What, you wanted to READ something?

I’m too excited to write many words today because it is SUNNY!  and WARM!  and FRIDAY!

I ordered this vegetable collection from Burpee a few months back, and my plants arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to get them in the ground this weekend, along with some other garden favorites (tomatillos, jalapeños, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelon…) I’ve started from seed.

The animals are a big help in the garden.

Hemo warms up the soil in the flower beds.Hemo helps

Ernie keeps a close eye on the seedlings.

Sorry…but you had too many peppers, anyway.

Ernie helps, too.

And Dexter…well, Dex sure does love the new grass.

Grass!  Glorious Grass!  Wonderful gr–

GRASS!  GLORIOUS GRASS!

Hey!  Can’t a guy enjoy a roll in the grass in peace?

Oh Dex, you are lucky you’re so cute.

Stop lookin’ at my butt.

Dex's butt.

The hard part is sitting back and waiting for the garden to start producing.  Mutha Fudruckers are not known for their patience.

Is it time to enjoy the fruits of our labors?Now?

Not yet, baby Ernie.

Have a great weekend…

Bunk beds: Mutha Fudrucker Edition

This is how we do bunk beds around here:

Mutha Fudrucking Bunkbeds

Don’t feel bad for Dexter – sometimes you get the top bunk, but sometimes you rip a hole in the pillow get stuck with the bottom.

There are several dogs beds and even a couch that he has access to, but last night I found him like this.  I’m pretty sure he pulled the blanket off of the bed in a failed attempt to climb up there.  Must be why he took his frustration out on the pillow.

Or maybe Ernie was getting revenge for this:

Dex gets the top

So you think you’re a Slick Rick, huh?

You know what I hate?

Mocking birds.

But I have a new hate in my life, friends.  Slugs.  They haven’t supplanted mocking birds at the top of my list (yet), but as Stephen Colbert would say, they’re on notice.

I was hanging out on the front porch Monday night, talking to my mom on the phone, when I noticed one of the slimey sons of bitches munching on my calibrachoa.
F--- you, slug.Then I spotted another one.  Two slugs = Threat Level Orange.

I can’t allow this.  I won’t live like this!  Those slimey bastards don’t get to treat my plants as an all night buffet.  So I got my gardening shears out and snipped off the branches that the slugs were on, and let the leaves fall to the ground.  I zeroed in on the leaves that the slugs were still clinging to, and stomped on them (slug side down, of course – I’m not an animal).

“Take that, assholes,” I muttered under my breath as I slid my shoes off and returned inside.

The next morning my mom sent me an email with some tips for getting rid of slugs.  Suggestions included salt (of course), beer traps, and sandpaper.  According to the article she sent, slugs won’t crawl across sandpaper for fear of ripping their bellies open.  Oh yeah, that sounds about right.  And I guess they like beer as much as the next guy, and will drown themselves to get a sip.

Stale beer, people.  This makes me hate them more.

So when darkness fell last night, visions of a slug massacre were dancing in my head.  I wasn’t going to waste any beer on those assholes, and I didn’t have any sandpaper.  So salt it was.  I went out to the front porch armed with garden shears and a can of Morton’s.  I spotted the first of the enemy right away.

Snip.  He was on the ground.  Flip.  The leaf was right-side up (no more messing around).  Sprinkle.  Agony for him, glee for me.

I felt a twinge of conscience – was I any better than those horrible boys who pluck the wings off of flies and burn ants with magnifying glasses?  How could I sit there and watch, nay, enjoy the death throes of another living creature?

But then that bastard tried to make a run for it, salt-sprinkled as he was, through a crack in the boards that make up the porch.  So I COVERED him in salt.  I positively mounded it on top of him.

“Not so fast, sucker.  Where do you think you’re going?”

The next 20 minutes are a blur.  I flicked and salted probably 5 more slugs, just off of one container.  I went inside to call my mom and report on my progress.  Basking in the glow of her approval, I ventured back outside to survey the carnage.  Slugs lay writhing in pools of goo and salt.  Life was good.

Then I spotted a particularly long slug making his way up the side of the container.

“Oh, what have we got here?  I bet you think you’re a real Slick Rick, huh?  Take THAT!”

I flung a handful of salt at him, knocking him from the side of the pot.

“How ’bout a little fire, Scarecrow?” – another fistful of salt rained down upon him.

Perhaps by this weekend my blood lust will be sated and I’ll be satisfied with ringing my containers with sandpaper (“the roughest grit you can find, honey” suggested my mom).  Until then – slugs beware.  So help you GOD if I find you in my hostas.

Yes, peacocks.

Yup.  You read that correctly.

Peacocks.

I had a peacock encounter recently.  And not your typical, “hey, I’m at the zoo and even though I really came for the elephants, I’ll check out the peacocks because, well, they are here and right next to the snack bar.”  I mean, I was enjoying a day on the water, playing bocce ball on a sand bar, and 20 minutes later – BAM!

Peacocks.

Let me back it up a bit, so I can properly set the stage.  Imagine if you will, two girls riding in the bed of a truck.  Both girls are soaked to the waist as a result of a likely unnecessary but none the less enthusiastic attempt to “help” trailer the boat.  Both girls are a little bit tipsy.

Suddenly –

Kevin?

Kevin?

It was explained to us that a local horse farm had raised some peacocks, but I guess a few got out and now they roam around this coastal neighborhood.  We could hear them calling to each other, and when Kristin took a crack at answering them, they called right back.

They sound like this.

So although we could hear them, nary a peacock could we see.  Amazing, right?  I mean, these animals are known for their flashy plumage, and they are hidden amongst the pine trees.  Julie and I thought we saw one, but it turned out to be a branch.  Disappointment City, Population: me.

So after crashing through some bushes and peering into some neighbors’ yards, we got into the car, not a little disillusioned.  Planet Earth makes it seem as though exotic animals are under every rock!

We drive about 10 yards down the street, Kristin calling to the birds all the while.  Out of the corner of my eye – a flash of turquoise – could it be?

A PEACOCK!  Just chilling on the roof of an abandoned mobile home.  Another perched in a pine tree in the backyard.  It was a surreal moment.  Kristin and the birds exchange a few words.

Her:  “ca-KAW!”

Them:  “ca-KAW!  ca-KAW!”

Me:  “I wish I had my camera – MS Paint will never do this justice.”

Oh, and Kristin – watch your back.  A little internet research has informed me that you were impersonating their mating call.  So…yeah.  Baby Kevins in your very near future?  Perhaps.

She sees you when you’re sleeping…

Attention:  You have been robbed!

Yes, robbed.  All weekend I was busy having adventures and soaking up awesome stories to tell you about this morning.  I saw FERAL PEACOCKS!  I am not even joking about this, friends.  FERAL PEACOCKS.  Just let that sink in.  Oh, one was roosting in a pine tree, while another was prancing on the roof of an abandoned trailer (I am such a tease).

But that’s all you’re gonna get out of me today, because my (thankfully female) coworker pulled me aside after our staff meeting today to inform me that my dress was split up the seam in the back, exposing my flower print underwear and embarrassingly white thighs to whomever chanced to walk behind me.

Holy shit.

So instead of tales of FERAL PEACOCKS (including my friend Kristin, who is apparently a FERAL PEACOCK WHISPERER), I’ll leave you with this:

Imagine the creepiest, most judgmental gargoyle you can think of.  Now imagine it in your backyard.  Now imagine yourself a bit hungover.

BEHOLD!

The media has got it all wrong.  Rabid pit bulls can’t hold a candle to the menace that is Hemo.

Watch out, Chuck.

Lest you think I’m needlessly putting us all in danger, I heard on the radio this morning that air traffic in Europe has returned to 80% of it’s pre-ash cloud volume.  So I think it’s safe to post this.

I think Ernie could give Chuck a run for his money.

The End of the World (maybe).

Holy smokes – don’t poop your pants (or adjust your sets).  It’s just me, trying to get back into blogging.

Yeah.  I don’t want to be responsible for that.  I mean, I just thought about blogging last week and look what happened in Iceland.  But if I don’t blog, the terrorists win.  So here I am.

Life is good for a Mutha Fudrucker right now.  I’m working to turn my black thumb green – there is now some tangible evidence that I don’t kill EVERY plant I come into contact with.  These plants were all alive, well, they were as of 7:30 this morning.

1.  Sunflower toddlers.  The dogs step on these (a lot) but they keep springing back.  I grew these bad boys from SEED, bitches.  Yeah, I said it.  I planted these (along with the brugmansias) to give Dex some shade, since I took a chain saw to his favorite weedy shade-shrub.  So keep your fingers crossed that they get more than 3 inches tall, wil ya?

2.  Heliotrope.  Where have you been all of my life?  These little flowers smell like the best cherry vanilla Lip Smacker you’ve ever tasted.  I mean smelled.  Fine, I mean tasted.  Don’t judge me.

3.  Million bells.  The name sold me – lemon chiffon.  How could I turn it down?  Instead of eating a key lime pie square every day, I can just look at these for my citrus fix.

4.  Sweet Potato vines.  I don’t know what it is about these plants, but I love them.  The color is awesome and they grow so fast, so easy.

5.  Phlox.  I have these in hanging baskets and I almost killed them once, when I left them to fend for themselves for 36 hours.  Note to self:  these bad boys need to be watered once a day.  But so worth it, because they flower and flower and flower.

6.  Mint.  We’ve actually got 3 varieties here: chocolate mint, orange mint, and plain ol’ Kentucky mint.  I just sit on the porch, rip a leaf off, and press them to my nostrils.  Not too shabby in a mojito or a julep, either.

7.  Nasturtium seedlings.  I’ve never really heard of this flower before, but I snagged these seeds from my sister.  Apparently they are really easy to grow, and edible.  A match made in heaven – I love both live plants AND eating.

8.  Brugmansia.  I bought two of these tree-thingies last year.  They survived being over wintered in my spare room, and I was even able to get some viable cuttings.  I gave most of them away, but now I’ve got a total of 4 of these bad boys.

The most exciting thing to grow in the backyard this year, though is GRASS.  The dogs are rough on the lawn and it shows.  This year I’ve fenced off about a third of the yard in an attempt to grow some real ground cover.  A trip to the local feed ‘n seed and $17 in clover seed later, I’ve got this:

GRASS!  Honest to goodness GRASS!  It’s not the clover I thought I was buying, but it’s not weeds, either.  Well, not purely weeds.  Words cannot express how happy I am about this development.  Dexter keeps sneaking into the fenced-off zone to nap in its pillowy green-ness.  I can’t really blame him.  I can’t wait to prance around in it bare foot.

So yes.  Exciting times for a Mutha Fudrucker.  I’ve also got my vegetable garden in, after chiseling through my hard, clay, soil and amending it with bags and bags of Miracle Grow and mushroom compost.  I’m having visions of skipping through the plants and plucking cherry tomatoes from my monstrous tomato trees, then passing out with a orange mint mojito in my hand and tomato juice running down my chin.

P.S. – Happy Earth Day!  Check out this blog for some tips on being a greener pet owner.