Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting it done...

I've gotten a couple things done over the last few days...

Weeded out the root crop area of the herb garden. And yes, I gave up to temptation and pulled up 4 white icicle radishes- they were ready to be picked :) Nothing else was, and I was good and left the rest alone. I think after I pull all of them I need to put down a load of horse poo and leaves this year to overwinter.

I also got the daffodils planted in, yay! Took a goodly bit of time, but here's the result.

I know, the edge is still scrappy as hell- that will get more properly trimmed out in the spring when the next set of bulbs go in. I left in a couple of the milkweeds too. I planted small patches at a time. You can sort of see where I started out along the wall line and worked my way around the bird bath going counter clockwise. I'm kind of hoping this will look nice and fill in decently. I wanted to work around the birdbath since I knew that's where the drip point off the corner of the roof is. The line closest to me is approximately where I want the slab to edge up to eventually. Next step before winter will be sinking in a line of recycled cans to finish out that line.
This whole area took a while because I went through with a hand trowel and dug out a lot of root bits and a bit of gravel. I wasn't meticulous about getting the gravel out, but I did pick out all the bigger rocks. Those got dumped at the top of the hill where I want a patch of gravel.
I'm hoping to be able to pick up a couple bags of grape hyacinth on clearance soon like I did last year, and cut in blocks in the spring like I did last year.

Monday, Monday..
Got the seed trades packed and ready to go, along with other mail.. Even drove it to the post office- then discovered it was a holiday today, Columbus day. Oops. Decided while out an about to hit up the local stores for their Halloween wares. See what my local shops had compared to when I was out visiting. Glad I did because that stuff was already being clearanced out.
I now have three buildings. A candy shop and a B&B from JoAnns, and a blood bar from Michaels. Rather happy about the blood bar, I snagged it from the display to get it. I also picked up a handful of smalls. All in all, making a rather tight gathering on the mantel at the moment. I have to clean up Gluggs tank and install his heater before I can do final arranging.
I hit the local places that carry bulbs too- everyone is currently in full selling mode, no clearances yet on bulbs. 

I've added a couple new links to the right...
http://listeningtoleaves.blogspot.com/2012/11/kintsugi-art-of-repairing-teaware.html a blog posting about Kintsugi, the art of repairing ceramic with precious metals. Very informative. It's under Making Stuff.

http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/myclock.html  earth's position relative to seasonal cusps. As in what on todays date is the real times for the eight holidays. Brings up some fun points :)
Or wedding this year was truly on Beltane eve. True Beltane struck at three AM on the 5th, and we celebrated from Friday to Sunday :)
Halloween this year is actually on the light side of midnight on November 7th.
This link is under Cool Links.

Tuesday is gloomy. Stayed indoors and did some cleaning. Set up the Halloween stuff in the living room.
I needed to clean Gluggs tank and set up the heater for him first. I decided to move the whole tank to the other side of the mantel closer to the power supply in the corner. I hope he's happy where he's at now, and feeling a bit better about having warmer water. Apparently betas like warmer water in the upper 70's. And leaving the light on does not heat the water enough, promotes algae too much, and sort of messes with the betas normally preferred light and dark cycle.
So after that I was able to set up my new Halloween village.

 Starting on the outer corner is the big ghostie I made as a kid and the local candy shop. Chocolate eyeballs and poison apples are in stock right now :)
 Next to the candy shop is the local B&B. Grim is hanging out having his morning coffee and doughnuts while other folks go about their daily business.
 On through the pumpkin patch, where the Great Pumpkin reigns supreme.
 And into the graveyard, overseen by Job... He is being backlit by Gluggs tank :)
 And up the way on the first shelf is the local blood bar. All sorts of folks hang out here! There are many vintages on special today, and the ever running blood fountain for general refreshment.

I did have all the pieces on the mantle at first, and everything was just too squashed up. Gluggs tank seriously makes a footprint! Spreading it out to take up the first shelf makes it all look a tad sparse, but that's a good thing. I know I will end up collecting more- possibly more than I really have space for, lol.

And this is the little witch that tells me how many days till Halloween, she resides on my filing cabinet. Off to her left is her little box of pumpkin numbers, and I can change the numbers daily :)

Decided to look around at what all there is in the world of Halloween village, and my goodness there is a lot of really neat stuff out there.. and a ton of stuff I'm kind of meh about. A couple that have particularly struck my fancy..
The Retching Pumpkin by Dept 56

The Grinning Goblin Brewery by Lemax

There are tons of smalls that strike my fancy as well. And I've realized that just with the houses, pumpkin, and tombstone to light up that using all plug in cords will not do. I want to instead use battery operated lights, preferably led and maybe on a timer if I get really lucky. Huh, wonder if that sort of thing is within the realm of a raspberry pi- that would be a neat thing for folks that like to run holiday villages. Just hook up all the much smaller led leads, and have a Rpi programed to run the lights.
I also need to "give back" the second Halloween decor bin. Those three buildings come in some large boxes, and you bet I will be packing them away in those boxes. Right now the second bin is holding a full bin of shredded paper that needs to go out to trace in the garlic bed. I'm going to use the paper as sort of a base marker mulch that hopefully will show up nicely under a leaf layer. It just started raining, so I don't have to water in the bed before I start spreading paper :)
I want to grind up another batch of paper or two to lay down over the area at the top of the hill that leads down to the sanctuary. I've put in a lot of dug up gravel from the herb garden and around the solarium, and now I want a tamping in layer. I might also want to layer in a bag of beer caps. I want to firm pack in this spot before I terrace out any further. And allow the other side of the opening to firm up with mints- the chocolate mint is bordering this area, and doing well. After a large die off of moving the pineapple mint as I did, we have firm areas of this mint taking off too where it's supposed to. And several starts of leftovers from where I removed it that can now go into the die off areas.
This first terrace area is taking a while to firm up, but it's worth it.

Back to indoor stuff.. Started rearranging the library over the weekend past. Had a couple of menfolk on hand to shuffle bookcases. Set up the beta globe on the top of one, and it makes for wonderful lighting in the area. Need to fill it with water and some reflecting filler. Thinking through the rearranging, I want to set up the hermit crab tank in the library too. But as a tank for living stones this time.

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