Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vezina Trophy Candidate

Here is a picture of the best 1995 Bantam goalie on the Boston Junior Eagles of the Eastern Hockey Federation and it just so happens to be my son!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rataining Wall Repair 101

Well, we finally resolved our retaining wall problem, hooray! This wall has been worrying us for several years now with the fear of it falling and has only been getting worse with each passing year - the New England winters have been taking it's toll. However, the estimates we received to have the wall fixed by professional masons were simply too expensive.

Sooooo, we decided to fix it on our own, well, my neighbor and I - and we're not even Italian go figure. We took last Friday (10/24) off of work (our real jobs) and had at it. We dug out the dirt behind the bad area, used the plow (pictured) and a Ford F350 to push and straighten the wall, secured it as best we could then back filled with 1 yard of 3/4 crushed stone. We topped off it all off with some of the dirt we removed and filled the gaps in front with smaller stones - TA DA!!

It certainly isn't the prettiest wall I've seen but it'll do for now and from a safety concern we can sleep easier now.



Public Service Announcement

This just in -
* A friendly public service announcement from SFrye732_Blog - because we care...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Havaheart vs Blue Barrel

Here are a couple pictures of the critters that we've trapped and relocated recently. These dudes were fortunate to be caught on a work day and therefore relocated on my drive to work. Weekend captures aren't so lucky, even though gas prices have fallen, and all I will say is "blue barrel"...

Grey Squirrel

Commom Opossum

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Zero to 200 in Six Seconds

Bob was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really pissed.
She told him “Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE !!”
The next morning he got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway.
Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought the box back in the house.
She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.
Bob has been missing since Friday.

Joe vs Joe

Hearing about poor 'Joe the Plumber' during last nights presidential debate peaked my curiosity. I wondered if the reference to 'Joe' was nothing more than a fabricated way for the candidates to try and connect with average America. After all, Sarah Palin referred to 'Joe Sixpack' during her debate. See the trend?

So I did some poking around on Google and found a picture of, both, 'Joe the Plumber' and 'Joe Sixpack' . Apparently, they do both exist; they're not fictitious or fictional characters created by the political talking heads, my bad...

can, tin, put up, preserve, keep

This is the last batch of our 2008 tomatoes.

All in all we did good, or rather the tomato plants did good.

JoAnne canned: 52 1/2 quarts and 48 pints!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bumper Sticker

I saw the below bumper sticker this AM and thought I'd pass it along...
"Horn Broken. Watch for Finger."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Winter Predictor Worm

Here is a picture of the Wooly Bear caterpillars that Emilie has caught, so far, this fall. Each time she finds one in the oven it goes. Oh, don't be silly, not a real over - heaven forbid! She has one of them there Little Tyke, plastic, kitchenette thingy that has been relegated to the pool area. The oven unit is on top, has a clear door and makes for a perfect critters holder...

Wooly Bear Fun Facts and folklore:
Woolly worms have very tiny eyes and a limited range of sight. They pass through up to 6 larval stages before reaching the stage most see in the fall; during which the color and size of its bands on the 13 body segments may change. It is those 13 bands that folklorists use to help predict the weather. According to folklore:
  • The amount of black in the fall varies proportionately with the severity of the upcoming winter.
  • The longer the black bands, the longer, colder, snowier and more severe the winter will be.
  • And the position of the bands indicates which parts of winter will be the coldest.
  • If the head is dark, the winter starts out severe.
  • If the tail is dark, the end will be cold.
  • Since the Woolly Bear has 13 body segments, folklorists believe that each segment corresponds to one of the 13 weeks of winter. So reading each band could conceivably forecast each week of the winter.
  • Also known as the Fuzzy Bear, Hedgehog Caterpillar, Wooly Worm and Wooly Bear (approved name of the Entomological Society of America).
Other signs include thicker coats meaning colder winters and if they seem to be traveling south, they are trying to escape the cold conditions of the north. If they are traveling north, however, it indicates a milder winter.

Through the years, research has shown us that the Woolly Bear caterpillar’s coloring is actually based on how long the caterpillar has been feeding, its age and, of course, the species. The better the growing season, the bigger it will grow and this results in a narrower red-orange band in its middle. So, the width of the banding is really an indicator of the current or past season’s growth, rather than an indicator of the severity of the upcoming winter. And as these caterpillars may molt as many as 6 times before reaching adult size and the colors will change with each molt, they become less black and more reddish.

Find the Insect XI

Can you find the insect in the above picture?
Actually, it's not an insect, not right now anyway.
It will be, and more than one, but not until the Spring.
You're looking for a Praying Mantis egg case...

Friday, October 10, 2008


We picked our remaining carrots last weekend and were surprised at just how odd some of these looked. Even though they're strange looking they sure are mighty tasty! Our rabbits go absolutely coo-coo for the tops and simply devour them. However, at this point in the season they're all gone, so they'll have to wait until next years crop.

These are "Danvers Half Long" carrots. I ordered the seeds from Gurney's, which is where I also bought my "Yukon Gold" potato and "Early Contender" bush bean seeds. All were very successful!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Privacy Please II

and not to be out done by New Honey, Ethel got into the act and also laid an egg the other day. Actually, (3) eggs were laid in one day- three hens and three eggs, not too shabby. However, as I pointed out in an earlier post, the changes in the New England weather along with shorter days will have an impact on these old ladies and their egg production.

Quote for the day

"Whatever you give a woman, she's going to multiply.
If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.
If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.
If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.
So, if you give her any crap, you will receive a ton of sh**!"
and that's all I am going to say. I dare not add comments...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Harmonia axyridis

Can you guess what this black and red insect is that's eating a small cabbage white caterpillar? I will give you a clue - it's in it's larvae stage...

This little feller and all it's family and friends, both larvae stage and adults, are more than welcome in our yard and gardens. After all, I would rather see this taking place versus having to hand pick the bad insects off our plants to get rid of them. The kale plants were not only hosting destructive insects but also many, many of these beneficial insects too.

Give up?

How bout another clue - it is an effective biological control agent in agricultural and landscape environments.

Anything? Give up yet?

OK, one more clue - it has become a major nuisance to homeowners because of its habit of invading houses and buildings in large numbers while searching for protected sites to overwinter in the fall (mid-October to early November) and appearing again on warm, sunny days in February and March.

Well, how bout now, anything?

Take a stab at it, guess.

Very well, it's - Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Garden Winter Prep

Allium California Soft Neck - Jumbo garlic

I finally found the time to plant my garlic - Allium California Soft Neck - Jumbo garlic. I planted two rows of 18 cloves each for a total of 36 seeds. We'll have to wait till next growing season to see how they do but I have my fingers crossed and feel pretty good already.

I put my big garden to bed too - pulled and composted the remaining tomato plants and tomato’s, turned the soil, raked smooth and planted 3lbs of winter rye.

I also built another raised vegetable bed 4’ w x 8’ l x 10 t”, placed in line with the other two and filled it with a combination of compost, top soil, fresh chicken and rabbit droppings and mixed. This dude will be ready for planting come spring, however, not sure what the planting arrangements will be yet but there is plenty of time and it’ll come to me over the winter. Nighty night...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pumpkins Harvest 2008

Here are the results of the great Westwood pumpkin patch.

We picked the above pumpkins earlier this week - six good size, beautiful pumpkins. These are a result of the seedlings we planted at my dads earlier in the season. There were two others but the deer had their way with them so they were not salvageable. We have yet to weigh them but all except one is larger than a basketball, so I can only guess they're well over 10 pounds each.

Privacy Please

Fall is here in New England. The days are shorter now, the leaves are beginning to change and the weather is considerably colder too, especially over night and into the mornings.

These changes have had an effect on Lucy, Ethel and New Honey or rather on their egg production. This is normal with the sorter days and cooler temperature. Their age plays a role in this too and they're no longer young pullets but rather old hens. Lately, if we're lucky we'll get one or two eggs a week, uugh! Their days just might be numbered...

New Honey is pictured above earning her keep and in the process of laying an egg. Don't tell Garelick Farms that we're "borrowing" one of their milk crates for a chicken nest box...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Beer versus Water

A public service announcement to my family and friends who enjoy beer...

As Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 4 cups of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 2 pounds of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces.

In other words, we are consuming 2 pounds of poop.

However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquors) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

So remember: Water = Poop, Beer = Health. Therefore, it's better to drink beer and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Creative Cooking 101, Part Deux

Once again I got a little creative in the kitchen tonight in that ole Victory Garden & Rachael Ray kinda way and 'kicked it up a notch', a.k.a. Emeril Lagasse. Although, none of the ingredients came from our garden it was tasty just the same. No question, in my mind anyway, that I hit it OUT of the park with this dish!

From the market: (1) red pepper, (1) green pepper, frozen cooked shrimp, (1) package of oriental noodles,(1) bottle of sesame ginger marinate sauce & some garlic.

In the kitchen (prep): cut the peppers into chunks and added with shrimp and garlic into the pan and simmered over high heat with some olive oil and sesame ginger sauce. Once these items were browned I added the noodles, a little more olive oil and sesame ginger marinate sauce to give some color and fried until the noodles were 'pan fried' - BAM! - BAM!

Serving: A nice glass of 2007 Alamos Caberbet Sauvignon wine and BAM two thumbs up, way up - YUM YUM YUM! Unfortunately I ate the entire dish, no leftovers - BURRRPPPPP (Homer style)!