Garden 2013

I began posting about my foray into gardening back in 2011.

The following year I posted about my “original intent” for the garden (but, after doing a little research for this post, I quickly discovered I never completed any follow up about final garden 2012 post).  Well, the “original intent” for Garden 2012 failed miserably.  Garden 2012 - 2.0 was pretty similar to Garden 2011.  I ran into our local greenhouse, picked up some tomato and green pepper plants and planted a few of the remaining seeds (beans and cucumbers) directly into the garden. In addition to the regular harvest of tomatoes and peppers, I got 1 cucumber, and a single serving of beans.  (I just do not do well with seeds).  Also of note was the removal of the raspberry bushes that took up half of our garden real estate.    

With some repairs needed on the framework of the garden box, the Mother of Five and I decided we were going to try and expand the garden this year.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature (and other various factors) had different plans.  The unyielding grip of this season’s Minnesota Winter, and my lack of spare time resulted in not only our failure to expand the garden, but an actually lack of any garden whatsoever. 

I can be a bit of a procrastinator.  I kept telling myself I’ll get around to planting a garden – but suddenly it was June 23rd, and one of our two local greenhouses was packing up for the season.  This had me feeling a little melancholy.  I have been enjoying the whole gardening experience the past few years – even in the limited quantities / varieties I have been involved in – and I really didn’t want the garden to sit idle this year. 

On a whim, we stopped by the primary greenhouse in town, and found them OPEN FOR BUSINESS.  Not only open for business, but clearancing out several items!  Since it was so late in the season, some of these plants were already fruiting.  Like a kid in a candy shop, I quickly nabbed up three varieties of tomato plants (cherry, grape, and just like me – “Big Boy”), two varieties of peppers (sweet bell and those lovely gypsy peppers I tried in 2011), and on the whim of #5 of 5, we tossed in two cantaloupe plants. 

In these photos, you can see the condition of, and various stages of production of the Garden project 2013. 

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In anticipation of some gardening earlier in the year, the Mother of Five had #3 of 5 turn over the garden.  This was several months ago now, and the weeds were beginning to take hold once again.

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#4 of 5, #5 of 5 and myself pulled what weeds were growing, then proceeded to till the garden again.

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I also had a couple of left over pepper plants that I could not fit in the garden – so I am trying my hand at the idea of potted pepper plants!   (Try saying that three times as fast as you can!)








Since I am already in the thick of it – I am going to post a few of the flowers we have planted around the old compound.  Much (if not all) credit for these belong to the Mother of Five.  If it was not for her, our front patio would look pretty darn drab.

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(Above) Come on now.  What good Catholic house does not have a small statue of Mary in their garden? 

(Above)  Four pots with various flowers (planted from seed) by #5 of 5.

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(Above) Front door and front sidewalk.

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(Above)  Various shots of the front patio – from the front yard.

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Miscellaneous shots from our overgrown and neglected side garden.  I had good intentions there a few years back, but the clematis took over and tore down our lattice work – then we lost one shrub to some sort of insect – and the other (large red shrub) just got neglected and has overgrown.

Perhaps a future gardening project?

Another Slice

This is a follow up (or maybe an “addendum” would be more accurate description) to a previous post titled
Thirty Five Minutes  (click through if you have the time).

The request for assistance arrived just as I expected.  Our PSAP was being hailed by another PSAP on a commonly used “Talk Group” (i.e. “radio channel”) intended for use between the various METropolitan 911 centers for quick and easy COMmunication.  The difference this time was that I was pretty certain I knew what they were calling about.  I had already fielded a number of 9-1-1 calls, and was in the process of entering a call for service into the CAD when the radio request arrived.

“We need the assistance of your Fire Department for a vehicle fire, northbound Highway 169 at Pioneer Trail”

Once the CAD incident was created, and the fire station was toned out, I (once again) turned to the magic of the MnDot’s freeway cameras for a up close look at the incident I was dispatching.  I had hoped that sending some images of the fire scene out to the mobile data terminals in the responding fire apparatus, they would have a slight advantage when they rolled up (as opposed to rolling up blind). 

Here is what I saw…

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Yup.  That’s a vehicle fire all right. 

A few minutes later the engine arrives and the firefighters begin preparing to fight the fire.  You can also see our squad car pulled up behind the fire engine to help aid in traffic control / direction.   

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Soon, the firefighters start doin’ what they do best! 

This is evident by the changeover from the back (smoke) to the white (steam).  What follows is a twenty image “slide show” of the fire scene. 

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And, in the very last photo of the series, you can see that the Minnesota State Patrol has also arrived.  Their squad is pulled up behind our “black and white” city squad.  The freeway is their jurisdiction. 

Time for a little overhaul and clean up.

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And at about this time, my (city) squad hands the matter over fully to the Minnesota State patrol, and clears the scene.  (No “black and white” squad behind the fire truck.)  

In a odd twist of fate, it is learned that this vehicle was being hauled by tow truck / vehicle hauler when it caught fire.  (You can see it in the first photo of this post.)  So, the tow truck returned to re-claim the vehicle. 

Because of the condition of the burned vehicle, it took a little shuffling and juggling of the cars to find the right placement.  (The burned vehicle could no longer be “towed”.)   

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Once the truck safely clears the scene,  the State Patrol remains to complete their paperwork. 

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Sixty-five minutes after the initial call came in and all that’s left is the charred spot on the side of the highway and a traffic jam.


There was some other “good news” to come out of all of this.  See, the vehicle was already non-functioning, and it was being hauled to the scrap yard when it caught fire. 

Thankfully, no one was hurt – and there was no “significant” property value loss!

So, there you have it.  Another slice of life as a police / fire dispatcher. 

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