Sunday, September 28, 2008

rubber duckie in the rain..............

well it's raining
i believe it is a hurricane or something like that but up the coast so we are just getting a lot of rain
and slugs
can't forget the slugs

the duckies are not too happy with all the rain
apparently even duckies have a limit as to the amount of dampness they can happily endure

today one of the girls jumped on my sweet little baby girl duckie

bernie took her and put the mean one in with falstaff.....who proceeded to jump on HER

guess payback is a bitch

so as you all heard, one of the duckies is the SWEETIEST thing in the universe
she comes running up to us
'pet me pet me'
and we do
it's them blue eyes
she is so sweet and so gentle...... she takes tiny berries from your hand without hurting you
that duck is getting a pension and diapers and may just come in the house to live

i love that duck
i need a NAME for that

she's got more karuncling on her face then the others.....scared me that she was going to turn into a boy
but she still is sweet and chirpy not raspy and ungainly

and she has an egg bulge developing
so she is a she
thank goodness

cause i do so love that duck

in other news
bernie had some rough news, he's got to replace the timing chain in his truck
so in the mean time
he's got MY truck and i am..........well........


i think seriously i need a horse and buggie
this is getting out of hand
i NEVER have wheels!

oh and thems of yous that are watching
he has not gained an oz
he's still about 125-135 and got me frantically worried
but he's burning about 4500 to 5000 calories a day at work
and not replacing enough of them

i am going out of my mind

he's getting cookies with extra nutrition in them
deviled eggs and cheeses for breakfast
extra milk and cream and butter for suppers

i don't know what all else to do

in garden news
my one zuke that i thought was my beloved san pasquale........turned out to be a yellow zuke!
and NOW it's got zukes on it?
it's the end of the season!

i so would love to hoop it and the pattypans and the peppers

instead i am going to dig up the eggplant and some peppers and put them in the house in pots
we'll see

i am also going to put the one big planter in the house with lettuce and spinach
and maybe try for another one with chard?
it will be cool enough i think in the living room

now that the truck needs a timing chain.....
i am thinking that the hoop house and freezer is not in my future


well ..........we'll see

til next time


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

a favorite duckie, and ramblings

one of the babies that stayed, is such a sweet little thing.
we suspect that is the one that falstaff doesn't like
she comes over to me and crouches for me to pick her up and pet her
i love that duck
she is going to be a house duck i think
after this entire summer of duck raising
which wasn't easy btw
( i lost some weight ........most i suspect i left on the hill out back every time i fell)
at least ONE duck is a sweetie

in fiber news.....the socklet is coming along
i feel like knitting now!
i guess trish really is slapping me up the side of the head
i also feel like sewing etc
but i still miss her horribly........

so many times i just want to call her and tell her 'hey look at this'
or 'hey what do you think of that'

in gardening news.......
i am thinking of lifting about 5 pepper plants....... cutting them back and putting them in buckets to either keep inside or try and winter over to plant out again next year

a lot of folks ( me included!) didn't know peppers are actually perennial plants
and if i can keep them over the winter that would get me a huge jump on spring and next years peppers for some of the late season varieties

i would also like a hoop house/coldframe/green house

part of my garden woes this year were due to a colder then normal august
it was more like late september

so a hoophouse or tunnel would have moderated that

one of the members on my canning group suggested a cattle panel hoophouse
another one suggested roll up sides.....
i am going to certainly look into that

that cattle panel hoop house also has another thing that is intriguing about it
one of the websites i have had occasion to visit......keeps their CHICKENS in it over the winter.....along with the plants ( separated by wire so the chickens can't EAT the plants)
they also keep the chickens above a 'worm pit'
so the wormies get the droppings
as well as the stuff pulled off the veggies
the chickens get a few wormies now and again
the veggies get the castings
the chickens add to the warmth of the winter hoophouse
all is happy in the world.........

i would like to do that
and if i can figure a way to make it predator proof.....i just may try for it

it doesn't look too hard to do by myself

maybe with a bit of help from vicki......
cause bernie doesn't have time

i am concerned about the economy,
i do think however it will get better once the elections are over

i think the unsettled effect that always goes along with the elections is heightened by not only the ethanol/corn problem and the weather
but also by the immensely historic times we are living in
a black man/or a woman in the office


i wonder what the founding fathers are thinking now

i can just see them sitting around some colonial drop leave table in heaven....with a glass of rum and a clay pipe.......(or some claret)

watching us and debating on the outcome

i wonder if they are ok with the directions we went in?

i guess they are as the most important thing i think they tried to insure was freedom

total freedom

til next time


Monday, September 22, 2008

it's FALL ........FINALLY!!!

fall and spring are my two favorite season.
but fall holds a very special place in my heart
i have so many wonderful memories of fall leaves
of coming home to our fireplace lit
apple cider from Tice's farm
mom's red kidney bean soup

the colors of fall are amazing and phenomenal
the SMELLS of fall are lush, decadent and intoxicating
add that sort of crisp snap to the air
and a cozy sweater while raking leaves..........

what is not to love?

unfortunately Tice's cider is no more ( it really was the best cider i have EVER in my life tastes, i would love to know the varieties and % of apples that went into it)

and we have the woodstove, as we don't use the fireplace......( the cats would just think it a HUGE kitty litter box anyway)

but i still make mom's bean soup
and i still rake leaves in a cozy sweater

now leaves are used as duck bedding and shredded for the garden
THEN leaves were burnt

anyone remember that smell?

i fear this fall will be less colorful then falls past
we went down to stockerton saturday to pick up new gaskets for the woodstove door, and on the way back i commented to bernie about the colors......... it looked more like november then early fall

my big sugar maple turned in AUGUEST.....( the 280 year old one....the others are still green) and it was much redder then other years

i am still finishing up the winter stocking
still have some meat and more veggies to get

we got 200# of potatoes although no leighighs this year.......figures......
they are the VERY BEST bakers i have ever had
but it appears to be a good year for potatoes as the russets aren't bad and neither are the yukons .........the yukons better be as we got 150 pounds of them
the last 50 are baby's and i got them for 7.50 for the bag....
i had planned on canning them
bernie plans on making parsley potatoes with them

i think i will leave him a couple pounds but i plan on canning them for soup

now if you are a fiber person

i have what could be an announcement to make

i have started knitting again i think, i am just done with the toe of a toe up sock
in regia 'clown' on size 1 needles.....( i know....2-3 but i don't like loose fabric on socks)

we did a break in fire on the woodstove and i picked up my needles.....that and it's been COLD here at night

i can just hear trish now....... ( she approves i think ........what do you all think?)

AND bernie found my BALL WINDER!!!!!!!!!!
i haven't seen that in 25 years!
it's fine and works great so i am please....... it sure beats handwinding 1800 years of lace weight no?

even though i adore my pink ivory wood noste

so with that in mind......rhinebeck here i come

oh and Bob sent me 2 bags of alpaca lace weight from trish
so that is like 3300 yards
i have no idea what she had in mind for it
maybe a shirt?
i won't knit me a shirt with it, as i suspect i would need a tad MORE then that
the question is........ 3300 yards....... what on earth should i make
it has to be something i finish.....
cause it will be my momento from our trish


ps: i baked bernie pumpkin muffins yesterday, defrosted the last of last years pumpkin pulp ..........

now it's time for THIS years pumpkins
i think i am going to dry them this year

til next time

Saturday, September 20, 2008

warning......not for the faint or soft of heart

sharon the chicken died, on her third birthday

i had bernie put her in a box and i took her little corpse outside
bernie was to have put her out back so she could rest in pieces
(we live on underground burials.......not without explosives)

well he went out this morning to open the duck crates and discovered that sharon is no longer in her little box

i doubt highly that she resurrected and went her little chicken way

i believe something got a free dinner last night
which is ok
it's natures way

however that does point up a problem i have with the poultry right now

the predator battle

now predation is never easy on a flock owner.....nor is it pretty

serafina was ripped apart savagely
there was blood and feathers and entrails all over the place
and covered by flies as well........

we have it somewhat under control right now
but as the weather cools down........
as the assholes continue to blast and build on the mountain behind us......
as prey population moves on due to habitat destruction.....

the facts will continue to be ......... the predator battle

you can't blame them

there is a nice fat WARM poultry dinner, just clucking.....of chirping behind that thar FENCE

and they gotta make a living too
they have a family to feed.......
little hungry bellies no?

but not MY birds

so now we have to think about hot wire i think for the inner duck pen
and when the chickens go out
as they MUST

we need to get hot fence for them as well

probably solar assisted

the jackass neighbor has one of them wire cage/pen/storage thingies for the small BBQ propane tanks such as you see outside of walmart etc........

i think that would be a wonderful inner predator proof poultry pen

now.......where do i get one???


oh and ps

i am looking for seeds for an ORANGE pattypan squash...............

in america if possible

if anyone knows drop me an email please?

thank you all ever so much

Thursday, September 18, 2008

patty pan squash is a very good thing

i harvested about 4 small (3-4 inches) yellow patty pans
if you haven't tried a patty pan

slice it into some hot olive oil with a bit of sauteed onion, some sweet red peppers, a bit of garlic and a final sprinkling of kosher salt

cook the patty pan until it is slightly brownish on each side
oh and i also added fresh green beans cause that's what i picked today from the garden

this is heaven

believe me

even bernie who 'hates' squash had a HUGE helping

then suggested a hoop house so i can get my stuff in earlier and hopefully keep it longer

today i harvested a lot of peppers
no where near the amount i had hoped to get out of the 30 plants i had out there
but at least enough to make a few jars of either salsa
or peppers and onions for meats

i also started to harvest the unfortunately have the birds

this season was a disappointment in the garden

i know i am not alone in feeling that way

between the cold.....
the rain
my being ill
trish dying ( see trish it's all your fault)which threw me into a real depression,
then the colder then normal august

we have a terrible garden this year

canning season was a disappointment as well
i couldn't get any produce in quantity or of QUALITY enough to can
and the garden was late......and no where near as productive
the ground hog ate a LOT of cabbages on me as well
i hope the brussels sprouts do well

but i think the leeks are not going to
nor do i think the cabbages will every get a nice sized head on them

In family news
my sister in law colleen got her dog off galveston island
and she is looking for a place to rent on the mainland
her home is totally devastated
she couldn't even salvage clothing
they have truly lost everything
they had small rental houses that they had lived in, fixed up then rented
they are also devastated

they worked so very hard to fix these little houses up to rent with the idea that once they retired, they would sell them.....that was their retirement fund

it's all gone

in chicken news
i am so sorry to report that sharon the chicken has died
today is their third birthday as well
we don't know why,
we think it was a retained egg
we at first thought she was broody
but when we couldn't break the brood....

the other girls appear fine
the ducks are fine as well

(knock on wood)

so we'll see
i put her outside in a box

since there isn't actual dirt to bury her in
( the construction up the mountain blast all day long cause it's ALL ROCK)

we will put her out for the fox and other animals

it's natures way anyway

so she will rest in peices like her brother larry the chicken

i am going to have to get some more laying hens though
the ducks will start soon
and i will be selling the eggs i can't use

i would like a laying flock of 12 if i could
then i get a dozen, more or less a day......and i can sell what i don't use
which will FEED the laying flock of 12

well we are off to sleep.......

til next time


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

i think it's time for

i think i am ready to settle down to the rhythm of the woodstove

the twice a day hot stoke, and the every couple hour add a log......

to chicken stock simmering, and bread baking,
yogurt making, and even schlepping water to the ducks

i want to knit and spin again.....i can't believe i am starting to want to do that.......
i haven't really touched any fiber since trish died.
( except that swatch for jen at spirit trail)

i am by nature a bit of a hermit, i don't tend to stray too far from home. ( Georgie will be laughing her ass off about now and shaking her head yes)
so as the weather starts to chill and the leaves start to fall
i want to stay in as much as possible

which brings me to one of my secret joys of winter.......
planning the next garden!

THIS year (2009) i plan on elderberries!!! ( 10 plants oughta do it no?)
and blackberries ( probably 10 of these as well)
blueberries ( well these and cranberries you can NEVAH have too much of )
and peaches!

(as we all know......peaches and nectarines are food for the gods.... grow as many as you can...........and then send them all to me!)

along with the small garden fruits i started to grow last year

as always i keep hoping that the real estate market picks up and we can sell and move on

i miss the sheep and the goat and want them home

in other news...........

colleen found their dog.....ALIVE
however her homes are all destroyed
she's basically homeless
thankfully she has insurance and fema is there helping
and of course she has us and raymond's family

i have a surprise for her, i have all the photo's she's given me of the kids etc......
she is going to be really upset when the realization hits that the pictures are all gone
the mementos are all gone

this much i can do for her

she is also probably not going to come up this fall as planned

in keeping with the halloween traditions of our family
i am planning on sending a box of goodies to the kids
and to her and raymond...... i figure by the time it's halloween she'll have an address
even if it's a rental on the mainland

today i think i am going to can tomato preserves
i got a LOT of tiny yellow cherries and the larger black plums
i was originally thinking salsa as i have enough jalapenos harvested
but maybe not huh?

i will decide i imagine...... when i finally get in the kitchen today

til next time


ps: fiber folk......( you all know who you are)
i need an idea for a gazillion yards of a heathered brown/gray sport weight alpaca..... (20 skeins)
part of AZknitter's stash so it needs to be memorable

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

all is not well with my sister in law

it looks pretty bad for her homes in galveston.
she's trying to get in to see the damage
basically she is apparently homeless

i told her to come home here
bring everyone and just come the hell home
we will sleep on the floors if we have to
but everyone will be safe

i don't think she will be making her planned on visit in october this year
i haven't seen her for a while so i am going to be bitterly disappointed
but she doesn't even have a roof over her head or work clothes or a pillow to sleep on
so i more then understand

i just wish they would all come home

in other news

the DUCKS from hell

falstaff has taken a dislike to one of the ducks........
he's tormenting her
poor little thing hids in the back of the duck pen behind the coop
starting tomorrow that is going to be addressed
falstaff is not going to be happy about it either
as i am planning on Xpening him in the middle of the larger pen

bernie is feeling better from this cold or whatever he had.....

( damn him.....i get something and i am dyink for a month......
HIM....... a few days of sniffles
if it's really bad...two days of fevers and then he's fine
doesn't seem right does it?)

the leaves are turning up here...have been since august
so naturally my garden picks THIS time to actually decide to produce
what happened to july and august?
NOW you decide beans and pattypans are a good thing?
55 day beans and 60 day pattypans......... took what? 95 freeken days?

yeah right

however the wonderberries are starting to ripen......and it is good......

til next time

Sunday, September 14, 2008

duck pens, snow loads and gardening thoughts

we spent the day re-roofing the duck pen

since the demise of my serafina
i haven't wanted to let my ducks stay in the pen
so every single day i would convince falstaff to go into a tiny crate and i would schlep him into the basement

surprisingly he did this willingly!

the three remaining babies too***

ok they are on their second night in the duck pen BUT
we have roofed over with fencing......wire fencing
and they are in crates........
with the doors against solid walls

and the radio going

i have a few more things to do to the pen to feel that it is 'safe' again

including a better woodend inner coop

the roof looks really them crazy roofs on the houses from that town in california
i am hoping it holds a snow load
i think it will

in looking around my poor garden
i realized that again i didn't get the paths covered and that let a lot of weeds grow
next year or maybe during the winter
i plan on putting down cardboard and newspaper and then some sort of mulch
bernie talked about raised beds but i am not holding my breath

i am thinking however
my friend joey used what looks like a swing set....but is not for upside down tomato growing
i think i am going to lift that idea
without tomatoes in the ground.....i can devote their bed to garlic and maybe eggplants

the other thing is
i want a hoop house
i would LOVE a greenhouse with under soil cables for heat for my beloved peppers
but a cold hoop house for winter greens would be ok too

i have decided to put in elderberries
at least they are native
they will give me a lot of fruit
i won't (maybe) have produce envy............

what's not to like? the bird stains on the cars?
please we got them anyway ( i want to know WHERE them buggers are getting thos berries from anyway)

i would also like blueberry, cranberry, blackberry and peach
sounds like a reasonable array no?

i thought so

til next time

*** we had the boys processed on friday night, it's not a good feeling but it is what had to be done
i could not find homes for them
i did try
instead of a life in a tiny cage which is what would have had to happen
they lived a great life for 4 months and then they will go to feed us

Friday, September 12, 2008

hurricane in the gulf

my sister in law lives on galveston island
or maybe by should be past tense?
she owns a few she lives in the rest she rents.
they are modest dwellings for modest people
(actually she lived in each house, fixed it up, bought another fixer-upper, and moved....then rented the house she just moved from)

they evacuated and went up to huntsville tx
where my neice (her oldest daughter) is going for her masters degree

i keep trying to talk her into selling all the properties there and moving HERE

we will jointly buy a farm and she can open a B&B while i get to have my animals..... garden, preserve.......
spin, knit and make dolls
( and hopefully blog about it all)

i am thinking....... she may have no choice in the matter after this storm

in other news

i have butchered the drakes
more accurately, i have had them done

no one believed i would actually go through with it

well i did
i feel bad
but i was also resigned to it

i did however back out on the chickens

we couldn't keep the drakes, they were horney and fighting
they spent a very happy safe and protected joyful 'duckling hood'

and were either doomed to smallish pens alone........ or
the freezer

they are in the chiller now...... they await the freezer

i figured it was a quality of life thing at this point

i tried to sell them
no luck
so their life force is now in heaven
and they are going to feed us

i am shocked that i went through with it as well

but let's face it

i eat meat

nameless chickens, pigs, and cows

these will not have a name but they will not be unknown

i do believe...........
i have finally grown up


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Halloween movies 2008!

THIS is the link to last years halloween movie post

i don't have tv anymore so don't know if there are any other goodies that came out in the past year

anyone know of any?
nothing GORY
nothing so horrorific as to get you sick or scare you......(like the 'halloween' movies)

i swore i would add to our dvd collection but the most i got was sleepy hollow, and that was because the vhs ate the tape so i got it in dvd

i have to do something as my beloved and FAVORITE sister in law is coming for halloween
and we should so do a movie night
with popcorn and cookies


tis the season


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

OH be still my heart!~2 posts in one MONTH

i hope i found my way home now............

after yesterday's rain, and boy did it rain
i looked out today and expected dry pavement
silly me
the ground is still soaked
my laundry is still dripping!

the drakes need to be taken to the processor this weekend no later
( i sent an email to our attorney who is a duck hunter to see if he'd be willing....haven't heard back from him, then discovered....i sent it to his old email address!)

ok fixed that

now where was i?

ok vintage cookbooks

that's what is going on around here for interest lately

the older the better
vintage war years with rationing tips a plus
vintage war years CANNING books are always welcome

i am slowly trying to set in a hedgerow of fruits, i figure it couldn't hurt at all
starting i believe with barberry, which we have growing all over the place
(grows wild here for me..........EVERY thing grows wild here for me, mock orange, rose of sharon........ barberry)
i want to add cultivated blackberry, raspberry, blueberry and cranberries....
and maybe some grapes
bernie keeps killing my wild grapes off on me .......maybe if i put in cultivated ones?

all this is because i don't know how long or when we will get to move
so we need to literally bloom where we are planted

besides i think that the berries will add immeasurably to our life and to the property and maybe even to the wildlife in the area

not to mention all the juice and dried berries i will be putting up

and CRANBERRY sauce by the bucketfulls......

ok i didn't say i could stay long
the ducks need to go out

til next time


Monday, September 08, 2008

long time no post

hihi my little neglected blog

i sort of forgot you in the rush of spring, duckling raising,
and mourning trish

i see you waited patiently for me
i'm glad to see you

let's see

i am just getting over a 'change of season''s a nasty one
i was out getting the duckling in with a temp of 102.8
(no, no one would help me, so i am not going to let the raccoon get them like the raccoon got my beautiful serafina may she RIP)

the drakes and two stewers are being processed i think this week

my truck is again on the road

potatoes are up to 15.00 a bag and no leighighs

my coffee pot dad gave me over 21 years ago bit the dust....i got the same one but the 2008 model, it was 1.99 more expensive then what he got me
i like it

Colleen is coming for halloween

the garden is finally starting to bear
but no where near enough
we had groundhog issues, drought
cold cold august.......
it's warmer now that it is september
the garden didn't do much
beans even didn't do as well as they should have and we are waiting for the cabbages
i hope the ground hog doesn't get any more of the brussels sprouts
i put in 15 and i think there are about 5-8 left

garden notes for this year are as follows
* prep most of the beds in the fall
* get a lot of veggies into containers also
* plant earlier
* use hoop tunnels and cold frames
* milk gallon cloches are also a good idea
* make the damn trellises over the WINTER
* don't listen to bernie about the tomato ARBOR, now i can't FIND one tomato
plant under the mess of the heirloom tangle
* fish emulsion is your friend
* start peppers EARLIER and tomatoes LATER ......peppers in january
Tomatoes in APRIL
* cabbages need to go out EARLY and get some really EARLY varieties
* start the sluggo a few days before planting
* start the nasturiums a few weeks before planting
* add flowers

i know everyone is feeling the rising prices of food and gas and well......just about everything.
i am seriously hoping that after this election, some things will calm down
i saw somewhere on the net that traditionally gas prices go up during the campaign and calm down (not return to the prior lows however) after the deed is done

i also understand the oil companies are showing an obscene amount of profit
bad for us
good for thier investors no?

i have decided to put in fruit bushes and trees here
as at this time it doesn't look like we will be moving any time soon

jackass hisself has left
mrs jackass was at first 'hosting' numerous men
then there were odd smells coming from there
acetone, ether, chlorine, pinesol, and a weird cat piss smell
i called the epa and also asked through back channels for the cops to look into this

the smells stopped

the big dog was clipped by a car
they got little yapper dogs there now

but for the most part now
things are relatively quiet

they were making damn sure i had nothing to call the cops on

that was this summer
how was your summer?

til next time.....which i hope isn't too far away