Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Winter's Coming.......

You know it is, there's no way around it. When I was a young lad I loved going outside in the snow, sleigh riding all day, snowball fights, and just plain goofing off. Anymore, if it hits 50 we're in blankets or our Snuggies on the couch.  After seeing some of the pictures from my old home state, I am somewhat glad I am where I am now.

That's a picture of the WV Turnpike. Pain in the Ass road to drive anyway but no way I'd want to be there now. And I'm always kidding The Wife that we are going to retire to Alaska. I suppose if you lived there you'd get used to it. I'm kidding. 
Now if it snows here where we live now, look out! Pandemonium (had to Google that word) will ensue. Being from the northern climes we can drive in snowy conditions but the southern folk can't at all. Plus the highway departments aren't really equipped to deal with anything more than a couple of inches. More than that call off work because you're not getting there. For days. When I first hired in to the company I work for, a couple of the other project managers told me that the year before they were coming back from a job site when a freak ice storm hit. They were stranded on the highway for 6 hours before getting out and walking to a friends house, kids had to stay overnight at their schools, and the city basically shut down for 4 days. 
So winter is coming. Last year it was pretty mild but I think we're going to get hit several times this year. Time for that generator! We know Sandy has made a mess of things up north so hopes for everyone up there! It's coming kids!

On the vehicle front. So The Wife and I voted this past Saturday morning to get that out of the way and I say afterwards "Let's go down to that Ford dealership and take a look around before I head to Raleigh and trailer that POS back to the house. Your car's transmission feels like it is going to go, the Neon is down and The Oldest Boy is taking the truck. We need to do something." So down we go looking around the lot. Sat in a Taurus, but from outwards appearances it seems big until you get inside (we are back seat people as The Youngest Boy is 6'-2" at 14 so we have to take him into consideration on the vehicle purchase) and then it was cramped. Same for the Escape. Then we looked at the new Fusion. Nice. Roomy. So we talked to the sales guy for a few minutes before I had to leave to get the previously- mentioned POS. We told him we'd be back. Well, first of all we didn't go back. After I got the Neon taken care of we cruised down to another dealership to take a look at some opposing vehicles to get a better idea of what's out there. Steered The Wife away from the Mini Vans (Lame) so we tried out a Charger. Nice. Then a Chrysler 200. Nice but not as nice as the Charger. Then for shits and giggles we tried a Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab. Really Nice. Quiet, roomy, big, mean looking......

But we ended up with the Charger. You didn't think I'd get the truck? It also had a BIG price tag! This thing is roomy, has a cool key fob thingy that I always play with, and The Wife likes it which is the main thing. It costs money but we'll drive the wheels off of it before we look again. The Taurus has 147,000 miles on it so come on! And The Oldest Boy now tells me he's not taking my truck, he's buying his own car. So I get to keep my truck and all is well. We'll give him the Taurus to use as a trade in on whatever he wants. 

On a sadder note a young boy was hit by a van not more than 2 miles from our house trying to get on the school bus in the morning. He went to the same school as The Youngest Boy. The family had no means to pay for his funeral so a fund was set up to help the family cover these costs. An initial goal was $7,000.00 which, believe it or not, is the basic cost of a funeral. I posted the link on FB and had several of my friends donate as well as us. http://www.indiegogo.com/adamkempf?c=home The $7,000.00 was surpassed within a day and a half so any more contributions are being setup for other families that are in the same situation. It is called The Adam Kempf Memorial Fund http://www.indiegogo.com/AdamKempfMemorial. We can only imagine the family's grief during this time, to lose a son at such a young age. Donate if you can. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Now on the Gardening Front, and Moles, and Cars....

Finally decided this past Sunday to get off my ass and work on the beds as I have neglected them too long. Soooooooo after sleeping in a good while (10ish) it was off the the garden to see what damage I could do.  I picked what tomatoes were left and started pulling them all out. The weather is really starting to change here and I saw no point of leaving them up any longer. After pulling the 20th tomato stake I said to myself "I really didn't think I planted this many?" Another 20 stakes later and I was done. After that came the weeding of the wire grass (damn stuff.) I dug all around each bed, digging deep and pulling because, if you don't get the roots you're wasting your time. And in doing this process I unknowingly ran into a nest of fire ants. Now, for those of you that do not have the pleasure of meeting these fine creatures let me clue you in. They like sandy soil, are small, swarm like crazy, and when they bite you know it.... for days afterwards. I got some good bites on my left wrist as proof. Welts and blisters is what they leave. I hate them with a passion. Back to the garden. I had planted a row of red cabbage and some lettuce mix that surprisingly has done well. Time for a trim and more growth.

That's carrots to the left of the lettuce. They are so so right now. I have picked most of the bigger green pepper but still have a lot of small banana peppers to pick, so we'll probably freeze those.

Eggplant. Anybody need eggplant? I tried to grow this stuff at our old house with limited success. Now I keep pulling these things off left and right. Need to find a way to preserve them if I can. I picked three Sunday. 

Well, after all was said and done I got all of the beds weeding and cleaned out that I wanted to, leaving the peppers and eggplants to their own devices. Sprinkled Preen on the newly weeded beds and there you have it. 

I am considering adding a few more beds next year and even toying with the idea of getting some dirt and mixing it with the soil we have and doing direct planting. I still have a few things to iron out and some positives.
  • One is that my tomato's skins always split, on every one of them! They grow too fast on the inside for the outside to keep up so my only guess is soil nutrients. 
  • Corn. For some reason I must be the only person in the south that can not grow corn. They came up good but that was it. Nothing but dead kernels. 
  • Bad year for cukes too. I think they get too much sun so I'll have to build a big greenhouse near their bed to shade them :) After the pool, I know honey!
  • Peppers have done really good this year. Not the big plants I'm used to but they have done well.
  • Eggplant: Nothing else to say about them. 
  • Beans: So, so. Their dying  off still baffles me. 
I have a list in my head for next year that include potatoes and onions that I never got around to this year. I also have a window pane that I plan on turning into a cold frame. And I have to build an upstairs bedroom, bath, rec room, finish the garage..................................

Something else I found that likes our sandy soil.

Moles. We found a dead one on the road next to the house last month but there's apparently more. I thought about putting chicken wire in the bottom of the beds but I didn't. Now I wish I had. Now for some mole repellent on top of the fire ant killer!

Cars. Driving to the office late Sunday afternoon in my speed mobile (Plymouth Neon, don't ask) a car cuts me off on the beltline (the circular highway that surrounds Raleigh.) So I hit the brakes and my foot hits the floor. Nurse the car to the office only to find a busted brake line on the rear. Great! Something else to do. We really didn't want to spend the money on a newer vehicle right now but we know it's coming. I hate buying cars. So I'll try to get this one fixed and pray that The Wife's car holds out for a while. Ahhhhhh! The oldest boy is due back from deployment soon so he'll be taking my truck (after a modest fee he'll have to pay which was part of the agreement that we worked out, and that I am  now regretting) so I know it will be soon to head to the motor mile. Ahhhhh! again. We are looking with trepidation on what we need. All I know is that I don't need this right now. 

The youngest boy has gotten me into paintball and I actually really enjoy it. We have a course that is literally 4 minutes from our house that we go to. He's got his gun setup and I got myself a basic model and we have fun. And in playing this sport I have found the younger people that attend and play are really good kids. I haven't yet seen any problems as everyone seems to get along together and tries to help everyone out. Surprised to be sure as you hear of so many troubled youth nowadays. 

Foot still hurting and paintball didn't help it so The Wife talked me into orthopedic soles for my shoes. Hope this helps because I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame walking around right now. It hurts.

No WOF of the Week as I really haven't had the time to catch her stupidness lately. 

Until next time keep your feet moving. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Peep Has Left the Building

The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go. John Muir

DuPont State Forest was the trip for today and it did not disappoint, except for all of the Yankee tourists. It seemed overnight that the trees said "Shit, we'd better start changing colors now." There was definitely more color today than yesterday. It was also a little cooler and damp so to me that's the ideal day. I'll just post the pictures.

I toyed with a black and white shot of these falls too.

The last picture was of Corn Mill Shoals on the Little River. It was a hike to get to this area but we were alone when we got there. Another situation developed that caused me (and still is) pain was I started having heal spur pain on my left foot. I hobbled to this area and back out and continued to hobble for the rest of the day. Still hurts tonight. 

Anyway a good trip although too short for my taste. Next time we'll definitely stay longer. And hopefully this has brought out the inner outdoor explorer in the family. I enjoy getting out but never make time for it. The boy used to like going but has other ideas now. Raven Rock State Park is not too far from us so we're talking about going this coming Sunday. Get off our rumps! Get out!

Back to work tomorrow, sigh :( That's it for tonight kids so off to bed. Get your peep on.

Mid Peep

Well, we walked up to the top of Chimney Rock yesterday morning. I got up there first as the crew had a little more difficult time of it.

They took the elevator back down and I walked the stairway back down. They had a rock climbing guy at the base where the parking lot is so the Boy gave it a try. He wasn't climbing sideways, damn Blogger puts it on the page that way. Tilt your computer. 

Then we cruised through Chimney Rock Village, had some dinner, played putt putt golf, shopped, and walked by the creek running through town. I could have this outside of my window every night. Nature's noise machine. 

A little more shopping and we found this.

We got some really good deals on trail shoes there too. 40% off so you can't beat that.

Well off to DuPont State Forest this morning to see some falls then (sigh) back to the house. I told the Wife yesterday that I'd move here tomorrow. And I mean that. I miss my hills.

See you tonight. And The Wife took a lot of pictures with her good camera so she may get a guest blog too. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Who came up with that phrase anyway? Well, that's what we are doing this weekend. I've been on the road at least 4 days a week the last several weeks plus busy weekends means stress relief, so there's nothing better than driving 5 hours in the dark to a cabin in the mountains for a quick shutdown. We are staying at Bat Cave, NC (and yes, every time we say that the jingle is sung by someone) and are going to go peeping with all of the tourists. Chimney Rock, Lake Lure, plus anything else we can find to do. When we got here last night, the boy and I walked out in the backyard and within 10 minutes were staring at the Milky Way. So many stars! I haven't seen that many in probably 30 years.
Well, off to do some sightseeing. Sorry about the absence.

Pictures off of the back deck of the cabin this morning.