Wednesday, July 18, 2012

General Update

Times call for a general update. Nothing much has changed - including the @#$% heat wave.

I have to admit, I've thrown my hands up in the air and cried uncle on my first garden in ages. When the heatwave first hit, I figured we'd have a few days of blasting heat, and then things would go back to "normal." I figured it would return to normal June temps, and I could go back outside and do damage control on the grass that has taken over the garden.

So much for figuring. Our temps for the last 3 weeks have run above normal for even August temps, when normal gardens are nearing their end. Here I was so proud to have actually gotten a garden out, period, and to have gotten it out in May to boot. The day it got put in it sprinkled. In the next 6 weeks, it sprinkled two more times. So I watered. In June the temps went into the 90s, normal August weather, and in July, they went into the 100s for weeks. That's just not normal. We don't normally have many 100F days, maybe 2-3 in August. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight.

The tomatoes are splitting on the vine. The cukes are just beginning to put out, but I expect them to be bitter. The beans seem to blossoming, but few are setting. The okra is stumpy. I'm getting a few peppers, but the plants are so short. The only things thriving are the grass and the pumpkin vine that is going to eat the world. However, there's only one pumpkin that I've found that set and seems to be turning into an actual pumpkin.

Max was in this last weekend, and we should have done a ton of work. However, he's been working nearly nonstop for 3 weeks, and was absolutely worn out this weekend. So we took it easy and just enjoyed our time together. It's funny how work sneaks up on you. When I was living with Max in Memphis, I simply never noticed just how much his work encroached on the weekends. Now that I'm here in Kentucky and needing him to come up on the weekends, software updates, system crashes and normal on-call weekends seem bent on trashing 3 weekends out of 4.

We did manage to make it over to Lowe's and get our very own tiller. Even that had it's own demand on our time. I'd shopped online, and everything indicated we'd have to purchase one and put it together. So we drove in the sedan. When we got to the store, 30 miles away, of course, the only tillers for sale were already assembled and would NOT fit in the trunk. So we had to come back to the house, get the truck and drive back to the store. Two hours of travel time just to get one item from one store.

Well, anyway, we're tickled pink. We've got a Troy-Bilt tiller that - hopefully - I can handle, and we got it reduced by $100. Here's a pic of our new baby.

While the weather's been so absolutely nasty, I've been caught up in an Aussie TV show named "McLeod's Daughters" on Netflix. It's a rather recent Aussie show that lasted 8 seasons, and ended in 2008, and is rather a sheep/cattle station version of Dallas. I've been enjoying it for the sheep scenes, the cattle mustering scenes, and just the difference in continents and country versus city. It took 2 seasons to turn into a full-fledged soap opera.

The 2nd episode of the first season was a great sheep shearing episode. So different from the small farm shearings I've been to. They certainly didn't agonize over skirting fleeces like we've done. The episode where they sheared the alpacas for the first time had me rolling in laughter. We've done far more tying them up or throwing them on a tarp than they did for their little herd, with a lot less tenderness. On the other hand, our fiber sheep come out a ton better and with a lot less blood than those poor sheep. I cringed over the nicks and blood those poor sheep had coming out of the shearing shed. Guess there's something to be said for shearing not more than 20 sheep rather than 300. Don't have to do them in less than 3 minutes.

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