Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fall prep for gardening beds - a post by jambaloney done in late november2017! (ya, we know, we're really behind on posts!)

jambaloney here!!

this fall we had great weather so i was able to get some some stuff done that normally comes a bit late... one chore was prepping the raised beds for next spring...

but first - my last bass (about a month ago) - nothing til spring sweet sandy!

I caught it at high tide in the evening...

it was about 10-12 lbs - NICE!! tasted real good too!

on to prepping the garden beds - i was able to get some grass clippings in the raised beds for spring - this is our onion bed - we planted fall onions in it..

but there is only so much grass - time to bring out the chipper...

here is some alders and pine branches i had dry in the yard for a while...

they make some nice  chips...

here is a bed - i channeled out  one side - note the landscape fabric..

here are my chips...

here is some peat moss

i draped landscape fabric over the side to prevent weeds when the beds are eventually surrounded by rocks... chips in

then peat moss - mix it all in and the clay soil will be far less packed - this is our garlic bed,,,

 planted with fall garlic - hurrah!

here is a shot of where our river enters the ocean - i was getting mussels fo rkymber..

i did want some finer mulch, but all around the house was stuff like this...full of seeds, no good

between here and fourchu there are these tall weeds with big leaves - there were all done for the year and the flowers were gone so i went and got some on a dry day...

they are hollow inside so they went in the mulching part of the chipper and made some great finer mulch

here is the carrot bed

 here it is with fine mulch added ..

 the most neglected bed was the pea bed - the soil was way compact - i had already added peat moss, chips and leaves

 i tossed some fine mulch on as an extra

 in any bed i use a fork to mix it all in really well

and the end result is a bed with a lot more aeration - plus this stuff will slowly decompose over the years - i think we will have great yields next year - all in all i fixed up 6 raised beds that are 4 feet x 12 feet and one smaller bed - this and the comfrey tea should be perfect next year- plus the beds are ready to be planted - in the spring i will cover them to keep weeds down until we need them..

i got skunked the last time i fished - it was a nice morning - i got this cool shot of the sand cliffs!

hope you are all ready for winter - cheers!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

trying to keep a long story short is not always possible!

so, it's been a while...but we think you'll all understand when we let you in on the secret...later.

first off - seems like everyone has been experiencing a sheer month of crap weather - we've never had staying snow this early (it started staying in mid-end december!), we've had every kind of storm known to man - days on end of the whole house rattling and shaking from the wind, snow, more snow, freezing cold temperatures, rain, hail, sleet, sleet snow, rain snow, ghost snow, and some horribly windy days. imagine our disbelief to find out that during the past 3weeks of crap weather - we've had it much easier than the rest of the island, the mainland and NB!!! sure we had power outages, during our worst wind/snow storm the winds were up to 110kph gusts!!! we prayed for the linemen who were up on poles, dangling in that awful wind and snow, getting us our power back. but we have enough of these kinds of storms that we know what to do and just get everything set up. we were out of power for almost 2 days and that could have been pretty chilly but we use a ginormic kerosene heater until we feel the need for the generator.

we had to replace our generator after one storm but hey - it lasted 6 full years and every time we needed it - it worked! we only use our generator for heat if we have to - we don't open the fridge or freezer and we are usually powered back up in 2 days or less. and now we have an even better generator - woohoo! the heat situation will be taken care of when we build our addition as we have a gorgeous little wood stove that our Big bro G and Big Sis C (thank you both very much!) gave us a few years ago. jambaloney is really good with restoring things like that.

today it looks like this - winter wonderland.

well kids - it's time to come clean. we know that some of our closest blogfriends have probably already guessed this, being that they served in the military, overseas, on big giant US Navy boats, various deployments and TD's - we're talking about Harry, Duke, Sweet Sandy, JUGM, TB and Ed. yes - we contract for the CIA. jambaloney's whole gig at Lobsters 'R US is fully-CIA-funded. and you know how he sometimes goes down to our gorgeous, beautiful empty beach to fish?

the beach is his "drop zone"....those in the know will know what that means.

and remember how we don't celebrate birthdays except this year me and my Big sis C went for facials on my birthday? nope, she's in on it to. she was the get-away driver.

this was the meet-up place.

Big Sis C is off in the distance getting ready to pick me up at the slightest sign of something going wrong. no worries, everything went really well and i got the drop.

then on jambaloney's birthday, i had to go to another drop. so on jambaloney's birthday me and my besty C went in for a facial (for her) and a manicure for me.

apparently our little town is a known route for shipping various and sundry illegal CIA-related things.

my job was to scout out the coastline and gather information. my besty C just smoked in the car.

so kids - we hope you understand why we have been soooo busy. we keep getting called out on missions and we both can't be gone at the same time. we have cats to feed. used to be we had 4 but it's looking like we now have 5!!! more on that later!

however - much good food has been eaten. this is our last zucchini fritter made with our last zucchini, our own potatoe, our own carrot and our own green onion. some home-made salty pickles on the side and one of our last nasturtiums.

mid november harvest basket looking none too shabby! those greenhouses are a godsend!

we ate lots of good salads.

we harvested the last of our carrots (these went in late and we plan to replant the smallest ones for seed next year).

and as some famous philosopher once said "if ye put a box of sweet orange things with green tops on a table, yonder some cat will be in that box faster than you can say geesh". can't remember who said it, but it's TRUE!!!

that's Frankie Blue Eyes, munkey-monoonch, box baby. jambaloney made the mistake of putting the lid of a banker's box on the kitchen table a few days ago and we haven't been able to move it since!

between mid-november and the beginning of december we had some wonderful weather.

more salad - we love salad!

the last of the green tomatoes came in on november 24th?!?!??!? can you believe that?!??!?

i put them all on window ledges and they all turned colour - woohoo! so now we have 3 ltrs of green and 10 ltrs of red tomatoes in the freezer ready to be made into a bunch of food for the rest of the year. and here's our last strawberry.

kombucha tea gets made regularly and we love the stuff!

the greenhouses have been cleaned up and jambaloney got a bunch of pots ready for cold-hardy things to come up first thing in spring.

it doesn't look like much but these little squashes gave us a ton of puree for soups over the winter.

and this is the reason that we will never be able to use the beautiful tikki torches that jam's mom and dad sent us.

that's edgar houdini, another stray that we took in. he comes in from being outside - all proud of himself, scratches his box like a big man and then climbs on it to sleep. he is the sweetest, tiniest, furriest little cat with stumpy little legs. we call him houdini because he escaped a locked bathroom twice!!!! and somehow when jam took him out for some air (after his surgery) on a leash - he escaped that too. he's also called the stink-eyed don't want him to put the stink eye on you....oh no!

this is noodie-noo, noodin, he doesn't wear pants.

he's cranky, he's old, he'll stand in front of the kitty litter (we have several and clean them after each cat does his business - makes jambaloney nuts!) and no matter where i am in the house i will sense that little man's eyes burning in my head and will have to come to whichever kitty litter box he is at, i will have to scoop around the litter (it's empty), he will do his little sneeze and then daintily put a toe in to make sure it is clean!

this is my favourite pic of Shamby-Moe, previously named Karol by his former owners, renamed by us Barrel (he's the shape of one!), Moey, Moby and Moey-Shamby.

here's some fun for jambaloney when he's not working on his contract, shoveling cat paths or shoveling the driveway.

that is the worst area that needed repairing, there were several others!

here's our greenhouses and our land from the roof.

that's 40 beautiful tires all ready for planting potatoes this spring.

and here's out front of our land from the roof.

and now on to the new guy. another stray that someone just dropped off who found his way onto our porch through the cat doors.

we made him a warm bed on the porch with food and water and we bring him in the house as often as we can. he seems to like to leave after breakfast in the morning, goes somewhere, and then comes home at suppertime for his supper. he always has a full bowl of dry cat food on the porch and fresh water and when he comes in the house he cleans everybody else's plates.

so that's 5 stray cats we have now. we have named this little man Fin as jambaloney, who used to work in restaurants, said that all the staff called 5 dollar bills "fin". but as usual, our cats cannot have only one name - they need many to consider and ponder - ( see T.S. Eliot's "The Naming of Cats") - he has already acquired the moniker Feng Shui. he will soon have 5 or 6 more names.

jamie is taking him in to the vet tomorrow - it's going to be a long night because he's a howler. we're going to feed him as much as he can eat until 8 and then we have to take turns being with him in the bathroom all night. it's gonna be a long night but since he is so young ( i think maybe 2), and all of our other cats are older, he needs to get fixed as he is just starting to show signs of wanting to spray things. so far the cats are putting up with him and we think he will fit in just fine once fixed.

and i know this post has been fairly long (i love long posts with pics and stuff like Harry's and Rain's), but i just have a few more things to share.

look at this beautiful card that my friend Rain painted and sent to me. i wish you could see and feel the texture. the picture doesn't do it justice!

and then for some crazy reason - CIA-related or not - you be the judge - but i decided i wanted to get jambaloney something special for his birthday.

some say that cycles of 7 are very important in our lives. as this is jambaloney's 7th year here, i thought i would make it a little special. so i got him this star map of all of the stars that were in the sky at midnight on his birthday. the station that took the pic is near Cole Harbour on the mainland of Nova Scotia looking northward. here is the sky part - sooo beautiful!

and it says "we are all in the gutter...but some of us are looking at the stars" which is my favourite quote from Oscar Wilde. i have written that quote in every journal, diary, garden planner forever. i loooove that quote! i wrote it in journals that i wrote for jambaloney and when he got me my first (and only) IPOD nano he had that quote inscribed on the back of it.

the rest of it says "i love looking at the stars here with you. fyg". as you all know we sit out in the hottub and stare at the clearest of skies - that's when it's not storming, raining, etc. and we love looking at the sky! it's soooo big here! the "fyg" is how i have always signed emails, love notes, cards etc. to jambaloney - it means "forever your girl".

i will frame it and hang it in our new addition. until then, we will just have to keep staring up at our night sky.

and last but not least - munkey-monoonch and his big brother moey-shamby enjoying the cat paths that jambaloney clears all around the house and all around the back yard. the cats really appreciate these paths. and so do me and jam when we do our "walk-abouts".

next post up is about getting the beds ready for spring, jambaloney's gonna do a post about grading the driveway several times before the snow came, and then using the tractor to shovel the driveway. i am so glad that we got that tractor - he can shovel our driveway top to bottom on average in 2-2 and a half hours. used to take him 3-4, 6-8 hour days BY HAND. no more of that!

i'll also put up a post soon about our highlights of 2017 and our dreams for 2018.

sorry we have been MIA but you all understand the CIA stuff and all - bahhahahahahaahaah!

oh i really do kill me sometimes!!!! sending love to you all and off to visit your blogs later this afternoon - we have to get the bathroom ready for the little guy and get ready for a night of howling.