Two Steps Forward… One Sideways

7Crazy month here in Texas. We have gotten nothing but rain it seems every day this month and it is forecast for all the remaining days left. Since we have had years of drought.. we don’t complain much about any kind of rain. But I do have to draw the line with the hail, high winds and tornado warnings. The rain has caused some flooding and I sat and waited for a pickup to roll through this puddle to see how deep it was before venturing through. Have lucked out so far and have had no damage from any of it and the most discomfort has been knocking out my internet provider every time a decent sized storm rolls through. The good things is Texas is coming out of the drought and the water table is up. Having all my doors open and close because the house is level again isn’t bad either.

2Been busy with the dehydrator again. Have dried and ground up some bananas and strawberries for use in my smoothies. I save the pineapple juice and freeze into cubes as well. I have found the smoothies refreshing after a day in the yard and simple to prepare yet filling after a long day at work. Last time at the grocery store I picked up a can of sweet corn and dehydrated it after draining and this is what we ended up with. May be able to get 3 cans of corn in a quart jar for storage and it will be nice to add to soups and stews. I want to eventually grow sweet corn and this may be a way to save some of the harvest. Have more strawberries in the dehydrator tonight with some carrots. Carrots are another crop I want to grow and have a way to store any excess. Carrots are also good for soups and stews. If I can get some of this stuff saved up I may have to find a crock pot for one and make mini meals to come home to.

1The garden I am putting together in the Rain Gutter Grow System is coming along very nice and best of all.. no real work other than topping off the water level in the gutters. We have the beginnings of our first tomatoes starting to form on the paste Romas. All the rest have an abundance of blooms so the tomatoes will not be far behind.

11271685_10203868873742968_843919435_o I added a small tub to the system and put out some radish seeds after paying almost $1 for a small bag of radishes that maybe held a dozen radishes. I love radishes so that is about a salad to salad and a half. Trying to figure out how many tubs to plant to keep a good rotation of maturing radishes for the dinner table.

If what I have started is not enough we also need to find a few extra dollars to get the hot peppers and a few other things ordered. I want to get some more large totes as I want to try to grow peanuts as well as add some more potatoes. Texas is coming into the heat of the summer so the lettuce is going to be put off till fall. Also on the fall calendar is garlic, onions and carrots. Need some time to figure out the best containers to grow those things in and add to the system to accommodate them. The current problem approaching fast what to do with the tomatoes. With the rate of growth I have in the tomatoes I need to spend some serious time figuring out a cheap cage or trellis for them. Having an hour commute both directions should give me enough time to figure out what to do on all this stuff. Instead of a quiet bubble bath to relax and think.. I get 2 hours of rush hour traffic to ponder problems and arrive at a solution. I have a small notepad and pens handy to jot down notes when we come to the inevitable standstill because of an accident. Believe it or not.. I almost regret finally arriving at my destination as getting a few minutes to just stop and reflect is a real treat at this point in my life.

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Have also been working on the house since the rain is keeping me indoors on the weekend. My closing date kept getting delayed and so I was unable to get the house where I could lay the flooring down before I had to move. The house had beige carpet that the previous owners dog pee’d on everywhere.. not to mention it was filthy. So up it came and we started working on the walls. I bought a four year old manufactured double wide home and want none of those strips running up the walls. So down they came and we sealed the seam with caulk, put drywall tape over it and sprayed a textured mud pattern over the top of everything. Got the master bedroom and living room walls done but not the hallway, and that has kept the floor from being laid.

9Have been here almost a year now and have procrastinated long enough. The reason for the delay.. honestly.. holding that mud sprayer is a chore that wears me out so I have put it off having to use it.  It is also a royal pain to clean and clogs up quickly.  Besides the physical strain of using the sprayer.. the drywall mud is a real mess and that stuff gets EVERYWHERE. On the floor, walls you don’t want sprayed, my hair, arms and clothes … and the Calico cat Molly. And if that is not bad enough they went crazy staple happy on the padding and carpet. So I spend hours pulling staples here and there trying to get the floor where I can put down the laminate that is stacked in piles throughout the house. I have that first 4’x8′ sub-floor board in the hall clear of staples and just have that last one and then another to the left around the corner. After the staples are pulled a co-worker offered to help get that flooring laid. Seems he put about 3,000 square feet of it in his home so has the tools and experience to get it done in a weekend. Finally.. the end seems in site.

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