Nori's Stuff - Gardening, quilting, cooking and dogs

Archive for April, 2010

Gardening,Hydro/Aquaponics,Plant Wall

April 28, 2010

Baby fish and seedlings

Seedlings

Wadly says he’s got another baby fish in the tank.  I’ve laid on the floor and looked but haven’t gotten a glimpse yet.  The previous baby grew to be recognizable as a female guppy who is now nearly the same size as the adults.

Wadly stopped at Glacier yesterday and brought home five buckets of pea gravel for me.  I’m going to need more to fill my new grow bed (grout mixing pan – 7″x22″x32″), but it’s a good start.

I’m definitely going to fill the gutter with pea gravel and plant things in it.  It works too well not to.  I’m going to have to rework the overflow to keep the gravel in the gutter.  If I could find some hydroton locally I’d use that, as it’s much lighter than gravel, but I haven’t come across any yet.

I’ve got seeds showing growth in three of the five coco coir mats.  I’ve got seedlings coming up out of the gravel between the coco coir mats.  I’ve got some hollyhock seeds planted in the gravel, lovely purple ones.  I’m really looking forward to those popping up.

Quilting

Ichthyic bog coat

A fish with character.

The fish on the back is almost done.  I have to finish appliquéing the material to the tail before I can appliqué the fish on the back.  My fish has character!  <grin>

Hydro/Aquaponics

April 26, 2010

Christmas in April

The wall is filling in and showing less background felt and more color

The bud on the Christmas cactus has matured.  It’s gorgeous.

Still no sign of the salamander.  <wince>  I’m not taking any bets on his survival.  <sigh>  I should have done a better job of researching.

Plant Wall

April 24, 2010

I probably wasted my money

I got a flat tailed salamander for my wall but I think he’s not going to stay in the wall.  Wadly found him last night on the rug drying out and caught up in short pieces of thread (I’ve been appliquéing).  He put him in a bowl of water and left him overnight.  He was fine this morning so I put him back in the wall.  The chances of him actually staying there are probably really small. <sigh>

I’ll try tree frogs . . . maybe they’ll stay in the foliage.

Gardening,Plant Wall

April 23, 2010

Getting started

Seed bed in wall gutter

I’m way behind in getting seeds started for my outdoors grow bed.  I brought in the seed starter tray I used last year to start seeds for the three of us.  I just couldn’t make myself jump through the hoops.

I cut up some coco coir mat (liner for a wire hanging basket)

Leaves poking out of the coco coir

to use as seed beds in my gutter.  I laid a bed of gravel and set the coco coir in so the bottom side is flooded each time the wall is fed.

I planted a range of stuff . . . lettuce, tomatoes, oregano, chives . . . and I already have something showing leaves.  If I had to guess I’d say it’s lettuce.  Germination is six to fourteen days according to pack.  Try four days!  How rockin’ is that?!   With 80° water warming the seeds it accelerates the germination!

When I get LouAnn’s wall built and her plants are no longer in my gutter I may fill the rest of the gutter with pea gravel and plant it.  That would be cool!

Quilting

April 20, 2010

The back

The fish isn't done - more appliqué still to do - but this is where it goes.

The fish is just pinned on, but it gives a feel for what the back’s center piece will look like.

Quilting

April 19, 2010

Bog Coat

I've used my 4" Square Dance pinwheel template for the border. The navy edge adds a nice finish.

I’ve been participating in a bog coat project with other members of our Guild.  I’m running my plan on this one by the seat of my pants, making it up as I go along. <grin>  Is there any other way?

I have my bog coat basted/pin together to give a glimpse of what it looks like pre-appliqué.  I won’t cut the neck opening until the coat has been quilted.

I’m to the point where I have to get the appliqué done.  I’m planning to use some eclectic fish patterns inspired by concrete stamps.  Should be fun . . . and bright!  <grin>

I’m preassembling the appliquéd fish.  When I’m ready to apply them I’ll undo all the basting and set all the blocks aside while I fasten the appliqué onto the coat body.  That’ll reduce the bulk I have to hold.

Karen’s going to quilt it for me (that’s the plan) and she’ll add other under water elements to fill out the tropical sea theme.

Gardening,Plant Wall

April 18, 2010

Wall status

The solution I sprayed on the wall didn’t kill all the aphids.  As they were isolated on bloom stalks I trimmed the infected stalks and have been keeping an eye on the wall.  I’m going to have to get some straight trichlorfon for future use.  I’ll check at Kaija’s next time I’m there.

We had a fish die.  It was either a sword or a platty.  I’d had my eye on it for a couple weeks as its abdomen had been getting larger and larger.  It finally bit the big one and Wadly fished it out.

Otherwise everyone’s happy and healthy.  Wadly built a shelf for the pleco and cats to hide under.  I don’t see them under there much but it makes Wadly happy.

Gardening,Plant Wall

April 11, 2010

Aphids

Aphids on the streptocarpus

Ugh.  The wall has aphids.  I have been keeping an eye on it because one of the plants sitting on the floor in front of the wall is an aphid attractor.  The Beach Oleander I brought back from Hawaii has a continual issue.  It must have just the right smell/flavor.  I treated it last week for aphids so it’s not surprising they’ve migrated to the wall.

In case you were wondering . . . Cape Primrose and Gloxinia appear to be particularly attractive to aphids.

So, the question is how to treat the wall and not kill the fish.  Wadly and I had discussed this a number of times and had developed a strategy we thought would work.

  1. Unplug the aquarium pump and pull it out of the aquarium.
  2. Drop the smallest statuary pump into the tank and plug it in to keep the water moving for the duration the wall is separated from the aquarium.
  3. Siphon out 4 gallons of water into a bucket.
  4. Top the aquarium up with new water.
  5. Drop the aquarium pump into the bucket.
  6. Connect the gutter to the bucket.
  7. Cover the aquarium with plastic.
  8. Spray the wall with aphid killing chemicals.
  9. In 24 hours dump the bucket water and siphon 4 gallons of aquarium water into the bucket.
  10. Top up the aquarium.
  11. In 24 hours remove the small statuary pump from the tank.
  12. Remove the plastic from the aquarium.
  13. Rinse the aquarium pump and return it to the tank.
  14. Reconnect the gutter to the aquarium.
  15. Hope no fish die.

Before we could get started on that process this morning I had a “connect-the-dots” moment.  Why not spray the wall with the same mix we use to treat parasites in the aquarium?  Duh.  The parasite treatment for the aquarium has trichlorfon in it which is an excellent record against aphids.  It’s an organophospate noted for its lack of persistence, biodegradability and low cost.

I mixed half a teaspoon of the parasite control with about 3/4 cup of warm water and sprayed the wall.  I know it won’t kill the fish.  Let’s see if the aphids die.  <evil laugh>

Gardening,Plant Wall

April 6, 2010

Blooming Cape Primrose

The first of many blossoms to come

The Cape Primrose (streptocarpus) bloomed yesterday.  Isn’t it lovely?

Welcome

Nori’s Stuff images

I’ve had a bit of an issue with other sites hotlinking to Nori’s Stuff images.  Today is April 6th and my bandwidth is in excess of the total for all of last month.  Oops.  I’m delighted my site is popular but I have no desire to have my bandwidth used because someone else’s site is popular.

I’ve disabled the ability for other sites to embed my images.  If you’ve got my images hotlinked to your site you’ll need to download the image to include it in your site.  Sorry folks.  My bandwidth is MY bandwidth.  I don’t mind if you include Nori’s Stuff images in your blogs.  I do mind you do it by mining my bandwidth.

Cordwaining,Pioneer Spirit

April 3, 2010

These boots are made for . . .

I still haven’t gotten around to sending my boots back to be resized for my fat little feet.  I admit to being slow . . . not just in getting them packaged up and sent back but also in connecting the dots on how to fix the problem.

My boots went to town to Sunshine Shoe Repair (Korean guy and his wife, really nice people) and he put them on stretchers for four days.  I got them back and they were better but not enough so I planned to take them back and have them stretched some more.  Then something I watched months and months ago finally clicked.  Duh.  I’d seen a video wherein a young lady showed how to use ice to stretch shoes.  She was stretching peep-toe heels, but why wouldn’t the same concept work for my boots?

I put water in a couple of sandwich bags, stuck them into my boots and put them in the freezer.  Yup, that was better but still not enough so I did it again.  MUCH better on the right, but the left is still tight.  I’ve got my thinnest wool socks on (lime green with white and pink polka dots) and I’ve been out in the snow!  How cool is that!?

Dogs/Pets

April 2, 2010

I don’t quite know what to say . . .

Chloe had a hematoma the size of a softball when she came to us. It was just behind her left jaw where another dog had bitten her and left tooth plaque in the wound. I’m telling you this because I think the final outcome relates to treating all the dogs with sodium chlorite (notice that’s got a “t”, not a “d”).   I have no other explanation why a hematoma Chloe’d had since we got her suddenly vanished.  To that I want to add . . . I think if I’d known about sodium chlorite when Max got sick we would not have lost him.  I’m sure Dan’s thinking the same about his mastiff Kym, who now rests here on the farm beside Max.

So here’s the story.  We had some animal vandalism about 2 months ago. We live on a dead end gravel road which runs through our property to the homes of the other two families who live on our road.  All the dogs were fine when Wadly fed at 9pm.  They were all fine when I got up the next morning.  By nine that morning we had three injured dogs.

The week prior I had given all the dogs a 3-day course of sodium chlorite drops as a chemical detox, anti-parasitic and to start treating a sinus infection (Chuck) that just wouldn’t go away.  (Cute little dogs are not cute when they have runnels of fluid matting the hair below each eye.  Yuk.  Wake up, people.  Runny eyes are not healthy.)

As to the injuries, we suspect someone staying with a neighbor’s family deliberately struck all three of our dogs with their car.  The injuries were all on the left side indicating the dogs were traveling together nose to tail along the shoulder of the drive in the same direction the car was traveling.  Someone had to deliberately swerved into them to injure all three dogs where and how they were injured.  (Mean people truly suck and anyone who would deliberately harm animals has no productive place in society.  I’m with Fiona (Burn Notice).  “Can’t we just shoot ’em?”  JMPO)

Chloe had a broken back leg (compound fracture inside the left hind leg between the knee/stifle and the hip joint) and the hematoma on her neck had burst internally with the fluid running loose inside the skin of her neck.  Of the three dogs she sustained the most injury.  Happy had a shallow three-corner hole on the outside of her upper left front leg and Patsy had a sore left shoulder, some edema in her upper left front leg and a broken tooth.

With the fluid portion of Chloe’s hematoma dispersed, we could feel the “seed” of the hematoma (hard, round, about the size of a ping pong ball and fastened firmly to the muscle of her neck behind her jaw).  I thought the hematoma would fill with fluid again but it didn’t.  I kept an eye on it to see what would happen to the seed.

Happy’s wound was relatively minor and situated where she could easily reach it to keep it clean.  Patsy’s soreness went away after a couple days.

We couldn’t touch Chloe anywhere except on her head without her scooting away.  Wrestling with her to look at the leg would probably have compounded the damage.  If she stood in just the right spot I could turn my upper half upside down and crane my neck like crazy and get a peek at the wound.  It was on the inside where it couldn’t come in contact with the ground and she was keeping it clean.  In the beginning there were two gaping holes I could have stuck my finger in to at least the knuckle.  Every time I checked, the wound looked awesome; no infection, clean and obviously healing.

Within three weeks Happy was fully healed and Chloe was putting weight on her leg. Shortly thereafter her leg wound closed completely and within six weeks she was running around on her leg like nothing had happened.

So just this last week I noticed the seed of Chloe’s hematoma is gone. The filling around the seed never came back and now there is no longer a lump/seed. How weird is that?  I know sodium chlorite is awesome stuff.  It kills bad bacteria, viruses, detoxifies (chemicals AND heavy metals) and eliminates parasites.  Is it the reason the hematoma seed vanished?

If I hadn’t already started an SC cleanse that got all three dogs so much healthier, what would the injury outcome have been? Would Chloe’s leg wound have developed an infection? Chloe’s got some scarring on the inside of her leg where the bone sliced and diced the skin, but watching her tear around the farm you’d never know she’d ever had a compound fracture.

If you want to learn more about sodium chlorite, go to MiracleMineral.org and download the free e-book.

Gardening,Hydro/Aquaponics,Plant Wall

Plant wall update

Last day of March . . . still big holes in the wall where the last three plants go

Begonia blossoms . . . unassuming and unspectacular but nice just the same

Gloxinia in all its glory

Primrose getting set to take off

I still haven’t gotten the last three plants in the plant wall.  <sigh>   Maybe I can get two of them in today.  Everything’s mega-healthy, growing and half of the bloomy stuff is doing just that.

Wadly noticed one of his fish bouncing off a rock on the bottom.  That translates to parasite issues with his tank.  Monday he dosed his tank with a parasitic that contains sodium chloride (salt).  It will be interesting to see how the wall handles an increase in the salt content of the water.  He’ll have to dose the tank two more times to ensure full treatment.  He’ll empty 25% of the tank water before each of the two additional treatments.  That should keep the salt content to a reasonable level so it doesn’t impact the wall plants <fingers crossed>.

The wall gutter makes treatment so easy.  Wadly put the granulated prep around the overflow pipe in the gutter.  The water flowing through the wall and into the gutter dissolved the granules and carried the treated water down into the tank.

Currently I have blossoms on two begonias (one white, one pink) and the gloxinia and buds on the Cape Primrose and Christmas cactus.  We’ll see how everything survives treating the fish.