Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day to all my fellow Veterans.  God Bless---johnnyb  EM2 USN  1965-1970

Monday, November 10, 2014

Old Barns and Old People

Very heartwarming video.  Worth a few minutes to watch.--johnnyb

  Old Barns and Old People

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday morning

Another week has passed and another started.  It seemed as if the week flew by.  There was a lot going on I guess to make it seem that.  Election day, and I hope that went as to everyone's liking.  It  went well here for us on our state.  I am glad it is over.  TV ads, flyers in the mail.  Seems like there is a lot of money spent that could have been put to use elsewhere.  Oh well, I am not a politician, never was one nor will I ever want to be one.  Enough on this subject.

This week will be a test for the little greenhouse.  Temperatures are forecast to be down in the lower teens.  Highs in the 30's.  I redid the solar heater this week.  I replaced the aluminum cans with a metallic dryer hose.  Seems to be working ok.   High temps have been in the 70's, so 30's will be the test for daytime.  Night will be the real test.  I have a couple of different heat methods to use, so we will see.  I planted lettuce, basil, and cucumbers a week ago.  The are up and growing under a heat lamp.  The tomato starts are doing good.

This one I rooted in water.  It is doing ok since potting.  I have a couple of others that were cuttings that I went directly to potting soil.  They are doing ok also.

A friend gave us an old wringer washer yesterday that is in pretty good condition.  We have been looking for one.  this one just kind of fell into our hands.  Right place at the right time.

Time to go.  We have some last minute things to do for the upcoming cold spell.  Could be a long time until spring.

God Bless--johnnyb

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fall is finally here

Fall has finally are arrived.  We started the pellet stove for the first time this morning.  This is the latest we have had to use it.  The nights have been cool, but not cool enough to crank up the fire,
We picked tomatoes until last week.  Frost finally got to the plants, and it was time to let nature take its course.  I did take some cuttings from the tomatoes and they are doing ok so far in the greenhouse.  The jalapenos were planted in a mineral tub, and I just moved it all inside the greenhouse.  This winter will be kind of an experimental thing with the greenhouse.  What works I use again and what doesn't, oh well I tried!  I had also picked a bunch of green tomatoes.  They are ripening on racks in the greenhouse.  

I am now wondering if I shouldn't have made it a little bigger!  I am also experimenting with different ways of heating naturally, without electricity.  Daytime is no problem with the solar heater as long as there is plenty of sun.  I want it to be totally independent from electricity.  I think it will be okay.

Our grandson is here for part of the weekend.  20th birthday yesterday.  Pizza last night and then a nice evening of just visiting.  He only lives 20 miles away, but a 20 year is a very busy person, so we don't get to see him as often as we would like.

God Bless all--johnnyb

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Monday

I say Happy Monday because for some people it is.  I think it is a Federal Holiday, so some people will have a day longer to recuperate from 2 days of football, or just plain old R & R.  (or I & I for some).
Just sitting here waiting for the temperature to rise a little higher before going out to do whatever.  Seems like it makes no difference what I plan to do, I always get side tracked.  We have had only minor frost here, we are still getting tomatoes.  Unusual for this time of year in this neck of the woods.  It has been a busy month.  I did get the green house completed.  Have some things moved inside.

I have been picking tomatoes and letting them completely ripen inside.  The trees are fig trees that we are going to try and raise.  May not work, but we will try.  They were brought to us from a friend in Beaumont TX.  The corn is bloody butcher corn for grinding.  I had to get it off of the stalks.  The birds seem to like it more than the sweet corn!   Also some mint and thyme drying.

Ms. B has been making jelly and jam from the juice we had canned up during the summer.  Raspberry jam, white grape and chokecherry jelly.  We have also dehydrated some apples.  The chokecherries we pick along the county roads.  Raspberries, and grapes were from our own garden. 

It has been a fairly good garden season.  We split most with my sister-in-law.  Her garden didn't do well.  Next year she will have a space at our place.

We have actually had a little moisture this fall.  Some areas more than others.  At least the wheat crop will have a fighting chance this year.

God Bless all--johnnyb

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday morning.

Nice crisp 34 degrees this morning.  I covered some of the garden plants last night.  I haven't checked to see if there was any damage.  Hope not.  Still lots of tomatoes on.  New crop of green beans are just blooming, and some late sweet corn is just about ready.  We have been getting a little moisture this week.  Actually had a day of drizzle on Thursday.  It has been a long time since that has happened.

These turkeys were motoring past the house yesterday.  The drought and heat of the past couple of years has been hard on the wild bird population.  They are starting to build back up again.  Turkeys were not bothered as bad as pheasant and quail.  We have raised quail in the past for release and some bred pheasant hens were released last spring.  Hopefully it will all help.

One of our broody hens hatched 3 chicks last week.  They are doing fine.  We also bought another dozen chicks.  Our other layers are starting to get some age on them.  Time to start replacing them.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

If you are offered a wooden nickel, take it.  Probably worth more than a real one.--johnnyb

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Just remembering.--God Bless-johnnyb

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Just thinking

We have White Americans,  Black Americans,  African Americans,  Hispanic Americans,  Japanese Americans, Irish Americans, Chinese Americans, Korean Americans , and the list goes on and on and on.  I for one am an American.  Not Swedish American, (my grandfather was a Swedish immigrant).  I am an American and damn proud  of it!  If you want to be an African or Korean or Irish or Hispanic, fine, but go back there and let those of us who want to be American be American.  But I guess if you went back to Africa or Japan and called yourself an American African or American Japanese or whatever, you would be looked down on.  Unless you have dual citizenship--Be one or the other.  Stand up America and be proud!!!!!!

I apologize if I offend anyone.  I don't intend to.  I have had wonderful friends from all nationalities throughout  my life, but they were solid Americans.  Just a burr under my saddle--johnnyb.
Just some pics from around the place.

Some storm clouds rolled through last night, but only a few sprinkles and the temperature has dropped considerably.

The greenhouse is mostly done.  Need to add some shelving inside.  I am in the process of building an aluminum can solar heater for daytime use, and will have other means for night heat.

Mostly repurposed material.  Had to buy some of the lumber.  Looking forward to using it.

Hope everyone has a good hump-day.  Being retired everyday is halfway to something!--johnnyb

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Time of the year

Summer is still trying to hold on.  90's for a couple of days, and then highs in the 50's for a few days.  I enjoy this time of year.  I like the beauty of fall, especially after a summer with a little moisture.  The trees will be turning soon.  Our little "quakies" should be getting some color in a few weeks. Soon all the leaves are gone, left to fall all over everything you don't want them to.  Then the blandness of the late fall hits.  Kind of like waking up one morning in a world of back and white.  But then , I guess that keeps us from becoming bored with our surroundings.

I will soon have the garden mostly prepared for next spring.  seed catalogs will be arriving in a couple of months and the it starts all over.  Seed catalogs are God's way of getting us gardeners through the bleakness of the dark and long, cold winter  days.  I will start planning my garden as soon as the last planting area is finished.  Actually that is a lie.  I already have some of it planned.  This year I have a small greenhouse.  It could get vicious  before spring!

We have been able to put some canned goods this year.  We have also shared a lot of stuff and have been shared with.  Our one little grape vine produced 15 quarts of juice.  That will make some good jelly.  Also apple, chokecherries and currants.  I can see some wine in my crystal ball!!!

We added to our layer hen population this week.  Our  broody mother hen hatched 4 chicks and we bought another dozen at the farm store.  We need to start phasing out our older ones.  Slowing down in the egg department.

I hope everyone is having a good week.  Just remember there are always valleys before the hills.  Just make sure you have a good head  of steam when you are down at the bottom.  Makes it a lot easier to get started moving ahead and especially up!---johnnyb

Sunday, September 7, 2014

 Disclaimer: All persons mentioned in the following are fictional, and are not meant to resemble anyone living or otherwise occupying space on this earth, and if they do then it is probably intentional.  In other if the shoe fits, wear the damned thing!!!!!!

Good morning and welcome to the Morning News Report.  We are broadcasting live from the studios of KMOS in beautiful downtown ***** KS, which is located in the middle of somewhere, which is 1.3 miles east over the the hill from the middle of nowhere.  Chwcking the weather, I see the the old weather rock is just hanging there like a, well never mind how it is hanging  The important thing is I can see it hanging means it is clear and no wind.

Moving right along into local news.  Uncle Tom of Uncle Tom's Spa and Educational Film Emporium fame, sponsored a garden market.  A good time was had by all.  People from all over the are brought in their "goodies from the garden".  Grampy and Granny Fosterwickel from over on Stick Ridge brought in some of their best, featuring some of the largest cucumbers this area has ever seen.  Grampy remarked that he hasn't seen Granny smile for long time like she was smiling while picking them big brutes.  Don't know what that was all about.

The Twitterhead brothers from up  Whistle Rock way brought in some of their excelsior made from some of their best crops.  They say they haven't had a sick day since starting on a steady diet of the stuff.  It seemed to work well, and fast also.  A lot of people were feeling better, and I mean a lot better, in quick fashion.  I think we can probably look forward to more of their stuff in the near future as it was a huge success!

Uncle Tom held a private, premier showing of a  movie down at the Emporium that he has obtained from sources that will remain unnamed for various reasons.  It featured some local talent. I use the word talent loosely! It guess it could be classified as a human interest film, as in definitely held our interest.   My, my, my.  Ever so interesting.  Word is that the stars of the film could possibly make a guest appearance at a later date.  We will keep our eyes on this subject, and keep you informed, kind of.

In other news, Aunt Wilehmena said Uncle Lo suffered some heart pains the other night after coming home from the movie.  He was going to show her some of the positions, I mean exercises, they showed in the movie, when he was taken over by the pains.  After a little rest he was doing ok.  A recap of the movie will have to wait!

I see by the old clock on the wall our time is up.  Stay tuned for the Spit and Whittle Club update.  I am sure there will be some interesting tidbits come up there.  So, I will be with you next week at the same time and place, depending on hunting season and, or when the Twitterhead brothers come to town.

God Bless--johnnyb

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Eve

I hope everyone is having a good Labor Day Weekend.  It doesn't seem like it should be working on the end of summer already.  Some of the garden crops are starting to wear out.  It has been a decent year for some of the garden and mediocre for other parts.  I will start pulling some of the plants and get the beds ready for next spring.  It is just as easy to do it now as then.  Most of the beds I will lay cardboard down and maybe straw on top of that.  The cardboard will stat breaking down by spring.  Our soil leaves a little to be desired, and this seems to help amend the soil.

We had a nice visit with some new friends  this afternoon.  We  share a lot of the same interests and thoughts in our ways of life.  We really appreciate being able to share things with others who appreciate it.  We are in the process of thinning out our strawberry beds, so they took some of them home, along with raspberry plants.  Things were starting to get a little unruly in that part of the garden. We appreciate being able to share with people who care and are concerned.  Thanks Jeannie and Roger.  You are good people and I think we are all on the right track.  Thank you, friends.

The greenhouse is coming is coming along.  I hope to have it mostly done this week.  Mostly just finish work.  I am looking forward to experimenting  with greenhouse plants this winter.

As I look back at the summer, it has been a fairly good one.  My wife may not completely with that, as she has suffered from the shingles for the summer.  She is doing better,  A lot of the pain is gone, but still itches most of the time.  To me, just waking up in the morning is important.  Gets the day off to a lot better start!!  But on the serious side,  being able to enjoy the beauty of God's Creation is one of the greatest things that we can do.  The other morning I was walking around the our small place before sun-up.  It was so peaceful.  There had been a small shower during the night so everything was nice and crisp.  It was so quiet you could hear noises from a long way off,  The birds were doing their morning rituals.  I was thinking of the billions of people in the world will never be able to experience what I was just then experiencing.  The peace of the hour was beyond description.  Then I thought about the people who try to destroy this. In my opinion, if a fourth of the people of the world could feel what I was feeling at that moment, things could possibly be different.

I've rambled on enough. It is getting late.  Once again, thanks guys.  God Bless--johnnyb

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Mighty Hunter

Annie checking out a part of her domain.  Ever so vigilant, until a thunderstorm comes through

God Bless-johnnyb

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Morning

We have been busy the past couple of weeks. The grapes we picked steamed into 15 quarts of juice.  It will make good jelly and possible a little wine.  It has been a good year for the garden.  Best cucumber crop we have ever grown.  We gave most to my sister-in-law to put up.  We have canned a few tomatoes and split the rest with her.
We are in the process of building a greenhouse.  We have re-purposed a lot of storm windows and other windows over the past few years, and are putting them to good use.  And of course some pallets.

Hope to get it enclosed this week.  A friend has some corrugated roofing he wants to get rid of.  We are going to build a solar heater and along with the windows hopefully will keep it warm through the winter.  We have back-up plans also for the heat if needed.

One of our hens went broody a couple of weeks ago, so we have her setting in a separate building.  Hopefully next week we have some "peepers" running around.  Last year the same hen hatched us 7 little ones.  The only problem was 5 were roosters.  Hope for better this year!

Coffee cup is empty.  Have a good one.  Keep "Old Glory" flying high and proud, or the Maple Leaf to our friends to the North.  God Bless--johnnyb

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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Some of my garden rodent control crew.

The snake in the second picture has had lunch.  As  scary as they can be, they do a lot of good around the place.  They must be getting plenty to eat as they seem to be healthy looking.  We have never had any rattlesnakes around the place.  Some neighbors occasionally find one, and we see them on the road.  Old timers say if you have bullsnakes, you will not have any rattlers.  I don't know.  

God Bless.--johnnyb

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sitting here with my morning coffee and trying to decide what to do today.   I have many projects started and need to finish.  I am building a small shed out of pallets,  a boardwalk and fence around part of the garden.

 The building inspectors were doing a final walk-through before signing off on the permit!!

The garden has done pretty good so far.  Our early crops, asparagus and rhubarb have been good.  We have canned beets, green beans and chokecherry juice for jelly later.  I have some beet chips in the dehydrator now.  

Enough for today, temperatures have been in the 100F + and today will be no different.

God Bless all who read this and above all God Bless the great Country we live in.--johnnyb

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Back after a year +

After a year of not posting, but reading and keeping up, decided it was time to get back into it.  I guess maybe I missed putting down a few words whenever anything would strike.  So here goes.

Our garden this year is doing pretty goo so far.  Our temps have not been to bad yet.  This week will change that.  Temps in the 100-105 F range.   The spring was very dry as was the winter.  Not a lot of the fluffy white stuff.  Rains came in May and June.  Saved a little of the wheat.  And I mean little.  Corn looks good,but still need a little more moisture to keep it until harvest.  Pastures look pretty good and the cattle are contented.

I have to go do something constructive.  Later--johnnyb