Over the Fence Chat July 27-Aug 2 2003

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Wow, where has the month gone?

We had a busy weekend. Saturday Keith started mowing our gigantic yard. I did some gardening archaeology and excavated two flowerbeds from under their cover of weeds. I also hacked back the ivy that was threatening to take over the stairs to the front door. The flowerbeds look so much better now. One of them is arranged around an old tree stump. The prior owners had an angel statue there that they took with them, I want to get a gargoyle to put in it's place. The bed is edged with rocks gathered from the property, some of them are really interesting. Then the belt broke on the mower deck so that was it as far as mowing the lawn was concerned. So instead we hooked the cart to the back of the mower and put gravel down on the bare spots in the driveway.

On Sunday Keith's dad came over with the van and we went to Lowes and bought a new grill. Our old one didn't survive the move, the bottom had rusted completely out of it. The new grill is pretty fancy, it can also be used as a smoker. I want to try making some beer can chicken but the only beer in cans we have on hand is Guinness. Guinness cans have a special pressurized cartridge inside them so you get the traditional foamy layer when it's poured, I don't think putting it on the grill would be a good idea, I don't want the grill to explode the first time I use it. I can just see this chicken flying through the air with a fizzing beer can sticking out of it's butt! hehehehe

Keith's dad also agreed with our assessment that we need to rip the drywall out of the basement all the way up to the ceiling. He also thinks we should take out the stud walls and paint the cement block with Drylock paint. He did say if we were careful we probably could reuse most of the studs, that should help somewhat on the cost. I've been doing some research on a new type of drywall that is mold and mildew resistant, it's called Humitek. I haven't been able to find any place that sells it yet. So anyway, the dumpster is being delivered today and I have my dust mask, goggles, and gloves ready so I can start bashing away tonight.

In the evenings I worked on the kitchen some more. I have most of the wallpaper up now. I'm really happy with how it's turning out. Maybe someday I'll actually get around to getting the lower cabinets painted. :)

I talked to my mom and my middle sister last night. It looks like they're going to come down for a visit over Labor Day weekend. I guess I'd better have the house in some sort of shape by then! I think that this house is turning me into my mother, and I said as much to Keith last night which frightened him a bit. I came to this realization when I found myself taking the dishes out of the dishwasher and washing them by hand because I wasn't happy with the job the dishwasher did. If this keeps up I'll be wearing my shoes all day and making sure my sink is clean before I go to bed at night (inside joke for anyone who's ever tried to do the FlyLady system)

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2003


I like the fact that you are exchanging an angel for a gargoyle :) I have a gargoyle foutain in my front pond but it doesn't work. Looks cool just sitting there anyway.

Last week hubs had vacation and we attacked the big pile of dirt into something in the backyard. It would have been easier if we had a small backhoe. It is really looking good. I made the levels into circles. I decided to continue cutting into the hill and my husband asked if it isn't going to be more work? Well of course, but it will look great when it's done.

So, does anyone have any good ideas for plants? I'm gonna put wave petunias in (I like those) but I really don't want to waste too much money with annuels since it's almost the end of the season. I like echanacias. White and purple. I have some daisies I can transplant and butterfly bushes. I love poppies but haven't seen any for sale anywhere. I has to be deer resistant and not poisonious in case the goats get loose.

I the middle of the circle, I'm thinking of putting brick with a birdbath (which I will always forget to fill I'm sure) I guess I'm thinking of country cottage looke.

Husband said okay to kid getting a lizard. He wants a bearded dragon. I decided to drain my fishtank so he can use it.

I've been praticing walking the goats so hopefully they will behave. I'm gonna load them maybe tomorrow and drive them around so they don't panic when I do it next week. I tell you, I'm starting to get nervious.

My gingerbread carocel is giving me problems already. The first baking came out too soft and the second burned. The third was the horses and they not only burned but their tails fell off. I still have more dough so I'll try again. Think I know what I did wrong.

Well, hang in there Sherri. We painted our basement with Drylock. My husband didn't want to put up wallboard over it so I made the other walls look like cinderblock. He doesn't like it but everyone else that sees it likes it. All we have left to do is clean it out and put the carpet down. Which was what I was hoping we'd get to do this past week. All well.

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2003

I'm back from a not-so-relaxing vacation - doggone car problems kept our nerves on 'red alert' status quite a bit of the time. Four different problems in a week - we were snake bit. The problems ranged from A/C condensate question, 'Check Engine' light, flat tire and dead battery - one car, seven day time period.

Kids were pretty good, though the last day, they were definitely ready to get off the road and catch up on 'run around make the house a mess' duties. Wife is nearly ready to back to work and she is scrambling to do the things she wants to do before full time work duties call her elsewhere.

Man, are we busy.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2003

I put up another 10 gallons of mixed soup vegetable mix for mixing in with my ramens and meat strips this winter, added 3000 square feet to my outside worm ranch, innoculated two more beds for my indoor ranch and set up one square of my aquarium gravel bed hydroponics winter garden. This week I hope to find enough time to cut hay to relayer three of the outside worm beds,set up another hydroponics bed, practice for the putt-putt golf tournement and maybe pick up a puppy for my dogs to have another playmate.

Sherry, I tried that flylady gig for awhile. I found its easier to sell more worms, gamble the stock market or win the lottery and hire a weekly housekeeper, instead of trying to keep the pace of those damn emails. If I cant do one of them, I'll live with the mess and call it a bachelor nutty professor legacy :>)

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2003

I just don't understand people. I'm alternating between tears and fury over this.

Missing girl claim a 'cruel hoax' Warrant issued for hoaxer

THORNTOWN, Indiana (CNN) --Authorities say the woman who called the parents of a 6-year-old girl who has been missing since 1986 was "the perpetrator of a cruel hoax."

The girl's father, Mike Sherrill, said he took the news "real hard" and broke down sobbing while talking to reporters.

"I wasn't expecting this at all. When they called me with the information that we were going to have a news conference, I thought they were going to bring Shannon in here. I thought this was something," he said before covering his face and breaking into tears.

His ex-wife, Dorothy Sherill, and several of her sisters also attended the news conference, but did not speak.

Their daughter Shannon vanished from Thorntown on October 5, 1986, after last being seen playing with friends outside her home.

The woman who called the parents claiming to be the now-grown girl has been identified as Donna L. Walker, 35, according to Indiana State Police 1st. Sgt. Dave Bursten. He said an arrest warrant has been issued for the woman whose last known address was in Topeka, Kansas.

"We are seeking help from the public across the land to look for this woman," said Bursten.

Mike Sherrill told CNN Tuesday that he has never given up hope that his daughter might still be alive because there's been "no proof she wasn't alive."

He said when the woman called him Saturday he was stunned.

"Before I talked to her, I had a million questions that I wanted to ask her, and when I got her on the phone, I just totally spaced. ... I just went blank," Sherrill said.

He said he and his ex-wife both gave their DNA samples to authorities years ago. *************************************************

This case has haunted central Indiana for 17 years. A little girl playing hide and seek with her friends in her front yard disappears in broad daylight. They searched for her for months and no traces were ever found. It's stuck in my mind because Mr Sherrill owns a gas station/cafe that we drive past every time we go up to visit Keith's family. After Shannon disappeared Mr Shannon worked at the gas station 7 days a week for 10 years, because he thought if Shannon would call anyplace it would be the gas station. I feel so bad for the family. I'm trying to be charitable and think that the woman who did this hoax probably mentally ill, but really all I want to do is bash her head with a big rock.

Thanks for letting me vent.

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2003

Very weird about that girl...

I once looked at the Flylady stuff. I kind of get the sink being cleaned at night but I can tell you that it would never 'fly' around here! I tried to keep my kitchen tidy for about two days. I can't seem to keep the dishes off the sideboards (well, *I* can, but my roomie doesn't seem to be able to). As for shoes all day, yikes! This time of year? Do Tevas count? Or how about rubber boots?

I think I can get some appreciation for how the rest of the country feels in the summer. It's been hot and dry now for weeks. Seattle was 99 a couple of days ago; a few degrees cooler out this way. My corn is growing so fast. I've never seen it like this! One day it's tasseling and the next days it's putting up silks. Wow. I have tomatoes actually growing! We usually have such a maritime of it... Bad news is that everything is turning brown and the air is getting brown, too. We need rain. I have about 2-3 weeks of pasture left (clover now, not so much grass) and then I had better get hay. It should be interesting to see what the hay prices are. Good news is that there's been no rained-on hay for 3 cuttings so the price should be low. Bad news is that everyone will need to feed hay soon, so prices should go up!

Got the sheep sheared (finally) last weekend. We used a pour-on dewormer, which is still visible on the white sheep! It's starting to fade, but it looks funny...drippy and purple. Little 3-week-old lamb is very cute and bouncy, at least.

Gotta hang laundry, then clean out the duck pond (I have been recyling their very dirty water by pouring it under my rhododendrons and azaleas). Ducklings are getting big. A friend brought two 20- gallon trash cans filled with spent grain (he owns a microbrewery) for the poultry. They love it! Bad news: Big hawk is nesting nearby and I think she's eyeing our duckies to feed her babies. I'm keeping everyone closed up in the chicken run (lines overhead).

Gotta run. Sherri, sounds like you're having a blast with the house!

Hi everyone!

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2003

Hey Sherri C., we like eating 'pollo boracho' (po yo bore ah cho - drunken chicken) also. I just bought a beer can insert you place the grille - keeps the chicken standing up well. Its about 8" wide x 14" long, and has two cylinders set in the stainless grille and frame. You just set the chickens on the cans, place on grille and wait.

Bought it at Cabelas catalog for $19.95 for the double stainless steel model. They offer the same thing in standard steel for $14.95, and a single chicken model (for the bachelor / bachlorettes) for $9.95, in case you are interested.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2003

Last Tuesday, when I first read this post, I also was thinking "where has the month gone"!! I never got back on this computer til now and now I'm thinking..."where has the week gone???"

Every night this week we've either been weeding, picking veggies OR fishing! Basically we've given up on totalling removing all the weeds from the garden...impossible task! We're keeping the vegetable plants visible just enough so we can harvest. Actually, I think that technique has helped the vegetable plants. Some of the garden pests can't seem to find them quite as easily and the weeds have kept the soil damp through this dry spell we've been having! Bush beans, chard, tomatoes and cukes are coming fast and furious right now...along with the inevitable squash!

Been doing lots of fishing. We've put more than enough whole mackeral in the freezer for ourselves, so now we're trying something different. We're filleting the mackeral (works really goods!!) and then deep frying them before I freeze them. That way all we have to do is heat and eat!!! Stopped trapping crabs, too, since we have 10 lbs. frozen already. The lobsters are s-l-o-w-l-y coming in!! Actually they're really here, but most are still in hiding while they finish shedding their shells!!!

Going to try to get down for the big Rockland Lobster Festival this weekend. You know...the event where PETA goes a little "bonkers" and tries to get folks to stop consuming lobster??!!

Glad you're finally getting your "house in order", Sherri :-)!! And j.r...if you all weren't so far away you could have called us for "road service" :-)!!

We're headed for Saco, Me. next weekend (the 9th). Another forum I'm on is having a "Maine Wannabee" cookout at a state park there. Harry and I are in charge of bringing the steamers and macaroni salad. I've never met anyone of these folks, but I'm really looking forward to this!!! Hopefully...we'll get some lobsters in our traps next week to take down with us! Sure hope everyone here is doing well!! And...EM...how's it going with your business??? I hope you and Bren have found a new accountant!!!!! Have a great weekend everyone!

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2003

{peeks out from under an avalanche of summer squash & cucumbers}

Ugh! Oogh! Too many vegetables! Hopefully one of my gardening comrades is going to organize a collecting and delivering to an area food pantry. The town is a ways away, but there is a big strike going on there (Tyson chicken), so we figure that community probably can use it the most.

In less than a week, I am going to be heading for Vancouver Island for (an every-three-years) family reunion. Julie is staying home -- no one to care for the guinea piggies. So, I am running around like a chicken with my head chopped off, trying to get ready.

The current issue of Mother Earth News has a lot about solar homes. Maybe I should quit reading it and pack it for the trip, along with a couple of other mags I haven't gotten around to reading yet! I guess the scenery there (about halfway up the eastern coast of the island, town called Parksville) is quite spectacular. So, if we don't get constant rain, it ought to be quite nice. I hope it isn't as HOT as Sheepish has been getting, though! That far north, I expect a bit cooler weather.

Actually, our July was quite pleasant for July. Not many humid days, and none topping 90. August has started the same way. It keeps thundering and teasing us, but no rain develops. We haven't had more than a sprinkle or two in about two weeks -- so rain already! [frown]

{collapses back under the vegetable heap}

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2003


Well! Congratulations on a trip to the Great Northwest (albeit the Canadian version)! It's cooled down a bit, so I think Parksville will be delightful, weather-wise. The next week is forecasted here to be highs in the mid-70s; nights mid-50s (you'll need to do your own translation into Celsius for Canada, though!). A bit further north, and it could be a few degress cooler (definitely bring a fleece jacket and rain gear). Usually, it's pretty nice up that way, with the mountains blocking most of the precipitation anyway.

Mr. S. and I stayed somewhere around Parksville (it's by Nanaimo, right? I mean "eh?") about 10 years ago. It was great! If you have time and have wheels, you might want to consider driving up island to Johnstone Strait where all the orcas come in and scratch on the beach. Or go to the west side of the island (Tofino, for example), also a great place. If you go every three years, you've probably been there, done that already anyway. I love Vancouver Island, and most of BC (experienced some anti-Yank sentiment up in (not making this name up) Clinton BC before). I mostly love Canadians, especially these days! They sure are a lot of fun to camp with (and Canadians from Saskatoon to Prince George seem to camp all over the west).

For you folks who have never *bean* there, Vancouver Island is HUGE. Just look at it on a map. I fantasize about having a place on one of the Gulf Islands. Yeah right.

Still very, very dry here. Temperature are lower, but the grass and sky are still brown. Bon Voyage Joy! Hope you see all the whales you want.

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2003

Well, I hadn't closed this screen yet, so here I am back again! I've been on Vancouver Island before, but not for a reunion. We always have them in different places. I was briefly in Nanaimo, in 1987 or so, and didn't think much of it. The drive down from there to Victoria was quite pretty, and I LOVE Victoria (down at the harbor, anyway). So most of this will be new to me. I think we saw the less than attractive part of Nanaimo -- maybe we weren't even really in it. Just drove off the ferry and headed south.

Okay, I guess I will pack as if I were going up to my home town, where summer evenings are usually cooler rather than warm. I'll add more long pants to my packing list. Here, I wear shorts or cropped pant all the time.

I think at least one day we're going to go on a drive, probably northish and westish -- not sure, my cousins are in charge of that. Somewhere wild anyway, where we might see bears. We used to go to the town dump when I was a kid to watch the bears come out and rummage around. Cheap entertainment! If you ever saw the movie The Great Outdoors, it had a lot of resonance with my childhood, though not so ridiculous, of course. Anyway, I know enough to stay IN the car and not to feed them, should we happen to see any.

And after the reunion is over, I will get one day down in Victoria. I've not been back there since 1988 or 1989. Geez! How did 15 years go by?!

The Gulf Islands do sound nice . . . I can't really say I've been on any of them, but sailed past on ferries, and done some reading. Anyone remember the book The Egg & I (was made into a movie, but the book was much better)? Betty MacDonald, who wrote it, ended up living on one of them, and wrote a book called Onions in the Stew, about her life there with her two daughters and her second husband.

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2003

It's been raining here. Today there was really loud thunder as the sun was shining. Then downpour. Suppose to rain all week. We're going to the fair tomorrow so hopefully it will rain in spirts.

The bad thing is that my gingerbread cookies are all soggy and hard to work with. My carousel for the fair isn't coming out like I had hoped. All well, I'm trying. Maybe send a picture when it's done.

Oh, that something else. I finally bought a "good" digital camera. A Kodak (2 pix only)but when I went to buy the recharging, computer direct, they no long have the model for my new camera. Seems they are upgrading and the new port doesn't work. Nice huh? Only me...

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

Dee...Best of luck showing your goats!!! I've never shown any of mine, but I sure remember the days of showing my dogs! Talk about nervous...!!!! I'm sure you'll do great.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

Joy, yeah Nanaimo used to be a dump, but it's a lot nicer now. Last time I went through (last summer), I was really surprized. Same with Tofino!

Have fun.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

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