Independence Days Week XII


We are more than halfway through July already!  What happened to this month?  It seems to me I went from the fourth to today in a blur of motion.  Yesterday Mr. Tin Foil went to mingle with the Frogs in Montreal; he’s teaching a class that is down to one student (the other cancelled at the very last minute) but it pays the same for one or many.  I say Frogs because there is a historical antipathy to French Canadians on my part, I lived in the Upper Peninsula growing up and we got lots of very snooty, very rude French Canadians in our neck of the woods every summer.  I’m sure they’re wonderful people, I have just never met any of them.  🙂

Plant something:  sweet corn; the Cocopah just didn’t germinate well at all.  Bush beans in the dead nasturtium spot.  Pole beans with the corn that did come up.

Harvest something:  armenian cucumbers, the first two pickling cucumbers, bianchi eggplants, japanese eggplant, tomatoes. About 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes.  The blue potatoes rotted in the ground.  What a terrible smell!   3 more pounds of green chiles roasted and frozen.

Preserve something:  5 lbs cucumbers fermenting for dill pickles, 4 lbs (6 pints) of bread and butter pickles, 3 gallons of sweet corn blanched and frozen (the local grocery had corn on sale at 5 ears for a dollar).

Eat the food:  cucumber and tomato salad, baba ganoush, red potatoes.  Swiss chard omelette with morel jack cheese Mr. Tin Foil brought back from Madison when he was there teaching.  Yum.

Javelina tore down a section of fence and got into the garden.  Devastation!  They ate about half my cantaloupe, my only really big trombocino squash, the little zucchini, and some of the cucumbers.  They dug up some of my sweet potato slips and killed them.  I want night vision goggles and a silencer I’m telling you!

The new cooler FINALLY arrived.  Mr. Tin Foil was out of town so it had to wait until he got back for installation.  Now THERE’S a recipe for marital bliss…an overtired grumpy wife, a sunny humid day with a heat advisory, and a spouse who isn’t into reading the manual because he doesn’t want to do it anyway (well, honestly neither of us did but it had to be done).  Several hours, two drops out of a six foot window, multiple arguments, oops holes in the window sill, and some new fittings later, it worked great.  Naturally it’s humid in here now, but it works fantastically well, cools the whole house.  Then, yesterday when I was watering, I accidentally turned off the main valve to the hose bib instead of the diverter valve to the hose…oops.  Two hours later I was roasting and realized what I had done.  The cooler was completely dry!  I turned the water back on and it still seems to be working fine, so I don’t think I burned up the motor (thankfully).

I ordered the carding cloth for my drum carder, so I can finally get some serious carding of all the wool I have in storage done.  The hand carders really hurt my arthritic elbows so this will be a godsend.  Even with buying new cloth it is still about $200 cheaper than the cheapest drum carder I could find so it’s a good deal, plus if the wool never gets carded it’ll never get spun so that makes it an even more important deal.

I think I am going to take the pay hit and move to days if I am able to.  I am realizing that one of the main differences between ‘gardener’ and ‘farmer’ is that gardening is a great hobby.  Farming is a job.  I definitely fall into the job category; I like doing it but it’s really getting tiring at this part of the year.  Not getting home at 2 am, and up at 8 to water will be much better.  Yes, there are serious down sides — the money is a big one, but so is not seeing the people I really enjoy on night shift, and being there during the admin hours is also another big downside.  I have some things up my sleeve to make up for the pay cut.  But the biggest upside is that I will be on regular day hours, and sleeping in on my days off will basically mean sleeping until 8am.  I’m not saving any hours, I’m just resetting my internal clock for the hours that the rest of my life runs on.  You know, the farmer life.

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2 responses

  1. Oh, javalenas! I so miss those strange beasts!

    I laughed at your description of martial bliss and putting something together. I can so relate!

    When I lived in Tucson, I only ever had a swamp cooler and never minded. I also never used my furnace (and laughed when folks would put on a their heavy coats!)

    I miss Arizona!

  2. Have you ever wondered how much stuff they have to edit out of those DIY shows where it’s a husband and wife team doing the renovating? I figure they could have a whole other reality show probably.

    I read recently that in the 30’s and 40’s people would set up a ‘trap’ so to speak for the javelina; they would put really enticing food inside a pen and then trap the javelina in the pen. 30 days later, after they’d been getting livestock feed and didn’t taste all gamey any more, they would butcher them. If only that were possible today.

    Mr. Tin Foil was truly against the idea of the swamp cooler but when he heard the richness of the sound coming out of his guitar thanks to some needed moisture in the wood he was sold.

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