Saturday, August 18, 2007


Where oh where did this week go?????

Where did this last week go?????

I have waited all week to find time to head off for some groceries-- haven`t had a slice of bread in the house all week. But, lucky me, I did have some whole grain wheat hotdog rolls, a few finger rolls and some homemade pancakes (being lazy-used jiffy mix, egg and blueberries). Hotdog rolls work great for egg salad , tuna and a few other type sandwiches. But, my garden has finally started giving me some huge red tomatoes and a little hard trying to fit them on a hotdog roll. I do need some bread- or at least some wide sub rolls. It was great being able to make a fresh tossed salad using lettuce, tomato and cucumber from my own garden.That is one of the nice things I look forward to having every summer - fresh vegetables. I have frozen enough zucchini for making a few loafs of zucchini bread when the hot weather cools of more. I have eaten a lot of green string beans already this summer. My garden is small, using just 7 of those earth boxes for growing. But things sure do grow large in them. I miss the large ground gardens I used to have. But, when it became hard to get up from weeding, the earth boxes sitting up on homemade standards sure came in handy. What I miss the most are the garden carrots, beets , corn, potatoes and onions. They don`t grow well in the boxes. Oh, corn will grow, but it becomes too hard to support them as well. I often have corn for the birds growing in my yard due to the birds planting them from the bird feeder. They also sometimes drop the sunflower seeds which end up growing in my yard.

This year was the third year that I have found one lonely tomatoes plant growing with my flowers in the flower bed that runs across in front of my home. Still not certain it comes from the compost I add to the soil before planting. or from some of the bought flowers I also plant in those flower beds. Probably from my compost bins. I keep working a three bin compost place every year and every spring I use this soil for planting flowers as without it most things won`t grow well in my sandy soil in my yard. This summer I am having trouble turning the compost piles as they are loaded with flying bees due to the apples I raked up from under the apple tree and tossed into the bins. I never had so many apples before. so never thought of the bees they would draw.Wish I hadn`t added the apples in the same bins. I now carry a fabric softener sheet with me when I walk around the yard. So far it must be working as no more bee sting ( maybe I should say a little "thank you" prayer and knock on some wood for good luck- think so???) I shouldn`t complain about 4 stings in a week, as it could have been much worse. I once read that to remove a bee stinger, use a credit card and scrape across the place where you were stung. I tried it and it worked for me.

Let me tell you about the time one of the twins was loaded with bees. We were visiting my parents home. Across the driveway from the house was a place where there was a sewer under ground. That area was a little lower and you couldn`t cut the grass there with the riding mower, so my Dad had to use his hand grass cutter. This day, the grass in the sunken spot was real tall. The kids were all running around chasing each other when we suddenly heard the one twin scream. My mother and I rushed out the door and saw him with so many bees covering him that it was scary. My mother got her fly swatter and while I constantly swung the swatter trying to keep the bees off him, my mother started pulling off his clothes and tossing them out into the driveway. We were standing on the porch at this time.To this day, I can`t see how we removed his clothes with out him being stung even once. God sure was with us that day. He was about three at the time. My dad came out, got some Kerosene , poured it on the grass, and lit it to get rid of the bee hives that were hidden in that tall grass. You can be sure my dad never let the grass grow tall there again. Then a few years later it was the other twin. Only this time is was blood suckers instead of bees. We had gone fishing to a favorite spot my husband had enjoyed as a kid. The kids were told to stay out of the water in that bog area, but this one son walked in and soon came out loaded with blood suckers hooked to his skin on his legs and arms. Back then I didn`t know that all you had to do was light a lighter and hold it near them and they would release and fall off. So, I worked my hand off pulling each of them out separately. Poor kid by the time i was finished. But you can be sure he never went into water anywhere if he was warned not to, but then all his brothers and sisters watched and never forgot that episode. So, they all learned to stay out of strange water.

To get back to why I was too busy to go to the store--I had to make this baby sweater and have it finished before Sunday- project finished a short time ago. Now waiting for it to dry so I can wrap it.

The rotten boards under the one side of my wood shop needed replacing. When we started pulling off the top boards, the bottom edge of some of them was starting to also rot from sitting ever
winter in the snow. When I saw that, I decided to remove that whole wall and replace it with new boards, new insulation, new plastic, new 2x6`s for support top and bottom frame boards , new 2x4`s for building the wall and also new wall boarding inside. I decided not to re-use sheetrock and close it up with lauan board as it doesn`t get bothered as much by dampness , doesn`t have as much sawdust clinging to it and much faster to paint. I learned this when I decided to use it in place of the sheetrock for the ceiling,- also much lighter to hold up when nailing. I also found that holding the large garage broom up against the ceiling, I was able to hold it in place while one son or the future s-i-l- was nailing. Took only the one ladder that way. The lauan board is thin enough to slope a little without cracking like sheetrock would and I have a tiny slope where the ceiling of the shop and the garage wall comes together and the lauan board bent nicely to connect well. You see the building houses my garage on one side and the shop was added on later. I have a large peaked area over the garage, but the shop part is just one floor of height and has a slanted roof running off from the eave end of the garage. So, it is like an addition added to the garage. It is an old building which originally housed a Bike Shop, years later was changed into a grocery store, when the youngest son was born and I wasn`t able to run the grocery store, Hubby decided to change it back into a Bike shop. By then the building was almost 20 years old. it has been my shop for about 10 years now. So, there was around 30 years of snow piling up against the bottom edges every winter which finally did the damage. It sure has helped keep me from going crazy living here alone for the past 5 years ( Well, not entirely alone, I have my faithful Border Collie Sassy here protecting me.)
I used the T111 board for the outside wall covering. Figured the way it overlaps a speck will make it warmer inside.I hadn`t seen this board before till my carpenter son mentioned it. I liked it, so bought it. Since it is just a shop, I felt it would work there just as good for what I used it for. Well, one of my sons is a carpenter by trade and another of my sons, plus his teenage son did most all the work. The S-I-L- my daughter married in June also came over to help.
Then I had to order a large bin from my trash collector. Yesterday my son cut up all the trash boards and him and his son piled it all into the trask bin. While I had the large bin, I also cleaned out the trash boards from my shop and tossed them into the bin. I also carried out the sheet rock and cut it up and tossed that into the bin. That job is finished, now I need to call my trash collector to come after his tightly packed bin. You couldn`t fit a broom handle in it, that is how packed it is. That took care of yesterday when you add about 7 hours more knitting on the baby sweater. Mondays and Wednesdays I go to an exercise place with two of my daughters. Monday was also bank deposit day and pick up prescriptions day. Tuesday was laundry day , plus I had pounded thru a lot of the nails on the old sheetrock getting it ready to be removed without making a lot of sawdust in the shop to breath. I pulled it outside to cut up. Tuesday I also had to move all my equipment over to the other side of the shop away from the wall that had to be jacked back up to place the cement blocks under the new support boards. That meant my son needed to use the tall ceiling jacks to hold up the ceiling while the new wall frame was being built. I had the table saw, the router and table, the large band saw, my huge bench, boxes of wood, re-stack my new boards against a different wall, move the lawn tractor out back of the shop and cover it well with heavy plastic for protection, plus the trash boxes and so many other things that had to be moved to the other side of the room. That`s when you realize how much you really do have to work with. A lot has been bought in the past 5 years. Walt used to say that I had more tools than most men. I said I bet you are glad when you need a tool you never had before. Wonder what he would say today if he saw all the new tools I have added on over the past 5 years to allow me to make even better items. I never thought he felt I was smart enough to do half of what I do today, till the day I overheard him telling someone that he felt I could build a house if I made up my mind I wanted to.Of course that is an exaggeration, but it still felt good knowing he had that kind of confidence in me. His main problem was he was always afraid I would get hurt with some of the things I did. He worried way too much, but then I was just as bad worrying about him.

A lot of work and things ended up being pretty tight against each other to have enough room. So glad the wall is now finished, but now I still have a lot of painting to get done before I can re-arrange everything in my shop.
Guess now you understand what I have been keeping busy doing this past week. Of course this also has to include my cooking and housework , watering the garden boxes every night, even if it rains. The bottom section of the earth boxes needs to be kept filled with water. Have to make sure the paper baskets are all emptied, plus the small can on the porch and put into the large barrels by the driveway in time for the collector who comes early Thursday mornings. Some days I was even too tired to read the newspapers and read three days all at one time to catch up. I also need to keep the grass and weeds from my 4 flower beds plus next to the house. The morning glories keep growing and trying to wind around my porch posts. So, every day I unwind them and head them backwards down the trellis.

Well, this isn`t getting me any bread for that delicious blt. sandwich I have been hankering for. So, guess I`ll run out after the mail, check on sassy`s water and bring in her food dish and then I am off to the store. Must remember to buy a baby shower card so I won`to have to also find time to make one. Oh, I forgot to mail out the Wedding card to a nephews son who just got married. Wanted to go to their wedding, but way too far to travel alone and no one else from my area was going- it was held in North Carolina, about a 7 hours drive from here. I`ll have to remember to mail it out on Monday. we still have a rural mailman who picks up and drops off our mail in the mailbox out front.
Gee, it just dawned on me that I still haven`t stopped to eat lunch and it is already quarter to 2 pm. Only had a cup of tea with a half of a large muffin for breakfast as I didn`t want to stop long enough to fix a real breakfast. So, guess I should eat some lunch, but then mybe I`ll wait till I get back from the store as that shouldn`t take too long. Wonder if the sweater is almost dry yet? Not yet, had to replace the wet towel with a dry one. Takes longer to dry when you have washed it by hand. The expected mother won`t have to do this as she can just toss it in the washer and dryer under the delicate cycle if she so desires.
Well, I`m off.

No wonder you have not had much time for the blog---you have been very busy---that is called having a life.

It is great that you have family that all willing and also know how to help you.

Now go get that bread cause there is nothing like good ole BLT when you have fresh tomatoes.

Take care and enjoy those fresh vegetables you have.
Hi Vickie, I did go get the bread- in fact I bought a small loaf of Rye, small loaf of white and a loaf of bakery uncut Italian. By the time I got back I was tired and just cut off a thick slice of the bakery Italian. Guess the BLT might just wait for tomorrow night after I get home from the baby shower if i`m not already full from the shower. Forgot to buy the baby shower card, so was glad i still had one from when I was making cards.
Already ate 4 cherry tomatoes while I was watering the plants. Hard to stand there holding the watering hose, just looking at all those tomatoes and not find some ripe ones just waiting to be eaten. Getting to be a bad habit of mine- eating tomatoes while watering the garden. I picked 5 plum tomatoes last night and some of the larger ones are almost ripe. I have three kinds of tomatoes in my boxes. Now have the bread, bought the bacon at the grocery store today, and the lettuce is ready for picking whenever I feel like making the sandwich, or maybe I`ll add ham and cheese for a sub with the garden lettuce and tomatoes. Gee, if I keep writing it just might get me hungry enough to eat the sandwich.
Yes, vickie, I feel very lucky to have such helpful kids. Hard times while we were raising such a big family, but they sure are there for me today.
Vickie, Do you still have your blog, because when I click on your name it no longers takes me there?
hey dot, give us some of your simple salad recipes. you have triggered my tastebuds now....
Hiya dot,just thought i'd mention i'll be 45 this year ........and have never been stung by a bee or wasp in my i just lucky or what?lol
Goodness, you do keep busy don't you? Those vegetables sound delicious.... I used to get stung a lot as a child when I was always running around with no shoes on but I haven't had a bee sting in years. They sure are scary when they swarm around something and they make that hideous noise.
HI DOT, I cannot believe all the work that you do.You sure keep your self busy. I also love working with tools.actually in my home i know where the tool box is and everyone come to me for stuff.I think that is funny.I just crochet a dress for one of our friends baby.Did you kn or crochet.I enjoyed reading about the twins.It must have been really scarry with the bees.Home grown vegetables...I did not plant any this year.maybe I will plant some next year.tke care Dot and hope you were able to get some bread.
gazza, you are so lucky. I think it might be the nice smell from my hair shampoo that might be drawing them. But, this is the first time my apple tree has been so loaded with apples and i raked the fallen ones into my compost and that draws those small bees there to fly whenever i try to add more to the compost bins and i can`t stay close enough now to turn the compost without the bees flying all over. I could spray the bins to get rid of the bees, but I really don`t want the spray mixed in the rich soil the compost turns into. I now carry a laundry fabric softener sheet with me while watering the garden. It seems to keep the bees away from me.
45, WOW, I was already a grandmother when you were born. My first grandaughter was born in 75. That makes me feel old, but then age is only a number as long as you can stay active.
Yes gypsy, they do sound threatening when they start flying around you buzzing their tune. It doesn`t take me long to check out any buzz in my house to be sure if it is a fly or a bee.
I do stay busy. There doesn`t seem to be enough hours in a day for all I wish to accomplish. Anxious to get the shop painting finished and the equipment back in order so I can start making things again in my shop.
Hi Starrynights. Yes I also crochet and knit. I just finished knitting a hooded baby sweater that has a zipper opening in the back. It was for a baby shower for one of my nieces daughters on my husbands side.She is expecting a girl so I used the varigated colored yarn. I just finished it the night before the Baby Shower was held and even had enough time to wash it after it was finished. Turned out good. Got a lot of compliments for it at the shower.
I do a lot of crochet for Christmas gifts. Saves a little money on gifts that way. I find it hard to hold the crochet hooks with the arthritis in my hands so I slide those rubber style pencil enlargers over the needles. The enlargers come in different sizes with different size holes in them so they help make the needle handle larger and easier for me to hold.
But I also use a trick to hold the knitting needles. I hold the left needle in my left hand ( I`m right handed),and then I place the right needle with the top of the handle against the chair between my knees and use my legs to hold the needle point sticking upward.That way my right hand only has to do the yarn winding around the upright needle and pulling off the stitch. It got too hard to hold both needles with my hands and this way i could continue to knit.
As they always say- Where there`s a will, there`s a way. If you wish to do something bad enough, you can usually find a way.
I`m sure your crocheted baby dress was very much appreciated. I haven`t made a dress and bonnet set since the grandkids were babies.There sure are some pretty patterns. i`d love to see a picture of the baby dress.
geets, I haven`t made many salads since my husband passed away because I don`t eat enough to make it worth the work. And when I do have others here eating with me I ususlly make a big meal for them.
But I do make a lot of fresh garden salads when my garden is producing. They always start with the fresh garden small cherry tomatoes, lettuce and sliced cucumber from my garden. Not doing so good with cucumbers this summer- only a few so far, but I counted 2 already the size of a dill piclke and about 6 tiny ones starting. Then I add what ever my mind thinks sounds good on that day- sometimes I add sliced onions, all different type and flavors of croutons, my garden green peppers, chunks of sharp cheese, chunks of ham or bacon bits, or cut up boiled eggs, chopped up celery, radishes, and sometimes I add the salad topping I buy at the store. These toppings consist of tiny bits of onions, carrots, parsley, sunflower seeds,rice, red and green bell peppers, - all chopped fine. I have even added suchini sliced up- also from my garden. So my garden salad often ends up as a big meal all by itself and so easy to put together in a matter of minutes and leaves me feeling full. With so many different things to add, the salad is seldom the same look or taste two days in a row, so it doesn`t get boring.
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