Short, squatty, dumpy, frumpy, snarky, gimpy, and yuck. Yep, those little buggers in me are at it again. First, it was the extreme heat that got them rumbling. Then came the smoke from the Colorado fires. Next was the smoke from the California fires. Roll them all together, and my seven dwarfs strike again!
It’s been hard enough trying to keep the gardens going with the sun trying to bake them to a crisp, but the lack of rain has made it worse. We are lucky and have our own well (we had it tested when we moved in – great water and a very full stash – yea!), but we still try to collect all the rainwater we can get our hands-on. This year the tank fills have been few-and-far-between.
If you have been following me, you know I am an old-ish fart that has had too many major surgeries for such a young age. Getting around now is nothing like getting around in my twenties. Simple things like oh say, breathing, can be a challenge on a regular hot day. Throw in smoke clouds so thick they block out the sun to an orange type of glow, and it becomes a battle.
Everything is being “spot” watered now. I only use the sprinkler once a week in select areas. The spot (hand) watering takes me about 3-4 times longer than my regular watering system. The normal system takes me about 4-5 hours. Currently, I start at about 5:00 a.m. and do not finish until around noon. It is also hard on our well-pump, and that baby is only six years old. I can feel her pain!
The final straw was this morning. Working about my regular watering routine, I reached the greenhouse area. We still don’t have a roof (thank you Colorado winds from hell, oh, and the tornado of 2018), but the plots are doing great. This is the one place I actually laid out drip lines, AND THEY WORK! I turn on the water line to this area, make sure my splitters are watering all my beautiful veggies first, and then proceed to wander the plot rows to see how everyone is doing. (Yes – every ”one” as I talk to them all just like I talk to humans.)
I watch closely for anybody starting to turn color. My method is to clear them out a bit so I can keep an eye on them every day. When they get to just the right color, I nab them for our dinner table. (If tons are coming in at once, they become canned, dried, or frozen foods) I had a beauty of a tomato coming in. Yesterday it was just about ready, but nope, I waited one more day. I squatted down to pluck my perfect tomato (oh, by the way, it is about the size of a softball), and my fingers were covered in tomato guts-YUCK!! DAMN MICE!!!
We have farm cats all over the place, and I have yet to see them catch a single mouse. The greenhouse is wide open, so they can come and go as they please. They please to take a dump in there on occasion, but can’t seem to catch a mouse? So, I wandered back to the house and got a trap. It is set with peanut butter (favorite mouse food, in case you didn’t know) and sitting right now just under my poor beautiful tomato. I swear, if I catch that stinking mouse, I will dangle it by the cat’s noses then feed it to the dogs!
Maybe I need to buy some rubber snakes to set in my tomato bushes? Then I can scare off the mice and myself when my old-ish age makes me forget that I placed them there.
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