Over the Fence Chat - July 28-August 3, 2002

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Well, another Sunday, and no one has started this thread. So I will.

Last week (and only a partial one at that) in JULY! How did that happen? I think someone is stealing my weeks .. . . One week til my birthday. Swell. Oh well, I guess I'll live -- wait, I HOPE I'll keep living! ;-)

Yesterday, by a fluke of lucky coincidences, I was able to go off to Bristol for their Renaissance Faire with a couple of friends. We didn't think we'd get to go, but ta da! we did. It was hot and humid, but fairly cloudy. Even sprinkled on us when we first got there. But the rain was enough to lay the dust yet not make the ground slippery and muddy, and the clouds kept the worst of the sun off of us. Good thing, because none of us remembered the sunblock.

We were too hot and wrung out to stay til the closing drum jam, so we were back home just about dinner time. Which meant we got to eat dinner together too. I haven't been able to spend such a long day with friends in ages!

Today is supposed to be just as hot and humid as LAST Sunday, which was quite awful. I hope the early part of this week will be as nice as last week though. It was in the 70's but bright and sunny, just gorgeous.

My tomatoes seem to be doing well. I've gotten a few ripe ones so far. But since I planted them late, I expect August will be my main tomato month. Anticipation . . . .

That's all from me for now. What are YOU doing?

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2002


Hey there, Joy!! Isn't it funny how the weeks just seem to fly by faster and faster the older you get?? There oughta be a law against that!!!!

Same old...same old here. Went and visited with my new horse today...just for a few minutes. Gosh I feel like a 15 yr. old again everytime I see him!! Probably Harry is thinking about putting on a horse costume so I'd be just as happy to see him :-)!! The rest of the day was spent doing "homestead" chores. Had to catch up on weeding, canned a few early potatoes and onions, mowed the grass, moved my new Aracauna layer chicks out to the coop with the older "ladies", did my mid-summer cleaning of my goat pen and worked on getting my new horse's stall ready for his arrival. Also rigged up a new lobster trap to replace the one we'd lost. Can't put it out til tomorrow, though. And...no Wildman...we did not get a chance to go boating :-(!!!

Weather has been really nice the last five days or so....day temps around 78* and night temps around 50*. Mostly sunny, too! For the beginning of the next week, though, they're forecasting 85+ temps and high humidity!! Here we go again!

My mom's husband went back in the hospital last Wednesday after suffering another stroke, this one on the left side of the brain. He's still there and the doctors are not even going to bother doing MRI's on him now. Waste of money they say!! They say he's just getting worse and probably wont leave the hospital this time. Can't say I'm really upset about it (does that make me a bad person??)...'cause he wasn't a very nice "dad" to me and my sisters when we were in our teens, but I hate see what my mom is going through. She's quite upset...he's been sooo hard to live with!!! I just wish she'd move back north so we'd be closer to help out!!

Gotta go and get some of my pasture fence weed-wacked. Supposed to get some thunder storms here tonight. Have a wonderful week everyone!!!!

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2002

Well, my weekend had some ups and downs, like most of us I guess . . .

Saturday, I went to my last grand-aunt's funeral, she was 97 and had lived a long life. She happened to pass away the same day that one of her son's had also lost his wife, to cancer. Both deaths were expected, but to lose a spouse and mother on the same day - that's tough. He was pretty upbeat though, I guess he was relieved that the inevitable was over and done.

My wife and I also went to a dance that night (Well she dances, I just kinda stumble along :^)), and boy her feet hurt; the only pair of shoes that matched her outfit were also shoes she's had since before our kids were born. By the end of the night, the parts of her feet that were exposed looked like cherry tomatoes, she had some regrets that night. Well, we get home around midnight, to a darkened house - power is out for the next three hours. Took the sitter home, and went to bed.

Sunday morning, try to turn on t.v. - no channels. There might have been a spike in the outage, 'cause both our t.v. and satellite receiver are toast - cannot be reset, just toast. Only the main t.v. got hit, the bedroom t.v.s survived just fine. And the one that got hit had the spike-protected power strip - yeah right . . . :^(

Called both satellite and power company to bitch and moan - basically, I think it's gonna be our problem. DSS will send replacement receiver for $25, assuming we send our to theirs ('ala hostage exchange?), we get reconditioned receiver. My wife will raise hell about it to power company, but I think we will be shafted on the t.v. - it was already 5 years old and is simple to replace. Just wasn't counting on it, so had to go to video tapes. We saw our wedding video again - wow, has it been THAT long already (six years)?

Saw her mom and my dad (both since deceased) and other family members now older and grown (the flower girl is now 13 and looks like a college freshman - pimply faced boys with cracking voices pumped with hormones were hanging all over her at that dance. My SIL better take care)

Met with my uncle Sunday afternoon on division of our family ranch. He owns half of it already, and is poised to buy out another family member. He's been pretty cool so far, basically gave my brother and I our choice as to what piece of real estate we wanted (basically, 166 acres of scrub Chihuahuan desert - city types would turn their noses, but pure heaven to desert rats like me and my bro'). One possible bad turn - one neighbor MIGHT be planning to subdivide a 10 acre tract. Bad news, these people are known to trespass, and our family is alarmed. My uncle for his cattle, the rest of us for trespassing hunters. Anyone know where I can buy some of those big ass leg traps like they used to use in England?

Just kidding - maybe.

Other than that, damn hot out there. That's about it over here . . .

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

We had a pretty busy weekend. Keith's sister got married on Friday, it was just a small courthouse wedding so we didn't go. When she called us to say she was getting married our response was "Huh, we thought you already were married?" It turns out that since the last time we saw her at Christmas she had dumped hubby #2 and found hubby #3! On Saturday they had a cookout/wedding reception at their house. It was supposed to have been in the back yard and garage, but it was so hot that the frosting was melting off the wedding cake so we moved the party indoors. Keith's other sister and her family only live a couple of blocks away in the same little town but they just bought another house on 1.5 acres about 5 miles away. We took a drive out to see the new place, they haven't moved yet because they're building an addition with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. Keith's dad and BIL are building the addition themselves on weekends and evenings. So now I know who to go to for help when we buy our fixer-upper! We sat some lawnchairs out in the back and just soaked up that country quiet for a while, it was so nice.

Sunday was another scorcher and we had another picnic to attend. This one was a non-denominational pagan harvest festival. I was in charge of organizing the games. We were going to have an old-fashioned picnic with sack races, three-legged races, and watermelon seed spitting contests but it was so hot all we did was throw water balloons at each other. There also was a little workshop on how to make dreamcatchers, mine turned out pretty good for a first attempt. I just have to figure out someplace to hang it where the cats can't get to the feathers.

Someone that I used as a reference for the Bath & Body Works job was at the picnic and she said that they hadn't called her. They were supposed to have called me by last Friday and I still haven't heard anything. Oh well, I'm not at all heartbroken. I have another opportunity beginning to take shape that will be a much more benificial situation, I'm still working out the details but I'll be sure to let you all know when it's more finalized.

I won the Squeezo strainer on eBay and I also got a dehydrator for less than what it would have cost at the store, so now I'm all ready for the harvest to start! The chipmunk is still eating my ripe tomatoes but the plants have almost hit the critical mass where there's more ripe than what he can eat. I have lots of baby yellow squash and the peppers are doing ok. The second planting of beets is doing so-so, and I don't know what's going on with the brussel sprouts. This is the first year I've grown them so I'm not exactly sure what they're supposed to look like. So far it seems like I've got a whole lot of brussel and not any sprout. :>

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The hard drive on our computer has been making a death rattle noise for about a week. Keith is buying a bunch of zip disks and a new hard drive today. It seems to run OK for about an hour before it crashes so hopefully we can get everything backed up before the final crash. I still have my computer at work and my pokey slow laptop at home so I should be OK.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

I fought the hens, but the hens won....

Went to pick up my new used chickens this morning; after I got off work and stopped by Wal Mart. I am now the proud? owner of 12 austrolorp pullets and a rooster; plus a brahma pullet. Also a 3" gash down my right arm. Chicken and dumplings, anyone?! Mutter grumble riffle raggle chickens anyhoo! Somebody tell me again why I wanted to get more dang chickens?

I ought to be out picking beans and cukes and tomatoes and okra and cabbage and onions and slicing and chopping and shredding and canning and freezing but I'm saying to heck with them all and heading for bed with the book I almost finished on my lunch break last night before we got our new admit - and why do they always come at lunchtime, anyway?! If we aren't having thunderstorms this afternoon when I get up, I'll start picking stuff then. Pop wants some dill pickles, so I stopped and got some Ball and Mrs. Wages mixes - came home to find a stack of recipes on the computer desk that Hubs had had searched out and printed up while I was at work. Guess I'll be making pickles. I picked up 6 more boxes of the Ball medium salsa mix - I add onions, green and hot peppers to it and process it for 15 minutes in the pressure canner. Good stuff! We've gone through 2 pints at home and 4 at work so far; and I just made it up last week! I use a strainer spoon to put it in the jars; then pour the leftover juice into quarts and put them in the canner with the salsa - plan to use it in making chili this winter.

Jessie and a couple of friends are hoping to rent a house in a tiny little town half way between her Dad's house and our's. She's already checked out her hope chest to see what she's got and I caught her in the pantry checking out my stash of grub! Little brat had the audacity to tell me she'd like some of the green beans that I canned! Not unless you help snap 'em, Sister!! She thinks that she is in dire need of a waffle iron, so I think that I will give her my old one and go buy a cute new one. This moving out stuff might not be so bad!!

Hubs and I have been busy planning our vacation - we're taking off from here on Aug. 31st - he has to be back by the morning of Sept. 16th; I'm off work for another week after that. We've decided to stay at bed and breakfasts this time; except we want to stay at the Strater Hotel in Durango; and in the Wigwam Motel somewhere on old Route 66 in Arizona. There are some supposedly haunted B&B's in Tombstone, AZ; and I'm trying to find a listing on them in Roswell, NM - assuming the mother ship doesn't come for me before bedtime, that is!

We're gonna do the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Silverton Narrow Gauge Train yada yada. Anybody know of anything in the MO/KS/CO/NM/AZ area that we shouldn't miss? The thought of the trip will probably be the only thing keeping me sane this next month. 52 hour weeks across the whole month, plus I have to go to classes to learn how to use the new computer charting system that we're getting in. Sheesh, by the time I get back from vacation, I'll have forgotten it all!

Geez, I'm a real whiney hiney this morning, aren't I?! I think I'm gonna head to bed - see ya'll later this evening!

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

Polly, call ahead in Durango and be sure that the Silverton Line is still running . . . There was a forest fire a couple of weeks ago that closed it down while danger of fire was close by. It's probably okay now; just be better to know for sure.

Man, I want to be your neighbor and be a stowaway . . . We took that Silverton narrow gauge ride three summers ago and it was awesome, a definite do over for my family. The only regret is that we booked a late ride into Silverton, allowing only an hour and half to poke around there. If to do over again, we would book the earliest train ride; back then, train schedule left you at least four hours to do the same. Have fun.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

And of course I pushed submit before really thinking it through . . .

I completely forgot about Mesa Verde, a park having some great scenery, and Indian Ruins. It's located near the New Mexico / Colorado border, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours west of Durango, depending on road work conditions. (BTW, log onto to the respective states highway departments and check out construction - you'll be glad you did. Will make your routes definitely less stressful. We didn't, and found out the hard way that some roads were closed due to rocks on highway, and various other road closures.)

Back to Mesa Verde . . . to heck with standing in line going through the park buses tours - you wait in line forever and don't see half the stuff you would if you just did it yourself. Just poke along on your own (take a water bottle and some snacks for trail munching), we did and do not regret it all. Mesa Verde is a must see, you are so close to it, sounding from your trip description.

Between the towns of Taos and Sante Fe, I'd choose Santa Fe in a heartbeat. Nothing really wrong with the former, just pretty touristy, with artsy - cutsey type of stuff. A couple of neat museums though.

Santa Fe is really pretty, with some outstanding museums. There is a group of two or three that are just outside of town that really made the whole trip. I can't remember their names, but it had to do with native american multicultural themes. One of them has a display on an excentric collector who collected items from all over the world. VERY INTERESTING!

Their downtown plaza is worth seeing, and lots of good (somewhat overpriced, though I'm pretty cheap) food. The architecture there is so cool; everything must be constructed of adobe so as to match old architecture. Ever see an adobe 7-11? Classic!

Okay, I'll shut up now.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

Well, Pol, I am trying to figure out how to squash myself so small that you'll take me along with you . . . . ;-)

I think there's a wigwam motel along I-40 in northern AZ, might be the same one, because I think that used to be Rte 66. Also around that area is a fascinating place called Walnut Canyon. Near Winslow (I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona . . . . ) It's a hike down into it, and I haven't done it since I was 20 years old. But my MOTHER did it too, which means she was 49 at the time, so you should be able to do it. She wasn't used to nearly the physical labor that you are (you little tornado you). Painted Desert and Petrified Forest -- very worthwhile.

From Grand Canyon, drop down Hwy 89 (or it might be 89A, as in Alternate) and drive through Oak Creek Canyon -- just gorgeous! Then go over to Sedona and go shopping at Tlaquepaque. You won't be able to afford much, but it is an amazing shopping plaza. All old adobe buildings. I loved the town of Prescott, which is more mid-State. And I doubt that you'll get down to the Tucson area (fairly far south), but the Sonoran Desert Museum is great if you're in that area. I've not been to it, but Mom says the Heard Museum in Phoenix is great.

You will not have time to do all the great stuff that there is to do. Even if you flew out and back and spent the entire time tootling around, there wouldn't be enough time. You'll have to pick and choose and then go back again some day. I'm about due, it's been 12 years since I was out there last (whine).

Down south in NM, Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands Nat'l. Monument were very worthwhile, but I suppose you won't get down there either. Okay, now I'm going to have to go somewhere to sulk. Later!

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

I wanna go, Polly!!!!

After a day like I had today...I wanna go anywhere! Finally got my (beware female subject!) "friend" this morning after three months of just wonderin' what was going on! I had visions of myself turning into Jay's ex-wife...ya know hair on her back and in "other" places!! OR...maybe I was pregnant!!?? I was really really glad it arrived and planned on spending most of the day relaxing...NOT!!! The G. D. pigs escaped and we chased/herded them for an hour or so this afternoon before we got them reasonably close to their pen. Then I clambered over the pig fence to tempt them back inside and immediately slid down on my ass into the pig trough!! Yup...full of soured milk and grain and who knows what else!! I headed for the house to rinse off with the hose while Harry and Mike kept the pigs close by. FINALLY we talked them back inside...them spent the next hour or so repairing the boards they'd worked their way under. And it was HOT and HUMID today!!! In the meantime, we stirred up a nest of yellow jackets that, of course, headed for me!! HELP!!!!

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

AAAOOW-oooo! We are going to be in AZ same time as you Polly (I think, approximately!). We are doing another river trip!!!! I'm so excited. This came up pretty fast: Mr. S. will be between quarters at school, and my work is letting me have the time off! Hooray. An 8- day, 188 (river)-mile trip on the Colorado!

I think any trading post in NM or AZ would be worth visiting. The one in Camaron, AZ ( close to e. entrance to S. Rim part of G. Canyon Park) is very cool. Last time I was there, a wonderful Navajo weaver was making a HUGE rug. She was lovely to talk to, as well. Too expensive, but awesome stuff in the gallery. Also, we saw the Cal. condors (on 89A? coming down off the rim toward Vermillion Cliffs). I think Peregrine.org (?) has the condor info at their website. That was worth a stop, too. We are going to try to spend some time at the North Rim before our launch date...never been there!

We have 8 ducklings! So cute! Hooray.

I've been doing cherry pie filling, and peas, strawberries, blueberries, and GARLIC!! Plus deep cleaning the ewe barn; thinking about reinforcing fencing, mowing pastures, getting hay in; getting firewood in....and it's been very busy at the office (6 days of long hours last week). zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...............

Had a little rain the past couple of days. We needed it.

I obviously have little of interest to report, so I'll stop wasting bandwidth and go finish cooking dinner. Have a good week, all!

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

It's peregrinefund.org. Oops.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002

Polly where do you get the Ball salsa mix? It sounds yummy but I don't think I've ever seen it in the stores around here. Of course, stores around here routinely clear out all of their canning supplies around August 1st to make room for the Back to School sales...yipes, I'd better go pick up some more jars and lids tonight!

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2002

Sherri; I got the Ball salsa mix at Wal-Mart. If you can't find it; give me a holler and I'll go pick some up and mail it to you. They ve got mild, medium and hot. For jars and lids, you can't beat Dollar General - pints w/lids and ring bands for $5/dozen; box of a dozen lids for a buck - all Golden Harvest stuff and I've never had a problem with them. I didn't check the price on quarts since I have a ton of them already, but I know that they are cheaper than anywhere else around.

More later! (Really; I won't go to sleep this time!)

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2002

Hoo-boy! It's been a busy couple of days for me!! Shut the burner off under the last canner load at the stroke of midnight last night - made salsa and spicy tomato juice (to drink or use in chili) - peeling those durn tomatoes seems to take forever sometimes! I've got to talk Pop into putting me another shelf in the pantry - if we move one shelf down about 4" and another shelf up about 4"; ought to be just right for pint jars! Gotta go in on overtime tomorrow night; I'm hoping that I can talk Hubs into peeling some tomatoes for me if I get them picked, washed and plopped into boiling water. I just need 6 more cups for another batch of salsa. Got more tomatoes out there that need picked; along with everything else! Should have beans ready again by the weekend; to go along with the corn that Pop has been threatening me with! Gotta find time to expand the chicken yard and put up another roost in the chicken house sometime over the weekend too...

Guess I shouldn't have slacked off today. Took Jes shopping for a new pair of sneakers and a watch after lunch today (spent the morning in town; doing laundry, contracting for the years propane, pricing freezers, buying jar lids and a new chicken water pan...) Somehow she came home with the sneakers and watch, 2 t-shirts, two books and a perfume gift set - she had to promise not to put it on in the car before I'd shell out for the perfume! Then we hit the grocery store and the farm store - where I bought one of those handy little racks that you put canning jar lids in to pull them out of the boiling water without scalding your fingers - Woo-woo; I'm getting hi-tech now!!

Hubs and I were just sitting down in his lair watching Battle Bots, swilling booze (Beer for him and Glacier Bay lemonade for me) and snapping beans. Hey - do we know how to have a wild evening or what?! I knew that there was a reason why I don't watch TV - those judges were wrong, wrong, wrong!! Biohazard definately should have won over Son of Wyachi. Snort! See if I watch their dumb ole battle bots again!

JR - thanks for reminding me about Mesa Verde - I just hope that it's open when I'm in that area! The last two times I've been in the Durango area have been in the winter time; and it's been closed for the season. The train IS running; but I wonder about the scenery - guess I'd better call the train place rather than just Durango tourism.

We're taking the new pick-up truck; so anyone who wants to hop in the back is welcome to come along for the ride! Just be at my house at 1pm on the 31st! We decided to take the truck because I've driven my car in the Kentucky mountains - no way will the Neon make it over Wolf Creek Pass! We don't have our itenerary figured out yet, since we keep adding this and that! Oh yeah, Pikes Peak, Hoover Dam... May not make Roswell this year - bummer!! I really, really want to go there, but it's sort of out of the way. Sheepish; I don't know where you'll be when, but if we're in the same area at the same time, let's meet for dinner or something!

Thanks for all the other suggestions - don't think that we'll get in to Phoenix, Joy - Hubs went to school there and isn't keen on going back. Guess that the population has almost quadrupled since he lived there! We like small, out of the way places best; so we'll be sure to check out the canyons. Anyone know of anything in the Four Corners area? I love the Tony Hillerman novels, so I will enjoy seeing all the places that he writes about - it'll be neat to be able to put scenery to words!

Dang - how'd it get so late?! I've got to get up early and get some laundry hung out, can the beans, pick tomatoes and get the darn chest freezer defrosted - I was gonna do it today; thank heavens Jessie distracted me! Got a couple of pails of swill to take out to the chickens - cut up a watermelon and a canteloupe; plus the bean trimmings and...sheesh - what all IS in that bucket!? I really need me a worm bin under the counter - but they'd be overwhelmed right now! Maybe later... Well, I'd better hit the bed, so that I can get up early enough that I can take a nap tomorrow afternoon! You folks all take care - see y'all this weekend!

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2002

Polly, if we could pull off a meeting, it would be fabulous! I'm not clear about our dates yet. I'll let ya know!

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2002

What a week. Shop plans are on hold until we find out if we really need to install 2 bathrooms in the space as per regulations, or do our dimensions mean we can get away with one. that is the make or break factor right now. The royal burgundy beean strted coming on. Oh they are soo pretty! There are some green tomatoes in the garden and my friend spotted a cuke blossom last night. There are Canadian peaches in at the grocery store so its time for me to order a case of seconds to make into jam. Why did I pick summertime to diet!!!!!!!!! Oh the misery of it all. Fresh fruit..all around is fresh fruit! And I am on Atkins! Lost another pound it seems. 184 now (on a 5 foot 1/2 inch frame). Darn near svelte eh? (not). I think I needs to be contemplatin' the demise of the meat birds. They are eating us outta house and home it feels like.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002

Thanks Polly. There's a Wally World just down the street from where I work, I'll run over there on my lunch break and see if they have any salsa mix. I tried the Ball website but the only thing they sell mail order is the jars. We have Dollar General stores here too, but the closest one is in Speedway and since the Brickyard 400 is this weekend I'm not going anywhere near that part of town! The Squeezo I got off eBay should be here today or tomorrow, it has 3 sizes of screens so hopefully one will be good for salsa.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002

There are fires out by Mesa Verde goin on. And Joe, are those fires in southern Oregon close to you?

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002

Oh Joe, just read your post on freedom forum......geeesh, I am really gettin worried about you now! Please let us know that u are ok!

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2002

Gosh Joe, from the way EM sounded, I thought maybe she was afraid that you'd gone over the edge! I had to go to the other forum to find out what she was talking about and found out that it was about the fire which I was going to address in a new post. Glad to hear that you're pretty well out of harms way.

Wildman, (jumping to conclusions)

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2002

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