Thursday, February 21, 2013


We've made an annoying discovery that we have a rat in our midst!
Luckily he's outside in the garden and not inside! Chase cornered him up in the BBQ last night. It appears that he had eaten all the foil off the grease encrusted drip pan. He escaped and ran toward the storage building.
I also found supersize mouse turds in my covered up outside workbench. That would explain why many things were eaten off in the garden last year...things like pea pods up the trellis and tomatoes still on the vine...he could climb up there on the plant supports. So we may have been blaming the wrong critters (raccoons)!
He is probably living under the storage building with his mate and babies! So the next available nice day will be spent putting wire mesh around the base of the storage building in the gaps between the concrete blocks that support it. Could get smelly if they are trapped under there and die but I'm willing to chance it!
Seems like it's always something when you live in the country!

Monday, February 18, 2013


I've got him just where I want him...!
The 'mad driller" is at work attaching the cold frame top to a new cedar base to make it 12" taller.
The cold frame is a good place to "harden off" plants coming out of the heated greenhouse before they get planted out in May. It also doubles as a good storage locker in the winter.

I celebrated our week of good weather (we usually get one week of sun with temps in the 60's in Feb) by doing a little raised bed work. Besides turning the dirt, I "collar up" a couple of beds by adding another top of cedar 2"x6"  so that they are a bit taller. That way I can rotate crops...always a challenge in a small garden.  
Our week of nice weather is almost over so we can look forward to the monsoon and maybe even a late snow storm. Folks here go crazy when they see the sun for more than a day...doing things like going through the car wash, visiting the Grange for seeds, opening the windows and hanging out the blankets & sheets for fresh air drying and cleaning off the debris on the patio & walkways. We just can't help ourselves!

Monday, February 11, 2013


Izzy in her indoor natural habitat...on our bed where she takes plenty of cat naps and generally hangs out during the cold morning hours. She has a relaxed attitude about it all!
The polydactyl pose is one of our favorites! Multi-toed paws crossed...her usual pose for the cameras...  


Saturday, February 2, 2013


 Ah, winter in the Rogue Valley means cold, foggy mornings, even at 1900' on some days. If we're lucky it burns off and we get blinding winter sun by lunchtime or so. Could happen! This view is looking up to the trees in our backyard .
My blue spruce by the garage door is just about the color of the house but it stands out because of its shape. It was a wee thing 2-years ago but had been trained to grow as a tree, not as a bush as the card below shows it.
I had a nice plastic bunny keeping it company but the paper deliverer hit it and broke off the ears. Mr. A is using industrial strength epoxy to repair it but I think I'll find another home for it. 
The tree is in an east facing location so it gets afternoon shade which it likes very much in the summer. Its compact habit and drought tolerance make it a very good container plant. And did I mention that the deer & rabbits could care less about it? A good thing here!