Over the Fence Chat 9-9-01 thru 9-15-01

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I guess I'd better start this one, since no one else has so far . . .

Trouble is, I don't have much to chat about. It's raining lightly here and is cool, about 60*F I think. Walking the dog this morning was not especially pleasant, but it could have been so much worse, I'm not really complaining. I realize that sleet is barely around the corner. I really hate that time of year. Give me honest winter instead!

As mentioned elsewhere, I am going on the road this week, hopefully up north for a few days with mom, before Julie and I trundle off to the Minnesota Renaissance Faire in Shakopee. Not going to get to meet Jim -- just doesn't work out this year. I can hope for next year! I have TONS of stuff to get done before I go. Sure wish that Faire was in mid-Wisconsin instead!

Still working on tomato sauce. It's cooked, now I need to run it through the blender and freeze it for future chili making. Got some more ripe ones yesterday that await my attention as well.

Going to be missing Pagan Pride day here, which just can't be helped. We'll have to have our own Harvest Festival/Equinox Celebration, Julie! Or maybe just stay for the drum jam at the Faire . . .

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001


joy, when is the drum jam? And what day(s) are you going to the Ren Faire?

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Hi Guys.....I'm having a really nice quiet weekend here all by myself!! DH left early Sat. a.m. for Epping, N.H. to watch the North American Nationals at New England Dragway. It's "boys weekend away"! We are old drag racers from the late 60's and New Eng. Drag. was where we started out. Sure has changed alot since then!!! Now we just drag race locally at a track here in Maine and one in New Brunswick.

So...I've had all the time in the world to can the last of my tomatoes, catch up on laundry, mow part of the lawn, vacuum out the truck, shovel out two goat pens, give the smelly buck a semi-bath, check up on my MIL, babysit my granddaughter (only 2 hrs. though) AND I just got time to recline on the couch and read BTS and one of my cats decides that it's "hairball" time. YUCK! And I wonder where the weekend went!!!? Sure will be glad when Monday gets here and I can go back to being just the office manager and secretary for our auto repair business!!!

Spent three days at our local Blue Hill Fair last week. Love that food!! Hope to get to the Fryeburg Fair this year. Haven't been to that one in a few years. The Common Ground Fair is also one of my favorites. All organic and no midway. My son calls it a "hippy fest" and "goat roper gathering". I tell ya...no respect for the good stuff :-)!

Well, gotta get going on some homemade bread. I want the aroma to be permeating the house when DH gets home tonite. I sure hope he has fun with the guys, but...I want him to appreciate coming home, also! And wearing something out of Victoria's Secret catalog was NOT an option :-)!!!!

Oh yeah, almost forgot, DH and caught our first lobsters in our traps last week. mmmmm good!!! Probably it was just beginners luck, too!

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Joy, have a great time at the Ren Faire!!! Are you going in period dress?

Marcia, I know what you mean about "hairball time", I have a 20 year old housecat (used to have a 21 and 20 year old, but her dear sister passed away from type two diabetes in January) who's digestion is very unstable, to say the least, and I will never quite get used to coming inside or waking up to a big mess, usually on a carpeted area, of course!!! Nature's Miracle is the best stuff to clean up cat messes, has a very light orange essence aroma, and really gets the smells out, even from heavy pile carpet.

Getting plenty of wonderful Brandywine tomatoes from the garden, they are ugly to look at, and don't keep or can well, but their flavor is unsurpassed. My aunt in western MD will drive the 140 miles here to get some, her tomatoes don't do well in their cooler climate where they live, and take forever to ripen.

The rain has missed us so far this weekend, we don't need any more for a while, had 2 1/2 inches last week, took forever to dry out a second cutting of hay, the ground was just too wet! Dad had wanted to help us put up hay over the holiday weekend, but it wasn't ready to square bale until Thursday, so he missed the "fun" part of baling hay yet again. In his day on the dairy farm, they put hay up with a hay buck, a device that loaded loose hay on the hay wagon, then you had to load it into the hay mow with giant forks on an overhead lift, very different now with a baler. Makes me appreciate the square baler more!

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Sorry about your kitty, Annie. Mine all range in age from 4 yrs.to 10 yrs. and I don't know what I'll do when they start getting "old". Oh, BTW, I have 10..all housecats!!

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Oh my, Marcia, ten in the house!!! I have eight barn cats, all fixed and spoiled rotten too, they have an actual kitty condo my Dad built for them, with three floors, and a heat lamp for them to stay warm in the winter in our milk house!

I got brave, and with some helpful suggestions from CS, defrosted the deep freeze this afternoon, didn't take near as long as I thought, boy, the dogs and chickens will eat well the next few days!

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Really tired from a hard week at work, this is a badly needed weekend. We could all really use a good recession! Lots of folks seem to have caught a summer cold around here, it's not helping things. Loving this cool pre-fall cool weather, and doing our best to harvest, freeze, and can our garden. Anybody ready for winter?

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

I am definitely ready for winter!!! After the hot, humid and dry summer we've had here in downeast Maine, all I can say is that I can't wait to shovel snow again.

Annie, people often come in my house and say "wow...you sure can't tell you have 10 cats living here!!" LOTS of baking soda helps!! I also have about (??) 12 barn cats. My original barn cats were spayed and neutered, but I seem to have acquired a few extras. Can't help but put out milk and dry food for them!!!

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Annie, save seed from those Brandywines! I've heard how "great" Brandywine's are, yet all the ones I've had range from nothing spectactular to very bland. I finally found out (reading the Tomato Forum at GardenWeb) that there are different "strains" of Brandywine. Some very good and some not worth growing. Sounds like you have one of the winner strains!

Of course cats puke on the carpet -- they don't want it splashing back in their faces! Good thing I love the little critters, 'cause I don't think I could stand it otherwise! :-)

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

No, no, no!!! NOT time yet for winter! Pleese!!! Tonight we just had our very first green beans and our first corn! Delicious!!! And we had our first tomato last week. You guys back east are so far ahead of us. Yikes!!! Summer needs to last another month out here.

We went camping this weekend....beautiful weather, and it was something of a surprise. I think it got to be mid-70s maybe. We didn't go to the Kayak Symposium...silly me, that's NEXT weekend. We did go up around the same area, though. This weekend, it was the Festival of Wooden Boats...some beautiful boats on the water. As you may know, Puget Sound is huge and full of boats most of the year anyway. The wooden boats were cool, though. One huge schooner had seven sails. I think it's named Cutty Sark. Another big sailing vessel looked like Columbus could have sailed on it. Most of the boats were wooden sailboats though...some pretty funky. Thousands of 'em anyway and all sizes and shapes.

We camped. Rested. Slept a lot. Ate really marginal food. Originally, we were going to take my nephew, but his mom moved him back to Seattle (arghhhh) and he started school this past week. We may try again in October, when he has a 3-day weekend.

I have been doing transcription again; working Mon-Fri. Hard to discipline myself after having so much time off. Also hard to get used to a new field: ob/gyn. You'd think I might know something about it, but sheesh....that stuff changes *daily*!

Got the ewe barn all mucked out and new bedding in. Ahhh...so tonight I'm really goofing off....later, all....

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Like I said in another post, I started massage therapy school this weekend. It is very fun, but my brain is fried. I"m having to dredge up all those anatomy terms I learned back in college 20-odd years ago, and learn a bunch of new ones to boot. The school that I'm attending is the equivalent of a 6-month program condensed into 3.5 months, so it's pretty intense.

We'll be heading over to the Ohio Ren Fair on Saturday. Keith wanted a new shirt which wasn't too bad, except that he wanted the collar from one pattern (only taller), the sleeves from another pattern (only not quite as full), and the cuffs from another pattern (only twice as wide and buttoning on the bottom instead of the side). No problem! :) I'm going to make him pay for this one!

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Gee, Sherri, we'll be at the Renaissance Festival at the same time. Too bad it's two different faires, and with 3 states in between! :-(

Sheepish, I think it should still be July, by my internal timeline (which is seriously screwed up, obviously). Hence, when winter arrives it will take me totally by surprise!

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Tonight I'm doing the oven-roasted tomato thingie. We've had 2 1/2 inches of rain after dry-dry-dry, and despite my watering, of course all kinds of tomatoes split their skins as a result. So I picked off every split one I could find and am having a mass roasting, all kinds in together, but it's mostly Fourth of July (has that ever been productive!! THey're small, but tasty, and there's a million of 'em. I'm saving seed, don't know if they're a hybrid, but til I know, I'm saving it.), some Juliet, the Zebrinas that there are (beautiful fruit, also small, but the texture and taste are nothing to write home about. They also weren't productive enough to grow again.), and a bunch of Sweet Million.

None of the Grape tomatoes split from the rain. I am liking those better and better.

Meanwhile, several zucchini took advantage of three days of rain to relaunch their attempts at growing an organic version of The Hindenberg. I'm gonna let one of those go for seed too. It's been a good producer, disease resistant, and spineless.

I was out in the garden most the day altho it was drizzling (my hair has frizzed to oblivion. It's 100% humidity here, but not hot enough to be a problem.), chopping off any extraneous tomato foliage left, building up a new compost heap (turned them all the other day) with the leaves and all.

I've also been putting in hoops so that I can start running row covering over them to protect them while I'm gone. We haven't had a frost yet this year (that is unusual around here! Usually we get a couple nights frost and then it warms up again before launching into real fall.), and I am suspicious of course that it'll take advantage of my being gone to do it then. So I'll cover it and hope for the best.

I'm also planning out where to set up poly tunnels to do some late season greens, but I won't be doing that until I'm back from the Renn Faire and have time to rearrange the crops. I've got way too much to do tween now and Friday, isn't that the story of our lives?!!

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2001

Sherri, we just went ot the Ren. festival in Ohio last weekend. We went without the kids and had a blast. We stayed much longer than if we had taken them.

We just got back from the 2nd and final flea market/rendesvous of the year in Friendship, Indiana. Also another great time! I found 2 really neat pendulums at a great price and some crystals i had been wanting (smoky quartz and citrine). I have also been looking for a good sized piece of raw amethyst for display in my living room for a good price. Still didn't find it. So if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I bought some hides yesterday to make some projects with and now I feel so bad about it. Does buying those hides cause more animals to be killed. When these animals are killed, is everything used? I would sure hate for an animal to be killed just for it's hide. But at the same time I don't see me out hunting my own and brain tanning it! What's your opinion?

Next weekend is the Simon Kenton festival in Washington KY. We always look forward to that, especially the transparent pies!!

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2001

Oh, Sherri, I know exactly how you feel with the sewing!! My DH always knows "exactly" what he wants his medieval garb to look like...until it's finished! Then it's "could you add a wide white band about 12 inches up from the bottom? And around the sleeves? And split it up the back about 15 inches? Other than that it's PERFECT, honey!"...Grrr! Good thing I love him so much!

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2001

I have mixed feelings about skins, Denise. Yes, I feel rather badly about the animal that died, BUT [a] if it's deerskin, there are way too many -- we've killed all the predators and created a great environment for them, so we're ALSO responsible for alleviating overpopulation, and [b] other skins, such as buffalo, cow/bull, come from animals that were going to be killed anyway. Maybe it's a greater "sin" to let it go to waste? If one is vegetarian or vegan, it might well be against their principles. I'm not, though I try to only eat meat that was naturally, humanely raised. Don't eat a lot of meat anyway. I have yet to determine a way to find out the source of leather, however.

Then we get into things like the CHEMICALS used to tan the hides . . . How do we reconcile that? There's a tannery in Milwaukee (I lived there a few years) -- back then, they dumped into the river. Don't know if they still can do that. :-( Might be worthwhile trying to find a tannery that uses vegetable tanning, though I'm not sure about the environmental debt of that either. Saw an interesting clip on TV last year, something about rende-vous'ers. It was a couple in buckskin -- he had on brain tanned, she had on "conventional" tanned. He was comfortable, his skins breathed. She was roasting. Might want to reconsider brain tanning! ;-)

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2001

Okay, here's what is happening with me. My gut is tied in knots.

The Pentagon has been bombed and planes have been kamakazied into the World Trade Center. All commercial flights grounded. We have no way to get ahold of Ryan and don't know if he's still out in the field training or where he is. He has been taking a lot of extra training lately and was getting ready to head out for desert training and air assault training. I'm worried about our boy, along with being agahst at whatever thing could have concieved and carried out this attack. Major Stress.

Also, on a lesser note - not of National importance, but it's got me nutso - I go into today for a second PAP, first one came back questionable. This is twice in three years that it has happened and given that Mama died of ovarian cancer at the age of 52, I'm seriously spazzed out. Stress Multiplied.

I'm going in for my annual review on Friday; and will find out if I get my raise or not. I found out that people who were hired at the same time I was but didn't take a sign on bonus got 50 cents an hour more than I did in pay. That was okay (sort of) since it was a two- year contract and that about evens out with what I got for a bonus. However, my two-year contract is up and they are still making more $$ than I am. So, I may be looking for a new job after I get back from vacation. Hell, maybe I'll be joining the service; who knows? I think I'm too old; but then I think about the possibility of young women with young families possibly being required to serve....Stress to the nth power.

Today, I'm heading to town to do laundry, which I'll come home and hang out on the line in between running in and out to check out the TV. The temp has been getting down into the 50's at night and it is a crisp 62 right now; so it will be nice to hang them out. I'm still working on sewing a couple of jumpers to wear when I take off on vacation this weekend, if it's safe to go. One is finished except for hemming, which I can get done at work; and the other is nearly so. I may have time to make another one or two, depending on what is going on. I need to run by the store and pick up some groceries when I head the other direction to a different town for my Dr. appt. Wondering what to buy - can't even think of what we might need. Guess maybe I'd better plan on canning those tomatoes tonight after all. Gee, Trennie - maybe this is what your uncomfortable feeling was about here a while back.

I can't keep on focus right now; guess I'll go get something done. Lots of folks out there needing healing thoughts and energy right now...

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2001

Polly, sending you calming energy...........I could use a little too, trying remain in the knowledge that all is well, always........

My babies are in Oregon at NOT BACK TO SCHOOL CAMP; Lotus is supposed to fly home tomorrow, Ali is taking the train. Oh how I wish they were here with us now........

May the Great Spirit bless us all........

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2001

Polly, I really wish we indeed did live in that wonderful community that you proposed a while back. We could go for a long, vigorous walk (you, too, Earthmama!!) and blow off some energy. Then we could come back and have some tea at Trennie's before visiting with Kirk to see how he's feeling, etc. ALL of us could get together and give each other big ((((((((hugs)))))))) to make us feel better.

I'm going to pray as well as hoe like nobody's business today.

Love to you all,

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2001

I am still in shock and it is wee-small hours now. I had tons of errands to do today and fortunately, I had a list, because there was no way I could have remembered half of it without.

Tonight I filled gas cans. Our sole little gas station was crawling with people. The natives were taking it fairly well, the tourists were getting quite strange.

I thinned carrots (they are quite nice, about the size of your finger and very tender and crisp. The critters enjoyed them immensely, tops and all.), I picked tomatoes, I weeded some and cut grass for the critters too. While doing that, I found two 4-leaf clovers. This must be my lucky day.

How ironic is that? I'm lucky I was nowhere near NYC or DC, but it didn't feel much like a lucky day.

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2001

Sheepish, Your community fantasy warmed my heart, I sure wish that you could all come over for tea. With all my nervous energy I got my kitchen pretty well cleaned up yesterday so I won't be embarrased when you all come,and I make banana bread so we will have something to snack on. We grew quite a bit of stevia this year so I am experimenting with it as a sweetener, I think that it tastes like that nutrisweet stuff in the little packages. I woke up from a dream this morning that there was another attack on N.York tomorrow between 9 and 10, I pray that it is just another crazy dream.

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2001

Keith has 3 friends who work in Manhattan, one in the financial district. We did get a quick email from all of them saying that they were OK, just not sure how they were going to get home since all the bridges and tunnels are closed.

We had a gasoline scare here, some of the stations jacked their prices up to $4-$5 dollars a gallon. The state attorney general is now going to prosecute them for price gouging. I filled up the gas tank and got some money out of the bank, just in case.

My co-worker's daughter and son-in-law live in Saudi Arabia. He's German and she's American. They transferred all of their funds to a German bank and have their bags packed and sitting by the door. They're afraid of being attacked, except that they don't know if it will be the locals attacking them because they're Americans or if they'll get caught up in any US retaliation bombings.

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2001

We weren't sure about what was happening with gas last night as some people were calling and saying that gas was going up. The news said no it wasn't. So just in case, I went up to the gas station about 8:00 last night to fill the vehicle and the gas cans. I sat in line behind 3 other cars (there was a line of 3 at every pump). Right after I got up to the pump and put my card in they started shutting down the pumps because they were out of gas. But since I had already started, they let me finish. It turns out that everything with gas prices is fine today but sort of gave me a taste of what it might be like if something were to really happen with our gas supply. I wish I had room for a horse!

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2001

Heard planes again this morning. Kind of welcome after such an eerie silence all day yesterday (except for military planes.)

I am really going to get hay delivered today. Wish I could afford to buy a couple more tons now. Money, money, money. So hard to not need it.

Apples are ripe. Guess that's good news...

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2001

Julie and I have decided to go to Minnesota as planned. I don't know if we'll feel like laughing or not, but I'm gonna try. So, we're out of here for a long weekend. "See" you next week.

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2001

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