Over the WALL testifyin' and hollerin

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Just thought I'd make the headlines more interesting (think there could be a place for me in Dee Cee?

-- Anonymous, June 16, 2002


Hey Dads, Happy Father's Day!

The rest of you...are you out gardening or something?

We spent the last two out of three days in the blistering 100* heat in E. Washington (E. and W. Washington are so different, climate- wise, and density, politics, etc.) How many of you remember the blue and red maps during the last Pres. Election? Well, W. Washington is mostly wet and blue, and E. Washington is mostly red and hot!

We visited our property and camped. We also went to see "The Bourne Identity" just to get into some air conditioning for the hottest part of the day. Mr. S. loved it. I had read the book and was amused, but could have spen part of the film sleeping.

What's going on with you folks? The weeds here were relentless in their growth whilst I was away!

-- Anonymous, June 16, 2002

Three days away from my transcription job, and I already need retraining! Sheesh. What command of grammar and punctuation...not...

-- Anonymous, June 16, 2002

Glad you started it, Miz S. I finally remembered it was time for a new one!

I tried to garden this evening, but a strong wind blew up and then it rained, and I had to give up again. Of course, while the weather was nice I had other things I HAD to do. Foo.

-- Anonymous, June 16, 2002

Wow, so glad its you sheepish! I thot Hoot broke the password!

-- Anonymous, June 16, 2002

We have decided that we need to do a layer cull. That means devising a way to figure out who's laying and who isn't. Then we need to get our hands on some younger birds, which means we really need to enlarge the chicken coop which starts with C, which doesn't rhyme with W and that spells WORK.(sorta homesteadin' Music Man thing goin' on there) Somethings eating the corn shoots(crows), I replanted tomatoes and need cuke transplants, the peas are germinating spottily, the carrots not at all, the potatoes are coming up, the beans look pathetic, the currants and blueberries survived, and with all this rain the strawberries ought to be plentiful and fat. Thats the vegetable garden. I got husband to cur me some trees for making flower bed borders and I made many trips with the wheel barrow, hauling topsoil and compost to raise the level of the beds some. Looks good but lots more to do to finish it (finish????!). Thats it from here!!

-- Anonymous, June 17, 2002

What a bizarre day! And pretty unfun!

The dog had a major case of puking and pooping over night. So I got to take her to the vet AND do clean up. Fun, fun! Dog is fasting for today. She got an anti-emetic shot and is on Imodium. They took blood to do a test to see if she lacks pancreative enzymes. It can be a problem with German Shepherds. I almost hope that is what it is, so that she can take the supplement and get over this! Sheesh!

I finally remembered that I HAD to mail something TODAY, then I couldn't find the forms for the longest time, which made me late to leave for the post office (Had an appt. following that). Got to the post office, no stamps, machines are either broken or need COINS ONLY (I ask you, who carries $6.80 in coins around?!) and a line almost all the way out the front door. I finally "cut" the line and ran up to a man who was just finishing his business to beg him to buy me a couple of stamps. Turned out to be an old neighbor. So there is the bizarre, though it turned out okay!

The other bizarre thing was, when I tried to call to order pizza, I misdialed and got a former co-worker on the phone! Her number ends 3366 and the pizza place number ends 3344. So much for my memory. But it was kind of funny!

I did finally get some work done in the garden this evening.

-- Anonymous, June 17, 2002

Alison, If you turn the hens over and look at the vent, an actively laying hen has a large vent, one not laying is not visible.

I'm thinking of getting rid of my chickens. Hubby hates having the chicken poop all over and I don't like keeping them locked in. They are so much happier wandering and eating bugs and stuff. They do dig up all the places I don't want them to dig. And considering I'm feeding them and only selling eggs to one person...I can get organic eggs for $2 at the Co-op. And, and the rooster will crow under my window if I forget to lock them up for the night at 4:30 in the morning.

I'm thinking of getting rid of the rabbits too. They haven't been breeding or selling well lately. People haven't been buying them here because of bears.

I also have to sell these goat babies soon or the little boys will want to become little men. And I don't want that kind of breeding going on.

I need hay but considering we were until recently in a drought, it's been raining enough that the hay is growing but they can't get enough clear days to cut it. I have the horse roaming in the backyard grazing. Hey, killing two birds, right?

-- Anonymous, June 17, 2002

Sounds like you're having the same weather that we are, Dee! Lots of drizzly, cloudy, depressing days. Occasionally the sun comes out and when it does...it's beautiful and almost too hot!! The hay fields around here are three feet tall, but they don't dare cut it yet 'cause they probably wont get any good drying days. I tell ya one thing...there ain't no drought here in Maine!!!

In spite of the weather, my garden is doing pretty good. The potato plants and the onions are a foot tall and I have lots of blossoms on my peas. Still having problems with those dang flea beetles and I think I'll have to give up on the spinach because of them! Pole beans are just breaking ground, but the weather hasn't been that great for them. I have a few plants that are coming up from last year...which surprised me. I didn't think pole bean seeds would survive the winter here and then sprout the following year, but some of these Scarlet Runner beans did! My other seedlings...tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, Brussels sprouts and cabbage...are all doing pretty good, but just growing a little slowly because of the lack of sunshine I assume!! We decided to skip broccoli this year. Maine is a broccoli-growing state anyways and we can buy it pretty cheap at roadside stands and even in the supermarkets. Right now it's going for 69 or 79 cents a lb. but it will get alot cheaper in the fall. I'll just buy it in bulk and freeze it! We both love broccoli and Harry uses lots in his stir-fry dishes.

I finally talked Harry into putting a lift in his garage. He's been complaining alot lately about getting up and down on the creepers and his knees are beginning to bother him. So now I don't have to put up with his whining anymore :-)!! A lift does make jobs go lots faster, though. Especially exhaust work!! Our busiest months are coming up now. July and August is when lots of out-of-staters make their vehicle repair appointments to coincide with their vacations here!

All our critters are doing well. I'm planning on just keeping Aracaunas for egg-laying now. I only have maybe 6 or 8 regular egg customers, but they always prefer the colored eggs! I have one elderly woman who only buys a half dozen eggs every two weeks, but gladly gives me 2 dollars for those six eggs!! I only get $1.50 for a whole dozen! Her husband is some kind of retired Ambassader from Denmark so I guess they can afford it :-)!!

I was hoping my goats would be slowing up on the milk production by now, but I'm still getting nine pounds or so daily from each doe. They've been milking for almost 5 mos. When they slow up somewhat, I can quit the night milking and FINALLY be able to spend some nights on the boat!!!

I was greeted by a grizzly sight yesterday morning when I went out to the barn. There's been a litter of three kittens out there that were about a month old...just starting to explore the barn! I walked through the door and one kitten lay dead on the floor and one of my male cats was in the process of killing another!! The poor mother cat was doing her best to chase him off. When he saw me, he took off running. Now there is only one lonely kitten and the mother isn't leaving her side!! I'd heard that male cats will do that, but in all the years we've had kittens in the barn I'd never seen it happen with any of my cats. I have had kittens disappear, but always assumed that coyotes or foxes had got them. Even though I really didn't need more kittens around...it was so sad to see those tiny bodies laying there!

Well...have to go mow my MIL's lawn. Then I have to weedwack around my pasture fence. Darn grass keeps growing and contacting the electric tape!! Normally I have 4650 volts running the that tape, but now it's down to 2200 volts.

Hope some of you other folks check in here and let us all know what's happenin' in your part of the world!! I miss Alan's "Florida reports", too!!! Have a good week everyone!

-- Anonymous, June 18, 2002

We just had an earthquake and I didn't feel a thing! It happened about an hour ago down in southern Indiana and it registered 5.0. According to the local news it was felt as far north as Indianapolis but I sure didn't notice anything. I don't know why those California people make such a big deal about them! :>

-- Anonymous, June 18, 2002

I picked my first batch of peas this weekend, and realized that I'm going to have to plant a lot more in the future if I ever want to get enough to freeze. Oh well, at least I have enough for the table. The tomatoes are blossoming but no fruit yet. I found some plans on-line for building a PVC-pipe hoop house and I'm thinking about errecting one over the tomato bed this fall to try to keep the production going.

Monday I had a day off from work and I got the notion to sell my old engagement ring. It's just been sitting in my jewelry box for the past 5 years so I thought I might as well get some good out of it. I went to 3 jewelers who buy diamonds, two of them wouldn't give me anything for it and the third would only offer $85. I paid 10 times that much when I bought it 20 years ago (yep, I bought my own engagement ring). I didn't think that diamonds depreciated but their price is greatly influenced by what's in style. Unfortunately heart- shaped diamonds are no longer in fashion. I'm just going to keep it and have the stone set into a necklace. I'll give it to my neice for her Sweet 16.

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2002

Sherri, I see you've been over at Chucker's site stirrin up the troops again! Good on ya! :)

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2002

Well, guess what!! I went up to the hay loft Monday to get come hay for everyone and I heard all this peeping and who should be up there but my peckyest banty hen and 12...TWELVE!!...chicks!! What a surprise! They are all so teensy! Whenver Little Black Hen goes broody I hatch out big eggs to get bigger chicks and possible hens that lay largish eggs)but this little brown gal had ideas of her own I guess. Don't you just love surprises? Been washing lots of wool these days so that I have something to comb out into rovings. As soon as my wheel is fixed I'll be all set! Lots of rain these days. 2 thunder showers in 2 days with heavy rain both times so any sun and drying that we got those days was undone later in the day when the thunder heads rolled in. Can't complain of drought now!! Maybe the series of droughty years is over for us for awhile? Ben's nursery school graduation is today and what did I find last night at bathtime? Chicken pox! Here we go again..........

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

Dumb question alert!!!! Avert your eyes if you have no tolerance!!! Chicken vent: is there a picture somewheres so I know what I am looking for? Where is it in relation to the anus on the chicken? ...maybe I should just go grab a chicken and look.........

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

EM, if you're talking about the school prayer thread that I started, I wasn't trying to stir things up. I was just hoping to get people thinking about a topic in a different way than what they're used to. If you're talking about my post on the Nickelodeon thread, I was just stating my opinion.

hmm...I think that's all the posts I've done over there that could be considered stirring things up...or were my household organization tips over on Melissa's forum too controversial? :>

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

Oh dear, I didnt check out your household tips, Sherri! But if they turn out to be 'controversial' I wouldn't be a bit surprised, since the most surprising things turn out to be controversial. At least they used to surprise me; not so much anymore. When I mentioned stirring up, I guess your statement about getting people thinking is exactly how I would define 'giving one's opinion' when we're talking internet. Anyway, it's been interesting reading; thanks.

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

Chicken vent: is there a picture somewheres so I know what I am looking for? Where is it in relation to the anus on the chicken?

Well, did you go look? LOL! The "anus" and "vent" on a chicken are one and the same. One opening for waste elimination AND egg laying. One of the reasons that eggs sometimes have fecal matter on them. This "set-up" is true of all birds. The more technical term is "cloaca".

At least you know how chickens get "born"! No kidding, an adult woman actually asked Julie that question! Ummm, ever hear of eggs hatching? LOL!

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

Don't feel bad Alison, I didn't know where the vent was either. :)

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

Oh dear, I hope you don't think I was making fun of you, Alison. I just got a laugh picturing you earnestly staring at the underside of a chicken (who is no doubt squawking and struggling)!

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

It couldn't be any worse than the two teenage girls on "Frontier House" who thought the best way to judge a hen's egg laying abilities was by sticking their fingers up the vent! Talk about some irate chickens! They probably quit laying out of spite! :)

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

Just in case anyone hasn't heard, the first class postage is increasing from 34 cents to 37 cents on June 29th. I was in the post office today and got a few 3 cent stamps to finish out my supply of 34 cent stamps. Supposedly the post office needs more money to pay for the increased mail screening and security post-Sept. 11th. I haven't seen a lot of news coverage about this, the only way I knew was because I happened to be in the post office today.

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

Yeah, Sherri...I was reminded this morning when I did my banking then stopped at the post office to get a roll of stamps. Should have mailed out the Webber's Garage monthly bills sooner this month, I suppose!!

What do ya suppose they do with all their money...give employee pay increases :-)??!!

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

Wow! The weeks almost over and I almost missed the "Over the Fence" again. Well, because of my tremendous weight gain, me and my dog, (my dog and I?), have been talking walks down the driveway in the evenings. Actually, we were taking these little walks before I fluffed up but I certainly don't want to give up eating so I'm now calling the walk a form of exercise. My only form. We just called it a walk before. Another correction, it seems that the dog must be thinking that he's sniffed every smell and scented everything that was worth scenting along that path and he's got to where he just sits on the porch and watches me disappear around the bend. It's about a 400 yd. trek down to the abandoned county road and about the same distance back so I don't really work up much of a sweat unless it's really hot outside. I did have a sweat bee follow me once but he didn't land on me. And he didn't stay long. The drive is all tree lined and all the trees overhang the drive and meet in the middle so it's like walking through a tunnel and it's really a nice place to take a stroll. Hey, I know it's not much but it's, at least, an effort! I'll just have to keep buying bigger pants. My health is more important than money!

Something ate my zucchinis plants. I thought humans were the only thing stupid enough to eat zucchini but I guess, once again, that I was wrong! We've had several cukes, onions and radishes and more radishes and more radishes come out of the garden. When I was waiting for the first tomato to get ripe, I would go out every day and watch it. Proud parent syndrome. One day I went out and something had got to it first. Enter, post partem(sp) depression. We have a feeling that the something that got to it was the dog. He's the same one that use to look at a pear on a low hanging branch of our tree, back up, run and jump up and pull it down and eat it. We don't trust him around vegetables. Last year, he'd go out everyday and get himself a tomato. Weird dog. Since I didn't have room in the garden to do watermelon and cantaloupes, I decided that I'd just plant some around the perimeter of the yard. Wish I'd planted at least one of each in the garden. I haven't found a one that I planted around the perimeter! Same with the birdhouse gourds. They ain't there either. Maybe I moved and this isn't my yard?

Got ready to go to Mt. Home this morning and the truck wouldn't start! Had to borrow my brother in laws vehicle. When we got back, I charged the battery and it still won't even turn over. I just love these modern trucks. I can't find anything under the hood that I recognize. Won't even turn over when I jump it with another vehicle.

Had to get up to see what spooked my deer. We have two deer that come up every evening to have a bite of corn. Only one was up here this evening and it ate a little and then bounded off towards the field. It went out to meet it's partner and they're now playing in the field. They really don't like the field since we finished baling the hay. Before we baled it, all we could see when they were coming up was the rack on one of them when he raised his head. Couldn't see the female at all until she got to the yard. A couple of days ago, I walked down the back steps to check and see if the stray dog was eating his food and stopped when I hit the bottom of the steps. The deer were eating. They stopped, looked up, noted that I was there and went back to eating. I turned around and came back in until they finished. They're really getting pretty tame. Many times I have gone to the back porch and sat on the steps and watched them. They're about thirty feet from the porch. They're not as tame as the deer at Mt. Nebo. Those will let you hand feed them! We aren't looking to get these that tame. They're about as tame as we want them.

Haven't run across any more snakes since the one at the creek. I turned over a rock that I wanted to bring back to the shop and a little cotton mouth struck at me. Now, I gave him that one because I disturbed him. I laid the rock back over him and about 5 inches of him was still sticking out and he struck three more times. I decided that the first time was a freebie. The other three exhibited a tendency to be violent. He won't strike anymore. And I stole his rock! Carved a couple of dolphins on it. I thought it turned out rather well. My brother in law came up the next morning and I showed it to him. He said that he thought the birds were cute. Maybe I'll get better with practice.

My, my. How I do go on! That doesn't even scratch the surface of everything that's happened around here this week but if I wrote it all down, it would be as thick as a book. And I don't want to write a book unless it's going to get published!

Time to eat supper, we're going to have a lite supper tonight. Summer sausage, pepperoni, cheese and crackers.

Wildman, (still dieting)

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2002

Mornin' y'all! I'm sitting here waiting for Pop to come down out of his lair and tell me what we've got going today - I think he's planning on cross tilling the berries some more; so that will leave me to work in the garden - plenty of work there to do!

I woke up at 0700 this morning to the sound of a large truck going past my bedroom window. Now, mind you; past my bedroom window = in the yard; so naturally, I got up to peek outside - it was the tree guy delivering another load of wood chips. I must not look as bad as I think I do in the morning (or he felt guilty for waking me up!) 'cause they were $5 cheaper than the last two loads!! Y'know; I kinda worry about myself sometimes. The fact that a man waking me up with a load of woodchips can put a sparkle in my eyes is surely a scary thang!!

As I went running out the door this morning to catch the tree dude, I had jump over a snake on the sidewalk - just a bitty one; maybe 18" or so. He was dead, but not torn up; so I don't know if the big dog or one of the cats left him there for us to find. Sent Pop out after the paper this morning hoping to get a dance or at least a yelp out of him when he saw it, but no such luck! Durn men are no fun! Haven't been back out that door to see if they've moved it yet; probably ought to, since I have a friend coming out to pick up a book here in a bit!

I've got a heck of a list for the weekend - which for me, includes early today; part of Saturday, all of Sunday and part of Monday. Boy, I love my work schedule. Not. I've got to weed in the garden, fill in the asparagus trench, plant some more bush beans, put another top section on the potato beds and start layering straw in on top of them, weed the garden, stop on my way home from work tomorrow morning and get landscape timbers and start building the tank surround, build up the edge around my clothesline, hoe some dirt up around my gladiolas, weed the garden, plant some zinnias and some 4 o'clocks for Hubs, move a bunch of wood chips, dig and plant a grape vine to replace one that died, help Uncle Ivan with his raspberry patch renovation (and maybe come home with a few canes for myself, heh heh heh), weed the garden, dig some post holes and put up a lattice screen for my poop pile aka compost pile, move the darn chicken house, collapse with a book in the hammock, weed the garden...hmmm, looks like somebody had better stop and pick up stuff for sandwiches, 'cause I sure ain't going to have time to cook this weekend!!

And speaking of cooking...the neighbor fella that dropped off the quart bag of zinnia seeds also dropped off a big bowl of fresh peas and a big head of cabbage. I've been eating the peas raw (and snuck a few to Bun, as well) but I put the cabbage in the pressure cooker last night along with some new red potatoes, carrots from the store and a couple of onions from the garden. Tossed in some chunks of ham for seasoning..mmmm mmmm mmmm - I thought that I'd done died and gone to heaven!! Didn't notice anyone else pushing back from their plates for a while either - even little Bailey thought it was allright and the only vegetable she usually likes is pickles! I'm afraid that it got us all in the mood for fresh stuff from the garden tho - we all went out after supper to check on the melon and pumpkin patch; Pop was really checking out the tomatoes on the way, and I caught Hubs giving the sweet corn a pep talk as well! Soon, I tell them; soon!

Well, Pop just went by and asked me if I was planning to do any work today; so I reckon I'd better get up and get at it - can't let myself get shamed by getting outworked by a 74 year old retired fella, now can I?! You folks take care,

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002

Dang crows!!!!! They've been pulling up the corn. Grrrrrrr. The vent and anus are the same eh? Hmm no wonder I couldn't find anything out of the ordinary. I'd best get that poultry book from the library again and see how these things work!! :o) Thanks for all the help all. Joy, absolutely no offense taken though did ya have to Laugh SO hard?? :o) Wildman, I didn't know you are a stone carver. My friend Hector is too.

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002

Alison, tell Hector that he has nothing to worry about. No competition here. I'm not really a carver, I'm more of a piddler! I like to do things that I haven't done before and after I do them, I'm pretty much through with them.

Wildman, (still piddling) Get it?

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002

There's the annual Back to the Fifties thingy goin on here this weekend, supposedly one of the biggest in the country. Lotus is really gettin into it: she bought the cutest full-skirted dress for the occassion. Yellow with cherries all over it; put her hair in a ponytail and tied a red scarf to it. Yesterday was Matt's birthday sho she got him a fifties-style shirt with guitars on it. Apparently they looked spiffy .......haven't seen em yet cuz she hasnt been home for a couple of days, but she promises pictures.

The rest of us parked ourselves, along with hundreds of others, along the boulevard last evening to watch all the gorgeous cars cruisin. About 10,000 antique and custom cars come to this event. What fun it was!! Ali couldn't believe how I could identify most of the makes/models.........that back then cars were actually distinguishable from each other!

Speaking of cars, we were planning on going to the Energy Fair this weekend, at least for one day, but Bren broke her foot a couple of weeks ago and it still isnt healed enough for traversing over rough ground. We were gonna take "SAFFRON" THE PEACEMOBILE but she is sadly in the shop having her transmission replaced, a job beyond our capabilities and equipment. Maybe next year. Hope she's ready by next weekend, in time for the Gay Pride Parade.

My container plants are doin ok, but with all this rain, the nutrients keep leaching out. Joy, I can see where the cover on the Earthbox is a good idea already! I have cukes in there and so far they are the only plants that arent showing signs of overwatering.

My little goofy Pug has been drivin me nuts wanting to in and out all the time so I put in a pet door. Well she refused to go through it! Too scarey! She's so funny........fearless around any critters, but terrified of harmless inanimate objects, if they are out of place or new to her. She just stood there and barked at the pet door, hair up on the back of her neck. So I spent the next two weeks acclimating her to the thing. I used every trick I could think of (heck I woulda crawled thru it myself if I were considerably smaller!). Anyway, it was a long, hard, struggle (I comforted myself and stopped myself from becoming angry from my frustration by remembering she is a poor retarded thing and needs lots of patience), but she now uses the pet door just fine.

The whole weekend is supposed to be sunny, hot, and humid! YAY!! (I think I live in the wrong climate)

Have a good one!

-- Anonymous, June 22, 2002

Sunny, hot, and humid -- ugh! Sunny is good, hot is not so good, humid is the pits! Stay cool!

-- Anonymous, June 22, 2002

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