Over the Fence Chat -- 11/4 - 11/10/01

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Time to start another thread. But I don't have much to say . . .

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2001


I started a new hobby thats a lot of fun for me and should help control my cabin fever this winter. Cloche gardens and kitchen herbs in antique bottles and canning jars. Found a book on Victorian era cloche terreariums and how to build them. Figure it'll make a nice winter hobby and maybe someday when I can run a nursury of my own, I can do them as Mothers Day arrangements. It's a lot of fun scouring flea markets and yard sales for the unique glassware to make one of a kind floral displays. Sure is reducing our Christmas expenses this year, plus they're "no mess" planters.

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2001

It is a gloriously sunny day here in south-central Michigan. I am certainly enjoying the sunshine after so many days of GLOOM. I have been trying to clean out the fence rows along the road and not getting too far.

Many of us are trying to figure out how to best help the "bombed out" families down the road from us. It literally looks like a bomb site with stuff hanging all over in the trees, or I should say parts of trees that are still standing. My heart just cries for them as they sort through the rubble trying to find family memorabilia and anything worth keeping.

Yesterday when I was filling the feeders a chickadee landed right on my shoulder and looked me in the eye and started chattering at me. The strangest thing.........I felt like Saint Francis or something!!! He jumped off my shoulder and onto the feeder just chattering all the way.

Hope you all are finding some moments of peace in this difficult time. hugs

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2001

I keep thinking about Polly every time I log on. Polly, when you read this, please know that I think about you often and am praying for your good health.

Yesterday was beautiful! It was warm (60ish) and sunny. I had a meeting at church, but got home around noon and worked in the garden...and also happily harvested the copious amounts of maple leaves that our Japanese maple (30' high)drops, plus that which all the big leaf maples in the area provide. I made lovely mulches around my plants. My broccoli is finally heading up! Hooray (I won't get much, but I'll get some.) Then Mr. S. and I listened to the Husky game (Univ. Wa. football) while I shelled beans, and we just really enjoyed the sunset. There was even that glittering reflection of sunlight (like summer!) on the pond.

Today was almost as much of a contrast as one could picture. I went to church, and had yet another meeting, so got home around one. It was pouring rain, dark, gloomy, and creepy out. For reasons beyond my control (some of which have to do with the fact that I'm now away from home 11 hours/day M-F!) I had today to erect new feeding stations for some of the sheep *today*. Thus, I was out in the downpour, hauling plywood, pitching concrete footers, and moving/redoing fence. I had my sou'wester hat on (or nor'easter for you Mainiacs!) and my Goretex jacket, Carhartt bibs, and rubber knee- high boots. I must have looked a fright. Everything went okay for the first 3 hours, but when I went to move Jack, one of our rams, he refused to cooperate. (ooh...wish I had a working dog!!!!) Anyway, I ended up pitching rocks (big ones...pit run) at him to get him to move. What a bonehead.

Now I'm waiting for today's crockpot soup to finish up. We're kind of watching the World Series (except that I'm in another room...LOL) and hoping the Diamondbacks kick the Yankees big rich butts (sorry...no sympathy for New Yorkers re: baseball...it SHOULD have been the Mariners.) Sorry about the everything else that happened, of course, but this is baseball!

Well enough about me... Let's talk about you for a while!

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2001

Ha! The Snakes pulled it out in the bottom of the 9th. Teach the yanks a lesson! I heard the Yankees are waving the big bucks in front of Barry Bonds so there go my Giants for next year. Darn!

Nothing much going on with me except I did find 2 pound cans of Yuban on sale for 3.99. Back the truck up! Ha!.....Kirk

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2001

Jay , You folks are so creative, man I bet that is pretty, Hm I've got some of those old blue canning jars around here,Hm, bet that would be nice. I noticed some baby calendulas coming up out in the garden , thinking about transplanting them to the in doors, so that they won't get frosted.

Diane, that is sooo cool about the chickadee, neat~o~! It reminds me of a time when I lived out in Mo. It was a very cold and windy day and I was out to the wood pile getting some wood, and this little bird, I can't even remember what kind it was, started flying up and down before me, chattering the whole time, I didn't know what to do, just stared at it, then it started flying towards the shed door, back and forth between the shed and me. Finally I got the message and I opened the shed door, the little bird then did a little dance, chattered some more and flew away, soon it came back with it's little mate, a shy little bird who looked rather battered. They both flew into the shed and took shelter there for the night. All I can figure out is the birds mate was in bad shape and the little bird reached out to me in the effort to find shelter for her. It was so cool, I'll never forget it, although the next morning they were gone and I never saw them again.

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2001

Diane, I would definatly take that chickadee landing on you as a good sign! A wonderful sign!

I am so happy this morning, I know I'm either happy or sad, there seems to be no inbetween with me. I share enough of my unhappiness with you guys so perhaps I should share more of my happiness too. Why am I happy, oh I don't know , maybe it is because I spent some quiet time in the gardens this morning, and I picked a bouquet!

Yes, a bouquet in November! Is that something to be happy about or what! Oh, it is beautiful in my kichen window where the sunlight is highlighting it. It started when I picked some of the purple/mauve and pink asters in my husbands butterly garden, the yellow in their centers goes so well with the calendula that I found by the old rubarb stalks, then I browsed over to the girl's gardens where I found some of their miniture fairy roses, still blooming, so some of their soft pink got added to the bouquet.

Then as I went towards the barn to let out the chickens I spyed some little wild white asters still blooming their delicate white pink. Then some fox tail and queen anns lace were added. And oH HOw I am blessed! There is no greater joy then a bouquet in November!

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2001

Hard to believe that it is November already. Our weather hasn't been too bad...yet! Typical fall/Indian summer weather here. But I'm sure it will change soon! For all the talking folks do about the looonnnggg winter, in reality, only half (or so) of Dec. and all of Jan. and Feb. are really bad. And by the time March gets here, there is more spring-like weather than cold weather!

That's really cool about the chickadee, Diane!! When I'm filling my feeders, I've had them land on the feeder itself or on the coffee can that has the sunflower seed in it....but never on ME!! I love feeding the birds. Even with a yardful of barn cats!

Butchered our two turkeys on Sun. My hubby and I loaded them up in my dog crate and put them in our little trailer pulled by the lawn tractor. As he was driving across the front lawn towards our "butchering" spot, hubby was calling out to the chickens scattering in front of him, "Look out...Dead Turkeys Walking!! Walking the Green Mile!!" Think he's been watching too many movies??! Then again...maybe it was too many beers!! Anyways, they are safely in the freezer now. One weighed 22 lbs. and the other weighed 19 lbs.

I'm also one of "those" people who is really glad that the Yankees lost! I wasn't following the series, but the Yankees have won every year...it seems like!!

Hey Polly...how ya doin'? I sure admire your ambition and attitude!!!!! Please keep us all informed as to how your operation goes!

Getting really windy around here tonight...expecting the power to go off so I'm outta here!!! Have a good week everyone!

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2001

Kirk, I'm bringing a convoy down to pick up that Yuban! Where did you find it?!!

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2001

It's very clear here, and there is supposed to be a great Northern Lights show going on directly overhead (which is an unusual location, they said). I could see it sort of dimly, but there is too much light pollution around here. But a lot of the country is supposed to be able to see it. So if you read this, and it's clear where you are, you might want to take a peek!

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2001

OOOOOH I saw it!!!!!! Holy cow! Soft shimmering purple pink. It beautiful. Oh how I envy the people who see this all the time. Thank you Joy!!!!!

Sheepish I found the Yuban at Albertson's but the tightwads only let me have two. I think that will last me about 3 months or so.

Tren I got so excited reading about your flowers I raced out to pick some then remembered I haven't planted any yet!!! just piles of rocks everywhere. Next year I get started on some planters.

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2001

Reports (emails, phone calls, etc.) coming in here of great displays of the shimmering white stuff, one woman said she saw a phoenix, plus others reporting greens and rose pink (like rose quartz)! Dang, I wish I could have seen it better.

My greatest memories of seeing the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis, whichever you prefer) are from when I was up in northern Wisconsin. The first time I ever saw them that I can remember, I was a kid, we were coming home late at night from the county fair, and could see them as we drove along. Dad stopped the car so we could get out and look for awhile.

Then there was the time in September, standing out in mother's north yard, freezing to death (despite having put on the winter coats, hats, etc.), but not wanting to go in. That was the best show I've seen. The colors were very pale, but OH! the waves, and ribbons, and shimmers! Julie's terrier puppy wanted to be out there with us, but was freezing too, so she ended up, kangaroo-fashion, in the front of Julie's jacket. I think the dog was the coziest of us all, and didn't care one whit about the lights, only that she was "in on the action". ;-)

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2001

Hi all, and Many, Many Thanks for all the well wishes, good thoughts and prayers folks - happiness does wonders to boost the immune system!

I came home from the laundry Saturday sicker than a dog with a cold/flu type bug - got out of bed to go to work and not much else over the weekend and spent Monday in bed too, so I didn't get a thing done on my to-do list. Finally crawled out of bed yesterday and got outside and helped Pop get the shingles on the chicken house; then we built a set of double decker nest boxes for the ladies. I filled them up with a mix of shedded credit card applications and leaves (a friend from work brought me 15 bags of maple leaves from her yard in town!), and the ladies hopped right in and checked them out! I'm hoping for no more egg hunts! I turned over a 3X9 bed in the garden and planted some garlic that Sharon had given me - hope it's not too late! Got the one flower bed cleaned out and my cannas and part of my glads dug, so now that bed is ready for some compost and tulip bulbs. I wanted to wash windows since it was such a nice day outside; but apparently the ladybug plague thought it was a nice day to be out and about too....Reckon I'll have to wait for a hard freeze to keep them indoors. I settled for cleaning one room of the house, and getting the dishes done up.

Jessie is home sick today, so I need to see if I can get her into the doctor. The school will mark her unexcused if we don't have a note from the doc - what a world this is! Waste our time and the doc's and $15 for a note to the school...

I was planning to dig my dahlia tubers as they got hit and bit by the first freeze we had; but since then, the big maple in my front yard has dropped all of it's leaves and they blew into the perennial beds and cozied up around the dahlias, so they have been protected from later freezes. Hate to pull the leaves away and let them get finished off 'cause they are still blooming and even setting new buds; but I don't want to be out there digging them with snowballs bopping me in the butt either! Still need to get my mums and tulip bulbs in that front bed... I won't be able to use a fork or shovel for at least 6 weeks after my surgery, so I sure am glad it's scheduled for December! I'd be in a world of hurts if it was in March or so...always something to be grateful for if you look hard enough!

My fingers are sure itching to start sorting through my seed packs and making a list and checking it twice; but I'm trying to hold off for the first snowfall at least! There's just something soul soothing about sitting in a nice warm house, with a cuppa hot chocolate, looking out the window at the snow, but seeing instead fat red tomatoes and bright yellow squash and hearing Jenny Wren's lilting song as she brings home supper to her brood. Ain't it amazin' where your imagination can take you if you let it?!

While I was out messing in the garden yesterday, I pulled up some weeds out of a bed and found some carrots that I didn't remember planting - durn, now I'm even hiding the plants from myself! I coulda sworn that was the bed where Pop made me leave those volunteer tomatoes... Anyhow, I pulled one of those and a beet complete with tops and a couple of brussle sprouts for Bun's breakfast - Hubby says that it is going to require a fork lift pretty soon just to lift that rabbit out of the cage! Amazing how much more tender and less prickley the beet greens are this time of year - and such a lovely ruby red - Move over Bun; I'm joining you at the salad bar!

I've got some bushel size wooden apple crates left over from when we had the orchard; and I'm wondering about lining a couple of them with a clear heavy duty trash bag and layering in some soil and compost and rabbit leavings; then brining them in under a grow light and planting them with some greens for the winter - some chard and lettuce and spinach. What do you all think? Jay, do you think I could divvy up a carton of worms in there? Would they be happy, or crawl out all over the basement floor?! Wish I had a full length glass door on my basement stairwell so I could set them in front of that!

Well, I'd better get around and get at doing something while I still have some energy left. Hope everyone has a good week!

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2001

Wow, I thought that I was busy but then I come here and read some of your posts and I feel like a big 'ole slug. :) School is going well. My anatomy final is the 19th so I've been doing a lot of studying. Work has been crazy lately. If you've seen the news reports about the new rapid test for anthrax, that's my employer. We've been scrambling for the past 2 weeks to get all the proper paperwork completed so that the FDA will allow us to produce the test. We are giving the reagents free of charge to 25 labs across the USA to help contain any future bioterrorism threats. Normally I grumble about having to work for a large medical/industrial corporation, but I'm pretty proud of my company right now. We also have contributed $1 million to start a scholarship fund for the children of Sept. 11th victims.

I miss the northern lights! When I went to college up in the UP I saw them almost every night in the winter. Sometimes when the night was very cold and very still I would imagine that I could hear them as well as see them. I tried looking for them last night but there's too much light pollution around our place. The moon was huge though!

Diane, your chickadee story reminds me of something from my childhood. My great-uncle Steve had a hunting cabin near Mio, Michigan. My dad usually made a couple of trips up there each fall and sometimes we would come with him. He trained some of the chickadees around the cabin to eat from his hand. My dad has been deer hunting for almost 40 years now and has never shot a deer. I don't even think that he loads his gun. He just likes to have an excuse to walk around in the woods by himself and look at the wildlife.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2001

Hello everyone, you all sound so busy. I am always busy too. Haven't been posting for awhile. To update you Missy the boxer had 6 puppies on Oct. 28th and 5 lived. We have 3 boys and 2 girls. Only one boy looks fawn like her and the others are Brendle like Tank. They are trying to get their eyes open now and are fat little things. Missy seems to be a good mommy. The baby chicks are now 3/4 the way feathered out and are growing fast. We had 2 new litters of baby pigs last night and another one today.

Maranda's basketball season is just about over and then she starts in volleyball first week in Dec. Justin went thru his board of review in boy scouts last night and there will be a awards banquet next weekend.

Our weather here has been gorgeous! Today is close to 70 degrees and I hung clothes out this morning. Won't be long until I can't do that any more. I will miss that fresh outdoor smell on the clothes. Somehow snuggles just doesn't take it's place.

I will try to post more often. Good health to all. Phyllis

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2001

Hey'everybody!!!I hope you are all well...you too polly.We have had a bad month,our friend Ian passed in sept.( thank you all for your kind words)2 weeks later we buried a wee babe from our church too.Then the much loved mother cat of 8,seven day old kittens disapeared,and I have been playing nurse mom every 3 hrs for this last month.We pressed 16o litres of cider and I am finishing up 3 bushels of apples into whatever.I have 2 babies to deliver in the next 2 months,and am teaching prenatal classes to the parents.We have had a job offer in the north ,where we have always longed to live,but had to turn it down,cuz we look after some elder relatives in nursing homes...I'm trying to be big about it....arghhh.It's like doing an about face??? what now?Our oldest left home after telling my hubby (his dad) to *&^$ you..its time to fly little bird!!I wish I could enjoy the farm more .Do you ever feel like you want to build a six foot wall around your farm that would just keep crap out?I did manage to grow some birdhouse gourds finally.We are taking my folks to the Royal winter fair in Toronto tomorrow.They are city dwellers and 81 yrs old...this is gonna be a blast!!!!peas and love teri....

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2001

Phyllis...those puppies sound so cute! How I miss having a litter of puppies around. Years ago we used to breed rough Collies for show (and, yes, some of mine actually knew how to herd!). Then we started showing Alaskan Malamutes. But there is something so "different" about puppies as compared to any other baby animal!!

Polly...You are a real inspiration...at least to me!!

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2001

The puppies are really cute! Most of them have their eyes open now and are starting to wonder all over the garage. There is one boy that was the biggest at birth and still is and the only fawn colored one. He has the prettiest face. His head being light brown, with those black boxer cheeks and a white stripe down between his eyes to his nose. The rest of his body gets darker. All the puppies have stripes, just some of them wider and darker than others. Missy and tank don't have stipes, but Missy's dad did. They are fat and alot of fun. Maranda likes to spend any extra time out there with them.

Our weather has turned cooler and much windier. Michael, I and Curtis had to run to town this morning and then we came back home and loaded 17 pigs of various sizes and Michael is off to the sale barn. Pigs were down again today and have been for awhile. We hope they will go back up soon. Maranda has her last home game tonight and only one more next week. Justin is off next week one day to a Musical based on the famous diary of Anne Frank, called " A Voice Heard" His literature class is going. For living in a very small town, the kids do get to do alot. Of course alot more now, than years past. Better get some house chores done and then my chores. Have a good day everyone! Phyllis

-- Anonymous, November 08, 2001

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