Monday, April 30, 2012

Weirdness. It's everywhere.

I'll tell you why this is weird later.

Remember Adopt a Crop? Yeah, me too. I liked it. It was fun.

Maybe it was just the polling or maybe it was the planting of a randomly chosen thing, but when I realized that I'd planted out the whole garden this year without putting in the one random thing that would get us all WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS THING later in the year, I got sad.

Well, not *sad*, but just kinda felt lame about it.

But since I'm the All Powerful Oz around here (and by "here" I mean, "this blog"), I've decided to do Adopt a Crop this year, but just a little different so that I don't have to rip something out of the garden just to satisfy my urge to grow something weird.

Weird can grow elsewhere in my yard, I just know it. And, really, weird grows ALL OVER my damn yard, so it won't be that weird anyway.

If weird falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a weird sound?

OK, I've gotten off track.

This year's Adopt a Crop weirdness is of the tomato variety. Weird in the sense that these varieties from which you are about to choose are not all Standard Red Beefsteak Tomato varieties.

No, some are fucked up colors and - here's the weird part - they're not going in the vegetable garden. I'm just going to jam them in the yard.

Don't you love it? Weird tomato growing - it's the best.


Hopefully it's not just weird. I'd love to ship off some weird byproduct of the weird tomatoes grown in the weird place later this year to one of you weird fuckers rather than just sit here and go, well, that was weird and move on with my life.

Has this gotten weird?

I don't think I can use that word anymore.

Choose your weird *shiver* tomato: (See the types here)

Which weirdo tomato should I grow?
Berkeley Tie Dye (Freakshow bi-color that's probably high right now)
Cherokee Purple (Psycho looks like a bruise)
Copia (Is it orange? Is it red? Only the crazies know for sure.)
Caspian Pink (It's pink. That's not right.)
Neves Azorean Red (It's from the Azores. 'Nuff said.)

Free polls from

Vote for your favorite variety by Friday and I'll plant your choice this weekend in the...uh...*odd* place in my yard. Then we'll just see what happens with that...uh...*strangeness*.

Meanwhile, speaking of oddities (FYI: not all of these are garden related, so if that's all you're here for, you're free to go)...

Poppies growing randomly just right next to the beehive. Probably because that's where Jada dumps.

Someone sunk a ship in my cocktail. (Gin and Titonic - get it? HAR.)

We ripped out our wall thinking our pipes were leaking when IN FACT they were just NOT PROPERLY INSTALLED. HA HA FUCKING HA. Argh.

Already got an artichoke on the plants. Is that weird? Maybe not.

I daresay the weirdness does not need explanation. I hope the tomatoes are in good hands.

So go vote already and I'll let you know what's getting planted this weekend before the weekend comes. Or not - that's the weird part!

OK, never again with that word.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Life With Meadow. (Not a tampon ad)

For those of you who've been riding the roller coaster known as My Front Yard Meadow, you may have noticed that this not an approach for the anal retentive, tidy-minded, control freaks of the world.

Who needs tidy when there's POPPIES.

 Not that I want to scare anyone off of turning their lawns over to create their own personal near-xeric WILD ASS meadow in their yards, but I am still getting used to Life With Meadow and thought I'd drag you all along for the ride today.

 I'm the nicest.

Life With Meadow - sounds like a lame TV show that might be on Lifetime. I assure you, this is not that.

See - there are the upsides to the concept:
  • You can get rid of your water sucking lawn and it's water shooting sprinkler system
  • You can roll your mower into the street for the garbage truck to play with
  • You can go through intensive physical therapy to regain full use of your rotator cuff and then never use the muther effing asshole string trimmer again
  • You get to inhale all the oohs and aahs from your neighbors as they admire the many colors of poppies sproinging loose from your yard all over the damn sidewalk
  • You get to watch hummingbirds, butterflies, honey and bumble bees, lizards and finches all return to your yard to play, eat, kill one another and fornicate now that it's no longer a wasteland of useless lawn out there
  • It's pretty

This is the former pee-hole. I think you will agree that it has improved somewhat.

But then there are also the downsides, which, now after more than a full year's seasonal changes under my belt, I'm just starting to get a handle on:
  • In some seasons the yard just looks like shit
  • There's some maintenance involved in ripping crap out once it's gone to seed (poppies - I love you but WOW do you get ugly when you're done)
  • You find trash that's flown into the yard and gotten stuck and then you have to pick it out and throw it away
  • Some neighbors think you're totally a nutter
Now, I can still count and that still looks like more pros than cons for the Front Yard Meadow concept, but I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't bring it all out into the open for you fine people so that no one went wandering off into the sod cutter rental yard thinking that yard dominance was at hand with just a few quick swipes of the yard.

That is not so and I'd be doing you a disservice to lead you to believe that it was, indeed, so.

Instead I will tell you that I'm pretty SUPER glad that we're past the It Looks Like Shit Right Now But Wait Until Spring When It Looks Really Pretty time of year (AKA Fall and Winter) and getting into the Yes It's Beautiful Now So Please Remember This Come Winter When It Looks Like Shit Again time of year (AKA Spring and Summer).

 Another thing about this whole meadow concept is that it's not a one shot deal. You can't just (or, I guess *I* can't just) plant it once and forget about it, leaving it to do its xeric beautifying of the neighborhood without any additional intervention.

No. It needs help.

Help in the sense of pulling shit out that randomly grows (weeds, overturned lawn with a new found lease on life, the nefarious offspring of one slutty Guara...), pruning crap back that gets wildly out of hand (Guara, aforementioned suddenly virile lawn) and planting new stuff in the spots that become bare from the pulling out of shit I don't want.

It's a process, you might say. It's a "labor of love", some might say even though that trite bullshit saying makes me want to jam spoons into my ears and those of the person saying it.

I'm going with - it's a process. And I'm getting used to it. Life With Meadow means I'm not done yet and I probably won't ever be *done* and that's actually OK because I like this messy, weird, unpredictable space way better than the neat, tidy and predictably needs to be mowed every five goddamned minutes in between intensive waterings lawn that lived here before.

So, there's your Front Yard Meadow update. I'll be sure to post some photos after the whip and chair taming action I'm going to lay down on this beast this weekend whilst handing out tomato plants.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Name the weirdness.

You guys know all too well what a fancy ass gift giver Bubba is.

I mean, remember Tulip and Chesty?

Sure you do.

Meanwhile, I wish you all would have told me that it's weird that I name everything because I have not yet come up with a name for Bubba's latest and greatest gift creation: a splitboard.

Hello, my nameless beauty.

What do you mean you don't know what a splitboard is? (Aside from the fact that spellcheck in Blogger is having a meltdown telling me that it's not a word right now.)

FYI: A splitboard is a snowboard that's cut in half into skis so that you can skin (ski with skins on the bases) up a mountain and then lock the "skis" back into place to snowboard down the mountain once again.

It's how snowboarders ride the backcountry without having to become filthy skiers OR spend their uphill time mucking about with stupid snowshoes meanwhile carrying an awkward and heavy snowboard on their backs like so much packhorse.

Temporarily a filthy skier.

I've done this, albeit briefly, and I do not enjoy. It brings to mind many thoughts that all boil down to, "Why am I doing this?" and "FUCK THIS."

So, with that in mind (and also the fact that Bubba loves to backcountry ski and still wants me along for these adventures), Bubba set out to right the wrongs of my backcountry set up and for Christmas, he presented to me a fine looking snowboard deck which he promptly sawed in half.

It was an emotional day.

That was a few months ago, and since, he managed to perfectly mount the pucks (things the bindings attach to), bindings, hardware and custom cut the skins so that I may have a suitable backcountry experience.


And so I did - about three weeks ago. Which I'm just now telling you about because I'm very behind on things. Which I know you will forgive me for because of the love that we share.

*blog romance*

Also because I'm about to show you the cutest dog pictures ever. Brace thyselves for Backcountry Puppy Numero Uno...

"OK! Here she comes!"

"Nice line, mom! I shall devastate and destroy it."

"Also, I need a treat from that pocket right there."

Yes, to say that this dog loves the backcountry is an understatement.

I'll just lie here while you deal with those ski sticks.

And while we were hauling our wheezing asses up the mountain, this dog ran to the summit and back about 600 times.

"Just icing my butthole."

It was vaguely humiliating.

However, it was absolutely hilarious to watch her chase Bubba down the mountain, snowy dog buns aflyin' as she bobbed along in the chest deep (on her) snow suitably wrecking the pristine lines Bubba was laying down.

And also mine. Thanks, puppy.

Since she's taken such a liking to backcountry skiing, she's getting her own beacon, which only seems fair, right?

You can't have this much dog cuteness lost in the snowy backcountry.


So, yeah, my dog's cute, backcountry snowboarding can now be added to the too long list of hobbies and my splitboard needs a name.

Do with that what you will.

Also, forgiven?

Thanks - love you, too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Austin is delicious

Oh my god I'm still full.

Because Kelli and I went to Austin for our Girls' Trip this year and WOW does that town have some delicious BBQ.

So it just looks like a pile of meat. BUT IT TASTES LIKE HEAVEN SO CAN IT.

Not that I'm cheating on Kansas City, home of my beloved Bubba and Jack Stack - maker of the finest burnt ends a woman/man/rabid monkey on a bender could possibly want - but lord knows I do love Rudy's.

Also, I got to introduce Kelli to the concept of ordering food by the pound. Good times.

And I will put that on the record - my favorite BBQ in Texas is Rudy's.

Call it The Worst all you want, Rudy's people, we all know the truth. Also - cattle prod.

Though the guy from whom we rented bikes thought that was ridiculous, apparently.

His dog, however, did not judge me for my favorites. Good puppy.

I do so love it when someone asks you what your favorite *anything* is and then proceeds to immediately discredit you as though you're some sort of retard.

Because you couldn't possibly be trusted to know what your favorite things are. No - that is for others to know and for you to feel incompetent about.

Please, hippie man, tell ME what *I* like because I have no idea.

Anyway, enough of my ranting. Austin was delicious and also rad.

Although, mainly delicious.

The ice cream...uh...melted before I could get a photo.

How perfect does this burger look? Not as perfect as it tasted, FYI.

Highly recommend The Snack Bar, if only for the fact that they have flash-fried Brussels Sprouts.

Oh - also, you can get a Shandy. Divine.

Black's Barbeque in Lockheart - worth the drive. Also, that's banana pudding with Nilla Wafers, not eggs.

Yep. Awesome.
However, lest you think that all Kelli and I did for the long weekend was eat, I will tell you that we also rode bikes all around town (instead of driving and parking and, in so doing, making ourselves suicidal), visited Stevie Ray Vaughan, got the manis/pedis, shopped, lounged by the pool, went to the spa, drank our faces off and OH MY did we chat.

And chat and chat and chat and chat.

Once a year we spend four days together and LO it is a busy chattery time. I doubt anyone could stand to be within earshot of us the entire time.

It's divine. For us. Less so for anyone who has to listen to it I imagine.

I feel all caught up now. And also full.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I run to be NOT CRAZY, apparently.

You know how I've been running for a while? Road and trail and multisport races and such?

Yeah. So, know why I was doing all that?

Yeah. I didn't either - until a few months ago when it was early on a Saturday morning and I was charging out to the Santa Cruz mountains desperate to put my Brookses to trail even though it was raining like a sonuvabitch and 43 degrees with gale force winds pounding against the ridge line.

Which is when I realized that I certainly wasn't doing all of this running for fitness.

Fitness doesn't get you out of bed on a cold and rainy Saturday morning, into head-to-toe spandex and into the car for a 30 minute drive through bleak conditions just so that you can step out into a giant puddle to charge up a slippery mud trail even though two mountain bikers carefully descending the same trail tell you that you're out of your mind and get back in the car.

Ooh. Cozy.

So, as I fought my way up this trail (you didn't think that I was going to get back in the car just because two mountain bikers warned me through muddy faces, did you?) and became soaked to the core and nearly drowned in the rain splashing against my face and being shoved up my nose by the wind blasting over the ridge, I had a hard think on why the fuck I was doing this.

And not in the Oh Woe Is Me Why The Fuck Am I Doing This To Myself kind of way either. But like a real introspective I Think There's A Deep Down Reason For This kind of way.

Because I used to think I ran to get in shape. To BE in shape. I mean, if we're going to be truly honest here, I was entertaining the absurd notion that one day, if I ran enough, I might slide back into my size 4 shorts without tearing off a butt cheek in the process. 

But wanting to be "in shape" doesn't motivate me to abandon my warm bed in exchange for a wet, cold and muddy trail. Size 4 shorts don't even have that much power.

But sanity does.

And, I'd managed to discover serendipitously that this trail way up on the ridge line where the wind races up one side and blasts over the other causing unsuspecting runners to WHOA with surprise when rounding an exposed bend in the trail, was where my sanity lives.

Forgive the wonky doodle arrow. Picnik is no longer and the Creative Kit in Google+ blows and doesn't have arrows so I had to draw one like a kindergartner.

I can start a run on this trail with brains full of nonsense and, by the end of my run (which is short - only 4-6 miles depending on the day and how my hip and knee feel) I have actual coherence.

I have meaningful thoughts. I have answers to questions. I have clarity.

I have sanity.

I also have, depending on the time of year, numb fingers, a frozen face, wet EVERYTHING, muddy EVERYTHING, a slight case of hypothermia and a few horrified stares from people in Whole Foods who don't understand why my sanity has to live out on a muddy ridge and why I feel the need to do a bit of light shopping after seeking it out.


Let a wet girl buy some disgusting kombucha, will ya?

BUT WHO CARES ABOUT THAT when your mind is quiet?

I don't.

And that's what I came here to tell you, my friends, is that what you see before you is me being NOT CRAZY (as hard as that may be to believe) and that is a result of running.

Apparently black Prius drivers use the same coping mechanisms.

Of course, I'd love to be here showing you photos of my six pack abs and telling you that THAT was a result of all this running, but alas, I just have the one ab and it does not have five other firm shapely friends.

Which I'm convinced is actually OK as long as my brains are sane and, when they are feeling insane, I know where to go to rectify the problem.

Regardless of weather.

And that is my long-winded way of telling you that I'm still running even though I haven't talked about it in...oh let me check the labels on the sidebar...November 2011.

Because I didn't think anyone would be interested in all the nonsense above that I just put you through.

You're welcome and I'm sorry.

Come back tomorrow when I shall discuss lighter subjects like why dogs make excellent backcountry skiers and how mashed potatoes are my medium of choice in the world of the culinary arts.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My soil is magically delicious

Alright my lovelies (see how I'm nice? Spring does that to me.), it's time to test your fucking soil already.

Oops, mean again. Oh well.

Know what's not mean? The results from the soil tests from my newly mushroom composted soil.

A rainbow should be shooting out of this photo right now.
Seriously, I'm expecting a fucking leprechaun to jump out of the damn beds with soil tests that rich.

And then! I will demand to see this alleged pot of gold and also find out why all of the marshmallows in that hideous cereal taste the same and get jammed up in my molars when I forgo shame and actually eat that shit.

But my shameful sugar cereal addiction from childhood is not the point here, the point here is that my soil is THE MOST.

Yeah - see all those crossed out 0s? That means I don't have to add ANYTHING to my soil.

Nothing. No bone meal. No creepy vampire astronaut food (dried blood, obviously - GET THERE FASTER, PEOPLE). No wood ash. And, not even any of the aluminum sulfate which I was *going* to add except that it's grody so I'd want to use peat moss instead and also because I don't need it since I changed what I was planting in that bed and those Good Time Vegetables are OK with a pH of 7.0.

Good kids, those.

Though, you will notice that the pH across the beds is a skosh high when compared to last year.

BUT ONLY A SKOSH. Nothing to be worried about.

And just because I like to show off my super high tech methods for soil testing, check out my collection of used flower vases that now serve the purpose of holding soil and water samples so that I can do all four beds' tests in one sitting rather than running back and forth from bed to hose to table to whatever like a fucking lunatic.

Perhaps this is not what the ProFlowers people had in mind with their Free Vase offer.
Feel free to use this shortcut WHEN YOU'RE TESTING YOUR SOIL, too because it speeds up the process a bit so that you don't fry your back in the recently emerged with a vengeance spring sun.

Not that I've ever done that.

And hey, if you need a soil test kit, amendments or whatever - I have handy links to those in my sidebar. Though that will mean that you can't use the excuse that you couldn't find the test kit in the one aisle of your hardware store that you looked in so oh well maybe next year but, come on, peckerhead. Just test your soil already.

Then let's get down to this business of growing a lot of tomatoes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just try not to get the Crazy all over you.

I think I promised you all something about running updates and garden updates, so I'll just get on with it if you don't mind.

Like you'd really mind. I mean, come on, you're HERE aren't you?

Whatever. This is already getting weird.

So - garden updates:

I have one again!

Forgive me for only using pictures from my phone. I'm very lazy these days.

Yes. It is official, I have planted the garden for the year.

And what did I plant without even asking you to Adopt a Crop because I'm just so obsessed with other garden-y things which I will talk about in just one second so quit pressuring me?

From back to front (which sounds wrong and gross, but that's *not* what we're talking about here):
Swedish Peanut Fingerling Potatoes 
Tall Telephone Peas
Solly Beiler Cucumber
Sunset Lettuce
De Pierre Petite Lettuce
Toma Verde Tomatillos
Golden Greek Peppers
Padron Peppers
Numex Jalmundo Peppers (aka Jalapeno Popper Peppers - WT Garden woo!)
Green Giant Tomatoes
Hillbilly Tomatoes
Brandywine Sudduth Pink Tomatoes
Better Boy Tomatoes

Plus, also the alleged Slo-Bolt Cilantro and a mess of Lettuce Leaf Basil, which LOVE.

And if you want to watch this garden as it grows and I take anal retentive photos of every step of its life and then record all of its harvests down to the last ounce and go completely monkey ass bonkers - you can follow me on myFolia, look at the myFolia gadget on the right nav bar, there or read this blog. Also, do not forget about The Finny Farm - it's the home for Crazy.

Because it's Garden Crazy All The Fucking Time Around Here, folks.

Speaking of which...

I think I am a nursery.

Um, so, more than the four plants I have room for.

You guys were warned when I told you I was going to learn to FINALLY GEEZ start tomato transplants from seed and properly harden them off.

You knew it'd come to this.

And, alas, it has.

I have gone 100% over to the dark side of my Crazy.

I realize - not the darkest of the dark sides, but wait.

I knew I'd hit Full Crazy when I bought a laminator, but let me back up.


So, I think the tomatoes were about yay big in their four to five seedling trays when I had a little coming to Jesus moment with Bubba.

Me: Bubbs, I have to admit something.
Bubba: OK.
Me: I think I'm going to have to make proper plant tags for all of my tomato plants.
Bubba: OK.
Me: I think I'm going to have to make proper plant tags for all of my tomato plants and then give them to people in exchange for AIDS LifeCycle donations and then sell them at our neighborhood garage sale and then trade them for other goods and services.
Bubba: OK.
Me: I think I'm going to have to just let my crazy out all over these proper plant tags though. Not just, like, write the names of the plants on a tag with a crayon, but, like, actually design some plant tags and then maybe make a support site and then try to get people to give me their seeds back so I can save them to do this again next year and everything. Like, I'm going to go all the way crazy with this and I just think that you should know.
Bubba: OK.
Bubba: No. I assumed you'd do this.
Me: *silence*...Really?
Bubba: Yeah. Totally.
Bubba: Yeah. I suspected.
Me: OK. I give up trying to scare you. You're UNSCARABLE.
Bubba: That's not a word.

So, yeah, not sure why I feel like I need to let you guys in on the mundane and boring conversations that go on between the Bubba and I, but basically, he can see the future, I'm crazy and my Crazy leaked out all over the tomato transplant situation to the point where I custom designed plant tags for everything, laminated them, built a support site to gather pictures and tomato seeds and other people's Crazy and holy hell if it's not all the way out of control and so super fun that I'm feeling like an extra big nerd.


And for those who came to pick up their tomatoes last weekend, they got to see my Crazy in person and no one was even scared.

See? That is not the face of a scared person. Brave woman, she!
In fact, they seemed thrilled! Which does not bode well for my future Crazy levels.

Like my mom used to tell us when my brother was acting up around the house, "DON'T ENCOURAGE HIM!"

I think that applies, but now that I'm a grown-up, I don't have anyone to warn me.