Saturday, July 28, 2012

Events and changes

I've noticed an apathy towards blogging lately; largely due to a lack of anything new happening (hot and dry over and over and over again). Today, for the first time in over a month we got measurable rain! Only 0.15" but it rained! It was such a gentle rain that none was wasted in run off; instead, every drop was soaked in immediately.

Thanks to google I found a method to deal with the raccoon predators dining on fresh chicken daily. I can report that it works and if any reader needs more information please ask in the comments.

Drought has caused some extra problems here. One thing I've never seen before is an increase in the chemical warfare the black walnut trees are engaged in; normally they spit out growth inhibitors in the spring but this year it's gotten worse along with the drought. I can't even use my clothesline because it leaves sticky streaks on the laundry. The other immediate affect is the failure of any of my squash plants to set fruit after blossoming. This is very disappointing.

On the positive side: the cucumbers are producing fairly well. Today I made 5 pints of bread and butter pickles. These I made for my parents: I prefer dill and my son is 'meh' about any pickles.

Therapy continues on my shoulder. Early days, yet.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Trying out the camera

I recently splurged on a new camera lens for distant photos (on sale of course) and a very cheap macro attachment to take close ups. Lots of fun for experimenting with.


Saturday, July 14, 2012


I've had off and on shoulder aches and pains for quite awhile but last weekend it escalated. Suddenly I was unable to raise my right arm and the pain was bad. Tuesday I saw the doctor and he scheduled an MRI and x-ray. The results came in as calcified tendinitis and a torn tendon. I'll be seeing a specialist next week to discuss options.

The good news: there are many things I can do with my left arm only that I never tried before like hanging up laundry.

The bad news: my right arm is almost completely immobilized due to pain now. It aches even when not in use. This is also going to wipe out my savings. I'm feeling pretty useless.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chicken news

Something has been eating the chickens at the farm (probably raccoons) so Tuesday night we went over and caught seven that look likely to be hens. They've now joined my little flock. I was always planning on this, just not quite this soon.

Lion - in front - is as large as the adult hens already.

Zen coming over to say hello.

The little bearded bird is Sherlock - master of disguise.


New kids stick together.

Lion, Smoke, Bear, and Zen are all offspring of Frodo and my older hens. Sherlock and the Ninja Twins (all black pair) came from the mail order chicks. There are a few others I'll be bringing over soon, two of the Duchess' daughters among them.

It's interesting that out of the eight hatching eggs from Frodo, at least six are hens. But his father, Duke, produced 100% roosters.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


There was a recent article on the local news site about how people spend an average of $125,000 on clothes in a lifetime. The reporter interviewed a clothes store owner who thought the figure was low. The obvious reason is that most people don't buy their clothes at an expensive 'boutique' type shop. Most can't afford that lifestyle.

Oddly enough, if it was a priority, I could shop in places like that...but why would I want to? I spend maybe $200 a year (probably less) to replace work clothes that get ratty and worn. Nobody expects engineers to be fashionable which is great because, honestly, I think the young women who do wear the latest styles look rather trashy.

What bothers me the most is the waste. So much money, time and resources wasted on clothes and shoes that are rarely practical and are treated almost as disposable. Often compounding the problem is the debt that is incurred for something so very transitory. Reading the article made me ashamed to be part of a culture/country that has its priorities so messed up.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

The kitty saga
 My parents no longer have any cats of their own. What they do have are neighbors. For some reason the cats love hanging out at the farm. This litter is so adorable the neighbor keeps fetching them home and mama cat turns around and brings them back over.


What's all the fuss about kittens?

How high?
The old saying is that the corn should be knee high by the fourth of July. This year it's over six feet high. 

Nom nom
The first peas!

Monday, July 2, 2012

My mom had this idea to replant the base of leeks so I'm going to try putting these in the polytunnel. Maybe they will seed out.

Midday wilt. My part ends with the broccoli row.

Estelle having a dust bath.

Frodo still handsome.

Staying in the shade

Still growing

Dry as ever

A splash of color
I got up early to do some weeding this morning. I've also stopped using the rain barrels from now on; there's no sign of when they will get filled again and I need some for emergency use. Last week the town of Salem had a problem with their water supply and if they hadn't stopped using it the risk was that the tower would be drained and pipes would have collapsed from lack of pressure. Who knows how long it would have taken to fix that mess! The worst part of this heat wave is that there is no room for error - miss a day watering and the garden would likely be beyond recovery.

Even my hens are protesting the weather...they've stopped laying.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I'm melting!

At least it feels that way! We continue very hot and dry, yet still humid. I had to wait for the sun to move behind the house before I could water but even though it wasn't as hot I'm drenched from the humidity and no breeze. There is so much I'd like to be doing outside but feel as trapped by the weather as if it were extreme cold.