Sunday, March 04, 2012

I don't even remember what I had promised to blog about

When I set out to DO this weekend, I had it in my head that on Sunday night I would sit down and blog about something specific.

Anyone remember what it was? I really don't.

But, let's imagine that it was about the garden and the bees because that's been my entire weekend.

Come hang out with us! Also, buzz.

From sun up to sun down Saturday morning until, like, 20 minutes ago, it's been nonstop.

Not that I'm complaining, because you know I love that shit like way deep down in my bones, but WOW -- totally knackered.

And I used to hate that word, "knackered", but lately I've been feeling it deep down in my bones and, alas, it has worked its way into my vocabulary.

So, the knackering began on Saturday morning as I set out to sow some peas.

So innocent, the peas.

Which sounds like a pretty easy and innocuous project. Something like, "Open packet of seeds. Push through soil. Water. Peace out."

Except that preceding the pea sowing was a list of miscellaneous tasks that took up most of my morning. Things like finding the pea fence nested alongside the garage with a thousand other poke your god damned eyes out pieces of wire mesh, extracting said pea fence after pruning back the neighbor's tree that had grown through the fence and into the pea fence, turning under the fava beans into the soil, fixing the pea fence, installing the pea fence and leveling it and then fixing where you broke it shoving it in there all too forceful like.

And then the always anti-climatic event of actually sowing the damn peas.

Those bitches better be FUCKING DELICIOUS.

Though, I know they will be. They always are. Which is why I'm OK spending a morning with all those other not-delicious tasks.

Then, after the pea sowing incident that nearly took my life, I thought I would sow some lettuce.

Because the sowing of the peas had gone so smoothly.

Yeah. I don't learn. Even when I've JUST experienced the pain from which I should learn. But I don't. So...moving on.

I went and *tried* to just sow some lettuce seeds, but, since I'm not growing beans this year (another story for another Hi, I'm Crazy day), I was immediately worried about the shade situation.

I mean, you can't just leave lettuce out in the broad throbbing daylight like that. It'll bolt, burn, freeze and a bunch of other unsavory and unlettucy things that will make me mad in a few weeks.

SO - my original plan back in the winterish months when I had nothing but time on my hands to fantasize about all the magnificent gardeny things I'd do once spring showed up, was to build a cucumber trellis like the one everyone keeps pinning and repinning on Pinterest.

What? You haven't pinned this yet? WHAT ARE YOU, CRAZY?

I pinned it off Wise Moon Wendy a while back and damn it all if I don't get a hundred notices every day that someone has repinned it.

It's nice because it has kept it top of mind for me but annoying as fuck because I really need to get into Pinterest and change my notice settings.

FYI: I don't care if people repin my shit. Should I? I can't decide.

Anyway - I've been wanting to make one of these guys for a while so that my cucumbers have a good trellis upon which to grow and my lettuce has a handy shade under which to NOT BOLT RIGHT AWAY THANK YOU SO MUCH and Saturday was the day.

So, when I got done with wrestling the pea fence in a bloody death match (seriously, I'm still bleeding. On my thumb. It's hurty.), I went into the garage to mess around with tools and listen to Phish.

FYI: Bubba was skiing, so he didn't have to shove me out of the way to do real garage work. Thankfully.

Now, I'm warning you to NOT LAUGH when you see my cucumber trellis. Not that it's bad looking, but the fact that it took me almost 2 hours to make it is pretty embarrassing.

I mean, it's just a wood frame with wire mesh staple gunned to it and two hinged legs all salvaged from shit in our garage. In my head, that shouldn't take 2 hours.


But it does have hinges. Something about which I'm obnoxiously proud.


So yeah, Saturday was "Sow peas and lettuce. Build cucumber trellis." And that took the whole effing day.

Which explains why I had a bloody Mary and popcorn for dinner. Because that's what crazy people have for dinner.

WITH my Spicy Green Tomato Pickles as a garnish which is my new favorite garnish. SO DELISH.

Then, today, I set out to Out Crazy my own self. Ambitious, right?

Well, I started off by giving myself a face enema with the front yard sprinklers. I come out of the gates strong on the Crazy.

See, I've been keeping an eye on my dormant front yard meadow and, while it's supposed to be dormant and not great looking right now, a few plants have just plain died. Which isn't like me. I don't generally kill plants.

Which is why I obviously blamed the sprinklers.


After many minutes and swears spent inspecting the heads, tubing, settings and valve, I decided that since water STILL wasn't coming out of the sprinkler end, it must be a clogged manifold.

"I shall blow the manifold!" I declared loudly enough to bring raised eyebrows from my elderly neighbor as she passed by on her morning walk.

So, after explaining that I was fixing irrigation and not taking Johns into my bedroom as a side business, I left my neighbor to finish her walk and I unscrewed the sprinkler manifold cover before going into the basement to turn on the line and "blow it" clean.

Can anyone guess what happened?

I mean, beyond the obvious geyser of water blasting out of my front yard?


Let me tell you how bright I am...

Despite the fact that, from the basement on the other side of the property from this geyser, I could hear said geyser rocketing into the stratosphere through my neighbor's very tall Sycamore tree, I did not just turn off the valve from my safe (and dry!) basement location and then go inspect the status of the inside of the manifold.


Because then I would have to...wait for it...come back to the basement YET AGAIN to turn it back on and go about my fixing up in the yard and that extra trip back and forth was totally unnecessary.

Unnecessary if one likes to go through one's life in dry clothes and without having one's sinuses aggressively assaulted by a heaven bound jet of sprinkler water.

But I'm all about saving trips to and from the basement (and apparently NOT AT ALL about going through life like a sane person), so out I went toward the sound of the Bellagio fountain in my yard with the intent of screwing back in the manifold filter and going on about fixing the sprinkler system.

Except you know (and I know! That's the sucks part.) that there's no way in hell to get anything to thread back into a hole from which a geyser is escaping. Imagine trying to thread the bolt back on to a fire hydrant on full blast and you'll get what I'm saying here.

It's not possible.

Though it is possible to become completely soaked and nearly drown in your front yard while trying.

Thank god I was wearing a dark tshirt and pants for this exercise otherwise it would have gotten porny. And thank goodness the sound of water escaping from the center of the earth as though shot through a cannon muffles the pathetic panicked weeping of idiots (me).

Eventually, after I'd soaked everything I was wearing and called attention to myself from all the neighbors who already think I drink at all hours, I went running to the basement and stopped the madness.


Then I determined that the manifold wasn't clogged at all. It was just broken. Because it sits at the corner of our driveway and I am not so swift backing into said driveway and tend to run it over. Also with the trash can on garbage day.


I had an extra manifold on hand (thank you, Bubba, for being so forward thinking to buy these things in bulk) and so I replaced it and HA HA magically all the lines worked.


At that point, I felt a bit knackered and had no desire to check the bees, sow another flat of seeds, set up my grow op extension (for peppers and cucumbers, people. Not weed.), deadhead daffodils or do anything else that required being in the yard, so I changed into dry clothes (which, obviously) so that Fester and I could go on a date.

No Bubba? Take Fester.

You know what's the best way to slow the hell down and be happy? Drive an old Volkswagen.


In my flip flops and tank top, I hopped into Fester, rolled back the sunroof, downed the windows and drove all the way across town to my favorite nursery to buy one random plant (to replace one that had died at the hands of the failure sprinkler manifold) at 55 MPH.

Mind you, this was all freeway driving.

Yeah, it's slow. And cheerful. And no one gives you any beef for going 55 on the freeway (OK, sometimes 60) because HELLO you're driving a 45 year old friggen car. Or maybe it's because they feel bad for you while you blast KNBR on your AM radio.

Whatever - there is no possible way to be sad while driving this car with its sunroof down to the nursery. It's just not possible.

I was so cheered up in just a few minutes on the road that I gave those freaks on the highway overpasses with the big Ron Paul and Go America posters a peace sign instead of my middle finger.

How's THAT for an attitude adjustment?

And then I bought a new salvia to replace the one that croaked at the hands of the broken manifold, went to a local market to get my favorite sandwich and sat in the backyard talking to my mom on the phone.


Pretty fucking awesome.

Then a bunch of other knackery things happened like a beehive check and the setting up of the Grow Op Annex and sowing a ton of seeds and laundry and, and, and...but I'm knackered, like I said, so I'm going to stop now.

If someone can remind me about what I'd promised to blog about, I'll try to smush that and all that stuff I just mentioned into another equally long, equally mind-numbing post that will do not much more than remind you what a nutter I've become.


  1. One time Scott thought he could do something with the water like that. I was like ummm that's not going to work? But he wouldn't listen to me. I just laughed my ass off when he was out there cussing all wet!

    Trying peas and beans for the first time. Hopefully I don't kill them!

    1. Yeah, sprinkler and irrigation work is always good for a laugh/terrifying scene in the yard. We've had many. Sadly, I didn't have Bubba around to give the, "Baby, I think you want to just turn that off as soon as you've switched it on" speech so that I didn't let it blast through the trees for 10 minutes while I fruitlessly tried to thread the top back on, but whatever. I never learn.

      Good luck with peas and beans! I've always had good luck with them, just make sure they don't get *too* much water when the weather's still chilly, otherwise they'll rot and you'll have to resow. Which isn't the biggest deal, but just a bummer.

  2. Funny, Funny Finny! A very fun read, although I must admit, I'm just a wee bit disappointed to not have a picture of you after having been soaked by the sprinkler system. Apparently it made your blogger cells fuzzy and you forgot to snap a shot. That's one sexy looking trellis -- hinges and all.

    And imho, NO, you should not care if someone pins your shit. You should be flattered. I got a notice over the weekend that Pinterest had to pull something I had pinned 'cause the original person didn't want it pinned. Really? THEY put it "out" there (you know...on the internet). Once you put something out there you can obsess yourself with tracking down every use of your shit or you can sit back with your G&T and revel in the fact that you're sharing along with the bajillion other people who are sharing. (It wasn't a pattern or anything -- it was just a picture of a quilt -- a traditional type quilt in fact, not some new modern never-been-seen-before-by-human-eyes-quilt) Fortunately Ben at Pinterest (ha!) was nice enough to include a URL in his notice (so I would know exactly which of my 2000 pins was being pulled.) I promptly copied said picture and put it in my files. 'Cause there's always a way to keep an idea -- only now I have no idea who it came from. With pinterest, it linked back to the original author. Take That Whinelda!

    (Oh, and sorry. You hit a nerve. LOL. I need some of your G&T!)

    1. What?? They can "take back" a pin? How stupid.

      Must be part of that whole lawsuit situation they've been going through with people getting pissed about having their images shared across the internets. Whatevs. I think it's nice when people ask to repost a photo or a project that I've created and I do have a Creative Commons license, but I do try not to be a dick about it.

      As long as someone's not taking a financial gain off of my work, I don't mind if they use my stuff for whatever. Meanwhile, if they ARE taking a gain - I want a piece! Even just a link back...

      Anyway - yeah - I've got a nerve there, too. Also the fact that you're not supposed to pin stuff directly from Google Images because those don't link back to the original owner. When I built the Tomatabase (which was initially for my own purposes only), I just went to Google Images and snagged photos of all of the types of tomato seeds they offer in their seed bank at Love Apple Farms so that, when I got to class, I'd have a list of tomatoes I'd want to seed based on their beautiful pictures.

      I guess I am shallow in that way - I want PRETTY tomatoes. ;)

      But when Cynthia (the founder of the farm) said that she wanted to include my board as part of her class prep, I went back and repinned everything to an original source. Because I apparently have the energy to stay up until the wee hours on a weeknight repinning 200 types of tomatoes.

      Meanwhile, I'm sorta sad I didn't take a picture of my post-sprinkler-face-enema self because it would have been hilarious. I got a look at myself in the reflection of the front window afterward and laughed out loud. My clothes were hanging off of me all soggy and my hair, which had been pulled back in a tiny ponytail and headband, was sticking straight up from behind the headband like some sort of deranged cockatoo.

      I'm a loon.

  3. I've never looked at Pinterest, but who needs that when I have you? I will not be spending two hours building anything for the garden this year, but I do have those pallet teepees still out there for the cucumbers. My plan was to cut the lateral pieces away and attach the dreaded chicken wire to the resulting frame--the cucumbers found it hard to get a tendril-hold on the big slats of wood last year--and NOW I see that I can plant lettuce right under the teepees. Righteous. Thanks, Finn.

    My dad has his tomatoes already planted here in Tucson. It does my winter-withered soul good to see tomato plants in the ground in March.

    1. Yes! You can totally grow lettuce under there. And pallets!! I've never thought of making a teepee from pallets, but that's genius. And WOW can I get a hold of some pallets ;)

      So - in Tucson, how long do they try to grow tomatoes? I mean, once the summer sun/heat hits, don't they just shrivel and try to die like the rest of the population?

  4. I think Pinterest needs an "I Did This" button. Because this might be the first thing I've seen actually completed from Pinterest. Way to go!

    Also, I started a bunch of seeds for the kids' school garden last night. Today I need to start ours. And unsurprisingly, our seed packets look eerily similar.

    Oh, do you inoculate your peas? Or just plop them in there?

    1. Plop.

      And, I agree - they do need an "I DID THIS!" button. Or maybe I'll pin my own creation to the same board? I dunno. There should be a way to link similar projects or something.

      Whatevs. Pinterest is weird.

  5. Please keep up the hilarious bee posts. I am atteding a once a month bee workshop at my local botanical gardens. This month we build our hives and next month we populate them and drive home with them. I am a nervous wreck that I will somehow screw this up! Your making humor of your mistakes is helping me to realize, yes I will make mistakes and it will not be the end of the world.

    1. Ooh! Yay! Another beekeeper! Welcome to the hot mess that is my life as a beekeeper. I friggen love it, so I keep it up, but yeah - good lesson to learn early on is that you will make mistakes, EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES and that no one will judge you for them. Just learn as you go and try to not make the same mistakes again.

      Or, in my case, just keep making them over and over until you're too ashamed to have to order another queen after having gone through 3 in a year.

      Regardless - it's not the end of the world and - hey - the process is so enjoyable. Having bees is lovely :)


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.