Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday at the Races...

That's what it felt like today. It's a little after midnight and I am whipped.

  I was up and out early this morning, like 7:30 AM. I had some specific errands to run and wanted to get back here as soon as possible. Naturally, that didn't really work out as I'd hoped.  lol   But I did get the replacement bulb for the aquarium, some more chicken breasts, gassed up the car and  spent too much time futilely looking for those damn whirligigs that you stick in the ground. (Never did find them).

  I got home around 10:30, and as soon as  I put things away, I headed for the mower. I mowed the front yard and all the side yards, leaving the back for the Irishman to do.It took me close to an hour to recover from that, as it was about 89 degrees out there with a thousand percent humidity. I've been a little off ever since.

  Then  I got started canning the chicken by about 2. AFTER a cool shower and some water and food and sitting a bit. I had to put ice on my knee too.  I had 18 pounds of chicken breasts to can, and I canned half of them raw pack (with no liquid added) and the other half I partially cooked and added chicken broth. They turned out nicely and we'll see how they taste when I open one. I wound up with 7 pints and 5 quarts.

  Someone sent me a link on canning BUTTER.  Have you ever heard of such a thing? She says it keeps about 3 years !! What a great idea !!!!

  Well, the kitchen is mostly cleaned up (good enough for tonight) and husbandman is in bed already. We watched The King's Speech with Colin Firth and it was magnificent. I cooked giant hamburgers for supper, that we ate with no bread and whatever we could find. (I was still in the middle of the chicken mess...the jars take 70 and 90 minutes [respectively] to process.).

  And now I am ready for bed.

  Sweet dreams, all y'all....


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To sleep, perchance to dream...

  Mornings, I worship at the church of the fresh

   Aw, it was a busy morning and a longish day and now I'm ready to hang up my spurs and go to bed. I am about ready to can chicken in the morning, after making a trip to town to pick up a new lightbulb for the aquarium and some canning lids. I do need to check my stash before I leave and see just how much I actually have. lol  I have 25 pounds of chicken breasts to can.

 Today was one of those days where I did some very local shopping and felt damn good about it. I like to support the locals whenever I can and today was it. I bought local produce twice, from 2 different guys. And I bought 2 beautiful big spider plants to hang on my front porch from a roadside vendor as well. AND I bought some meat and other odds and ends from my little favorite market, Pappy's. I went to the bank and I paid some bills, and that pretty much ate up my morning. Had a nice chat with the neighbor who came by to bring me the editorial page of the local newspaper, where my husband had written a letter about recycling on behalf of our chapter of the Sierra Club. 

  Then it was off to my visit with MissB...last one for a couple of days. Got several phone calls and lots of  pages of my book read. It was relatively quiet and uneventful stay today.  Thank Goodness.

   It seems that the deer returned and finished stripping down the edamame last night. The Irishman also found a couple of apples that had been chewed under the tree. Arrgghhh.....

  And with that report, I shall go outside and check the backyard before I head for bed. Not that I think it will do any good, but....

  Sleep well, friends....


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oh me, OH my....

 Looky !!  There are beautiful lavender colored bee balm flowers in the midst of all the red ones. They are gorgeous and really attracting the bees and hummingbirds.

  On a less bright note...maurauders came through last night in the guise of sweet, gentle deer...and ate the tops off ALL my edamame plants...I am so upset. When we moved here 6 years ago, the neighbors told me that if we were going to have a garden, we would have to have it fenced to keep the deer out. It was too late to plant that first year ( and we had so much to do!), but for 5 years since we have had a huge garden and not one bit of trouble with critters. Until last night.  Here's what they left me....

 In the life of a homesteader, it's always something,. lol

  I have decided to go ahead and buy another Oreck. A carpet shampooer this time.  I love my vacuum, and don't see how I can go wrong with the shampooer. Their warranties are great and I cannot live without a rug cleaner. AND, if I don't like it, I can return it within 30 days. But I'm telling you, I have never returned anything to them yet.  I talked it over with the Irishman and he grunted something, so I'm taking that as a go-ahead.  lol  I'll be ordering it tonight. And they will ship it and I will have it in my hands within 3 days.  At least that's how it usually works.

  I made a chocolate cream pie today. And bought some pork butt sliced into thick steaks that I slow cooked in the oven with homemade bbq sauce.  Cooked some red potatoes and called it a feast. We may not have much, but we certainly eat well.

  I'm going to try my best to get to bed at a reasonable hour's been 2 AM or later about 3 nights in a row. And I am tired....

  Excited about the canning experiment slated for Thursday.  I have always thought about canning meat, but never tried it for some reason. Maybe because, although we do eat meat, we also eat a lot of meatless meals, so it never seemed necessary.

  One last thing and then I'm outta here. Asking for prayers, energy, and general good vibes to be sent to Matthew, Petit Fleur's nephew (?) who is facing a most difficult time. Collective energies can work miracles....thank you.

Be Blessed.

Monday, June 27, 2011


  Can you see the tumbler composter next to the little greenhouse? It was a reclamation project. lol Someone we know had moved into a house and "found" it in their backyard and didn't want it. So--we got it. (This is a picture of my lovely potatoes, as well).

  I wasn't going to post anything tonight. The Irishman came home and was here when I got home from work. He actually got home around 5 PM, and called me at work to let me know he'd made it, safe and sound.  I told him there was some leftover spaghetti and meatballs in the fridge for his supper, and he said he couldn't wait to eat some of my real food.  I love that man.

  Anyways, we spent a couple of hours catching up and hugging and kissing and then he was off to bed so he can work in the morning. I have been puttering around on the internet, looking for recipes/instructions on canning chicken. I found several. Also spent some time looking at Tattlers reuseable canning lids and rings.  Anybody used them before? I've been thinking of buying them ever since I first heard of them a couple of years ago.  Have any of you ever canned chicken? I think I am going to can boneless skinless breasts AND some leg and thigh quarters as well. It will be this Thursdays project, I of the local markets has the breasts for .99/lb and another has the 10 pound bag of leg and thigh quarters for a measly .39/lb   Cannot go wrong here.  I'm not sure if I will do a raw pack or cook it first...(apparently you can do it either way).

  After this mornings deluge (which kept me in bed way too late) it hasn't rained any more today. Maybe we will get a break...supposed to be a sunny 83 tomorrow.  That sounds like heaven.

  Found out tonight that the husband of a woman I know has been diagnosed with cancer. He went in today for an exploratory, and they said it has spread so much there is nothing they can do. I am  stricken by the news...they are my age and really nice people.  I pray it will be a perfectly timed process that will allow them to make arrangements, but short enough that he will not suffer any more than necessary. God bless Steve and Mary....

  And life goes on, and my big grey cat Patches caught a huge mouse today and presented it to me at the front door. One of the younger kittens caught another baby grass snake. The pepper plants out in the garden are shooting up like rockets and the rest of the plants are looking okay too. The Irishman said after being gone for 4 days, it looks monstrous to him. lol

 Alrighty. I must go to sleep, it's after 1:30 AM. An old woman like me needs her beauty sleep.  :0

  Until tomorrow....

Be Blessed.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday's Child ...

   Closing out a long, interesting day...

  I was up early after major storms all night Saturday. Horrendous lightning and thunder and heavy rains. The house was lit up like it was noontime, and the animals were all scared to death. So, naturally, I wound up with a queen sized bed full of dogs and cats.  lol

   My phone rang at about 10 til 8 this morning and it was my son, saying he thought he'd come over this morning, and did I have any coffee made yet?  As a matter of fact, I did. I asked if he wanted some breakfast too, and he laughed and said no, he'd already eaten. He lives about 20 minutes from us, and so he was here in a flash and we sat around talking until about noon.

  Naturally, that pretty much ate up my morning, and it was too late to start any kind of projects before I had to leave for MissB's house, so I did a little dusting, lit some incense and picked up some clumps of dog hair, and called it a day. Made myself a wonderful brunch of steak and eggs and toast and ate like a queen. 

  Felt like there were a million things I'd hoped to get done this weekend and didn't. The weather has not been cooperating (for me or nearly anyone else, it seems), and I am hoping tomorrow will be better. Tonights rain has not materialized (so far), so maybe that is a good omen. Supposed to be back up to 90 tomorrow with high humidity...and possibly rain in the evening. Enough with the water, already!

 The Irishman has called me every day from Wisconsin and twice today.  This is not typical of him when he goes on a trip. He will be home sometime tomorrow evening, probably while I'm at work.  I thought maybe tomorrow morning I will bake him a pie...I have missed him and am glad he's on his way back to me. I know he has had a great time with his family, and it seems that at the christening this morning, baby Lily reached down while they were holding her for the ceremony, and splashed water all over the minister from the christening  basin. That's my girl.  LOL

  MissB is getting worse quickly...her memory is  slipping more every day. Today's average length of remembering anything recent was about 6 minutes. It made for an interesting day. The human brain is a complex thing, and watching this progression up close and personal is really making me pay attention to information about avoiding this epidemic disease. Another friend of mine was telling me yesterday (she's a tad older than me) that she cannot remember anything any more without a list, and has come across information about thyroid problems (for which she has been medicated  for years) causing this to happen. She confronted her doctor about the results of her tests and asked him if he had done the newer T3 (or is it T4)? tests and he sighed at her and said...oh now....she said she nearly slapped him. She had to demand that he do this particular test and he finally agreed. She is getting very scared, and we talked about how imperative it is for women to be proactive in their own health care.

  Well, I am ready to lay these old bones to rest for the night.  Everyone is in and sleeping all around me, and the critters are all fed. Plenty of water and plenty of time to sleep.

  I'm ready...that big old sleigh bed is calling me....

Be Blessed !

Saturday, June 25, 2011


News flash:  It's getting ready to rain again !!!  The skies are dark and the thunder is rolling.

  And because of all this rain, we have gorgeous weeds like this growing everywhere. I don't know what it is, at first I thought it was a type of yarrow, which we have everywhere too...but it isn't. Here's the deal--I don't have to know what it is. I can just enjoy the way it looks, and that's good enough for today. But...I digress...

  THE RAIN !!!!!!

 Good lord.  I have to remember that in a month or so, I'll be praying for rain. lol  On my little stroll through the garden this morning though...I am seeing some of the effects of too much water. Even in my raised beds.  Yellowing leaves...not enough fruiting...hope this passes soon. If it doesn't, we'll be eating sauerkraut and beets all winter. lol  And dried tomatoes. And lots of beans and rice.  sigh....

  I am locked in the office, eating (away from misbehaving cats) a yummy gooey egg and cheese and onion sandwich on healthnut bread.  I have too many eggs, so I think I will make another quiche here in a minute or two. One thing about this weather...I don't mind running the oven a bit. One thing about eggs--you can find a hundred ways to use them.

  I have been bad lately about not eating breakfast. That needs to stop.  I always feel better when I have breakfast. NO matter what it is..oatmeal with raisins and pecans or walnuts...eggs any old way, or even just whole grain bread or bagel with some added finery--like fresh sliced tomato and basil and mozzarella, or peanut butter and jalapeno jelly.  yum...

  I probably should be vacuuming, but who cares?  Maybe tonight after I get home...or even tomorrow morning.

  The dogs keep barking their heads off at a guy on a tractor who seems to be cruising back and forth past my house on an old Ford tractor. That's my luck...I get an Amish, of course. He's hauling those huge round bales of hay 'twixt and 'tween somewheres.  You'd think they'd figure out they saw him before...'s 10 o'clock and if I'm agonna git some stuff done, I better git on it.  I have a load of the Irishman's workclothes in the dryer ready to be folded. It was the last load to go on the clothesline yesterday, and when I brought everything in last night, they were still a little damp, so they went into the dryer for a bit. Order is slowly being restored to my household..(who am I kidding?)  and got a call last night that his trip went smoothly and they had already gone out to rib shack for supper. Good to hear.

  It's suppoosed to get up to 82 today...we'll see. Only about 70 right now. Time to shut down this 'puter and get busy.

 Be Blessed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thoughts on a Friday

  Corn is supposed to be "knee high by the 4th of July".  But, knee high to WHO ?  I have short little hobbit legs, and it's almost up to my thigh. So, I guess we're okay.  It's looking good, and I need to get out there and thin the beets that are growing down the center of the row.

  Right now I have laundry going, because it's sunny as all get out and I can hang things out on the line to dry.  Only 69, but supposed to hit 80.  Good enough.  The whites are in now, and I can smell the bleach from here. Then I poured the last of the gallon into the 2 toilets.  Can you spell ...multi-tasking??  lol

  I have a 1 o'clock appointment to get my hair cut.  Decided to call about 10 minutes ago, when I looked in the mirror. (THAT was a mistake, lol)  Luckily my girl Samantha was available...late enough for me to get my laundry all washed and hung out to dry (I hope). And still early enough to get some other stuff done too. (Maybe)

  The Irishman left this morning about 7:45. I think he had hoped to get going earlier, but it wasn't in the cards. For one thing, the dogs didn't wake him at 5 like they usually do, and he didn't set his alarm.
He will return home sometime Monday evening...his weekend will include time with his dad, a family reunion, and a re-christening of baby Lily.  A REAL christening (according to the Catholic great-grandparents).  I find it all terribly amusing...the mother and grandmother are both lapsed Catholics, as is almost all of the family. Except for the great grandparents, of course. When they come here to visit, my Irishman always goes with them to mass. I suppose he finds some kind of ritualistic comfort in it all. I guess that's what the deal is...never having graced the inside of a Catholic church, I don't really know.

  So....I am staying home and laundering and gardening and not entertaining after all.  Plans changed sometime last night. lol. Imagine...

  I will go get my coin tonight for 21 years I guess...I really don't care about going,but...some people are expecting me and that's good enough. 

I found tons of flowers on the peas this morning. And a few peas that will be ready to pick by tomorrow. The patch is full of weeds, but at this point trying to weed would dislodge most of the vines. So...I'll leave it alone and eat what I can.

  The chicken coop needs cleaning and the cockatiel cage needs cleaning and food and water changing too. The floors...well, YOU know.  You can find the babydog by following the clumps of fur she's shedding nonstop.  I'm changing the bedlinens and washing some couch covers and by the time this day is over, I will be ensconced in my clean little cottage watching The Tourist, the newest Netflix selection, starring my beloved Johnny Depp and Angelina whats-her-face. With a big bowl of popcorn, buttered and salty, just the way I like it.

  SO, off I go. Down the road to bliss, savoring the stinky smells of the chickenshit alongside the wonderful smell of newly mowed grass and wildflowers.  And isn't that just life? Some of this, and some of that, and in the end...a lovely contented life, full of love and abundance, even when there's not so much money.

  And that's okay.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

A cool Thursday

  One of the apples on my fruit lawn tree. lol  It has quite a few this year...

  It is a chilly morning. Well--relative chill. About 66 right now at10:30 AM and cloudy. Perfect grass mowing weather, if I could just get out there and do it. But I have all these grand ideas of OTHER stuff I could clean and grocery shop (a local store has chicken breasts -bone in- for .99/lb) and I probably need to go get those.  If I thought I could be sure that the Irishman would mow this evening, I might risk it.  But in his head, he's already on vacation, I'm afraid.

  I have friends possibly coming out tomorrow afternoon. Not sure that I can count on that, because, know how people are. And these 2 are plans they make. Like changing them at the last minute. I've known them for a couple of years, out and about, but they've never been to my house before.  We'll see.

   I have lots of weeding that needs done as well. And a friend who is very broke right now and is fishing for some work. I may just take him up on it.  I could pay a little....might not be enough, or he might be grateful for anything. Won't know until I ask, I guess.  I'm always afraid of offering too little...I know I feel MY own time is more valuable than other people think it is.  lol Times are hard these days for everyone, I guess. And we all need to feel like we can share least, that's how I look at it.

My spare change jar (that I just cashed in to give the Irishman a little extra pocket money in WI) contained over 65 dollars this time.  It has a label on it that says:

     This is an abundant Universe.
     I always have more than I need.
     I always have wealth to share.

  A good reminder, there are always things I can share. No matter what.

  Okay. Enough of this dilly-dallying.  I have a massive dog hair eradication project to embark upon. Groceries to shop for.  And decisions to make about the nature of my grass mowing--as in, who's gonna do it?  lol

  I am off for 2 days and will have plenty of leisure to get things done without killing myself over it. That in itself is a relaxing thought. Tomorrow I will spray the veggies...altho this cool snap might just take care of some of the imminent problems for me. (It's really not THAT cool...I just am chilly in here with the fans blowing on me....) sheesh...

  My chickens and cats and dogs love the days I am home because they get extra attention.

  Even the cockatiel Chico seems to know when I'm going to be here to chat with him all day and whistle back and forth like we do. He's been singing me love songs all morning.

  I have more beautiful butter yellow lilies open this morning ut front around the bird bath and the feeder pole.  The flowers are HUGE. So bright and cheerful. No signs of flowers on the Rose of Sharon yet...but the bush itself looks grand.

  I pruned the bejeezus out of it this spring, and was a little concerned since I usually prune it in the fall.  Worked out fine though. Mother Nature, while very exacting sometimes, can be very tolerant as well.  Thank Goodness.

  Have a fine day y'all...rain or no rain, sun or no sun.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday is my new friday...

   This is one of my Egyptian walking onions.  They are all beautifully coming to heads and twirly-whirlies, getting ready to put down roots and make more plants. The spinach has bolted, which means that it too thinks it's time to go seed.This is really the first part of the growing season in the central part of the country, but the weather has been way goofy, first cold too long, then very hot, then cool again...then we limped into spring and now the trends are a little more normal, except for way too much rain. Lots of growing things out there, and mostly adapting well to the goofiness. It was 95 yesterday, and only gonna hit about 78 today. Okay by me...I opened all the windows and turned on all the fans.  Blow out the stink and energize the house with the sweet smells of honeysuckle  and all manner of goodness.

 These are flowering Red Pontiac potatoes. My favorite potato in the whole world. Except for the fingerling Ruby Crescents.  We have about a 25 ft bed of these babies. They don't overwinter as well as the white potatoes or russets do, but we almost always manage to get them all eaten before we lose too many to rot.  I don't think I had to buy potatoes this past season until about April. And then I have only bought maybe 15 pounds, because I do still have sweet potatoes left, and am using them more and more.

  One of my 'maters.  I have a dozen plants that will be used for salsa and sauces and good ole diced tomatoes and okra.  (And yes, there are a dozen okra plants as well).  Not sure, but this might be the Nebraska wedding tomato.  Never seen it before, just liked the name, lol  I have a tray full of eggshells dried and ready to go around the base of the plants. Hopefully tomorrow or Friday I'll get that done. I have the gallon jar of voodoo juice sitting out on the back porch in the  It's full of dried jalapenos, onions and onion skins, garlic and garlic skins and cayenne and dish soap. And water. It'll be ready to spray by Friday, and I'll give those squash bugs what for.

  And finally, this is my pepper bed. It has several kinds of bell peppers and 6 jalapeno peppers as well.  Someone (who obviously doesn't know me) asked me recently why on earth I had vegetables growing in my front lawn. I sweetly replied that it was for the same reason I had fruit trees growing in my front lawn. Because it's stupid not to. I have some great areas hither and yon around my place that are perfect for growing. I take advantage of that. My front "lawn" also has blackberries. And peaches. And apples and cherries.

  I don't need no stinking lawn.

  I have some marinara bubbling away in the kitchen, with the last 10 meatballs from the last batch I made soaking up the sauce. I'll quick cook a little pasta and the Irishman can have spaghetti and meatballs for his supper. I put lots of onions and garlic and bell peppers and basil and oregano in it and the smells permeating my little house are heavenly. There's the leftovers from the big salad I made yesterday in the fridge and that should satisfy his manly appetite.  lol  Maybe this weekend I'll make a big batch of meatballs and get them in the freezer, as I love having them to fall back on. The recipe I use (sort of) is on my food blog. I am quite guilty of not writing there for over a year. I need to get busy.

  Alrighty then. It's about time for me to finish up the odds and ends that are going on here and get ready to take the ride down to MissB's house for the evening. Then I'll have 2 days off and I'll love every minute of being at home, piddling in my gardens, and cooking. The Irishman is taking a trip up to see his dad in Wisconsin this weekend, so I'll be on my own for a few days.

  Well...on my own with 2 dogs and 8 cats and 5 chickens and a dozen fish and my cockatiel.

  Enjoy your blessings!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Flowering Tuesday...

  You can see, however, that all this rain has surely lushed things up. I have been out taking pictures this morning on my rounds...feeding chickens, filling dog and cat bowls with water and good food from the farm store, checking the hummingbird feeders too. Not putting out much bird seed this time of year, as there's way too much of the good stuff out there for them from Mother Nature. (I just try to help--not take over).  lol

  Here's a close up of the glorious bee balm flowers...I have them planted near the end of my back deck, and they are taking over the giant hosta bed.  I just think they're magnificent. There are a lot of flowers too, here's the bed...
 Can you imagine how they'd be if I ever fertilized them?? I do nothing....

  The chicken run is smelling nasty and soured from all the rain. I may go out there and scatter some cedar chips that I have left. I tried putting straw out there, but it just mats up and gets nastier yet. The stench is bad...the Irishman calls it that "fresh country air".  lol

  This is one of the gaggle of volunteer sunflowers that came up in the front yard. There are about 20 of them, maybe more, and they are blooming away. I love the cheery nature of these flowers, not to mention they are an automatic bird feeder!

  This is one of my old fashioned hollyhocks. They are all out by the driveway and in back by the chicken coop where I transplanted some last year.  They come in pink, white and I thought I had some purple ones last year, but I could be dreaming. I just love them, and they bloom nearly all summer. The only problem with them is that Japanese beetles love them and destroy their leaves.

  This is feverfew, a medicinal plant that I think is so pretty. I plant it everywhere I live. I am so blessed to live in the country!

  Here's one of my MANY daylilies...a gift, I'm sure, from either Dorothy or Dianne. I have them tucked in all over the place. They are bright and cheerful and remind me of my childhood midwestern summers.

  This is one of the big butter yellow lilies, planted in my yard by my friend Melissa, who died this past month.  I'll never be able to look at it without thinking of her...

  And finally, one of several Stella de Oro lilies that have found their way around my yard.

  It was fun tromping around out in the wet grass in my long skirt and bare feet. Look how clean they are!!

Alright. Enough playing around.  I'm going to go cook up a  feast for the Irishman for his supper...chicken tacos and red beans and rice and a salad. mmmm...I did get the mountains of dog hair vacuumed, btw...just in case you wondered!  lol

 Be Blessed!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Bee Balm, before the blooms that showed up a couple of days ago...back when we were arguing about whether it weas mint (him) or bee balm (me)  Hah. I win. It's now full of beautiful red flowers.

  I've been cooking a vegetarian feast today...made black bean veggie burgers and a quinoa salad.  I went out and rummaged around the garden to find stuff to use, and brought in scallions, fresh basil, small cukes, tiny zucchinis,...then I went to the freezer and found my next-to-the-last bag of shelled edamame and a package of red,yellow and green bell pepper strips.  I also put some of my salsa from last year into the burgers for a little zing.  I made the salad with all of the above and dressed it with a light lemon juice and olive oil, a little cracked black pepper and freshly ground sea salt. My lord, is it ever good.  I bought a giant bulk bag of nature burger mix a while back (a long while back...but it seems to last forever), and I have been using it as a base when I make these burgers.  This time I used the black beans, so they cook up pretty dark...but I added green onions sliced thin and a bit of the bell peppers I used in the salad. A bit of extra garlic and pepper and mixed it up and cooked the burgers in a little vegetable oil. They are delicious. I'm eating this plate full right now. (NO bread, so I figured I co0uld have 2 patties and a HEAP of the quinoa! lol

The cut up watermelon was sitting in the fridge calling my name.  lol  Even the kitties are loving these burgers. Unbelievable.

  Father's Day. My dad died on August 20, 1984.  He was one of my biggest fans when it came to cooking, all my life. When I was a little girl and he would praise my cookies to the heavens or later when my lasagna was his absolute favorite dish.  The last few years of his life, when he was on special diets for his heart problems and later still, when the lung cancer was killing him and he could barely breathe enough to eat...every Father's Day I would make him a batch of peanut brittle, which had always been his favorite "candy". We would giggle like we were getting away with something, and he would relish every bite. It was one of our big "secrets". He always said that no peanut brittle he had ever eaten, in his entire life, was as good as the stuff I made for him. He will always be the man that no man can ever measure up to, for me. I miss him still. There's a picture of him today on my Facebook Badge at the side of my blog page.

  It's another beautiful hot and humid midwestern day here. Rained this morning and now it's about 85 degrees. I have to head down to MissB's in a bit, so I'd better finish up here, eat my food and get showered.

  Have a peaceful day, y'all....


Friday, June 17, 2011

Finally Friday...

   I just like the concept.

It's been a rainy Friday, from the time I got up this morning til about 2 hours ago. Heck, it could be raining out there right now for all I know.  lol   I had quite the exciting day, a chicken on the loose to start it off, and I had a breakfast date, so spent  about 10 minutes trying to catch her before giving up. I told the dog to make sure she stayed OUT of my garden, or I'd cook them both for supper.  The goofy hen stayed right on the far side of the coop, clucking her stupid brains out. She was in hog heaven, in a clump of ferny woodsy stuff that had to seem like Paradise.  When the Irishman got home from work today we went out back and got her back in.

  I had a lovely breakfast with a young man (younger than my son) that I adore. We stayed yakking over coffee for an hour and a half. Then went to a meeting  and he headed for work and I headed for home immediately after.  I stopped off at my favorite little market and bought some beautiful pork chops for supper. We fixed a grand salad from the garden, corn on the cob and oven baked pork chops. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to eat straight from the garden again. (I say this every year). lol  I only wish the pea pods were ready to eat...the crazy weather hasn't helped them. It was a late spring that turned hot hot, then cold, then really hot again. Now it's the wettest spring on record and cool again.  The plants look good (the peas) but they aren't making peas yet. The spinach on the other hand, is starting to bolt already.  Todays salad had some spinach, lettuces, kale, radishes, cucumbers, green onions, chives, basil, baby carrots and zucchini in it.  Yum.

 I can't believe some days how many really strange people I know.

It's 71 degrees right now, and more storms are on the way they say. I am cozy in my little house, the floors got vacuumed and the worst of the dog hair is off the furniture.  If the power goes out, all the better. I can get more done and even catch up on some reading.  I need to get back on track with my housekeeping...I may start using the Flylady website again. Years ago, somebody told me about her. I was living in North Carolina and working all the time and I was expressing my amazement at my friends house always being so clean. She worked as much as I did!  She said her secret was the Flylady.  She wrote down the web address for me and I gave it a go.  It turned out she (Flylady)  lived very close to where I lived! Anyway, lots of little tricks that I still use, but I haven't actually followed a plan since I retired from the work world.  Now that I'm back out there, I'm thinking maybe I should get back on board.  It sure makes everything a lot me, at least. Check her out, if you get overwhelmed and your house gets out of'll be glad you did.

  Well, I may get to bed a little early tonight. I have been doing a better job of being in bed BEFORE 1 AM lately. It makes a world of difference in how I feel.  I can still only lie in bed for 5-6 hours...but I'm getting more restful sleep, I think.  I like getting up early, I take my morning cup of coffee and head out to the back deck, overlooking my gardens, or if I'm feeling really adventurous, I head on down to my little overgrown meditation area...a small iron table and chairs down at the point by the pond, sitting on a mossy bank, with windchimes softly tinkling.  The birds sing to me, I can hear the chickens softly talking amongst themselves, and in the distance the owls are hooting...calling across the fields and meadows for their prospective mates. I love this time of year... 

 The Jingacat has decided the only place he can sit is perched on my chest, making it really hard for me to type.  So--I guess I am finished for the night.

  Sweet dreams, all....


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday? Really?

 I am working on my day off today and I don't wanna go...I DON'T WANNA GO !!!!!!!!!!

  Now that I have that out of my system...

  This morning I was up at the butt crack of dawn again.  I have been to take my husband a Subway sandwich to eat on his way to his Sierra Club meeting directly after work, shopped for sundries and groceries, put away most of the aforementioned items, and am sitting down taking a break for a minute.  I am already exhausted and am supposed to leave work an hour early and drive to Litchfield, 40 miles away to meet up with some friends tonight at 8 PM.    Do I really think I will have the energy for that???????   I'm trying to find the energy to vacuum up all the tumbling dog hair floating around my house. It very well might NOT happen...

  There are flowers on the green beans today. The spinach is bolting already. I saw squash bugs crawling around the base of the zucchinis, so I need to get some goojuice made and get it sprayed out there before they take over.  Not sure off the top if I need to make up something besides the regular onion/garlic/cayenne spray or not. I'll have to check the books. But everything is going gangbusters out there. The lilies are all flowering like mad too...all mauve and gold and butter yellow and the tiger lilies too. Yesterday I made a salad out of all garden stuff...lettuce and spinach and kale and radishes and baby carrots and green onions.  It was awesome.  I made that salad and sweet potatoes from last years garden and salmon patties, and homemade applesauce.  Yum!

  I have been saving egg shells and drying them to crush around the bases of the tomato plants. Tomatoes LOVE extra calcium and that does the trick. One more way to recycle our own stuff. I wonder if the calcium content of brown eggshells is higher than that of their white shell counterparts?  Anyone know the answer to that?  They also say sprinkling epsom salts around the tomatoes is good, but I can't remember why.   Some years I take all the stuff from my compost bucket that sits by the sink, put it in the blender with a little water and liquefy it, then go pour it on the gardens. But-some years I am way too lazy to take the time to do that regularly. I usually plant lots of marigolds and nasturtiums around the garden beds too, and I still haven't done that. One year I interplanted zinnias, marigolds and something else all through my garden was beautiful! I am a big believer in companion planting.

 I woke up with a stiff neck and have just soaked myself in IcyHot.'s an old earthquake indicator when I lived on the west coast...I could almsot predict quakes within a few hours, and sometimes days if they were really big ones coming. My body reacts to the changes in the magnetic field, the experts tell me. It makes me feel like a circus

  After 3 days in the ICU, MissB is home again. She reacted horribly to the stress of being out of her familiar environment...turned into a little monster. We had to sit with her, and I couldn't believe they let us be there around the clock, but I guess they couldn't deal with her  either.  She was eerily calm after coming home and being with her dog and kitties again.  She confided to me that she didn't know what happened or where she was, but she was never leaving her house again. Bless her heart. She was swearing and ripping the cardiac monitor leads off every 10 minutes.  She got mad as hell when the doctor wouldn't let her come home the first day.  lol  Being a part of all this sure makes me want to do whatever I possibly can to take care of my health and not take this path.  My own parents didn't live long enough to go through this Altzheimers/dementia stuff...I have a lot of friends who are trying to care for elderly parents with it, and it is heartbreaking. I always tell my son, if I live long enough to get like this--just set me out on an ice flow and give me a shove.  They say there are things you can do...learning new things, crosswod puzzles, stuff like that that continually makes new grooves in your brain and opens new neuron networks I guess.  I may just learn to crochet

  Well, I'm going to finish putting groceries away and maybe make a pan of brownies. Then I'm gonna eat the rest of that salad for my lunch and maybe even take a little catnap before I have to head down the road. It's a sunny 86 degrees today...but supposed to rain again tomorrow (on my day off, naturally).  Sigh....oh well. There's no going up against Mother Nature...that hussy wins every time.  SO I get to sit back and accept it all....


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rain temps...

 Have an abundance of eggs again, so I'll be making things like this yummy quiche and devilled eggs and things of this sort to get them used up. I have a lot of spinach and herbs ready in the garden, so it will be a delightful veggie quiche, with all manner of odds and ends in it..

  Had a rough day yesterday with the Altzheimers patient in the ICU...she's furious at being there and they are doing lots of tests and she feels violated and scared and it's been just awful. Thing is, she demanded to be taken, by ambulance, to the ER on Sunday night, but doesn't remember any of it, of course. They are allowing us to be there with her around the clock , thinking it will help her, but I don't know...they think she is having gastric bleeding and today will do a colonoscopy to find out.  You can imagine how much fun it's been so far, with her jailers trying to force her to drink a gallon of that sodium bicarb/electrolyte stuff they make you drink to take that test.  I am weary.

  It's thundering out there...the sort of rolling thunder that you don't associate with an actual storm. A soft rain falling, as the Irish say. It was storming all night, I woke up at 4 AM to lightning and pouring rain and jumped out of bed to close windows. There are only 2 windows where the rain actually comes in--one over my sink and one in our bedroom. I had already closed down the one in the office here, because it actually got cold in here last night as I was on the computer and listening to my new John Prine and Joan Baez cds that came in the mail. At any rate, today feels like a chili or hearty soup day, more than a quiche and salad day.  lol

  I had a flashback melancholy outburst last night in here, listening to all that old music. Late 60's and early 70's...thinking about my life and the "girl I used to be". Thinking about lost loves and thrown away lives and all the flotsam and jetsam that goes with the woulda, coulda, shoulda's.  Joan singing "Jesse"...John singing "Hello in there"...remembering the youthful energy I had for protesting and marching and trying to make a difference in the world. And then Louisey posts about the DeepGreenResistance this morning and I am undone. **From DGR...."So while DGR is about fighting back, in the end this movement is about love. The songbirds and the salmon need your heart, no matter how weary, because even a broken heart is still made of love. They need your heart because they are disappearing, slipping into that longest night of extinction, and the resistance is nowhere in sight. We will have to build that resistance from whatever comes to hand: whispers and prayers, history and dreams, from our bravest words and braver actions. It will be hard, there will be a cost, and in too many implacable dawns it will seem impossible. But we will have to do it anyway. So gather your heart and join with every living being. With love as our First Cause, how can we fail?" 

And still...every now and then I see sparks of the ideology and passion I once had for things like this. Before I got old and gave up. And I still believe in saving the planet, and I still do small things...but I am very afraid that sometimes I fall into that lazy, it's no use anyway-place.  Getting on towards 60, I probably have a lot less to lose than ever before in my terms of..what?  I don't even know what I'm talking about. Trying to keep my focus on my own little piece of ground and at least save my own ass, even if I can't save the world. Doing small things with great love, I tell myself.  shit.

  Well. This is not the direction I intended for the blog to go this morning. Funny how that happens. Funny how the older I get and the more comfortable I get in my own skin, the more important things seem. Not more important than checking on the chickens in the rain, and I guiess I'd better get out there and maybe get this computer turned off, as the sturm und drang seems to be getting more violent by the minute.

  Later daze, kids....


Monday, June 13, 2011

Rainy days and Mondays

 Years ago (and I'm sure I still have it somewhere, tucked away in a box or an old book)  I had a fortune cookie fortune that read  "THERE IS NO FAILURE: ONLY LESSONS."  I try to carry that in my heart all the time. It changes my attitude, it calms my anxiety, and it gives me the courage to try new things. Sometimes things work, and sometimes they don't. And then you just move on to the next thing. (And those are my inspirational words for the day!  LOL)

  It has been a busy weekend and I am tired. MissB wound up in the ER last night, her blood quantities are very low, which means that she's bleeding somewhere, but she says she's never felt better.  lol  When the ambulance was on it's way, she said--get my comb and lipstick. I never leave the house without my lipstick on !! lol  She's in the ICU and getting transfusions last night and today.  I think she's only in the ICU because she's 82 and they want her constantly monitored. And what the hell--it costs more.   (I know, I know...I am a bit jaded when it comes to the medical systems in this country). It all happened right after my shift...she hadn't been feeling well, but wasn't anything that hasn't been going on for a few days...tired and aching and pain in her hip. She suddenly started having severe cramping of her legs..and she went. A good thing they did.

  The Irishman and I had a lovely Chinese dinner out for our anniversary. We were going to make the drive down for the Thai but decided that we need to watch our $$ a little since it cost over 400 dollars to fix my car on Thursday. I nearly fainted. That brings the grand total for car/truck repairs in the past 3 weeks to over 700 dollars.  He has a family reunion in Wisconsin to go to the end of the month and so we just made the 17 mile drive to Edwardsville for some good food.  The Thai restraunt is almost 50 miles away.

  Sunday I went to a meeting in the morning and helped a dear friend celebrate 37 years of sobriety...I was 37 when I got sober. And I announced that it was my 21st birthday yesterday as well and that I was glad to be there. Alcoholics are a giddy lot once they stop drinking.  lol  It's not about the booze. I suspect that even when we're still drunk, we know it's not about the booze. It's that second chance, it's overs, it's one more reprieve.  To try and right the wrongs and relearn things and maybe hell, even learn things for the first time. To look at and admit my part in all the things that went wrong in my life, and stop blaming anyone else (or the whole world) for all the bad things that came down the pipe. To learn to form partnerships with other people.  To understand that we're not alone, that there's a different way to do everything if we'll just give it a try. Without the liquid courage.  To stand in the sunlight after being held prisoner by the bottle for so many years...when the only solution I had/knew for anything was to get drunk, to get high, to obliterate any shred of fear I had.  At least that's what I thought.  And all that has changed. And it started to change quickly, thank goodness. Or now, 21 years later, I probably would be dead.

  I need to be working on the canning booklet/instructions/reading list for my upcoming workshop, but I've been procrastinating like crazy. Not sure why...want to chalk it up to LAZY. But, this time of year is always so busy with getting the gardens in and everything that goes with it. Maybe BUSY is better than LAZY ???  lol

  Okay...I am going out to lunch today with a friend and have to stop by MissB's and take some Kibbles and Bits over to her neighbor who is dogsitting. She called this morning saying she is worried...the little guy is not eating anything...I'll go by and see him and sit for a minute before I head for lunch.

  Maybe I'll get some work done on the booklet today too. At least get it started so I don't feel like such a wank. I need to go look in the freezer and find something to make for supper that isn't chicken.
Then I'll quickly shower and get on the road. It's almost 10 o'clock now, so it is time to get a move on.

  Have a loverly day y'all.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm having mini Oreos for THERE!

  The first cherries of the year. If we don't get the netting over the tree, they will be the last damn cherries of the year too. The birds are in LOVE with these things!

   Yesterday I mowed the front and side yards of our 95+ degree weather. Nearly keeled over. But it had to be done and it is supposed to rain the next 3 days, which would make the already ankle high grass (from a weeks worth of heat) impossible to mow. A friend of mine commented that he was 15 years younger than me and a runner...and HE wouldn't be mowing in weather like this.  lol  I smartly retorted that , while he may be a runner and 15 years younger, I am a woman, and we just do what HAS to be done.

  But I still have the back to do this morning...sigh. The dew was heavy last night and it is very wet out there (I checked).  While I DO want my grass mowed, I do NOT want my leg broken. So...I'll wait a bit longer.  I also have some parsley and cilantro seedlings that have miraculously survived in little peat cubes, so I need to find a spot and get those in the ground today too. AND I need to go buy cat litter (which I forgot when I bought groceries a few days ago) and I may go to Old Navy to buy some India print cotton dresses. I've been looking everywhere for them --you know--the ones we used to wear 35 years ago??  I've looked online, I've looked in a few thrift stores...and last night I saw an Old Navy commercial on tv, and the dresses looked close enough, and reasonably priced, which is more than I can say for the ones I found online. Sigh....if I went into the city I could probably find some...but that would entail driving and risking my life and sanity in St Louis. Yesterday there were 7 murders and 2 carjackings on the 5 o'clock news from there. Think I'll stay home, thanks.

  It's much safer out here on Honeysuckle Hill. And oh so peaceful now that the damn cicadas are winding down their courtships.

  The weeds are trying to take over my garden beds that haven't been mulched yet.  The salad bed is running amok...cramped and crowded and full of yummy stuff that will make up a big part of tonights supper. Chard and lettuces and green onions and baby radishes. Yum. I need to run up the hill and buy some more bales of straw from our local farmer source and get that business ready to go when the Irishman gets home tonight. He doesn't have any idea what I've got in store for him tonight...assuming it isn't raining yet. And even if it is, maybe...might feel really good since it's gonna be about a hundred degrees again today. lol

  Sunday is my anniversary day. Sober and married. The Irishman and I set up housekeeping on this date 19 years ago, I quit killing myself  21 years ago, and we were legally married 12 years ago. That's a big deal in this little life of mine...all the way around.  Not sure what we will do. Nothing spectacular, probably dinner out. We talked about going to Red Lobster, but this morning (after my breakfast of coffee and mini oreos), I'm thinking we should make the drive down south (about 50 minutes from here) and try that Thai restraunt we saw. We haven't had any Thai food for a while, and we both love it.  We'll see....

  Well, as much as I would love to sit here reading and blogging all day long, I have a life that needs tending out there.  It's 8:30 already...I have been up for 2 hours. Looking down the hallway, I see Caylees shedded hair rolling along like tumbleweeds, stark white against the wood floors. (Didn't I JUST vacuum?????)  All the dishes from the Irishman's supper are sitting in the sink (he couldn't bring himself to clean up after himself last night and when I got home from work, I damn well wasn't doing it either. Now I have to do it today) and there's stuff needs doing. So I shall bid you all a fond adieu and totter off into the scathing heated world of the middle western countryside.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday Terwilliger

(WHAT???? That isn't even a word...)) 

  Oh hell's bells. You can tell I'm tired when I start making up words.  lol

  I have some pictures from my garden that I took this morning. Thought I'd share them with you. It was already 86 degrees by 8 AM. Yikes.  We have heat indexes of 103 and heat advisories out, telling all the old people and babies and breathing problem folks to just stay in the house, out of the heat.

 Here are some photos...

This is green beans a week ago...

Here they are now.

 Red Pontiac potatoes a week ago...

'Taters today...

It's amazing. The tomatoes are loaded with blossoms and growing like weeds, in spite of this godawful heat. We've had a heat advisory for 5 days running now...heat indexes at 102-105...and still things carry on as usual.

I'm looking out at my yard and thinking if I went now (8:30AM) I could get some mowing done before I pass out. It's a jungle out there, and we may be looking at thunderstorms the next 5 days. sigh...I would rather have rain than be able to mow, that's for sure. lol  BUT-- I need a little order in that yard too. Once it's a certain height you can barely mow it too, so there's that. Oh, the  I sure don't want heat stroke either.

 I started this last night, but I couldn't  finish I was so tired. I was in bed asleep at midnight. Plum tuckered out from the heat and the long day yesterday. I wound up grocery shopping after work, so didn't get home til about 9 PM.

  Welllllll.....the mowing isn't doing itself. I need to get started on it if I'm agonna do it. Maybe the Irishman will find it in his heart to do the back tonight if I can get the front done today.

 Let's see now...where's my long pants and knee brace?????


Monday, June 6, 2011

Home again, home again, clippety clop...

 Here's a shot from our family reunion.  We camped from Friday til Sunday and then everyone came together for the potluck doins' on Sunday noon. This is an annual event that I restarted when I was about 19 or 20...years after my grandmother had died and everything came to a grinding halt. The family quit getting together much and I decided that SOMEBODY needed to get something started again.  So, I invited them all out to my farm and we had a wonderful family day together. It has continued...even after I moved away and left the area for years. THAT is the power of family....

  Now, so many of the old ones are dead and gone...many of our parents and aunts and uncles.  More of us have moved away or stopped showing up, but we still have a prettty good crowd show up.  We had between 50 and 60 this year, and there were quite a few missing.

  I was watching all the little girls running around and playing on the swings and chasing bugs and was reminded of my own childhood, when all the cousins would come together and we would behave like wild Indians. I said to my cousin Penny--remember when that was us?? She shook her head no, and laughed.  I have 3 aunts left on my dad's side and they are getting older by the minute. The oldest one went through some serious trauma in the past couple of years and lost her daughter and her husband one right after the other. It has taken all the piss and vinegar out of her and now she is a confused old woman and it breaks my heart. She was always a rowdy and loud funny aunt. She seems to be gone.... was a good weekend away, and a dear friend cared for our critters and all was well. The end of this month is Patrick's family reunion up in northern Wisconsin, and he will go, but I probably will not. Between $$ and animals and everything, it is rare that we can both go away at the same time. And that's really okay.

  It rained here Sunday morning after temps hovering near one hundred and the garden has gone bananas. I will go out later today and take some more's fun to have the before and afters. lol  The tomatoes are loaded with blossoms and have shot up to about 3 feet tall. The beans and squash are thick and the potatoes...oh my gosh--the potatoes!!!  They have got to be strawed now, as they are huge.  I should be out there now thinning (which is the worst hardest thing for me to do!!) and weeding and putting some strings up for the peas to climb. But I am trying to recover from the weekend and catch up the laundry and clear up all the mess that comes with unloading the camping stuff.  There are ribs thawing in the microwave and I'll cook some corn on the cob and some taters and that will be supper.

  Everyone thinks I am either a genius or crazy for telling (and showing) them how to put Listerine in a spray bottle and use it to keep bugs away.  It really works--a friend told me about it, said she sprays it around her patio furniture on the deck and it keeps them away. I tried it and it really does work. I was running around spraying everybody yesterday.  The heat was crazy there, but we had the nice cool lake to play in and lots of shady trees to sit under and mostly this:  THERE WERE NO CICADAS!!!!!
 [Have I told you abou the 13 year cicada hatch that is going on?? It's like an Alfred Hitchcock movie out there. They are waning , or starting to, and the noise in the air is more like a loud hum than the screeching shrill chainsaw noise they were making trying to attract mates.]  It was an extra blessing to have no cicadas for the whole weekend.  lol

  Okay, I have lots to do before I head off to MissB's for the afternoon. I'm there from 3-8 and it's nearly 11 now. Oh, and 84 degrees, heading for 96. 

  Glad to be home in my own bed with my chooks and my critters around me. They were overjoyed to see us pull up in the drive last night. (That doesn't quite sound right. The chickens and critters are NOT in my bed). lol

  Have a great Monday all....drink lots of water and be kind.