Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where - When to draw the line

I have a zoo in my house. One rather loud, albeit cute, Severe Macaw who has just hit sexual maturity and is trying to nest, one Toy Rat Terrier who thinks he is a rottweiler in steroids, and 5 very needy goldfish in a 55 Gal tank. The bird doesn't take a lot of time and neither does the dog. The fish - who would have thought fish were so expensive and time consuming!

I am a strong believer in that my goldfish are not disposable. Morty survived the walk home from the fair, a blizzard, 2-3 near-death experiences, and now severe bacterial fin rot. There is a hole where part of his dorsal fin used to be but he still swims up to give me kisses when I feed him. He also suffers from weak swim bladder. The others have been through hell and too many illnesses to name. They are in a 55 gallon tank and 30 gallon hospital/isolation tank. The hospital tank has to be cleaned out every couple days with half water changes and since they are goldfish, the 55 gallon tank needs to have half water changes weekly. Both tanks have to have a full water changes monthly. Not to mention the medicine costs about $20 a box/bottle and will last about a week. Most things have to be treated for 2-3 weeks. The cleaning takes about 2 hours for half changes and about 6 hours for full changes.

I have a few plants in my container garden. 39 different varieties of tomatoes, 4 zucchini plants, 1 yellow squash, 2 acorn squash, 2 winter squash, 1 sweet potatoes, 1 tomatillo, 1 California Wonder pepper, 1 jalapeno pepper, 2 serano peppers, 2 poblano peppers, 1 horny goat's weed pepper, 1 bush scallop squash, 1 sugar snap peas, 1 Kentucky green bean, 1 leaf lettuce, 1 romaine lettuce, 9 varieties of mustard greens, 1 lipstick Swiss chard, 1 bright lights Swiss chard, 5 basil, 3 rosemary, 1 cilantro, 1 dill, 1 parsley, and 1 chives.That would be 85 plants (if I added correctly) to water twice a day, prune, give haircuts to, treat, feed, and harvest. Mind you I live on less than 3/4 of an acre and these are all in containers - on my deck and in my driveway.

It looks like a jungle out there! I can't keep up with all of the ones we are harvesting. We have given tons away to neighbors and family and we still have two large containers on the counter. I have made endless pesto, tomato dishes, squash and rice, and countless other things with our harvest. We have self watering containers, regular containers, an earthbox and 32 gallon Rubbermaid tubs. We have had to come up with ingenious plans to hold up our tomatoe plants since their cages were too small and they are always tipping over. It takes 5 hours just to water, prune and harvest each evening.

I work my blogging jobs, the web design company, and nanny jobs, plus I am a full-time parent, play disc golf and geocache and go to school fulltime (and on the Dean's List).

Sometimes moderation is a good thing. Could I imagine my life any different? Not really.

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