts to baby tree landscape to huge trees that Anna and Garrett will never know.


Memories.  That’s all they are now.   

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"And Ye Shall Plant a Garden . . ."

 We planted beans, beets, onions, and peppers.  Roland asked if we should do corn or tomatoes again.  I don’t really care about the corn, but I do enjoy being able to eat tomatoes off the vine rather than paying an outrageous price at the store for something that just isn’t as good.

But there were plenty of tomatoes with the community garden last year – and as Roland donated all our tomato cages to the cause – we decided that we would just use the tomatoes from the community garden and that would be enough. 

It was overcast and cool.  Roland wanted to finish before any rain fell down.  The dirt looked light and dry as it spit around the cultivator.  We dug holes for seeds and plants and planted stakes at each end and tied string from one end to the other and were pleased.  Though Roland seemed to want more.

Lacy and her husband have a fair amount of property.  I would guess roughly about three or four acres – but that is just a guess.  There’s a bunch of us who have used a patch of their land for our community garden.
Dan is in charge and had scheduled for those that had contributed to come plant on Saturday.  That cancelled due to the rain but we were asked to come on Monday night and dress appropriately for possible mud.  And so the community garden was put on hold.

Monday Roland returned from work with six tomato plants and corn and strawberries.  He always wants to plant strawberries – but we haven’t been very successful with fruit (except for the tomatoes – which are technically a fruit) .  We’ve tried blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, melons, grapes.  We get apples on our apple trees, but we don’t eat them.  We did eat the plums from the trees when we lived in our first house. Somebody else planted them.  They seemed to grow fine without our help.

Since we don’t have the tomato cages anymore, Roland used some signs that he had from his last job – another of his creative solutions. Thus we stood the frames next to the plants  for the tomatoes to lean against when they become large like the first sets we grew.



So we found a couple of areas and Roland cultivated the land.  It had been raining all day and the soil looked rich and dark – but it wasn’t muddy.  The sun was beating down while we were planting.  We both wore hats.  The one that I wore I had purchased specifically for gardening as it shaded me.  Roland wore a safari hat.  But the shadow of him wearing the hat made him appear to be an actual farmer. My shadow gives off the image of a true gardener (LOL)




Just as we had finished, it grew overcast again.  And then we went over to the community garden to plant and covered each plant with milk cartons to keep the birds away.  But I see another definite plus with the milk cartons – when the weeds start popping up, it will be easier to tell which are weeds and which are plants.  Pull everything NOT surrounded by milk carton.



I can’t remember if Dan said if we were planting fruit or not.  Those that couldn’t show on Monday were requested to come Wednesday to plant corn, beets and pumpkins (Corey refers to the squash varieties of the Y’s of the fruit world; you know how Y can act as either a consonant or a vowel in the English alphabet.  Squash and tomatoes, pumpkins . . . they’re all a part of the fruit family though most people consider them to be vegetables)
  
 Seems more peppers were added to the crop this year – and more varieties.  I personally don’t care if a chili pepper or jalepeno pepper ever make an appearance in this house. 

Roland and I grew pumpkins one year – we were hoping for the kind that can be carved into Jack-o-lanterns, but they were an unfamiliar squash that we could only paint faces on.  Or in this case: