Over the fence chat for 2/17/02 - 2/23/02

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

Another week gone by, and February is rushing along as well. I'll not going to be sorry to see this month pass by - and I'm glad that I have some bright spots in this month to look forward to each year. No wonder bears hibernate!!

It looks to be a gorgeous day outside - the sun is bright and the thermometer is climbing - it is supposed to get into the high 40's here today. Hubs is getting ready to head for the lumber yard to pick up some boards for 4 new raised beds; and some landscape timbers to outline a new flower bed out south of our shed. While he's in town, I'm going to take down the chicken fence and measure and mark where we need to move the chicken house to - the ladies are clearing out that area for the new flowerbed for me. After we move the chicken house and get the fence back up, it'll be time for lunch. I saved some time by cooking a roast in the pressure cooker last night for Italian beef, plus I threw together a cassarole from leftover roast chicken; so we'll have a couple of choices for lunch and supper. I'll have the radio on so that we can listen to the Daytona 500 - gotta cheer Junior on! Pop is hiding out in town to watch the race - and get out of work, I'm sure!

After lunch, we'll cut and nail the boards for the new beds and get them set in place and I'll put down my cardboard and then start hauling compost to fill them. We also need to measure and set stakes for a path around the garden. I've decided to put down a 3' wide cardboard and wood chip path all the way around the gardens to keep the grass away - I'm going to have to sneak the landscape timbers home a few at a time, as Hubs would keel over if he figured out how many we'll need!

We also need to take time for a walk around the farm and back by the lake. My tulips are starting to come up in the front side bed, so I want to wander around in the woods and see what is coming up out there. It's amazing what a few green buds and some honey bees bumbling around can do for my temperament! And being as my temperament can use all the help it can get; I'd better get out and get at it!

Have a good week!

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002


I have been working on the beds also. What state are you in?

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002

Illinois - East Central. Look for Shelbyville on the map.

Also working on a couple of your tomato cage thingies - using cattle panels 4'H X 16'L. Won't be planting for a while, but I'll be ready when it is time to plant!

Whoops - Hubs is finally done with lunch - back outside we go!

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002

Woke up to a nice covering of snow, but now the sun is shining brightly and it is all melting. I am jealous of you people in the south that can be working comfortably outside. I am about to go out to the woods for a nice walk though. Blessings and peace to all.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002

Oh, me too. I don't want to start something because I keep expecting that last deep snow storm. Especially since we only had two days of snow this year.

It had better be a really April Showers month or we are going to be very dry this summer. We are already in a drought.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002

Looks like every weekend is going to be a busy one here at DunHagan at least until the start of summer. The chicks are all doing well - no losses, no known sickness. They're in that mugly stage halfway between losing their down and fledging out their true feathers. Still having a hard time distinguishing between the Buff Orpingtons and the New Hampshire Reds. I can make out the rest pretty clearly. They're all scratching up a storm now which I encourage with a sprinkling of scratch once in a while so they'll keep their bedding dry and fluffy. To keep them from filling their feed and water full of bedding I built a platform out of 2x2's and hardware cloth to put their feeders and water on. Much less loss now though they still manage to waste feed by scratching it out even when I only fill them half-full. I suppose there is no 100% efficient method. :\

The wife needed to make up some work hours Saturday so the baby and I were own our own for a while that morning. It was heavily overcast and quite damp but we went outside anyway to try to get some more mulch raked up. Did maybe an hour's work when it started lightly raining and I decided the baby really didn't need to be out in that what with trying to get over a cold and all so we went inside. We watched videos, read books and generally had a good time until about noon when I took her into town for lunch. For a change she actually ate well and was sleepy on the way home so I was able to get her down for a nap.

With the baby asleep I went outside and went to work in earnest with the rake. Mama came home not long afterwards and by dark I had raked up what I hope is enough mulch to do the remaining apple and pears trees that I planted and the fruit trees that were on the place when we bought it with maybe some to throw into the henyard. After a week the stuff that I had mulched before still had moist soil underneath while the unmulched trees were quite dry so I think this year's drought ought to be much eased if I can get a foot or more of material down.

After it got dark I got out the graph paper and diagrammed out more of the poultry colony house I'm going to build for the chicks in the brooder. Got far enough along with it that I felt OK with making the trip into town to buy materials so off to Lowes I went. Got a load and came back to the house getting home rather late. Knocked off the evening chores and turned in.

Sunday was largely spent cleaning and putting things away in the workshop. The previous owners didn't clean it out before they left which probably I should have insisted on, though I have found a lot of useful stuff that I've been steadily incorporating into one project or another. The gentleman that had owned the place was a welder by profession and left behind a *huge* amount of scrap steel. Now, I used to do some blacksmithing in a novice sort of way years ago so I accumulated a scrap pile like all smiths do but even by my standards 90% of that scrap steel was *useless* for anything other than smelting down into bar metal!

It took me all day and into the evening but I finally did get it mostly moved out and the stuff of mine that was stacked up in the open bays moved inside. The shop obviously hadn't been cleaned in years so I kicked up a heck of a lot of dust which gave me a thumping sinus headache in spite of turning on the ventilation fans to blow it out. I tried not to think of what was in the dust. Next weekend I'll have to make several dump runs but I now have the open bays cleared so that I can build the colony house in there in the evenings after we get home from work. It'll be nice to have a place to work that's lit and out of the worst of the weather for the first time in a long time.

Sunday evenings we had friends over for supper so I was able to show off the projects. My buddy went with me after we ate to feed the chicks and complained that I was making trouble for him because now his wife was going to get a head full of ideas that *he'd* have to carry out! I just laughed and laughed at this. He's always been one to talk about homesteading types of stuff but his heart really isn't into it. Now he'll have to produce just to save face. Four and a half days to go until the weekend!


-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

Oooh..ow..pain..ouch..ow..ow..hurt..whine..pain..snivel..ache..whimper .....

My husband lied to me.

As I crawled whimpering out of bed this morning and limped my way to the coffee pot; he told me that if I'd go back outside today and do a little more work, those out of shape muscles that I overworked yesterday;the ones that were complaining (complaining, hell! That was out and out bitching!!) would loosen up and I would feel much better.

So, I Quasimodo my way out and take shovel and rake in hand, and line 2 of the new beds with cardboard; and put in some leaves, and some compost; then a little sand, and dig some dirt out of the pathways; and then haul a few more wheelbarrow loads of compost. He lied. It was lies, all lies! I will never, ever trust that man again! If I thought I could bend over to get into the car; I'd drive to town and tell him so, too!! My hands hurt. My feet hurt. My legs hurt. My back hurts. My butt even hurts. I can't find anything that DOESN'T hurt.

Getting old slurps big time, y'know it?!

Only 12 more beds to go. (Thank heavens I don't have the lumber for them yet!) 'Course, then I need to amend the soil in the current beds. And put wood chips in the paths. And then build the new path around the garden and put wood chips in it. And plant. And weed. And....

I don't even think I LIKE gardening anymore!!

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

Polly!! STOP ALREADY!! You make me sore and tired just reading your posts! You tryin to wear yourself out, girl? Get back in the house and take a hot bubble bath; make that give you a (gentle) massage; have a nice glass of wine, and go to bed!

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

I meant to say, "make that MAN give you a massage...."

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

I wish I knew how to do that hltm (oh whatever the heck it is) stuff. I would make this very big (move over Polly......I AM WHINING NOW) I HATE MUD!!!!!!!! Darn, had our year old steer out today and I have spend the whole darn day trying to get that puppy in. I hate him. I wanted to kill him and butcher him on the spot. How is that for a calm prospective on things. Finally Gary got him in tonight when he got home from work. The frost is not out of the ground here, imagine that. Anyway, I am very jealous of those who can get sore working the dirt. We have 6 inches of mud every time the sun shines. There, now I feel better. Where's MY WINE........oh, guess that's not the right thought for me. Hot bath, yeah..i can do that. All that the RANGER got the forum. MAKE MY DAY!!!

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

Been a busy four or five days around here! All my does have kidded...thank goodness. My first kidded on Valentine's Day (two does), the next kidded on Saturday (two does) and the last kidded today (three does). I had four pregnant up until last Friday, but I traded one doe to a friend as part of a future "buck deal"! That doe decided to give birth yesterday and was having a few problems...probably upset about the move. Everything worked out fine (two does and one buck), but I spent most of the day over there helping her as my friend is kind of a novice with goats. So, now I'm REALLY tired of babies and afterbirths!!! Now comes 8 wks. of bottle feeding. The problem is what am I going to tell my goat meat contact when he calls me looking for surplus buck kids?? I hate to sell the does for meat!

Weather here last weekend was so beautiful! It was in the 50's most of the day Sat. and Sun. What little snow we have (about 4") is rapidly turning to "snud"!! Have to get going on the swallow and bluebird houses I've been meaning to put together before the first birds arrive. I have the pieces all cut out, but still haven't been to the hardware store to pick up the right size wood screws.

Almost time to take the shrink wrap off our boat and air it out! Wont be long before the floating dock is put back out on the water and we'll be ready to "motor" out on Lake Atlantic! Can't come fast enough for me. We both really look forward to digging some clams and steaming them on the boat then sleeping under the stars while the waves lap against the side of the boat.

Still have too much snow on the garden to even think about getting it ready. I'm thankful for what little snow we did get this winter, though. Like you, Dee, we've had a terrible drought problem all last summer and snowfall this winter is about 12" below normal!! The well drilling people in our area are still booked ahead 2 to 3 months. Luckily, we haven't had any problem...yet!

Looks like I have LOTS of reading and posting to catch up on here!!! What's going on with CS?? It will all have to wait til tomorrow for me. I have one more colostrum feeding to get into the newest babies tonight and I can hardly keep my eyes open right now!! See you all tomorrow....

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

Went to a friends and watched pride and predjudice tonight ,it was girls night out.She greeted us at the door with her victorian bonnet nightdress and a candle,what a hoot!Please keep us in your thoughts,and prayers over the next few days.We have found 54 wooded acres close to here at a decent price,we were ecstatic.We called about it and they are getting an offer tomorrow,I'm pretty bummed.So we shall think and pray and think some more.Waiting to see what the other offer is.If it is sold then I suppose we will go ahead with the addition on this house. I've now got the spring bug,paper towels that I used to use to mop up spills now remind me of you guys and your seeds.I have come close to planting the birdseed instead of putting it in the feeder.We still have a lot of snow!!We are coming to the end of our wood pile,and hubby got the pick up stuck going to the bush to cut dead wood today,he thought the ground was frozen enough...he never asked my opinion..:)Well lots of schoolwork to get caught up on tomorrow.ttfn

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Ooooh Teri was it the one with Colin Firth??? He's a dreamy Mr Darcy. It was on weekly on TVO there for awhile and I was sad when it was over. Guess I will have to read the book. My husband cringes when I bring movies like that home! hee hee Well, the doe thing is on hold. I will be getting kids instead as my friend is feeling much better and thinks she can handle it all again. Thats just as well though I adore the doe I was going to get. I am sure I can turn some kids into sooky babies too. I'm just so glad my friend is getting better. I started a flat of onions but can't find a flat for starting leeks. grrr. I've never grown leeks before and figure they will be a major pain in my butt to blanch them but they are something I can start now while waiting to get the tomatoes and cukes into flats. Got another seed order in yesterday and its driving me nuts. My garden is still a frozen wasteland of snow and ice. Seedy Saturday in Nova Scotia is March 2nd. Can't wait!

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Such problems! ; )

I *wish* we had enough moisture in our ground to make mud! Once a week it takes the better part of a entire day just getting the stuff I've planted watered well enough to get through to the next week. If it weren't for the free mulch laying around just waiting to be raked up and put where I need it I'd never have planted nearly as much as I did. Y'all are complaining about too much winter and I'm worried about whether we've gotten enough chill hours for my decidous fruits to blossom. Been a strange winter this year. Sure hoping it's not going to be a roaster of a summer.

Hang tight, Spring is coming for us all - ready or not.


-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Alan, I have a son who lives in Florida, so I know of what you speak. We have VERY heavy clay here. I know that because when I walk in it when it is wet about 10 pounds of it attaches to each foot. Perhaps we should each get a dump truck and fill it and meet half way and trade??? If we did that several times a year in about 20 years we each would have "Perfect" soil.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

I had a fun weekend. I can't remember if I mentioned this already, but I was hired to do chair massage for a local band before their CD release party. I'm a fan of their music so it was interesting to get a behind the scenes look. I even got a backstage pass! :) I set up my chair in what was generously called the dressing room, actually it was an alcove next to the stage walled off with a black plastic tarp duct-taped from the ceiling. EM, I bet you and Lotus can relate. :) Everyone was very stressed out and tense, and they said that the massage was a big help. I'm hoping that this might turn into a regular gig. Unfortunately I didn't get to stay long enough to hear them play because all the cigarette smoke was giving me a migraine. They play one gig a month at a non-smoking venue so I'll go listen to them there. If anyone's interested, you can listen to some mp3s at their website Blaq Lily

On Sunday I went to a birthday party for my friend Jim. He's the one that I posted about earlier when I though he was dying. He's still not well but doing better so he threw himself a party to celebrate making it to age 43. He's hoping that his doctors will clear him to go back to work soon.

This weekend I got talked into helping out a friend with her chair massage booth at the Baby and Kids Fair at the state fairgrounds. This is the first year that they've offered massage so we don't know what to expect. Hopefully there will be plenty of parents of cranky toddlers looking for a relaxing shoulder rub. :)

Last year I was so gung-ho to get the garden started and this year I couldn't care less. I don't know what my problem is. Maybe I need to go to the garden store and fondle some seed packets to get me in the mood.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Is anyone besides me seriously bummed that the actor who played Ares on the TV show Xena died on Saturday? He was hot! :(

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Still having to put up with the stress of construction in our basement.......banging and sawing and jackhammering and such is not fun, but doesnt bother me as much as having strangers in my house all the time. Manage to keep them mostly out of my hair cuz the basement is a walk-out, but still every once in awhile they pop up with a question, so have to be at the ready all the time. We'll all be very happy when its done.

Another reason we'll be happy when its done is cuz our Lotus is such a social butterfly; she really is a people person, needs people around her alot,and the rest of do not. So it seems we never have more than a few days at a time without somebody at least visiting here, and frequently they are from out of town and stay for days, or weeks. It exhausts me to have people in my house all the time, especially the ones I dont know real well. So, she will soon have her own little apt downstairs, with her own entrance, and it will be less intrusive I think. (however, I still know they're in the house, ya know? :))

So in that vein we are going this afternoon to the bus station to pick up some California surfer dude she met at camp; I have references to his character from three others I actually know, so I guess I'll let him in! Tonight Lotus is going to sing for the first time in a club.........we are having disagreements about her career path lately.......frustrating, but necessary I guess. I personally think she has not been devoting enough practice time to her guitar work and its been suffering; she is obsessed with having to do it all. She has been invited, however, to sit in with a blues band at a NY Firefighters benefit in Mpls this Saturday, which is a very big deal.......apparently a bunch of big whigs gonna be there, like Paul Wellstone. I sure hope she's ready....

I know what you mean about the smoke, Sherri, geez my clothes are always smellin of smoke. I can stand the cigarette smoke more than most, but the cigars are another story. Sometimes have to just get up and go outside for awhile.

Farm sale closes on Tuesday; it's gonna be weird....but also a relief. I want to spend some time with the new owners, whom I havent met yet, to show em those special places like where we planted such and such trees and berries and asparagus and my grandma's mums and such, and how the master bedroom toilet has a secret to its flushing, and where the best place is put up the snow fence, and suchlike. Hope I dont cry or something and make a fool of myself.

I saw some bulbs coming up yesterday outside a business; couldnt tell what they were, but this is too weird a winter for words. Its February; supposed to be way below zero, and here it is again in the 40's, yesterday was 53. Guess I'd better get busy getting some garden area cleared. We're going to start hunting for greenhouses soon.....will hafta get a purty one, probably attached to the house, like a conservatory, doncha know, since we are in the burbs now. Weird.


-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Well the guys cut the hole in the roof for one of the dormers today. The weather cooperated and I can really get a feel for how it will be later when it all gets framed in. Of course its supposed to rain tomorrow. The house is full of tarps draped over everything.

Sorry Sherri, I don't know enough about that show. But I did rent the Highlander movie (first one) to watch on the recommendation of a friend. Do you like that show? She told me it was a series and is in reruns.

Really warm today and the dogs are lazing around. Me too.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Yeah, Sherri! I was quite unhappy to hear about Kevin Smith's death. Not having many details about it doesn't help either, altho I hope that it was simply some tragic accident instead of a stupid accident (Tragic: tripped on a rug and fell over the balcony as opposed to Stupid: shot with an improperly maintained prop gun, such as happened to Brandon Lee). It's bad enough that he is dead without having to always think that it could have been avoided quite easily.)

It's already pretty tragic to me. I always thought that he had a great sense of humor the way he played the roles on Hercules and Xena, was quite willing to laugh at himself and his image. It seems like he too (like Brandon Lee) was really on the edge of a major career builder -- had a movie shoot on a big budget film with Bruce Willis coming up. Only 38, & leaves behind a wife and three kids too.

I am really most bummed out and unhappy over his death. He figured prominently in one of my all-time favourite dreams, too. The one about the Afterlife actually being a Rennaisance Festival.

The weather remains wacky here too. 46-47 F out during the day, snow melting off, rain by nightfall, turns to snowy slush by morning. It's more like April weather for here. I go around trying to scrape up enough snow to throw onto the perennial beds to keep them dormant as I don't think winter is done toying with us just yet.

But the mud is starting in...Albert has begun his annual Wallowing Season already. If you don't remember him, he's my huge, slightly doofy, white gelding who loves to wallow in the blackest mud he can find. Daily. Both sides. Even rubs his ears and FACE in it. And he is so big that you spend twice the time cleaning it off of him that it takes for any of the other, smaller horses.

I'm guilty of seed packet fondling as well...stores take SHAMELESS advantage of us northerners when we are at our weakest -- deprived of green growing things for months on end. I put another packet of parsley seed into my cart and theorize that I'm really going to need to plant about ten times the amount of parsley I planted last year, so I NEED these...and they have a deal that you can get 4 packets (mix or match) for a dollar, so if I add in three more...but wait, there are FOUR more that I'd like to get... I try to divert myself by looking at the hardware instead, and there is a selection of bright, shiny new trowels! Run! Run!


I find the spring gardening selections harder to resist than all the stuff they have out at Christmas.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Whoa...Aries is gone? No way?? How did it happen? Yes, Sherri I agree he was seriously hot. I really liked his beard and those dark eyes. He was awesome. I don't watch those shows as much as I used to. They just seemed to go from entertaining to too far fetched for even me. That doe I was supposed to get had her kid Tuesday. Its precious!!! My son and I named her Marigold and when she's old enough to leave mama she will come over here. Sooo adorable. Little Flower the mom didn't know what to do at all...had her kid outside and left it there toi freeze. My friend Teri found it and was trying to warm it and get it to nurse when I stopped in. Together we got LF and baby into the house, I bathed the baby in warm water in a sink to get her body temp up and then we wrapped her in dryer warmed towels to dry. Once she wasn't shivering so bad she was able to latch on and get some colostrum into her and mama began to show good interest and become more motherly. They bonded well in the kitchen and then it was off to the goat shed again where they are doing great! Soo exciting!!!! She is mostly black with white markings and has the most adorable floppy Nubian ears! I'm sure all kids are adorable but this one is going to be mine so its the MOST adorable...LOL

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

Ok, Ilied. The weather didn't cooperate and the wind and rainstorm last night played havoc with us until 1 AM. Afraid of heights and I am hanging out a three story window pulling the tarp while my partner pushes the water over my head. And the water went right down into our bedroom drip...drip...drip. Furniture and closet emptying in a hurry. The workers came out to lend a hand. Today they got it all framed in and roofed so the wind and snow due tonight ought to take a lesser toll. The good news is they will replace the ceiling for us. I'm really wiped out today.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

wow, Anne, what a rush!! This is one for the diary and stuff huh?

Sorry my construction stories aren't quite as fascinating as yours!! Well maybe I'm not sorry!

Blessings and good weather to you's guys!! ;)

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

Hey Everyone, What are you doing today. It is FRidday! We got our stove on our hearth. I think we will be able to give it its first fire- ing up this weekend. And then we are gonna get snowed in and the lectricity is gonna go out and we are gonna live from the wood stove, heaten up water and cooken and all, and the snow, is gonna fall!

And there will be a level three road warning out and my Jim will not be ALLOWED to go to work. ( Ha! No , work allowed , I like that one!) Isn't it going to be fun! Suddenly there will be TIME to read books, and the girls and I will snuggle up on the coach and read them aloud to each other. And we will all thrill at the same moment when Nancy Drew or Joe of Little Women, or Pochohontis fall into one of their adventures. The background noise of the modern world will be hushed .Replaced by blowing winds and the falling snows. The whole world muffled. Hushed. Ah~~~~~!!!!!!!!!! Yah~~~~~~~~~.

I will put some Venison rubbed with butter into the Dutch oven which we will position on top of some coals within the heart of the soapstone stove, where it will simmer for the morning, along with carrots ,celery , onions garlic, and marjoram. spiced stew, snowed in, like an enchanted kingdom within its globe.

My Golly Your right EarthMama we haven't had any winter this year, and the daffodils are almost ready to bloom! But it's not right because I haven't started wanting them yet!

It's gonna snow next week after we get this wood stove fired up, I just know it.

Dreamen, again, Tren

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

Anybody doing anything fun or interesting this weekend? I gotta work, as usual :oP But, I don't have to go in until 1900, so I've got a few things on my list to get done before then. The moon and sign are correct to start tomatoes, so that's what I'm doing - or will be doing, as soon as Hubs gets home from work to get me down the plant trays that he stored up out of my reach in the shed!! I've been cleaning house and doing laundry this morning - 'bout ready to stop that nonsense!! I'd like to go out and shovel some compost over my tulips, daffs, peonies and mums that have started coming up; as we are supposed to get 10 to 20 degree weather by Tuesday. Maybe I'll have enough time this afternoon.

Then again, maybe not!! Just got a call from a friend, offering to take me out to lunch!! Yen Ching, here we come!

You folks all take care, hope you have a good weekend!

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2002

Warmer and sunny here. I think the wind is picking up though. Got an art project I need to work on today (and probably several days hereafter!). Tomorrow, if the weather holds, a friend and I are taking our dogs for a "field trip".

I've got numerous sewing projects to work on too. Don't know how soon I'll start on those though -- I gotta get that painting done by next weekend.

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2002

I'm so tired! Seven hours on my feet doing seated massage and handing out brochures about massage. Between Kathy and I we worked on 28 people and handed out 100 brochures. I also got some leads on potential full-body massage clients, 3 women in particular were very interested. The proof will be if they ever call and make an appointment. The fair is scheduled for another 6 hours tomorrow, plus several of the other vendors have asked if we will stay late and work on them after closing time. I'll stay as long as there's folks with money.My goal is to pass out at least another 75 brochures tomorrow.

The booth across the aisle from us is selling custom lullabye CDs that have your child's name in the song. They were playing the CDs all day, by closing time I think I could sing along with most of the songs! The funny thing is that the booth is manned by these 3 big bodybuilder-looking type guys. Not exactly who you'd picture selling Cds of lullabyes! By closing time they looked about comatose from all the mellow music.

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2002

That's funny about the lullabye CD's and the sellers, Sherri. If we were close by, I'd sign up for massage!

-- Anonymous, February 24, 2002

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