Post by JR on Aug 12, 2014 22:38:21 GMT -5
I'm sure by now everyone who knows me here on the forum has noticed I'm not on a lot this past year and I just took a moment to let all of you know why.
I've been very busy this year with family activities and a unusually great garden, in fact so great it's about to work me do death! x_xWe've had an usual amount of rain, so much that in just this last week my wife and I finally got some low areas of our yard mowed because it finally dried up enough to mow! We have 5 acres of land and mow at least 80% of it, not a easy chore. Add the fact of record breaking rainfall here this year and you can't mow it enough. I've even said if I want it to rain I'll just mow!
But there are other reasons I'm not having as much time for the forum too and here is two of them:
This is a Easter Sunday picture took this year of two of my grand children Jonathan and Savannah. They are now 12 and 10 years old and my lovely wife and I have been raising them since June of 2011.
They keep me running! I'm now doing homework and trying my best to keep up with them. Both are multi-talented athletes, Jonathan plays baseball, basketball and right now is in summer drills on the 7th grade football team, plays linebacker and tight end. Here's a recent shot of him at Silver Dollar City in Branson Mo when we were at the softball World Series this July where his sister played at for Arkansas Elite.
He's a great kid, good athlete and straight A student but he's 12 and a hand full!
His sister is also a great student and athlete, plays basketball and is a very accomplished softball pitcher at the ripe age of 10. Throws a fastball, curve, change up, drop ball and screwball and can hum a fastball at you in the 45 to 48MPH range, very good for 10 years of age. I take her to pitching lessons once a week and I also catch for her because she pitches some every day 7 days a week, there is a future for her on a college mound someday. Here is a picture of her at bat at the World Series recently and she had 7 total hits for the series.
She pitches right handed but is a converted left hand hitter. As I said I'm busy.
Take today for example, got up at 5 a.m. fed my three Yorkie dogs, fed the chickens and then went to work in the garden, by 9 a.m. I had picked a 5 gallon bucket of tomatoes to go along with the other two 5 gallon buckets in my kitchen right now. 1-1/2 bushels of sweet corn, 1/2 five gallon bucket of okra, 1/2 five gallon bucket of hot and sweet peppers, 2 spaghetti squash, 3 watermelons (yellow), got the kids up and they helped me pick a nearly full 5 gallon bucket of green beans not to mention I gathered 16 eggs that my chickens laid yesterday. Oh I forgot to mention we picked a good bushel of red apples that were ripe and in about two weeks the yellow delicious apples will be ready and there is a bumper crop, I'm estimated at least 6 bushels.
Now this was all done by 10 a.m and my wife got up and made breakfast, ate and then mowed on the lawn while we ate breakfast to get ready to go school clothes shopping. My wife is a RN and works night shift in Little Rock and is on her 5 day off schedule but goes back to work this Wednesday night for 6 straight days but she will help me put up some of this produce tomorrow before I make her take a nap to prepare for work tomorrow night.
We left for Conway by 11:15 and then hit all the stores, grabbed a burger and was back in Perryville by 4 p.m. to register Jonathan and Savannah for school because it starts next week. Their registrations were a hour apart so I pitched with Savannah for an hour while we waited. The high school coach has given me a key to their inside practice facilities to let me train Savannah, very nice when the weather is bad.
All of this and I'm back home by 7 p.m. and help the wife prepare a quick hot meal. Not much time for me as you can see. Tomorrow? Will freeze corn and okra, put lots of peppers in the dehydrator, and going to make spaghetti sauce out of all these tomatoes. We have already canned over 60 quarts of various tomato things, chopped, juice, salsa and whole. The tomatoes are finally slowing down and I'm giving some away now. Also I have tons of canning jars but have used so many that I'm having to buy some now.
I will also start making apple sauce with the apples too along with some sweet cinnamon dried apple slice treats too. I'm figuring on at least 12 to 14 hours in the kitchen tomorrow alone. We also this summer did some remodeling of our home and I still have things to do to it also.
We've also canned, potatoes, (Yukon Gold), pickles (hot dill and sweet) and about 70 jars of green beans which I will also have to can tomorrow too. Add several flavors of jelly (apple to blackberry) and one of my favorite pickled beets! I have also froze broccoli, cauliflower, yellow squash, brussel sprouts, and cabbage along with black berries and peaches.
I've also put up grape juice as I have 5 different kinds of grapes along with muscadines that come off later. Other items I'm growing are, sweet potatoes, peanuts, popcorn, pumpkins, cantaloupe, cucumbers, assorted gourds, ornamental corn and carrots. Have already harvested the potatoes, (read and gold) onions, (yellow, white and red) and as I mentioned a lot of the early cold weather crops. I'm also plowing ground for this falls turnip and collard green patch and will harvest purple hull and brown crowder peas soon along with speckled butter beans. I've already also harvested all my peaches, black berries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and plums and the only fruit left for this year is the apples, pears and figs. I failed to mention I have bee hives and will get honey for the first time this spring.
Now I'll finish by saying that my grand daughter is still playing fall softball and we go to practice with her team twice a week, she plays traveling ball and will go to at least 5 tournaments this fall which are always nearly all weekend long.
School starts next week and I don't live by a bus route so I have to drive to and from school each day to add to the things I do.
Yes folks I've been busy, can't wait until it's cold and my mower and garden tiller are at rest, maybe I'll get some too!