29 July 2012

My Charlie Brown Christmas Tree (well almost)

Remember Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree cartoon?  The one where he had all the ornaments on, then the needles all fell off?  I felt as disappointed as Charlie Brown when hubby came down to tell me the bad news.  I had been behind on spraying the Deer Out.  Well!  It had not been bad around here for quite some time until the people who bought up the big property behind us decided to bush hog so it would look better for selling.  After they did that we have deer running around everywhere!  Driving my dog crazy and me too.  Hubby not so much....he stares out into the woods waiting!  So anyway, I walk up the hill and this is what I see.
They ate almost all of the leaves off of the plants.  I was told at least they left the bell peppers! Pitiful looking isn't it?  Gardening this year has been hard enough, but that almost felt like the last straw.
They also grazed on the green beans I had growing.....again. Plus one thing that they have not done in the past is to eat down my tomato bushes too.  So, needless to say my trusty Deer Out and I got busy, and I sprayed down everything.  Being the trooper that I am I even planted a late crop of green beans which are growing very slow.  I don't know what it is this year, but everyone is having a hard time with growing green beans which is a southern staple of food!

So, that has been taking up a lot of my time lately.  I tried having a pretty flower garden too, but the heat and humidity plus a time or two of quite a bit of rain has really put a halt to a lot of things.  I had to buy tomatoes from an old couple down the road which wasn't too bad as I was able to can quite a bit of them.  
Then a friend wanted some honey and brought a five gallon bucket of apples for trade.  I think I will be making apple pie filling to can along with apple sauce.
Today I bought 3 bushel baskets of peaches for canning too.  One will be going to my parents so I hoped I picked out a good kind.  You never realize how many varieties of peaches there are till you go to buy them.   I purchased a new canner in the early spring.  Now I won't have to borrow the neighbor's canner anymore.
I also got  squash and okra too.
Sweet potatoes and corn although I am not sure how good the corn will be.  It has been a very bad year for corn around here too.  We have tried growing corn, but it just doesn't like us!
Oh, and then our favorite!  My daughter will kill me when she sees these!  I can hear her now....mom, you stink like garlic!  At least it will keep the mosquitoes away, and everyone else too as she would say.
So, as you can see it has been quite busy around here.  Plus we have had a leaking skylight  for awhile even with hubby trying to patch it.  We had a new roof priced through several different roofers, and my goodness are they ever wanting a fortune!  Shingles being a petroleum product have gone through the roof (no pun intended!) since we put a roof on the house up the hill.  A decision was made to purchase a new sky light and patch, repair part of it ourselves.  Hubby's son came over to help, and then we found out that the roof is just too far gone.  So, now we are putting a new roof on.  I have not been up there yet although probably tomorrow I will be as we will be a man short.  It is a slow process, and our backs may regret it, however, these days you do what you have to do.
Today was a resting day somewhat enough so I could get a blog post in.  I'll try to get around for a visit in between peaches, apples, and everything else.  Just wanted you to know I'm still around!

09 July 2012

Wishing I was sailing

I must say this heat across the country has been extremely hard. Not only on us, but on all the "critters" as well. My poor chickens are even walking around panting so I'm sure they are thankful for the woods where they can dig plus have some shade too. There has been so much to do around here. I am trying to keep the gardens alive along with my roses and perennials; the annuals will just have to struggle. I have been digging dirt up from the old chicken pen to add to my gardens along with digging from the mulch pile. From the few storms that came through and dumped extra limbs plus the spiny balls from the sweet gum trees which if you step on one of them you can go flying! I spent a good part of today raking all of that up so we can keep our feet firmly planted. I would love to cut some of those down, however, they do shade the house quite a bit.
I've never been sailing before, however, this looks like the perfect thing to do in all of this heat! This was taken up in Connecticut last year. A couple of months ago my daughter tried to talk me into getting an above ground pool which we have had before in the past. Living on a hillside here doesn't leave too many places to put one. I am thinking now that might not have been a bad idea! Oh well. I believe I am going to look for some aspirin now.....that bad rake did a number on me!
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