Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


It's a start.

When I got home from work yesterday, I swung out to my garden beds to do a little more thinning of the radishes and turnips...but instead of thinning, I actually ended up doing some picking.

I didn't realize how big that radish was going to be until it just kept coming up. 

The turnips are not there yet.  Plenty of greenery, but none of the roots I've had to thin out show any swelling yet.  Of course...that is why I am thinning them out.


Worth the wait.

One of the more difficult things about canning certain items, such as pickles, and salsa, is that they need to sit for a while to reach their full potential, so...it's a leap of faith to some extent.

Earlier this week, I made a tasty omelet for dinner, and decided that the time had come to pop open one of the jars of Roasted Salsa Verde I canned up back in early November. 

I was pretty impressed.  I am definitely planting some more tomatillo's this year, and trying to at least double the batch of this that I can make.  I can also pump up the heat a little bit.  Last year, instead of all  jalapeno's, I used Anaheim's and Pasila Peppers, going for more fruity flavor instead of heat. I'll probably continue to split varieties, I'll just add a few more jalapenos.


Ripley said it best.

Dust off and nuke the site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure.

If that was my house I would move out faster than the family from Poltergeist. 


I blame the chickens.

Several weeks ago(like, so early that I was embarrassed to admit it while 2/3rds of the country was still covered with snow), I threw some seeds into one a few of my raised beds.  A few days after that, the chickens darted past my daughter one day when she was trying to feed them, so, rather than round them up, we gave them a free day to play in the nice green yard.  Of course, the yard wasn't good enough for them, so they also decided to get into the garden beds, and made quite a mess out of the one I had planted in.

Rather than start from scratch, I just decided to rake it all flat again, and see what happened once it warmed up some more.

Well...I've gotten a pretty good turnout from my seeds.

Now...when I planted these seeds, on the right side of this box there were two nice, STRAIGHT rows of turnips.  The left side was supposed to be two nice STRAIGHT rows of radishes and carrots planted together.  The theory there is that the larger radish seeds make it easier to plant the carrot seeds, and then the radishes are ready to harvest before the slower starting carrots get too far along.

We'll see.  The totally random nature of this bed has made thinning a major pain, but even that keeps the chickens happy...they love the young radish, turnip, spinach and kale greens I give them from thinning things out.

In the bed behind that, I had to panic and spend money to install some netting/trellising for my snow peas.  I just haven't had the time to go run a bunch of twine and rope for the peas to climb, so instead I bought some 'garden netting' for more money than I should have spent.

I think I just need to keep my eye out for someone getting rid of old soccer netting next time.  And yes, this bed needs some serious weeding.  There are also 4 overly optimistic 'Hey, there are on sale for $2.00' early tomatoes in this bed.  If all 4 survive, one might need to go away to make enough room.

Yeah, the chickens hate that too. 


String them up.

I have gone out on the occasional limb around these parts, and in the real world, defending people with somewhat questionable hunting practices.  We all have our own lines, and if you are willing to cross more of them for 60 pounds of venison than I am...bully for you, I guess.  It's kind of like different people going different amounts over the speed limit...Risk vs. Reward.  For me, as much as I enjoy venison, I'm not willing to risk losing the ability to hunt for multiple years just for a few burgers worth of meat.

Then, there are unforgivable acts of poaching...like what happened around Walla Walla this weekend. 

Officials hunt Walla Walla County deer poachers

Someone drove around Friday night, and dropped 8 deer...and did nothing with them(and yes, if the story said that the back-straps had been cut out, I would be at least a little less mad....stupid, I know...but...that's me...still 'lock them up' mad...just not homicide mad).

There is no challenge here...I've been driving around hills of Walla Walla and seen hundreds of deer.  Shooting 8 in one night made someone feel macho? 

 Lame, Lame, Lame.  No excuse, and no mercy.


We are a good team.

My wife took the bowl of funky plant/rocks that I gave her for her birthday and took it to the next level.  It's amazing how much some tiny pebbles and a few pretty rocks can make things better.

It's a good pairing...I do the dirty fingernail jobs, and she does the finishing work.


Mission Complete

A few weeks ago, I started a project I had been putting off for 18-months or so...putting in a strip of lavender along the walkway up to our front door.  Working around rehearsals and shows and work, I finally got the job finished yesterday, which is not a moment too soon, as today is my wife's birthday!

Okay...so it doesn't look like much now...but, the lavender is still small, and not blooming.  A confession would be that I did want to put in more plants, but the majority of stuff for sale around here right now is Spanish Lavender, not the Provence Lavender that my wife wanted.  Those six plants represent 2 hours of burning gas, visiting 8 different stores/nurseries.  They will get bigger...stand by in a few months for pictures when they are blooming. 

That's not all I planted for my wife.  While looking at lavender varieties last week, one of the local nurseries had 'mimicry' plants in stock, and my wife had thought they were the neatest/strangest plants she had seen, so of course I filed that away, and picked some of them up during my lavender hunt yesterday. 

Faces only a mother could love.


Long Week

Yup..been busy, busy, busy.   Opening nights for the production of Cats that I am in is TONIGHT, which means this whole last week has been full dress rehearsals...makeup included...meaning I was at the theater from 5pm-10pm each night.  Luckily, my route to the theater takes me past my house, so I at least to swing through the house for a peck on the cheek, otherwise I would not have seen my kids AT ALL the last week.

At the beginning of the week I looked like this in my costume:

By the end of the week, I looked like this:
The worst part of this is that when I showed my wife this picture, she had NO idea who Bill the Cat was. 

Oh well...that's what you get for having this for dinner all week.



We always used to joke that NAVY stood for Never Again Volunteer Yourself...so it's  kind of ironic that I am 'hair on fire' busy right now, and it's all stuff I volunteered for.  Mostly one thing...CATS. Less than a week until our opening night, and the rehearsals are getting long and intense. We started on the actual set and wearing costumes this week...makeup starts Monday.

I do have one advantage...the route from work to our performance venue takes me by my house, so I do make sure I forget something each day so I can swing in to give  the wife and kids a peck on the cheek.

So...since I haven't had time to develop an opinion on anything this week, I'll just embaress myself by posting costume pictures! They will look much better with the makeup...maybe I'll make folks suffer through those as well next week.

This is Gus...the Theater Cat, a sad broken down cat trying to have one last taste of glory.


This is my Bustopher Jones...the fat cat about town. 

My wifes says it looks like I was eaten by a sofa...and that's how it feels.  I'm wearing a lot of padding under that suit, and the outer suit itself is basically a carpet someone sewed into a circle and added arms onto.  It weighs about 35 pounds.

God Bless Febreeze.