Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The garden had it's trial by fire... er, lack of water...

The garden was left alone for what we thought was just a few days.  I really soaked it before we left and was hoping that with the plastic in place, it would survive and stay hydrated until we returned. 

As planning goes, I thought we'd done really well.  As fate planned, there were some delays in our return. 

One thing we'd planned for was checking on our valley house and seeing about buying new paint so she'd look good for sale.  We got sidetracked when we saw the condition of the yards and decided they needed cleaning and pruning first.  Then, halfway through raking up dead leaves, Styrofoam and assorted food wrappers caught in the front yard's oleander hedge, we decided to just pull the whole hedge out.  The plants there were already over twenty years old and reviving them was just a waste of water.  So, Steve backed up the Ford pickup and we pulled each plant out with a chain.  I must say the hedge being gone has really opened up the front yard.  I could barely move for two days after all that work, so we never got around to the paint.  That'll be a chore for another time.

Our second reason for heading to the valley was for our annual doctors appointments.  We see the same doctor and have been for, at least, thirty years and I suppose we'd travel statewide to keep seeing him.  Heaven help us if he retires.  Or, if our current health care gets dumped into ObamaCare.  I can't see us harassing anyone new.  We've got our banter down cold, and wouldn't know how to pick on a new doctor.  He saves time and sees us both at the same time, in the same room.  He says we're gonna talk for each other, so we may as well be talking to him at once. 

Thirdly, we were going to have the new car checked out.  This was the second time it's been in for a radio problem.  First time, radio would not sync to phone.  Received new radio.  Noticed when we got home that NAV didn't work.  So, it was going to be checked this trip.  It was, and... getting new radio, again.  This will necessitate another valley trip when it arrives at the dealership.

Now, our fourth reason for heading to the valley was to pick up a new member of the family.  She's been a plan of ours during the last ten years of work and these last two years of retirement.   So, months ago we began our search and we were blessed with.....

Ziva!   She's our new Doberman puppy and is a doll.  Very smart (well, don't all new parents think their new little one is smart?), energetic and LOUD!!  OK, only loud when she wants help off the couch, or on the couch, or off the couch.  (we've got to get her to understand she doesn't get to be on the couch). 

In this picture, she's posing with her headdress.  Aaron says it's a Devo hat, a genie hat or a turban.  It's a nifty way to keep her ears up while they heal and get them started on the right road.  

So, this exciting trip was only supposed to be 4-5 days.  It drug on for a week and a day.  I was fretting the garden going so long without watering.  It's been freezing at night, so we didn't want to leave the automatic watering system on and risk a freeze break.  Having pipes freeze and blow has happened to us twice, so we're skittish.   And poor... first water leak was $3600.00 and second $2400.00.  Both happened while we were away, so you can imagine our fear of leaving the watering system on during freezing weather.

Well, all my fears were for nothing.  When we arrived the garden was slightly dry.  All the plants still looked happy and green.  I just know that the plastic was helping by trapping moisture during the day and heat during the nights, or vice versa. 

I'll love tweaking the system next year, but I think we're onto something here.

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