Monday, September 5, 2011

The schvitz comes to an end!

Where have I been?

Right here, where else!

Okay, fine. It's been a hell of a summer. I know, I breached the no swearing ban. But actually, it's been like hell.

The heat tsunami has finally broken.

After 80 days of 100 degree heat and 40+ of those over 105!!!!!!, it's finally over.

My yard looks like Death Valley on a good day.

The garden is long since gone and I went into survival mode. Just trying to keep what plants I still have alive.

The grass, if that was what still could be defined as that, is dry dry dry straw.

Paul, the dog with a thousand teeth, running none stop, has worn much of the "grass" down to dust.

My neighbor, in typical suburban fashion, comes out after sun down and hand waters his lawn. (sprinklers are a no no. We're in stage 2 water rationing). He has the only green lawn on the block. Such a colossal waste.

Trees in my neighborhood are losing their limbs because they are drying out. At least a few times a week, I see people out cutting up split off limbs.

Last weekend was the absolute worst. 112 degrees for 2 days straight. It was like some sort of cruel grand hurrah by mother nature. "I'll show you hot!!!"

I'll give you an example of how bad we want rain. Last weekend the much more Significant Other and I went to the movies. We went to see, "The Help". (Good movie, go check it out). There was a scene were it started raining cats and dogs. The whole audience moaned with jealousy. I'm not kidding.

So finally, there appears a break on the horizon, a tropical storm in the Gulf! Yayyyyy!

The screams of joy didn't last long as the storm took one look at Texas and shrugged us off. However, while we didn't get the rain, we did get the winds! And when you combine, high temps, high winds and very dry plant life, it doesn't take much to start a fire.

At this very moment, there are no less than 7 wild fires burning around Austin. Some within the city limits.

Last night as I was hand watering my plants, I smelled smoke. That fire was just about 5 miles away.

The big one, east of here in Bastrop, is directly effecting 3 of my friends.

Two people I work with and one SO works with. One of those two people I work with, she and her husband are in the volunteer fire dept. They are currently on the front lines fighting a massive fire. The biggest of the bunch. It's burned 20K acres already and still is going strong. Many folks have lost their homes.

The person SO works with, she has a farm and raises animals. Goats, chickens, pigs, etc. She had to move the pigs to another area to get them out of harms way. The fire shifted and she believes that the farm that they were at, was overtaken. It will be a few days before she finds out for sure, but she doesn't have a good feeling. She is now asking us and a mess of others for water for her remaining animals. We are giving what we can.

So while the heat has finally abated today, the wind hasn't.  After going to a local sports/hunting store to pick up some collapsable 5 gallon jugs, I could see the plume of smoke east of town were our friends are dealing with trying to piece their lives together.

Still no rain in the forcast. Still dry as a bone.

We are experiencing the worst one year drought on record. It's never been this bad in a single year before.

In the 1950's Texas went through a 7 year drought. That one still holds the recorded record for multi-year drought.

I sincerely hope what we are experiencing isn't a harbinger of things to come.

What scares me now is when this drought finally breaks. When ground gets rock hard dry then gets inundated with water from a massive rain storm, it doesn't soak in. You would have better luck trying to saturate a piece of steel.

That's the other shoe waiting to drop.

I know, this got a bit serious, but things are getting a bit interesting.

Just letting you know, I'm still alive and yes, hope to plant something this fall. If I could plant Oxygen and Hydrogen and grow water, I would. ;)

Remember, Green is Good! But it's even better when it's actually green and not straw colored.


Edit: I just learned that my two friends, that are the firepeople out in Bastrop fighting the fire, lost their home. Crap.

Edit #2: The pigs are okay. :)

Edit #3: A new fire has cropped up. Not far from SuburbanGuys home. Brushfire. Hope it doesn't grow. It started from sparks thrown off the wheels of a passing train. Yeah, it's that dry. It's about 3 miles (as the crow flies) away. A co-worker who lives in that area had to evac.

Edit #4: 9/8/11 The Bastrop fire is now 35% contained. I heard that 2 more of my friends lost their homes. Austin was socked in with smoke yesterday. My friend, who is the firefigher with her husband (who lost their homes), was recounting to me some of what she experienced. She told me that all of the volunteer firefighters in the Smithville/Bastrop house lost their homes.

One image she related to me was eerie. As she  wsa driving down hwy 71 (still closed to the public), the area was all burned flat. Like a "moonscape".  Little "pocket" fires were still burning with no one working them, because the firemen were working the big one. Suddenly, she saw several of her friends Arabian horses  running free trying to find safety. Arabians and ash.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dog Gone It!


Suburban Guy is tired. Not from working too hard, but from lack of enough sleep.

Why, you ask?

Here's why...


Yeah, he's cute. But he's like 10% cute and 90% teeth. It's been a full time job to keep him from gnawing my fingers and toes off. You can just see the evil in his little eyes. Speaking of which, if you track his eyeline you will notice he's not looking at the lens, but at my fingers. "Mmmmm, food".

Oh yeah, right, the garden. Yeah, that.


Well, I'm just going to quickly update things then offer up some picts.

My onions and garlic? Due to the extended freezes we had this winter, they were greatly stunted. The onions looked more like chives and the garlic looked more like mini-onions. I can still use both. In an ironic twist of fate, the year before last, I planted 36 wedges and got 34 bulbs. And those lasted 6 months. Here comes the irony. So this past year, planted 76 wedges, hoping to grow enough to last all year long. Well, with the freeze, the stunted garlic will amount to about...6 months worth.

Next winter I will string X-mas lights through the bed to keep them warm. I will take pretty pretty pictures.

Boy, I'm so freakin' tired, even I'm bored with my writing. No spark, no wonder, no...pazazz. I swear I will make a better effort next time to make with the funny.

First, the effort to grow my own peach tree from a seed. The effort proved...fruitless. See what I did there? Clever, huh? (Hey, give me a break, I'm doing my best with the funny making!) It never sprouted, this year, I will try one more time,  if it craps out, I'll go the pre-grown kind.

And the mystery melons? they will remain a mystery. A freeze came in and they croaked. But I was able to cut them from the vine. And here's the necropsy, wait, that's for animals, can't be an autopsy, that's for humans. Hmmm, melonopsy?...

Fairly good size...

And the visual macabre'...

Any ideas?

If I only had another month...

Okay, here are the updates and the picts.


(there are seven more to-MAH-toe plants beside this one)

And now the Mini-To-MAH-toes...

(only one other than this one)

Zukes, Sage and Basil, oh my!


I have 4 summer squash plants as well, but they aren't really all that big yet, so I will spare you the garden-porn.

My grape vine survived the winter and is actually growing. Thought my fig tree bought it, but it's very much alive and kicking. And my lemon tree...well, it's still alive, but frankly, I'm not expecting lemons this year or the next. I have to figure out what the heck is going on with that freakin' thing!

My blackberry and blueberry bushes are back and are flowering...



So there it is, my humorless blog this week.

I leave you with this amazing amazing amazing video. Did I say it was amazing? This is a phenominal artist that combines, art, nature, engineering and pure brilliance. It's a truly inspiring video. Frankly, this video is filled with clever beauty. Enjoy!

Remember, Green is Good!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Well, frankly, right here. No, not sitting continually in front of the computer...well, not much anyway.

I was doing stuff. Honestly. Hey! Don't give me that look!


It was a cold an miserable winter. I lost all kinds of things. Dead Dead Dead. The mystery mellons bought the farm.  never figured out just what they were. I'm going to go with Triffids.

Lost my aloe plant. (blush) Forgot to bring it in. And a few other odds and ends that shall go nameless.

But spring has sprung and I'm filled with vim and vinegar. What is vim anyway? You never hear people say, "get a load of that guy, he's full of vim!"

So what has been going on?

Well, aside from the colder than normal winter, a lot!

I have my spring planting in and it's already bursting out!

Sorry, no pics this week. Suburban Dweller is in the mists of acquiring a new photographic implement of death. I should have new and improved photos next week. So hang in there.

In the mean time, I put in 8 tomato plants, 2 cherry tomato plants, onions, basil, summer squash, zucchini and, for the first time, lima beans. A fav of Suburban Dwellers very Significant Other.

I replanted potatoes. So the great experiment begins again.

Lemon tree is still kicking, but still confusing to me. My grape vine is back but honestly, I don't know how. The fig tree just about croaked but that is coming back with a vengeance. The blackberry's are virtually bullet proof. "freeze? we don't feel no stinking freeze!" Blueberry is hanging in there. And just about all my flowers with the exception of a lantana have returned from the dead.

So, yes, I'm still alive and I have a few things up my sleeve for this season, so stay tuned.

Oh I do, have one photo...


This is Paulie. He's the latest addition to the Suburban Dweller's household.

He's a Rottweiler mystery mix. I was watering my plants last Friday out in front of the house, when this little guy strolled up. I thought he was my neighbor's, since he was whistling at him, but when I asked, "nope, not mine". He didn't want him either.

So I took him around back. He was filthy with fleas and just plain filthy.

Scrub scrub scrub wash wash wash. Clean Paulie.

I will give little updates on the bringing up of Paulie, the things he destroys, digs up and other wise pees on as he grows into his paws. :)

So, until next week...

Woof bark snarl, ruff, bark bark...

That's canine for...

Green is Good!