This Year's Spring Garden

While Peggy cleaned, bagged, sliced and prepared 22 lbs of carrots for the freezer, I started spading and raking our square foot garden for the Spring planting. Our neighbor, Ramsey stopped by, so his dog Rosco could visit with our bratty Bichons; they are very welcome guests, the both of 'em. We visited while I shoveled and then I "Tom Sawyer'd" Ramsey into putting those big "guns" of his to work toting garden soil to add to the garden. Every 2 or 3 years we add some good Miracle Grow garden soil to kinda perk up our garden. The rest of the time we just sprinkle on some 13-13-13 and a sack or 2 of cow manure and keep planting. Our lil garden goes year round so we gotta keep the soil rich for all the goodies we grow.

Besides our garden 'big' garden, we have 3-4ftx4ft planter boxes. Two of which we put in last week , the day I got off the boat. The one farthest away in this picture is Peg's herb garden. The tall flowering stuff is dill weed and she also has horseradish, parsley, green onions, and oregano. The new box in the middle will be asparagus, and the closest one is a strawberry patch. They are all under Spring "construction".

In this next Picture Peggy and I were "stringing our gardens" for their planting. In the Square foot gardening system that we use, we make a grid with string to help us plant evenly. An added advantage to the string is that kitties don't like it and refrain from using our garden for gigantic litter boxes.

Then we planted everything in the grids according to our plan. In this picture I am planting okra in the middle of the garden, as photographer Peggy plants bush green beans along the outer edge.

With the 'big' garden planted, we went on to plant the asparagus ferns. Peggy untangled them from the bundle they came in while me and my ever-present garden helper planted them.

Any time I'm doing anything in the yard good ole Sparky Bear is always underfoot willing to lend a paw , or tongue to encourage ya along. He is definitely our outside helper dog. From gardening to BBQin', to just chillin' on the patio or around the fire-pit, Sparky is always on the scene.

Well, once it was all said and done, I must say our lil gardens look pretty good. It's a very rewarding hobby. Peggy and I always excidedly await the gardens growing and giggle with delight as each thing succeeds, and we fret and worry 'til they do. We gotta stay on our toes, too, now that we have turned our Forum friend David onto this garden technique. Now that he is gardening away, it keeps us on our toes to try to keep up with him. It seems the student has now become the master.

You will notice in the earlier pictures that our chubby pup MarkyBear was absent. Yard work aint his forte. He is more a couch potato preferring the air conditioner, to the sunny yard, but once I had showered and settled down into my recliner, then my lil chubby buddy was more than happy to join his ole pop in a rest and a beer.

If ya aint never seen a dog smile just look up. After the first sip of my beer I am smilin' too.


Harvesting Our Carrots

Last Saturday morning Peggy was busy in the house, so me and my garden helper Sparky went out to harvest our winter carrot crop.

What Sparky lacks in actually helping, he makes up for with enthusiasm. Whenever Peggy and I are doing something you can be sure he is in the area ready to lend a paw, or tongue of encouragement.

In no time at all we had picked, topped and trimmed over 20 lbs of sweet fresh carrots. Not too bad for a 16 square foot patch of our lil square foot garden.


The Shipyard Blues

Part of workin' on a boat is spending time on shipyard. It aint fun being parked in a big ole dusty parking lot, but there is a scientific principle called entropy. The meaning of entropy is that over time things fall apart, no kiddin' look it up. Well, the boat I run is 30 years old and occasionally entropy slaps the ole gal in the stern. The shipyard is a busy place bustling with workers kicking up dust clouds as they scurry around. It was good to see my tax dollars going to a good cause; watching the Coast Guard boats being refit. This first picture is of the 'Pelican' being put back in the water after her 5 year refit. It was kinda funny watching a half dozen shipyard workers armed with water hoses trying to kill the dust while they painted her. In this next picture you can see one of the shipyard workers carrying her new name boards to her.
Below, here she sits in the water being stocked up with supplies by a gang of "swabbies". This is the view from my galley door and I must admit the sight of those 2, fifty-caliber machine guns on her bow pointed toward my boat door was lil unsettling.
The shipyard no sooner had the "Pelican" back in the water, when they snatched up the "Sturgeon" and placed her on blocks for refitting. If I gotta pay all that tax money outa my check I don't mind seeing it going for a very good cause.
This shipyard uses a boat lift to pick up the boats and set them on blocks. Here it is seen carrying a barge that is 180 feet long by 40 feet wide.
You will note the tires are really squatted down as the lift carrys this 180 foot supply boat.
With all this activity swirling around me, you may wonder why I titled this post the Shipyard Blues. In this last picture you can see the stairs that led 30 stairs from the bottom deck of my boat to the ground. When on dry dock, you can't use the toilet you have on the boat, 'cause they don't want the sewage tank to pump itself out onto the heads of the shipyard workers below. So, it's 30 stairs to parking lot level from the bottom deck of my boat, and then a quarter mile to the building that houses the public bathroom, and the building is their barge assembly warehouse, and it's 350 feet long and you guessed it; the bathroom is wayyy on the far side of the warehouse.

The Claiborne Avenue Bridge

On the afternoon of March 24, 2010 I was taking a nap as my relief captain Charles was taking the boat from Lake Pontchartrain towards the Mississippi River. He woke me up saying that he was stopping in a fleet and catching some lines on a barge (tying up to them) because someone had just driven their car off of the Claiborne Bridge into the River, so they were not allowing any water traffic in the area while rescue crews and other emergency watercraft were working; a usual practice in these circumstances. The blue bridge in the first picture is the Florida Avenue bridge, and it's in the closed position. The Claiborne bridge can be seen in the next picture, still open to marine traffic. The part that goes across way up top is actually the road bed of the bridge. These two bridges are called lift bridges since the road span (the part that cars drive over) "lifts" straight up. The Claiborne bridge had been in that position for a couple weeks while crews worked to repair the approach ramps to the bridge. If you look close you can see the construction equipment still parked on the approach ramp. After waiting, tied up at the fleet all day and night, we found out the next day that a man drove at a high rate of speed narrowly missing construction workers, and equipment and launched his car off the ramp. Charles said when a boat captain first reported that a car had come sailing off the bridge the lock masters didn't believe him. The car sank so fast that it was out of sight in seconds.
I took the picture above when they raised the Florida Av. bridge to allow a small Corps of Engineers boat to pass through and go to the accident sight. The Corps survey boat was equipped with very high tech sonar and bottom charting equipment. It is usually used to check dredging progress and requirements on the river bottom, so the Coast Guard asked them to find the car for them. With their powerful side-scanning sonar, they found the vehicle on the bottom of the canal in minutes. The next morning the M/V Trey Paul tugboat brought a crane barge to the scene and they pulled the car from the canal.

If ya click on the next picture to blow it up you can just make out the crane in position over the wreck, through the beams of the Florida Avenue bridge.

It was after 6 p.m. on the 25th before they allowed us to proceed through the bridges and on towards the River. We found out later that the guy in the car was said to be depressed on accounta the economy and fear of losing his job. Speakin' for ma self, I can't imagine life getting so depressing dat I'd go "waahoooing" ofn a bridge. 'Course das just me and I am a very lucky happy Cappy.


We Have a CHANNEL??

This week is chocked full of family birthdays. Yesterday was Cappy's neice, Blythe's birthday, and today was her Mom's (Cappy's sister, Maria's) birthday. Today was also granddaughter Ashley's birthday. AND Thursday is granddaughter, Destiny's birthday. Hmmm...I hope I didn't forget anybody else.
Behind the scenes I've been trying to get some painting done because this is the perfect weather for it....before it gets HOT. The dawgs are going tomorrow to get their summer cuts, the day before their 'Dad' gets off the boat. He said he's not going to let me 'lollygag' in bed in the morning, like I have been (my sleep is still all broken and shredded like coleslaw cabbage...sigh...waaaah waaaaah waaaaah), which doesn't make for a very perky Pegody.
Cappy has plans for putting in another couple of square foot gardens in which we will plant asparagus and strawberries. The dogs love asparagus so much that we might have to put up netting to keep them out of the garden...seriously. Silly dawgs. I'm sure our dogs aren't the only ones who love raw salads, but it sure sounds weird to me.
Well, this is just a quick post, but I'm wondering if yall know about our cappyandpegody 'channel' over on youtube, where we have about 30 some videos. I'll put the link and hope it's going to work for you...if you are interested.
Cappy should be posting soon to let us know of this past month's adventures.