Sunday, July 12, 2015

Canning season

We started doing some canning this week.  We have had a couple of picking of green beans.  The next pickings will go to friends of ours who for one reason or another don't have any this year. This was the second picking

Then came kraut.  We made up 2-5 gallon buckets of kraut.  This is my sister-in-law threatening somebody with a knife,  I think it was her sister for taking the picture!  The kraut is working good already.  We have more to do.  will make Amish Slaw  with most of it.  We used 14 heads of cabbage for the kraut.  We picked it up at a garden for $2 a head.
 I get the job of packing the cabbage in the buckets.  Safer that way.  No sharp knives!!

Then came the beets.  Me and Ma doin' our thing!!  We might have a few more to do later.  Squash is starting to come on.  Tomatoes are running a little behind,

Sorry Kymber, but I had to post it!

We always  give credit to the One who makes this all possible.  Without His help this would not be possible.  One time we stood looking at our garden, patting ourselves on the back for our fine work.  2 hours later we lost it all to a hailstorm.  Coincidence?  Only one knows .

God Bless All.  johnnyb   

Friday, July 3, 2015

Summer has arrived

Summer has hit with a vengeance  this week.  Though it looks like we may have a break for the 4th.  A little rain yesterday.  Just enough to put off watering for a day.  We picked our first batch of green beans this week.  These we put in the freezer.  Some will be canned later on.

The outdoor canning kitchen is pretty much finished.  A lot of odds and ends things to finish, but it is usable.  It has been an interesting project.  I need to get a water hook-up for the sink and a drain.

I hope everyone has a good and safe holiday.  We are going to a cook-out at our daughters tomorrow.  Our son has been here for a week,  He is on summer break from his school job.  He is a para for a middle school.  It has been fun having him around.

God bless all--joihnnyb

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Good Morning

Started work on the inside of the project.  I was going to use OSB on the walls, but I have plenty of pallets,so I am using the boards from them.  

Using paper shred as an insulation in the walls.  Getting closer every day.  Canning season will soon be on us.

Some shots from around the garden.  First run of cabbage is doing good.  A lot of kraut in the making.  I have another 30+ plants that will be for a later crop.  They have been in the ground only a couple of weeks.

 Zucchini that are getting close.

One of the beds of green beans.  They started blooming this week.

The garden has been doing ok.  We have enough rain to help.  Temperatures are starting to climb into the summer range, so we will have to start putting water to it.  Still getting asparagus.   Carol says her raspberries will be ready soon.  Good jam on the horizon!!

And after a hard day of work, keeping the place safe from all the wild animals (bunnies), Bela hits the showers before heading in for supper and a nap!

God Bless all.  Have a good weekend.--johnnyb

Sunday, June 14, 2015


A small town near us has a celebration every 5 years.  Called an ox roast.  no ox, just beef.  there may have been an ox when it was started 101 years ago.  Meat is cooked over coals in a pit for a day or so.  Very good.  there is all kinds of things go on during the day.  Parade, school reunion, live music, dance in the evening, lots of refreshments, (lots), games, and just a lot of fun.  The town has a population of 100-200.  Probably closer to 100.  Yesterday there were thousands in for the celebration.

The last pic needs to be enlarged to get full benefit.

Also something for the kids:

Always a good time.  

God Bless--johnnyb

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Good Saturday morning!   Some rain in the area again in the past few days.  We didn't get much here.  Just a few sprinkles.  Enough to cool things a little.  More work done on the canning kitchen this week.

I got the other window installed yesterday.  Will start making screens for the windows now and putting up trim and then the inside.  It won't be long until we will be canning.  The beets are growing, the beans are in bloom, and cabbages are in the head.  Tomatoes are starting to bloom.  I thought they never would start to grow.  The ground didn't warm up until later this year.

Time to do something productive.  In hope everyone has a good and safe weekend.  In the immortal words of no one, "If you can't be careful, name it after me"!

God Bless all--johnnyb

Monday, June 8, 2015

And the work week starts

I used that phrase in the title kind of loosely.  In retirement there doesn't seem to ever be the start or end of the work week!  I didn't realize that we had planned up so many projects over our lifetime!  We probably will never live to see all of them completed.  Someday we are going to do this or that or whatever.  Someday, for some reason or other, we will not be able to do the things we would like to.   Tomorrow I will celebrate the 39th anniversary of my 30th birthday!!  My how time does fly.  It just seems like yesterday I was running around in dirty diapers.  Oh wait, that was yesterday.  Just kidding!!!  The one good thing about growing older with a spouse of a close age is that you can forget things together.  Yesterday while sitting at the table eating lunch and both trying to remember a name, the mention was made at least we haven't got to the place where we forget each others name! Name tags with pictures are not required uniform of the day yet!!  These are all things that I used to chuckle at my parents or grandparents.  Not so funny anymore.  I used to get back into shape after a long winter in just a short time.  Now it takes almost to winter again!!

I joke about it, but with the exception of more aches and pains, creaks and pops, it just ain't too bad!

We have a   door and one window in the outdoor kitchen.

Hopefully we can get siding on the front today.  Then start to frame for the windows and screen on the other sides.

Here is a picture of one of Carol's flower beds.  The moisture we have had has been a blessing.  This country looks like an oasis!

God Bless all who this may touch!--johnnyb

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Summer Kitchen

We got the roof and part of the siding on the summer kitchen.  The top part will be hinged openings.  It is getting closer and we exited about being able to do the canning outside.

The garden is coming along.  Things are starting to grow a little as the weather warms.  I put in another dozen cabbage plants the other day.  Still another dozen plus to go.  We had another 1/2 inch of rain last night, so we haven't had to water much.  I still need to plant more sweet corn.  Some rodent is digging up the kernels after I plant them.

A good friend from Colorado brought 4 more Aspen orphans to plant.  We are starting to get a small "forest" started.  He also brought some pallets he picked up at the feed store.  Another "project' in the making.

There has been a lot of bad weather in the tri-state area here.  We haven't had any right here, but some areas have.  tornadoes, heavy rain, a lot of hail.  We don't need the bad stuff anywhere.

God Bless all--jobnnyb

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Early morning pic

Just happened to catch this view from our front door this morning and wanted to to share it.

God Bless--johnnyb

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cool weather.

May 31 and it is hoody weather this morning.  Been unseasonably cool the last couple of days.  We went to the car races Friday night and it was almost too chilly to enjoy.  But we did any way.  We have always been racing fans.  Both of us were dirt-tracking at an early age.  Nothing like seeing 3 or four cars side by side  coming around a turn.  NASCAR is ok,  and I try to watch whenever I can, but it still doesn't to dirt-trackin".

We did a little more work on the outdoor kitchen.  We have most of the roof on.  We are almost ready to start the sides.  It has been a fun project.  Can't wait to get the outside done, so I can start the inside.  We could use it as it sits now, but we have time to finish it.

I need to do a little work in the garden or the weeds are going to bypass the produce.  With the rain we have had, this country looks really good.  We haven't had the heavy rains that other areas have had, so it has been nice.  Our prayers go out to those who have suffered because of the severe storms or flooding.

God Bless--johnnyb

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thursday morning ramblings

We had a nice shower go through last evening.  About 1/4 of an inch here. Right west there was a lot more, with some flooding possible.   More of the same tonight in the same areas.  We are happy with
the small amount and no severe stuff.  What moisture we have had makes this country look like an oasis.  

These are some pics from around the place this week.  The canning kitchen is coming along.  Maybe get the rafters up today if it don't rain.  We are looking forward to using it this summer and fall.

The iris flowers are in full bloom.  We were given a tub full of flowers last year.  We had no idea what colors.  Ended up with 6 different colors.  My Mom always had a lot if Iris.  Brings back memories of many years ago.  We put mineral tubs with the bottoms cut out to keep the critters away.  We have done the same with fruit trees.  Keeps the rabbits from gnawing on them.

The garden is doing ok.  Temperatures have not warmed as much as usual, so the ground is still a little cool.  Night-time temps still in the upper 40's and low 50's.

Cabbage plants are doing pretty good.  I planted the first dozen early in April.  2 weeks later I planted the second dozen.  The first has done good.  Second did't fair too well.  I have another 40 about ready to go.  We hope to make a lot of kraut this year.  We only made a five gallon bucket last year.  It is about gone.  Carol also did up a few quarts of Amish coleslaw.  It is gone!!  Much more of both this fall.

Time to go.  The dogs think it is time to feed the chickens.  My thought for the day--the middle of nowhere is always over the next hill!!  God Bless--johnnyb

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Have a safe holiday.

God Bless-johnnyb


I hope everyone takes a little time over this weekend to remember, not just our  loved ones, but all those who have passed on before us.  It is not just placing flowers or wreaths on graves.  We need to remember those times with our friends and loved ones.  The good times, the bad times.    Those that are the reason we are here , and those that helped mold our lives into what it is today.  There are those who gave that we may be free.   Sometimes we tend to forget those who helped  structure the freedom that so many take for granted.  Just because they have been gone for a couple of hundred years, does not mean they should be forgotten.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and whole list of others are always mentioned.  But what about the unnamed colonial farmer who lost his life for the cause? They all need to be included.  Go to a local cemetery and find the old part of it.  Spend a few minutes pondering over the graves.  Were they pioneers looking to start a new life.  Was it the forgotten grave of a child.   Maybe a mother in childbirth.  A whole family lost maybe.  They all need to be remembered.  We don't necessarily need to have known someone to be able to hold them in remembrance.   Just remember!

God Bless--johnnyb

Friday, May 22, 2015

Spring Goings On

Good morning to the world.  We are having rain.  We have been getting a little of the wet stuff for the last couple of weeks.  Not a lot, but enough to green things up. Temps have been cool also.  Our winter was dry.  Not much snow.  The garden is getting a slow start with the cool weather.  We raised most of our veggies in the greenhouse this spring.  We had a frost ten days ago that killed some plants even though they were covered.  Our asparagus crop has been good this spring.

Rhubarb has also been very productive this spring.  Our Quaking Aspens are doing well.  They are sending up shoots, so we are on our way to an Aspen grove.

Started the first project of the year yesterday.  We are building an outdoor canning kitchen. We were blessed with a quite a bit of re-purposed material this winter.  Always makes it easier to do when the materials are on hand.  Hope to have a lot of things to can this year.

It seems like I just hibernated for the winter.  There were some things I was going to do, but just never got around to it.  Did a lot of reading.  We go to a book club once a month.  The state historical society along with the local library,  provide a book and we meet with a person from the Historical Society to cuss and discuss the book.  It has been quite interesting.

Enough for today.  My coffee cup is empty.  Time to fill it.  God Bless All.  --johnnyb