Friday, August 27, 2010

Well, that was fast!

Okay, so it hasn't been the whole 3 weeks of break yet. But, the nursing department has decided to sneak an extra week into the fall semester by posting 3067 required assignments on the discussion board so we can turn them in on the first day of class. *Sigh* And I thought we would only have to be ready for the mandatory dosage calculation exam on the first day.

Anyway, I am trying to "make hay while the suns shines" except I don't need or have any hay. But I do try to get outside and work every morning as the sun is rising. Mostly, I have been try to get more weed barrier and mulch down in the beds opposite the house.



Last summer, I did one side of the garden walkway, although the spring rains took away most of the mulch. This summer, I am working on the other side. I have gotten almost to the end of the row, where we placed straw bales in an attempt to control the rain runoff.



I needed to replace a shrub that died, but it took a few trips out to locate one I wanted. I was going to plant it yesterday morning, but the ground is just like concrete!! So I brought over the hose and am soaking the dirt. Maybe I can dig it in today. Notice the Sassy has brought me a toy to play with as I chisel away at the ground ineffectively!



I think I will have just enough mulch left to finish this area and maybe fill in some bald spots on the other side.




The garden is pretty much spent for the season. I still have the cucumbers-gone-wild plant trying to choke out the basil.



And the last bell pepper is ready to come into the house.



The strawberries have been scorched by the sun, so I got out the shade cover for them. I need to read up on whether I should give them one last go of fertilizer before winter.



There are plenty of weeds to pull, and many more after that!



I am also trying to repair/preparing the roads for the coming winter rains. I had a truckload (about 25 tons) of grainy rock and sand type of mix called "chert" delivered the other day. Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours moving it up the incline and smoothing it with the box blade.



I am still learning about using the box blade, but I think I am doing a fine job. Besides, any job that Stud Muffin doesn't have to do it a good job!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

It just may be...

that I have too many lemon cucumbers coming off of just one plant!!


There's like 20 in that bowl!



And they're huge!


Stud Muffin is quite amused. Especially since he doesn't like cucumbers!

Excuse me, I have to find some unlocked cars to dispose of some produce. Back soon!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday the Thirteenth

Image by www.jonco48.com


Yesterday was Friday the thirteenth. I did not realize this until today, the fourteenth. I will put forth the activities from my day yesterday, and let you decide if there is any credence to the superstition about Friday the Thirteenth.

1. I got on my tractor and headed to the highest point on the property. The road on the downhill side has been caving in practically since the day we bought this place. Do you think there is any connection??

Anyway, I had the bush-hog connected to the back of the tractor in order to mow the overgrowth down, so I could see where the terra firma ended in the ditch. I mowed, and then started scooping up dirt and dumping it in the ditch-that-reaches-to-China.

I had scooped and dumped about 12 loads (a drop in the ocean) when the bush-hog tilted dangerously. Upon inspection, I realized that one of the spring-loaded, can't-ever-come-off, not even when I want it to, pins was missing and the mower was not connected to one of the arms required to lift it up.

Image by www.ukrainetzauction.com

I searched and searched, but no pin. I had to improvise with a piece of flimsy chain and a clip, just to drive the tractor back to the shop building. It was a very slooooooooow drive.

2. I parked the tractor, returned to the house and jumped in the shower with the water set at the coldest setting. It wasn't actually cold. When I got out and toweled off, I notice that a mosquito had gained access to my bra while I was searching for the missing mower pin. And it BIT ME!! Twice. Once on each side. Umm... very close to a sensitive milk-producing gland.

I am trying not to embarrass myself and those I am with, if the urge to scratch strikes me while out in public.

3. Also as I emerged from the not-cold-enough shower, Stud Muffin arrived to tell me that not moments after I drove the tractor up our road and onto the blacktop drive, a giant tree came crashing down across the road I was just on. Driving very slooowly.



It's a big tree. It would have squashed me like the bug I am.



Of course, now I (well, Stud Muffin and I) need to cut the tree up before we can use the road again. Probably tomorrow, hopefully before the temperature exceeds 100 degrees.

Now, let's consider whether this indicates that Friday the Thirteenth portends bad luck.

If I hadn't taken the tractor up the hill, I wouldn't have cleared the brush and noticed that the cave-in is now deep enough to see all the way through to the other side of the planet. It was like taking an exotic mini-vacation without the airplane ride.

The mosquito wouldn't have mysteriously gained access to the girls as I hunted for the missing pin, and I imagine he/she/it had a raging good time in there! I'm not sure I feel the same.

If the mower hadn't gone cattywumpus on me, I would have stayed up the hill working until after the tree fell, and I couldn't have gotten the tractor back to the shop building where I could replace the pin. Or I could have been crushed by the tree.

So, you decide. Good luck or bad luck?? All I know is that Nick doesn't care one way or the other. But don't you just love the way he sleeps on the sofa?? He's going out for the US Diving team next season.




Edit: Got the tree cut up this morning. I manned the chainsaw, while Stud Muffin positioned the blocks and hauled the cut chunks over to the house to be split at a later time. We only cut the portion that was blocking the road, because I didn't feel like battling the blackberry thorns for the rest of it!



Big sucker, huh?



No! Not my hand...the tree!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Whew!

Image by mama2point0.files.wordpress.com

Well, I survived the dreaded summer school. That last week of exams was about enough to kill a girl, but I made it. And I kept my "A" in the class! Whoo hoo!

And so I have 3 whole weeks off before school starts again on Sept 1. Well, not exactly, but close enough. I do still have to finish learning about IV drip rates and review all my dosage calculation stuff in order to be ready for the exam on the first day of class. We have 3 chances to pass the exam with a 90% accuracy, and all three chances come in the first week and a half of school. I suspect that some of my fellow classmates will be out of the class practically before it begins if they don't pass this test.

As a delayed celebration of our anniversary (postponed because of exams) Stud Muffin took me to our recently rebuilt Longhorn Steak House for lunch on Saturday. The restaurant caught fire and burnt to the ground not too long ago and they quickly put up another building. The lunch was very good, with some new menu items to try.

Before we hit lunch, we stopped by the farmer market where all I scored was a big box of homegrown peaches. They were so fragrant, but not the least bit over-ripe. I decided that it was way too hot to even think about making jam, so I chopped them into bits to freeze, to be used in smoothies throughout the year.

But first you have to peel the peaches, 'cuz bits of peel in your smoothie is just nasty! Boil for a few seconds,



Dunk in ice water to cool,



and the peels slip right off and make a mess all over the counter.




Chop, bag and they are ready for the freezer. Then you get to clean up the kitchen and dispose of the peels in the compost pile!



While we were "uptown" we stopped in and got the dogs some stuffed toys. We don't buy them every year even, because Sassy feels it is her duty to eviscerate the toys as fast as humanly possible. Nick can make a stuffed toy last for quite a while, most content to carry it around and honk it's little squeaker.

I love me some good duck!

So far, I have rebuilt Sassy's hedgehog 3 times and each time she excitedly rips it apart and leaves fur and stuffing all around the house. Yesterday, she finally ripped it's face off for good and left it in small fuzzy pieces on the bedroom floor!

First I bite the leetle feeties off.

Sassy seems to be respecting Nick's duck a bit more, but takes every opportunity to steal it from him and chew it's feet and caboose off! He tries to defend it, but she runs to the window, barks like there's something outside, then sneaks around the table and snatches the duck when he goes to the window to look!

I guard duck from thieving Border Collies!

Okay, I chew on hedgehog some more then.

Do you see what school has done to me?!? I was once a reasonably sane woman. Now, I imagine my dogs talking like foreigners to each other! Sheesh! Better get out there and work in the yard some and let the brain cells rest!