Monday, May 30, 2011

I Prefer Over Easy Myself, You?

Emilie found these (6) eggs out back the other day. I can't tell if they hatched or if they were eaten by something. Anyway, we laid them in the garden, so that the ants would come along and clean out the insides. If you look close enough they've arrived and doing exactly what I wanted them to do. My mom used to use this method when she needed to have the seashells she collected cleaned. Works pretty good too.

Anyway, I'm not certain but believe these are
cowbird eggs.

Anyone care to weigh in?! Anyone? Anyone?

As the Economics Teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off said during one of his classes, "In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone?... the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. "Voodoo" economics".

Run Forest Run!

It's uncanny! I'm not sure how they do it or how they know but turkey hunting season has recently ended and all of a sudden you see these dudes everywhere. Yet during the hunting season you'd almost never see them.

Anyway, this fella, was in the neighbor's yard, across the street frolicking with three others. I'm almost certain I heard them ridiculing me and taunting me with, "kneener, kneener, kneerner" and then chuckling amongst themselves.

As Astro Would Say,"Rot-Row George"

Care to take a guess at what these (4) white pieces are?!

Give up?

There are the remaining piece of my temporary crown. As I'm sure you can guess a temporary crown isn't supposed to look like this, no sir! Somehow, while taking a bite of tuna fish, CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH...OH *HIT! And that darn Murphy I tell yeah, he's a really beauty! Of course this happened on Friday at noontime of a holiday weekend, why wouldn't it?

The concept of a temporary crown is to protect what remains of the tooth and nerves that have been exposed during step 1 of a crowning procedure. SO, without the "protection" (temporary crown), eating and drinking is a tad sensitive, especially if the items are really cold (beer) or really hot (my morning coffee).

I did get a hold of my dentist and we agreed that I would tough it out through the long weekend, with the understanding that if it became too uncomfortable to call him again. He wants to see me first thing on Tuesday to make me another temporary crown but I'm leaning towards limping along until my permanent one comes in, which shouldn't be too much longer.

Alas, what can you do. That's the way the belly buttons, as my mother would say.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pig Pile, Really!

One little, two little, three little piggies, four little, five little, six little piggies, seven little eight little, nine little piggies, ten little and eleven little piggies more...if I counted correctly and by the way, they're NOT "little piggies"!

Green Thumb and Dirty Hands!

Here are the veggie and flower (annuals) plants (seedlings) that I brought home last Saturday following my ride to Marshfield to visit my farmer friend. He grew all these in his greenhouse and always plants way more than he uses or sells. He follows the weather quite closely and knew hotter days were just around the corner, so he called and wanted to know when I would be down to visit and get plants. The more he gave me and I took, the less work tending to and watering he'd have to do. So, it was a win win for both of us!

It's kinda hard to tell from this pic but there are a lot of plants there. Of course "a lot of plants" equals "a lot of work"! The good news is that they've all been planted, both, in the ground and in a slew of pots and they're all doing great!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ouchie BooBoo!

Pulled the above branch out of the bottom of Emilie's foot this past Saturday! Well, not the entire branch, and it's really not a branch, but rather the stripped, 1/2" section noted with the pencil arrow! She was running around barefoot with some of the neighborhood kids playing when the stepped on it. Fortunately, it came right out with one quick pull. There was no need to break out the needle and tweezers, thank goodness!

Hypercompe scribonia - Update 2

Our Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar pupa finally hatched, hooray!

A beautiful female that's just about 2" long. We'll be releasing her tonight, so she can take care of herself and do whatever it is Giant Leopard Moths do.

On to the next critter project, whatever that will be. Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chick Down...For A Nap!

So, the Buff Orpington chicks are coming along just fine. They're getting big and starting to feather out, so I've turned off their heat lamp. They'll be moved outside this weekend, finally! Each time I do something like this it reminds me of my mother and how much she had to endure with all the critters I'd bring home . I can't stand it myself, not sure why I still do it, although Emilie does enjoy it all, I'm leading towards some sort of addiction! Clearly, my mother was an angel!

Emilie is crazy about them and appears to have given them all names but not sure how she can tell one from another at this point. Although, we did mark two of them with a Sharpie; one red and one blue.

Don't be alarmed with the pictures below. The chick is not dead, she fine and simply out like a light sleeping. Emilie will fire up her computer, go to YouTube and play lullabies to put the chicks to sleep - it's the funniest thing!

See, out cold. Almost looks like a chicken sandwich, right, and making me hungry!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

2011 Veggie Gardens Are In!!

It was a productive weekend here at the ole homestead. Outside of a Saturday AM trip to Marshfield to visit a friend, I spent the weekend at home getting our plants and yard in order. Most of our veggies have been planted, same for out annual flowers, finally.

Here's the list of veggies plants and seeds: (24) tomato, (4) parsley, (2) basil, (3) mounds of Silver Queen corn, (7) cucumber, (6) vidalia onions, (16) potatoes: three different kinds, (4) kale, (2) broccoli, (2) lettuce, (10) pepper and (12) squash: six zucchini and six summer.

Peppers fronted with begonias -

Squash: Summer on the left and zucchini on the right -

Tomato, corn, garlic, red onion, parsley and basil -

Strawberries, kale, broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, vidalia onions and potatoes -

There are still some seeds that need to be planted, as well as some flowers, which I hope to get to at some point during the week: carrots, radish and sunflower. Phew, a lot of work but SO happy to have it almost all behind me. Just need to load up on the ibuprofen...


The Winter Moth caterpillars are out in abundance this Spring and wreaking havoc on many of the local trees. I don't recall seeing them in the numbers and damage I've seen this spring. The picture above illustrates some of the damage done to one of our maple trees but many trees are being stripped bare.

I read on online article written by UMass Extension where state entomologists estimate there are 2.4 trillion winter moths in eastern Massachusetts, YIKES! Add to this that the winter moth has no natural predators and all deciduous trees are at risk!

One of the other nasty problems with these moths is that what's eaten comes out the other end. This can be a huge problem if a host tree hangs over a deck, walkway, stairs, etc or if you park under one of these trees. It sticks and stains, YUK!

Poor Craftsman-ship!

I opened, assembled and used my new Craftsman weedwacker this weekend. My previous one, which was only a couple years old, crapped out on me - the pull cord came out but wouldn't retract back inside. The end result was a manufacture defect, so my new one was replaced free of charge.

Of course the assembly piece of this project,which should have been straight forward, was a little more challenging than you'd expect. This was not due to needing to install a gazillion pieces and parts but rather a result of shoddy workmanship.

I'm holding the lower piece of the shaft in the picture above. This piece, from a packaging perspective, looked very professional and even came with a nice red cap, which I'm guessing was to protect the grease inside. However, once the cap was removed I was presented with the above. This piece needs to be round and NOT bent because it needs to slide into the upper part of the shaft otherwise it simply does not fit.

In the end this was a relatively easy fix but what if it wasn't and what if there are other defects that exist but have yet to show themselves. Sadly, I've come to expect this kind of product from Sears these days. Their Craftsman products just are NOT what they used to be.

Weedwack on...

Friday, May 20, 2011

They're Coming!!

According to the Associated Press the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, which has a voracious appetite, is coming and just getting started! AP article - Stink bug spread worries growers across nation

Here is a good link from Rutgers - How to Identify the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

All you gardeners out there, keep a close eye for these pest and squash (no pun intended) em!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Peep, Peep, Peep...

Buff Orpington's Chicks

Here are the newest members of our backyard managerie!

These little ladies were hatched May 10th.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Garlic Woes...

Behind each metal pole is a row of garlic and as you can see there's not too many plants there. As you may recall I planted this garlic in the fall, and as it's done great in the past. They've poked through before the cold sets in, at which time I cover with a nice think layer of compost. This has worked just fine in the past, however, and I'm guessing this past winter was just too cold and too much on these dudes as we've lost well over half of what I planted. The dozen or so plants that did make it are doing fine and hopefully will provide us with enough to get by - we'll see.

Hypercompe scribonia - Update I

Our Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar has moved on to it's pupa stage - that's it hanging in the above picture. It spun a protective web like cover to hide under. So, in a couple weeks the Giant Leopard Moth should hatch, ready to start the cycle all over again.

Another update to follow - stay tuned...

Boston Public Garden, PII

More Boston Public Garden pics-

There were many, many folks in various positions taking pictures of the stunning tulips -

Wouldn't you agree that these yellow tulips are lovely? It's too bad this woman jumped between me and the flowers...

Boston Public Garden, PI

Here are some pictures from our visit to the Boston Public Garden -

Saturday, May 07, 2011

What a Couple of Clowns...

We took a drive into Boston this past Sunday morning and visited the Public Garden and the Boston Common. It's a perfect time to go, as the tulips and various trees are in bloom - some of those pictures to follow. It was a beautiful day and there was a lot of activity taking place. Snapped this photo of these two clowns taking a stroll...

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Soaking Up The Sun, Ahhh

These critters were also enjoying Boston's beautiful day. They've chosen the lake in the Public Garden to reside, along with the famous swan boats. A pair of Canadian geese, a couple of painted turtles and a couple of red-eared slider turtles just relaxing and taking in all the visitors from a safe location.

Happy Birthday Mom!!

I wish heaven wasn't so far away...

Happy Birthday Mom!

Miss you.