Over the Fence Chat (4/7-4/14-02)

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

Back from a whirlwind tour of Virginia and especially Williamsburg. We took back roads down from WV avoiding DC and Richmond (scenic rt.17) and highways back since it was Sunday and apt to be quiet. Only 10 minutes time difference. Next time we will take back roads all the way!

I was stunned at the masses of people in Newport News and surrounding areas. Williamsburg was beautiful and there were a few free activities. We heard an organ recital in the Christopher Wren building on William and Mary's campus. The organ dated from the 1700's and had skunk-tailed keys (reversed black/white due to availability and cost of ebony and ivory). The building dated from about 1650. Very neat. Walked around and saw some of the gardens in the area and am inspired on my return to get to work!

Baby chicks arrive very early tomorrow and I have everything ready. I am very excited as I haven't had any for about a year.

Hope you all are well and enjoying fair weather.

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2002

Answers

Anne, Ah! BAby chicks! We were so lucky and our old faithfull went broody early and we had peeps hatch out the day before Easter, so everyone who came to our place for the family gathering got to see them. What they got the biggest kick out of tho. was the chickens that Lea has tame. I am so used to it, that I didn't think anything of it, but they were cracking up laughing at how Lea's best pet one, Princess, snuggles up to her and gives her smooches. She has Princess so tame, that she follows her around everywhere and is quite content to just sit on her lap and hug. They all said that they never saw anything like it. I had a terrible accident one morning that left me crying for half of the day. I was out giving Mama hen and her chicks some water and I backed out of the coop, and stepped on something soft. It was a peep! I squashed the living daylights out of it. And I watched it as it gasped it's last few breaths of life. I was so mad! Also had one peep born deformed as Mama had stomped on it as it was hatching out, I decided that I had to get it out of it's misery and am here to tell you that drowing is NOT a fast way to go. It struggled for life so. I finally gave up and chopped it's little head off. OH! I'm not sure if I am cut out for this husbandry stuff or not!

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2002

Holey smokes Tren! What a day you had!! Sounds like the day I killed a rooster by wringing its neck. NOT a quick death at all. It just would NOT die. He was mean to my kids so he had to go. Got our calf for beef on Tuesday and one of my doelings was ready to make the move so she came Friday night. I am feeling a little over whelmed this weekend. I can't even think of ordering chicks...but I must. We too have a lovely broody hen. Little Black Hen went broody around Wednesday so i started whacking the eggs to her. I lost count of how many I stuck under her over two days...I think around 10. In 3 weeks we'll see if they were fertile. I hope so. Whats fun is that with a mixed flock you never know what the chicks will grow into. Its like a great surprise! Got a canoe two weeks ago so hubby took our oldest out fishing yesterday. Can't wait until I get a chance.

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2002

Yeah! Chickens and canoes! You can't beat that for real signs of spring! Well, the chickens, anyway. Our poor ol' canoe is hanging in the garage...looking lonely and even a little dusty. Time to get out and scoot down the Snohomish (river)...

I weeded, weeded, and weeded more yesterday. Where do those little weeds come from?! I also planted starts of perennials and some lettuce (iceberg lettuce in the local groceries is $2.39 a POUND! What? Don't they realize we're just north of California!? Well, I guess Oregon *is* in the way...)!

Today I tried building some of those little obelisque structures (for trailing up plants) out of apple tree watersprouts. What is the trick? I have seen them tied with hemp, but it seems that they would need to be tacked or nailed in order to keep them from tipping over. Anyone made any? Any tips?

Helped a friend get hay today. In exchange, she gave me two plastic 55-gal rain barrels! Nice! Great weather, but coolish. At least not too much rain. Warmer weather would be nice, though.

Have a good week!

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2002


Well, I'm yawning, owl eyed and tired this Monday morning but it was a pretty fair weekend at DunHagan regardless.

Saturday was my wife's last all day seminar down to Tampa for this particular library science class she is taking so the baby and I were on our own for the day. I got up at dawn and moved the small henhouse that has our older birds in it to a new place so I could turn up their former yard for planting. The baby woke up while her mama was getting dressed to head out so when she did we played in the house for a bit after mama left. Decided the ground was too wet for her to be running around on it so I loaded her into the truck and went into town. Bought feed, some hardware and off to the little community restaurant for some breakfast. When she had her fill of pancakes and eggs we went on back to the house.

Lightning killed five pine trees of various sizes about a hundred feet from the house (before we bought the place) and they are slowly shedding bark and branches, the needles having long since fallen. The deadfall is in the path that the chicken colony house is taking and also near to the yard so it needed cleaning up. Got it all together in a pile, and used the truck to move it in several trips to the burn pile. Set up the burn barrel and began recycling the mineral matter out of the wood (as in I burned it) so I could use the ash in my various plantings. The old needles, twigs and smaller broken limbs I raked up and used to mulch the remaining pear trees out in the pasture. The baby played outside for most of the time and then inside the house where I could look in on her frequently.

Stopped about two and went inside for lunch. My daughter decided she was in a grape mood and ate close to a quart of red grapes which I thought was pretty impressive for a two year old. This was in addition to the hot dog and a half she had. With a long morning playing and a big meal my plan came together so I loaded her into the truck again to head out to the Tractor Supply place about twenty five miles away. She fell asleep not ten miles after we left and slept for the entire trip. Got there and found that they list propane weed burners in their catalog but that particular store didn't actually stock them which was the reason for the trip in the first place. Oh well. I'm not sure I really want one now anyways. Did buy a rain gauge though. Our official weather is taken at the Gainesville airport and we're far enough away from there that their rainfall amounts and mine are often quite different.

Headed on home, laid the baby on the couch to finish her nap and went back to work hoeing water rings around the other pear trees and filling them with mulch. Takes about twelve wheelbarrow loads per tree to get a goodly amount in there but the one I did two weeks ago is showing excellent results. Mama got home about an hour earlier than usual, just as the baby was waking up. I worked for maybe another half hour or so then came on in for a shower then took the family on into town for our Saturday night outing.

Sunday was more of the same. My wife took the baby into town to meet friends and go to the Spring Arts Festival where thankfully she didn't spend *too* much money. Always makes me nervous to let her go off to these things alone! While they were gone I hoed up and raked out the old henyard then planted pinkeye purple hull field peas and yellow straightneck squash. The ground around the walls of the pumphouse was coming up thick with smilax catbriers, blackberry brambles, trumpet vine and was alive with poison ivy so I mowed it all off with the mower than hoed it all out. Mowed around the big live oak that I want to hang the tire and bench swings on too. There's a jungle of poison ivy growing up that tree which I'll have to cut out but I think I can entirely eliminate it from the area this summer.

Spent the rest of the day raking up more mulch and getting the yard clean preparatory to liming and fertilizing. Broke the doggone handle on my hoe! Where I'm going to find another five foot hoe handle I don't know. The tool makers must think that only women buy hoes because they never put a handle on one long enough for a six foot man to use without a lot of bending. Doesn't take but a few hours of that to put your back out of whack!

The wife and baby came home about five and my brother and sister in law about twenty minutes later. Cooked burgers and chicken on the grill and had homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert. We had such a pleasant time talking that it ran late and they went home about a quarter to eleven so we all got to bed late. Naturally the baby was up several times in the night needing to go potty. She's really, really beginning to get the idea which makes us happy though getting to bed late and then getting up three times in the night is making for a long Monday morning!

Hope everyone had a good weekend.

.Alan.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


Alan, I'm only 5'9", but I have the same problems with those hoe handles!!! Every year I wonder where to get a long-handled hoe, or how I could craft an extension. For as much time as I spend with that tool, I'd like it to fit me!

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


Ya know...I use wish someone would "invent" an eight-day week so we could have a three-day weekend!! There NEVER seems to be enough time in two days to get everything done that you want to get done. I think the secret is to make several short lists instead of one long list :-)! Actually, also, I think we've been busier these past 15 yrs. or so being self-employed than at any other time!!

We spent most of the day Sat. cleaning up the garden, since we never did "put the garden to bed" last fall. Rototilled half of it and was going to plant the peas, but I wanted to get another load of compost tilled in first. And I figured...what's the rush?! Peas grow and are harvested so quickly and our growing season extends well into the fall. So next weekend, Harry and I are going to rent one of those little bucket/backhoe type things and move our compost/manure that way. Much easier than shoveling it all into our trailer! Talk about lazy (or maybe we're just getting old!). We have some other stuff we want to do with it anyways, like dig out our brook that runs behind the house and dig out some old stumps. I really think Harry justs wants to "play" with it, though!!

Finally got around to moving some boulders into my goat's pasture. We have several boulders that are way out in the upper end of the pasture, but you know how goats are...they don't really want to play too far from home. We had two boulders sitting just outside my electric fence, so we cut the tape and Harry winched them into the pasture with his tractor. We put them side by side so that the goats could hop on one to get onto the other. The big one is almost 4 ft. tall. Now the does figured it out almost immediately...but that buck, well he spent a good fifteen minutes or so trying his best to hop or crawl up onto that bigger boulder!! Must be a "guy" thing...wants to try to do it the hardest way first :-)! Anyways, Harry and I sat out on the porch and watched them all playing "king of the boulder" for an hour. Loved hearing the sound of their hooves scraping on the boulders!! Especially the buck since I've been fighting a case of founder with him for past month or so. We're getting the upper hand on it now, though.

It's been a "quiet" few days for us. I sold the last of my "kids" last Sat. :-(! I do have two left, the little "Peanut" (one of triplets) and Rachel...the doeling I wanted to keep for myself. Silence also reigns again here because I sold my 3 yr. old milker (75% alpine & 25% nubian) A VERY vocal doe!! She had earned the nickname "Mouthy Myrtle"! After three years of it, well I just couldn't deal with it anymore. It got to be really hard doing anything out in the yard without her "talking" to us. We couldn't even talk to each other over the sound of her voice!! She was sold along with one of the kids and the people that bought her say she's wonderful! But I am kinda sad that she's gone! So what do I do but keep one of these doelings that is HALF nubian!! Well, maybe she'll be a little less vocal than Myrtle was.

We were supposed to remove the shrink wrap off our boat this weekend...not quite enugh time! The floating dock where our mooring is has been put in so we're really anxious to head out across open waters!! Hopefully, this year if we can plan things right, we want to head down to "The Reach" (Eggemoggin) and check out some of the uninhabited islands (maybe spy on the puffins!!). In about a month or so we'll put out our lobster traps. Has anyone else ever used this shrink wrap stuff?? Kinda wondering how it would be as a plastic mulch in the garden. I know it's not biodegradable, but it seems shameful to tear it off the boat and throw it away!!

You folks are all talking "chicks"! I want some!!! I gotta get going and place my order at my feed store. Probably will get our usual 6 or 8 turkeys also. Your rooster story, Alison, reminded me of the time I'd finally taken enough "crap" from a mean rooster I had. He was constantly attacking ME! I went in the house and grabbed my 22 pistol...since I couldn't catch this rooster. I fired at him a half dozen times or so before I realized the sights on the gun were waaay off! Once I'd adjusted for that...he was dispatched quickly! I must have looked like a mad woman chasing that rooster around the yard and shooting at him. Good thing we don't have any close neighbors!!!

Well...I have to put together a batch of Swedish meatballs. Promised some to my MIL and to son & family. Hopefully, I'll have enough left for me and Harry!!

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


Wow, sounds like everyone was just as busy as us this weekend. Gary began a week of vacation and we are working like crazy trying to get bunches done. Had another set of twins last night and two more of my girls are due any day and then I will be done with kidding. Seem to find myself coming and going these days. I love spring (would love it even more if it actually got here) but I sure get overwelmed every year and have to stop and take some deep breaths.

Last evening I could here the peepers again, I am thinking maybe we will have one more cold spell. The old saying is when the peepers are too cold to sing three spells, that the real cold is over. I probably lost count, seems like I do every year.

Moved the first batch of babies outside the morning and later this afternoon will move the others. Seedlings are doing nicely and the bamboo I got from Anne has now reached five feet tall. We have begun to have some second thoughts about where to put it when we can put it outside. I am not sure where I want it now, since I see just how tall and how fast it grows. I am sure we will find just the right place after we think about it. Hope everyone has a great week. hugs

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


I'm so glad that I put in raised beds last year. The rest of my yard is still cold squishy clay, but the beds are dry and ready to go. It was a beautiful warm sunny day on Saturday so I weeded both beds, then planted peas, lettuce mix, beets,spinach, and swiss chard. I like to make up little songs to sing while I work in the garden because I think it helps the plants grow. I also give the seeds a good dose of Reiki before planting them.

I did some baking yesterday. I made a pan of blueberry crisp using blueberries I had canned last August, and also a couple dozen oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


Hey people.

Just got back from paternity leave. My wife have birth to a 8 pound 2 ounce 21 inch long sassy daughter. Everyone is doing well, though the three year old boy is still somewhat miffed at his parents (I thought I was the only one), but he too is coming around. Other that having her hours turned around, she has been a sweetheart. Went through nearly 100 diapers in a week . . . want a stock tip? Buy stock in Pampers / Huggies parent company :^D

Been a long two weeks; I missed all of you.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


Score!

OK Sheepish, I think I have the answer to our problem.

Got out and did a Google search on "eye hoe" and the pigeons paid off.

Not only found sources for the eye hoe I wanted but found replacement 60" hoe handles for both the ferruled socket type gooseneck hoes but the eye hoes as well. Here's a list of three companies that I've found. I'm sure there's probably others that carry this stuff as well but I haven't looked that far yet. Haven't done business with any of these guys so can't speak to that.

Cornerhardware.com

Eye hoes http://www.cornerhardware.com/hardware/Lawn_Garden/Hoes_Cultivators-12 4.html

60" replacement handles http://www.cornerhardware.com/hardware/Lawn_Garden/Hoes_Cultivators/Ho e_Handles_Replacement-448.html

Doitbest.com

Eye hoes http://doitbest.com/shop/product.asp?mscssid=LAD1UTB29KSR2PWN00JP48NH7 R086AUC&dept%5Fid=1330&sku=719641

60" replacement handles http://doitbest.com/shop/vendor_items.asp?vendor=Link&vendornum=4969

Doityourself.com

60" replacement handles http://doityourself.com/store/6826044.htm

Eye hoe http://doityourself.com/store/6958854.htm

I'm going to order a 60" replacement handle for the gooseneck hoe that I broke yesterday and an eye hoe with a 60" handle for the heavy chopping in the future.

........Alan.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002



Congratulations, j.r.!!! To BOTH you and your wife :-)!

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002

BTW...has anyone heard from Joy? Just curious!

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002

Congratulations!! Jr and family on your new little missy! And give big brother a few extra hugs from me; I remember what it was like to have an "invader" in the family (I did get used to him, in time!)

Sheepish and Alan; I would be more than happy to send you all the ends that I cut off of my hoe handles! I actually bought children's toy hoes to work in the gardens with - I get tired of all that extra handle bonking me in the head when I'm trying to work! They do have some good quality toy garden tools out there; but you pay the price! I just get mine at wally world. I like them 'cause the handles aren't quite as big around either - not as hard on my itty-bitty paws - but that is not particularly a plus when I get to whomping at a stubborn weed - S-S-SNAP!! I still like them for the comfort level tho. Plus, the ones I buy have bright purple heads - now how can you keep from smiling at a bright purple hoe?!

I worked the weekend, but did manage to get some things done on Saturday before I went in to work. Got one of the four big triangular fruit beds (about 115 sqft) that we put in last year layered with cardboard for weed suppression and started digging out the topsoil from the pathways around it to help fill and level it out. Only 3 more to go!! I'm going to put cardboard down in all of them, even though I already put compost in two of them last year; about 4" of it, though it seems to have mostly disappeared (darn neighbors are probably sneaking over here at night and scooping it up - yep, yep; that's probably it, uh-huh..) Anyway, so they all need about 6-8" of soil and compost put in them this year. I planted the peach trees in them in separate raised boxes last year; plan to move the rhubarb to them this year, adding in strawberries and herbs and flowers as I go. Pop thinks we ought to move some asparagus to them as well, but I'm not sure that the height of aspargus wouldn't overwhelm the peach trees, looks wise. I ordered some purple asparagus from someone this year - maybe Henry Field? I got all my seed in from Field's shortly after I ordered it, just waiting on the plants now. Maybe when it gets here, I'll put it in the big beds and see what it looks like. Wonder if the ferns are purple or green?!

I also managed to top off one of my 63 sqft beds with composted manure - 9 wheelbarrow loads! Only 2 more of them to go (sigh). I then weeded all the garden beds and pulled out the plants that I had put in that got frozen (oooh, ick, slimey!) I weeded the perennial beds that I put in around the house last year; with these thoughts in my head - "Is that a flower? I think it IS a flower. It looks like a flower, doesn't it? But what the hell kind of flower IS it, anyway!!" Somewhere, I have a list....

Needless to say, I wasn't moving very well at work on Saturday night or Sunday..."Cheryl, you do remember that I'm a Do Not Resusitate, right? So when I fall out of this chair, don't code me; just call the coroner and haul me off allrighty?" Okay, so I only THOUGHT I was dying...;o) The security guards were laughing at me as I was limping aroung, but not too loudly as I had stopped and bought donuts on the way to work - I know how to bribe those guys! (Thought I better bribe 'em in case I needed 'em in hurry, as slow as I was moving!)

Hubs finally got all my boards cut for my last beds on Sunday - after it started raining and he came in from testing out his new race quad! The beds will be 4X4; and there will be 16 total - that will stretch the garden out to the clothesline; where I plan to stop. Unless, of course, I decide to put raspberries on beyond it. Or a duck pond. Fruit trees? Hey, I got a good 30 or 40 feet there before the yard starts to slip down into the woods. Maybe hazelnuts? Gooseberries? Hee-hee-hee...the garden fool strikes again!!

As soon as Mr. Beldon the tree guy brings me my loads of wood chips, I'll cover all the path ways in the 2001 and 2002 sections of the garden with cardboard and then top all the paths in all the gardens with a nice, thick layer of chips. I don't see any sense in wasting all that perfectly good soil by burying it under chips, so I dig the good soil out (down to about 8")and toss it in my beds - that way I don't have to pay to have soil delivered to fill them up. Darn few weeds are tough enought to make it through cardboard plus 12-16" of wood chips, so my paths are pretty much weed free! It's been really nice to have the chips to put in under the clothesline as well. He thought I was nuts when I ordered 3 truckloads - "But, it's a BIG dump truck, Sis!" "Yes Sir, Mr. Beldon, it is a lovely big dump truck; I sure hope three loads will be enough." "But Sis, It's a REALLY BIG dump truck!" Poor man. He just doesn't understand....he didn't see me frolicing in my 5 dump-truck loads of composted manure from the sale barn last year - BWHAAHAHAHA!! MINE! ALL MINE! It's even better than the feeling I get when I'm head first in the Ex's dumpster, hauling out cardboard...

But, I'm fine now. Really.

Well, I hear Hubs out in the kitchen making sink noises, so I guess the timer went off and he's cooling down the pressure cooker - roast beast with potatoes, carrots and celery - mmmmm! All you folks take care this week - don't garden too hard! (PS - Marcia, is it crab season yet? Whimper...)



-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


Marcia: I got a mental picture of you shootin' at that rooster and I had to laugh. Then I read Polly's account of ordering wood chips..Richard had to come see what I was laughing so hard at!! The maniacal laughter bit was the perfect touch!!! I can see me like that when I order some municipal compost. My flower beds are desperate for it and need a major build up. I will be out there doing compost angels I am sure. Speaking of which, I turned last years stuff into the year two bin and I thought I was gonna die..Oh My back!! I am pathetically un-muscle bound. Maybe I should be lifting weights (other than the kids)? Was down on my hands and knees with the hand held cultivator tool ripping at the flower bed with gay abandon....weeds weeds weeds. Where do they come from IN WINTER?? At least now I know where the lawn ends and the beds begin.... Tonight I went out to the barn for bed time chores and after the work (I call it that but its not really) I offered my doeling, Marigold, some feed in my hand and she curled up in my lap practically like a cat and nibbled some feed but then was kept busy with her cud chewing. Meanwhile the calf is nosing through the bars of his pen tasting my freshly blonded hair and my oldest ram lamb wanted his budding horns scratched..Life is goooooooddd!

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002

Polly, It's ALWAYS open season on crabs here :-)!! Want me to send ya some??!!

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


I'll grab my bib and butter and be right on up there, Marcia! Oooh crabs! Lobster! Clam Chowder! Fish Head Soup!

Polly (drooling on the keyboard) [with apologies to Wildman!]

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


j.r.: ooh!! A baby!! Now I *know* it's really spring!! Congratulations!!!! And blessings to all of your family!

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

Alan, thanks for the links! I'll check 'em out. Really, it's getting old, having tools that don't fit! (as *I* get old, too!)

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

Hi all.Nothing exciting here.Life is on hold,weather is rainy and dreary.The highlight is that we all 7 of us ,got new rubber boots.Our new property is MUCKEEE.WE are in the middle of a public servants strike here and can't proceed with the severance of our land.My daughters bummer lamb has moved into the barn finally.We experienced the time change,(lost an hour) on Saturday and I am not yet oriented.I was the doula for a woman who delivered a beautiful 9lb.3oz. baby girl on Friday.I was in the local hospital and got a good review from the doctors and the nurse and they would like to get more info,so it was very positive for me,and of course the baby is pretty wonderful too!!My son who was engaged last summer has made wedding plans for august,so it will be a busy month.This is the month I usually plan my homeschooling for next year and start looking fo good used book deals.We are still struggling to find a suitable houseplan for building this summer,and for all the years I have wanted to keep things simple,the square footage keeps growing and growing.I have just finished putting in my garden arches for lettuce, and all our raised beds and apple trees are well started, the asparagus,strawbwerries,and herb gardens are established and now we are moving !!AAHH life the grand adventure! Hope you all have a wonderful week!I am enjoying hearing about your chicks,we are still in winter here!!!

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

Polly...we don't "do" bibs here!! In fact, that's how we spot the tourists in the restaurants. The people who actually wear those little bibs that the servers give them are tourists!! Us locals get down and sloppy when it comes to lobstah :-)!! I've never had fish head soup, but I make the best clam chowder around (even better than Brad's from CS!!). Has to be made with really fresh goat's milk, though. So come on over...we'll send you out on the mud flats to dig the clams :-)!

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

Yeah a bib will get ya the label of Lobster Loser right quick!! LOL The best lobster is had right in your own kitchen. You wear an old shirt and get ready for some scratches etc on your hands from cracking tails etc. I have been known to crack a claw with my teeth from time to time too. (how barbaric). Plus you need a selection of butters for dipping in..lemon butter, plain butter, and garlic butter..when they get low you can pour them altogether!!LOL I better get some lobsters for Mother's day this year!!! Also I make a wicked seafood chowder and a grand fish soup (sort of like a bouiliabaisse...umm I don't think I spelled that right..). Not to mention fish cakes, fried mackeral, baked salmon, scallops fried in butter...... When you live on the East Coast its hard not to enjoy seafood. You poor, poor, inlanders....

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

Alison...you're right about the best lobster being had in your own kitchen!! No one is "watching" you and the chickens get all the shells and bodies. I give the antennae to my housecats and they have a great time chewing on them and playing with them!! Yup...sometimes "barbaric" is the only way to go when it comes to lobster and.....opps! That's another subject :-)!! Anyways...we love all kinds of seafood (except raw seafood!!).

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

Congratulations J.R.!

I trust you've been stockpiling sleep in the previous months since you know you're not going to be getting much for a while. ; )

My wife gets her degree at the end of this year which is one of the major preliminary steps for starting our next baby project. She is (we are) dieting now to get her weight back to where it should be so perhaps 2003 will be when our second joins the family.

With the time change and all it's light a lot longer now after we get home from work so I decided to free range the new birds a bit before the sun went down. This is something of an experiment since my dog is not socialized to free ranging chickens! I opened the fence and they came right on out. Stayed outside with them to keep an eye on the dog and she was actually very good for about an hour or so when temptation finally got her and she started chasing a bird. I shouted her down quite sharply and then hauled her off into the pasture and put her on a chain that I'd already set up for the purpose. This put her well away from the house, us, the birds and everything so she was not happy and I left her there for maybe an hour until the birds all went into roost when I let her off. We'll repeat the experiment again tonight and see if she does better. I doubt that I'll ever let them free range when I'm not home until I get the perimeter fence the way I want it since even if my dog could be trusted I don't trust my neighbor's dogs at all. The limited free ranging does give them more foraging opportunities though and takes some pressure off the grass in the pen too. I'll be moving the colony house again this weekend and then seeding the grazed off area. Nights have been cool so growth has been slow on the hot weather grasses but they are beginning to respond to the grazing, manuring, and irrigation treatment so I'm hopeful the pasture will be looking pretty good by first frost this year.

Put in four more pepper plants last night and a coworker is brining me some more tomato plants. Her husband went bonkers and seeded sixty or seventy plants so they have more than they know how to cope with.

.Alan.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002


It's those Acadian ancestors from Mama's side; I come by my seafood addiction as honestly as I do my "fried grease with gravy" one from Pop's side of the covers! I've got to admit that gravy is a lot easier to come by than seafood here in Illinois!

Gee, and all this time I thought that a bib was considered classier than my old towel and washcloth duo! Well, hell - call me a loser; just don't call me late to supper!! One wonderful thing about the coast is that you don't have to go somewhere "fancy" like you do here to get a lobstah or crabs! I've probably forgotten how to crack and pick; it's been a good 10 years since I've been to the Atlantic coast. So glad to hear that you use goat milk Marcia, (drool, drool) I live in fear of ordering clam chowder somewhere and finding it red - ick, ick, ick!! Ali, I think we called it fish head soup 'cause we couldn't even say bouillabaisse, let alone spell it!! (Cheated and looked it up in the cookbook, I did!) Now let's talk about seafood chowder, girls; then maybe Sheepish can chime in with some of her northwest Salmon recipes...Is it any wonder I'm a roly- poly little thing?! Food, ah glorious food!!

I have to go down dungeon today and sort some stuff out for a rummage that Pop's gf Lisa is having Friday. Can't quite seem to get the old enthusiasm level up there to get off my hiney and go do it - probably because it's gloomy down in the basement. 'Course, it's gloomy outside too, but... I'm going outside to do a bit of work with Pop when he gets back from coffee at the Red Barn. We need to move some tractors around and take the blade off the Ford so that we can get our strawberry transplanter out of the shed - a fellow in town is putting out a patch so we're lending it to him for planting. He's trying to talk me into raking up the rest of the walnuts in the side yard that I started on Saturday; so that he can shovel them up and haul them to the gully - hmmm, pricing that rummage stuff is beginning to look better and better!!

Whatever I do, I have to have done by 3pm 'cause Jes and I are going to look at prom dresses this afternoon - see Polly and her amazing shrinking bank balance!! Ah well, it's her last year - then I get to start paying for college! Anyhow, it's girl's night out, 'cause then we're going to go get our eyebrows waxed and I'm going to get an inch or so lopped off my hair; then out to supper and on to Wally World for cat food and maybe just a brief trip through the garden center...I'm not allowed there unescorted this time of year, but perhaps I can bribe her with the prom dress purchase to look the other way!

Well, as Pop likes to say "I'm off to do something - even it it's wrong!" Take care,

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002


Polly...that "red stuff" is called Manhatten-style clam chowder, and ick is a good word for it!!

Mmmmm...salmon is one of my favorite fish. We cheat though and just go buy it locally rather than hunt them down on the open water. Price right now is $2.99 to $3.99 a pound.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002


Marcia, will you adopt me? :-) Salmon for $3.99 a pound? Drool! I love salmon, and it's around $6.99 a pound here.

My theory is that lobster and crab are actually calorie-free foods, because the energy you spend to get them out of the shell compensates for all of the melted butter. :-)

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002


Surely I am not the only one to like ANY chowder (red, white or gray!). I can give up lobster for those Chesapeake Bay crabs any day. Don't forget the oysters! Delaware and Maryland have some great seafood. Wish I was there more often! I am now drooling over all the seafood recipes I can imagine! I really haven't had goat's milk- beyond some really bad stuff once. Is it really mild?

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

OOoooh guess what guess what guess what???!!! I was perusing the classifieds in my just arrived Rural Delivery magazine and I found day old Polish chicks (white crested, golden, and buff)locally. Oooh i was so excited so I called and it turns out I know the people. Woo Hoo! The 6 they have at the moment are 2 week old Golden Polish chicks and they are saving them for me for a couple days till I am set up for them. How cool is that? The picture in the MMcMHatchery catalogue are gorgeous. I can't wait to see these mop topped babies running around the yard!! Hope they're not all males.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

Oysters are delicious if you toss them (shells and all) into an open campfire. When they pop open, they are done. Served up with a little squeeze of lemon and a bit of horseradish, they are devine. Or wrapped in bacon and broiled, too. Salmon is best alder planked and barbecued; wood smoked and then barbecued; or baked with onion, butter and garlic. Or else I like it baked plain and served with my pesto. Yum.

We don't have lobsters out here, but we have lotsa clams, including my favorites, razor clams. I also love halibut, ling cod, octopus, Dungeness crab, all the varieties of salmon, and good chowders. I can't eat shrimp, which is a pity, b/c there's a lot out here (usually at roadside stands).

Salmon at the store is usually about $4.99/lb. I think we export most of it, so the price is high. Same with apples and Walla Walla sweet onions. Sheesh. My mom cut a deal with the local Kiwanis club...for several years she buys the salmon left over from their summer barbecue fundraisers...she usually gets a lot for pretty cheap. We stockpile our freezers. Sometimes we barter for construction work...Mr. S. will refer some of the local builders or something and we end up with a lot of fish fresh off the boat. I haven't gone salmon fishing in 20 years (nor clamming, nor freshwater fishing). I have gotten oysters right out of water, too, but not lately. Too much private property and uptight tidewater landlords...and too damn many people around here anyway. 8-)

Okay, off to eat something!

Now I'm hungry!

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002


Congrats J.R. we have been waiting to hear!So happy all is well.I had no sooner posted that nothing exciting is happening here,when.....Thinking I was entering menopause,I found out I'm pregnant!Now where can I get a mother of the groom dress in maternity? Just so you know we were told we would never concieve,so at 43 we are in big time shock,but we are okay with this,The baby is due Christmas day,I hope we have the house built by then.

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2002

Oh my! Congratulations Teri, and family! I imagine you're all still in shock, but I'm glad you're okay with this. What a Christmas present for you all! Now, wherever are you going to find a Doula to compare with you?! Hmmm, wedding in August, baby in December...a nice floral slip type under dress with a lacy top jacket? They have loads of lovely maternity stuff - a hint, check with the rental or resale bridal shops for a good price. Or you could have one made; with the dress a sleeveless one in a fabric that you can wear for a jumper the rest of the pregnancy. My Matron of Honor was pregnant, so we bought a princess style dress with a capelet thing so she could wear it pregnant or not; as it happened, she went into labor at 2pm; wedding was at 4pm. She didn't make it to the wedding (needless to say!), but I found a size 5 among the guests and stuffed her into the dress at the last minute; then we all went out to the hospital after the reception to see the new mom and babe!

Okay, now; reading about all this food, I've decided that I want to make a big circle around the country and check in at a forum member's house every night for dinner! Let's see, Sherri is closest, then I think Jay, Alan, and Anne - okay you guys, what's for supper!?

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2002


Holey Smokes Teri!! Congratulations!!My niece Teri-Lynn found out recently that she's expecting as well so you guys will be due close together in dates. Congratulations again!

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2002

Teri! WOW. Congratulations! Are you sure you didn't "catch" something? LOL.

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2002

Congratulations Teri!!! What a gift!

Polly--I am thinking on a good regional menu.......

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2002


That's wonderful, Teri!!!!! BUT I sure hope it's NOT contagious :-)!

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2002

Congratulations on impending diaperhood, teri . . . babies are good news. Really make you take stock on your life. Take care of yourself, let your husband spoil you a bit, and get ready for the event.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2002

Wow...........congrats to both j.r. and teri!!!!!!!!

Just checking in rather quickly...........having babies.........triplets last night and I think again here pretty soon. Then we are done with kidding. So far...........ten kids, eight of them bucks. Sure is the year of the buck!!!

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2002


Congratulations to Teri too! Start saving up your sleep!

Today (last night actually) started out pretty rough but it's gradually sweetened up. My wife had a big job interview this morning at ten thirty. She's got a real shot at this job and is very excited about it since it would put her on the cutting edge of the library science field. It carries a salary increase of about 80-90% over what she's presently making now which could well and truly jump start our long range planning by four or five years if she gets it. So naturally when I met her at the car yesterday after work she said she was feeling poorly. I put her to bed early for extra rest but at about 2 a.m. she was in the john going at both ends. We managed not to wake the baby but both of us were up most of the night. Decided to stay home and let her get what sleep she could since I couldn't convince her to try to reschedule the interview. Got up about 7:30 or so when the baby did, took the baby outside for chores so mama could have some peace while she bathed and pulled herself together. Stopped on the way into work for Pepto Bismol and Immodium A.D. which we don't normally keep since I think it's best to allow vomiting and diarrhea to run its course to get whatever is causing the problem out of the body and managed to get her to her interview on time. I was still feeling poorly from yesterday so I'm beat today. I'm fairly sure she had a touch of food poisoning exacerbated by the nerves she was giving herself over this interview. She said she got through it OK and thinks she made a fairly positive impression. The other real contender for the position doesn't interview until the Monday after next so now we have two weeks or so of waiting. We've been through so many disappointments over this kind of thing for the last five years that I'm trying mightily not to get excited and I keep reminding her that she might NOT get the job so she won't get too excited but this time I'm having trouble keeping myself under control!

On a lighter note, what has lightened the day somewhat for me is that my hoes have come in! Sheepish, I bought the "heavy duty cotton hoe" with the forged head and five foot handle plus the forged eye hoe with five foot handle and they *are* heavy duty. If I manage to break the handles on these guys it'll have to be because I was beating a bull to death with it! I bought them from doityouself.com on Monday and they just came in right now (Friday). Of course, you pay for quality but they look like I'll using them for many years to come. Gonna be a hoedown at DunHagan this weekend!

Polly, they sell shorter handles too. Different strokes (lengths) for different folks.

......Alan.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2002


Thanks, Alan; I'll go take a look at them here soon. Pop went out today and built some more of my bed frames - he seems to be getting into the garden a bit more this year. Morel season is fast upon us, though; so I'm sure I'll be losing his help soon - and motocross season is really warming up, so there goes Hubs! Ah well, I like being alone and puttering in my garden anyway!

Well, I'm almost finished packing my bag! Hubs and I are heading for Missouri and Baker Creek Seed Co's Spring Festival and Market Gardening Conference this weekend! Lots of speakers on seed saving, heirloom seeds, market gardening and more! Plus folks are encouraged to bring plants and other items to sell and swap - gotta remember to put the pet taxi in the car! Silkie Banties, anyone? Better plan to hit up the bank on the way out of town, too!

We will be spending Saturday night in St. James, MO; at the Painted Lady B&B (woo-woo!) Hopefully, we'll hit town in time to stop by the St. James Winery before they close! Our room comes with a deck with a hot tub - ahh...a nice relaxing soak in the tub with a couple glasses of wine, maybe some cheese and crackers; and then off to play in the dirt and haggle for plants the next day - what a perfect weekend vacation! (Haven't asked Hubs his opinion yet, but the winery might make up for the foo-foo antiques at the B&B!)

You folks take care - see you late Sunday night or Monday!

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2002


Just a quick note, checking in. I tried once before, but of course, Lusenet was down at that particular moment. Busy, busy, so I don't get online for long, just check the web email and get off again.

I just skimmed this thread, so forgive me for whatever I've missed -- I'll have to read it when I get home!

I did see that there are congratulations in order for JR and for Teri! :-)

We lost the tradewinds here, so now it is hot and muggy and my ankles are swelling! :-( Tomorrow we're gonna "Flume Da Ditch" -- boating on the former irrigation canal for the sugar cane fields. I'll be home sometime on Tuesday, but who knows how long it will take me to get caught up on everything. Maybe by NEXT weekend!

Later gators! ;-)

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2002


"The best laid plans of mice and men, oft times go awry..."

Well, instead of spending today on a leisurely drive southward and soaking in a hot tub; I spent it sitting in ER with Jessie - probable kidney stone. Surely, I could have passed a propensity for something more enjoyable than that down to the poor kid; No, I give her my exciting ability to make rocks from pee. Hubs doesn't feel that he can take Monday off, so, unless I can find an appropriate friend to make the run down with me tomorrow and come back on Monday; I guess I won't be going. Rats, rats, rats!! But, my baby is okay now; and I'm just glad that she didn't wait until I was 6 hours away to become ill. Such is life - always a glimmer among the gloom! Maybe instead I'll get my new beds set in the garden, or the peonies that are being crowded out by a blue spruce moved, the bee balm relocated, or roses mulched, or any of the other multitude of spring chores accomplished!

Hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Saturday,

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2002


Thanks to everyone for their kind words and congrats.My husband is able to speak again,it took a few days,you could have blown him over with a leaf.I am over the shock,I think.The kids are having typical teenage re-action,like now all their friends are going to know we have sex!!But when I came home from sneaking to town for a pizza last night they were all watching the baby videos and placing bets on who the baby will look like.My mil was even okay with it!!!She actually prayed we would lose # 4 ,4 was too many.I guess she must be getting senile!!!Thanks again its nice to share this with you guys!!! I have been hiking,and taking my vitamins and napping and so far I feel really good.I am usually quite nauseous.....Monday I go for an ultra-sound...ttfn

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2002

Tell the kids that it could be worse, Teri; my baby sister came in to the world not quite three years ago. After Pop and Lisa hit me with their news - and when I could speak again - I said "Gee Pop, I always wanted a baby brother or sister; but did you have to wait until I was 40?!" She's actually been a lot of fun, since I get "Grandma" type privledges - sewing and buying cute little outfits and spoiling her rotten, then sending her home! Babies are a wonderful thing!

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2002

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