Thursday, July 31, 2008


A couple more pics from Spokane.... Actually, I DO have some gardening pics to share, but I have so many from Spokane that I wanted to share first. I guess this will be it for them. The rest didn't turn out too well, or they're of fireworks and y'all have seen plenty of fireworks I'm sure.

*grin* I LOVE this pic of Tay. She just got bumped from behind by this other kid, and the look of surpise was classic. *wink*

Bumper cars is her favorite ride, currently. She loves getting out there and getting to PURPOSEFULLY crash the car against somebody else. *sigh* My little speed-demon.


Anyway..... On to other things. We got the pickles done, but only 3 of the jars took, out of 7. *sigh* So FIL combined the 4 jars that DIDN'T take into a larger empty jar and popped it into his fridge. So, those will get eatten. That was only 13 cucumbers, and we've got a lot more growing and hopefully yet to grow. LOTS and LOTS of flowers on the cucumber plants. We've also got a few tomatoes growing, but it's unlikely at this stage of the game that they'll ripen sufficiently to eat. (Or even grow BIG enough to eat.) I was really hoping for at least one of my Stupice tomatoes and one of my Black from Tula tomatoes, so that I could save the seed for next year's plants. I've got leftover stupice seed, but no BfT seed to start next year's plants. *sigh*

Our beans aren't producing much at all. Our peas are producing, but not very quickly.

The squash at the inlaws isn't producing anything yet, though my 2 zucchini plants HERE each have a single zucchini on them, and more flowers to bloom.

The swiss chard is producing beautifully (better at the inlaws than here, but even my crop here is about ready to pick).

The spinach produced well, but we decided that next year it will be a "fresh spinach only" crop, not something for preservation. It just doesn't produce ENOUGH to get more than a couple odd bags of frozen spinach (much less canning a JAR full) for winter's use. So we'll only do 2 plants at a time and stagger the planting so that we hopefully have spinach through the summer. But to put in a whole row (like we did this year!) only to get 4 baggies of the stuff...... *sigh* Just not worth it.

The lettuce produced like gangbusters. We think that next year we'll stick with only a couple lettuce plants and plant the rest of the row in beets or swiss chard or something. No sense in a 30 foot row of lettuce that doubles every week, when you can only eat even a 1/4 of that.

The beets are producing beautifully. I had one in a salad a couple of weeks ago. We decided to pull one to see how they're growing and the FIL deemed them NOT QUITE ready yet. The radishes have grown well this year, also. The carrots are growing, but we're not quite sure when to pull one. However, the way they're splitting the dirt at the base of the leaves, we can tell that they ARE growing.

My turnips (here at my house, none at the FIL's) have HUGE leaves on them. I DID make turnip greens a couple of weeks back that were ok. I need to try to freeze some of the greens for winter, though.

My strawberries are doing pretty well except that they're barely ripend, with having so much rain and so little sun. So I haven't yet picked a SINGLE strawberry. They're still too green to pick.

The cabbages over at FIL's are growing beautifully. We're going to get some really nice heads off of them, this year. We're trying to decide how best to preserve them. I'm all for canning as kimchi or sauerkraut. FIL isn't sure that's what he wants to do. I suppose we could just can them plain and keep for fried kielbasa and cabbage, as well. Of course I'd like to take some of the outter leaves and dry them for use as a soup-herb this winter.

The onions are growing, but it doesn't look like they'll actually get the size of yellow onions that you can buy at the grocery store.

The potato plants are growing incredibly well. However here at my house I haven't gotten the "barrels" filled nearly enough to be growing lots and lots of big potatoes. I may end up with a couple big, and a few small, but that'll probably be it. The entire month of July has been too rainy for me to have a chance to get out there and shovel any more dirt around the plants. And I don't have nearly enough dirt anyway. This year I'm going to insist on bagging up all the leaves we can find, and stashing them as mulch for next year, or additions to my compost bin.

I don't know WHAT is going on with my compost bin. It's been too wet to get out and work it. For 3 weeks now (since I got back from Spokane, basically) my intention has been to get out on a dry day and pull the READY compost out (because I KNOW there's some compost ready, buried in there) and mix in "fresh" shredded newspaper and any new kitchen scraps (which, for 3 weeks now have been going into an empty 5-gal bucket with lid, on the back deck). However, it's been so soggy that I haven't had a chance. *sigh*


I've mentioned how much rain we've been having...... Put it this way, the last time we had this much rain in a month was 11 years ago. The past week it has been raining almost NON-STOP. That's not much of an exageration, either. I mean, the rivers (the Chena, the Tanana, and the Salcha) are all flood-level high. The Tanana is over it's banks by 17 feet. The Chena is bursting it's banks in some places. The Salcha floods very easily so it's burst it's banks many times over by now. But plenty of people toward Ruby Creek (a creek on the outter edge of Fairbanks) and out in Salcha have been evacuated. One coworker told me yesterday of a friend of hers that is now flooded IN, because they didn't take the chance to get OUT while they had it. Their house is high enough to keep them reasonably safe, but they also cannot get out of it, evidently.

I know that Mom is pretty concerned that we're in danger of the Chena flooding and causing trouble for Scott, Tay and I, but we're really not in any danger from the Chena. If it starts flooding around here, the authorities will simply open the Flood Control Project (built in the 60's after the major flood that ruined a LOT of property in this valley) and allow the river to drain off. It hasn't gotten quite that bad yet. The tanana doesn't sound like it's yet high enough to breach the dikes, and honestly that'd be my bigger concern, as Scott's workplace is just on one side of the dikes, and the High School also has the dike as a border on one side. Since we're right here next-door to the HS, that COULD potentially put us at danger for some flooding.

As it stands right now, I haven't had to water my veggies in days. The end of our road looks like it's "break-up" again, with a growing "pond" down at the end. But the swales and ditches that were put in a couple of years back are keeping the "pond" at a managable level. It's not a danger for our vehicals to drive through. And our house sits high enough above the road that we're not getting flooded. But, the dog kennel out back IS. The poor dogs don't even want to go in there as the ground is so soggy. We REALLY need to get some gravel brought in for the kennel, and some fill dirt brough in for the rest of the back yard, so that next year's "break-up" won't drown everything out there.

We have had odd moments of sun. on Tuesday of this past week, for about 10 minutes (literally, only 10 minutes) the skies cleared and we had a bit of sunshine that morning. Then it clouded back up and started pouring rain again. And we're not talking drizzle, we're talking a steady down-pouring of rain.

Yesterday it also cleared up enough that Tay's soccer team was able to have their "end of season" party with relative success. The girls and Scott were out there playing pick-up games of soccer in the slick, wet school-yard. They all (except Tay and Scott, suprisingly!) left the party soaking wet and muddy. *grin* I was hoping the girls would tackle Scott and make sure he left muddy as well. Tay bumped into him once (purposefully!) and nearly knocked HIM on his butt!!!. *grin* That was funny. She may still be over a foot shorter than he is, and a good 130 pounds or so lighter than him (he's at about 250 lbs now), but she can certainly hold her own. She's got sturdy bones, that one. Anyway, we DID get enough reasonably blue skies to get to grill some hotdogs, have some cake and brownies and chips and pasta-salad, and hang out for a while enjoying a break in the rain.

And then it's raining again this morning. I'm so sick of rain.

We're all rather hopeful that since we've already spent July with our "fair weather" (usually comes right about Fair time: rainy, yucky, windy, blah), the dawning of the first day of the fair (tomorrow, Aug. 1st this year) will be clear and sunny, as will the duration of the fair and the rest of August afterwards. We really deserve a nice, sunny warm autumn after how rainy and chilly our summer has been. I hope Mother Nature agrees! *wink*


Last but not least, I DID NOT get the 30 hour Lib. Assistant job here at NPBranch Lib. That position went to another woman who's been working 20 hours per week at that library for at LEAST the last 10 years. I'm ok with that. Anyway, but her 20 hour position came open, and I've put in for that. However, I was the only eligable applicant from INSIDE the library system to apply for the job, so the borough has had to open the application process up to the public. There is NOW the possibility of a non-borough employee applying for this job and swiping it out from under me. That "wild card applicant". I'm hoping it doesn't happen. If nobody else applies and meets the minimum eligability requirements, then I will be the only eligable applicant and the borough would be forced to give me the job after an official interview. I'm not really that optimistic, though. I think that there is BOUND to be SOMEBODY apply that's meets the minimum requirements, and all I can hope is that I can show that I've put a lot of thought and time into making myself as eligable as possible, and learning as much as possible on my own time.

However, the fact that the job opening now doesn't close until NEXT Wed. means that I've now got time to get some show&tells made up to illustrate my ability to use Microsoft Word and Publisher. That, and having a well thought-out story-time planned and hopefully some time spent on the public databases, will hopefully show that I've worked very hard at learning what needs to be known for this job. They know that I can only do so much learning on my own without official experience, but at least it will be a show of how willing and able I am to learn what needs to be known, with or without official help.

Figuring that somebody else from inside the borough system (one of my coworkers, specifically) whom I also know applied with the job was still "in house" would interview with me, I'd already rushed to put together a story-time. I've got the books picked out, need to do some final determining of the fingerplays and songs I want to include, and practice. I've also got the craft project decided on, I just need to get it cut out and put back together this coming weekend. So, that part of the interview is already planned for and almost ready.


Ok. I think that pretty well covers it. On to working on some of that stuff for the interview, now. *grin* AND coming around to visit everybody else's blog.

Have a Blessed Day!


Dragonfly Dreaming said...

Oh honey, I am SO jealous over your veggie/fruit availability! I would love to grow my own. Unfortunately I can barely keep my cactus alive. No green thumb on this mama.

And bumper cars, oh, it's been TOO long since I've been in one of those!!!!

smoothiejuice said...

look how much fun she had on the bumper cars...haha!! I have a bushel tub sittin before me of pickling cukes, my job for the week. I have not done it as an adult, so I hope I don't wreck it. Glad you guys are having a fun summer.

peppylady said...

Sound like your garden is doing great.
As for weather July been anther dry one and I'll be posting Sunday about the weather.

Celticspirit said...

I love reading your gardening stories since I can't yet garden myself. It sure is a learning process. The last time I had a really good garden was in NM and it took a few years to figure out what grew well there. We planted in raised beds and the ex husband built compost bins as well. I am so looking forward to being able to garden again and plant tons of stuff! Hopefully that will happen within the next couple of years. Hope you're having a nice weekend. :)

Tori_z said...

Sounds like you've got a decent crop. I know some things didn't grow as well as you'd hoped (or in as large a quantity as you'd hoped) but being fair this is your first year doing it. And it seems to me that the bulk of what you planted has grown wonderfully for you. :)

Good luck with the job application. There is one thing that may work in your favour... You're definately showing them you're eager for the jobs. :)