The Trees Arrived

Tonight we planted trees. Last weekend we finished pulling trees out of the way and I tilled the soil to make it easier to plant. The trees arrived today in the mail, so we dug holes, planted, watered and caged them. Hopefully, the deer and other critters will leave them alone. I’ll put up pictures later today or possibly Saturday.

An oh, by the way, I think some brands of animal crackers have undisclosed milk. I’ve gone through countless numbers of tissues in the last 24-36 hours.

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A quest for trees

scrub pine
(n) any of several pines, as the jack pine, characterized by a scrubby or irregular manner of growth, usually found in dry, sandy soil. [Origin: 1785–95, Americanism] source: Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

Where we live we have a lot of scrub pines and decided that we would eventually put in fuller, shorter trees to create the privacy row in a more attractive manner. These trees grow 20-30 or more feet but have little to no living branches closer than 10 feet off the ground. Since it takes a while for trees to grow, we understand that when we plant them it will take a while for them to grow to optimal height. We have been talking more about what to replace them with and when to do it. In tonight’s mail I had an envelope from the Arbor Day Foundation with a rather deceitful wording on the outside implying that I owed them money. Upon opening the junk mail that I most likely received as a result of seed catalogs I requested earlier this year, I found inside a rather official looking invoice implying that I requested a one year membership and did owe them money. I find this type of advertising offensive on the best day and was about to throw it out when the “10 free Colorado Blue Spruce trees” caught my eye. That was one of the types we had talked about planting. I went online to see if I could get a better deal than $10 for 10 trees. Short of ordering 100 trees for a dollar each, I wasn’t going to come anywhere near that cost. The deal in the mail offered more extras, but I don’t like mailing checks, so I opted for fewer extra freebies and went for convenience. Online I there were many different sets of trees beyond the blue spruces, but in the mail I could get a free lilac bush as well as my trees, lucky for me lilacs I was not tempted long. Lilacs are my least favorite flower to date. Some time between October and December, I will receive 10 dormant seedling blue spruce trees ready for immediate planting with a one year guarantee on it. I did this once in a classroom. One day we came into school and there were trees for us to bring to our students. I also have a one year membership to the Arbor Day Foundation, in the mailing I could have one year for $10 but online I had to up my contribution to $15 for the one year, which will allow me to order more seedlings of various types for slightly reduced prices and free shipping as of the date of this post for the next 12 months. We will remove a few of the trees up near the road to make room for my ten glorious trees and by we I mean I point and Jason takes them cuts them. We plan to use the ashes from the pines to alter the ph balance in the garden soil where necessary.

Speaking of gardens, Mom P. swears she doesn’t have deer problems with tomatoes, potatoes, and a few other veggies so I have a plan. Yesterday I ordered some veggie seeds from one of the companies that may have put my name on the “send me junk mail” list causing me to receive deceitful notices which I encourage not to stop by placing orders. The company was having a buy $40 get $20 off your order, sounds like buy one get one free to me, so I looked around to see if I could find enough seeds for that amount. Turns out the shipping was included in that $40, though I think it was a mistake as the advertising indicated it didn’t. While I chose heirloom seeds as often as possible, I noticed that with 15 of the 24 seed packets I added to my cart, an additional packet of the same seeds was put in my cart for free. So if my math is correct, I have tooooo many seeds for a really good price. I was already receiving half off my order as I planned not to go much over $40 except for shipping, which seemed crazy expensive right alongside the fuel costs. I only had to order a couple of hybrid seeds as the company didn’t stock an alternative, I will continue to look for those. I am also attempting to harvest some seeds for plants already have that I know to be heirloom. My goal is to have a self-sufficient garden by 2010. All these seeds coming my way for a 23 by 23 foot garden, well no. We are also clearing trees in the backyard to the south, gradually. We are going to expand the garden and fence was is fiscally feasible and just plant in the open – foods that won’t attract the critters. Anyone know what deer, raccoons, possums, and other critters around here eat?

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Another wonderful weekend . . .

We started on Friday with dinner at the local Mexican eatery and then we rented a couple of movies.

We had a slightly busy, slightly relaxed weekend, it was great. Sat. we had a get together with our small group, a baby shower, one of the attenders of the shower dropped me off at the church so I could join Jason. Jason had to leave early for a church deal. From there we hit a grocery store for a couple of things and headed home. We managed to find some dairy free, gluten free, egg free ice cream. Rather expensive, at least that’s what I would have said 6 months ago. As it turned out, it was money well spent. It was wonderful. I chose the vanilla, while Jason grabbed up the chocolate.

He moved the mailbox to our side of the road. We received a note in the box last week indicating that the mailbox isn’t up to proper specifications, it needed to be a little higher. We didn’t have enough post in the ground for that, so since the post was completely out of the ground, the only difficulty is digging a completely new hole. Jason was a wonderful husband. He borrowed a phd (post hole digger) and went to work. All that’s left is to notify the mail carrier, though when she tries to put the mail in the box, I think she’ll have figured it out herself.

While Jason was digging a hole, I made some cookies. I have had some difficulty with the switch from butter to non-dairy butter like products. There is one brand of unsalted margarine that seems to not work well with the cookies, but that may have been my mistake. I noticed the directions read “beat until fluffy,” which I’m not sure I did. If it’s not fluffy, the sugar is not well mixed into the butter and things may not gel correctly, but I’m not completely convinced.

I don’t know what we did with the early evening, but by 7 or so we were watching one of the movies we rented. Dinner at 8:30 was bacon and some random snacks.

After church, we stopped a chain home supply store and were charged three times for one item. I’ll deal with that tomorrow. We had pork chops for lunch and dinner with the family. We had to modify the compost box. When the box is full, I can barely balance it and put things in it. So we added a couple of handles and some hooks with chain. I can now balance it. Actually, we decided to leave it hooked and unhook it to rotate it.

After dinner, we played a few rounds of hearts without keeping score. That’s very sad. I was actually able to run, with 4 aces 2 or 3 kings, 2 or three queens, 2 or 3 jacks and a lot of hearts. When I saw the high cards before the trade, I decided to keep them all and throw away small “ducking” cards that I usually covet. I was traded several nice high cards to achieve the above mentioned hand.

Knitting, ah, knitting. Well, what can I say, I would have fancied myself an intermediate level knitter, but I seem to be struggling with what should be simple concepts because I taught myself “the rest”. My mother, and later a few friends, showed me how to cast on and execute a knit stitch. I chose a horrid little set of directions to try to start my socks. Virtually undecipherable for me, even with my dictionary and the internet. So tonight, after searching a little better, knowing what to look for, I found a nice cast on for toes, two socks at a time. No real directions for what to do after that, I think I can find info on the same site for the rest. I know I’ve seen things about turning the heel. My “fun” project turns out to be extremely difficult as well. Luckily, I found a nice picture set to compare my knitting to since the original tutorial seems to be MIA. I am going to try to hunt it down, a cached version may proved useful.

I will try to post some pictures this week. I’ve been taking random pictures of the colors around here as well as other interesting kitties.