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Monday, June 23, 2014

You can tell summer is here!

It has been really hot and humid in our neck of the woods for the past few weeks. The humidity is killer as well. I know, I know, my southern friends are laughing about now with that complaint. Not to mention we have had plenty of rain this spring and early summer as well. For most of last week are temps were in the high 90's with at least 70% humidity daily. Miserable to be outside. So this ole girl stays in if and when possible.

As you well know, my memory is not the best. But with that in mind. Last week I had went out back to let the chickens out to roam. It has been so hot the hens head straight down from their building to the edge of the woods in the undergrowth where it tends to stay pretty cool. My young roosters (mean lil shits) follow me around back to the deck an hang out under there with Luna where its cool. I had taken all the plants out of the greenhouse due to the extreme heat in there and moved a large pot with my friend Mamie's started grape vines to the back near the sidewalk so I could keep them watered till she got time to come get them. On my way to the spigot to water I spied 2 short pieces of hose, nope wait damn it that's not a hose. Yep I was jumping up and down screaming so Luna comes bounding from under the deck to the rescue. Yep it was a snake lying beside the short black hose that connects the spigot to the hose reel. I keep a hoe beside the deck for just such occasions and quickly whacked his head all while Luna is trying to get at him to protect me. Once I mashed the snakes head I let her have at him. She finished him off and shook and dragged him to the far side of the drive way. Bless her heart she spent the rest of the day in the shade of my car watching the snake to make sure it didn't move anymore. I hate snakes of all kinds. I don't scream for just any reason, but a damn snake will make me scream every time. So far that is the only one we have seen near the house this year. Although I know they are around. We live near woods and our grass in the yard had gotten totally out of hand. Last week our yard was so pretty(unless you like grass in your yard) with all the short white clover blooming. It was super thick and with all the rain Rodger had just not been able to get time to mow. Not to mention a pretty well manicured lawn is not even on the list of priorities around here in summer. The garden is really ALL we really worry much about. Rodger has managed between rains to keep it looking good. He got it all hoed out last week and another evening he plowed. All of the garden so far is growing and looks great. I am so very thankful too.

I am hoping that maybe next weekend we can get the young roosters butchered off. They are fast becoming a nuisance especially to the 2 young pullets that are with them. Every time I go out to close them up or let them out one of the roosters wants to peck my feet, flog my pants legs and just make a spectacle of himself. If I pick him up and scold him when I let him down he follows me all over like a lil dog. Along with 2 of his brothers. But they are big enough to make good stock and that is what I need more than little feisty roosters. I have the incubator set with eggs again that will hatch in a couple weeks. I set it and them the power went off and stayed for too long, the eggs got cold and I knew those were dead. So I reloaded with more eggs. I am trying something a lil different this time tho. With still air incubators you have next to no air movement inside. In the past I had been placing my thermometer in the middle. Once the temp was set correctly I loaded the eggs in. With the heating element around the perimeter of the top of the incubator I am thinking most likely the eggs around the outside may get too hot thus lowering my hatch rate. So this time. I only put eggs in the turner around the perimeter and placed the thermometer on top of those eggs and try to keep the temp consistent. I will see if this increases my hatch rate. Will post more when this clutch hatches off. When my friend Mamie came to get her grape vines today she brought me about 18 turkey eggs to put in the incubator as soon as the chicks hatch. I am certainly hoping for a good hatch of them. Be nice to have some turkeys to butcher for the freezer this year. Not sure yet where I will house them but maybe by time they hatch off I will have figured that part out. Ain't that just like me. Get something with no idea where to put it. Rodger always loves when this happens. Not!! Usually ends up being a good deal of work for him and Jason. Another building?

We went out of town yesterday to Dalton's birthday part in Maysville Ky. Dalton is Josh and Dana's lil boy. They are like our adopted kids. Love them dearly. Jason and I had went deer hunting several years ago and we stayed with Josh's parents at their house. Just wonderful folks. At that time I was able to hunt and we spent lots of time in the woods and I didn't get to talk with his parents much that time. Always intended to go back and just hang out with them while Rodger, Josh and Jason hunted. Well that didn't happen as planned because I have been working at the hunting lodge in west KY for several years. So we were invited to Dalton's lil birthday party and we went. I got to spend some time with Larry and Sandy and talk with them. I thoroughly enjoyed that trip and visit with them. I can tell ya it wont be years before we go visit them again.

For me to be able to get much done around here I guess it means I am gonna have to start going to bed really early and getting up early if I need to do things outside. And heaven knows I got lots of things that need doing. For one I need to pull some weeds in the herb bed. Dang it I thought if I put down black plastic and with the heat of the sun it might kill most of the weed seeds. Well that didn't lat as long as I had hoped. I am guessing that some plants produce seeds that need light to sprout. I have lots of weeds but they seem to all be the same variety. I need to get up in the early mornings before the heat hits and spend a couple hours weeding. May take several mornings of work to get it all take care of but a little bit at a time will get the task done. I have several varieties of herbs that are big enough to cut for drying already. I think I still need to sow more parsley. I use lots and lots of that stuff. Both frozen and dried. I will for sure have to plant it where I can reach it with the hose. At least till it gets growing well.

Not much else happening here on the farm. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

I did it again!!

Yep, I did it again. It has been near a month since I posted here. Dang time flys when ya ain't lookin. And I guess I wasn't. Not sure what happened to spring, and here we are in the summer already.

I am happy to report that my mom is some better. She had a really tough battle with a urinary tract infection and it almost got her I do believe. But finally with the right antibiotics she recovered and as for now is alert, able to use her left side normally and a lil bit on the right that was effected by her stroke. Sadly she is not talking at all or attempting to now. But as long as she is not hurting and is well cared for, I guess we can deal with that. Please keep her in your prayers for comfort.

I guess all the traveling and stress from mom's illness kinda wore me down a good bit. After mom was better I think I crashed. Kinda a normal occurrence for me when I deal with stress tho. I have felt better and more rested today than I have in a good while. Maybe because I went to bed last night about 10 and slept till near 11 today. That alas helps with what ails ya. I just did not plan to do anything today and I am proud to say I accomplished that task. Even managed to take a nap today too.

I was lazy but I sure cant say that for Rodger and Jason today. They went and picked up the 10 cattle panels that we wanted to get to trellis our green beans with, got those up for the beans to climb on and they are big enough to do that already.We do finally have all the garden planted, all crops are in now, so we work and wait till harvest.

This photo was taken about a week ago before we got some good rain on the garden. After the rain the beans put out runners and everything grew quickly. It looks good. So praying for a good harvest this year so I can refill some of my empty jars. I took me till last week to finally get still and have time to make the chicken stock from the bony parts of the chickens we had butchered back in early April before leaving on vacation. So that is done and ready to store. I have grown celery in the past and it can be time consuming and a real pain so I watch sales and pick up a bunch of celery stalks during the year to dry for our seasonings an to use plain in cooking. So that is my task for tomorrow. I do have a few herbs that are ready to start cutting for drying also. I am getting pretty low on my herb stock in the pantry. Parsley is my big thing that I do think I use the most of and it is the very one I am having a harder time than usual getting to grow well this year. But we take what God gives us and be happy with it.

I started my incubator up this evening after getting it disinfected and cleaned so it can heat up. Need to hatch off more chicks. I have confirmed I have only 2 lil pullets from the bunch I hatched in early April. The rest of mean lil roosters. They are so friendly and sweet tho. They can hear my voice and come looking for me. I was sitting at the dining table and talking to Rodger in the house and looked out the dining room window and had 3 lil roosters perched on the rock wall looking it at me. One wants to pick a fight with my shoes and pants legs every time I go out tho. Am thinkin this might cause him to have a short life span. But he is just young and starting to crow and wants to show who is the boss.

They are big enough now that I don't have to fence them in. They run free with the other birds during the day and go back to their house at night to be closed up. I just like my chickens. Entertaining critters they are.

I have all but finished with my greenhouse for the season I think. I got a few more plants in there to get moved. Some will be shipped to my friend Anna in Virginia this coming week and the very few remaining will be transplanted here. I did get my grapevines that are cutting from our vines here into pots , 2 in each pot as I was low on pots, so they can grow till early fall and be planted in the vineyard. In taking cutting I managed to get 2 leave nodes on some of the cutting below the soil surface and they make roots at both nodes. I am sure this will make for a more resilient plant in the long run.

I moved the pots to the herb bed among the mints so the pots get some shade and don't dry out so quickly and the plants will still get lots of sunlight. They should make nice vines to plant this fall. Tomorrow I plan to call my friend Mamie and let her know her cutting are ready to be potted up to plant later. Then we can disassemble the green house and put it back in the box for storage till next spring. Did I tell ya I love my lil greenhouse? I do for sure, so handy for plant starting.

Our kids have moved from Nevada to Arizona so Rob could take a new job and expand his job skills and knowledge. Today they finally got a lease on a rental house till theirs in Nevada sells, hopefully soon. Maybe in a couple more weeks they can be all moved in and settled again. They have said they love the area they are in but the temps in summer range from 105 to 113 average and that is a lil warm. But at least they don't have to deal with 8 months of cold like Nevada. Just hope Liam is able to get outside some in the evenings when it cools a bit so he can enjoy the outdoors. Was kinda hard to do in Nevada because of the weather. Not to mention lack of grass to walk in. Poor lil Abby I am sure wont like the heat any more than Liam. We will for sure be visiting in December this year we are blessed with our second grand baby. Yeas we are getting another lil grand baby. Don't know yet if we are getting a girl or boy but soon we should know. Prayers please for Amoy that she has an easy pregnancy. So proud of those 2 as they are wonderful parents.

Not much else happening here on the farm as of right now. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.