Over the Fence Chat for 3/31/02 - 4/06/02

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Hoo-boy, am I ever whupped!! 36 folks for Easter Dinner - well, 34 at dinner time, then 2 stragglers. I am soooooo stuffed! I never want to see food again!! Except for maybe some of that apple crisp, or cherry cheesecake. Maybe some cheeseball or a bite of turkey. Ham, anyone? ;o)

We did have a really good day though, and the sun shone most of the day and the temp got up almost to 60, so some of us ate our dinner out on the porch table. Glad I got to enjoy being outside today, as the weather is supposed to be lousy most of the week. Ah well - I have to work the next three nights anyway; what do I care about the weather!? We usually get really busy the week after any holiday, so I'll be glad to just sleep when I get home instead of wanting to be out doing something!

Whoops - gotta go - Sheriff's deputy just came to the door; seems there's a kid stuck over on the other farm, so we have to run over and check for damages. He asked if we wanted to press charges - I just laughed and said everyone should have the right to be dumb once!

You folks take care; talk to you later!

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002


Hey there, Polly!! I was beginning to wonder if anyone else was "here"!! Sounds like you had quite a crowd for dinner. How did you ever manage!!?? I'll take some of that apple crisp or cheesecake, please!??

We had a very quiet day. Son and family came over for about a half hour or so...just long enough for the kids to open a couple of small Easter gifts we'd gotten for them. Then they were off to "greener" pastures (and more presents from the other side of their family!). That's okay, though. Harry and I spent most of the day cleaning up the yard and putting up some birdhouses. It was absolutely beautiful here today...64 degrees and sunny. Had all the windows open in the house and my housecats really loved it!! We took my MIL out to dinner last night (Chinese!) so today we just snacked on leftovers from that dinner.

I'm really behind on my reading here, so I'd better get busy trying to catch up on things!! I don't think I even responded to last week's OTF chat!!! I'm so sorry for not contributing more often, everyone!! But I'll be back!

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002

Well, Marcia; it helps that we're a really close family - so we don't mind having to get really close to fit everyone in! Let's see - stretched out the dining room table so it seated 10, 6 more at an extra table we set up in front of the front door, 4 on the front porch, 8 at two card tables in the living room, 4 kids (2 + the stragglers) at a table in the basement, 3 kids on laps, and Unc in the recliner with a tray - he had foot surgery and has his leg casted and had to keep it elevated! Does that add up to 36? (Thank Heavens for three bathrooms!)

I bought one of those spiral sliced hams when they were on sale a few weeks back - it was fully cooked, so all I had to do was heat it up. Hubs cooked the turkey in the rotisserie Saturday night, then carved it this am (slices easier when cold) and I reheated it in a covered pan when I did the ham. Everyone carried in food - we provided the turkey and ham, scalloped and mashed taters, corn, noodles, broccoli salad, chips and dip, cheese ball, cheese and sausage tray, some drinks and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting - like the apple crisp and hot rolls!! I have a 3' x 10' island counter in the kitchen and it was packed, along with the rest of the kitchen counters and the stove; plus we had another table of just desserts. I made the hot rolls as pull-aparts on cookie sheets in the shapes of lambs and rabbits; and put one on each table. Next time, we're going to peel 15# of potatoes instead of 10; and I need to use the biggest pot for the noodles and make a quadruple batch instead of a double - I was last through the line and barely got any noodles! No one was complaining about not being able to find something that they liked!

Later on, we got to play cards, and sit around and argue Nascar; we oohed and aahed over Aunt Susan's quilt that she is pieceing, signed Unc's cast, watched the kids (and dogs!) hunt Easter Eggs, and admired Brandon's new Mustang and John's new race quad. And talked and talked and talked some more! It was a wonderfully exhausting day! I'm already looking forward to the family reunion!!

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002

Just one question...who did the dishes :-)???

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002

Prairie State Waste Disposal. (Oh, the shame!!)

For the non-plate dishes; whoever happened to be standing by the sink washed and whoever was close to the dish drainer dried - it varied; but it was mostly my generation.

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002

What a pretty day we had here for Easter!!! There was sunshine and it had been windy enough the day before to dry the yard off a bit so even the littlest guy was able to participate in the egg hunt. We had a nice dinner and then all walked in the woods. I was up until 2:00 Sat. night putting the finishing touches on Olivia's dress. Has anyone else used the "Daisy Kingdom" patterns from Simplicity?? I don't think I would ever buy one again, but then she really did look like a little princess in it!!!

Gary got the new hot water heater in Friday night finally. Had my first shower in 10 days (I did bathe, just sponged) and it was like getting back from 6 weeks in Haiti all over again.

Hope you have a WONDERFUL time in Hawaii Joy!!!

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

Hi all,

We had a nice, but small (sheesh, compared to Polly's, anything would be small!), gathering at Mom's: just Mr. S. and I, my brother and his wife, my nephew, and Mom. We had the traditional spiral cut ham, asparagus, etc. My sister-in-law makes an interesting potato salad (she has many interesting dishes she learned while growing up in Colombia and Chile). Mostly, the afternoon was blessedly quiet. After 5 church services last week (two yesterday), I was ready for a little non-eventful time!

I hear we're in for a hard freeze tonight. Although 4/15 is our end- frost date, I usually get to sneak in ahead of that date by a couple of weeks. Not this year. I have been washing and bleaching flower pots and containers. Also enjoying the last of the fall root crops. I did buy some perennial seeds. Think I'll try starting some this year. Mr. S. built a garden stucture for me, which looks a bit more like an oil derrick than something to train plants up! I think a little white wash will help!

Have a good week!

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

What is it with the spiral hams?? Where they on sale all over the country this year? It seems like every major food store here in Maine was advertising them!!

Polly...don't leave us all hanging about the story of the "kid stuck on the other farm". Stuck where? In the mud?? On a roof?? In the privy??

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

Oh, oh - sorry!! The kid was looking for a party that wasn't there! (At least not last night, tho Jes has had campouts and cookouts over there in the past!) He got stuck when he got a bit off the grass and into the field - buried the rear wheels of his little S-10. He was a cousin of one of Jes's friends, and was apologizing over and over for the trouble. I gave him a hug and told him not to sweat it - I needed the exercise after my big dinner! No damage done, Jes's uncle who works for a body shop came out and towed him out; then Hubs and I put the gate across and chained and locked it. I also loaned the young man my cell phone so he could make a few calls to let folks know that there was no party to be found out here - hopefully kept a few other kids out of trouble last night! I remember all too well the almost desperate need to blow off some steam at this time of year from when I was a kid - probably why Spring Break is so popular!

On another note - I found a litter of baby kittens under Bun's hutch Wednesday last - a yellow, a black and 2 grey stripey ones; so sweet and soft and cuddley! I still plan to get some baby chicks, but I think I will wait until after Hubs and I get back from our trip to Baker Creek Seeds open house; the 14th and 15th of this month. I think I'll take the pet taxi just in case someone might have some chicks there! Poor, poor Hubs!

No asparagus up here yet, and we had another hard frost last night. It's still way too wet to move any soil, or even any compost. I do need to call Mr. Beldon, my wood chip supplier, to see if he can drop off a few loads of chips for me - at least I could be shoveling them! What I had out in the garden got killed off by the cold temps and other assorted yucko weather that we've had the past couple of weeks, so I will be starting over from scratch - no biggie!

When I went out to fill the bird feeder this morning, I saw that my forsythia was blooming, along with the daffodils - and the gold finches are finally more gold than grey! In honor of all the yellow outside, I fished through the linen cupboard and pulled out a bright yellow cloth for the dining room table - now it's spring inside AND outside, by golly!

I'm just being lazy this morning, tho I did get the tables put away and the dining table back to a more normal size. I did a bit of vacuuming, and now I'm getting ready to curl up in a chair with a book I've been wanting to read since I picked it up at the UBS last week. This afternoon, I'm going to run to town and get my laundry done - hope the sunshine holds, if so I'll be hanging most of it on the line, even tho it's still a bit chilly out! Then a nap, and off to work for three nights in a row - maybe I'll really try to work on my garden plan again!

You folks take care out there - have a bright and cheerful week!

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

We've had a pretty fair weekend at DunHagan. Got my sister and her two kids off back on their way to the Northern Virginia/D.C. area Friday morning and the wife and I got in a half day at work. Took my brother and his wife out to eat Chinese that night in return for their watching the baby for us when her sitter took off Good Friday (which is not a work holiday for most folks). The Szechuan had my forehead sweating but it was good!

Saturday I spent watering the plantings, pruning the best of the four pear trees that we inherited when we bought the place and then hoeing out a water ring around it. Put down twelve wheelbarrow loads of mulch and some used chick brooder bedding around it. A couple of friends came over in the afternoon with their little boy so he and my daughter could play in the pool and lawn sprinkler. Started getting dark so we all went inside for supper and conversation.

Sunday I got out early and finished pruning the remaining three pear trees. I think they hurt me as bad as I hurt them! Man, those roostock sprouts were thorny as all get out and in spite of trying not to get stuck I think they punctured me four or five times. I did eventually get them all pruned up though so it's now a matter of time and management to see if any of them will amount to anything. They've suffered from years of neglect and drought but the books say that sometimes you can rejuvenate old trees with a good pruning so we'll see what happens.

Had to knock off about 10:30 or so to clean up so we could go down south to have Easter dinner with family. Got down there just past noon and we all had an excellent meal then took the baby outside to let her hunt Easter eggs for a while then took country roads back home for a nice pleasant drive.

Had some luck on Ebay lately picking up more poultry equipment and books which assuages me somewhat for missing out by two minutes on the egg grader that I've been looking for over a year. I'm sure reality will thwack me upside the head any day now but just now life feels pretty good. A doggone sight better than a couple of weeks ago.

Hope everyone had a good Easter and wishing you pleasant Spring even if we are already segueing into Summer here in Florida.


-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

My sister and her husband dropped in yesterday to see us for a little bit then it was just us for supper. I made coffee roasted leg of lamb with potatoes and peas. Pretty yummy. Had leftovers for lunch today. It was warm but overcast yesterday but today its just crappy out..windy and rainy and cool. Bleah. The whole place is like a mud puddle out there!

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

I did nothing but chores for Easter. We got snow yesterday, just covering the ground, but enough to need to go back to boots. {sigh} Glad I'm going away -- maybe I'll miss some of the mud season and come back to blooming daffydillys.

I'm signing out now, don't know when I'll be back in. Leaving for Hawaii early tomorrow. I will try to get on the cousins' computer and check up on you all, but don't know when that will be. Everyone behave! ;-)

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

Well I had one child home, the other went to his father's. Philip (youngest son) told his dad that his brother was being a jerk and he needed a break so he was going to stay home with me. Gotta love a kids honesty. He asked for roast chicken and potatoes for dinner. Asparagus were on sale so I bought some. I have a huge bed but there is no way they will be up for months. We invited an old friend for dinner and played a few rounds of Clue. YS and I were going to do an egg hunt for each other on Sunday but we both got lazy and it was cold outside. He wanted to hide them in the house but I told him we would never find them. I was also sure the dogs would find and eat the eggs and chocolate. The Easter bunny brought him an angora bunny knit from my hand spun. That bunny sure is talented!

Okay here is a question for you all!! How was it decided that a bunny (genrally thought to be male) was going to lay and deliver eggs? Does anyone know if the colors are supposed to signify anything. I know what the significance of the egg is and maybe the rabbit also has to do with the fertility thing. But the laying and delivery of colored eggs?


-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

Susan...Quite awhile ago, I looked up Easter origins and found all kinds of explanations for the bunny and egg "things". For the life of me, though, I can't remember them (gotta renew my gingko supply!!). I DO remember that I found it through google.

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

It's been a portentous morning.

Woke up at 5 a.m. needing to pee and saw sheet lightning from horizon to horizon but no thunder (yet). Went into the bathroom and the baby caused me to skip my fourth decade entirely and go directly to the fifth when I found her lying face down and unmoving on the bathroom floor. After the five seconds or so that it took for me to reach out, place my hand on her back, and feel her heart ticking like a watch my own heart started beating again. She was only asleep! We figure that she must have gotten up to go to the potty (we're in potty training now) and for some reason laid down and went back to sleep. Somewhat surprising because I'll usually wake up if she gets out of bed and walks across the floor. I picked her up and put her back in bed where she slept contentedly until her normal waking time.

Went out as soon as it was light enough to see to feed up and was treated to a real light show slowly approaching from the west as the storm front neared. Was beginning to hear distant thunder and the breeze was picking up slightly so I fed the animals and then started buttoning up. Reckon after our last severe weather episode I'm a little gun shy. When we left about forty five minutes later it was raining moderate and steady with plenty of cloud to cloud lightning and thunder but no high wind which suited me fine. I'm hoping it'll rain steady all day. Sure seems like plants grow better on rain water than well water or at least that's been my experience.

Hope all is well with everyone.


-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

That was pretty sweet that your little one just slept where she landed Alan. It is raining here today. The electrician is here putting in the fixtures and smoke detectors, etc. for the third floor. It really looks like rooms now that it is painted. So many shades of white to choose from!

Think I'll break down and take the recycling in today. My seeds haven't arrived yet. Painted the coop yesterday to ready up for the chicks coming Monday.

My sister and I and my niece are driving down to Williamsburg, VA to look at William and Mary college to see if she'd like it. I have never been there and am looking forward to wandering around the campus and the historical section. We won't have time or money to pay to do all the historical reenactment stuff, but it will be fun to see. There is a Georgia O'Keefe showing on the campus and a women's choral performance we might catch, both free. I love college towns!

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

Hi Susan! The tradition of easter eggs and rabbits come from the Celts who celebrated the spring equinox(Ostara). The Celts saw the shape of the hare on the moon's surface. The moon hare was said to lay eggs in her honor, encouraging her to spill out her fertile energy onto the land and all living creatures. The custom of decorating eggs was a symbol of the renewal of abundance and fertility. Many of these eggs were buried at gravesites and newly ploughed fields, and given as gifts to children to ensure new beginnings after the winter's cycle of death and decay. In Europe egg decorating became quite complex. Eggs were elaborately painted with symbols of protection, strength, unity, fertility, and prosperity. Then they were eaten to ingest the qualities of the symbols painted on them. Druids planted red eggs which symbolized the female life force in the fields. This was to insure fertility and to reap the blessings of the Goddess. Many pagans today still celebrate Ostara.

I was wondering if anyone has heard from JR? Surely their baby has arrived! I hope all is well.

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

I meant to say the moon hare laid eggs in Eostre's honor. She is a fertility goddess.

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

Whoo hoo! With the payment I put in the mail yesterday, I am no longer "upside-down" on my house! I feel a little better now, and I'll feel a lot better once that blasted 2nd mortgage is paid off in full. Hopefully that should be around this time next year. Then it will be time to get the house ready to go on the market, and to start shopping for some land! :)

Between work and school I've been pretty busy. I have to do another 25 hours of practice massages again this semester. Since I'm counting them towards school I can't charge for them, but some people do give me a tip to cover the gas money. I'm getting pretty good at getting my table into and out of the trunk of my car. There is a chance that I'll have some real office space to rent beginning this fall. I don't want to jinx it by talking about it too much, so I'll just say that it would be an ideal opportunity if it works out. Everybody keep your fingers crossed for me, OK? :)

Haven't done a lick of work in the garden yet but I'm hoping to at least get some peas started this weekend. I promised Keith that I wouldn't plant so many green beans this year so I'm going to put more peas in their place. I need to plant lots more spinach this year too.

Have a great week!

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

I'm in Hawaii -- alive, but barely. Only two hours sleep . . . .

Ugh, and there were MESSAGES waiting for me. One of the cats is limping, and the other was some of that "family business" stuff. Sheesh, I just got here!

Tomorrow, I'm sleeping in!

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Aloha! Maybe go sleep on the beach! I'm jealous...

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Sheepish...believe me...sleeping on the beach is not all it's cracked up to be! That sand goes everywhere :-)!! Sure like to try it in Hawaii, though.

Okay Joy...WAKE UP!!!

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Oh, go ahead Joy; tell us what the temperature is! I was glaring at 37* on the thermometer before I went to bed this morning - got up at 4:30 this afternoon and glared at 37* again! Pop SWEARS that it got up in the 50's today; says that the sun even shone for a little while. (Yeah, sure it did, whatever you say, Pop.) Well, walk on a beach for me anyway; and wiggle dig your toesies way down into the sand (whimper...)

Hubs went out and bought himself a new toy - a treadmill. Yippee. Nothing would do but I had to go downstairs and try it out this evening when he got home form work. I walked about a half mile and burned 47 calories - and came upstairs and ate 2 leftover chocolate Easter eggs to replace them! Actually, I liked it better than I thought I would; since I like to SEE things when I go for a walk. The book holder thingy on this one is too far away - even with my trifocals, I can't get the darn thing in focus! Maybe if I have something I need to think about....

He also told me I shouldn't be walking on it barefoot - said it isn't good for my feet. I'm not much of a shoe person in any case; they come off the minute I get in the door or any other place I can kick them off - like in the garden, berry patch or porch. I wear Birkies when I have to do floor nursing; but in psych, I wear house slippers after the patients go to bed - keeps me from waking them up as I do the every 15 minute checks on them. I do wear those cheapy $2 sneakers from one of the Marts when I go out to do the chores or work in the yard; and have rubber boots for wet and heavy boots for tractor and farm work; but I don't like 'em much. Are y'all shoe or barefoot people?

I was working on the garden plan tonight - I about had room for my coffee cup left on the table after I got all my papers and pencils and lists spread out! Got plenty of unsolicited "help" (advice?) from Pop and Hubs - "You got a whole field of strawberries out there - why are you planting more in the garden?!" 'Cause I don't WANT a field of strawberries out there - that's why! "What're you planting them stinky marigolds for - thought you didn't like yellow flowers?" 'Cause bean beetles think they stink too! "How come you only made those arbors 6 foot tall?" Duck. They didn't give up - aggravated me for a good half hour between the two of 'em! I got to learn to keep those two separated!!

Something that I've noticed at work came back to make me think tonight - I've noticed that a lot of my patients can't seem to think of anything to look forward to. Myself, I've got so many things that I'm looking forward to, that I can't hardly get anything done today!! On the drive home from work in the morning, I look forward to getting out of the car and hearing the spring peepers as I'm getting a big sloppy dog slobbery smooch. I look forward to hearing the kitties purr as I feed them; and to the feel of a smooth, warm brown egg as I lift it out of the nest. I look forward to the blissful expression on Bun's mug as a scratch between her ears after I drop some veggies in her hutch. I look forward to the smell of coffee as I come in the door; and to the slightly less sloppy smooch from Hubs as he heads out on his way to work. I look forward to checking into the forum to visit with my friends, and then sliding into a nice soft bed with sheets that smell of outdoors and slipping off to sleep - heck; I'm only up to 0830, and look at what all I've managed to look forward to! 'Tis surely a blessing to be able to look forward to the simplest things! What are you all looking forward to this week?

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Polly, I always feel so sad for those folks who never seem to have anything to do or to look forward to...there's such an abundance of things to experience. Do you suppose they're afraid of failing at something? Why don't they try? I work with a couple of women who (I believe, anyway) haven't changed any of their routine for years...literally. They won't drive on a freeway. They won't try a new hair cut. They just won't, won't, won't....hey what they heck! Hair grows back, and there's always the next exit if you get freaked out on the freeway! I try to understand, but it's hard...

re: footwear. I wear rubber boots a good part of the year (until late spring through fall, as it's so often wet here. I wear Tevas a lot in the summer (a real Northwest look, of course, pairs them with socks *all* year). I have some old Adidas wet/dry hiking sandals that I wear out in the pasture if I don't wear the big boots. I also wear thongs (foot-type!), including during the winter, on the way to the hot tub. Otherwise, I'm likely to squish a slug between my toes in the dark...eeewwww....

I'm looking forward to the grass growing! It's such a delight to lighten up on chores (i.e.: feeding hay twice a day) when the grass comes in. I'm looking forward to the leaves on my lilac opening, the buds on the crabapple flowering, and the perennials bursting up through the dirt! I'm looking forward to those mornings where I'm watering seedlings with one hand, and sipping really good coffee out of a steaming mug in the other. I'm looking forward to more croaking serenades before the frogs all get busy and move on. I'm looking forward to more swallows doing their arial ballets (saw the first ones today!).

There's just SO much, isn't there???!!! Why sleep???

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2002

Yuppy, can not imagine not having anything to look forward to. Than again, perhaps they can not look forward to anything because they can't enjoy the now?? Just spent a wonderful afternoon out in the woods along the brook, trying to get rid of more of those yucky wild roses some people planted years ago on some farm around here as the "living hedge". There's a big look forward.......getting so I can really walk my old trails again when I get the brambles out of them. (kind of lost them when I had way too many goats, cattle etc. to enjoy the land like we did when we first bought it......it can happen without you even noticing it. All chores and no play is not a good thing!!!)

This morning was so neat. I laid there in bed for a few minutes and listened to the birds and realized that I had woke up before the alarm all week now that the birds are singing cause it get light earlier. I guess there is too much to list right now......got to get dinner. Cool thoughts!!!

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2002

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