Monday, May 30, 2011

Don't stick your toes in the holes and other lessons...

I’ve learned a few things about patio gardening, and southern gardening, that I didn’t know before.  For instance:

When you see a 8” mound of mud in the middle of your three sisters planting in your community garden plot, don’t stick your finger in it.  It’s not an anthill.  It’s a crayfish hole.  You know – the tiny lobsters with big claws? (No, the boys didn't get pinched, but someone yelled a warning at them before they could.)

It’s not a good idea to put a string between your seedling morning glories and the hummingbird feeder, led by some misconception that the birds will like the flowers and the cover.  It just turns into a trapeze for more ants than you knew were in 100 yards of you to climb up and invade the feeder.  And drop on your head while you’re drinking coffee.  

Running a hose from your kitchen sink to the patio is a much more efficient way to water your plants… but beware the tightening process.  Water is expensive in the south, and the squealing the pipes make when you’re not releasing the pressure except by leakage will have folks looking at your apartment with “Take cover!!!  It’s gonna blow!!!!” written all over their faces.  (Yes, that's my actual contraption.  A $5 connector on a $10 hose.  Totally worth it:D)

And speaking of neighbors and watering, have you ever wondered if some uptight businessman in an expensive suit three floors below you might sue because you accidently aimed a little too high when trying to water your red geraniums?  Creating a shower on the walkout three floors below?  I have.  Luckily, he ducked.  And I looked wicked contrite.  

But the learning process is paying off!  Check out today's view:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

King's Mountain Military Park

Sometimes, a good stiff hike is just the thing to do... especially when boys are running around screaming so loud that you are either going to go deaf or deck someone out of self-defense.  I chose my usual favorite: burn, energy, burn!
I've been wanting to go to King's Mountain Military Park for awhile.  The park part isn't really on King's Mountain - it's more of a foothill to the mountain.  I knew I could take the boys and not end up carrying them most of the time. 

This weekend presented the perfect opportunity.  It is Memorial Day weekend, so they had an event where re-enactors dressed up as soldiers from time periods from the French & Indian War and Revolutionary War (whose King's Mountain Battle the park commemorates) all the way to the current Iraqi & Afghanistan wars.

The best part?  The weapons demonstrations.  Watching how cumbersome Revolutionary War weapons were to load and unload was very interesting.  So was seeing the evolution of weapons over the years.  Quinn, however, had a near panic attatck from the noise of the weapons (especially the cannon) so he and I ended up taking a hike by ourselves towards the end.  1.5 miles up a minor minor mountain and down again?  My back is still a little sore from the parts when I had to carry him! 

Also very fun was the fact that the re-enactor the boys hit it off with - the hunter from the Revolutionary War period - was a teacher from Rockford!  Talk about a small world!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Latta Plantation Nature Preserve Hike