Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Progress

Houston, we have landed a chicken coop on the Back Two:

Clearly it isn't finished! But you can see how great it's going to be. Cozy for a half dozen lovely chickens. (I hope)

And the run is complete except for the plantings of shrubs for the "girls" to scrub around under. he little tree you can see is a Chinaberry that we left. It and the massive oak out back are the only trees that came with the property. We have been busy plunking in pears, peaches, figs, plums. There are more to come but we are taking a short breather.

and here is what the garden enclosure is shaping out to be:

John rented a cultivator and dug up the ground behind the raised beds you can see in order to build a few more . As the sun settles farther south in the coming weeks, we see we built alittle too close to the treeline but what MAY save the situation is knowledge that the leaves will fall (hopefully soon) and that will allow enough sun to the veg that grows now shaded.

That plant you see just inside the opening is a yellow squash that I placed a tomato cage over when I planted is two months ago. You should know that this appears to be an excellent method! Using the height leaves the bed more space to grow lettuce and tomatoes and onion. Had I left it "natural", it would have sprawled all over the place. I intend to do the same next spring with zucs. And eggplant.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Might As Well Face It....

I'm addicted to hexagons...... I have made 14 more flowers, cut 10 fqs into 3.5" squares and picked up so background fabric to start making more. thanks, Linda Kay.

I have also begun the Victory Quilt by Eleanor Burns. Block one is done.

But nevermind that, we took a long drive to McComb MS, to see a pole barn and found herds of pecan trees along the way. We stopped onthe way home and picked about 15 lbs of pecans off the side of the road. So of course, we have now dragged out the Interia Nutcracker and after we wait a few days to let them do their nutty thing, we'll get down with the cracking of it all.

The barn was really nice and I think it's what John wants to build but at the moment, he is planting fenceposts into the Back Two for a chicken run. We also staked out where the citrus trees will go and after LA One Call marks the ground for utility lines, we'll get them in the earth.

It's taking shape.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Scary, On SO Many Levels

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Water Water Everywhere, and that's a very good thing

Progress on the farm includes the laying of waterlines to the raised beds. Here are a few shots of John and Steve doing the grunt work while I supervise and record for the Blog.

What you don't see is the trench heading over to the future chicken coop off to the east. But trust me, it's out there.

Adding to the List

I have made an additional two blocks for the BOM I posted last week. And I believe I will have more to come as well. It's addictive!

The quilt group has begun showing techniques to each other as a "theme" once a month; a way of branching out of the doldrums. Last week, Leslie demonstrated English Paper Piecing and has given me yet another addiction. I have been making these hexagons for a Grandmother's Garden quilt.
In an effort to pictorially explain how my brain functions, follow the photos below:

I started to lay out the hexs on the floor and Q moves in. She has this need to check out anything on the floor

So I think "How Cute!!" and proceed to try to get a good shot:

And after approximately 7 clicks where she manages to look away as the shutter opens, I finally get this:

where she looks possessed by an inner light
This one is only slighter better, She stills looks off to me. Notice her underdeveloped chin. She will always look like a kitten to me because of this feature.

Shasta watches from the presumed safety of the ottoman and I turn my attention towards her as she shies away. And why not? She is above all nonsense.

I leave with this: Delectable Mountain

Friday, October 9, 2009


The man elected President after serving with no distinction in the US Senate for less than one term has now been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for no discernible accomplishment towards any concrete result.

Lots of rhetoric, no result but let's give him an A for Effort and a million bucks to boot.

(He was NOMINATED for this "prize" after having served in the Office for less than 14 days.)

And I thought the committee had lost its collective minds when they gave it to Gore for writing a book and narrating a movie. How silly I was.

Even the Europeans are scratching their heads. Oh well, if it helps Obama and his Master Plan, what the heck. Let 'im have it.

Oh WAIT!!!! UP DATE~~~

"The committee said it attached "special importance to Obama's vision of and work (?) for a world without nuclear weapons," saying he had "created a new climate in international politics."

OK.... has anyone thought to tell Ahmedinnerjacket about this "world without nuclear weapons"? Or Kim Jong-Il? Last I heard, these two were ramping up their programs to build them.

And, psssttt Oh By The Way, how many nukes has Putin tossed in the Russian waste bin?

Monday, October 5, 2009


I do , I do, I DO!!!!! I LOVE IT! It's fast as lightning and EMPTY of crap that got DLed I don't know how and I personally could not delete or even find, for that matter. But it WAS THERE, making my computing experience one of a nightmare, at times.

Try as I might I could not find it, and it drove me to distraction because with every launch of an application, or send to print or start-up, these blasted error messages kept popping up, C:\\WINDOWS\ etc then lomokafu.dll telling me that it couldn't be found and try inserting the start up diskette which doesn't exist with this HP computer because NOTHING, including MANUALS come with the purchase of computers these days!!!!!!!

So in desperation, I turned to a recent graduate from Hattiesburg in computer science who speaks Geek and knows everything I ever wanted to know about binary but was afraid to ask. AND HE straightened ME out! Tout de suite and I am so thrilled. Not only that but he upgraded my RAM to warpspeed and I am truly grateful and not worthy. AND if anyone in this reading locale needs a nerd (a cute nerd. Not really a nerd at all, but "Needs a Nerd" sorta sounds catchy), drop me a line so I can forward him the business.

I am so psyched. I went home and baked a cake. From scratch and made up the recipe. If it comes out good, I'll post it. The cherries were hand-picked and canned in Maine and given to me by the UberComputerGuru's mother.

Y-not with Y-Seams

I am a member of a quilt group here in SELA and we have begun a new Block of the Month project that will carry on for a full year. (no skipping ahead!)

Several members were bringing in different ideas last week and we'd pick the final one as a group to do together, once a month AT THE MEETING. One candidate was WONKY TOWN, and as much as I like the quilt, I didn't think my time spent on it would improve my sewing.

Another one was really good but I chose to do one of Leslie's EQ quilts. And I really look forward to making this one because a lot of the blocks have techniques of sewing that I am woefully poor at: Y seams in particular.

So to begin, I thought about color scheme. We were told to bring in the equivalent of 3 fat quarters. (remember now, none of us have seen the quilt design possibilities at this point, we're going to choose the final BOM that day at the meeting).....and I promptly dropped that because if anyone has fabric laying around the house, it's me. Why not use up all these scraps?

So I dragged out a baggie of scraps from a project I made 3 years ago and then unearthed another bag of Christmas (Nancy Halverson) fabrics. These two I took to the meeting and the one on the left is the one I made there. The one on the right was the one I made when I got back home: (notice all the Y-seams)

I thought, well, why not make two at the same time. And that got me thinking, what the heck, why not keep dragging out scrap collections and make LOTS at the same time. Imagine that, at the end of the year, I can have lots of finished quilts to compare.

Another Bright and an Oriental.

I'm going to keep doing this.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Michael Moore is an unmentionable word

He has a new "documentary" film out in theatres.

Full disclosure: I have NEVER seen any of his supposedly brilliant movies. Not a single one. Why? Because his personality is one I find abrasive. Why support a person monetarily of whom I don't care.

But this new one offers an interesting opportunity.

It's a screed against capitalism. In FACT! the title is Capitalism: A Love Story.

(He's so ironic, no?) No that's not the right word at all. He's so .... I'll keep working on the right word.

Now, having not seen any of his films, I am FIRST to admit I don't know if he offers up viable options to our miserable existance in USA. (I remember something about how AWESOME Cubans have it in their country, regardless of how abusive our decades-long Government-led boycott has been). I can only presume it has threads of "european supremacy" as a root.

But there is this opportunity I mentioned. I'd like to approach one of those MultiPlex theatres and just ask for a ticket. Not actually pay for it. Just get it and walk in. Because "Capitalism never did anything for me", he said. I am not sure what has done something, anything for him but I can see by his girth he eats well. Maybe not "well" as in healthy but "well" as in plenty. And I have to surmise he has health insurance. (He's gonna need it when diabetes kicks in!) But perhaps not. Perhaps he just shows up at the ER when he needs medical advice. He did make "Sicko" which supposedly skewered US healthcare. I don't know... I may be unfair here. Perhaps he wings over to Havana for his healthcare. He tells us it is better than anything we got here.

I hear he lives well, too, with a "cabin" in Michigan ($1.2 mil; that's SOME cabin) and a swanky apartment in Manhattan. Hey! I have no problem with that. He earned it through hard work slamming the country that rewards him for this indignity! Who am I to deny HIM?

But, who is HE to deny ME the pleasure of his philosphy gratis?

If socialism or communism is better for society as a whole, I think I ought to be able to see my virgin Moore movie for free. In fact, I think ALL of us ought to be able to view it for free.

Communism has never done anything for me. I think it ought to start with "Moore".

(now , THAT is ironic)

Friday, October 2, 2009

This is cool

Barack Obama's amazingly consistent smile from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.

In Just 18 Days...

...we have progress in the beds. Take a looky:

I have begun the thinning process and I find that every time I remove a neighbor, the plant that remains grows twice in size within days. Those of you who know this miracle already must give me a little space here. I have always heard that thinning is a must but have not put it into practice with the vigor of this time and I see for myself the errors of my (past) ways. As I do pull or cut away the seedlings, I have transplanted a few here and there, to bulk up in the beds. I still have issues with just throwing away things and until I have chicklets to gobble up the greens, I will be me, as much as possible.

Here's the kale and lettuces as proof that I AM,I AM thinning.

And two bits of mustard tenders and buttercrunch lettuce. Don't ask which is which. I don't remember. All will be revealed in the fullness of time; 'til then, I think the tenders are on the front, with the lettuce right behind. That's kale toward the rear of the bed. And swiss chard scattered in the middle

Crooked neck squash:
it's beautiful and I do hope it will produce a few pieces before a freeze. I watch the hours of the day lessen and the angle of the sun lower with every passing day and worry that the beds have been placed a little too far towards the house for winter veg. Time will till on this, too. I don't want to remove the shading trees.

Ah HA! now look at the tomatoes.

If you read this blog, you may remember that this one (three really) on the left is the ONE I planted on it's side a few weeks ago. LOOK how it has recovered! The one on the far right is a single tomato plant but the other three is actually a single plant as well and is beginning to flower out again. Even if all we get are green tomatoes, I'll be content to know this technique is a success.

Not so good as of this post are the carrots and beets. They seem to struggle and I wonder if it's still just a little too early and warm. I replanted the beets after the ant banquet, as well as the swiss chard (which are doing fine, thanks) but only half of them have surfaced and I don't know if it's the seeds, subterranean ants or timing. However, I have lots of seeds and will try it again in a few weeks.

Ditto the cabbage and cauliflower: Only one cauli survives and two cabbages out of three each. And the second cabbage (and third) is looking grim. The brussells are still growing, weird. I'm grateful! but I find the others perplexing.

Rutabagas, I remembered to pick up a bag of seeds and they popped up very quickly and I'm glad of that because so far we have no signs of the red potatoes and I don't know if they are alive. I just heard from a friend that her are up as of this morning and she planted a couple of days after us so I'll hope for the best...

Sugar snaps, they are terrific!

and I picked up a bag of snow peas to plant as well, in good time along with spinach. I have shallots! and have planted leeks and red onions too but they are still laying low. The broccoli all made it and the collards are down to 3 survivors, out of 9. That's dreadful, yes, but we made out just fine with 3 plants last year and still had leftover in the freezer. I am not crying over the collards.

Over with the non-existent potatoes down in the back (grrrr), we planted red clover as a cover crop for next spring and they really jumped out of the soil. So did those weird squashmelonthings. Everywhere!!!! I hope the clover chokes them all out.

It is so cool to be able to do this and have fun at the same time. (That sounds alittle sick. Here I am writing about choking vegetables and massacreing fire ants and having fun!) It's like being a kid again with all the wonder and excitement AND disappointment, that's there too. (And the choking and murdering. Yeach, what's WRONG with me!)

But mostly just crazy fun and I wish anyone reading this drivel would give it a try.

If it's nothing more than a potted patio tomato plant in an apartment balcony, do it. If it's the odd jalapeno pepper plant in your flowerbed, DO IT! Stick in 3 bamboo poles and plant Kentucky Wonder green beans in the spring and you will have such fun picking beans for dinner for weeks! DO IT! HEY it's winter in the south, plant sugar snaps! Get a simple fence or lattice to allow them to vine up and you'll go crunch on these yummy peapods all winter long. I toss them in salads. Plant 3 collards in your backyard and you'll have fresh greens EVERY DINGDONG day! It's amazing.

I KNOW I am a lucky stiff. I know this! And I realize not everyone wants to garden vegetables. But just think: if you plant flowers in the spring, why not toss in a few edible plants as well. You don't NEED to plant lots to make it worth the while.

Anyway, back on topic: we stopped at Lowe's and picked up three peach trees and three satsumas and one kumquat tree. Also 4 thornless blackberries. We have already on the property a HUGE lowquat in full bloom at the moment and I look forward to harvesting this. I have been in discussions with a local blueberry man and muscadine man and both are lined up to help get those bushes and vines in shortly
But first, we need to get that tractor! We want to plant much more than 6 or 7 trees and without a posthole digger, I don't see it happening quickly.

UpDate: Unbeknownst to me, as I sleep deeply (when I do sleep, that is), we had a major "rain event" last night and all the trees were on their sides this morning. As were most of the seedlings and plants without stakings. (Don't you just love this new terminology over at the Weather Channel: rain event, tornadic activity.) So the photos may look a tad strange, with the plants keeling over and all. They'll straighten out with the sunshine later.

I leave you with a parting shot of Polo as Guard Kitteh!. He's a real panther out here in the Back Two.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just.... wow! Who knew? UP DATED!!!!!! NOW with MUSIC!!!!

In a session with reporters on Monday, Mrs. Obama said, "You know, there are a number of big cities that are bidding. And when you live in a big city there are issues that are unique to urban settings. Chicago isn't unique in that way. But that's one of the things that I can talk about personally. I mean, you know, most of these Games are taking place blocks away from my house. There's good security by my house these days. And while Chicago is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it is -- people don't live in fear. The downtown area is completely accessible.

"But more importantly, the character of Chicago shines through. We're Midwestern folks, and there's a bit of southern hospitality that comes along with that place. We know how to treat our visitors with respect and with open arms. And I think that's the character that will shine through, in addition to the fact that it's such an international city.

"Then you think about the countries that are going to be represented and you think of the 77 different community areas in Chicago, it's almost a little U.N. There are significant communities that would support these athletes from across the globe. And it's important for people to understand that Chicago isn't just a U.S. place, it's an international place. And people will be able to go into communities and shop and find food that they get back home. They'll be able to hear their music. They'll be able to see people like them.

"I know Mayor Daley, and he's going to make sure that these Games go off without a hitch because that's the kind of mayor he is. It's not called the "City That Works" for nothing. It really works. And it's not always perfect, but it's really, really good."

So let's recap: Chicago is 1. Mid-western (does that mean "fly-over?), 2. Cosmopolitan 3. International 4. Southern 5. Epicurian 6. Musical 7. Safe (don't forget safe!) and 8. Secure. Oh and 9. Inviting

UP DATE!!!!! #10: and OUT!

I had no idea they used Chicago as inspiration when Disney built Epcot. Why can't we just hold the Olympics in Kissimmee, FL?

She also mentioned something about our kids obesity problem and how holding the 2016 Games in Chicago would address this condition. I'm not sure how watching athletes on TV is going to help kids when funding has been scaled back but hey, what do I know?
"We need all of our children to be exposed to the Olympic ideals that athletes from around the world represent, particularly this time in our nation’s history, where athletics is becoming more of a fleeting opportunity. Funds dry up so it becomes harder for kids to engage in sports, to learn how to swim, to even ride a bike. When we’re seeing rates of childhood obesity increase, it is so important for us to raise up the platform of fitness and competition and fair play; to teach kids to cheer on the victors and empathize with those in defeat, but most importantly, to recognize that all the hard work that is required to do something special." -Michelle Obama
Now, silly me, I would have thought our kids are exposed to this work ethic every DAY in America but now I learn that it takes a Chicago Olympic Village to raise a thin child.

I DEFY you to remain seated with this!"