Friday, May 31, 2013

We have been having little showers but only 1/4 inch so far.  It is extremely windy with gusts up to 39 mph.
We are under a Tornado Watch for this evening which means one of us will be glued to the weather forecast until  it is lifted.

I milked this morning and she was a little stingy but no wonder.  We had to take time before milking to cut away half my apricot tree that was blocking her ramp.  I am sure that upset her; it doesn't take much!  I fear the tree is on its last legs.

All I have done is a bit of extra house work.  Moved the plant light stand back to the porch.  Changed out my dining room quilt for another.  Tried to clear off the countertops in the kitchen.  I am trying to plan for some open shelving for the back porch which would let me move some things to the shelves.

Friday morning, May 31, 2013

We ended up with 1-3/4 inches total and this morning looks threatening.  Storms are supposed tomove in this afternoon with 'heavy' rains possible.

 I caught a brief period when the sun popped out showing the contrast with the dark skies to our north.


Hay season is going to be tricky........

Finally a lily is blooming.  It is an Asiatic hybrid but the name escapes me.


The self-seeded somniferum poppies are opening daily.  I love seeing what new wonder will appear.

Here is one that was a real surprise,

This is Lauren's Grape.  She is staying true....maybe because she is at the front of the house where there are no other poppies,

This clematis is growing up behind Buff Beauty in the dining room foundation bed.,

I decided yesterday to change out the quilt on the dining room table.  I have several that my MIL was going to pitch!  She is a quirky woman!  I took them all.

and a side view,
new quilt on dr table photo reducedsideviewofquiltontable_zps0d715523.jpg

I saved the best for last.  We had our first dish of strawberries yesterday!  I finally have a short, but very nice row of healthy plants that are hanging full.  I may have rushed these a little but the rains had me worried.  They tasted wonderful.

I sent the helpmeet into town to visit his Mother; I am staying here to bake some l0-grain bread. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Week Past

Well, I let another week slip past without blogging....I have been busy though.

Garden wise:

I planted the hoophouse with Cherokee Trail of Tears pole beans.  Tilled east end of garden and planted sweet corn, Sugar Buns, a new one for me.

Planted most of the remaining plants that were languishing on the porch...still a few to find a place for.

We took a weekend for a trip to St. Louis for our granddaughter's high school graduation. We are very proud of her; she graduated summa cum laude.  She will be attending MSU which is near us so we hope to see a lot of her over the next 4 years.  Grams will be available for cooking on demand!

Finally, they finished the ATV repairs so we dropped everything yesterday morning at 8 AM and headed to Bolivar to get it.  They have a really good greenhouse right across from the Wal Mart so I 'made'  DH stop.
I picked up 12 Beauregard sweet potato plants; two parsleys , one hot pepper (for salsa making), 4 eggplants (a Japanese type,long and skinny),  and I thought a chamomile plant but I set it down in the cistern planter and can't find it.....maybe I didn't put it in the box like I though.......I got them all planted yesterday late afternoon. Almost forgot the one basil plant.  I will still plant some basil seed too.

I also watered the east end of the garden where I planted the new plants and the sweet corn.  Rain is predicted but I wanted to be sure they got off to a quick start.

Then I tilled the west side strip  where I killed out that hated grass.  That leaves me a 6 foot by 30 foot area for the sweet potatoes and some hills of summer squash and whatever else I can squeeze in.

Blooming now:

Alba roses and Buff Beauty, still a few irises, poppies (self-seeded somniferums), perennial salvia in white and blue, peonies, and a scattering of clematis.

The strawberries are looking good:

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and Buff Beauty rose.  This one has RRD on a couple of branches and I keep cutting them out...hoping to save the rose.  Now you can see why,

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I am sitting here listening to distant thunder and seeing dark clouds moving in.....again. DH went out on tractor to check the cows; hope he makes it back before the storm hits.

I got up around 12:30 am when the weather alert radio sounded.  When I heard Dadeville mentioned which is north and west of us, I decided to get up and watch the weather channel for a while.  Nothing was real close to us so I went back to bed around 2:30 am and actually went to sleep.  They are now saying tonight could be more severe threats than last night.  I keep thinking about Oklahoma and those poor people.  My heart goes out to them.  We have survived a couple of near misses; one that totalled our pole barn and took out some trees in the yard.  We really pay attention now when they give those warnings.

It is now Wednesday, May 22.  The storms have moved on and the sun is finally shining. 

In Bloom:

Few roses:

Paul McCartney photo IMG_0324_zps3c48eb06.jpg

rosa rugosa Blanc Double de Coubert
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Old Blush is still covered with blooms, but surrounded by grass....not exposing that!,
Buff Beauty is beginning; will take pictures later.....and prune out more RRD branches.....carrying a bucket of bleach water to dip pruners in.  I learned my lesson about that last year.

A few more iris have bloomed.  I think all in the soon to be demolished driveway border have opened and only one needs to be saved.

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Still blooming but past their prime:

lunaria, nepeta, most iris, hesperis matronalis white and lavender.  The rains didn't help longevity but was appreciated anyway.

I thought of Flowerlady when I saw this:
 photo P1190069_zps4dcc4bc7.jpg I hope you can see the shape.  I probably wouldn't even have noticed if not for her.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Iris and Peonies......and weeds

The rains have missed us.  It is windy and very warm.  I have worked outside two of the three days.  One day was spent picking up the mower and doing errands.

I am happy to report that I have completely cleaned  the 40 foot long bed by the shop/ was not an easy job.  I also said I wasn't going to do is a little picture of the corner of the bed before and after.  That grass is cheatgrass, a type of native brome (not native to us but from Asia!).
 Weedy corner of garage photo Weedycornerofgarage_zps1649a2b9.jpg
 and after

and this is the area just  to the left of the the garage door and this corner,Garage Wall Weeds photo garagewallweeds_zps89ca9860.jpg
and after,

I still haven't planted any more garden.

I have lots of  things blooming now,  some still amid weeds.

peonies are beginning,

and lots of iris,

 Electric Shock

Champagne Elegance,

and either Pink Attraction or Beverly Sills

and my favorite,heirloom


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gardening on the Farm

We are having an unusually warm spell......87° yesterday!  Today is supposed to be cooler.  We do have a nice breeze....which, unfortunately tends to dry out the soil.  You know a gardener is never completely satisfied with the weather; it is just our nature.

I did a pre-breakfast tour of the yard and back yard garden and took a few photos........I do love digital cameras!

We have promise of a decent  fruit crop this far:
 This is the new strawberry row,
From Fruit 2013

I have a two pear trees, one apple and one half peach tree inside the backyard vegetable garden.  The other peach tree died.  I forgot to take pictures of the Albemarle Pippin apple tree this morning.

Seckel Pear (at last)

and the cherry tree that looks to have more fruit than last year,

We just pick what we want that we can reach; sometimes using the step ladder if we are greedy and let the birds have the rest:

and the little plum tree,

I never get more than enough to cook down one batch for plum jam.  I think it would be better if I planted another variety of plum close by.....may do that.

and this is the half peach tree.  I am slowly thinning the peaches to be 6 inches apart.  I love taking a break from using the trimmer or hand-pulling weeds by standing in the shade of the peach tree and thinning a few branches.  The poor tree won't last much longer. This is before thinning this limb; forgot to take an after pic.


I will talk about my ongoing weeding next.  This is enough for today. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Clematis are beginning

Thursday May 9, 2013


Shower began so nothing outside until late afternoon. 1/8 inch or so.

Trimmed garden fence border, inside and out and east end of garden.

Cleaned out iris and daylily row in garden.

Max is mowing the yard.


Plant coleus and spearmint (in clay pot in herb bed.

Plant 4 tomatoes as a trial.

Friday, May 10, 2013

It was cooler this morning, 58° and more shower during the night....up to ¼ inch now. Right now the sun is shining but 70% chance of more rain with a high of 70°. They are tossing around a possible low in 30's and 40's so I won't risk my tomatoes just yet.

We don't think the tree trimmer will be back until Monday so we will make a Mother's Day flower run and pick up a couple of grocery items.

We are coffee people and have been disappointed in out coffee recently. Our favored Yuban isn't what it once was! It also used to be the highest price and is now the lowest....I also see it doesn't say Colombian on the label. I makes me so mad when they change a product. We have tested 8 o'clock, Maxwell house and Dunkin Donuts....not very impressed yet. I think we may buy several smaller cans and do test runs.....silly I know but we do enjoy coffee.

Saturday May ll, 2013

We are having Max's mother for dinner tomorrow so this day was spent baking and cleaning.
I made an angel food cake and then used the yolks for a very yellow lemon flavored sponge cake.
We have samples the lemon one already and it turned out well.

I am making a very tradition southern fried chicken dinner: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans dressed with toasted almonds, salad. And hot biscuits.

I will make a boiled frosting for the angel food cake.Mother's Day Angel Food Cake 2013 photo angelfoodcake_zpsc63c0495.jpg

We bought a flat of fibrous begonias for her gift and I planted her whiskey barrel with them and had enough left to plant the south edge of her patio.

We are in our second day of another and I hope last, cool spell. It is 37° here this morning. They promise all next week will be very warm.
I had a wonderful surprise on Mother's Day. Our KC daughter and her family drove down and had dinner with us.

The orioles have already left us to fly north. I think they didn't stay as long this year. We still just have 2 or 3 hummers.


The early clematis are blooming:

This one is Niobe almost buried amidst the Clematis Paniculata  and weeds in the Ramp Bed by the milk parlor.....all in good time....

Niobe photo Niobeclematis_zps85f6cd62.jpg

and Henryi in the back of the cellar  bed.  I still haven't installed a trellis so it will just trail this year.

Henryi Clem in Cellar Bed with lemon balm and honey bee photo IMG_0194_zps2f101605.jpg

It has lots of honeybees hovering.
I think I should move some of Barb's iris here.
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Barb's iris (she was a neighbor who gave them to me)is blooming in the Grass Bed by the cellar.


This is the one growing on the Endless Summer Hydrangea in the Kitchen Window Bed.  I let it get ahead of my trellis just like the Henryi.
 clematis by kitchen window and Endlesss Summer Hydrangea photo IMG_0185_zps9f3e98f5.jpg

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 7, 2013

Another very foggy morning. 50° - highs 70°

Watered plants under lights. I need to re-pot some, especially the tiny lavenders.

Plans: Work outside today weeding beds and pulling dead shrub by lr window.

What actually got done (usually very different from plans!)

I mixed up 2gallons of herbicide (generic Roundup product). I don't like using them but this year the weeds have simply overwhelmed me.

Sprayed most of it. Then decided to get the 25 gallon sprayer out and spray the part of the garden that is completely covered with a short grass that has already set seeds. It is almost impossible to till.
We hooked the garden cart to the ATV (my towing mower is still in the shop) and got it to the garden when a tie rod dropped off the left front wheel. This made it impossible to steer. I had DH drive it straight forward off the garden plot. I went ahead and sprayed by picking up the sprayer (I just mixed 5 gallons so it wasn't too heavy) and moving it forward when I ran out of hose....then I had to go back the get the battery. I did get it done but am slightly sore this morning.

The only way we could get the ATV out of the garden was to remove a cattle panel that was tied to t-posts for beans; then pull the t-posts. He would drive a few feet and I would manually turn the left front wheel. We got it out......hooked up the trailer and was able to drive the ATV on. That meant a trip to Bolivar to leave it for repairs. The poor thing is 10 years old and has been used daily since we bought it. I hope it is fixable.

While down there we checked on the week hopefully. They are having trouble getting some pulley wheels off.

Then we stopped by the License Bureau and got the taxes and paper work taken care of on the new truck.

I know we should get a new ATV, but this is not the year for more equipment purchases! There also looms the possibility that they can't repair the mower....the newer mower does not have a hitch on it.
I think one could be welded on it. I definitely need something for the garden cart and sprayers. Machinery …......something always needing attention.

I have loaded the sprayer on the kids old wagon but it isn't long enough for the battery......I need a long piece of plywood to make that work. 

Last Saturday was baking bread day again. I made DH's white and my whole wheat. Also made pizza.

Gardening Pictures

The first iris of the year is from our neighbor so I call it the Lisenby Iris:

Lisenby Iris photo IMG_0186_zps719a2f3f.jpg
This is the first year in a very long time that the snow ball bush hasn't been covered with black aphids. I kept watching to spray and so far haven't needed to:

Snowball Bush photo IMG_0183_zps964dca9a.jpg 
It is still in the green phase, soon to be white.

Does anyone else but me have gardening mysteries?  I thought I just had one rhubarb plant I grew in a pot last year and finally put in the new herb bed last fall.  I thought  it was Chipman's Canada Red.....I remember dividing it and putting some small pieces in the bed too.  Well this spring the largest piece jumped up and grew but it is more green than red or pink, a real disappointment.  A few days later I see tiny little leaves coming up along the edge of the bed.  I was sure it was rhubarb..and it is  and it is red as can be!  

This is the green one:

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I still think the stems aren't large enough to pull this year.

and here is the red one:

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I will never figure this one out unless I possibly blogged about  it.....probably didn't use the label feature though.  I must remember to do that. I am just going to enjoy that I have a red one!

I had too many chives to put all in the herb bed so I planted them at the base of the rose in the cistern planter.

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The orioles are still here and I think I saw an Orchard Oriole late yesterday afternoon but haven't seen it yet this morning.

The oriole is feasting on grape jelly for breakfast as I type.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Orioles are Back!

They came a couple of days ago;The first one came during the snowy day and the poor thing was so hunched up I though it would not make it through the night.  I put out grape jelly and an orange slice and it began eating immediately.
 This was taken through the screen; I have removed  it now.

I now have maybe three, an adult male, a female  and a third that may be a juvenile or another female.    I wish they stayed with us all summer  but they head north pretty quickly.

Friday, May 3, 2013

I have been keeping a daily journal on Open Office thinking I would quit blogging but now may just transfer it.....with some editing.  I will see how that works.  I know gardening is going to keep me busy soon but I would miss sharing with you all pictures of farm life.

Here we go:

Friday, April 26

It rained most of the day, a light steady rain.

I made a banana cake and read most of the day.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

It has rained all night and all day with  over 2 inches so far. It is still very dark and cloudy at 7 AM this morning.

Monday, April 29

We moved the plant stand off the back porch to the dining room.  It makes it so much easier to take care of the plants with the dog on the porch.  It doesn't enhance the dining room but I am not concerned.  It will only be until the end of May and then everything should be planted outside.

Planted oregano, rosemary, thyme outside the back porch door.  I think having them so close  will remind me to actually cook with them!

Weeded the Grace bed; about half of the Cellar Bed. The Grace Bed is just south of the cellar where 'Grace' smoke tree is planted. One of the two crape myrtles survived.  I think the other is dead.

Tuesday, April 30

Weeded Kitchen Window Bed, dining room porch bed and south dinining room foundation bed.

Began to kill the wild honeysuckle that has taken over my red honeysuckle I may have to kill out both of them.  I traced the wilding to a huge root stem and just severed it. Of course, now I have wilted stems twining among my red honeysuckle which has buds on it.  I like the wild one because it is fragrant and the red isn't.  But the wild one had climbed over the top of the nandina and almost covered it so I pulled it all out.
This will  be a continuing struggle trying to kill one and save the other.

We will have to rake up debris before mowing again.

Took time off to cut out and load 5 calves and took them to the sale barn in the afternoon.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I raked up a huge pile of weeds and then we mowed everything again.  We were trying to beat the rain predicted and we did.

Picked up our check from the sale barn early....I think taking them in the evening before makes them sell much earlier on sale day.

We splurged and traded in our 2005 Silverado for a 2013 version (which means this is the year of the truck and not the year of the remodeled bathroom!).  I agreed to it though.
We picked up the truck around 5 pm. I was disappointed it didn't have running boards so Max will go back tomorrow and have them installed.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Max and Sylvia (MIL) went back to Marshfield. She needed some small things done to her new car and we needed to have the running boards installed.  I failed to mention she traded in her  car for another 'program' car.  I told DH when he took her down to take a 'look' at the new trucks......he  did!

They were gone all day.

I cooked a pot of beans; did some housecleaning and read. They got back around 3 pm. Max did evening chores. We had creamed asparagus and a poached egg on toast for supper. It was our first asparagus of the year.

I pulled the straw back over the strawberries. Everything else is on it own.

Friday, May 3, 2013

We got down to 30° and have about l inch of snow. Maybe it will act as insulation on some things.

We have one more night of freezing and then a slow warm-up. I won't know for a few days if the fruit was affected.
Snow on May 3 2013 photo P1180980_zpsc1806e74.jpg

Maybe this isn't so disjointed it will make sense....if not, I will try to do better next  time.