Tuesday, May 31, 2011

There's an exception to every rule.

You can do all sorts of research and talk to folks from everywhere,regarding your topic of interest, and you will hear everything under the sun. Much of what you hear has been researched to death, so I guess they feel they know their subject inside and out, but...there is always an exception to every rule. We sit on the porch most mornings,when the weather is permissible,and drink our first cup of coffee, so we get to see a lot of the daily goings on of the different kinds of wildlife.One of the subjects we watch on a regular basis is the Purple Martins.They are only here for  a short period through the summer and we get so anxious waiting for their arrival.They are a temperamental bunch though. We thought they would never stay and build and raise their young here on our property.We put up housing in an area we had been told was the most likely spot to entice them in. A water source near by,an open area with no trees.We would hear all sorts of accommodations they would be looking for when making their decision to stay or not.Nothing!Years went by, then one year,about three years ago, they came and went over a period of a week or two, then Nothing more. The following year we did get a couple or two to stay and build and raise their babies, then they were gone.This year they did come back, and there were ten.I assume they are four older couples which are much darker, and a younger pair,that are smaller and have a grey breast.Well, the older pairs are actively doing their thing. Rearranging their nest,laying their eggs,feeding the mates while they set on the eggs.Their usual duties.While the younger pair are doing a totally different thing. The young pair came very early. Much earlier than the older birds.There would be the worst rippet going on out in the yard you've ever heard. I would run out to see if the cats were after the birds or possibly a snake,but no.The two young Martins were literally driving the other bird from their already in progress nest building.I have several birdhouses around the property.Several were in fairly close proximity to the main cluster of gourds which the Martins use.I thought perhaps, they just didn't like the other birds being that close,so I proceeded to take down the already established bird houses and move them further away from the gourds.Several times after I moved the various houses, the young Martins would still try to run the other birds away from their houses.Then one day,the young pair took up with a bluebird box I had moved to a tree in the driveway.You can see it in the picture. It on the tree nearest the daughter's car.We were amazed that they would even consider a bluebird box.After all,it was blue, and only 5 feet from the ground. No way would they ever use that.Wrong!They began coming and going to that bluebird box quite often and on a regular basis.I would check it each day,but no eggs.They would perch on the empty flag pole closer to the porch where we sat to watch, but there was not enough room for both to perch together.



I took the pole down and placed an extra piece up on top so they could both perch, and low and behold,they began doing their sparking right then and there. I continued looking in the box each day and suddenly there was 2 eggs. I haven't checked lately, since she is setting on them pretty much full time,so I don't know if she layed more or not,but we have noticed she is on the nest every time we are out in the yard working. We see her peek out at us.We are so excited. Well,I am so excited.Pop would never let on, if he was excited. I only hope we can see the babies hatch and fly away before the cats or snakes or dogs get to them first.I would just die.We'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Good Food,Good Friends,Good Fun

We were invited to check out a cabin built by a friend, down on Roundstone Creek.The farm where the cabin is located is in Hart county,the next county south of us.A lot of Rural Hart County is nothing more than woods and big hollers with creeks running throughout.Once thought of as not being worth much,but any more it seems to be a haven for folks wanting to get out of the big towns like Louisville, and get back to nature. Most of the land in that area is so far off the main roads, there is a problem getting electricity to it.I guess to a true camper, that doesn't matter,but nowadays, folks are building their everyday homes back in those once deserted woods.Pop says he don't think it would be worth it to him to pay the price one would have to pay to get electricity to a cabin in that area, unless you were making it your full time home,but Lawrence is not. It's just a once in a while thing for him and his friends and family to use.I guess that's why they say,Different strokes for different folks and To each his own.Lawrence and his wife,we call her Cricket,have no children.They live the simplest life of anyone we know.The are strictly farmers, although Lawrence does hire out some,helping with the crops and chores for other farmers.I guess for the limited education they both have, and their way of life, it all works well for them. They don't require much to live their lifestyle, so if they choose to spend a little money on things they enjoy, such as the cabin,that's their prerogative.
There were several folks invited to the dinner today and each brought a dish or two. It was a little hot out today,in the 90's I think, but way down in that holler by the creek, it was really nice.A nice breeze was blowing, and there were no mosquitoes to be seen.Usually in a place like that, you get eat up by mosquitoes, but there were none there today. Lawrence says,so far,they have not been bothered by them.
The cabin was all built from lumber than was cut and sawed by Lawrence on his own property.Hart County is a little more lenient than our county. Planning and zoning would be on your back in a heart beat over that.
Lawrence seems to be a pretty good carpenter.The cabin is simple. Just one big long room.
In the center of the cabin, is the wood stove. Only used in the winter or cool mornings,of course.In one end of the cabin is the kitchen. The cabinets were saved from a demolition job he had worked on in the past, and  they have finished them.They were nice.In the opposite end of the one long room was two beds.I didn't get a good picture of that end.


Across the back, is a porch,overlooking the creek.That's Pop on the right in the tennies.He usually wears boots, so to me,he looks strange in the tennis shoes.
Several of us ended up out there on the porch, just relaxing and enjoying the view,after we had stuffed ourselves until we were miserable.

The little light strip in the mist of the dark shadow of the trees is the creek. It was down a bit today,but still running good.The water has been up to the far stump there in the picture,but no further. Even with all the rain we've had lately.Lawrence told of the fish in the creek. I think the Fish and Wildlife keep it stocked,but not being a sports enthusiast, it went over my head, as to the kind and the particulars about the fish.

Pop had been to the cabin once before,but not me. I thought we might drop off the face of the earth before we reached the cabin.I tried to take a picture to show how far down in the holler we had to go,but it is still hard to imagine by the picture. We took our 4 wheel drive truck, just in case some of the others were not able to get out of the holler.While we were eating, the cattle started walking up the hill,single file.I wish I had got a shot of them. It was so neat. For some reason, they preferred the pond at the top of the hill, instead of the creek.I did get a couple of pictures of them at the pond.
This pond was at the top of the hill, even though we still had a couple of miles to go, to get back on a main road.I doubt the water was any better in the pond,for the cattle,and it was much cooler in the holler, but the grass was much thicker and greener. That is possibly the reason they struggled up that long steep hill, in all the heat. I guess it was worth it after all,to them.All in all, we had a really nice day filled with good food, good friends, and good fun.The grandchildren chose not to come today. I'll bet they'll be sick when they hear what a good time we had.Leah especially. She is forever wanting to have a get together with lots of people and food,and we truly had both today.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Letter to the Family


Today was my day with Mom. I called ahead, so she was dressed and ready to go. We went by the feed store and picked up a few items for my baby chickens and quail. I got some information on a fellow who raised the quail I bought at the local auction. I hope to pick his brain about his experiences with quail. I think he raises them on a regular basis.I purchased a couple of quail water bottles and something to go in their water for better health.I got Turkey crumbles. That's is what they said he uses. I picked up 4 more tomato plants,German Johnson's,and 4 broccoli plants. I can't resist buying more plants.
Then I took Mom to get a new piece of linoleum today,for her kitchen ( 9 X 12). I put it down for her. It looks really good. It's an amber like color with a slight hint of green mingled throughout. She's started painting her cabinets a medium green. They are really streaked, but hopefully I can do a little touch up on them with a good brush.They should look fine. I need to put some molding around the baseboards and cabinets next, to secure the rug down good. The fellow at the store said it was a really good linoleum so it shouldn't need any glue. It seems fine without it,but I will use some of my woodwork tools,hopefully, to make her some type of moldings that will work. She hates to spend the money for such luxuries..

We discussed her getting an area rug now to go under her table, but she is so afraid of getting her toe hung under any kind of rug, she'd rather not,since it would need to be out a bit in her path,between the living room and the kitchen. She's probably right on that. She trips and falls a lot anyway.
I plan to make her a new wooden top for a couple of small cabinets she has behind the table.She uses anything she can find for cabinets, so the new top will hide the makeshift cabinets,plus give her a little more counter space.I plan to use a wide oak board we got from the Amish sawmill, and run it through the planer, and use my new router for a nice edge on it,then apply a good thick coat of polyurethane.She doesn't have much space in that garage apartment of hers,but that's the way she likes it. She utilizes every inch, which makes it a bit crowded, but she feels safe and secure, and that's all that matters.

I helped her to fill her two window boxes today.We got orange Rose moss. That was the only color they had where we shopped, but we both liked the color. I left 2 morning glories,reseeded from last year, in the one box under her window,The other box is on her deck railing. I put 2 rose moss and a new plant,Ipomoea,or something like that. It's just maroon leaves kinda like the ornamental sweet potato. I hope they fill out pretty for her. The orange moss and the blue morning glories should be pretty together,since they're opposite colors.I planted her a tomato and 4 cabbages. I think she feels better when she has something to attend to. She got herself some weed killer. It is worrying her to death that the neighbor won't trim his side of the fence. She said she'd fix it.She'll just spray poison on it.I hope those new owners don't call the law on her.
She has a wren, building in the little birdhouse I put up for her.I think she enjoys watching it,although she'd rather die than admit it.I tried putting up bird feeders for her,to watch the birds, for the last few years, but she complains about the cost of bird seed.
Pop met us in town around noon, to pick up Mom's rug, and a new recliner I had bought. We ate lunch with him at McDonald's, before doing our shopping.Then he went on and delivered the rug to Mom's house, and then on home with the new recliner.
Vicki,We tried to tape something for you while I was there. We talked and carried on for about an hour while we worked, only to find it was not rewound and NOTHING GOT RECORDED ON THE TAPE.
I told her maybe Rita will try to tape something with her when she comes to mow next week.
Mom use to do all of those kinds of things. Use the tape player, recorder,VCR.She loves her music.But she has lost all ability to use anything like that now,but then, I guess at 85, we may do the same.

We tried to take our usual nap, but decided to listen to Vicki's tape instead. We had a piece of Pecan pie together,but wee forgot the ice cream. I think we were both too tired from our full day.Then I headed home to get my chores done, but Pop and I were both too tired to go to the auction.We just pulled up a couple of chairs and watched the Purple Martins for a spell. Our two young Martins have built in the bluebird box and have laid 2 eggs. It amazes us to no end at this young pair, doing the things they do,off to themselves.Strange behavior for Martins anyway. Another full day comes to a close. Later!

I started this as an email, but since I have several family members who read my blog, I figured, What the Heck! I'll make it my post for today. I hope I've not bored the rest of my blogger friends too bad.Thanks to everyone who has been following us along throughout our day.Good Night!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Primroses

I know I've said I like something blooming at all times, but this is ridiculous.


They have taken over my flower bed at the walkway entrance to the house.
They have taken over the spot where I kept my last years compost pile.


They have invaded my driveway entrance flowerbed.





They are running rampant in my long flower bed which I built to hide the slab rock.
There is no escaping from the Missouri Primroses. 
 About 30 years ago, I was driving the school bus at the time, and on one of my trips to fill up with gas in the neighboring town,I saw these cute little flowers,growing by the roadside, on the right of way.I love flowers of all kinds, so I returned home after my work day, jumped in my car, and went back to find the pretty pink flowers.I managed to dig up a few,with my handy dandy spade which I carry with me at all times.Little did I know that they have the growing habit of Kudzu or Creeping Charlie or Bermuda grass. In other words,they are unstoppable. I have given flowers to hundreds of folks from everywhere and whether they liked it or not, they got the primroses,too. The seeds are in every speck of dirt in my yard, and when I give flowers away,they go along as an added bonus.Most folks enjoy them,but once in a while, one of the recipients will complain about the dreaded primroses invading their yard.Those folks are few and far between though,since most flower lover do not mind an additional blooming plant of any kind.Weed or otherwise.Oh,well.They will finish blooming shortly and go to seed again.I will mow them like grass, and pull them from my beds and toss them anywhere I think might need a little landscaping.I think wild flowers gowing along the roadsides are so pretty,but then the mowing fellows come along and mow them down anyway.I have tried to do a little research on the flowers and I beleive they are the Missouri primrose.I hope Missouri doesn't mind that I am spreading their state flower around Kentucky. I know LadyBird Johnson would have been proud of me.She was the wife of one of our former Presidents, and she is best known for traveling all across the United States planting wildflowers.Maybe one day,many years from now, I will be remembered by folks,while enjoying the beautiful primroses,no matter how invassive they might be. I'm doing my part to spread a little cheer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our Top 5 Cookout Recipes

This link was taken from Cooking.com


http://mail.aol.com/33708-111/aol-1/en-us/mail/DisplayMessage.aspx?ws_popup=true

These are five recipes used here in the US. Some of the food items used in other countries are very strange to me, and I was wondering if it might be the same for those in other countries, when looking over some of our recipes.It got me to thinking.Do folks in other countries use Cooking.com or allrecipes.com or do they have a site like these of their own?

Just Wondering!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Coming out of the Woodwork.


 
No,it's not termites,but that's another story.

It's all the new and tempting projects suggested that are coming out of the woodwork. Brendie has given me another idea for a project, as has Birddoc. Thanks,Birddoc and Brendie. I'll add your two ideas to my never ending list of things I'd like to do one day.

Birddoc suggested going into the miniature egg production business.I think I would enjoy dabbling in that,since my quail have started laying. Six eggs already, and I have 21 quail.There could be lots more eggs soon.I just sent off an order yesterday for more painting supplies. I dabble with paint a little, but mostly in the winter, when there is nothing else I can or want to do outside in the cold.Taken care of my pets is the limit to my outdoor duties during the winter season.Well, I do help get in the wood for the wood stove, but it's right out the basement door, on the carport.Pop sees to that. He says as long as he is able, we will burn wood.

Brenda put the bug in my ear about the recipes. I have bagoodles of stored away-slightly burned-cookbooks,in my shed. She has given me another idea. Giving out recipes. Maybe as postcards. That sounds like a good idea. I have so many books that went through the fire, that are just slightly burned.I guess they were packed in those bookcases so tight when we had the house fire,the fire and then the water from the fire department did not destroy them totally,but they were damaged too bad to use them in a usual manner.My family was helping me every spare minute they could and most days, they helped whether they had time to spare or not.They were always there to help.We laid the books out on the yard for days, drying them.They were soaked from the water that was used putting out the fire.We were having a drought at that time,so there was no danger of more water getting on them.A slight wind kept trying to blow them away,but no rain or dew.When they were totally dry,they were stored away in boxes. It has been four years June 8, and I still have not made any decisions as to what to do with the burned books.I feel they are like part of me. I can't bear to throw them away.There are so many possibilities,but I just haven't forced myself to think about doing anything with them yet.I keep thinking I'll figure out a way to use them in some way,some day. This could be the day.I'll add this idea to my endless list of Things I want to do someday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My first Quail Eggs

This was taken when I first got the quail, and they are not much bigger now, but they are already laying eggs.

With all that has been going on at my place, I have neglected to research the topic of Quails to be ready for the first egg laying. Well, yesterday, I got my first egg, and I was not ready. I hurried to the shop and threw together a nesting box, not knowing if they would use it or not. The quail have become so docile, You can reach in an pick them up and they don't even try to get away. That could be bad. Now they are too tame to let go in the wild. They will surely be eaten by wild critters of every kind if I do release them,and Heaven only knows what I will be doing with more quail,especially if they hatch more babies.I suppose I could sell quail eggs to the wildlife enthusiasists.Or I could sell the adults by the pair. I could try my luck at the flea market.I'm sure there are more suckers in this world than one.Hopefully,some one else would love to experience the raising of these cute little birds.They are, indeed,a fascinating bunch to watch and tend to, on a daily basis.They make wonderful pets for kids to tend to to learn responsibility.I could put them in the freezer, but i think I'll pass on that idea.Nevertheless, I made the first box,lined it with straw, and put it in the cage. I put the first egg in the box, and within an hour, another egg appeared. Several of the quail wanted to go inside the nesting box, and I was afraid two many might try to get into the box at once, and some would smother, so I proceeded to make 3 more boxes. They love the boxes. I put in a pan of sand for them to wallow. They loved that,too. I do enjoy messing with them,but who knows how this venture will end up. I guess I'll do like my Grandson says when I ask him,"What am I going to do with you."His reply is "Just love me."So I'll probably do the same with them,Just love them! I do hope to do more research though before they lay enough eggs to set. It's a fascinating project, but I do wish the rest of the world would slow down a bit, so I can get caught up.I'm getting older and not as able to keep up with this fast pace world.There's too much happening,way to fast,and so many things left, that I want to try(but within reason).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our Family

                       




My Family from WiddlyTinks.com



       The first group represents my youngest step daughter,Carmen, and her husband,David, and their two children,Leah and John. The second couple represents myself,Meemaw, and Pop.The third couple represents my older step daughter,Rhonda and her husband,Marc.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
I ran across this site where you can assemble your own family images and I am so glad I found it. It is amazing.I found it through this blog.  http://thewormspaige.blogspot.com/   but you know how you'll start out reading one blog then they'll recommend another, and then another. I get myself lost on occasion just blog hopping,but it's because I keep finding interesting stuff that pulls me away to go and see what something is all about.I think I was reading one blog about quotes, and the mother recommended checking out her daughter's blog with all of her teenage quotes,and you know how I love quotes,and that where I found the silhouette of a family that you can customize to fit your own family. Hop over and give it a try. It's loads of fun.It's from widdlytinks.com .

I am so happy to say I have learned something new today.That makes it a better day.

Imagination is not enough

I skimmed over the headlines this morning to see if there was anything more specific about the flooding down the Mississippi River.I ran across this link. It gave me a little better understanding of a few things,since it is impossible to even imagine what is happening with the massive amount of water that is making it way down the middle of the United States,destroying so many homes and crop lands as it goes. It's bad enough that homes,businesses,and precious farm land is being flooded,but it is expected to remain in many places for months.This link describes it so much better than I ever could, and even it cannot make one understand the entirety of it.all. Not only will it keep farmers from planting crops which feed ourselves and other nations,with the flooding enveloping so much of our croplands,it is hampering the movement of millions of tons of supplies already produced, and headed for their destination. It is beyond our imagination to envision the millions of tons of various grains that are shipped daily on the river,not to mention ,steel,lumber, and other precious commodities that keep this country and others running smoothly on a day to day basis.This is just one link that tells a bit of the story. There are so many others which are covering  the story as well,and this one will give you merely a glimpse of how bad it really is.
Some of my Mother's family,who reside in South Louisiana, lived through the devastating flood of 1937,and they are now much older, and frightened out of their minds,as to how bad this one will be before it is all over.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/17/mississippi-river-floods-2011-reopen-part_n_863379.html

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Experimenting with Strawberries


I only wish I had thought to snap a picture of the beautiful strawberries we bought from our Amish friends today.They were the biggest berries I've seen in a while,but being big, isn't everything.As I mentioned in my last post, I had purchased a couple of pints from a friend who is a member of the North Carolina Strawberry Association. He grows two different varieties which he orders from them.They are Sweet Charlie and Chancelor.I printed out a page from their website,for him, since his computer is down, explaining that the NCSA has a new variety that should bear in or around the time of the two previous mentioned varieties.It is called Galletta.The fruit should be larger than Sweet Charlie. I hope they are as sweet.

In my little experiment today, I capped and washed each of the three types of berries. I didn't include my own berries in the experiment. I gathered about a gallon from my plants yesterday,however,I do not know the name of mine. I got my start from a neighbor who has passed on,Connie's FIL,and only remember him saying they were a mountain berry,so they could possibly be of the Tennessee Beauty variety.Nevertheless, I had three taste testers on hand today,,four counting myself,so I gave them each a sample of the three berries, no sugar added, then I fixed them samples of all three with equal amounts of sugar added to equal amounts of berries.My goal was to see which berry was the sweetest, before and and after the addition of the sugar,and I used a bare minimum of sugar.The Sweet Charlie won out as the sweetest berry by a landslide. That berry will require much less sugar when I make my preserves.That was my goal.I really don't plan on coming out ahead, though, if I have to purchase the berries, since the price of the Sweet Charlie was greater.They were $10 a gallon,as where the Chancelor.whereas the Amish charged only $7 per gallon.As much as I adore my Amish friends, I truly think the other two varieties had a better flavor.

I think I now have all the strawberries I'll need for this season.I purchased 2 quarts for my sampling,three gallon from the Amish, and so far, I have harvested one gallon of my own berries, and will most likely have a few more coming on.I freeze some berries whole, and the rest I make up into freezer jam. We love it. It tastes just like fresh strawberries regardless of what we use it on.

I've not did enough research to know whether or not I will be able to order the Sweet Charlie or the new variety, Galletta,this fall. I am not a member of the NCSA, as I'm sure you would need to be,in order to purchase your plants from them.There is a fee to join, but I'm not sure what other requirements there might be.I will need to do some additional research.I am learning a great deal, simply be reading the materials on their website,regarding the growing of strawberries,regardless of the variety I end up planting.I suppose I will be adding this new venture to my already lengthy list of interest on my profile. I am hoping  to get many helpful tips from  folks who have been growing strawberries for awhile.



The above picture was borrowed from 123RF photos.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Chilly Rainy Day


The weather has took a turn here lately,from the blazing hot 90's, to the chilly rainy 50's.I did work right on in it the drizzle,for a day or two,but it was a lot warmer. A perfect time for me to be rearranging lots of flowers. I seem to find places that need more flowers or some that need less, but regardless of which, the cooler, rainy days are a good time to transplant.I cleaned a few flowerbeds, and dug up a wheelbarrow full of orange day lilies.I had no plan for them,except maybe to pitch them along the roadside,but the older step daughter dropped by just in time and took them off my hands. I was glad she could use them. Today the constant drizzle is much too cold to be out there trying to do anything.

We went out for our usual Sunday breakfast, and  since the kids did not call to come over, we spent more time than normal,just visiting with the locals at the restaurant.Pop and I are both big talkers,and I had no need to rush home today,so that was no problem.We talked on.I got acquainted with a fellow in the community who raises and sells produce at the surrounding Farmers Markets. Now is the time for strawberries, so we had a lengthy discussion on that. I learned a great deal from him. He is a member of the North Carolina Strawberry Association. Who knew there was a Strawberry Association?He told me quite a bit about his methods of growing them, and the kinds he raises. I was amazed at all there is to know about the subject.He has several varieties he's growing this year. He will be bringing me a quart of two different types tomorrow.The ladies who buy from him say they are so sweet, they only require half the sugar when making the freezer jam.With sugar being so expensive, I am willing to give them a try.I don't like my jams and jellies quite as sweet nowadays anyway.

I was fascinated with the fact that he doesn't grow the berries the way I had always thought folks did. He orders 1,000 to 1,500 plants of his preference, and raises berries off them for one or two seasons, then rips them out and orders new plants for the following year.I had no idea folks raised them like that. He puts them in little ridges which he covers completely with plastic.Then he cuts holes in the rows every 14 inches apart to set out his plants.I talked with him for at least an hour, and would gladly stayed longer, but this time Pop was ready to go. I think the fact that I was talking to another fellow might have played a part in his hurry,although he would never own up to it.He's not the only one who can carry on a conversation for hours with the opposite sex.I just don't make a habit of it when we're out together.I'm no dummy.

I have several different types of strawberries,which I have acquired over the years, but I never put a whole lot of effort into mastering the raising of them. It always seemed like more work than raising tobacco, and I've had all of that I want. My back could not stand it,anyway, but I will try a little harder to do better with my few berries next year,but only a very few,just to see if I can.They say 25 plants will furnish a family of two for a season.(I guess that means if they are managed properly) We'll see.If all else fails, there's always the Amish a few miles away.

The above picture is a few of the plaques I've been working on today,for my little area behind Pop's pouting room. It was once a dog pen.Now it's my combination Potting Place,chick and quail nursery,rabbit pen, and soon to be composting worm factory.It's coming along nicely.but slowly.I've done some landscaping around it, and topped it with a temporary roof to shelter the pets from the sun and rain.They all seem vcry happy in their new home.

My rooster,Ellie Mae is back on track. He had a really scary spell there for awhile.We think he had a stroke,but he is much better now.He is crowing and going on with his manly duties once again. He had quit both for awhile there,he was so poorly.Now I have brought a bainty chick inside. I am trying to nurse it back to health. It got wet and contracted a cold. I have kept it under a light in the bathroom, and can only get it to drink a little occasionally,so I've fixed him an echinasea and powdered protein drink. Hopefully, that will give him enough strength to get over the cold.We lost one of the regular baby chicks one night.I had no chance to help it,but I am giving this one my best shot at trying to save it.I think these wet chilly days and nights are hurting them.Baby Chicks don't do well under those circumstances when raised with out a mother.We were hoping these 2  Mother hens would keep their chicks warm and safe,but it's not happening. for them all.
Oh well,ce qui sera, sera.What will be,will.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Creepy Creeping Charlie!



Thank you once again, Nancy,for my topic..

It all started with a cute little sprig about like the one pictured above, only it was full of the cutest and the teeniest little blue flowers,but.........



Don't let the cute little leaves and flower deceive you.I made the mistake of bringing home a sprig of this dreadful plant 30 years ago, and have been sorry every since.And you are right Nancy Nothing will kill it.Not even Round Up or a hot fire. If you have areas that need a ground cover,that you have no desire to use for anything else,go for it. It is worse than Kudzu when it comes to taking over the entire area.My youngest step daughter owns several rentals in town,but her first was a duplex in which her Mother now lives in one of the units.When Carmen first bought this unit, she was in college, and the rent from one half of the duplex paid the payment on the entire duplex, thus letting her live in one half,near the college,,rent free.With her working and going to college, we,Pop and I,pitched in and helped with the painting of the two units.We were working at that time, but we still managed to spend quite a bit of time helping out.While I was there, I noticed the cute little vine, which had taken over the yard at the duplex. That in itself,should have been a clue.Little did I know that it would later become a pain in my back side.I brought it home and planted it,thus beginning many long summers of fighting with it. And Nancy is so right. Round up didn't even slow it down. I scrapped the ground and built fires on it,to no avail. I am thankful that the bulldozers did not spread it to our yard, when building our new house after the house fire. To my knowledge, it has not spread to my yard and flower beds,but then it could be lurking somewhere,and I just haven't spotted it yet.

This was once my asparagus bed, and as you can see, Creepy Creeping Charlie has taken it over.

And this was once my herb garden.
I recommend that you think long and hard before bringing it into your yard, unless you have raised gardens where he cannot get to them. He is a relentless pest,but he has a cute little vine with tiny blue blooms,if you need thick luscious ground cover in an area where nothing else will grow. Be forwarned!

Skin Cancer Cont'd

My mother is fair skinned and blond.She is having a few skin cancers on her face worked with in the last few years. She is 85.Dad was dark,dark,dark. In a lot of his pictures,he appears African American.I have always heard that the dark skinned people do not have as much trouble with the skin cancers as the fair skinned people. Dad was a farmer and a bulldozer operator, and lived in the sun,but as far as we know he never had skin cancer,although cancer,of some kind, killed him. He had a huge tumor in his chest,which entwined around many vital body parts,heart,lungs,bronchial tubes,etc.,thus killing him.He would have been 84 in three months more.He died in September of 2001.


I have one sister who has had breast cancer about 10 years ago,plus she had a small cancer in the corner of one eye.She had the spot removed and had a skin graft. They removed 1/2 of one eyelid in the process,but replaced it with skin from behind her ear. As far as I know, to this day,she is cancer free. To my knowledge,no other siblings,and there are 9 of us,has had any kind of cancer,that we know of,but I'd be willing to wager,we all have the basal cell carcinomas.

I do have a brother in law who has had bladder cancer for several years.They are keeping it in check with regular treatment, so far.He is just now retirement age,but still working part time.

I think heredity plays a big part in whether or not you get many forms of cancer,but then we do have some control over whether or not we get skin cancers. There are so many kinds of cancer.I truly believe that the things we ingest,whether it be through the water we drink,the air we breathe,or the food we eat,plays a big part in the equation.There are so many chemicals and the like,being used in every aspect of our lives,they are bound to be doing some damage of some kinds to our cells.Not only showing up as cancer, but also in many other malfunctions of various body systems,too numerous to list.I believe many of us have dormant cancer cells within our bodies,and stress plays a big part in bringing it out many times.I have known too many folks who have very high stress jobs,who have contracted cancer.

These are only my opinions and points of view on the subject,but we all must agree that Cancer is a very ugly,scary, and illusive disease,and the treatments for it are equally so. It can raise it's head any where, any time, and it knows no bound when it comes to age. No one is totally exempt.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Today, Pop had a skin cancer removed from behind his right ear. A Basal Cell Carcinoma is a common and usually curable skin cancer that arises from epithelial cells and rarely metastasizes: often associated with overexposure to sunlight.  It left an ugly hole about the size of a dime,all the way down to the cartilage. The doctor thinks he got it all, but only time really will tell.Pop has a nephew who has had to return two or three times with a similar cancer on his ear.

We go outdoors every day without a thought of applying sun screen. I don't know how long sunscreen has been around, but to outdoors people like ourselves,who thinks of sunscreen anyway.Today is different. Everyone is lavishing the creams all over their entire bodies, but that's usually before sunning on the patio,or on the beach or at the pool or lake.Never do we think of using the stuff when we are going out to mow the grass or plant or hoe the garden.What farmer do you know that covers himself with sunscreen before going out to set tobacco or bale hay or bush hog,all day in the blazing hot sun? I don't know any.I guess it's a culture thing, but the older generations just never knew or thought about getting skin cancer.

Today while sitting in the waiting room with Pop, it was unreal the number of people,most of them older,going in and coming out with a big bandage on their nose or ears, and we were not there that long.I can't imagine how many folks pass through those doors on a daily basis with cancers on their bodies. I'm sure many of them are lucky to have the kind Pop had. It was a Basal Cell Carcinoma.That is the good kind if there is a good kind of cancer. It is the easiest kind to stop.It is  slow grower and mainly in the top layer  or two of the skin.There are other kinds that one might not be so lucky. While we were there, two of my second cousins came in to see the doctor.They had to learn the hard way. They were a big farming family,just like mine and many others, who did things the way I just described.Hard working folks,out in the sun,day after day, doing what had to be done to make a living for their families.That's the way it was done.A few years ago, they had a sister who developed a cancer.It began as what she thought was a mere mole,but turned out to be a melanoma cancer.
She signed up in an experimental program, and they worked with her for about two years, before she finally lost her life to the cancer.Now her siblings are having their checkups on a regular basis.

It seems we get so busy with life,we forget to keep check on the minor details.I know it is an inconvenience to stop everything and rub on a little sun screen,but I think it is a habit we all need to get into. I will be stocking up on a few bottles during my next trip to town.Wouldn't it be wonderful if they made a product that protects up from the sun and ticks at the same time. I had to stop working in my flower gardens just today to rub myself down with a spray that is suppose to help deter the ticks,but didn't give a thought to sunscreen.

This is not a very cheery subject, but one that was on my mind after Pop's little operation today.He and I  will most likely be visiting the dermatoligist on a more regular basis now,too.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Catch Up Time!





I've gotten a little behind with so much going on around here, I thought it was a good time to do a little catch up.This is my Mother's Day gift from Leah and John and their parents,Carmen and David.The new school pictures.


This is my gift from Aunt Rhonda and Uncle Marc.I'll take flowers any day, for any occasion, and they know it.I think the flower is called A Thousand Bells.It's a young plant,so hopefully if I treat it properly,it will eventually have 1,000 bells.Right now it's hanging in my Mimosa tree. Not sure where it will end up.It gets so hot, I think I'll try to give it partial shade,even if it must stay in the tree.It's right beside the entrance walkway,so that won't be so bad.



We took a little trip yesterday,around the Nolin Lake Area. They have been holding the water back so as not to damage so many homes down stream. It has caused the lake to rise way out of it's bank here and do quite a bit of damage to the surrounding properties,but I guess the Corp of Engineers or who ever is calling the shots,knows best.We took several pictures of the water. It has never been this high before,that we know of.Pop would not listen when I begged him not to go down to the exit where the water was being released under the dam. I was so frightened for him to go ,but he is a Rebel to the bone.If there are rules to be broken,he'll be the one to break them.

This is the wood project for today.Another Planter box.I made this one from aged oak barn lumber.It looks as good as any of my concrete pots, and not nearly as heavy. My back won't let me be moving those concrete ones around any longer.The picture is blurry,but I didn't realize it until I had it loaded on the computer, so I'll leave it for now.Hopefully,I will have a better shot when the flowers fill out more.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Just for You,Terry!


These are the soaps I have used from Terry's BlueMoon Soaps..
 Terry, I just had to tell you. I took a really good bath last night with a few small pieces of your soap. I don't really know which fragrances I used. I had a small dish with a collection of several tiny pieces.You know how the bars will end up a bit too small to use alone.So I grabbed up a few pieces and used them together on my sponge.I even used it to wash my hair.I had been reading a blog where one of the lady bloggers was trying to get away from the store bought shampoos and making her own.I got to wondering what your soap would do for my hair.So I tried it. It seemed to do OK,although it did feel a bit different when I was rinsing it out.It wasn't silky feeling like the shampoo usually leaves it, when rinsing. I guess it didn't strip all the natural oil out of the hair. That was the blogger lady's purpose for using her home made version of shampoo.But,for once, I towel dried my hair the best I could(I usually use a blow dryer),but I was a bit concerned about going to bed with a wet head.Seems like that brings on a cold for me. Nevertheless, I went on to bed,but kept running my fingers through my hair to hurry it up drying, and it felt like baby's hair. It was so soft and light. I was amazed.And the fragrance. I snuggled up in bed and I could smell the fragrance of the soap so plain.It was heavenly to fall asleep with the lovely fragrance of the soap filling the air. That got me to wondering if it might be possible to use a little of your soap in my laundry. I love a little fragrance in my linens.I had just bought a set of flannel bed linens at the auction for $6. I was so proud of them. I laundered them in my regular laundry detergent,but it didn't leave the wonderful fragrance like I'd hoped it would.It would have been nice to have hung them outdoors to dry,had I had my line poles set up,which I don't yet.Outdoor line dried linens smell great,too,but next to that,I think,I like the fragrance of your soap. I may give it a try. What do you think?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Embarrassed But Happy!


Is it possible to be Embarrassed But Happy at the same time?Are humans capable of feeling two emotions at once?

I am embarrassed at not fulfilling my goal with my challenge this week,but I'm not throwing in the towel just yet. I hope to catch up shortly,but for now I am so happy to get my last project completed to see how much tweaking I will need to do for the future.This is the little bench I bought at the auction for $2.50. I painted it red and added a piece of wood or two, and a wooden box under the seat to hold my flower dirt.I am so happy with it, but when I make others in the future, I will modify the pattern a wee bit. The legs are too narrow and long. It will topple over too easy.So I plan to make the side pieces wider and shorter thus giving me more room for a bigger box for holding the dirt. The smaller box on this one will most likely dry out very quickly. A bigger box where the flowers go, will hold more dirt and ,hopefully, hold moisture longer.
I made another trip to the greenhouse today, and got myself a flat of red geraniums since I gave my first flat to Mom.I really need to get her some dirt tomorrow and get her flowers settled in the long white flower boxes I gave her to put them in.She should have them painted by now.She loves to paint when the weather is fitting for her to work outside.



I potted up one of my Red Geraniums in my home made pots,along with a small Veronica or two on either side. It is hard to see just yet, but if they do well, it should be a nice red,white and blue combination by the 4th of July.Wouldn't that be wonderful.


In this pot,I planted a red verbana and a blue Veronica, along side a tomato.I may be sorry I did that.



I couldn't help myself. I just had to paint these two gourds. I took them down this week and was painting them,not knowing they were occupied,and an egg fell to the ground and broke. I was sick, but I proceeded with my painting,put them back up, and low and behold,two wrens returned to the nests and continued on with their nesting after investigating to see what had happened to their happy home. I hope they continue on with out too much concern about me disrupting them.Later in the season, this mesh wire will be covered with morning glories and hummingbird vines. The red gourds should be a nice addition to all the green vines.

Addiction


I wrote this post a while back and never got around to publishing it, so a statement or two may be old news,especially about the weather,but the rest is still very true and up to date.



I don't drink alcohol and I don't smoke cigarettes,the eating thing is another story,but I think I understand the constant nagging pull of an addiction on people.The addiction I  struggle with and speak of today is the desire to go outside. I have numerous tasks waiting for my time indoors, but I have no desire to do them. I want to go outside.It is a constant nagging desire that doesn't stop,when I am feeling good.I don't care if I'm mowing the grass. I want to be outdoors. I hate it when the grass is all mowed and there is nothing out there for me to do. I can't force myself to do anything indoors.Pop says we are having company sometime this summer, and I need to make sure things are all in check within the house. Ha! What does he know about things being in check inside the house?There is no end to things that need to be done inside of a home. I simply choose not to get to them. I'd rather hire a helper to do the indoor chores.My heart is outside,especially now while everything is fresh and new and green.The list of indoor chores that need to be done are endless, and I hate to do housework(most of the time).Housework is kinda like cooking. I need to be in the right mood.When I am in the mood to do either, I am lovin'every minute of it, but getting myself in the right mood is the problem.I knew when I went for my regular blood test this morning that I needed to be come straight home and plan on staying indoors to get a few things done, since it is so cold today,after last nights turbulent weather. Tornado watches and warnings were out for our area until 5 o'clock this morning. It was scary after the tornado outbreaks across the rest of the US over the last three days. Nevertheless, I stopped by the old  Bonnie Bell Plants Site (which is now Jordan Greenhouses) and Jones Supply today on my way home,to pick up a few plants and potting soil and the like. The question is why. I knew I had other things I needed to get done at home and most of them were indoors.As I get older, I guess I am beginning to see why folks are trying to rid themselves of everything that might need dusting or cleaning.Minimize,downsize,declutter.These are some of the terms we hear on a daily basis. I really can't see young folks appreciating the fact that we need to do these things,but folks my age,yes.The older we get, the less energy we have,especially for things that are not # 1 on our Passions list.This is my time of life to enjoy my Passion,and it doesn't have a thing to do with housework. I think I'll stop now and look up the number for Molly Maid.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Composting and Such!

This is the comment I posted to Brendie, just a few minutes ago, but it's got me to thinking. I could talk about composting all day, so why not share my stories on the blog.

Brendie, it is so strange that I latched on to you as a blogger friend,and I have had that same dream for myself for centuries, of having my own commercial composting company. I dream about it often. It that not strange to you,too?I can see the many separate bins of compost at different stages of completion. I have dreamed about going from farm to farm and volunteering to clean out their barns for the manure,going to folks homes to pick up their leaves to use in my compost mixture,raising worms to contribute their part.Buying a huge shredder/mulcher to break down the bigger stuff, and a bobcat to turn it. Is is a strange dream for a lady to have,but that has been my dream for years,too.

I know it is a great help to find folks with similar interest listed under their profile, but how strange it is to find a friend who has so many of the same thoughts as yourself,on a specific subjects.I guess that human nature is like that,but we just don't reach out and explore the world close enough, as we do on these blogs,to find how much alike we really are,no matter in what country we were raised.

There was a company that made the rounds a few years ago,encouraging folks to get into the business of raising worms. I was not aware that a neighbor of ours was doing that,until the business folded and one day while visiting,he mentioned he had plenty of worm casting,and he asked if I would like a few bags. Man! Little did he know. He had said the wrong thing.I'd love to have a few bags of worm castings. I'd love to have a few beds of the worms,too,but he had no more of the worms left. Pop frets a lot over me being obsessed with the Purple Martins, he has not seen me obsessed yet. I have had a few red wigglers,which are composting worms,but I did not keep them moist enough in the old original barn we had and they died. That was when I was much younger and had not studied up on them enough. I think often of getting me a nightcrawler bed started. I do love having nightcrawlers,too. Our little town is inundated with them,and they say it is an excellent time to gather several up,after or during a heavy rain. Boy,did I miss my chance here lately. But then they have probably all drowned during this last weeks flooding.I'm not giving up on having nightcrawlers though. I now have one rabbit,and possibly will be getting another,so I'll have an excellent place to build my nightcrawler bed under their cage.That would be an excellent spot in my potting room.It has only a gravel floor,so I will rake back the gravel,and attach myself a few boards around the legs of the rabbit cage,and Wallah!I have myself a worm bed.I hope!I have read a little,but need to read more on just how to handle the worms,but I do want to give it one more try.I hope to have better luck with it than I did trying to raise Catalpa Worms.Afriend of mine brought me about 20 worms and placed them on my Catalpa tree,for starter worms. Up they went,never to be seen again.The tree was bulldozed a few years later, to make room for the new house.So much for raising the Catalpa worms for the local fishermen.But then C'est La Vie! That's life, and I'm so thankful I'm still able to Live and Learn.Hopefully,tomorrow is a new day with a new venture!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What Wood You Have Done?

I've tried to keep a list of the little wood things I have been making.I think I had made 6 projects last week. That was my goal, but with so much going on around Good Enuf Acres(that's still in the refining stage),I'll need to do a little catch up this week.
We had a trip to the doctor yesterday morning.Pop was due his regular blood test.I had mine a few days ago,since I needed to be there that day anyway. Naturally,after we finished there, we had to eat breakfast out. That is what we generally do,if we have business away from home on any given day.Our plan was to go on to the next town and pick up a bearing for our Amish friend,John Miller's, sawmill. We called and they could not have it until Thursday,but that'll work,too,since we will be going by the doctor's office to have our tests read that day.Nevertheless, this day was nearly shot.,by the time we returned home. Pop and I stayed and chatted with the locals for awhile,which is normal for him,but I don't go with him that much for that very reason. I need to get home and get some things done.He usually stays out till noon or 1:00 chatting and visiting(he's retired,you know).Later in the day the coffee drinkers came by.One of them had a cow trying to calve and she was having some problems, so we ran back up to their place in hopes of helping.That was another chunk out of my day.But......


(7) I did work on a wood project late yesterday,but it was out of sheer necessity.
We've placed the 21 quail and 5 small chicks in their new home for awhile.That was another post that didn't get posted YET,but they have been scratching their feed out on the ground really bad. I hurried up and grabbed a few pieces of scrap lumber, and headed to the saw to make a tray to hold their feed. We have a larger tray out in the hen house for the regular chickens.I think I made mine a bit too small,and hopefully I will find time to try again today.The picture is of some wood I salvaged from my yard bench. It was one of those circular benches you see around trees.A neighbor had given it to me last year,since they no longer needed it,and you probably remember Pop mowing for me this last week while I was recuperating? He ran over the bench with the mower.But all was not lost. I have dismantled the bench and am finding lots of neat projects in which to use it.I do love wood.



It turns out the pine pieces from the bench would not work out. I tried using my handy air staple gun,but the staples I had were too short,so I tried nails(without predrilling my holes) and split the pine pieces.
Plan B...I headed to my pile of hidden barn lumber and found a few scraps to make the side boards. It worked out better. Pop ended up using his heavy duty air nailer to nail them together.Oak is really hard,you know!It'll be a nice tray for the new chicks coming on.We have a set of banties that are hatching their babies as we speak. Also, we have one of those fuzzy headed chickens setting,and is she mean,but then she is mean when she's not setting.She lays the colored eggs.Both sets of chicks will need a feeding tray..
The banties are Pop's project. He loves to mess with them a bit.We don't really need any more chickens,but I suppose there is a lot of things we don't need around here,but we'll not go there.We are getting about 8  eggs a day, and they accumulate pretty fast with only two of us, and we don't use that many.I take a few to the family on occasion. I took Mom 18 here lately. She divided them up for the my brothers and sisters that drop by for a visit,just like she use to do the Easter candy when we were young. Us married kids would usually drop by on Easter,years ago,and she'd still have little baskets of candies,divided up for each of us(and us grown and married)I guess that's a "Mom" and "Hard To Let Go" thing. Keeping chickens, for us, is more or less, a hobby.The eggs are a bonus,although he does complain about the price of feed,since they are not free range chickens.I built them a large pen so they could get to the grass,but it is now bare.I would love to move it to another location on the property,but that's not happening for awhile.



Not a very good picture,but this is my feed tray that turned out to be too small. I'll try making a bigger one today,not that they seem to care. The quail are really gentle now. I can't wait to see what they do when the weather warms up and we can take all the covers off of them. They are in a tightly mesh wired dog run They seem to enjoy it in there. They eat,drink, wallow, and sleep.Sometimes they'll get to jumping and flapping their wings,I guess wanting to fly. What else is there for a quail to do?

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Small But Useful Project

I will post a quick little entry tonight. I got a call from
the Nurse Practitioner's office today.I think my day
went down hill after that. I knew I had been having less energy
but after she told me about my iron and vitamin D levels being low,
I really began to feel tired.Some days I feel I can move mountains,
other days,if I could just lay down for 20 minutes,I know I'd feel better.
I haven't heard anything more from the previous tests,so I'm assuming
the results are not too bad. My check up's on the 9th.

The quick project for today was these Garden Markers. I think
they're cute,but I had never used them before. I may make some funny
ones to go in the garden or beds.You know the kind with Frog
Crossing,Ladybug Lounge,Gardeners know all the dirt,etc.Then
 again I may label some of my flowers in the various beds. We'll
play with them a bit and see what happens.Sorry for such a small entry.