Tuesday, July 17, 2012

First 'real' tomato of 2012, rolls and chain saw work

Weather remains the same.

I found the first blemish free large (and delicious) Granny Cantrell tomato!.  This was from a volunteer plant (that missed my herbicide spray, thank God)in the backyard garden.  I have just let it sprawl and of course have lost several to sun scald, but I found these.  GC remains  my favorite tomato and is earlier than most heirlooms.

The ones to the left had blemishes but I cut them off  and have since the photo eaten them all.  I refuse to waste a good tasting tomato this year!

I have now clipped newspapers over clusters exposed to the sun.  I used clothes pins to hold the paper in place. I should have done this much earlier.


I knew we were going in to MIL's yesterday so the day before very early to beat the heat made a  batch of refrigerator dough.  I didn't refrigerate it but made it up in two pie pans of sweet rolls and three buns and the rest as dinner rolls.  I wanted to take some to MIL who loves homemade breads, especially sweet rolls.
From Cooking

DH had removed the rails on MIL's deteriorated rail fence but hadn't take the posts out.  We took the electric chain saw in and I cut them off at ground level.  I had to crawl on my knees to do it but we got it done. It is very difficult for DH to bend on his knees and thankfully, once I started taking glucosamine, I can do it without any pain.....getting up is a little more difficult but doable.  She also wanted some low-hanging limbs removed from a tree in the backyard.  We had the back of the pickup full when we finished.

She sent us home with a bowl of her home-made stew which was delicious.

Today we get the new front door.....I am excited.

Heading out now to see if the blister beetles have eaten everything to the ground.  Evidently Missouri has been hit hard.  It was on the news.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yet Another Insect

Weather the same.

I was out by 7 AM to begin my daily gardening chores...it does seem like a chore this year!  First I drug the hose across the drive to water the Smoke Tree Bed.  I have forgotten it this year and this was the first watering.  I hope I haven't lost anything.

I trimmed some around the birdbath and then loaded up the trailer and mower and headed out to the orchard.

I began  tying up the tomatoes.....then I noticed they were covered with beetles.  I finished watering them and then began mowing the orchard....found clumps of grass that were covered with the same beetles.  I went back to get the sprayer and sprayed the tomato row being careful to drench the mulch also.  I only sprayed the clump of beetles in the photo.  There were so many on grass clumps in the orchard and the barn lot I just let them go.  I don't think they had damaged the tomatoes yet, no stripping of the leaves.
I did some online research and think they are striped blister beetles.  I used Florida U's website for information.

I am sure this is another bad result of our very mild winter.

The tomatoes are still looking good.
and I see more tomatoes than I thought I had,

This is what allows me to garden and mow,

That is a 15  gallon sprayer powered with a battery in the trailer.  We are going to get a second trailer so I can have one available for other garden chores without moving the sprayer.

DH called me  to take a picture of one of our many cats.  He is perched on the post of the garden gate.

My 3 Hours - Friday July 13, 2012

I just finished my self-imposed outdoor time......I started at 6:30 so it wasn't too bad by the time I finished.

I am still watering my new shrub border out front.  I dug my pitiful potato crop....maybe 20 lbs.  It was just a short row, but still very poor turnout.  I am thinking all yellow potatoes are not good for volume.

I chopped out the broccoli and cauliflower stalks, tied up the two Early Girls I planted around the birdhouse pole.  Sunscald is becoming at issue.

The Japanese Beetles finally found my pole beans so I brought out the Sevin spray for them.  Corn is still looking promising...time will tell.  My yellow cheese peppers (thanks again Ilene) are beginning to turn yellow.  The last hot peppers I bought that were root bound have not taken hold good so the peppers are burning on the little plants....I raked through the root ball but so far they are not putting out much new leafy growth.  I may try watering more often.

I found another volunteer tomato plant buried  next to the fence on the west end of the garden.  They are red ones. 

Lunch today will be what Mom called goulash with some hot peppers I pulled this morning and using the tomatoes I cooked from yesterday,s cherry tomato harvest.  It is just fried green and hot peppers, onions,  hamburger, seasoned with lots of chili powder, some tomatoes and cooked macaroni.  I usually serve it with cornbread but won't today.....I don't want the kitchen hot again.  We will have toasted oatmeal bread instead.  Sometimes we have shredded cheese on top.....Mom and Dad didn't.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Peach Processing Day

Another hot and dry day here.

I started the peaches at 6 AM and finished including cleanup at 8:45 AM.

I ended up with 8 quarts of sliced peaches, l quart of crushed for later jam, and two batches of jam.

They worked up very nicely.  I  tossed about 8 to the chickens and only found worms in two peaches.  I guess my irregular spraying did some good.

The jam was darker and redder than  usual  but very nice.  I just had a slice of oatmeal bread toast with some for breakfast.

The governors of both Missouri and Arkansas have requested both states be declared farm disaster areas because of our drought. 

Here is a link to the Springfield News Leader article about a remarkable lady.  She made me ashamed....look at that neat freezer.  I hope you all take time to read it.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Life Back to Normal - Harvest

As of 6 AM this morning our  life returned to normal. We have had our11 year old granddaughter since last Wednesday.  Steve came in late  last evening to get her and I had them on the road by 6  am after a breakfast of steak gravy and biscuits.

It was a wonderful visit and we really got to know her,  a real treat for us.  I must say I won't mind being back on our meal schedule.....I cooked three meals a day while she was here...I told DH that was coming to a rapid halt as of today.

The weather continues hot.  Our cool-down is the 90's.  Still no meaningful rain.  I am  watering  corn, peppers, sweet potatoes, pole beans and tomatoes every few days.  We do the new fruit trees about every 7 days or so.

Lets hear a drum roll please.....I got my first  tomatoes today.  This was from  two volunteer plants and are  a different shade of red.  The are larger that a regular  cherry but smaller  than a normal tomato.  They tasted very good, like a tomato should!

I was pleasantly surprised to see I still had peaches on the vegetable garden tree.  They are a little small but seem to be pretty worm free.  They are a very deep red and even the flesh is red streaked.  They were not that way last year!  I will have to work them up in the morning because they are very ripe.  I will have peaches for jam....


I want to make jam to see how that pretty red comes out.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Life back to more normal- New Doors

Ryan went home this morning so we are all relaxed a bit and life should settle back down.   He improved so rapidly I think even the doctors were impressed.  I learned the trauma doctor (I forget his name) even travels to Springfield St. John's.   I am grateful we had him with Ryan.

We have our youngest granddaughter, Jennifer, 11 until our son and DIL get things more settled with Ryan at home.  She is addicted to television so this is one time I am grateful we have Directv (thanks to MIL for that gift).

We are still abysmally hot and dry here.  I am only watering a few shrubs I don't want to loose and the orchard and garden.  They are talking (note I  said talking) about rain Sunday and Monday.  I will believe it when I see it.

Between the weather  and my boo boo with the herbicide, things are looking pretty sorry here.  Be interesting to see what I have permanently lost.  I will replace nothing!

The beetles found the silks on the sweet corn but Sevin took care of that problem.  The row of peppers looks very good.  Finally I am getting some nice sized cheese peppers.  I will take a few pictures tomorrow morning.

The row  of tomatoes in the Orchard Garden still look very good.  I have quite a few fruit on the Granny Cantrell's and the other variety (I forget) is just now blooming so I don't know if they will set fruit or not.

After fighting beetles on the peach tree and finally realizing the orchard spray by Bonide was worthless, I changed  to liquid Sevin got that issue under control only to find almost all the peaches had been pulled from the tree and were gone!  DH inspected and found the seeds on the ground....either a groundhog or raccoons.  I hope they have a severe belly ache!  I see they have now come to the peach tree in the backyard garden.  I hope  DH sets a trap this evening.

The cucumber vines  are dying; probably borers.  Have you noticed nothing bothers disease or insects.  They seem to thrive in all conditions.

We have also lost two chickens.  We began today running the sprinkler under the shade tree they have in the chicken yard.  Chickens have a pretty fragile constitution and can take cold much better  than heat.  We are still getting 8-10 eggs daily though.

Pastures  are  drying up but so far, we haven't had to resort to feeding hay.......yet.

This has been a very disappointing year for gardening and that is putting it mildly.

I  am just so happy that Ryan is getting better nothing else  really matter.

Small Things Lead  to more and Bigger Things

My old security door to the porch swing porch had the God Awful scroll iron work on it and you had to dismantle the glass panels in order to clean them so they were always dirty.  It drove me crazy.  Well finally the handle broke off and was not replaceable so we decided to get a new door.  DH, much to my surprise, wanted to replace all three storm doors which were of poor quality.  So we did.  We now have this door at the two entrance  doors and a cheaper but insulated version at the back door.

Well, the full view door really exposed our ugly and cheap door to the porch swing porch and I couldn't bear looking at it.   We are now waiting for a new but simple door with just a fan light at the top to be installed.  I drooled over the fancy etched and leaded glass ones, but the old farm house just would have looked strange I think.   So from a small broken handle grew 4 new doors! 

Monday, July 2, 2012


I won't be blogging for a while.

Our two grands that were visiting were involved in a very serious wreck this side of St. Roberts.  Courtney was not injured but our Ryan received a severe blow to his lower abdomen (seat belt injury) and was taken to the Rolla, Mo. hospital.  They thought he was ok but the next morning at home he started bleeding (in the stool) and only quick thinking by our 17 year old granddaughter saved his life.  She immediately called the ambulance and he was rushed to St.  John's and straight into surgery for a ruptured intestine.  He has been in intensive care ever since.  They have set up a website so we can track his progress.  It has been a blessing.  I feel like I know every little thing which helps.  He is all that is on my mind.  They think he is recovering well but it will be a slow process.  We won't really feel safe until 10 days from the surgery have passed.  Infection is the real worry now.

I will link the website


I ask for all your prayers for him and our family