Friday, April 18, 2008

Roller Derby Team

Last September I decided to take up Roller Derby. I don’t remember why exactly, I was mainly just looking for a way to get some good exercise in the gardening off season.

I cannot express in words exactly how terrible I was at skating. Let’s just say that in the beginning there was much more down time than up time. Although it was very difficult (and still is) I have persevered.

I practiced for over 10 weeks before trying out and making our local team Sonoma County Roller Derby. I have been on the team since January 1st and have been steadily improving. This is not a sport to be taken lightly. Our team practices together 3 nights a week. We work very hard and so far this season we are undefeated. It is now finally time for me to skate in my first Bout.

On April 26th we will be having our first home Bout of the season and I will be skating. I am extremely very nervous about making a fool of myself. Family friends and coworkers have all been invited. Honestly, I’m really not sure that I am ready for this quite yet. We have two teams The Wine Country Home Wreckers and the North Bay Bruisers. I will be playing as a Homewrecker. This is usually the travel team sent to wreck other home teams around the state.

This week one of our local papers is running a cover story about our team.

The cover photo is Susie Roundwheels. She is amazing! It's hard to believe that Susie is 52 years old. She hits like a ton of bricks.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Oca is Here!!!

The Oca Tubers I ordered from Nichols Garden have finally arrived. I have been looking forward to growing oca in our garden and can't wait to get them planted. They have a really pretty pink blush color and are quite cute. I hope it tastes good as well. Since I am taking part of the growing challenge I am trying things this year that I have never grown before. I read about oca in Mother Earth News last year, but I had trouble finding some to order. This also means that my Yacon starts should be arriving sometime soon.

Seed Progress

I am making some headway on the seed starting front. I have lettuce, corn, peppers, tomatoes, okra, melon, basil and cucumbers started in the green house. I don’t have any heat on the seedlings and it is still pretty cold at night. Slowly but surely I am seeing the little seedlings pop up. No sign of tomatoes, eggplant or peppers yet. I may plug in my seed warming mat to give them a boost. April 15th is the last average frost date in my area. I usually wait an extra week or so just to be safe so I should start planting the warm weather crops outside around the 26th of April.

Plant Sale

I cannot resist a school garden plant sale. I went out to Petaluma to the at Valley Vista Elementary school plant sale on Saturday and bought some heirloom tomato seedlings along with some mint and cosmos. I wish that every elementary school in the US had a school garden program. I believe that it is very important for children to get their hands dirty and understand better where our food comes from. The respect for the earth that you gain when you spend time out in a garden cannot be taught in a classroom. I would love to help in a school garden as a volunteer. Although I don’t have any children of my own, I do really like most kids and would love to teach gardening lessons someday.

Healthy Garden Competition

My neighbor (mother) has been quite busy next door working on expanding her garden. She’s laid out her plans to build new garden boxes, herb boxes and even plant some fruit trees. I think that she was a little envious of my big garden last year and has caught the gardening bug. She is going to be using concrete blocks to build the garden boxes and is planning to have my father stucco them and mosaic one end. I don’t quite see her vision yet, but I’m not going to doubt her. She told me a few years ago that she was going to build a tree house in her back yard. I was skeptical to say the least. I was wrong…what can I say other than my mom is awesome. I will have to post some pictures of the tree house. It is quite a sight. Mark and I stayed in it overnight a few weeks ago. It has running water, toilet, fireplace and a coffee maker.

New Garden Box

Mark has built the first of 5 new garden boxes I am planning to add this year. It is constructed of 2X6 boards with 4X4 corners. Now I just need to stain it and add the chicken wire to the bottom to keep the gophers out. The other 4 boxes will be built over the next few weeks. Eventually I will have the entire garden in raised boxes, but 5 will be all we can spring for this year.

Camouflaged Kitty

Thelma does such a good job blending in with the flower bed. I almost didn’t see her hiding here enjoying the beautiful weather. Good thing she is far too lazy to chase birds. She likes her meals delivered. Her sister Louise on the other hand is the hunter. Lucky for the birds she sticks out like a sore thumb with her bright white fur. They have both figured out how to get their bell collars off. So we have to keep sticking them back on them when we find them out in the yard. If only they would devote more of their time chasing the rodents in the barn instead of sunning themselves in the walkways.

Special Valentines Gift

For Valentines Day this year Mark wanted to make me a gift for our garden. I had seen photos of these really cool garden obelisks in a magazine and decided that they would be just the thing. He did such a great job on them they are really magnificent. I am planning on growing Morning Glories, Purple Hyacinth Beans and Scarlett runner beans on them this summer. The tall ones are 8ft high and the little one is 4ft. Sometimes I am amazed at the mad skills my husband has when it comes to woodworking. Apparently in his senior year of high school he had 5 periods of wood shop. It is really nice to have a handy hubby like him around.