Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hump Day Morning

Nothing much going on yet here in the "middle of somewhere."  But then it is only 8AM.  Not much happens before 8AM.  Then as I think about it a little, not much goes on after 8AM!  Really though, this is a pretty exciting part of the world.  Just last night I sat and watched a toad eat bugs under the dusk-to dawn light.  I was watching grass grow the other day, then remembered I hadn't watered that area yet.  Wasted quite a bit of the day on that one.  I need to be more vigilant on these things.  Life is to short to waste on something like forgetting to water a part of the lawn.  I haven't checked my social calendar for the rest of the week, so I am not sure what is in store.  I do know that watching the crack in the dry ground out back get wider was on the list for sometime.  Oh yes,  setting the timer on the TV with your eyes closed and then try to guess how long it will stay on.  You have to watch it for this time also.  Rules are you can't fall asleep or go to the fridge for a cold one.  This one is a "biggie" for those rainy days.  Wait a minute, we haven't had any rainy days for almost a year!  That's why I haven't done this for a long time.  See there, I just kind of fade out every now and then and become a space cadet.  Oh well, such is the life.  Don' get much better than this,!!

Getting back to reality,  this is a pretty good place to live.  Wouldn't trade it for anything.  One daughter was here for a couple of days to help Carol celebrate her 39th birthday again.  Another came on Monday for Pizza.  It was nice to have them.  All quiet again.    We are going to release quail today.  That is always an event in itself.  Going to miss the little guys, but it is time for them to go.  Weather is turning hot again, but the nights cool down.  Almost a feel of fall in the air.

God Bless--johnnyb

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pic of the day

No words needed.  Just cute.

God Bless--johnnyb

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Morning

Nice sunny day on the plains.  We had a little moisture over the past couple of days.  Nothing earth shattering, but anything is good.  I hope my friends in the path of Isaac are preparing for a little blow.  I just wish a little would blow this way. 

The dogs were barking around the quail pen this morning.  I went and checked and there was a hawk in the pen.  I cannot find where it got in.  When I opened the gate it flew off.   The quail had gotten  inside and under some other cover I had for them.  1 dead quail and a lot of feathers.   Could have been more than 1 casualty.  A couple more days and they will have to fend for themselves.  Just one of the stark realities they will face in the wild. 

Carol did up some more zucchini stuff yesterday.  There should be more tomatoes today.  We get a few more then we will can up more.  Started dehydrating onions this week.  Only got one batch done.  Since it needs to be done outdoors and it was threatening rain, I haven't done anymore.  Maybe this week.

I built a very basic, experimental, rocket stove.  Just playing around with the idea.  It works ok.  I need to change some things, but the basic principle is ok.  I think I may build a newer, improved model.  This one was just made from a few bricks.  The bricks were too uneven, so there was a lot of leaks.  It is amazing how much heat it puts out with very little wood.  There is very little smoke put off.  Very interesting concept and can be built quickly and easily. 
Things to do and people to see.  Or whatever.

 God Bless all ----johnnyb

Thursday, August 23, 2012

At it again

I guess this is enough of a summer hiatus from doing any writing here.  The temperatures have finally dropped down to a normal range for August.  Normal being almost twenty degrees cooler than it was last month.  Still no rain.  We had an inch of rain back in June sometime, I think.  Wasn't enough to do a lot of good.  
before that the last good moisture was a foot of snow in December.  Luckily we have a good enough water well to keep the garden going and the lawn kind of green.

The heat hit about a month earlier than usual, just when the garden was was just starting to set on.  The tomatoes have just started to produce.  This should be the second round instead of the first.  I had covered the tomatoes when the heat got real bad, so the plants survived ok, just not a lot of fruit.  There are a lot of tomatoes now.  Just not a lot of time left. I just hope frost holds off until October.  The seasons have been starting a month early this year, so who knows. Carol has been canning a few as they come ripe.   The first sweet corn that I planted did ok and we were able to put some of it away.  The later corn didn't fill at all.  Green beans did ok from the first planting.  We canned 51 pints of them.  Beets and carrots did ok.  We were able to can a few jars of beets.  Cantaloupe has been fairly good.  The watermelons have been good, just not many of them.  Zucchini has been a little slow.  Carol found some recipes using zucchini that have been real good.  One she uses pineapple juice with the squash, processes and cans it.  Tastes just like pineapple.  The other uses apple cider vinegar and sugar and zucchini.  Tastes like apple butter.

The recipe for the Zapple Butter (here name for it) is:  Peel and chunk squash. Put in kettle and cover with water and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar.  Cook until done.  Drain and process in a food processer.  For every 4 cups of zucchini add 4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 2 Cups sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 cup nutmeg.

Cook on low overnight or all day in crockpot.  Fill prepared jars and water bath for 10 minutes.
For  "Zapplesauce" use less sugar and spices to taste.
It is very, very good.  Try it you will like it.

Our quail are just about ready to be released into their new habitat.  The heat was tough on them, but we made it.  One varmit tried to get in one night.  It tore a small hole in the fence and let out about 40 of the.  They stay right next to the pen in some bushes and we were able to get the back in.  I wish there was a video of this because I'm sure it would be hilarious.
I took this pic of some of them sitting on the door to the pen.  They act like they would like to just get on the other side.  They may have a different idea in about a week. 

Time to go and get on with my "rat killing".  I haven't figured out what yet, but will just walk out the door and do something.

Words of "wisdom" from the coffee shop crowd--"The problem with retirement is that you never get a day off."
God Bless all--johnnyb