Sunday, June 30, 2013

And to Finish Off Your Day

This is a than most post but sometimes you have to let crap out. I guess not really let it out but just to go off kilter a little.

Last Tuesday I headed out of town for work. It's my usual jaunt of 5 hours to a jobsite in SC that I have to keep track of, mainly due to crappy subcontractors that can't look far enough ahead of themselves to get out of their way, and basically want things handed to them on a silver platter. And when things don't go their way, it's phone calls; a lot of calls most of which contain lots of profanity. It's gotten to the point of where I will just hang up on them. I have better things to do than listen to an overgrown schoolyard bully. His boss is no better but more on this in a few.

So I spend the night and spend my Wednesdays going to meetings and running around the jobsite making sure things are going good, fixing problems that I see coming up, making sure the materials are accounted for, basically running my ass off. So for the past few weeks I haven't been able to leave until the late hours from the site, which puts me at home really late. This past Wednesday I walked through the door at 12:30 am Thursday (sorry about that) and spent the better part of the next two hours wired due to driving through storms on the last leg. I fired off about 10 emails with the last going out at 2:00 am, a note to my boss that I'd be late. He understands the schedules we get out there and doesn't say anything about it, actually telling us to stay and rest up before coming in. There's two of us Project Managers where there used to be four and we get run ragged at times. This time it's the other guy's turn as I only have two jobs going on, he has three. 6 months ago I had four and he had two. Better than being unemployed I guess.

Getting back on the main subject, I got a call from Amy saying she had a migraine, bad enough that she usually get shots and sleeps it off. With me out of town and not back until late she only took a sleeping aid which really didn't work. So Thursday she had a couple of her co- workers take her to the doctor, got her shot, then went home. I stayed at work until quitting time and on my drive home was told that the power was out. Great! Know why? Storms. More effing storms and rain! So I make it almost home and I get a friendly call from the power company saying that they'd have the power back on sometime between 10:30 pm and next Tuesday. No power means no AC for the house and no power for the refrigerators. All I could see was spoiled food. So I grab Squeak and off we went to get a generator. Something I really didn't want to spend the money on right now but you gt to do what you got to do. Also had to feed him (darn kids) and get gas. Back at the homestead we assembled the unit, ran a cord to Amy's room so I could put a big fan in there, then ran cords to the house fridge and garage beer fridge. Alright, it has a lot of frozen stuff in it too but one can't be too careful. So being basically exhausted, powerless, and now more broke I was not a happy camper. We spent the rest of the evening raiding the garden and shooting paintballs at a box. Power came back on pretty close to when they said it would so all was good in the end. I collapsed in bed at about 11:30 and was still tired all day Friday. Which brings me to the earlier point....

I have been telling my boss about the phone calls I had been receiving and their content. It really came to a head Thursday when one said field foreman called in to our receptionist (which also handles our equipment in the field) complaining about how stuff breaks down, yada, yada, yada. And he ending the conversation "are you fucking stupid?" I told her to write it up via email and send it to me as I was going to end this once and for all. My boss got a hold of it and basically told their whole company to either clean up their act or we were done with them. Period. It would be a big loss for them and at this point I don't care.

Typical week. Anybody need a generator? Second thought the way this year is going I will probably keep it.

Oh, and the 27th (Thursday) was our 21st wedding anniversary.

Well.........Guess What.....

It doesn't stop. And as I type this, it's raining again. More effiing rain! I have to admit that it's get old. 

Spent a lot of time in the garden Saturday. As previously mentioned I pulled out the remaining potatoes as they were starting to get eaten up too much by the beetles. Spent the better part of a couple of hours but harvested another 37.4 lbs. Not all of the were big but will make good soup that can be canned later. And while doing this Amy came out and asked me about the onions. I told her that the tops needs to die down some more but she went ahead and pulled a couple up to check and found out that one was starting to rot off. My guess is due to the abundance of rain we've had this year. So we pulled a few more and decided ready or not they had to come out too. We found a few more of the rotten variety but most were of good size, except the yellows. The biggest were the whites followed in a close second by the reds and the yellows pulling up last. As far as quantities; yellow, red, white. After getting everything out of the ground in these two beds I threw in some cow dung, spread the straw around and tilled the hell out of them. Took me about 2 hours to get everything the way I wanted as the straw kept clogging up in the wheels. 

That's 56 lbs. of potatoes. 

And now the back deck smells of the wonderful aroma of onions. We'll let them sit out here for some time then I''ll trim them back and store them away. And give some away too apparently. Total harvest of onions is  52.87 lbs. (yellow 23.26, red 17.63, & white 11.98.)

Ready for fall crops. 

We were able to harvest some more tomatoes, a few cukes, etc. and that will be in tomorrow's post for Harvest Monday. I was worried about doing that but dumbass me found out you can set for when posts occur so I'll get it typed up this evening. And as I finish this, it is still raining. Storming too so the dogs are freaking out now. And I have another post about earlier in the week madness. It seems to never end here. 

Keep your heads above water kids (blurb, blurb, blurb........................................................)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Harvest Monday

Well as promised I checked all of the weights this evening and I was able to pick a few more peppers and tomatoes. 

Yes a spreadsheet, I know. Geek I am. Hey it helps me keep track of this and I store it on my cloud so I can access it anywhere. You never know when you need to update your garden totals!

Tomatoes doing pretty good but I see the Roma's ending within the next month. That will give me time to clean them out and enact my fall gardening plan, which I am planning now. I've even already received a fall catalog! Fun for me!. Potatoes comes out this coming weekend. I will then till in all of the straw, add some compost and ready it too for the fall. Peppers galore. They are really doing great this year. I believe I saw some SVB's on my squash so they may not last much longer. The cucumbers have turned around and are looking good since I put up the fabric. Everything else is growing as usual and a busy weekend in the garden is planned. 
That's it for me this evening. Watching Start Trek and a little planning for the fall :)

Visit Daphne's Dandelions to see everyone's harvest for the week. 

Live Long and Prosper!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Half Way Done

Well summer is here and now we are on the downwards slide to fall and *gasp* winter. I know it's coming and I am not looking forward to it. Weather patterns so far this year have been somewhat on the cool side for us and a lot more rain that what we usually get for this time of year. Not that I am complaining too much as I have watered only 2 days all year. So far. Forecast has a chance of rain everyday for the next 6 days. The garden and lawn seem to love it. Just keep away the downpours and we'll be alright.

Cruised the garden this afternoon and I found a few interesting things.

Dug up a red onion. Still not ready.

Romas. They have been ripening a few at a time. I will get about 4-6 every other day. 

Finally got a few cukes to grow. 

Squash is a squash. Actually getting a few off of them this year. 

Brandywine Pink. My favorite tomatoes and I have my eye on this one!

Okra bed. Slow going but it is going. 

These are the Youngest Boy tomatoes. 

Two rows of potatoes came out this afternoon. I wanted to see how they were doing and they actually started getting sprouts. Next weekend the other 4 rows come out. 

Today's harvest of potatoes. Not big but they'll do. I haven't weighed them yet and will do that tomorrow. 

Yesterday's and today's gathering of peppers, tomatoes, & green beans.

Full report of this past weeks' harvest tomorrow.

On another note we have one of those multi- purpose copiers, fax machine, printer, scanner things. Well one of those storms rolled through and cut the power off for a while. Now the main screen on the machine is pretty much illegible to us and we don't know how to turn it back. 

Do svidaniya! comrades. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

First, Happy Father's Day to all Dads. As I say, it's the best job around!

I was out of town Wednesday afternoon to late Friday night. There was a storm system that rolled through Thursday and to my surprise look what I found Saturday.

Tomato down! So most of my Saturday was spent tying and weeding everything in the garden. And we are finally getting some produce from our 1/2 acre. 

German Queen. Got my eye on this one!

Our haul. Lot of hot and bell peppers, a squash, few roma tomatoes, and we dug up three potato plants. Think we'll give them another week or so.

And the result from our work was stuffed peppers that evening.

Totals from the haul:
Green peppers- 3.1 lbs.
Hot peppers- 1.3 lbs. (we froze these for later)
Tomatoes- .9 lbs. 
Squash- .5 lbs.
Potatoes- 1.6 lbs.
Cucumber- .2 lbs.
Strawberries- .11 lbs. (wow)
Peas- 2.1 lbs. (from earlier harvest)
Totals YTD- 9.81 lbs

As my Father's Day gift my boys got me a new hopper for my paintball marker. So I had the idea of us getting our pictures taken in the woods near our house as we never had any good ones done before. 

We're not real menacing to be sure. 

Well one last image and it is a special one for me. This was taken on my dad's 80th birthday party a good friend of his through for him. That's ole TD and my sister. I miss him a lot.

Well off to bed as I have an odd feeling this will be a long week. Enjoy the week yourselves!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

TD Suburban Farm Update

Well all is well here on the TD Suburban Farm. Humid as all get out but well as can be expected. Played 18 this morning in sweltering humidity. I hit it well for the limited playing time I get but it's really not that much fun continually wiping sweat and swatting gnats. Nice course if you're ever by. Came home with a good headache and backache. Cool shower, pills and lunch took care of that though.

Suitably rested I decided to tackle some garden chores; Tieing up the tomatoes some more and weeding. If you don't stay on top of them, they'll branch out and take over! But I can say that we have fruit on every one.

Cruised by the peppers and they are exceeding my expectations. They aren't growing tall again this year but are setting peppers left and right. 

Okra planted not too long ago is coming up nicely as are the two cukes. Plated them 6 days ago and I am surprised that the rain we've have didn't wash them away. May have washed away my carrots though. 

Found the beginnings of squash bugs on my squash and probably beetles on my green beans so it's a trip to the store tomorrow. 

April 21st to today.

Watching Moonraker now so a little more, another shower, then off to bed. 

Don't let the squash bugs bite.

Friday, June 7, 2013

OK.......Rain..........And More Rain

So I made the mistake of saying 'Boy, I'm not complaining about it raining." Well I am now. Mind you we all like to see it rain from time to time. Seems like we are getting downpours that last hours. And hours. And hours. It was raining pretty good and Tropical Storm Andrea came up the coast and dumped more. Now that she's gone there still rain forecasted until next Wednesday.

I did have a quick chance to slosh out to the garden and take a look around. 

That's it. My Yellow Crookneck Squash and salvaged Daylily from the old house. 

That's more like it. And one more thing: When did gutters and downspouts become options? Hate not having them but my neighbor gave me a good lead on a cheap guy. 

That's it tonight. Maybe something tomorrow. Oh, changed the header too. 

Stay dry kids. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sunday's Work

Finished up everything I wanted to get done on Sunday, even got my golf in :)

I removed all of the pea plants as they were pretty well done. In their place I planted two more cuke plants (seeds actually), some carrots, and some okra. I never have grown okra before so we'll see how this goes.

As you can faintly see from the picture above, I moved the fencing from the pea bed to the bed where my dying cukes are at. I added the landscape fabric to each side, in hopes of blocking some sun. I even  took some soil samples.

PH a little acidic. Nitrogen and Phosphorus pretty much non- existent. Potash in adequate range. Do a little research on this. 

Here's an overall shot of the bed area after I got all of the mulch down. 

It did rain last night and today with a little cooler temperatures. That for some reason gave me a migraine this morning. Felt decent when I got up but then took a big nosedive. Stayed home and I now can see out of both eyes now. Couldn't at 9:00 am. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy Sundays

Well for the most part. Sunday mornings are a lazy, TV home- improvement watching type morning for us, but since our shows aren't on I thought I'd do an update as to what transpired here yesterday. It was indeed a busy day for me.

Every once in a while a mood strikes, one that says "well, you'd better get off your rump and so some things that you've been putting off." So yesterday started off with a workout, then I washed the truck and The Wife's jeep (just in time for the rain later today I guess.) Then it was brushing the Chewman as he can create so much fur right now we could take the excess and start a clothing line of shawls. Then I washed both dogs and put them on the back porch to dry off for a while. Went to the garden and cut and tied on the tomatoes for about an hour or so. I did this in my workout shirt which is sleeveless. More on this later.
Lunchtime came so I stopped for two small pieces of leftover pizza and a bottle of water. Showered and hit the big box store for those last 5 bags of mulch and some casters (more on this later too.) Got back and decoded to knock another item off of my 'to do' list. The Wife has been wanting a couple more paper carts she uses for her scrapbooking and seeing that I had this monstrosity of a table/stand I made moons ago. OK, maybe it wasn't that long ago but it sure seems like it. I decided to reuse it for these carts since I no longer had a need for this thing (a thought I found out later was wrong.) So without further ado....

I turned this:

Into these:

A hard plastic case sits down inside of it and she can roll them around to wherever she wants. I touched up the paint late last night so they look a little better than what is shown. And thanks to the guys building the houses across the street, I used one of the four dumpsters to deposit the excess materials. A fair trade for all of the crap that blows into our yard from them. That's one off of the list. 

Supper called so I ate a small one and rested a bit. The Wife came out and picked the remaining peas as they were going south (no pun intended) pretty quick due to the immediate hot weather we got. I got the purchased mulch and finished off the last bed and all of the paths around the beds. That's another one off of the list. Then I decided to jump on the mower and cut the grass as it was a little higher than I thought it was. Then back to the garage to do the paint touch-up on the carts. All said and done I probably stopped for a total of 1 1/2 hours yesterday, putting in a good 11 hours of work. I was beat at bedtime. 

Well here's the garden tour of Saturday, June 1st, 2013. I know you were waiting on baited- breath. 

The beans are still going pretty good along their redneck fence. Hope to get a lot this year. 

In case you can't read these are Eva Purple Balls. I first grew these last year and they are probably one of my favorites now.

I believe these are Beefsteaks. 

Squash, eggplant and I believe a cantaloupe. 

Rutgers. First year for these so we'll see how they do. 

This is a German Queen. Love the shape. 

Green bell peppers have come along and decided to set. 

All peppers seems to like the weather so far. Not too big yet but they weren't that big last year either. 

Told you the peas were done. They get ripped out today and I will probably start more cucumbers here and maybe some carrots. I have some problems with my cukes this year as you'll see below. 

A few strawberries. I didn't expect much from them this year. Nice to munch on while I work though.

Overall view. Seems a lot bigger than when I started earlier this year. Still no corn and I don't think I'll mess with it. A lot of room for one ear at a time. 

These are the cukes I mentioned. They just seems to be drying up. I water as recommended but it is tough to get them to do anything. Maybe if I put up a sunscreen on each side? 

Poor dogs. The WOF just lays in a corner watching the yard while Chewman sits at the door looking sad. He would bark about every five minutes. One bark as if to say "Hey, you guys left a dog out here!"

After my gardening work yesterday and unbeknownst to me until shower time last night, I now have bright red circles beyond my usual farmer's tan on my shoulder blades. And they hurt.
 Well the wind is picking up and that means rain is on the way, which means my late afternoon golf is not going to happen. I told myself I was getting out more this year and now that seems like a joke. Off to put some fertilizer down (either 10-10-10 or some fish emulsion) around all of the plants and let Mother Nature water it in for me, tear out the peas and plant cukes and carrots, finish weed eating (I stopped at dark last night), clean up some, workout, then if the rain passes us by, GOLF. Almost my favorite four letter word. 

Late breaking news here. Since the wind has picked up, it brings forth an unusual sound from our back porch ceiling. The wind catches the soffit just right and it sounds as if we have a moose in heat outside. Listen to the very beginning of the clip. It lasts for about 4 seconds then stops. If it is really windy, it starts, stops, starts, stops. Only we would have this sound.