Over the fence chat 2/17-2/22

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We've got over a foot of snow now and it's still going strong. The blizzard isn't suppose to end until late tonight and predicitions is for another foot yet. I can't remember having this much snow since I was a kid!!

Something is up with Homestead. Asked a question on the Dairy Forum and cannot get on it today. There is a picture of someone in a gas mask on the front page and it won't let you go anywhere. My question was important because if I don't do something about the lice my goats have, I may never get rid of them. (I can treat the does but don't know what to do about the kids)

My sister has someone who wants to buy the baby girl. She has been named Ginny, short for Virginia where she will be going. Tomorrow she is suppose to get disbudded. I'll have to see if we are snowed in or not.

GREAT NEWS!!! Have finally convinced hubby that we should get rid of the Jimmy and get a small pickup truck. He said for the spring but I think it will be sooner. Now to see what kind to get. Any suggestions? I looked at Toyota Tocoma and Ford Ranger. I actually found this really neat colored Ford. It's a dark blue that looks purple when the light hits it a certain way. It is also a stick which I like and gets great gas milage. Hubs isn't thrilled with a Ford but thinks Toyota is expensive. Our last truck was a Mitubishi engine in a Plymouth cab. That thing lasted for 16 years, it was a great truck. Too bad they don't make Mitubishi trucks here or we would get one in a minute.

Well, will keep you updated on the snow. Hope everyone else is well.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2003


Hey all! Sounds like Dee got her snow and ours too - we were under a winter storm watch all weekend; ended up that all we got was a bit of ice/sleet and maybe 2 inches of snow total. Not that Iím complaining!! With the 25-35 mph winds that we had, we wouldnít have seen town for a week if weíd gotten even the 5 inches of snow that they were predicting.

Dee, I peeked over at homesteading and saw the same thing you did - said a hacker got to it; but it's gone now - looks like it might be back to normal. I keep telling Hubby we need a nice milking doe; he keeps telling me not until he retires. Since I donít think any self- respecting doe would put up with my schedule, the milking would be up to him; so I guess he gets to decide when. On the truck thing; I love our Dodge Dakotas (tho Iím also fond of the exís big old Ford 4x4). Weíve experienced no problems with them, tho Pop told me yesterday that there is some sort of a recall out on Dodge trucks - he didnít catch what type or year.

Things have just been going along out here. Took Pop up to St. Johnís in Springfield for his aneurysm stent graft last week; they got him prepped and under anesthesia - and then the rep that was supposed to bring the graft (apparently itís perishable) didnít bring it. I was not a happy camper. Although, compared to Pop when he finally woke up, I was plumb jovial. Four of my aunts and uncles had driven up in a snowstorm that had already dropped 4Ē of snow, so they werenít really happy either. The hospital did a massive amount of butt kissing; as did the rep; and since there wasnít anything we could do about it, we fell back on Grannyís homage ďThings happen for a reasonĒ and came on home. Now we get to go back the 4th of March and try again.

We spent the weekend getting Pop moved back upstairs - all but the darn TV, that is. Hubs went out to the shed to get his appliance cart to haul the darn thing upstairs and THEN remembered that heíd loaned it out. And the guy he loaned it to is at a dealer show in Indy and wonít be home Ďtil Tuesday. So I am still hiding out in the guest room; away from my nemesis. Hubs and I couldnít believe how good it felt to be back in our own room and own bed - I expect Iíll be a lot less grouchy now, since Iím getting some decent sleep!

I called in part of my ďgardenĒ orders this morning. I ordered 4 apple trees - Red (yuck!) and Golden Delicious, Gala and Honeygold; and 4 cherry trees - Montmorency and Balaton pie cherries and Starkrimson and Stella sweet cherries. Now all I have to do is figure out where to put them! After making so many plantings in the yard and field to attract the birds, Iím not sure how Iím going to keep them out of the cherries - guess Iíd better hit up the Sallies for some more sheer curtains! I also ordered 20 black raspberries, 10 each of Jewel and Royalty; 25 Purple Passion Asparagus roots and 10 Canada Red Rhubarb. And (bonk, bonk, bonk - sound of head hitting desk) 500 more strawberry plants - Jewell, Guardian and Honeoye - for us; and the same for neighbor Mike. He came over last week when I had the Daisy Farm catalog sitting out on the table; asked if I was going to put out more berries. ďYupĒ said I. ďWhatíre you, stupid?!Ē he asked. ďApparently soĒ I replied. End of conversation (at least about berries) until the next day, when he sheepishly called to tell me that he and Jan had been talking Ö. And would I mind ordering him, oh say, 500 berry plantsÖ. I really enjoyed getting to razz him; but just a little, since I try to keep the fact that he owns a backhoe in mind!

So, now all I need to do is finalize the seed order - a couple of types of tomatoes, some Tiger Baby watermelon seed and 3 or 4 types of pole beans and sweet corn - almost nothing compared to my norm; but I was truly amazed at the number of seeds that we had left over from years past. Iíll stock back up on seeds toward the end of the season, from the store racks - Iím not brave enough to go into winter without enough seeds for a garden the following spring. Iím not going to start nearly so many types of tomatoes as in the past. Iíll still grow my Juliets, and some Early Girls; but Iíll concentrate on just a couple of other open pollinated varieties for canning. I think that I am going to (gasp!!) buy a lot of my plants this year, when we go down to MO in April. Iíll still need to start my broccoli, cabbage and peppers, along with the tomatoes, because Iíll put them out before we go; but all the new herbs will probably come from down south. I canít really start anything until after Pop goes back to the hospital, because Iíll be gone for three days; so our garden will probably be a bit later than usual.

I go to day shift the 3rd of March - canít wait to see what sort of havoc that plays with my system! I especially donít know how Iím going to get along without my daily nap! I figure that I will probably be begging to go back to night shift by the time summer rolls around - and the rest of the day shift staff will probably be begging right along with me! Itís going to seem strange to visit my garden in the early early morning and late evening instead of anytime during the day on my work days. Gonna play heck with my planting by the moon times too. Grrr. Ah well.

Well, Bailey and Lisa are here; and have brought lunch with them (Allright!! Woo-woo - donít hafta cook!) so Iíd better close for now and get this posted. You folks all take care, stay warmÖ

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2003

22 inches!!! We had to shovel some first, then knock the snow down so the snowblower would work then follow with the ATV with the plow. We ended up doing the ATV three times. Still have to do it again tomorrow. I think I hurt myself shoveling. Going to the barn was an adventure. The snow was above my knees! I had my son push me back up to the house. Boy, I am so exhusted....

I put a sign on the side of the road pointing out where our power box is. The plow is getting pretty close to it and can't see that it is there. He's probably so tired he wouldn't remember it was there at all. That would be all I need, to lose power too.

I told my husband they called an emergency out there with no vehicles allowed on the roads so he can't go to work tomorrow but he doesn't buy it. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2003

I ache all over....groan....

Today we dug paths to the barn and animals. Someone said it is going to rain hard on Friday. Floods ahead.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2003

Hi Dee...got any snow there?? Just jokin'! We only got a couple inches from that storm here...and it's getting warmer! Supposed to be 30+ degrees tomorrow. Must be springtime :-)!!!

Just wanna say that our son and granddaughter are home SAFE and I'm remembering the Turks (thanks Dee!)!! And the baby goats have all arrived and the milk is plentiful! Life is GOOD!!

Getting late here....I'll check in with more news tomorrow.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2003

I'm glad Marcia. Did they have fun? Hope they have lots of pictures.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2003

Dee...Not really sure if anyone could have much fun spending 10 days in a 26 ft. travel trailer! There were four adults and four kids...two of whom are quite big!! Our son, Mike, never wanted to go in the first place and neither did his oldest step-daughter. Morgan was bored after two days in disneyworld and wanted to go back to school!! She's in kindergarten. Our DIL, Amy, wanted to spend the whole 10 days in the magic kingdom...whatever that is!! But EVERYTHING was sooo expensive!! And there were waiting lines to get into anything! The whole trip seems like such a waste to Harry and me. Guess we're just "into" the old-fashioned laid back, relaxing, cheap vacations :-)!! They took seventeen (yup...17!!) rolls of film!! The circumstances surrounding the trip were such that we don't really care to see the pics...but we'll pretend to be enthused for the kids' sake.

Weather here today is beautiful! Sunny and in the 40's. And...my goats and horse are shedding!!! That is always a very good "spring indicator". I'm sure that we'll get a few more storms between now and the first day of spring...but the snow doesn't last long. And I'm not really looking forward to the mud that I KNOW is coming!! Sure hope you're all dug out, Dee.

Polly...glad to hear that Pop is doing so well!!! Hope you had a wonderful anniversary last Friday. How many years is it for you guys??? And...as usual...you're right on the ball when it comes to getting your seeds ordered. Anyone else?? Or am I the only one who is still perusing the seed catalogs!!?? We'll be down-sizing this year's garden anyways so we wont be buying so much seed (famous last words!!).

My "kids" are doing well. Hard to believe that they're a week old already. My last doe kidded on Valentine's Day...two does. Their "moms" are already giving 9 and 10 lbs. of milk a day. They'll be up to 12 and 14 lbs. before too long!! I really want to try to make cheddar cheese this time. All I've ever made is soft cheeses. From what I've read, though, cheddar needs very exacting conditions in order to dry and age correctly. Anyone here ever attempted it?? I have to send in an order for my goat vaccines so I think I'll order the cheddar making kit that's available...then keep my fingers crossed :-)!! Heck...the chickens will always eat it if I botch it up!!

So...how is everyone else doing?? I sure hope E.M. is okay. Gotta go get a pork roast in the oven. Have a good week, everyone!!!

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2003

I hope everyone comes out safe from this winter storm - wow, 30 foot drifts in Maryland - dang, that's a lot of snow cones.

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2003

Hi everyone. Polly, you wrote "sheepishly"..one of my (of course) favorite words.

No snow here. Rain today. Lots of stuff starting to bloom: forsythia, quince, cherries, etc. Pretty.

We spent Valentine's day in the hospital. Mr. S. had cardiac catheterization (how appropriate to do heart stuff, eh?). He's probably going to have surgery in a couple of weeks for either valve replacement or valve repair (I hope it's just a repair, but...). So things are really kind of busy (I can't even think of words to describe how I feel at *this* moment...maybe overwhelmed) around here. I guess shopping for surgical 2nd and 3rd opinions will keep him/me busy for a while.

I miss you all and hope your snow doesn't turn to flooding. I'm familiar with flooding and it ain't pretty.

Polly, glad Pops is doing well, too. Too bad about the shunt stuff though.

Gotta run to work.

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2003

You know I meant *stent* of course...

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2003

Oh, HUGS Sheepish. I'm sure everything will turn out well.

EM is fine. She e-mailed me but lost it so she just wrote a short note. She has been busy with rallies.

I always plan on getting organic seeds from the catalog then end up getting from Walmart while I'm there. And I usually have seed left over from last year, and the year before, and the year before....I sould just feed all them to the birds and start fresh. Any good catalogs?

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2003

Hugs to you and Mr.S, Sheepish; and keep your spirits up - it's the most important part of healing.

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2003

That's good to know that EM is okay....'course I had no doubt that she was :-)!! She's such a strong person!

Harry and I had a little scare tonight. Sure made me feel MUCHO guilty about all the complaining I've done about my MIL in the past!!! Usually on Thurs. Morgan is over visiting with us so we don't go over to my MIL's house for our usual 5:30 pm visit. As it turned out, Morgan could not come over today so we went over to Harry's mom's house. Pulled in the driveway, got out of the truck and heard a meek voice calling "Harry...Marcia, I'm stuck in the shed!" She had gone out to her shed (where her freezer is) at about 12:30 pm and had accidentally shut herself inside the shed!! She'd been there for 5 hrs.! Normally, we would not even have gone over to her house tonight, but as it so happened we did. Luckily the temperature today was in the high 40's so she didn't get too cold!! But...if we hadn't happened to go over tonight...she could have been stuck in that shed all night!! I don't even want to think about those consequences! Harry and I will both be having nightmares tonight!!!!!!! I will NEVER complain about her again! Sorry to be venting here, but I think it helps if I write it all down :-)!

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2003

Ai-yi-yi Marcia! An elderly woman in my home town, the mother of one of my classmates, fell down in her yard last winter. Couldn't get up, no one saw her or heard her. She froze to death.

I try to bug my mother to keep her cell phone charged up and carry it with her. I try to make sure I have my cell phone with me when I'm out with the dog (especially late at night). Actually, I try to have it with me whenever I leave the house. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to actually carry it in my pocket at all times. A few years ago, I stepped on a cat toy on the steps and fell part way down, catching my toe on one step and wrenching that leg/knee a good one. I didn't need a trip to the doctor from that one, but I could have.

Living alone (or being alone for many hours of the day), it just makes sense. If I fell all the way down the steps, there is no phone handy there. That cat toy, BTW, went in the trash -- it was fake fur over a hard ball, and the color blended in with the carpet. Now they only get toys that will squish rather than roll if I step on it, and they're all bright colors so that I can see them.

I've been having trouble with my server, so I haven't been around much, but it seems to be currently cooperating.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2003

Joy...I think we've talked my MIL into getting a cordless phone (finally!) so she can take it with her whenever she goes outside. She refuses to get a cellphone and I think one of those things that some elderly folks wear around their necks to summon help is only for those who have a medical condition. The cat toy on the stairway sure sounds familiar. Although I've never fallen!! The "weirdest" thing to step on in the middle on the night during a potty trip is a hairball. I've had cats in my life so long now that when I step in something cold and squishy in the middle of the night I just wipe off my foot and think to myself "I'll clean that up in the morning" then go right back to sleep :-)!!

Since we're starting a new week and some of these OTF chats tend to go two weeks...I just wanted to share a bit of good news....After 15 yrs. of raising dairy goats I FINALLY have a steady market for my milk!! A representative from Mayari Goat Milk products (on Verona Island here in Maine) called me the other day and said they'd buy all I have...will even pick it up! Sooooo...maybe I'll keep the three doelings that were born this year for future milkers. Now, if only my wrists will last :-)!!

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2003

What about milking machines?

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2003

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