Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rain and Fog

We ended the last rainy episode with 2.75 inches.  This morning is so humid but overcast...very, very foggy.

This is looking east where we  usually can see the neighbor's big red barn....not so this morning.

I hadn't been to the garden since the girls came down (last Tuesday) and knew I had better check things out yesterday morning.  I had left onions 'drying' on the mulch.  The tops were getting slimy so we pulled the rest, ready or not, and hauled them over  to the east sheds (in above picture). We spread them out over the flat bed trailer and hope they will dry before rotting!

I also harvested the tomatoes (our first nice haul), the squash and the pitiful eggplant that I will never plant again.  I pulled a pepper or two for cooking with the squash.

I also pulled a dead summer squash plant.  The butternuts are taking over the west end of the garden and look like I will have enough to last a lifetime......unless the squash bugs attack.

The sweet corn is almost ready.  Probably be just enough to us to eat fresh.

It began showering heavily before we finished; we both were soaked and had to change completely when we came in.

My next project in the garden is to mow down (using the string trimmer) the onion row weeds.  It will be too wet to till for some time.  They are also promising more rain beginning tomorrow.....We now have 33 inches for the year and the total for the year last year was just 31 inches.....we are well ahead.

Pictures of the Farm

The girls took picture when they did the ATV tour so I thought I would post some.  These are places I haven't been in ages.

This is a pond  on the old farm (the acres we kept when we bought the farm we now live on).
Sugar had a very good time!

The same pond,

I think this leads into the 7 acre part of the old farm, but not sure.

About 2 acres of the above 7 is wooded,

More to follow.

Also a new experience for me......the girls talked me into it....sort IPod.  More on that later.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our Granddaughter

Duhhhh! I forgot to say our girl is the one in the back.  

Company Is Gone - Life back to Normal

I can't believe I am beginning this post by saying we got more  rain!  2.75 inches overnight.  We got l.5 inches when our granddaughter was here.  This surely sets a July record.  The temperature is still cooler than normal too.

I haven't been in the garden for a week and noticed as I walked by that the tomatoes have reached past the top of the cattle panel and have fallen over.  They may just have to stay that way if I can't tie them up to the top of the panel again.  I see I have some ripe ones hanging.  I need to pull the rest of the onions before they begin rotting in the ground and I bet the summer squash  are as big as logs now.

For some strange reason the pole beans aren't looking good; even dying in places.  I will start with new seeds next  year and plant only one  kind.  I think these hybridized with Half Runners from last year....and it wasn't a good cross.

We  have trapped no more varmints...but the traps are still in place.


We had our 18 year-old granddaughter and her almost 20-year old friend with us until Saturday morning around 9 AM.  They stayed over another day.  Registration was  completed and she has her classes all scheduled.  That took one full day and one half day.

We tried our best to get in all the foods she wanted and wanted her friend to taste.  I made pizza, home-made ice cream, cheesecake, home-made bread.  We couldn't squeeze in cinnamon rolls so maybe we will do that the next time.  Thankfully, all  recipes turned out well.  Usually when I am trying so hard, I have a flop or two.  She was disappointed we  were drinking store-bought milk.  I reminded her Willow is always dry this time of year.....and the Jersey heifer hasn't calved yet.  I am still not sure about her being pg  or when she is due.

They got to take the ATV and tour the farm for a couple of hours one evening after it cooled down.  Of course, she wants  us to get her a horse!  I didn't succumb to that one.  However,  they met our neighbor boy who told her  he has horses......

Sugar loved having  them!  I am posting this one because they aren't readily identified....not sure about showing pictures of family.  I forgot to say our girl is the one in the  back!

I have spent these last two days tidying up.  DH has laundered a lot of towels....and bedding.  I have yet to clean the guest bathroom and  then all will be back to normal except cleaner  than usual.  That won't last long......until the next guests arrive.

Having the girls brought back memories of when our two were that did we ever live through it???? I wish I could bottle  their energy. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

The big news from my part of the world,  southwest Missouri, is that we have had two nice rains.  The last one was 2 inches over two days.  What a blessing!  Getting rain after cutting the hay fields is a  very good thing.  I am taking responsibility for this one......once again I had watered almost all day the day before! 

The other news is we trapped two of the varmints that were getting our chickens, raccoons.  They also had made a small  attack on the sweet corn patch.  Didn't get anything last night but we will keep the traps baited and see what happens.  I hope we can remember to set the camera up tonight.

I have spent the day cleaning and baking bread. I made a 6 cup batch of hamburger and hotdog buns and a l0  cup recipe of French Bread.  That should tide us over.

Our 18 year old granddaughter is going to spend three days with us beginning tomorrow.  She has to do something at MSU and will also bring down a load of her stuff for the dorm.  We are looking forward to that!


This is the cluster of hibiscus seedlings that I was hoping would have more than just the pale pink.....and it does.

Hey, Kris, I did get your golden agastache!  In fact I had three seedlings and chopped  them all but this one before it hit me what it was.

This is the Grass Bed....a long shot so you can't see the very tall weeds,

and I had one  glad return in the humming bird bed.  I wonder if that is a Japanese Beetle on it?

I thought all my Tiger Lilies had gone but I see a few in various beds,

It is hard to believe this is a lawn in July in our area,

I have seen them brown and crisp by now.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I had a very productive day yesterday.  I cleaned (once again) the large bed around the propane tank.  There must be a permanent answer to this.  I am thinking reduce the bed by at least half and mulch heavily with the wood chips.  I would eliminate it entirely but I can't bear to lose the iris, daylilies, peonies, rudbeckia, salvia and all those self-seeded poppies.  I need help!  Cutting back is hard to do!

I had great plans  to get out early this morning.  Then our son called....that takes priority over all else.  I hadn't talked with him in a long while.  An hour later I started breakfast....DH was finishing up when our hay man knocked on the back door.  He had fixed the chainsaw (no charge), just cleaned the carburetor and replaced with fresh gasoline and it starts on first pull.    We always get into long conversations when he comes. Some time later we went back inside to finish breakfast.  Phone rang again; It was our daughter.  We  didn't talk quite as long since we talk several times a week.  By now It was around 9 AM and I was completely out of the notion of outside work.

Ergo, I did none.

I am not sure when I squeezed in the pictures....probably before I started breakfast??? don't know.


Not much is happening in the Humming Bird Bed but the salvia from Park Seed.

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and the ageratum 'Leilani', also from Park.

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This is the path between the new shrub border in the front of the house and the foundation beds.  I began this border because we know we will eventually loose the old Silver Maple trees along the road .  It needs a few more shrubs to fill in and a some more years but I am happy how it is progressing.  If  I do any flowers it will be just some easy care ones here and there.

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Next I toured the backyard garden,

This is the monster hill of butternut squash....still keeping my fingers crossed about the squash bugs,

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and the middle of the squash row,

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This is looking west, showing the entire squash row in the middle (also sweet potatoes), the tomato row on the left and the strawberry row on the far right.

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I am now getting bell peppers,  I still like the old California Wonders better.  These may be Karma.  They certainly are not the 6x4 inch peppers touted in the catalog!

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Still waiting on a ripe tomato,

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

Remember that old song?  Well it sort of describes me.  I was not really sick but had a sinus infection least that is what I am calling it.  I had it about 4 days before I realized it was getting better.  The enlarged sinus rested on my upper right jaw teeth and the pain was bad and constant.  I hit the Urgent Care Clinic by 7:30 Monday a week ago.  I just finished 10 days of antibiotics.  I felt bad the whole time I was on them.....ykkkkk!  At last I finished them and am now waiting for my digestive system to return to normal.

It was been very hot and very dry here.  Finally three days ago we got a very nice 2 inch rain (right after I had soaked things  heavily!). Today is supposed to be slightly cooler and less humid.  I hope to actually get something done outside.

The garden is looking very promising.  I have small beans set on the pole bean  vines; lots of large green tomatoes, harvested l bell pepper, squash are still looking good and are blooming.  If nothing befalls them (like squash bugs), I can supply the entire county!  Onions are ready to pull and I have harvested my small crop of volunteer garlic.  The corn patch looks funny with three different plantings all together; some very tall and tasseling, some 18 inches and some 5 inches....won't do that again.

As soon as I clear the onion row I will till.  I vow to not let weeds take over like I usually do.


This is the bed outside the kitchen window.  From left to right is lots of seedling hibiscus moscheutos (swamp mallow), Endless Summer Hydrangea and nandina domestica.  I hope I have more colors in the hibiscus than just this one,

It has been so long since I posted, I may show duplicate pictures; just disregard please.

This is the corner with the hibiscus.  There seem to be many different stalks coming up.  I don't know if it is from runners or just dropped seeds...time will tell I guess.  I have never had them totally fill this spot though.


Four O'clocks are blooming.  The Japanese beetles that were feasting on them have been absent for a week now.  This is one of their favorite plants and some use it as a sacrifice to the rascals.

For  once, that is not weeds showing with the yellow one; it is a grass, eragrostis 'Windancer' that self seeds like crazy and did so here.

This is the vitex 'Shoal Creek' that I limbed into a tree form so the things below it could get some light.  I have since harvested the garlic that grew right at the base.  You can drop a bulb of garlic in a favorite spot and it seeks to bury itself and reproduce. I have these and some I thought I had tossed into the trash can.  They missed and grew on to give me some nice bulbs this year.  That was good since I didn't plant any last fall.

 These next two are 'Strawberry Fields' gomphrena that self seeded from last year or the year before; who knew?

There are 3 or 4 plants here.  I hope they do it again!

Enough for now.