Saturday, August 30, 2014

Retaining Wall Re-Do

Cross another item off my honey-do list!

I finally redid my paver block retaining wall yesterday.  I neglected to take a before picture, my apologies. I built the original wall with two scalloped arches.  This wasn't too appealing to me and became even less over the years, plus it offered a challenge when it came to mowing the lawn.

Now it's one long arch and looks much better and will make mowing a cinch.  I also added an additional layer of pavers making the wall taller.  Two heaping wheelbarrows full of beautiful, rich compost added to top the bed off nicely.  I hope the perennials approve.  I do!

The Green Bell Peppers Harvest Of 2014

Picked a mess of Green Bell Peppers yesterday, as you can see!

There are oodles more too and that doesn't include the six Red Bell Pepper plants that, which have just about as many peppers ripening up now.

They're coming out of our ears!

My intuition tells me there's a delicious stuffed pepper dinner on the way.

If you're in the area stop on in and partake! 

New Blacktop Finally, I Think...

So, the town of Franklin is in the midst of paving our street, finally!  It's been in dire need for several years now and has been a patched, pothole mess for even longer.  In typical fashion, and in my opinion, this project has been mishandled from the get-go.  The town really should be ashamed!

Two years ago the town hired a contractor to install/replace the water main lines.  That was done and the road was patched where it had been opened up.  However, that contractor was terrible!  They did a half-@ssed job in terms of the roadway and the collateral damage they did along the way.  Even when it came to the looming and seeding they did, terrible.

I'm guessing the original contractor was hired to replace the water mains only and not repave the street, which is a very good thing, see my comments above.  So, as mid-summer approached the town started taking bids from paving contractors to repave the street.  Naturally, the town waits till the start of school to begin the work.  So, now they're rushing to get "the section in front of the school" taken care of first and before the opening of school on Wednesday, September 3rd.  The work at the school also includes new sidewalk: concrete sidewalks and granite curbing, as well as new center islands, which I'm guessing is to slow vehicle traffic.  Today's Saturday of Labor Day weekend and they're out there working again today!  Cutting awful close I'd say.

As the work was taking place up at the school they've also since removed the blacktop roadway down to dirt and stone.  It's been this way for just over a week now.  It's also been bone dry for a couple weeks too and the dust that gets stirred up from passing vehicles is God awful and flying everywhere and on everything!  It's so bad that we can NOT open our windows to enjoy the wonderful Fall weather we've been having so not to coat the inside of the house too.

I'm complaining now and SUPER frustrated with the entire process and how it's been handled.  That said I will be very happy when it's completed.  However, we'll then be faced with another problem, again one the town has ignored over the years, the speeder!  It's crazy the speed that some vehicles do now on the gravel road, which is only going to get worse once it's been paved.

Sadly, it'll take a tragedy before the town steps up and addresses the issue. 

Looking South. Up Lincoln Street -

Looking North.  Down Lincoln Street -

Example of the dust covering -

Excuse me while I go blow the dirt out of my nose from working in the yard.

I'll Huff and Puff and Cut You Down...

Before -

After -

Did a little sawing see the other day, finally.

There was an Elm tree about fifteen inches in diameter that had grown up and against the back of the chicken coop.  It was growing outwards towards the house and all day sun and as a result it was pushing against the coop.

I've hemmed and hawed over it for a while now, in part due to it's location.  Anyway, I'd had enough and with winter approaching thought it best to take it down now, so I did.  Dropped it right where I wanted to; between the Peach tree and the Hemlock, perfect.  However, I don't want to talk about the unplanned "issue"...suffice to says it's down and cut up and no longer a concern/issue to the coop.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter in the above photo?

From Farm To Table!

I picked some of our delicious raspberries the other day -

They were then transformed into this scrumptious cobbler -

Mmm, mmm good!

Go West We Did

Longest ride of the season to date is under my belt.

We put in a 274 mile round-trip ride this past Sunday!

Headed out on Rt.140 to Rt.20 to Rt.23, which took us through Springfield, MA. to Great Barrington, MA.  The return ride was on Rt.44, which took us through Hartford, CT. and involved some Rt.84 highway driving!

The ride was fantastic especially on Rt.23, a twisting and turning ride through the mountains with ears a popping too!  The rides through Springfield and Hartford were tense and not the best of parts of those cities.  Thank goodness for the "reserve" option on motorcycles, as I ran out of gas.  We all were running on fumes and enlisted the help of a local policeman who provided an escort through Hartford to an open gas station.  Since it was late Sunday most places were closed.  The last hour or so of the ride home was well after dark, which was challenging to say the least.

Take a peak on a map and you'll see that we went about as far West as you can go while staying in Massachusetts.  We were a stones throw away from New York!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter in the above photo?

This is a pretty good one if I do say so myself!!

Well It's About Time!

The town has FINALLY started the process, literally, of repaving our street!

They were out there all day yesterday grinding and removing the existing black top.  It's all now down to ground up black top, stone and dirt.  Amazing what these heavy machines can do and in almost no time.  The poor souls of the past who had to do this type of work by hand without the assistance of today's technologies.

The roadway has been in terrible condition for many years now.  The winter plows do a number on them. Of course there are some contractors and town works who don't take their jobs seriously or pride in their work and do half assed work, which has also been the case here.

So, the banging and clattering and booming of vehicles hitting the potholes will some be gone.  It's safe to assume this will be replaced with cars speeding up and down.

Whatever, it's long overdue and a welcome sign.

First Fresh Picked Beans 2014!

Picked a mess-o-beans the other night, o-boy o-boy o-boy!

Had them for dinner the follow night with red potatoes and chicken in a lemony garlic sauce (yes, our own grown garlic too).  Then leftovers the night after!

Out of this world!

Awe, SO Cute!

Very pleased to see that the Red Squirrels are still about and doing well by the looks of the above photo - a mum and baby!

Not sure how they both ended up inside and caught but boy-o-boy did they shot outta there when the door was opened, VROOOM

These critters are more than welcome.  Hope they continue to stick around and doing well.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wee-Go In Training

Trixie-dog has a thing for empty water bottles, particularly the caps. She'll carry the bottle around, stopping to crew at the caps, which she eventually tears apart and removes.

I've shown her the Bud Light commercials with a similar looking dog named Weego and how Weego can fetch cold beers.  We've had the talk Trixie-dog and I.  I believe she understands what I now expect her to learn and master.  Let's see if she can pull it off!

I'm Berry Berry Happy!

Thorn-less Blackberries -

Orange Raspberries -

Red Raspberries -

Our Raspberries and Blackberries are DELICIOUS!

Not as many this year as in year past but still plenty to enjoy.

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter in the above photo?

Here he is lying in wait for that poor unsuspecting Daddy Long-leg.


There doesn't appear to be as many Praying Mantis' this summer as there was last.  I've seen a couple adults, however, just because I don't seem them doesn't mean they're not lurking about.  Hope so and hoping they're filling up on the bad, unwanted insects.

Mrs. Woodchuck Oh My!

Back on August 1st I happily posted about Mr. Woodchuck.  Well, I am even more ecstatic today to be posting another Woodchuck blog entry, this one I'll call Mrs. Woodchuck.

Very much to my surprise an adult whistle-pig found herself in a conundrum.  Our Broccoli is just too tempting to resist!  This varmint was much larger than the previous one, clearly an adult.

Hoping that a 5.1 mile drive is far enough away to prevent a revisit.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Clean As A Whisle

The Summer is quickly coming to an end, which means before you know it we'll be closing the pool for the season.  So, if you're in the area please stop in for a dip, some fresh vegetables and cold beer!

Bikinis preferred but not required...

Ready For Cooking With And Eating!

Cleaned up our garlic today after letting them dry following their harvesting.  Removed the remaining dirt and cut the stalks and roots off each bulb.  Thirty-one beautiful and delicious garlic bulbs, YUMMY!

Scooby Dooby Doo Ride

 Finally made it out for a ride this past Sunday.  It was a short ride in comparison to many of our other rides but enjoyable and relaxing just the same.

The weekend weather has been spotty the last several weeks.  That and the fact that I sprung a small oil leak put riding on hold for a few.  Good news is I was able to find a local, Rhode Island, dealer that had the appropriate oil filter for a 1985 Yamaha and associated parts in stock.

Friday night was spent doing the oil filter change in anticipation for Sunday's ride.

Sitting at an outside table at our first stop, relaxing and chatting when we heard planes flying overhead.  Turns out the lead plane in the picture above was towing the rear plane, a glider.  Up and up they went to some crazy height then separated.  The glider just hung up there effortlessly, so it seemed from the safety of my seat on the ground.  There were a couple gliders going at the same time and this went on for quite some time.  Looked like fun.

Our second stop was at a place called Scooby's in Clinton, MA.  Some snacks, a little billiards and off we went.

We ended the day with a great cookout.

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter in the above photo?

I was greeted with this cool site as I entered the parking lot of work the other morning.

Reach For The Sky!

Here are just a couple of the sunflowers we have this season!

All are well over six feet tall and all grew on their own from last years seeds that I'm guessing the Gold Finches spread as they feasted.  I transplanted them all early on and wasn't sure what to expect but VERY pleased with the results...and so are the Gold Finches once again.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ripe Tomatoes Are A Start'n!

We picked our first tomatoes of the season the other afternoon, which was followed very soon after with delicious BLT's!

Outta this world!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

1D Tickets!

We have an extra pair of tickets to this Thursday nights, 8/7, One Direction concert at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts!

If interested let me know...

What A Monster Egg!

Would ya look at the size of that egg, WOW!

The picture just doesn't do it justice at all.  It's a monster and more the size of a duck egg than a chicken egg.  I'm guessing it's gonna be a double-yolker for sure!

Stay tuned...

A Blooming Good Season!

Our flowers are doing terrific this year, both annuals and perennials!

Just wished they lasted longer...

Calgon Take Me Away

I enjoyed a TWO hour commute home from the office one day last week, UGH!

Stop and go for miles even though it was a three-lane highway.

Here we are at a complete stop and you can see it's that way all the way up.

Don't know what's going on but typically the traffic is minimal during summer months with vacations and all. Not so much so this year, alas...