Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring has sprong!!

This week has been kinda crazy but actually very typical of this time of year here--warm sunny weather one day, wind the next (I'm not talking a little breeze here) and snow the next! After nights of little or no frost, last night was 7 degrees! The daffodils had been so pretty and perky and now have droopy little heads down on the ground. I picked a bouquet of them and put them in a tall vase to prop them up--a quick salvage to enjoy them indoors for a few days.

The last week or so I've dug 22 holes in my garden to plant grape vines, raspberry bushes and yes, even blueberries in this high altitude alkaline environment. This meant modifying the soil with lots of amendments--peat moss, vinegar water, elemental sulfer, water crystals, pine needles, dead leaves and anything else I could think of, all to help acidify the soil for the blueberries especially, which require a ph of under 5. Our soil as I tested it was 7.0, very alkaline. No surprise there. The day I finished adding all these things to the holes and watering them good, it tested at about 6 so I am making progress. With the lovely rain that came all night Wednesday and then the rain and snow on Saturday, I'm thinking it will be lower still, especially as the mulch breaks down. I collected pure rainwater and it tested at about 5. Keep the rain coming! I am still waiting on the plants to arrive ( I have a notice of a package at the P.O. so maybe they're here). I'll test the soil again before I plant them to see if the ph has improved. I ordered the most cold hardy varieties of each so hopefully we'll be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor eventually.

Frank had his second dose of chemo last Tuesday and the reaction was totally different from the week before. While the first round caused extreme tiredness and some fever for a few days, this week the stuff (Velcade and dexamethasone) made him jittery, sleepless and he had two scarey bouts of nosebleed (one and a half hours non-stop each time). His platelet count (measure for blood clotting) was better than the week before so don't know what the deal is. He'll go in for blood tests tomorrow and then get the third dose Tuesday in Show Low.

We were able to attend the wedding of his brother Paul in Mesa on Friday evening, which was lovely, and the weather decided to cooperate at the last hour. He had the ceremony outside in his back yard by the pool but it was so windy all day that the decorating couldn't be finished until the last. His bride told him she had been praying for the wind to stop all day. There were many friends and family in attendance and lots of well-wishes for their happiness. They seem a perfect couple. She's a welcome addition to our family.


Skousen Seven said...

WooHoo, berries, berries, berries!! I'll come over and help make the jam when they start producing:)
Sure wish we could have gone to the wedding, Lee is such a sweet lady, Uncle Paul chose well!!
How scary for you and dad with the bloody nose, hopefully the dr. can help with that.

Shawn said...

Give me a call when you, and Wendy, make the Jam! I will join you!!
When we lived in Missouri, we picked magnificent blackberries and what the kids didn't eat, we made into jam. Bad thing was, the Chiggers loved me and I would have to suffer the bites for days but it was so worth it.

KaNdRa and JaReD said...

Regular gardening isn't good enough for you you have to get brave and attemt things that usually don't even grow there very well. If anyone can do it's you!
I hate to see dad so sick...speaking of which, we will see you in a couple of days!! Can't wait:)

Kristal said...

I can't wait to see how the blueberries do. That's kind of exciting! Tell dad hi and I hope he doesn't have a bad time this go around:(

Becky and the Boys said...

One of the (few) delights of living in North Carolina was the pick-your-own blueberry farms. We would get about 40 pounds and keep them in the freezer and use them all year. Of course it was so hot and humid during the picking season we could only hold out so long, In Oregon it was the perfect weather for picking so I could have gone all day, but the kids were busy trying to fall in the canal or harassing the farmer's pet turkey... so we still could only stay so long.

Well wishes to Frank!