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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SHHHHHHH, I Would Like To Talk About Hobbies and farming.

Yes, I wish to discuss this quietly.  There is a reason for this.  I am obsessed with my hobbies, and I believe that if I discuss this quietly, like a secret, that maybe my subconscious won’t kick in and go craft-crazy.

Sounds easy, but when your “to-do” list is as huge as mine, just a thought of having a moment to myself for hobby stuff is insane.  There is always something that MUST be done now, especially on a small farm like ours.

crazy face

Don’t get me wrong; I love the rural life.  I love the space, the gardens, the critters, and even the chores (a little less weeding would be nice).  But I also love my hobbies.  When it gets right down to it, I prefer my hobbies.  I can easily do them any time of the year, day or night.  I don’t have to wait for good weather, or a certain season to get things done.  The bummer is that they are still just “hobbies” and do not pay the bills (yet).

I have been taking some online classes (all freebies-yea!) to learn all I can about running a home crafts business.  I think I have boiled it down to one major problem – TIME.  I never have enough time to do what I want to vs. what I have to do:

  1. Every morning by 5 a.m. I have to start the watering cycle.
  2. When it gets to be 90+degrees here, this must be done every day. We have some drip lines set up (in the corn & tomatoes mainly) which I can just turn on and let run for the allotted time.
  3. The rest is all hand watered. We have new, spring-planted, fruit trees which must get major watering every day right now.  I know it’s working because the “shock” part is over and new leaves have appeared (woohoo).
  4. Then, while it is still cool out, I work on weeding. EVERYTHING needs weeding this year – all the time it seems.  Normally we are not this wet so once weeded; an area would stay clear for a month, maybe the rest of the summer.  Not this year.  It was so moist and so cool this last spring, I swore I was back in upper Wisconsin.  I even have a 10’x10’ canopy that I can move around to help shade me while I weed.  It works great except that as soon as I move on to the next area, the last cleaned area starts to weed-up again – grr!

not that kind of weed (NO – not THAT kind of weed.)

If I had less weeding in the front yard,  and just concentrate on one major area each morning for about 2 hours (By then, it’s getting to be noon, and the wind dies – makes it awful to be outside because of biting black flies – hate them worse than mosquitoes. ); that would leave me time in the afternoon for my hobbies.

The only thing harder to do is decide which hobby I want to work on first:

  • Card Making
  • Beading
  • Embroidery
  • Knitting
  • Crochet
  • Sewing
  • Painting
  • Calligraphy
  • The list just goes on.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day, and another area to weed.  Perhaps a moment or several for one of my crafts?

Happy gardening – or hobbying!

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

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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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Interesting Tidbit for Today – April 3rd:

I love getting weird things in my email box (yes, I call it a box).  Things like the Smithsonian, Good Ole Days, Farmers Almanac, and even my M-W’s Word of the Day all deliver interesting factoids right to me.  Today I received an interesting thing from Farmers regarding horses – one of my most favorite subjects.

The History of the Pony Express.  I never knew things like the fact that it only ran for 18 months?  I really thought it ran for years and years.  Such a major milestone in our nation’s history and it was only around for a very short time – wild!

So, my post today is very short and sweet – if you want something different to read, check out the article.  There are several facts in there that I never knew.

Enjoy!

pony express pic of horses

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IT’S NOT SEW, OR SO, BUT SOW!

For those that know how to sow.

The first thing you need is a hoe.

A sew is not sow,

And a so is not sow

When planting you just need to know.

The Bad Poet’s Society

Yes, that was a bad one (thank you mom), but I had to do something strange.  The season begins again – the garden season that is.  If you have been following me, then you know this is an actual season, at least for those of us that farm or garden.  It is much longer than the regular four seasons as it encompasses spring, summer, fall, and even sometimes winter.

We have begun our seed starts.  This year we are going a bit slower and much smaller than the last several years due to many factors.  The largest of which is our continued cleanup after the tornado.  We are still working on what to do with the greenhouse.  Several ideas popped up during our regularly scheduled Friday night game night and libations:

  1. New hot tub hot spot (yes, this was our first thought).

indoor hottub

  1. Indoor sports arena (still would need a cover and who would use it here in the boonies).indoor sports
  2. Indoor pool (again needing a cover – AND- would have to dig further down – too much work).

indoor pool (my choice – haha)

  1. Miniature pony show ring (first you need the ponies).mini pony ring

That was just a few of the more sensible ideas, after those it just got ridiculous.  I’m pretty sure that the out-of-control laughter instigated most of the sillier ideas (although I still like the hot tub idea).

Once we settled down, we decided that putting the cover on would be best.  Then, after doing what I love – research, I discovered something new.  They have created a greenhouse cover that can be done in “sections” – YES!  Took them long enough to come up with this fantastic idea.  Now if a part gets damaged, we won’t have to replace the whole thing – just that section – woohoo!

We have also been looking into different types of mini-greenhouses.  We usually start our seeds in the house, and the starting process takes over the kitchen island, the countertops, the south porch (has a perfect HUGE picture window to the south), the south house window, and where ever else we can find (or make) space.  The house basically becomes an indoor greenhouse for seeds and seedlings for about two months.

If you have been following either of my blogs, you know my sister is a bake-a-holic so taking over her massive kitchen for that long just drives her crazy.  She is all good and calm at the start, but by the end of the first month, she starts to growl.  Going into the second month, she is ready to shove them all out in the cold – “Grow or Die” – our farm motto.  So after some more Friday game night deliberations, the plan of a separate seed start structure would be more feasible.

Next step was to boil it all down to pros vs. cons and see where we stand.  The mini-seed start shop was a “go” from the start because:

  1. Gets that part of the sowing season out of the house and into the gardens where it belongs.
  2. Stops my sister from possibly murdering dozens of innocent seedlings to retain her kitchen.plant killer
  3. Possibility to sow even more seed and create extra seedling to sell or give away to family/friends.
  4. Cheap – the research I have been doing has uncovered that there are numerous brands, types, and kits out there to choose from and most are inexpensive.
  5. Saves my sisters sanity – best reason of all.

Looks like the seed sowing shop is a go – now we need to settle on which one.

Back to the greenhouse cover, we have decided to go with the sectional stuff.  It’s a bit more expensive, but we believe in the long run it will work out much better.  The fun part will be putting it on.  The structure we have is pretty much intact (the 2”x12” base needs to be redone on the east side – west is untouched – damn twister!), but we still have to put guide tracks on the arcs we have.  Good thing we have a two-section scaffolding that should reach most of it (the very peak needs an additional step ladder to get up there).

crazy balancing act

SO:

For those that know how to sow.

The first thing you need is a hoe.

A sew is not sow,

And a so is not sow

When planting you just need to know.

The Bad Poet’s Society

(Just had to throw that bad poetry out one more time – Love ya mom!)

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

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THE 50s SUCK! (Promise not to laugh too hard?)

(Oops – was supposed to post this on my other blog – www.lifelessonslived.com, but not enough coffee I guess.  Accidentally posted in here so some of my followers may see this one twice.  Sorry, will try to be more awake next time – dang dragging again!)

I’m not talking about the decade of the 1950s.  I am talking about the ages of 50 to 59 in life.

Since this year I will be finally moving out of the 50s, I have earned the right to share how disgusting my 50s were for me.  I will start by sharing the obvious things:

  • SAGGING
  • BAGGING
  • TAGGING
  • DRAGGING

(WARNING: Heavy laughter may follow.)

Sagging: The obvious one that everyone talks about.  You hit 50 and all of a sudden EVERYTHING starts to sag.  Now, I was endowed with a rather large front end. I should say cursed!  It has been a burden all of my life, and every time I thought I had a chance to remove part (most) of it, something else happened.  My timing was ALWAYS off, now I have issues with high blood pressure, so it’s an iffy surgery.  To those of you out there with the same affliction all, I can tell you is DON’T WAIT FOR THAT RIGHT MOMENT – GET IT DONE NOW!  The reason is obvious – sagging big-time later in life (and it is not a pretty sight at the beach).

 

 

(Droopy’s cheeks and camel humps – put that on the front of a woman and that’s a sight of wanting to go blind for!)

Bagging: Another semi-obvious occurrence that happens when one gets older.  My over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder does not support as it used to.  (Yes, I am talking about my bra.)  I still buy the same brand as it has never failed me; however, now they do not seem to hold up as long as they used to.  I am blaming bagging.  If the boulders were not so baggy (kind of goes with the saggy automatically), the holder-upper would not be so strained therefore could last longer?  Perhaps. Then there is the backside.  I have a pronounced bootie to match my saggies upfront.  This part I am blaming on having a desk job too long connected with my love of all things pastry.  Yes, it is my own fault – but did the sucker have to go so far into baggy era?  I mean a little drooping I can understand, but when you trip over yourself stepping backward it’s not a good thing!

 

 

Tagging:  This one some of you may be lucky enough to have never had to deal with – skin tags (age spots are in this category as well).  I was scratching my shoulder in the back, and my fingernail caught something.  I thought maybe I had scratched myself there without knowing and now accidentally ripped off the scar tissue.  But NOOOO – I actually ripped off a skin tag!?  That tiny sucker bleed like I had slashed open my back?  I swear that these are produced by nasty little Age Gremlins that sneak into my room at night and spit on me.  They were never on my body until after age 50, and now they are showing up in the strangest places (damn Age Gremlins!)?

 

 

Dragging:  I am not talking about the effects of sagging or even bagging (although when I bend over to pick up something, it could be construed as such.), I am talking about lack of sleep.  Our favorite over 50 phrase appears to be “my butt is dragging” which interpreted means: I need more sleep.  It becomes impossible to get more than 4-6 hours of sleep per night without some type of over-the-counter medication.  Then when I do get up, I seem to be yawning all day long.

butt dragging

When I was in my twenties and thirties, I was proud of the fact that I was able to work two or three jobs at a time, go to classes to better myself part time, and raise my disabled daughter (including her 20 years of surgeries).  I bought a home, a vehicle and even found time to take mini-vacations with my daughter and mom.  Now I would love a vacation – but this time to someplace quiet, peaceful, and out in the middle of nowhere.  Throw in a huge snuggle chair next to an awesome fireplace for reading, and a hot tub to really relax (FYI – if you can put that in a “cabin in the woods” form and I may never leave.  Something very soothing about sitting in a hot tub while the snow is falling gently outside.  (Yes – been there, done that.)

 

 

We purchased a stationary bike after my surgeries to help my knees maintain strength.  It’s stationary alright.  It sits there laughing at me every day.  First, I kept it downstairs right outside my bedroom so I would have the incentive to get on it every morning.  That didn’t work because I MUST have my morning coffee before anything!  Then we moved it upstairs right smack in the middle of the living room.  This was last New Year day (2018), and I was really into the step counting thing for a while (per my sisters challenge to me).  Then, as always, something happened.  In this case, it was grown kids that we tried to help that shit on us, and we had to clean up the mess.  That was followed by a tornado and the death of our oldest sister (unexpected).  Last, but not least, thing was grandsons nose-bleeds-from-hell.  Ended up taking him to a specialist to get the suckers to stop (would pour out of his nose like he was some nasty red faucet? Yuck!).  Thus, bike on a back burner.

stationary bike from hell

Here we are in a new year with new goals (mine, remember, is to have a boring year – no drama) and I have only sat on that monster twice – SHAME ON ME!  This morning my sister threw it in my face.  She was up at the butt-crack of midnight and:

    • On the bike for 30-minutes (Fricken Speed Racer-grr)
    • Cleaned the kitchen.
    • Planted more seed starts.
    • Made a bunch more waffles to freeze for the grandson
    • Made up a pot of Chicken Alfredo AND noodles this time (last was in potpie form)

 

  • Took a shower
  • Got dressed and ready for work
  • Made her lunch and oatmeal for her breakfast.

WHAT A SHOW OFF!  Dang – the guilt it too much!  Now I have to get back on the monster and hope my saggy baggy backend doesn’t slide off the seat!

pissed old lady

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GOTTA LOVE FAMILY WITH A SENSE OF HUMOR!

I was feeling pretty rotten yesterday. Not sick, just in the dumps depressed (not good for a person that takes anti-depressants – eek!) Most of my life I have had to fight my anxiety. It showed up after I was molested at eleven and never completely went away.

I had a great Therapist when I tried to commit suicide in my senior year of high school. She warned me that I carry deep emotions and that I needed to write down everything that happens that affects them. She reasons that by spilling my guts on paper, I would not feel the need to keep carrying them around like such heavy dead weight (which they are). Probably the main reason I love to write so much now.

Yesterday, as I said, was a rough one at least until I opened my email. My cousin (love her so much) sent me this little tidbit:

flat screen vs ours in the 60s
I just burst out laughing. Can’t stop giggling right now. Yes, the statement is true. We had one similar to that growing up in the early 1960s, but that’s not why I was laughing so much. WHAT IS ON THAT WOMAN’S HEAD?? Ah, laughter is the best medicine!

The dress looks just like something my mom used to have, but only wore on very special occasions. It took “the support bra from hell” to wear it, and that was her main reason for the limited fashion shows. When it comes to breasts, my mother was not lacking (neither am I so I can understand her frustrations) and trying to get into all those stylin clothes back then was next to impossible without the proper under-gear.

She also had a couple of wigs. She originally had some beautiful red hair but insisted on dying it, covering it up, ironing it (yes, with an iron – for clothes…been there, done that, different story), and whatever else she could do with it. Back then, the beauty parlor was a temple. It was a woman’s safe harbor in a world filled with men and their macho-isms.
Go back and take another look at the picture – not the phrase but specifically at that hair. Now check these out:
hair poof 1 the early to mid-1960s hair poof 2
hair poof 3 the 1950s
hair poof 1940s the 1940s
hair poof 19302 the 1930s
I don’t see a frizz or curl out of place in any of these pics?

Mom had beautiful natural curly hair. We got lucky, and she passed it on to all of her daughters. Dad also had curly hair, but a tighter curl. Mom was so frustrated with trying to get a brush through our hair that she would simply cut it off every spring. I was partially grateful because it was so thick and heavy and hot. The other bit of gratitude came whenever we got near low hanging branches when riding, gooseberry bushes when picking, and chasing wild kittens in the hay. The longer and curlier the hair, the more you got all caught up in something. To this day I hate moths! Kids with tight curly hair playing under a yard light at night during summer in Wisconsin will inevitably catch moths in their hair-not by choice.

I don’t know if the moths were blinded by the light bouncing off our curls, attracted to the possibility of a great nest, or just plain dumb; but I can’t count the number of times I heard and felt the crunching of trying to get the dang things untangled and out of my hair. Even now I am cringing.

This post is all for my cousin Dawn. Thank you for the outstanding laugh, the fond memories, and getting me out of my funk – love ya cousin!
You can also check me out at: www.lifelessonslived.com for all the fun things I have learned in life.
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ONCE MORE WE TRAVEL INTO THE LAND OF THE LOST.

I was not sure how to approach the interesting thing that happens this time of year.  Yes, it is a new year, but it is also re-visitation time for garden prep season.  With this season comes the attack of  The Gardening Catalogs from Hell – dun dun daaa!

seed catalogs

Those of you that have been gardeners for more than a year are fully aware of this danger.  You receive so many catalogs, filled with so much fun stuff; you become a Seed Catalog Junkie.  Sad but true, this is a disease.  I have been lucky enough to not become infected.  I limit myself to the task of making only the final decisions.  My sister, however, is severely infected.

The ritual is for me to pick up the mail and gently place all garden and seed catalogs into her favorite chair.  Her fav chair is on the mud porch (where she smokes – yuckie I know, but another bad habit she has), where she is solitary most of the time.  Friday nights we hold game night in there, and the dogs get to stay in there at night or days that are super cold.

In her solitary confinement, she meditates on the varieties, colors, sizes, shapes, prices, and shipping.  All of these things are used in determining who will be the prize winners and receive our selections.

1st place winner-ugly dog

It must be noted that all of our entries are from organic, natural, and mostly heirloom variety sellers.  We do not get into anything GMO and only look at hybrids in flowers.  Each year we try to select something that we have never tried to grow before (Last year was melons and winter squash – in the greenhouse.  Had some tricks to learn, but it worked – woohoo!).  Tried peanuts once – big mistake but an interesting grow.  Until we tried, I did not know that they had to grow up, down, back into the ground to create the peanut.  Weirdest thing I have ever seen a food plant do.  Not much for peanuts anyway (love P.B.J. though-yum).

peanut plant

My secluded sister spends about two months going through all the catalogs (starts around Thanksgiving) and then presents me with her selections about mid-January.  The poor thing comes to me like the Hunchback of Notre Dame; all bent out of shape, glazed eyes, staggering – it’s sad.

hunchback   (yes, hee hee, her hair does look like that – she’s gonna kill me for this post.)

I gingerly accept the catalogs and various spreadsheets from her (including all the scribbles, highlights, and sticky notes) and quietly slip into the office to review.

I then have to remember to ask her if she checked all her findings against our current seed collection.  You would think by now either she or I would remember do to this first – not.  Angry, frustrated, and mentally over-worked she snatches back the documents and heads back to her solitary confinement.

angry kitty face

Once again she emerges from the bowels of the porch and presents me with the “updated” documents, and once again I gingerly accept them.  I do fail to mention that I have, while she was re-working everything, dug up last year’s seed order inventory, compared it to our spreadsheets on planting and growing progress, and created an updated inventory with which to begin this new year list. Finally:

TADA –  HOUSTON WE HAVE LIFT OFF!

AB snowman

Gold stars all around! 

This new year’s seed orders are complete and thus sailing into charted waters and:

our bounty 2016    A boon be the bounty ahead.   Arrrgg Matie.

 

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DO YOU MISS HOME? Part 3 – Fall.

A true child’s story.

In the fall the whole family was engaged in putting up food.  I remember a huge walk-in, dirt floor, always cold pantry in the basement.  Three walls were lined with shelves for the tons of processed food jars to be properly placed on.  The center of the room had a huge wooden box.  This was where all the potatoes (that is the ones that we did not eat raw) went.  I dream of having something like that in our home now.  I also want to see it stocked full by the first frost.  Has not happened yet, but I have a goal.

The best part of fall was all the taste-testing:

  • Pick it fresh from the vine, tree, root, or wherever it may be growing and munch.
  • Sample ALL jams, jellies, sauces, preserves – before they are done and packed.
  • Enjoy the first of everything made at Thanksgiving with family and friends.

(Not us, but you get the idea just by the faces of these kids.)

While doing my research for this post, I was saddened by the fact that I do not have any more cherished family photo memories.  The fire of 2014 took them all out.  The fact that my wonderful photo memories are gone also helped me to see something that I didn’t before.  I went looking for pics that would be as similar as possible to my original memories.  I was shocked to discover that almost all the photos that came up in my searches were not of kids in real gardens.  A real garden (like what we grew up on) has:

  • No wooden or plastic borders.
  • Simple dirt, maybe a bit of straw, for walkways between the rows.
  • Kids that will get FILTHY while picking all the good stuffs (cuz everything on a kid with dirt turns into mud.).
  • Parents watching the kids all the time because they will eat all the food before you have time to process it.
  • Weeds that will continue to pop up no matter how much you work on them.
  • Not massive acres tended by dozens of people, but a simple backyard size that is managed by using just the family members.
  • Everyone is always smiling because you can see before you the labors of a job done in love, and a job well done.

I remember being down on the ground with bare legs getting full of dirt.  Using both hands (no gloves) to dig into the dirt and pull out potatoes and carrots.  Crawling along the row with those same dirty knees to pick every last one of the beans, peas, and all the other tiny veggies.  Heaven forbids if we missed even one. Oh almost forgot, the children were allowed to go back into the garden area when we were all done gathering the processing foods, to gleen off what may have been missed.  It was never much – but it was fun looking.  At this point, we were allowed to tear the snot out of the garden.  It’s always more fun to tear things apart than to build them.

like our garden 1

(Close, but this is city and has sheds that we did not have back then.  Also picture it about 10-times bigger.)

It would take days, sometimes weeks, to get everything processed and put up in the basement, dirt floor pantry.  I remember walking ever so carefully down those cement stairs to the basement, arms loaded with great foods.  Hang a tight right and straight on to the pantry door.  Watch your step because you had to step down to the dirt floor.  Always, someone older would take the jars of deliciousness from our arms and place them in proper order on the shelves.

The items still left from the year before were brought forward, and the new year’s yummies were placed in line behind them. Next stop – Thanksgiving Day!

We always held the family Thanksgiving party at our farm.  All morning (and most years the night before) were spent bringing up the stored goodies and prepping them for the day of feasting.  I say a “day” of feasting as our family did not just do the one meal.  People started showing up about 10:00 a.m. and some did not leave till after 10:00 p.m.

We had a huge dining room area with a huge rectangle table in the middle of it.  To give you the scope of huge – we also had an antique upright piano, a rounded glass china cabinet, as well as a couple of storage cabinets – oh and an outstanding tree/chair coat rack. (Mom had this thing for tiger wood – we still do.)  All of these things were in the same room as the dining room table.  Granted, the table leaf was added for these special occasions, but how it all fit in, with all of the people getting around it to fill plates, all day long; amazes me to this day.

(The piano and cabinet are identical to ours.  The table is similar, but the chairs were not so fancy.  I just remember hiding under there when our dad’s dad came to visit.  It was a very German thing to chase the little kids and pinch them – I have no idea why?)

Later in the day, the football games would start.  The men would retire with their plates of food into the living room and start screaming and yelling at the poor TV.  The women would gather in the kitchen which was always the place of interesting conversations, and a lot of laughing. (There is a WHOLE other story around “kitchens” and my memories.  Saved for another day.).  The kids would shoot outside like bullets at the first chance to flee.  We had horses, a hay barn, straw mounds with rope swings, and if we were lucky to have a good snow before Thanksgiving, snow to sled on down our steep hills.

kids going off to dream build

Our wonderful 80-acre farm was a fantastic place to grow up.  The limitations were only held back by our own imaginations.

Tis the season for reminding siblings that fresh veggies are better when shared.

I can fly - kid

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