Over the Fence Chat (3/3/02- 3/9/02)

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Just finished a VERY late night at work and am grateful to have gotten paid even. More layoffs here which are affecting my clientel-so I am trying not to worry, especially since we started this remodeling.

Rainy and well above freezing. A bit breezy.

Hope to use the old roof joists to edge a garden bed. Ordered my seeds this week and am anxiously awaiting delivery.

Bought some 10/$1 seeds (veggie and annuals) 2 days ago, but noted that the perennial selection at 88/cents each, had last years date XXX'd out and this year's written in. Were they trying to reuse printed packaging or are they old seed? I didn't buy any perennials.

Hope you have a great week. And do folks meet in the chatroom on the other BTS link?

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2002


Been a fairly good weekend at DunHagan thus far. That last hard freeze didn't get me too badly, lost about 15-20% of the leaves and blossoms on the apples, pears and blueberries. Did surprise me that it bit the greens in the garden - kale, collards and broccoli are supposed to be pretty frost hardy.

My mother-in-law is still visiting so she watched the baby while my wife did her once-a-month to Tampa for her all day class. This enabled me to load up three drums of scrap iron out of the workshop and take it off. So far that's been the only bad part of the weekend because I hit a peacock on the way to the dump that cracked a headlight and covered the truck in gaudy looking peacock feathers until I could get home to wash them off. It rained lighly on me while I threw the iron into the scrap metal bin and when I went to jump out of the truck bed slipped on the wet surface and twisted my knee in a direction it's not meant to go in. Still hurts but not quite as much as yesterday so I'm hoping I haven't done any real damage.

We had a frontal system blow in late Friday night and it was dark, cloudy, windy all day Saturday but probably didn't drop two tenths on DunHagan. Early, early this morning the sound of rain woke me up so we're finally starting to get some out of it now. Even heard low, distant thunder a few times. Hopefully, it'll rain all day. I'd really like to get some soil moisture built up before our annual spring drought settles in.

The chicks are all doing well and growing like weeds. Using the research I've been doing I've been tweaking their ration which they're eating well. I've got twenty pounds of whole powdered eggs that a friend gave us from their food storage. They'd gotten it as part of their Y2K preps and ate very little. I gave them their own laying hens the next year so the powdered stuff wasn't getting used. I'm mixing it into the starter feed for the chicks and then mixing in ground scratch grains to bring the protein content back down and thus far they're eating it pretty well.

Probably spend the rest of today in the shop working on the colony house for the chicks. Actually started on it yesterday and I expect to get the bulk of it finished today. I don't have the hardware cloth I need to actually complete the project so I'll have to go into Gainesville for it since the farm supply couldn't get it in less than three foot widths and I want twelve inch widths.

Smells like breakfast is ready, time to limp off and eat.


-- Anonymous, March 03, 2002

Cold and snowy and blowy this am. About 9* right now, still snowing and gusts of wind 25-30 mph. I figure the snow that's here in my yard right now ought to be in Sherri's yard in a hour or so, the way it's blowing out there!

Haz (the German Shepard), is curled up in one of the doghouses, with his snout stuck out the door - which means the cats are sharing the other one; all curled up together. Haz usually won't get in the doghouse for love nor money, neither will he stay inside the shed with Bentley at night, so it must be pretty darn cold out there! I'll get Hubs to light a fire in his shop stove this morning, so the Hounds From Hell can have a nice snoozy nap by it later today. Hub's found a racoon head (no body, just a head - ick!) out by the chicken house Friday morning, so Hazzard has definately been earning his keep!

I was going to try to talk Hubs into driving me over to the lumber yard today, but since I can't see the neighbor's house for the blowing snow, I think the visibility would probably be pretty poor out on the highway, don't think we'll risk it! The temps are supposed to be in the 40-50 range by the middle of the week, so I guess I'll get the lumber then. I really need to do some house cleaning, anyway. I'm almost sure that I have an island in my kitchen; somewhere under all those groceries I brought home yesterday, and the potting soil and plant trays, and what the heck IS the rest of all that junk anyway!? I need to do some cooking, too. Blah. (Then again, there's that new book I bought when I was grocery shopping yesterday morning....hee hee hee!!)

Pop just stuck his head in the door to razz me about my tomato seedlings - offered to go out and fire up the tiller for me so's I could go out and get to planting them...I used a little bit of sign language to let him know what I thought of that Idea!! Now he says he's off to town to watch Sponge Bob with his girlfriend's little girl; I just muttered something about intellectual levels and he went off hooting! Men. (Sure hope he thinks to bring home the Sunday paper!!)

I stopped by K-Mart the other day to pick up something for Jes, and somehow I ended up out in the garden section (don't know how THAT happened!). Wildman's buddy Martha has got her name slapped on just about everything out there! Don't know why she doesn't just buy out K-Mart and change the name to Martha's! Our K-Mart is one of the ones set to close, so I reckon I would welcome her to town! Back to the garden center - I did happen to see some bamboo bean poles out there that made my heart go pitty-pat, so I may have to go back and get them. Laurie, a friend that works there, says they aren't getting in very many of any one item, so if I want something, I'd better buy it now, or I'll be running all over to different K-Marts trying to find more than one. Trying to figure up just how many bean poles do I need anyway? And maybe I ought to put them up in the first section of the garden and reserve the new beds for tomatoes, or I could put them in the center beds of the new section and put tomatoes in the surrounding beds, or maybe I could.....I keep telling myself that I'm going to have to get my garden plans nailed down, or I'm going to be out there stuffing plants and seeds in just anywhere!

Well, reckon I'd better get off my butt and out from in front of this computer so I can go get something useful done - at least clear a space for the rotisserie so I can cook the turkey breast I bought yesterday. Hmmm - turkey and maybe some dressing and sweet potatoes; looking around me, it appears that I've got lots to be thankful for, won't hurt me a bit to celebrate Thanksgiving in March!!

You all take care, and stay warm...

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2002

Hello all !!! It's been a very rainy weekend here in "sunny Florida" We were gonna put in the garden bed in but it's not stopped raining long enough except to just do the everyday chores.Took all day to feed the animals,clean the pens and take down some old fencing. We are hoping to have the mobile home in by May and still have a few things yet to do before the city will come out and look!! Man it's hard two people living in an single person apartment but it will be worth it in the end. Hope you all have a wonderful week!!!!!

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2002

The wind is real whipping around out there today and I am completely comfortable to just stay in. No Sunday afternoon walk in the woods for me today. I have lettuce, many different varieties, and spinach coming up in my box under the lights. Some of it is two inches tall now. I would imagine that in a week or so I will be able to cut a few leaves and make a little salad. I guess I had better get some alfalfa sprouts going.

I wish that I could send some of this moisture we have to someone who needs it. With the ground frozen down under the few inches of mud, we have our annual battle of keeping the water out of the barn. It rained most all night last night and we have a small stream running through the barn. I had been looking at the mud and at the goat stalls and wondering if I would get them mucked out before I start kidding in April. Today I am grateful for the deep bedding because it keeps my girls up out of the dampness.

I have been spending entirely too much time on the computer lately, since returning from my daugher's, and need to get off my duff and get busy here or spring will find me knee deep in stuff that should have been done. I keep gazing longingly at my new "kitchen" garden and flower garden and trying to decide when it will be the right time to start some of the things I want to put into it.

I have been spending time at the gardenweb site and find myself in a maze of links, going from garden site to garden site and am overwhelmed by the talent of some people to put together a website, to say nothing of the gorgeous gardens that they grow. Started out in day lilies one night and ended up visiting a garden in Norway and Japan. What a little miracle we have being able to travel from our homes to so many wonderful places. Thanks again Polly for introducing me to gardenweb (I think? lol)

Well, guess I had better go figure out what I am going to feed my worms (thanks jay) and the husband. Maybe I should do that in reverse order??

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2002

Hi all,

Nice and sunny and warm here! I worked outside in a t-shirt yesterday (yes and pants, too.) It's been cold enough at night for hard frosts, so while I'm itching to get some plants into the ground, I'd probably kill them. Besides, I torqued my back yesterday, apparently lifting part of a bale of hay (incorrectly). Yikes. Eating ibuprofen today and trying not to be much grouchier than I have been of late.

There's a brand new foal at the place below us. Since the trees haven't leafed out yet, I can see her frolicking (usually can't see those neighbors). No lambs for us this year (I'm going to have to change my name to "unsheepish" pretty soon) so it's wonderful to see another little critter gamboling in the sunshine.

Have a good week, all. Gotta go. Too sore to sit in a chair for long. Hope it warms up for y'all.

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2002

Say Unsheepish. What ever happened to that bald eagle that was eaten your ducks? Did he leave you any? Has he come back for seconds? I think that was you wasn't it?

Well got my ceiling in so now I have something to stand on while building my upstairs walls. Did manage to drop a sheet of plywood on top of my toilet! Porcelain flew everywhere! Darn I was fond of that sitter too! .....Kirk

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2002

Well, the thermometer says -10 out there. I'm glad that I didn't look at it BEFORE I went out to do the barn work (*whine*). Of course, being the coldest night of the year, the barn workers didn't clean stalls -- and it didn't look like the horses were let out yesterday either -- so they were full of ankle-breaking rock hard horse crap that was frozen down to the rubber mats. Oh joy, oh rapture. The help also decided that it was a good night to leave both barn doors open (they usually do things like close the doors when it's 30 out, and leave them open when it's below zero. I just cannot figure people out!)

Anyway, the horses were all happy that I thoughtfully provided them with a warm bran & beet pulp mash as well as buckets of warm water that they all sloshed it down with. Makes me happy to see them drinking it so that I know the chances of impaction colic are going down -- a friend of mine lost one of her best horses this winter due to impaction colic, so it makes me a little edgy and doing the excessive mothering thing trying to make the horses drink.

It's hard to believe with this cold front sweeping across the country that it is supposed to rebound up over freezing by mid week.

I'm really jealous of your neighbor's foal there, Unsheepish...we don't have any mares bred this year, and I just love working with the babies. Nothing but a bunch of new gallumphing geldings from off various tracks for retraining and sale. Phooey, nothing fun.

I've gotten about as far as looking at seed catalogues and packets and wishing. Still too early to start any plants, since traditionally you can't put stuff into the ground around here until the first of June with any certainty, unless you are planting in cold frames and/or willing to run out every night with every blanket and quilt you own and artfully drape it over the garden.

I've still got the fig tree in the semi-heated garage, maybe I should be pulling it out of cold storage and letting it start growing in the conservatory tho...will have to check my garden calender, as I am too new to trying to grow figs in pots to know yet. The experiment with the lemon tree didn't work, it kicked the bucket after producing a grand total of *one* lemon. Rats. It did smell absolutely heavenly in there tho when it was in bloom. *Le sigh.*

One chili pepper in a pot and some potted kales are hanging on, altho the kales have gotten to be bean poles over the winter instead of big heads, and I'm wondering what will happen with them when I put them outside again come spring. I am eyeballing the Stokes Seeds catalogue with a variety of decorative kales that sound just SO lovely that I am going to probably have to try some of them. The ones I grew last year got raves from every passerby, who thought that I had discovered some kind of perennial peony. Only downside was that they didn't smell like peonies -- if someone could figure THAT one out, they'd make a fortune!

I am getting very hungry for spring around here, despite the relatively mild winter (I can't remember...I think we went down to - 15 a while back, but we don't have the snow volume this year, and haven't seen a single -20, much less the common -30 to -40 this winter. So with lack of snow cover perhaps it won't harm the plants roots too much. I hope.

I'm laying grandiose plans for daylily beds, and peony plantings and wondering where I can maybe tuck in some more old fashioned lilacs. My gardening tastes are obviously formed by my grandmother's gardening. Having finally gotten some more fencing up, I'm thinking about growing those now where the deer can't constantly buzz them off -- it's kind of funny -- i'm feeding those same deer out in the woods! Actually I like the deer -- just so long as they are on THEIR side of the fence and not eating the fragrant daylilies I'm trying to establish!! It will probably be a different story come this summer when they are sticking their heads through the fence and pruning off all my morning glories.

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2002

Un-eagled, too, Kirk! Haven't seen him/her this year, although there's some around. Just the same old birds here: geriatric laying hens (although with a coupla dozen, there's enough eggs for Mr. S. (or Mr. "U"?) and I), 5 ducks, the 2 geese, the returning robins (have been here for a month), the pileated woodpecker, a big owl (g. horned, I think, judging by the hooting at night), Canada geese in the lake nearby, and a red tail hawk or two. Starting to hear the varieties of sparrows singing,too. Ah spring!

Hmmm. "unsheepish" won't do...still have all the adults!

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2002

Well, I did spend all day Sunday working on the colony house for the new birds and got about halfway finished. Got pretty far into the project and realized I'd just used my last pressure treated two by four which necessitated re-examining my diagrams and counting boards. Turns out I'd swapped my numbers on how many treated and untreated two by fours I needed so had too many untreated and not enough treated. That wouldn't do because putting untreated pine in ground contact in Florida just provides snacks for the termites and fungi. Being Sunday I had to make a sixty mile round trip into town to get what I needed so I could continue with the job. It rained pretty much all day in quick showers with a lot of wind. By eight in the evening I was tired of standing in the damp breeze so was glad to come inside to a big hot bowl of country sausage and potatoes.

Stopped for a Coke on the way back and shot the breeze with the cashier who said there was another hard freeze expected for tonight (Monday) so looks like I'll be out in the dark again bagging my fruit trees and blueberries. My mother-in-law goes home tomorrow so we're supposed to take her out tonight so it'll be pretty late by the time I get home to start covering. The last freeze got most of the new growth on the loquats. They're fairly frost hardy but apparently not for new leaves. Oh well, they're well established so I suppose they'll make a come back. Will have to hump all those potted plants back into the workshop as well. At least the rain did them some good.

This morning it was forty five, very damp and too damned breezy so now my knee is giving me Hell and I'm afraid it's making me cranky. Naturally the situation at work has decided to be trying as well.

Some days it just don't pay to get out of bed.

I'd have stayed home this morning but my wife says things like "if you're going to stay home sick you cannot go out to the workshop."



-- Anonymous, March 04, 2002

Just came in from repairing fence line...boy, am I pooped! With most of the snow gone now and the warm temps, my goats have been venturing further out into the pasture. I always turn my fence charger off when the snow gets to be 6 or 8 inches deep...my goats just wont walk through it! So it's been off for 2 months or more. Also, we've had some branches come down on the top strand of tape and break it in several spots. This morning I noticed all the does were down to the stream and "thinking" about wading across the to check out the new clover just starting to grow on the other side (the grass is always greener thing)!! So I spent the day repairing electric tape and pounding down the fence rods that Mother Nature and the frost had pushed up. Then I led everyone out across the stream (only about 10 inches deep and 8 ft. wide) to the new green horizens. Do ya think they would stay there without me?? Not a chance!! My buck is the biggest wimp. As soon as he sees me step over the fence and head to the house...he makes a beeline for the barn with all the does running afer him! Oh well...the job is done anyways!!

We had about an inch or so of rain from that weather system that dumped snow on some of you guys. Today it's sunny and 45, but kinda windy. Saw more robins today though...a good sign!! My daffodils and tulips are up several inches. We have lots of wild daylilies and lilacs that the original settlers of our property had planted (in the early 1800's) and they spread more and more every year. I'm always digging up bunches and moving them to different locations! Our garden spot is still a little too muddy to think about planting the cool weather crops...I usually do those around the second week of April anyways. BTW...Polly, we use 6 to 8 ft. tall ash poles tied together in a teepee fashion for our pole beans. They should only be about 4" round. Probably you can use any type of wood, but since ash is what we have the most of...that's what we use. We just stand them up after strapping them together near the tops (hay string works for us) and set the "legs" for good support. I plant about 6 or 8 seeds around each pole and we always have tons of pole beans for eating, freezing and giving away!! Usually we set up three or four teepees.

Have to go bottle-feed! Everyone is REALLY hungry now since I eliminated the noontime feeding!! Have a good one!!

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2002

Marcia, I am dumbfounded!!!! You must be a goat whisperer, I couldn't get my goats to wade across a stream like that if I STARVED them first. My hat's off to you girl!!! If you were not all the way in Maine, I would drive just to see it. I must go out to the barn and begin lecturing my girls!!! LOL

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2002

Diane....Forgot to say that my goats "rock hop"!! My oldest doe watches me as I step on the exposed rocks. She follows me and the others just follow her!! I'm really surprised that they follow at all 'cause the water really rushes by quite fast :-)!!

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2002

aaaah goats...can't wait. I have spoken for that little doe Marigold and a little brown one that will be renamed Chocolat (en francais s'il vous plait)when she comes here. She's so pretty and brown with lighter brown markings...real different to my inexperienced eyes. One of my sheep looks like she's going to be lambing soon. I have no idea when..just have to keep checking her. She's all bagged up and her vulva is getting pretty darn noticeable. I'm on pins and needles. Spring is toying with me. One day its glorious and warm and the next its freezing...such is the nature of Spring that tempestuous wench. I dugg a couple of lettuce plants up that had survived the winter in the garden and potted them up so that maybe I can get them to bolt before all the others and the wild lettuce, and have a clean strain of this one. Its a nice one I have not seen in the Canadian catalogues and I'm too lazy to send to the states for stuff thanks to the exchange rate. I found this by luck at a grocery store display for Seeds of Change and balked at the price but my sister was with me and bought it over my protests and stuck it in my purse. We introduced the boys to bowling this weekend. Ben now wants to grow up and be a big bowlin' man. :o) brrr its actually cold enough that hubby lit the woodstove last night. I think I'll go check it now. Have a great day.

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2002

It is beautiful out today, sunny and warm, supposed to hit 66 degrees F. The guys are cutting through the roof. I am heading out to drag some big 8 inch square timbers to mark a new garden bed.

Cut some more of the bamboo down yesterday. $#@*&. I will be glad to be rid of it eventually. Meantime, I use the cut poles for beans. They are easy to cut a good height for me (7 feet) and very sturdy when set into the groun a bit. But I tell you, that bamboo is relentless. If anyone is in WV any time soon, you can have all you want!

I love hearing all the goat stories. What adventures!

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2002

Anne, if you enjoy goat stories, I have to tell ya what my granddaughter (Morgan) said yesterday morning when she was "helping" me milk! Two of my does get soooo bagged up in the morning that they walk uncomfortably. You goat folks know what I mean! My Morgan says they walk like they have a "load in their pants!" One of these does was on the stand and she's the type that starts leaking immediately...you all know the type...you can just put the bucket underneath them and sit back while they fill it on their own :-)!! Anyways, Morgan saw this and she says that Grampa has to put new washers in this goat 'cause her faucets were leaking!!! It was a riot!

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2002

Very cute story Marcia. Anne......If I were to pay the postage, could you perhaps send me a start of the bamboo?? I know, it is invasive, but I sure would like to try some.

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2002

Diane, e-mail me privately and I sure will. Here's the thing-you have to promise to speak to me in a few years! Truly though, if you had a good spot away from buildings or neighbors and had plans to profit from it (crafts, gardening uses) then it is great. Gets to be 15 feet high and evergreen. Excellent cover for birds. Takes about 4 years to take off. Then management sets in!

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2002

Hey Marcia! We usually use willow sprouts for bean poles - main problem with them is that if they're very fresh; they may sprout and grow in your bean patch! I just thought Martha's bamboo ones were pretty. Hmmm - maybe I need to go visit Anne.. ;o)

-- Anonymous, March 07, 2002

I've seen several flea market booths selling live bamboo in pretty arrangements, even in fountains. Is it the same thing? They are touting it as lucky bamboo!

We've been enjoying pleasant weather here. I worked with the chicken coops yesterday. I have a little silkie hen with a real problem. She's pretty sick. We've been battling some kind of infection off and on for quite awhile. I think it must be her sinuses. The left side of her head is very swollen and there was this gunk covering her eye. I massaged the gunk out and hoped I wasn't working with a rotten eyeball or something. Well, I got that stuff out and sure enough she still had an eyeball in all of that yuk. I started giving terramycin in the water again. Maybe I didn't give it to her long enough before. She's not very active right now but still eating and drinking. I take that as a positive sign. Is there something different or stronger to give her?

I decided to take one of Susun Weed's correspondence courses. I sent the money yesterday. I'd still like to go up to NY and visit her women's center but I guess I'll have to put that on my to do list for a later time in life. I can't seem to find anything closer than has the same feel to it for me.

We're getting a lot of homeschool work done this week. That feels good because I've been working over at my Grandma's pretty consistently for the last month. That didn't leave much time for school. We were only getting in about 3 light days per week.

I finally got a bad deal at ebay. I've always had such good luck before. I collect old glass hens on the nest among other glass animal lid dishes. I bought 3 inexpensive ones in a grouping with giving them as Ostara gifts to my kids in mind. I knew they weren't the really nice ones and the picture was a bit distant. The seller said they had some paint loss and that was OK because the older ones have that sometimes. Well I got them yesterday and what I was seeing wasn't paint loss but someone had actually tried to paint the combs, wattles, and eyes with fingernail polish! What a sloppy job too! I complained to the seller and they actually acted mad at ME. They told me they would refund my money and to by the way shop at the flea markets and not bid on their stuff again! HA! It's a shame they tried to do that because the larger of the 3 was worth something before they goofed it up! OH well.

-- Anonymous, March 07, 2002

well, I lost the silkie. That's always so sad. My younger daughter was very upset. It's the first time I've had any of them be sick. Well, actually she came here sick and we'd been trying to help her for months. Would you all have given something different than the terramycin? Just wondering in case I have something like this again.

-- Anonymous, March 09, 2002

Okay, which one of you wise guys turned off the heat?! It was 70 yesterday - I SAID SEVENTY!! Dangit! It's grey and gloomy out there with huge, dark, ominous looking clouds. The temperature here has dropped over 25 degrees since I got up this morning - it's down to 25 and doesn't look inclined to stop dropping just because I'm cussing up a blue streak! Plus the wind is blowing a kazillion miles and hour - and just to add insult to injury; when I went out to catch the trash cans that were heading toward Indiana, there was SLEET hitting me in the face. Grrrr. No, let's make that GRRRR!! The hell with it - I'm just gonna go sit under the grow light with the tomatoes and read my new trashy books! Bleep blap Mother Nature grumble crab whine anyway!

Denise, I'm sorry to hear about your silkie hen; and I hope your daughter feels better about her soon. I always hated losing critters when I was a child.

Joy - hope you're feeling better!

-- Anonymous, March 09, 2002

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