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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Getting the Garden Ready: Our Crazy Spring

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We live near the Genesee river and we have a very high water table and are prone to drainage problems due to the heavy silt soils.

A huge puddle in the back yard, muddy foot prints throughout the house, and running the sump to keep the basement dry, is expected when snow melt and spring rains team up.

However, this year we got lucky. It’s not that we didn’t have any of those joyful events, but they were short lived and it gave us a head start getting the garden ready.

A few weeks ago I mucked out the chicken coop and got all the dirty litter on the garden and tilled in. Since it’s not composted it’s going to need as much time as I can give it. First, the nitrogen content is probably off the charts and would burn the roots/kill the plants. Second is the possibility of pathogens.

From the time the manure was added, I’ll be looking at 2.5 – 3 months before I begin planting the garden and about 5 before I begin harvesting. My estimate is that this should be enough time for everything to mellow out.

As far as the pathogens are concerned, we’re also going to try the Stout system in the garden. I’m hoping the thick layer of mulch will also provide a barrier between the soil and the veggies. By preventing the soil from coming in contact with the food from simple things, like splashing, we should be ahead of the game.

The Stout system originally caught my eye as a way to prevent weeds. With a home business, the family, volunteer hours and everything else that comes up, we’re usually not that good at keeping up with the weeds.

Based on the estimate of 2 pounds per square foot in Mother’s article, we ended up with 10, 60 pound bales that I broke up and placed on the garden. As you can see in the photo (click to enlarge) I just grabbed a flake from the bale and flopped it down. I’ll break them up more as I begin to pull and make holes for the plants, but for now, they’re fine.

My hope is that I’ll be able to keep you updated on the garden’s progress throughout the season, and give progress reports on the stout system and other observations.


Written by Karlie

April 2nd, 2010 at 8:45 am

Rose Window beret

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I’ve spent the past couple of weekends knitting the Rose Window Beret from the spring issue of Interweave Knits. How do you like it?

It’s toddler size because I used tiny needles (US size 4) and crochet cotton.

I might be tempted to make one for myself over the summer, but it looks like I should start some projects for end of school gifts for the boy’s teachers. But what to make?

Any ideas?


Written by Karlie

March 16th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Posted in at Home,family,knitting

Excptional trip to Walmart

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The truth is stranger than fiction.

Of all the other visits I’ve ever had to Walmart, this has to be the exception, rather than the rule.

As I walk in I see a man at the check out wearing Jackfruit brown monk’s robs. The tote bag he’s carrying also has Thai writing on it.

It takes me a moment to go from “oh cool a monk” to “I wonder if he’s Thai Forrest Tradition?”

Now here’s the kicker… While I’ve spent an enormous amount of time with a former monk, they’re not on every street corner here in the US so I’ve only ever interacted with Todd.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t make any major Faux Pas, I’m also pretty sure I didn’t make a great impression either. A drive by greeting if you will.

I’m still hanging my head in shame for not being more “normal” when I met the men.

Now that I’ve got the things I came in for, I head to the express check out. There I’m met with 3 individuals who not only have more than 20 items each, they’re also doing their best to complicate things for the cashier.

The first cart is just finishing up as I approach. He pays for his groceries.
The Second cart is unloaded and now there’s discussions about this woman’s groceries.
The third person in the party takes a $100 bill out of her pocket and gives it to the man.

The man then proceeds to pay for everyone’s groceries with his welfare card.

“Whats the total now?” As the second woman adds a pack of gum. They’re still short of spending every last penny alloted on the card so the first woman exclaims “If you get another pack of gum I’ll pay you a dollar for it.”

So if I didn’t have reason enough to avoid Walmart, this takes the cake.

Written by Karlie

January 7th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Posted in at Home,buddhism,family

Nostalgic start to 2010.

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It’s the first day of 2010 and I’m in a nostalgic mood this morning. Probably because my cold is getting worse, rather than better and I’m not too excited about doing anything other than pretending to be a vegetable.

So instead of doing anything serious, I’m digging through a few DVD’s of data archived at one of the many updates my personal computer has had over the years.

Along with the old files and business documents I found lots and lots of photos I hadn’t looked at in quite a long time. For example, here is my youngest son at about 8 months old in May 2005. (please see updated copyright notice for photos in the left menu.)

I also found a copy of my husband’s first website. The site is long gone and I was actually surprised to find a version at Archive.org. In fact I thought I had lost my only copy of the site before I rediscovered these discs. I should also kick myself for not checking the way back machine sooner. Though if I knew the Internet Archive had a copy I might not have looked so hard for the discs.

Anyway, I’ve decided to post some of Todd’s writings as I go along. I do have a few things that the way back machine didn’t capture so with luck I’ll have some unique insights to share with you.

Hope you enjoy the new year,

Written by Karlie

January 1st, 2010 at 9:39 am