Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Azithromycin...

...is my new friend! I've never met Azith before, but after two pills last night, and another today, I believe in it! Oh! I'm finally starting to feel better, not worse...and if I could, I would give a big hug and a kiss on the cheek to the person or persons who discovered antibiotics. They changed the world -- and my world this week...so thankful! I hate to contemplate the olden days where you had to fight the long fight against disease without much to help...We complain about healthcare all the time, but really, we have so much to be thankful for.

Now -- if we could just find an antibiotic for rain...

Our on again, off again spring is yielding its usual result in the ripening of the berries... The top of our bushes are starting to look like this:


...while the body of the bushes, down to the ground, look like this:


By the time the bottom of the bush has enough ripe fruit on it, we will have lost a fair bit of the ripe ones up top. This is a result of cooler weather during bloom time. The blooms open slowly, and sporadically as the plant and the bees prefer the presence of sun and heat. Consequently, the ripening occurs slowly and sporadically, paralleling what happened during bloom time.

One would think that you could just start up the picker and go clean off those early beauties that are hanging out there, but it's not that simple.


First of all, it costs money to run the picker down the row, so you need to be pulling off enough fruit to make it worthwhile. Secondly, and probably more importantly, every time you take the machine through the row, you are causing a little bit of damage to the new canes growing up for next year's crop. You want to keep that cost in balance with what you are gaining, so most likely, we'll see a lot of these berries on the ground.

Unless you want to come pick some for your breakfast bowl...Call me.

Anyway, it also makes it challenging to decide when to start picking. Earlier, we were sure we would be waiting until after the 4th, but now we're wondering...And wondering means, how will we get all our pre-harvest meetings and prep done, and if we start will we really have enough fruit to make it worthwhile to run the processing plant? Like the picker, it costs money to run the plant, so you have to run enough stuff to make it worthwhile.

So that's the kind of stuff that is going through the minds of The Farmer and His Wife this week...Well, mostly The Farmer's mind, as mine has been distracted of thoughts regarding whether my teeth might just fall out from sinus pressure, and whether I will indeed stop coughing some day.

Did I tell you how much I love azithromycin?

Today, the sun is shining so we are going to enjoy it. The rows will be humming with bees visiting the blooms that will be popping open...Go bees and blooms go!

I'm going to go sit in the chair and watch them...


Monday, June 25, 2012

Again?!

Well, I am sick again...and I am sorely tempted to dump my aspirations to go through such minor trials with cheerful endurance. But I won't dump them...I WILL persevere. Suffice to say, I am disappointed with this development...and my face and my teeth hurt...and I'm coughing like I've smoked excessively for my entire life...And I have NEVER smoked!

 Unless you count the time that my sister, Erin, and I pretended to drive Dad's old red Dodge pickup -- it had a bouncy seat and a sloppy steering wheel that was perfect for this -- and  we pretend smoked an entire pack of his Salems. I'm sure he was thrilled to find we had mouthed an entire pack of his cigarettes and stuffed them back into the package...In fact, that may have been the beginning of the end of his smoking. It was probably not long after that he made a deal with Mom: he gets a horse if he quits smoking. Best deal ever, I would say!

Anyway, I'm dropping my expectations for accomplishing much this lovely sunny Maintenance Monday. I intend to plod on -- with plenty of breaks. Fortunately, I am reading a good book to distract me from the annoyance...

In other news, I have reaped my first harvest from the garden...
Wonderfully peppery and crunchy radishes!

As usual, my little garden is thriving on neglect. After this picture I decided it was probably safe to remove the long stakes I lay on it to keep Daisie from thinking it is a large dirt bed for her to lounge on. For warming or cooling purposes, our boxer loves a good dirt bed.


My cilantro tub is growing well. Last year, I couldn't get my cilantro to grow, and I missed having it so handily available for my summer cooking. I plant a quarter of the tub at at time and that way, I'm less likely to waste it. Time to get some seed going in the 3rd quarter of this tub...

The berry bushes are full of green berries, and after just a little sunshine and warmth, you can see the change...

And now that there are ripe berries on the bushes, we really, really want it to stop raining...instead of just really wanting it to stop raining. Ripe fruit + rain = moldy old berries hanging there until there are enough to pick. Unfortunately, you don't have to tell mold to be fruitful and multiply...It knows how to do it...

Fortunately, things are looking up for the weather forecast. Summer, please come!

Friday night last, we went to Relay for Life to listen to our favorite band, Nicholson Road.
It just so happens that Dillon and his wife Tiffany are in this band, along with Tiff's brother, Robert, and a couple of their friends from church...and they did a great job! I want their CD -- they just need to make one! Actually, this is a fun hobby for your kid to have...and so far it's pretty easy to be their roadies...

Last but not least, I got an iPhone last week. With great trepidation, I finally activated it. I was afraid of jumping into a new world of technology and find myself illiterate, and, conversely, also afraid that I would become obssessed with its marvelous capabilities. Neither fear was realized as the switch from Blackberry to iPhone went seamlessly, and though I find that the iPhone is superior in every way...EVERY way...I am not obsessed by it, just find it very, very convenient.

Of course, I just downloaded Words with Friends, so maybe obsession is yet to come...

Well, it's time for my next dose of ibuprofen, decongestant, and Maalox (to comfort my irritated medicine corroded stomach), and then to plod through Maintenance Monday...

...but first, a nap!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Busy times, good times...

It's been busy around here. The scent of blooming raspberries is in the air, and that is a catalyst for more activity around The Farm.

And there have been activities around more places than The Farm...

I told you, last post, that the graduation parties were next on our agenda. Oh the foods we ate in celebration! Make your own nacho plates -- I mean plate -- spicy, crunchy, savory.  Then, a party with coffee shop drinks complemented with one-bite brownies, tiny scones and miniature cinnamon rolls -- little cinnamon rolls you could just pop in your mouth, just one bite! It can be a problem, however, when you realize just how many "one bites" you have had. The last party was a meal with multiple salads -- must.try.them.all -- and pulled pork. And cake -- bakery cake...I really like bakery cakes...I'll have an edge piece, please.

Good times...good times...

And then it was Fathers' Day...more good food!

Strawberry harvest has begun, and that means STRAWBERRY WAFFLES!

With our not-so-secret ingredient that makes them better than your average strawberry waffle...


Yes -- ICE CREAM, not whipped cream...


I wasn't quick enough to get a picture before someone started eating, but you can see here that we put a nice thin layer of ice cream on top of the hot waffle, and strawberries on top.
It's WAY better than the whipped cream thing.
TRUST ME & TRY IT!

After all this deliciousness, we needed to have a late lunch. Caitlin made her now-famous rib recipe...

Her dad felt pretty special...and so did we, because he shared.
Then we all went and sat on the couches, and patted our full bellies, and played many old records that Dillon brought for our listening enjoyment.
It was a marvelous Fathers' Day.

In between the grad parties, and Fathers' Day celebrating, there were a couple of long days in the field because the sun was shining...We mowed, and mowed, and sprayed, and put wires down. And on the other days, we looked out the windows at the rain...and wished we were out mowing, or spraying, or putting down wires...But that's typical for June.

Randy's brother, Barry, and sis-in-law, Lynn, were in town for the week after graduation celebrations, so we used some rainy time for visiting, which is a very pleasant distraction from the gray skies that we tend to pay too much attention to at this time of year.

Saturday, we attended a beautiful memorial service for Randy's cousin Kathy who recently celebrated her 56th birthday, knowing it would be her last. A short month later, she is gone to glory...She will be greatly missed, but what a celebration of her life, her personality & character, her faithfulness. We rejoiced in knowing her, and rejoiced that she is safely home, and that she is enjoying the glories she anticipated.

If pondering that doesn't make one say, "so what if it's raining" I don't know what will...

I don't usually like to be so busy -- but I must say that last week was a week of blessed busyness...

And I'm grateful.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bursting with pride...

...because of these!



I've waited two long years for blooms to open on the peonies I planted.

I'm pretty much a fan of instant gratification, so this was hard for me. Two springtimes of only foliage to look at...But the wait was worth it!
And these are just the first 3...There are more out there to enjoy.

And I will enjoy them...my favorites right now...

A joy in this dreary June day, is that the roses also are blooming, and I could bring some color and cheer inside to perk me up.


It should hold me over until we get our Friday sunshine!

Friday, June 8, 2012

It has become a regular event...

Since my recent bout with a respiratory virus, I wake every night with a tickle in my throat...

...and tickle sounds much too benign. It's more like...well, a cocklebur -- no, too harsh --...no -- more like a spider in my throat that triggers an unstoppable urge to cough...well, hack actually...not conducive to The Farmer's sleep, and he needs his sleep these days!

Since this has been happening nightly for a few weeks, I have established a routine response. And I will say here that I am encouraged that this has become a ONCE nightly event -- not multiples as at first -- and the spiders keep feeling smaller and smaller...Nonetheless, it still happens -- and once it does, I get up and fumble in the darkness for a cough drop. Then I head downstairs to sit upright on the couch while I consume said cough drop.

I have this inordinate fear of choking on a cough drop in my sleep -- and knowing The Farmer would think I was just snoring (again), he would give a poke and roll over, while I was giving the international signal for choking...slowing expiring...And my obituary would say that a cough drop had taken my life -- because I've told my kids that I want them to put how I died in the obituary because I want no mystery surrounding my demise. People want to know these things...at least, I know I do...

Spoken like a truly inveterate snoop...Apologies, my carnality is showing...

All this said to reveal that every night-time, I have a the length of a cough drop consumption to think...about the kind of stuff you think of in the middle of the night...And last night, having just attended one, I thought about graduation...

And what a bad aunt, mother, friend, community member I am because I always think graduation is boring. Even when my kids participated, though I admit that those years were less boring to me. I know the problem is my own, and perhaps it's just my distaste for routine that creates the problem...It's always the same stuff, and it always seems long. I mean, if you're going to do the same stuff, be efficient about it. Fortunately, there is usually a bright spot with some speaker who catches your attention, and makes you think...and I did see that last night.

Maybe it's just that I'm in what I call the "Ecclesiastes Phase" of my life...vanity of vanities, all is vanity...Cynicism and graduation ceremonies, a good combination do not make...

My observations lead me to believe that most of the participants aren't that excited about it either...Except for the silly string part...and that would be a lot more fun if EVERYBODY got to do it. I'd go just for that!

Once again, I expose my deficiencies by devaluing the solemn send-off of these young people. Oh, I do like all those kids, and really am excited to see what happens next in their lives -- and not just to compare it with what they THOUGHT was going to happen{insert sly grin}...And I love my nephews, and am so proud of them, and wish them all the best.

But I still think graduation is boring...and I really don't think there is any way to fix that without making it maudlin, or trivial.

And that's as far as I got as I ran out of cough drop...I'll bet you're glad I didn't need 2 of them last night...

Tonight, we have my favorite part of graduation: the parties!! My middle of the night musings will likely be about food...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

And it's raining again...

...and it's likely my fault because yesterday I moved all my plant pots out into the sunshine, what little of it there was. Now they are out getting over-watered and I should go out into the weather and move them all under the roof again.

Should...but don't know if i will...

The other sad news associated with the weather is that rain means tonight's graduation ceremony for our nephews will take place in the gym instead of out on the football field. Gym = hot, HOT + crowded...The football field setting is just so much more relaxed and fun. You might be a little cold, but you can deal with that. Rain, however, can't be dealt with...not so good for all the sound equipment, and worse, all those over-priced, disposable caps and gowns would run navy blue dye all over the graduates as they melted in the rain. Our only hope is that they will set up the Fine Arts Center for the overflow crowd...They did this a couple of years ago, and we sat in comfort in theater seats...It was great! -- until some little vandal cut the video feed cord -- which was graciously lent to the school by a local business. Oh, immaturity -- it can be so expensive! Anyway, I suspect that if they can set up overflow like that again, there will be a lot of peope who will come early to get seats in there!

I know I would...or will...

With the rain, the bees are on strike...and the cooler weather is slowing bloom time in the raspberries, and stretching it out...But all in all they are doing fine, and little green berries are present...This means it is time for us to feel panicked and paralysed with fear that we might not be ready when they are...just the usual. Knowing that this always happens helps, but it doesn't make it go away. We just try not to take ourselves too seriously. I can't think of a season that we actually were not ready...

Hopefully, we don't set a new record in this category...

In other news, some little mole had the gall to do this:
He has begun a war he will not win...Apparently, he did not see the little underground shrines to moles that have gone before him. You do not make hills in the lawn without sealing your fate.

Well, it gives The Farmer something to do while it rains...

And warmer, drier days are in the forecast...HURRAH!

In the meantime, I'm off to save a seat in the Fine Arts Center...Happy Graduation LC Seniors!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I've got the fever...

It hit me today at Costco...the Harvest is Almost Here And I Better Get Everything I Need Because What If I Can't Leave the Farm Fever.

I tried to fend it off because it's a little early yet...We've got 4 weeks until The Big Event begins...and when The Fever comes early it's usually expensive. Every time I go to the store I see something that must be purchased so we don't run out during Harvest. Today, it was a lot of meat...KA-CHING...

We'll need our protein during that strenuous time, and what a crisis it would be if we ran out of PROTEIN! And CARBS -- what about CARBS? We'll need them for energy...And IBUPROFEN -- what about IBUPROFEN? We'll need that for all the headaches...and TORTILLAS -- gotta have 'em...and MICROWAVE FOOD...and CEREAL -- LOTS OF CEREAL...and COKE and COUGH DROPS -- what if we get a cold, and can't leave The Farm? And DOG TOYS -- what if we don't have anything for Olive to destroy? And that CHICAGO CD -- what if they are all gone when Harvest is over and WE DIDN'T GET ONE????

It's a panic, I tell you...

And now that it's begun I better do my best to stay home, or we'll be bankrupt and/or ready for the coming apocalypse with our storehouse.

By the time I put everything from Costco and Safeway away, I was so tired I wasn't even hungry...

However, I did need the ibuprofen...I hope we don't run out.

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)