Saturday, April 30, 2011


Picture of Beefsteak Tomato taken from Gurney's Catalog (their link follows)
I've been thinking a lot about tomatoes today. My brother,Jerry, lives in Georgia, and we talked for a spell on the phone today. Most of our topics were the many projects I have going.It's good to share your stories with someone who is like minded, and doesn't roll their eyes like they are bored to tears to hear about the things you do. I hate it when folks ask what I've been up to, then get bored when I begin to tell them. I think that is just plain rude. If you could care less what a persons been up to,don't ask.Find another way to greet folks. End of lesson in manners.Sorry bout that! It just slipped out!But I really do know folks like that.

Nevertheless, Jerry and I got on the subject of tomatoes.His tomatoes are already blooming.I have only planted 5 and the cut worms cut one down. I didn't toss it Teekaroo.I put it in a flower pot with some miracle grow dirt, and it should do fine. It should make new roots very quickly.This may not work every time,but quite often it does. Some times I put them in water first,until it forms new roots.We'll see how it does.

Now that Pop and I are getting older, and everything does not work as well as it once did,we need to do things a little differently,but Pop is like an old dog. You know the one. The one you can't teach new tricks.He wants to do everything the same way his grandmother did back in the 40's and 50's.Put out an acre of garden. Drive stakes and stretch string to get it straight.Stick poles up for beans.Who wants to do that much work,and especially at our age. I say stick it in the ground and mulch it good and keep it watered.The vegetables will eat the same.

Mom has a friend from her church that is elderly, and he has a method of growing all the tomatoes he and his wife need. He buys 3  or 4 indeterminate tomato plants.He draws a circle about a foot across. He drives 3 or 4 stakes around the outer edge of the circle.Then he ties the stakes together loosely at the top.The weight of all the tomatoes that will grow on the 3 or 4 plants could pull the stakes over if not tied. Gradually as the tomatoes grow taller,you need to tie them loosely to each stake.While the tomatoes are growing, you'll need to care for them,like normal,keeping them fed and watered in whatever method you normally use.I'd use composted dirt from the chicken pen, but you could use store bought Miracle Grow soil, if that's all you have access to.Or you might choose to water it occasionally with Miracle Grow water.The generic tomato and plant food is just as good,if you're watching your pennies.

I hope you enjoy your garden as much as I do.Happy Gardening.

So Little Time.... So Many Projects!

I slipped away to the house a few minutes to get a blog sent off,while Pop goes with Cousins Keith and Larry,to the Amish sawmill to get lumber. Keith is in from his job, in Mississippi or Alabama,where ever they are now working,and Pop loves to get together with him and his brother,Larry,whenever possible.Keith comes home usually every other week,but sometimes once a month.He is in the process of putting a new roof on his personal home.

Pop has had me "hooked up" this morning. I can't complain though, because he is helping me with one my many projects. That is rare in itself.The only problem is he wants to be boss. I guess the end product will be Good Enuf but his way is usually not exactly the way I wanted it done.Nevertheless,we are in the process of covering a small dog run, 4X 6, totally with chicken mesh wire.We will be putting the entire run in my Potting Shed-to-be.Did you catch that? Sound familiar? Like the bed in my craft room? You get the picture?
I do love the idea, since the now, 21 quail, I lost one, are getting so gentle, they won't fly away from predators quick enough to avoid getting devoured,if we turned them loose.So now,and we're playing this all by ear,and I guess you know that's my way of doing the things I do, anyway.We'll see if they will set or even lay,in captivity. If all goes well, the grandchildren,as well as Pop and I, will have had a new experience under our belts.If they lay but don't set,there is the possibility of getting a small incubator. We have had one of those in the past.And that's another learning experience for the kids.I figure if they won't accept all the books I have collected over the years for them,I will teach them something,even if I have to go the long way around to do it,and Pop and I are truly enjoying it as much as the kids are,even though he would never admit it.

The above picture is of a few of my latest projects, just in case this is IT for the day.You remember the wood challenge! The 3 little birdouse wall hangings may be IT,for today,if I can't tear loose for anything bigger.I will cutesy them up with paint soon,hopefully.The painted one was my pattern.Leah hates it when I see anything in the shops or yard sales or consignment stores,and buy it to use as a pattern. Sorry,Kiddo! But that's the name of MY game.I love collecting things that I can immulate at home.
The wires are old timey,recycled clothes hangers,straightened,then cut into shorter lengths for hanging things,usually on the porch,but really,anywhere, like hanging flower baskets or bird feeders,etc.That brings them down to a lower level for easy access.

Pop has returned and I have not finished my job he left me with,so I'd better take him a fresh cup of coffee and maybe a few cookies.Tee!hee!Maybe he won't be to upset with me.

I will post a picture of the reworked coop and my quail,possibly tomorrow.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Planter Box and Shelf

(4) Planter Box
(5)Corner Shelf

As you can see,my challenge of building something from wood,hopefully,six days a week,goes on, and these two projects are truly, new projects that I made today. See my unfinished pond in the back yard.That's another day's project,hopefully soon.Sorry about the unsightly clothesline and the rusty wire mesh. I hang some of the laundry out when the weather is nice.Saves electricity,you know,and they smell so good when dried outdoors.As for the rusty wire mesh, I usually have morning glories or humming bird vines growing on it. Privacy,you know.We don't have neighbors that are that close, but occasionally the one neighbor next door,can be seen really close to our property line working in his woods or on his fence.The property line is rather close on that side.About 100 feet from our basement door.I will be planting some tall ornamental bushes there this next week.

The lumber that I use in most of my wood crafts, probably 99 % of the cases, is wood left over from a bigger building project or else old lumber,scavenged from Pop's fire wood pile.Our neighbor had a roof blown off his shed,so he hired our Amish friends to rebuild the shed.He brought us the old barn lumber to use as fire wood. I know! Men have no concept of how precious, aged wood is to us crafters.That's why I must sneak out what I can, before it is cut up into kindling.Some of my projects are made from the already cut kindling itself,before Pop had a chance to stick it in the woodstove.Oh well,a woman's gotta do,what a woman's gotta do.
I don't really measure my wood exactly. I usually eyeball it, and try to make the corners match up as close as possible. I think that gives the project a bit of a quaint look,which is a good thing.I looked that up to be sure that word fits my thoughts. It means having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm.That works for me.I usually paint the project, and that covers a lot of flaws,making them less noticeable. What is it they say?
A good carpenter can always hide his mistakes. I do love those quotes.

I had to make a quick trip to my doctor this morning,for another minor problem, and she scolded me for doing too much,so soon after my little medical trip on the 22nd,so I had to move around a little slower today and not do so much lifting.I do hate being sick.That request is really tough for someone who is use to doing any and everything she needs done,at the time she needs it done.The grass is getting really high,but then it's still raining. On a normal day, I would mow in the rain,before I would let it get that out of control,but the Amish don't mow, and they are still breathing. Hopefully, it won't kill me, for letting it grow a while longer.

Today has come to an end. I should get to planning what I will build for tomorrow, if I were a planner,but I'm not. I'm a Spur of the moment kinda gal. You'll have to drop by tomorrow evening and see for yourself.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two Heads Are Better Than One......

Especially when one is a cabbage head.............No, just kidding!

(It's raining again, so I'll just post another entry on my blog.)

My older sister,Mary, and I, put our two heads together occasionally,to discuss what we're both up to.Sometimes we might hash out a problem or two,one of us might be having. Sometimes we just compare notes as to how to do one thing or another.Sometimes we may discuss recipes,but this particular day, we were discussing a "What if" scenario.

What if, for some reason,you were told you had to do away with everything you use in your spare time,but you were allowed to choose just one craft to occupy yourself for the rest of your life. Which one would you choose?

I chose gardening.I guess we should have said one for the summer and one for the winter.After I got to thinking about it, it came to my mind that gardening was a seasonal thing, and I would get pretty restless trying to get through the winter months. I know you can do some gardening chores indoors, for awhile,but not near enough to satisfy me,if I had no other craft to fall back on.She suggested I keep my wood working tools. Then I got to thinking. Yes, I would definitely be lost without my tools. It would be a draw as to which craft I truly do enjoy more.Once she got me to thinking about that, I decided I would try to make something from wood every day of the year. That would be a hard challenge to follow through on,but I decided to give it a try for awhile,at least. I have succeeded for 3 days now,making something each day. I know it will be next to impossible,but I want to give it a try.I may consider taking a break from woodwork on Sundays.I'll use that day to  cook something special or make something with fabric. I need to move a lot of fabric.
my planter box from scrap wood and roofing
(1)   Monday 4/25/11, I decided to make a planter box from scrap wood and roofing.The 2 X 10 pieces were pieces of scrap lumber I scavenged from the house building, and used them to support my shelving in the middle, where I stored my canned goods for 3 years.When I built my new canning jar pantry,I no longer needed the shelving,so I found other uses for all the materials in other places.The bi fold doors which were salvaged from the burned house, were used as my shelves. They are now reworked and are full doors on my new canning jar pantry.As for the support pieces, I will be making more planter boxes.The planter box holds a tomato plant for now and a few onion bulbs.Mary says her almanac list the two as companion plants. I would rather have a bright red geranium in that pretty white planter eventually,but the veggies will do for now. Hopefully,I will get a geranium soon,but for now while gas is so high,I'm not going shopping.

(2) Tuesday,4/26/11,was my second day of the challenge. I made a simple birdhouse.I noticed a few birds,acting a bit strange. I'm not sure if they were mating or fighting. It all looks the same some times. Nevertheless, I saw them,what appeared to be,fighting over a tiny bird house that I had hung up a few years ago,just for decoration,but that's another story.It was entirely too small to raise a family of birds comfortably.That is when I decided to build another. Both the hard shell beetle bugs and the birds have already landed her on our property in droves.It appears that it might be a really good year for both the wanted and unwanted this year. My new bird house is a little rough, but I don't think the birds will mind. I have lots of old barn lumber at my disposal,and I'd rather dispose of it my way, rather than Pop's way(we burn wood for our supplemental heat,you know).

(3)Wednesday,4/27/11,my fourth day of the challenge.I wanted another shelf on my porch to hold my
some-to-be planter full of geraniums. I had planter brackets for flower boxes on the railings, but the
sun gets so hot,and dries the soil out so quickly,I've scratched that idea.I'll take my shelf brackets and my planter boxes down and use them elsewhere.Possibly for more hens and chickens.They do so well in the heat of the summer.Nevertheless, the shelf which is holding the planter in the top picture,was my project for today. I have another corner in which to attach another shelf tomorrow.Hopefully, if the geranium idea works out, I'll have a pot of red geraniums in all four corners of my white railed porch.I can see it in my mind.Oh yes.You guessed it! I have another of my old stand by sayings for that. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” by W. Clement Stone. I do love that quote. I think I love W. Clement Stone as much. He has lots of great quotes.

Now I'm off to find another project to get into while Pop sleeps in front of the TV.He's had a rough day today,eating breakfast out with the daughter and son-in-law and a cousin and his wife,then struggling through the Flea Market in all that rain.Then entertaining 3 coffee drinkers for 3 hours this evening.I'm wore out just thinking about all that. I am so glad I have my quiet, peaceful time at home to do my crafts.I do love to socialize,but that is a bit too much socializing for me.Being a home body, ain't all bad.


Wind,Rain,Tornadoes,Lots of Damage in Our Area.

I walked around the yard this morning in
my galoshes trying to find
some pretty flowers that were not beat
 to death by the heavy rains
we have been bombarded with here lately.
I did find a few, although
they are not looking their best. They are
bright and cheery,and that's
what I was looking for.Something bright
 and colorful to boost our
spirits around here after all the dreadful
storms had subsided
(for a few minutes anyway).

 It hasn't been that long ago, since
we were sitting in front of our TV,
watching the devastation from all 
over the world, wondering why we
 are sitting here with nothing bad
going on around us,while the rest of
the world is in chaos.Well, it seems
our time is here. We have been
having heavy rain,and I mean heavy,
and lots of unpredictable tornadoes
for the last week.Nothing like the
Carolinas, but tornadoes are bad anytime,
where ever they might be.

I have been scanning the Internet this morning,
viewing all of the homes and barns that were
destroyed or damaged, and there were several.
A lot of the damage we're hearing about,is
with folks that we know.Tragedies of any
kind are bad anytime,but it seems worse
when it happens to folks you know.
 Our local fairground was hit hard. Leveling
several of the huge buildings.One of the buildings
 there was a restaurant where I once worked
 while the fair was going on.
My son-in-law's Aunt's property was hit
hard,leveling several outbuildings there.I'm
sure we will hear many more
 stories of damage as the day progresses,
and they say there is more of
the same type of weather expected today.
This year's round of stormswill be
remembered for many years to
come,for this area.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night

That is the quote that came to my mind in regards to These Two Kids from having Their Easter Egg Hunt.

They WILL have their Egg Hunt.(And wasn't that a wonderful thing for their dad to take time to hide those eggs in the rain,while cooking up a fabulous meal for us all. He is a great Daddy.

Usually the kids stay home on Easter,even though Sunday has always been their day at Meemaw's and Poppy's.With them going to Easter Mass and then checking out the goodies that the Easter Bunny has brought,their Dad felt he needed a little quiet time to prepare dinner for the "Gang"

Their mother had to work,she's a nurse,you know, and people do get sick,even on Easter,so she wouldn't be home till around 7:30 or 8:00 PM.That left Dad to do dinner,alone.He's in his element though,so he was OK with that,but it would help if SOMEONE would take the two chocolate crazed kids for the day. You can guess who that someone was.

And look where Mr. Easter Bunny was during all of the rain and confusion.

Stretched out on Meemaw and Poppy's loveseat. Oh well,I guess he did have a busy night.
He deserves a little R & R.

Although........they say:
The United States Postal Service has no official creed or motto.
Often falsely cited as such, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" is an inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City,[1] derived from a quote from Herodotus' Histories (8.98), referring to the courier service of the ancient Persian Empire:     (Copied from

Saturday, April 23, 2011

(1)Lavender and (2)Following Teekaroo's Gardening Venture!

I have 2 topics for today. Lavender and Following Teekaroo's gardening venture.

(1) I found this picture at .It appears to be the kind I have growing in my flower bed. French Lavender.I have only the one plant and it appears to be older from the appearance of the stem. I am interested in learning more about lavender since I have been using lavender products from my friend, Terry, of uraniasinspirations . I have always known that I liked the fragrance, but never used it in soap until lately. I would love to multiply my lavender plant, if only I knew how. Lots of plants can be propagated from cuttings. Some need new wood,some need more mature wood. Some must be started from seeds. I plan to experiment with my one plant and do a bit more research on the subject. I see it pictured in catalogs,in long rows or in huge beds. Either way,I'll bet the fragrance is Divine when it is in full bloom. The truth of the matter is that I love to experiment with propagating plants of any kind.Many people go out and pay enormous prices for plants that they could have for free,if they only knew.

(2) I have been following Teekaroo of Daydreams of a Cowgirl  in hopes of helping her out with her little gardening project. I think she grew up on a farm, but now must live for a spell on a rented property where she does not have free rein for a typical garden.She has permission from her landlady to put out some 4 X 4 foot garden boxes,Square Foot Gardening style. I am anxious to see what she is able to grow in her small plots. It can be done.Not to the extent,one could produce in a typical garden,but enough to supplement her family's meals during the growing season,and possibly a few extra pints of tomatoes or squash for preserving.Squash is a prolific producer,if the vine borer does not wipe out her plants.It is best to plant squash seeds a week or so apart, to give the vine borer time to get through it's life cycle and beat him at his own game,but most folks don't worry so much about doing that. They just spray for the pest. I hope to find her an eco friendly spray in time for her to use on the pesty vine borer.There are eco friendly or home made sprays that would be great for her entire garden plot.I'll be doing some research on that,too.

Others who have dabbled in gardening for years may have some pointers for Teekaroo,also. I follow several blogs of gardeners,and I'm hoping some of them will be following her,too,and will offer her a few helpful tips as she goes along. She has gone to her Mother's farm for some composted soil to fill her beds. It looks as though she does has some knowledge of gardening and is headed in the right direction.Keep us posted,Teekaroo.

Teekaroo,you might like to check out this site.   You may find some tips there,too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

More waiting?

I might as well pull out my crocheting for a day or two.Looks like I will be on light duty for a few days,but
I went through my DNC in a snap. When I awoke from the procedure,the clock said 9 o'clock. I think the DNC took about 40 minutes.They found  some polyps. Who knew polyps would be in there? Not real sure, but it sounds like one of them was the size of a walnut.The mass on my ovary is a cyst,but he wants to watch if for awhile.No prior information to compare it with.We'll have it checked out in again about 3 months.The lab results on today's procedure will be back in a few days,so I'm waiting again. Hopefully, I'll be back on track in a day or two.I'll take it slow with no heavy lifting for a few days. In a way,that's music to my ears. There have been very few days in my life that I've heard those words. I'm ready for a little rest and another bottle of Ensure,but even that I'll take a little slower. Too much gave me diarrhea, when my goal was to be stronger for today's procedure.Oh well, live and learn.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait!

It's a chilly 60 degrees outside today. Too cool for me to be out doing much. My thermometer stays out of whack most days anyway, without the help of Mother Nature. Either I'm too hot or too cold.

I bought a few plants yesterday just to play with until it gets warmer. I don't like covering and uncovering them,waiting for the weather to level out. I don't think you gain a lot anyway, by putting them out so early, but I am so anxious to get something  growing.I picked up some chives, basil, leeks, garlic,cabbages, a bell pepper,a Sweet 100 cherry tomato plant, and a Big Boy tomato plant.
I tried chives last year, and liked them, so I'll try them again.Seeds from my last year's basil plant may come up again this year on their own, but I got a new one,just in case.It really doesn't pay to mess with the cabbage,no more than we use, but I do like to see it growing.The leeks I picked up out of curiosity. I have never tried growing them before.I've had garlic, but I think it got misplaced(I forgot where I transplanted it) , so I got another small pot.Just a few things to play with in my soon to be Potting/Critter/Shed. Pop has decided we need to put the critters in there, too.You know the ones. The 5 chicks,the 22 quail,and the 1 rabbit. I have yet to construct a roof over my Shed, but my older sister,Mary, of Nails in My Pocket has offered to help me on that project, after my little trip to the doctor tomorrow.

I picked up a few bags of special dirt to get the plants going good.Composted Cow Manure,Miracle Grow Potting Soil,and a couple of bags of regular potting soil.It's a bit wet to get my own dirt from the chicken pen.

I don't have energy for much today.  Possibly my thyroid medication needs adjusting. I had the blood test for that yesterday. Pop thinks it would help for me to loose weight. Gee! That really boosted my spirits.
Losing a little weight would solve a few of my(our) problems, I'm sure, but did he have to say it like that,but then I don't suppose there are very many tactful ways to say "You need to go on a diet."It's a vicious cycle for me. I think I need to eat for more energy,but then I gain and end up with less energy.  It's probably that I'm eating the wrong things for energy,but rabbit food doesn't seem to sustain me.When you have work to do,you need real food.I can't seem to win for loosing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why Not To Take Grandkids Along When Shopping!

5 chicks and 22 quail
We bought 22 quail at the auction Friday night. We already had the chicks from the Flea Market on Wednesday,a week ago.We had originally bought 12 chicks, but my sister bought 6 from us since we didn't need that many to start with. Nevertheless, we put the quail in with the chicks, and woke up the next morning to find one chick dead. We called Tammy at the feed store,and told her we thought we saw blood in their droppings. She thought it might be Coccidiosos,caused from a parasite in the gut of the chick,and they make a feed strictly for that.We didn't get an opportunity to go that evening, so we loaded the 2 grandkids up,since it was our day to keep them, and headed for TSC. M I S T A K E ! We had a roll of electric wire that we needed to return,from our goat raising days,which was $16.99.We had planned to return that and get a $4.99 bag of medicated feed. It didn't turn out exactly that way. We left the store with........

A $10.00 rabbit

Poultry netting $14.99

Water bottle for rabbit $2.99

Rabbit food $4.99
 All of that plus the medicated chick feed at $4.99, a toy for John at $5.49,Leah claimed the rabbit, A pretty giant size bird thermometer for myself at $6.99.I know the thermometer was my fault.It was so pretty and we had been wanting to get a BIG thermometer that we could see from across the yard on the garage wall. The one on the house porch doesn't seem to run true. We think  it's picking up on some heat from the house.
 somehow.To top this trip off, we came out the door of TSC and there was a friend of Pop's with her girls ball team,selling hot dogs and drinks to raise money for the team.There went another $8.00,but it was for a good cause.
Thank goodness for that $16.99 roll of wire we were returning or our total would have been $60.45.
I think the next time we go shopping, it will not be on a day when we are scheduled to have the grand children over.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A New Venture?

Bobwhite quail

Last night was Auction night,and we came home with 22 baby Quail .Yes,quail. You can find just about anything at this auction. They are now considering having a goat and poultry night. Depending on the response from the public. It seems there is a lot of interest in the raising of small animals of these types on the smaller farms and limited acreage of the local folks. Everyone is trying to find other ways of making some pocket change on the side.Rabbits, chickens and goats are big business at the flea markets nowadays. Full grown turkeys at the Amish Auction lately, are said to have brought between $50 to $100 per bird. Unbelievable? I thought so,too.Well, I know nothing about raising quail, but I thought it would be a good project for the Grandchildren.I like to expose them to as many things as possible out here in the country on our little farm. I hate to see city kids grow up with no knowledge of what goes on in the rest of the world. I think farm life is a great way for them to get exposure to lots of interesting things that may help them down the road one day.Growing up the way my siblings and I did, is the way I'd like for my grandchildren to grow up. We were able to identify different plants from the time we were big enough to know anything.One of my step daughters was grown and did not know the difference between a tobacco and a tomato plant.That seems sad to me, but that's why they say "different stokes for different folks". Not all people are interested in the same things. I don't know that much about mechanics, but now gardening, and plants,I know.

Since we already had the set up for the baby chicks, I figured it would be just fine to put them in together. Remember!I'm learning as I go.We put them in together and it seems to be working out good, so far.I went out this morning and fed and watered them, and they all appeared to be happy and content with that arrangement.I bought a wooden hand made trunk,a few weeks ago at the same auction, which I had been using to store extra blankets and quilts, but today I will be converting it into a nice cage for the birds.The Potting shed that I was building day before yesterday,now is going to be their new home for awhile,but that's fine with me. It might be nice to have a little company while I'm potting up my plants.I wonder if they like Bluegrass music?

baby quail

*The above pictures were taken from the bing website.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Teekaroo,this is to you!.

Teekaroo,you have been talking about growing a few vegetables in the limited space you have available.You say you have a 4X4 spot you will be using.If you have any sun at all, you might consider an indeterminate type tomato,one that climbs,in a sense,and has no stopping point like most hybrid tomatoes nowadays. Anything that climbs would be good to grow on the north side of your plot opposite the days sunlight.That way,it would not block the sun from the shorter plants throughout the day.You could grow a couple of tomatoes or a cucumber vine on a string or a fence or some type of support, on the north side of the shorter plants.It wouldn't be the worst thing to do, if you just let them vine over the edges of your 4X4 plot.One cucumber vine would produce plenty of cukes for salads all summer.You might grow green onions along the front edge of the 4 X 4 plot. They wouldn't block too much sun for the plants behind them, and you will be pulling them to eat shortly anyway.You could grow one hill of yellow squash and one of zucchini directly behind the onions. They will grow a little taller than the onions.Radishes and salad lettuce could grow along the east and west edges of your 4X4 plot.Directly in front of the tomatoes and cukes, you might grow okra or something that was taller than the squash, but shorter than the tomatoes and cukes.You get the picture. Taller to the back or north side,then choose plants a little shorter to go in front of each row.Leave plenty of space for the plants to fill out. As some mature, you could rotate other plants in as time allows. Gardening is not an exact science, so you'll just need to learn what works for you,as you go.With a little time and patience, you will figure out, what,where, and how many vegetables you can grow in your small space.

These are just some ideas.There may be other bloggers with ideas that work as well. Good Luck with your gardening venture.Keep us posted with lots of pictures as to how it turns out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Plans Do Change Sometimes

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.*
You do remember me saying that I had planned to fill my
tire planters today. Well,plans do change. Mine do anyway.
Usually midstream.As I worked around the yard, I came to
the old dog pen where Pop had always kept his beagle
hounds over the last 32 years(an adaptation of the original
pen anyway.)It is now sitting idle,growing up in weeds.
It's not really an eye sore to others as much as it is to
me,since it is behind one of his many garages.It's right
outside his pouting room, so there could be access to
heat or water as I need it, when I have finished converting
it into My Greenhouse.Pop says it's to late to start a
 greenhouse now,so I'll call it my Potting Shed. One can
use a Potting shed anytime. I put down a few stepping stone
rocks at the entrance door.Then I used the big tractor again to
 dump some gravel into the pen for the floor.(and did I hear
 about that,using up HIS gravel)I figure sand or gravel would
 make an excellent floor, and we have the gravel on hand,just
 sitting there in the driveway, in a pile, so that's what I used.
He did not approve,but he wasn't home when I did it, and I figured,
surely, he wouldn't make me scoop it back out.I've dug out
 the weeds and dumped two or three wheel barrow loads
to the chickens. Wow!They are having a good day today.
Worms and sprouts galore.These are not the greatest pictures of the
Potting shed,but it's a start.I hope to cutesy it up a little as I go.He already had a row to one side of the pen for his special tomatoes,but I reworked it a bit, too.I like things a little neater than he does.His philosophy is...As long as it works,what difference does it make,how it looks.I guess that's an OK philosophy, if you are working and have limited time,but we are both retired now,and I want it neater. You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear, but I still think I can improve
 the appearance of that old dog pen.I've got a lot more plans a churning
 in my head.I will find a way to make it work and look better,too..

*(No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. The saying is adapted from a line in “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns: “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.” )

No Time For Boredom Here!

Today,my plan is to fill my tire planters with my special chicken composted soil,and do a little more work with the edging around my flower beds. My older sister came by yesterday to pick up a few baby chicks, and she asked what I use on my soil that makes my flowers grow so good.I don't do a whole lot to the soil since everything you go to use is three prices, so I depend on my chickens to keep me in rich compost. I pitch all the grass clippings and leaves from the yard into their pen and they scratch it around until it is nice black crumbly compost,then I take my leave rake in and reclaim it for my yard projects.Pop's cousin and nephew both have huge chipper/mulchers,so I have access to plenty of wood chips at times. I'm getting low,but the weather is nice,and the fellows will be back to work soon,so I'm sure I'll get more shortly.The older chips have decayed quite a bit, so I'll transfer them to the chicken's pen to keep them occupied.We have been letting them roam a bit, but when gardens go in, they'll not be allowed out for awhile. The decomposed chips keep them busy scratching,looking for worms and bugs(and an occasional snake-I saw one yesterday-a tiny grey one with the yellow ring around it's neck-that kind are harmless-don't tell Pop).

The ticks are unreal already at my house.It was Pop's day to visit the Flea Market yesterday,and sometime during the day, he spoke to a man who is trying a new method for keeping ticks at bay. I am not real familiar with the product, and I'm sure it's not recommended for ticks on people, but he told Pop he was having good results with the ear tags used on cattle for flies.He said he attached one to each ankle with a string, and he had no ticks when he came in from mushroom hunting.It can't be any worse for humans than all the junk we've tried up to this point.I'm willing to give it a try soon.I've tried everything else. If word gets
out though, the price per tag will go through the roof,so I'd better hurry 
out and pick up a few.

I keep hoping,my friend Terry, will hit on some type of herbal mixture
to incorporate in one of her home made soaps,that will deter ticks.It's worth a try, and if it works,it will be a big seller.(Hint,hint!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Old Tires Repurposed

It is hard to believe, but since the EPA has gotten so strict on tire disposal, I have to ask folks for tires now. I cut the side walls off and just keep the outer edge for my gardening projects. They are much lighter when you need to move them from place to place.If you hit the right spot when cutting the tire, it's a snap to cut.

I am so glad I learned this trick several years ago.They are the handiest garden containers I use anymore. The roots of the plants go right into the ground and do so much better than in other types of planters.Now I only need to make a raised spot for them some day to help alleviate my back problems.

I have tried for years to get a decent strawberry set up to no avail,so I am considering trying them in my tire planters sometime. It requires more time to make and keep it right than I care to put into the project,since I can buy my strawberries next door from the Amish folks and be done with it. I usually try to preserve at least three gallons a year.Some as jams and some as whole berries. Leah Catherine can eat a pint in one sitting.Tomatoes and strawberries are her favorites. Pop's favorite is tomatoes. It's hard to can enough whole tomatoes and juice for him alone.We don't eat near as many green beans as we once did, so that helps. I can spend more time on the tomatoes.I love to grow a few different types of vegetables in my garden each year, but Pop eats so few vegetables,I need to stop worrying with all the things he doesn't eat.One        or two plants of each vegetable I do grow,will be sufficient,to satisfy my desire just to see                             
 them growing.Watching them grow and nurturing the plants is so satisfying to me. I love to work with the soil,trying anything possible to improve the growth and well being of my plants.                                                         
Since our five acres is nothing more than red clay and rock,  I have made it my life's mission to improve my yard and garden spots. My chickens are a great help in producing all the rich composting materials I need.
I have decided to put my tire planters closer to the house this year, so I can keep them watered and miracle grow applied when necessary.Do you think they're close enough.Now I can stand on the porch and water them over the railing.I still have room for a few summer flowers between the tires,too.This bed is on the back of the house so it shouldn't look so unsightly from the road. No one will ever know my little garden is there. Pop has a bigger garden just a short distance from the porch where we can sit each morning and watch it grow.Our way of doing things must change a bit as we get older and less able to do things the way we've always done.
I have spent a big portion of my day today cleaning the grass from along the edges of my flower beds.I dug up what little grass that had grown, and pitched it in to the chickens for them to scratch apart and eat the worms and fresh grass,and then they can incorporate the soil back into the compost they produce so well.After I cleared the six inch strip around the beds, I filled the strip with dense grade gravel. Then when grass does try to grow too close to the beds,it will pull much easier. When I mow, the wheel of the mower runs on the dense grade. It makes for a quicker and a much neater mowing job.No need to trim with the weed eater.A job I never liked.
Today has been one busy, but prosperous day. I used Pop's big red tractor to move some of my mulch up closer to the house,so that saved my back a bit. Normally I would have wheel barrowed it up to the yard and my back would have been shot for several days,but this way I'm still good for a few more good days of work in the yard before the really hot days of summer are here to stay.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Old Granite Pots and Pans Like Grandma Used

I have picked up all kinds of old granite pots and pans at the local auction for 25 and 50 cents a piece.You know the kind your Grandmother used which was always sitting there on a wash stand by the back door,along with the granite drinking water bucket and the granite dipper.Oh yes, and the granite soap dish with the bar of Cashmere Bouquet soap,that sent a fragrance all through the house when the breeze blew in through an open window,through the freshly washed white lace curtains. Yes, those are the kinds of old granite ware I'm speaking of. Most folks only want them if they are perfect,but it's rare to find a perfect piece at this particular auction where we go.
I'd say they have moved their good stuff to places where they

can get the most money.Peddlers Malls are usually good places to move those kinds of things. People from all over come to scavenge for real deals, in hopes of making a few more bucks, on down the road.Who can blame them. But then there are the folks who know what things are worth, and are tickled to make a real find to add to their collection. Then there are other folks don't have a clue as to what things are worth, but then again,they may not care. They may just want to move some of their

older stuff to make room for some newer stuff. But back to the old pots and pans. I keep "hens and chickens", and they sell good at yard sales and flea markets, and sometimes they sell better if they are in some type of quaint container.This is where I use a lot of the granite pots and pans like Grandma used. I love working with plants, so I am constantly           thinking of what I can put a plant in to help it sell better. I collect lots of   pretty cups. Many times,I'll buy a cup for 25 or 50 cents, only to get   it home and find a chip or a crack that I had not originally seen. Oh well, no matter. It will do fine for a starter plant of some kind.Good starter plants are usually                                                            
anything that will live in a small container,sometimes even in water alone,like philodendrons.Some times you can start herbs in small cute containers, then when the buyer gets it home they can transfer it to whatever they choose.I like to give folks starts of my Christmas cactus on occasion, and a pretty container is always nice.The things you can grow in small containers is endless.Take this old four wheeler tire for instance, not really that small,but it works great for a planter. I declare,I really must get started on myself a greenhouse. I've got my mind a reeling now on the endless projects I want to work on.Gardening and working with dirt has always been my real passion,but the weather makes it so unbearable most of the time, I don't get much of an opportunity to enjoy it.Either it is too hot or too cold,but now if I had a green house, I think I might be able to keep it at a comfortable temperature year round.I need to do a little more research on that,too,while I'm at it.These are just a few of the kinds of projects you might find me working with at any given moment of any given day.No rhyme nor reason to my daily schedule. It's just whatever I choose to get into that day.Ain't life grand!
And,oh yes,Leo Reams,if you're leading just a so-so life,you ain't doing something right.

Repurposing Curse

Terry's post, on the repurposed barbeque grill, prompted me to tell my story about my repurposing woes.
Don't you just love being able to come up with a cute idea, that works.Many people don't have the vision or the imagination or the creativity to see beyond  the purpose an item was intended for. Pop gets so upset with me for wanting to hold on to things because I can see another use evolving from anything that is no longer useful in its present form,but I can't help myself. I hate throwing away, anything that can be used in some other manner. I guess that's why they say "One man's trash,is another man's treasure".Sometimes, I feel it is a curse. I hate myself at times for not being able to let go of things that others consider junk,trash,or just plain useless,no longer,good for anything, items.I wonder many times,Are there others in this world who are burdened with this curse?It is an obsession with me. I gather and store things that others would have long ago tossed in the trash. I tell myself I can make something pretty or useful from each item.The only trouble is finding an outlet for the things I make. One can only use so many of anything. I give away things I have made,quite often, hoping they will love and cherish the item as I have, but most don't.I live on a country road,with very little traffic.The buying kinda traffic anyway.Most of our traffic is the locals,coming and going about their daily business.No real tourist kind of traffic that would be interested in a roadside novelty shop. Paying rent in town on a booth or a place to set up your wares, takes away all of your "would have been" profits.I visited a friend in a nice little community this past week, and I remember thinking how nice it would be to set up in her area for just a day.I could just see my wares sitting out in her yard and lots of stoppers by carousing through my collectibles and wonderfully repurposed items.I guess it would be worth a try to truck my wares to that area and setup for a day.That'll be another project to add to my "To Do List".

I am in the process of constructing myself an herb garden out of an old cast iron bath tub,which I had to fight Pop for,since the price of scrap cast iron has been way up this past week. It barely escaped being hauled off to the scrap yard.I can't believe he would scrap my tub. I have used that tub for 30 plus years to raise baby chicks, to water the livestock, to raise a bed of sweet potato slips, to grow flowers,the list goes on and on.  I guess he is one of those folks I spoke of not having the insight to see all it could be used for.I'm
posting a picture of it now, as I'm building it,and hopefully again after the growth of my plants has filled out some.It should look a lot better later,if all goes well with my plan.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Our Visit With Marcella

Four of us girls,from the North Hardin graduating class of '66,got together Friday evening, and paid a visit to another dear friend from High School who is dying with cancer. One of the girls had been keeping in touch with her more so than the rest of us, and had learned of her illness, and decided we needed to visit.It turned out to be a really nice visit for us all.

A few weeks earlier, I had learned that Vine Grove was trying to start a public library,and I had already done some calling to get the particulars on that matter, but since it is so far away from me, I put off taking any books in,but now this was a perfect chance for me to do so. I went in an hour early,just in case I had trouble finding the place,but no problem. It was located in one of the older buildings that had once housed some of our classrooms during my high school days,at the original North Hardin High School. A portion of the school building had been refurbished and is now Vine Grove City Hall.I dropped off my book donations, and proceeded to meet the other girls at the new North Hardin High School parking lot. All arrived on time, and we headed for Marcella's home which was about half a mile from the school.
We had a very enjoyable meeting. We got to meet several of her family members who were coming and going throughout our visit.Our visit went very well, and although I was not sure I would attend at first, I am so glad I did.

When my visit was ended, I called Pop to see where he was at that moment.We had already made plans before this little meeting came up, so he went on with the original plan which was to meet at our local restaurant where they would be having a Bluegrass group coming to entertain the locals outdoors.So that's where I ended up for the evening. We sat and visited with several of the locals while enjoying the music for a couple of hours more, then headed home.All in all, it was a very nice day.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"You can always find time to do what you really want to do."

I may be too sick at times, but too busy? It'll never happen.You know my husband ,Pop,the Philosopher.He has this saying,"You can always find time to do what you really want to do."He is right more times than I care
to admit(to him anyway).He learns from life, and he's usually right when he starts dishing out philosophy.

Nevertheless, I spent most of my day at Mom's.When she has something on her mind,all else must stop until it's done. She has had this appointment to have her picture made for the church directory for at least 4 to 6 weeks,so there's no rest for anyone until it is done. She calls just about every other day to be sure she will have a ride to the church the day the picture is to be made.Stacey,my baby sister wanted Mom to do something with her hair, so she took it upon herself to work on getting Mom to the beauty shop for a trial run.The older girls already knew what was going to happen with that. Mom has never liked the way any beautician has ever fixed her hair. She goes home and washes it out and redoes it herself.The older girls have learned to bite out tongues and let her be. We may not like the way her hair looks, but Mom likes to do it her way.Stacey must learn it the hard way. She took Mom to the shop,had her hair done,took her back home and watched her wash it out.Then Stacey decides Mom needs to get some hair curlers which she probably hasn't used for 30 plus years,if then.I bought the curlers for them to try their luck. Stacey curled Mom's hair the day before the picture taking was due,and it did look really nice when I arrived  this morning.Mom and I hung out most of the morning until Stacey arrived.She takes care of Mom's bills and checkbook balancing,for the most part,so she is there just about every day to check on things.Today was her day to call the electric company on the carpet and get them straightened out. And ,believe me,Stacey can do just that.And she did.Now it was time to think about getting ready for the Big Picture Day.Mom never wears make up, but she will wear it today.Stacey dabbed a little liquid make up over a few of Mom's blemishes,then a tiny bit of rouge, then the lipstick, a light touch of eyebrow pencil.a quick brush through her hair, and a light misting of hairspray.She's looking good.She's wearing a flashy red blouse with a purple long sleeved over shirt.She looks really nice.She'll take a nice red long sleeved over shirt for an alternate picture.Just in case.

Now doesn't she look nice?

The pictures the photographer took today will be ready in about three weeks and I'll post a few of them at that time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Last Ride For Old Silver

Old Silver headed for the scrap yard
She's been a good truck. Pop purchased her in 1984,used, for $2100. She was a tough truck that served every purpose needed on Pop's job and our farm useage,too.She's been parted out for five or six years now, so all that remains is a mere shell of her original self,but today even that will be sold for scrap metal.She'll probably end up in Iraq or Afghanistan in the form of weaponry of some kind.We'll miss you.

 Thanks for all your kind words from my blogging friends.You are all such a boost to my spirits whenever I need one.Hope all is well in your world today.

I'm feeling much better over the allergy head and chest cold. That is and was the pits. Any infection in the body makes you feel like crap.At least it does me.Pop and I are both a lot better,in that respect.The news from the doctor yesterday, was not as frightening yet,as it could have been.He told me I had two problems. One was a thickening of the vaginal wall, which requires a D&C to fix it.I've had one of those before, so I had him to go ahead and set that up and get it over with. The other possible problem was the mass on my left ovary. We have no prior test to gauge it by,so he wants to wait and check it again in two months. If there is no change at that time,we will check it again in four to six months. If still no change we may just leave it be.It could have possibly been there for quite a while with no problem and may continue to be no problem.We'll just keep a close check on it.Sounds good to me. I'm a firm believer in the philosophy,"If it ain't broke,don't fix it."

Today we took our paperwork to our Tax Lady.We do the short form, so she can get it done quickly.We do have an extra three days this year.Not sure of the reason, but President Obama had it extended for an additional three days.Nevertheless,we took our papers in, and of course, that gave us an excuse to eat Breakfast out. Any business that involves going to town,is cause to eat breakfast out. And we have the nerve to complain about those two precious little Grandchildren of ours being so spoiled. Go figure!

After breakfast and the trip to the tax place, we stopped at Pamida and bought ourselves a couple of pairs of pants(we can both wear both pairs,since we wear the same size)we bought a few garden supplies, and more of the Ensure type drink(a different brand,but it was marked way down low)and a gallon of milk(our main reason for stopping),then we took a leisurely ride through the country.It was really nice not to be headed anywhere specific,no set time to be there,no one to worry about back at home waiting on us.Just a nice relaxing drive.(He took me past my old stopping grounds so I could relive all those wonderful years and think of all I was missing by not still being there(and of course,that was a really good joke)The fields are so pretty and green.We both love this time of year, and Kentucky has the most beautiful rolling hills.Many of the fields are cleared and ready for new crops to be planted,so the hills of green, seem to roll on forever. I only wish I had taken my camera today. Maybe I can persuade him to take me out again soon to get some pictures to show everyone. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful state, although we do tend to take it all for granted much of the time. We'll rush off to other states to see the Fall leaves turning all their magnificiant colors,when we have such beauty all around us here at home,if we would just take the time to see it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Page From Daily Stepping Stones by Helen Steiner Rice

Helen Steiner Rice is one of, if not my most favorite, author.I have loved and enjoyed her inspirational cards for many years,even before I knew she had so many other forms of inspirational readings in publication.In the last few years I have fell heir to several of her little books and each one seems to bring me peace and comfort through the reading of her words.I have collected so many of her little books, I am never sure of just when or how I came into possession of any one, but I keep them close at hand,for times when I need an additional little bit of comfort and inspiration.Today when I returned home from the meeting with my new OB/GYN doctor,and found so many of my blogger friends had left their special words and thoughts,I looked for a verse that would let them know what a comfort their words are to me.It's just like opening my mailbox, and pulling out a handful of beautiful cards,or answering the doorbell,only to find a lovely bouquet of flowers,sent to me by my dear friends, wishing me well. Folks who don't do computers, will never understand how great it is to open your mail each day.They have no concept of the connections we have built up with our own special followers from across the world. I know Pop and my Mother think we have an addiction to the computer somewhat like an addiction to a Soap Opera, but I only wish they could realize it is so much more.We,with our Blogger world friends are so blessed.Thank you all, for your thoughtful comments and wishes.

Seeing is Believing is not always so.

I saw my first sightings of the Purple Martins today. Not sure if it's their first day to return or not. I have been quite sick with this allergy induced,head,and chest cold.I haven't felt like birdwatching like we usually do, this time of the year.My neighbor/friend says his has been returning for a few days now, so it's possible,mine have been,too.Seeing them on the gourds today,does not necessisarily mean they are here to stay for the season though. We've had them to come and go for several days, building up our hopes of them staying,only to have them leave and not return for the entire season.We'll keep watching,but I was so in hopes of many more returning this year,than last.My little pond is still not ready, but there is water across the road in a neighbor's pasture field.I will update their progress as it unfolds during the season.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What Better Medicine....

It's hard to be blue,down,depressed, or even sick,when you step outside your door to mounds of lavender creeping phlox.I think I will move several more mounds of it, closer to the house where I can peek out and see it every spring when it blooms.  I wish it would stay in bloom forever,especially along side of the brilliant red, yellow, and purple tulips. It is a truly, a cheerful sight to behold.

Tomorrow is the day.The day I visit with my youngest stepdaughter's doctor that delivered our two grandchildren for her, about the tests I took a couple of weeks ago.She is a nurse, and she really likes this doctor, so she reccommended him to me.I have been waiting and thinking and worrying,but even that is better than knowing and waiting.Several of the girls in my family,nieces included, have had cysts, so I'm hoping that's all I have,if I have anything at all.Who knows? It may be nothing.But it's better to be safe, than sorry. I'll let him look over the tests I've already had taken, and he may want to take a few of his own.I've got good insurance, and I have lots of time,so what's the problem.

My older sister,Mary,of Nails in My Pocket, will be going with me. She's had enough medical problems for the entire family,but she's still going strong.Well,maybe not as strong as she once was,but go figure, at 64 years young.She tougher than a pine knot though, so hopefully she will be the strength I need to get me through this one day.

The grandchildren were both here today. Leah picked me a bouquet of tulips.She and John didn't pick at one another as much as they usually do. We are trying to break them from some of that,now that they are getting older,but I think it's a lost cause.We had some friends over this afternoon for coffee, and they have two grandchildren .One is in his first year of college, and his sister just got her driver's permit, and their Grandmother says they still love "picking" at each other.

Leah wanted me to finish my little rug I was working on. She wanted it for her bedroom. How could I turn down such a request.I finished it, and she took it home with her this afternoon.All in all, we had a wonderful,although a bit windy, day.