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Monday, April 23, 2012


Boy I love our rhododendrons. In Oregon they were all around growing up and I wanted to have them in my own yard.
After ten years, here is how big ours have gotten!

After ten years, here is how big ours have gotten!

Friday, April 20, 2012

First strawberries!

We picked three gallons of strawberries today - April 20th!
There are plenty more coming where these came from! Even with our cooling off weather we are still having early berries! Earlier this week we picked a half gallon, just enough to enjoy our first shortcake! Yum!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In memory of Big Boy April,1997-April 17, 2012

Our beloved pet, Big Boy died after declining for the past month. We had Big Boy since he was about six weeks old and he had been with us for 15 years.

As a young kitten, he was very sociable and stayed that way throughout his life. When just a kitten, he would play hide and seek with Adam. He would actually tag Adam and then run and Adam would chase him and tag him back. He was happiest when he was around family and thought he owned the house!

He was a very gentle cat. As the grandchildren were very young, he would lay down so they could pet him and endured many hair pulling without lashing back at the children.

He loved packages arriving at the house. He thought those empty boxes were sent just for him.

Of course his favorite person in the world was his dad! If he heard the garage door open, he would go to the back door and wait to greet Michael almost every day. If Michael was sitting in the living room, Big Boy thought his place was on his lap.

In the summer time, he loved to eat cantaloupe with Michael. He loved the rinds and when we brought in a cantaloupe, he would cry until he had a piece.

The last month we made a kitty hospice for him in the house. For a couple of weeks, he wanted to be in the living room closet but the last couple of weeks, we made him comfortable in my office under my desk. We tried to make sure he had water and offered him food but he just refused to eat and gradually declined. He still would try to meet Michael when he came home but became very wobbly on his feet as he weakened.

We thought we were ready for the day of his death but yesterday was a hard day, especially for Michael. Michael prepared his grave and wrapped him up in one of his shirts. If Michael had a shirt on the bed, Big Boy would always want to lay on it. Eric and the kids, Ryan, Sveta and I all joined in to say goodbye to Big Boy in our short funeral service.

You would not have asked for a better pet. We know there are pets in heaven and we hope to one day be reunited with our faithful cat.

Monday, April 16, 2012

First squash!

We are always trying things to extend our growing season. We both love squash so I decided to try 3-4 squash plants in the greenhouse to see if we could get them to produce for us. I started these the first of March and on April 14 we picked our first squash. Here is a dish with four squash! It's great to eat it and we have several smaller ones out there growing.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Project finished!

Michael and I have worked for the past month redoing our beds in the upper garden and heavily mulch the rows to hopefully finish eradicated the Bermuda grass that has plagued our new upper garden.

It sure looks good to see it done. Can you believe we picked our first ripe strawberry on April 5th! They are loaded with berries so we can't wait for the season to come. We covered our last area with black plastic and will probably store some mulch on it until we are ready to finish up that part of the garden and hopefully can start without the grass.

I also started several different herbs in my quest to learn more about using herbs in cooking and medicinal needs.

I have them in pots on our deck so they are close to the kitchen. Boy, I love the smell of fresh Basil!