Over the Fence Conversations May 26 - June 2, 2002

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

ACK! ACK! ACK! HOW can May be almost over? I am all screwed up this year (worse than usual). I "lost" two weeks going away to Hawaii, and it's been so cool, I swear it seems like mid-April rather than the end of May.

The garden plots are STILL not tilled up. I don't know what's up with that. I would have thought that aiming to have it done by the last average frost date (May 15, though that wasn't true THIS year!) would have been routine. Well, maybe he's having problems of his own . . .

I was going to go to one of the Farmers' Markets yesterday morning, but it was about 40*F and raining fairly briskly, so I stayed home. Brrrr! I'll go Wednesday and hope they still have a good selection of starts. All the garden centers have frost damaged plants (not all the plants, but a lot of them) and they just don't seem as large this year as previously.

Today is supposed to be much warmer (and it already is). But now we're entirely skipping the 60's for the day's high, and going right from the 50's into the 70's. That is so annoying. IMO, 60's are the best temps for working out doors. {sigh} Two nights ago, as I took the dog out for her last potty break, I was wearing my winter coat and hat (not the heaviest, but still!). Sheesh.

On a happier note, the crab apples have been just beautiful this year, and the lilacs have lasted much longer than usual.

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2002


Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, Tonto ain't far behind. Between the wierd weather patterns and restructuring from my divorce, my garden is still under construction. At least I got my tomatoes and peppers producing early. My peas,corn and other personal crops are coming in now, just a bit late. I figure as long as I make an advancement every day, I should be okay. Right now the best thing growing in my gardens are my raised beds. The worms and I are steadly adding to the count. My commercial crop of squash and eggplant is coming along as is the okra.

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2002

Now that I've finished the fence *sigh*, I'm gonna work on my backyard and those levels I started a few years ago. Of course the dirt that was loose is now solid.

I've decided that I can make my barn larger by pulling it away from the other barn and adding about 4-6 feet. Then I can put the keyhole feeders long way and make enough room for 12-14 goats to feed. I forgot about that fact until the babies came. I have to have a hill removed and a big machine to move it. I think it will work well though.

Part of my garden is in and STARTING TO GROW!! Yea! :o) Now I've got to get the other 2/3 in. But it did feel nice to sit around and do really nothing today.

I also finally figured out what has been wrong with my electric fence. Ah, the little things that make me happy.

-- Anonymous, May 27, 2002

Don't feel too bad, Joy, even we had snow a week ago, big, fluffy flakes came down for awhile in the morning, it is late May, isn't it??? Thought maybe we all had been teletransported back to early March or something! Must gonna be one whopper of a "long, hot summer" here to balance out all that unseasonal cold weather.

My favorite uncle has a "theory", if you get way too much rain during the spring, summmer, fall months, then you won't get too much snow in the winter; his theory being that there will only be a set amount of average precipitation per year in any given location. That one year back in 1996 when we all here had that really horrible drought all spring/summer/fall, they (just 90 miles due east of us) got 265 inches of snow that winter. Even still had snow on the ground in mid May, it was downright disgusting for them, had to up and go to Florida for a spell to thaw out, they just couldn't stand it any more!

Anyway, I think we all here are in for some really hot, humid weather, coming real soon too, and I will fervently wish to see some of those dandy snowflakes THEN!!!

I am just now getting the garden in this week (after the mowing, that takes about 10 hours of non-stop work, bleah!!!), the strawberries are still very green, and the poor pitiful catalpa trees have to make new growth on them, the hard freezes have killed the bloom growth on them. On the other hand, the hayfields are way beyond waist high, we are going to be drowning in hay this year, a real record buster for production per acre for sure, and that's no chemicals of any kind, just liming five years ago and proper harvesting/cutting, and adding more red clover to the base.

-- Anonymous, May 27, 2002

We had snow about a week ago too -- today it was up to 70. Go figure. Fortunately, not much of anything had gotten around to leafing out, so it wasn't hurt a whole lot.

I planted peas about 5 days ago and the seeds are trying to work their way up out of the dirt. They haven't sprouted, they're just working out. Can't figure that one out. I just keep poking them back down in. Today I put in potatoes, but only got about half done before the gnats tried to carry me off.

I'm going into the third month of treating founder -- and now I have TWO with founder, and no explaination of WHY or HOW. It gets old really fast.

Two neat things however -- I have Indigo Buntings coming to the feeder now, and I discovered that the little fig tree I overwintered in the garage now has three teeny-tiny-weensy little figs on it! It has 2 branches, 4 leaves, and three figs! I don't know if they will actually turn into fruit or not, it's so small it may shed them, but I was delighted to see them just the same. The tree itself seems very happy with having been wintered in the garage -- the new leaves are very large and gorgeous looking. The lemon tree died over the winter, so I was somewhat consoled by the fig's performance. I think I gave it a shot of Eden Rich when I brought it in this spring.

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2002

What is it with these months just flying by??!! The year is almost half over and the days will be getting SHORTER next month....yuck!! The older I get, the faster the years go by :-(!!!!

It is nice to report, though, that here in my location in Maine snow is long gone! Spring has been cool with way too much rain (IMO!!). But the wild apple trees, wild dogwoods and lilacs are in full bloom and smell wonderfully. Last Saturday we went to Surry Gardens...a TOTALLY awesome place with 9 greenhouses, cold frame houses, perenial houses and acres of shrubs! I could spend hours there! Their display of magnolia trees was in full bloom and the air was laden with the smell of the blossoms. We bought the rest of the transplants we needed and spent the rest of the day planting Brussels sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Also came home with an assortment of herbs...I just can't resist them!! The cab of our pickup was filled with plants. Harry says that it's a good thing we don't have a cap on the back...I would have bought more!!!

When we got home, the guys that came to move our boat for us were there hooking it up to their truck. They had it in the water and on our mooring in no time at all!! We went down on Sunday to put our dinghy in the water and more supplies on the boat (it's kinda like stocking a summer camp!). Still couldn't spent much time on the water as Harry's mom had a bazillion things she wanted "fixed"!! Finally, Monday morning Harry said "That's it...we're outa here!!" Went down and did a much needed tuneup on the boat and then headed out for a short cruise to make sure all was well. Couldn't stay out long since the wind was coming up. But we spent the rest of the afternoon on the mooring with our fishing poles just casting whenever the seals chased the mackeral closer to us!! Fish finder was buzzing like crazy, but we didn't catch nuthin'!! Then the seals would come to the surface chomping on a fish a looking at us like we doing it the wrong way!! I think the fish were too busy running for their lives to bother taking our lures :-)! Came home about 5 p.m. to take care of the goats and explain to Harry's mom why we were gone all day!! Then headed out to a little league game that our son Mike coaches, came home and had barbecued T-bone steaks and corn on the cob!! All in all, we had a good holiday weekend! After spending the last few days in the sun, though, I look like a boiled lobster!! Have to remember to get myself some sunblock!!! Harry never burns...just keeps getting tanned!

The portable sawmill has been here off and on for the last week or so. We have more than enough pine boards now to finish the floors in our house...some of them are 22" wide!! We're also having some 2" hackmatack sawed for framing for workbenches in Harry's shop. And I need to build myself a new butchering table!! We use 2"x6" hack for repairing the lower rails of the pig pen, also. That stuff is as rot-resistant as cedar and is lots harder!!!

Julie...aren't the indigo buntings awesome??!! I had a couple of males around last summer, but no sign of them yet this year. I am thrilled, though, that a pair of bluebirds have taken up residence in one of my swallow houses!! Even the starlings haven't kicked them out. Also have a pair of cardinals nesting out front in a spruce tree. But they can sure empty a sunflower feeder fast...faster than the flocks of evening grossbeaks do! I've been buying my sunflower seed by the 50 lb. bags!!

We were supposed to get showers today, but the sun is poking through and it's 75 degrees...so I guess I'll go get some weeding done. Also have a bunch of hosta plants I've been meaning to divide!! Have a good week everyone!

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2002

Hey all! Things have finally settled down around here - including my gut or gizzard or whatever body part was giving me fits!

Uncle Ivan and his crew were all down at the cabin for the holiday weekend, so he managed to get our sweet corn and the sunflowers in the ground yesterday. I think he just went and planted it all - no staggered planting this year since we got started so late! I've gotten lots done in the garden - still a lot to do, though; and tons of weeding and the darn strawberries are coming on! I think I need another vacation!

I got up and did some housecleaning this morning; then went out to lunch with a friend. Came home and was getting ready to take a nice nap when Jessie came by and wanted to go shopping, so away we went! Now, I need to go pick some more strawberries (since Jes took off with the ones Pop picked for supper!) and make some shortcake - they're all going to have to settle for sweet biscuts tonight, I think!

It's hot and humid here today and looks like rain again. We got about 2 inches yesterday evening and last night from three storm fronts that moved over us, or circled around and hit us again - can't tell which it was from the radar! I'm having to threaten the guys with death and destruction to keep them away from the thermostat; wanting to turn the ac on! I have to freeze at work - I ain't freezing at home - especially when the two of them are hardly ever around during the day anyway. And Pop can go down and watch TV in the basement where it's cool, besides! Durn men, anyhow!! Love 'em to pieces!

I had planned for Hubs to help me set my poles for my pole beans tonight, in a certain place in the garden; but then an order came in from Henry Field's that I had forgotten about (now, where in the Sam Hill am I going to put these darn flowers!!) that included some purple asparagus. And since I, of course, want it in the perennial part of the garden; and since that's where I was going to put the beans; well, I was going to put them there at least until I could move the rhubarb next spring.....Sheesh!! Maybe it is a good thing that it's really too wet to plant!

Uh-oh - think I waited too long to pick those berries - i hear raindrops! Gotta go roll up the car windows! You all take care!

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2002

I'm trying to squeeze in some peecee time before Mr. S. demands it for his homework. That could be a blessing since I tend to blab so much!

Had an overcast/sunny/light rain weekend (and happy holidays to you, too..) I did get 8 hours a day in doing garden stuff...hooray! I can't wait around for spring any longer. I cannot believe how prolific those $)(#(&*# weeds are in the garden! Anyway, I sweated enough to have real drops fall off my forehead, so I actually accomplished something. Even got my beans planted. I listened to NPR on Monday...lots of Memorial Day nostalgia. Made me plant more vigorously when I listened to stories from WWII. btw, anyone heard anything more about those missing cyanide containers in, where was it Texas? Gives me the creeps...

Had friends over for dinner Sat. eve., but I think we're done entertaining for a while. I'm beat. Next big plans are to travel to the west side of Vancouver Island and maybe do some sea kayaking, but not 'til mid-July. Marcia, your boating adventure sounds so familiar (but we don't have our own craft). Coastal living is cool, isn't it?

Got a few sugar snap pea pods to harvest. The last of the cabbage (actually the first of the cabbage since all the winter heads bolted!) was disappointing; too mushy or something, although that could have been from the refrigerator temperature. Pulled the last of the Healthmaster carrots. They did quite well over the winter!

Still haven't sheared. Gets later every year! But this year has been so cold and wet.

Starting to think about getting our Standard Poodles this year. If Mr. S. is going to be out of town in a year (going to school), I think it's finally time for dogs. We have been talking about this endlessly...and need to create a big fenced area for them. I think we'll check out rescues.

Have a good week all.

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2002

Starting to think about getting our Standard Poodles this year.

Just clip those sheep like poodles, and Voila! ;-) I like Standard Poodles. They don't seem to have been so overbred/badly bred as the miniatures and toys. Just remember, they are VERY, VERY smart, and will think up things to do if you don't give them something to do. And they're very good at problem solving!

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2002

Sheepish...I've heard that standard poodles are one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs. Are you planning on breeding them or just getting some for pets? Wouldn't it be awesome to raise and train a standard poodle for what it was originally bred for?!! Sure would surprise alot of the gundog enthusiasts!!

Polly...sure would love some of those strawberries!! My favorite snack is fresh strawberries or blueberries with fresh cream and a little sugar!!!

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2002

Had a very entertaining Sunday.

My five year old niece had a dance recital that afternoon, and they are always a hoot. The highlight was the two - three year olds, dressed in tights and tutus (?).

One of them, standing still and watching the coach for her que, finally got into the act by jumping up and down. She looked like one of those comedy acts, where the body is still, only the legs are stomping the floor. Then she started twirling, her arms above her head, like we all have seen ballet dancers do.

Only she kept on and on, until becoming dizzy and weaving all around quite a large part of the stage. Other dancers either moved out of the way, or just stopped and stared. The audience was roaring with laughter, blinded by tears. She was so adorable . . . I haven't have such a laugh in a long time.

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

That's so cute, JR! I remember well those dance recital days of my girls! Those little bitty kids in their costumes and make-up, with the girls" hair done up on top of their heads! Weird but cute. That little girl sounds like something Lotus would do.........loves to be the center of attention and cannot abide 'standing in line', so to speak. Although this was not intentional, during her first recital where they were doing a sort of chorus-line thingy, she kicked forward and her shoe went flying into the audience. No one was hurt, but everyone was laughing.

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

j.r., sounds like dreams I have often! I'm a ballerina (and my skill level is about like a five-year-old!). Cute story.

Re: Standard Poodles...I think we're going to try for 2 adult dogs (rescues if we can find them). This is funny, but we've never had dogs before, and I think puppies would have me screaming nuts in no time (well, maybe not, but...). We'll see. As for them being smart and needing to stay busy, I'm planning on having them work on the CS archiving project...! And for clips, NO lions clips or anything. Just your basic town and country clip...no pom poms! Maybe big spikey collars, though!

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

Now here's a poodle:


-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

Today is one of those days! I'm wearing my favorite pair of blue dress slacks at work today. I've had them forever and they're so comfy, they're one of the few things that fit me during 'that time of the month'. My friend Karen and I went to Taco Bell for lunch today and as I'm sitting down a feel a strange sensation. The seat of my pants has completely let go! Not the center seam, but the fabric itself, right at the right-side butt-crease level! And I have hot pink undies on today so the rip is very noticeable! If I was 20 years younger I might be able to get away with this look but at my age it's just embarrassing.I tried to untuck my shirt but it's not long enough to cover it. I had to hold the tray over my backside as I was walking out of the restaurant so I wouldn't spoil the other patron's appetites. Now I'm hiding out in my cubicle until quitting time. Thankfully I don't have any meetings this afternoon, I think showing up to a meeting in this state would beat the time I realized I came to work wearing two different color socks. :-)

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

This week has been another busy one. I don't know how you folks that work off the homestead ever get time to do all the things that need to be done. We've tried to get the hay cut for almost two weeks now and the weather has kept us out of the fields. It's either raining, fields too wet or rain forecast for the next couple of days. The grass is up to my chest and we really need to get it cut, baled and in the barn soon. But since I'm not working in the fields, I've been trying to get caught up around here. I've finally got one of the gas weed eaters working so I got the three foot grass cut around the buildings. It takes most of the day to mow my yard with a riding mower but part of that time is spent putting one of the blades back on the old mower. Got over an inch of rain yesterday so I spent the day trying to straighten out the shop. Or at least I got enough room in there so that I don't have to step over stuff when I enter. Maybe there's too much stuff in there for the room? This morning when I went in I had a bird in there and it was trying to commit suicide at the windows. I caught it and it just went limp in my hands. It was if it was telling me that it was tired of fighting and was ready to die. I was afraid that it was in shock and wouldn't make it but as soon as I got to the door and opened my hand, off it flew. I believe it was Friday that I went over and picked up six, month old chicks. They're suppose to be the green egg layers but have been cross bred so we don't know if we'll get green eggs. I know the breed of chicken that they are but I can't spell it. I had to separate the coop until the older chickens get use to them and until they get a little bigger. The older chickens are three roosters and one hen. Doesn't seem right does it? Well, we named one Boss Man because he's the one that rules the roost and takes care of the hen. One other rooster is named Wanta Be because he wants to be boss but he can't whip Boss Man! Then there's Baby, the one that was kicked out of the nest at birth and we had to put in a brooder to save it. Then there's the hen. We call her The Slut! I think she had all the other hens bumped off while I was in Houston! This morning I let the chickens out of the coop and then let the new ones into the pen. I went back a little while later and found five of the little devils laying on the ground, looking dead and one of them on it's side with it's legs kicking. I just knew that Baby had got back in the pen and took revenge on them. But they were just trying to dust in the mud. They ain't too smart.

This afternoon, I went out to the garden. Two of my raised beds are made with cedar trees. I sat down, kinda side saddle on one of the logs and was pushing the tomato plants up into the trellis and doing a little weeding while I sat there. I got up and noticed something on the side of the log. It was a pygmie rattler about 18 inches long. My knee had been about an inch from it and it hadn't bothered to strike. Guess it figured I wasn't a threat and it couldn't eat me. Now, I couldn't see if it's rattles were shaking or not. I'd have had to put my glasses on for that and that would have put me way too close to the action. If I had slid forward a little while messing with the tomatoes, I'd have hit it. I got the shovel and went to pick it up and it tried to slide off into the garden, so I grabbed it by the tail and flipped it into the woods. It's rattlers were so small that I could see it's tail shaking but couldn't hear the rattle. Now, maybe I've been watching too much Croc Hunter but it was beautiful. Hey, it didn't strike so it lived.

Well, it's raining again here in Ar. so I guess I'll do shop work again tomorrow. Think I'm going to have to paint the inside of the shop in brighter colors if I'm going to be spending so much time in there.

Hey, it's hump day! Ya'll enjoy the rest of the short week.

Wildman, (waterlogged)

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

Sheepish...I tried to get to the site you posted but it said the page I was looking for does not exist!! Did I do something wrong?

Wildman...good to hear from you!! I was afraid you might be listed on Joy's MIA list!!! Yuck...rattlesnakes! Guess I should be thankful that there are none here in Maine :-)!!

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

BTW Joy...I like the way you labeled this post OTF "Conversations"! We all seem to do more than just chatting here!! Kinda like "family" :-)!

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

The last week plus has been real dry and the blackflies have gone berserk here in Lunenburg county lemme tell ya. Haven't touched the veg garden since Saturday. So sad ..its not even all in and I'm sick of it already. This spring rush thing is killing me. Saturday my friend and I went into the barn so I could show her where everything is (she looked after the animals on Sunday night and Monday morning). We went over to the brooder cage to find all twenty chicks tits up on the brooder floor and mysteriously wet. My five year old had taken the hose into the barn and saturated pretty much everything. Its a wonder he didn't get electrocuted. BTW, I was in the house putting my spinning wheel together with the assistance of my 3 yr old while 5 yr old was supposed to be helping Daddy in the garden. Guess we dropped the ball on being observant parents. We managed to save 7 of the 20 chicks and I didn't kill my son. It was quite a shocker. Moved the pigs into their new digs last night. I got brained by a pig thrashing its head around and near passed out. My ear still hurts from the blow. Can those suckers squeal!!! I thought my husband was gonna cry when he was carrying the second one out to the pen. No blood coming out of his ears so I told him not to be such a baby (just kidding. Now the goats have the indoor pig pen and are NOT happy with the situation since they aren't used to being confined. Aaaaaannd the piece de resistance...Richard helped to do the evening chores and my angelpuss ram lamb came over for some lovin's. Now, Richard has been listening to me hint and whine over not butchering this lamb. He has not been happy with my position on this subject. "We can't keep them all!" has been his usual reply. Now its possible a friend will buy this lamby cuz he's just so sweet and cuddly and has such soft wool. Tonight Richard saw for himself how precious this little dolly is aaaannd..If Kim doesn't buy him I can keep the little sweetie as a wether without the guilt of going against my partners wishes.. heee hee Now I must come up with a name for this irresistable creature. Hmmmmmmmm..........

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

Chicks with tits?!?!? Well, you ought to be able to sell the survivors for big money! ;-)

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

Ewww..rattlesnakes! I nearly stepped on a seven-footer on my 40th birthday (yes, that would be 10 years ago!)in Eastern Oregon (over by Imnaha, JOJ, if you're reading this) ...fortunately, I was looking out for poison oak and had my eyes downward. The big monster was lying there looking like a huge cow pie! My foot was in the down cycle and I would've gotten nailed for sure....fortunately, he was already engaged in eating a mouse, and his mouth was busy. I like snakes, but rattlers I'd rather see (even before hearing) first, thank you very much!

Hmmm...I don't know why the poodle link didn't work!?

Be sure to castrate all male lambs if they're going to be pets...I have five "pet" rams....docile and huggable they are not...

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002

I'm still putting up with a tons of mud and am literally wading out to the car these days. I can't wait until it gets dry enough to get all this dirt properly graded and the water out of the driveway. We got a preliminary grading about a week ago. The plan was for the dirt to dry out some and then we would get the final grading. At this rate I'm gonna have to start painting the inside of my house in brighter colors Wildman, cause we're trapped in here!!!!

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2002

Allison, you nasty thing you! That's "hooters up". Such a short memory.

Denise, brighter colors always seem to help. I don't think it's the colors that make a difference, it's the work that's involved. Takes your mind off other things. Of course, I've always been in awe of people that could paint a room maroon and make it look nice.

Why is it that I'm never at the right place at the right time? Sherri, showing her undies and Alison popping out of her coveralls! I'm so isolated down here.

No Marcia, I wasn't on Joys MIA list and don't think my feelings weren't hurt! I almost didn't come back! But then, I remembered that Joy can't be all things to all people and I begrudgingly forgave her for her error. Besides, there's so many people missing that it's got to be hard to list them all.

Wildman, (always missing the action)

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2002

Wildman, you weren't "AS missing" (if there can possibly be such a thing) as the people I'd listed. I knew I'd seen posts from you much more recently than most the people I listed! So :-P {and I know you're just teasing me! ;-) }

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2002

Oh Joy, yes I have been missing, but that doesn't mean that I'm not reading. I think I'll have more time now since things have settled down a little. That doesn't mean that there's less work to do but the mental hardship has lessened somewhat and we can finally begin to think of other things. Of course I was teasing, I try to never be completely serious.

Wildman, (he's back)

-- Anonymous, May 31, 2002

Thats why I adore you, Wildman. Your sense of humor etc. Between Sherri's butt and my boobs and your belly (I refer to the Walmart incident)we'd put on quite a show...Isn't there a song about Things Bustin' Out Allover..? Sorry I said tits by the way. I'll try to remember to use the more acceptable hooters from here on in. Joy, I had to snicker out loud at your remark on the chicks. Fuuunnny girl!!!

-- Anonymous, May 31, 2002

Moderation questions? read the FAQ