Saturday, September 5, 2009

Yay FINALLY some produce!

Last afternoon and most of today was spent in the garden now that there is FINALLY something going on out there. This has been such a horrible year for the garden, I was really beginning to wonder if the tomatos were going to be a total bust......but, 3 days of sunshine and they proved me wrong. I forget the large variety that we planted, but I got the first real good picking from them, today's total being 38-1/2 lbs. The roma's were EVERYWHERE, and I ended up picking a total of 40-1/2 lbs of them. There are some reallllllllly close to ripe, so I'll have more to pick tomorrow morning or on Monday. (family picnic tomorrow afternoon). Lisa has the steam juicer loaded, and she'll just can pure juice to use later in other things.

I started to dig more potato's today too, and found more that had been chewed/eaten from underground. I decided to pull them all, and was really shocked to see that we lost at least 40% or more to whatever small hungry critter invaded them. Not counting the ones we have already picked, I got 60 lbs worth. Thats just sad from a total of 90 feet planted. I pulled potato after potato the size of my fist, and found them to be half eaten or more. Some were down to nothing but skins. I have no idea what kind of diggin' critter we have, but he sure ruined our potato crop for this year. I'm pretty disgusted by this mess......

I managed another 5 gallon bucket of hot wax peppers, and about another half one of jalepenos. Hopefully we can get those canned on Monday as well. With all the canning going on, we've came to the conclusion that we need more pantry space! We have a 4x8x2 and a 3x6x18 closet, both jammed. The 6x3x18" unit from Lisa's work is jammed full as well. We'll have the tomatos and the rest of the peppers with nowhere to put them, plus the strawberry and blackberry jam when we decided to get them out of the freezer and do one big batch of each. Not to mention our habit of buying lots of pasta when the store has it 10/$10, other boxed goods we buy in quantity when on sale, and the 5 gallon buckets of flour, sugar, bread flour, brown sugar, rice, and oats that stay upstairs. Luckily we never get guests for more than a weekend, cause that closet is gonna be another pantry by next weekend.

Today I got a call from the neighbor, asking I wanted any fencing. Rather than talk on the phone, I walked that 200 yards across the field. (shakin' head) He was tearing down his dog kennels, goat fence, and the chicken run I helped him build 2 months ago. Apparantly the old bitchy couple behind him (keep in mind "behind" is 150 yards or more) called the police, zoning, and his landlord non stop for a week. They complained about the hounds, the puppies,the rooster, and the "unsightly" chicken house. The police warned him about noise, zoning couldnt do squat since they have enough land, but the landlord had a fit. He told them he wanted it all gone by tomorrow, but the chickens and small house were ok. I came back for the tractor and trailer, helped him tear down everything, and loaded it up to bring home. I'll have no use for all of it, but I'll offer what I don't use to the local "urban homesteading" group that I run. He was actually more depressed about it than mad, knowing that old suburban people tend to get their way, and with him they did. Their only real reasoning behind all of the hassle they caused was "we moved here for peace and quiet". Poor old b****rds, sorry but this isn't beverly hills. They even called about the guy next to him that had 4 bags of aluminum cans behind his garage, saying that he was stacking garbage. They even cut the old fence behind the 2 houses to snoop. My neighbor fixed the fence, but declined my idea of making it electric....woos.

It makes me sick sometimes to know that people like that exist. They live to do nothing but bitch and complain about everything they don't like or agree with. D's dogs didn't hurt anyone, they just barked a bit. The puppies yapped a lot, but hey, they're puppies. The rooster crows, but it's not like its microphoned through giant speakers for gods sake. They're just old cranky people that want to make everyone as miserable as they are. Of course no one will do anything about them either,afraid of lawsuits like the whole damn country is. We had someone like this in our area when I was about 18. He called the police every time we took the dirt bikes on the road. He called the police every time we shot. One day he went too far and shot at my beagles when they ran a rabbit through a 20 foot corner of his property during a cool September day warm up run. Well........the next day he had his 1/4 acre of tomato plants somehow all appear in a pile on his porch in the middle of the night, and his "prize" ducks all somehow missing. I never did find out what happened to those ducks. *burp* :-)

Friday, September 4, 2009

I haven't written here in a while because, well, there isn't a whole lot going on.

The weather has been so odd that the garden seems to be on a bit of a standstill, though it looks like we'll be able to start picking tomato's tomorrow. The cucumbers are obviously done here, ugh. I'd like to buy some to make more pickles, but I refuse to pay 2/$1, so we'll just have to watch for a good deal on some. I'll do one last check on the sweet corn today, and it will be done as well. It was really disappointing this year. We did get around 60 ears, but most were barely 6" long. Still good eatin', but tiny. I'm sure there are more hot wax peppers to pick, and more jalepeno's. I was hoping for a good crop of green peppers, but so far we've gotten maybe 8-10, even though the plants are standing 18" tall or better. So much for a few big batches of jalepeno jelly, grrrrrr. Ah well, we'll just can more jalepeno slices and be done with it. After this picking, I may just go ahead and pull the plants. Even though I'd like to see 3 shelves full of peppers in the pantry, Lisa doesn't eat them...she's so picky lol. We decided not to pick any grapes this year since there are still around a dozen jars of pure grape juice on hand. I'm trying to get someone from my local group to come pick some, I really hate seeing them go to waste. I may take a walk around the orchard later and see how the apples are looking. If there are any worth picking, we may do another batch of applesauce again this year. That one is still up in the air. So.......hopefully this weather stays the way it is during the day for a while so we can get more done. *crossin' fingers*
Last weekend was the big wedding next door that I posted about a while ago. It was rather dull, and was actually totally cleaned up by 6pm with not a soul in sight. I did get some funny pictures though, lol. Bridesmaids all in nice dresses, and groomsmen in jeans and whatever they had handy. They DID get pictures taken on the LoBoy, then asked for trailer rides, LOL. I had the whole wedding party in the back at one time, then the bride and groom wanted me to take them by the road so they could wave at traffic. We got a few honks, a few waves, and a lotta turned heads with that "WTF?" look on their faces. It wasn't as bad as we all thought it would be, probably due to the fact that the inlaws refused to come to such a "hillbilly" event. My personal favorite in the pics below would be the boutineere the grooms dad has on his suspenders, lol.

We had friends from southern Ohio in for the weekend too. I wanted them to witness this blessed event, plus I just like having them around. We haven't seen them since the annual camping trip back in June, so it was great to have them here. They know I've been layed off so long and they also know that our water heater had been out for 2 months. They left on Sunday around noon, talking about all they had to do back home on the farm, so we shook hands, hugged, and they pulled out. About a half hour later, I was a little tired and decided I needed a nap. I no sooner got my head on the pillow when I heard his truck. There is no mistaking the sound of that new F350 4wd diesel he just bought. I figured they forgot something and walked to the door, only to see him pushing a new 60 gallon water heater out of the back of his truck. I opened the door to ask him what the hell he was doing, and all I get is "happy birthday". I *HATE* gifts, especially expensive ones. I'm a big talker, but when it comes to gifts, I embarras easy, and this one had me REALLY embarrassed. Of course, they refused to take it back, no matter how much I whined and complained. They came back in the house, since of course the 'farm work" excuse was just a reason to leave and go find Home Depot. He went to the gas station, found the first person he saw, and asked where one was. It was an expensive gift, one which I'm still not comfortable with, but I have to accept it. I think that I'm just so used to not having many friends that I forget what real friends are. All he said the whole time was "You'd do the same for us". Ben and Terry, love ya, you're great friends.
So.....guess what I did on Monday? LOL yep,replaced the water heater. The old one was so corroded inside that it wouldn't comletely drain, so I had to haul it out with around 30 gallons still in it. I wish I would have watched the guy who installed it more carefully, but we were in the middle of moving here and just hired someone and let them do their thing. NO unions, NO shutoff valves.......arrrgghhhhh!!!!!! I had to shut the water off to the whole house and drain it so I could solder on valves before attaching the new one. I had to get new steel vent pipe for it, since the old one had an automatic fan and used 2" pvc pipe for exaust.........NOT fun at all. But, its in and working just fine and the old one is next door in the neighbors scrap pile. I could NEVER be a plumber!! I can sweat copper no problem, but I hate working with small pipe in cramped quarters. Give me a big open warehouse and 21 foot pieces of 4" steel pipe anyday over this!!!
I'm still working on getting things together to start squirrel hunting. I need to stop at the gunshop and price a sling kit for at least one of the .22 rifles and get that installed. License went up to $19, and of course I'll need that too. Both will probably have to wait until the next check comes in since I have to pay my cell phone this weekend, and had to get my drivers license AND plates renewed this week. UGH that little stuff always adds up. I hate knowing that I just paid $75 for a 1x2 inch sticker and a piece of plastic with my picture on it.
It's time to head out now and take Lisa to work, then go get more sale groceries to restock the pantries. Did I ever mention that I hate grocery shopping?????????????????

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