Over the fence chat for 4/8 to 4/15

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So - what you all up to today?! I had to work last night, so I just got up a couple-three hours ago - didn't need to sleep too long as I don't have to go back in tonight - Yay!! A day off!

The weather here in Central Illinois is beautiful, if very windy. It's near 80 degrees and sunshiney. I've got all the windows and doors open to catch the breeze! Good thing we live at the end of a dead end road as I pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt when I got up - all that winter-white skin is plumb scarey!

I've got more daffodils in bloom and the hyacinths are coming on. Ma-in-law has some lily-of-the-valley starting to poke through the ground and she said I could dig up a few pips to bring out here. Mama used to have a huge patch behind the old house, I dug some up when we were getting ready to tear it down, but they got lost somewhere - hard to believe, as we were living in a 16 foot camper and the machine shed that whole summer while the new house went up! The wild bright orange day lillies are coming up along side the road - think I might dig a few of them too.

I have a few more things ready to plant in the garden, but it is too windy to try right now. The wind ususally dies down for a bit closer to dusk, so perhaps I'll be able to get it planted then. I'm busy baking cookies to send to Sis's sweety at Ft. Hood - mixed up four different kinds and have the dough in the fridge chilling. We are putting together an Easter basket to send him - doubt that the other guys will make fun of him as he says that they await his "Care" packages from home almost as eagerly as he does!

Hey Trendle, since you're the flower lady - have you ever propagagted a rose of sharon? I have a pair of beautiful pink double flowering rose of sharons that I would love to have more of. The hummingbirds just love them and they are so pretty in bloom. I've tried taking cuttings and just have no luck at all with them - I've never had any luck propagating cuttings of our Eutin rosebushes either tho, so it may just be woody cuttings I can't do. Do you think air-layering might work? Any and all suggestions appreciated!!

Well, I'm off to bake the cookies and mix up a batch of bread dough. Saw a magazine at work last night with an Easter Bunny made out of frozen bread dough - reckon I can make it with the real thing?! They cut a hole in his tummy and lined it with lettuce leaves and filled it with veggie dip. I think I'll just leave it plain and if it turns out all right, I'll send it down to Ryan - he's been saying how much he's gonna miss the hot rolls at Easter dinner. Hope you all have a wonder-filled week - keep thinking Spring!

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001


It has been a glorious day here in south central Mich. Shirtsleeves, sunshine, daffodils starting to bloom finally. I have been spending a great deal of time examining myself and wondering how a person who could walk through riot torn villiages in Haiti without aggitating anyone and helping to create peace, could participate and help create such chaos on a forum. It has been very humbling to me and forced me to examine things I have believed about myself in a closer light. I have talked to close friends who know me "in person" and they are somewhat dumbfounded at the whole thing also. I have a "grow light garden" that has gotten so huge that it takes me hours to care for it. We have been looking closely at our plans to add on a greenhouse type addition along the side of our home. Getting ready for an Easter visit from grandchildren and getting excited over that. Peace and blessings to all.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

Oh Polly, a freind of ours saved seed from their Rose of Sharon and started the trees inside most of one winter and then planted them out in the spring. They now have a hedge of them.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

I am totally exhausted, but the raised beds are in! I had 9 cubic yards of topsoil delivered on Friday, but it rained most of the day so I didn't get anything done. Saturday F-I-L came down with his pickup and his power tools, we built all the beds out of 2x12s, 2 of them are 4x12 and one is 3x8. I filled them with a mix of 2/3 topsoil and 1/3 composted cow manure. The rest of the topsoil got spread over all the bare patches in the yard so we can reseed. (it was more bare than grass) I'm not much for big lawns, but since we plan on selling this place in a couple of years we have to focus on "curb appeal". I'm going to take off from work early tomorrow so I can do some planting. I'm in zone 5B, is it too late for me to plant peas now?

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

Stop it, all of you! We woke up to 8" of snow this morning! Sure was beautiful once the sun came out though. :-) The dogs go crazy, running around like lunatics and tunneling with their noses, too funny. Bad idea to start planting anything around here this early, but at least it gives us another month to plan.

I spent most of the day finishing a rough sketch that was supposed to be faxed for art direction/approval on Friday morning. LAST Friday morning. Oh well, if I ever made a deadline the studio would worry about me.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

Diane, one time you sent me a very wise email (among several) that was very supportive and encouraged me not to be too hard on myself. I don't know if you recall. In sincerity, as well as reciprocation, I would gently suggest that you not be too hard on yourself either. :) I have appreciated what you write and am so glad you are participating here. The CS forum has become so bizarre anyway. What does it mean to be crazy in a world of crazies?! That you are sane, right!

Jorja, if you only knew how much I would love to be in s. Utah right now...maybe Navajo Lake or Kanab, or anywhere!! We will be driving through there on the way to South Rim this summer. Again we will hike the Bright Angel down to Phantom and raft out. I can't wait!!!

Mostly, I think I want to go hang out with Polly for a while. I think I could use some of her absolutely limitless energy!!!!!!

Here's to a great week for everyone!

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Hello everybody! It sure is fun hearing what you are all up to this spring! We are in the Daffadils here too. What with the Daffie's and the forsythia's and our little baby chicks, we are coming up Yellow! It sure is cheerfull, if March winds didn't chase my blues away I think that this April sunshine will. It is sooooo warm, allmost too warm, kind of weird, I'm like in shock. We need some April showers, they keep passing us by. Jim (hubby) and I have been working on my new garden, it is going to be a little hidden garden, a place to retreat. I can't wait.

I went and splurged and bought one of those chiminia's . It's a real pretty one with symbol's of dragonflys etched into it. We have really been enjoying sitting around it in the evenings, watching the fire and that big ole moon rising up into the sky, as we listen to the songbirds settling down for the night, and watch and listen for our screech owl, if we are still and watchfull enough we can see his first stirrrings from the blue spruce tree,and watch his soundless flight into the woods, from where we can hear his ghostly trill.Then the spring peepers from down in the valley take up their chorus, and lately some other frog song that I have yet to identify has been joining them.

Once again we are enjoying lettuce and spinish from our garden, mixed in with the wild dandelion greens. Is it every hour that I go out and find some old perenial friend poking up his or her head to greet me! How pretty are the first red finger tips of the Peony and the lilac buds are swelling. Ah! Lilacs!

Polly,how sweet of you to ask my advice. I sure don't claim to be an expert on anything. People think that I have a green thumb but actually I just have a stubborn one. If a plant doesn't make it, I plant ten more. Diane's idea about the seed starting for your rose of sharon sounds good, but yes you would have to wait untill fall to do that.My rose of sharon has alot of suckers coming up around it, like a lilac does, that would be the easiest thing, but if you have one of those new varieties, perhaps it doesnt do that, it may even be grafted, can you tell? Polly did you use a rooting chemical when you tried to propagate, they really help or even banches of willow stuck in with your cutting . Or you might try misting the cutting regularly. Air cutting would be my last resort, in fact I have never done it! So maybe someone else could give you better advice on that. Good luck!

Well everybody, once I get started I don't know when to stop, you all have a good day! Tren

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Diane: Sheepish said "Diane, one time you sent me a very wise email (among several) that was very supportive and encouraged me not to be too hard on myself. I don't know if you recall. In sincerity, as well as reciprocation, I would gently suggest that you not be too hard on yourself either. :) I have appreciated what you write and am so glad you are participating here"

I second that. IMO your behavior is far more Christian than that of others I could name on CS so hang in there and know you're cool with God! Thats the main thing anyway. Remember, they crucified Christ for speaking truth.

Finally, a nice weekend, at least temperature wise. Very windy saturday but at least now most of the snow is gone. Chris has been planting stuff for the greenhouse, about 1200 plants from what I can tell and yesterday I worked in the greenhouse, building the other table, so now we've got two tables 3 1/2' x 52'. Hopefully this year I'll be adding on to the greenhouse another 6' x 52' so there'll be, when finished, three tables with growing beds beneath them. Thats where the chickens run around to build soil.

I spent some of the weekend working on my car, a job I despise, but mission accomplished. It now has a new cv joint and should be good to go for many more miles I hope.

Digger, the back hoe, needs a little work but once he's up and running I'll be breaking into the compost pile and building several new beds for the garden and it will finally be more or less finished. This week we'll be going to Menards for some of that plastic snow fence(green) and will be putting up the first of the temporary chicken runs on the garden beds. Before that I'll be laying some clear plastic down for a few days so weed seeds will sprout, then the fun begins----chicken herding! I've got a plan for that tho. I often take them treats when I feed them so when they see the big pink plastic bowl they get real excited. I figure I'm gonna let them out and throw them a few crumbs now and then on the way to their "yard" for the day and lure them into the enclosure, throw the rest of the bowl contents down and lock them in for the day. In the evening, I'll lure them back to the coop in the same way. Ahhh---the best laid plans!

Ya'll have a great week!

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Hi All. I saw "our" falcon yesterday! He (or she) came back again. Last year Jim and MayBelle found a little raptor chick on the front lawn - apparently fallen from the nest. Jim brought it in and made a little nest for it with paper towels in a bowl. No feathers, just a little fluff, hooked beak, triangle head, and huge dark staring eyes. That tiny baby looked at us with absolutely no fear. I called the raptor center at the U of MN and dropped baby off there the next morning. Those people were great! They told us she was an American kestral female, they gave her a good meal and had placed her with a local kestral family. She had a foster mother and even foster siblings. We felt very good about our part in that story.

We spent much of yesterday measuring and marking our new 20 acres. 660' across the front and back, then we ran baler twine fo figure out the long boundry. We must mark the property line ASAP or it will be encroached upon. My plan is to install a T-post every hundred feet and add more posts and fencing as I can afford it.

A drainage ditch runs across this land. Normally it is a little damp depression, but Saturday it was a raging river! Complete with rapids! I was amazed and in awe of so much water! and so much power! We could not cross it and had to backtrack and go around.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Hi everyone~

Dina, you are always kind and write in well modulated tones. I'm grateful for the kindness and support you offer so selflessly. I, like the other are glad to find you here as well.

Here in KS the daffodils and crocus are blooming. Peonies and black eyed susan starting to peek out, too. My kitchen garden is coming along, but my dear dog ran through my market garden this morning hot on the heels of a quick and elusive rabbit. She wiped out entire sections of seedlings. If the ground hadn't have been wet, I would have chased her down, but all I could do is keep yelling at her to either stop or come here. sigh. That was a real downer, I must say.

GUESS WHAT!! Went to visit my sister this weekend near Springfield Missouri (Pleasent Hope is the actual township) with DH and DC (dear child) and the place next door with 6 acres and a doublewide was for sell. Since sis is friendly with the folks, we got to talking to them, and we find out tonight if our chace to move to the country has come. They expressed real willingness to sell on contract, and after we talked a while, they even dropped their price some. I've spent some time praying that the will of the creator and not my will be done, but I surely wouldn't mind us being in agreement on this one. :-) OH, I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE!!! I really miss keeping a milk goat. I was very attached to the ones I milked growing up, and look forward to provding my family with fresh meat and milk. Our 11 Black Australorpe babies are getting big, and they look so funny with half feather, half fur.

I hope this note finds all well and happy. :-)

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Oh Marty, what a sad event about your market garden. If the ground was super wet you might not have lost as much as you think!!! I have had something like that happen before, like my husband not seeing I had set some stuff out and walking through, and with just a little repair,most everything survived. I will pray for your wisdom regarding the new home. Take care - diane

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Seems like you all are having wonderfully warm weather and you're planting up a storm! I still have six inches or so of snow on my garden. And when that's melted, I'll still have to wait a couple of weeks to plant (because of the mud)!!! Soooo depressing sometimes. Three of my does have kidded. So far I have had 4 doelings and 1 buckling. Two more to go and one of those does is three miles wide!! Great to have the fresh milk again. And when I get depressed, nothing cheers me up faster than letting the "kids" out of their pen and watching them bounce off the walls. You have inspired me to do some baking, Polly, so I guess I'll get busy. Happy Spring Everyone!!!!

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Its warming up nicely in Northern Ny .Now if the flooding would stop .The cow is closer to calving than I thought ,and with the size of her bag I will have plenty of milk .For a first time freshener its big .The sheep still have a little time .Everyone will be going out to pasture this week .I have had a ton of tests run and will have results in 3 weeks .I hate waiting .We are going away for Easter , so I need to get ready.

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001

POLLY I got my new CountrySide, and I love your article, Country life is contagious, it is funny and interesting and terrific! Hey, it rained all night, yepeee!!!

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001

Hee! Hee! Thank-you Tren - I can't wipe the big silly grin off my face! I've shown everyone I know - "Look, I made the mag!!" Now three or four people at work want to subscribe (probably to make sure they don't appear in future articles!) I've got another one in the works - this one is about Pop. It's something to the effect of "Maybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks". I may try it out on you all first, as it was the folks on the other forum - many of whom are here now - who encouraged me to send in this first one. Hoo-whee, hope I come back down to earth soon!

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2001

Polly, what a delightful article! You're very fortunate to have your helpmate becoming interested in the things you care about. Obviously your enthusiasm is the best sales method! Keep on writing!

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2001

O.K. - now I am really jealous. My new mag has not arrived yet!!! Why does Michigan always have to be last??? I am wondering if my neighbor, who is postmaster, reads it before I get it??

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2001

Oooh, Polly, you did submit it, eh. I haven't looked at mine yet -- came yesterday. Have to go read it soon . . . .

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2001

Hey POlly,

YEAH!!! :-)

(Don't get back to earth too soon, enjoy the sky awhile!)

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

The first thing I do now when I get a new issue of Countryside is flip through to see how many names I recognize. Polly, your article was great! It gives me hope that I may be able to get my DH involved with my plans after all. As it is now, whenever I tell him about my newest scheme he just lowers his book and says "uh-huh" and then goes back to reading. Although, he did turn off the NASCAR race on Sunday to come out and help me with the garden, I about fell over from shock!

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

Diane, don't feel bad. I haven't got mine yet either. But then I suppose b/c I have to make a trip to town and go to the PO, I shouldn't complain. I haven't been there in a few days!

Polly, Hey....can you do cyber "autographs" for us? It would be kind of cool to tuck a little print-out of an email into our magazine copies (you know we will be keeping these forever!!!) Congrats on your article. I love reading what you have been writing!

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

Wooo-hooo, I checked the garden last night and I have teeny tiny little lettuce plants growing! I only planted them on Monday. Nothing else is up yet, but I'm not a patient person so this little bit of instant gratification is a big boost for me. Last night I started some tomatoes, peppers, and basil to transplant out later. I have a plastic cover over the flat now so it should be safe, but once they start growing I'm going to have to figure out a safe place to put them. Last time I tried this, the cats thought that I had built them a fancy indoor salad bar/litter box!

Happy Holidays to all of you celebrating this weekend, and a Great Weekend to everyone else!

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2001

Sherri... I have the same "cat" problem both indoors and out! I've solved the problem by inverting a old 10 gal. fish tank over my flat of seedlings when they outgrow the plastic cover. Works like a mini greenhouse. You can ventilate by placing small blocks of wood (or whatever you have) under the tank to elevate it. Good luck!

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

I know, this is the old one but just had to say - GO POLLY!!! Loved your article. (finally got my magazine yesterday)

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2001

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