Thursday, February 19, 2009

This Was Easier Than I Thought

As I got ready for work this morning, Doug alerted me to the frenzy of activity in the green pot on my desk. I opened up the curtains to let light in on these crazy sprouts and within the hour there was noticable growth and even a couple sprouts standing straight up. I think I counted 13 sprouts in all from the original 20 seeds I attempted to germinate. 65% isn't bad. I hope I can keep those numbers up so that I can have oodles of peas.

I was bragging about my baby sprouts at work, when a very good question arose in the breakroom. I live in a neighborhood that 8 months ago was under three and a half feet of the dirtiest river in Iowa. I am concerned with the toxins and agro-chemicals that may remain in the soil and wether this could possibly effect the food I grow. Am I doomed to grow my dream garden in pots? Perhaps I can build a garden box for outside to escape this fate. In the meantime, I am beginning the quest for the answers to these questions. If you have the answers, links or resources -- speak up! 


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beautiful Houseguest

Doug and I were driving into Iowa City on our way back from Des Moines, and on our way south on 1st Avenue, we spotted a huskie puppy running in the busy street. Cars were honking and swerving around her as she circled aimlessly in the face of certain death. Doug carefully nudged her into a parking lot with the car, and I got out to catch her. After running circles around me for 10 minutes, she closed in and I grabbed her collar. It wasn't even like I caught her since she came right up to me.

We got her in the car and inspected her better; she had a collar without tags, she was clean and well-kept, but obviously a puppy of only a few months, likely someone's Christmas present. I called the police and reported her in case the owners had called, which they hadn't. The police encouraged me to keep her overnight and call the shelter in the morning. We figured if we kept her the night, we could hand her over if the owners called. We got to play with her in the meantime.

She was awesome, is the better word. She was also cuddly, clumsy and so well-tempered. By her reaction, I doubt she had ever seen a cat, or another dog for that matter, until that night. She wanted to play with them all, but none of these old farts were interested. Chico stayed in Doug's lap, Jack climbed up on the washing machine and Maji came out swinging.

Well, she was awesome until she started peeing everywhere and chewing things. It was comical watching me try to puppy-proof the apartment two-steps ahead of her the whole night. She finally let me sleep at 2am, but I had to quarantine her and I from the other critters because she has an unlimited capacity for PLAY! 

I woke up the next morning with her HUGE paws in my face...she was sprawled out beside me on the bed, belly-up, snoring. Don't mistake me, I fell in love with this dog, but after that night, I was happy to see her one step closer to home.

AMAZINGLY, not a single call for the dog had been made to the police, leaving me to wonder if the owners are poop-heads and don't deserve her back. I got through to the shelter and told them the whole story. Of course, they agreed to take her.  I figure a few things will occur. If the owners call, the shelter is in the best position to be selective about wether this little angel should be in their custody. If not, she'll find a home in seconds. She is gorgeous and she will be huge judging by her massive puppy paws (that can clear off a coffee table masterfully, I've learned). 

I drove out to the shelter that is on the far south outskirts of Iowa City, a long way from where I found her, and had visions of movies like Homeward Bound. I felt like a minor character getting in the way of her adventure. I still feel I did the right thing. She would've been roadkill for sure had we kept driving. The only thing that made me cringe was her reaction to the barking dogs at the shelter. She trotted happily until she heard the cacophony of barks and howls. I had to pick her up an carry her 30 pound butt to the shelter, my heart breaking only inches from her furry body. {Getting teary-eyed as I type this} 

She had no microchip. How in the hell do you have a gorgeous, expensive BABY like that with no chip, no tags, no business being outside ANYWHERE alone? Makes me mad. 

Chip your pets.

 Put tags on them. 

I am getting off my soapbox now.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's Like Springtime on a Saucer

Tonight I got back from visiting friends in Des Moines to find 17 of my 20 snap pea seeds had made impressive progress and were ready to hit the dirt. Some of the sprouts were little curly-q's and a few (likely the original sprouters) had gotten crazy long. One of them had even begun to dig it's way through the layers of paper towel, determined to root into something.

I happily got my fingers a little dirty, placing each seed carefully in the pot in spiral formation, giving each one a bit of room before covering them with a loose 2 inches of soil. I dampened the soil and set it near the window to wait for the morning sun. So far, I've had success. I hope this is a continuing trend. :)