Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weather continues about 8 degrees warmer than it should be.  We had another little shower which dries it up almost as soon as the sun and wind hit the ground.

I found more victims of my erroneous spraying.  Three pepper plants got some over drift when I sprayed the roses and I lost all 4 eggplants.  So far the woody plants seem OK.

The cookout with DH's mother went well.  She loved the cake with coconut icing.

We ate inside.....much cooler than  the 90+ degrees outside Sunday.

Monday was a productive day.  I worked  for  about two hours in the orchard.  I soaked the row of tomatoes and then mulched them.  Only a few needed tying up....I don't see many small tomatoes or blooms which is worrying me.

While I worked on the tomatoes I soaked all the fruit trees and then mowed again with the mower set on a lower setting.  There is lots of Ladino clover in the orchard but I didn't see many bees working.  I did see the little 1/4 inch shower must have washed off the beetle spray because the plum trees had lots on them.  They love plum foliage.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It was already warm by the time I went out side at 7:30 AM. 

I mixed up more spray for the beetles.  They are on the peach tree in the back yard and those are larger and beginning to ripen, also on the plum trees in the orchard and on various other things.  I sprayed...again.  I also noticed the June bugs have arrived.   I checked the blackberries and found some on a few of them.  I left picking until this morning that may have been a mistake.

I quit early, 9:30.

Household News

We have had an old very small refrigerator  in the Milk Parlor that we use for milk, eggs and excess garden produce or anything else that won't fit in the kitchen one.  We bought  it in 1961 when we were married.  We noticed a few days ago it was dripping from the cross-top freezer section.  I defrosted hoping that was all it was.  Wrong.  It ran but never got very cold and was frosting up heavily again by evening after defrosting in the morning.  I did my usual appliance shopping.  I picked up the phone and called a smallish appliance/furniture store that is located west of Springfield, Barnes Town and Country and ordered the smallest simplest one they had.  It will be delivered this afternoon. Total cost around $500.  I have ordered a washer and dryer that same way and I think the last chest freezer.  They only carry one brand, Whirlpool.

I could have bought it about $70 cheaper at Lowes or  another big city store, but they would have to order it, delivery the first week of July and I am sure then schedule delivery and that would be another 3 days or so so we paid the higher price.  We have lots of eggs stored wanted them in refrigeration asap.
This one is larger than the other which will be nice.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Buns, cake and refrigerator Pickles

As you have probably noticed I am having Blog issues again.  I can't access past posts to make corrections.  I have notified Blogger.

It is sprinkling very lightly this morning.

I mowed yesterday morning and DH picked up a garden trailer full of weeds I had tossed here and there.
I didn't get around to trimming but I did water the garden and the shrub border in the front yard.  I very carefully sprayed again for beetles. 

I took a rest  after lunch and then made hamburger buns  and an angel food cake.  We are having MIL out for  burgers and  maybe an outdoor picnic using the new table......if it doesn't get too hot.


I used my old recipe for cheesy onion burger buns, but left out the onion.  I would  like to leave out the cheese too but need to figure how  to make that work.  This time I knew how many buns to make so they all turned out a good size.  The recipe used 6 cups of flour and called for 20 buns.  I weighed them and they were around 2.6 yo 2.7 oz. each.

 Normally, I don't ice angel food cake for us but MIL has a sweet tooth and loves coconut so I will toast some coconut and sprinkle it over a 7-minute  type frosting.

I am boiling potatoes and eggs now for a potato salad.  I should have done that yesterday too but didn't. I have both in ice water now.

I just have volunteer cucumbers so I don't get over 1-3 at a picking.  I had a few on hand and decided to use Kris's refrigerator recipe.  You can find it here  I made 2 pints and maybe a cup over.  I have already 'sampled' about  a half cup of them.  The only change is maybe I would add a little more salt (to taste).  I didn't change a thing with her recipe.  I love the bite they have.

The sprinkle is still coming down!  (I sprayed and watered....that always helps).

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June 12 to June 16

It's a lovely cool morning here.  I had the sprinkler going on the east end of the garden by 6:30 (in my p.j.'s).  I am pretty safe at the time of the  morning and I can always duck into an outbuilding if need be!

I can't  believe how dry things are so soon after our l inch rain....but the winds are blowing  daily and it is way too for June.

We had our storm Monday morning that flattened the corn. I took this picture today, but the corn was up the day before.

and taken from the east side,

Note:   you can finally see the strawberry plants above the mulch....I  will have to keep watering them regularly.

I planted more pole beans.  Some Cherokee Trail of Tears and some Half Runners.  I wasn't going to tell this story on myself, but will anyway.  The reason for planting more beans is that Tuesday I picked the wrong sprayer and sprayed Round-up on lots of things thinking I was spraying for Japanese Beetles.  There is no excuse for doing that.  Both sprayers are the same color and brand but one is larger.  I just simply chose the wrong tank.  By the time  I realized what I had done,  I jumped off the mower and hosed off everything.  So far only the beans died completely.  I will have to wait out the 7 days to see what else I have killed.  I kept saying I was going to cut back.....maybe I have!

I have now tied an orange twine (baler) around the lid of the poison tank and have the same tie around the smaller hand sprayer.  Surely that  will stop me from doing it again.  Sometimes I think I should just dump all herbicides.  I know they are not a good thing ever.  I may still do that.

Don't sympathize with me.....I don't deserve it.  I called my Sis and she guessed immediately what had happened.  She gave me all the sympathy I craved.  I was drinking a water glass of wine at the time and she suggested I finish the bottle.  I didn't. 

I actually had the nerve yesterday to spray the beetles, but I noticed this morning that the orchard spray doesn't give 24-hour kill. I may have to  use just Sevin and see how that goes. 

After that disaster, I made myself go back to the orchard and prune up the damaged trees and mow.  The tomatoes back there are looking good.  I may need to start tying them to the panel soon.  I will water and then mulch  them too.

I bought a yard swing for the west yard to go with the picnic table. 
We laid out all the swing pieces and I got a good coat of waterseal on them before we assembled the swing the next day.

It went together pretty smoothly but needed us both on some stages.

DH had to pick up chicken feed at MFA yesterday and came back chuckling over them having the same darned swing for sale.  Now, I am wanting two matching ones....will be calling  for a price later.  I want them to put it together though! 

I processed another quart of blackberries....the beetles have found them but are not too bad yet.  I try to pick as soon as I see ripe ones.

Plans today are to mow and trim. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

After the winds

 I had a very short night for some reason so will no doubt be taking an afternoon nap.

It was a delightful cool morning, in the upper 50's and the high is supposed to be in the 80's.

We had a l-inch rain Monday morning and some wind......much stronger than I realized.  I found lots of broken peach limbs in the backyard garden and have yet to check the orchard.

Peach trees are notorious for weak limbs especially if not thinned heavily. 

I will severely prune these trees this winter.

The corn patch was laid pretty low but it will bounce back.


I have  not watered the daylilies so they are rewarding me accordingly!  The blooms are beautiful but the foliage is very sorry looking.

This Pure and Simple at the east end of the HB Bed.

and Leonard Bernstein on the north side of the same bed.

Farther down from Leonard is Mauna Loa,

The rose of sharon bushes are all blooming at least a month early (the Japanese Beetles love them).

This is on the north side of the house looking west.  If you look closely you can see the new picnic table under the shade trees.  The black patch is where we filled in Biscuit's holes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

 Started June 9, 2012

First thing this morning while it was still cool, I lopped down some very tall weeds in the corner of the garden and along the iris row.

I had left the garden trailer in the west end of the garden last time out, so I hooked it back to the mower and brought it around to the house where I loaded up the plants still not in the ground and hauled them back to the east end of the garden where I needed them.

I planted 6 various hot pepper plants and 15 sweet potatoes.  Surely that takes care of the veggies.
I tilled all the east plot and have yet to put in some sunflowers and annual flowers.

While working I had the water going on the west side of the garden.  It will take another couple of hours to get that end watered.

I tossed the chickens some old lettuce that was going to seed and also some corn that I pulled to thin the patch.  They come running for green things.  They are slowing down some with laying.

Next  garden chores:

Plant the  two new rhubarb and one old potted plant somewhere permanent (still not done)

Plant the rest of the flowering plants not used for Decoration in the  top over the bulbs in the whiskey barrel.  Need  to fill about 4  inches of potting mix over the top. (did this one)

Use the 4 bags of topsoil MIL wanted  out of her garage to fill in some of the deeper holes that Biscuit dug.9(we did this one)

 Cut down the worrisome fireblight affected trees. (not done yet)

Mow the orchard or talk  DH into doing it (not done)

June 12, 2012

Over the next couple of days I processed my pitiful small and wormy peaches, 4 quarts.  I picked blackberries (processed 1.5 quarts).

The Japanese Beetles have located the berry  patch......I will watch closely and pick often.

We got a wonderful 1 inch rain yesterday morning and the weather cooled nicely.  I won't have to water for at least a week now.

I have seen very few butterflies this year but I did notice this on a dill plant.  There were two but I guess a bird found one; I bent a stalk down over this one and I hope it stays safe.


I ordered DH a log-type lawn swing for the west yard.  It came yesterday and is so heavy it will be a real job to get it moved.  Of course, he gets to put it together.  We recently bought a heavy wood picnic table for the same area.  Our daughter kept telling us we were missing out by now using that side of the house.  It is always in shade....just a longer walk for coffee refills.  It will be a nice place for our July 4th picnic.
As soon as it is put up, I will post a picture. 


I splurged and paid $1 each for hot pepper plants but they were well grown, in flower and had tiny peppers already set.  I planted them the next morning and then the next morning we got the rain.  I felt blessed.  I planted Anaheim, Serrano and one Long Red Hot.  I use the peppers in my favorite salsa.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I got the trimmer started at not following the book's directions. Trimmers are the blight of my gardening existence.  Do they make one that really works great and is easy to start?  I think not.

Trimmed around the Annabelle hydrangea, the garden fence border, the south side of the peppers, around the garden gate and then the string got jammed.  I quit trimming for the morning.

I harvested the little crop of carrots, and my first potatoes of the season, Yukon Golds, I think.  The carrots weren't too bad.  I thought the Danvers Half Longs were sweeter than the other one, whose name escapes me, but was an heirloom from Baker Creek.  I pulled another small bowl of cucumbers.  Now I need to look  up Kris 's recipe for refrigerator pickles.

I will have  to begin watering again tomorrow......

June 8, 2012

Well instead of gardening, we had to go to town to help MIL with her new computer...............

I did manage to mow yesterday evening.

So I am heading outside now to try to catch up.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mulching and Mowing

We are back to hotter weather, upper 80's.  We did get a little pop-up shower of 1/4 inch a couple of days ago which was very nice.


I got out early yesterday and mulched the strawberries and was surprised to find the ground almost too soft to walk on.
You can barely see the plants but they should take hold soon and begin to grow.

I also lost complete control of myself with having the mower back with sharp blades and ran it down a couple of passes in front of the berry patch and the asparagus row!  So much easier than pulling or hand cutting those tall weeds.  I was pretty pleased with the results.

This picture is to make Sue feel good about her weeds.

There is about 3 feet of ground next to the row of strawberries that I can now till.

I may hit the asparagus next. I already clipped part of it.  Behind this area is the berry patch.

I found a volunteer melon of some sort with two melons the size of oranges on the vine.  I hope it wasn't a hybrid.  I placed some hay under the melons to keep them off the soil.



This morning I finally planted two hills of crook neck squash and zucchini.  I also began hilling up the sweet corn.  I want to plant some very old sunflower seeds but the ground still seems a little damp to till.

I cleaned out my row of peppers, mostly red and yellow cheese from Ilene last year.  I dug up some volunteer garlic and got very small heads but I didn't want them to set seeds again.

That's the compost pile to the right, then volunteer tomatoes and then a patch of weeds waiting for my hoe.

Volunteer dill:

This little area may become my herb bed.  That is a thyme (white flowers) just to the left of the dill.

The garden is divided into a west side and an east side with a mowed path between that I enter from the backyard.

This is the west side,  out of range (almost) is the herb bed also on the west side.

The Peppers and hoop are on the east side. 


While waiting for a new dishwasher (more later), I baked our favorite Gina's Pound Cake.

 Gina’s Pound Cake (allrecipes)

This is the best and last pound cake recipe you will ever use.  etc.


3 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
1 (8 )ounce package cream cheese, softened
6 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract


Do not preheat oven.  Spray a 10 inch Bundt pan with vegetable oil

Sift together flour, soda and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and cream cheese until light and   fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.  Pour the flour mixture into batter and gently fold in with a spatula.  Stir in the flavorings.  Batter will be very thick.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake in oven and set thermostat to 350°F.  Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top is golden brown and turn the oven off.
Let the cake sit in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes.  Turn cake over onto a cake plate and allow to cool while still covered with pan.

This recipe was taken originally from Allrecipes. I have found some really good ones there.  It is my go to site for anything I don't have in my files.

Lordy, this was long winded.  I am making up for lost time.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Catching up

I have let a week slip by without updating my journal....set a new record for me.

The excuses are company over Decoration Day weekend requiring cleaning before and after; yard work to catch up on after mower being in the shop for two weeks, harvesting cherries, watering.......reading (I do that while resting from my labors so I don't feel too guilty about it)

What has happened of importance?  First and foremost, I dried up Willow a couple of weeks early.

We harvested about a half bushel of sour cherries.  I made our first fresh cherry pie of the year.

I froze 8 5-cup bags.

I made a second batch (7 jars)of apricot jam.

I picked a quart of black raspberries and the black berries are beginning to turn.

I also picked a few of the Red Haven (I think) peaches to see if they would ripen off the tree.  They are full color and are just beginning to soften.

I have been getting a few volunteer cucumbers.

Lettuce is finished.

Carrots are ready to harvest (all  12 of them!)

I did a 4 loaf batch of bread Sunday and made one up in buns....I used Annie's Honey  and Wheat recipe, our favorite.  I hope I am set for several weeks for bread now.


We had all hay removed from the fields and had delivered an extra 100 bales so should be set for the winter months.  This gives us 268 1,000 lb bales.  The crew did an excellent job and we were very pleased and have plans to use them next year.

DH is finishing up clipping pastures.  The added benefit of having hay cut it that you don't have to clip those fields for several months and maybe not at all.  It sure saves DH a lot of time.

We think the chickens are letting up somewhat on laying....We found a 5-foot blacksnake curled up in a nest and the other two nests had two hens sitting quite contentedly beside him! 

We are still undecided about getting another  dog but we have already noticed a lone turkey strolling around the west may be all kinds of varmints or deer visiting next.

More to post but dear old blogger is refusing to accept any more pictures.  I guess I can do a PS later this evening.