Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Getting close to garden time again.  I have plants in the greenhouse.  Tomatoes, Cucumbers and squash.  Repotted tomatoes today.  The were getting a little leggy and starting  second set of leaves.  Cucumbers are doing great as are the squash. They will go outside in a few weeks.  Tomatoes are still quite a ways out.  Will be starting some herbs soon.  We also worked in our fruit garden.  We have raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, grapes and elderberries.  Raspberries, grapes and strawberries we have had for quite a few years.  The rest  were put out last year.  We were pruning and clearing out deadwood. The grapes have been good to us.  We have only one vine, but will get anywhere from 50-80 quarts of juice from it each year.  There are a lot of wild chokecherry bushes and wild plums in the area so those are always a possibility.  They make very good jelly.

I hope everybody is doing ok in this time of crisis.  Later.  God Bless--johnnyb

Monday, March 23, 2020

Tales From the Whogonkies

  Catchy title isn't it!  Once I heard someone say they were from the Whogonkies.  I always took that as being somewhere between here and the other side of nowhere.  I am sure that I have been to the Whogonkies at one time or another as I am sure most people have been.  It might only been in our imaginary minds as a child battling the forces of evil, (i.e. cowboys and Indians in my day), or just driving through an area of desolate country that you cannot imagine anyone ever living in.  Then again it could be that area just over the next hill that I tell the grandson is the middle of nowhere.  It is always over the next hill. So here goes my story of that area known as the Whogonkies.

Uncle Jake Holenhammer  from chokecherry draw was in town yesterday.  Said he really wasn't planning on coming to town, but when he hitched up the mules to go a neighbors, they got a little frisky and got a little out of control.  He figured they must have wanted to come to town when they took the left fork in the road instead of the right one.  Anyway he was making the best of it.  He was headed for Mz. Betsy's House of Feel Better Quick.  Said he thought it was soon enough to spring for a nice all over bath, shave, and haircut,etc.  I think that there is something else going over there, but being the fine upstanding citizen that I am, I have not frequented the place.  I have seen some mighty pretty ladies going in the back door.  I just figured it was some kinfolk of Mz. Betsy, but maybe not.  I may have to check into that a little more.  Interesting project for next week.

There was a box supper and barn dance over at the Shimwater place Saturday nite.  Good time was had by all.  I was there bidding on Miss Annie Whizzlestones, box supper.  I was able to outlast the other guys and we sat in a corner and enjoyed what ever it was she had prepared.  I am not sure what the sandwich was, but I ate it to be polite.  It was worth the "backyard trots" that I got just to spend some time with her.  I may have to go courting some evening, without the sandwich this time.   Anyway we enjoyed dancing to the music of the Schnagglenathy family from up creek a few miles.  All seventeen of them.   The refreshments were provided by Uncle Ned and his boys from up Rattlesnake Canyon. I'm not sure what it was, but it was tasty.  Kind of had a little kick to it.  Wasn't to many fights this time.  Once in a while it gets a little wild.

Grandpa Smith passed on last week.  Some say he was just a little on the other side of a hundred years old.  Others said he wasn't all that old.  Just was the life he led.  I guess he had an ample supply of "shine" and tobacco every day.  Some say they didn't need to embalm him, just put him away.  Anyway he will be missed by all, especially the "shine" producers!

Speaking of the "shine" producers, been a few strangers in the area lately.  Always a little suspicious when there is strangers about.  Haven't heard of anything happening yet, but we will see.

I have to go.  the sandwich is still working a little bit.  Until next time--God Bless

Friday, March 20, 2020

First Day of Spring

First day of spring yesterday.  Day started off with fog so thick you could cut it with a knife.  Fog cleared off and it was a nice sunny day.  By 1PM the temperature was 64 degrees and no wind.  By 4 PM it was cloudy again, wind was kicking up and temperature was dropping.   At about 5 PM a thunderstorm rolled through the area and the temp had dropped to the lower 40's. At 10 PM the temperature  was in the middle 20's and a blizzard was raging with 40+ mph winds.  Didn't end up with very much snow,  Just cold.  Wind chills around zero this morning.  Springtime in the High Plains!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

When I started this blog a few years ago, The Simple Life seemed to be a good theme. 10 years ago we moved to the country from town.  Everything seemed like it was going to be so simple. As I sit here this morning and look back over my 73 years on this earth, I wonder if it is so simple. As I was growing up in the late 40's and 50's, it was simple.  Our phone hung on the wall.  You had to turn a little crank to get "central", the operator.  When she answered, yes it was always a she, you gave her a number  She would then ring that number and the person would answer.  At the same time you could hear other phone being lifted up.  Everyone was on a party line.  It was like morse code.  Longs and shorts.  Ours was  longs.  If it was 1, 3, or 4, it was our neighbors.  The coffee shops of today don't hold a candle for being gossip starters like the old party line phone system.
Electricity came to our part of the world in 1946-1948.  Don't really remember that part.  I do remember the outhouse and chamber pots under the bed, Saturday night baths in a big tub in the middle of the dining room floor.
TV didn't enter my world until 1957.  What a day that was when Dad brought home that Sylvania, I believe.  Wasn't much for variety.  1 station, 2 if we went out and moved the antenna by hand.  Wasn't much channel surfing.  Our main entertainment came on Saturday when we would go to town.  Us and most of the county!  Women shopped and visited, exchanged recipes,etc.  Men would go to the pool hall for some spit and whittle time, swap a few lies, talk about the weather.  Complain if it was to dry or to wet or to hot or cold.  Women weren't allowed in the poolhall, so when they were ready to go home, they would tap on the window to try get someone's attention.  Smoke was usually so thick you couldn't see in.
I went to a one room country school for 8 years of elementary school.  No kindergarten.  We went to school from September to the middle of April.  We had to help our parents get the crops in.  The school was a community gathering place during the school year.  Big Halloween party with bonfire, roasting hod dogs and marshmallows. 

We lived in a world where pictures were only take on cameras.  Our phones  either hung on the wall or on a table, not in our pocket.  I never even lived in a house with A/C until I was out of the service. Families got together for Sunday dinners often, not just at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. 
 All the modern conveniences don't make life simpler.  Maybe easier.  We have lost our privacy.  We can't even be sure that big brother is not watching us all the time.  Everything goes at breakneck speed, even people.  Always in a hurry.  A pandemic has spread around the world in only 2 months. We are moving  way faster than we can keep up with!

I don't think life is simpler now than it was even 10 years ago.  We need to stop, take a deep breath and take a good look around us.

God Bless-johnnyb

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