Monday, July 9, 2012

Promoting the generation gap

I live in my own generation gap with oldest and youngest child 19 years apart in age.   I was looking up the latest on helping kids with diarrhea and other such loveliness and my head could have hit the table.   When Anna was the wee one, we were told to not give them milk products and  use the B.R.A.T. diet.   Hmmm.....well, now they are saying the B.R.A.T. diet actually makes them feel worse and that milk products do not have to be withheld.   Do you know what this does to the generations?????   I suppose with a nineteen year gap I will more easily be able to smile and wave when grandchildren come along as I will take no offense at the latest and greatest child rearing methods.   I've seen it all and seen it all again as it cycles around.

   I remember the audacity of my mother and mother-in-law suggesting I let my child cry it out while I kept my babies near and dear and wondered if my first child was permanently damaged by my doing this to her around six weeks of age.   Now there are definitely two camps in the sleep in or sleep separately camp.   Shouldn't the new advice be, 'do whatever doesn't make you have a nervous break down honey, I don't really care?'   

It just seems that Americans goal is to make each other crazy with all the different ways they SHOULD be doing things.   What????    I am sure the phrase, "none of your business" did not pick up speed till the neighborhood fence was bypassed by the telephone operator.   Party lines......yep, they were a party.   In America, your business seems to be everyone's business if you let it be that way.    

I admit I was influenced quickly by the article suggesting I not withhold the milk products seeing as the two year old could only keep begging for milk. I admit I might get peeved if he throws up all over the place in five minutes, but the logical truth of the article was something about how you can give them starvation diarrhea if they do not get sufficient nutrients.   We shall see......literally......if I love this advice I hope not to see too much.  

Nap time.......

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It Beat Me

I have lost count how many days it has been over 100 degrees and it finally beat me.   Heat rash and basic misery will bring a person to tears even if they are addicted to things like biking and gardening or mowing the lawn.  Watched the Tour de France this morning and contemplated going biking with much emphasis on contemplating.   I will bike in 25 degree F weather but NOT in this.   Saw some inspired bikers yesterday and today but I think they really should catch a plane to France where it is cooler and do their biking there.  

Thursday  I  received hundreds of annuals free and unbelievably I am not outside planting them.   I am totally lying in wait for the temperature to go down which supposedly it is going to this evening.   Next week the highs are only in the eighties.  

My 14 year old dog gets thirsty and has no bladder control and so......he pees......all over my house.   We can't put him outside and I can't keep the water away from him.   He needs a bath several times a day is too hot to go and do that.   Maybe later.   Poor dog.   Poor floor.   Poor mop.  

I have vegetables in the garden which need to be picked and I just can't even bring myself to go and get them!!!    I sent Erik to get the ones which I know must be picked and have plans for what to make with them here in a bit.   Cooking requires moving so maybe I need to drink a gallon of something to encourage my body to move.  

This is a whining post.   I remember the day when I didn't whine about not being able to work outside.   I would grab a book and hunker down.   Those days were from my lazy youth I guess.  I thought I would sit and knit or something this afternoon but blob existence is all that is happening.   So.....I will wait for the sun to go down when it seems more permissible for me to be sleeping and in the meantime I might......sleep.   God bless a friend who took on my short people this afternoon so I could do that.   Huge appreciation.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Young trees stressed in heat

It is HOT out and has been for a LONG time.   No rain for a long time as well.  There is a tree planted at the pool, in memory of a friends daughter who died last year, and it is not looking too happy.   There is no shade for it to take comfort in and get relief from the heat so the pool staff has been watering it every day and doing their best to save it.  

I called my brother, the horticulture expert, to ask for some advice and thought I would pass it along to anyone interested.   Trees which have not taken root yet in their environment are susceptible to dying during high heat and drought.  They are still putting their energy into getting established and do not take off in growth for a year or two anyway.   Without water and time to get rooted they are spending all of their time and energy into surviving.   There are some things we can do to help them out.  

It is possible to water them TOO much.    It depends on what sort of soil they are planted in.   Clay soil will not drain well and so the tree can get too wet.   I suppose too wet means that their energy is then being placed in absorbing the water and dealing with too much at once while also taking care of the rest of it's process of staying alive.   In other words it adds yet another stress to add to its list.  

Fertilizer is not a good idea either.   It seems like it would be and it seemed that way to me, but fertilizer is usually used to promote growth and that is not what the tree needs either.   Survival.   Keep the energy there.

Water the tree tops.   The tree can gain moisture this way as well as from the roots.   I suppose that is the answer to why the tree perks up after a rain.    That moisture gets where it is needed faster.   I thought this was a very interesting tip.  

And.....mulch.   Mulch around the tree but not up against the trunk.   He recommended just basic mulch and not the red stuff or the cocoa bean stuff (kills dogs).  

Trim off the dead branches so that again......the tree is trying to heal those and also take care of the live parts so it will give the tree one less job to do.   I was thinking perhaps it would stress the tree but I suppose this too makes sense.  

I also suppose you could make some deep observation about trees and people.....please don't trim off my limbs or something to take away....stress????   Oh yeah, they aren't dead limbs.   Water me?   Fertilize me?   Okay.....people aren't trees so skip any deep thinking there.    

First fruits

I have two yellow squash and some bell peppers waiting to be picked.   There is also that Pak Choi which is now bolting.   Ugh.   More time please!    Broccoli.   Bunches of that.   Me.   Tired from weeding so need to find the balance between upkeep and actually eating the veges!   Going to bed early to brace myself for 101 degrees tomorrow.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The garden is the summer obsession.   I don't mind having my therapy session down with the weeds and vegetables.   So far there have only been a few veges to eat but I am hoping the squash and watermelons give us something more and.....the tomatoes.   Mulch and newspaper, mulch and newspaper.   Not in that order......newspaper and mulch.   Actually I use straw on top of the newspaper.   Squash murder by my hand has happened more than I would like lately.   I must remember to not weed too much right around the stems as they are certain to croak.   Their roots must be ridiculously sensitive.  

Keeping up with the watering is also a trick.   The most fun is to weed and not care if the sprinkler soaks you.   The water washes the sweat off my face.   I think the sweat is also helping my hair to take on a new texture or something as I don't have the regular urge to go and get it cut.  

If I go out early enough in the morning, I can also acclimate myself to the heat as it heats up.   My little buddy Stefan, the five year old, is my partner in mulching and weed pulling.   I love being asked if it is okay to go get some more straw to spread.   Volunteers are awesome and not always frequent.   Cecilia joined us in the evening and we worked till it was time to read bed time stories, pray and tuck them in.   I of course am addicted to weeding as I said, so I went back out to attack.   I have a plan to conquer the vine section in the morning and I do think it will work. least one of the vine sections.  

It is all really good therapy.   I don't think too much but yet can also enjoy listening to either birds chirping or my kids jabbering away at me.   Sometimes there is silence.   I love that too.   The house is not getting as dirty because we are out in the dirt and not making messes inside.   Perhaps I am simply avoiding the inside as it reminds me that school is on its way in less than two months.   Why does that make me feel like the summer is almost over.   I should work on planning......some. it next week.  :o)

Should sleep.   Enjoying the now quiet air conditioned house.   Calming my inner weeder.