Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Gas dribble

Is it gloom and doom to think ahead, or see what comes round the bend? Maybe, maybe not. I never believe it's gloom and doom to be prepared.

Let's talk about gas. The price of gas has skyrocketed to prices we never thought we'd see...but here they are, over $4 a gallon in most places. Staggering isn't it? (funny how gas and milk always seem to run about the same!)
I've read many blogs and forums where people are having a hard time dealing with these prices They are having to give up this or that in order to be able to fill their tanks to get to work! It's kinda scary.

So let's discuss some realities. I hear a lot of people screaming 'go green' so that it will lower our prices. I have nothing against going green...I was green when green wasn't cool..not to the 'enth degree' by any means. I do small stuff that suits our lifestyle. Green is not where it's at to reduce gas prices.
Will gas prices reduce?? Ask yourself why should it? If we as a society are willing to pay for it at these rates now, why would the gas companies reduce the rate? They won't. Face that fact, gas is never going to go down to what we'd all like to see it as.

Diesel...let's talk diesel. Just who uses diesel. Companies. Shipping and Trucking companies to be more specific. They are paying out the nose to run their trucks. What do those trucks do for us?
They bring all the supplies we use. ALL of them, from concrete to groceries.
In order to recoup their loss at the tanks, what are these companies going to do? Well, raise prices that's what.
Long haul or short haul trucks will never go green. They will never go 'electric' (at least not ANYTIME soon enough), so they will continue to have to pay the enormous diesel rates at the tanks. And in turn, you will pay for it at any counter where you purchase items. So here you are now paying more for your gas to get to work, and more for the stuff that you buy!

I don't even think we've seen the total fallback on the rising gas prices yet. I know I've noticed an increase in grocery prices for sure, but I don't think it's hit us as hard as it's going to yet.

We can sell the big cars we own and buy more economical cars, sure, but we'll still end up paying for someones gas elsewhere.
Have you thought about all the places the rising costs are going to show up?
Grocery stores (the cost to get the food to the store has doubled)
Restaurants (they face the same delimas you do with the grocery prices)
Shipping (Postal/trucking rates)
Taxes (the state has to pay for gas to fix roads, run the police force, school buses, etc)
Travel (all travel from cars to planes to trains)
This is a short list, but I'm sure you get the idea. You can add to it on your own and see how the higher gas prices are going to affect you.

Here's what I've noticed at the register:
The prices on all food has gone up. Fresh food has doubled since last years crop and corn has taken a leap due to the new 'biofuels' made with corn.

At the local restaurants, prices have risen or the portions have shrunk (not that this is a bad thing necessarily)
The postal rates continue to climb, and heaven forbid if you want to ship something to another country!
Taxes haven't hit yet, but they will. The state and counties HAVE to pay for things that specifically use GAS.. police cars, school buses, road upkeep, expansion just to name a few.

It's already expensive to travel, whether you do it by plane or by car because of the gas prices. Add in the extra expense now at restaurants and any 'counter' and you'll find that this years trip to visit the grandkids costs you twice as much as it did the year before

So what can you do to reduce your final costs, because in the end, this is where it will hit our pocket book the most. The key is learning to not use the things listed above.
We can't avoid the taxes of course not.
Buy local from the farmers, or grown your own.
Learn to put up food that you grow or gather from the farmers so that you can avoid the grocery store as much as possible. BUY ON SALE
Use email and avoid small shipments of anything, double them up and send more at once.
Avoid eating out.

It may be wise to consider "how" to create your own of everything now, from food to clothes!
Learn all you can, grow things, can things, freeze things, reduce your costs as much as possible.
Lower your thermostate by 5 degrees
Don't be afraid to hang your clothes on a clothes line, your grandmother and great grandmother did it, they didn't suffer and made it! (they didn't eat at McDonalds either!)

Each individual family will have to change some, how you choose to do it is of course, up to you, or maybe it'll be up to the gas compaines!

Good luck, and may your tank always be full!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Want to see what I've been doing?

Well here it is. I started on Sunday, with just a few items (some of the blackberry jam), then on Monday and Tuesday I finished up everything else! WHEW! I'm tired.

I've canned and 'put up', blackberries (whole in syrup, jam and sauce), peaches, blueberries (whole in syrup and jam), dill pickles (spears and slices), bread and butter pickles, tomato's, jalapeno's, banana peppers and hot pickle mix.

Let me tell you, that's a lot!!! I've only put a bit of everything in the pictures, the rest is already on the 'larder' shelves. I've got one problem though. I'm now out of shelf space and harvest is only HALF OVER! I guess I'll have to empty some cabinet somewhere!
Besides all the canning, we've managed to get the pool up and filled, put the solar cover on and get it warm and today I turned on the pump and cleaned it out good. We are ready for a swim! I know I am!
Now, about that storm that we got on Saturday. Here I was just getting ready to start 'jammin' with some blackberries, and the storm starting coming up. So I waited. Then, out of nowhere, came a big lightening strike, and a huge pop in my house. It was just a little later when I went to start working on the jam that I realized we had no water. HUH? We go out and check the pool which we were filling, and nope, no water coming from the hose either. After some inspections and checking, we discovered the lightening had gotten the motor on our well pump! (it was the following day when I realized it got my coffee pot too!). So needless to say, the water that was in the pool came in very handy as we went without running water from Saturday night till Monday afternoon, when the motor on the pump was replaced. ((SIGH)).

I went ahead and did the first 'batch' of blackberry jam without running water, but I made it. We had to haul water from the pool to do the cleaning and such and went out and purchased drinking water for the weekend. Was it tough? Yeah, but it makes me appreciate my ancestors even more, those who had to haul water every day just to get through a day.
So that's been the last few days for me down on the farm, besides picking the blackberries and the blueberries and the rest of the garden bounty. Much of the 'summer' garden is almost done and it's time for winter planting now. I've got about two weeks left before we get into that! WHEW!

So, I could use some help, why don't you get on your work aprons, and meet me here..down on the farm! Till next time

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wow..was today and adventure!

First thing this morning, the hubby and I went a'pickin'. That's right, picking blackberries that is. Out to Maple Ridge Farm we drove and picked 13 1/2 pounds of blackberries and somewhere between 8-10 lbs of peaches. Yep, you read that right THIRTEEN and A HALF pounds! I also got a birds nest for free! (found an old birdsnest in one of the peach trees, so brought it along with the peaches!) There's a couple of cantelope hiding in there too! So you know what I'll be doing over the next few days? It's jammin' time again, Blackberry jam and dill pickles!

WOW! The picture doesn't show it, but trust me, that's a lot of blackberries!

After coming home, we began putting up our pool and went to our own garden. EGADS the cucumbers are going to run us over! We collected cucumbers, tomatoes, jalapenos, okra and TWO huge pumpkins! I didn't get pictures of the pumpkins and such yet, but maybe today.

We got a few visitors to our little Farm yesterday, one big surprise one. Ashley, our daughter visited bringing Brayden for his first trip to the farm! The first thing he did of course, we take a nap in the new 'moses' bed I picked up at a community yard sale in Virginia. He's so cute!

Brayden was not the only visitor we got. Several people came over to see him, matter of fact.. the local LAW inforcement! (Both of them!) Silly me couldn't find her camera when Dennis visited, but did get a shot of Buckwild with the newest arrival late that night.

(hmm, we may have had a spiritual visitor as well!) take a look at that orb near Buckwild's head will ya?? There's mama standing proud with the little bundle and the big guy! Brayden looks so small in Tony's arms. It's hilarious!

So we've had an adventerous day here on the Farm. There was a big bad storm that came in after Brayden and Ashley arrived. Took out my coffee pot and more! (will have to tell that adventure another day!)

Everyone settled into bed, even Brayden was comfy in the Moses bed, his night was good, so he's hanging out and sleeping like he does. Doesnt' have a care in the world does he?
That's it for our Saturday adventures on the farm! Come join us again, you never know what we'll get into around here! Till next time

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dancing all about the garden!

It's hot here! The garden is suffering badly. We've had only one rain in about 3 weeks. We've had to set the watering every other night what with the high temperatures we've had. (upper 90's and sometimes 100!)

Some of the plants have not done well due to our early high heat. (cooler weather crops) For instance, the broccoli and cabbage, I can probably forget! I got a few pickings off the broccoli, but the high heat has caused the 'cabbage' family to bolt and not produce well. Which means, I'll be pulling what's left and preparing those boxes for some winter crops. (of which I will be doing the cabbage family again..gotta have my broccoli!)

Our bell peppers may or may not produce this year. If you remember I posted earlier that they had a 'problem' that I discovered was seed borne. They are looking better I'll grant you, but I do not know that they will do anything this year. I may try a few more seeds quickly just to see if I can have some luck with a few plants.

Because of our 'volunteer' pumpkin plants, they have thwarted my zuchinni and squash production. Pumpkins really should not be planted next to other squash family. The pull too much from the soil. I may have to hit the farmers market for some zuchinni to 'put up'. I'm still getting some squash, one or two every once in a while, but not like normal. The lettuce is suffering a bit due to the heat as well, and I may have to plant that again at a later date for a fall crop.

We are however still having a rush on cucumbers. The jalapenos are doing great and the okra has just started, and the tomatoes are giving their all! I've still got plenty of green ones on the vine and picked a few red ones today.
Here's the bounty I picked this morning. Now, you know what I'll be doing with one of these red jewels in a few minutes don't you?? It's tomato sandwich time! OH YEAH!!
Gotta love those tomato sandwiches! (mayo..pumpernickle bread..yumm..can't be beat!)

This might be a better picture here. Take a look.
I picked a few of the tomatoes a little early so they will ripen inside. You can still see some of the 'color changes' they are going through. in this photo.

It seems that each year produces one thing better then the other. Last year, it was the tomatoes, the okra and the collards and mustard. This year, it's the cucumbers, the jalapenos and the okra. Early of course, we had good luck with the mustard and turnips as well.

Plans for the garden at this point are to pull some of the things that are not doing well, redig the soil, add some of the fertizlized hay and let it 'cook' for a few weeks. Then I'll plant again for second crops.

That's it for the garden update today. There's lot of work to do in the garden over the next two weeks, so why don't you get your garden apron, basket and gloves and................................
Meet me at the garden gate!
See you next time!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good Afternoon!

It has been a while since I have worked on this page. Not that I haven't wanted to mind you, but I've been super busy as well as formulating something in my head for the Hedgewives page.

Let's discuss todays biggest problem. The Economy. The price of gas, the price of groceries, the price of living in general and what we can do about it. How can we help ourselves? Take a day or the rest of this evening to think about it. Tomorrow, will be the first post on the Economy. Come share your thoughts! I'll soon be opening up a Hedgewives forum for us to discuss some of these topics as well. I hope to gather all the Hedgewives together and work on spending less, saving more and doing more at home. Let's work on it together.
Get registered, let's start posting! Click here for the new forum. The Hedgewife

Sage, the Hedgewife.

Wanna see some crabs?

As most of you know I traveled to my home state of Virginia this past weekend for a visit. As we all sat on the deck 'crabs' were mentioned. Now, I don't know if you guys eat crabs the way we do, but the decision was made to purchase a few bushels of crabs and have a crab feast! So that's what we did!

So tell me, do you guys eat crabs this way?? The crabs rolled! That's a table full of crabs, cooked hot and spicey! Now, when you do this, this is not the quick meal, no no! You cover the table real good with newspapers, you get out your little 'crab cracking hammers', bowls of melted butter and spiced vinegars and you begin!You set down, get yourself comfy and begin. DIG IN!

You have to dig into the crabs, tear them apart and find the meat. It takes a while and it's one of those enjoy the company of each other meals cuz it takes a few hours. So, crab eating, is how we spent a good many of our hours on Saturday. Matter of fact, this was almost never ending. Once we got done the first time round, we'd come back a few hours later and do it again!.

We actually ended up eating crabs several times this weekend. We bought enough for an army!! But then again, when we all get together we are an army!!

Now, crabs were not the only thing done this day. Motorcycle rides were given.

Tony, my nephew and his wife, along with a few friends rode from South Carolina to Virginia on their Harley's.

So did Doyle, but he came all the way from Indiana! WHEW! Long ride for both of them!

The weekend was a blast! Trust me..crabs and all!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm OFF!

I'm heading out in about 1/2 hour for an out of state trip. I did get to finish one of those projects I spoke of earlier though. Wanna see?? it is!
I haven't made it look old yet, but I will do that when I get back. Here's a close up so you can see it better.

I like it. That's my style of prim! Simple stuff. Not too much, but fun stuff.

Anyway, hubby brought me a present the other day. I've looked at this guy 100x's I know, but would not pay the price they wanted for it. (no one else would pay the price either, cuz they were sittin there for a long time!) They went down by 10$ last week, and then when he went back to the store without me a few days ago and they had gone down 1/2 of their original price. So he bought it for me. He's the new 'COCK OF THE HOUSE!" Since I don't have one of these outside with my ladies, I got a fake one for INSIDE the house! Take a look, I think he's just too cool!

Well, that's it for today! I gotta get rolling up the road! I'll see you on my return!
Have fun..and and I'll see you in a few days ............down on the farm!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I collected more booty

Today! I haven't taken pictures, but I will soon. I'm busy with tending the garden and preparing for an out of state trip.
Here's what I collected in the garden today
Lettuce, green beans, squash, banana peppers and cucumbers. And holymoly the cucumbers I've got! I tell you, it's the year of the cucumber! I've put up so many jars of bread and butter pickles it's not funny, and with about 20-30lbs more of cucumbers sitting on my counter right now, I guess I'll putting up a few more jars today! I've got to pick up some of the pickling spices before I can do any dills, but that's next on my list!

So tell me, how's your garden doing?

Oh yeah, remember those 'watermelons' I had in the garden. Well, surprise surprise..they are not watermelons either. They are PUMPKINS!!! Fitting for a broom flying gardner don't you think!

Will post pics soon, but the garden needs weeding, so why don't you grab your garden apron me at the garden gate!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I KNOW what my next project is going to be

I'm going to make a parking sign for my yard. One that specifically says "PO PO PARKING"..


Today, my other nephew Tony visited.

................................................This is Tony
Now, Tony is someone I would surely not want to run into on the wrong side of the law. He stands 6'4 in his sock feet and always..and I do mean ALWAYS carries a gun (actually..he usually carries three! OHMYGAWD!)
Tony's nickname on the force is "BUCKWILD" what does that tell you?
But anyway, Tony and I along with Tony's wife Melanie (sorry ladies, he's married) are heading to Virginia for the weekend. It's party time! Tony and Melanie will be riding their Harley up, along with some friends and I'll be taking Little Red. Yep, he drives a Harley too! I'll make sure I get lots of pictures.
The other handsome devil is my hubby Scott. (sorry ladies, he's married too!) LOL

Of course Maya had to get in on the action!
She BEGGED to go for a R-I-D-E (we have to spell it around here!)

ANY car, it doesn't matter, she'd be right there if you simply say the word "R-I-D-E".

Tony's car is not set up for a K-9 so he could not take her for a spin today.

She forgave him and begged some more

But alas, he had to pat her and say no.

She sat and watched him drive away, hoping and wishing she could be in the back seat, on duty!

LOL, I've got pitiful animals I really do. That shephard wouldn't bite a flea!

All that said, I'm SERIOUS about the parking sign for my yard. PO PO PARKING..that's the ticket! :)

At any rate, I'm off to work on my newest stitchery project. A sampler. I've got two more projects in mind besides the new PO PO Parking sign. Both Prim in looks. Maybe I'll get them finished before I head to VA!

Enjoy the pics and see ya next time...down on the farm!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

In Memory

Guitarist Bo Diddley dead at 79

Diddley died Monday of heart failure. He was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in January 1987.

His funeral was held Saturday, June 7th, in Gainesville, FL.
Well, here's what I spent part of my day doing today! I crafted!
I made a sign for my laundry room, didn't turn out as I was hoping, but it's cute enough..and..

This is my first attempt at a 'prim' craft'. I like this one! That really is my grandmothers name, and I think I'll make another one with my mom's name on it, then finally one with my name.

So, I feel like I've had a decently productive day at least! I'm ready to start another!

Till next time.....down on the farm!

Friday, June 6, 2008


Look what I collected today!! Ohh the Garden booty!! Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It was a wee bit

Busy down on the farm yesterday!

We had a rush on cucumbers! LOL. So yesterday I set to work, getting them sliced and ready for the jar. I had already 'put up' several jars of dill pickles and will do more, but it was 'Bread and Butter time for these cucs!
I love the look of homemade preserves. Much prettier then the stuff you buy at the store! Oh yea, I did 9 jars total. One of them will be opened almost immediately, hubby says he's going to take it to work! :) I'll be putting more up in about a week. The cucumbers are going nuts on us here. Must be the year of the cucumber!
I had a video of the chickens ready to put up here, but it was a tiny bit too big to allow me to post it, so I'll get another one in a few days and make sure it's smaller. The ladies are growing very fast and it won't be long now before I'll be collecting a basket of eggs every day!

If you haven't been reading the Smokey Mountain Adventure, take some time, get some coffee and sit back for a laugh! The link is here on the left. I'll be putting Chapter V up soon, so keep watching for it!
Enjoy the 'Bread and Butters'! It's time for me to hit the garden!
I'll see ya next time, down on the farm!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ready to finish that walk!

Here we are, back at the garden gate! Let's take a look at a few of those surprises!

I did not plant watermelons. I know what a watermelon seed looks like, trust me I did not plant watermelons. BUT, this either has to be the biggest acorn squash I have ever seen, or it's a watermelon! This picture doesn't show this very well, but this guy is already huge!

Guess what though? He's not the only one! Somehow, someone must have snuck in here and planted two of these! This little guy is on the other side where my acron and zuchinni are! Go figure! Sometimes gardens will surprise you!

And these two jewels sure have!

I do believe they are watermelons of course. I guess for the 4th of July we'll be feasting on watermelon.

Remember the birds nest in the fig trees. Well, something has gotten one of her eggs. There used to be two in there, and I did get a picture of the one egg that is left. I hope whatever got her first one doesnt come back and get the second. Oh yeah, the mama to this, is a cardinal.

And for you viewing pleasure, another surprise in the yard that I did not plant, the garlic, now in full bloom!
So my trip to the garden yesterday gave me a wealth of 'greens' to 'put up', here's a shot of the booty I gathered!

If you remember a while back I mentioned the two monster trees I had out front. I tried to get pictures of them again yesterday. here is the Oak. This is about as good as I can get. So have a gander and try imagine it in real life. It's HUGE!

You can't see it very well, but the moss hangs off the limbs and give it that very southern appearance. I can say, that's one thing I do love about the south, the hanging moss

That's it for today. I have more pictures but I'll share those will another day. Enjoy and next time ..why don't you.........

meet me at the garden gate!