A goodbye, and a garden

Barbara Thompson’s dad died this morning. I had the honor of meeting this retired marine a few times, he was a kind bloke with a good sense of humor. Sad to see him go, but everything in its time. Goodbye, Dutch.

*      *      *

The garden is progressing nicely, given the late spring. I’ve got tomato sets on nearly all the plants, the zucchini is starting to be productive, and I expect great things from the peppers and potatoes this year.

Bilbrey garden - June 20, 2013

Bilbrey garden – June 20, 2013

I got the lawns mowed after work, weeded a bit in the garden beds, and roasted some coffee this evening. Overall, a good day. Time to go, ciao!

Postal flowers

Last year, instead of installing annuals at the post box, I put in some perennials. Frankly, they weren’t stellar … but they didn’t die. And they’ve come up wonderfully this year:

Perennials by the post box

Perennials by the post box

Next year, I’ll put some more here and there, and see if I can cut down further on the planting of annuals. I spread some of the tiger lilies over to the blue spruce island left of the driveway, but something ate the tops off of those this year, grrrrr! Anyway, I just stopped in to show off the pretty. Ciao!

Garden doings…

I’ve been pretty good about weeding out the garden, while preserving volunteers for replanting around the beds. I’ve got three volunteer tomato plants and several peppers. I have no idea what specific variety of either is likely to result … but yummy is as yummy does. Here’s the garden in progress, from a couple of days ago:

Garden on 30 May 2013

Garden on 30 May 2013

As I write this, the wind is up, lightning all around, and rain the size of small hatchbacks is falling. The good news is that the garden is young. Big wind when the plants are large tends to blow things over, or even out of the raised beds altogether. The rain is good, though – the lawns are thirsty.

 *      *      *

 Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Spc. Christopher R. Drake, 20, of Tickfaw, Louisiana, died May 26, in Bagram, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his vehicle was attacked with a rocket propelled grenade.
  • Staff Sgt. Joe A. Nunezrodriguez, 29, of Pasadena, Texas, died May 30, in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

Memorial Day Weekend

A three day chore marathon, closing with the annual remembrance of those lost to us in active military service. I choose to be a bit more OCD about my duty to honor our losses. (Or, as @xeni noted the other day on twitter, CDO, because it SHOULD be alphabetized!)

Saturday: I got the table apron and legs completed and assembled:

Table apron and legs assembled

Table apron and legs assembled

Next on Saturday, but without any photographic evidence at this time, I got our hanging baskets populated and hung up on the front porch. The watering outlets are in the baskets, but that isn’t set up with a supply yet, that’s held for Monday.

Final Saturday task – I applied gel stain to both surfaces of the cherry table top, to even out the look of the wood:

Staining the cherry top

Staining the cherry top

Sunday was a power run: I did the shopping, then applied a first coat of polyurethane to the bottom of the table. I mowed the lawns, with a dog walk as the halftime show. I evened out the first coat of poly with #0000 steel wool and a bit of 320 grit sandpaper, vacuumed, cleaned, and dried, then applied a second coat of poly. I watered and weeded out back, and took a little break. I then prep’d the bottom one more time, and applied a third coat of poly. That’ll cure overnight, and I’ll flip the work piece and start coating the top surface tomorrow. That and watering system setup will fill my Memorial Day, as will my thoughts of our fallen warriors…

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team on the deaths of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. Eugene M Aguon, 23, of Mangilao, Guam, died May 16, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Dwayne W. Flores, 22, of Sinajana, Guam, died May 16, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device.

 

Aaaaargh! Frost!

What happens when you put vegetables into your garden on the twelfth of May? You get a frost on the fourteenth of May, that’s what!

Frost impact 2013MAY14

Frost impact 2013MAY14

I lost just a few plants, not all of them … but seriously?

Busy Sunday

When I laid out the doors and shelves and such for finishing, there wasn’t room to leave the cabinet carcass in the woodshop and still have room to setup for roasting coffee. Coffee wins, so I dragged the carcass sections upstairs, assembled and temporarily loaded them up:

Corner cabinet in place

Corner cabinet in place

I ran out of time to get any more finishing done on the remaining pieces, sadly. I did get the main garden up and running today, though…

2013 garden getting started

2013 garden getting started

There’s 24 tomato plants, 12 pepper plants, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, etc. I still have to get the herb box cleared and up, as well as do the watering setup. For the next few days, I’ll hand water.

I’m still going to try to get Marcia’s sites migrated over to the new system tonight, before I fall over sideways.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian, 39, of Warwick, New York, died May 4, while conducting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan.
  • Cpl. David M. Sonka, 23, of Parker, Colorado, died May 4, while conducting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan.
  • 1st Lt. Brandon J. Landrum, 26, of Lawton, Oklahoma, died May 4, in Maiwand, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his vehicle was attacked by an enemy improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. Francis G. Phillips IV, 28, of Meridian, New York, died May 4, in Maiwand, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his vehicle was attacked by an enemy improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Kevin Cardoza, 19, of Mercedes, Texas, died May 4, in Maiwand, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his vehicle was attacked by an enemy improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Thomas P. Murach, 22, of Meridian, Idaho, died May 4, in Maiwand, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his vehicle was attacked by an enemy improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Brandon J. Prescott, 24, of Bend, Oregon, died May 4, in Maiwand, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his vehicle was attacked by an enemy improvised explosive device.

Spring is exhausting…

Last weekend, spring cleaning. This weekend, yardwork, all weekend long. The front is all pruned up, and first mowing of the year done. Looks pretty good (but the front fence needs a full redo). Today, I spent as much energy as I had (several hours worth) weeding out and tilling the garden beds in preparation for spring planting. In the evenings this week, I’ll get the rest of the back yard cleaned up, too. At least then I’ll have a starting point for the rest of the spring work.

Upcoming: This is going to be an expensive week, since a rock thrown a considerable distance by a truck cracked my windshield beyond the trivial repair stage. I’ve also got router bits to purchase for the cabinet work, and a bit more maple, too. Have to keep going on the office redo, or I’ll still be “working on it” months from now.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Ward, 24, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, died April 6 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit in Zabul, Afghanistan with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

Spc. Wilbel A. Robles-Santa, 25, of Juncos, Puerto Rico, died April 6 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit in Zabul, Afghanistan with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

Spc. Delfin M. Santos Jr., 24, of San Jose, California, died April 6 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit in Zabul, Afghanistan with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

Fall snuck in the back door

While yesterday was the astronomically first day of Fall, it was warmer than most of the prior week. But that was the peak, and temps are dropping again. I harvested a bunch of pain from the garden today:

A sink-full of pain - mostly serrano and habañero peppers.

A sink-full of pain – mostly serrano and habañero peppers.

I’m just preparing to rinse the harvest in the sink – it’s mostly serrano and habañero peppers, plus a few jalapeño, a couple of tomatoes, and a tiny bell pepper. I ground up perhaps a quarter of that harvest to preserve here. The rest is going to the office tomorrow. Pain is best shared! I also roasted a pound of Sumatra Lake Toba 19+ Ulos, did the weekly shopping, finished up the in-class work for the week (after turning in a 1350 word essay yesterday), and cooked meals for both of us for the week to come. A good day.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. Sapuro B. Nena, 25, of Honolulu, Hawaii, died Sept. 16 in Zabul province, Afghanistan of injuries suffered when his position was attacked with small arms fire.
  • Spc. Joshua N. Nelson, 22, Greenville, North Carolina, died Sept. 16 in Zabul province, Afghanistan of injuries suffered when his position was attacked with small arms fire.
  • Pfc. Genaro Bedoy, 20, of Amarillo, Texas, died Sept. 16 in Zabul province, Afghanistan of injuries suffered when his position was attacked with small arms fire.
  • Pfc. Jon R. Townsend, 19, Claremore, Oklahoma, died Sept. 16 in Zabul province, Afghanistan of injuries suffered when his position was attacked with small arms fire.
  • Sgt. Jason M. Swindle, 24, of Cabot, Arkansas, died Sept. 20, in Panjwa’l, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when he was attacked by a rocket propelled grenade while on mounted patrol.

Winding Down Summer

Today I pulled another batch of tomatoes out of the garden. How many? A gallon of salsa, and another lobster pot of red sauce, that’s how many. I also dug up all the rest of the potatoes, about 30# worth. Today started with the shopping, then I was mowing from 1030 to 1200, and then gardening and cooking until 1930 – a full day’s work. The garden is pretty sad, in truth. Between school and spending two weeks partially under the weather, the garden truly hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. The worst sin: Tomatoes have gone bad on the vine, sigh. I hold out hope for next summer, ’cause this one’s almost gone.

*     *     *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Capt. Matthew P. Manoukian, 29, of Los Altos Hills, California, died Aug. 10 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Jeschke, 31, of Herndon, Virginia, died Aug. 10 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote, 27, of El Dorado, California, died Aug. 10 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Staff Sgt. Scott E. Dickinson, 29, of San Diego, California, died Aug. 10 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Cpl. Richard A. Rivera Jr., 20 of Ventura, California, died Aug. 10 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley, 21, of Oceanside, New York, died Aug. 10 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Pfc. Andrew J. Keller, 22, of Tigard, Oregon, died Aug. 15, in Charkh, Afghanistan when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Staff Sgt. Eric S. Holman, 39, of Evans City, Pennsylvania, died Aug. 15, in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he encountered an enemy improvised explosive device.
  • Pfc. Michael R. Demarsico II, of North Adams, Massachusetts, died Aug. 16 in Panjwa’l, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he encountered an enemy improvised device.
  • Spc.  James A. Justice, 21, of Grover, North Carolina, died Aug. 17 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany from injuries suffered on Aug. 14 from enemy small-arms fire in Wardak province, Afghanistan.