Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fruit of the vine

We have one grape vine .  Yesterday we picked about a bushel and a half off of it.  They are going into the steamer this morning.  Will make some good juice for whatever we use it for.  The tomatoes are starting to  ripen.  I didn't plant until a little later in May.  I just felt the ground was too cold earlier when I usually plant.  Cucumbers and eggplant are going great guns also.  I guess on a good gardening year, 4 plants are plenty for two people.  But they have not gone to waste as we share our garden with anyone that needs something.

Back to the subject of grapes, we have inherited  a small vineyard.  I say small, but they are 50+ vines!  So we will be busy next year year.  We are moving them to our  place, using what we want and giving others away.

   Time to go do something constructive.  Need to get the steamer going and get water heating.for other things.  We are also doing some peaches that were given to us.

God Bless--johnnyb

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hermit Jim  had an interesting post today.  I have this picture of a tombstone from a cemetery near where I live.  Follows the same line as his post.  I couldn't post  the pic in his comments, so am doing it here.

I am not sure of the year.  Just interesting.

Had a little bit of rain last night.  Not much, but a lot of noise.  Anything is appreciated.  We have had our first muskmelon this week.  Very tasty!!  Tomatoes are really starting now.  I planted later than usual.  I am always trying to outguess the powers to be.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it don't.  Later was ok this year, so far.

God Bless--johnnyb

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Things a person just can't do without

I am writing this after reading  Fliers  post yesterday.  It is amazing how much stuff can be amassed under the guise of "repurposing material.  I can pick up some usable piece of "stuff" that I know will be the handiest thing to have around.  (Next to a pocket on a shirt, of course).  Just can't do without this treasure. After a couple of years, my wife will ask, "Why is this still laying around?"  And the all-time great comeback, "I have just found a use for it.  I will get to that just as soon as I have time."  A couple of years later, "What were you going to use that for?"   So far, 3 pickup loads have gone back to the dump where I got them!  So goes the world of repurposing!!

This is one of the projects that will we finished soon.  The little shed will be a small shop for some of my projects.   It was built with old pallets and tin found lying around. The ground around it does not do well with grass and  ends up weeds and mud.  Yesterday with a little black plastic and Cyprus mulch we solved that problem.

Time to go.  I have  things to build or else it is another trip to the dump!---johnnyb

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Ramblings

Another Monday rolls around.  The hustle and bustle of another work week looms before the masses..  Some going to jobs they don't particularly care for, but having to do it anyway until something better comes along.  For others, it is a job so great they can't wait to  get there.  Then there are those of us who can wake up on Monday morning and say "I don't have to do a damned thing if I don't want to."   Since retiring, though,  I seem to have plenty of projects to keep me busy, so I don't say that too often.

It was a good weekend.  I volunteer my services at a Bar and Grill,  so I spent some time there this weekend.  I could write a book of the experiences in a small town bar.  Never a dull moment.  I will leave it at that.

Picked more veggies from the garden.  I think it is the sixth picking of beans.  The variety I planted this year  has been a good one. Will definitely plant more of the same next year. They are still blooming, so we should get more.  Picked our first muskmelon. Very tasty. Sweet corn is not ready yet. It will be late.  I had trouble with ground squirrels digging up the seed.  Took 3 plantings before I got the best of them.  I have some dent corn (Bloody Butcher) for grinding purposes.  First year for planting this.  Hope it turns out ok.  Tomatoes have finally started to ripen.  We should have quite few in the next week or so.

Some new friends stopped by for a visit last evening.  They are a younger couple who have a lot of the same interests that we do.  We will be able to swap ideas and tidbits of info and trade out some small jobs that we each need  done.

Coffee cup empty--time for refill and ponder the day. God Bless--johnnyb

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


The morning ed out as cool and cloudy.  No rain here.  Some close though.  Yesterday we made up 3 heads into of cabbage into Amish Slaw.  Very tasty stuff.  I use it on a lot of food.  The cabbage cans up well and stays crisp through the process.  This is the first year we have raised cabbage.  It has turned out well.  We gave some away and still have a few heads to go.

We went to neighboring town yesterday afternoon and picked up some pallets to use on a project.  We are making a garden area for  my sister-in law.  She lives in a town close by and doesn't have a good garden space, so we are helping her out on that aspect.  We will use the pallets to build a fence around the garden area, and other things.  Always something to use the pallets for.  They are just about as handy as "a pocket on a shirt."

A little story I heard today:

  Two little boys are going to the hospital the next day for operations.
Theirs will be first on the schedule.
The older boy leans over and asks,
"What are you having done?"
he second boy says, "I'm getting my tonsils out, and I'm afraid."
The first boy says, "You've got nothing to worry about. I had that done when I was four.
They put you to sleep, and when you wake up,
They give you lots of Jell-O and ice cream.
It's a breeze."
The second boy then asks, "What are you going in for?"
the first boy says, "Circumcision."
"Whoa!" the smaller boy replies.
"Good luck, buddy. I had that done when I was born. Couldn't walk for a year."

God Bless--johnnyb

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Another nice morning.  Temps around 60F.  That is very comfortable for this time of year. Only supposed to be in the 80's today.  We are planning on taking advantage of the cooler weather  and doing some canning today.  Won't tax the AC quite as much.  The cabbage is ready, so we will be making some Amish Coleslaw.  Good way to preserve it.    
Picked our first tomatoes yesterday.  My tomato vines have become a little unruly.  I had been keeping them pruned, but as you can see, I failed on that part.  Oh well, I just have to look a little harder for the ripe ones.  The vines are loaded with fruit so that probably won't be a problem

Cucumbers have been plentiful this year.  Cooler weather has helped.  Sweet corn is going to be late.  Had problem with some rodents digging up the seed corn before it would sprout.  I planted some Bloody Butcher corn for grinding.  This is my first year to do this.  Hope it turns out ok.

Coffee cup is empty.  Need to do something about that.  God Bless--johnnyb

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Rocket stoves

I have been looking at pictures of rocket  for a while and this summer built a couple of simple ones.  A larger one we used for cooking beets before canning.  Kind of fun to experiment with and a good way to use up some of the twigs that have fallen in the yard from the high winds this year.

I even had to make a pot of coffee.   I am going to make more permanent ones.  We like to do as much of our canning outdoors as we can to keep from heating up the house.  We have propane cookers also, but this is good to have just in case.

God Bless--johnnyb