Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good Job, John

John has had a lot of firsts since moving to Western PA this summer.

Filling out his first sales order.

Ridding the house of a thirty-inch snake.


umpiring his first Pony game.

Yup, Sunday evening found John at one of our local baseball fields umpiring his first Pony game. His mask is adjusted and he's good to go.


He looks good in blue doesn't he? He even looks like he knows what he's doing.


Why look who else is here.


That's Dave out there on the bases. Sorry, Dave, but it's not about you tonight. My camera will be aimed at the youngster this evening.

Uh oh. This doesn't look good.


Call reversed. Stuff happens.

But why is Dave wearing this patch on his shirt? Reality check, Dave. We've moved from the Mitten.


The game continued under Dave's watchful eye but honestly John did fine. Dave even called me over between innings to tell me how well he was doing.



It looks like John has this umpiring thing down.

He made calls.


He watched foul balls.


He cleaned the plate. Always a fan favorite.


He called "time".


He checked his indicator which was in the correct hand.


In short he looked like a real umpire.


I think we have a real umpire in the making. Good job, John.


To celebrate we went out for ice cream after the game. All in all it was a wonderful night of baseball. Especially the ice cream part.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Try, Try Again.

One of my new goals in life is to do more cooking from scratch. I've quickly learned that one ingredient that really makes a difference in cooking is fresh herbs.

Since moving here to no man's land I haven't had much success in growing herbs. I have a back deck that seems to get adequate sun and water. For a couple of years I used clay pots because I really liked the look of them. The problem is, of course, they dry out really fast. During hot summer days that can be a real problem. Last summer I switched to plastic. They didn't look as good but I figured I would sacrifice looks for function. They did somewhat better but they still weren't thriving.

This year I'm again trying something new, an EarthBox.

Double your yields of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers with less fertilizer, less watering, and no weeding at all with the EarthBox Garden growing system. The patented EarthBox was developed by commercial farmers and proven in the lab and on the farm to bolster yields while consuming fewer resources. It also takes up less space, letting you grow healthy, robust veggies, fruits and more on the balcony rail or inside on the windowsill. The EarthBox measures 30 by 13-1/2 by 12 inches (l x w x h) for a soil capacity of 2-1/2 cubic feet. The box rests on four wheels and easily rolls into full sun and then moves to the back row so another Earthbox or your favorite potted flower can get sum rays. This maintenance-free growing system controls soil conditions and eliminates guesswork so vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers grow bigger, tastier and faster! The growing kit includes fertilizer, dolomite, and two germination covers for jumpstarting your garden. The box is UV protected for years of use, and it’s recyclable.

earthbox, butler, pa, 5.10

Don't my herbs look good? Of course, it is only May but if this is any indication I think I may have a winner.

If you look closely you will see flat and curly parsley, tarragon, sweet basil, creeping thyme, oregano, and rosemary.

Watering should be a breeze. There's a tube in the back that I fill with water every day. The water is then absorbed from the bottom. No over or under watering. Or that's the promise. It even has an overfill so there's no guess work.

butler, pa, 5.10

If you look really close you can see I have started harvesting some rosemary.

butler, pa, 5.10

So far so good. I will update later this summer and let you know if it performs as promised.

Now i"m thinking about an indoor system so I can have fresh herbs year round.

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Newton's Cradle