Saturday, August 29, 2015

More Catching Up

Yesterday was another perfect day weather-wise.

The meter was replaced on the generator so we should be set in case of another outage.
I did not go back outside to work after lunch.

I was ordered not to overdo by my husband and my Sis. It didn't take much persuasion!

We have had some interesting things happen very close together. First the storm, then the generator troubles, AC failed completely and all the storm debris down.  Some very nice  things happened also.

First they resurfaced our county road; all that is lacking is the painting of the edges and the center line.
It looks very good. I had just commented that it was getting pretty sad looking.

Next they replaced our utility pole and worked on the transformer out by the road.
I guess this was just routine maintenance. Our hookup wasn't quite as direct as the new poles on the side of the road. We had lines going to three sets of sheds, the pole light and then the box that controls the automatic generator, It took 5 men three hours. It is a much cleaner look. They said the generator man should have done a more direct route with just one box; we had two. Also said the transformer wasn't facing the right direction. We think it was replaced back during the ll day outage of our ice storm and was handled by a lovely group from the state of Louisiana. I did enjoy hearing them talk. They mentioned that their rules and setups were not the same as ours in Missouri.

I snuck a few shots of the men at work:

They had 3 big trucks here and drove where ere they pleased! I didn't really care.


Coffee Press coffee. I have always been curious about this method of making  coffee, so I bit the dust and spent a little money.
I used Honduran beans (SIL's influence) and a French press from Amazon (of course).
It is a bit messy but does make very good coffee with no bitter taste at all. I don't make it often.  This was one of my little unnecessary sidelines in the kitchen.  I am still pondering the grinding of wheat berries.  What is stopping me there is where on earth would I store things.  I have become a little 'gadget' oriented in my old age.......I must begin to  control that or we may have to build a new kitchen!  (just kidding about the kitchen).

From 2015-08-29
You will note it also required (I thought) an electric tea kettle......O K it wasn't required but I have read so many English novels and watched their movies and televisions series and they always make tea by plugging in the kettle. It is a bit faster than my gas range, but not a lot. None of the items were terribly expensive so I didn't feel too guilty and Max always says if you want it, get it!  He hasn't  always been this generous about my buying things............he never tells me no but makes me aware of the necessity of the item.

Outside Pictures

I haven't been paying  much attention to things for quite a while.  While I was harvesting the peppers, Max was right across from the drive from me gassing up the tractor.  I stood  up and looked around at the lush greenery and felt a slight cool breeze.  I told him it was the first time in a very long  time that I just felt good being outside (or anywhere, for that matter). Thank God for my doctor and Prednisone.

Zinnias and  Cosmos

This is the  first time that I have managed to plant both these beloved annuals.  I hope can do it again next year.


The store blew them about half way down and they haven't straightened up so I just let them be.  By now the leaves are turning bad but the blooms are still brilliant.

This is iris 'Immortality'  a very dependable rebloomer  for me.  This year it has been outstanding.  I have lost lots of blooms and buds to the blasted Japanese Beetles.  This must be their No. l favorite in my garden .  So  much that I just leave  my sprayer of Sevin sitting outside the kitchen door so I can spritz them regularly.

It still has several buds.

For some reason they don't like vincas!  Love my white Diana rose of sharon, but have never been on the vinca.  I  must remember this and plant more next year.

The cosmos have finally begun to bloom; they were  blown over too.

This is a  mix  of blooms just east of the previous picture.

This is my accidental perilla  border along the edge of the new bed where the Long Island Cheese is planted.
I finally just gave up on it and let it hide the ugliness of the row of iris there.

I took a picture of the squash that some varmint thinks is tasty.

We are now  getting eggs from the new Dominecker chickens.  We just have 5 and some  days get 5 and some days just three.
They are a happy bunch and sing whenever you go into the pen with them.

I took these pictures this morning and found two of the girls on the nest.

The Dominecker is an American Heritage breed.  They are one of the oldest breeds.  I am interested in comparing the hybrids we have had the last two times with them.  The hybrids are great; lay early and large eggs but are not long-lived.  I hope these girls are!

That green plant on the left is native green perilla and smells eactly like the dark purple one.  Indians used this as an herb. It has a  licorice smell when  handled.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A mish mash of Events

I haven't squeezed in time to actually blog but now and then I typed a Journal thing of events....I will try to rebuild and use that to catch up.

We have had about a month of "if it can happen, it does".

First a severe windstorm with 2 inches of rain in an  hour.

The 70mph winds brought down tree limbs and twisted the center out of my Red Maple tree that is several years old and took out half of my new red Locust tree that was so lush and beautiful.  During the storm, the power went off and the generator did not come on!  The neighbor got it going again and then..........the air conditioner stopped.  It literally exploded and blew Freon out when the serviceman came out.  This, of course, was on a Saturday.  He promised to fix us Monday......didn't make it; Tuesday, the same.  We got up to 87° in the house.  We used two fans in the bedroom so weren't too miserable at night.  A record heat was recorded for one of those days.  Finally Wednesday he came afternoon and worked until ll pm. to get us up and running again.  Not many people will do that.  They pack up at 5 and come the next day but this boy (31years old) has worked on this ancient AC for a few years now and we are very happy with his work.  Note:  of course, now that the AC is going, we are having an unusual cool spell!

Hay is all done and paid for.  So two down and holding.

We are getting sporadic rains now which are very welcome."

I think that catches up except for the normal daily chores for the farm.


We are in a cooler period, mid 50's this morning.

I mowed the yard yesterday afternoon.  It had rained in the morning so I caught a break with dry grass.  It has been hard to do that lately.

I still need to mow  around the shop and milk parlor.  DH brush hogged one of the fields. 

Seems like one of us is on a mower full time.  This has been the greenest August we can remember!

Today will be a day of controlling weeds in places that can't be mowed.  I will be using herbicide.  There are no bees so I won't feel so bad using it.  This will be grasses and tall woody weeds.

Trimming still awaits.


The  only above and beyond cooking has been peaches.  A varmint stripped our trees; also got the honey pears! We suspect a raccoon.

We went to a local orchard and bought 3/4 bushel of peaches from the Missouri boot heel which is where most Missouri peaches come from.  They were not the most flavorful peaches but they are adequate.

I froze 11 quarts and made two batches of jam.  They made particularly pretty and tasty jam because the the red around the stone.
(Started again, Friday 8/28/15)

Just a personal note here.  I have had a really bad flare up of polymyalgia rheumatica and finally when it sank into my brain that was the problem, I gave in and saw the rheumatologist.  They took me in within  two days of the  call and I am back on Prednisone.  This is a near miracle drug for PR and works in just a  few hours for me.  I went  from needing help getting into and out of the car and truck and yelling in pain when I did get up to making a pound cake yesterday evening around 5 pm.  My first dose was at ll am that morning.  The doctor told me  to walk across the exam room for him.  Then he said what a change from last visit; I walked like an old  woman.  He clapped his hands over his mouth grinning.  I said 'Doctor, I am  an old woman!'.  We both had a laugh.  Today was even better.  I made the bed, folded a load of laundry, cooked  breakfast, cleaned up dthe kitchen and our bathroom..........the went outside and chopped a few tree sized poke bushes and harvested the peppers and eggplants......cooked lunch and am now typing.  For  me, that is a Wow! day.  I have really felt bad for a couple of months but just couldn't seem to realize what my problem is.  Along with the muscle and joint aches, you have  general malaise and that old bugaboo 'depression'.  Enough said.  You might keep these symptoms in mind if you have something the doctors can't seem to diagnose.  Two simple blood tests will give them a good clue. A sed rate and a c-reactive protein test.

Now back to  normal life:

Fruit from local orchards:

The Gala apples we got were almost tasteless.   I bought some Jonathon's at an orchard at Marionville, Mo. and they were good but extremely tart!  Jonathons are my favorite for pies and fried apples, in fact, for lunch we  had sausage and fried apples and potatoes.  Now that is a real down-home meal Mom made but she also had gravy and biscuits with it.


Harvest of peppers and eggplants

Note:  I also raided the freezer for a few days of meat that is in the plastic bag and drove to the mail box (across the road)  for  DH's paper.

I may toss most of the egg plants.....but I want to try eggplant parmesan  first.  The peppers are a mix of Jalapenos, yellow, red and green cheese, Maule red and Anaheims.   I believe to may have overdone the pepper thing!  Will be making lots of sweet Jalapeno relish.

I planted one hill (5 seeds)  of  Long Island  Cheese Squash/Pumpkin in the large bed in front of the propane tank.  It is maybe 25 feet wide and the LIC squash has covered it from one side to the next!  I see a varmint has already been nibbling on one of them! 

Finally a very large sunflower gift from the birds.  They haven't begun seriously attacking it yet.  I think it hangs over too much.

Enough  for today.  I took a few more pictures but  will post later.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Hay is Done!

Well, all but removing it from the field back to the hay lot.   We have that done too.  Rains are now predicted and cruel and selfish person that I am,  I want it to rain.... I know others are still waiting for their hay harvest.....but my ground is cracking open in spots.  I even drug out the hose and watered some over the weekend.

I had company over the weekend so didn't do anything outside.  We did make home-made ice cream again and used the White Mountain electric freezer that was a gift from MIL.  I wouldn't pay that price for one but I must say it was worth every penny  (of her money).  It doesn't bog down and freezes evenly all the way down in about 25 minutes.  My whole family loves Mom's old recipe for ice cream.  The don't want half and half, heavy cream or cooked custard, just her old time Milnot recipe.

I have finally sprayed my front ditch and Max is right, it looks bad, but I didn't want another year of crabgrass weeds setting.
I also sprayed the regrowth of Elm trees in the new chicken yard fence row.  Elms and soft maples seem to be rejuvenated by cutting them down!  I can see it will be a long-time process to keep them under control.  We have lost another chicken.....have no idea how or what.  We lock them up each night just at heavy dusk.  I couldn't believe we finally caught a raccoon in the trap and my husband took it back on the farm and released it.  He  didn't want to permanently eliminate it while our granddaughter was here!  I would have in a heartbeat if I had know about it beforehand.  It was probably back by evening.

I have had a few cucumbers and need to harvest my patch of peppers today.  I am letting the beans set seeds and dry on the vine  for next year.  Tomatoes are still very sorry.
Continued on 8/6/2015:
I  didn't get the peppers harvest, but I did get some serious lopping done.  The culprits seem to be ash tree, elm tree (several varieties, and lambs quarter and poke.  Now I need to use the string trimmer.

We got a welcome rain yesterday; near an inch.  I had already been watering some so it was very welcome here.

Today is extremely hot and humid so I will do nothing outside.  The weeds will wait.


I am on another bread adventure. I read Chickens in the Road blog pretty regularly and enjoy it. She is a professional writer and blogger.  She holds seminars at her farm in West Virginia and if I lived closer I would attend just for fun.

Her latest was about Tudor Biscuits.  This is a southern thing and was completely new to me.  Well, to make a long story short, I did some research and found that the brand Lily (flour) is used by lots of southerners.  I have seen it a few times here, but not at the stores I use.  I ordered lots of flour from Amazon and some from Walmart.  My local stores haven't been carrying King Arthur's white whole wheat flour lately so I ordered it too.  Free shipping and good prices so we will see how it works out.  I will be trying the new biscuit recipe using self-rising Lily flour and will post the experience when I do.

This has also peaked my interest once again in a grinder for flour.....DH is still dragging his heels on this one.....he may be right.

Later today I will attempt my first ever blueberry pie....let you know how that goes (maybe, if it goes well==I recently had a flop of the worst order on French bread due to my negligence.  DH wanted me to post pictures......I refused!) 

Miscellaneous Pictures

They  are working in pairs now:

and I think this is the heirloom rose, Reine Des Violette


The zinnias are still going strong but are getting a leaf disease as usual,  I am leaving some for seeds which will also not look pretty,

I thought I had killed  this rose of sharon  when I accidentally sprayed with herbicide instead of Sevin, but it has returned, maybe not in full glory, but the blooms are the same.

I am heading to the kitchen.......