Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No-work onions: how they turned out.

I had mixed results with the onions, but I noticed something. Last Fall I missed a couple of tiny onions, and this spring they grew early and gave me nice fat onions. But, the onion sets that I planted this spring stayed small and hot. So, I think that I have only gotten little onions because I have been planting them too late in the year.

This is a problem because in my area onion sets are not available until March, and that is apparently just too late.

So, this fall, instead of harvesting my little onions to put in a stew or a stir-fry I will leave them alone and harvest them next year. Hopefully they will be nice and big and mild!!!!!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the onions are being grown in perlite in a shallow raised bed. There is weed barrier below the onions. They were origionally grown with strawberries but it was so hot that I could not keep everything watered: the onions responded by bulbing up but the strawberries they were planted with did die.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Water Company Wants Hundreds of Dollars to Just Give an Estimate!!!!!!

Not for the house, of course! We HAVE water for the house! I was wanting an estimate for the 5 acres of land that we own outside of town. It was SUPPOSED to be my farm, but I got sick before we could do anything with it. But, I have never had the heart to sell it: it is not that easy to sell a dream! Alter it, maybe......

I am thinking of growing perrenials. I have a few established right now, but for a really cool set-up I need to be able to water. Back before I got sick I had intended to use the creek, but the darnned thing is 25  feet below where I intend to plant! There was a time when I would have bought a foot pump and used it to fill a holding tank, but, now I lack the strength. So, City water is probably what we need. DH would like city water anyways, as he looks on the land as an investment instead of as a farm, and the water would make the land worth more. So, perhaps half of the cost from the household account, and the other half from me?

At any rate, I explained to the lady at the Water Company that I was not intending to have water put in any time soon: I was just looking for a savings account to aim for before I asked for an estimate. She said she just COULDN'T give even a rough estimate over the phone, but when I asked if my savings account should be closer to $1,000 or $10,000, she allowed that often $6,000 would be safer than $1,000. You have to really love helpfull phone operators: she both avoided giving an estimate while simultaneously giving me an idea of what the cost was going to be! She did me a favor, and I am well aware of it!

Over the last few years I have managed to save up $2000. Some of it was from having my blood drawn at an MS research place, some of it was from selling a few articles, and some of it was from any unspent pocket money: the kids got allowances and I eventually figured out that I should also! So, I set aside anything I did not spend on sodas and such when I was in town.

I would not spend that money this year regardless, because I do  not know which way the economy is going to bounce. Right now that money is only for emergencies: I can pay the mortgage and feed us for 2 months of time with  that money, and, regardless of what Washington intends to do I intend to feed us! But, hopefully, in 2-3 years time things will have settled down enough for me to turn that land into a hobby farm. That is actually what that money was always intended to do when I started the account: I was going use it to turn that land into a berry and honey farm! Well, if my DH can hold his job in these troubling times, perhaps it can be turned into something beautifull instead. At any rate I would never spend it while the economy is so uncertain, but I am hoping to know what the economy will be doing in a couple of years.

In the mean time, I can get serious about saving for water. If I can put $50 per month into savings for 2.5 years then I should have added about $1300 to that account. DH is willing to spend some household money on getting water in it as it will make the value of the land appreciate.

I have been doing on-line surveys and playing computer games at Swagbucks during the time that I have to sit down and rest, and I am clearing about $28 dollars a month from that. And, if I put half of my pocket money into the kitty as well instead of spending it on sodas and such....... I can DO! it!

And, if I try and fail, then the account will have more money in it, and money is always usefull!

I think that I would like a line of daffodils along side of the road: I can get those in before the irrigation goes in as they do not need watering. Behind that, safely outside of the right-of-way for the road, I would like a row of peonys. I lADMIRE peonys, and they come in all sorts of colors! They would have to wait until the irrigation water was in, though. They are not as tough as daffodils are.

Behind that I am not sure: I have NEVER had an eye for form and color! I would like more bulbs, including some lilys, some field corn for my chickens, and I would like to expand the existing asparagus patch near the creek. To the east of this would be my fruit trees, which would be grown in a rough-looking thicket. That area of land is too steep for me to mow and I refuse to try! However, I can pop in a few more trees.

That will pretty much fill in the open land between the road and the creek.

There is a good deal of land on the far side of the creek, but I rarely go there now as I only have a foot bridge of a few pressure-treated planks. It has gotten hard for me to walk on that bridge, and it needs to be ajusted a couple of times a year as high water shifts it. The planks cannot be washed away because I drilled holes in the boards, ran a chain through them, and chained them to two trees but high water does shift it some. And, the bank is steep on the other side. To be totally safe from high water the bridge would have to be 30 feet long and I cannot DO that, so, I make do with planks that stay ALMOST always dry! I did use that bridge for maybe 3 years but it is getting harder for me, now.

It is lovely to have a goal again!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Today my daughter leaves with her boyfriend to go on vacation in Arkansas for the weekend.

She told me a few months ago that she was glad that I was OK with her sleeping with her boyfriend. She said that it meant a lot to her. I replied calmly "Oh, I am not, but you are an adult and you will make your own decisions". Not being blind I had already guessed that they were "together", if you know what I mean!

Her boyfriend is a fine young man. I could tell when she was 16 which way the wind was blowing, but we just reminded her that she was not allowed to date adults. He is somewhat older than she is. They both accepted that they could not date at that time. It might have helped that they did not live in the same city: they met at an anime' convention and mostly talked on the phone and on-line.

 Then she turned 18 and they started dating, because then they were both adults.

She is now 19, and if they are still an item next year I suspect that they will get married. I am just guessing, of course, but then again I am not blind. She is not ready to get married yet: she only got her first real job! But, give it a bit. Young women do grow up!

He is a fine young man, and a couple of years ago he warned us that she was having mood swings but covering them up. She was indeed, and we got her medications changed. There is a fair amount of common sense in that young man!

(I do not recall if I had mentioned this, but my daughter is bipolar. A lot of criminals CLAIM to be biplar to get lighter sentences, but they lie. My daughter has never been in trouble with the law: is the real thing. She gets large mood swings, and if they are neglected she CAN hallucinate. So, the LAST things she should be doing is to "tough out" any major mood swings. Because he was an adult he realized this: because she was only 16 she convinced herself that she could tough it out and hid the symptoms from us, but not from her peer group. So, he called us.)

Oh, about my daughters new job! She has been doing a good deal of the housework around here, because she needed the money and I needed the help, and she wangled that into a housekeeping job! It is only part time, but in a recession jobs first-time are hard to get, and she is very excited about it! She will work with a team, and she very much enjoyed her first few days at work!

So, now I am teaching my son the ropes: he is 18 and unemployed. He is, as I write this, carrying the laundry down the stairs to put into the washing machine. After both kids move out, I think that I will need a small washer and dryer upstairs, but for now my son is doing the laundry as part of his housekeeping job. And, DD is giving me 2 hours of work a week to cover her room and board.

I have told them both that adults work for their livings, and they both have accepted this. So, they both pitch in a couple of hours a week because they are adults, and they work more (at $5 an hour) for their pocket money.

When DD applied for the housekeeping job, she said that she was working for 12 hours a week at $5 an hour as a housekeeper for her handicapped Mother, which was accurate enough! When the lady asked if her getting a different job would put her Mother in a bind, she replied "No, now my brother is being taught how". Yes, young women *DO* grow up!

Well, enough for now! This is not a very homesteady (letter? writing? article?), but, I have not had time to homestead this week. Last night I picked 3 tomatos and another small melon: that has been about it for homesteading this week!