Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Green "Room" for the Picnic Table

Nice, quiet day today. I got out for a walk with Boris, our pound hound, this morning. We checked out the new strip mall under construction below us, and where they've torn up our street for the gas lines being replaced. A few days ago, when they were working closer to our house, and it was so cold, they came to the door to tell me that they were going to turn off our gas but attach a little pony bottle to the meter that would be just enough to keep our pilot lights lit, but not enough for the furnace. I told him even that wouldn't be necessary, because the only pilot light is the one for the on-demand water heater and I can turn that on and off manually. The gas guy couldn't believe that we didn't have a furnace in the house, and had never seen a water heater that didn't have a tank. He couldn't believe our bill is only $25 a month either :-)

The rest of the afternoon, I just puttered around in the yard. I pruned a Virginia Creeper vine that drapes over our fence. I moved a lilac and trimmed out a couple of dead branches on another. I'm making a lilac hedge around three sides of an old picnic table. That table has an interesting story. We got it when a neighbor moved to Oregon. He'd lived and had a business here in Carson City since the 1930's, and also had some property up on the east shore of Lake Tahoe. A long time ago, a couple of days after a big rain storm with lots of wind, he found the table washed up on his beach. The thing is huge - the legs are 6" X 6" posts, the tabletop and attached benches are 4" X 12" planks. It looks like something from a Forest Service campground, but there aren't any on that side of the lake. He figured some campers across the lake moved the table down near the water, and then it washed away during the storm and took a couple of days to float the 12 miles across the lake.

The fence for the vegetable garden is on the fourth side of the table. I seeded some sunflowers and morning glories along that stretch, protected that area from the birds with some wire, and then laid a soaker hose down all the way around. Of course, the chickens were right there underfoot the whole time, clucking and murmuring about, just in case I turned up something interesting. Under the lilacs is one of their favorite places to hang out.

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