Over the fence chat for 7/29/01 - 8/4/01

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Hey, it's Sunday!! And would you just look at that ending date on the title - August!! August?! How the heck did we get to August so fast this year?! I'm sure it's usually later than this, isn't it?!

I got called in for a 23 - 04 shift last night/this morning; was in starting an IV on a patient when I was startled by a huge flash of lightning. The patient informed me that it had been storming for an hour - guess I had been too busy to look outside! It was still sprinkling as I was driving home - lots of steaming puddles in the roads and it smelled like a frog pond! I pulled in the drive and noticed that our pole light wasn't on - fumbled my way to the door in the dark - LOCKED! And me without my house key! So, I fumbled my way to the shed for the spare key - DARK!! Boy, was it dark out there!! Finally got in the house - power was off; but I could see a nearby neighbor's pole light, so I knew it was a local problem. Cordless phones do not work without electricity, as I was rudely reminded when I tried to call in and report it. Had to call the outage in on my cell phone - which was out in the car! At least I had a flashlight with me this time!! First thing this morning, I went looking and found a regular phone and hid it under the skirt of my bedside table!!

Moved the chicken house yesterday to up near the garden so it will be handy for chicken clean up patrol this fall. (Also handy for the neighbor kid who is coming over to paint it Monday!) The chickens are all out in tractors made of bin panels or stock panels that have been zip-tied together and set up in an A, with a skid at either end and a tarp over one area. In the past, I have just let them out and herded them to where I wanted them to go. I reckoned without considering the new chickens I got from Cass....you cannot herd 20 chickens with just two people!! I wanted them to go south. They went east, they went west, they went in the woods, in the sunflowers, clear over on the other side of the house, into the basement window wells, up on the trampoline, over the cat....Hubby was not amused! I told him I would hum the music from "Rawhide" if he wanted to sing...he STILL wasn't amused (?)! Anyway, he finally got the bright idea to bring out the rind and seeds from the melons I had just cut up to put in the fridge, and we tossed them in a fenced area and finally got all the birds in there. I waded in and caught them and handed them out to Hubby - not without suffering some scratches, beak bites and a few serious floggings! That was pretty much my excitement for the weekend!

This afternoon, we are heading over to the next county's 4-H fair to watch Phyllis and Mike's kids show chickens and rabbits - and so I can get some cotton candy and Hubby can indulge in his yearly corn dog! Unfortunatly, Hubby will be with me, so I am unlikely to come home with any critters - tho it didn't stop me last year, come to think of it! Maybe I'll go sneak the pet taxi in the trunk - he'll never notice!!

Tonight, I'm going to sit and make out a list for the neighbor kid - BWWHAAHAHAHAHA!! That'll teach him to call and ask me if I have any odd jobs he could do!! (Though I'm delighted to see the inititive!) Let's see....paint the chicken house, weed the garden, get those jars down out of the attic, change the spacing on the shelves for the canning jars, cut weeds out of the berry patch, lift, tote, carry.... hmmmm - you know, maybe I need to go find me a boy to go with all these other critters around here!!

Well, you folks all have a great week; I'm off to go get something useful done (for a change!) Hugs to all!

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2001


Polly, I am sure that you have made a mistake and we are not looking at August!???????????? I do believe this has been the fastest summer in my life. (maybe cause it was the longest winter???) Just finished putting some zucchini in the freezer, sliced, shredded and bigger slices on cookie sheets. Mostly done with peas now except a few for eating. Broccoli is ready now as is cabbage and peppers starting to come on. Ate our first corn the other day and cukes are now in abundance. Need to start pickling. Got some jalapenos now and am going to try and make "poppers". If they turn out I will freeze some also.

Had a wonderful visit with Sherri and Keith yesterday. I think if she were my daughter that Keith would have passed "approval" (smiling). He is a very quiet and sweet man that my dog who hates most men instantly warmed up to so I was impressed. We walked and talked and the time went by too fast again.

Gary is off to the hospital to get his MRI....the shoulder has never gotten better so they are thinking rotator cuff now. In our small town the only time the mobile MRI is here is Sunday afternoon. We got all the second cutting hay into the barn together and are hoping to be able to do the third cutting before surgery if it is needed. Always so much to do this time of year and now we are really stressed. Once he has the surgery the shoulder will have to be inmobile (if we are understanding right) so he needs to bring the trees down for me to be able to cut up. Lots of dead elm to burn this year. Maybe someday I will get past my fear of bringing trees down......a real phobia with me, even him doing it scares me. Hope all are having a wonderful weekend. hugs from me to you

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2001

These are what I call our blackberrie days. Lea and her friends come to the kichen dressed up in lace and frills ,their hats crooked on their smiling faces, and they bring to me baskets of plump shiny blackberries and they beg me to make Berry Tarts. As they go to the dress up trunk to change their gloves and petticoats, they can hardly keep themselves from the kitchen, and they keep peeking in , saying they smell so good! Indeed they do! Nothing like Blackberrys!

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2001

So what happened to July??? The summer sure is flying by. My Sugar Snap peas are all in the freezer (with the pigs enjoying the ones I missed on the vines!), and I've been canning "tons" of purple beans. Still waiting for the pole beans to mature enough to pick...Heaven knows I must need more beans!! Have some really nice eggplant almost ready to pick. Hubby and I love fresh eggplant! Does anyone know of a way to preserve it somehow??

We had a really nice weekend (weatherwise) for our boating pasttime. Only one problem...we were tour guides the whole weekend!! Saturday we spent the day out in Penobscot Bay showing some family members from western Maryland where their store-bought salmon comes from!! Caught several nice ones. Then Sunday had to take my son, his wife and their three kids, all under the age of 10, out for a cruise. NOT very relaxing!! Two of the kids caught some small mackeral which totally thrilled them...til they realized that we were gonna EAT them!! Maybe next weekend hubby and I can get out by ourselves. Probably it will rain!!

Still haven't finished butchering all my meat birds. Have 18 left...at this rate they're beginning to look like turkeys! I do have all my hay in, though. That's a very comforting sight to me! Actually, I'm really looking forward to Fall when all the harvesting is done. During the winter I can sit back with great satisfaction, watching the snow pile up outside, knowing that my freezer and pantry are well-stocked, the barn is full of hay and the firewood is done....oh my gosh... I'm supposed to be outside helping Hubby with splitting the firewood...have a good week everyone!!

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2001

I found some good maps for free use at About.com. I'm working on it. I made the map of the US full screen size, and I can put names on it, but will have to see if you can see the names. The US is big, even at 800 x 600 the states are small. I'll keep working on it and let you all know.

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2001

THis year I didn't use paper mulch on the potatoes. I used it last year with new beds to suppress the weeds, but I don't think I needed it in reality. Last year the mice were terrible and just loved that paper. They gathered up bunches of grass and woodchips and built nice little burrows under the paper and had free buffet, all-you-can- gnaw potatoes. Tons of mice last year....

I didn't put down paper this year. The potatoes grew fast enough that they crowded out nearly every weed that dared to sprout. So far, I haven't seen much in the way of mice....but it may be because today I saw the on-the-job free-mouse-control out prowling the woodpile. Cute little brown ermine. I hope that he confines himself to clearing out the local rodent population and leaves my rabbit alone, gonna have to take measures to keep the two seperate.

Does anyone know what cabbage moth larva look like? Are they little and green and smooth, or are they kinda medium sized and covered in long off-white hair? I've found both working on my kale and disposed of them. Fortunately, the rabbit & 'pigs don't care about a moth-eaten appearance to their dinner. I'm concerned that they might have designs on munching the cabbages and brussel sprouts as well.

All that talk of county fair has me feeling quite nostalgic. As a kid I used to enter every catagory that I could muster up an entry for. I scrounged the hedgerows for wildflowers to enter in arrangement, baked, canned, jellied, painted, and anything else (not much on sewing...)I could conjure up for an entry. I used to clear as much as $62 on the premiums, and that money would last me very nearly through to the next county fair.


-- Anonymous, July 30, 2001

Yes, Julie, Cabbage butterfly caterpilars are varying sizes and are green and smooth skinned. They are a real pain in the butt!! Look for their eggs deposited on the undersides of leaves (mostly Cole crops). These are white or off white in color. If you can eliminate the eggs before they hatch, you'll be way ahead!!!

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2001

Hey Sharon - yoooo-hoooo!!

I've been using the heck out of the cookbook youu gave me! Pop really likes Nick's cuke/tomato/onion salad; and I made your 4 bean salad today; except I think it has like 7 kinds of beans in it (went a little crazy in the bean aisle!)

Thanks again!!

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2001

Yeah they are both popular recipes here too,thru the summer.Tasty and easy and cold.Did you use basil in the beans? Required,you know.

If you want a really good, really fattening meal,try that hot brown.Derby Special. My one friend and I put a couple recipes together til we came up with one that tasted like the ones we got at Columbiana's resturant. Man,that's good eating! Oh boy,now I'm hungry!

I'll try to talk to you this weekend.I'm really tied up this week.Not much time to chat. Tootles

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

Happy Lughnasadh everyone! I was going to send the forum an e-card but the Blue Mountain Arts website appears to be down this morning.

Today is one of my favorite holidays. Even though it's so hot outside that you just want to melt, there's so much energy in the air now. This is the first of three harvest festivals, and the earth is just bursting with crops to be picked. Everyone is busy with preserving the harvest, as well as holding family reunions and county fairs. Traditionally it was the time when you could see that you would have enough food to make it through the winter, so it was time to PARTY! I was just reading last night about how Imbolc and Lughnasadh balance each other. Imbolc is Feb. 1st and it's traditionally a quiet, introspective, low-light, women's festival. Now 6 months later we have Lughnasadh, which is loud, bright, extroverted, and masculine. Sort of like the Oprah festival and the WWF festival! :)

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

And a Happy Lughnasadh to you also! And to everyone else here! We're getting ready to make some harvest figures and gather our veggies and such for a feast this evening. Have wonderful day!!!

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

Well, Happy Lughnasadh to you all!! Any excuse to eat and party is fine with me!!! I'm really serious, it's been a loooong day!

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

Hi all,

I have my beautiful daughter Amy and her terrific two year old son visiting me right now. She's been here for two weeks and we have one more week to go. She, husband Jason and baby Ethan live on a farm in Virginia right at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beautiful place. Jason has gone to Maine for a three week fishing trip and dropped Amy and Ethan off here to visit with me.

We've been yard saling and visiting the thrift shops. The other day Amy bought 5 bags of children's clothing at a bag sale at one of the thrift shops. When she got home and was going over all her treasures, she figured out she'd paid 18 cents per item. All these items are "name-brand" children's clothes some with tags still on them. She sells them on E-bay. She has quite a little business going and this is how she affords to be a stay-at-home mom. I'm quite proud of her (as you can probably tell).

Baby Ethan is so adorable. He refuses to call me "Grammy" like my grandson, Alex does. Instead he has decided I should be "Mickey". No idea why; it just appeals to him I guess. He's a beautiful child and so very smart. He enjoys going out with me to gather the eggs and has even weeded in the garden. Amy is teaching him sign language just because she wants to and he is learning so fast.

Our garden is coming along nicely. Beans are putting out enough each day for dinner and so far we're not tired of them yet. Corn has tassled in spite of being attacked by the chickens. Speaking of chickens, had a skunk under my chicken house the other evening. Chickens refused to go into the house so DH stood guard outside the house with a garden hose in case the skunk showed himself again while I ran around scooping up chickens are carrying them inside the house. Once the chicken door was down there's no way the skunk could get inside and he was gone the next day. Haven't seen him since.

Hope everyone is enjoying this quickly passing season.

Wishing you enough.

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2001

Hey Dianne...where in Maine is your son-in-law fishing? Fresh or salt water? If he's fishing salt...ask if he found any stripers!! They're very elusive this year. I really want to put a few in my freezer! Thanks.

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2001

Hey Marcia,

He's coming back on Wednesday (the 8th) so I'll ask him then and let you know.


-- Anonymous, August 03, 2001

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