Six and Counting (a rant)


I started out with 12 tomato plants and six peppers and six flowering kale. After losing some, replacing some, and giving up the fight for awhile the last count was 3 peppers, zero kale, and six tomato plants. I forgot to mention the new raid someone (bunnies?) have made on the impatients I planted. Out of about 24 of those I planted, I've got about 10 left. Two hostas have been munched (one completely gone, one just missing limbs).

This weekend I'm going to get full assault on the enemy. I'm getting replacement plants, chicken wire, and posting Hubs out on the deck with his gun.

Just kidding… or am I?

(I updated this with the comic Michael linked to – seemed very appropriate!)

Neighbors? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Neighbors!

You just knew it was a holiday weekend without looking at the calendar. How? The neighbors.

Sunday evening. Perfect weather. Not too hot, not too cool. My youngest daughter and I had just finished the day-long "cemetary run" – leaving at 7 in the morning and returning home about 6 p.m. We went to four cemetaries in four different counties, the furthest being down in the southeast part of the state about 10 miles from the Missouri state line. I was tired and looking forward to a short nap in the perfect temperature… just a breeze blowing through the open window… wafting in the sounds of… screaming? Wha? I lay in bed for a few minutes trying to figure out what I was hearing. Several voices laughing and yelling  – some of them kid voices screeching in high-pitch squeels. Adult voices there, too. I groaned to myself and debated whether it was worth getting up to shut the window. My gosh, I thought, those voices are loud! I thought they must be carrying from the neighbors across the road. We don't normally hear much from them as there is timber, a creek and a road between us and them and their house sits way back on their property. Although they have a pond and a picnic-type area (as I'm guessing by the picnic table in said area) that is closer to the road, rarely do we ever hear or see anyone in that space. I don't know these people very well except I believe their children are grown and hearing all these young voices I presumed it must be the grandchildren come to visit.


Hubs went investigating. He came in from the deck and announced there were people just south of our house wading in the creek! WTF? This was what all the racket was. To understand the logistics, the creek runs behind our house along the road, then veers further inland across the south end of where our house sits, then again turns south and runs along the edge of our field. They own, for the most part, the other side of the creek. However, it's interesting that a wee bit of a catty-corner on our side is theirs… and, when you get south by the field edge we own some on their side of the creek – practically next to their house. At any rate, they have lots of access to the creek that isn't so close to being in our back yard… that never seems to matter to them, tho.

Hubs and I couldn't resist… we walked out there to see what all the racket was about. When he asked the guy what was going on, he just said they were "walking". okay….   "We're just walking in the creek"…. uh huh…  "We're with Rednecks*"…  that explains a lot.  It doesn't explain why you're letting your small children play in a rain-swollen creek, but it does explain why you are HERE…technically on OUR PROPERTY… grrrrr. We were nice. We kept our mouths shut. Interestingly enough, as we were walking back to the house they drifted back to the neighbors.

Lest you think that was the end of the holiday celebrations… yes, you guessed it… they started shooting their guns about 8 o'clock and were still at it when I went to sleep at 10:30….'cause you know, nothing says "honor your veterans" like shooting clay pigeons.

*name of neighbors has been changed to relect personality traits. Not to insult rednecks. I know some rednecks and they're nice people. I just couldn't name them the Assholes, as I'd like to.

Noah and The Critters

Doesn't exactly feel like we should be building the ark yet, but wow… we got almost 3" of rain from Wednesday night to Thursday night. Some parts of the state had over 7"! (I'm sorry to rub it in for those of you suffering from drought – been there, done that). Today is to be a dry one, then more rain over the weekend. So glad Hubs got the planting done!! I thought of Noah this morning when I recalled Hubs' and my conversation the other night about all the wild things we have in our yard or nearby vicinity. The deer, squirrels and bunnies have been mentioned (yes, I'm still losing plants, no I don't know why, yes, I've done all the recommended remedies except the fence). We also have neighbors with a small pond as well as the creek that runs right behind out house. The creek has had quite a bit of water in it this spring – some years it dries up pretty good. It just isn't that big of a creek. At any rate, our neighbors have some geese that stick around and they come over to our field. We see blue heron flying around some days, too. They look absolutely huge!

Pheasants are thick right now and Hubs has gotten an area near our driveway that he bush-hogged a few times when we first moved to knock down the "bad" stuff and now it's growing up to good cover for the wildlife. Most days when I go to work I see at least one male and two or three female pheasants somewhere in the area.

We still have one chipmunk (I killed the other one accidentally by leaving a pail of water out that he/she fell into). Guess he/she doesn't hold it against me for that little piece of tragedy. We also have had some of the most gorgeous birds coming around the feeders – ones I thought I'd never see. Indigo buntings, Baltimore orioles, goldfinches, housefinches, and the every present blue jays and cardinals (Hubs even said he saw a hummingbird the other day). Makes for some fun birdwatching for the cats.

When we were building the house we saw huge paw-prints in the snow that were way too big to be a housecat and were not dog prints. We have heard rumors that there have been some mountain lions/cougars in the state and it wouldn't have surprised me a bit to think that was what it was. We also have other preditory animals – hawks and eagles have been sighted as well as a coyote that our builder saw in the yard one day. With all the timber, the creek, and the fields full of corn it makes for a pretty lush area for wild animals – even as close to town as we are.

What got me thinking of the critters this morning – and especially Noah and his "two by two"… I saw two dead foxes on the road today on the way to work, less than a mile from home. They looked like they may have been young ones and were killed a few feet from each other, so were probably traveling together. They really are beautiful animals. What a shame. 

Even if I occasionally hit a deer (or a deer hits me) I still really don't want to let someone come in and hunt them. No, I have nothing against hunting… as long as the hunter is responsible and takes care of their kill and uses the meat. I just hate the thought of scaring them all away. A few tomato plants are worth it to enjoy the wilderness that is our home… only three miles away from "civilization". 

The Lesser of Two Evils?

I've been "under the weather" again the past couple of days. It seems the new medicine I'm on for my diabetes has side effects. I guess lots of medicines have side effects. I'm not sure if this is because of the medicine, or once more my internal workings aren't working so good. I get frustrated by feeling yucky. It frustrates the rest of the household too, I'm sure. I feel like a wimp for even complaining because I know lots of other people going through many things that are much, much worse than this. It's more an annoyance than anything else. Still? I wish it would stop.

Monday Musings

Is it really Monday already?

  • For those of you who chimed in on the last post, I'll have you all know that I DID go. There were several people there, so I wandered around a bit and was amazed to find the landscaping alone was gorgeous… their house sits up on a hill and you can't see it from the road. It's an older farm house and when you get up behind it there are lots of gardens with much more than hostas. She also had a pond and a large greenhouse. (I'm so jealous…) A large lattice covered area was full of many varieties of hosta – she claims to have over 275 varieties! I didn't even know there were that many! As I was checking out she mentioned I looked familiar – I have waved at her in passing as she's been sitting at the end of the driveway waiting for the bus to pick up her kids. Yes, I introduced myself and the light-bulb went off in her eyes. At least she didn't say, "oh… YOU". 
  • No, Michael, she didn't have tomatoes, peppers or kale but I'm really frustrated right now. I picked up replacement plants and talked to the nursery about the possibility that cutworms were doing some damage – you know, plants cut off at the bottom but just laying there. I think deer or bunnies would actually eat the plants. So, I get some bug-killer-stuff to mix into the dirt. Done. I sprayed my deer/bunny repellent on. The next morning? You guessed it. Two more tomatoes cut off. I replaced them, put much more bug stuff in and waited overnight. The next morning as I was taking the dogs out, I walked around the house to see what, if any, damage was done overnight. A squirrel was in the process of DIGGING UP the tomato plant. Digging it up!! Not eating, not cutting it off, but digging. So, I replanted it and put more deer / bunny (squirrel?) repellent on the plants. This morning? Two more tomatoes cut off and my one kale that was left is cut off, too. Next step, a fence… but don't know what to do if it is cutworms. I tried the old wives tale trick of putting a wooden match next to the stalk, too (I suppose the cutworm isn't able to cut through the wood?). I tell you, the farmer's market is starting to look better and better.
  • I didn't go to the races on Saturday night because youngest daughter had to work late and I didn't want to drive after dark. He did pretty good this week, however, coming in 3 or 4 – and is starting to get the car dialed in.
  • Spent too much time doing yard work yesterday and I've got the sunburn… and the achy muscles… to prove it.
  • Have to get the house in shape. Eldest son's wedding is coming fast and although it has been decided we aren't going to have a shower for the bride-to-be (unless we have a newlywed shower afterwards) and the brunch the next morning is going to be elsewhere, I hear he wants to have the "guys" come out to the house on rehearsal day for a cookout and to hang out. This will include his father-in-law-to-be, also, as well as some other male relatives. I could have lots of people tromping through the house that day.
  • Planting got done over the weekend. Thank you to everyone who kept the rain away until we could get done. Rain predicted tomorrow night and could be heavy. Nice to have that load off our minds. Now Hubs is helping a friend try and finish his planting.
  • Anyone watching "Heroes"?

Happy Monday~~

Fighting With the Avoident Side

So, Deb tells me I'm not anti-social, I'm avoidant. Nice to know. I'm trying to make up my mind what I want to do about something that came up this morning. On my way to work I see the neighbor is having a hosta sale. This is one of the neighbors that I have not met yet (i.e. not pissed off yet). I know from a friend who does know this woman that she has a beautiful greenhouse and is a collector of different varieties of hosta plants. I like hostas, and have several of my own. So, my dilemma is this: Do I go to the sale, introduce myself and potentially open myself up to new involvements or do I just avoid it and figure I've managed to go this long without meeting her what's another missed opportunity?

I'm open to suggestions, but you'll have to hurry. I get off work at noon.

Aggrevations – How Many Fingers Do I Have (a rant)

The true name for this post should be "Pissed Off". A couple of things are bugging me right now and I'm here to get them off my chest… 'cause, you know, I can. (In no particular order.) I promise to stop when I run out of fingers… for now.

  1. Nicole had a nice rant the other day about Butterball Turkey and customer service. I am here to provide similar grumblings about the 7-up company. I am diabetic. I still like to drink pop. I drink diet pop. However, I'm a bit odd in that I appear to have some allergy or aversion to Aspertame or other 'fake' sweeteners – except Splenda. That's the only one that doesn't give me a migraine within 30 minutes of consuming it. I read labels carefully when looking at low-sugar or sugar free products to make sure they are made with Splenda. (You see where I'm going with this, I'm sure…) Over the past couple of years there has been a big increase in the number of products that are using Splenda. I was thrilled when diet 7-up switched to using it – I've always liked 7-up – and it's rather a staple. My earliest memories of upset tummies always included saltine crackers and 7-up. Also, because it is caffiene free it was a nice bubbly beverage to have at bedtime. Well… I don't know why because they won't tell me, but they have gone back to aspertame. They certainly didn't ask me first! They came out with this new advertising about how they were "all natural" and "new formula" and all that crap… and it looks to me like they sold out and went back to the old formula with new packaging. As rarely as I contact any type of customer feedback (because how many lists is that gonna get me on?) I felt obliged to let them know they screwed up. Yes, I did it properly and calmly and didn't use one profanity, although you just know I was wanting to. A couple weeks go by and I get this email response – "Thank you for your comments. We will pass it on to our marketing department." Yeah. I'll bet they'll find a cozy place for it right in their circular file.
  2. I've left Blogger, but they haven't left me. Why is it on some Blogger sites I have to sign in with my Blogger account. I know, I know, it's because the people who have the blog have set it up for no anonymous commenters. Still. I should be able to have a choice then between Blogger sign-in or Other. I hate to have to sign in with Blogger where, if they want to come see mine they have to click through the old site first. Shouldn't things be easy?
  3. How could they (AI) get rid of Melinda?
  4. Why can't I walk out of a bad movie? Do I really think it is going to get better? (Save your money. Don't go to Spiderman 3. Or anything with Steven Segal.)
  5. If you read the note on my office door it asks you to please NOT put food-type garbage (aka lunch trash) in the garbage cans within my actual desk space. Yes, I have an actual office – with a door and a window – but the door never closes and window is just a picture window into the next office that has a window into the next office which eventually you can look outside another window. However, no windows can be opened in my space so no fresh air comes into my space except through the door which is back in the corner and is not air-flow friendly. I share this space with a large, ex-college football player who is single and wears the smelliest shoes on the planet. Seriously. So… in an attempt to at least try and make my work space livable, I have requested the rotting food items be placed in the outer office where there is fresh air circulation and where the garbage can fills up quickly and is emptied quickly. Today my office stinks. Badly. Under investigation I've found a number of violations of my request. Thanks, guys.
  6. You are a slob. You've admitted you're a slob. So on your day off when you're bored, you couldn't maybe clean up the dirty dishes instead of baking (not-sugar-free) cookies making more? I asked if you were going to maybe do the dishes. I got a non-committal answer. Not that I'm OCD or anything, but I do like to see the countertop from time-to-time and enjoy having a clean workspace to fix supper and lunches to deliver to the field. Because I had no clue when you were getting off the phone and doing said dishes, I did them. Yes, I'm an enabler. I can live with that. BUT…then did you have to make MORE? I mean, c'mon. Really. A little help here would be nice. (I see the eye-rolling and the looking at the calendar – counting the days until you are moving out into your own place where you can make your own messes and the maid no one will be around to clean up after you OR to whine or bitch at how long the dishes sit where they are left.)
  7. When I buy tobacco products for my husband, I would appreciate it if you would not look at me with that "got us another one, Mabel" trailer-trash glare. It is not for me. I will gladly tell you it's not for me, but it really isn't any of your business.
  8. Four weeks ago I contacted you, Mr. Internet Guy. I was excited because your company finally had service that I'd been promised they would have three years ago when we moved into our new house. After waiting about six months for your company to come through, I gave up and went with plan B. Now your company has the service. They've been advertising it and it is to be FASTER! and CHEAPER! and BETTER! (Yes, that is just the way I see those words in my mind. Shaddup.) So I call you. You tell me it is pretty new and you have to take classes on installation. Two weeks, you say. Two weeks later (for those of you playing along, that would be two weeks AGO) I call you again and you tell me you've completed part of the process but another bit needs to be done and it will be no longer than two weeks more. Do I call you? Do I wait? Is hell freezing over anytime soon? Gah.
  9. Last night after work I came home to water the gardens and realized I was missing two tomato plants, a green pepper plant and three flowering kale. This morning there were two more tomato plants gone and two more kale missing. a.) A deer? b.) Bunnies? C.) Crotchety old lady neighbor? This garden is two feet from my 50-lb beagle's pen. Good watch dog, is he. Guess I'm going to have to get some chickenwire to put around it. That might take care of a. or b.  If it turns out to be c. I'm turning Hubs loose with the shotgun.
  10. …and just because I have one finger left (I'll leave it to you to decide which finger this should be…) I seem to have lost some people when I came over from Blogger. Is it that big of a problem to jump that link from the old site to this one? Isn't this one much better to read? Isn't it more user friendly? (Except for stats which poor Brad has to put back on everytime I change templates… *hint*) I realize it doesn't have quite as much "stuff" over there – I lost my moon phases (trust me, I know when there is a full moon, don't need the i-net to tell me) and the weather girl (yeah, I can figure that part out myself, too) – but really, you get way more content. Right? RIGHT? C'mon, lurkers… let's hear it from the peanut gallery!

That's it. I'm out of fingers. Won't go so far as to count the toes. Will save those for another day. Thanks for coming by… you know who you are.