Friday, July 23, 2010

The Neglected Garden

According to the Weather Network (which I don't believe at all), we have six (count 'em, 1-2-3-4-5-6) upcoming days that are supposed to be rain-free.

Good weather + indoor projects completed = time for outside work.

Despite my neglect up to this point, the garden is doing fairly well. I haven't fertilized anything yet because nothing has needed water. In fact, I watered my flowers for the very first time on July 13 - and then only some of them.

So, this is what's happening at the School of Yard Knocks:

Super Fantastic tomatoes

Kentucky Wonder pole beans reaching for the sky

Gold Rush Zucchini.  I have a few Dark Green Zucchini that are a little larger than this, but I wanted to show off the yellow one.

National Pickling cucumbers, not  understanding the point of the teepee trellis yet.  I think I'm going to string a line of twine from pole to pole, near the bottom, so that the plants have something to initially grab onto.

The first (early!) sunflower of the year



More yarrow

Himalayan impatiens going crazy.  I've never seen them this tall; they're easily over 5 feet.



Indoor Projects - Almost Done!

The china cabinet is coming along.  All I need to do is reinstall the hardware and put the glass back in.  Lookin' good, methinks.

And I'm looking forward to getting some outside work done.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Teeny Tiny Zucchini

My garden has been sorely neglected lately, what with the indoor projects and the rain.  I should be able to focus just on the yard, beginning this weekend, and I am looking forward to that.

I meant to do something about this little zucchini weeks ago, but never got around to it.  I planted this seed at the same time as all the other zucchini seeds.  It germinated a little later, but not so much so that I was worried about it.  It is growing.  It keeps sending out leaves.  It's just not getting bigger.  I planned to move it to a pot, and then transplant another zuke into its place, but I think it's too late for that now.  Ah well.  I'm curious if this thing will actually put out blossoms and tiny little zucchini, about the size of baby carrots?  hmmm ...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rainy Saskatoon Summer

The amount of rain we are having this year has been just phenomenal.  This summer, it has been rare to go longer than 24 hours without rain, and when we do get it, we get a lot.  The pictures below are from Friday, July 2.

Thankfully, we are holding up well at the School of Yard Knocks.  I took part of my summer vacation in late May/early June, and was able to get my garden in, in between rainstorms.  Many working people were not as lucky - they didn't have the same planting window.  For others, it wasn't the endless rain, but the amount of it, puddling in their gardens, making it impossible to rototill or plant.  My aunt's seed potatoes rotted in the ground.  Another reason to be thankful for my raised beds - they drain well.

Worse still than gardening issues, many people I know have had their basements flooded.  Many have been running sump pumps continuously for more than a month. The water tables are so high, that water just keeps seeping into the basements, even when it's not raining.

My workplace was flooded in the rains of June 29/30

And the farming economy in this area has been devastated.

Other than a small leak in my roof (fixed a few weeks ago by a friend), and handling Archie's fear of thunder, we have been very lucky and I am counting my blessings.

Refinishing the China Cabinet

As if taking two weeks to repaint my kitchen wasn't enough, I also embarked on repainting my china cabinet.  What can I say?  I'm a glutton for punishment.  I had thought about refinishing it for years; and now, with the new paint on the walls, it's time.
I bought a kit to do this with, years ago. You start by painting an ivory base, distress, stain the distressed bits, seal.
I took a 4-day long weekend, beginning on Canada Day, July 1.  I figured, "Four days.  No probs."  You'd think I'd know better by now.
The probs, in a nutshell:
  • I actually needed three coats, about one coat per kit.  I had only one kit.
  • Saturday, July 3 was basically a write-off, between a visit from my aunt in the morning, running out of paint for the first time, and a 7-hour concert (The Blind Boys of Alabama at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, whoo!)
  • Painting doors of any kind takes a really long time; painting paned doors takes a super duper long time.
  • Distressing takes a lot of elbow grease.
  • We finally had two straight days of good weather over the past weekend (July 10/11), so I spent most of my time working in the garden.
However, I persevered.  Am persevering.  Because it ain't done yet.  *sigh*

Started by removing all hardware and glass, sanding all surfaces, and separating buffet from hutch (and by the way, the hutch is still on my table, as of July 12).
The first kit sat around my house for a good 2 years or more.  Obviously the paint needed a little more than a stir.  Sometimes, my pack-rat-y-ness comes in handy, as here, where I use an old extra beater on my electric beater, to do the honours.

Three coats later, looking good!

And, starting the distressing:

It's only Monday, so with a lot of luck and elbow grease, I may have this sucker done by the end of the coming weekend. Knocking wood. Crossing fingers. Casting spells. Cursing under my breath.

Monday, July 12, 2010


They still have it at WalMart. And the groovy dots and colours are perfect for my kitchen.  Yay!