Tuesday, September 25, 2012


As you can see, the pumpkin which I mentioned in previous posts, has grown a bit.  But wait, what is that thing on it that looks like a bandage?  It is a bandage of course.  Why a bandage?, you may ask.  Answer is that for some reason, the pumpkin which was perfectly fine last night, had somehow cracked open by this morning.  The crack was only a couple of inches long but penetrated through into the seed cavity.  Not good considering all the bugs that would love to eat on the inside and the fact that it is supposed to rain tonight, which would fill the pumpkin with water making it rot on the vine.

This pumpkin being the only one likely to reach maturity before frost, I was left with a choice.  I could harvest and salvage the pumpkin in hopes that the seeds were mature enough to save for spring, or I could try to seal it up so it might mature a bit more on the vine.  My choice is obvious.

In case you are wondering why I was not at work this morning instead of practicing emergency medicine on pumpkins, it is because after seeing the dentist yesterday and having a tooth pulled, I decided to take a day of sick leave and take it easy.  Yes, this is pertinent information on the pumpkin first aid, so back to the pumpkin.

My first thought of how to patch the pumpkin, was to use beeswax.  I have always found beeswax to be great for anything where the sealer has to remain somewhat flexible since it doesn't become brittle when cold like paraffin.  Question was of how to keep the wax from just running into the pumpkin instead of sealing over.  The answer was in the small bag of two inch square surgical sponges (aka gauze pads) that the dentist had sent home for me to hold on the former location of my tooth to stop the bleeding.  They always send too many and this was a likely use for a couple of them.  I promptly melted some beeswax in an old coffee can, dropped in the gauze, let it cool enough to be handled though still molten, and applied them to the wound.  The beeswax stuck to the pumpkin skin like it was made to do so and now, as you can see, the pumpkin appears to be protected.  We will hope it holds up long enough for the poor thing to mature.

At this point, if you are not asking why so much trouble for this particular pumpkin, I am thoroughly surprised.  Fact is that this pumpkin has a story behind it in terms of mine and Anna's working together to build a life together even while still living on separate farms.  So now for a little background.

Last fall, Anna and I were shopping at a fruit market in her area.  They had stocked up on pumpkins of all sorts, including some rather large red pumpkins, a variety I had grown in the past but lost seed of.  Anna bought a large one (about 60 pounds) to try, and for the seeds.  During the winter, the pumpkin was damaged and began to rot.  Anna managed to save some of the seeds and started some for the spring.  Between heat, drought, bugs and other critters, most did not survive.  Anna still has two or three plants and I still have two, but this pumpkin is our best chance of hanging on to the seed and for her to get to finally taste this type of pumpkin.  It would really be nice for the price of the pumpkin Anna bought last fall not to be wasted, and for us to be able to carry on this variety from that purchase would be even better.  It is truly a symbol of Anna and I working together, while separate, to bring our two farms together, and for that reason it is really an important little pumpkin.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Meet My New Granddaughter!

While I was away from here, I got a new granddaughter! She was born to my oldest daughter the first week of July. Isn't she adorable!?

Mother and daughter both had a bit of a rough time getting here, with a little trouble following, but both are doing very well, now. I am definitely the proud Grandma! (Grannie Annie, to be exact)

She was grand baby number 6, my 4th granddaughter. Then, I learned last week that grand baby number 7 is on the way! My oldest son just learned that he is going to be a daddy again (his third). Aren't grandkids terrific!

Have A Beautiful and Blessed Day!

(D♥A) Wonderful Time Together

Dave and I have not had near enough time together, lately. It seems all we have been doing is work... work.... WORK. It has taken every drop of time and energy we could muster just to try and stay ahead of the drought, which we didn't manage to always do.

But Dave and I got to spend most of Friday and Saturday together. It rained the biggest part of that time, which was wonderful in several ways. The best one was, everything at both of our farms got watered and we didn't have to spend hours on end watering. That meant more together time for us. Love Emoticons  And because of all the rain, the flea market was closed, so I couldn't open up. Yes, I could have used the sales, but on the other hand, I didn't lose any sales because anyone that would have purchased anything will probably be out next weekend. So that was even more time we got together.

We had a couple of somewhat heavy spells of rain, but most of it was a very gentle, soaking rain. After such a hot, dry summer .... extreme drought ...... it was a most BEAUTIFUL sight! We spent a lot of time sitting out in it just talking and soaking up some of the rain ourselves. Isn't it funny how most people associate a rainy day with it being a bad day, yet on that day, we thought it was one of the most beautiful days we had seen in a long time. We thoroughly enjoyed it, rain and all (especially the rain) and got to spend a lot of time doing some much needed talking and planning for our future.

Over the course of the two days we also got in some shopping time .... mostly groceries. I never knew shopping with a man could be so enjoyable! Of course we found tons of things that we badly wanted and couldn't afford, but we felt so very blessed that we were able to get what we simply needed.

We also splurged just a little on a sweet treat. I got some candy bars that were on sale. Then Dave found some chocolates in a brand that we had come across and tried last month and fell completely in love with. The brand is Sweet Obsessions and is a rare find in that it is wonderful chocolate at a very reasonable price. Last month we had tried their Milk chocolate bars and their Dark chocolate bars and they were pure HEAVEN! Some people have "our song", some have "our dance" .... well, we have "our chocolate". This one was heart shaped chocolates wrapped in golden foil. Inside the chocolate hearts was a soft, caramel-like filling infused with the smoothest coffee flavor. when you bit into one of the hearts, it was instant delicious .... then ..... the already heavenly flavor just kept growing and growing and growing, getting ever better by the second. I've never eaten a candy like it. But it was no wonder I liked it so much.... Although it is distributed here in the US, it was made in Poland. As someone that is mostly a mix of Polish/Ukrainian it was perfect for my taste buds. We will definitely be getting more of it!

Dave also got the tree cut off of my fence (my neighbor's dead tree had badly crushed my fence), patched the fence so my dogs won't get out, and cut up the tree for firewood. Isn't he terrific? We had also planned on going fishing and made it as far as getting the poles in Dave's car, but we never made it to the river. Maybe we can do that next time. There are just never enough hours to squeeze in everything that we want to do together. But we are hoping to get to go fishing soon and put away some fish for winter.

It was a most wonderful two days together and, although we get to talk often by phone throughout the day (that is, when those blasted electronic devices decide they want to work), it just isn't the same as quality, unrushed, non-working time together.   Love Ya, Dave!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tears Of Joy!


It Rained! It Rained! It Rained!   Yeeeee Haaaaawwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This afternoon the sun was shining brightly. The predicted high had been about 79° F. (I figured I would believe that when I saw it), but of course, it made it to near 90°.F. Then all of a sudden the clouds drifted in, the thunder began to deeply roll, rumble and shake the ground, then the sky opened up and the rain poured out. I can't possibly tell you what a BEAUTIFUL sight it was!!!! Great, big, giant, enormous drops of rain.... loads of them! It rained hard for a little bit, changed over to a moderate, garden variety shower, then a light, soaking drizzle for awhile after that. I don't think it could have been more perfect!

It came too late for many of my veggies, but many others are already perking up. I am hoping and praying that they aren't too far gone and that today's rain will burst most of them back into growth and production. Oh, how I want a big mess of fried okra on my plate!!! And fried zucchini, and fresh salad, and, and, and..... well, I have really missed my fresh veggies this season.

I just checked the weather and they say we have an even better chance of rain tomorrow. (happy dance, happy dance)  It will interfere with the flea market, of course, but that is OKAY. We need the rain even more and, with as badly as sales have been at the market lately, it will be far more cost effective, at this point, to miss a day for my garden to survive and produce. They even said our high tomorrow will only be 70°F! WOW!!!! After last week's 105°.F, that is an enormous drop!  Plus, varying degrees of rain chances over the next 4 days.

Maybe I will get a good mess of fresh veggies yet, this year.

I'm Back!..... Sort of

Hello, Everyone!
Gosh, have I ever missed being on here!!!! And I have especially missed yaking with all of you! I tell ya... my Internet withdrawals got pretty bad, lol.

My main computer is still not fixed. A friend on another site I frequent had told me how to repair it, but it is all kind of Greek to me. When I have some spare time (ha, ha, ha, ha.....) I will see if I can figure it out without destroying my computer. We were quoted at least $150 to $200 or more to fix it at our computer/office supply store here. So right now, that is out of the question. That guy seems to really know what he is talking about, so maybe he can talk me through it. I will need a good stretch of time to do it, though, and at the moment, time is at a premium, yet lost computer time is also lost money.

Here is what happened to my computer:
 I was on it and everything seemed to be going smoothly, but getting a little slow. I turned it off, went to work outside, then came back a little later and couldn't get online! Whatever got into it turned off my Norton 360 Virus protection, turned off my Firewall, and blocked my Internet. The computer connects to my Internet, but it won't let me pull it up and use it. My Norton 360 was about a month or less from expiring and I had been getting notifications that it was about to expire and I needed to renew it. Makes you wonder, you know it?

So I pulled out my old dinosaur of a laptop.... my Old Faithful, and that is what I am on at the moment. It is pretty old and hadn't been used in over a year, and nearly a year before that use, so you can just imagine the updates it has had to go through to be able to use it. I don't think they even make these computers any more (Lenovo). Then, during all of our high heat, I couldn't use it at all, either, as it would over heat very quickly. But, missing keys and all (c a t s), I am here now.

Logging onto the computer is a royal pain and takes awhile.... then ..... I can't just leave it on all day because 1) It overheats easily.   and 2) When it sets idle, stuff tries to download into it ... UGH! (I think that is how it happened on the other one. Gosh, do I ever miss being able to leave it on all day and just run in and type a few things as they come to me or I have a few minutes to spare.)  So just getting online each day is a big event. But at least, for now, I CAN get on. :o)

I will be back on here as much as possible, but it will get back off to a slow start. As I said, it isn't easy getting online, I have to specifically set aside time to get on and can't just run in and type something as time allows, and I have MAJOR catching up to do all over the net. I have a few other blogs besides this one that also badly needs my attention, there are several forums I am a member of that I need to catch up on, a few social network sites, and TONS of reading on all the wonderful blogs I follow. So PLEASE be patient with me as I slowly come back. Oh, and although the temps have slightly dropped, we are still in HEAVY drought and I am still trying to water, water, water, though the dying veggies is getting ahead of me. After all those mini strokes, my legs haven't held up to all the miles of walking all over my front acre trying to keep things watered. I am just really thankful that some is still alive and trying to produce now. (And I am especially thankful that I am still walking and steadily improving!)

For all those that have been following, Pharmacy Friday, Tightwad Tuesday, and Bread on Monday will be back up and going shortly. And I am not going to promise, but I am going to attempt to fill in all the missing ones, so stay tuned. I hope life has been treating you all very well and I look forward to talking with you all again. I have really missed each and every one of you, interacting with you, and sharing my stories with you.

Love and Blessings to you all!!!


Thursday, September 6, 2012


First off, about Friday's rain.  Actually, though the morning mist was very nice and beneficial, the rain just didn't happen.  It didn't happen Saturday as forecast either.  Seems that Isaac didn't care to travel quite this far west, but did send some cool, damp weather (though short lived) our way.  By Monday, it was back above 100 degrees and has been there every day since.  There was rain again yesterday, and you probably already guessed, it was in the parking lot where I work but not here on the farm where I should be working. A RANDOM THOUGHT JUST OCCURRED; maybe if I come home, the rain will too, soon to be followed by bill collectors of course.

Remember the pumpkin vine pics I recently posted?  I believe I posted them Friday morning while it misted outside.  The next day, rabbits found the new leaves and stripped about half of the biggest vine.  The pumpkins are alright and still growing and new leaves are coming on to replace the ones eaten.  My first and most obvious question was about the why of rabbits who had shown no interest at all, suddenly stripping the vine.  The answer seems to be a simple one, though it took a couple of days to figure out.  The cool misty morning washed the leaves clean and dampened the ground enough so I didn't have to water Friday.  In the interest of water conservation, I had been saving bathwater to water the plants.  Seems rabbits don't like the soap in the bathwater.  As soon as I resumed watering, the chewing of leaves abruptly stopped.  I can't say soapy water is better to water with than rain water, but if the rabbits eat up the plants in question, the rain water won't do them much good.  I SURE AM GLAD THE FUZZY LITTLE CRITTERS DON'T LIKE SOAP!!!!

That leads to the ongoing topic of water conservation.  Yes, every drop must be saved if possible, and I continue to do so.  This leads to a water saving topic mentioned in a post recently; composting toilet system.  I decided a few weeks ago to try it out based on the methods recommended in "The Humanure Handbook". Years ago, when I lived totally off grid and somewhat primitive, I composted the cleanings from an old fashioned outdoor toilet.  The resulting compost was buried deep beneath my tomato plants (at the advice of an acquaintance who had lived in a third world country for a time).  The reasoning being that any pathogens would be underground and not come in contact with the fruit.  This composting venture yielded great tomatoes but was a smelly, fly infested endeavor.  By contrast, the methods described in the previously mentioned publication, at least so far I am pleased to say, have not produced any appreciable odor.  Likewise it hasn't drawn flies either to my facilities or the compost pile, and there have been no scavengers digging around in the compost.  The internal temperature of the pile has also been plenty hot enough to kill any known pathogen (in the unlikely event that any were present in the first place).

Back to water conservation.  The composting toilet system saves about 30 gallons of water each day, water that can be used better almost anywhere than in the septic tank.  As an added bonus, each time the toilet is not flushed, is a time when the well pump doesn't kick on.  Over the course of a month, that adds up to quite a few times the pump doesn't kick on (approximately 150 times in fact) and that should translate to some savings on the electric bill.  I won't know just how much savings until the next bill comes in but I will pass that information along later along with more details.

If it sounds like I am complaining, I'm not.  Well alright!!!! maybe I am just a bit, but in truth, the things I am complaining about, I am also truly grateful for, simply because of the information and experience I am gaining and the growth it forces.  Even the most frustrating and just down right hard things in life deserve gratitude.  May we always be grateful!!!!!