Over the fence chat for 6/3/01 - 6/9/01

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Good morning all!! Hey, the sun is shining and - wonder of wonders!! - it's not raining!! I'm doing my little happy dance, ready to head for the field, berry patch and garden!

Came in the house to make a phone call yesterday, plopped on the couch while I was talking and was peripherally aware of a non-house type noise; couldn't figure it out while I was on the phone. Got off the phone and finally figured out that the weird buzzing noise was a hummingbird - in the house - up in Pop's den, which overlooks our living room!! You ever try to chase a humingbird around a cathedral ceiling!? He wouldn't drop down low enough to go out Pop's deck doors, so we finally got a broom and gently pushed him down and out the doors. We have hanging baskets with hummer liked flowers on all our porch posts, plus 3 feeders on the porch, so he must have zipped in when I left the door open when I went to get change for a berry customer.

Then, I stepped off the side porch to go to the garden and heard baby kitty sounds - ooops, Mama kitty having kittens in a basement window well and it looked like rain...off to the shed to get a piece of plywood to prop over the window well. Peeking out the basement window last night, I think our total stands at three little yellow kitties!

Saw bluebirds and barn swallows both yesterday while I was out working in the berries, so they must be nesting nearby; and was getting dive bombed by a Baltimore oriole out in the berry patch too - told him that there were more than enough berries for both of us, if I could share - he could too!! Heard Jenny wren chattering away this morning before I got out of bed - hope she is nesting nearby as well. I think I will put bird houses (real ones!) on my birthday and Christmas list this year! I am amazed at the plethora of birds this year - tons and tons of them, way more than usual. I give credit to my near acre of sunflowers that I planted last year and left to the birds - glad I planted more this year!!

Got Pop a leatherman tool for his early May birthday and I don't believe it has left his belt since - what a nifty tool!! I forsee Hubby and the Ex getting them for Father's Day! Wish I wore things that had belts or pockets - I'd get me one, too!

Well, I've stretched this cuppa coffee just about as long as I can - it's off to work....Here's wishing you all a happy and productive week!

-- Anonymous, June 03, 2001


Friendly greetings to all!

Rain here today again. The quick blast of hard hail evening last didn't improve my lettuce patch much, either. Trying to get a few things cleaned and organized in the house today, but I've never been big on rearranging a kitchen.

Polly, the thought of you chasing a hummingbird around is too funny. I laughed so hard that DH wanted to know what I was laughing about! Even the baby started to laugh with me. :-)

Expecting some baby ducks this week (Cayuga), and I'm sure hoping they are quiet enought to keep hidden here in town. Almost have a new rooster pen built in the woody area behind the house. I've sure been pleased with my little hens' chicken tractor, in the few weeks since I finished that project. One down, dozens to go.

Everyone have a good week now, and be good. ;-)

-- Anonymous, June 03, 2001

Good day to all!! Really enjoyed your hummingbird escapade, Polly. I had the same problem once, except it was with a bat instead! Thanks to the teamwork of my husband and my housecats, we managed to capture it in a fishnet (VERY small fishnet!!) and release it outside. Haven't posted much lately. Hubby and I are having a very stressful time with my mother-in-law. She is still trying to cope with the loss of her husband (my hubby's dad) last Nov. It's so hard to convince her that her life has drastically changed and she really has to make a new life for herself. She is in excellent health, physically and mentally, and has lots of potential to help other people or children (she is an ex-teacher). But she stays at home just waiting for my husband or I to come over either to visit or to take her somewhere (she has a license and can still drive). We run a full time auto repair business and, like many of you, have livestock and gardens to take care of. My husband is so stressed out since he is torn between staying with his Mom most of the day or taking care of his business. The worst thing is that she has started calling my husband by his father's name. Really is hard on DH!! But the good news is that we FINALLY have rain here in downeast Maine and the garden loves it! Unfortunately the weeds love it just as much as the veggies!! Picked up our pork today in the form of two 7 week old piglets. Will raise them for 4 months on goat's milk , stale bread, garden waste and some grain. Yummy!!! Love fresh pork chops. Anxiously awaiting a visit this month from my mom and her husband from N.C. She is in poor health (diabetes) and we hope to get her out in our boat for a little mackeral fishing which she dearly loves. Sometimes, though, I think she only comes to Maine for the Lobster!! Well, I've rambled long enough....hope you all have a very good week!!!!

-- Anonymous, June 03, 2001

Rain. Again. Every dang day for nearly two weeks now, not that it was dry before that. My tomato plants are still on the porch, taters sitting in a box waiting to be planted, behind on planting the 2nd and now 3rd batches of sweet corn....same song, second verse. Been threatening to mud in the taters and maters, but haven't done it yet!

What I did manage to get planted in the garden is coming along good - taking the second cutting of broccoli off some of the plants, while some are just now starting to get some size to the primary heads. Eating lots of salads of spinach and radishes, fresh green onions and sugar snap peas. Unc has blooms on his tomatoes, but I have blooms on my peppers, so I reckon we're about even! Brussel spouts are setting on, too.

Got a call from an old gent wanting some berries so walked out to the patch - up past my ankles in mud but there are STILL good berries out there. Got up into the 70's this afternoon before the big storm, but has been in the 40's at night and 50's and 60's during the day so I guess they aren't going sour; just rotting where they touch the ground. Got a kid coming over to help me pick tomorrow morning if it isn't raining, so maybe we can get through most of the patch. I've given up on getting the bad berries off the vines, I know it lowers production but the weather just hasn't cooperated this year!

Can't seem to stir myself to do much that's productive now that I'm off on vacation, but did manage to get in trips to two different used book stores! :o> Gotta keep our priorities straight, now don't we!?

Well, I'm off to stick my snout in another book - what's happening in your gardens?

-- Anonymous, June 05, 2001


I'm really sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. Do you think she would be open to the idea of getting some counseling to help her through these tough times?

I can't imagine how I'd react if I lost my spouse. I hope things work out ok in the end for her (and you and your hubby). Let us know how things are going ok? :-)

-- Anonymous, June 05, 2001

Marcia, hope things get better with the mother-in-law.

Polly, do you want to hear about my mud, my swamp called a garden??? Rained again during the night (after all we wouldn't want to go 24 hours without rain now would we). I did mud my tomatoes in and they look SICK. Kind of yellowish with brown spots. NEVER had my tomatoes look like this and it is not variety specific. They ALL look that way. Everything but the weeds are waiting for sunshine I think.

We have part of a field of hay down that has been down for two full weeks that we are going to have to fork off the field and into the garden for mulch. Some wierd year so far. Trying to maintain a positive attitude is not an easy task, but I know things could be a lot worse. Just really NEED some sunshine. Well, now it is someones elses turn.....I will put on a smile :>) and stop whining. take care....

-- Anonymous, June 06, 2001

Marcia, how long has it been since your FIL passed away? Six months? Was it sudden and unexpected, expected and drawn out or...?

Mourning is normal. There's a reason why the mourning period used to be set at a year; because that's about how long it takes. Everyone mourns in their own way and at their own pace. Your MIL sounds okay to me. Does she sound depressed? Well, I'm not allowed to make clinical diagnoses, but, YUP. Does that mean she needs counseling and pills? No, not neccasarily. I'm not much of one for pills, and I think friends, particularly people who have been through something like this, make the best counselors. Does she have someone to talk to besides you all? Can she find someone? If her behaviors carry on much past a year, I would contact her family doc for a referral to a mental health counselor. Don't just let the family MD give her anti- depressants though, most of them have NO idea what they are doing in that arena.

Mama fought an 18 mo. battle with cancer. After she passed away, Pop didn't do anything for about a year. Wouldn't go anywhere, do anything, said he'd be better off dead. I said "Well, YOU might be but we sure as heck wouldn't! I just lost one parent and I can't handle losing another one. Get up off your butt and DO something!" Made sure that I was busy and needed him - "Pop, can you run Jes over to Tiffy's?" or "Dang, I'm out of this, that or the other and I need it now." or something to make him feel needed. Remind your MIL or have Hubby remind her that he has responsabilities that he must take care of in order to take care of his family. "Mom, I love you and I want to help you through this, but I can't put my life on hold - I've got a family to feed." Remind her that she has responsabilities to take care of her family also - her son lost his father and he misses him too. Reminders that she is not the only one feeling the loss are needed. When she calls Hubby by his Dad's name, just correct her - "I'm 'Bill', Mom"; or "You know, Mom; you've been calling me by Dad's name a lot - I can't take his place, but I am still your son. Please try to call me by my name." It does need brought to her attention. Get her involved in things - slowly, if needs be - but get her involved. If she's been a teacher, then she is probably service oriented - drag her off to a food pantry or adult literacy class. Try tough love - "If you won't help yourself, then I won't help you either."

Mourning is not an easy time for anyone, you, and your family have my deepest sympathy.

-- Anonymous, June 06, 2001

Wise words,Polly. I was going to say something,but there is no need to,now. Bless you. You know your stuff.

-- Anonymous, June 06, 2001

Ditto. What Polly wisely said.

When my dad died, I thought my mom was never going to come out of it.

We both were very, very aggrieved by my father's death. I moved back to my childhood home to be with my mom. However, she (and I'm sure I, too) finally got better because I eventually moved out. We supported each other emotionally for probably 18 months, but then it was time to move on. She realized that she could indeed fend for herself by that time, even though she didn't want to. She was so tentative at everything. I felt a tremendous amount of guilt, and Mr. S. was in the middle of it all too, just to complicate things.

I can't imagine how devastating it would be to lose the love of my life, my mate. I think the only thing that would keep me going would be out of a sense of obligation to someone else. I don't have children, but that bond must be incredible. I agree....get her to feel needed/obligated/committed to family again and it should help. The tough love part is just that, tough... but the love part will eventually be experienced.

Best to you and your family and I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

-- Anonymous, June 06, 2001

Thanks, everyone, for your advice and sympathy. It's very much appreciated!! I hope that I didn't come across as being complaining or ungrateful. I dearly love my MIL. Somtimes, tho', it's just plain hard!! The death itself was very sudden...which was good for him since he was quite active. We have tried to convince her to at least talk to her priest, but not a chance. Just hate to see her go downhill since she does have lots to live for. Well, guess we'll just take it one day at a time. Again----Thank You!!!!

-- Anonymous, June 07, 2001

Hey guys,

We got bucketfulls of rain again yesterday, it's wonderfull. And we have more comming today. The weeds just slip right out of the dirt, it's so addicting pulling weeds when it's wet like this. My garden is raised beds going downhill, so the beds are not soggy at all. It's soft mulch, and I can make a hole with my hand and put the little plant in and firm it up. I found lots of little tomatoe plants hiding in the weeds yesterday, and moved them to their new row. It's always a funny row, the free one, cause it's a mixture of different tomatoes that just come up. I took a pic of 6 wild turkeys in the back pasture yesterday, they saw me and went back into the woods. Chickens.

I've been real busy with the web stuff, and that's hard when I have to unplug the PC so much lately. Earthmama, I've been doing those exercises for my hands, but they still hurt real bad. With all the milking and pulling weeds, my left hand is going to sleep all day. I can't stop milking with my left hand, and switch to my right, but I'm gonna have to. I milk with both hands at the same time ususally.

You hang in there Marcia, does your MIL like gardening? That would be a wonderful outlet for her, and it's makes you feel good seeing beautiful things thrive under your care. Gardens are magical, so much life around even in the smallest forms. My Indigo Buntings are even comming up to the garden now, they are breathtaking see. And my Mocking birds sit very close to me and just talk away! I know they love me.

-- Anonymous, June 07, 2001

Rain rain, gloom, and cold -- for days! Today, FINALLY, we got some sunshine, but very humid. Supposed to warm up now. But it rained on me again this evening. [soggy everything]

I have a couple of exciting things going on. First, my "deck boxes" have seedlings coming up. It was so cool and dim, I was afraid they'd just die of damping off or something, but they seem to be sprouting. VERY tiny so far.

Second exciting (and frightening) thing: Tomorrow I go back to the Humane Society to pick up my very first dog. She's a beautiful, very mellow and sweet, white German Shepherd. Found as a stray. I have NO idea why someone is not looking for her. So I am going to be VERY busy for this summer, getting both of us trained and the cats to be her friend, etc. I might not be around much (on the forum). Guess I'll lose my blabbermouth (or blabberfingers) crown! I've been stressing out over this for most the week, should I or shouldn't I. Now that I've decided, I'm feeling pretty good about it. Tomorrow may be different of course!

-- Anonymous, June 07, 2001

Oh Joy, that is WONDERFUL!!! I hope you new addition clicks right in with the rest of the "family". Sometimes it takes a lot to "blend" but it is so neat when it happens. My "buddy" sits at my feet when I am on the computer (unless I am on for two long and then he get a little pushy!!) Glad to hear you had some sunshine, our weather usually follows yours in about 24 hours. I saw the moon tonight so it has cleared.

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2001

Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday to ME, you all sing me Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to ME!

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2001

Happy birthday, dear Cindy....

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2001

Happy Birthday to You!!

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2001

{singing tunefully} Happy birthday, dear Cindy, Happy Birthday to YOU!

Sunshine here this morning -- yay! Just stopping in to see what's up with you. Gotta go assemble a dog crate . . .

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2001

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDY!!!! You would NOT want to hear me sing!

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2001

Thank you, Thank you! The PMS man came and brought me my present from my wonderful genius brother and his family in AZ. I got Microsoft Publisher 2000...yipeeeeee!!

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2001

Cindy, I'm so sorry your wrists are still hurting. Are you taking B- 6? It's absolutely essential. How about bromelain? Try immersing your hands/wrists for three minutes in hot water followed by 30 seconds in cold water. Repeat three to five times daily. Have you tried acupuncture? One text I have suggests doing the following to prepare the wrists for work: (before work starts and during breaks) Flex wrists and fists, with arms extended, for five minutes.

I dunno what else to offer right now; I know you dont want to hear this, but if these things don't help, you may just need to stop milking for a few months to let your wrists heal.

Blessings to you Cindy,

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2001

Thanks Earthmama, I'm trying to change the way I milk now. Before, the inside of my wrists would push down towards the floor, and now I'm keeping them sideways, and milking more with my fingers instead of my whole grip. The hot water really helps, it feels so good, and I did plunge them in cold water, but that hurts, but I did it. The painting of the floors might have had a lot to do with it too, which I forgot about. I'll look for the bromalain when I go to Wallmart. Thanks bunches sweetie. You all have a wonderful Sunday!

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2001

Happy Belated!!! (I'm chronically behind all the time...)

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2001

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