Sunday, March 22, 2015

But I thought this was supposed to be a CAT blog?

Okay, okay. I know that prior to the advent of my sidewalk garden, posts were few and far between. I'm going to try to get back into blogging regularly - although with the insanely busy week I've got coming up, I'm not sure how well that will work out. And yes, I am aware that blogging about vegetable gardens isn't exactly in accordance with the American Cat Lady theme of crazycatladiness. So let's remedy that, shall we?

First of all, the best way for you to get your fix for cat lady updates is to like the Charlie & Mochi - and friends facebook page (and be sure to select 'get notifications' after you click 'like'), because I post cat (and dog) pictures there nearly every day. 

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If you've been following the Charlie & Mochi - and friends facebook page for a while, you're probably familiar with the fact that I (not surprisingly) am feeding some of the feral cats in my neighborhood. One of the regulars at the feeding station on my front porch is a gorgeous feral tortishell, one of the most beautiful cats I've ever seen. And she is completely unfriendly. She doesn't seem scared of me in the slightest - in fact, I can get pretty close to her. However, if I try to touch her, she turns violent. I am totally intimidated by her. I see her make the rounds to at least two other houses, so she's well fed. I don't know if she has an actual owner or not - or if she's been spayed or not. I've tried to trap her, but she won't go in the trap. She's too smart for that nonsense, apparently. She currently looks humongous, as she has her long, fluffy winter coat. I just hope that under all that fur she isn't pregnant.

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Miss Bitchy, the beautiful feral tortie.

And speaking of humongous cats, Jasper the geriatric giant whom I brought home a few weeks ago is doing well. He has calmed down a lot, and he will let me pet him for short amounts of time. He's still not overly thrilled with me, but he does seem to be adapting to his new home. Initially I had the pet gate up to keep him in the spare bedroom (as he is too overweight to climb over it), but the other day I decided to take it down in the hopes that having more space in the house to explore, he might actually get some exercise. That plan isn't exactly working, since as far as I can tell, he has yet to leave 'his' room. What's really fascinating to me is that Charlie, who has never really been too interested in other cats, seems absolutely enamored of Fat Jasper. She follows him around his room, and seems to want to be near him at all times. Hell, recently she's been sleeping in the spare bedroom with him, instead of snuggling in bed with me!

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Jasper peers out his now un-gated door.

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Charlie, stalking Jasper

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Jasper and Charlie

Meanwhile, I STILL cannot pet Polly. Still! She's gotten a lot bigger, and has become fast friends with Chappie. They frequently wrestle, chase each other about, and then snuggle. But as soon as I get within a few feet, off she goes. Sigh. She'll even let gigantic Wolfie (the Belgian shepherd) closer to her than she'll let me get. So not fair!

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Chappie licking Polly. She turned and let him have it with all those extra claws a couple seconds after I snapped this.

Sidewalk Garden: Week 2

Other than planting a few squash plants, I haven't had a vegetable garden since I was a pre-teen in 4-H, so this is pretty exciting to me. Now, I'm not sure that a handful of plants all accessible from my front sidewalk necessarily qualifies as a vegetable garden - or that these plants will live long enough to give me any veggies - but for now everything seems to be going well. For starters, everything is still alive! Honestly, that's a pretty big deal for someone who is not really into, you know, planting stuff. And not only is everything still alive, but it's actually growing. All of the plants have gotten bigger, and the seeds have sprouted. Woohoo!

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My tomato plants have doubled in size.

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The pepper plants have as well.

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Squash!

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Zucchini!

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And my tarragon has put out little yellow flowers, allowing it to blend in with the wildflower/weeds surrounding it, haha.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sidewalk Garden

I've wanted to become a gardener for a long time, although renting, living in apartments, and moving frequently had made gardening pretty much impossible. Not to mention the fact that my cats have killed and eaten every single plant I've ever tried to grow indoors. (Remember my onion in Seoul?) However, once I bought my house - with its rather large yard - I knew that I would at some point plant a vegetable garden. However, I didn't plan to do it this year. 

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See, this lovely side of my yard - the sunny side - would make an excellent spot for a large vegetable garden... But a garden that big would take a lot of work. Before planting, I'd like to get a tiller so I wouldn't have to dig it all up by hand, and cart down a bunch of horse manure from my mom's to give it some quality natural fertilizer. I'd also like to fence it off to keep folks out. Clearly, I haven't done any of that. As such, I had been figuring I'd put off the edible gardening til next year.

However, after a lot of encouragement from friends and family, I started planting some edible things. It began with a lemon tree given to me by F, which I planted on the front-side of my house. Then I got a couple of small blueberry bushes to plant on the front side of the house as well. Then things got a little out of hand with herbs and veggies. Not in the 'side yard' as I call my future garden spot, but around the sidewalk which comes out my front porch door and deadends halfway across my yard.

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Not very awe-inspiring at the moment. I'm much better with animals than with plants, so who knows how this will actually turn out.

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In case you're wondering what I planted, here's the current layout. The squash and zucchini were planted as seeds, so at the moment there's nothing there above ground. 

It's not the most well-prepared garden in the world; hell, it isn't even weeded, haha. I've no idea if any of this stuff will live, much less produce anything edible. I guess we'll see. And yes, I know mint quite often takes over. If that's what ends up happening, that's fine; I'd like a minty ground cover. I'll keep you posted on how this all pans out.