EVER HEARD THE PHRASE “BUG UP YOUR BUTT?”

Living in any kind of space that promotes bugs is just asking for this, but I never EVER before thought it was a real thing.

Decades I have mumbled behind angry people that they have a “bug up their butt” and never thought twice about the phrase before yesterday.

I woke up and started my day as usual:

  • Coffee
  • Check email
  • Listen to news
  • Wash face, wake up, get dressed, and get going on the day.

During all of these starting moments, I comfortably stay in my PJ’s.  Once I have actually started to wake up, my next task is to get ready to greet the world (NEVER IN PJ’s).  So I wander down to my bedroom (yep, it’s on the lower level of the house, and it is below ground level very important to note this.), change out of my wonderfully friendly PJ’s and into my daily gotta-do-chores clothes.  Right now, because it is still very hot here, it is cut off shorts and a grubby tee-shirt.  Perfect for doing farm and garden work comfortably.  Off with the old, on with the new and back upstairs.

I decided that this mornings breakfast was going to be a sausage, egg, and cheese toasted English muffin.  I start with my plastic microwave container, open the fridge and place a small handful of shredded cheese into it.  Then I open the lower freezer and grab a frozen sausage patty and place it on top of the cheese.  Then I grab one egg, break it in a bowl, add a bit of milk and scrambled the snot out of it.  Once good and mutilated I pour that over the sausage/cheese stuff.

  • Cover with guard (because sometimes it will blow)
  • Set timer for 3 minutes
  • Head over to the toaster.

I grabbed my coffee (because we all know you can’t function without it in the morning – this morning being proof that I had not had enough yet.) and went to the bread box.  Opened it, pulled out a single English muffin, cut it in half, and plopped it into the toaster.

Now the fun part:

While listening to some great 70’s music going on in the office (where I check my daily mail), humming a bit, sniffing one of my fav smells of toasting bread,  and waiting for the ding from the microwave; I felt a poke in my left butt cheek.

Now, we have some tall nasty grass seeds out here.  Once the grasses get dried out, the seeds start to fly everywhere.  They also have a bad tendency to dig themselves (pointed end of course) into clothes.  Mostly my socks but I have found them in other places as well.  Most of my gardening is done with me sitting right on the ground (usually on my carpet pad), so it is not unusual for me to get an occasional grass seed stuck in my shorts and poking my butt.  I should have been so lucky this morning.

grass seed stuck in cloth

(you can see the darn things stuck in this cotton rag)

So I casually reach back to try to scratch the seed lose but low-and-behold it was a much large bump, AND IT MOVED??!!!  Immediate removal of shorts and underwear (just in case it was down at that level), followed by a ton of shaking and dancing about.  I should also know that the adrenaline was in DEFCON 9-million now.  I totally forgot about my breakfast and immediately went to hunting the predator in my pants.

jim-carrey-happy-dance

AH HA – A LARGE BLACK BEETLE IT IS!

lg black beetle

(This is a copy of one from the yard – they run in packs you know!)

By the time I turned back to stomp on the monster from my pants (Oh, a possible idea for a new scary movie?), the sucker had disappeared?

I spent the next hour scouring the kitchen floor (main reaction site) to no avail.  The monster got away – JUST GREAT.  I spent the whole rest of the day scratching my entire body afraid of finding some other unwanted critter.  Luckily nothing.

The rest of the day was nice and calm and off to bed as usual.

I woke up about 2 am feeling an urge for a bathroom visit and when I turned on the light, guess what crawled in under my bedroom door to greet me – UGH!!!

I got my slippers on ready to pounce on my attacker, and he disappeared again – GRR.

So, now I have to add another step to my daily routine – completely shake out, turn inside-out, shake again just incase on all clothes I decide to put on.  Next thing you know the sucker will find my bra and bite – jerks!

P.S. Hope this made you giggle as much as I still do, thinking about it all – and my you never think of the phrase “bug up your butt” the same way again.

(Oh, and I almost forgot the other fun thing from yesterday.  This sucker landed on my leg while I was weeding:

  3-in wasp 9-10-19

I caught this pic of it on the tree and thought it was scary/cool, till it landed on me then I cut it in half with my nippers – NOT taking any chances.  Found out is harmless to humans it is:   Pigeon Tremex Horntail and the Giant Ichneumon Wasp)

 

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WHAT IS YOUR STRONGEST SENSE?

You know by now that I am a crafter, so my sense of sight and touch are important to me.  We have a small farm, so my sense of hearing is important to the life of our critters.  The predators around us are pretty good about making some type of noise when they are on the move.

My mother blessed me with the love of speech.  She grew up in the era without that crazy thing we call a TV.  During that time period, you had to know how to hold a conversation, and she was prime at it.  She also taught us all (including dad, who became better at it than her) the art of “picking with love” of which I am a perfect target.  We understood that if someone in the family was not picking on you, they didn’t like you.  The more we teased and picked at each other, the greater the love was.  Apparently, I was (still am) very much loved.  My dad’s two favorite nicknames for me were:

  • Rimp: From the cartoon series, The Jetsons. Astro, the dog, was picking on George when he was shrunk by saying: “Rook at the Rimp!”  Since I was the shortest of the three daughters, it was my honor.
  • Dumb Shit: This one was his way of telling me that I had a great idea, I just didn’t think it through very well: “Ya Dumb Shit, why did you put the open paint can right by your feet?”  (Note, this was ALWAYS said with a smile, and sometimes he had a hard time holding back the giggles while reprimanding me.)

Taste goes a long way in my senses because my sister (whom I live with on our farm) is a bake-a-holic.  She is constantly making up something.  She loves to try new ideas and recipes, and will occasionally try to slip a hot pepper in on me (FYI: Hot peppers and I do NOT get along at all!!).  I love that she loves doing most of the cooking as I do not – however – leaving things like fresh baked Italian bread or still warm fudge brownies lying around is not a good thing.  Since I am home to smell these all day long, it is only fair that I must snack on them as I walk by – every time I walk by – several times a day.  (And my doctor wonders why I can’t lose weight – duh!)

apple bacon pancake 1    apple bacon pancake 2

(This was this morning’s teaser: Apple, Bacon, Pancake – awesome!!)

Out of all the human senses, my sense of smell has to be my most favorite.  The above paragraph helped to explain part of the reason – kitchen smells.  Our mom burned a pan of water down to a metal pile on the stove (now there’s a smell you do NOT forget) while trying to boil water for noodles.  She hated to cook, and it was obvious why she married dad – he loved to cook.  He was fantastic at it.  Cooking was one of dad’s greatest passions in life.  We were the top cookers when it came to family get-togethers.  Football games, holidays, even hay-baling hay were all perfect excuses for dad to whip something up.  I remember helping him cut up fruit for the fruit salad (main staple) for every party.

fruit salad

The fall corn roast involved going out with him very early in the morning,  on the day of the roast, into the field.  The pickers had already come through an obtained what they needed for canning, the rest that they missed (which was always a lot) was now ours to claim.  He would drive the tractor while we walked beside the wagon behind the tractor.  Our job was gathering up the missed ears and tossing them onto the wagon.  Then we would bring them all up to the back yard where a huge horse tank filled with water, and tons of ice would be waiting to prep the corn.  Throwing the cobs into the tank was always a ball because we would be tossing them from the wagon into the tank – not always making the tank.

When people started showing up, the best smells started:

  • Icy ears of corn cooking on a huge open grill (made from a metal barrel because grills were not that huge back then).
  • Hotdogs, hamburgers, and the occasional steak that someone would bring in for themselves were also on that grill.
  • The kids usually went directly to the hay barn (major smell) first since we always made forts and tunnels in the bales. We also had a great rope swing to sail down from a platform into the chopped straw pile.

I find it funny now that I can be doing a simple drive into town, pass by someone cutting their hayfield, and get an instant flashback from the smell.

I love touch because it helps with crafting.  I love hearing the birds sing.  I love tasting all my sisters great cooking.  I love to see the change of season colors.  But my strongest and most favorite would have to be smell.  It just brings back so many great memories in a heartbeat.

You can also check me out at:  https://lifelessonslived.com/ for all the fun things I have learned in life.

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WAY TO GO MINNESOTA!

All-in-all, it’s sad that we have had to come to this.  But I do give major kudos to the state for finally doing something to support our natural critters, even if it had to involve money.

The Smithsonianmag.com email that I recently received posted this new report:

Minnesota Will Pay Residents to Grow Bee-Friendly Lawns

It’s part of their “Smart News” series which I love reading.

We try to do as much as we can and promote others to do the same, in all ways natural.  We saw our first Bumble Bee of the season just a week ago.  It was having a hay-day on our Honeysuckle.  I could not get close enough (or get it to slow down enough) to see if it is a “Rusty” or some other species.  I just loved that it chose to visit us.  The stupid boxer, Pig (yes that is his name) dog, spotted it and thought it was worthy of chasing – idiot!  Caught him snapping at it, so I had to chase him off of it.  His is supposed to be a smart breed, yet I constantly catch him doing really stupid stuff?!

bumble bee

I had a wonderful, beautiful wandering thought.  What if everyone in the world grew flowers?  They could be as simple as a single Daisy in a pot, or a rail basket full of marigolds, or a ton all over your yards (kind of like our home – we try to put flowers in everything).  Imagine not only the beauty but the benefits.  Feeding good bugs and birds naturally (FYI: I love it when our Humming Birds come to visit our Honeysuckle).

We also love to use companion planting with as much as we can in our gardens.  When I initially started learning about it, I was amazed at how many ways you can protect and encourage your own little space of land, just by using “buddies” while you do it.  Isn’t it nice to know those good friends work best together in nature, not just in humans?

Happy Gardening!

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An Ode: Spring In Colorado – Damn!

Once again it is Spring.

Time to do the growing thing.

Last few months were prepping time.

Now is time to plant in line.

Got the plots all ready to go.

Put the seed in sow-sow-sow.

Grab the seedlings carefully.

Fingers getting all muddy.

Dig the holes, place them in.

Time for growing to begin.

So gently we handle the little starts.

Making sure all rows are marked.

Then Mother Nature gives a laugh.

She turns our sunshine into crap.

Warm spring days are quickly gone.

She helps the snow to linger on.

My starters droop, they start to cry.

Tell me Mother, how come? Why?

She smiles at God and starts to giggle.

“Isn’t it fun to make humans wriggle!”

THE END.

*************************************************************************************

Sometimes Mother Nature is a sick mother.

 (I just love the movie Moana – Tafiti is too perfect!)

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Another Fun Year on the Farm – woohoo?

I do believe in God and Angels.  I also believe that he has a very warped sense of humor, and he is in cahoots with Mother Nature.

I like to think that Angels watch over us.  I used to think they helped to protect and guide us, now I think they are more like messengers.  Yes, they are watching us, but they do it just to report back to their boss.  We all know that the best way to get “in good with the Boss” is to make them laugh.  Pretty sure that my Angel is the Bosses Right-Hand-Man providing all the juicy info on me.

gossip gals

All I wished for this year was a boring year – no drama at all.  Nope, apparently, the powers that be decided it gets too dull for them if I’m not going through some type of issues.

It started out with my 10-year old Grandson stealing from me, then lying about it (like Grandma’s are stupid – really?!).  That was then followed up by a Bomb Cyclone – WHAT?  I had never heard of such a thing before, especially not here in Colorado.  Tornado (oh, wait – that was last year) yes, but Cyclone?

Our tools started disappearing?  We keep them specifically in a small shed that we worked very hard last year to turn into our “tool” shop.  First, I thought we had someone sneaking onto our property when we were not home or in the middle of the night.  I also questioned my own mental faculties, thinking I had used and just misplaced them.  I finally found one of my hammers sitting out in the pasture behind the chicken coop.   It was not sitting by anything that needed to be hammered, which could only mean one thing.  I questioned my Grandson, “Did you take out my tools, without asking, and not put them back?”

“OH, NOOO, GRANDMA!” Shot out of his mouth before I could even finish asking – a dead giveaway.

“Then how do we explain this hammer being found in the middle of the field behind the chickens?  You know, right where you have been playing.”

I got that I’m innocent look at first.

It soon turned into the Oh shit, I’ve been caught look.

Which then became the Quick, make up a story to get out of this look.

Yes, I have seen and know them all on him, and he just doesn’t get it.  There are only three of us in the house (unless you count the cat and she refuses to do any kind of work) and if my sister and myself did not do it, there is only one person left.  So, I put a lock on the tool shed.

  • Followed by a lock on the bigger shed.
  • Followed by a lock on the roofless greenhouse because he was sneaking in through there to get into stuff.
  • Followed by locks on all three of the barn doors.

The only thing that is not locked (yet) is the chicken coop.  It’s all stupidly sad because I use some type of tool around here almost daily and I have to unlock everything, get what I need, then lock it all back up again – EVERY SINGLE TIME NOW! Grr!!

multiple locks

Once we mostly had control of our tools again, we took on moving the mutts.  The older/bigger female – Corona – digs holes everywhere.  We only have about 3 plots where flowers once grew that are not completely torn up.  But, worse than her digging is the escape artist – Pig Dog (full name: Weiner Pig because he is one – jerk!).  He has escaped from the fully fenced and latticed front yard more times than I can count.  That’s bad enough, but each time he gets out, something dies.  Usually one of our cats or chickens.  I have tried:

  • 3 different collars
  • 2 different chains
  • Shock Collars
  • The old farmer method of tying a dead animal that he killed to his neck (worked with other farm dogs, but not this monster).

Nothing worked.  Now they have a separated pen of wood, t-posts, lattice, and wire.  He got out again.  So I moved his heavy-duty chain into that special area originally hooked up to the porch rail.  Oops – too close to the gate he slipped out of his collar (again) and was over the gate the minute I turned my back.  Now I am down to the heavy-duty chain, hooked to a separate post, and a choke collar (but hooked through both loops, so he doesn’t choke).  I hate to do it, but nothing else is working.  All the newer dog collars have plastic latches, and he snaps them apart in an instant.

bad dog 1    WHO ME?    bad dog 2

It rained last night and somewhere in the night that big-giant-panzie managed to slip out of the choke collar, open the gate big enough for both dogs to get through, and ended up back in the front yard again.  Now I am down to using the choke collar the way it is meant to be used.  When it warms up this weekend, I will try to get a dark cover on the outside of the whole pen.  My thought is that maybe if he can’t see it, he won’t try to get out after it – wish me luck…PLEASE!!

stupid chicken   Ah, life on a farm is never a dull moment.

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DON’T YOU JUST LOVE “SIMPLE REMINDERS?”

The funny things that come to a person when you get a simple reminder.  A fellow blogger wrote about dandelions, and I suddenly found myself going back to my childhood on the farm.

We had:

  • 80-Acres of land to run on.
kids rolling on hill

(bigger hills please.)

  • A pond and a part of the Milwaukee River to play in.

farm pond

  • Horses, beef cattle, run-amok-rabbits (started as a 4-H project, ended with over 100 of them)

cows n horses together      bunnies

(The horses to cows ratio are pretty close, but the bunnies are way under numbered here.  We had over 100 at one time.  Then they became – freezer meat – I know, how could we?  That’s farm life folks.)

  • Pigs on occasion (those were mostly raised by nearby relatives along with chickens)

pasture farm pigs

(Notice: pasture not cement buildings.)

  • A massive garden.

large garden

(Take this pic and stretch it to about 100-feet long – that was the length of our garden.  Roughly 25 feet wide with a massive strawberry bed on the north end and a huge raspberry patch on the south end.  Appletree to the east, cherry tree to the west and every kind of veggie in the middle – yum!)

  • Fruit bushes and trees.

(We had a great cherry tree in the front yard and a huge raspberry patch.  I used to have a perfect pic of my mom in that raspberry patch.  She had a shoulderless top on and standing in the patch at full season looked naked – LOL!)

  • And a barn that held tons-of-fun things to do.

kids in hay barn

(I found this pic, but it is EXACTLY what we did as kids!  Climb up on beams and jump in – woohoo!)

With all that great stuff, what more could a child ask for?

Happy 1st of May everyone – here’s wishing it’s a fantastic gardening year!

happy gardening cartoon

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BOMB CYCLONE – PART 2 – WHY?

I can’t believe I just heard the guy on the news say that this next storm coming in could be another bomb cyclone – WHAT?

I am a farmer/gardener and as such am constantly watching the weather.  The spring even more so as this is the start of our fooding season (yes I said fooding).  If our spring setup starts off bad, it makes for a very hard growing season the rest of the year.  Today (Tuesday 4/9/19) it is supposed to hit 80°(F) then it drops down by thirty degrees by tomorrow morning.  The day just continues to get worse from there, and the winds are supposed to be wickedly dangerous again. (Hang on to your butts Nebraska!)

Then, in true Colorado style, everything will bounce back beautifully.  I still remember the storms in Wisconsin (where I grew up).  It would start to snow around October (usually about the time we wanted to go trick-or-treating on Halloween), and not give up until sometime in April.

I remember snow drifts so high we would walk up and touch the top of the barn (one-year sledding was a blast!).  I remember building snow tunnels and forts in those drifts.  The outer edge would get a great icy crust on it, but the inside was perfect for digging out.  Those tunnels would usually last most of the winter.

snow tunnels

According to friends and family that still live back there, the last few months were the strongest storms that they had seen in decades.  I even recall them telling me that the last several years were drought years – WISCONSIN – DROUGHT??

WI greenery(Rolling hills, green and lush all the norm.)

Wisconsin is supposed to be hot and humid.  My hair is naturally curly and growing up I looked like Bozo the Clown most of the time.  When we were very young, mom would cut our hair because it was too hard to manage (bowl cut of course – yuck!).

bozo the clown  bowl haircut(like this but curly)

This 80-90 degrees on one day then 24-48 hours later a blizzard never happened in Wisconsin.  Part of moving to and staying in Colorado is just because of the weather.  I will NEVER forget my very first visit driving from Wisconsin with friends and a sister to Denver, then to the western slope.  Things (business wise) went from bad to worse in Wisconsin, so I convince people to take a trip to Colorado.  I had dreamed of seeing the Rocky Mountains and Alaska when I was younger, so I thought – why not? When we got to Denver people were roller skating down the sidewalk in shorts?!  We just left three feet of snow and freaking sub-zero temps.  That is still so clear in my mind, and I am pretty sure the main reason I stayed.

roller skating

The changes in weather are great fun, but rotten for spring planting.

TO PLANT, OR NOT TO PLANT – THAT IS THE QUESTION?

Every year I try hard to get the potatoes and onions in somewhere by the end of March – didn’t happen.  Then I work just as hard to get the corn in by mid-April – not looking good.

We have tons of flowers coming up, buds are getting big on the trees, and we will have flowers on them soon too – eeek!  If we get the freeze they are expecting (The Weather Channel.com – I check it every day, couple times a day on my tech.), then all those flower buds could freeze – meaning no fruit – grr!

I have officially decided to wait on planting, starting or transplanting anything until at least next week Tuesday – April 16th – aptly my birthday.  Wish me luck!  I am even going to take some of my sister’s starters out to the ripped up greenhouse and see what I can do with them – mainly in the protection area.  Without a cover on it, it will be every plant for itself.  I will be using some of our 5-gallon buckets to protect them should we get a deep fluke freeze after next Tuesday.  It could still happen into the early part of May here, but I am optimistic (oh silly me).

Hope you all have an easier planting schedule and a bit more reliable weather pattern than we do.  Maybe when I am old, rich, and retired (instead of so darn beautiful – LOL), I will fully appreciate the fun changes here – who knows?

Old Rich 1

Old Rich 2

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One More Sign Or Just Legend?

I just love stories like this one:

Rare oarfish, regarded as omens of natural disasters, found alive in Japan                          By Alex Stambaugh and Junko Ogura, CNN

Makes me wonder what the true reason is?

Owning or working anything that requires you to mess with nature, should make you think about these things.  The very least you should take notice of them.  I do believe that all things happen for a reason.  Our home was destroyed by a tornado late last summer.  Not the house so much, but the gardens and greenhouse.  I’m still not knowing what the reason was behind it, but I could drive myself nuts playing with theories:

  • First was punishment: We got disgusted, frustrated, and angry at all the people mooching off of us, so we threw them all out.  On is in jail – again –  but that is now for his own mother to worry about.
  • Second was preparation: Prepping us for something worse to be happening soon.
  • Third was par-for-the-course: Just when I think things are going better for us, something else pops up and shits on our parade.

That’s just three, but my list keeps building.  Then I read stories like the one above.  These are based on real news – things that are happening now.  Then they throw some flare like “legend has it” in there for reader interest.  Well, it works on me every time, especially when it has to do with nature.

One of my biggest why is this happening theory is based on the thought that someone, somewhere is trying to tell us something.  It could be something that we are not doing right?  Maybe it is something we are doing all wrong?  Maybe we should be doing more?  Maybe we should be doing it all differently?  These thoughts are also endless for me.

Now that we (humans that is) have evolved into such creatures of technology, we are better able to track and record things.  Simple things that we tracked just for the sake of tracking decades ago have now developed a purpose, and sometimes a greater meaning.  (WOW – do I sound deep here or what?).

Personally, I love the weather.  Humans have been trying to track and control it for centuries, and we still get it wrong.  I love to follow the old wife’s tales of the past:

  • If your barn animals have a thick coat come fall, you are going to have a harsh winter (not necessarily a full of snow winter, could just be extremely cold.).
  • Achy joints – the weather is going to change. (This one I do believe because mine will kill me when the weather does a severe change.).
  • It’s going to rain because the cows are all lying down. (NOT – those huge 4-legged monsters get just as tired as we do, but it is funny to see a whole feed of them on a hot sunny day lying down on the job.)
  • Head to the southwest corner of the lowest part of your home (like a basement) when a tornado hits. They say this isn’t true, but  – to this day – that is EXACTLY where I went and will continue to go when they strike.
  • If the Wooly Bear caterpillar has a thick coat, it will be a heavy snow winter. Have no clue on this one and here in Colorado I have not even seen many of the Wooly Bears. We did see one really early last spring – totally out of season. Then had that tornado in July – hmmm.  Maybe it was trying to tell us something?

My point is that I do believe in signs.  I think there are things all around us in nature that if we just stop and pay it a little bit of attention, we may just learn something.

I watch the skies for signs of rain or a bad storm.  I watch the soil to see if we are getting enough moisture for the gardens to make it, or will I have to put in a lot of extra time watering to help them out.  I watch the geese fly overhead and if they are traveling north or south (north for summer, south for winter as the saying goes).  Then again here in Colorado, this one can be a bit off.  We have geese here year around, but we only have snow geese in winter.  On a warm day, you can see them traveling north one moment then south a bit later?

I do keep a really close eye on the budding of the trees.  We have such odd weather here.  If it is too nice out too early and the trees start to bud, they could be in for trouble before they are ready.  We have lost blossoms many years because it would be 65+degrees in March then dump snow and below zero temps in April.  One year on two weekends (back-to-back no less) in April Friday reached up to the nineties, but by Monday we were below thirty and snowing like the east coast is now (ooo – new phrase: Snowing like the east coast in 2019!?!).

According to the article above and the tales connected to it, there may be a natural disaster headed for Japan within the next year.  The scientists even agreed that these rare creatures may have popped up because of some underwater change.  However, they also agree that this does not mean they are headed for another 2011 tsunami.  Will be interesting to check back on this post a year from now and see if anything happened?

Do you believe in the signs around you?  Do you even watch for them?

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FREAK OUT – Fire, Fire, Fire!?

We have a new neighbor.  One of the more prominent locals bought the field down below our small farm.  It was always just used for hay or corn planting, with occasional cows to clean up and fertilize.  The nice thing was they left the hollow alone.  Over the last several years I have posted pics of the hollow:

He has been cleaning and clearing out the hollow.  Yesterday he stopped in to say if we received enough snow, he was going to burn the wood piles today.  We have burned wood piles in our yard from fallen branches, spring or late fall weed collection, miscellaneous debris but nothing like this:

brush fire 2-7-19 hollow

First, I forgot he was going to do that and, I smelled smoke – INSTANT FREAK OUT!  Started running through the house to see where the smell was coming from (praying hard it was not another fire), then I stopped and remembered – it’s outside stupid!  I casually came back upstairs and headed to the west window in the bathroom (best view), and sure enough, the massive log piles are on fire.

brush fire 2-7-19 hollow 2

It was kind of cool to watch because it reminded me of my teenage years.  Friends from Prentice and Ladysmith Wisconsin should remember the parties we teens had with bonfires in somebody’s dads’ field.  During the summer there was usually one or two that went on.  Some pretty wild and fun times back then.

teen bonfire

I still love our fire pits which are outside and only the size of a small charcoal grill.  I love the smell of a good BBQ cooking (and my sister is STELLAR at the grill!).  But get a ton of smoke floating around and the horrific memories flood in.  Roasting marshmallows – fantastic.  Roasting house, not so good.

I then spotted something I was not anticipating.  Little black particles and pieces are floating all over the place?  Suddenly it dawned on me what they were and where they were coming from – the burning wood piles!  Just as our burn barrels will send up bits of burned debris, so were these monster piles.  Now the rest of my day will be spent on watching EVERYTHING.  I could see his truck down by the fires earlier, but don’t see anyone down there right now – not a good feeling.  I am sure he is probably just down farther behind our barn, and I cannot see him – I hope.

Funny how something like a smell can bring back such fun and such scary feelings all at the same time.

good smell   bad smell

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THINK ABOUT IT – 3-Rs OR JUST “T”?

The last several decades have been all about the 3-Rs:

  • REUSE
  • RECYCLE (or repurpose)
  • REPAIR

I’m going to blame mom and her being a child of the depression again.  SHE NEVER THREW ANYTHING AWAY (yes, I am yelling it – on purpose – at her because I know she is listening up in heaven.)!  This is a great habit to get into, to a point.  There does come a time when you just have to say “throw it out!”

Garden hoses are a tough one for me.  If it just has a split or two or an end is shot, I will repurpose it.  The first three years on our farm were major drought years (worst in 100 years according to locals).  We soaked in and tried every bit of advice from where ever it came from:

  • Overhead spraying (big waste of water, especially 90+degree days.)
  • Ditch watering. Not bad except for it being a great way to feed a ton of unwanted weeds.
  • Spot watering. Best, but doing it by hand was awful.  I had to split our gardens into three separate areas because it took me all morning just to do one of the three.

Then one day (like it always is – better late than never) it dawned on me:  Cut up the old hoses and attach connectors to the ends.  This created a bunch of mini-hoses that I could run from area-to-area or plot-to-plot without losing any water in between.  I can connect the main hose to the outside faucet.  Run that to the first plot and attach a Y-flow connector.  Then I can either turn on that plot for watering, or shut that one off and turn on the flow to the next plot/tree/row.

hose y-2way splitterI can also take smaller bits of older hose and just connect them to flow from growing space to growing space by putting male and female connection ends on them.

Then, a couple of years ago, I found one of the best inventions for gardeners in a long time – The Quick Connector:
hose quick connect setWe have a number of rows instead of regular box plots with growing stuff.  We also figured out that putting the drip line below the ground by the roots was more efficient than just placing it on top of the soil.  After a while, the drip lines can leak or split bigger holes.  Having it below ground stops it from spraying in a place we don’t want to be watered, keeps the moisture by the roots where it is needed, and if it is a big leak, it will cause pooling.  When I find pooling I mark it until I am done watering that row.  Then I grab one of these:

hose -repair connector  (This one, by the way, is awesome!  The ends (green parts) keep it all together much easier, tighter, and quick to switch out as needed.)

The just “T” in my title stands for “trash” it.  It takes a lot for me to decide to toss something in the trash (my sister can verify this – eek).  Tin cans, coffee containers (tin and plastic), odd size glass jars (meaning we never use good Ball type jars except for canning), and any size plastic jars are all hung on to by me (Drives the sister nuts – hee hee).  Here are just a few of my uses for these things:

  • Larger ones like coffee containers are used for my yarn stuff. I can fit one large or a couple of small into a coffee can.  Then simply cut a hole in the top and viola’ – perfect way to manage yarn especially if you’re doing more than one color in your works.

 

  • Medium and smaller plastic is great for loose screws, nails, or bits and pieces in the shop that we don’t want to get rid of yet. If it is good shape, it will get reused on some project at a later date.
  • Tin cans all sizes and shapes are great for crafting, painting (craft, room or building), holding pens and pencils and stuff.

tin can use-grandson craft  (Grandson made this one for me)

  • Smaller pieces of broken glass, old rusty nails or metal, any other small sharp material found around the farm (especially in the driveway – after roofing is the worst!) can be put in the tin coffee cans. When it is full, we simply duct-tape the snot out of it and throw it in the trash.  Most of it (in a couple of million years) will decompose down and not lead to more flat tires around the house.

There are tons of uses for these types of containers.  Just throwing them in the trash seems like a huge waste to me.  It does drive my sister nuts, so I promised to try to cut back on the number I save (maybe?).  A good friend of ours also used the tin coffee cans to help with his seedlings.  He puts the small, delicate plant in the spot he wants it.  Then cuts off one end of the can completely (already should be off if you used the coffee.), and only cuts off about 3/4 of the other end.  He peels back the partially cut end and places the open end over the young plant.  Our winds will dry the heck out of anything young very quickly.  This not only protects it from the ugly winds but keeps it a bit warmer in case of a fluke freeze.  It also keeps the water in the spot he wants it (the can is sunk part way into the ground to keep it from flying off), and it even helps to keep unwanted critters from attacking or eating all of the young plants.  Only had a couple of cans to try his plan with, but it worked.  Then the tornado took off with my cans.  Time to start saving new ones – woohoo!

tornado lifing stuff

I wanted to share this bit of info for those of you that are garden-a-holics like us and have started planning out this season.  We are starting seeds this weekend and hope for a mild, boring growing season this year.

crazy gardener - snl   (Ya gotta love SNL and everything Christopher Walken does – both are classics!)

You can also check me out at:  www.lifelessonslived.com for all the fun things I have learned in life.

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