October 31, 2009: Happy Halloween!

My garden pumpkins were all put to good use, as pies or Halloween Jack O' Lanterns.



Scott and Kobi


Trick or Treat!

Bryan, Amy and Alicia (Alicyn's parents/sister) don't have theirs carved yet, thus no photos from them.

October 28, 2009: Mr. Fixit

Mr. H had an extension cord that had been accidentally cut, then repaired with electrical tape. Upon my insistence, yesterday he picked up a new end for it and today he did a lovely job of repairing it properly for my safety and his.


Uh....what's wrong with this picture?

October 26, 2009: Things are Heating Up!

The Sears repairman was supposed to be here between 8 and noon today to fix the water heater. By three this afternoon, I was sitting in a lovely tub full of warm water.....because I boiled four big pots of it on the stove and took them into the bathroom to add to the cold water in the tub! I was feeling so clean and good smelly in that bath when the repairman finally arrived. But now the water heater is temporarily fixed.....the igniter was defective, and he didn't have a replacement in stock, so it will be a week to ten days to have it shipped. The heater was installed new last January, and used less than two months. They sure don't make things like they used to. This time the part was under warranty, so it didn't cost us anything for the replacement. Next time we might not be so lucky.

When I looked out my bedroom window Saturday morning, I was greeted with this lovely surprise. The cacti around my house usually blossom while I'm gone through the summer, so I was excited to see a bud on this cactus when we arrived last week. As beautiful as it is, it blessed us for less than a day. It was gone by noon.

The weeds aren't too bad this year, evidently we didn't get much rain through the summer. I've begun the clean up on lot #1 (shown here), just six more lots to go. Yep......seven lots of nothing....LOL! That area of vegetation is the east boundary of our property, the other six lots are to the south of this one. It's always a bit of a shock to go from the green of Washington to the tan of the desert.

The tree we cut down has been removed to the local landfill.

I'm only getting internet sporadically, so I'm not answering the comments as well as I should be. I hope all of you understand. I've checked out the library, and they didn't have their internet up and running at all, so I have to make do with this occasional connection for now. No work has been done on the WIFI tower in this entire first week we've been here, so I'm not holding my breath it will be finished anytime soon.

October 23, 2009: Everything is Under Control

Well, almost everything. DISH sent out an installer and got three TVs and an extra outlet installed, so I don't have to watch sports with Mr. H now. Our water heater was under warranty with Sears, so that will be repaired....but not until Monday. We're still heating water on the stove for washing dishes and bodies. The toilets have both been repaired, so no more buckets of water in the bathrooms. I've started the yard cleanup, and we actually removed one of the old palo verde trees from the back, which just might tempt me to build a 4'x8' garden back there.

Internet connection has been very poor, I couldn't get on at all after about 7:00 am yesterday, and I'm just now getting on today....let's hope it will connect long enough to post this! But guess what...that might all change before long.

See that tower that's right across the street? That will become a new WIFI tower that's supposed to reach out 30 miles. I have no idea when it will be finished though. I've heard it is eventually supposed to be 100 feet high, but right now it's probably about 20'.

Just look at this mess I had to rig together to get water to all the plants through the summer. I had to have three outlets coming from one timer.

See what I bought and installed! Isn't it lovely! And it gives me a fourth faucet!

Our little ficus tree is toast. It was nice and green when we left it, and our neighbor said it stayed green all summer. He left for two weeks, and he turned the sprinkler up on it, thinking it might need more water....I think he drowned it. When I checked the drip system, the water was about two inches deep around the tree basin in less than five minutes. I think we'll just get a desert tree to replace it...a palo verde or desert willow.

The palm looks good and healthy. We'll trim her "skirt" off tomorrow and make her pretty again.

This is my "garden" area before cutting down one of the palo verde trees. Quite different from my Washington garden, huh?

With the tree out, I'm thinking of turning these 2 3'x3' beds into one 4'x8' bed. It has proved to be a good spot to grow lettuce and carrots through the winter.

The lettuce seedlings and rosemary are happy in their new environment.

I'm still on line, but I'd better not push it. Fingers are crossed that I can publish this......here goes!

October 20, 2009: Home at Last!

It was a looooong eleven hour drive from Jackpot, NV to Bouse, AZ yesterday. It was made even longer than usual by a detour we decided to take to bypass downtown Las Vegas freeways. We'd always wanted to try taking the route by Nellis AFB over to Boulder Highway so, since we had arrived in Vegas at least an hour ahead of schedule, we gave it a try. Bad choice. Although the traffic was lighter, and the drive less stressful than Vegas freeways, I think I hit every stop light! And with a speed limit of 45 mph, it seemed as though we crawled through town at a snail's pace. I can normally go completely through Vegas in 30 minutes or less, but this little ordeal took more then an hour. Oh well, at least we know now! The weather was sunny and hot. It's always a bit of a shock to leave on a cold morning, then be running the air conditioning by noon, but sure nice to have such good weather this late in the month.

We had just upgraded our DISH receivers before leaving home, so took a chance the dual recievers would work with our old antenna down here. Would you believe it was actually an easy setup on TV #1, and we had reception in just minutes. But the second receiver, set up in exactly the same way to another cable, gave me nothing. I got a dual signal from the first receiver, so thought we could just move that cable the next morning, but it turned out that, although I could view a different channel, the remote would not work with TV #2! If I don't figure out how to fix it, I'm destined to watch FOOD TV all winter, 'cause I can't change the channel! Actually, by now, I'd probably be watching the DISH screen saver. I ended up watching the only video tape I had in the house, the movie Cold Mountain. We'll try to get a technician here soon to set up the system correctly.

Annie was so happy to be "home"! She went belly up on the living room floor for nearly two hours, with a big smile on her face. You haven't lived until you've seen Annie sprawled out belly up and smiling! Otto ran around for a bit, then settled into his favorite chair. They seem to remember this being their home, and are joyfully running in and out of their doggy door to play in the front yard then jump on the sofa.

We ran into the same-old-same-old when we got here. Extremely tired, hungry, having to unload at least the necessities, hooking up the TV, the innards of both toilets having weakened and disintegrated from the summer's heat. At least the house was nice and clean, the beds only needed to be turned down to air out a bit, and a jug of water set in each bathroom for flushing. I cooked some bacon in the microwave and made toasted BLTs for a quick dinner. Of course, I had a good sized basket of tomatoes!

In the past, we've had to drive all the way to Lake Havasu City, 70 miles away, to get to the nearest Super Wal-mart. But this year we have a brand new one right over at Parker, just 25 miles away! We already checked it out this morning and donated a couple hundred dollars to stock the pantry, fix the toilets and purify the drinking water. It makes all the difference in the world to finally have some nearby shopping, and it cost about half of our normal winter stock-up. Maybe I won't sell this place after all!

I do have intermittent WIFI, same as last year. It's via Hughes satellite from the neighboring RV park, slow and unreliable. If I'm lucky I can stay on long enough to blog and get email, but it's iffy.

The rosemary plant and lettuce seedlings made the trip just fine, but I have a lot of yard cleanup to do before I even think about starting my tiny veggie garden. In the meantime, the plants should be happy in their pots on the front porch.

Well, back to work. The pilot lights have to be lit on the stove and water heater, the bathrooms have to be cleaned after getting sprayed with broken flusher parts, and the puppies need a bit of people time after that long trip.

October 19, 2009: On the Road Again

After a delicious steak dinner last night, we came back to our room and hit the sack early. Annie and Otto were so happy to see us walk into the room! I think they thought they had been abandoned in a strange place! Otto immediately tunneled under the covers and fell asleep on my feet, but Annie was a bit edgy off and on all night. She thinks she's the big family protector, and must stay on guard against strange hotel sounds. Luckily it never got any worse than a low growl or a muffled, soft "woof", but I was restless most of the night waiting for her to erupt into full fledged barking. We woke up at 2:30this morning, bright and bushy tailed from having gone to bed so early, but forced ourselves to go back to sleep. We'll be leaving around 7, which should put us "home" around 5-6 this evening.

This will be my last post for ??? There aren't a lot of options for internet service in our little town. I can only hope the library has their satellite service up and running. In the meantime, my daughter has learned to post to my blog....and she can even publish the comments now, LOL, so I'll have her drop in and let everyone know what's up if I can't.

October 18, 2009: First Day on the Road

Weather was beautiful for the first leg of the trip south. We left home at 4:30 this morning, arrived in Jackpot, NV at noon. Our "pet room" wasn't ready, and we had to wait three hours to get in. I'm getting WIFI in the room, but only if I set the laptop right next to the window. That's OK, at this point I'll take whatever I can get.

We're off to dinner now, I hope to blog more later this evening....at least answer some of the many comments that have been left for me!

October 17, 2009: Heading Out in the Morning!

Hi, all. I'm on my last library run before packing up the computer. We're going to head south around 5 in the morning, so I have quite a few last minute chores to tend to.

The garden didn't get completely cleaned up, so I'll have a job waiting for me when I get back. Mr. H, youngest son and I got a lot of it cleaned out this week though, and I did get the shallots planted yesterday.

The three pots of lettuce seedlings, as well as my young rosemary plant, are packed in the pickup for the Arizona salad garden.

The hotel in Jackpot now advertises high speed internet, so I'm hoping that also applies to their motel where we have a pet room reserved. If so, I'll try to catch up with the recent comments. Amy has learned to publish rather than delete them for me now!

So....adios, and here's hoping I have internet service in Bouse this year!

Love to all.....Granny

October 16, 2009: It's My Parsnip and I'll Cry if I Want To!

HAH! I sure fooled you guys with that October 23rd. date on October 13th. I was just seeing if you were paying attention! *grin*.

The parsnips have been dug. They weren't as heavy or as impressive as I thought, weighing in at 7 pounds 8 ounces. One huge parsnip was woody as a tree trunk, so it wasn't added to the weight total. I was a bit disappointed that these weren't actually as good as the ones I dug earlier in the season. Those were tender clear through, and had a good flavor. These later ones had really tough unusable cores, so I am only using the outer parts. The flavor is about the same as the earlier ones. I'll not plant them in 2010, as they take up way too much valuable space for the crop I get from them. If Mr. H would eat them, I'd probably plant them, but as it is most are given away.

Big and ugly parsnips.

All cleaned up and trimmed, the largest weighed exactly one pound.

I'm waiting for Dan to comment on this "guy", LOL!

We held a pre-birthday party for grandbaby Alicyn last night, since we'll be gone when she celebrates her first one. It doesn't seem possible that it's been a whole year since THIS happened!

The birthday girl (and young Seahawks fan).

Enjoying her baby cake.

"Oh-oh, here comes Uncle Scott. He's going to touch my cake!"

"He ate my cake! Uncle Scott ate my cake!"

"It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!!"

October 13, 2009: Tomato Finale. Almost.

10/7 - 13 pounds 14 oz. tomatoes, both green and ripe.

10/9 - 4 pounds 6 oz. melons, 5 oz. strawberries, 5 pounds pole beans (for seed). This was only a fraction of the pole beans that didn't get picked while I was sick. I'm hoping they will dry after being picked, and I will use them for seed as well as for dried beans to cook. Two of the melons were an unexpected find, hiding behind the barrel in which they were planted. I didn't think any of them were ripe, they didn't give any indication that they were, but I was pleasantly surprised when I cut them open. They went to the grandchildren, who loved them! Even baby Alicyn, who will be a year old next week, thought they were nummy good finger food. This should be the final strawberry harvest, although they are still bearing and ripening. The weather has turned cold and rainy, which makes the berries too wet and mushy to pick. If we were going to be here to pick them, I'd erect a plastic cover for the bed, but we'll be leaving for Arizona early Sunday morning.

The first killing frost hit on Saturday night. After cutting off a bit of the foliage, I was able to pick a few more tomatoes that had some color and weren't yet harmed by the freeze. Just look at all those tomatoes that didn't have a chance to ripen!

I got another eight pounds of tomatoes from the vines after they froze.

All of last week's tomatoes had ripened by now, so I needed to do something with them. I couldn't force any more on friends or family, so I tossed them into a big pot for more tomato sauce and juice. I ended up with two quarts of juice and two quarts of sauce for the freezer.

The tomato finale. A box to ripen, a basket of ripe ones and a pot cooking on the stove. Tomato season is finally over. I picked a total of 443 pounds of tomatoes from my 2009 garden.

The Washington garden isn't quite empty yet. I'm waiting for the rain to stop so I can dig the parsnips, and there is some mesclun left for cutting. I don't know if the final sowing of radishes has matured enough to pull, if not they will be left for my neighbor to enjoy.

I have several pots of lettuce seedlings that will make the trip south if there is enough room. I can't just quit gardening cold turkey, ya know!!!

October 7, 2009: UH OH!

Hello everyone, this is Granny's daughter Amy. I am on the phone with my distraught Mother who is demanding I write you all an apology. As you all know, she is without internet and asked me to approve and publish any new comments...Well, that's where the apology comes in. I selected the comments, and instead of clicking publish, I clicked reject! Luckily she had downloaded most of today's earlier comments while at the library this morning, but I know I rejected at least John and Maureen. Sorry guys! Sorry Mom! Just goes to show that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!!

October 6, 2009: Granny's Goin' Nuts!

I'm sitting in my car in front of the library, picking up a pitifully low WIFI signal. I hope it's enough to upload my recent photos. It's fun sitting here trying to type, with the steering wheel as my "desk"!

I pre-wrote my blog before I left the house, but there are a few things I'd like to address before I copy it here. First, I want to thank Stefaneener for the wonderful present I received in today's mail! My goodness, girl...you are too generous. I was on my way to the library and stopped by the PO to pick up the package, and I had to turn around and go right back to the house to see what was in that huge box. Imagine how surprised I was to see a Presto pressure canner! By golly, next year I'll have canned green beans and spaghetti sauce! We can't hardly wait to taste the blackberry jam....and the HONEY! Now, I did find a small container of seeds, and a packet of seeds. Mystery seeds. I had to guess one was radishes and one was broccoli. Was I close at all? Anyway, thank you dear Stefaneener, I love you.

Thomas! I see the seed mats worked for you! I'm so happy, and those radishes look great.

I won't have enough battery time left to answer my blog comments, but I will be going to my daughter's house soon, where I can hopefully catch up. Now....let's see if I can get all the photos in here!


9/30 - 24 pounds 10 oz. tomatoes plus 18 pounds tomatoes, 5 pounds green peppers, 6 oz. onions, 12 oz. carrots, 2 oz. herbs (parsley) (picked yesterday by Pat - 16 oz. bush beans, 4 pounds bell peppers, 1 oz. jalapenos). This is just the beginning of the tomatoes I've picked to ripen. I don't know why I don't have a photo of the entire harvest for this day, it must still be on the memory card in my camera.

10/1 - 1 lb. 14 oz. tomatoes, 12 oz. carrots

10/4 - 5 pounds 4 oz. tomatoes, 9 oz. zucchini, 18 oz. green onions, 3 oz. spinach, 12 oz. strawberries

10/5 - 5 pounds 10 oz. melons, 5 pounds 5 oz. bell peppers, 13 oz. jalapenos, 1 pound 8 oz. bush beans, 6 oz. potatoes, 2 pounds 14 oz. carrots, 3 pound 5 oz. pumpkin, 5 pounds 5 oz. butternut, 10 pounds 15 oz. tomatoes to Pat (no photo), 11 oz. herbs, 11 pounds 6 oz. tomatoes

By yesterday, all these formerly green tomatoes had ripened.

My two day harvest, minus some berries, a melon and what I gave to the neighbor, filled my kitchen counter.

I haven't dug the parsnips yet, except for this ugly thing that had gone to seed. It was so woody, I tossed it in the compost and didn't count it toward my harvest totals.

I had to get one last photo of the morning glories before they freeze. My, we have certainly enjoyed them.

Now, on to my pre-writtien post:

Have you ever seen a Granny go through internet withdrawals? It's not a pretty sight. Really....I've cleaned the entire house, the laundry is done, I've done most of the packing for the trip to AZ, and most of the garden has been harvested and cleaned up for next year. I've driven to all the known hotspots in the area, and none that worked for me last year are available any more. I blogged from my daughter's computer last week, but I'm not going to drive the 30 mile round trip every day!

We were supposed to get a hard freeze last night, so I spent the day in the garden, picking/pulling most of the remaining crops. Everything has been harvested now except for the parsnips, and the strawberries, radishes, mesclun and spinach, which are still growing and producing. And the tomatoes. I've picked a lot of lightly colored green tomatoes, and they are ripening quickly indoors. I would guess there are way over a hundred pounds of green tomatoes still on the vines, but I can't even talk anyone into taking them any more! I've tomatoed all my friends and family to death, and I'm getting really sick of them. I'll bet I wish I had them in the middle of the winter, but for now enough is enough! Well, it didn't even get close to freezing, even though 27F was predicted.

When I began planning my 2009 garden, I was hoping I could harvest 500 pounds. It didn't take long to reach that goal, so I set a new goal of 1000 pounds. I was quite sure that was way beyond what my small garden could produce, but I not only reached that goal, I exceeded it! Here's my total harvest, to date, for 2009 (totals have been rounded to the nearest whole pound, crops that are still producing are in parentheses).

Beans, bush - 25 pounds *I need to space the plantings out more in 2010. We had too many all at once.
Beans, pole - 18 pounds *Early on, these were very good, but they kind of went into retirement when the weather got hot., Will try planting in a different area of the garden in 2010.
Beets - 26 pounds *Perfect amount of tasty beets for fresh eating and pickles. Repeat in 2010.
Broccoli - 3/4 pound *The two heads I ended up with were delicious. Try harder for bigger crop in 2010.
Cabbage - 9 pounds *Golden Acre: Sweet, firm heads, perfect size. Plant more in 2010.
Carrots - 19 pounds *All varieties were good except Rainbow Blend. Plant more in 2020, try some sweeter varieties like Mokum and Sugar Snax.
Cauliflower - 3/4 pound *A total failure. Do not plant in 2010.
Cucumbers - 102 pounds *Planted three small (2-gallon size) containers of Spacemaster and had all we could use fresh and more than enough for pickles. Repeat in 2010.
Garlic - 2 pounds *Good return for what was planted, but really didn't use much. Will not plant for 2010.
Herbs - 3 pounds *More than we needed, but will plant about the same amount in 2010.
Lettuce/mesclun - (14 pounds) *Didn't plant nearly enough lettuce, spring or fall. Plant much more in 2010. Prizehead, buttercrunch, red and green Romaine were the best performers.
Melons - 18 pounds *Some of these were delicious, others (Hale's best) not so good. We get excellent local melons very cheap, so will not plant in 2010.
Onions - 16 pounds *These weren't the best onions, purchases as sets from Wal-Mart. For 2010, buy plants of Walla Walla sweets.
Parsnips - (1.4375 pounds) *The two I've eaten were delicious. The remaining ones won't be dug for another week, and I'm guessing I'll end up with another 8-10 pounds.
Peas, shelling - 1/2 pound *A total failure. Set back when birds decapitated them, they never did recuperate. Maybe I'll try again in 2010, maybe not.
Peas, sugar snap - 3 pounds *These didn't perform real well, as they also got nipped by birds, but they were in an otherwise unusable area of the garden, so worth growing again in 2010.
Peppers, hot - 10 pounds *All the jalapenos turned out to be very sweet. Only the one in a pot was hot. Plant two pots of hot peppers 2010, but keep them in a dry area of the garden/yard.
Peppers, sweet - 87 pounds *One of the big successes, definitely repeat in 2010.
Potatoes - 36 pounds *A great yield for only 12 square feet. Plant twice as many in 2010
Pumpkins - 95 pounds *Another success, but took up too much garden space. Will not plant in 2010
Radishes - (1/2 pound) *Why do I always fail at radishes?
Raspberries - 1/2 pound *2010 will be the first year for a crop.
Shallots - 4 pounds *Another success, as I started with so few in a 4 square foot area. Saved some to plant in 2009 for a 2010 crop.
Spinach - (6 pounds) *Good year for spinach, but didn't plant enough for the fall crop. Plant more in fall of 2010.
Squash, crookneck - 37 pounds *These were good/prolific, we got sick of them midway through the season. They also took up a lot of room and suffered from powdery mildew. Iffy about planting in 2010
Squash, butternut - 32 pounds *Another successful crop, Worth the space they took, will plant in 2010.
Squash, zucchini - 22 pounds *Not sure these were worth the space they took, but I'll probably try again in 2010. Maybe try growing in a bucket, away from sprinklers.
Strawberries - (24 pounds) *Very happy with this first year of strawberry plants. The 20 Tristar plants gave us a steady supply for fresh eating, plus two batches of jam.
Tomatoes - (421 pounds) *I'll NEVER plant this many tomato plants again! Even after losing 8 plants to blight, we had more than we, the family and the neighbors could eat/preserve.

Are you ready for this?

!!!1032.1875 pounds!!!

I'd estimate my final total, by the time the parsnips are dug and we leave the garden for the winter, will be close to 1050 pounds. A successful year to be sure!