Over The Fence Chat Jan 28 to Feb 2, 2002

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

My turn to start the thread this week! So, tell us all your news for the week!! We have taken the step of calling my brother about the addition we plan on putting onto the house since we decided not to move. This way my darlin' can telecommute 3 days a week rather than drive to the Halifax office every day. Hopefully we will start up in March... or maybe not so hopefully. I have never lived in a construction zone and cringe to think what will become of us when I start wigging out. My dear bluntly spoken contractor brother will not be polite to me if I get in the way or something the way a non family guy would so there may be a family rift in the offing because when he starts flapping his yap I will probably respond in kind. Oh my. hee hee It will be worth it though..whatever we get done will be done to his exacting standards and will never squeak, leak, or let go. He's a treasure for all his tarnish and does great reno's. I actually got one of my sheep to eat out of my hand this week!! Those silly girls are so flighty and skittery that I haven't yet been able to tame any of them to let me touch them, like some shepherds can their flocks, so this is a big deal for me. I'm still getting about 6 eggs a day so they are piling up in the fridge waiting for someone to be tempted by my sign out front. I sent about 2 dozen home with my bro and his wife to make room. A friend told me about a neighbor of his family's that lives in an apartment and has a pug dog. No dogs allowed in the apartment building so her dog is living in her car and she has no plans to move to a more animal friendly place anytime soon. I'm sorry but its damn cold out this time of year even here and those dogs don't have much coat. The SPCA is being called to evaluate the situation. I told them that if the SPCA takes the dog to call me cuz I have always wanted a Pug. I just love them. I'm pretty sure my home beats a freezing car in a parking lot anyday for the little mite. We shall see. I'm as bad as my husband. He met me at the door a couple of weeks ago with a grin on his face because he had called World Vision to sponsor a Haitian child in need. (this after he had me STOP watching those shows when I was post partum because I would start bawling and want to send money..why is it generous for him and hormonal for me????) Lambing time approacheth, if they actually took, in March. I can't tell if they are preggers or just fat under all that wool because I can't get close enough to seee or feel. I guess we'll find out soon enough.:o) And how's YOUR week going???

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2002


Working on putting up ALL my greenhouses (I think I have my chore schedule worked out to allow sufficient greenhouse time), I have my dart throw assembled, track lights and all. Got two S10s in the mechanics shop, getting a new engine in the Blazer and having the Blazer engine dropped in the pickup body (she took my blazer when she left and the man I bought the replacement from threw in the rough pickup body as a freebie). Getting the pickup roughed together is only $150 more than just the Blazer.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2002

Nice to see that we are back up and running :>). Just got back from the fish store. I spent literally HOURS trying to decide what I wanted to start my tank with. I ended up with a pair of gorgeous Betas (blue color and I sure don't know if I spelled that right) a pair of fancy tailed guppies (red tails) and a clown loach. Marcia, I got my tank at Walmart..........I am not sure that that "deal" is such a deal since there is no air pump, has to be bought separately. I probably should have priced the items out separately. I didn't need a stand so I just got the kit without the stand.

My daughter is doing well, off bedrest and meds and just waiting for the event. Another sunny day in the 50's today.........going outside to play.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2002

Diane, I hope you're not going to put both Betas in the same tank. The males are very aggressive toward other males and they'll rip each other to shreds. Their other name is Siamese Fighting Fish. I used to have a blue male, he'd attack his own reflection in a mirror.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2002

By pair I mean one male and one female :>).........yeah, those boys don't like competition!!! They are so beautiful. He fans all out and shows off for her already.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2002

Let's see....I got another birth call for a baby due in April,this will be the first time I have charged anything.Yeh!The farrier came for the minis,and the yearling got out and the stallion obliged her advances and did the deed before we could get to pasture..IF she took she has to foal after January 1st 2003 for me to be able to register the foal,doing the math she is due Jan. third!!!Its 47 degrees here!This is Canada!I have learned to make pizza pops with my pizza dough recipe.I guess the're panzarotti or something,and tonite we are having them with chicken,cheddar and broccoli filling.We to are doing an addition this spring too Alison.I'm trying to figure out how to set up a kitchen in the basement.The builders are taking our kitchen,and,If you can believe this they are rolling it sideways to dig the basemnet and roll it back,Then we are adding six more feet.I found a web site that sells the pierced tin panels for the cupboard fronts.(cheap)One of the things on my wish list is a wood box that loads from the outside,is insulated and on the inside is a bench beside the stove.NO MORE TRACKIN IT THROUGh THE WHOLE ENTIRE HOUSE.I hope it works.We have a couch again ,bought a good set from a friend.We have'nt had a couch in a while...aahh the things you take for granted!!!Found a goldmine homeopathic sale ,the stuff does'nt expire but not everyone knows that so I got some drosera,balladonna,kali- bich etc, for like 50 cents.Does any one know what carbo animalis is???My son Daniel is finally reading.Boy nuthin like a 6 year old sounding out Dr. suess to put you in a catatonic state!!!Blessings to your daughter Diane,keep us posted!!!

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2002

Well, Pop and Hubs tell me that the weather has been beautiful here the past two days - I wouldn't know as the only thing I've been seeing is the insides of my eyelids!! Good thing that my feet know the way from the driveway to the door, as I'm pretty sure my eyes close the minute I get out of the truck in the mornings!

Back to overtime - work is crazy, and in more ways than one. Full moon this weekend, Mercury retrograde and a new co-worker, who, because she's been a nurse for 20 years to my 3 years - although she's never worked on psych - thinks she knows more about the patients than I do and is attempting to give me orders. I just ignore her or suggest that she try to get her own work done; but she's been treating the CNA who ususally works with me like a peon and it isn't going over very well with Cheryl (CNA) or me either one. 5 of the other 6 night shift nurses are ready to mutiny as well (the 6th one is getting there!) Ugly, ugly times coming at work, I fear!

Hubs goes in for a Dobutamine Stress Test (cardiac) tomorrow. Problems with dizzyness, SOB, chest pressure etc plus he flunked his treadmill stress test by starting to black out and almost falling off the treadmill...so maybe tomorrow we'll find out if this is a cardiac problem or what.

The ball team is now in tournament play, so I am at a ball game every night that I am off and some evenings that I have to go in on the late shift as well. Only 2 more months of ball games - whatever will I do with myself next year when I don't have anymore ball games to go to?

Add all that to Pop having the flu, the car puking oil, and Jes getting a concussion from falling out of a cheerleading mount...well, it's been a hell of a couple of weeks here! Ah well, as I always tell myself, and tell myself, and TELL MYSELF - it's GOTTA get better soon!!

I thought (seriously, even!) about planting some beets out in the garden this weekend. This weather - just from walking in and out to the car - has got me experiencing green fever! Looking at the weather report, I think Sheepish's weather is heading east - we're supposed to have ice, sleet and snow by Wednesday (and of course, I have a ball game 60 miles away!) Thank heavens all the seed orders haven't gotten here yet, or I would be in bad shape!! Got my Park's order just 3 days after calling it in; still haven't seen anything of the Pinetree order and I called it in a long time before the others! Hope it's here by the 12th of February, as I hope to start some seeds on the 13th and 14th.

I'm taking a week of vacation in two weeks. Hubs and I will celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day; so I will be off work for that. We don't have any plans to do anything special; but it will be nice to have an evening at home with each other - doesn't happen often! Probably why we've made it five years, now that I think on it!

Egg production is getting back up there, but the hens have started eating some of their eggs. Wonder if the protein content of their feed isn't high enough? Hopefully, we'll get time to move their pen to different ground this weekend - if the weather is fit, that is! I will be glad when it is light outside when Hubs gets home from work again - better than waiting for the weekends to get things done that take two people; especially since I work so many weekends.

I still can't finalize my plans for the garden this year; but I've designed two raised bed gardens for friends at work. One will go in an area in front of the long side of a garage - 3' deep by 18' long; she was surprized by the number of things she could fit in what she thought of as a little space! The other one will be along a back lot line - where three different types of fence meet! It will be 3 1/2' by 50'. Both will use concrete blocks for the front and sides of the bed; and a lasagne layering system to get the grass killed and the soil building started. I just love to see people get back into gardening!! D'ya think maybe I ought to start just a few extra tomato plants, just in case?! Neighbor Mike laughed his ass off when I told him I was starting six - and ONLY six - seeds of each variety of tomato. HAH!! His wife just quit work and what he doesn't know is that I plant to share my seed with her! We'll see who laughs last!!

Well, guess I'd better go call in to work and see if by chance a miracle has happened and I won't have to go in at 2300. Hey - everybody needs a dream, don't they?! You all take care; and have a good week - watch out for those snowballs midweek or so! Hugs to you all...

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2002

Hmmph! Pop came in this morning and told me the ice and snow was on its' way....don't know what weather report HE was watching, 'cause nobody else seemed to be worried about it! So anyway, I make the 4 hour - hit 5 stores - and don't forget the salt and deicer round trip and unloaded everything in the darn RAIN and now he tells me we might just get a little snow. And here I went and bought a bunch of man friendly food for them since I am scheduled to work the next three days and was worried about the two of them being iced in and starving out here. Hmmph!! I'm praying for just enough snow to wallop Pop with a snowball!!

On the plus side, I picked up my paper towels and a brand new bottle of Elmer's school glue while I was on my shopping spree. Yup - the Pinetree order came in the mail yesterday morning - ain't no stopping me now!! Still got three more orders to arrive, but none of them have anything in them that I can make the planting squares ahead of time for. I did order a pot maker thingy that you use to form newspaper into seedling pots - hope it gets here soon!! I've already got my co-workers trained not to throw pop cans or coffee grounds in the trash; and to save the newpaper until I've had a chance to do the puzzle - now when I'm done with the puzzle, I'll make it the paper up into little pots! And yes, as a matter of fact, I have already booked room 368 for when my co-workers decide to have me committed... (they love me, I know they do..)

Well, I'm off to nap before I head in to work tonight - hoping for some visons of tomatoes dancing in my head. Hope you all crawl out of your caves and shrug off your cabin fever soon!

-- Anonymous, January 31, 2002

Well, we had about 14 inches of snow and a couple of inches of ice on top of that. Power out for the past 12 hours. Just came on but it is still freezing rain so I am doubtful if we will continue with power for long. We are at the very end of a very large power grid so we are not strangers to power outages. Shoveled off the part of the barn with inadequate slope (we learning by doing wrong around here) and pretty much stayed busy all day just with survival stuff. Never fired up the generator cause we just really don't need it except for refrigeration in the summer. I still don't have the transverter (I think that is what they say I should get for the computer) which is the only thing I rather accutely miss when the power is out. You computer and techno guys really need to tell me what to get PLEASE. I just hate it when I have to go too long with out my forum fix. Hope you don't get hammered like us Polly........drive careful!!!

-- Anonymous, January 31, 2002

Wow, we still have very little snow here.......is so weird........the girls have a friend from Oregon staying for three weeks who wants to SEE SNOW DANGIT, and we are trying out best to oblige her. Actually tried to do so tonite; just got back from a rather hairy drive from a restaurant cuz it decided to snow whilst we were havin our dinner.....said goodbye to Bren for a week.....she's going out to CA to see her mom. Have a houseful of teenagers as usual though.

Polly, your reference to Elmers glue brought to mind one of the kids visitin here who has an um....interesting hair-do.........did it up with Elmer's, sure enough....in spikes, and they stay real good! He's had em up for over a week now, and I love this guy, so had to tell him in my motherly obnoxious way perhaps its time he considered washing it out soon? Fact is, he took Lotus to the opera in this hair do.......teenagers.........gotta love em......if the pix turn out, I'll post one.

I made up some of that homemade laundry detergent powder a couple weeks ago. I just love it! At least I can do a few homesteady things here in the burbs. It really cleans great, is so cheap,and smells wonderful.

We're havin some construction done in the basement; I dont know how to build things, and Bren does but never has any time (nother story) so we hired it out. Puttin in a little bathroom and kitchenette for Lotus; this way she'll stick around cuz there's no need to leave! Its perfect really; she has her own space, but isnt entirely on her own yet, so she can expend her energy on her musical career. Today they were JACKHAMMERING up the floor for four hours, cuz they have to move plumbing lines. Talk about a headache! I felt sorry for the guy doin it; I can only imagine our pain was a fraction of his! I could not get my Pyr to come in the house when I had to leave.....she was NOT going anywhere near that noise! Ali has a way with her though, and managed to do what I could not.

Blessings all,

-- Anonymous, January 31, 2002

Winter around here is more or less a holding pattern. I shop around the seed catalogues, take care of the critters and work on one project or another.

My new dove shack is ready for occupancy finally. I've got a flock of white rock doves and just noticed a new nest with two eggs in it. They're currently using the chicken coop for their loft. Before they shared it with the chickens.

Diane: I'm definitely not a computor guy but when you say "transverter" do you mean inverter? An inverter changes DC to AC. I assume you want that as back up power for the puter? If that's the case you'll need an inverter, battery pack, charge controller etc.

-- Anonymous, January 31, 2002

tarted on an addition outside the kitchen, Tuesday. Small 14 x16. Just a place for the washer and dryer (yep, the same ones that shrink my clothes) and a freezer, (think that could be part of the problem too?). By the time I got two sheet of plywood laid for the floor and the day was gone.

The next day I had to go over to my brother-in-laws and replace a water heater element for him. Since this BIL lives about 40 miles away, that shot that day. It started raining before we got home so I couldn't work outside anyway. That was O.K. with me since it's really tiring changing out a hot water heater element. All that draining and screwing elements in and out. Rough!

Went to bed with it raining and woke up with it doing the same thing. Sandy and I walked down to the creek this afternoon, in the rain, to the creek crossing for the back pastures. There wasn't any crossing. The creek was up to the pasture. That's about a 5 foot rise in the creek! Then we walked down to the small creek where we had repaired the bridge last year and about three feet of our bridge has washed out. Amazing what three inches of rain in 24 hours will do.

My daughter put the chickens up, just before dark and came running in and said that one of them was dead. I asked her if it was a rooster or hen and she said it was one of the hens. Now, I only have two hens left and I don't want to lose any of my hens. I've got three roosters and wouldn't mind if something got a couple of them. O.K. settle down. I'd mind, but not as much as I would if they got one of the hens. I use to have more chickens but while I was in Houston, something came up everyday for lunch. After I got back, I never lost another one. Guess it must have got tired of chicken. Anyway, one of the hens was laying on the floor of the coop. On her side. I went in to get her out and thought I saw her breathing. The others started making a racket and she jumped up. I picked her up and checked her out and couldn't find anything wrong. Later, I decided to turn on the heat lamp for them since they weren't smart enough to come in out of the rain today and she was fine. Hope she's still there in the morning.

Hope to do some more work on the addition tomorrow, even though I'll be working in the mud. Don't know how much work I can get done since I have a shoulder that's giving me trouble. Good time to start work on the addition, wasn't it? The shoulder only hurts if I try to move my arm behind my back or across my chest to the other side of my body, then if feels like someone stuck a knife in me. It's only been doing this for about a month. I'm STILL waiting for it to go away. I say it's the shoulder but the pain is in the arm. I've got a friend that's a nurse and she said that she's never heard of this. She says it's one of those psycho pains. I am not!

Here's hoping that all of you that have snow and want it get to keep it.

Wildman, (floating away)

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002

It is finally starting to look a lot like Christmas around here. We barely got snow in time for Christmas this year and I really was not in the mood for it. Now we've got (hang on a sec, I'm going for the ruler!)6" in the past 12 hours. Very light and fluffy, not too bad for shovelling. The temps remain well above zero, which is also a blessing when it comes to shovelling. The horses don't seem to mind either. Hopefully there isn't too much damage done to plant roots without a nice snow mulch.

Driving back from the horses the other night, I spotted one of our albino deer. I don't know which one it was, mom or daughter. It might have been daughter, since she was a lone with some other normal deer -- unless I didn't see the other further in the woods.

I'm going to chime in on your fish too Diane. I have occasionally found male Bettas who will co-habit with guppies without ripping their fins off (they see them as competition), but many of them will not tolerate any other fish in their puddle(tank), especially not if they breed -- they will even drive off or kill the female after breeding (probably because she is so carniverous and eats other fish, including her own eggs and babies). The most frequent scenario is that each male Betta needs his own tank. Girls can come to visit for the purpose of breeding (if she is in condition), but if she isn't gravid, he may very well get frustrated with her and beat on her.

Females on the other hand, can be kept in groups -- with other female Bettas. They tend to not do well in community tanks. Before I knew about their habits, I added a beautiful white female to my community tank and she had killed 3 neon tetras inside of one minute by ripping their throats out. Excercise watchful caution with the Bettas and be ready to seperate them as neccessary. The Bettas will, however, quite control the guppy population -- they love live food (baby guppies).

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002

Thanks for the heads up julie. It has been many years since I kept a community tank, but when I did I always had a pair of Bettas without a problem. This guy is somewhat territorial about his little corner of the tank, he has chosen a little cubby in some tall plants as his own. He occasionally comes out and shows off for the female. She, at this time, shows no agression to anyone (except him...she kind of nips at him when she wants attention), but I will watch carefully. We are interested in setting up at least one other tank, so hopefully if there is a sign of trouble I will be able to remove him. I have seen them kept in rather dismal conditions, no filter or heater and small tank, and would rather not have him if that is what I have to do.

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002

Thread drift, but I dont think it needs its own thread, just wanted to share........veddy interesting.........

Thursday January 31 9:59 AM ET

Executioner Has No Regrets, Loves Animals

By Tara FitzGerald

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vasily has no regrets about his old job as an executioner, but still cannot bring himself to slaughter animals on his small farm.

Out of work since 1996, when Russia stopped enforcing capital punishment, he told the weekly Argumenti i Fakti that for many of his 25 years on the job even his close friends and family did not know what he was doing.

``I was doing my duty,'' he said of the 50 convicts he had shot in the back of the head with a pistol. ``I have no regrets.''

When he quit, he wrote in his resignation letter: ''Execution by shooting is no longer practiced. Society no longer has need of my profession.''

The death penalty is still on the books in Russia, but former President Boris Yeltsin ordered a halt to executions in 1996.

The Constitutional Court also ruled that courts could not hand down death sentences as long as some Russian regions had juries and others did not. But that hurdle is set to vanish this year when reforms set up jury trials countrywide.

Public opinion overwhelmingly favors capital punishment, and death penalty opponents worry that the Yeltsin-era moratorium may not hold up.

``I confess that each execution left a bitter after-taste. Death was passing through me,'' Vasily said. ``Now at last it is possible to sleep easily and not torment myself with thoughts that I have become a murderer.''

Vasily, whose surname was not given and who was pictured with his eyes blanked out and holding a shotgun, said he had been motivated by both the desire to punish and to fulfil his professional duty.

``Before each execution, according to instructions, I studied thoroughly the criminal case. To shoot or not to shoot? Every executioner had to decide that question for himself,'' he said.

``At times you read the sentence and your blood runs cold. (But) sometimes it was enough to look the person in the eyes and all became clear -- one wanted to send those monsters to hell.''

Vasily, who now lives and works on an allotment with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, said that it was difficult for him when he first left his job as an executioner.

``First I couldn't help thinking: it was a dirty job, but it was a job, and I lost it. Then I realized that I had exchanged prison barracks for something much better,'' he said. ``I built a house from red brick and I have a little plot,'' he said.

``But I have one little problem -- I can't bring myself to slaughter a pig or kill a chicken. So I make my son do it. And he laughs and says, 'Father, you're such a little softy.'''

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002

It's going to be a busy weekend at DunHagan. The annual Hoggetowne (Gainesville) Medeival Fair starts up this weekend and my two and a half year old daughter is getting old enough to really get into going so my wife is leaning on me to plan on spending half a day doing the event. I used to be active in the SCA some years ago but life went in another direction. Of course, the Olustee Festival is the next weekend so that'll be another half-day gone there too. Olustee was the largest battle of the War Between the States and is the scene of a large historical recreation and battle every year. On Friday nights they have a night firing of a cannon battery and THAT is an event! With just candle and lantern light the sutler's (merchants) area is excellent for making you feel like you're back in the 1860's because they're very particular about not allowing anachronisms to be seen. One day I'll have the discretionary money and time to really get into that - if I don't spend it all on homesteading!.

What I really need to be doing this weekend is building the brooder for the chick order from Murray McMurray I'm expecting to come in Monday or Tuesday next week. A fairly simple design, just a full sheet of plywood with two and a half foot high walls all the way around. The front wall will be hinged at the one foot mark to make it easier to get in to the feed and water. I'll have a metal grill over the top to keep them from flying out once they get their feathers in. The hover itself is a wood box a foot tall on legs raising the bottom edge about four inches off the floor. The lid of the box sits down inside about four inches so that dry bedding can be piled on top for insulation. The heat comes from two heat lamps mounted sideways on the walls about three inches from the bottom of the wall. As the chicks get bigger one simply puts wood blocks under the legs to raise it up. If the heat gets too much you change out the bulbs for lower wattages. The birds can sleep closer or further away from the bulbs in their own comfort zone. This brooder design used to be in fairly common use before the large confinement operations became the norm so I'm expecting it to work well. The whole thing will sit on top of a work bench to keep it at convenient working height. I'm putting it together with bolts so that I can take it apart and store it in the rafters of the workshop when it's not in use. Unlike the present hen house that I built entirely out of salvage materials this one I'll mostly have to buy wood for but I'm expecting to get many years of use out of it so I can amortize the costs.

The weekend after next I'll start building a roost house for the new birds. It'll be portable on skids but I'm still noodling out the design. I'll build a separate nest house in a few months before they hit laying age.

The brooder is a must-do for this weekend. I also need to shred and rake up a couple of pickup loads of mulch for the trees and stuff that I've planted. Our soil here is pretty sandy (read very well drained) and the weather has been going into the eighties for nearly these last two weeks so evaporative water loss is getting pretty bad. Once I get a good thick layer of mulch down around all the new plantings I won't have to be out in the dark midweek watering because the ground has gotten dry. I fired up my Dietz kerosene lantern and that worked pretty well as I watered. Enough light to see to work by but not so much that I couldn't clearly see the sky. I really ought to learn more about constellations as I can only recognize a few just now.

Also need to get a fair amount of pruning done. The blueberries I did while I was planting but the four apples and three pears need to be trimmed right quick since this warm weather is going to cause them to break buds soon. There's also a couple of old, run down pear trees and Asian persimmons out in the pasture that came with the place that I'm hoping I can reinvigorate with a good pruning and fertilizer program. There's also a scuppernong (muscadine) grape orchard that doesn't look to have been pruned in years so I need to do it as well.

The baby, of course, loves it when I'm outside all day because she can run and romp all over creation. When I was planting out the blueberries she played with the hose and had a blast while getting completely soaked. Of course, she kept closing or opening the hose spigot wide open which required me to readjust it seemingly ninety nine times but that's just part of the joy of small children. She's at that age where she's beginning to ask "what's that?" and "what are you doing?" I must have explained what a spade is and what's it's used for twelve times and why I was planting blueberries, and crows, and the hawk family that lives in the neighborhood, and the airplanes flying overhead, and...

I need to finalize what I want to put in the garden this year. The ground isn't really in shape for a big garden yet so I have to keep reminding myself not to go whole hog. I do want to get on with my field corn project now that I've found a source for the OP variety that I've been looking for as well as the two sweet potatoes and some field peas. Other than that I'll probably just stick in a few tomatoes, peppers and eggplants and say "good enough" until 2003. By then I should have the big garden area cleared and worked up and I'll be able to really get into production. The area of the present garden is where I'm eventually going to plant the peaches, plums and citrus. The prudent part of my hind-brain got me by the scruff of the neck and warned "do NOT put in 25 fruit trees at one time or you WILL be sorry!" so I refrained. For now...

My wife's complaining about being fat and flabby so I reckon to put her to work raking leaves. Might as well get some practical use out of all that sweat rather than just wasting it all on a Stairmaster.

Sure be glad when it starts getting dark late enough that I can get work done outside after I get home from work. Cramming everything into two weekend days is the pits.


-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002

Happy Imbolc everyone! Imbolc is a Celtic holiday dedicated to the goddess Bridget. It's a celebration of the lactation of the sheep and all the new little lambs being born, so it's so exciting to me to hear all of you talk about the new lambs and kids at your homesteads. It really helps to "bring it all home" to me, and it's a big reason why I want to go beyond the sidewalks myself eventually. Imbolc is also the origin of Groundhogs Day! :) Our group will be meeting to celebrate the holiday tomorrow night. We will be having two potential new members joining us, and I am going to be taking a much larger part in the actual liturgy than I usually do, so I'm quite excited. Afterward we're having a potluck dinner, I'm bringing a ham, and some homemade bread and homemade butter.

Alan, didn't anyone tell you that you must plant at least 57 different varieties of tomatoes each year in order to belong to this forum! :) I really need to get my seed order figured out and sent in, I suppose I can do that tomorrow while I'm waiting for my new freezer to be delivered. I promised Keith that I wouldn't plant as many green beans this year, so that leaves me more room for peas. I'm going to try Wando peas because they're supposed to be more heat tolerant. I picked a big pailfull at Diane's house last summer and they were yummy fresh and also good after freezing.

I got to chat with Earthmama a little bit last night on AOL Instant Messenger, that was fun. I only have 4 names on my Buddy List and 2 of them are the same person so I don't get to chat that often.

My employer started a profit-sharing plan last year and we find out on Wednesday if we hit the target for getting anything. Keep your fingers crossed!

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002


I read that paragraph *three* times and I still missed mistakes.

It should read "Olustee was the largest battle of the War Between the State IN FLORIDA..."

57 varieties of tomatoes? Uh oh, looks like I feel into Heinz Anonymous!

"Hello, my name is Alan and I'm addicted to tomatoes. I grow..."


-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002

Yay, another Ren Faire type person! What happened to Cass? She and Alan could trade SCA stories. Alan, Julie and I are sisters -- she in northern Wisconsin and Im in the southern part. Nearly every year we trek off to the Ren Faire at Shakopee, MN together, and I also go to the Bristol Ren Faire (on the line between Wisconsin and Illinois).

We got snow over the last couple of days. maybe about 3 or 4 inches. I think it was just far enough below freezing to make snow. It's kinda damp and packable. I can't summon the enthusiasm to go out and make any snow critters though. One year I made a giant snow cat (lying down, of course) outside my place, entertaining all the passers-by. Geez, you'd think they'd never seen a grown woman making a giant snow cat! ;-) The dog thinks the snow is great, but she's an enthusiastic sort anyway. She shows no signs of wanting to make snow men, however! :-D

On one of my many walks with the dog, I was musing that our winter weather has really been in the temperature range of Zone 7 or so (we're classified as Zone 4B). That doesn't mean that we'll get a Zone 7 GROWING SEASON though! :-/ Nevertheless, I think I will start some bird greens in March (or maybe early April) this year. Last year, I waited until later in May, and I really think they could have started much sooner. And if they die, well, I'll still have time to start some more. I'm still debating whether I want to rent a garden plot again this year or not. Putting up and taking down fencing every year is a royal pain. But maybe I will, if I get out early enough to buy the fence stakes before they're all gone -- the lightweight, just push into the dirt kind, instead of the big pound into the ground wooden ones I used this year. On the other hand, the fencing is still tied to the wooden stakes, so maybe it'd be faster to use those. . . . Geez, I'd better stop, I think I'm talking myself into something here. I'll definitely still grow stuff on the deck in containers though. Those usually do pretty well, and I LOVE being able to "eat lunch" at the cherry tomato lunch counter! :-)

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002

Anyone else got any plans for the weekend? I didn't realize it was Friday 'til y'all started talking about the weekend!!

I've got to work tonight; and then overtime 23-07 on Saturday night. Staffing office called me at 1030 this am and wanted to know if I'd like to come in to work overtime tonight - told them "Ummm, not really - since I'm already scheduled tonight..." Wish they'd learn to read a schedule - AND the clock! The rest of the world just isn't in sync with us night owls!

Anyhow, assuming that I disconnect the phone, I have Sun and Mon nights off and I'm thinking of going into a cooking frenzy - must have been all those PBJs I ate this week! Hubs is going to make a pot of tortellini soup with Italian sausage and tomatoes and herbs; while I think I'll do a big pot of beef stew, mixed bean soup with ham and some Italian beef as well. That means we'll have to have some crusty Italian bread, some cornbread and maybe some heavy oatmeal bread as well. I may have to look into getting another bread maker to replace the one that tried to set my kitchen on fire...

Looks like I'm the cookie Mom for the ball game Tuesday night, so I'll have to build some cookies Monday - enough to feed a bus load of hungry basketball players and cheerleaders. Sis says to forget the snickerdoodles and go with the peanut butter and chocolate chippers - what's the matter with these kids anyway that they don't like snickerdoodles?

I also found my heart shaped cupcake pans while I was rummaging through the cabinet looking for something else, so I may attempt some brownies in it. I usually just make my brownie mix into cookies as my brownies always end up burnt on the edges and raw in the middle - but hope springs eternal!!

Another thought:

Hubs works at a motorcycle dealership as a mechanic. This is usually their slow time of year and he thought with the Sept. 11th attacks and the general economic slowdown that he might get to take a week or so off. Not so - business in booming! He said he can hardly get any service work done as they are selling everything they can get their hands on - dirt bikes, street bikes, ATVs - new and used. Don't know if everyone got their tax refunds early or are optomistic or what. Have y'all seen any upturns in your areas?

Well, gotta go hit the shower so I can leave in time to stop and pick up some Chinese food on the way to work - if tonight is anything like last night; I'll deserve a treat!!

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002

Hi all,

Happy Imbolc (did I spell it right?) back at y'all....btw, I have a ewe named Bridget...

Haven't seen any economic upturns around here lately. The last of the Boeing workers got their 60-day notices mid-January, I believe. The housing market took its first real dip last month (after being on fire for several years...however, it really only affected the $500k to $1 mil price range...still strong in the $200-$300 "average" housing price....how ever folks afford homes on their $7/hour jobs is beyond me (plus buy their SUV(s), boats, and other toys...!) Something sure doesn't add up. Unless it's debt, of course.)

Anyway, the snow is gone, with the exception of a few piles here and there on the north sides of the buildings. Now we have a lot of mud and pasty looking grass. Still the sun is out for a few hours. I'm heading down to town to replenish my straw bedding stash and do some barn cleanup.

Just the idea of gardening makes me weary today. This past week has been hell at work: everyone on edge b/c of the weather, plus various equipment downtime....I have never seen so many grownups throw so many tantrums. Sheesh. No wonder I don't visit forums like Freedom...I can hear all the debating I want just by going to work! Anyway I got very tired from trying to continually adjust my attitude and/or ignore the screamers...it has been exhausting.

Earthmama, I may check out the IM thing.

I keep wondering how Kim is doing. I read about the bad weather and think about how the lambing is going. Kim, if you read this, just remember I'm rooting for you!

Speaking of which, is anyone actually doing anything socially for the Superbowl? We most certainly aren't. However, we may have an Opening Ceremonies Get Together next Friday night for the Olympics...just an excuse to get together to eat!

Hope everyone is doing well, including daughters, critters, etc.!

-- Anonymous, February 02, 2002

Superbowl? What's that? ;-) I'm off to a bi-weekly gathering that night, otherwise I think I'd go off and see Fellowship of the Rings again . . . Well, maybe not, I have to get ready to go to Rockford again for one of those "family meetings". Have to go Thursday night - - what am I doing online?

I am sore and stiff. I took a long walk with the dog, popped the soundtrack to Fellowship of the Rings into the CD player and away we went. It's 72 minutes, so that's a long walk for us. I could understand being a little bit more tired, but why the soreness and stiffness? Maybe from having to mince around on ice? Or maybe just 'cause I'm due for the chiropractor Monday. I still haven't entirely recovered my back condition from the violent and upclose confrontation with the sidewalk early in January, and my elbow is still sore from landing on it. I wonder if I bruised the bone or something . . . . Oh for the days when I skied all winter long, falling down and bouncing back up again over and over. Why don't we get to keep that resilience? :-/

Still cold here, but not as bad as some winters. The sun is shining, so Jimmy the Groundhog (our local prognosticator) must have seen his shadow. Six more weeks of winter -- considering how this year has gone, I'm not sure what that means! The snow is still here too, but only a few inches deep. It actually seems like winter. I sure am noticing the growing length of the days though, and doing a happy dance in my head. What I hate most about winter is all the bundling and unbundling everytime you want/need to go outside. Sheesh. But I hate mud more than I do snow -- snow is clean and easily cleaned off - - so I guess I won't complain any more. Fall is my favorite season and this was the longest Autumn I've ever experienced -- that's something to be glad about! :-)

-- Anonymous, February 02, 2002

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