Dragging My Feet

Yesterday was pretty much a wasted day. It's the second time in a week that I've dragged my feet getting around. Usually I'm fairly productive, but everyone gets a little sluggish from time to time, I guess. I'll do better today. Today is a day at home, and I'm determined to finish up We are the World today. Of course, dragging my feet has meant that I've done almost no housework either, and so I'm going to try to get caught up on both. We'll just see how I do.

Mike and I are planning a camping trip to Mt. St. Helens (which is now a national park) this weekend. We were living in Oregon on May 18, 1980, when the mountain erupted, killing 57 people. Before the eruption, the mountain was beautiful with Spirit Lake in the foreground of this image:

After the eruption, it looked like this:

For a long time we lived with lesser eruptions that blew ash in our direction. The fine layer of dust left behind on my piano actually scratched the surface when I dusted shortly thereafter. It was rock, after all. Fortunately, I was able to polish it out.

We drove to the top of Council Crest, one of the higher points in Portland to watch the eruption that day. Erik was just a baby then, and I was compelled to include in his baby book, "First witnessed volcanic eruption" on the page of his firsts. Not everyone gets to have that written in their baby book. Also, I'll always remember it as the day when he first pulled himself to a standing position.

Anyway...we see the mountain from our house, of course. It's shorter now than it once was.

But we haven't actually been up close to the mountain since its designation as a national park. It seems like a good maiden voyage in the new truck camper (maiden voyage for me, at least...which makes sense since I'm the maiden). So that's what we're doing. Rest assured, the volcanic activity has settled down these days, and it's perfectly safe to visit.

So what did I do yesterday, anyway? Well...I could hardly tear myself away from my new embroidery project. Usually my projects are done in one stitch--either back stitch or stem stitch--with a few French knots thrown in...maybe a little satin stitch. This one has a few different little stitches, which is making it fun.

The gray lines will wash away when I rinse out the Sticky Fabri-Solvy, which is currently my favorite way to transfer embroidery designs. You can see that it's a little tricky when you have a design larger than one sheet. The two sheets want to separate, and I'm having to rehoop and adjust it fairly regularly.

When I could force myself to put down the needle, I went outside to work in the garden with Chief Dirty Foot of the Never Wash Tribe .

I guess we're friends again. He was mad at me for holding him down while Mike applied his Advantage flea treatment the day before.

I promised you a picture of the daylilies, so here you go.

We planted the seeds for the illegal opium poppies (P. somniferum to you), and then I cut the deadheads from all the iris. When I was finished, there was just one lonely iris left, and it too is dying.

I had a bucket full of iris stalks then and I trekked them down to the far end of the field. Mike has moved the burn pile to the other side of the field next to the pump house, I'm happy to say. Nice to have it somewhere where it doesn't detract from the view of the mountains.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you might remember that we have cultivated a "wild area" in our field. Our property is designated a "Certified Wildlife Habitat" by the National Wildlife Federation. It's a stupid designation since anyone can do it, but we did it so that we could learn some ways to make our property wildlife friendly. For example, bird feeders, water features or bird baths are recommended. Cultivating a "wild area" is another suggestion. It simply means that we have about half an acre that we leave unmowed. It's good for the ground-nesting birds, bugs, butterflies, etc. We can also see places where deer sometimes bed down for the night. This is also the area where we often see the bobcat when he's roaming around.

Also, you might recall that I tried to get a wildflower field growing here once. The seeds I sowed myself were a dismal failure, disappearing in just two summers. But the real wildflowers are still present. There are a few different ones, but it's not as pretty as the summer when I was able to get my own wildflower garden growing. I think the grass just choked them out over time, and it's not much of a wild area if we're constantly rototilling it up and replanting it. We'll just have to be satisfied with what grows on its own...which is sort of the definition of "wild".

Smitty has hassled the squirrels to the point that there are none living by the house any more. I noticed that they've taken up residence under our pump house now.

Looks like the pump house could use a paint job...not to mention a new roof. It's sort of the neglected stepchild of the structures on our property.

They've also dug into the sides of the embankment there.

It's a good place for them. We can all live in harmony if they just keep their distance from my garden.

The herb garden is looking good right now. It always takes us a while to get the weeds under control each spring. Mike weeded it for about the third time last weekend. I've weeded it twice myself. There is a lot of dirt visible right now because we dug out two huge sage plants that had grown too large and were crowding everything else out.

We replaced it with one smaller one. You can see that the chive blossoms are finished now.

The Italian parsley I planted earlier this past spring is ready to harvest now. I'll just pick from it when I want it. Sometimes this will come back next year if the winter is mild.

Also, I was afraid my marjoram might have died over the winter, but it's looking pretty good now.

So that was our day. I picked some lettuce for a main dish salad for dinner and then slugged around some more in the evening. Hopefully today will be a more productive day, and I'll get some quilting in.

Miss Gracie has been laying low trying to avoid her turn under the Advantage drip treatment. She'll get her turn very soon.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

quiltzyx said...

Has Spirit Lake made any sort of a comeback since the eruption? Hope you have a fun weekend!

The new stitchery is looking might fine! That one is for the travel trailer, isn't it?

It's funny for me to think of squirrels as pests, instead of just cute little furry creatures. Good for Smitty in keeping them farther away from the house & garden!

Tell Gracie that she looks quite gorgeous in her latest portrait!

Tami C said...

I too remember when Mt. St. Helens blew it's top. We were living in Las Animas, Co at the time and it was really weird that everything was covered with a layer of Mt. St. Helens and we were almost 1,500 miles away.

I'm looking forward to telling my husband about the nick-name you have given to Smitty! Chief Dirty Foot of the Never Wash Tribe is just too cute!

Since we live on the 3rd floor of a 6 story building, I don't have a garden. I love looking at yours! I have started growing a few things on my lanai: tomatoes, Italian parsley and catnip. I started the tomatoes from seed and was able to find the other 2 at a local nursery called Nicks. I've actually started using the parsley already. It was great to be able to have fresh parsley instead of dried in my crab cakes. I think I'm going to stick with those 3 things for this year and just keep watching all the lovely things that you post.

Valerie Reynolds said...

Oh man barb....I haven't got to my RSC or AYOF yet....and the month's almost over...LOL!! So know i'm dragging too!!

Kirsty said...

Such a lovely post, today. I feel very content after reading.

barbara woods said...


Vroomans' Quilts said...

I think I would drag my feet too with the gorgeous scenery you have around you. I'd be out in the flowers and beds on any good weather day.

WoolenSails said...

It looks like you have been busy to me, lol. It is sad to see the different in the mountain, but still a beautiful area.


Brown Family said...

The last trip we took to the North West, we went to Mt. St. Helens . After seeing it on TV and reading about the eruption, I just wanted to see what it looks like now. Well, now was five or so years ago. Very enjoyable. I would have loved to spend more time and walk some of the trails, but we were moving a large family from Washington to Oklahoma and had pest in the car.

Brown Family said...

THat should have been pets, as in cats and dogs! Although 5 boys might have been pests! hahaha

Dana Gaffney said...

I always wondered where you were when it erupted, it would have been fascinating but horrible to see it. I hope the land and lake have restored themselves.

Dasha said...

Well for someone who wasn't productive, you seem to achieved a great deal. Not the least of which, was showing us some delightful shots of your garden.

Jacque said...

Hey, Chief Dirtyfoot! This is Moses.....don't let them get by so easily after putting The Nasty Flea Stuff on. I know how it feels; sometimes I stand outside and just wiggle my shoulders and skooch around, cos it feels so icky. Make 'em give you treats and snuggle you good before you make up with them, OK? We guys have to stick together about this! Meow!