Saturday, June 24, 2017

Another Trip to Town

We were hoping we were through with running to town for errands or anything else.  We don't count our little trips to Willard which is about 5 miles.

But we received a call regarding Sylvia's estate that required Max's signature so off we went.  While we were waiting in the office, a small shower came up.  By the time we left it turned into a full-blown gale with winds and rain so heavy some were pulling off the streets because visibility was so poor.
We kept on trucking but had problems reading street names for our turns....We passed by a car wash that we later heard  lost their roof to a neighbor's house behind them.  Could have happened as we drove by since we were getting pummeled with leaves and twigs at the same time.  I even remember the street name as we drove by since I knew we were getting very close to our turn.

Good news though we got about an inch of rain at home and no damage that we have found so far.

Inside  Work:

This morning I am baking.....2 loaves of Oatmeal Sandwich Bread and a pan of cinnamon rolls.

Our daughter and family are coming down tomorrow to pick up their cats (yes!) that we have been babysitting for three weeks.  I always try to have her at least one loaf of their favorite bread ready.  I might even share the  sweet rolls.........

pics to follow:

Both are done.

This is King Arthur's Toasting and Sandwich Bread.  I doubled the recipe. 

That is the sweet rolls rising in the container to the left.

This recipe is the one from Thibault's Table and originally from Joy of Cooking book.  I made them smaller this time.

I have to fess up.  I have been using flour from an Amish store in Buffalo.  It is in bulk and so much cheaper I am shocked.  They don't carry bread flour, but I have been using l cup of the high gluten flour in the recipes  and their Pollyanna Flour (an unbleached white flour)and all else the same.  I am very happy with the results.  I still believe firmly in King Arthur's flours and will try them again to do a test. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Day in My Life

Yesterday was a busy one....errand day always is!  It is also  my least favorite way to spend  the day.

Yesterday was our hottest so far at 92° and very humid. 


After several delays due to breakdowns and rain, they finally finished this y ear's hay crop.  The last 18 acres got rained on but will be  usable.  He has yet to remove the bales from the field for us.

Brush-hogging is coming along with about 40 acres yet to do.  Young man is coming this evening to begin on that.

I have been very impressed with the re-growth in the cut fields.  I have actually be doing my 'used to do' work of spraying fence rows and actually getting out of the yard and onto the farm itself.  The east field is almost knee-deep in clovers again and could be re-cut.  We will just graze I think.  Max is finally talking about selling the cows and just buying calves to graze each spring then sell in fall before winter and hay feeding begins. I support that idea (so far).  We change our minds almost daily.

My BIL has had and is still ongoing some very serious health issues which made us start thinking very seriously about our daily farm chores.

Off the Farm

Errands began around l pm.  We had our regular grocery run, then my make-up store (Merle Norman), a farm supply store (of course) and another quick stop at a second grocery (I forgot an  item or two).  By the time  we got home we were exhausted.

Yard and Garden 

 I finally got the trimmer  started.  It seems if I follow directions, it floods the thing.  I waited some  time and tried again without priming the motor and it started right up. Be interesting  to see how it goes this morning.

I was able to do a little trimming but still have a lot to go.  Have you noticed I am not mentioning my yard crew?  That failed  as I knew  it would.  The young man who we have known forever still works for  Max and me when his time is available.  The other 'landscape specialist' (so-called) has better fish to fry. 
His method of edging is not going to be much of an improvement in my style of gardening.  I may look a little more  finished at the edges but maintenance is still required.  The permanent mulch thing isn't too successful here either.  I have very vigorous  perennial things such as violets,  lambs quarter, poke, plantain and maple tree seedlings that come up through the mulch.  I will  still keep the garden fence border mulches but will not edge it.  My best method is intensive no weeds can survive.  Makes it easy to pull out the odd one amidst the flowers.

Gardening like life is an ongoing,  changing process.  Age is making me introspective and hopefully adaptive!

A few pictures more:

This is a Texensis variety of clematis that is now growing on the ground beneath the edge of the kerria japonica. 

 This is a cheap dahlia I got from either Lowes or Walmart several years ago and leave in the ground.  (not the Japanese Beetles appreciate it too)
 My Oakleaf Hydrangea which gives me a lot of bloom over a long time in spring.  The Limelight will follow later in the summer.
 This is just to show what kind of gardener I am.  This is laughingly called the herb garden with parsley blooming. (I do save the seeds).  Note the garlic seed heads near the trash can.  They must go!
 This is to show what I mean by intensive planting.  Edge of new bed with violets,  daylilies ,sedum, and salvia  farinacea right next to a monstrous clump of flags.  A couple of roses are close behind.
 My favorite combo this year:  salvia farinacea, rudbeckia, phlox , all self seeded. 

 May have shown this yesterday, but it got included with this group moving.  A stray phlox seedling,  much paler than the rest.  That is more ss salvia in front of it and is just to the right of the rudbeckia group.

 Just loved the yellows  and blues so included it again.

All for now.  It is 6:11 am and Max is ready for his oatmeal.

Have a wonderful day.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Daylilies Survive

I have been trying  to keep  up with my  favorite blogs but haven't attempted to post.  My friend down south
who blogs as Seed Scatterer
did a post dedicated  to her daylilies.  So, I am copying her idea and  showing mine.  I can even remember some names.

Daylilies on the Farm 

The weather here has been wonderful recently.  The rains have stopped and the temperature dropped just a little.  Of course, that means the dew was so heavy I kicked up water as I did my walk-about with the camera.  Still no butterflies and very few honey bees.

These have survived with benign neglect if there can be such a thing in gardening.

This may be Bama Music it is in front of the screened porch amid lots of  variegated grass.

Fairy Tale Pink

Grape Magic (really more purple than this)

Indian Giver ( I moved this one so it had room to develop....not working will move again)

Not sure of this one.  Should be more pink but in my soil pink equals peachy.

My darkest red, Ed Murray,  meant to be planted  with gaillardia....yet  to happen.  Now surrounded by beggar lice and various other weeds.

The above two are Kwansa (called ditch lilies hereabout) I have hopes of planting them in my front  ditch where they can go wild.

  This is Leonard Bernstein in the bed outside the kitchen.  I have it in the cellar bed also.


Throwing this one in because it was next to Ed Murray and was so wonderful this year.  Up to my shoulder and long blooming.  I have no recollection of planting it here, but now have it in 4 places so I must have.

OK.  Enough.  This will be my last.  I think it is Pandora's Box.  I have more but will do them another time.

Errands await.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Another Rainy Day

We are over l0 inches and  counting.  It is raining very steadily now and is supposed to all day long.  We aren't  in a flood zone but so many in the southern Ozarks are.   My heart goes out to them.

I am still feeding kittens  and teaching them to use the litter pan.....I never knew what I was getting into with these little beasties.  They are doing well and still sleeping most of the time.  They will be traveling with us to KC this weekend.  What fun!  We are going to our granddaughter's high school graduation. Fortunately they are a 'cat' family and welcome them.

I am having a good time  baking and cooking for the pre-grad party.  I have missed baking.....yesterday I did our normal honey, oatmeal bread.  This time I made 4 loaves instead of 3 that the recipe calls for.
This is just for family use.  I am taking a double batch of my standard refrigerator rolls, two batches of cookies (maybe more), and a large batch of barbecued meatball (small size  for hors d'oeuvres).  It is good weather for cooking inside.

Yesterday was a lovely, sunny day. We took the opportunity to mow and didn't bury the wheels in the soft grass. I have seen more butterflies in the last sunny days than I saw most of last year and a better variety.
So  far,  We are hoping that is a good sign for the rest of the year.

 I hope I am right on these, if not, please tell  me.  A Red Admiral
  A Giant Swallowtail

The rains have not improved my poor blooming things.

The Native tradescantia has held up well.  It is a ditch plant here so I guess it has to be tough.
We spotted a Rose Breasted Grosbeak a few days ago.  We haven't seen one here in years.  Also the hummers  are back for a week now.  So far, just counted 3, but hoping for more as the weather warms.  I have a honeysuckle in bloom so they can supplement their liquid diet.

More in bloom:

The first is a red peony in  the Well House Bed.  It is gorgeous, but no fragrance at all.

This is iris Swingtown near the almost bloomed clematis Hagley Hybrid

This is my lost red iris among the weeds in the cellar bed....I need to rescue it!

I need to  go start cooking.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Found Them!

I don't think I have talked about our cat or cat- less situation on the farm before.  We did have 16 at one time and no mice......slowly we got down to just two adults.  I had a friend bring us a mother cat and her two half grown babies.  Well, only one stayed and she is a yellow and white female.

This is a picture of her  before.............

As I said she was a female so a visiting neighbor's tom did what comes naturally and I noticed she was getting  very large in the tummy; also Max had seen the  event happen and I noted  they would be born in April.  One morning she came up looking noticeably thinner and I knew she had her babies.  I looked for a week or more in the old chicken house where she lives.  I also noted our oldest yellow and white tom stayed by her side.  I told Max they looked like a married couple but I was worried about the kittens.

Last week I was inside the chicken house moving out a garden cart and there they were.
I had an old shower door propped against  the wall  and she had a nest of straw behind it and they were easily spotted.

We also have a black and  white tom that visits regularly to steal our cat food.  I suspect that is not all he does.  I think I will finally have my longed for Calico.  We are delighted.
P.S.  She has already be re-bred.....doubt it sticks and we will have her spayed when she weans the babies.

I have kitten chow on my shopping list now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Spring Day in the Ozarks

Our weather has  warmed up very nicely.  We were finally able to mow.

Love the new mower but it is taller......not a good thing for me these days, but I managed.

Mama Pea, the newer Gravely version has some good improvements over the old:  automatic choke, a dial on the instrument side to set the mower deck and it is in inches you want.  Safety feature, the brake must be on to start and off to move.

We had another trip to town to pick up death certificates and check the apartment.  I was surprised by how detailed the death certificate was.  Before we left (after lunch), I sprayed 30 gallons of herbicide in various very overgrown weedy areas in inaccessible for mowing.  I don't like using it, but there were no blooms involved so the insects were safe.  It is the only way I can keep control of these large areas.

I chopped a few weeds from the mulched strawberry bed. I am very happy with how things are looking. This will be the first year in a long time to have strawberries.  My whole family is excited....gram makes them jam!

The yard men came for a few hours yesterday and I am pleased  with how the mulched beds are looking:

               This is the north side of the bed outside the kitchen (formerly the humming bird bed)

This bed hasn't been finished yet.  We will just do a border with iris and peonies and others, about 3-4feet wide.  I just wanted to show how the native Missouri flower,oenothera speciosa has spread.  Curious about the mottled yellow leaves but it still bloom a nice pink and than has a very thick  ground cover.  It is the large lighter green area behind the ponies.

                              This is the south side of the Kerria (yellow blooming shrub kerria japonica pleniflora

This shows the entire bed from the south side.  That is 'red' tradescantia blooming.  This bed will soon be planted with several new  things I  ordered  from Gilbert Wild and Son in Sarcoxie, Mo.

 I am just showing this because I think I see a seedling Long Island Cheese squash amidst the grass.(Lower left side....may be a young lunaria instead.

I am  waiting for a call to cancel Sylvia's newspaper....they make you jump through hoops!

All for now.....

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Cold, But Sunny Morning

I think the rains are  over at last.   We got  5.5 inches and are  not really complaining.  This is a wonderful time of year to get lots of rain to get the grasses going.  The cows will appreciate it.  I am not so happy with the temperature.  It was 39° this morning!  I was worried about frost so I recovered my strawberry row which is looking very promising with lots of large blooms.

The yard is way beyond needing mowing.....but between the rains and family obligations we are way behind.  We hope to correct that soon.  I finally gave in and got another mower.  I just got the Gravely out of the shop, all tuned up and ready to go and had actually mowed twice but made the mistake of trying to mow very tall grass at the edge of the garden wet.....threw a belt (I hope that is all it was).  When we took it in for repairs, I checked on a new model that is slightly larger and we decided to buy it.  Surely I will not be without a mower now!  It is frustrating to not be able to try it out......

Lots of things are blooming now.  I was surprised to look at the yard a couple of days ago and see it.
 photo corner back porch with herb bed in front_zpsnepeesyv.jpg

 photo light pole bed with peonies and iris just starting_zpsvgjdxjrf.jpg
 photo Well house bed with oldest rose a china_zpsqc0sbrxs.jpg
 photo kerria bed_zpsnaoitts3.jpg

Friday, April 21, 2017

Missing from Posting----Again

Max's mother died April 12.  She developed MRSA in her leg after surgery way back in December.  The wound never healed and things went from bad to worse.  It seems no one in the medical arena thought they should take swabs or blood tests until three days before she died......after the second surgery to take a look.  By then it was too late. Some very important lessons for us all here. I  wish I had insisted on tests months earlier but everyone said things were fine.

We hope to have everything finished with her apartment by next week.  She was a great lady and  will  be missed by everyone who knew her.

I hope to get settled down and do some blogging  soon.

We are in the midst of heavy rains and things are very green.  Iris and peonies are starting to bloom, Dames Rocket in white and purple is everywhere.  A few clematis are open.

Friday, April 7, 2017

First Week of April

It has been unusually  cold but we finally did get rains.  So far, a total of 4 inches spread out nicely.  We had frost last night but it was expected so I covered my fledgling strawberry bed with a floating row  cover held down by 6 inch landscaped staples.  These last things have been very useful.  I even used them to peg down wire next to the foundation to deter the  persistent skunk/skunks.

Gardening has been very slow and outside, almost none being done.  Yard crew is coming tomorrow (already postponed one day so keeping my fingers crossed).
I do have sever things up and under the lights thar seem to be growing slowly also:

I did get my Grape Magic daylilies dug up and divided along the south side of the kitchen bed.

I hope to mow this afternoon after the grass dries.

The first clematis is blooming:

 This is Wide Brim host my Sis gave  me.  For some reason it becomes completely lost to view as other things begin growing.

 Another of my 'native ground covers; this time white violets.
and the other one, this time violet.  These were both growing here in abundance when we moved here in 1992.