March 4, 2010: Home Again!

I'm back, and very happy to be home again! I think I'm getting a bit like my old rabbit, content to just stay in my "cage".

There's a lot to be said about home. I have a fast cable internet that is always on. It's so frustrating to have such an unreliable connection as I have all winter in AZ. If I need a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk (or a package of seeds or a bag of potting mix), I can jump in my car and be at the store in a matter of a few minutes. In AZ, it's a 50 mile round trip drive. We get a morning newspaper delivered to our door! If we want a paper in AZ, we have to drive to the store to buy one, and the store adds an extra 25-cents to the regular price.

There is oh-so-much to do, unpacking and putting things away. I forget where things go here, after spending the winter in a different house. I've been unpacking and putting things away for three days now, and I still haven't found everything. Guess what's Crockett's Victory Garden book (my gardening bible) and the monthly planner that I drove all the way to California to buy, and had completely filled with my planting dates! And my cinnamon. Those were three of the very last items I packed, and I can't find them!

Oh, well....on to the important stuff.

I left you with my Arizona garden destruction to be continued, but on our final day there the internet was down again, so I couldn't post about it.

I began the second day of destruction by pulling all the lettuce plants, most by the roots, but some clipped off for Cookie's journey home.

The plants with roots were rinsed off and put into the cotton pillowcase with the carrots and beet greens from the day before. I then soaked the pillowcase and flung it around and around, like a giant salad spinner. This was placed into the picnic cooler. It is now in my refrigerator, as I have not had a spare moment to try transplanting any of it. I did check it last night, and pulled out a couple of plants to feed to the rabbit, and it's lovely and are the carrots, spinach and beet greens!

We found room in the back of the pickup to bring the rosemary and cilantro home, but this pot of lettuce and one other ended up at the neighbors' house. We also had to leave all my empty pots behind, as there wasn't an inch of space left in the back of that little Ranger. That's a half dozen pots I'm missing for my home garden.

With everything pulled and the pots dumped into the bare garden, it began raining....torrential rains. This is how I left the little garden.

The trip home........

We left at 5:00 a.m Sunday morning. It was still dark, and our little Ford Ranger was so loaded down that our headlights seemed bright, although we had them dimmed. Of course, every car and truck we met had to blink their headlights at us. It got rather annoying, although I understand why they were doing it. It was a good time of the day for us to drive, though. It put us through Las Vegas by 8:30, and there was no traffic to fight. I drove most of the way through greater Las Vegas at the 70 mph speed limit, and only had to slow down near the LV Speedway where heavy traffic was entering for the big race they had that day.

Weather was lovely the entire trip. We did hit light snow flurries twice, but only for a few miles and no ice or snow on the highway.

We had reserved a "pet room" in Jackpot, NV for two nights. We checked in around 4:00 p.m., got Cookie and the dogs settled in the room, then headed for the casino to play a bit and have dinner. We were there maybe an hour, when we were paged to the hotel phone. We were told our dogs were barking and annoying the guests, so we went back to check and found they had delivered wine and a cheese tray to the room while we were out....can you imagine how that must have frightened two little dogs to have a stranger walk in on them like that? Of course they are going to bark! Well, we put the dogs in the pickup and left them there while we had dinner, then went back to the hotel and went to bed instead of going to the casino. In the morning, we checked out, even though we'd reserved two nights, because we weren't going to sit in the room with the dogs, and leaving them in the pickup all day wasn't even an option. So we headed home a day early, another beautiful sunny day of driving.

Home again......

Of course the kids came over right away, the youngest daughter, Amy, brought pizzas for all. Her one-year-old, Alicyn, didn't remember Grandma and grandpa, but it didn't take long to become reacquainted!

Alicyn had big smiles for her Grandma and Grandpa, and big wet baby kisses, too.

The home garden........

YUCK! My strawberry patch has been taken over by the neighbor's invasive grass! This calls for drastic measures, probably most of the plants will have to be temporarily removed so I can dig the grass out. When I left last fall, all I saw were two blades of this stuff!

My "good" neighbor, Pat, saved her leaves for my compost. These will soon be shredded with the lawn mower. Pat was so happy to see us return home, I thought she was going to cry.

Some of the spinach overwintered well. I must make a note of when this was planted, and make sure I start it a week or two earlier next fall.

Look closely, the shallots are all growing! I forgot I'd planted them in this spot, and wish I hadn't. This small bed needs to have a lot more soil added, as I had trench composted leaves in it last year so there was a lot of settling. I'm going to take a chance and dig the shallots, and move them to another location.

The big old thyme survived yet another winter. It has to be close to 15-20 years old by now.

The rhodies in full bud....spring must be on its way! I see tulips emerging, and daffodils in full bloom. All of my chives are tall and green and just waiting for a baked potato and some sour cream.


  1. Glad you are back home! That's why we never stay anywhere very nice when we are taking a road trip somewhere, makes me crazy that we can't leave the dogs in the room and go enjoy the pool or restaurant anywhere! I don't know of any places that will let you. We found one dog-friendly B&B in coastal NC one time, and when you want to leave, their daughter takes them and plays with them outside and watches TV with them in the main house, LOL, I was amazed! Of course, it was really funny the next morning after breakfast we returned to our room to find gorgeous yellow Lab (not ours!!) in there, he is the "house dog" and has a reputation for visiting the canine ladies, he knows how to open the doors! All the plants are looking great, can't wait to see you in the garden!

  2. There's truly no place like home! Our neighbors "overwinter" in TX and they're getting back this afternoon. Glad to hear you made it back ok!

  3. Thanks so much for the tour Granny! Where did you move to? I know you had two homes, and knew you lived in AZ and you are trying to sell that home (right?), but where are you NOW! heheh Sounds like everyone missed you :D Glad you are home!

  4. Good to have you back, Granny! Picturing you with your "salad spinner" cracked me up. I can just imagine you swinging that pillow case around your head! Did any Indian cries ensue? lol

    Alicyn is so adorable! I love her jawls...

  5. Oh my goodness look at your baby girl! I can't believe it's been that long since she was born. It must be nice to sleep in your bed again. Glad to hear Pat is doing well. Last I think we heard, she was ill.

    Your garden doesn't look bad at all considering. It's fantastic. You know you can revamp your journals if you left them and you can check out a copy of that book from the library and photocopy it.

    Glad you had a safe trip.

  6. Erin, that's why we always ask for a "pet room". It's a separate wing for people with pets. There were dogs barking off and on all night, which wasn't half as annoying as the woman who laughed and talked in the hallway, at the top of her voice, for nearly 1/2 2:30 a.m.! Or the idiot (not to be confused with The Idiot Gardener) who walked up and down the hall at 3:30 a.m. saying "meow, meow". Of course, that got all the dogs barking!

  7. Villager, it's great to be home. We're getting to the point where we really don't want to travel south for the winter. There's no place like home!

  8. JenGC, our "home" is in Pasco, WA. We've lived here for nearly 37 years, and in this house for almost 21 years. Bouse, AZ is our "winter cabin". We've been traveling to AZ for about 15-16 years. The first ten years, we stayed in our motor home. We bought an old mobile home on 6/10 acre six years ago. that's the one that is for sale, but economy being what it is, we're not holding our breaths that it will sell. If it doesn't sell, we are still going to stay home until after Christmas, so we'll spend only two months down there next winter.

  9. Welcome home Gran! Yay, I can't to see you get started on your spring garden.

    I'm glad the trip home went smoothly. It would have been nice if they gave you a refund on the second night but of course, the doggies come first!

    I can just imagine how happy you are to be home! I hope you find your book soon!

  10. Momma_S, now I'll be known as Granny Strange, the crazy tomato growing, pillowcase hurling lady gardener!

  11. What a cute little girl.:) My wife and I were just talking about our thyme, wondering how long it would live and thinking about dividing it this spring. I guess now I know that it lives quite a long neat is that. I am looking forward to watching/reading about your home garden this summer.

    It's always nice to get home.

  12. Ribbit, isn't she a cutie?

    The bed...oh, the wonderful, King-sized bed. I'd forgotten how comfy it could be, sleeping with two dogs! I can actually roll over and stretch out my legs :-)

    Pat looks good, but she did just have a fall in her shower, and hurt her tail bone. And her best friend and fishing buddy recently passed away, so she's a bit depressed. She looks darned good for 80 years old though. She looks younger than I do at my 71 years!

    I'm sure glad I bought two extra monthly planners, and I have my garden plans saved to print out. It's just that I spent so much time on the previous two copies! And my book is from like 1973, and my constant garden companion. I do hope I find it.

  13. Here's what you do. Put your house in AZ on the market and then tell the realtor, "Hey, while you're in there, could you find my book and planner and send them on to me?" Then you can take it back off the market if you want.

    Easy Peasy.

  14. Thomas, our rooms were compliments of the casino (we get free offers monthly). Can't get money back for something that was free! They did refund our $5 pet deposit.

  15. Mr. H., thank you! We think she's adorable, and can't wait to get better acquainted with her. We left shortly before her first birthday.

    Yes, it's very, VERY good to be home :-)

    My thyme is quite woody, but it gives me more than I could ever use each year. I try to keep it shorn to about 2' across. I used to have a HUGE rosemary, probably over 3' tall with a 4' spread. I decided to cut it way back one year, and it killed it. I knew better, as one shouldn't ever remove more than 1/3 of the growth in a single pruning. I've had about four rosemary plants since then, but all have winter killed. That's why this last one went south with us!

  16. Ribbit, it's already on the market :-) And I remember packing the book, planner and cinnamon just before we left. It is not in that house, I double checked everything before we left, so it would be spotless and ready for the realtor to show. Mr. H has unpacked it, and it has to be somewhere in the garage....but where?

  17. How wonderful to be back home again. I can only imagine how busy you are. I am impressed that so many of your vegetables made the trip as well :^)

  18. Noelle, the wet pillowcase works every time! That's how I keep my garden lettuce crisp, just wash it well, put it in a clean pillowcase, go outside (well away from everyone) and swing it around to dry the leaves and wet the pillowcase. Then just store it in the crisper. It keeps a long, long time that way.

    I have been busy (and too much time on the computer, catching up!) I've asked my grandson to come over this weekend to help prep the garden beds.

  19. Hurrah! AG is back in the great state of Washington! Sounds like the trip was relatively uneventful and your garden, home, and family were all waiting for you open arms.

    Glad you are home and back to a good steady internet connection.

  20. YAY! Kitsap! Soon, we will meet! Maybe I can talk DaBeardedOne into going along, too! I wonder if Moses Lake would be too far for Sunny?

    And YAY for Charter Cable internet ;-)

  21. Happy homecoming AG! Boy has your granddaughter grown! What a cutie =)

  22. Dot, where have you been, girl?

    Yes, my little cutie has really grown. And she's finally getting some hair! She doesn't talk, though, just "dat" for that and "dah" for dog. I haven't yet deciphered any more words. Her sister was talking my ear off and singing songs at her age, but I guess we just have to be patient. She does seem like a really smart little one, I guess she just has nothing to say ;-)

  23. Welcome home Granny. I'm glad you are back. Your AZ garden is nice, but your WA garden is just inspiring. Well once you get it together again and that grass is pulled up ;>

  24. Hi Granny - So glad you had a safe return!! I have to admit, the vision of you flailing a pillowcase above your head cracks me up. Now I'll have to give it a shot!

    Alicyn really has grown.. What a cutie pie!

    Good thing you have that grandson to put to work over the weekend. I can't wait to see all the progress you make!

    And speaking of odd verification words.. mine is "bakentab".. what on earth could that mean?

  25. Daphne, I may have to resort to more drastic measures on that grass, as it is a super invasive variety that sends out multiple rhizomes each time one is broken, and it has come under the fence and up through 6" of soil. Shhh, don't tell, but I have a bottle of the R word stuff in my garden shed. The other neighbor has Bermuda grass, so I find it's a necessity around here ;-)

  26. Caffeinated Mom, the worst verification word I ever got was for a comment on EG's blog. It was a female body part, and I emailed EG a screen shot, to give him a good laugh, and it wouldn't clear his spam filter!

  27. Glad you made it home safely. We leave AZ in a couple of weeks. Can't wait!!!!! I have the garden book Crockets Victory Garden also! I use my dried thyme with chicken. How do you use yours? Nancy

  28. Cozythyme, I have to admit that I dry mine and send it to a friend who loves it, as it isn't one of my favorite herbs! I do use a bit it fresh in soups and stews, but its main purpose is to grow next to my patio and smell delightful.