Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Journal: Wednesday, 6/17/09

Tuesday, 6/16/09:

Rain:  A brief mid-morning shower dropped .2" of rain.  Skies were mostly clear again by noon.

Waffles:  Made a big patch of waffles for Jo.  We freeze them and then she pops them in the toaster oven to warm for her breakfast.

Plate by Jo, waffle by me, fried egg by Jo and fresh blackberries courtesy of Mother Nature.  And, how fresh were the blackberries?  Jo picked them on her morning walk taken right before she fixed her breakfast.

Late Afternoon:  A little mowing and working on reclaiming another garden bed from the weeds.

Weather:  High = 85ºF/30ºC.  Low =  68ºF/20ºC.  Mostly clear except for that mid-morning thundershower. Surprisingly, the shower helped keep our temperature down a bit.  Since it occurred so early in the day, I figured it would help create and afternoon steam bath, but that didn't happen.

Wednesday. 6/17/09: 

Exciting Event of the Day:  A cow ambled through the yard.  Okay, I didn't really think the wandering bovine was all that exciting, but the dogs certainly did.  A strange beast was in their yard and needed to be chased out, but Rusty and Bucket were trapped inside the house.  (Thank goodness.)  Much barking ensured, noisy but harmless.

The cow meandered up the road and about an hour later she returned.  I think it was an all too typical case of a cow being smart enough to escape from a fenced pasture, but not being smart enough to find her way back inside when she suddenly remember she'd left a calf inside.  Later, I heard the cow and calf bellowing back and forth.  I think they were eventually reunited.  Wheather they were both inside or outside the fence I do not know.

Hanging Baskets:  Back in the early winter before life took a major turn toward the totally disrupted with January's major ice storm, Jo decided to make herself some pottery hanging backet planter pots.  Now that she's finally gotten to the point of needing to fill and hang those planters, she encountered a problem.  She'd intended to hang the pots using large loop swag lamp chain -- just open a loop, slip it through one of the holes in the pot's rim and reclose the loop.  Simple, except she'd put a lip on the rim that was too wide.  A loop of swag lamp chair would not close around it.  The job of fabricating some type of hanger fell to me.  I ended up making wire-type hangers like those that are commercially available.  They're neither elegant nor creative, but get the job done.  We decided the hanger in the photo was too long, so I made the next two shorter.  That one can easily be shortened with a pair of side-cutters.

Mowing and Gardening:  Barring inclement weather, those two activities are a permanent feature of my late afternoons.

Weather:   High = 92ºF/33ºC.  Low =  75ºF/24ºC.  Mostly clear skies.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Journal: Monday, 6/15/09

Propane:  I got our 40# propane bottle filled when I went into town last Friday.  Since then, whenever the temperature climbs, the bottle vents propane through the relief valve.  I don't know if the problem is that it was filled on a rainy and much cooler day, the bottle was overfilled, the relief valve spring is getting weak, or some combination of the three.  With the bottle sitting on the front porch in the shade, it tends to fill the house with propane whenever gas escapes.

The cabbage in our garden is beginning to form heads.

I don't think the concentration of propane is high enough for an explosion, but it stinks.  I've taken the bottle out in the yard and opened the valve a couple of times, but it still keeps building up enough pressure to open the relief valve.  (The cost of filling a 40# bottle is up to $29.00 + tax these days.)

Phoebe:  The phoebe is sitting on her nest under the eaves of our porch again.  This is her second clutch of eggs this summer.  Her first brood fledged a couple of weeks ago.  I hope this brood survives.  Her nest is only about six inches below or porch roof.  Now that we are heading into full summer, it gets awfully hot up there.

Garden:  Jo and I worked on weeding beds.  Seems like getting the overgrown weeds and grasses out of our garden beds could be a full time occupation for us.  That's the price we pay for getting so far behind.  I finished edging a bed Jo already weeded  and Jo got all the weeds out of another bed.  Slowly but surely progress is being made.

A couple of broccoli heads are ready for harvesting.

Weather:  High = 90ºF/32ºC.  Low =  75ºF/24ºC.  Partly cloudy and humid.  A moderate south wind helped a little with cooling while we worked outside.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Journal: Sunday, 6/14/09

The flower bed out in front of our house on a drizzly Sunday afternoon in June. The Purple Coneflowers we planted vie for the eyes' attention with the Black-eyed Susans growing at the edge of the woods.

Our skies were overcast most all day. Our weather forecast said we could expect thunderstorms during the afternoon, but they never materialized. In fact, we got very little rain -- only .2" falling in several light, brief showers. For a while during the middle of the afternoon, our skies made a valiant effort at clearing, but then quickly clouded back up. The clearing was a nice gesture for our PM walk nonetheless.

Jo worked over in her studio. I got a few mundane household chores accomplished, but since we couldn't work outside during the late afternoon, I laid down and took a couple of hours worth of nap. There are at least a couple of dozen projects I should have worked on instead of sleeping that long.


Journal: Saturday, 6/13/09

Week In Review:

Home from art fair in Columbia. Got the van totally unloaded.

Set up part of the canopy frame and dried the canopy side panels. We had a little rain Sunday morning at the show. The canopy tops got dry during the afternoon, but we'd rolled up the side panels to open open our booths for sales. Being rolled up, it was impossible for them to dry. They dried quickly hung up in the heat and breeze here at home.

Jo harvested a huge head of broccoli from the garden.

We finished weeding another bed out in the garden. Jo set out some tomato and pepper transplants she'd purchased. Normally, we have about three beds devoted to tomatoes and peppers, but are cutting back this year, mainly because of our late start but also because we produce more tomatoes and peppers than we need. We still have tomato sauce and frozen peppers from last year.

Jo set up cages around the peppers and tomatoes. Then, I installed the fence posts that support the cages. The hardest part was getting them out of the ground from last year's location.

We began cleaning up another garden bed. Pulling a few weeds from a bed is one thing, but we are removing waist high grasses that have deep roots. It's slow going.
Friday I made a trip into town. This was a fairly quick and easy town run. Mainly I needed to get the checks from our last show into the bank and return the books on tape to the library before they were past due. A thunderstorm moved through while I was at the library -- high wind and heavy rain, but small and moved through quickly. Instead of getting drenched, I just spent a little time on one of the library's computers.

Our weather has been very unsettled this week. I've lost count of how many little thundershowers we've experienced. All have been small and not too severe. We've only gotten maybe an 1.5" of rain out of them. We still are not out of the unsettle weather cycle. When we weren't experiencing a thundershower, it's been hot and humid.

Friday was the end of our television reception. We went from being able to receive one fuzzy analog signal (Arkansas Educational TV) to receiving no digital signals. On Saturday I mounted our antenna on a short mast and crawled up onto the roof's peak with it. We did three scans with the antenna oriented in different directions, but the digital converter could pick up no signal.