Tag Archives: cleanup

Garden and Crafting

A few short days at home between the visit to Shrine Mont and leaving for a week of being Grandmom in charge for eldest grandson have been busy.  The first night back, when I went to lock up the chickens, my reluctant pullet managed to fly over the fence into the garden.  The lower un-planted part of the garden was literally chin high to my 5’8″ frame.  The lawnmower was fueled and with much effort, about half of that area was mowed down in an effort to remove the cover for the chick.  As it got too dark to see what I was doing, a decision was made to leave her to her fate, hoping that she would just find safe cover in the remaining weeds or up in the tomato jungle.  She did survive the night and greeted me the next morning outside the gate.  The mower was still in the garden, so in spite of the heat and threatening thunder storms, the rest of that area was mowed and hand weeding commenced on the area around the cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and the dozen or so volunteer tomatillo plants.  By the time I finished, my stamina was gone and I quit, tossing half a dozen overgrown, yellow cucumbers to the chickens.  No harvest had been done in our absence.

Today, with the temperatures only a few degrees lower, a determined effort was made to weed the upper garden, thin the tomatoes and sunflowers, and harvest as many tomatoes as I could.  A 4 gallon feed bucket was filled with mostly plum tomatoes, a dozen heirloom slicers, and peppers.


After a long cold shower to refresh and renew me, I tackled the haul.  There were 19 pounds of tomatoes, which I divided into 2 one gallon bags of diced tomatoes each almost 5 lbs.; 2 one gallon bags of whole paste tomatoes, several slicers to take with me tomorrow; 3 pints of jalapenos pickled, a pint of mixed hot peppers in salted vinegar that will be made into hot sauce once a quart has been gathered.  Another pint or so of jalapeños were too large to pickle whole, so they will be diced and frozen.  Another couple of dozen tomatoes were split and rotting and were tossed to the chickens.

I will be away from home for another 10 days, so I’m sure with the persistent heat and daily rain, a repeat of the past few days will be in order once I return.  Hopefully it will be a bit cooler by then.

Yesterday, in anticipation of my absence, I dyed a half pound of Shetland roving to spin.


With these two braids, another that I did of Romney to learn the process, and my monthly installment of the Tailfeather’s Club from Unplanned Peacock, I will have plenty to spin while sitting on the porch while grandson is in school.  I will arrive home with about 2 to 3 hours to unpack and repack to leave for a few days at a spinning retreat.  I may have to spin all undyed fiber there and dye the yarn later.  I will also be teaching salve making and be a vendor at this event, so I have to be organized before I leave to babysit.

Tonight, Jim will be taken out to dinner and to buy a couple new pair of jeans as an early birthday.  I will not be here to celebrate with him on his actual birthday.

Peeps, Rain and a Mess



Today’s mail brought a box of 15 Rainbow Ranger chicks to be raised til late fall.  One of the little yellowish peeps has strange markings that from the top makes the little one look like a chipmunk.  They are safely ensconced in the brooder with food, water and a heat lamp.  It would sure be easy if I could just give them to Broody Girl and let her raise them.

We woke to rain with the task of moving the remainder of the scaffolding from the barn to the house.  We decided that unloading the trailer and reloading it was more trouble than just folding the seats down in the Xterra and loading it down to the house in the back of the SUV which is what we had decided to do.  When we returned from our vacation, we noticed a puddle near one garage door and had seen on the weather reports while we were gone that we had rain, so we didn’t think much of it.  We have had rain blow under the door in the past.  As we were preparing to go down to the Post Office to retrieve the chicks, I noticed that the puddle was larger, much larger and grabbed the garage broom to push it out only to discover that instead of water, it was oil based house stain.  One of the 5 gallon buckets had a small vertical slit in the side and it had slowly been leaking.  Fortunately I had an empty 5 gallon bucket, but no lid and we were out of Oil Dry granules so our adventure out had to include a stop at Lowes for a lid and the Oil Dry.

Once the chicks were in their new abode, the clean up commenced.  Oil Dry absorbs the oil and there was enough oil that it had to be applied, shoveled up and reapplied.  It will sit for a few days and again be shoveled up and possibly reapplied until the corner is cleaned.

It looks like our weekend with our son here will involve only erecting scaffolding in the rain, we won’t get any caulking done with it so wet.  I will begin staining the garage doors, the ceiling of the front porch and front porch logs once the rain ends.

Life is always an adventure on our mountain farm.