Over the fence chat for 5/27/01 to 6/3/01

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Beyond the Sidewalks : One Thread

Dang, Jim thanks me for starting this thread every week and then the very next week I go off to bed and forget to get it started!!

I'm swamped, just in case y'all haven't noticed that it's been nice and quiet lately! Between the berries and work and getting Sis ready to head for Texas in the morning - still working on the green skirt right now! - I haven't had much time for conversing. I have had time to read most of the posts though; so you all keep on talking - I'll be baaa-aack!

-- Anonymous, May 27, 2001


Well Polly, we are SWAMPED here also, but more to do with rain than work (although the work is stacking up because we can't get out and do it). I had set all my plants out to harden off on the 15th which is our frost-free date here and it has rained pretty much ever since. I have to dump the water constantly or they will all drown. I can't believe we were all hoping for rain because it was so dry just a couple of weeks ago. Hope everyone is able to have a more productive weekend than we have. In between rain showers I am working on construction of a new flower bed, raised with field stone. Should be nice when I am done.

-- Anonymous, May 27, 2001

We just came in from outside working, it's 9:30, but I did manage to make dinner at 6:00. I'm trying to get better at that. It's just the two of us, and we forget about dinner sometimes, and then we just snack. It was a beautiful day here, it warmed up again. I have so many plants to deal with, they are everywhere and soooo pretty. OH, I love this time of year with all the new things popping up everywhere and all the suprises! Today I found about a thousand Rose of Sharon seedlings comming up under the row of trees. And I found Snap Dragons too, yellow ones, I didn't know if they would be back or not, but they are. My flowers seem to spread all over the place, if I plant one then the next spring there's lots of them. I just love that.

A few times a day I sit in with the pups, and we just play and play, there's nothing too much funner than that. I'm gonna miss em when they are gone. I have to divvy up my time between all the critters that want to spend time with me and all my plants and chores. And I need to work on my web site, and I'm gonna make some site for other people too when they send me pics. I'll have to do computer work when it's dark outside, or I'll go crazy to get out there.

Steve got my new gate put up across the drive and we locked it so now people can't just drive in here. The dogs bark so we know if someone is comming 1/2 mile away. I didn't like the idea of people having access to my rabbits, pups, and horses if we were gone, so this is much better. You all get some rest, you've been working hard too. I know, I know, spring only comes once a year!

-- Anonymous, May 27, 2001

Same-as-Diane weather situation here -- didn't rain today, but it did yesterday and it's cool, so the ground is too sticky to work in. I got a couple of tomatoes into the Earth Box, and I planted seeds in my "deck boxes" for some cutting greens. Why does everything take MUCH longer than you think it should?

Tomorrow (Monday) is supposed to be nice, but I am planning on going to Rockford to visit with relatives who are themselves visiting other relatives in Illinois. They're over from Hawaii, where they moved eight years ago, so I don't see much of them anymore. Supposed to be nice weather here again, but it still won't dry out enough. I am hoping that by Tuesday, it will be dry enough, and then I'll have to work like MAD because the rain is supposed to return on Wednesday.

I got a pair of knee-pads recently. They're made out of that squishy bright green foam like the little kneeling pads. Boy are those things comfy to kneel upon, and I don't have to worry about moving OFF them like I do with the pads. I think these will get a lot more use than in the garden!

-- Anonymous, May 27, 2001

Since we don't have rain (yet) I'm kind of in the opposite phase to some of you. Today I raked up about 1/4 acre of grass that Mr. S. had weed wacked a few days ago and we had left out in the hot sun to dry for a few days. (It had been a coupla feet tall or so.) Tonight I forked it all into a a stack...first one I have ever tried. Since orchard grass hay is $10 a square bale at the co-op, I'm not going to pass up the chance to see if I can get this to work out. Anyway, after company came this afternoon and stayed til about 8, I went out and worked until just now...then tarped the stack (about 7 feet high and maybe as wide at the bottom.) Fun working out in the dark with the wind whipping up, actually. Hope it doesn't rain for too long b/c I don't want to leave the tarp on very long.

Earlier, I had re-dug some of the old pond that I drained last week. I filled it with water from our big tank and came by later to see that it was all gone! Sheesh! It HAS been dry...usually the water is so soaked that the pond water just sits. So I filled it up again tonight. Guess we are in for more rain tonight.

Still haven't got my big beds worked or the corn in. Maybe I'll get lucky like I did last year.

I did manage to get a replacement pear tree for my neighbor (for the tree my goat ate last weekend!) She was very gracious accepting it...said she remembered all the times their cows got out and munched stuff at their neighbors.

I hear hay prices will be through the roof this year (drought and fuel.) What are you guys hearing?

Thanks for doing this Polly! Reading what y'all are doing makes me feel better. Otherwise I think I'm the only one on the planet who is totally nuts!

.....Too tired to type or make sense. Have a good Memorial Day!

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2001

Polly, I second Jim in Thanking you for having us all over every week to gather around your large table! It's nice to sit down, have some ice tea and take the load off with some friends. And Polly will you pass me a bowl of those strawberrys (mine a'rnt ripe yet!), Mmm, I brought some of my shortcake to eat with them. Low Fat! Low Cal recipes, what are you talking about Sheepish?!!

Everyone is complaning here because it has been raining for three weeks. But I'm loven it, I'm in my element.I am wet, it is raining, then the sun comes out and reflects in the raindrops.The cat bird is following me around , what is that he is mocking, my squeaky dryer, now the cardinal, then the robin, whats that new song that he sings, is it the beautiful song of rain?

There , see the rainbow and now dark clouds are drifting in from the south west and half of the sky is somber, and the other half bright.

I pluck little seeds of larkspur and morning glory into the yeilding soil with one arm as with the other I pull up the burdock and thistle which threaten to intrude. The thunder laughs in the sky and makes the day so much more exciting then a dry day.

Farmer Shaws alfalfa sways tall in the field, where I soppose it should have been hayed, but look at the wild daisys and wild yellow parsley who will now get a chance to to bloom and resow.

I have been buzy with domestic duties and don't get out as often as I would like and am still planting perienials. How wonderful for the transplants of tomatoes, and brocolie, berry plants and trees, that they are getting watered in with bits of sunshine. Soon enough the days will get hot and dry , and the sunseekers can have their days of sunbathing. But for now I get to plant in the rain! Splish, Splash Slurp

It's so much fun, being wet with the earth! Tren

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2001

Tren, shortcake does sound heavenly! But I'm too tired to whip the cream...so off to bed and sleep and visions of shortcake (and/or sugarplums...)

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2001

Yup, it's raining here too. I like rainy days too, Trendle. We finally got back to the school up the road that we're salvaging yesterday. Got 1 X 6 yellow pine underlayment. And Jim got up some flooring that I'll denail today when we go back. I'm so pleased to be using this wood- free for a little work, quality we can't get today, with character and local history. What could be better? Got a new addition to the family this week. I looked out the window when I got out to the kitchen Friday morning, and thought our male cat had a baby skunk. Turned out to be a kitten - about 4 wks old that he appeared to want to eat, so I rescued it and brought it into the house. Jim took it to the vet, and it's fine except for a little redness around his eyes and nose. We're thinking he might be Manx, as he's tailless and looks like he's going to have large back legs. Don't know anything about this breed other than that. Does anybody else? The crowder peas are poking up through the soil. BTW, I haven't noticed losing any plants to the voles since trying the Juicy Fruit. Thanks, EarthMama. So far so good. Have a great week, all.

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2001

Today is the grand opening of our local farmers market, and I'm sitting home in the middle of a torrential storm system! Looks like the only rain in the country right now, judging by the satellite pics! Fortunately, all I picked yesterday was turnips, which are the sweetest we've ever grown. No problem finding a use for these. Garden is really starting to mature now - we have spinach, kale, leeks (also the best we've ever grown), radish, lettuce, swiss chard, strawberries. Peas are really close. Our biggest concern is the green beans - self-saved Kentucky wonders, which had poor germination.

Seems to be the year of the potato beetle here - I estimate picking about 2000 larvae off our 300 plants yesterday alone, been hard at it for over a week now. Our neighbors have gone to the blend and spray desperation method. YUCK!

We rescued our neighbors chickens after her house burned down last weekend - another 20 birds! Still haven't sheared the sheep, tied up the tomatoes or trained the grapes. Now they're all soaking wet again!!!

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2001

Still working on the garden. It finally quit raining on Monday, so Tuesday I set in working on it again (dry enough by then) and worked on it today and I'm still not done and it's going to rain again tomorrow. But later in the afternoon hopefully, so I can get some more done. Going to be kinda cold too. :-( I wonder if I will have any crops reach maturity this year . . .

Well, when it starts in raining again, I have other stuff that needs potting up and older pots that need fertilizing, so I'll have plenty to do!

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2001

David, we haven't sheared yet either... it seems weird to see our sheep with big fleeces this late in the year. Joy....some summers we are lighting off fireworks on the Fourth of July in parkas...a few summers back, the daytime highs were around 55F. Good for spinach and peas I guess. Kind of bad for morale....

Realistically, according to NOAA, our summers begin here the weekend after the Fourth of July. Until then, it's usually cool and rainy. However, July and August are often warm (to us = hot...maybe 80's) with a wonderful dry, warm September and often October.

Mr. S. is planting out his sunflowers this evening. My peas are about a foot high...That's the news from here (oh yeah, baby Canada geese and baby ducks at the lake where my mom lives. Always uplifting!)

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2001

Now Sheepish has the sun and we have the rain, so we'll have to go over to her house to play outside.

-- Anonymous, May 31, 2001

Well, since it rained most of the day yesterday, I got a few new pages done on the website. Check it out if you want, all my black and white animals are on the second collie page. I learned some neat new graphics too! I can make words with pictures inside them now, really cool. I made all the graphics except the animations.


Click on more pics on the bottom of this page too.

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2001

Wow Cindy, awesome web site...great job...wish I could do that!!!

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2001

The company that I work for just announced that they are "strengthening" one of our divisions by laying off 3000 people over the next 3 years. Fortunately it's not the division where I work, but of course now the rumor mill is rampant and talk is that the parent company is looking to sell us off. I am so grateful that I found Countryside magazine and the forum last year. It was just the wake-up call and motivation that I needed to start getting out of the consumerism rat race. I still would be in pretty bad financial shape if I lost my job today, but it would be so much worse if I had continued on my old path.

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2001

What an interesting term! 'Strengthening', huh? I'll bet that this will be the new buzz-word of the Slogan Generation. You know, somehow it would not be half so irksome as if they just came out and said 'consolidating' or 'reducing'. It'd still be panick time for the Reductees, needless to say, but why all these flowery euphemisms? Geez.

In the meantime, I am practicing my salty vocabulary! We are under the Attack of the Killer Tent Worms here. Billions and billions of them. Whole swaths of forest are totally denuded of leaves, they are crossing the road in hoardes and when you drive over them, it sounds like popcorn going off -- okay, well, SQUISHY popcorn. It's awful. Whole acres are being eaten in just what you can see from the roads. I am luckier than many, in that we have mostly pine surrounding us, so the hoarde isn't really coming this way in its full might, but I am out patrolling my little apple trees, lilacs, and fruit bushes (and the 4 new oaks I planted 2 years ago).

At first I was a little squeamy about 'em, picking them up with a wooden clothes pin and dropping them into water. Now I'm stomping them into oblivion and have taken to carrying around a scissors at all times with which we play 'French Revolution'. You may whistle or hum 'La Marseille' if you wish.

The wayward rabbit that I found hopping down the highway in a rainstorm seems to be becoming part of the household. It's a real affection monger! I just loves long head-rub and petting sessions, runs over for them as a matter of fact. And, as I mentioned in my post, its litter box trained, so cleaning up is not too hard, just a quick trip to the compost pile if I don't want to put it directly onto one of the flower beds. I'm using a compressed grass fiber litter so I can compost it all without worrying about too excessive of carbon in the pile.

Our weather is up and down -- first it's raining, then it's hot and dry, now back to wet and cool, going to cold tonight, have to go out and cover all the tomato plants I put in with bedsheets and the like. Several of them got sunburn moving outside which I didn't think they would, but I was wrong...they look like they'll survive tho, if it doesn't get TOO cold the next couple nights. If we make it through that, they are predicting 50's overnight, which is more like it.

The potatoes are starting to peek out of the soil now,and the scallions are up and REALLy taking off! Wow. I hope they're doing as much BELOW ground as they are above. The leeks seem to have survived a beating or two out there and are coming along, the cabbages look like they are actually enjoying the cool weather and settling in happily. The Strawberry patch looks kind of stalled out on developing leaves...maybe that is normal. They look healthy anyway, and I've snipped off the few flowers they've had so far (I can lay 'em on the graves of all those snipped tent worms! Actually, it is interesting to see the number of ants carrying off the worm corpses after I'm done with them. Bon Appetite!)

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2001

Julie, so glad your bunny is doing well! Hooray!

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2001

Thanks Diane, it's such a blast to make them. I'm almost done with the goat page, I found a neat "hillybilly guy holding a squirming chicken" animation last night. I don't feel so guilty working on my site when it's raining. I've been diggin in the dirt all afternoon moving plants and flowers everywhere. It's beautifully green green everywhere. It was very cool outside today, kinda chilly again.

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2001

I think it might have reached the low 60s here today. Yesterday it was in the mid-80s. This is the strangest weather that I can recall. Usually it's one way or the other, and usually more like low 60s in June. The climate change stuff this year is weird.

Mr. S continues to plant out the sunflowers. Last night he bottled beer (my Fourth of July request: USA IPA ...India Pale Ale.) Now I need to get him to finish the horseshoe pit so we can actually have a Fourth of July celebration (!) Or we may just have the usual bonfire (in our parkas...)

btw, I covered the haystack back up with a tarp....

These days I just want to have a fire in the woodstove, lie around and watch the Mariners on teevee, and sleep during all the commercials. Tough week I guess!

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2001

Got an extra recliner, sheepish? I'll bring my own blankie!

It's raining - Bwwhaahaahaahaa!!! And contrary to what Pop might tell you, I DO have sense enough to come in out of the rain! It has rained at least a little every day for the past 9 days. I only picked about 50 qts of berries today before the rain hit.

Pop and I took some time out to work a little in the raised beds - he hoed while I turned a couple of beds with the fork. The library is having a garden tour to raise money - somehow, (could it be because Pop has coffee with the library board president's wife? He denies it!) somehow, my raised bed garden is on the list. And I am so far behind in my planting that it isn't even funny - good thing I'm on vacation this week! As soon as it's dry enough to work, I'll get my other beds planted. We've got an area 27' x 37 feet that will be put into raised beds next year - it's between the last section of raised beds and the clothesline - that I guess is going to be designated as the tomato jungle this year. I'm also putting in four long rows of bush beans as Hubby is whimpering, afraid that we won't have enough to can from the regular garden - germination was spotty on some varieties.

The boys (Pop and Hubby) are out in the shed putting my tractor back together - DEATH TO WEEDS!! It will be so nice to have my regular tiller and split row tiller back in commission! Pop has agreed (after losing to the neighbor lady and I in the rotten berry fight) to narrow my berry rows down to 12" - where they are supposed to be; instead of the 16" plus runners they are now. He also uses the split row tiller in the sweet corn and sunflowers - they can sure use it!!

Well, guilt is attacking - guess I'd better go do something. I'm thinking maybe a nap would be just the ticket!

-- Anonymous, June 02, 2001

Well,Polly,sounds like you have really had your fill of strawberries.Coon was snatching mine,til he met his demise Thursday via coonhound,so I only was getting a quart at a time.Now they are sour from all the rain. Sunny this evening so perhaps tomorrow's picking will be better.

Pea picking going good tho,and cabbage is ready for coleslaw. Fava beans,too,so now I need to figure out how to make them.

Got little purple pod green beans on,but alot of the other beans have some disease that I'm not yet sure of,from all the wet weather.Happened while I was gone.Lots of diseases this year.Flea beetles and potato bugs on potatoes too.But they are planted on a poorer site this year.Ran out of room.

I was back home to parent sit and am now cooking and cleaning for a picnic here,tomorrow.Nick got the garden and yard looking good in my absence,so we can have the garden tour without feeling too shameful.

That's all from me.

-- Anonymous, June 02, 2001

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