Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cat in a Box

Today at the Garden I had the rather
coveted job of planting seedlings. 
Some of the less liked but equally important jobs
consisted of mucking in the compost pile to
air it out a bit, sorting out dirt-filled tubs and buckets, 
and thinning some of the sprouted seedlings. 
Thinning is a bit sad, and feels a bit like playing God.
After Sean shored up the next compost pile zone, 
he helped plant FOUR flats of seedlings
We planted mostly greens - arugula (my favorite),
Red Russian Kale, Curly Green Kale,
some Swiss Chard and spinach. 

Our hoop house house is doing nicely,
after many weeks of existence. 
Our permits came a few days ago,
it is finally a legal structure!
The steel frame modification we did with
garden posts has held, and I couldn't hear the high winds
from inside the tight plastic walls. 
The huge compost and vermicompost piles
keep things at a toasty 90 degrees, 
and the worm pile was steady at 115 degrees at its core. 
We're keeping the seedling flats on top of
the piles (which are covered with straw), 
and the added warmth has made for
some happy little sprouts!

I was knocked down by a horrible cold earlier this week,
and I'm still recovering. The silver lining is that I enjoyed the
6 to 8 inches of snow from inside our cosy house. 
I missed the long walks, but not the shoveling. 
I probably should have gone to the doctor by now,
but it's on the docket for this week. 
Tomorrow I'm back to the book shop and Lansing
will be back above freezing, mostly.

Sean has been slaving over our future dining room table. 
My dad's parents bought it in the mid-1950s, 
and their family of eight used it until they replaced it in the 1980s. 
My parents took it, and served us well in Rochester Hills,
then Dallas, before coming to a rather uncomfortable
resting place in our garage 
when we moved back to Michigan.
Ten years later, Sean and I carted it up to
 Lansing with the hopes of restoring it.

As we scrubbed off old stains and peeled off
strips of masking tape, we became rather fond of the Table.
Sean then spent an alarming number 
of hours alone with the Table, battling the
most stubborn mold stain that has ever existed. 
It took a trip to Vet's Hardware, after trying four local shops, 
but we found the necessary secret weapon: Oxcylic Acid. 
Since the acid worked it's magic the table has been bleached, 
sanded, dismantled and clamped together again... sort of.

Rather than give you what you want, 
here is a photo of ANOTHER table that 
Sean pieced back together and shined up. 
He was a freshman in The Fraternity
when an older brother bought this 
House of Denmark table with Italian marble slabs. 
It was abused over the years, and the
current cast of brothers was about to throw it away!

And of course, Derf.
Sean made what he assures me is a state-of-the-art cat box. 
I think he meant it for the Little Kitten, but Derf took it for herself.

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