Sunday, July 21, 2013

Setbacks and Dreams

Posted by Paulette

This last week has been a hard one. We lost one of our ducks to a hunting accident. 

 This is Jackie. Isn't she adorable? This is the third time we've watched  her and she's been a little angel in the past. But she has a history of killing cats, and so was relocated from the country to the city. She's great and patient with the kids. 
Thursday she got into our duck pen and killed our little drake.
I got the call while at a church activity. Christopher was heart broken and while sobbing into the phone, told me that, "Jackie killed Rory." I had warned the kids to keep Jackie on a leash while in the back yard, but she slipped out the door, and made her way into the duck pen. After some strengthening of the entrance, I thought that the pen was safe. Saturday, she jumped the wall and attacked the two remaining birds. One of my hens has some superficial flesh wounds and will probably be okay, but I decided to board the ducks with my friend at her farm until Jackie gets picked up on Tuesday..

Strawberries are a really good price this week, 3 lbs for a $1. So I decided to try my hand at making jam again,  this time using pectin. I burnt the jam. So much for multitasking. I was making muffins at the same time. They were a disappointment too. I need to learn what my limitations are. 
So now I am dreaming about gardening. We have lived in Mesa, Arizona for 10 years. When we first moved here, I had expected to be able to garden the same way I had in New Mexico. There's a big difference between high desert and here. The soils are completely different. There it's decomposed granite and here it's clay. Do you know what happens if you add sand to clay? It makes cement. So there's lots to learn on that front. I am expecting that we will have to either do raised bed gardening, or dig out the existing soil and amend it. The good news is that there's more than one growing season here, and once we get the hang of when  to plant what, we should have a thriving garden. 
I'm pinning and reading like crazy. If you'd like to follow my board it's here.

A sample of some of the things I've pinned:
Upright potato digging and save on space

7 tips for growing mad giant basil plants


Tomatoes need calcium to achieve their full flavor potential, and calcium is often greatly lacking in our soils. 95% of a dry eggshell is calcium carbonate. When planting your tomato plants crush up (to powder) about 4 or 5 egg shells and put them in the bottom of the hole. Then plant your tomato on top. They'll provide calcium and prevent blossom end rot.


So this week I plan, and wait until I have more money to put my plans into effect. The kids start school in about two weeks and so far I've spent about $300 on school clothes. Most of that was from Goodwill's half off day. I have yet to buy the school supplies. That will probably be another $250. Having kids is expensive!

Hopefully this week will be better.










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