Sunday, July 18, 2010

Progress, At Last!

We nearly finished the bathroom walls today. Or, at least the walls in the larger area of the bathroom. We may have to put a second coat on, but that will go quickly. Then there's the trim to paint, and the light fixture to remove so it can be painted under and replaced. I was worried the green might be too dark, but now we've got a decent-looking solid coat on the walls, I think it looks much better! I'm looking forward to getting the terracotta shade on the trim, and putting the new towel racks up.

Another thing I did today was put new drawer pulls on. I found some really cute iron-look metal ones with a leaf pattern. The towel racks are wrought-iron, so they should work well together.

The rubber backing on the white bathmats we've had for a couple years has started to crumble, so it's just the right time to replace them. There was only one green mat left that matched the towels when I bought those, so I might have to go look at a different Target store to find a second one.

The chicks are growing. They're starting to get wing feathers coming in and can fly short distances - like up to the top of the water fount or the food dispenser. I'm not sure if they're playing "king of the hill" or just getting closer to the outside air. The two Survivor chickens are also doing well. We moved their tractor a third time the other night and they liked that. The next move will give them even more dandelion leaves to munch on.

More and more raspberries are ripening, with plenty more flowers as well. It's just getting to the point where it's hard to find them all before they go over. I'm waiting until later this evening to give the bees a chance to go home. I've never been stung out there rummaging around in the raspberry canes while the bees work, but it's pretty hot today, so 8 or 9pm might be nicer than 6pm. :)

Otherwise, my first planting of swiss chard is definitely ready to harvest if we want some. The tomatoes are getting taller and filling out, and there are plenty of green ones ripening on the two Legend plants. I have a feeling I'll be lucky to get any tomatoes off the younger plants though.

The beans are a dismal disappointment this year. I bought a bag of three color bush beans, and the purple ones have done the best by far. The green and yellow bean plants are being eaten as fast as they can grow. I'm guessing it's because the pests don't recognize the purple ones as food as easily as the green or yellow ones.

Anyway, I'm not expecting much of a bean harvest this year. Although the scarlet climbing beans could still surprise me. They're only a foot tall right now, and not growing very fast. I'm behind with all my seed-raised plants this year, due to the cold weather earlier. So I'm wondering if the shorter and shorter daylight hours are making a difference. Sure it's hotter, but as the season goes on there's less daylight over-all.

The basil has probably been the biggest failure this year. We've tried three different plantings of seed and hardly any of them have germinated, much less actually grown. Even the seeds I put into new compost in a pot on the deck haven't done anything, and it's been two weeks. I finally broke down today and bought some starts. Let's hope *those* grow at least! This is ridiculous. By this time last year we were making pesto from our own basil at least once a week. At least the salad mix and chard I planted in the other deck pot have come up. Those I've kept in partial shade and they seem to be happy.

I guess I should be comforted by our organic farmer friend, who says his basil has done very poorly this year too. But still...I miss our pesto!!

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