Back Fence forum



From Manthou: How about an Back Fence forum? You know, something that would give folks a chance to do what we do over the back fence every day with friendly neighbors: discuss our garden progress; share recipes; crab or celebrate the weather, etc.

The forums are moderated by Columbian staff and our community guidelines and terms of service still apply.

Only Columbian staff members can create new forum threads.

Don't see a forum topic here that fits your comments? Email Web Editor Libby Tucker,, or Social Media Coordinator Matt Wastradowski,




So, I can talk about my garden here?!

What? Heh.

Drift — July 25, 2011 at 10:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal

My tomater plants are gittin really BIG but no maters yet. I wish we had some sunshine to help them along.

hawkeye — July 25, 2011 at 10:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The neighbor has maters. I sliced one up for my burger the other day. He cheated though. They were hothouse starts.

When we were coming back from Forest Grove I thought it unusual to see fields of corn. The plants being only a couple feet tall. It seems darned late to me, but what'a I know.

Drift — July 25, 2011 at 11:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thank you, Columbian! I like a break from politics once in awhile!

goldie: Where are you?

manthou — July 25, 2011 at 11:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm here, Manthou. I've been volunteering all morning...helping out a neighbor with her home. She's been in and out of hospitals the past year and can't get around as well as she used to, so I told her I'd chip in and help her to get her home more user friendly even though we're both a couple of gimpys, lol.

I am so glad to see this addition...and I thank you firsthand Manthou for the wonderful user-friendly forum once again. And secondly...thanks, Libby. It's truly an appreciated addition for those of us in the Basement...which suddenly is brighter!!!

goldenoldie — July 25, 2011 at 12:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey Hawkeye...I've been sizing up my tomato "Trees" the past couple of days and the muggy weather we've had reminds me so much like Adelaide, S Australia. You know tomatoes, peppers and eggplants grow tall and lush there...usually as year round plants. Talk about huge green vegetable plants. I've heard in Alaska, vegetables have a shorter growing season but they end up with champion-sized cabbages and root crops. My eggplant alone this year in the pot on my patio is well over 3 feet tall. My tallest tomato is about 6 inches from the gutter on the house. My peppers...about 2 feet tall so far (grown from seed) and are loading up on little tiny peppers all over them. Looks like I'll be pickling peppers later this summer!!! Oooh...and I FINALLY have two zuch's and 5 cukes setting on, too!!!

There's hope for our growing season, yet!!!

goldenoldie — July 25, 2011 at 12:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal

One more thing than I'm outta here for awhile. Anybody hear the big raindrops this morning...followed by the rumbling thunder??? I love a good summer storm (as long as it doesn't have pea-sized or bigger hail and high winds or twisters!!!). I knew we'd get some kind of stormy weather the way the humidity was yesterday and all those thunderheads trying to build. It made for a beautiful sunset with the angel wings reaching from above the clouds (the sun's rays). Just one of the many wonders of nature worth mentioning.

goldenoldie — July 25, 2011 at 12:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal

WOW, I am so glad manthou that you suggested this forum! Thanks ever so much! ;]


I have already harvested my green beans twice so far. My tomato plants are loaded, but only a couple close to picking.
Green pepper plants have produced smaller but many more peppers than last year. Jalapeno and cucumbers have yet to produce blossoms. Zucchini plants are also loaded with squash and blossoms. I have already harvested most of my herb garden and dried for winter use. Second round of herbs is almost ready to harvest again.
You are right we need more sun and warm days!


Dang tomato plants almost to the gutter? WOW mine are about 4ft, thought those were
Hubby bought a 10 lb bag of Walla Walla sweet onions when he was in Spokane 2 weeks ago. Making Walla Walla and mushroom burgers on the grill tonight, yummmm
Grilling veggie stuffed salmon tomorrow.

Again Thanks goes to manthou for suggesting this forum and a big Thank You to Libby for making it possible.

ELISI — July 25, 2011 at 1:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oooh, ELISI...that sounds yummeeee!! For an added treat, a little feta or bleu cheese crumbled on the burger just before removing it from the grill is good too...but so is a slice of Swiss Cheese!!! I'm going to have to ask my hubby if we can barbie up some!!! The other day we grilled some zucchini on the barbie...sliced lengthwise and placed on foil after marinating it with olive oil and a spritz of pepper and salt...threw a few cloves of garlic along with anaheim peppers and grilled till they were to our liking. Zucchini as well as Eggplant can be done directly on the grill as long as you have marinated coated the veggies well with olive oil or any other cooking oil of your choice.

goldenoldie — July 25, 2011 at 2:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I cut mine in cubes and on skewers with pre cooked red potatos, red onions, red, green, and yellow peppers, and pineapple.
I marinate mine in olive oil, garlic and herbs.

ELISI — July 25, 2011 at 3:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I think they belong to the aphid family.
Here's a couple links that maybe of help.

ELISI — July 25, 2011 at 5:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I have my tomatoes in pots off the ground and found one slug on them early on. Went to Freddies to find something to keep them away, didn't want to use poison but I found something that worked great. (You'll like this one Cat) I found some copper foil with sticky backing on it and wrapped it around the pots. Problem solved, no more slugs. Soooo cool.

hawkeye — July 25, 2011 at 9:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hawkeye, I forgot about the old standby with copper foil. I've been using stale beer in a small container with my eggplant in a pot which has worked for the most part but copper foil looks better. Thanks for the reminder.

goldenoldie — July 26, 2011 at 6:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Good morning, Back Fencers! I am getting much good advice from reading your posts!

alleycat: I used the ladybug technique with my rose aphids and it worked well. I love seeing these cute little black-spotted red bugs doing their thing......

I recently took the same natural predator approach to my skeeter problem at our cabin on the Northern Oregon coast. We had a mamma bat and her baby nesting in the rafters of the garden shed last year. We let her nurture her young there, but plugged up the entrance hole after she had left with junior. Didya know that brown bats are a protected species in Oregon? We purchased a couple of bat houses to give these mammals a place to nest and sleep, hung them high in the trees and can see them coming and going at night. We have noticed a reduction in the mosquito population because we are not getting so many bites.

manthou — July 26, 2011 at 6:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal

We had a horrible mosquito problem years ago, couldn't even step outside the front door without being covered by them.
Open the garage door to come or go by car, they'd make their way in then into the house.

Had the city come out and check the street grate, clean as clean can be for them. One of the workers told us that the junipers we had at street edge were also a prime breeding grounds for mosquito's. We removed all 16 of them, planted lavender and cut the population down to almost none.
Even as wet as its been this year I think I have had 2 bites.
People that walk by in the evenings remark how nice it is to walk by without being swarmed by them.

ELISI — July 26, 2011 at 8:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Elisi @ 8:50 am: I never knew that junipers provided such a good breeding ground for mosquitos. I have noticed a couple of my neighbors getting rid of it in the parking strips and sloped areas of their property.

I love finding natural ways to eliminate pests. I wonder if the lavender fragrance is a repellant, too?

manthou — July 26, 2011 at 8:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The last few years we have had several bats living in our breezeway area and then this spring we had a new roof put on and I was worried they would have left due to the noise and commotion. Lucky me, they are still here. They take care of my bug problem, no fuss, no muss. At last count we have about 25 to 30 of them.

hawkeye — July 26, 2011 at 9:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks for the suggestion, manthou. It's great to see the discussion here so far.

Matt Wastradowski — July 26, 2011 at 9:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou, I have no idea..I love the smell of lavender. Plus bees love it even more! Great way to help your food garden out is by planting flowers bees like. I planted bee balm, daisies, bachelor buttons and a few others close by my food garden to get the pollination needed.

My butterfly bushes (summer lilacs) are in full bloom and boy do we ever have the butterflies.

ELISI — July 26, 2011 at 9:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal

My butterfly bushes (summer lilacs) are in full bloom and boy do we ever have the butterflies.

ELISI — July 26, 2011 at 9:47 a.m.

Where do I get those, EL?

hawkeye — July 26, 2011 at 10:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hawkeye: A few years ago, Home Depot and Lowe's sold them. I haven't seen butterfly bushes as often and I think it's partly due to the fact that they have become an invasive species...hard to believe. They are nice plants...especially when pruned annually and flower heads removed once they are done blooming. You might still find some in the stores, though. If not...they root easily if you know of someone who has one that you want a cutting from.

Here's some other butterfly attractants:

California Lilac (evergreen shrub with nice blue aromatic blooms)

Glossy Abelia (semi-evergreen shrub with nice flowers)


Monarda didyma (Bee Balm)

Purple Coneflower


Lavender (as others mentioned)

Hardy Asters



Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan)

...and the list goes on

goldenoldie — July 26, 2011 at 11:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Matt @9:37 am: Thank YOU all at The Columbian for giving us more Forum options. I remember getting a great recipe seasoning idea once from Bob Koski himself (Three Sisters Stew). It was a gem that was hidden among all the bickering.

I think many of us loyal regulars want to nurture more collaborative community conversations with our online Columbian friends. This is a great way to do it, I agree!

manthou — July 26, 2011 at 11:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hawkeye: Goldie gave a great list of bee and butterfly friendly plants.

Sometimes, when I cannot find something I want locally, I venture across the river to Portland Nursery. There is one on SE Stark and one near 205 on E Division. I can usually find what I can't get here in their stock.

manthou — July 26, 2011 at 11:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Especially the Portland Nursery by Laurelhurst, of my favorite haunts!

goldenoldie — July 26, 2011 at 11:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I do love browsing Portland Nursery, goldie! Last trip, I went to find some sunflower starts (my seeds failed miserably) and was successful. No other Vancouver nursery had them. I ran into a sweet elderly lady who lives in an assisted living center nearby. She told me she walks to Portland Nursery daily to stroll and enjoy the plants and company of others. It is like her own garden without all the work. :)

manthou — July 26, 2011 at 12:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I got mine years ago at Bishops Nursery now Shortys on Mill Plain.
But I have seen them at Home Depot, Lowes, and Fred Meyers.

They come in 3 shades of lavender and white. I have seen a few around town in dark pink shade.

ELISI — July 26, 2011 at 1:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal


You're right one has to keep up with the pruning of the Butterfly bushes each year. They are fast growing and will grow to at least 12 ft. I lost my dark lavender one this winter, but the lighter shade one is going strong. It's about 12 ft high and we will be pruning it down this year.
Mine start blooming not long after my lilac stops. This year due to so much rain and very little sun my lilac didn't have as many blooms or as big as last year. Hopefully after we prune it next year's blooms will be bigger and more.

I miss my jasmine bush, that sweet odor coming into the house...*sigh* guess I'll have to get another one. Nothing more soothing as the smell of jasmine, a drink of Georgia sweet tea on the deck on a hot summers eve.

ELISI — July 26, 2011 at 1:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Well ELISI, I guess I won't tell you about my Jasmine vine this year OR my lilac(yes, I'm teasing you!!!). I'll just say the lilac bloomed wonderfully and the Jasmine sits right outside my living room window...such a refreshing and enjoyable scent permeates the living room when I open the window. My secret with the jasmine was that I kept it in a pot and moved it into the garage during the extreme freeze. I don't know what happened with the lilac. I guess the trees sheltered it.

BTW, my neighbor had given me a yellow butterfly bush but I lost it last winter. They aren't as hardy and are difficult to find.


Manthou...that's an excellent way for someone who doesn't have the capacity to grow a garden any more if they live close by. I too enjoy just walking through all the various plants and flowers...and they always have a nice display in the springtime.

Years ago, I worked at what was once Jeibmann' Portland Nursery just east of I-205. They used to have two Blue and Gold macaws and a jungle room (that's what it was like) with staghorn ferns on one wall along with a wall of creeping fig and a giant philodendron selloum. I was recently at that facility and saw the creeping fig was still growing on the wall.

goldenoldie — July 26, 2011 at 3:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal


We think the mole that is in our backyard got the roots of the jasmine. If not it, then maybe the ants we found when we dug it up. We have a horrible problem with ants here, dry days like today, I end up boiling pan after pan of water to pour on the ant hills. I refuse to use poison since we have several small kids in the neighborhood, and next door plus all the furry wild and domestic friends including my own little furry girl.

ELISI — July 26, 2011 at 3:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh, my gosh, goldenoldie! I remember Jeibmann's! Our first home, right after we were married, was near there! You probably worked there when I was hanging out. I remember the macaws very well.

More and more nurseries are putting in little tea houses and art galleries. There is one in Loomis, CA, near my son and daughter-in-law's called High Hand. It is like a destination resort, I swear. It is a place to browse for hours. It truly is like stepping into some other world.

I think it is very healing and relaxing, surrounding oneself with flora and fauna. Check out the website:

manthou — July 26, 2011 at 4:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Manthou...that place looks like my kind of venue!!!!!

Speaking about stepping into some other world...when I was fortunate enough to visit Adelaide last year, we went to a conservatory and botanical garden...oh the beauty of our world was definitely captured at this place. Here's a couple of links which will give you an idea of what I visited, although it was more beautiful to see in person:

Another mystical place we visited were the Naracoorte Caves. In the link below, you will see a photo of stalactites which look like a bunch of knitting needles. Those were quite long in some areas.

I think one of my most favorite places of all time to visit is right in our own backyard, though...The Japanese Garden of Portland...absolute serenity!!!

goldenoldie — July 26, 2011 at 6:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oops! Manthou, I forgot to mention about the Naracoorte Caves on "Cave Tours" and you'll see the picture I was writing about.

goldenoldie — July 26, 2011 at 6:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Beautiful! How lucky you were able to travel to Australia! I hope to do so, someday.......

In the meantime, I agree that our own backyard is the destination that is the most comforting. It sure does not need to be opulent or spacious, does it? I would be happy with a balcony or patio and a couple of well-placed pots!

manthou — July 26, 2011 at 6:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Manthou...if you ever get the chance to go, I don't think you'd be disappointed. But you are right (again as usual, lol), we can achieve our own peaceful space at home. I've always wanted a secret garden of sorts.

goldenoldie — July 26, 2011 at 6:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Here's an armchair tour of some specialty nurseries with gardens.

buckeye71 — July 26, 2011 at 7:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oooh! Good ones, buckeye!!! The second one will come in handy for me. My sister and I have been looking for a new place to visit in the world of gardening. I also like the feature of upcoming garden shows! Thanks!!!

goldenoldie — July 27, 2011 at 6:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal

buckeye: Thank you for posting those links! I am enjoying browsing......

manthou — July 27, 2011 at 8:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Looks like it'll be a beauty today!
We've a few outdoor plants, but haven't a garden. There are two myrtlewood trees out front and a large maple out back. We live in the shade. Heh.

Today, I think I'll do some pit renovation. I've horseshoe pits. It's a social "hobby." The neighbors, friends and family come over to play. We held the sixth annual tournament this last 4th of July. The missus and I took the doubles championship and she (for the 2nd year in a row) took the singles.

I use 5\8" rock for the pit medium. It becomes contaminated with dirt from sweeping everything back into the pits after a game (the looser's job). My pits are full of dirt.

I built a sieve to separate the rock from dirt. I'll be a screening plant operator today (the plant I operated as a young man was a tad larger).

First the chores; tending to the indoor plants, picking up after the dogs, dishes... then I'm'a gonna go play in the pits!

Enjoy the weather, folks!

Drift — July 28, 2011 at 9:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey Drift. Those two myrtlewood trees...they don't happen to be Oregon Myrtlewood with the little yellow bunches of flowers around Easter time and the nuts that form by the end of summer??? If they are, you know you can husk the nuts and plant them for future trees? I've got two large and two small Oregon myrtlewoods on my lot. can plant certain vegetables in the shade and have plenty to harvest. Maybe not tomatoes but you can grow lettuce, beets, onions, carrots, swiss chard, rhubarb and radishes along with about a dozen other veggies.

goldenoldie — July 28, 2011 at 12:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey Goldie!

I'm not sure the variety, but your description sure sounds like 'em. The southern one overhangs the drive/parking spot. When the nuts fall I can hear them bonking off'a the car. The missus has been startled before from backing up, hitting the brakes and having them roll off'a the back of the Exploder. Heh.

These things must be close to 40 feet tall. They are whoppers. I've used the leaves for sauce seasoning. You gotta be careful though. A person doesn't want to leave them like they would a bay leaf. It'll get overpowering.

The leaves also work well for clearing a stuffy nose -- the hot water, towel over the head thing. It'll make your eyes water! It's sort of a mentholatum effect.

There are volunteers all over the place. I yanked two out of a flower pot just yesterday.

I'll do some research on the veggies. I can't get flower plants to grow out there... and I like onions. Thanks for the tip!

Drift — July 28, 2011 at 1:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Yep Drift...that's the Oregon Myrtlewood, also known as California Bay and it is a native plant. I'm sure you'll find you have thick, shallow roots surrounding the bay trees but if you have a garden spot at least 10' away from the tree trunks, you should be able to plant seeds. Here's a good reference link to start you off:

goldenoldie — July 28, 2011 at 2:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh my goodness, I have just experienced a wonderful treat that tickled my tastebuds!!! We purchased two blueberry plants last spring and the first harvest from the fruit-laden bushes were sooo sweet!!! I'll be checking on them every day before my husband discovers the ripened berries. It's a dog-eat-dog world around the blueberries this year between me and him, lol. Seriously though...we share. I just might fudge on it a bit and grab a couple in the mornin'.

Mmm...Blueberry-Banana smoothie with a dash of honey and vanilla...oh yeah!!!

BTW, if the raspberries are still available at the local farms...they're especially sweet this year! I believe Boysenberries are in season now, too!!!

goldenoldie — July 28, 2011 at 6:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I have wanted to plant berries, goldie, but worried about how difficult it is to care for them.

Way back when we were first married in the late 70's, the first landscaping I planted in our SE Portland home was an almost total edible one. I had the expert help of a master gardener friend, however. That was way back then and it is heartening to me to walk around in my city neighborhood today to see so many urban farmers growing good food. We even have a couple of turkeys gobbling away up the street.

My experiment this year was a cut flower garden and it is stunning. Next year, I would like to put in raised beds for vegetables.

My aussie shepherd dog will not allow me to raise fowl!

manthou — July 29, 2011 at 9:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Manthou...I too have seen a lot more pocket vegetable gardens this year than I have in the past. This year, we downsized due to the fact I can't do quite as much as I have in the past...mostly into containers, but I'm hoping with the improvements I'd like to make in my garden for next will be quite a fruitful year for us as well. I've got some of those cement blocks you can stack for a raised bed that I'd like to put in a different location, bring in new soil and have that be my winter squash garden...smack dab in the middle of my front yard. Of course, I'd have some sunflowers, beans and a little bit of corn mixed in just to give it a "Landscaped" look to it. Then where the blocks used to be, we'd have the soil mounded and loaded up with lavender...a great butterfly, dragonfly and bee attractant for the garden. Behind the lavender would be my shasta daisies, hardy asters and marigolds.

I'm hoping to eliminate yet more lawn space and increase garden space just to raise more veggies. At one time, I wanted chickens but figured it just wasn't worth encouraging rodents to my home. Besides...eggs are still affordable...and I can always support my local hobby farmers.

goldenoldie — July 29, 2011 at 9:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks for the link, Goldie.
Good stuff!

Drift — July 29, 2011 at 10:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Glad I could help, Drift.

goldenoldie — July 29, 2011 at 10:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey GO, I went out this morning and saw at least three new tomatoes starting. Little green balls. I'm so excited. I know that's silly but this is my first foray into tomatoes from seed.

hawkeye — July 29, 2011 at 12:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou — July 29, 2011 at 9:20 a.m.

I know what you mean, I have rabbits (wild) and deer and racoons and the occasional bobcat. I'm not sure a full fledged garden is possible.

hawkeye — July 29, 2011 at 12:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal

own HOORAY FOR HAWKEYE!!!!! Congrats my friend. sister has issues with deer. They had deer fencing surrounding their garden...5' high. Don't ask me how they did it but when my sister and her husband were on vacation...the critters invaded it and destroyed all but the tomatoes and beets. Her row of blueberries were chewed down to the nubbins. All her raspberries are chewed down to the ground. They had to extend the fencing another 4' higher just so they could replant and hopefully rejuvenate what the deer destroyed.

goldenoldie — July 29, 2011 at 4:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Doing a happy dance, harvested my first 2 tomatoes of the year off one vine today and have 5 zucchini almost ready to pick.. My cucumber plants have blooms finally!

The basil and oregano smells soooo good..maybe I'll make some spaghetti for dinner tomorrow.

After read what you guys have said about the wild critters, my daughter called yesterday and told while they were on vacation the neighbor that took care of their yard while gone left the gate open to the back yard. The moose got in and completely destroyed their garden tore a hole in the pond lining and knocked their glass top table over and broke it on the deck... and I complain about squirrels eating my squash blossoms or the raccoons getting into my compost bin.

ELISI — July 29, 2011 at 4:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Well let me tell you about my relatives in Africa. Just after they planted their first crops of the season, a bull eleph....

Okay, I'm just pulling your leg on this one.

A MOOSE??? Dang, them suckers are HUGE, ELISI!!! Was it trying to feed on the roots of the waterplants???

goldenoldie — July 29, 2011 at 7:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Where they live it is everyday they deal with moose, in the yard, walking down the street in neighborhoods. Daughter has told me they even walk the streets in downtown with all the cars.
Oldest grandson was chased by a bull this past winter. Lucky him, a neighbor saw it coming after my grandson and got him in the house until the moose lost interest and left.
Try to imagine moose roaming the neighborhoods and streets of Portland...LOL Where they live the city and population is about the same size.

ELISI — July 29, 2011 at 11:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I guess you couldn't chase a moose out of your garden like you would a squirrel, huh ELISI!!!

Note to self...avoid moving to Alaska.

goldenoldie — July 30, 2011 at 6:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal

LOL Golden nope and I am one that don't want to find out!

ELISI — July 30, 2011 at 8:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hah, that's funny, moose in the streets of P-town. That goofy Mayor of theirs would probably want to put in "moose lanes" . LOL I love it.

hawkeye — July 30, 2011 at 9:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Only if they're riding a bicycle, Hawk.

So ELISI...when is moose season in Alaska??? It should be coming up pretty soon for archers.

goldenoldie — July 30, 2011 at 2:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Golden, Sorry been up into the mountains all afternoon. Nice drive, beautiful wild flowers still in bloom all the way up to Johnson Ridge.

I'll have to ask the son in law when hunting season on them is.

Hawkeye, LMAO I can see it lane for bikes, one lane for moose...LOL!!!!!!

ELISI — July 30, 2011 at 8:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal

For anybody who thinks they have a purple thumb when it comes to vegetable gardening, you can never go wrong with growing your own potatoes. Three years ago, a relative of mine gave me some of their seed potatoes from their garden. Year after year, I've planted them...Yukon golds and a red-skinned variety. I used to have purple potatoes but found them to be too starchy for my liking. Anyhow, I planted only a 5x8' section of potatoes this year, thinking I wouldn't have very many. I had planted the seed potatoes whole, digging a trench and filling them as the plants grew and keeping them watered. Well, the plants died back and today was harvest day. THIRTY-FIVE pounds of potatoes with nice round, plump taters...fingerlings and plenty of seed potatoes for next year...all in that little 5x8 foot plot!!! They were growing next to some bush peas...maybe companion planting where plants help each other to fend off certain insects had a role this time...maybe.

goldenoldie — July 30, 2011 at 10:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm still trying to picture a moose on a bicycle. Hmm...maybe I'll sketch it.

ELISI, sounds like a fantastic trip!!!

goldenoldie — July 30, 2011 at 10:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Anyone else plan to attend Art in the Heart this weekend? I have enjoyed it in the past. Great fun:

manthou — August 1, 2011 at 8:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal

For those who live in the east Vancouver area..There is a Farmers Market every Saturday at Endeavor Elementary School at 2701 NE Four Seasons Lane from 9am-2pm.

Endeavor is located off Burton/28th street just past 112th.

ELISI — August 1, 2011 at 11:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey GO, I measured my plants tonight, they are over SIX FEET tall. Amazing !!!

hawkeye — August 1, 2011 at 11:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

You'd think we live in the tropics here, huh Hawkeye! Along with my very tall tomatoes, I have two pepper plants which are three feet tall as well!!! And my Japanese eggplant...about the same and loaded to the hilt with blooms and bearing several nice long, slender fruit. This morning, I'm harvesting my first green beans. They'll go nice with dinner tonight.

goldenoldie — August 2, 2011 at 6:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Previously, we were talking about deer and moose in family gardens. Keep a watch in the fir trees around your property. You just never know who's watching who:

goldenoldie — August 2, 2011 at 6:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Goldenoldie we have been picking tomatoes since July 3rd.But we cheat.I bought her a green house from sunglow about 4 years ago.We have fresh greens all year long.We have also had snap peas and cucs for the last several weeks.The only draw back is her green house is heated and during the winter it gets a little spendy.

terick — August 2, 2011 at 3:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Now THAT's the way to go, terick! We're cleaning up our garden space in order to put in a smaller PVC greenhouse which fits on a raised bed. I'd built one this last winter without using any plans...just fitting the pipes, elbows and connectors...and it's a pretty strong little bugger, but it wasn't in a raised bed at the time and we'd like to incorporate it into a raised bed. Now I've got to find the greenhouse plastic with UV protectant and some more PVC clips. Now's the best time to get the project going when the weather's nice.

goldenoldie — August 2, 2011 at 7:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Goldenoldie my wife starts all of her veggies and plants from her own seeds that she collects every year.Than after they start and the weather is cooperating she transplants them in pots all around the yard.We use pots because we have 2 big dogs and if we put them in the ground the dogs are like rototillers.I would guess that we have around 100 or so pots now.I know it takes about 2 hrs to water every other day.With the exception of potting soil we use all organic and some home made bug spray and fertilizer.And now that she is retired it keeps her busy almost everyday,but she loves it.

terick — August 3, 2011 at 11:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Goldenoldie I don't know if you got my message.I am not very good at computer stuff.The grand kids call me a dinosaur.And my wife won't even touch a computer.But let me know we would be glad to show you or offer any advice.

terick — August 3, 2011 at 2:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I'm really new at the growing stuff and decided to try my hand at tomatoes for the first time this year. I started them in the house from seed and transplanted them into pots when they got too big in the house. I built a bench off the ground to put them on to keep them away from the rabbits and I set them up with a drip system in case we went out of town. I do feed them with Miracle grow for tomatoes and I put copper foil around the pots to keep the slugs away. As of today, the plants are 6 1/2 feet tall and full of buds and little green bits of fruit. More every day. This is really fun.

hawkeye — August 4, 2011 at 11:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Everybody has their druthers...

Myself, I'd druther not use Miracle-Gro on anything I intend to ingest. I can't offer any 'citations,' but in the medicinal cannabis growing community it's said that the nutrients tend to accumulate in the "fruit." (I shrug).

Flushing (as it's called) helps, but there could still be residual. Flushing is when you water with nothing but clear water for two weeks prior to harvest.

I'm a Whitney Farms natural fertilizer (or called fert. or nutes) kind of guy myself. I use one product in the vegetative stage, along with a fish emulsion, and another for the flowering stage, along with molasses.

Flushing isn't nearly as important with natural products, however, both products are advertised as being viable for only two months (each). Therefore, the plants should be "clean" by the end of their four and a half to five month lifespan.

Yeah, it IS fun! Heh!

Note to The City Council and County Commissioners:
I am not now, nor ever been, involved in a "collective grow."

I wonder how long this post will stay up... hee, hee, snork.

Drift — August 5, 2011 at 8:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye we started about 75 tomatoe plants this year.It was down from the 150 we did last year.We supply all our kids and neihbors with plants.Our big tomatoes are just starting to come on now.But we have been eating the smaller bush tomatoes since july 3rd.I would like to put a drip system in but we have so many pots around I would have water lines running everywhere.

terick — August 5, 2011 at 8:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal


With 100 pots putting together a wick system might be a bit arduous, but...

Of course, a person could come up with various types of wick systems. They wouldn't necessarily need to feed from one container each.

Drift — August 5, 2011 at 10:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey everyone, I had a chance to poke my head in on the C. Terick, I did receive your emails and have responded back. Did you get it? After my vacation, I will be contacting you and your wife via email to ask a few questions and to share a bit of knowledge I have on gardening as well which includes wicking of plants when they are transplanted into larger pots.

Good suggestion at 10:41, Drift. With regards to fish emulsion fertilizer, some of your shorter season veggies will retain the fishy in young greens. Also, with root crops, you have to be careful about using fish emulsion, steer manure, chicken/rabbit manure or horse manure. The other solution is what I refer to as "green manure." It's where you take grass clippings from a lawn that has not had any commercial fertilizers, soak some of them in a bucket of water for about 24 hours and use that to fertilize your plants. You don't want to hold onto the water for more than a couple of days, though. It attracts flies and skeeters...and gets really rancid smelling, but it's a great green up for those leafy greens...and will green up a yellow spot in the lawn, too.

And more thing...using MiracleGro throughout the season will promote a lot of green growth and can even cause burning of leaves when used at full strength. It is best to use it at 1/4th strength for constant fertilizing or 1/2 strength, 2-4 times in the growing season...then the flushing or watering with just plain water the rest of the season is the best plan in my opinion.

goldenoldie — August 5, 2011 at 6:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Good point on different methods for different plants, Goldie!
I use the emulsion for an added nitrogen boost during the growth (vegetative) phase. I cease the nitrogen when the plants bloom and use another (natural) product to increase the phosphorus. By harvest time, all of these products should have been flushed out.

I use the Miracle-Gro on my English Laurels. They've begun construction of apartments in the lot behind my place. Grow little Laurels, GROW!

Drift — August 6, 2011 at 7:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal

NEWS ALERT!!! Users of satellite, telecommunications and electric equipment to prepare for possible disruptions over the next few days.

goldenoldie — August 6, 2011 at 3:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey, for any of you that love hydrangea as much as I do, Costco has Hydrangea Trees for $22. Some are white/pink and others are lime green. They are well grown and just looking for a place to live.

hawkeye — August 6, 2011 at 8:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm not really surprised that we're not hearing more about the solar storms Goldie mentioned yesterday. This has the POTENTIAL to create widespread chaos. Consider how dependent we're on satellite communications, computer controlled infrastructure, etc etc. All of these could be put out of commission by the electromagnetic pulses these storms emit. If we sustain a direct hit, I pity the people in Texas who are suffering through the heat wave - will they have the power for air conditioning and other life sustaining services?

roger — August 7, 2011 at 9:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Whoa!!! Roger, it appears computers are already being affected today. Slow as a slug through a salt flat today at my house and the houses of relatives across the Northwest!!! I thought it would affect us tomorrow or the next day. And I am just concerned as you are about Texas. It's bad down there. What is it they are on now??? Day 40 of over 100 degrees??? I heard Rod Hill on television say that this winter will have another LaNina season which is supposed to be a milder one but also it will mean an extension of drought to Texas too! Sounds like the dustbowl days all over again in the midwest and south to Texas. I know I won't complain about a rainy day in the summer ever, ever again.

goldenoldie — August 7, 2011 at 1:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I am at the Northern OR coast and the computer, like Goldie's, is sooooooooo slow. I am getting ready to shut it down, after I finish watching an I Love Lucy re-run.:)

I highly recommend these old 50s comedies (watched some Jack Benny, too) as a relief from the bad news. It was Lucy's 100th birthday yesterday.

Goldie: I put off a trip to the midwest and East this summer due to the heat and the fact that I was enjoying our beautifully cool weather. I am with you: no complaints about the lack of heat!

manthou — August 7, 2011 at 1:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Well Manthou...I've been watching the oldies as well. Watched some Marilyn Monroe movies, even more recent shows like the Benny Hill Show and a couple of others. Good, clean fun...a little teasy but fun.

BTW, thanks for letting us know about the computer issue from your vantage point. I'm going to shut mine down and avoid it like the plague for the next few days. Too many things going lately for me to take time out on the computer. Heck, it's pretty nice not to depend on the computer for my daily entertainment.

As far as the heat...I've heard about the dog days of summer but this is doggoned miserable summer weather they're having.

goldenoldie — August 7, 2011 at 2:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal

We spent a few hours yesterday watching Lucy. Saw the grape stomping episode - one of the funniest ever!! Too bad we've forgotten how to make good shows.

roger — August 7, 2011 at 2:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal

It seems NASA released a report in 2006 saying we'll enter a period they call solar maximum in late 2012. The sun will be at it's highest level of solar activity, shooting off solar flares that I gather are electromagnetic radiation. Since then, some scientists have come on line and say it may take place in 2011. There also seems to be disagreement on what will actually happen if the earth is bombarded by one of these flares - we haven't had a similar event since the 1950's, and the late 1800's for the magnitude being predicted. Websites run the gamut from temporary inconvenience (like the internet slowdowns we're experiencing) to total disaster with recovery of basic services (e.g. running water) taking 2 or more years. The doomsday end of the predictions base their claims on our support systems (power, water, etc) all being computer driven - these systems will all be taken down by the radiation. They also point to the relative lack of emergency back-up systems, and that because of this the recovery timeline will be drastically increased.

Guess that will mean no more I5 bridge lifts. Alleycat will have to quit sailing his boat back and forth so he can hold traffic up. Which, by the way, will be bike and foot traffic.

roger — August 7, 2011 at 2:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Howdy, fellow gardeners. I got an issue that I hope someone can help me with.
I planted gooseberry and currant bushes 4 years ago. I now have a huge amount of currants to pick for jam and cakes. Sadly, with 3 gooseberry bushes I managed just a handful of berries. They are no maintenance type of bushes from what I know and both types typically grow well under same conditions. Any ideas what I can do to get some gooseberries?

luvithere — August 13, 2011 at 7:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Nothing better for the soul than a few days at the coast with absolutely the most perfect weather one could ever imagine for the Pacific Northwest Coast!!! For all you fishermen...Buoy 10 is still slow fishing but the folks on the jetty are beginning to catch a bit of silver. The sea lions are out in force this year...way more than usual!!! Even the crab netters are pulling in empty rings...bait and all...thanks to the sea lions. You wouldn't know it by the way things are on the coast when it comes to a "threatened species" like the sea lions!!! BTW, tens of thousands of pelicans this year...and the baldies are out in force, too!


Luvithere, I see you're asking about where you can get some gooseberries. Have you checked the local farms yet? I'm pretty sure if you check the pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island in Portland, you might have some luck there. Expect to pay a little more for the little goosies, though.

goldenoldie — August 13, 2011 at 1 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I love fishing off the Jetty, it's been a few years but it is an adreniline rush for sure... If the wind isn't blowing too much it's a great place to fish and refresh one self.. Have to be carefull on the rocks though..

vanwadreamer — August 13, 2011 at 1:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hey Goldie, welcome back.
No, I already have 3 gooseberry bushes but they barely carry fruit. Wondering what I am doing wrong. They should be loaded by now I think. It has been 4 years. My currants were planted next to me and are overloaded with lush red currants galore. Poor gooseberries, 10 berries a bush if lucky. And I am soo looking forward to gooseberry cake (not pie).

luvithere — August 13, 2011 at 3:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Well Vanwadreamer, the rocks are always unpredictable. That's why the "Smarter" jetty fishermen stay behind the line where the beach ends. The waves haven't shifted the boulders like the area beyond the beach. As usual, what salmon are being caught on the jetty, fresh herring or lures are scoring. Also, there are masked bait thieves running rampant on the jetty - better known as raccoons. You can easily catch a glimpse of either harbor porpoises or sea otters this year, too. The weather this last week was great for beach activities...just a little disappointing on the jetty. Maybe the approaching full moon had something to do with it. The surf perch are biting on the ocean side, but they're a bit small this year. We did manage a few one pounders, though. Man, what good eating surf perch are! Sweet and tasty after cooking on the barbecue with a little lemon squeeze, salt, pepper and butter or olive oil. Yummmm!!!


Luvithere, could it be the location you have your gooseberries? Maybe it's something with the soil or maybe they are incompatible with currants next to them. You might check it out with the place you purchased the plants from....or better yet, check with the folks at Portland Nursery or at Shorty's to see what they have to say.

goldenoldie — August 13, 2011 at 4:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

BTW Luvithere and Alleycat, thanks. I had a great vacation...too short, though.

Hooray!!! My paste tomatoes are beginning to ripen in my garden!!! Sun-dried tomatoes for the winter!!! More YUM!!!! Ooh, and my shell beans are developing, more zucchini and the garlic is starting to brown. Gotta harvest yet another pan of string beans. Boy, those taste good with a touch of butter and Parmesan!!! Still enjoying the taters I harvested before going on vacation. The eggplant has developed some issues but still producing fruit. Picked my first two cukes this week and the blueberries are still goin'. And the peppers!!!! Loads and loads of peppers!!! Some of the Italian Longs are 4" already!!!

The fruits of our efforts.

Now...if those dad gummed squirrels would leave my seckel pears alone!!!! I just found one half chewed in my lawn!!! Luckily, they haven't discovered the comice pears....not yet at least.

goldenoldie — August 13, 2011 at 4:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hi GO, yea, maybe I need to move my bushes. They are a bit separate from currants although back home they are typically grown together. Might be that they need another year as so many fruit trees and bushes do take 5-6 years to start carrying fruit. Not giving up on them yet-that gooseberry cake is on my mind. Been harvesting pounds upon pounds of currants and freezing them in nice little weighted packages. The future of currant cake is safe for a year in this house! As I skipped a garden this year, they are truly a reminder of how much one can harvest with a one time investment.

luvithere — August 14, 2011 at 8:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

My tomato plants are loaded, but have only gotten 2 ripe ones as of yet. On my third round of green beans and zucchini. So far 3 cukes on the vine but not big enough to pick yet, green pepper plants are done, produced a whopping 7 bells, jalapeno pepper never bloomed. So next year I will plant them in a different area. Harvested my herb garden 4 times, dried and cryovaced them for later use and still have plenty for daily use.

Now at the end of the month comes freezing veggies. Carrots, corn, green beans, peas.
I still want to find out how to home can veggies. Anyone know if the Clark Public still offers home canning classes?

Sept brings baking, breads and cakes for the freezer.

ELISI — August 15, 2011 at 9:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey ELISI...check this out:

goldenoldie — August 15, 2011 at 2:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks for the link Golden, but sad to say the classes for this year have already been held. Dang..

I might run over to Joe's place tomorrow between my other errand I have to do and see if they teach classes in home canning or know of where/who does before fall.

ELISI — August 15, 2011 at 4:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh and I have to find out if I even can, do home canning on my glass top stove.

ELISI — August 15, 2011 at 4:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Well ELISI, how about this website:


Regarding your concerns about your glass top stove, I found this:

goldenoldie — August 15, 2011 at 6:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Well Goodness, folks! I wish a fantastic morning to you all. We've got a wonderfully mild day before our mini heat wave this weekend!

It's that time of year again where if you have any extra space in your vegetable garden to start a fall planting...time to get started! I've managed to free up a plot in my garden for Swiss Chard, Kale, Spinach, Spring Garlic and late-season Cippolini Onions which are great for grilling whole on the barbecue. I have extra room for some carrots and red onions as well...thought I'd try some of the Torpedo Onions along with the classic reds. Everything's sprouting already and with the heat, they should take off like rockets.

Plan ahead for the bombardment of Slugs in the rainy weather so that your leafy greens don't become annhilated!!!

The grapes are setting nicely in my arbor...many bunches this year! You know you can grow grapes in a whiskey barrell??? Just keep them pruned low and you'll provide wonderful snacking on your deck each year. Take advantage of the soil surrounding your grapes in the whiskey barrel with some nasturtiums to add to your salad bowl as well. (my little tip)

Have a great day, everyone!!! Time to get planting again!!!

goldenoldie — August 18, 2011 at 6:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I got me some homemade egg fettuccine cooked in garden tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil with some wild caught shrimp added. What you got?

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — August 22, 2011 at 1:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Are the noodles home made too??? How about a homemade basil/garlic pesto and grape tomato salad with crumbled feta???

Glad to see you've rediscovered the Basement, Lou.

goldenoldie — August 22, 2011 at 1:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal

As noted, homemade egg fettuccine. Flour, eggs, a little extgra virgin olive oil and I throw in a little paprika for a twist. Kneed, let sit and make your pasta.

Lou Brancaccio (Columbian Staff) — August 22, 2011 at 2:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh, okay...literally, homemade egg noodles - er, fettucini. Sorry for my misinterpretation of your comment there, Lou. My brain had a temporary malfunction, lol. Sounds like two very similar decadent treats, one with shrimp... the other with feta...and so summery!!!

goldenoldie — August 22, 2011 at 2:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I salute the family who stuck to their guns in this article and wholeheartedly challenge anybody in Columbianland to do the same and share their experience with all of us!!! Not only is it's BETTER for you as well!!!

goldenoldie — August 25, 2011 at 11:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Does anyone know if I can safely move my tomato plants?

City is putting the sewer in my neighborhood and where they are laying the pipe to connect my house is right through my garden.
No problem with the green beans the plants are done, but my tomato plants are full of partially ripe tomatoes and green ones.
I have to got to move them or lose them by Monday.

ELISI — August 27, 2011 at 8:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

In the Spring I planted a whole row of tator tots, and they have not yet begun to sprout. Do you reckon it's the weather? Maybe I don't know what to look for. Do potatoes grow on a small bush or on a vine?

Thanks, you all.

aintnogod — August 27, 2011 at 9:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal

ELISI, I don't think they'll survive a transplant this late in the season. You would have to go outside the circumference of the root ball in order to be successful. If you want to ripen all the tomatoes, you could try to transplant them, but chances are the smaller ones will drop off. If all else fails, you could uproot the tomato plant, hang it upside down in a shed or garage and continue to pick the fruit as it ripens. You might shake off the excess soil on the roots, too.

goldenoldie — August 27, 2011 at 7:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Tater tots??? Do you mean seed potatoes? If so, how deep did you plant them? Did you plant them during the heavy rains? The plants grow with green vegetation to about 2' tall and nice purple star-shaped blooms. The potatoes..tubers...grow under the ground. If the soil is too wet, they will rot before sprouting. In the fall, cover the area of soil you wish to plant seed potatoes. That way, the spring rains won't flood your garden when it's time to plant the taters. It's been a never fail production every year for me.

goldenoldie — August 27, 2011 at 8:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal

goldenoldie — August 27, 2011 at 7:59 p.m

Thanks Golden, we decided to just pick them.

ELISI — August 28, 2011 at 7:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Oooh...some green tomato pickles or fried green tomatoes???

goldenoldie — August 29, 2011 at 8:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Last week I put in a cord of alder. This week I've another cord of fir/maple to get into the shed. I haven't been jumping right on it. The first cord about whooped my hiney.

We went eight years with only the wood stove. Back then I'd start the winter with seven cords of firewood.

When my malady got worse we had a gas forced air furnace installed. Man, that thing is great! It's still nice to fire-up the stove in the evenings though.

That reminds me; I brushed the stack a while back. I need to pull apart the duct from the stove to the breach and give that a cleaning, too -- and maybe put a new ceramic blanket in the stove's overhead.

The wood first, I guess. I hear there some precipitation headed our way in a few days...

Drift — September 13, 2011 at 9 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift...I hear ya. Yesterday, we acquired our firewood cutting permit and managed a truck load (1/2 cord), even in the drizzly rain. Isn't it a wonderful feeling of accomplishment though...when you go to your woodshed and see all that wonderful alternate source of heat just waiting for those chilly winter evenings???

The woodshed is already full for this year's burn, but what we are collecting is for next year. We like to make sure our firewood is very dry when it's time to burn.

I know what you mean about the intensive job about "whooping your hiney!" It's definitely not a job for those whose physical capabilities are compromised. I can no longer chop and split the logs but I can stack the wood and cut kindling. It's definitely a 2-person job in our home.

As far as our chimney stack is concerned, last Spring, we hired a chimney sweep (recommended by the company who we bought our stove from) to come in and do the job. We've got one of those newer insert stoves and I felt it's best to let someone who knows what they're doing, do the job for us. They also inspect and let us know if there's anything that needs to be done before the next season.

Oooh I can't wait for the day we start using our wood stove again...soup slow cooking on the water for comfort tea...steaming hot cocoa...

and no chilly feet!!!

What else is nice...we won't even have to use the microwave to nuke our leftovers. Just place them in our camp cookpot and within a few minutes a piping hot meal!!!

goldenoldie — September 18, 2011 at 5:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I never thought that initial chill in the air which sent shivers through me...would feel so wonderful after loading the truck up with fire logs we'd just harvested in the woods high in the Cascades. That was my wake-up call that Autumn is just a few days away and soon, frost will cover what is left of the summer garden, making way for chilly winter nights where that extra-fluffy comforter will feel soooo good at night. Surprisingly though...everything is still quite green in the mountains. On our way home from our experience in the woods, I noticed the Canada Geese flocks had more than average numbers. Could this be a sign that LaNina is going to be naughty this Winter???

Time to think about all those wonderful stews and soups, holiday preparations, crafting and indoor gatherings...all to give the festive atmosphere reminding us of what wonderful bounty of the earth we harvested in our gardens and at the local farms.

I was recently at a local craft store and saw the bin of bagged pinecones drenched in cinnamon oil. I knew they were around as a slight breeze revealed them from 20 feet away. Talk about a clever selling technique to get those of us who do the mood to spend money in order to make homemade gifts!!! Too bad though...I was already going to the craft store to buy some of their wares and I managed to keep it in my budget which was a surprise to my dear darling husband. He knows I'm like a kid in a candy store at craft shops.

Ahhhh Autumn...isn't it wonderful with all the leafy trees displaying hues of gold and yellows and reds and oranges!!!! Just a drive down East Fourth Plain Road near Vancouver Mall shows the wonders of the changing seasons. And a trip to the local farm with the squashes and apples and pears....


My favorite time of year!!!

goldenoldie — September 18, 2011 at 6:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal

My intention yesterday was to clean the interior stove ducting, replace the ceramic blanket and a few fire brick. I -didn't- intend to break the 90 degree articulating elbow duct. Oh Pooh!

The Mrs. made a quick run back up to Mortins (sp.?) on Mill Plain and grabbed another elbow. As she opined, "The other must have been close to failure or it wouldn't have broken."

I've one more brick to cut to size. They cut easily with a fiber blade in my worm drive saw. I'll be finishing up tomorrow as we are headed over to P.I.R. today to watch the motorcycle road racing. I've my fingers crossed things will dry out by race time (11:30).

At one time I was heavily involved with the road racing -- association board member, racer... This'll be the first race for me this year. Hopefully, the weather cooperates. There's one event left after today. October's race -is- typically wet.

Yep, there's a shed full of seasoned wood out back. Full and then some. I had to stack about an 1/8 cord on the ground. That'll be the first to go.

Drift — September 18, 2011 at 7:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

How frustrating! Glad you got the elbow replaced in time for firing it up. I too replaced some of the ceramic bricks this spring. We didn't have the means to cut the bricks ourselves but luckily Morton's had the replacement ones already.

Good luck with the weather and the races today, Drift. Hopefully there will be a window of opportunity just in time for the races.

goldenoldie — September 18, 2011 at 8:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The brick's cut, the water pot's been cleaned, the stove is ready! Now for the furnace filters...

We've a Siberian Husky in the shack. I never learned Siberian, but I think he's caught on to American. Every now and again he tries to play the, "No speakie the Engliss," but I know better. Uh, and I digress.

I run a primary filter on the return register before the secondary higher grade filter. The dog's fur has taken out the fan motor previously. I'll never be owned by another Husky, I tell ya.

I gotta custom make the primary -- it's no big deal, scissors, duct tape -- and change out the secondary. During the "season" I do it monthly. I mark it right on my calendar along with the dog's monthly flea pill.

The races yesterday were good! There were a couple of showers, but we had a canopy. Tire choice for the competitors was a crap shoot. Will it rain, will the track dry...? There's a lot more to the racing gig than get on and open the throttle.

All in all, an enjoyable day!

Drift — September 19, 2011 at 12:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Maybe you can find someone in your area that spins wool. Husky fur is great for that, lol. Good to hear you had a good time at the races, Drift. I hope you keep writing on the Back Fence Forum. They're enjoyable reads.

goldenoldie — September 20, 2011 at 6:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks for the kind words, Golden.

I looked into having the fur (it's called pet fiber) spun and knitted. I discovered the several stage process is quite expensive! First the fiber is sent off to be washed and sorted. Then it goes to be spun. For some animals a blend with cotton or wool is recommended. After it's spun (and there's a variety of "yarn" weights) it gets sent off to be knitted.

I was thinking a button-up sweater for around the house would be nice. Said sweater would wind up costing around $1,800. Uh, maybe not, eh?

I can sew a button on a shirt. I can sew my flesh back together (though glue is easier). Spinning pet fiber and knitting a sweater is a bit beyond my expertise. Everytime I brush him and toss the resulting mountain of fur into the garbage I feel it's such a waste.

I buy a lotto ticket three days a week. Maybe... Heh! I crack me up!

Drift — September 20, 2011 at 8:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Check with the local fiber arts clubs. You might be surprised in what you find out, Drift.

goldenoldie — September 20, 2011 at 2:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I'll consider that.
Again, thanks!

Drift — September 20, 2011 at 3:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Goldieoldie, do you have a link to the local fiber art club? I'm cutting down my nanas and hear they are used for paper.

It's good to see the Columbian has a garden forum.

karma — September 21, 2011 at 10:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma, I don't personally know who to contact but you could probably check with the local studios in and around Vancouver and Camas. They'd be able to connect you with the people who would know. Also...check out this link. Maybe you'll find someone you could contact through this as well:

goldenoldie — September 21, 2011 at 2:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Thank you goldenoldie for the link, I also found a gallery and emailed them. A friend also suggested Craigslist. I have close to 2 dozen plants that would make some great paper. Thank you again for your help!

karma — September 21, 2011 at 6:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey Karma...I am assuming you were saying "banana" leaves, right??? If my assumption is correct, check out this link I just located:

goldenoldie — September 22, 2011 at 6:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey goldenoldie, thank you for the link!! Right have to let my art side out and give this a try. We are talking the whole plant from the trunk to the leaves. I love to use these to protect the roses and it's a natural food for them. I have so much this year and have also gone to bat guano for feeding so I have extra nana pulp.

I'm so glad I found this garden forum. Thanks 'C' for the local site.

karma — September 22, 2011 at 10:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Glad I was able to help you, Karma...and I too am glad for the Back Fence forum.

goldenoldie — September 22, 2011 at 2:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Since I just found this forum and see a little information on who is here, some names I know from the past. How about a little information on each of us? I'll start, I'm known as a hardcore gardener by a lot of my WWW garden friends. I'm not a master gardener nor do I have a Hort. degree, it's just a passion here.
When I talk hardcore gardener, I am in zonal denial, hundreds of plants and something is blooming year round here. I have a small greenhouse and a temp one due to the County's requirement for getting a permit to put up a greenhouse. This one goes up for a few months a year to house the tropical plants we specialize in. We have a photo site due to our WWW wanting to visit the gardens, let me know if you want me to share this. Who wants to go next?

karma — September 23, 2011 at 8:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal


I'll go ahead, Karma. Since I was a youngster, I've always enjoyed hobby gardening. In high school, I excelled in my Greenhouse and Nursery Management Class. Most of my gardening techniques, I'd learned from trial and error. I was a budding member of the Clark PUD Wildlife Habitat Stewards till my physical stamina began to wane. My garden is designed around the theme similar to that at the CASEE Center and I have mainly native plants, although I do have some which are not. I find that companion planting (garden plants, flowers and vegetables which are compatible side by side and can act as an insect repellant to the neighboring plants). I also encourage flowering annuals in and around my vegetables as that attracts beneficial insects to pollination.

Although I do not have a permanent greenhouse, I have built temporary greenhouses as well but would like to eventually incorporate a permanent structure into my property...possibly a sun room or lean-to.

In years passed, (many years ago), I worked at Jeibmann's Greenhouse. Some of you may know it today as Portland Nursery. I would assist Mr. Jeibmann in planting of indoor plant starts. Various other duties included feeding and exercising Max, their blue and gold macaw and watering/fertilizing of the indoor vegetation.

My mother and I were members of the African Violet Society of Portland and grew AV's for show. I also have various houseplant scattered through my home including Moth Orchids. I would love to have a self-contained conservatory...fully equipped with exotic trees and shrubs, tropical fruit, tropical birds and a water feature.

Although I have slowed down BIG time in my gardening duties, my heart is still into my favorite hobby. As the years continue to bring change, so does the type of garden I manage at home. Luckily, I have plenty of help from other family members which makes the job less demanding for me.

I attribute my interests in gardening to my dear Mother who taught me all her gardening secrets and my wonderful husband is great in sharing in the duties as well.

goldenoldie — September 23, 2011 at 1:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hi guys,
I share a bit although I do not often post here.

We got nearly 3 acres with woods, nicely made berms, and grass. We are a certified wildlife habitat, meaning no pesticides, no poison, no nada. All the hard work to be done by hand which explains the massive amount of wildflowers aka weeds. But our wildlife is thriving-deer, bunnies, snakes,lizards, coons, a million frogs in our ponds and waterfalls, bats, the dog, birds and many many bees, including massive numbers of honey bees...however, it would be good to learn more about natural ways to control a few things or to prune and help the old apple trees. As we are "new" to the PNW (6 years), I am still gardening like this is LA and need to learn more about the native plants. I do love to raise roses although they all have to be in pots now thanks to deer and need to learn more about getting them to survive our winters here.

luvithere — September 24, 2011 at 7:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey, Karm, how the heck are ya?

You do realize (you gotta) the 'back fence' isn't dedicated to gardening? It wasn't but a few days ago that Goldie and I were discussing firewood, stoves, and making a sweater from a dog.

But who am I? If you want it to be about gardening...

I no longer grow a vegetable garden, although I might attempt to grow some stuff next year (thanks again, G.). The property our little shack sits on is tree covered. Life is about compromises, eh? We'll keep the trees. During the summer our yard is the coolest in the neighborhood. Heh!

I try not to use the word "irony" 'cuz I think a lot of folks use it wrongly. It might fit here though. When we were apartment dwellers I kept a small veg garden. When we became 'home owners' that became history. I envy you folks with acres -- 'cept for the maintenance!

Other than the trees (myrtles and a maple) we have your general shrubs and whatnot.

The plants that I harvest are grown indoors. Well, except the plants I'm breeding. They start inside and finish out (in wheelbarrels, chasing the Sun). Next season will (should) end my program.

I *do* have some cherry seeds that I took out of the fridge today and dropped into a wet towel. I'll start those inside and then move the resulting plant out come spring. I've always wanted to do a *real* bonsai.

I tore the lawn mower apart yesterday. I put it back together today. It runs! YAY!

Drift — September 24, 2011 at 8:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal

You're right, Drift. It isn't only about gardening. It's about anything anybody would talk over the back fence to their neighbors...including interesting experiences people have encountered.

...And since I've mentioned encounters, now is a good time to tell everyone about Saturday the 24th.

My husband and I were headed deep into the Gifford Pinchot for some firewood collection with our woodcutting permit, shovel, 5 gallons of water, fire extinguisher and chainsaw with all the necessary supplies for a successful wood harvest. It was a lovely day in the mountains. A slight crispy chill was in the air and everything was damp from morning dew. The droplets of water on spider webs made for wonderful "Kodak" moments. Autumn colors were just beginning to show. The sweet, spicy aroma from the tree sap and ripe mountain berries was such a tantalizing treat...much better than the smell of exhaust from dysfunctional automobiles in the city.

As we were driving along, squirrels were scampering across the gravel road with fir cones in mouth, running to their "secret stashes" for their winter feed. Mountain Robins or Varied Thrushes danced across the road in search of seeds and small insects. We chanced upon an occasional Forest Grouse or two which was a nice treat, although they were quite skittish for any bird hunter who was trying to stock up for those winter meals.

We found the perfect area to gather a few huckleberries and harvest a couple of downed logs. We had just pulled to the side of the out of our truck...headed to the huckleberry bushes next to the road when I heard a distinct growl which sent chills up and down my spine. Needless to say, I jetted back inside the pickup, opened the window a crack and told my husband "Let's Go Elsewhere." Although he showed no fear, he could definitely sense my obvious apprehension of staying around. He hesitatingly agreed AFTER he munched down his handful of huckleberries which left a nice bit of blue stain on his fingertips.

I didn't care to find out where that cougar was sitting although while in the safety of our truck, I would have loved to have seen it running off in the opposite direction.

All in all, it was a perfect day in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

goldenoldie — September 25, 2011 at 5:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The family used to take an annual camp trip to Forlorn Lakes. We'd tent for three or four days. I enjoyed it immensely. I never saw a cat up there. Can't say as I'd want to, either!

I'm glad you enjoyed the day (and didn't become lunch! ;^)

Drift — September 26, 2011 at 7:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thank you goldenoldie and drift for telling us about your gardens. Sorry I had to disappear but it's time to start the big cut back this last weekend plus put the walls up on the temp greenhouse. Yep I got this forum was the catch all one. Love the camping stories, I hear it's a place to visit up there in the forest. I have only done a day trip up with a great Indian guide that used to live here, no camping.

Loving the return of the rain so I can catch up and let the muscles recoup!

Again thank you both!

karma — September 26, 2011 at 8:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma-is it time to start the cutting back? I thought I had a few weeks left. Should I get going on it?

luvithere — September 26, 2011 at 10:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Luvithere, anything goes with Pacific Northwest weather. I do believe we have a couple more weeks of the season, but with the rain...we'll see more splits on the tomatoes.

Here's a tip for those of you who have a fireplace mantle and all those unripe tomatoes on the last growing day of the season before the frost hits. You can use those tomatoes for various green tomato recipes, but you can also set a batch of them in line on your mantle to slowly ripen. Last year we had tomatoes right up to Christmas. This year, we'll be able to bring in a couple of the plants on frosty days as they are in pots. I'm hoping to stretch the season into January...that is, without a greenhouse.

Karma with their greenhouse could easily continue with hothouse tomatoes through the entire winter...lucky you.

goldenoldie — September 26, 2011 at 10:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift: I'm glad as well that I wasn't lunch. My husband has seen cougars up there before. I remember years ago up Canyon Creek out of Chelatchie Prairie, we were headed out in search of a Christmas Tree and the snow blanketed the road. We had seen cougar tracks....luckily didn't come across one then, either.

goldenoldie — September 26, 2011 at 10:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey drift! Sorry it's been a while as I thought the 'C' was making us use our FB account and just stumbled in to these forums as I saw them for the first time at the end of the list. I just don't have much time to hit everything here. Yep this one is a catch all, right? Art, weather, gardening or what isn't covered in the others. I will try to make it a point to hit here a couple times a week.

luvithere, we are starting early due to DH had the shredder out to take down the corn stalks and the back hosta bed was fried so I cut all those back to shred but saved the ones that had seedpods. I try to take advantage of the shredder when I can since I'm forbidden to use some of DH tools! We don't usually start the big cut back until the 15th of Oct, but the composter is full and so is the yard bin, which is never empty. We cut back all the time here or we would need one of those huge bins! Only certain things should go in the small home composter.

goldenoldie, with the greenhouses running I'm sorry to say I can't do veggies in them due to what we specialize in. The solanaceae family is really picky and there is a nasty virus going around with this family. Also please be careful up there in the forest with all the critters and the two legged ones!

Thank you all for sharing!!

karma — September 27, 2011 at 8:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal

"""The solanaceae family is really picky and there is a nasty virus going around with this family."""

Yes, that's true, Karma. I have found one of my species of tomato starts showing the signs early on. I won't be growing that one next year. I'm curious...what is it you specialize in...that is, if you care to share that info. I've seen some amazing orchid specialists in the past.


It's the two-legged critters I'm most cautious about. That's why Hunter's Orange is mandatory when we're out and about. It's muzzleloader season right now. Next will be modern firearm deer season.

goldenoldie — September 27, 2011 at 2:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Next will be modern firearm deer season.

goldenoldie —
I like that. I take it you are referring to the automatic weapons to bring down Bambi? Like a big assault rifle?

Thanks for the tips on gardening. Looks as if I will start to trim this week when it is sunny again.

And where does one get a permit for wood, Golden? we got wood from our firs here but it would be nice to get more.

luvithere — September 27, 2011 at 4:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal

goldenoldie, Brugmansia/Datura/Iochroma, all in the solanaceae family. We just registered our first hybrid last October and I'll change my photo to her later, B. Sanguinea 'Karma.' But due to health and neighbor issues I have cut my collection from 150 varieties to just a handful now. We have put in hostas where the Brugmansia used to be planted.

karma — September 27, 2011 at 5:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Luvithere: First of all, I do not recommend anybody cut their firewood in the GPNF unless they know the roads. Secondly, if you are familiar with the roads, then as you enter the smaller towns like Stevenson or Chelatchie Prairie, you will see the signs clearly stated on the at Chelatchie Prairie Store or in Home Valley on Highway 14 at the grocer. Bear in mind though...they are available on a first come, first serve basis and are only good till the end of the year.

There is some wood that is not harvestable(sp?) like Cedar. At some of the wood cutting zones, you cannot cut red alder. ALL wood cutting must be done on logs already down on the ground. It is against the law for private parties to cut standing timber.

As far as modern firearm season...I'm referring to 7 mm, 30-06, 30-30 type rifles...not automatic weaponry, but I'm sure if you come across a grow operation, they might have those high-powered jobbies.

goldenoldie — September 28, 2011 at 6:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma, whenever I post on the C and come across pen names such as yours, I wonder how they chose their names. I see how you chose yours. In recent years, I had began to recognize the plants you speak of and have come across a few in planters in various areas. The first time I'd seen them on public display was at the Adelaide Botanical Gardens. They are beautiful plants...and so exotic looking as well. Thanks for sharing.

goldenoldie — September 28, 2011 at 6:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning goldenoldie! I got my name from a county staffer, whom was warning another staffer to watch out, when she asks a questions she is just testing you if you have the right answer. Her 'karma' will get you if you don't. I use this as a part of my business name and one of my garden friends added the second half. I look at myself as more of a research/tester for others that hybridize but do have a business license due to having a plant sale or two. I have neighbors that get bent out of shape, one has gone so far as putting a toilet planter in their yard. Most folks just laugh at them, it shows the caliber of these folks.

Our gardens can be viewed at PhotoBucket under 'karmahappytoes.' We ask that folks make an appointment to view the gardens, as we are a working garden.

karma — September 28, 2011 at 8:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Nice Pic's, Karma. It is obvious you are dedicated to your project. Too bad you have neighbors with their noses out of joint. I for one would enjoy being your neighbor as I'd weasel out a gardening secret or two of yours once in awhile (of course I'm teasing)...and share the bounty of my garden with you as well.

goldenoldie — September 28, 2011 at 2:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks goldenoldie, we can talk gardening when you would like, but I hope all remember I'm not a Master Gardner or have a Hort degree. I have just found what works best for what I do.

karma — September 28, 2011 at 3:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma...when you said "I have just found what works best for what I do," that my friend is the secret to a successful garden. No two gardens are exactly alike and certainly the conditions vary even from neighborhood to neighborhood.

You said something in an earlier post that you are in a zonal denial. I had to laugh at that because more and more each time I go to the local garden shops, I'm beginning to wonder if they too are in zonal denial with the exotics they bring. BTW, I have a Lemon Tree on my patio. I guess I'm in denial as well, lol.

goldenoldie — September 28, 2011 at 4:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning goldenoldie! I would say they are starting to cater to those from CA up here due to they want to grow what they did there. When get folks coming here I hear, "I will just grow them as annuals." When I hear that I don't want to let go of my stock!

Congrats on the Lemon Tree. Yep, you are in denial!! lol

karma — September 29, 2011 at 8:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I thought so, Karma. My little lemon tree has a whopping number of 3 little lemons set on. Ever since our trip years ago to Greece, I've wanted to grow my own lemons but knew our PNW weather isn't the greatest for such an endeavor. It didn't help my urge at all when I went to Aussie and saw all the lemons and oranges everywhere I turned. The wonderful spicy fragrance of the lemon blossoms is so pleasant in the summertime. Now I've got to baby this little lemon tree so it weathers through the winter and allows the fruit to mature.

goldenoldie — September 29, 2011 at 11:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning goldenoldie! I know you can do it, just find where it will be happy. I'm happy to report the yard is 75% cut back with all that is left is anything that was blooming or had seedpods that need to ripen. Even started pulling the tropicals to the back, hope to get the top on the one house so I can start putting them inside so I can spray them. I got the last of the rain barrels cleaned and set up inside, so let it rain! : ) I hope everyone has a great weekend!

karma — September 30, 2011 at 8:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal

75% cut back already??? And here I was happy to report a 3% cutback... well, I got my motivation now and will go straight outside and trim away.
I thought I was too early. Guess I was wrong.
With all the rain and despite the wet Spring, I need to do a serious trim. Weather was bad for veggies but it seems everything else went crazy this year.

luvithere — September 30, 2011 at 11:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal

luvithere, I love to garden in the rain but the back is telling me a different story these days. Mine you there is still plenty to look at out there but the spring and early summer stuff that was starting to look bad is gone. I noted after mowing this am between showers that most of the hosta seedpods are turning yellow so those will be harvested next and cut before moving a lot of the tropicals out back. DH isn't going to be happy when the big birds and Nanas have to come inside!

karma — September 30, 2011 at 11:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hosta seedpods? Well, once more I learned something new. As a transplant to here, I was unfamiliar with them. i usually just let all the leaves go yellow and wither away and then I clean them up. How do I harvest the pods though?

I also have a lots of nice big flowers for pollination around veggie garden. I typically do the same with the-wait and then sweep up. Bu they are taking over so i need to get rid of half of them. Dig them out?

I used to have so many geraniums in LA, they were a show and neighbor stoppers. Here, I really can't overwinter them correctly. So I treat them as annuals. Saying that because of your earlier comments above about the CA people. I hate to do that though, prefer to keep them.

And we are going all native here, meaning these transplants here have zero tropicals, only what is supposed to grow here. As a result, I never watered any plants in my berms this summer. The roses got all the love. And they are in pots anyway due to deer.
Over 5 years here and still learning what to do.

luvithere — September 30, 2011 at 1:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning lubithere, sorry for the CA remark but one shouldn't buy a plant if one doesn't know how to care for it in my book. Tropicals need special winter care.

As for the hosta seeds, I pick them when they start to yellow due to the squirrels but some of my hosta friends will put a fine netting over them and allow them to split open. When I pick them I lay then in a box and put them on my drying rack to open.

The geraniums you can take cuttings and save them that way or put the pot next to the foundation and cover it with mulch in a protective area. I can do a series of photos and put them in our PB site if you want?

karma — October 1, 2011 at 8:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Recommending a book for gardeners:

Western Garden Book by Sunset
The color Encyclopedia of Hosta by Grenfell and Shadrack

karma — October 1, 2011 at 8:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning Karma. I had my geraniums in the garage the first winter. Gets light and is heated a bit. They still did not make it. Pale little things just withered away. I do not think protecting them with mulch will do it-our micro climate is fierce. I mulched my rose pots, put them in sheltered area, etc etc, and still had a few dying. But I might dry garage again for geraniums and ensure I water them correctly. Hate to see them die when I KNOW they can make it year after year. I have no other tropicals here, I refuse. Berms are all planted with natives, I always ensure to look them up. Ergo no water was needed, they all did very well. And honestly, they look good where they are, as they belong.

luvithere — October 1, 2011 at 8:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Okay fellow writers, I've got a question for you. Today we were in the Columbia River Gorge (Beacon Rock) and I happened to find a little wooly bear caterpillar crawling across the sidewalk at the state park. Now in a recent article by Pat Timm, he said when describing the observations of the colors of the wooly bear *"Remember, we are looking for those middle orange segments, four or less. Two and three would really indicate a cold winter, according to old folklore. The wider the band with five or more segments indicates a mild winter. Not real scientific, but a good sojourn for the young folks to partake."*

Now my question is this:

What if there are no orange bands on the wooly bear? The one I found had just a tinge of orange on it's belly...but no orange bands. Does that mean we might have a nasty winter???

goldenoldie — October 1, 2011 at 1:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Sorry goldenoldie but this is what I found. 'Common folklore has it the severity of the coming winter can be predicted by the amount of black on the banded woolly bear, the Isabella tiger moth's caterpillar. However, the relative width of the black band varies with age, and has nothing whatsoever to do with weather (Wagner 2005). Isabella tiger moth caterpillars overwinter, surviving freezing weather by producing their own antifreeze, with which their cells are infused. (Layne and Kuharsky 2000).'
I can tell you the crazy squirrels are digging up the nuts they have buried already??

I can tell you the Brug House is now up and running with it half full. : )

karma — October 1, 2011 at 8:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal

(psst. karma...I was only trying to make conversation and see what people thought regarding the old farmers tales. I saw the same information when I was checking around on the web...although there are historic accounts of several years confirming the old saying that if the band of orange is wider, it would be milder.)

goldenoldie — October 2, 2011 at 2:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Ya know golenoldie I was wondering if you checked it out? I have been watching the geese fly south for two weeks now and they are not flying low. Then yesterday one of my friends posted photos of his Brugs still in the ground covered with snow in the midwest! It's been a strange year all over the place. Have you noted that the squirrels that have been busy burying the nuts are now digging them up and eating them? Even DH is surprise this year the plants are almost put away. We don't usually start this until mid October and we do this in a hurry. I am just rethinking how to save all the lovely tropicals that are now just starting to bloom!

karma — October 3, 2011 at 10:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma: A few weeks ago, we passed through Stevenson on our way up to the Gifford Pinchot and noticed more Canada geese than we'd seen in past years. Well...this weekend, we noticed only a few stragglers hanging around amongst mallards and a few pintails. the Franz Lake viewpoint, some of the swans had already arrived. Usually, we don't see them till November...and the geese stay around till then as well. This morning, it was announced that on Wednesday, Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood might have some snowfall...earlier than usual but not so unusual.

BTW, the squirrels are hiding their walnuts in high places around my yard. Anything they dug in the ground, they are going back and removing them (when they remember where they'd put them in in the first place), only to move them up on a shelf in my shed. I also observed their reinforcing of their little nests in the trees with more branches.

Some of my tomatoes in the garden have been bitten by colder nights as well...and the spiders??? Is it just my yard or are there more this year than usual???

goldenoldie — October 3, 2011 at 1:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey goldenoldie, thanks for the information up the river and we are noting the difference in the feather friends. The Tree Rats aren't to happy, the neighbor to the west that has the huge pines has someone trimming today. I love it, now we can see into their upstairs windows! : ) I have nut shells all over the yard and I'm not happy when they decide to dig up the expensive lilies!

Spiders are a good thing, they go after the bad bugs and that we have plenty of this year. With folks neglecting their yards what can one say, the bad bugs are plentiful. DH has forbidden me to spray, it's like opening the door and turning on the air around here. No one is taking care of their yards, one neighbor has only mowed once and it's so over grown the bugs are in heaven!!

karma — October 3, 2011 at 4:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Anyone saving seeds this year?? If so what kind??? Anyone want to try something new??

karma — October 3, 2011 at 4:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm saving some seeds this year, Karma...mainly my shell beans, green beans and tomatoes. What is it you have to offer?

goldenoldie — October 5, 2011 at 12:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey goldenoldie, I collect a lot of seeds here. Not so much on the veggie side but flowers that we grow. From Clematis to hosta to canna and even Clivia. I have even started the fall hard wood cuttings now that every thing that is important is tucked away.

karma — October 6, 2011 at 7:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Nice!!! Our neighbor collects seeds from their perennials every year as well. They love to share with their neighbors. Even some of the beauty of their garden makes its way to my garden. This year, I noticed some delicate pink Oriental Poppies and sedums have wandered into my rock garden bed...even a chamaecyparis has made it into my garden pathway this year from some wandering seed pod, possibly from gathering boughs for holiday decorations. I'll be moving that before the hard frosts begin. We even had an English Laurel as well as two holly trees suddenly appear in outlying edges of my garden...each being in a location we will allow them to grow. Maybe one of the holly trees I will transplant, but all three will have their growth kept under control. I know how they can take over a place. My favorite surprise in the garden are the wood violets. My oh my how they love our garden and the space under the fir trees!!! And their flowers are so delicate.

I enjoy the little "green" surprises that appear yearly in my yard...including the little peepers that sing each time before the rain falls.

goldenoldie — October 6, 2011 at 8:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey goldenoldie! You will love the pink Poppies, they are one of our favorite along with the annual black ones. Have you seen the red and white poppies called 'Lady Bird,' if my memory serves me? They are about 12 inches tall and so colorful.
You can have those holly trees!! We had them when I was growing up on 36 Avenue and I had to mow, would hate to do that near them. Ya run into those you won't forget!! Just finished up the hosta seeds and I have 22 cups of seeds, alot went into the yard bin. See I'm sharing! : )

karma — October 6, 2011 at 3:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Ha ha!!! LOL, Karma. I know what you mean about those holly leaves and bare feet! Luckily the holly trees I have right now are in an area away from foot traffic and adds a privacy screen to our yard as well as a deterrent to fence climbers. It will be kept at 7' tall, though. Besides, it's great in holiday table and wall decorations. Regarding the Lady Bird, I've only seen them in red and black. Must be beautiful.

goldenoldie — October 7, 2011 at 6:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Alright today I have got to unload!! I have a few things that really tick me off! One is having folks not license their vehicles in the State of WA when they live here and the Sheriff's dept. not going after those that have expired tags. Then there is the fact that folks see that Gov. isn't taking care of business so they neglect their own property. Where is the pride in where one lives?? Mowing one's yard once a year doesn't cut it. Then when you allow you property to get run down it takes away from those that do care to keep their property nice. I had to go out to the Mall today and I can't get over some places that have lots of cars on there property, one has to laugh if one has so many that they have to park them on ones' lawn?? Trash and dead animals along side the roadways?? What's up?? Can ya tell I hate leaving my slice of heaven?? It's also fall and whom is responsible for raking up the leaves from their trees?? I know how broke the County is so I blow out our little street a couple times a month! Hey County, I'm ready to send you my bill if you can tax me yearly for my septic tank!! It's Friday!! I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

karma — October 7, 2011 at 3:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma, sometimes it's difficult to see some yards in disrepair, but there might be an underlying reason like health issues or age-related issues. I have heard recently that there's a young adult group in our midst that goes out each month and does random acts of yard work as well as other volunteer activities. I believe it's the Meadow Glade SDA Young Adults. We could all learn a lesson or two from their generosity which for the most part goes unnoticed by our community. Maybe lending a neighbor a helping hand is in order.

goldenoldie — October 7, 2011 at 3:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal

...and before anybody asks...

No I am not a member of their congregation but I applaud their efforts as well as the efforts of other Young Adults Groups and Volunteer Organizations throughout America who give of their time and their skills to help others in need...groups who do not look at what financial benefits may accrue as a result of their volunteerism.

goldenoldie — October 7, 2011 at 3:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm sorry goldenoldie, but this isn't the case here. You don't want to get me started on the neighbors that I have!! Let's just say it's not quite at the end of the deadend street like some folks think?? Lending a hand is out of the question, we have learn that valuable lesson long ago! In need, is different from being lazy and neglectful??

karma — October 7, 2011 at 4:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma, it sounds like we live in the same neighborhood, lol. Anyhow, I wasn't referring to ALL the neighbors...just those who have a definite need for a little helping hand. Let me guess...several dead cars and one or two of the residents are supposedly makeshift auto mechanics??? Are the hoods up every day on the vehicles but nothing getting done and you see car after car after car show up? Or how about the refuse that has made it's way outside the house, stacked 6'deep on the side of the house, the front yard...into the street, intermingling with the blackberry vines and foot-tall grass...and dumpsters in the driveway??? Of course, you've got to throw in a couple of broken down old camp trailers who's main occupants would be the rats who devour the trash left behind by those too lazy to throw away in their dumpster.

Sound familiar, Karma???

Welcome to the hood! I sometimes refer to it as Vancouver, Washington.

goldenoldie — October 8, 2011 at 7:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I feel fortunate that we signed a mortgage on a house that sits where it does. We're tucked into an odd street just off of Fourth Plain (3200 block of 4th plain). There is crime and gangs all around us, we are an island (so to speak).

I can tell you all of my immediate neighbors' names. Most, are more than neighbors, we are friends. Now and again I'll just keep going with my mower and catch the northern neighbor's front yard while I'm getting mine. Ol Boy is in a pretty bad way.

I bought a cord of firewood from my western neighbor. I wanted the wood and his regular job has been a little slow. The deal worked out for the both of us.

Many of my neighbors consult with me on things of a mechanical nature (my background) and/or borrow tools and equipment. I'm happy to help.

We don't "snoop" on one another, but we do keep an eye out for each other. When I had the last back surgery we set up an intercom system so that If I went sour help would be seconds away.

I have a feeling our relationships with one another is somewhat unique in today's society. I truly feel "lucky" in that regard.

I've gathered some seeds (many, actually) from an unknown wild flower that came in a seed grab bag. These things are thin and tall (~8 Ft.). They produce small yellow flowers. The seed pods are cylindical, about 1/4" in diameter and 2" long. I've got an envelope with bunches.

The only other seeds I've got... well, let's just say that if I allowed them to leave the property I would be in violation of the law ;^)

Drift — October 8, 2011 at 9:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh! I forgot about the cherry seeds I've been trying to germinate. It's obvious I'm doing something wrong. I did keep them in the fridge for six weeks before putting them (two) in a wet towel. Maybe I didn't allow them to dry enough first?

I'm bummed. I sooo want to start a cherry bonsai.

Drift — October 8, 2011 at 9:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning Everyone!!
Goldenoldie, it could be the same NA but we have folks that bring in junk and deal, also allows the dogs to run freely even though the County's animal control has talked to them regularly. They just don't care!! There are two properties here that well folks talk about for the past 6 years. We are starting to see more for sale signs going up and we have installed security cameras due to them. Not snooping here when vehicles loose gas and one's garbage is stolen?
Drift, one might just put the seeds out where one wants the tree to grow now. Mark it some how so you know that is where you put the seeds and check in the spring. If you have a tree that you want to take cutting from, fall is a great time to do this. Bonsais are fun, we have several.
Thanks also for the chuckle on the seeds that you won't allow to leave the property. I grow a perennial hibiscus called Tx Star and have been turned in for this one?? You wouldn't believe the airplanes that fly over and they come back for a second pass!! It would be nice to be able to help ya ID the wildflower, where is the button to attach a photo?
: ) You have a special NA there of folks helping others!

karma — October 8, 2011 at 9:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift, good neighbors are hard to come by these days...but when we hear of stories like yours....

there's hope for our community yet.


Also Drift, it sounds like yellow snakeroot or bugbane. I sure wish you had a photo.

goldenoldie — October 8, 2011 at 11:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma, we too have noticed a number of houses selling in the past two years, most likely from bank sales...and the neighbors moving in??? They're keeping a close watch on the goings on in our neighborhood. I have a feeling someone will be scaling way back in his little "hobby." Too many watchful eyes if you know what I mean.

goldenoldie — October 8, 2011 at 11:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal

We're pretty tight here on this end of the street, Goldie. We've all discussed it and feel we lucked out.

Nope, not snakeroot/bugbane (I looked at photos). I have a couple of photobucket accounts. One is full of photos of previous cannabis plants I've grown. The other is rather innocuous. I'll snap a photo today and stick it in the latter one. They are WAAAAY beyond their prime. The powdery mildew has gotten a hold, too. Still, maybe one'a you guys will know.

Karm, Yeah, that sounds like an idea. I'll take one of the cherry seeds, toss it in a small pot, set it out back and see what happens. *shrug*

Drift — October 8, 2011 at 12:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Okay, I'm not much of a photographer (as you'll see), but here we go!¤t;=001.jpg¤t;=005.jpg¤t;=003.jpg

I sure hope that works!

I was wrong about the height. 6' tall not 8'.
I'd love to have a grove of the things in a spot I've picked out. There were small yellow flowers, in a raceme arrangement, where the seed pods are.

What are they????

Drift — October 8, 2011 at 1:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Wow,'ve got me baffled on this one. It almost resembles a Corn Lily or type of false hellebore with the seed pods and description of flowers.

Karma, care to take a stab at it???

goldenoldie — October 8, 2011 at 8:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Close, but no.
As you can see from the position of the seed pods, the small yellow flowers came right off of the main stalk.

Drift — October 9, 2011 at 6:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm with goldenoldie, just baffled and need to see the flower?

karma — October 9, 2011 at 10:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I suppose we're on hold 'til next year then, eh? ;^)

Drift — October 9, 2011 at 1:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Actually Drift, I'm not ready to give in yet. In fact, it's kind of fun for me to research the type of plant you have. If you don't mind, I'm going to ask you a few questions. The plant you this the first year's growth or has it come back after a winter? The grab bag of you recall if it had a company name on it? The small yellow flowers...were they bright yellow or pale yellow? Also, was it one raceme or multiples of little sprays on one stock?

goldenoldie — October 9, 2011 at 5:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal

One more for you, Drift...

Did the flowers emit any type of aroma or did the leaves have any specific scent to them?

goldenoldie — October 9, 2011 at 5:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I should also ask was this bag an annual or perennial type of seed? I'm with goldenoldie on all the other questions.

karma — October 10, 2011 at 9:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I planted the seeds spring before this. They lay "dormant" for a year. The packaging is long gone. The only thing I recall from it is "ornamental grasses." Yep, there's long grass growing at the bottom of the plant.

The flowers were about an inch in diameter. The yellow was fairly bright. They grew in a, sorta, loose raceme arrangement clustered along the stems. I don't recall any scent to them.

Now that I've got a ton of seeds I was going to cut them back to about a foot from the ground. Then I noticed some secondary activity. What's going on now looks nothing like the original flower set-up nor the pods they left.

Later today, when I get off my duff, I'll try to take a picture of what's popping out now. I find it rather odd.

I did a little searching myself yesterday, using words like "tall, yellow, wildflower," etc. No joy.

Drift — October 10, 2011 at 10:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Karm, I believe them to be perennial. I also recall the packaging reading that they, or some of those in the package, may not flower the first season.

Drift — October 10, 2011 at 10:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks Drift. I'll keep on doing a bit of research on it. I'll be looking forward to other pictures. You've sparked my curiosity so I'm also checking exotics.

goldenoldie — October 10, 2011 at 11:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Here's another seed pod shot. Try to imagine small yellow flowers on petioles (petioles?) where the pods are now.¤t;=002.jpg

And here's the new growth. If these things turn into flowers they will **not** be in the same arrangement as those previous.¤t;=001-1.jpg

If'n they are buds, it'll be the weirdest, darned thing I've ever seen. That part, I suppose we'll find out in the next few weeks (days?).

Drift — October 10, 2011 at 1:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Here's another guess...Tall Yellow Milkweed. Usually grows to 3' tall in regular conditions...but you just never know with our PNW weather. Here's a link to photos of seed pods similar to yours. I believe it might be related to the milkweed but then again, I've been incorrect before, lol.

goldenoldie — October 10, 2011 at 3:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal

It's not the milkweed. No poofies in the seed pods.
The madia is close, but I don't think so. The leaves on the plant out back aren't quite so corn-like. Also, I looked at other madia photos and the flowers are at the end of the stems. Not so on my plant. They were along the stems.

Drift — October 11, 2011 at 9:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I think I've got it! A common Evening Primrose!;=oebi_1v.jpg

Pretty sure...

Drift — October 11, 2011 at 10:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift, may I suggest that if you can, try taking one of the seed pods along with a leaf to a nursery like Shorty's on Mill Plain.

They have helped me a few times with plants I had no clue as to what they were.
One being Vancouveria hexandra (Inside out plant) and the other Blue/Black Nightshade, which the berries are very poisonous.
I have 3 Japanese Aralias that produce berries, I'm told they are not poisonous, but just to be sure I clip the berries off the plants.
I noticed that the birds and squirrels don't eat them, if they don't bother them I'm not leaving them on the bushes.

ELISI — October 11, 2011 at 10:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm pretty sure I've got it nailed down, ELISI.

I have both Nightshade and Hemlock out back. I pull the hemlock when I see it. The nightshade gets cut back every year. They're both tough to keep up with.

The neighbor across the way has a vine (Chinese something another) that produces red berries. They are poisonous to humans, but there is a specie of bird that comes through every year and eats them. Weird, huh?

Drift — October 11, 2011 at 10:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh yeah Drift...I watch each year the waxwings feed on the red hot pokers one neighbor has. Fun to watch those little birds change from a brown to orange to yellow from the plants bloom.

Have you ever seen the Vancouveria hexandra (Inside out plant)?
It's the darnest flower I have ever seen. The stem actually comes out of the inside of the bloom. Very tiny, don't see many of them.

ELISI — October 11, 2011 at 11:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift...maybe these photos are a bit more concise on the plant I believe you have aptly recognized.

I figured when you said it was about 6 feet tall, that our northwest rains have allowed it to grow a bit more green growth on it this year.

goldenoldie — October 11, 2011 at 11:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I guess what really threw me off about your unusual plant Drift, was the cane-type nature of the stalks in your photo. I'd only seen evening primroses in a more bush state. Still, it was fun the past few days, searching for anything that resembled it. Thanks!!!

goldenoldie — October 11, 2011 at 11:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Goldenoldie, I think you found it!! I have never seen one send off a stalk like that either. The ones we had were low to the ground and more a shrub type. Okay Drift, did goldenoldie nail it??

Anyone watching the clouds today??

karma — October 11, 2011 at 1:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma, I wish I could take the credit but it was actually Drift all by themselves who discovered what their plant was (10:21 am post). I just shared a link with more photos depicting what the plant would look like in other stages. I've read several notes about the Giant Evening Primrose and found some to say it is poisonous yet others utilize parts of the plant for medicinal purposes (of course, nothing should be tested unless the person knows what the heck they are doing).

I just read about the weather alert and the possibilities of cold air funnels. Looks like when we get those strange gusty winds, we'll have to peek at the cloud formations, huh! Nothin' better than our autumn weather. The winds clean the air, the rains feed the plants...and all the wonderful produce at the farms and in our garden are at their peak! Before we know it...we'll be tap dancing around the "S" word!

goldenoldie — October 11, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks Goldenoldie, but the above posts were there when I posted earlier??

karma — October 11, 2011 at 7:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Probably not, Karma. The internet is weird lately as is the comment section on the C Forums, lol.

goldenoldie — October 12, 2011 at 6:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Great photos, Goldie!

Like I wrote previously, I'm not much of a photographer. Also, my plants are beyond their prime (so to speak). The main stalk has gone from green to brown.

Next spring I'll sow the seeds along the front fence at the property line. Hopefully, I'll wind up with a grove of primroses.

I took a look at the inside out, ELISI. That is pretty cool. And it takes its name from the same gentleman as our city!

I noticed the wind kick up yesterday. I didn't know there had been an "alert" though. This shack is still here... *shrug*

Drift — October 12, 2011 at 6:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift, your photos were fine. Like you said, the plants were past their prime. Not many photos on the internet when the blooms are done but the seed pods were a great tool to use in searching. If you do get that grove of evening primroses in full bloom, maybe you'll be able to take a photo and share with us all. It will be quite a bright spot in your yard when they are in full bloom!!! The flowers are almost an iridescent yellow.

I did notice a few smaller branches down but never saw any turbulence in the cloud formations. Last week we had stronger breezes which knocked off a 6-8' long branch from our cottonwood. It just missed hitting a family member in the head. Luckily, it wasn't that big of a branch so nobody would have gotten hurt.

goldenoldie — October 12, 2011 at 7:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Yesterday was a definite soup-making day in our home. With the breezes and rain showers...a slight chill in the inspired me to whip up a triple batch of my beef-barley soup...and so easy to make, too. Just cut some chuck steaks into small bite-sized pieces. Saute them in olive oil on medium in a large dutch oven. Chop some onions, three medium potatoes (peeled). Add chopped raw carrots, celery, 1/4th of a large green pepper, about 8 chopped fresh mushrooms and stir the mixture. Add one 9 oz. can diced tomatoes, then season with Kosher Sea Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, dried basil to taste and 1/4 tsp msg-free chicken boullion (or veg. cube). Combine well then add 1 cup barley. Add 5-6 cups water, stir well. Bring to boil, stir well, then reduce heat, cover and let cook till meat falls apart and vegetables are tender. To the soup, add 1 cup finely chopped spinach or kale and let simmer for 10-20 minutes. Enjoy with some fresh homemade French rolls. Guaranteed to warm your tummy!!!

Don't forget to pack and freeze a couple of servings for those days you just don't want to cook!!! Be sure to use it within a month or two, though. Also...for the vegetarians in our can leave the beef out of this soup and it's wonnnnnderful as well!!!

( could add a can of drained, seasoned cannellini beans to the soup as well.)

goldenoldie — October 12, 2011 at 7:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks Goldenoldie for the soap idea!! Oh how I miss Bob K. and all the food ideas he would toss our way!

Drift, it took 5 years to rid our yard of the pink evening primroses. They were pretty for a while but not something I cared for.

As for the posts missing I have security setting so high that is messes with what I can and can't see. So if I miss something you know why. The 'C' keeps triggering the virus scan along with some of the news stations. Plus on FB it won't show some of the posts, got to love the internet???

The wind and clouds were so awesome yesterday!! Today is clean up day so it can go out in the yard bin.

karma — October 12, 2011 at 9:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma, my virus scan kicks in every time as well. I guess it comes with the territory when they have so many advertisements and pop ups along with so many people accessing the site with heaven only knows what looming in their systems, ready to invade all of ours. It's enough to make one's head spin!!! Yeah, I too miss Bob Koski's posts. I hope all is well with him.

goldenoldie — October 12, 2011 at 10:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Well, it's a good thing I logged in here today. Was wondering what to cook with this weather over next few days and here is Golden with a beef barley Soup. Excellent. I saved and will make this weekend. Thanks GO for the idea!
And here is hoping for some dry hours the next two days-I have the yard cleanup scheduled!

luvithere — October 12, 2011 at 3:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The days like we are having are definitely soup days Golden!

Making chicken noodle soup for dinner with homemade bread with garlic butter.

I managed to get 12 loaves of zucchini bread baked yesterday, 4 chocolate zucchini cakes baked today.
Taking tomorrow off from baking then on Friday I'll get carrot bread baked.

Going to try something new for dessert this week end. I'm going to make a apple crunch and add cran-raisins see how it taste.

ELISI — October 12, 2011 at 4:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma and luvithere, I hope you enjoy the soup as much as we did!!!

ELISI, you'll have to tell us how the apple crunch turned out. I'm always looking for new apple recipes. Just this week, the C had some new apple recipes worth trying. Here's a quickie link to the article:

goldenoldie — October 12, 2011 at 5:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks golden, will have to try some of those.

karma — October 13, 2011 at 8:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Ok, Golden, the soup is bubbling. Stay tuned!

luvithere — October 15, 2011 at 2:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Credit where credit is due;
Golden's barley soup is delicious. I can definitely recommend it!

luvithere — October 15, 2011 at 4:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks, luvithere. I'm glad you liked it.

goldenoldie — October 16, 2011 at 7 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey everyone, sorry for disappearing. Fall clean up and house cleaning as kept me away. Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Hopefully I'll have more time as the weather starts to be colder. Come on snow!!

karma — October 21, 2011 at 8:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey and me both. BTW, NOAA is reporting a freeze warning for us early next week. Any late season harvest that doesn't take the freezing temperatures should be done before then. Time to cover the more tender plants, too.

And I agree...COME ON SNOW!!! I'm ready for winter!!!

goldenoldie — October 21, 2011 at 2:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I just came in from harvesting the last of the kiwi and will be pulling the last of the matos to hang upside down. I can't get anyone here to eat them green. The last to go is the perennial Hibiscus as they are still blooming! Snow after Tuesday as I have some important papers to file early in the week.

What's with the typing the two added words at the bottom?? Is the C under spam attacks??

karma — October 21, 2011 at 4:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma, it was an upgrade by their host company. Apparently the Columbian wasn't informed about this ahead of time, either. Here's a couple of comments that Matt had to tell us (along with several others) in the Open Forum:

"hahaa no we didn't do this to keep anyone out. It was installed by the company whose software runs our site. They did it across all of their sites, as far as I know."


"By typing the two words into the field, you're letting the system know that you're a real person and not a computer program that's automatically coming up with spammy posts.

The words don't mean anything; they're (kinda) randomly generated, aren't saved to your computer and are there solely to make sure you're a real, live person."

Our tomatoes are all done for the year. We had a couple of chilly nights but had picked the green tomatoes which sit on our mantle, ripening one by one...and still as sweet as ever. You know I was watching a TV show which was discussing the issues with farms and not enough pickers and they panned over to some pickers rounding up the tomatoes to sell...all green except for a few ripe red ones. I figured if they did it, why not us. Of course the tomatoes are left to ripen for stores. I wouldn't doubt it if they are put in some kind of heating unit in order to speed up ripening which ruins the taste, I think. Our tomatoes were sweet as sugar this year.

goldenoldie — October 21, 2011 at 6:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal

GO: what kind did you plant? i had 3 diff varieties, lost the names. one was was a kinda heart-shaped, smallish one on a determinate vine.

KARMA: don't know the 'hang upside down' trick..can you tell me more?

DeeLittle — October 22, 2011 at 2:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks goldenoldie for the scoop.

DeeLittle, one can pull the plant and hang it upside down for the fruit to ripen or one can pick them and put them on newsprint also.

karma — October 22, 2011 at 8:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal


where does it hang? outside...? in a place like the garage? maybe in my (warm, dark) pantry...?

DeeLittle — October 23, 2011 at 1:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Karma, each year, I like to try something new. This year, it was Amish Paste and Jolly Elf. I found the Amish Paste to have issues with blight but the production was plentiful. Jolly Elf only took one plant and I had a plethora of grape tomatoes. I found the best production for regular tomatoes to be from the "Siletz" tomato...a determinate. That one will definitely be in my selection for next year. Unfortunately though, I was unable to harvest my own seeds since my husband ate the tomatoes like they were candy bars, lol...but that's okay, I can buy a package for next year.

Dee, you wouldn't want to hang it outside. Frost would affect the plant as well. If you live in an apartment and have a garage, I'd recommend hanging it in there. Otherwise, A storage shed or even your pantry would suffice.

Okay folks...a couple more days of frost-free weather. Time to protect those delicates and plant in the ground any potted shrubbery or perennials. Make sure you protect the plants from the cold nights, though. They will be going through a shock period. Otherwise, move what you can into a protected area. That goes for any pepper plants you might have that are still producing. I also recommend buying pots into the ground and mulching the crown of the plants with straw, burlap or pine needles. Soon, your gardening efforts will go into winter mode as will the plants.

goldenoldie — October 23, 2011 at 7:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm so sorry DeeLittle, I forget some newbies need all the directions. I would hang them in the garage, not a dark pantry.
What we do is pull the plant out of the soil, wash the roots clean and strip the leaves, not in that order. I stripped them a week ago when I noted the leaves yellowing. Left them in the ground and now that the weather is cooling will pull today. Depends on how the plant grew is how it's hung. Our last plant had multi stalks so I'll just hang it over a coat hanger or one can take a shoe lace and tie it to the hanger, no fussin' here.
If the temps get to cool in the garage move them inside for the night. Check the fruit daily, which is the key here. If the fruit starts to look bad, open it up and save some seeds.

Thanks goldenoldie for the variety, we are going to be looking for a differ one next year. We usually do Celebrities and Roma but this year we were disappointed in what we got. It was time to educate the DH to the tomato virus. I have to be really careful in eating them now. You have also given some great advice for winter protection, watering the plants well will also help. Some of my southern friends get their Christmas lights out now to wrap on plants to help keep them warm when they get a blast of cooler weather. I can say I've got all ours protected early this year!! Come on Snow!! the recycle bin folks are going to hate me this Thursday!! : )

karma — October 23, 2011 at 9:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh yes, of course...water the plants but be careful not to soak them too much. Muddy feet can be just as deadly to certain plants, too. Good idea on the Christmas Lights...if you don't mind your neighbors chiding you a bit, lol.

Apparently the weather experts Pat Timm follows are predicting more arctic chills from the gorge for us here in the banana belt. Karma...I think our wish for the snow might even be here before Thanksgiving...even if it is just low levels and we get a few flakes mixed in. I've seen this kind of weather pattern repeat itself over the years. Maybe with a little cajoling to Pat from us...he'll join in on the discussion on the forum. I've told him we'd love to hear from him in the Back Fence Forum. So you never know!!!

Pat Timm, if you're reading this...would you like to join us in discussion about the upcoming winter season? I'd love to know what you are thinking we might be seeing.

goldenoldie — October 23, 2011 at 12:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Ok, with enough tugging I am here! Interesting chats . . .

ptimm — October 23, 2011 at 9:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

wow. can't believe it. first winter in *my very own house.*

i live next to a small pond, and it is home to about 11 mallard ducks. of course, i feed them some bready stuff @ the end of the day, and they happily quack away and climb over each other to get the morsels i throw out.

there are a couple of totally black ducks, and some visitors over the summer. most notable in the latter category is the seasonal return (or so i'm told by the neighbors - only been here since may) of the blue heron. i thought it was wonderful....until it decided the top of my sloped roof was a great sitting area, and left me a wide white memory of it's visit.

but the BEST part is the new ducks that have taken up residence...'wood ducks'. they are one of the showiest birds we've got. green iridescent feathers along the body, white edging on the wings, bright yellow bands on the neck and a shiny red ring around it's beak.


DeeLittle — October 24, 2011 at 3:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Well Doggone it, Pat. All that tugging by me and you showed up after I signed off for the night! Glad to see you have chimed in, though.

Out of curiosity, in your wonderful column this week, you mentioned the Arctic Oscillation which will bring in the chill from the gorge and cooler, wetter temps...

What type of winter events do you foresee us having? Could we be looking at a snowy New Year or a White Christmas with this type of prediction? Would there be a higher possibility of trudging through the white and drifting snows as we cross over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house on Thanksgiving? Or will we be seeing colder rains and clear, windy February deep freezes???

goldenoldie — October 24, 2011 at 6:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

DeeLittle, aren't wood ducks a colorful and fantastic design of nature??? Your description is wonderful...and yes, amazing birds.

goldenoldie — October 24, 2011 at 6:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Congrats DeeLittle for owning your very own home and it sounds like you have some great visitors. They are sure fun to watch.

Welcome Pat!! It's great to see you here. Please explain the Artic Oscillation for us. Friends back east have seen snow already so I'm keeping my toes cross for some here!! We need some cold to kill some of the critters that are eating some shrubs in our area.

Morning Goldenoldie!!

karma — October 24, 2011 at 7:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning to you too, Karma!!!

goldenoldie — October 24, 2011 at 8:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

You might want to reconsider feeding the ducks bread, Dee.

Drift — October 24, 2011 at 9:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I drug my old jacket out of the closet for my morning walk. 42F on the back porch, brrr.

With a fire in the stove it's nice and toasty up here in the loft. Too bad I'm probably running a bit of a fever. It makes it hard to enjoy.

First jacket Morning. First cold of the season... Oct. 24th. Yep, that sounds about right! Heh.

Drift — October 24, 2011 at 10:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal

So sorry Drift you are under the weather, have you tired the soup Goldenoldie posted. That will make ya feel better?? I'm with ya on grabbing the coat at 5 am when I had to take the little one out, brrrr is right!

karma — October 24, 2011 at 12:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Drift, sorry to hear you're not feeling up to par. Hopefully it will only be a short icky feeling. Try some chicken soup.

thanks for the compliment. Remember this though, the quality of the soup is measured by the talents of the cook. You happened to make the right combination. I just made the suggestions (but it is danged good, lol).

goldenoldie — October 24, 2011 at 1:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hi Karma and GO; as you know I tried the barley soup myself and it was a huge success. So I can recommend it.

We had frost last night-killed off the tomato plants.

I have a question. How to save my roses. They are all in pots as we have too many deer (and they come up on patio and then eat them there also). How do I protect them from cold weather? I tried it all-moving them, standing them on deep mulch, moving them all to a projected patio area with nice plastic stapled in front and underneath to protect their tooties-and still lost a number. What else can I try? leave them where they are and let them fend for themselves? Everything else seems to not do the trick.

And I for one do not want all the snow. Snow is fine, but we get ice here right outside the property and can't leave for day. Sheet of ice, no help from county, and 10 cars stuck in ditch. I have to say, I really enjoy the glorious fall colors though this year. They are spectacular!

luvithere — October 24, 2011 at 3:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Meant tootsies and protected area-yeesh, spelling is way off today

luvithere — October 24, 2011 at 3:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Ooh...boy...that's a tough one, luvithere. I've had nothing but problems with my roses over the years. I wish I could help you on that one. I've heard that you can use mulch around the crowns, but I'd be worried about them rotting because of the moisture trapped. Maybe some burlap. Honestly...I'd see about contacting someone at a reputable nursery like Shorty's or even Portland Nursery and ask what they'd recommend.

BTW, we've got the barley soup simmering on the stove as I write...and oooooh it smells good!!! No beef in it this time. I've already taken a taste test....yummy!!!

...and thanks again, luvithere for your compliment.

goldenoldie — October 24, 2011 at 4:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hm, barley soup? I will be right over. And you are welcome.

Yea, i went to nurseries before. They told me it was my fault for cutting them wrong and that's why they died off. Riiiiight. This year they will need to stay where they are. i will talk to them (ok, so yes, I talk to my roses) and tell them to either live or die.

luvithere — October 24, 2011 at 6:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

When I was growing up, I remember my mother always trimmed back her roses in late February. That way, you could see where the new growth buds are coming in. I also remember she used to gather pine needles to cover the crown of the plant, then cover it with a potato sack (burlap bag).

Oh luvithere, I tried to save enough for everyone, but my hungry family devoured it. Maybe next time?????

goldenoldie — October 24, 2011 at 7:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The Arctic Oscillation (AO) is calculated based on seal level pressure differences (now measured by satellite for the 1000 mb height). (See: )

“The AO index describes the relative intensity of a semipermanent low-pressure center over the North Pole. A band of upper-level winds circulates around this center, forming a vortex. When the AO index is positive and the vortex intense, the winds tighten like a noose around the North Pole, locking cold air in place. A negative AO and weak vortex … allow intrusions of cold air to plunge southward into North America, Europe, and Asia. … the index has been mostly positive in wintertime since the late 1980s. The Arctic Oscillation has strengthened in recent decades, contributing to the unusual warmth over the Northern Hemisphere land masses.” []

ptimm — October 24, 2011 at 7:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I think a cold November like last year maybe traveling through snow to Grandmas house for Thanksgiving and snow and cold next January/February. But my final verdict isn't in yet. Frost Tuesday morning for sure in many areas.

ptimm — October 24, 2011 at 7:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Pat...good call on the frost this morning. The cars in my neighborhood have a nice white glaze all over them. Glad I was keeping tabs on your columns and protected my tender plants yesterday and this morning!!! Thanks!

And as usual, your column is still the most enjoyable column to read on the Columbian.

goldenoldie — October 25, 2011 at 7:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Goldenoldie is right, Pat is why I stop by to read what he has to say on the weather. Thank you for the information Pat, it's so interesting. We saw the first large flock of geese flying south a month ago and they were really high up. That was the first sign and we knew it was time to start getting ready!! I am amazed at some of the trees around us this year. It's like they are turning colors in stages. One tree drop a set of yellowing leaves a week ago and now all the other leaves are still green. The maples are dropping now with the Dogwood turning a fire red. There is one maple we watch on 78 Street by the dentist there that started turning colors a month ago, when it starts we have found it's time to start cutting the spring bloomers and moving some of the plants.

luvithere, we keep a few roses in pots and after this year we will be digging out the roses we have at the curb. The ones in pots go in a protective area close to the house, hanging my head protection what such ever. But we do to out about ever other week and water them. Some folks forget to water and that is what kills them. We cut back at the end of February which is the time to prune. I was told it is fine to cut roses if they are tall in the fall but only half way so the wind doesn't rip them up, so we take any tall ones back to at least 3 feet. I also strip the leaves off and clean up the ground at their feet. No mulching due to what we grow here but when we cut down the nanas if we can't find someone to use them we do take the leaves and put them up against the fencing to keep the neighbors leaves from blowing in. With no one taking care of their yards here you wouldn't believe and stuff we are seeing. It's so sad when I have to cut my plants back to just protect them. You should see our azaleas and how bad they have been infected by bugs even when we have sprayed them. As my DH states, it's like air conditioning the outside if no one else does anything to their yards. Luvithere, do you have someone you could adopt them out to that is lower than you are there? We take in plants during the winter months but folks know we are dealing with issues here so we can't promise anything now.

karma — October 25, 2011 at 7:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks Karma, for the tips, as well as GO.
Yes, I have moved them to protected area before, out of wind, but even that did not help.

But I think I will ever so gently trim them, strip them of leaves a bit later on, put some mulch on top, and hope. I can't cut them in February, too early here. We are 2 weeks minimum behind others we noticed. Maybe move them closer on patio to house itself might also help. I noticed the deer munching on them also weakens them so as far away from the critters as possible might aid a bit.

Sounds you have your work cut out, fighting off the bad stuff from very neglectful neighbors. We had a couple of them in CA-we had a great looking house and yard, and theirs looked like the trashy yard from hell-old cars, no flowers, weeds galore, etc etc. You know the picture.

luvithere — October 25, 2011 at 8:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks lubithere, as DH stated it's time to request out taxes lowered! It was a zoo down by the Court house this am and I'm glad I got there early to drop off papers!! Not to happy with the County wanting to tax ma yearly for my septic tank that I comply by law every 3 years with. Maybe I should be like my neighbors and not do anything the law states??

karma — October 25, 2011 at 10:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Yes, lower property taxes would be great. Ours stayed same/increased and value once again dropped. About 185K over last three years. Ridiculous and definitely way off. They will not lower taxes though.
I am with you on the septic BS, I can't believe they want that yearly fee when we already pay enough and get it inspected as asked to do. And then to have the Public Forum at 9am to ensure worker bees can't show up. I live in county and not Vancouver but I have to say one thing: the comish for county need to follow the people on that city council: out out out. Somewhere there is a real disconnect between their brains and reality.

Don't be like your neighbors, we got enough trash people already to suffice for the next decade. i really loathe to drive thru a nice neighbor of decent home with nice landscaping and then see the eyesore. And why do broken cars and lawn chairs seem to go so well with weeds and dirt?

luvithere — October 25, 2011 at 10:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal

luvithere, it's the toilet that will lower the taxes! : ) I'm awaiting for these folks to turn this place into one of those christian homes to help wayward boys like they tried last year and boy did we have some loud foul parties.

I took in a letter on the septic tanks due to I refuse to sit in on a meeting. They are taking the easy way out! Do the math on this, 34,000 tanks and it cost $500,000+ a year. Why not slap a lein on those that don't comply like they can do? If one reads the Chapter on Septic tanks the Fee has been repealed, yes this was asked on how they can pass this if this was repealed?? Portland is looking better every day!!

karma — October 25, 2011 at 12:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Also no one received a written public notice of the Health Dept. doing this?? Is this legal???

karma — October 25, 2011 at 12:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I do not even know why it costs them a thing, quite frankly. I received nothing from them in the nearly 6 years we lived here. We call the inspector (a private biz), he looks, we pay. why they even need a notice via him I am not sure.
Over on FB site, Jim Moller talks about the whole waste water system etc.last I looked the clean water bill is now on the property tax statement. So what does my septic have to do with that in the first place? We have never received any info, bulletin, or whatnot from county. This whole thing smells funny -and it ain't my septic. Truly just another money making scheme.

luvithere — October 25, 2011 at 1:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Let me bat my head against the wall again!! The county has a tax for stormwater I believe it's around $35 for cleaning up our waterways, but again that's not going to happen!! Especially with they divert the money to put in french drains for drainage of land they turned into a soccer park. I'm sorry here but I do follow the money and the agendas of some. I also was the only member to sit on the DOE stormwater committee several years back and was shocked to hear how some of the Cities/Counties and their attornies talked to the DOE at these meetings. We are not going to clean up our waterways and the fee isn't being used properly. I have watched developement go in and not abide by what the hearing examiner ruled and some of their engineers haven't use the best science in their stormwater designs. I will even go as far to state some developement have used studies from the 1970s and those we know weren't done properly. So buyers beware if you are responsible for any bio ponds!! There are also other serious issue going on here with the clean water act but I don't want to scare folks. I like my Brita water!!

Septic tanks have some good and bad features, I check my information and haven't received any written doc. from the county since the mid 1990s. As I wrote in the letter one should do the math and it should of been broken down by how many are required to inspect yearly, ever two years or the regular three as we are. I do believe those that don't comply can have a lien slapped on their home for noncompliance if the county selects to do so like a code violation. But again you have to look at their management of a program. Time for an audit of the program and management of this said program??

karma — October 25, 2011 at 2:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Yes, i think you are right. An audit is probably called for at this point. Something is just not right.

I do not like to have a septic system myself, but alas, it came with the house. Too far out to be hooked up to sewer system. Plus-confession here- ever since I saw "Meet the Parents" I am afraid the septic tank will blow up. LOL.

Our inspector Mike told us he inspects and sends in the electronic notice to the county to show we followed the rules.
Ok, so somebody makes notice of this. Then somebody can also figure out who did not comply. This is NOT worth the newest tax they want to add to our property taxes.

California does many things wrong, but one thing I always knew every single year: what to pay in property tax. As they were set when you bought your house (famous Prop 13), there was not much the county or city could add. And they barely did. here? I feel like I am at the mercy of a few dudes who have nothing better to do then to add more to our taxes.

And what's up with the silly increase over at Clark PUD that will show a reduction for a couple years? They just increased us last year.

Truly truly time to vote every single person out and start fresh. Bt not by party line.

Well, back to nice topics like garden. Took a break from work this afternoon and trimmed roses a bit, enjoyed the fall colors which are spectacular, and watched Mt Hood. it is always a good day when the mountain is out. It is much whiter again so I guess it snowed there already?

luvithere — October 25, 2011 at 4:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal

luvithere, you brought up a good point. If yours like ours were filed electronically then it should be a couple clicks and they are done?? So it should be salary for staff that is causing the high cost?

Clark PUD has a few items that they need to pay for from the past that they stated would make money and didn't. Again it's about the management and history on this one.

It was a great day to be outside, not to many more to come.

karma — October 25, 2011 at 5:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal

yep, thinking of hitting dog park for a bit so my dog can also enjoy it. I feel like running around myself.
Have a good night all!

luvithere — October 25, 2011 at 5:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal

What an awesome fall morning!! Loving the fog as it rolls in and the cooler weather. Hope everyone else is enjoying the start of the day??

karma — October 27, 2011 at 8:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal

goldenoldie, in the last 24 hours, friends and relatives have reported snow in CO, TX and NH. Time to pack a bag and find the snow??

karma — October 27, 2011 at 5:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The fog definitely makes for some beautiful photos, Karma. Yesterday, we took a trip to Sauvie Island to check out the corn mazes and the produce at the Pumpkin Patch. The fog rolled in...and I mean ROLLED IN. It was thick as pea soup!!! When we crossed the St. John's Bridge, there was a spot in the fog which was thin enough for the sun to peek through. Momentarily, that thin spot moved into position right in front of us and the spires at the top of the St. John's Bridge appeared. Oh...was it ever a beautiful photo shot! Did we get the shot? No. Too much traffic and the cell phone was in the glove compartment where it belonged. far as packing up to find the snow...I believe St. Helens and Mt. Hood have blankets of snow on them. I'd no more trade our weather here in the great Pacific Northwest for what any of the other regions in the country have. Before we know it...we'll be scrambling for the chains and snow tires, Karma.

goldenoldie — October 28, 2011 at 9:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh goldenoldie, sorry you didn't get that shot, it would of been priceless but I do understand the photo needed to be in the glove compartment! Driving is more important!! Did ya find the great pumpkin??

karma isn't a chain and snow tire person!! : ) Being raised in the midwest, driving in the snow was a great lesson of being on the roadways during the winter months. I have the snow shovels ready!!

karma — October 28, 2011 at 3:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal

No luck finding the great pumpkin, but they did have great pumpkins for sale...and lots of little ones running around, all excited about All Hallows Eve. I was more interested in the vegetables and fruit, lol...although I admit I had to go into the barn and check out the farm animals. Once a farmer, always a farmer (at heart). I was entertained with a chukar they had in one of the pens. It stood in the corner, oblivious to the fact that little sparrows and a little mouse were devouring it's feed. That little mouse won't have issues with feeding it's family this winter. It was so busy dashing back and forth with it's little cheeks filled to the hilt! And the goose...I think it had an identity crisis, being cooped up with three white ducks...the kinds with feathers tufted into a little ball on the back of their head. Anyhow, the goose was protecting it's harem...hissing at us while we looked on. I couldn't imagine little children's fingers poking through THAT cage. OUCH!!!

All in all, it was a nice experience. Oh, and BTW, there are TWO corn mazes at the Pumpkin Patch - one regular maze with the pattern of the Portland Timbers logo and the other one is a haunted you just never know what would jump out at the people!!! I'd recommend rain boots to anybody going from tonight on. The mud on Sauvie Island is definitely something to be prepared for.

Regarding the snow...I'm one who would prefer to stay bundled up near the wood stove, watching the snowflakes fall as I sip on some hot tea, coffee or gourmet cocoa rather than trying to drive in it. Husband always has his chains with him for that just in case scenario, but if there's a significant snow event, we usually prepare ahead of time and there wouldn't be work for him to go to we'd be home bunnies.

Anyways...when it snows, I enjoy watching the kids making snowmen and snow forts...along with the pranksters who love to deck their loved ones and friends with snow down the back of the jacket, lol. Before we know it...the raindrops will be snowflakes!!!

I'm wondering...anybody ever try to play Snow Tennis or Snow Baseball??? It's a barrel of laughs for sure!!!

goldenoldie — October 28, 2011 at 3:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Why o Why are you ladies looking forward to snow here? I agree it looks quite nice in the backyard, but it sure stinks on the roads. The county does a terrible job de-icing or moving snow and the road outside our property gets totally neglected. Meaning we skate on ice.
I currently want to be on Fiji! (But then I want to come back to PNW for sure)

luvithere — October 28, 2011 at 7:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal


afraid this year. 1st winter in my own house, and i have a *gasp*sloping driveway. it's hard to navigate on the best was made wrong, and if i don't thread the eye of the needle juuuust right, my car bottoms out and i scrape the undercarriage all over the concrete.

i'm thinking of investing in some bags of sand before the stuff starts freezing solid.

DeeLittle — October 28, 2011 at 7:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal

DeeLittle, as a former girl scout, I have these two words for you which we were taught:

Be Prepared!


Luvithere, our snows never stay very long and a rare incident of heavy snows which last more than a couple of days aren't enough to worry over. Besides, when it snows...the county looks so much cleaner...that is, till the roads are driven, then it looks like a mucky, crappy gunk on the roads.

goldenoldie — October 29, 2011 at 5:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm with goldenoldie with the cleaner look!

karma — October 29, 2011 at 7:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Okay all you people with a sweet tooth. Here's a twist on an oldie but a goodie. You know those Rice Crispy Treats we've all made at least once in our lives??? Well, here's a twist. Reduce from 6 cups of crispy rice to 4 cups. Add 1 cup uncooked quick cooking oats and 1 cup of chopped low salt cashews. You can also add 1 cup of peanut butter chips and blend well with the melted marshmallow/butter mix. Treat it as you would normally treat rice crispy treats in a greased pan then sprinkle with peanut butter chips. Place pan under broiler till chips begin to melt then remove from oven. Spread with cake knife or butter knife then let cool to room temp and cut.

REALLY yummy when you want some quick sweets to eat.

BTW, these can be frozen, too. Just make sure you have waxed paper under them. Also, you could substitute any type of low salt nuts. It doesn't necessarily have to be cashews.

goldenoldie — October 31, 2011 at 5:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning goldenoldie!! That sounds like something I need to try!! We just toss peanut butter into our rice crispy treats as the folks here don't like their plain. They love it when it's topped with chocolate.

karma — November 1, 2011 at 7:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Anybody tried those Aussie Bites from Costco? They are actually healthy and they taste GREAT. Could eat a dozen in one sitting.

luvithere — November 1, 2011 at 7:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks luvithere, will have to tell DH about them as he is always looking for a healthy snack.

What an awesome morning, frost on the pumkin!! Snow in the mountains and a chill in the air!! This should take out the last of the flowering plants. Watch the leaves fall now.

karma — November 2, 2011 at 8:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal

yes we drove to Lincoln City to go to beach yesterday and the drive alone was worth it what with all the wonderful colors.

And today as spectacular again! it looks great outside-so what am I doing inside?

luvithere — November 2, 2011 at 12:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh, it *IS* a beautiful day outside. I don't think I'd chance a drive in the Gorge today with the winds that are whipping through there. I guess Crown Point had to be shut down due to 70+ mph gusts and steady winds around 50. I definitely wouldn't chance a view shot with a camera at Cape Horn, either. Around our home, we just have a gentle breeze which allows the fallen leaves to whirl around on the street and gently drop from the trees. And that beautiful autumn-blue sky with the brilliant yellows and oranges...

absolutely breathtaking.

To top it all off, I have a fresh batch of bean soup with smoked ham hocks on the side, waiting to be cubed up for those who like smoked ham in their soup. Dunking the homemade French Bread into the soup broth will be an extra treat. Guess I'll whip up some Danish Squash dessert to finish off our dinner.

Last night, I baked a spaghetti squash then took the "spaghetti" and threw it in a pan of clarified butter and sauteed garlic. Yummmm!!!! It was a nice edition to supper. With the other half of the Spaghetti Squash, I melted a tablespoon of butter and sprinkled brown sugar in it and cooked it almost to candy stage...then took the remaining spaghetti squash and swished it in the sweetness of the brown sugar and butter. DOUBLE YUMMMM!!! A great way to get a young child to eat squash! My grandson LOVED it.

We've got the wood stacked and ready to go for the winter, kindling in the bin and a lazy fire gently burning in the wood stove. It really puts me in the mood of decorating the house for the holidays...autumn tones for now of course.

Can anybody tell I absolutely love this time of year???

goldenoldie — November 2, 2011 at 1:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Good grievous, Goldie, yes, we can tell you like this season. LOL. You are all set for sure. I'll be right over for all the food and ambiance!!!!

I think we are having -gasp-sauerkraut. To make it extra good, I squeeze out the juice and substitute beer for it. Cooking some beef sausage sin it, and then mashed potatoes on side. YUM. Simple, but hardy fare.

Did not know they had such winds in Gorge today. Shutting down Vista House? Wish I could see the wind but prefer not to be blown over like the reporter a couple years ago. That was cool.
Maybe I go to Mall returning my shoes and then stop at doggie park so my bored dog gets another outing (spoiled brat). bet you many doggies are out today.

luvithere — November 2, 2011 at 2 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Sounds like you prepare the sauerkraut and beef sausage the same way my husband does, luvithere. Good thing you got the bored dog out for an outing today. Looks like next week will be a bit wetter...tonight too!!!

Yep!!! I love autumn and all it brings whether it be rain, sun, wind, hail or that other white stuff Karma and I have been teasing about to everyone. I was checking out the extended forecasts on the NOAA site and it looks like Government Camp will be having more white than wet.

goldenoldie — November 2, 2011 at 5:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The kraut was good-the dog park was not. Spent over 2 hours waiting for tow truck in the parking lot in mall. LOL. Went there first to return something and then car did not start. Poor dog, sat in car the whole time, patiently waiting. The guys fixed the issue though (bad battery terminal), that was great. free of charge. And there I had visions of repair bills instead of sugar plums dancing in my head. So no doggie park as it was 5.30 when we finally got home. We played fetch outside a bit. Might be the last time we get to do that and stay dry. I guess the real rain will hit soon. Sigh. I am still only fall ready, not rain and snow.

luvithere — November 2, 2011 at 6:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning all!! Come on snow!! We need a real cleaning out of the air and pollen! Thanks lovithere, kraut sounds like a great meal, need to find something different! But I think Runzas sound better?

After heading into town yesterday I returned to find the peanut butter tree's leaves got hit with the frost so I had to cut them off or the bugs would of had a hay day! Ended up blowing out the circle again due to all the leaves, where is the street sweepers when you need them? Folks here don't pick up leaves?? My recycle bin is full of my neighbors leaves!! DH said I should vac them up and put them in their yards!!

I'd love to take our 3 lb to the dog park but I'm afraid they would take her as a snack? ; ) Our neighbor's Pitbull jumps up at her and she screams all the way to the garage!!

karma — November 3, 2011 at 8:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Karma, I'm whipping up a batch of my sausage Piroshki's today. They are almost the same as your Runzas. I've been making them for the mighty hunters. I thought I could get out of making them this week, but the boys are going elk hunting.

Those poor neighbor has a HUGE maple just starting to really shed it's leaves. It's quite beautiful but one heckuva headache for them to clean all the leaves, especially when the wind blows. All the more reason to keep a maple tree trimmed back.

So you have a three pounder??? Mind if I ask you what type of three pounder you have? My guesses...chihuahua, teacup poodle or Yorkshire terrier.

goldenoldie — November 3, 2011 at 10:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hey goldenoldie, the photo to the left is the new puppy! She is three months old and we have had her just a little over a month.
She is a peekapom, I hope I spelled that right.

The main headache here is the huge maple and walnut leaves, just to big to pick up with the vac! So I've resorted to blowing them back to where they came from. The back hosta beds now have a layer of pine needles covering the crowns so they have their winter protection. It's so much fun in the spring to rake them up and it will fill my bin then. We keep H & H running!!

Will have to look up what ya are making, sounds good! French toast is not on the menu for tonight, DH came home with his cold!

karma — November 3, 2011 at 11:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

wow. everybody's so busy !

ducks, birds, squirrels...everybody's busy getting ready for a cold, frozen winter it appears. so i'm helping with wild bird seed and my precious hoody peanuts (gotta get some plain old common ones to feed the critters!).

i'm just sitting here, waiting till my beef stew thickens. after that, yeast rolls. dinner's at 6.

DeeLittle — November 3, 2011 at 1:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Got to love the street sweeper, finally made a visit but ya know there is more to the road than a swipe by the curb. LOL All the leaves in the middle of the street still remain. See why we women clean?? LOL

karma — November 4, 2011 at 11:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal

So Pat the wild weather is about to blow in?? I've been watching the local wild life and I'm thinking they are just as confused as I am......some of the spring flowers are poking back up??

karma — November 10, 2011 at 8:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Yesterday, I was outside raking leaves and used my rake handle to knock leaves off the lower branches of my fir tree and was pelted by several walnuts stored on the fir boughs by our little critters, the squirrels. I've heard in past years that when the squirrels store their stash in zones above the ground, that we might have generous snowfall. BTW, the walnut tree is 30' away from the fir tree, so they couldn't have fallen and rested on the branches of the old fir.

It is my opinion that we are going to have more than just a dusting of snow this winter.

BTW, I also heard the reasoning behind the late fall colors. According to Matt Zaffino on KGW, the wetter than average spring and summer season has allowed the trees to store more natural sugars which has allowed the leaves to hold onto the trees longer than usual. That explains why the Northeast always has their Autumn Color Festivals with their heavy winter snows each year. Honestly though...I think Clark County has topped them for Fall Color. Talk about beautiful photo shots lately!!!! Maybe a sign of an "interesting" winter.

goldenoldie — November 11, 2011 at 7:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I think we had the best Fall colors ever this year. What a spectacular show. I also agree, GO, I think we will be in for snow this year. I like snow. I do not like being unable to leave here or to watch cars getting stuck outside on the road. County does such a bad job plowing here. But it sure looks great when the snow falls, the deer stand outside, the bunnies run around, and all is silent.
In preparation for the cold weather, I will be making a large pot of chicken soup today me thinks. Maybe it will motivate me to finally trim the rest of the yard. Procrastination struck hard this year. Anybody know when it is the best time to prune the apple trees? And when to apply organic copper spray?

luvithere — November 12, 2011 at 7:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I thought I had my yard done as of yesterday but I have my neighbors' leaves to vac up today! The ground here is covered with yellow birch and maple leaves. No mulching the moldy stuff!! Fall is sure been pretty here!!

luvithere, not your normal gardener here but when we had apples trees here I would hard prune my trees in the fall and spray the organic spray when we had a warm day in Jan or Febr. We had apples the size of large softballs. But lost the trees when the development went in to the north of us, what can one say when they make an 8 foot drop cut at ones fence line??

Matt, I just had to refresh as the reCAPTCHA word was so blurred that one couldn't read it?? No way to copy it and save what I typed??

karma — November 12, 2011 at 8:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I noticed the reCAPTCHA words are getting much worse here also, blurred, strange symbols, bad. Typically, if such a system is used at other sites, one needs to do it once and not every time when one posts.
Karma, we are trying to save a couple of apple trees that had never been pruned in over 30 years. They still produced an enormous amount of apples every year but not very good. We started pruning and we actually got apples that looked completely different (yellow/red vs green before), juicier and so much better. never sprayed them but will need to this year. I think I will prune the minute the leaves drop off and then spray. Heard a second spray happens early again in year then.

luvithere — November 12, 2011 at 8:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal

luvithere, here are the rules that an old timer told me when it came to prunning. One should prune to maintain the health of a plant/tree/shrub. If one removes the badly diseased, dead, or rubbing together branches to allow for more air flow, one should have a healthy happier p/t/s. Which should produce more flowers and fruit. One shouldn't allow for some leaves and fruit to stay on the ground, which attracts the wrong types of critters.

I just looked and what we spray is dormant spray.

3 1/2 hours later, 5 1/2 bags of moldy leaves now are filling my recycle bin....I need to buy stock in Waste Management?

karma — November 12, 2011 at 12:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh YEAH!!!! Anybody check out the extended weather forecast??? Snow possibly down to as low as 1000' next Friday! I guess we'll just have to stay tuned to the weather channels!!!!

goldenoldie — November 12, 2011 at 1:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Bring on the snow!! I'm ready as I can my snow shovel ready!

Here Matt, can you tell me where to find some of these images??

karma — November 14, 2011 at 7:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Oooh...I like the Instant Weather picture this morning here on the C at 6:34 am. It first showed 38 degrees and fog and now shows 38 degrees and...*snow???* Must be a boo boo on the part of the Columbian. Anybody have snow flurries instead of drizzle from the fog???

Hey Pat Timm...I like your "warning" to get ready for the LaNina Express!!! Interesting bit about those wooly worms, too!!!

goldenoldie — November 15, 2011 at 6:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal

No snow here goldenoldie, just falling yellow leaves so you know what I'll be doing today. Got the roof and deck cleaned off and the north gutters cleaned yesterday so I'm ready for that express. Just a bit cold on the barefeet this morning when taking the little one out, but it sure felt good. Love the fog!!

karma — November 15, 2011 at 6:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Oh darn...I see it's back to the fog symbol. Oh well...wishful thinking on my part.

Karma, I hear ya. I just finished restocking the wood bin and cutting extra kindling. It is a bit nippy out right now and I noticed the air had that "icy" smell to it...typical before the cold snap arrives. The fire is blazin' away in the wood stove and the house is nice and toasty. Soup and/or homemade Chicken Pesto Lasagne is the course of the meal tonight, depending on who wants what. I'm leaning more towards the soup and some of my homemade bread on the side. Now it's time to think of a tasty dessert treat to ease the sweet tooth...maybe some butternut squash.

My husband got the leaves out of the gutters last week but he's got to check one more time on the east gutters. Daughter volunteered (much to my surprise) to rake the leaves under the cherry tree which looks like it'll have one more drop before the cold snap. My poor neighbor...his yard is brilliant yellow - turned that way right after he did his first raking and the wind set in. Maybe if he's home early tonight, the neighbors can all get together with their rakes and help him out a bit. It sounds like a rainmaker with a bit of wind for tomorrow, so we've got to make sure everything's set. If the leaves haven't fallen by tomorrow morning, I'm sure the next front moving in will take care of that. The leaf blowers and rakes will be busy HOPEFULLY for the last time of the season. The next few days after that will be a bit on the chilly side...finger numbing chilly. Our winter has definitely begun...even though the official start of winter isn't for a month and a few days yet.

You gotta love La Nina!!!

goldenoldie — November 15, 2011 at 9:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal

ha to all you leaf rakers! We actually never rake them at all. As we live in the country, we do no longer have to be concerned about looks of property. I used to rake and trim when living in suburbia to ensure all looks neat and tidy.
Now before you all think I got the big trailer trash property here, not so, my friends. We just noticed that raking leaves is not needed. A good wind blows them all out (every year) and the rest considers itself good mulch and compost. We never had anything dying due to leaves so we thought we go the natural way. Natural is good when you have three acres with forest.

Goldie, yep, I can feel the nip today. It is definitely there, isn't it? Might explain my daily hankering for comfort foods like soups, stews, casseroles.
Now I am thinking we are a bit late for the winter tires. might be a good idea to make an appointment....

luvithere — November 15, 2011 at 4:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal

luvithere, it would be great to not have to worry about all the leaves dropping. We deal with leaf and pine mold which isn't goo for what we grow here or my asthma. Winter is my time to stay inside due to all the folks around us using their fireplaces, it really is starting to smell out there.

karma — November 15, 2011 at 6:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Yes, with asthma I can see the issue. Fires in particular must be bad. We have a nice propane fireplace which is so nice and easy to use and so clean burning. Although I sometimes do miss a real fire..we have an open chimney fireplace also but I find it so inefficient, plus constant feeding the fire. Been nagging the hubby to go for wood insert instead.

luvithere — November 15, 2011 at 6:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I agree with you there, Luvithere and Karma. The fireplaces in the newer homes weren't constructed to be efficient in heating homes. They were designed for the ambient effect. Prior to the insert, we always had that wood smoke which Karma speaks of...the gunk that will make the healthiest person wheeze and cough. Since the insert, our wood fires burn clear with little or no smoke (usually only at start up) and are much more efficient. Also, we don't feed the fire nearly as much, either.

goldenoldie — November 16, 2011 at 6:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning!! Enjoying the morning rain and the rain barrels are filling up nicely this am. Our area is that of older homes where folks have no clue when it comes to burning, wet wood is okay!! Need I say more? One neighbor has stock piled so much if the chimney catches fire the whole place will go as to where this stack is located. There is so much that the poor pine trees that is kind of sheltering the masses are dropping needles like crazy of which they also burn along with other garbage. Life is good at the end of the dead end road.

karma — November 16, 2011 at 8:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal

That wind last night plus the rain sure put an end to all leafy trees. All leaves pretty much fell off around here. Now for the cold snap predicted this Friday night. I just pulled some Dahlia tubers out of the ground as I heard they need to be put in some dirt in warmer garage? Anybody know abotu this? I bought these as annual at Freddie's but they sure developed great bulbs. So I am willing to give it a shot.

luvithere — November 17, 2011 at 4:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal

They are like Canna tubers and we put them in pine shavings once they are dry to store them. Just make sure they don't get wet and moldy.

I spent 4 hours doing the yard today, went to blow out the small street and circle to find that one of the neighbors moved their vehicle to the circle. So I just did one cord and stopped when I ran out of cord, guess I'm not feeling generous when it comes to cleaning the street any more. They can deal with the leaves and I'll blow what comes my way back to where they came. They are capable folks to get out and clean up their leaves? They have time to run their toys in the street they can stop and rake their leaves?

karma — November 17, 2011 at 4:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal

this is my first time as a *real* gardener...i actually own a yard. i've put in some hyacinth bulbs, and saturday i planted a bunch of tulips. i have over 30 tulip bulbs, so i'm staggering their planting so i don't have one massive tulip bloom and then....nothing.

this WILL result in tulips over a longer period....right...?

DeeLittle — November 21, 2011 at 10:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal

DeeLittle, tulips bloom when tulips bloom and need to be in the ground over the winter months so they can do their thing. I have very few left due to the squirrels/tree rats digging them up.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

karma — November 21, 2011 at 1 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I would have some really nice tulips but the deer love them also. Hope yours are in a secure area, Dee, or the deer will really love you come Spring.

luvithere — November 21, 2011 at 3:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal

i have a bunch of very nervy mallards, but not close enough to a large stand of trees, so no deer. but that'd ALMOST be worth the tulips.

for awhile, anyway :)

DeeLittle — November 21, 2011 at 8:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal

What an awesome day to pull apart the north rain-barrels and clean them out due to all the junk coming off the trees. I even got the deck bleached to get the moss off. Loving this weather to finish up projects that I thought were done but finding more can be done! Hope everyone has their fall chores done??

I want to thank the County Crew for cleaning out our storm drains!

karma — November 30, 2011 at 2:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal

when's a good time to transplant cherry trees? i paid my 'gardener' to plant them when i moved here. i told him to plant them where they'd do the best. he put them in a grove of trees at the edge of my property. : easier to mow, i discovered.

about a couple hours of full sun a day. they got leaf curl, then powdery mildew. i treated them for all that stuff, and they're still alive, no thanks to my 'professional'. also, are there any kids left who are willing to dig some holes for saplings at a reasonable price? can't afford 'professionals' anymore.

DeeLittle — December 1, 2011 at 5:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

DeeLittle, I would move them while they are still dormant, let's say early February as the ground starts to thaw some? How big are they, do ya think a couple old gals could move them?? Ya know there is a greenhouse group at Columbia River and I'm betting if you called they might be able to help? Or even a hort group at Clark?

karma — December 2, 2011 at 2:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

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