Chapter 1: It’s A Grasshopper Invasion and The Havoc They Have Caused!
Remember last post I mentioned grasshoppers towards the end, well they are still around. I walk around to do my watering and they scurry, hop, jump or fly in front of me. I will be turning on the water faucet for the hose and there are at least 6 beady little eyes watching and staring at me. They just creep me out. Oh, would you like to see me throw an hysterical, jumping, dancing around fit? Just let one of those creepy hoppers land on me. I can’t stand their grabby pokey legs gripping onto me. No, grasshoppers do NOT fall into my cute, cool creepy crawlers column!
They caused lots of damage to the vegetation. I didn’t think any of my peppers would survive the onslaught. David’s okra didn’t fair much better. The irises in the southeast corner of the shed bed were chewed to the ground. There was a bachelor button and a couple of other flowers in the same corner that didn’t even get to bloom before they were turned into leafless sticks. That flowery plant that I thought was a carrot plant gone wild ( I pulled it early in September expecting a mutated jumbo carrot. There was just a regular type root. I was bummed, I wanted a giant mutated carrot! 😦 ) was stripped down to a clump of sticks. My gladiolus had trouble with the wet spring so only about eight came up. One was swelling to produce a cane but the hoppers ate it before it even got above the leaves. Even the marigolds were nibbled upon. They are usually a big bushy leafy plant with lots of blooms.
All flowers were not doomed to be eaten. If they were low to the ground or hidden among the grass and weeds they got a chance to bloom.
Well by the end of August the hoppers seemed to have run their course. The peppers and the okras still had a few leaves so they started to make a come back. They put on new leaves and began to flower. The okra even started to produce fruit. So all through September we kept them watered and hoped the weather would stay nice a little longer.
September also had a few surprise late bloomers that waited for the hoppers to be gone. The zinnias were planted a couple of years ago but didn’t come up. I could have raked them closer to the surface this year. The hollyhocks were a total surprise. They must have been in the box of wildflower seeds that were suppose to be suited for humming birds that I planted this year.
Alas it was not meant to be. We had a freezing night on October 7th that put an end to any hope of peppers or okra.
The more tender flowers like the cosmos did not make it through the freeze either. A couple of petunias, the marigolds, a bachelor button, the zinnias, and the hollyhocks, and the johnny jump-up all made it for a couple more weeks until we had several freezing nights in a row. The little Johnny- Jump up was a little trooper, he just grew like crazy and was not bothered by those pesky hoppers or a freezing night or two.
Chapter 2: Crawly Critters and Cute Cats
The summer was just not for grasshoppers other crawly things could be found among the flowers and grass.
I was walking down the back steps when I saw this funnel web in the grass glimmering in the morning sunshine. It was there for several days. One day I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of the spider who made this awesome web.
Mid September I was weeding the flower bed on the west end of the house, when I came across this praying mantis. I was about to start pulling the weeds in that area when I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. I took several pics as she crawled on the weeds that I was wanting to pull. I picked her up with my outdoor walking stick and moved here to the bushes in the back yard. Then I got back to pulling the weeds.
David came in, on the afternoon of October 7th and placed this caterpillar by me as I was doing things on my laptop. Some of you may call these woolly bears. There are a couple of ole wives tales that these little fuzzy fellows can predict the weather. The one that comes to my mind is, the direction you find them crawling will predict the coming of winter. Well David just told me he was crawling in the grass by BOB. That very night we had our first night below freezing. I wonder now, what direction he was crawling?
The next afternoon when it had warmed back up to near 70 degrees. I found this praying mantis hanging out on the deck upright. She was a good size and her tummy looked pretty full. I don’t know if it was the same one I let loose in the backyard in September. They do have wings to fly so it could have been.
I was able to bring Sully out quite a bit over the summer. He really enjoys the sunshine. He likes to eat grass. When he is not eating grass he is snuggling up any patch of catnip he can find.
When I am not outside I have Little Kitty to keep me company. She perches on the DVD case and gives me the cuteness while I am doing stuff on my laptop at the kitchen table.
Even when I am outside she manages to give me the cuteness. I was doing a walk around the house to take photos. I passed her bedroom window to see her watching me. I think these photos are cool because of the reflections. That is why I called them Reflections of Little Kitty.
Chapter 3: Bathing and Covering BOB for Winter and One More Renovation Started
David decide to use one of the last nice days to work on BOB. He and Nick started on the roof applying that waterproof flex tape (As SEEN ON TV) to the cracked vent covers. David worked on sealing the leak on the outside of the loft on the passenger side. He had removed the weather stripping and sprayed foam into the gap. Then replaced the stripping after he let it dry for a few hours. He also caulked any gaps he found doing a walk around and any gaps on the roof around vents and such. Nick was put to work finishing up the bath that was started in the spring. This time he did the front of the loft and the hood of the cab. David parked the Ranger in close to BOB so Nick would have a platform to stand on because David was using the ladder to caulk the gaps on the roof.
The next afternoon was spent tying down a 24 x 12 foot tarp to cover BOB’s roof for the winter. We should have been doing this every winter then maybe BOB would not have gotten so many leaks in his roof.
Before the weather got to cold David decided to go ahead and tear out the bathroom sink/vanity. He wants to put a large sink with more shelving under it. He wants the larger sink for cleaning fish.
Chapter 4: Old Things Become New
We had this old ratty brass chair. It was in need of a new covering. I had this old flowery flannel fitted sheet that was thin in the middle but the edges were still in good shape. I thought it would make a good cover for the chair. I removed the back from the brass bars. I didn’t remove the old cover because the back was made from cardboard that seemed like it was broken. I cut a piece of the sheet to fit around the back. I used a staple gun to fix the sheet to the back. I left one end open. I stuffed the curve of the back with polyester fiber from an old sleeping bag that had worn thin. I stapled the opening then screwed the back on to the brass bars again.
The seat of the chair became a family project. I was going to do the same with it as the back. When I got the seat removed from the brass bars I saw that it was made of particle board the was rotten and falling apart. I would not be able to put screws back in it to attach it to the bars as it was the seat was only being held in place by three screws. This is where the boys come in on the project. I needed a new seat. David does not like it when I use a hammer let alone a skill saw. So we searched the wood scrap pile and found a suitable board to cut down to size for a seat. David and Nick worked together doing that and drilling starter holes for the screws. I cut a piece of sheet to fit the new seat. The old foam cushion was rotting and becoming dust so I used polyester fiber from the sleeping bag again to cushion the seat. Nick helped keep the sheet tight over the new seat while I stapled it to the board. David was looking in the hardware coffee cans for new suitable screws while we did the stapling. David and Nick worked together holding the seat to the brass bars and screwing it back together. TA DA! We have a new chair!
The next old thing that became new was not as much work. A friend, of my son-in-law Justin, asked him if he knew anyone that needed a loveseat and couch. Justin said that he probably could use them. He and Kay had been looking for a loveseat for awhile. If Justin came over and hauled them away he could have them for free. So he did just that. They were able to get the loveseat into their house. The couch was to big and bulky to make it through their small awkward porch/entryway into the living room. David stopped by their house the next day, Kay asked if we would like that couch outside. David didn’t even see it when he came in. So he went back outside to take a look. He said sure, our current couch’s cushions had seen better days. So when Justin got off work that evening he brought it out. TA DA! We have a new couch!
Chapter 5: Slowly Crocheting Through Summer
I did crochet some this summer. It was another thing I just didn’t feel like doing. The heat really had nothing to do with it. I could have crocheted small things that would not be laying across my lap making me overheat.
I spent most of my time crocheting granny squares. They were finally seamed together in August to become my Psychedelic Granny Square Sweater. I got the idea to make myself one when I was making the baby sweaters. I wanted mine to be a bit longer more like a jacket. I think it turned out pretty good. A little story about my sweater jacket. I was traveling back east with my oldest brother. We stopped at a convenience store for a bathroom break and to get snacks. I was walking back to the car when a gentleman said he really liked my jacket. I said thanks I made it myself. He said his wife would like one. I said I was not local. He said neither was he. I really wished then that I had some business cards made up. I could have given him one and he could have contacted me with info to make his wife one. Then after I had been home for a few days a thought just popped into my head. I could have just sold mine to him right off my back.
I worked on this “Making and Joining Squares Project Afghan”. I joined larger squares, smaller squares, and triangles, to form rectangles. One section is just one large rectangle. The last section is four small rectangles to form a large rectangle. I am running short on yarn so I had to put this project in hibernation.
I had a bit of skein and another full skein of this Herrshcners “baby yarn” variegated yarn. It is on its way to becoming a baby blanket with some pink and purple thrown into the mix. I started with two granny squares that I seamed together to form the rectangle. I am now playing with adding some more squares at each end then continuing in the rectangle.
I was finally getting tired of crocheting squares and rectangles so I decided to make some different things. I have a bunch of Christmas sparkley yarn so I crocheted a chevron beanie. I am also doing a chevron scarf using the Christmas yarns. I had bit of scrap Caron “simply soft” yarn so this double crochet beanie was done up in no time.
I had some pink Herrshcners “kid’s brite ” 3ply yarn just sitting there along with some pink Caron “simply soft” yarn. I don’t have a pink beanie so I made myself this simple hat.
I have started another beanie with the above yarns using the leaping blocks and stripes pattern.
I think that covers the crocheting chapter.
Chapter 6: Plans They Keep A Changin’
The reason we have been working on BOB so much this year was so we could do some long term traveling.
Plan 1- Head to the gulf coast of Texas in November.
Reasons for abandoning this plan were BOB was not going to be ready to go, funds were getting low, and while researching destinations in Texas, David saw that there has been an increase in violent crimes in the state.
Plan 2– Go to Washington where you can get paid to fish in April of 2020.
David was wondering if there was anywhere you could get paid to fish without being a commercial fisherman with a boat. So he Googled it. You can get paid in Washington State to catch one species of fish called the pike minnow. They pay you to catch them because the fish is eating all the baby salmon before they can swim up river back to the ocean.
Reasons for abandoning this plan were no one seemed to be really thrilled with the idea, since David wanted to be gone for 6 to 8 months. He also got to thinking that maybe we are not in quite good enough health yet for a long trip into the boonies of Washington.
Plan 3– Travel around Nebraska from April 2020 – October 2020
This plan seems like it will stick. We are familiar with our home state. We know the roads. We have people we can visit. If some kind of emergency comes up we are closer to home.
We are planning to travel from fishing spot to fishing spot. Some will be familiar to us some will be new. I have lived most of my life in Nebraska, but there are things I have not seen. We think we will head south first then head east. When we have gone as far east as we want we well head back west. Then do a little jaunt near the northern border. Then finally back south to the old homestead. Of course none of this is set in stone. We will probably play a lot of it by ear, taking it at a relaxing pace.