Monday, July 9, 2012

Falling asleep to the sound of thunder

I love sleeping with the windows open, a cool breeze blowing across the bedroom and the distant sound of thunder booming off the mountains. Saturday it rained almost all day bu the actual rainfall level was tiny. So tiny that I had to water the garden yesterday as the tomato plants were crying and shriveling up a little. I was almost annoyed, a whole day of rain and still had to drag the hose out, but it's for a good cause. Sunday it rained from about 6pm until 3am, a real rainfall this time, the yard looked awesome this morning as it struggles to recover from 3 weeks of 100 degree weather.

Visited our friends who were finally back home, the area looks bizarre with all these large expensive homes that look perfect and then some foundations filled with melted vehicles and burnt wood. We didn't drive around the brunt out neighborhoods, it was already overloaded with people gawking. Our friends had several spots on the back deck that were almost fires but the hot shot brush crew did an amazing job only losing 3 houses down the hill. The top of the hill was abandoned shortly after the fire popped into town, it was too risky in case the fire swept around and burnt back up.
Front deck looking east

Driving to friends, right of dead center is their house, and that's where the fire stopped

We picked up a truckload of mulch and put some down in the corn and around the blueberry bushes and a few other plants. We thinned out the beans, radishes, lettuce and corn. The pumpkin plants got some TLC, they are getting really big and the zucchini finally flowered last night. I lack patience at times, especially when we want fresh garden veggies with dinner and have to head to the store instead of the yard.
All this thinning meant I had a great home salad with butter lettuce, radishes, sweet pepper, blueberries, strawberries and tomatoes. In real money this salad cost me about $10 with seed and water but since we have easily devoured $40 in tomatoes I'm way ahead. I have about $40 of tomatoes waiting to ripen currently, not sure if I'll even get any canned, nothing like a good tomato sandwich.

We discovered some sewer line work needs to done and we are debating digging the line ourselves instead of paying to have it done. It will save us about $800 but if you have dug in Colorado clay then you know that it's a backbreaking ordeal to dig down 7 feet deep, 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. Sometimes it's worth it to just pay, but I think I'll give it a go and see just how much of a fight it will be. Clay, roots and a huge hole... I might have lost the battle before it started. I know we can do it manually if we really have to but we are fortunate that we have a choice.


  1. You're in good enough shape to try that dig. It's not even a question for me unfortunately.

    1. I'm going to talk it over at home and see, plus call and find out if it will really save us the money. I'm just guessing it will, but I don't know.

      It's also a great reason to go get a new set of hand tools, I'm guaranteed to bust ever single one I have since they are all 20+ years old.

  2. Max - i love falling asleep to the sound of rain and thunder showers and thunderstorms, too! sorry that you still had to water the garden after a day of rain - that sucks! i hear you on lacking patience - after i have planted my seeds i go and check on them hourly waiting to see if they have sprouted yet - bahahahah! i know, now, for next year that i am starting all of my stuff way earlier than i did this year! i will be mulching my corn with comfrey leaves - we have tons of comfrey and it is really good as mulch. our potatoe tires are now stacked 3 high and most are starting to flower - woohoo - we'll be eating potatoes soon!

    ugh. sewer line work. i think that if you are out in the middle of nowhere - then you can really save on doing the work yourself. but honest to goodness - you can hire someone and not have to deal with the headache. maybe if you didn't work a full-time job, it could be something to tackle - but i say hire out!

    your friend,

    1. I have some corn that stopped growing at 10 inches, so it's going to get mulched in with the rest of the stuff I've been thinning out.
      I'm doing 'taters next year when I expand another 30 foot section of garden.

  3. max - give it a go for your own "can-do" satisfaction, but you will probably find out quickly that it will be easier to hire someone - UNLESS the clay is on the surface... which is doubtful.

    the length and width isn't so bad, it's the depth that will kill you... the deeper you go, the more compact the clay becomes... 7 feet down will probably be like concrete.. don't hurt yourself pal!

    1. I let a good joke go but thanks for making me think of it.
      I'm going to make a test dig on Saturday and see what it's like. If I pay to have it done it will be over in a day, that's a big bonus as well, not having to fence off half the side yard for a month.