Friday, May 23, 2008

The Lord Loves a Workin' Man

Since I work tomorrow I was off today. I spent a good chunk of the day working outside. This may surprise many people that know me but I am finding puttering around outside here fun and fulfilling. Of course, mowing the lawn is a pain in the butt but planting things in our little garden is satisfying. Lord knows if what I planted will grow but I am giving it a shot. Initially, Melanie and I just planted some sunflower seeds and since they sprouted quickly and are still growing I felt confident enough to put in some vegetables.

Last week I bought to stout looking tomato plants and put them in the ground in the only place here that gets any real direct sunlight, next to the chain link fence to nowhere that is between the driveway and the street.

This week at work Charlie gave us some extra plants he grew from seed and I put them in the ground today. I planted three more tomato plants and two squash out by the fence and put three small sage plants in a pot. The plastic pot I purchased at Home Depot didn't have any drain holes in the bottom so I attempted to poke a few holes in it with the forked hoe I have. What I didn't realize was that the plastic was brittle and I knocked about a third of the bottom out. It was good for a laugh. I stuck a disposable plate in the bottom and used it anyway. As long as we never move the thing it should be OK.

While at Home Depot I also bought a cucumber plant. What's a garden without cucumbers? I stuck that in ground near the squash. All I need now is a couple of green pepper plants and I'll be set.

We've also been having a bit of a squirrel problem at the bird feeder we fill with sunflower nuts. I caught a squirrel this morning hanging from the shepherd's hook by his back legs with his face buried in the bird feeder. Melanie's mother greases up the pole of her shepherd's hook with petroleum jelly. Supposedly that works and I did that today. I don't mind feeding squirrel but the little buggers can clean out a bird feeder in an afternoon if left to their own devices. Can you injure a squirrel if you shoot it with a BB gun or does it just sting?

While at Home Depot I looked for bird baths. I was told by an employee that Home Depot doesn't carry bird baths. What kind of nonsense is that? They have everything you could possibly need for your yard from ground cover plants to riding lawnmowers but they can't carry bird baths? I need to remember to just go to Lowe's. They seem to have a better selection of yard junk than Home Depot. I tend to go to Home Depot because that store is closer to my local beer store. From now on I am driving the extra five miles to Lowe's.

Speaking of driving: I have a 1989 Honda Civic and it cost me $40 to fill up the other day. What's the deal? This is America, why should we start having to pay the same price for gasoline as the rest of the world. I mean, we invented car culture. For that we deserve cheap gas.


Kevin said...

I got the green thumb a few years back and grew a few things of my own. Giant pumpkins are cool, it takes some research and planning. It also takes some room, all vine veggies do... I think your new reconnection with nature will make you feel like a tarp puller again.

On another note, we occupy one of the largest oil producing countries in the world, right or wrong we are pumping hundreds of dollars into that effort. Our gas should be 40 cents a gallon.

Jim said...

Figure on feeding the squirrels. There simply is no alternative. I have two squirrel feeders, along with my 10 bird feeders. They go for the easiest sources first because they are actually kinda lazy that way. They are still likely to go to a bird feeder because they're stupid (of course); but not as often as they used to. BBs will hurt and possibly harm them; so I use a heavy duty steel slingshot, but only with acorns (a nice touch of irony) or -- rarely -- small pebbles. That can hurt, too; but I'm a lousy shot, so I rarely hit one. To have a high speed acorn explode next to your dinner can be a very unpleasant shock if you're a squirrel.
Raccoons are quite another matter. Very personable and inquisitive and endearing, they wait patiently until you actually connect the acorn with their butt, then they skedaddle . . . for awhile. They are a pain.

Kevin again said...

Your best bet with the squirrels is to kill one and leave his corpse on display for the others to see. Like Jim said, squirrels are stupid so you may have to do that with more than one. After 2 or 3, it will get to be kind of a rush.
Seriously though, I have had the squirrel conversation with many people and I don't think anyone has found a foolproof way to keep them out of the feeder. They are nature's perfect scrounging machine.