right now

right now

Sep 4, 2010

Profanity in the garden...

Insert choice words (here)! Go ahead and click bigify the source of my pain.

All this came from only 5 plants. See them below at the far end of the bed.
So basically from 2 square feet...

Maybe I should just plant ZERO jalapenos next year, whaddaya think?

Take a deep breath, I'm goin' back out there...

Sep 3, 2010

Hurricane Summary - kinderGARDENS Week 21

Inadvertent Farmer

Sadly, this will have to suffice for my kinderGARDENS Update this week: it pretty much involved child labor outdoors prepping for a storm, and we will all be back working this evening putting the yard back together again! While waiting for Earl last night instead of watching the Panic Channel (The Weather Channel!) we opted instead to spend the down time planning the fall garden. Hopefully we will get our seedlings and some of the fall seeds planted this weekend.

Here's a summary of the past 12 hours, I promise no more lazy video blogging after this! Looks like this is a non-event for us, so it was a good drill for the kids at least. We still have power, yay! So the following are the before, during & after weather videos. Looks like it will continue to weaken and hopefully the northeast will be spared any damage.

The above turned out to be a very breezy evening with the storm approaching, and since we were prepared for the worst already, were able to sit outside with neighbors for awhile enjoying a glass of wine while the kids played in the yard. You'd never realize watching this that Nags Head and the Outer Banks is a mere 80 minute drive via road and only about 45 if you took the beach!

This morning... Earl isn't so big and bad, after all. I heard that he diverted to Judy's homestead in Iowa of "My Freezer is Full" in the form of her daughter's messy room! She is also a participant of the kinderGARDENS contest and her teen daughter is doing a "Goth Garden" - cool idea, isn't it?!

Below is the garden walkthrough... apparently the only damage was pretty much to things that were already scheduled for removal! - I still have those horrid cosmos on the brain obviously, every time you hear "cosmos" I mean ZINNIAS! Zinnias-good, Cosmos-bad LOL. I should have a swear jar in the garden only I have to pay every time I say "cosmos".

Here's a gem for you: apparently we have a storm related death here already this morning. I would call it stupidity related. Just watched a news video with his girlfriend, she states they wanted to "go for a swim" at 1:00 a.m. and he yelled at her that he was caught and she watched him drown. Very tragic, but really-a swim? It gets better, she had her 10 year old with them! At least the child is apparently fine and did not go in the water. Smart kid!

I guess we should expect no less from a storm with a lame name like "Earl". What we need is a Hurricane Bubba, but I'm sure the NWS people would never name a storm that for fear of encouraging partying of the commoners!

I didn't have time the past two days to comment on all of your blogs, but I read them all, sounds like everyone is getting "fall fever" if there is such a thing! I may take a day or so off from the blog to get the fall garden in, you are relieved to hear that, aren't you?! :)

I'm headed over to the Inadvertent Farmer who hosts the kinderGARDENS contest and see what real gardening the other participants did with their kids this week!

Sep 2, 2010

A whole lotta' nothin goin on!

As of 6:10 pm, everything is great here, just starting to get gray, breeze no more than 15 mph, just thought I'd let my husband and parents see for themselves that we are doing great here! I really like this video thing, it's very lazy-blogger, I get to just talk instead of type! Don't worry, I won't subject you to it after Earl passes LOL

Late tonight is what we are hearing now.

Looks like it is really going to bang up the northeast, Kelly & Thomas - you guys okay? How close to the coast are you?

Hurricane Preparedness Part 2 : Outdoors!

I'm still here! (you winced, didn't you?)!

On to Part 2 of my hurricane prep video: The Exterior of the Suburban Homestead
(sounds like an eVillage title, doesn't it?)

This part of preparing I personally save for last. I prepare my family for survival first, all else comes second. A very necessary second, though, since improper preparation outdoors can easily cause a lot of property damage to your home, injury to your family and the same to your neighbors. Speaking of, I will probably have to spend an additional hour picking up my neighbor's messy yard, ugh - just to protect my own!

So here we go!

One thing I noticed as I went about my chores this morning is that although the storm is still hours away and the wind and skies are calm as can be, the birds are eerily silent. Usually I am chased by mockingbirds and followed around by waddling mourning doves, I didn't see them today. I came across several bumble bees that were just sitting still in places here and there. Not flying at all, almost as if they were resting... strange, but Mother Nature always knows first!

The latest update is that it is still a strong category 4 storm, winds at 140 mph. The eye has shown recent signs of weakening, which is a good thing, but at the same time the eye has also shown signs of spreading/blurring a bit meaning that the wind field will expand. The outer rain bands will arrive in a few hours here, and I expect we will be off the grid by 11:00 p.m.

Our area is home to the world's largest Naval Station so one interesting evolution going on right now is the readying of over 3 dozen naval ships to head out to sea. This is done every time we are threatened with a severe hurricane. The ships are actually safer out to sea than if at their moorings. You can imagine the damage that could be done to both ship and pier systems if battleships, carriers, etc were allowed to thrash around in port! This also happens with all the aircraft at the Naval Air Stations here, they will all be flown out of their hangers usually to another Naval Air Station in FL or PA to wait out the storm. The hangars here are like sheet metal kites waiting to be flown... could damage a lot of aircraft if they were left here. I don't think all of them leave, however... there are literally hundreds of fighter jets, helos, prop aircraft, etc in our area and the number may actually be higher so I imagine logistically that would be impossible. Anyway, another useless fact to amaze your friends with!

I will leave you with parting shots of the summer garden, it will be gone by morning for sure!

Just like clockwork: my gorgeous Garden Spiders arrive every September and set up housekeeping in my peppers and tomatoes... hey, I coulda used you guys a little earlier this year - it was squash bug city out there!

Finally was able to capture those yard long bean blossoms, grow these and you will never have to search for your beans again!

Thanks for all the well wishes on my last post everyone, fending for ourselves without hubby here is hard, don't be fooled by all my survival-woman banter LOL.... you all have been a great support system throughout this whole deployment and you just keep on giving! I wish all of you living in the Northeast well as Earl makes it's way up the coast.

P.S. Anyone else find that watching the weather channel this week is like watching "Meteorologists Gone Wild"? It's like they are all on crack right now!

Sep 1, 2010

Hurricane and disaster prep: it's more than just having enough beer on hand!

Warning: several long videos here! Some may find it enlightening, educational, some of you Gulf Coasters will find it repetitive, and some of you may just find it amusing! Welcome to my other side: prepper and novice survivalist! - and YES, I'm a girl! :)

I will cover some necessities for riding out the storm at home, a bit about what you would want to bring should you evacuate by car, and then lessen that even more to what you want with you in the event of a bugout (insert general mayhem/disaster here)!

Not meant to be all inclusive, there are many extras here as well as some things missing but I am constantly learning and this is what works for us thus far. You can really get into it more by visiting youTube and the internet and it gets to be quite fun actually finding out how little you can survive on, but that's another day.

Today we're talking about the art of successful hurricaning!

Battery Full! Continue on to Part 2...

I neglected to cover the first aid kit...

Are you asleep at your monitor right now? Surely not!

This idea actually came about because there are a number of spouses from our squadron that have never lived in a hurricane area before and might be a bit freaked out or unsure about what to have on hand. So to my fellow VFA-32 Gypsy gals, remember that some of what you see is geared towards all-around survival - you may not need everything here but make sure your basics are covered: food & water for 5 days, make sure you vehicle is fueled up (although in our area there will be nowhere to go!) and if in doubt, head to a shelter! If you need company or the kids are scared and you don't mind the whole bucket toilet flushing LOL, my home is always open to you, just remember to get here before the storm so as not to endanger yourselves by traveling, in the event of a direct hit, there will be trees down, water everywhere, and power lines could be in the street/water - just use your smarts and be aware! I know our guys are very proud of us and are counting on us to see our families through this and you know we'll do it - we are Navy wives, after all!

*Of special note to the Gypsies: if you do decide to evacuate, make SURE someone knows where you are headed. We will most likely be without power so try a cell phone or call and email/Facebook- something! - as soon as you get where you can safely do so. Ideally, you will tell the Ombudsman before you leave, in the event you cannot reach her or one of us, email your sailor from your location so that the info can be relayed back once power is on again.

Be safe everyone & Happy Hurricaning!

Tomorrow: Part 2 - Hurricane Prep for the exterior of your house!

NOT storm related!

Cosmo eradication part 2!

Yet another part of my yard completely taken over by these beasts! You would never know there are pole beans and an apple tree in there. Needless to say, no beans have been harvested in there.

The bumbles were not happy with me that day.

How did I ever get along without a stirrup hoe? Note to self: may want to use that hoe BEFORE the cosmos are 8 feet tall and need pruning shears!

After: look - an apple tree, and there's apples on it!

Tomorrow we'll be eating peanut butter off the grid I'm sure, so I made a big garden dinner last night! I NEVER get sick of stir-fry.

Of course you must be subjected to yet another photo of yard long beans, my new love affair! Too bad it's hard to see them here, they are beautiful in person! Unfortunately we will have to say goodbye to them tomorrow, there is no way that structure will survive the next few days. Also, the one remaining full bed left is the jalapenos which still have really not been dealt with this year and probably won't be since I am kind of busy with other things right now!

Bye yard long beans... until the next planting!

Warning, my next post will be a long video this evening if I can get it to load! That one will be storm related and you will get to see one of my multiple personalities "the prepper"!

Aug 31, 2010

here we go!

"Oh, yippee"!
...... says Erin in Virginia Beach :)

Click here for reasons NOT to plant my seedlings yet!
update on preparations to come just as soon as I finish them!

Aug 30, 2010

Child Boot Camp

Where has the summer gone? It was so hot the past few months it has put my big plan on hold:

Child Boot Camp!

Hubby and I have been longing for years to be able to do some of the things we enjoyed before kids, with the kids - namely backpacking, hiking, canoeing, etc. Of course we got the backpack to carry the kids in for a hike, but then who carries the gear? Then, they were too old to ride in the backpack, still too young to carry their own. This brings us to now: they are 7 & 5 years old and it is time they gear up and get their hike on and see if they can hold their own.

I took the kids out to the wildlife refuge here for a hike this weekend to see how they would do. It was a nice breezy 85ยบ, got the sunblock and bugspray on and headed out. At this point all I want them to be able to do is carry their own water and maintain a relatively decent pace. Loch really has no issues, he's becoming a real carbon-copy of his daddy and was eager to get started and in addition to his Camelbak, he carried the binoculars, cell phone, first aid kit, sunblock and bug spray inside his pack. Unfortunately, my battery in the real camera died and all I had was the crappy iPhone camera along, but it's better than nothing.

Map of Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, we are very lucky to have this ecosystem in our own backyard to explore, I just wish it was cooler this summer!

Finn as ready as he'll ever be leaving the parking lot.

Through the salt marshes, kids learning all about watching for snakes, we saw tons of beautiful wildlife along the way: turtles, osprey, blue herons and lots of seabirds

Is there nowhere to escape this? See that flag in the sky? It's a GEICO banner headed to the resort strip - ugh - we're trying to commune with nature here, people! Tourists go HOME already!

The dunes are in sight

Up and down, a good test of their stamina

Finn lagging way behind... I told Loch he was a real outdoorsman, to which Finn replied "well, I'm an INDOORSman"!

Almost there!

They made it to the beach! Now they have to hike all the way back...

Congrats, boys - 3 miles total!
Finn not looking very happy afterwards. In my defense, he looked like this 100 yards into the hike, and I had just splashed him with some cool water!

Loch wants to know when we can go again, I think next time we will take the bikes and they can bike the refuge gravel road, maybe Finn will like that better :)

Today's harvest was a small one, but that's okay with me as I really want to spend the end of summer having a little more fun with the boys. Note to self: me & Loch's version of fun is not jiving with Finnegans!