Rhonda's A 'Muse'-ing Rambles

Life and Times of a Busy Woman

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Gardens vs. nature, get out the guns!

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on June 15, 2008

Who is going to win – nature, or my efforts? Right now, it’s a toss up. Nature is throwing us a drought and record breaking temperatures. No rain in sight and none in the near past. I’m not watering the grass; only the gardens, but the garden near the septic drain field is flourishing – squash and tomatoes and beans. The tomatoes, when they come, get eaten by the mockingbirds. I’ve managed to harvest a handful without damage so far.

Inside the ‘family’ yard, the tomatoes are wilting even though they are getting water. When they do sprout a fruit, again, the mockingbirds. I think I can net the plants and maybe save a few. My gladiolas are sprouting regularly, but a couple of the darker ones seem to be suffering the heat. The white ones are flashing their big showy blooms and grace my kitchen daily. They were so prolific this year I am going to have to figure out how and when to seperate the bulbs and move some of them. Peppers and squash seem to be all that are doing well enough, I’m to the point where the peppers are now going in the freezer.

As for the front yard – well, the cannas are still being eaten but they keep trying to come up. That’s one plant I never thought I would have trouble growing. All the other plants – ice plants, salvia, petunias, zinnias – are mostly history due to rabbits and deer, and probably that squirrel. No, I’m not going to shoot them (you noticed the ‘guns’ in my title?).

The plants doing the best however, are my new aloe veras, mosquito plant, authentic hawaiian pineapple (It’s almost two feet tall!) and the ginger root.

 The new herb gardens (3 weeks old) seem to be hanging in there and staying alive, but not much measureable growth. I’m enjoying the various teas I’ve concocted along with my normal hibiscus, peach, rose & mints. I made a cooling rub for my shoulder out of emu oil and lavendar – it was soothing, but not as effective as the emu/capsacian combo. If you haven’t ever tried the emu oil, add it to your list to experiment with. For some reason, it soaks deeper into your pores and allows other chemicals (or herbs on my part) to sink in further. By applying emu oil followed by a pepper rub, it makes an extremely effective muscle/joint pain reliever.

 At least one hummingbird is still hanging tough and the lizards gather under one feeder and lap up the sap. I had to laugh tonite as I watered one particular garden when there was a gecko stampede. They were running over my foot and up the wall, looked like someone had stepped on a fire ant mound! Good thing I like these little guys or I’d have gone screaming (and barefoot – don’t tell my doc!) into the field of dry grass and probably some new stickers.

So who is going to win – gardens – or nature? I fully expect when I leave town for a week, and return and leave again for two weeks – that nature will win the battle.

Now, for the guns. I’m not a gun buff or militant – I’m a shooting sports instructor with a healthy respect for ethics and safety. Tonite I’m reorganizing the gun safe, somewhat, and making sure all the guns I’ve used this year have been locked away with a little gun oil. I was amazed how many of our own personal guns I’ve used the past few months for various classes, and it doesn’t include the ones I am occassionally provided to use with certain events. From our own stockpile, I had used 3 shotguns, three 22’s, 3 pellets, 2 BB’s, the Muzzleloader and even the 243 rifle. I have to now dig out from two different gun safes a couple of hand guns to practice on. I was pleased to find a somewhat limited model hand gun at a local sporting goods store that I need to practice with. I didn’t BUY the thing – just wanted to feel it and see how to break it down since I’ll be working with it in a few weeks. Meanwhile, I have a revolver here and my personal favorite  James Bond gun to practice with. Both guns are similar to what I’ll be teaching with, so should do well enough to practice with. I think I will try to find a couple of my girl friends (or if all else fails, my poor son) and teach them how to shoot a pistol. That means load, unload, breakdown, clean, then practice different holds and stance. After that, if they want, we can go to the gun range (remember the temps here? OUCH!) and get in some live firing.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad – wherever you are. I love and miss you.

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