Thursday, May 13, 2010

My step father's birthday was a few days ago.
Dad was a pretty decent mechanic who would have found this "pickup" a bit over the top, even as he would have studied how it was done.
This rig was about 36" tall with the engine blocking all of the front view.
I am assuming it was not driven on the street!


There was a light knock on the door.

Miriam and I had slept in our teardrop trailer, but I got up earlier than her and had gone into our daughters house to check email and news.

It was church day and everyone was getting a bit extra sleep. That was OK.

When I answered the door I was greeted by a handsome Navajo native american. Daughter's land is on a reservation, but not Navajo.

“Is Cliff up?” Cliff is my son-in-law, and no, he wasn't up.

“I had to put an old horse down last night and I need borrow Cliff's backhoe to dig a grave.”

I woke Cliff. It was raining and was not going to be a pleasant day to do what had to be done.

The trailer for the backhoe was there at the house, but the backhoe itself had been leant to another native friend. Cliff put on his work clothes, skipped church, and spent the day helping a man in distress.

We take church day pretty seriously. We avoid any extra work. We try to make it a day to stop and think and relax a bit, but it also a day to help others.

Christians, for the most part are not very useful to the rest of the world, sometimes we get in people's way (not to mention getting into their face).

Cliff has made good strong friendships of many of his native neighbors. I am impressed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kale, pretty healthy stuff!


This weekend we planted tomatoes and weeded strawberries.

The planting was the easy part. Prepping the dirt and getting the plants into the ground went well. But it was 28 or 29 degrees the night before with no promise that this is the end of frosts for the season. So, we put covers on all the plants, 55 in all.

For decades we have been using waxed paper “hot caps” for the purpose, but a few years ago some one invented a gizmo called “walls of water.”

It is a series of tubes that are filled with water, that modify the temp inside the structure. When they first came out I was not impressed, being sure it was an inventors gizmo and maybe not a gardeners.

But there are all sorts of studies to show that it works an works pretty well. So that is what we did. The problem is that it takes about 5 minutes to set each one in place and fill those tubes with water. At least it takes that long for us to do it!

But the job was done and now there are two long rows of tomatoes, along with a few pepper plants, growing ready for warm weather.

A couple days later I helped the nearby daughter dig the dandelions out of her strawberry beds. The two plants grow well together, that is the Dandelions grow with abandon, and eventually crowd out the strawberries.

But we dug out a big pile of weeds, replanted some of the berries and got it watered, ready for another season of good taste.

It was good.