Over the Fence Chat for May, 2003

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Hey everyone! Happy May Day! Wow - May already. Hard to believe, isnít it? This year is just racing by; I swear that years used to last longer than this. Or maybe that was just winter that lasted longer!

Peeps are mostly doing okay, though the little guy worries me a bit - seems so light weight and weak; I really doubt that he makes it. Iíve had to segregate him out again, and itís so pitiful to see him sitting there by the fence, peeping and trying to get to the other chicks. I know that I should dispose of him, but Iím a weenie! The other ones are starting to get wing feathers already. Uncís eggs (24 Aracuna and Brahma, plus 18 mixed banty eggs) are set to hatch around the 15th; while I set 12 more banty eggs in the incubator this morning - trying to time them so they hatch while Iím at home for a few day; not that that is a given! We finally have a full staff on the wacko ward - first time since I started down there! - so the boss says that there will be no more overtime until the beginning of the next fiscal year. I kinda like my OT pay - Iíd really like a small hay shed for one thing, plus Iíve lots of other ideas on how to spend a few extra bucks, so I was a bit disappointed. Then, the nursing home where Jessie works told her they were needing some PRN (on call) RNís, and I told her Iíd think about it; just before going in to work and getting asked if Iíd consider picking up an extra shift a week on our Skilled Nursing Unit! Never rains but it pours, I guess!

The garden is doing okay, still not much beyond the spring stuff planted. We had severe storms with possible hail predicted for the last few and next few days, so I held off putting my tomatoes in - well, okay; I snuck 4 Romaís into the garden, but thatís all, I swear!! No hail, but we finally did get a real rain early this morning - four tenths of an inch, anyway - so that will hold us off planting for a while yet. I need to get my fence sections up for the climbers anyway; and figure out what Iím going to use for pole bean supports this year - Iím thinking 84Ē tall deer netting, maybe. Or maybe 72Ē woven wire. Iíd better decide soon, or Iíll be down in the bottom with the loppers, cutting willow sprouts for poles! I bought 4 varieties of Heirloom pole bean seed from Brook Elliott (writes articles for TMEN on seed saving) while we were at that Spring planting festival, plus I have some Rattlesnake seed left from last year, and a lady from Gardenweb sent me some Florida Speckled Lima and Yard long bean seed, and then I bought some Dixie Speckled butterpea and Old Homestead seed to top it off. Iím thinking that maybe that 60í row I set aside for beans ainít gonna do it!

Pop tilled the area between the 2 rows of new fruit trees; and in between the 2nd row and the raspberries, so Iím thinking that I might look for some sweet potato slips when I go in town to do laundry tomorrow; I figure I can fit in maybe 40 hills. The red potatoes that I planted are doing well; and the heads on the broccoli are about 3Ē across. Weíre about out of the butter crunch lettuce that I planted, but have some leaf lettuce and spinach coming on; and the chard wonít be too far behind, so I donít think weíll be starving anytime soon! I only got a pound of that open pollinated dent corn from Ron Macher, so it isnít going to go very far; not sure what weíll fill the rest of that field with. Maybe some sort of cover crop, and some pumpkins and squash for the chickens - they sure do like it when I chop a pumpkin and drop it over the fence in the winter time! That corn is so pretty (reds, whites, red and yellow mix), I think I could probably sell it in onion bags as squirrel corn to folks that want something a bit different than plain old #2 yellow corn.

Neighbor Mike says one of his work buddies has 2 sows due to farrow in the next couple of weeks and wondered if I wanted a couple of weaner pigs - boy itís tempting, but I donít know where Iíd put them or what Iíd feed them right now. I keep pointing out baby calves to Hubs as we drive down the road; particularly Herefords, tho I know theyíre bad to get pinkeye. We used to have Hereford/Chiania crosses, thanks to the neighborís high priced Chia bull that hopped the fence and bred my heifers - beautiful black, white face calves - wouldnít mind going that route again! I KNEW better than to get babies out here again - this is what it always does to me!

We have a tourist area a couple towns away called Lincoln Log Cabin, it is the farm where Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln lived (dad and step mom to Abe); they are buried nearby. They have it set up as a living history type thing, with cabin, barn, gardens, ectÖ and have different events there throughout the summer. This weekend is their opening event - From Sheep to Clothing; so Iím hoping to talk Hubs into going on Sunday, if weĎre not working on getting the water tank set up. Sheepish, Iíll be thinking of you! The volunteer guild will be holding an heirloom plant saleÖ.not that I plan to tell Hubs that part of the story! Like I need more plants!

Pop is not doing too well, heís still getting out and trying to do things, but he tires very fast now - more so than before the last two ops. Iím concerned that his kidney function is getting worse, so Iím going to try to get him in for lab tests to check it out. He still swears that he will have nothing to do with dialysis; that if his kidneys fail, then they just fail. Makes my heart hurt. Damn it. He was sitting in a lawn chair yesterday and got unbalanced and fell over on his side - his bad side of course. Then, while he was lying on the ground, he was mad and trying to kick the chair, but got me in the leg instead, as I had gone running over there to help him up. And then, since I had grabbed the chair to pull it off of him, when he kicked me, I íbout fell over and darn near dropped it on his head - oh it was a comedy worthy of Laurel and Hardy, I tell you! Poor Pop, he gets so frustrated, and then he gets mad, and then he pitches a fit, which doesnít help with the frustration at all. Just donít know what Iím going to do with him! He is going to be happy when he gets home tonight, tho, (went in to town with a friend) because I can tell him for sure that the hummingbirds are back! Thought I heard one the other day; but saw one today, as he was dive bombing me! Time to reach to the back of the pantry for those clumpy bags of sugar!

Well, thatís all the news I can think of, for now. I didnít get much sleep today - tho it was good sleep; a gentle rain, windows open, birdies twittering outside the window - so I am about ready to head for bed with a book. Or I might try to talk Hubs into making a pot of decafÖ You folks all take care, stay safe this weekend,

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2003


We still haven't heard anything about the house. Apparently there was a prior offer on the property that fell through because the people couldn't get financing. For some reason I don't understand, the owner gave these people right of first refusal on any subsequent offers. What that means it that once we made our offer, they had 48 hours to match it (and prove they had the financing). If they can match the offer, they get the place and if they can't match it then it's ours. Their 48 hours was up at 5pm yesterday but I haven't heard anything yet. I'm trying to stay calm, if it's meant to be ours then we'll get it, if not then oh well. I've been looking on the real estate website and have a couple of other prospects lined up just in case.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2003

This is good for a giggle. Apparently this guy was never a Boy Scout because he certainly wasn't prepared. :)

K I M M E L L, Ind., April 30 ó It was the wrong kind of cattle drive ó in a Toyota.

Michael Grieshop had a cow when he was pulled over last Wednesday, April 23. In fact he had five of them crammed into his Toyota Camry station wagon. Eagle-eyed deputies from the Ligonier police department spotted the small calves in the car and pulled Grieshop over.

Grieshop, 57, had apparently just bought the animals at a livestock auction in nearby LaGrange County.

"They were really jammed in there. I don't think I have ever seen anything like it before in my life," Ligonier police Sgt. Gary Cox told the Kendallville News-Sun. "I couldn't stop laughing."

The would-be wrangler had lowered the station wagon's front seat and squeeze the livestock in wherever he could. Some of the calves were sitting; others stood up.

Grieshop was held in the Noble County Jail on an outstanding arrest warrant from an earlier, unrelated incident, and the animals were taken to a nearby farm while police decided what to do with them.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2003

Geez I thought they were arresting the guy for having animals crammed into his vehicle! I can't count the number of times I've had any number of critters packed into my ol van or pickup on their way home from some auction or such!

Got my fingers crossed for ya, Sherri!

Polly, you may not get paid any overtime soon anyway, what with the bill trying to get slipped through congress effectively disembowling the decades-old Fair Labor Standards Act.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2003

Yeah Polly, you can get all that Comp time...you know, sometime when it's convenient, like in late October or maybe the 3rd week of January or something.

The lambs are really growing and hopping around.

Our lawnmower broke (Mr. S. got it fixed) but our lawn is a good 8 inches high and full of dandelions gone to seed. It's not possible to get the sheep up on it (and anyway, it's too rich and wet right now). Weeds are everywhere. I'm feeling overwhelmed and helpless when I drive off to work every day. Since we're so broke, I can't afford to hire anyone. I'm thinking about a "help your friends" party this month...maybe have a barbecue and assign chores to friends who would volunteer. One problem is that the weather is so unpredictable out here. It could easily pour down rain all day. But I'm still thinking about it. I really need help. Most of the folks at church are at least a hundred years old, or I'd ask them.

I have had ONE sheep in the back of our old Volvo station wagon. I can't imagine all those calves in a Camry! And smelly!

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2003

Wow, that story about calves in the back of a vehicle brought back a memory . . .

10 years ago, I was in college, driving on Interstate 10 in northwest San Antonio. It was 5:30ish, and gridlock was in full effect. You know how one lane goes while the next lane advances? Well, this guy pulls up next to me, in a beat up mini pickup with camper shell. Inside the camper shell is a couple of pigs (live). The funny thing is the guy has that rear slide window open . . . the one that allows air and/or conversation to go to the back of the vehicle.

Ocasisionally,a pig would stick his head through this window, jaw working . . . looked like all the world the pig is having a conversation with the driver

"Turn TURN you jackass. That lady that got in front of that car two cars ahead is going to slow your ass up. C'mon, GO!"

It was so funny looking. Beats the story of the three year old little girl in the car ahead of me flipping the bird while her parents were laughing their ass off.

Gridlock does funny things to a person.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2003

The other buyers exercised their right of first refusal, so they now have until May 17th to get all of their financing in order, have all of their inspections done, and be ready to close. If they can't make the May 17th deadline then the property is ours. Our real estate agent really got on the selling agent's case about how this contingency was sprung upon us at the last minute and how the deadline changed from 48 hours to 14 days. Apparently this was some sort of private deal between the property owner and the other buyers and it wasn't very professionally done. The sellers agent was very sorry about all of the confusion and has said that if we do get the property he will pay all of our closing costs as an apology. He also is going to upgrade the survey from just a paper survey to having someone actually go out and mark the corners, at his cost. So now we just have to keep our fingers crossed for the next two weeks and see what happens. I did go out on my lunch today and drove past one of the alternate properties I found on-line, just in case. It's a beautiful piece of land, right next door to an active landfill. Oh well.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2003

Sounds to me like those shenanigans are probably illegal. There is strict consumer real estate law protections nowadays, and I wouldnt be surprised if this agent isn't throwing in the extras to keep you off his/her case. How far will you have to drive to work? I know that point has been very important to us in the past.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2003

Grrrr! Sherri, what a pain. Don'tcha just hate dealing with PEOPLE some days?! Hopefully, all will be well, and you guys will get this place; but if not, I'm sure that you will find somewhere equally wonderful - just don't forget to make sure about the dormitory and the lobster pond!

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2003

Julie and I have been scarce. Very busy. She was down here again with her sick guinea pig and sick hamster (couldn't leave her home since she needed treating twice daily). The guinea pig, Zanzibar, died. Today, Julie had Trixie, the sick hamster, euthanized. And last week "our" sun conure, Lily, died during surgery to remove a stuck egg. We are frazzled from all the pet care and depressed over the deaths.

The garden plots are tilled, so I need to get going on that. I want to do a bit of solarizing since it's too early to plant anyway. I guess I could put in some kale, perhaps try some spinach. Everything else would freeze.

I have 80 zillion projects going or planned. Bet I won't get to half of them! :-O

Tomorrow, I'm going to a Renaissance Festival in a nearby small town. I don't know if this is the first time they've tried one or not. Probably will be very small. And Sunday, I'm going with friends down to Woodstock, Illinois to attend a concert. A mutual friend is the performer (singer), so we're going down to support her. Makes for a late night getting back, though.

I guess the garden has to wait until Monday or so . . .

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2003

J.R. now thats one I haven't seen!! Hey you sure those were pigs? Maybe just some ugly kids!!! Ha!

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2003

Good luck Sherri!!! People can be such asses when they need to be! It was horriable when we were getting our home,We love our home it was all the shit you had to go through, We started looking in Jan. found the one we like in March they didn't deliver till last week of April and we didn't get to move in till June!!!! SO GOOD LUCK TO YA!!

We just don't have time this year to put in a garden so we are putting tomato plants,& peper plants in the flower beds that I've started! We are going to either farmers market to get veggies or to a friend in Baker Co. who has corn growing and can get as much as we want. Now the quest is on to get an upright freezer!!

We have 17 chicks out of 20. We just had one to die last night. It had a growth on it's neck that was big as a large marble. We got them middle of last month and they were only couple days old then. We do still have the 1 guiene(sp)fowl.Would have bought more than 1 but he was the only 1 left tried to get the person in front of me (they just bought 6) to let me have 1 of theirs so mine would have a friend but hell no!!!LOL Mike is not liking him already.Says he's tooo loud and he's only a baby now can't wait till he gets older and starts hollerin'!! LOL Should start the nosey neighbor behind us off. He called the city about my brother noisy dogs without thinking about his own noisy dog!!

Take care! Sandy

BTW Auntie EM my pressure is going down taking the supplements!!!! Thanks bunches

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2003

Great to hear about your BP, Sandy!

About your little chickie with the neck lump: you are givin 'em grit, right?

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2003

Hubs is still pouting about me buying the truck. Go figure, he told me I could.

Spring is here and I haven't had time to do things. I'm working tomorrow for someone (my son works there too now)and will be off on Tuesday, which they said it is going to rain. I was thinking of digging up my front lawn. It's all moss and dandelions right now.

Speaking of dandelions, does anyone know where I can get some seeds? They are listed as chickory but they look like dandelions. I know, I know, they grow wild everywhere but they don't taste the same.

Baby goats are doing well. All getting bigger. Billie (bottle baby) is now out with the others. The holes in her head don't look as bad anymore. (shiver) I put a stars and stripes collar on her that looks really cute. She's getting too big to bring to the pet store now. Is climbing everything and chewing on stuff too. People are so funny. "Can she live in my apartment?""Is she miniature?"

Sherri, remember, if the deal falls through, there is a reason. My sister lost a house and later on, it turned out to have a bad septic which made the well bad. I lost a piece of property and later found out that the builder used the back as a dumping ground for ALL kinds of stuff. Someone even said chemicals were also dumped there. Fate

Polly, give Pops a hug for me. It must be so frustrating for him.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2003

Joy, my condolences to you and Julie. I'm saddened about the little g.pigs and conure. I know how you both love critters. Plus, what stress. Sorry.

Best to you.

-- Anonymous, May 04, 2003

What sheepish said!

and sheepish, wish we could all come over for a weekend to help you out! I could use the exercise anyway; am a flabby-arse lately. We just bought a treadmill but I can't get Ali off of it! (sound good?)

I'm going to check out a building to rent on Monday; already peeked in the windows, but I'll have to get an health inspector out there to tell me what needs doin'.........(yikes, I'm scarin myself!)

-- Anonymous, May 04, 2003

Last week I got a call from a buddy. He said another guy I know was getting rid of a coupla chickens and asked if I wanted them.

They were a one yr old barred rock rooster and a red hen. I thot about it a bit and decided, what the hell, our five orps wouldn't mind.

The rooster is a real handsome guy and they both are quite tame. I introduced the nebies into the greenhouse where I keep the orps and within 5 minutes the roosters were battling it out.

Sad to say Roo Buffington, our buff orpington rooster, got his ass kicked. The new roo is lord and master of the greenhouse. Roo Buffington doesn't go inside till its almost dark out while the new one is already bedded down.

But all is not lost. Roos ladies won't have anything to do with the newbie and stick close to Roo, but in spite of that Roo is depressed. He mopes around, not the lively, engaging guy he had been. I feel bad for him so we're getting rid of the newbies tomorrow. Theres a guy not far from here who has a huge bunch of animals of all kinds who will take them. "Just bring them out and dump them in the poultry yard" he sez so thats the plan for the morning before I go to work. Maybe roo will perk up then.

-- Anonymous, May 04, 2003

Yeah, Roo will probably think "The Rock" was made into stew! LOL! OTOH, perhaps Roo will worry about suffering the same fate! 8-O

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2003

Joy and Julie, sorry about your loss. Even little critters can leave a big hole in our hearts when they're gone. I hope the ren fair went well.

Polly, give Pops a hug or a kick in the butt from me, whichever you think he needs most. :)

EM, good luck with the building and figuring out what sort of inspections you'll need.

sheepish, if I was closer I'd come mow your yard. I hope thing start to look up for you and Mr S.

I have had a strange week. I had braces and oral surgery several years ago, and I have a permanent retainer cemented to my lower six teeth. Or I suppose I should say that I had a permanent retainer.... Last Tuesday I was eating a protein bar and the cement gave way on my retainer, and before I realized what had happened I swallowed it! So now I have a 1 1/2 inch long piece of metal making it's way through my GI tract. I've been eating plenty of fiber and drinking lots of water to help speed the trip. It may have passed already, I haven't exactly been searching for it too closely if you know what I mean! :)

The tale of the house keeps getting stranger. I think that the seller's agent is either a snake or a few steins short of an Octoberfest. He faxed us a copy of the first buyer's purchase offer, it's only signed with their first names! He also faxed a copy of a pest inspection he says was done back in October. The inspection report says that there was no evidence of insects in the crawlspace. However, at this house there is no way to get into the crawlspace, so how did the inspector check for bugs? We do have an escape clause in our Purchase Offer, we can back out for any reason before May 17th and not lose our earnest money.

We are going to look at another house on Saturday. It's the one that I mentioned earlier as being the beautiful piece of property right next to a landfill. I found out some more info on it, it's an old gravel pit that's been converted into a construction dumpsite. The only accept things like concrete, tree limbs, etc. No garbage, all the garbage in the county is trucked to a landfill in another county. I need to find out what their policy is on chemicals, I don't want any chance of groundwater contamination. Once they are done with a section they cover it over with dirt and plant grass on it. It's close enough to a smaller city that shopping would be convenient, but outside of the city limits so we don't need a burn permit to have a bonfire. This house is in a very interesting part of the state. It's 4 miles away from Mounds State Park, which contains 10 earthworks build by the Hopewell people in around 150BC for religious ceremonies. And it's about 6 miles away from Camp Chesterfield, an 1886 Spiritualist church on the National Register of Historic Places. It's supposed to be "the world's largest center of spiritual phenomena", they do psychic fairs and seances and all sorts of funky stuff. :)

-- Anonymous, May 08, 2003

Sherri: The "landfill" is whats called in the trade a C and D site, construction and demolition. As far as I know its just gonna be bricks, blocks, lumber, plaster and drywall.

I dunno about chemicals per se but I think not. Dunno about carpeting or other synthetic building materials either. Or even lead paint in an old building being torn down---dunno.

-- Anonymous, May 09, 2003

It seems Roo is on the mend. Within a day after the new Roo was taken to another home, Roo Buffington has rediscovered his libido and has the old spring back in his step. I never would have thought chickens could pout and get depressed but that sure is what the problem with Roo seems to have been.

I never would have suspected chickens could be so endearing. They're just funny to be around and alot more personable than I would have thought.

-- Anonymous, May 09, 2003

John thanks for the info about the "dump". Your chicken stories make me anxious to get some of my own. :)

We had a real estate agent come out to our house last night to get it listed on the market. Found out that out of the current listings and past 6 months of sales in our neighborhood, about 50% have been HUD foreclosure sales. That's really dragging down the values for the rest of the neighborhood. My house is appraising for less now than when I bought it 5 years ago. So much for real estate being a good investment. I'm trying to look at the bright side, at least I got 5 years of mortgage interest deductions on my income tax.

-- Anonymous, May 09, 2003

So, I can finally get back on the forum - and don't have time to write all those things I've been thinking for the past couple of days. Story of my life, lately! Maybe this afternoon, after I get some much needed sleep - 7am Friday to 7 am Sunday with only a couple of hours sleep somewhere in there; need I say that I'm wiped out?! Thank goodness Hubs is picking me up at work today and driving me home - we just might make it there in one piece! I'm hallucinating horizontal surfaces....

Take care,

-- Anonymous, May 11, 2003

Hope all the Mother's have a wonderful Mother's Day!!! We are going to Mike's Mom's house in Ocala today which is a 2 hour drive in the car with 2 TEENAGERS who hate each other!!!!!!! HELP ME HELP ME!!!! LOL LOL

Should have fun. WE are swimming and cooking out for Mother's day ,should be a blast.

Yesterday we had my nephew's 1st birthday he was so excited. HE had to have help with his presents. He didn't care anything about them he was wanting everyone to hold him and he'd love on them and hug and kiss them.It was so funny! So my other nephew opened them for him and the only thing he played with was a small wagon that had big lego's,he threw them out and climbed in the wagon wanting us to pull him.

We had 30 people show up. My father cook ribs on the bar bque pit all day, Boy where they good!!! Mike cooked chicken for 3 hours on the pit. We had all the fixin' and everyone ate till they couldn't eat anymore!!!! Then comes the cake. He had his own little cake. He didn't need anyone show him how to eat that he dove into it licked it ate it and generally got it from head to toe and even dropped some so the dog could eat some!!! LOL He always drops food and watches my parents dog come over to eat it!!

Well have a great day!! Sandy

-- Anonymous, May 11, 2003

You're probably all sick of reading about my househunting saga, but since no one else is posting I guess you're just stuck. :)

We formally withdrew our offer on the house with the giant barn. I got my earnest money check back so we didn't lose anything on the deal except for time.

We went to look at the house by the "dump" on Saturday. It was really nice. It turns out that the dump is almost ready to be closed, and then the owner has a government grant to turn it into a wetland preservation district. So we know there won't ever be any houses on that side of the property. :) I feel much more comfortable with the scale of this place. It just has a one-stall horsebarn about the size of a good-sized garden shed. I'd rather add buildings for my own needs at my own pace rather than feeling pressured to use what's already there. There's two ponds on the property so you can bring your lobsters Marcia! :)

The house is your typical 60's brick ranch with a finished basement. It has 2 fireplaces and the living room has floor to ceiling windows looking out into the trees. With all the storms we've had lately the basement has been wet. It's going to cost about $5000 to put in drain tile and a sump pump so we factored that in when we made the offer. The house and property appear to have been very well cared-for. The current owners are an older couple who's children have grown up and moved away, the funny thing is that he's a retired minister. I hope he won't mind that his property may become "Pagan Acres" :)

There's been lots of severe thunderstorms and tornados here the past week, fortunately there hasn't been any major injuries or deaths. One of our cats is afraid of thunder so the poor baby has pretty much been living under the bed or in the closet. I gave her a bit of catnip last night when the storms came through to help take the edge off her nerves, I think it helped.

-- Anonymous, May 15, 2003

Sherri that place sounds nice. You'll know "your" place when ya see it!! That's the way we went about looking for our home. Some where so nice that you'd want it to be the place but deep down we knew!!! When we went into the the model for our home it was just like coming home it just felt so right!!!! LOL When our home was deliver it was even better than being home!!!!LOL LOL

Take care Sandy

-- Anonymous, May 15, 2003

Wow, Sherri C., that place really sounds good. Especially that part about the dump becoming a game preserve. That should guarantee quite a few sightings of wild life for both of you to enjoy. Hope your house hunt goes well.

-- Anonymous, May 15, 2003

Sherri, this new place sounds great. I sure hope it works out for you!

On another thread, the question was asked about how come the forum is currently so quiet. You know, I think ~ half of us are depressed, or at least dealing with ~ depression!

Between aging parents, house hunting, surgery, and politics (and personal health and pet sicknesses), it's no wonder we're getting quiet.

Peace and healing to all of you (and us)!

With love,

-- Anonymous, May 17, 2003

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