Thursday, July 26, 2007

horse shoes

I drove some stakes in the ground so we can pitch horse shoes at our family gatherings. Work off some of those calories. I've been practicing for weeks. I even looked it up on the internet and studied the proper form and stance. I'm beginning to be able to plop those things down pretty close to the stake. I've even thrown a ringer or two. This morning I spread some sand around the stakes to keep the shoes from bouncing all over the place. I threw the shoes to see how they would do and one dropped free of the sand and rolled into the bushes and I couldn't find it. I looked every where and even used my loppers to cut branches and brush with no luck. It was time to break out Dorothy's metal detector. All I found with that were some spots we'll have to check out later with a shovel. Maybe there's buried treasure in our back yard. When Dorothy came home from work we both went out and searched again. We finally found it. It had slid under the chain link fence. Well, Dorothy decided to have a go at pitching the shoes. She threw a ringer the first time. I'm dumbfounded. She's a natural athlete, but, at horse shoes for Pete's sake?

quote of the day

Don't get me wrong: I love nuclear energy. It's just that I prefer fusion to fission. And it just so happens that there's an enormous fusion reactor safely banked a few million miles from us. It delivers more energy than we could ever use in just about eight minutes. And it's wireless.
--William McDonough

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

a busy day

I just came into the house to take a break and thought I would post on the blog. I've been painting the columns on the front porch. They were installed back in 2003 when I had my roof rebuilt. The contractor advised that I let them season for a few months before painting. Well, I let them season for 3-1/2 years. You can't be too careful. I've given them 3 coats of paint and it looks like they might take more.

Earlier today I took a break from painting and went up on the roof and swept all the leaves that had accumulated there. I would think the wind and rain would keep the roof clean but once a year I have to do this. While I was up there a wasp got after me. I swung the broom around trying to swat it but it was making some very good evasive maneuvers and also some very aggressive dives in my direction. I went into some frantic broom swinging and name calling with ever increasing speed until the wasp simply flew away. I wondered if I had been observed because I must have been a ridiculous sight. I scanned the areas toward my neighbors' houses but no one was out and there was no sound of uncontrollable laughter so I was safe. Now, I'm long past the age where I'm afraid of making a fool of myself, but doing a St. Vitus dance on the roof with broom in hand would have surely cost me a trip to the state hospital had I been seen.

Well, I'm going back outside to finish the painting. See ya later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

a good day for ice cream

It seems all my posts lately have been about the garden. That's because the garden has monopolized all my time. So today I took the day off and went to a tour of the Blue Bell Creamery in Broken Arrow with my daughter Kelly and the grandkids. They wouldn't allow photography during the tour but it was very interesting to see how our favorite ice cream is made in such large quantities. Plus we got free samples at the end and that was the whole purpose of the trip, wasn't it?
Hunter and Marley enjoy their free sample after the tour.

Kelly tries to take Jenna's picture while Jenna puts away the ice cream.

Here we are next to a display of all the flavors Blue Bell makes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

quote of the day

"Just to live in the country is a full-time job. You don't have to do anything. The idle pursuit of making a living is pushed to one side, where it belongs, in favor of living itself, a task of such immediacy, variety, beauty, and excitement that one is powerless to resist its wild embrace."
--E.B. White

Saturday, July 07, 2007

a slithering visitor

Yesterday afternoon I drove to Tahlequah and met Dorothy as she was getting off work. We grabbed a bite to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant then went grocery shopping at Wal-mart. Since she drives faster than I do, she beat me home. I was hoping she would have all the groceries put away by the time I arrived but when I pulled up she was standing behind the screen door motioning toward something on the porch. It was a snake. A big Black snake. That's not my favorite kind. It had crawled up the wall and was curled up behind a plaque we have hanging there about 5 ft off the floor of the porch. I got the shovel and a small hoe, but I was perplexed as to how I was going to get the critter off the porch and into the yard so that I could dispatch him with the shovel. Just then, my neighbor Cliff, a guy who went to school with my daughters, drove up on his riding lawn mower. Since he was raised in these parts I thought he wouldn't mind helping an ex city boy deal with this unwanted intruder. Cliff walked up to the snake, took him by the tail and dragged him out into the yard where I cut his head off with the shovel. That reptile was at least six feet long. I know Black snakes are harmless and will keep the rodent population as close to zero as possible, but they get so big and they'll even get into your house (That's happened before!). I would have taken pictures but I never think of a camera during a crisis of this magnitude. That's the second time in a week where a neighbor has bailed me out of a problem that I was unprepared to handle myself. Thank God for good neighbors. I'll keep them fed with fresh garden vegetables for the rest of the season. Oh, by the way, the lawn mower Cliff rode up on was one of those zero radius models. He let me take it for a spin. That was cool.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

from friday til today

Last Friday I attended a program at church that my grand daughter, Marley, and grand niece, Rachel participated in. They attended a music camp last week and this was the exposition of the things they had learned.

That afternoon my neighbor, Mike, came down to help me cut a tree limb off of my house. It had blown over in a storm a few weeks ago and I was anxious to have it removed. The limb was a huge one and was still connected to the tree trunk about 20 feet above the ground and the branches and leaf end of it was laying on the roof of my house.

A few minutes after the above photo was taken, Mike cut through the limb and was swept off the roof with chain saw at full throttle. He wasn't hurt though. Not even a scratch; not even a bruise.

Saturday: Mike was back the next day with the logging chains. Although he was able to clear the limb off of the roof, it was still hanging precariously from its narrow attachment to the trunk 20 feet up. So we attached the chains to one of the branches and then to the rear bumper of my truck and thus began the tug of war with the giant limb.

As you can see, when the limb fell it narrowly missed the corner of the house.

That evening we had a feast at our house in honor of visitors from California, our niece,
Cindy, her husband Isaac, and their daughter, Rachel. We barbecued chicken, hot links, and brats and had fresh vegetables from the garden galore. Dorothy made a peach cobbler and some cinnamon rolls and I made ice cream. Then we had an early fire works display since Cindy and her family were leaving the next day and my daughter Kelly and her family were going to be on vacation on the 4th.

Sunday: Church and laying about.

Monday: Dental appointment for me, doctor appointment for Dorothy. After Dorothy's appointment we had lunch at the Olive Garden, then we went to the movies and saw "Live Free or Die Hard". If you like Bruce Willis and his action films this was a good one.

Tuesday: I spent the day cutting trees along the south side of our house hoping to improve our satelite signal. We're getting the local channels but not the rest of them. I've replaced the co-axial cable leading to the receiver and now trimmed the trees but still no signal.

Wednesday: A quiet July fourth for Dorothy and I.

Thursday: I pulled weeds from the corn row.

Today: This morning I finally moved the satelite dish just 2 ft to the west and presto! We have a signal again.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

cucumbers gone wild

The night before last I picked 23 cucumbers from the garden. Last night I picked 23 more. That's from a row that's only 10 ft. long. All this rain and the fertilizer I used at the beginning of the season has sure produced a bumper crop of everything we've grown. I'm giving it away to family and friends. I wish my blog readers lived close enough to drop by for a bag full of groceries.

This morning Dorothy made sausage and cheese omelets and I made a pico de gallo from the tomatoes, peppers, and onions I had just harvested. We spooned the salsa over the omelets and I thought there was nothing better we could eat until this evening. We grilled some Porterhouse steaks and had corn on the cob, green beans, fried okra, squash, and fresh cucumbers and tomatoes. I'm stuffed.

It's been a week since I last posted. Time is getting away from me. Maybe over the next few days I'll catch you up on everything I've been doing. Right now I'm so full from eating, I think I'll just lay down on the couch.