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VONBLACKBIRD's Recent Blog Entries


Friday, June 29, 2012

My biggest fear is wild fire or forest fire in our area. We are such a rural state and where I live is really wild with low mountains, lots of trees, rivers and lakes..but with the drought and heat we have been having, and seeing the wildfires in Texas last year and this year in Colorado and N. Mexico, I worry about our state. Right now we are under a burn ban and earliest we have ever been under one..we are in our 3rd year of drought and lots of deadwood in the forests...well the fear is real...

Just heard on the news tonight that 200 acres has burned in the county just below us and is spreading to another county. They have already evacuated 12 homes in the line of fire..This doesn't sound like much compared to what is happening in Colorado and N.Mexico but we are a much smaller state and things are pretty close to each other though it is rural. The fire that is going on right now is only about 20 miles from us..so you can see the concern..all fireworks are not allowed but knowing some crazy people in our area they will shoot them off anyway.

And then the news yesterday from my sister's area of the state was that they were trying to track down an arson who was setting off small fires just for meanness...and not only that but now there is a major water shortage in many places...they are limiting water useage in several towns and now where my sister lives not only are they limiting useage but they are having huge water main breaks..so much trouble happening and the heat doesn't help. We really need to be praying for our entire country..

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYO 6/30/2012 9:19AM

    Thoughts and prayers are going your way.

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MOSTMOM1 6/30/2012 9:10AM

    Oh goodness! Thoughts and prayers are with you!

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MISSY455 6/30/2012 2:15AM

    It is very hard to watch the news about the fires. I hope that the one near you is contained quickly.

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Busy Last 2 days

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We have been so busy these last 2 days. First I've picked blueberries every morning now for many days...at least 2 gallons a day...but the blueberries are done. Hubby has been picking the butterbeans each day..So yesterday not only did I pick the blueberries but I put up 16 pints of peaches. That wasn't too bad as I can run the peaches through my juicer and the biggest step is done..but then I had about another half bushel of peaches to put into the freezer. If you have ever done it, then you know you have to dip them in boiling water to slip the skins and then peel, pit and quarter and dip in fruit fresh (citric acid) and then sprinkle a little sugar on and put in freezer bags. Well out of a half bushel we got 8 quarts...I was constantly on my feet all day. I was so tired that I was in bed and asleep by 8:30..

Today has been somewhat of a repeat...but today it was canning tomatoes all day. I put up 30 pints of tomatoes..So again I was on my feet all day.

All this standing is not good on the poor old back which isn't in good shape. I have a stool but still I'm mostly on my feet..

In between all this, I've been helping shell butterbeans...So will be in bed early again tonight.

One good thing about this is I'm so busy that I don't think of eating..and when I do sit down to a meal, I'm not hungry at all and in fact I've had to force myself to eat to keep my energy..

Tomorrow I baby sit my youngest granddaughter ...probably just the morning and she is at the age where you have to keep her entertained..she has no idea how to play by herself..and of course we are all to blame as we all dote on her so much..

So this week I'm getting lots of exercise and not eating that much.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSY455 6/28/2012 10:59PM

    You have been very busy! I have never canned tomatoes. When I grew them, what we didn't eat right away, I made into Freezer Tomato Sauce. I sometimes will buy a bunch of Roma Tomatoes at the Farmer's Market now just to make the sauce. I use it for everything from the base of spaghetti sauce to vegetable lasagna sauce.

So glad you get to enjoy your granddaughter tomorrow. They grow so fast, I cherish all the time I get with mine.

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BRATS4 6/28/2012 9:36PM

    but it will all taste good this winter.

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Photos from around the farm

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I thought I would share some photos from around the place.

First I wanted to show you 2 gallons of blueberries I picked this morning. We are in such a drought right now and the heat is here (100+temps) that they are not getting big and they are stressing the bushes even though we are watering them..so we plan to strip the bushes tomorrow so that the bushes will live and hopefully not die like last year...we lost half our bushes last year.

These next 2 pictures are of our chickens...we had a hen to hatch 7 babies this summer but we have already lost one.

This is what is left of the garden. You can't see him, but hubby is out in it picking the butterbeans..once they are done then half the garden will be finished. We are fighting blossom end rot on our tomatoes..but then so is everyone else around here..we are hoping we can get enough to can up for winter this year..Our squash and cucumbers are still producing and the okra and peppers are just starting to really produce.

This picture is the newest gazebo area that we are building over our firepit. The coupello on top is vented to allow the smoke to rise. We aren't finished yet. We still have the corner pieces and the ridge caps on each corner.

And this last picture is of my old wringer washer. Early this year you could see the wringer part and even the sides of the washer..the ivy is really growing.

I hope you enjoyed the views around our place.

On another note...got lots of exercise today..the 20 minute walk...picking blueberries uses energy and then I put up 15 pints of peach jam and froze 8 pints of fresh peaches...that took the longest.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINE4GIRL 6/29/2012 8:50AM

    I love your garden! I do hope your berry bushes survive. My niece has a berry farm and lost half hers last year to a freak late frost. Have you added calcium for the tomatoes? That might help!
Good luck!

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HICKOK-HALEY 6/29/2012 8:26AM

    I hope your blueberries can hang in there. Are the blueberries big enough to make Jam? I love peaches, and the Peach jam sounds so good. That's a good size Chicken coop. Lots of room for the Chickens. Your Gazebo is coming along nicely. . I'm going to show DH your picture hehe...The plant in your antique washer looks so healthy!

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CAKAROO 6/28/2012 6:14AM

    great pics!

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MCJULIEO 6/28/2012 4:52AM

    Love your pictures, but they surely do show how much work you must do every day just to stay on top of things! Wowsers!

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MISSY455 6/28/2012 3:09AM

    What a beautiful setting for your gazebo!

Our daughter lives on her husband's family farm and his mom has chickens. Our youngest granddaughter helped her Grandma pick the newest chicks out and is helping to raise and take care of them. She loves them dearly!

Thanks for sharing with us!

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NOLACHERIE 6/27/2012 7:57PM

    Thanks for sharing all your pictures. Everything is lovely! Sure can understand the heat stressing your blueberries & plants. Our fig tree is doing the same & my husband waters it every day. Love love LOVE peach jam! SO many things you can do with your frozen peaches. Yum! I smell peach pie! LOL.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ok here are 2 pictures we took last night...whatever it is, it is so fast that it doesn't trip the camera until it is already in the bucket. You can see the level of the plums has gone down..and the bottom pictures show a faint outline of "something" in the bucket. I'm sure the SP picture doesn't show it that well so will put it on my personal blog in the bigger view...To us it looks like a deer mouse...and they are fast enough and strong enogh to carry a plum that size..They are small enough to get under the electric fence strands we have around the garden and as much of the plums they have put away lately, they could do some damage on it as well..though only the butterbeans might entice them....and all of the beans we have left to pick..I'm sure they are too small to bother the peaches.

O and you notice the little gnome. I had set him up to guard the bucket last night...I think he failed on his job..or maybe he has been helping the little mice all along..O now I need to think of making a deer mouse house and a little mouse sculpture to go with it...heehee...see how my mind works..

On another note, meeting my sister in Mount Ida today. She is bringing Subway sandwich and we plan to have foot reflexology done...neither of us have had it done and this is her treat for her birthday which was last week...beats another dust collector that neither of us need at our age. Pampering is so much nicer. I will blog about it tomrrow.

PS...my personal blog

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NIMAWEYGH 6/29/2012 6:54PM

    Oh the sneaky little blighter. Now I know I must keep an eye out for these small fast furry thieves when my fruit trees began to bear. tee hee hee I think the gnome must have been drugged or he would have put a stop to this stuff because I am sure he likes plum jelly himself. LOL

Hope the day with your sister is gr8.

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PATTOMMC3 6/27/2012 8:32PM

    Too funny! emoticon

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MISSY455 6/27/2012 1:07AM

    It is kind of amazing that one little mouse can eat that many plums without leaving a mess. I agree with the others...the gnome failed!!!

I hope you enjoyed your visit with your sister and the reflexology! I have heard it is very relaxing :-)

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OBIESMOM2 6/26/2012 1:37PM

    when I was a kid mom had blueberry bushes in the backyard. She never got many blueberries. They'd be full, but as soon as the berries were ripe they disappeared.

One morning we were having breakfast and caught the thief in the act...my beagle! He would get every single ripe berry that he could reach as soon as they turned.

The golden retriever I have now (the one in my lap in the photo) picks blackberries.

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SONYALATRECE 6/26/2012 1:30PM

    In the words of Donald Trump, "You're fired!" to the gnome.

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RHEYNKLW 6/26/2012 11:43AM

    Stealthy. They're probably hiding behind that little turncoat of a gnome.

Reflexology is awesome!

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NOLACHERIE 6/26/2012 10:52AM

    I was thinking the same as Kimpy about putting a screen on top. Mice are SO tricky! Yep, Little Mr. Gnome is certainly not doing his job. (Must be related to the Travelocity gnome & thinks he's on vacation. LOL).

Oh, foot reflexology sounds soooo relaxing. What a great way to combine foot massage & helping out ALL parts of the body! Hope you enjoy!!

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DOROTHYBERO 6/26/2012 9:54AM

    Little stinker -hope you enjoyed thereflexology - I do agree - no more dust collectors!

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MAZACK 6/26/2012 9:07AM

    Tricky little thief . I have had a little of the reflexology as part of a massage and it was relaxing.

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CAT609 6/26/2012 8:59AM

    Those tricky little things! They must have many mouths to feed, taking all those plums! I'd fire the gnome guard! emoticon

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KIMPY225 6/26/2012 8:44AM

    Oh no! Can you put some kind of screen or lid on top?

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The Mystery Deepens!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

I think I need to write some on my personal blog about the mystery that is going on with our missing plums...it is just so so strange...we put out about 1/4th full small bucket of plums last night and this time set the game cam to shoot still photos..well looked at it this morning and the camera takes 3 photos at a time when it is tripped..there were only 3 photos besides the one that Sonny did when he set up and turned off this morning...and the 3 photos were showing.......only the bucket...nothing else was in the photo but the plums were missing....so it is still a mystery...so he is resetting it up again tonight with the camera closer and we will see what it is..Our thoughts.....
1. It is either too small to trip the camera .
2. It is too fast for the camera to work.
3. It is invisible..

We have ruled out all animals big enough to trip the camera and animals that would just sit there and eat their fill as there is no sign of pits, peels or even a mess. Hubby thinks it is now a deer mouse..I am beginning to think our little gnome fellows in my gnome garden have been plum hungry and since the work is already done for them, then it is easy pickings for the..

Funny thing is the curiosity has gotten the better of me..Hubby was not going to set the camera up again tonight but think it got to him as well so he has relented and is going to set it up. I'm going to sneak out later and put a few loose plums on the table in front of the bucket just to make sure it entices whatever it is..Hopefully I will have better news tomorrow...

Getting lots of exercise too picking and all..but haven't lost a pound since the spring 5%challenge ended. I've joined the same challenge for summer so hope I will see a difference. But even with the weight I've lost, I'm thinking I need the doseage on my blood pressure meds changed...Had some dizziness lately..so I have bought my own BP cuff and will take it at home for awhile..(and those good digital ones are expensive).


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSY455 6/26/2012 1:18AM

    With all the gardening you have been doing, have you adjusted your fitness goals? Perhaps you are not getting enough calories to maintain your weight loss. I know it seems like the opposite, but from my own experience I have found it to be true.

As for the mystery, I hope it is solved soon! I see you sitting up all night to catch the thief!

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NIMAWEYGH 6/25/2012 6:39PM

    Gal I am on the edge of my chair with this mystery. I do believe the gnomes might be the culprits but I think they are so slow they would trip the camera.

So my bet is on Garden Fairies. Agile as can be, fast as the wind, so small they would not trip that ol camera.

The plot thickens.

I am so envious of you and all the wonderful bounties you are storing up for the winter.

Look for a new thread in Homebodies just for you.

PS Pickie might have something BIGFOOT emoticon

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    I'm intrigued by the case of the purloined plums too! I've been following your blogs since the challenge started. Hope you get to the bottom of it! And great job getting your exercise in!

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READYBETTY 6/25/2012 3:42PM

    Can't wait to find out what it is!

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PICKIE98 6/25/2012 2:39PM

    owls, hawks, cats, dogs, mice, moles, coons, possum(baby ones are the size of mice), woodchuck,
lots of carnivores will reduce themselves to eating fruits that are juicy to get the moisture content.. crows, BIGFOOT..
our German Shepherd used to eat ours, then spit the pits out in a pile on our front porch!

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