2nd Day

Today is the second day without power. Why you might ask? Oh because we had a huge storm blow through approximately 4am Monday morning and literally blew our power sources over.

The sirens went off shortly before 4. It was calm, dry, almost peaceful out. The sirens indicated that something was heading our way and after this years tornadoes in Joplin and Alabama, we take those sirens seriously. So we gathered the kids and tucked them under a heavy duty table in the back corner of the basement. My husband and I did what we always do, I streamed our local am station on my phone and he looked up the radar. Just as I said, we should probably get the flash lights the power went off.

But what seemed to be forever, things were still silent. A gust of wind here and there but nothing that would indicate danger. Then the wind picked up and my husband and I decided we better take cover. I gave quick instructions to my son to cover himself and his sister up and get as far back in the corner as possible. My husband joined them under the table. I on the other hand grabbed an area and crouched in a corner between the washer and the wall. We were sitting in darkness listening to the powerful wind pound on our house.

This is the first time as a couple that we have taken cover. I mean and took it seriously. This is the first time I had images of destruction and what if scenarios going through my head. But before we knew it the wind stopped just as fast as it began. It was over.

Once we determined that it was safe enough to leave the basement, the hubs and o grabbed our flash lights, left the kids in the basement and went out to inspect the neighborhood. It was about 4:30 am. We went out the front door to see our neighborhood in tact. Our neighbor across the street yelled at us to make sure everyone was ok. Then we started to notice damage. Our friend kiddy corner from us lost a tree. It narrowly missed his house and car. An enormous branch that hovered over our driveway was ready to drop with a gentle breeze. In our back yard, the swing set was thrown 20 feet and mangled in my compost pile and the kids pool was now sitting on top of my giant pumpkin patch. The tomato plants that Max gave me were wind damaged but safe.

All of our neighbors were safe. Max's wife, our friend with the tree and confirmed by cell phone, our family.

We left for work that morning thankful that the hot water heater still had hot water. The news predicted that it was going to be 105 that day with the heat index. We didn't understand the gravity of this until we saw the rest of the town. It took my husband 45 minutes to get out of town after checking on a friends. this normally would take 15 minutes. Trees were everywhere as if a 1,000 of them were dropped randomly on homes cars and the street. 4 lane streets were reduced to a 1/2 lane. It was crazy. I felt for those having to clean up in the heat. (Thankfully God decided to reduce the humidity and the heat to a comfortable manageable level)

As I left town to go to work, I noticed the beautiful velvet corn fields were so flat it appear as if a heavy duty paver went over them. Those fields were a complete loss.

The storm also destroyed the main power connection to the two major power stations knocking out power to our entire community as well as people 40 miles away.

From what we heard, we might be without power for up to 7 days. That night we manages to find a generator 45 miles away. We purchased it and hooked up our fridge freezer and set up camp in the basement where it was cool.

We are extremely blessed in the fact that we have a gas stove so we could still cook. That we still have water that is safe to drink and that there wasn't a single I jury due to this storm that brought 80-100 mile per hour winds.

Our kids have played outside, our neighbors had a block party, others gave a helping hand to others clean up efforts. Although it has changed our routines, we really aren't complaining much. This slower change of pace is kind of nice.

Please forgive odd spellings as I am writing this with my thumbs on my phone. Technology I tell you.
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RIP my dear friend Wilson

I'm not quite sure how to write while filled with raw emotion.  My husband thought that it may be good therapy, a relief and a tribute to a man that was very dear to me.

For several years, my neighbor and I would talk over the fence that split our properties.  He was the older, wiser gentleman who loved to talk gardens, from seed to plate.  He would always have stories of friends gardens and his once incredible compost pile that the older ladies in the community would take buckets of for their gardens.  He would make fresh horseradish and give me a warm jar. We would experiment with new ways to grow plants, like our vertical potato boxes last year.  We would exchange seeds, plants and our harvest.  Our talks, over the fence line is why I called him Wilson.  His real name is Max. 

Max passed away today of lung cancer.

My heart is breaking but I know that Max will no longer be in pain.  This is a blessing that I must focus on. To the end he remained optimistic, even when it was too difficult to walk through our adjoining gate to give me seedlings of his favorite plants. He had a good soul, he loved our God, and knew that one day, he would be able to have the most magnificent garden in heaven.

Before he passed, Max gave me three varieties of his favorite tomato plants.  This simple gift will allow me to remember him each year that I plant the seeds of these plants.  From one gardener to another, I believe that he knew that I would cherish the seeds and the plants.  That I would always remember what his favorite tomato was. He knew.

Max, you will truly be missed.  You have blessed this family with just being able to know you.  Enjoy God's beautiful gardens.

Love your friend,
Ruth

Garlic!

Today I harvested the rest of my garlic. I have been randomly taking bulbs out of the garden for cooking for a couple weeks, but today I deemed as harvest day.  It was time as they were bent over and the leaves were starting to dry.

I had my husband smell these and he said, "Oh".  Not is the not interested type of oh but the wow those smell good, I wonder what we can put these in kind of oh.  The OH MAN! That smells wonderful kind of oh.  The larger bulbs are Chet's Italian Red a softneck heirloom variety.  You can read more about them in my previous blog here.  


I am thinking that this should have been harvested a little earlier as it gave birth.


I removed as much dirt from the roots as I could and hung them under my porch to cure for about 2 weeks.  I have one more variety in the ground yet, the Elephant Garlic.  They seemed to be going strong without much drying.  Those suckers should be huge.

New Pole Bean Area

With the addition of the greenhouse, I had to move where my pole beans grew.  My husband built two boxes for me out of old untreated wood that we reclaimed from my in-laws house as they tore it off.  The boxes line my entrance to the garden from my greenhouse.  Over the boxes is a pergola of sorts. 

Just recently the green beans decided to grow which meant I needed to provide them with a support system.  I had roll of twine that I thought would work perfect.  I hammered finishing nails into the box at an angle and then hammered them down to hold the twine.  Just loose enough that I could, without too much work, remove the twine in the fall to save it for next year. 
Please ignore the weeds in my onions.  Looking directly at the box everything is nice and uniform. 



Looking into my garden from my greenhouse door.  My husband said that this set up is already beautiful.  That it is going to look fantastic when the beans start to climb.  On the opposite end on the left side you will see where I have a cucumber plant designated to climb the post.  I can't wait to see how this turns out this summer.