2/2/13

Cleanhouse


If you're here for the January linky party, click right here.

No, not a "clean house".  That would be too much to ask for.  Actually, a clean greenhouse = "Cleanhouse".  As opposed to the rotten house of tomato death that it was earlier this morning.


It was a lovely day today.  There was no wind, which can put a chill on even the sunniest of days where we live.  The temperature outdoors was 51°F, which was 30° warmer than it has been for pretty much the entire month of January.  Mike and I decided it was the day we would bite the bullet and clean out our greenhouse, and it was a very nice way to spend the day despite the work involved.  Here are all the dead tomato vines we pulled out of the greenhouse.  They are headed for the burn pile.


Here is the spent potting soil that is headed to the garden to be tilled in with the compost.  


The garden was such an utter failure last year that we aren't planting one this year.  When even zucchini won't grow in your garden, you know you've got problems.  We're going to have the soil tested and do some soil amendments.  Besides, I've had one too many years of spending days planting it only to have it be a major disappointment.  I'm taking this year off just to show it who's boss.  (I believe that would be the garden.)

And here's how the greenhouse looked after all the pots were removed.  Oy.  What a mess.  We ended up doing a combination of raking, sweeping, and hand-picking to get all the crap up off the floor.


An hour later, it looked like this:


I only added back the slats on one side toward the rear on the left.  That's where I'll put my tomato starts once it's warm enough to bring them outside.  When the plants are tall enough, we'll remove the slats and set them on the ground.  If you haven't seen what the greenhouse looks like when it's full of tomatoes, here's a picture from last year:


This picture was taken in July of last year.  Eventually, they were touching the ceiling.  Lovely.

I have to say that I'm proud of my little rosemary plant.  It was in the greenhouse, and I forgot to bring it in this winter.  We can't grow rosemary in the herb garden because it is always killed off during the winter.  When we lived at lower elevations, it was a perennial.  Here on the mountain, it's an annual, and so I've been keeping it in a pot so that I have it year round.  Anyway . . . I forgot to bring the poor thing in, and then I never checked on it.  After so much time had passed, I just figured it was dead.  But look at this!


It's still alive and kicking, which is a testament to how much moisture is in the air in the greenhouse in the winter.  It literally drips from the ceiling when it is wet for days on end.  It's dry in the summer.  We gave it some water, and then put it back in the greenhouse since it seems to like it so much in there.  I'll check in on the poor thing every once in a while and give it a drink.

Since you seem to like it when I post pictures of the mountains, I thought I'd show you Mt. Adams, which doesn't often make it into the mountain views.  This is what it looks like when I stand next to the door of the greenhouse.


When I walk past that tree on the left and down to the edge of the grass, you can see all three mountains.  And now you know what I mean when I say it is a Three Mountain Day.


That's Mt. Rainier on the left, Mt. St. Helens in the middle, and Mt. Adams on the right.  If we drive a little ways down the hill, Mt. Hood will come into view on the extreme right side.  Someday when I have time, I'll try to get a picture of all four mountains in one frame.  Actually, I'm not sure it can be done.

Smitty thought he had died and gone to heaven.  He was so excited!!  Not only was it not raining, but the people came outside!!!!!!  Holy Whisker Mittens!  (That's what Smitty says when he gets excited.)


So, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I used to take my dear kitty George for walks in our woods.  I've been waiting for some decent weather so that I could introduce little Smitty to the woods.  Today was the day.

The path that is cut through the woods is sort of a figure eight, and the woods extend down an embankment on the west side of our property.  That means that the path also extends down to the access road that we share with our other four neighbors who live closest to us.  Needless to say, I don't want Smitty wandering down to the road and away from the house until I've had a chance to show him the ropes a little bit.  Since I don't really know what he will do when we go for walks (George always stayed right by my side), I haven't wanted to venture too far.  Today, we stayed on the part of the path where the house is visible.  He was so excited, he did just what I thought he would do, which was to run from tree to tree and run up as many as possible.  Uh, oh.  A little too high here.  He got down by himself though.


He was charging around at half the speed of light; thus, the blur.


Can you see how the ridge of dark fur on his back is standing on end?  So funny.


So when we'd had all the excitement we could stand, we came up and filled the bird feeders for the first time in months.  We're very bad bird parents and don't feed the birds in the winter.  It's too cold and wet, and I, for one, don't feel like trudging around in the mud.  Sorry, birdies.  Anyway, we fed them today.  

As long as we're going to feed the birds, we decided it was time to cut some branches off a low-lying tree.  You can see how close it is to our birdbath in the image below.  The birdbath is a little difficult to see, so I put an arrow pointing up to it.


Smitty had taken to sitting on that rock that was well-sheltered by the tree limbs and waiting for the birds.  The birds would be hard pressed to see him there.  But we fixed his little red wagon and cut the limbs so that he will be much more visible.

Besides, this is what I refer to as the "rock chair".  If one doesn't mind getting poked in the butt too much, one can sit here and admire the view of the mountains.


Someday I hope to share the rock chair with my not-yet-conceived grandchildren.  (Sigh.)

So that's about it for the outdoors today.  

When I mentioned having machine tied a flannel quilt in a recent blog post, a few of you asked about it.  Here is the quilt I was referring to.  It is a rag quilt, and it's one of the very first quilts I made when I started quilting.  I call this quilt "The Great Outdoors" after the flannel fabric line that it's made from.


I love this quilt.  It's the one I snuggle up under when we watch TV in the evenings.  Anyway...I used a buttonhole stitch on my sewing machine to machine tie each square in the four-patches.  You can see it right in the center.  It's a little eyelet buttonhole stitch.


Here it is a little closer up and easier to see.


This quilt has received a lot of love, and these are still holding fast.  You can make one of these little buttonholes in less than a minute, and it's a little easier on your fingers than hand-tying.  Still, I like the look of hand-tying.  I'm still considering whether I'll use this machine stitch when I tie my Salt Water Taffy quilt, or whether I'll do the good old-fashioned hand tying method.  And it would help to actually finish the quilt first too.



So how's your Saturday going?






29 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

Love your greenhouse, would love to have one so I could grow sooner. Moki gets that ridge too, looks like it was the perfect day for Smitty to have fun.

Debbie

MyJourneyBack said...

What a great full post! I am so sorry about your veggie garden. I am sad. I so wish I could have one again! And you have a green house! What a lucky girl. Our cat follows us when I take our dog out. We're in an apartment now and I really have to watch him crossing the parking lot. I think I am more worried than he is. He is really savvy. Love your quilts. It was another fun visit here. I am doing Scavenger hunt Sunday your fast running kitty gave me an idea for the fast photo this week. Thanks for the inspiration.
Smiles,
Sherry

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

You sure have a wonderful home and your cat is soooo funny. Love those action shots.

Kathleen said...

I have a vegetable garden every year and love working in the dirt. Maybe this year was just not the year for home grown tomatoes. Somehow we got a virus in the garden that killed off all the vegs we grow. Oh well, next year will be better. XX Kathleen

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Always fulfilling to play in dirt. My furries enjoyed today - warmer and no snow or wind.

treadlemusic said...

Love, love, love the greenhouse! And the views of the mountains are truly breathtaking!! Your idea for the "eyelet" tied quilt was pure genius! Certainly would work with the 'Taffy' quilt but hand tying is super, also. For me, today didn't produce the total results I had hoped. Yesterday had purchased fabric for the borders on an old pieced WIP that will be for our bed in the summer months. Usually I buy in excess....not this time! So, Tuesday I will be on my way back to the LQS for a couple of yards more. Kinda changed the game plan and made the borders wider than originally planned....oh well......

Cath said...

I loved your post today....you live in such a beautiful spot....and I love to read what Smitty and Gracie are up to. You sound a bit like me with the future grandkiddies.....I can't wait!
Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

Colleen said...

My saturday was a boring day at home. Cleaning and destashing on my blog yard sale. Thank you for the mountains and Smitty! They always make me smile!

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

I dream of having a greenhouse one day! Even though it would only add a few months to my growing season it would be so worth it. Your post reminded me of how our cat used to follow me some days on my paper route all around the neighborhood. Just about the time I'd think he was lost he'd come flying down the block, I haven't thought of that in years!

rubyslipperz said...

I'm sooo bad! =(. I love to look at, appreciate gardens. I just don't like to take care of them. I admire those who put in all of the work, tho.

Today was really nice! It went by way too fast. I feel like when I get older...days fly by exponentially (sp?)

hugZ,
annie

Rachel said...

Thanks for the tour!!

Angel and Kirby said...

I love the rock chair. One of my favorite places on the family farm is on the rim of the hill. There are big slabs of rock that I love to sit on and just look at the works. Of course it is just a little hill and nothing like your mountains.

Lynne said...

Your Saturday sounds like it was very productive. Mine involved some general tidying of the sewing room, packing for my class on Monday (which resumes after the summer break, working on a layout for some long-finished blocks and cutting and tacking hexagons. It also included pancakes for breakfast made by WM!

Teresa in Music City said...

All that outdoor cleaning and talk of greenhouses made me feel like spring may be finally on the way!! And of course, Mr. Phil the groundhog did not see his shadow today, so.... YAY!!!

That's an amazing rosemary plant! It looks as healthy as any plant I've ever seen! If they're that easy to keep I may try to plant a few myself :*)

Love, Love, Love pictures of the mountains! And Mr. Smitty too of course. What a fine handsome young man he is becoming =^..^=

Tami C said...

Your greenhouse, bird bath, rock chair, Smitty, Mountain views, .... just everything is so wonderful! This was a really great post. Thank you!

Michele said...

I'm jealous of those tomatoes. I haven't had a garden in a few years but hubs built me a new planing bed last fall and I can't wait until spring to get started. And as usual, I love seeing what Mr Smitty has been up to. I'm sure he was a ton of laughs on the walk.

Donana said...

I am in awe of your beautiful home. I'm so jealous of your greenhouse, your home, your fur babies, your view...everything. You are living my dream. We live in a townhome and are planning to move back into the country into a small cottage. I want a garden, fur babies, and be able to hang my quilts in the sunshine outside! It may not seem like a big dream to some, but it's huge to me. I can tell you appreciate your wonderful life and you do not take it for granted. That's why I love your blog. Thank you for showing me something beautiful everyday.

Vickie said...

That is a great way to tie a quilt and it looks very neat. I've hand tied a few and I'm always concerned about the thread coming loose. It's beautiful where you live. With all those pine trees I've heard soil is really acidic, could that be your garden problems? Our garden is good one year and bad the next, it depends if it gets and stays hot early in the year.

KatieQ said...

Using your machine to "tie" your quilt was really genius.
I love to grow rosemary, but it can be quite fickle in our garden. We plant it at the summer house in East Hampton. The temperature is more moderate than at home, but survival can be hit or miss over the winter.
We can't bring it home because our house gets very dry with our wood burning stove and electric heat.
I love reading about Smitty's adventures.

basildonkitchens said...

I love your green house - looks like you had a very productive day! Here in southern Ontario, we received 18" of snow!

Our garden is a disappointment too - last year we had a bumper crop of rabbits (I sure could have used Smitty's talents) They ate everything! My hollyhocks, my sunflowers and the morning after the beans sprouted we went to the garden to see only bean stocks! We laughed so hard!

Love your post! Great shot of the mountains too - so different from where we are! :)

Great idea machine 'tying' your quilt - I'll have to remember that.

Thanks for a great read with my morning coffee :)

Connie

Angie said...

Oh my goodness, I love where you live!!! And oh girl, I have a truly lustful heart, and I don't mind admitting it, over that Greenhouse!!!

Snoodles said...

Our soil is poor here, too....I'm about ready to say I'm not planting this year, but I might anyway. :) Love the photos of Smitty playing, and the mountains sure are gorgeous!

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

So much happiness in the post - it made me smile the whole time while reading it. Your view is amazing! Smitty looks like he really enjoyed his first venture into the 'wild'.

The Cat From Hell said...

Love your shots, made me homesick for the wet coast where we could see Rainier.

Kate Brown said...

You live in such a beautiful area! Smitty sure looks like he is going to enjoy your walk in the woods. :) Am also thinking he will be a handful!!! LOL When I use to have all my wonderful gardens I used miracle grow and watered them pretty regular with it and my vegtables came out incredible. We didnt always have the greatest soil but the miracle grow more than made up for it. I just got the sprayer that connected to the hose. We always had an abundance, Might be worth a try for youl.

Holly Field said...

Hi, I just found your blog, and LOVE your greenhouse. I'm from WA state, and always put my tomatoes in the greenhouse too. And, the rosemary, lived year round, always available. Can you tell I miss NW gardening. Here in Indiana, it's hit & miss. Either too hot, too cold, too much rain or a freeze. I haven't gotten it right yet.

Thanks for the great pics of the mountains. I miss those too. You put it right, they always take your breath away, on a clear day.

Diane Wild said...

I wish we had mile weather but, alas, it's not to be. We're still in the deep freeze.

Patrica said...

Loved your Saturday tour. I too spent Sat. in the garden since it was such a fantastic warmish day in the mountains for us in No. Cal. I'm surprised that your rosemary doesn't do well since mine grows like a weed here year round in all kinds of weather, snow, ice, heat and summer drought. Isn't it funny how different micro climates produce different results. I tell my husband thank God we don't have to make a living as farmers cuz we'd starve to death!

Kate said...

You had a very productive weekend. Glad you got out when the weather was good. It was nice here this weekend, but we had too much going on to enjoy it.

Thanks for sharing Smitty's first walk in the woods. It's fun to see him discovering the trees.