Over the Fence Chat for June 30 - July 6, 2002

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Well, here it is the last day of June. I have no idea how THAT happened. Should still be the first week in June according to my internal clock (which is all screwed up, obviously, and that's not even addressing what YEAR I think it should be!). I'm too lazy to look for the exact date, but it was approximately one year ago that Jim locked the doors here with a password. I guess we didn't dry up and blow away after all! :-D

Hot and humid here. Only 11 a.m. (10 a.m. by the sun) and its already 83*F. Ugh, especially on the humidity part. Stay cool!

-- Anonymous, June 30, 2002

Answers

Hi all,

I'm working on the bad email thing. I'm figuring everyone here is too nice to have sent it, so it must be some weird internet trick. I *would* like to know if anyone else here got that same email, though...just b/c it's probably some silly joke...I'd feel better if I knew it was!

Got the sheep sheared this weekend, which is a miracle considering it's been POURING rain almost the whole time. We just found windows of opportunity, I guess. Mr. S. worked with shearer while I was at church this a.m., so all I had to do was skirt and bag the fleeces after I got home. Whew! However, they are damp, so I hope we have warm weather soon enough so I can get them washed and dried before long-term storage or use.

My nephew got to drive the John Deere tractor today (he helped me with chores. He's 11.) You would have thought I gave him a new Lamborghini or something, the way he beamed while driving that thing!

Saw "Minority Report" last night and I liked it. Oh, and my garden looks like a tornado hit in the middle of it. Everything tall fell over in the big rainstorms. I did get 8 hours of work in the perennial garden on Saturday though. Ramblin'...Hope you are all doing well. Baaa for now.

-- Anonymous, June 30, 2002


We finally got 98 percent of the barn floor cleaned out down to the boards (just the goat pen and a wee bit in corner left). Now to haul everything out (feed, chicks in brooder etc etc) to power wash and disinfect the place. When it dries I am toying with the idea of applying a coat of whitewash. The chicken coop could use the same treatment too but maybe I'll wait until we enlarge it. Things are too crowded in there and with more chicks growing and chasing their mama around there is a definite need for more space.

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002

Hey, we FINALLY got a little rain over here. Started last Friday, and most of the weekend had some little showers here and there. Grass is green (forgot that grass is SUPPOSED to be green), and things look a lot fresher over here. But it really humid too, step outside and its like getting hit in the face with a wet towel.

But I'm not complaining, no not me . . . ;^).

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002


We had an unexpected yard sale this weekend. We just started cleaning out closets, drawers, and the garage and took it out front and priced it as we cleaned. We had one a few years ago and did great. This time was a flop. Only about 6 people stopped. 3 of those were older gentlemen looking for collectables and for someone to listen to their stories. I enjoy that actually. My Grandpa was quite the storyteller and I suppose they remind me of him. I made a whole 13.50 by Sunday at noon. By 2:00 I'd had enough and packed it up. I figure at least we got rid of a lot of clutter (in the garage especially).

I went to see the Ya Ya Sisterhood with my daughter this weekend(her treat!). We liked it and had a fun time eating Chinese together afterward. Then we went to listen to the free music at Borders. Boy! are teenagers interesting. At times like this we were like girlfriends but once we got home it was back to the same old thing. I saw a quote that explains what I mean. "Teenagers are people who act like babies unless they are treated as adults." MAD Magazine I know it's hard to be teenager (I remember), BUT I can't just let her go yet (16 1/2 yrs.). She hasn't the judgement yet. It's hard to know how much to let them go and when.

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002


Yeah, Denise, they are interesting (at least the ones that are "basically" nice)! I spent a couple of weeks with my cousins, who have a 16 year old son. I've seen this kid for a couple of weeks every year since he was born. The changes are interesting!

This last time, we were all sitting around and some rap thing came on the TV. My cousin (who had just turned 50) was jumping around doing HER version of dancing to rap (being goofy). Her hubby and I were about falling out of our seats laughing. The kid was laughing pretty hard too. He said somehow it was funnier when I was there -- I guess his folks get goofier when I am around (can't imagine WHY). But when she suggested she show off her dancing skills to his friends, he began to panic. That was almost as funny as watching her dancing!

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002



Talk about hot and humid weather...geesh!! Not supposed to be like this here in Maine! Today it was almost 90* with 70% humidity...YUCK!! Tomorrow it's supposed to be worse. I tell ya...I can stand frigid cold weather lots better than I can stand this stuff :-)! I just hate to sweat!!! And the heat "poops" me out faster.

Not much new here. Picked up the turkey poults today. With this heat, at least I don't need to keep them under a heat lamp!! I'll keep them in a smaller cage right in the same pen as my meat chicks and replacement layer chicks (which are now about 3 weeks old) for a week or so...then I'll let them all "mingle". I just have to keep reminding myself to NOT let these turkeys grow so big!! Every year we end up with turkeys that dress out at 25 lbs. or more! At that size, they just don't fit in the oven very well.

Harry found a little kitten last weekend. And I thought I was the "softy"!! She seemed to be wedged under a pile of slabwood that we'd thrown in an old cellar hole. Don't know whether she'd been abandoned or just escaped to this hole and the rest of her litter had been killed by coyotes or something. We'd heard her pitiful little meows for a couple of days and never expected her to be alive when we finally dug her out!! Even though she was a wild kitten, she was desperately trying to purr and snuggle when we picked her up! Impossible to resist! So, now she's doing very well...and has become a spoiled little housekitten!! My other housecats most definitely do not appreciate her...but they'll adapt! Heck...I couldn't just leave her buried in that cellar...could I??!!

Caught our first lobster of the season last Saturday!! Just a small one...about 1 lbs., but they'll get bigger! We steamed it right there on the boat...mmmm good!! Are they catching them yet where you are, Alison?? I wont talk 'bout lobsters anymore...out of respect :-)!! We also went on a boating excursion. Left out of Castine Harbor and traveled south for about eight miles to Resolution Island...just an uninhabited small island in Penobscot Bay. There's a public mooring just offshore. Next time we'll bring our inflatable dinghy and go ashore to check it out!!

Sheepish...I haven't gotten any weird emails. Just the usual stuff...you know, how to enlarge your penis and folks trying to loan us money emails, etc.!! Really don't know which would be more "interesting"!!!

Waaaay past my bedtime here, folks. Have a wonderful week!!

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002


Marcia...mmmmm... lobstah!

I get those "enlarge your penis" emails, too. I guess I wish I had one so I could take advantage of the offers ( maybe not the original concept of penis envy, I suppose!). Nah, I don't wish I had one. I saw those bicyclists at the Fremont Parade. I never really thought about how all those parts that guys have fit on/around bicycle seats. I really prefer my own equipment...

Must be past my bedtime, too (and it's 7:12 pee em, PDT)...!

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002


Fremont Parade Pictures:

http://www.fremontartscouncil.org/events/parade.html

Kind of fun!

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002


What a loverly day! I got up around 2 pm today, woke up with OUR new house kitty purring and kneading my head! Must be something in the air! This kitten came to live with us via Jessie - a little boy in her Dad's neighborhood had to give away kittens that his cat had had, and asked Jessie to take one. She couldn't resist the kid or the kitty - unfortunately, her Dad could, so off to our house he came. She had named the kitty Athena, until I pointed out that Apollo would be more appropriate.... Now, she is calling him Monroe, Bailey is calling him Clyde (looks like her granny's kitty) and Hubs is attempting to call him Thor. I cannot call him Thor with a straight face due to this limerick I once heard - can't remember the whole thing but the gist was that he leaped upon his horse and and called out "I'm Thor!" to which someone replied: "You forgot your thaddle, thilly"; so we are going to have to work on the name thing!

Bailey's Mom has started working at a convienence market for the summer until school starts again (she drives a schoolbus, brave woman!) so Bailey has been spending lots of time out at the farm. She and the kitten got along quite well today - romped and raced and played until they were both quite worn out and curled up together on the floor for a nap - awwwww, so cute!

I had cleared the kitchen island for action, and it was quite a site to behold when I got set up for the various activities planned for this afternoon! A big yellow colander full of sweet black cherries, my favorite blue stoneware shoulder bowl to mix the freezer jam in, the bright yellow lemons on the green depression glass juicer, silver whisks and wooden spoons and multicolored measuring spoons and cups...it was such a pretty picture to look at!

Pop and I stemmed and pitted cherries until I had enough to start the first batch of jam - we made three batches in all (still got 5# of cherries to go!), plus chopped an extra couple of cups of cherries up for another project. I had picked some green and yellow peppers, so I chopped those up together for the freezer; then steamed and packed sugar snap peas in pint bags for the freezer as well. We took a short supper break for some sandwiches and lemonade (Pop makes the best lemonade!) then all went out to the garden to check on the crops, and, alas, start the sprinkler running - yep, hot and hmid here; but the ground is soooo dry! Bailey picked a ripe tomato - a Juliet; and we admired the baby cukes and zucchinis and counted the blossoms on the watermelons. I had to replant some of the melons and pumkins last week, and all the new ones have broken ground and look healthy in spite of the heat - or perhaps, because of it! The beans are blooming (finally!), the morning glories are twining up the arbor and the zinnia seeds from the neighbor that I planted around the bird bath have poked through the ground as well.

We came back in the house and I mixed up a batch of ice cream for the freezer - we have an electric one, thank goodness! - and we made up a nice batch of cherry vanilla - ummmm!! It's packed away in the freezer for the 4th of July; but I sure did enjoy cleaning up the dasher - Hubs got to scrape the residue from the churn! I have to work day shift (12 hrs) tomorrow, but we'll make a batch of banana tomorrow night when I get home; then butter pecan and plain vanilla (or maybe chocolate!) on Wednesday after I get home after another day shift - that one only 8 hours long. I usually use a cooked custard recipe, but since I am swamped for time, I am using another really simple recipe that calls for 1 qt of milk, 1 can of Milnot or evaporated milk, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla (or banana or almond) extract, 3 eggs (yeah, I know; raw eggs - hasn't killed me yet!) and one package of instant pudding - vanilla, french vanilla, banana, chocolate. Mix with a mixer and put in the churn and churn as usual. This actually makes more than our 2 quart freezer will hold, so I put the left over in a cool whip container and it freezes up fine; just a little grainier.

Uncles Ivan and Roger put out a trot line last weekend and pulled in over 90 pounds (fresh weight) of catfish, plus a couple of crappie and a snapping turtle; so we have a fish fry planned for the 4th of July! I have to go in to work at 7pm that night, so we are planning to eat at noon - that'll give everyone plenty of time to visit and then still have time to go to one of the various carnivals around before hitting the fireworks. We'll set up the tables out in the yard and on the front porch as well; plus the dining room table in the house for those that can't take the heat. I know that I'm going to provide the ice, homemade ice cream, watermelon, tea and lemonade; but I probably ought to make a salad or something as well - something tangy like 4 bean salad, d'ya think?!

I'm in luck in that the local fireworks are held at the airport right across from the hospital I work at - and our unit faces the airport! Hubs is going to come over to the hospital to watch the fireworks with me - from the vantage point of the third floor and in the comfort of the air conditioning! I'm being selfish and hoping that we don't have too many patients that night so that I can enjoy the show.

Well, it's after 10 pm and since I have to wake up early so that I can actually WAKE up before I have to leave for my day shift, I guess I had better hit the hay. You folks take care, and enjoy the glorious Fourth!

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002


Yesterday was our day on this side of the border. Canada Day..135th anniversary/birthday of Canada. Woooo!!!! We took the kids to the parade in the village (New Germany for those with maps). It was longer this year it seemed. The boys were tickled at all the fire trucks! I think what I like best is I often know a couple of people in the parade and can wave and say HI to them..it makes it all so much more personal than watching a load of strangers troop by like in a larger town. Not to mention one of the gals in junior choir at church was on a float and was hollering to me. Most of the floats etc are usually from businesses and just advertise their business (booooring!)in town. I suppose if we go ahead with our idea for a small business we'll do the same thing but I swear I will make it fun and interesting..not just a vehicle with a couple of balloons and our shop's name on the door..UGH! Hmmm...international newstand float...gals in liederhosen reading Paris Match perhaps? Dancing newspapers waving flags from various countries?...nah..needs something with a theme matching the parade..Think Ag. Exhibition and Canada Day... Ok..Guys in berets milking goats and reading Dairy Goats Journal? Gals in liederhosen saying Eh? and reading the Montreal Gazette? Oy! My brain hurts! :o)

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2002


I wuz gonna say something, but after reading indefatigable Polly's post, I hafta go take a nap first. zzzzzzzz....

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2002

EM...don't ya wish Polly would bottle up and sell some that energy by mail order??!! I KNOW I'd be a regular customer!!

Sheepish...I most definitely do not have penis envy...I have "Polly" envy :-)!

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2002


Well... I DID have a patient call me a dick-head the other day....

Believe me, I am fatigueable - boyoboyoboy am I fatigueable! How in the heck do you day time people stand it?!

0500 - alarm goes off. Dark; omigod, it is sooo dark! Open eyes - still dark. Ugh. Squeeze alarm button, fall back asleep with clock on chest. 0504 - alarm goes off. Wake up with clock and cat on chest. Squeeze alarm button; don't squeeze cat. Cat gets annoyed because clock is getting all the attention; kneads, then bats at hair and finally sneezes in my face. Think about killing cat; he's safe, not enough energy. 0508 - alarm goes off. 0508.1 - Husband goes off: "Are you gonna get up or are you gonna lay there and listen to the damn alarm all morning?!" (Gee, I have a choice?) Think about killing husband; he's safe, not enough energy. Get up, put nightgown on. It's backwards; decide I don't care. Leave bedroom. Trip over cat. Stagger to bathroom. Trip over cat. Stagger to kitchen. Trip over cat. Put cat in bedroom with husband; shut door. Attempt to figure out unsolved mysteries of the world; starting with how to operate coffee pot. Fianlly get it put together and head out door, let little dog out and walk toward the mailbox to get the morning paper. Wave at neighbor who stops while driving by to say "Nice nighty; how come you're wearing it backwards?" Think about flipping neighbor off; she's safe, not enough energy. Get case of soda out of trunk of car and carry in house. Trip over cat. Bedroom door still shut. Hmmmm. Pour cup of coffee, take into bathroom with me to shower. Trip over cat. Spill coffee on tile floor, throw bath towel on coffee, get in shower. Get out of shower; no towels in bathroom. Dry off with 4 washcloths. Clean up coffee mess. Go back upstairs. Trip over cat. Open bedroom door, deposit cat, shut door. Pour another cup of coffee. Drink this one. Try to find clean dress that doesn't need ironed. Iron dress. Go back downstairs to find slip. Come back upstairs. Trip over cat. Bedroom door shut again. Hmmmm. Pack lunch while continuing to trip over cat. Pack work bag ditto. Go to car. Come back inside, trip over cat, get lab coat. Go to car. Come back inside, trip over cat, get car keys. Go to car. Come back inside, trip over cat, get cell phone, take cat to bedroom and stuff under covers with husband. Go to car. Back out of drive. Go blind. Large glowing ball in eastern sky. Contemplate nuclear blast possibility; vaguely recall hearing stories about sun coming up in morning. Pull back in drive, go back in house, get sunglasses. Go to car. Drive to work. Boss says "Good morning!" Think about killing boss; he's safe, no energy.

And I get to do it all over again tomorrow!!

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2002


One question, Polly...how many cats do you have :-)??

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2002

One.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2002


Inside the house, that is.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2002

Dang, everybody else snooze the day away too? Or am I just the designated thread killer this week?! Ooops...

This has been a funny week for sure! Been runnin' my tail off! I put in too many hours at work yada yada yada - boy I bet you guys get sick of listening to me whine about work, don'tcha?! I worked 12's Saturday and Sunday night; did the kitchen thing with Pop and Bailey on Monday afternoon and evening; worked 12 Tuesday day and 8 Wednesday day, went shopping for the 4th after work Wednesday. Got up at about 0530 on the 4th; Hubs and I were out hanging the big flag up by 0630, then worked up a sweat moving tables and chairs out to the side yard for a family get together. We hauled out the wash tubs and iced down watermelons in one and soda pop in the other; Pop squeezed lemons 'til his eyes were bugging out and we had a couple of big Igloos of lemondade ready to set out on the table. I retired to the shower at about 0900, then gave Hubs his turn in there while I put together a pan of baked beans, some tomato/onion/cucumber salad and a big bowl of pasta salad. Uncles Ivan and Roger showed up about 10 and started frying the fish...and frying fish...and more fish. Man, that was a bunch of fish!! And we only thawed out 4 bags of it! Bailey and Lisa and Lisa's folks came out; Lisa started mixing and rolling up the hushpuppies; her Daddy brought some of those big Texas sweet onions from his garden, so we started peeling taters and the onions and slicing them up to fry together. We had 20+ folks here by 11:30; and more food than you could shake a stick at! This was definately "the year of the bean" - we had baked beans, cowboy beans, fresh green beans cooked with bacon, onions and new potatoes, 4 bean salad, and ham and beans! I think there may have been some green beans in Aunt Susan's chow chow too! Pasta salad, potato salad, pea salad, macaroni salad, cuke/onion/tomato salad, 7 layer salad, fruit salad - no shortage of salads. The aforementioned hush puppies, fish and fried taters; peach cobbler, blackberry and raspberry pie, rhubarb crisp, bread pudding, Texas chocolate sheet cake, cupcakes with white icing and red and blue sprinkles - a big hit with the little folks, along with the red and blue finger jello! Dang, I almost forgot the watermelon and homemade ice cream! Oh, how I love food!

Cousin Karen brought along recipe cards and handed them out to everyone; her daughter is getting married in October and will be living in Alabama (I think) so she needed all the good old family recipes to take with her. Didn't take long to go through a pack of 50 cards... We do have her e-mail addy so that we can send her more of them!

Anyway, we managed to stand the 98* heat and the humidity until we had eaten lunch; but then when we went to carry the food inside to put away so it wouldn't spoil, we just didn't seem to make it back out of the air conditioning! The fellas took their guitars, mandolin and banjo up to Pop's sitting room, so those of us in the living room and kitchen could hear them play; the teens took off for the basement family room and the TV, the little ones took a short nap and then talked me into setting up the sprinkler for them to play in. I was in and out of the house; visiting, giving garden tours and keeping an eye on the kids. The new kitty got more attention than he could stand and spent the afternoon hiding and napping on one of our closet shelves!

The Aunts pulled out all the food again while I hit the shower (again!) at about 5:00 pm; when I left for work at 6:20, they were just finishing the kitchen clean-up and the fellas had carried all the chairs and tables back out the shed for us - no wonder I don't mind hosting these dinners! I had stocked up on a bunch of plastic take home containers, so we all divvied up the leftovers so that no one had to take home what they came with. Some of the pies got cut in thinner slices so that there was enough for everyone that wanted some; I don't think that anyone left disappointed!

We spent some time trying to figure out a date, but haven't yet come up with one, for the annual Tipsword reunion (Granny's people - we usually end up with 5 generations) that we traditionally (but not intentionally!) hold on the hottest dang day of the year. I think Julie and Laurie Ann (the cousins in charge of the reunion) are going to have to work hard to find a hotter day than the 4th was! I'll host a weenie roast this fall as usual, but we haven't figured out a date for it yet either. I'm taking vacation Aug 31 - Sept 25th; Hubs and I are heading out west for a vacation; and I am going over to Kentucky at one end or the other of my time off as well. Then, we have family weddings on October 5th and 12th; and Hubs and I had hoped to make it down to St. Louis for the Celtic Games to be held about the same time (Wanna come with us, Sherri?); given my work schedule, I guess that leaves us the 28th of September or the 26th of October. October will be too cold; and September is during harvest and so can almost guaretee rain, the way my luck runs! Ah well, we held it last year and we had had 5" of rain over the 3 days prior plus more the day of the weenie roast!

Later the evening of the 4th, Hubs brought a watermelon over to the hospital; and he and I and some of my patients had a watermelon feast while we watched the fireworks at the airport from the air conditoned comfort of the 3rd floor - no skeeters, no smoke, no traffic, no sonic booms...pretty darn nice set up! And the patients all seemed to enjoy it too!

I was pretty wiped out when I got home the morning of the 5th, but took time to check out the gardens and managed to talk Pop into watering my hanging plants and my new beans for me. I went back in to work last night - lots of tears shed, since it was co-worker Cheryl's last day (her second one so far, since the boss keeps calling her back); I am so going to miss working with her! I brought in an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen; and we (and friends from other units) alternated between slices of it and slices of watermelon left over from the 4th - can't believe that I had an appetite! Cheryl had brought me in some goldfish that her grandchildren had won for me at the fair - their way of saying "Thanks for the strawberries!" Such little sweeties they are! So we get on the elevator to leave work this morning...here we are, both of us with tears running down our faces from the goodbyes from day shift; she's carrying a sack of aluminum pop cans and a ziploc bag of coffee grounds; I'm carrying a cardboard box lined with layers of newspaper and watermelon rinds, plus a plastic bag of goldfish....of course, the director of nursing and an administrator get on board...by the time we managed to exit the elvator on the ground floor, we were both about to burst from trying to maintain a poker face and restrain our giggles at the expression on their faces! Hey, there's a reason we work night shift! Don't think that they'd want folks like us there during the day, do you?! I just don't know what I'm going to do without my Cheryl! So nice to work with a like minded looney!

Anyway, I got home this morning, decided to take a nap since we were supposed to have a cold front move through - figured it would be nicer to work in the garden in the afternoon. Got up about noon, ate a stale donut (Lisa brings home the leftovers from her job at the convience market!) and went out with Pop for a look-see at the garden; decided it was still too hot to work out in the sun, so I went in and sat down on the couch with a book to wait for Hubs to get home from work. Woke up drooling on the couch at 4pm; someone had covered me with a throw and taken my glasses off - guess I was more tired that I thought! We went back out to the garden and Pop and I worked on the grape arbor some more while Hubs went in and made us some tacos for supper - he has better sense than to get in the middle of a Pop and Polly construction project! Only one sheet of lattice short, so I will have to make a run to the lumber yard in the morning. Hmmmm...wonder if I can sneak out of bed before Hubs gets up and take off in his new truck? Nah, better not try it! Friends stopped by after supper and before dark, so we took another walk through the garden with them, then sat in the lawn chairs and watched the swallows chase bugs for a while. We checked out the bluebird nest, our baby blues flew the nest sometime yesterday I guess; I know that they were still there on the 4th. The skink made another appearance, and we discovered a new toad nestled down in my new bean bed; plus several more lounging in the straw by the tomatoes - so nice to have a bug patrol! Found about 5 Japanese beetles on various plants, so I got one of those plastic fast food cups and prepared it with oil and water for an early morning beetle hunt - "Oh chickies, look what Mommy has for you today!!"

Well, guess I'd better head for bed - gotta pull a sixty hour week next week, so I can't afford to waste any of my day off! You folks all take care,

-- Anonymous, July 06, 2002


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