Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mule Days

The In Laws are in town and that can mean one thing, a fair, flea market sale, auction, or town event. Today it was Mule Days in the Town of Benson, NC. We went for the parade and were going to explore the other activities but after walking for a while it dawned on us that the other activities were a long way away from the parade route. So the vote was to return home, as it was getting warm, and nap. Lunch first but definitely nap.
Anyway here's some pictures of the parade for your enjoyment.

Everyone needs a high- horsepower shopping cart.

I like to look at the old tractors.

This guy scared me a little. Chickens Gone Wild?

And what parade in the south would be complete without the General Lee?

At the end of the parade there was a steady stream of horses. It took them 10 minutes to get by us. 

All in all a good day. We'll be back next year. 

Blog tomorrow as I need to work on the garden then the garage. I napped today :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Good Weekend

I returned late this afternoon from a small golfing trip with my good friend from WV, his dad and his brother from FL. From my last post you'll know we went to Olde Mill golf Resort in Laurel Fork, VA. Played 18 Friday afternoon, 36 holes Saturday and 18 today before coming home. We get a small cabin and cook our evening meals there, play some cards and catch up on the football games. It's a package deal that includes the golf, lodging, and our breakfast for two mornings. My buddy's Dad has always been invited by his old working friends when he worked at the DuPont plant in WV but he never wanted to go. We talked him in to this trip and he had a great time, saying he wished he'd done this trip 20 years ago. A few pictures of this adventure.

That's the clubhouse on top of the hill.

This is a beautiful place to go to, the people are really friendly, and good friends to spend it with makes for an enjoyable time. The weather cooperated as well as the daytime highs averaged about 70 and night time lows around 55. It has been decided that this will become a yearly trip.

Back to the lovely world of work tomorrow. Uuuggghhhh.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Canning Success, Sort Of

Well, The Wife asked all afternoon yesterday "What are you going to do with all of these tomatoes?" Pushing aside a secret desire to throw them at passing cars I said I was going to can them. Well, in our stupidity we decided to start canning them with a couple of pre- mixed bags of pizza spaghetti sauce stuff and see what we got. We gathered about 12 lbs. of tomatoes (we measured the weight by weighing ourselves on the bathroom scale, not a pretty sight, then grabbing the tomatoes and weighing ourselves again) and started the process (proesess for my Canadian friends.)

Now I have seen this device in passing sitting on a shelf in the kitchen, not giving it too much attention. That changed when I used it last night. It does a good job but takes some effort. That's when The Wife made a tactical error and said that they make a mechanical, automatic machine to do this now. Hmmmmmm.

Well, we got all of the tomatoes strained (and Bengayed) then proceeded to cook them with the mix for about 45 minutes. After we let it simmer for a while we water- bathed them for another 45 minutes in the pint jars. At about 10:20 pm we were rewarded with 9 pints of sauce ready to use.  Since we have more tomatoes coming on (not much in the Roma variety though; damn determinate plants!) we'll probably make some more plus we have a salsa mix to try. A trip to the farmer's market will help with some beans we want to get canned too. 

The final result.

I've already started planning next years' garden and plan on making it a little bigger (after the pool, I know) but it sucks living in sandy soil. All raised beds and that takes time. I also plan on compost bins, outbuilding, water containers and a greenhouse. I finally have some room in a yard and I'm taking advantage of it. Get enough shit in the yard I won't have to mow! 

I have a nice gold trip coming up this weekend with my best buddy from WV, his brother and his dad to Olde Mill in Laurel Fork, VA. We call it Groundhog Mountain as one of the guys that introduced it to us many years ago grew up in the area and that's what they called it. We rent a cabin for the weekend and golf all we can. Make sure you go to the Golf link. There's nothing around, not even cell service! Looking forward to it. You may hear from me again before then, maybe not. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

And mine too. I decided this morning that I needed a day off and do nothing. We went to breakfast this morning then cruised Wally World for a while. I picked up a few movies (one being Ferris Bueller's Day Off) along with a 24 movie pack for $10.00 plus four John Wayne movies, one I'm watching now. I finished painting all of the walls in the garage last night so today is the day of rest.

Cruised through the garden this afternoon, tying up the tomatoes and trimming on them and pulling weeds. Oh, before I forget here's that $1.00 tomato.

This thing keeps chugging along. Small fruits of whatever type of tomato but they are tasty. I have a lot of green tomatoes on the plants so it looks like this fall will be a good one. 

The three cuke plants have set themselves nicely and the lettuce is starting out pretty good but the beans and red cabbage are not doing anything. Think I'll break down and go to the store and get some transplants. 

Well, clean up after supper and to get canning these tomatoes. Have a good week kids.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone has the day off like me. It's nice to have a three day weekend. Since I live an hour from the office now, I am considering asking the boss for a 4 day work week which would give me a 3 day weekend. Make more sense to me since we work minimum 9 hours per day and a half day on Fridays. I'll be asking soon.

Got some large harvests from the garden this weekend, tomatoes really making themselves known. All that cutting I did last weekend really put them into motion. One problem I have run in to is that a lot of the tomatoes have been splitting their skins, which means that they are growing too fast. So now I have relegated myself to picking them when they are still pretty green and letting them ripen up inside of the house at their pace.

My harvest from yesterday. Time to get canning.

Some more pictures around.

Everything seems to be growing along at a good clip now. I have a few more eggplants to pick soon and a lot of the tomato plants are setting more fruit so it looks like a good fall coming up. Speaking of which the beans planted last Sunday are already coming up. Everything else, beyond a few cuke plants is still waiting for something. 

Well, I went out and played 18 holes Saturday with out Meetup group at Chapel Ridge Golf Club. We were told on the first tee not to stray too far into the woods because of Chiggers. Apparently I don't listen well. I have bites all over my ankles and upper legs. Bad enough that after going to bed at 11:00 last night I was up at 3:30 this morning scratching to beat all. A trip to a 24 hour Walmart for some Listerine and itch medicine seems to help some. I don't know if anyone else in the group got them but I am going to ask because it wasn't just me in the woods. Time to get off here and get working on the garage from hell some more. Enjoy your day kids!