I Have Gone A Little Old School For This Post

What We Did Over Summer Vacation

I know I said I was going to post from the library, but with getting photos ready and I tend to go on abit, I would be sitting there for hours. I would feel like any minute they would kick me off so someone else could get on. I just would not feel comfortable. I would feel rushed and my post would not be up to my satisfaction.

That being said, I am now typing this at home on my son’s computer in word pad so I can save to a gigistick and then copy paste into WordPress at a later time.
Oh, did I mention this is going to be a long post with lots of photos and several galleries? 😀 I guess I just did.
Ok, so let’s get this post started.

A new developement this summer was that my daughter, Kay rejoined the workforce. She is now waitressing at a major food franchise Monday thru Friday. So I am now babysitting my grandson, Martin(we call him Marty). I watch him 3 days at my house and 2 days at his house. He keeps this Grandma and Grandpa( Marty calls him, Papa) on their toes.

Next up is gardening and yardwork. I have been calling it Yardening. I don’t know what type of project I will be doing for sure when I step outside for the day.

Yardening In 2017

Gardening has been a bit strange this year the weather has been a bit cool and wet at times. So things seem to be growing at a slower pace. We have had our hot spells too, but they have only lasted 2 or 3 days, then back to cool and wet. The cool wet days were great for the June barer strawberries.

They produced many a nice sized berries so I was able to freeze a quart size bag, before everyone at them all fresh.
This is how I freeze them. I cut them in to pieces, place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then take them out and put them in a quart bag. This was done over several pickings to fill the bag. I had an assistant on this day.

I was having troubles getting pepper seedlings to stay alive or even sprout at all. Part of that, I think is I started to many too soon. I did not have enough pots to transfer them to, while I waited for the outside temps to warm up. The package also says that the seedlings should have at least 5 leaves before you transplant them outside. Thus the shortage of pots after they started to outgrow the starter peat pads.

Close up of the sprouted sweet peppers.

I need more of these size pots like I started the moonflowers in. Since I was having so much trouble with the peppers, David bought some from the nursery when he got his tomato plants. He bought 8 plants of a variety called Big Bertha for the peppers and 4 plants of the Big Beef variety for the tomatoes.

I was able to get some of the seedlings transplanted into these sized pots and my long rectangle flower pot and eventually out in to their garden spot( 17of my seedlings and the 8 Big Berthas, one of the Big Berthas did not make it) among the strawberries or into the flower beds on the south side of the house(14 seedlings, two did not make it).

Speaking of the moonflowers, they were a challenge also. They got to a nice size in their pots and the weather had warmed up so I figured it was time to transplant them outside. Of the 6 seeds I started only three made it this far. They are the large leaf seedlings in the photo. The other seedlings are some peppers. I planted one by Rocky Raccoon, one by the deer skull in the south bedroom window flower bed , and the last one in the corner of the new bed under the west bedroom flower bed, more on the building of that bed later.

All of these soon died. I did not keep them watered. They were the only things planted at the time, so I tended to forget about them. After the voulenteer marigolds started coming up and I had planted other seeds, I decided to give the moonflowers another try. This time I just planted the seeds directly into the bed. They are doing much better, but I still don’t think I will see a flower before the first frost. I think I still have some seeds to try again next year.

I mentioned above that I made a new flower bed under my west bedroom window. I had been thinking of putting one there for a few years. I finally got around to it. I gathererd rocks and old concrete chunks, that have just been laying about the yard doing nothing useful, the shovel, the rake and set to work.

David also made a new flower bed/garden spot. He needed to dig out the east side of the shed to replace one of the lower walls that had rotted out. There was alot of dirt to be moved so David had Nick assist with the project. The dirt in question was the old compost pile alot of this was used on the south side of the shed to level it out and provide good soil for the bed.

Now that the compost pile was cleaned up and moved, David was able to make two new squash hills.

The iris bulbs that I had tossed on the compost pile a few years ago continued to grow, so David moved them to the corner of the bed. I then planted eight of my pepper seedlings and marigold seeds around them.

All did well. As you can see in the last photo the weeds did well too. They got way ahead of me. I had weeded it twice though before they did.

Another little project I did was to clean up underneath the back steps. I moved a bottle of windshield cleaning fluid, a floor jack, a plastic bin lid, four windows, and an oil pan to the shed. It was alot easier to find a place for it all as David had been cleaning it up over the late spring months.
I thought it would be a simple task, but nooooo!! It turned into an earth moving and an eviction. All I wanted to do was move that oil pan to the shed. It was stuck it would not budge. So I crawled under the steps to see what the deal was. There was a big pile of dirt all around and under the oil pan which had wedge it under the bottom step. Well I was going to have to “dig” it out using one of David’s concrete trowels. I moved dirt aside then wiggled the pan and repeated, until I was finally able to lift the pan enough to move dirt from under it. I then was able to scoot it from under the step and lift it fully up, as I did this all the dirt from inside fell out. I also dislodge something in the pan that started to move. It startled me, but it was just a toad. 😀
I had just evicted him! He hopped off to the side and watched as I finished demolishing his home. Then he hopped over by the water spout and hose to worry about being a homeless toad. I finished leveling out all that dirt and sloping it so it would drain when it rained instead of puddling under the steps. I then spread some grass seed under and around the steps.

I felt bad about making the toad homeless. Then I remember David and Nick said there was one living under the storage area under the deck. So I rehomed my toadie friend there. He got a new home plus a neighbor. 😀

My most recent project was to clean the deck and paint its stairs. It was a beautiful morning to do this project. Plenty of sunshine and a light breeze to move the paint fumes away. I only had a bit of the original February Gold from when we painted it in 2007, so I knew I would have to do some of them in white. The white paint was some we got when David’s brother cleaned out their sister’s home after she passed away. There were two different gallons of white exterior paint neither had been opened but the rims were a bit rusted. I opened the first can only to find a watery solution on top of a thick glob of latex that I could not stir into any form of being paint. I opened the second can it also had a water solution on top, but the latex was still liquid. Yippee, I was able to stir this into paint! I was going to paint every other step white, but this paint said not to use it on foot traffic areas as it was semi-gloss.
So I painted all the steps gold. I took a lunch break at around 12:30 pm. I finished the steps around 1:30 pm. I still had enough gold left to paint the top of the railing that went around the edges of the deck. It was pretty hot by now and it was starting to get smokey out.

I finished that up, then with white, I repainted the door frame, that had started to peel. David had not painted the sides last fall when he installed it as the wood was prepainted. I guess it just could not handle winter. I next I painted the lower half of the siding to the right of the door. After that I got out the broom, started moving things, and began sweeping off the deck. As I moved each thing and swept, I painted the east rail and the facing support beams white. By the time I finished at around 3:30 pm the smoke out was really thick. David had come out earlier and told me that the smoke was coming from four fires around Billiings, Montana. The smoke is still in the air this morning as I type this but not as thick and it is much cooler today.

 

I knew I would not be able to post so I took a few walk around photo shoots to show the progress of the gardens. I have lots of flower photos so they have their own gallery for each month that they were blooming.

MAY’S WALK AROUND

JUNE’S WALK AROUND
insert photos 94-113

JULY’S WALK AROUND
looking from above photos 183- 186

If you are wondering what is up with the summer squash plant in photos 129 and 130, this is due to another problem we have trying to grow a garden. GOPHERS!!! He tunneled right under the plant. First he ate the root’s tips so the plant got all wilty, because now the roots are hanging in the roof of his tunnel the water does not go to the root when we water. We think the plant is ok when it does perk back up for a short time. The next morning this is what we found, he had pulled the whole plant down into his tunnel! I guess he is trying to fill his larder for winter too!
So this is the reason for the new planting strateogy in photo 131. David made large mounds and placed a coffee can in the middle. I put potting soil inside the can and planted the seeds. This proved to be more successful(see photo 170).

July’s Flowers

marigolds

alyssum

petunia

coleus, shadows were a bit funky
first cosmos
first gladiolus cane
The first gladiolus cane was soon joined by a second. They were both a lovely yellow. I brought them inside and with a few other flowers I made this arrangement to enjoy.

AUGUST’S FLOWERS
I did not do a walk around in August, but I took lots of flower photos.
marigolds

petunias
cosmos

zinnias

Gladiolius

    harvested big bertha peppers

Other happenings in August included these turkeys taking a strut through the butternut squash patch.

The biggest happening was the total solar eclipse. We were not in the path of totality, we would have had to drive 45 miles to view that. Judging from the traffic headed south a lot of people were doing just that. We didn’t get any viewing glasses. We did notice that the shadows were looking a bit funky. I was able to snap this shot of the leaf shadows on the driveway.

September happenings included David’s 60th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary. No big celebrations for either occassion, just quiet at home celebrations with the kids.

October brought my and Marty’s Birthdays, my 50th and Marty’s 2nd.We celebrated at an indoor play area with two bouncy castles. I baked,frosted, and decorated the cake Mama bought for Marty. He requested a pink cake through and through.

November has been unseasonally warm. Thanksgiving was spent eating turkey soup and marathon watching season 6 of “Bones”. My son was at a store here where you can buy, sell or exchange video games and gaming systems this month. He saw that they had a laptop for sale. It was 100 dollars, but we got it on Black Friday for 96.75 tax included. So now we have a laptop again. WHOOO HOOOO! No internet at home yet, but at least now I can take my own to the library!

The fishing season has been a slow one too. David has managed to catch some big catfish and pike for the freezer. I have not gone as often, I was doing more yardening and then I started watching Marty 5 days a week. Here are a few photos of David’s catches. He caught 7 other catfish but these were the biggest. He caught two other pike but this is the biggest one of them.

I have continued to do crocheting during the summer. I completed one big project and a few smaller ones. I will give a detailed post on that over at Skrappy Skarves and reblog here.
Well that is all for now folks!

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A Little Bit of This and That

 

Computer Maintainance

Saturday (04/22/2017) morning I was going to get on the computer to do a few things. When I got over to it there was a note on it saying that the anti- virus program needed to be downloaded. I knew it would be ending soon. I clicked on the program button in the tray. It said it needed reactivated. Now this is Nick’s ( my son) laptop. I knew he did not want to renew the paid subscription. So the reactive choice seemed ok to do. I thought this would just revert it back to the free subscription. I pushed the reactivate choice. It loaded and of course the program needed to do a restart. I let it do that knowing I would not be doing any computer stuff. Nick has his laptop set with a password. I was not going to wake him at 8 am on a Saturday on his day off. So I had to find other things to do until he got up.

When he did get up and he put in his password.  I was concerned by reactivating it I may have actually bought the subscription again. When Nick checked the virus program it had just given a free 30 trial. So I was happy that I had not accidentally bought a subscription. 🙂 Whew!

Sully’s Saturday and a Photo Shoot

Well Sully had been begging at the door all morning. So one thing I could do was take him out for some outdoor time. I walked him around the house and then clipped him to the deck rail. He was able to eat his grass and sniff some catnip under the steps. While he was doing that I decided to take some snapshots of me modeling the new hat I finished crocheting the night before.

I did my modeling by the back of BOB. I took a few with my glasses on and some with my glasses off. The glasses off ones I am doing a whole lot of squinting. I was facing east. 🙂

 

After the photo shoot, I decided I would move some stuff out-of-the-way to get this flowerbed ready to dig.

When I took the picture I had already moved the window glass out of the bed. I then moved the lawnmower. Well after I did that I looked over at the deck. Sully was up on the deck scratching the rail support. Then he was at the door telling me that he was ready to go back in the house.

The Spring Cleaning of BOB’s Loft and Living / Dining Room

After I let Sully in I had lost my motivation to dig the flowerbed. The wind was a little chilly yet. I thought we were going to go fishing later in the afternoon. So I thought I would spend the morning cleaning up BOB. I started by taking down the curtains in the loft bed, the living/dining room and the storage area for fishing gear. I got the extension cord and the vacuum out. I vacuumed the loft bed. I put a queen sized fitted sheet over it. The curtains were now washed and dried so I began putting them back up. The loft ones are always fun. I tend to forget the low ceiling and bonk my head scooting around  to each window. The front window in the loft is on two rods, one that goes through the top of the curtain and one that goes through the bottom. I got them onto the rods and was trying to clip them to the brackets they would not connect. I had put the top rod through the wrong pocket on the curtain. So I had to take them off and rethread them through the smaller top pocket.

I then put all the extra bedding up on the loft. I stowed some other extra bedding under one of the bench seats and some extra dish towels and dishcloth. I was then able to get the sheet and pillow cases off the couch and took them in to wash. While those were going I vacuumed the couch and bench seats.

Oh, by the way when David got up at 9:30 I realized that this job was not going to be done by the afternoon. It turns out that was ok, because David told me we were not going fishing until Sunday. I guess I picked the right day to Spring Clean BOB!

I had an old sheet of plexi- glass that I broke to fit over the flow through in the storage area. I cut the extra bin lid to fit in the bottom of the storage area. I now had a neat tidy place to store all the pole holders, fishing net, fish stringer, tackle boxes, branch cutter, 3 pound hammer, flashlights and umbrellas,  and shovel. We use the branch cutter later in the season when our favorite spots start to get over grown. The hammer is for pounding the pole holders in the ground. We use the shovel to level out spots for our chairs or dig steps down the steep banks. I thought you might be wondering what we used those strange items for when we went fishing.

Now that all that was safely stored I went about putting the living/dining room curtains back up. My plan was to use some old plastic plumbing tube as curtain rods like I did for some of the other curtains. It was a fail as the windows were to long and the plumbing tube would sag down in the middle. 😦 So I had to put them up like I had them before with the rings placed over the end of the boards that use to hold the blinds.

I next vacuumed all of the carpet. I put the rug back down in front of the door and put the cooler back down on it in front of the storage area. Again, I did not get before photos as I had not planned to do this it was just a spur of the moment thing. I did get afters though.

The coach made up and the curtain up.

Update on the Moonflowers

They are opening up their leaves.

 

We Made It This Time!

No planning, just spur of the moment, throw stuff in BOB and go!

 

I am happy to report we made it over to the ponds and the 2017 Fishing Season is offically started.

 

No fish were caught, but we can at least say we have been fishing. David said that we were practicing. It was just nice to get out and enjoy the day and some nature even if the stiff breeze was a bit chilly off the pond.

 

Was not much activity from the other residents of the ponds either. I did see a few red winged black birds squawking about, a lady bug, and a couple of other sort of flying bugs. That will all change soon enough more birds, bugs and the flying biting type bugs will make an appearance.

 

Even BOB was glad to get out of the driveway for a couple of hours.

 

When we do catch fish then it will be an offically, offical start to the 2017 Fishing Season. 😀

The Fishing Trip That Wasn’t

Yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and a nice breeze was blowing up from the south. This was why we had planned to take our first fishing trip over to the ponds. We slowly started getting things ready to go at around 8:30 am. We were in no rush David wanted to get over to the ponds around noon. I got coffee made, made David some breakfast and then set about making us a lunch to take along.

Everything was going along nicely so we were all packed and ready to go a little after 11 am. We get into BOB, David turns the key and … NOTHING not even a click click click! BOB’s battery was dead!

So David gets out the extension cords, the ohm reader, and the battery charger and hooks it up to BOB. He lets it charge for about 15 minutes and tries again, well at least it clicked this time. So things are looking hopeful. He lets it charge a bit longer. Then he tests it with the ohm reader again. The battery is not holding a charge if he takes it off the charger. Now the only thing left to do is get a new battery. We have to wait for Nick to get home from work, so David can use the pickup to go back into town to get a new one.

While we wait we decide to pretend to be camping in the driveway and eat our lunch in BOB. Nick gets home just before 2 pm. David loads up the dead battery and heads to town. He gets back around 2:30 pm. He replaces the battery and the air filter housing that he had to take off to get the battery out. He gets in BOB, turns the key, and …  VRRRM VRRRRM VRRRRRRRM! Yippeee BOB is all better!

We still don’t know why his battery died. He was started up about two weeks ago when David moved him after I got done cleaning up the end of the driveway. It also was a 5 year battery that was in BOB when we bought him. We have had him for 3 years, so it could have been due.

We did not go fishing as it was already after 3pm. Also Kay and Marty came to visit. It would be rude not to stay and play with the grandson.  Fishing will just have to wait for another day.  😀

I didn’t get a photo of the new battery because David had already closed the hood.

I wasn’t going to ask him to open it again just for a photo. 🙂

A Huntin’ I Did Go, A Huntin’ I Did Go, Hi Ho The Derry O! A Huntin’ I Did Go!

( I bet you sang that, didn’t you?)

 

While out doing my spring cleaning on Sunday (03/19/2017) I saw that there were castings on the ground. Well if there were castings it must mean that the frost is out of the ground. So I will be able to start digging my flower beds to get them ready for seeds and bulbs.
David and I have both been watching the ponds itching for the ice to go out. Well it has gone. We are going to get our fishing licenses on Saturday when we go to town. You may be wondering if I am getting a fishing license why am I going on about hunting?
Well with fishing there comes a bit a hunting. You need some bait right. So when I saw those castings on the ground I knew it was just a matter of time. Yesterday it was drizzly raining on and off most of the day. Perfect conditions for an earthworm hunt! So last night with bucket and flashlight in  hand I went a huntin’!

I bagged these beauties. It was easy pickings.

I approached my first target slowly and silently. I had to be light on my feet. I reach, make the grab, and gently pull. It was barely in its hole so it came right out. Most of them were bagged this easily. I need not have been so concerned about being stealthy. They were a bit slow and sluggish as the temperature was only between 35 and 40 last night around 8:45 pm. Later in the season this will not be the case. They will be quick to retreat into their holes at the slightest change in lighting or the merest tremble of the ground from your footsteps. That is why it is best to hunt while it is raining, your footsteps are masked by the rain if you move slowly and softly.

I did not bag every one I saw as they still had some growing to do. You don’t want to deplete your supply when you have a whole fishing season ahead of you.
I didn’t even have to go around the whole yard. I went from the deck steps over to the back door steps. Most of them were right of the edge of the grass along the side of the house. There is plenty of hunting grounds so we don’t over hunt an area.

The best things about earthworm hunting it only took about 15 minutes to get this dozen and a  1/2

and  you don’t have to pay $ 3.00 for a dozen.

I just saved three dollars and some change. 🙂

It’s Thursday, So I Thought I Would Do A Throwback

This was my very first post.

A lot has changed since then

but we are still retired

and enjoying it!

_________________________________________________________________________

December 4, 2014

And So It Began

I was born with out hip sockets they were there but just cartilage. So I have had pain in one form or another because of this. I was told I would probably have early arthritis and would need hip replacement someday. I also had become overweight so that didn’t help with the pain.  I changed my diet and lost 30 pounds. I was not in pain all the time. So with this new pain-free life, I didn’t want to spend it working. So I decided to retire and begin a new adventurous retirement life. My husband was in total agreement as he had changed his diet too and was feeling better too. So what to do?

First step was to buy an RV. When you retire that is what you do right? It took us about 4 months to find the one that called out to be our RV. His name is BOB which stands for Bug Out Buggy. I wanted to call him Hank because he is a beast of an RV. He is 28 ft long and has a big engine. But BOB just fit better and has stuck.

We spent the next 6 months getting BOB road worthy. He needed some engine work. He had been sitting in a barn for sometime before we bought him. We had to replace his pip sensor. Change his oil and other routine maintenance. We also ended up doing some remodeling to the coach. We totally remodeled the bedroom and bathroom. replaced the plumbing system and removed the refrigerator, and the heating furnace.

We took it for some test runs before we went south for the winter,an overnight trip to the in-laws, a week-long trip around the panhandle of Nebraska and an overnight stay at a nearby lake.

Our trip to Arizona was supposed to be a stay for the winter, but it turned out only lasting a month as the weather turned unusually cold even down south. This when we discovered that we needed to put in a ventless blue flame heater. 🙂

So we returned to Nebraska with a better idea of what to do for our next RV adventure. We are planning to go south again but this time we are going to southeastern Oklahoma.

I will probably post some of my Facebook status of our Arizona RV adventure at a later date.

_______________________________________________________________________

One of the changes since then is we have a grandson now and want to spend lots of time with him.

He was born on my 48 th birthday, so I want to build a great bond with him before we head out on another extended journey in BoB.

We want and need to do more work on BoB’s coach

and of course you need moneys for that.

So on that front we have been staying close to home to save money.

We have been doing our garden, a few photos from last year’s.

and fishing to cut down on the grocery bill. Some of last year’s catches.

I have been crocheting trying to sell my items and some paperback books on Ebay.

David will be ramping up his urban gold mining this spring and  summer also.

The trip to Oklahoma is still on hold for now.

Whooo! Hooo! Looky, What I Caught!

at around 3 this afternoon!


Started out catching the bait fish. I had to pull him through some cattails that is why he is all fuzzy. lol Then we put him on our float pole. within just a couple of minutes a big fish was messing with it. I watched and waited. David told me to just be patient. Finally I see the float disappear just under the surface. I am repeatedly saying ” He ate it!” David says set the hook, set the hook! I give a good yank and the battle is on. I go to the left to keep him out of the cattails, I think I have him lined up to bring him through to miss them and he goes to the right. I was not fast enough to keep him out of the cattails on that side. He is hung up in them now. So David takes off his boots and socks, pulls up his pants legs, and wades out with the net to get my rascally fish. THANK YOU HUBBY! I probably would have lost him other wise. Good thing we take BOB to the pond David was able to take off his wet pants and dry off. We had to have Nick bring him some dry ones. We decided we may have to start carrying a change of clothes. lol We continued fishing. David caught himself a bait fish. He had a really good bite too, but he lost his just before the bank. He said it was about the same size as mine. We came home just a little after dark. Gets chilly once the sun is behind the ridge.

 

David’s Catfish

 

My daughter Kay, son-in-law Justin, and grandson Martin, had just stopped by the ponds to see how things were going. Then we hear David’s bell ringing like crazy. He is hollering for someone to bring the net. I take it over to the edge of the bank but it is to steep for me to get down fast enough to be of any help. So Kay gets down and I pass the net to her. She puts the net in the water sideways. David tells her to lay it flat on the bottom,  he is able to drag the fish over the net, and Kay scoops it up! Yippee team effort. David gets the fish up to BOB’s cabin door, he is trying to remove the treble hook, he asks for the needle nose pliers. I am about to hand them to him, when he says never mind the hook just fell out. The fish was only snagged behind his front fin. Good thing they got him in the net or he could have been the one that got away!

I briefly mention it in my poem, you can view the poem here.

 

 

An Inspiring Day Of Fishing

October 27, 2016

 

Fishing was very slow, so I got my camera out and kept my self busy catching photos.

I caught these photos of some young tree ents. We don’t fish this spot on the pond often, last time we  were here the trees were fully leafed out so it was hard for me to see that they were indeed tree ents.

They looked wonderful in color! I thought they would also look great in monochrome. I think I was right!

I had to get some photos of my first catch of the day. A cute little bullfrog. He was in the leaf litter near the bank. I nearly stepped on him filling the bait bucket with water. I kept him in the bucket so if my daughter and grandson stopped by I could show it to them. I released him around 5:00 pm. They stopped about an hour after I let him go.

The coots were really close to me today. They were doing alot of diving so I could not get a good photo of them.

I was watching some water bugs swimming along the bank. Eight of them would race along wiggling back and forth in a single file line. As I watched four of them broke away and began square dancing. I kid you not! The individuals would spin in a circle while spinning around with the other 3 in a circle. Then they would swim off and catch up with the others racing along the bank.  I didn’t take photos they would never have stayed in frame or focus. They were just too fast!

I was sitting on the bench thinking of all these things I have been watching when a poem started forming in my mind.

I had to get it down on paper. I would never remember it all until we got home. It was a good thing I kept Post It Notes and pens in a pouch on my chair in BOB.

You can view the poem and the rest of the photos here.