Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our Rudbeckia, Black-Eyed Susan

2011 Delicious!

Our raspberries are coming in and they're out-of-this-world scrumptious!

So much so that for the first time in our 12 years here the grey squirrels are raiding them. There are plenty out there so sharing isn't the problem. The problem is that these tree climbing pains-in-the-assess are destroying the plants. They attempt to climb them but of course the plants are not designed to supports these pests so they bend and break, UGH!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bombus on Echinops ruthenicus

But of course! Was there any doubts?

In layman terms, a Bumble Bee on one of our Globe Thistle flowers.

If you look closely you'll see that this dude has been a "busy little bee", as he's covered in pollen. We have oodles of Bumble Bees, but sadly, very few Honey Bees.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Race Is On!

It's appears that our Begonias just might end up being bigger than out rather sorry looking Bell Peppers, alas :-(

I'm not sure what the problem is but they're just not growing like they should be. Some of their leaves are dropping and there are only a few blossoms. The soil isn't the best in this spot but last year the peppers did fine, we had oodles. I will be adding more compost in the fall and have it again come next spring, so we'll see what happens. Until then I will keep my fingers crossed and hope we get one or two to enjoy this year...

Friday, July 22, 2011

2011 Cucumbers Have Begun...

What a season for cucumbers! We've got them coming out of our ears over here and they're delicious. Stop in and we'll be happy to give you one to try.

Can You Get Any Closer?!

Okay, with a show of hands, how many of you are guilty of saying, "they're never around when you need them", referring to the police?

Well, I'm guilty of it for sure, up till today that is. A wonderful thing took place where timing couldn't have been any better! Here's my story...

I'm working from home today and decided I'd brave this God awful weather on my lunch break and run to the feed store (Agway) to pick up some much needed chicken and rabbit feed, so off I went. By the way, according to my car, the outside temperature was 103 at 11:45AM, yikes!

So, I wasn't a quarter of a mile down the road when I notice this tan sedan in my rear view barreling my way. At about the half mile point this young girl was now riding my ass and I can't express just how close she now was. At this point I had a dozen things running around in my head on how best to handle the situation. Well, of course the first thing I did was to slow down and set my cruise control at 30MPH. I fought the urge to slam on my brakes, if for nothing else then to give her a heads up that I wasn't one that she should be tailgating and to back off.

At the 2 miles mark she's still riding my ass when low and behold one of Franklin's finest rounds the corner ahead. So, I started flashing my high beams at him and proceeded to point to the car behind me as he passed. Well, don't you know I see him hit the brakes and his lights come on as he proceeds to bang a u-turn in the middle of the road. It was about at this point that the little dip-shit behind me decides she would slow down and extract herself from my ass...too late!! He roared right up behind her and pulled her over, YEAH! I pulled over too and backed all the way up to within a foot of the dip-shit and waited. The police officer walked past her to talk to me first. After I explained to him what happened he said to me, "yeah, I saw just how close she was to you, thanks", and off I went!

I can only hope that he gave her a ticket, although I bet it was only a warning. Either way the DB was in awful hurry to get somewhere but was delayed, if nothing else.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I can't believe it's been six years already. Where has the time gone...

I miss you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Show Stopper!!!

Ran into a slight problem last Saturday while attempting to install the final railing to our deck. Actually, it's bigger than a slight problem really and prolly falls into the BIG, show stopping category. We're talking about a FRYE project!

One of the corner posts snapped off just below the floor decking. The post, which is a 4x4, was notched on two sides to mount a side and the end of the deck on top of the notches versus using lag bolts to secure. So what they essentially did was remove 1.5" from two of the four sides. Being that the deck is 20+ years old, and even though pressure treated lumber was used, it's 20+ years old. Anyway, since the deck is 9' off the ground, I am concerned about the integrity and safety of the original three support posts.

I've been researching and consulting with family and friends on the proper way to proceed. As you might expect there are many different suggestions but none that give me the warm fuzzies.

Stay tuned, this is going to be interesting...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Insect Wars (aka Whale Wars)

Our secret weapon in the ongoing battle to rid our plants of unwanted and destructive insects - the Praying Mantis!

I came across this little praying mantis dude the other day while weeding. It was hiding on a Jerusalem artichoke plant that was growing within one of our beautiful phlox plants. Fortunately I was carefully pulling the Jerusalem artichokes out that have spread too far from where they belong and just happened to notice this guy. I've never before seen a praying mantis so small, they're usually full grown by the time I notice them. This one was no more than an inch/inch and a half long at best. He's since moved on to a new hiding place and hopefully continues to dine on all the unwanted insects it can find. I can only imagine that there are more of these critters out there - let's hope so!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

1st Tomatoes Of 2011 Picked Today!

And here they are...

Oodles more on the verge of coming rip. Tomato canning 2011 is not too far off.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Shred, Recycle and Hopefully Annoy!

I broke out our paper shredder this morning and tackled our pile of 'items to be shredded'. It really wasn't too large a pile but always nice to stay on top of it before it gets too big, plus it's great to see it all go.

Now most of the items was junk mail, and since our shredder isn't industrial strength, I open all the envelopes and only shred those items that have our names and address on them. All other items typically go out to the recycle bin.

However, today I took a different approach, one that I've done a few times in the past. I took all the pre-paid envelopes and filled them with their own offers and empty envelopes - of course the ones that didn't have our names on them, and put them all in the mailbox.

I realize that it prolly doesn't make a bit of difference to these big companies and that it's not going to cost them much money (for postage on their pre-paid envelopes) but it gives me some small bit of satisfaction.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Earth Is Not Your Ashtray Bitch!

So, driving to work this morning I witnesses blatant litter-bugging!

I was traveling in the middle travel lane and cruising right along listening to morning talk radio. In the slow lane, to my right, and driving much slower than I was a newer charcoal colored Toyota Corolla Sport. Not sure if this happens to you, and it has to me in the past with other vehicles, i.e. Ford F150 too, but ever since I purchased my Corolla I just notice them all over the roadways now - never did before becoming an owner, weird.

Anyway, besides being a Corolla, this particular vehicle caught my attention because a young woman's well manicured and tanned hand and arm (sporting pretty pink nail polish) was being hoisted out the open window. Oh, least I forget, and there was a cigarette butt nestled between her fingers . Well, don't you know the DB proceeds to extend her arm as far up as she could and then, flick, off goes the still burning cigarette butt. Clearly she was done with her cigarette and what better place to toss your filthy bad habit then on a super dry Rt.495 roadside, brilliant!

Oh, if looks could kill!! For those of you that know me you can prolly guess what I wished upon her...

How many of you remember the 1970's public service announcement commercial that featured a crying Indian, Keep America Beautiful? Not sure if we've made much progress since then...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Like New, Wouldn't You Agree?!

So, my farmer friend was cleaning out a storage building of his several years ago; actually it was more like a dozen years ago. Anyway, the building was used as a shop for repairing automobiles back in the day and had long since been turned into a store-all kinda place. However, most of the items were put there 30+ years ago but not in any kind of organized way and not in any fashion to protect what was there. So, sadly most of the stuff was damaged and in disrepair.

Well, I salvaged this antique couch, which I believe is referred to as a, "Fainting Couch". As you can see from the before picture this dude was in pretty bad condition. The old horse hair stuffing was falling out of the bottom and the fabric in general was filthy and stained and gross. We've stored it here at the ole homestead all this time, where it's stayed in both the garage and the basement throughout it's time here.

Anyway, we decided to have this couch reupholstered and took it to
MassCor to have the work done there. What is MassCor you ask? Well, MassCor is a Division of the Department of Correction which utilizes inmates of the Massachusetts Correctional system to produce goods and servers. We selected the fabric, then scheduled an appointment to drop the couch off. That was in April and today (July) we picked her up, all pretty and such! It was very reasonable and what a BIG difference...

Before -

After -

Now I have an official place to faint and I'm guessing you don't so kneener kneener kneener!

Get a Load of This...

If you rearranged

shit it would

look like this.

Garlic Harvest 2011

Well, as you can see from the picture below, this years garlic harvest was a fraction of what it's been in the past. Needless to say this is very disheartening. We'll give it another try come this fall and plant more and chalk this poor performing harvest up to a terrible winter past and hope for a better winter to come. Still delicious, yummy!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Neighbor Automotive Repairs 101

My neighbor helped me replace the front rotors and brake pads on my 2005 Corolla. Well, actually my neighbor did the work - he used to do this as a living years ago, I "assisted". He has ALL the tools required, including air tools. It took less than two hours - old ones off and new ones installed. The convenience alone was worth it, not to mention the cost savings. Now, there's NO more shaking and thump thump thump thump emanating from the front end when applying the brakes - SWEET!

"Honey Do List"...

JoAnne had more work for me to do delivered the other day, alas...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tater Beetle Pests, Under Control!

Say hello to Mr. Potato Beetle larva - "Hello Mr. Potato Beetle Larva"!

I've not kept exact count but am guessing that I've squashed well over 200+ of these pests! Emilie and I have been going out after it cools off and the sun moves away from the potato bed to hunt these dudes. We've caught a bunch of the adult beetles too. I'm hoping that our persistence will pay off on keeping these destructive pests from doing too much damage to this years potatoes but also help to reduce the numbers that might otherwise settle in for the long haul if not keep in check.

Our work is paying off as there isn't much damage (defoliated) to speak of. The plants themselves look fantastic. Nice and tall; chest high some, and are nice, thick and deep green. Hopefully we'll be rewarded with a bumper crop of taters this fall!!

Monday, July 04, 2011

1st Squash Picking 2011

Here's JoAnne, head down and getting into it, picking squash, yummy!

Three perfectly sized summer squash -

A mountain of zucchini, with an odd ball adorning the top -

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Finished, Finally, Phew...

Finally found the time to finish a painting project that I started last year or maybe two years ago. I honestly can not recall, yikes!

Anyway, I spent a coupleathree hours this morning and bang'd her out. Now both garage doors match and look like new. One note, just in case you notice, the windows will need to be scarped of the paint. I did this intentionally to get a good painting seal. I will take care of this when it drys.

Before -

After -

P.S. I am NOT a fan of painting! Actually, you might even say I hate painting. However, JoAnne is wanting to repaint our bedroom, so that's next on the list. I love painting, I love painting, I love painting...

Friday, July 01, 2011

Purdy Red Onion Flowers

These are the stalks to my red onions, which are approximately 4' tall and sporting these cool pompom type flowers.

Interestingly, I planted these red onions last summer 2010. They didn't grow much at all so I decided to leave them alone last fall. Low and behold they've taken off like gangbusters this season. I don't know what to expect as far as the onion themselves are concerned; will they be small or BIG? Tasty or not so much or perhaps too strong? However, if I do this right, I should be able to harvest the seeds that the pompom flowers are soon to produce and be able to start the process all over again come spring 2012.

We'll see...