Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June This-And-Thats

Before June gets away from me I suppose I should write about a few things.  I've taken enough time away from here already, but there has been nothing major to discuss other than what I have already posted this month, so it's once again time to start typing and see what happens!
  • I'm glad that I made it a policy not to discuss my work here.  Even though my name is not on the site, I would worry that some of my gripes over the years could make it back there.  Especially most recently.  Then again, I would probably be posting much more often!
  • We have decided on a contractor for our new roof project and decided to wait on the porch project as that will be pricier than we had hoped.  The papers are signed but the work isn't scheduled yet, though we were told about 50 days out.  The foreman has visited to get details and we are waiting to talk to the electrician about the exhaust vents.  I'm not worried about not having a date yet, I just want it finished by fall and I have no reason to believe it won't be.  I've also contacted them since to change the color of the drip edge on the gable ends of the house to black.  Since we have no eaves or overhangs, I thought it would give the upper edge more definition.  Also, it will match the nearly new black flashing around the windows we had installed in 2013 and the foundation that we repainted black last year.  Our house and garage will be fully white with black trim, foundation and shingles.  Not as exciting as some of the colorful houses of this eclectic, near east side of Madison, but I think it will look rather sharp, nonetheless.
  • For some reason we don't get many thunderstorms here.  I watch the radar; I watch them coming right at us; I watch them fall apart as they approach our lakes while continuing along the line to either side.  I do enjoy a good storm, but nothing too dangerous, of course.  I don't enjoy death or destruction in my nature but I do enjoy samples of its power.  It's exhilarating watching the lightning, jumping at the thunder and smelling the ionized air.  That being said, things must have gotten a little windy the other night.  No real storm, but we did have much rain and wind in the early hours.  On a related note...
  • I have more free firewood thanks to stormy winds on Saturday night.  When we got up we had a 12 foot craggy, leafy live branch hanging off the side fence and mostly in the lilac and purple-floppy-plant.  We waited until around midday for all to dry out some, then I went and trimmed all the little leafy branches and saved the main logs for firewood.  As I was trimming that I heard a crack and crash and watched a dead branch from one of the same black walnut trees fall feet away from me on old neighbor Dave's side of the fence.  Oh, I saw it coming just in time so didn't even freak out, but it did make a little bit of a racket.  It was at least half as big as the live one but less dense, being dead.  I finished the branch I was working on and, after an hour or so break, went over on my neighbor's side and did the same to the dead branch.  I talked to him last night.  He didn't see me doing it but he did notice them disappear at times when he looked out the window and thanked me.  Which leads me to how...
  • A couple years ago neighbor Dave had moles, but not last year.  Last year I didn't have moles, either, but not this year.   I've seen holes in the short space between ours and his houses and even more in the back yard between the garden and the back fence.  I asked him about the device he used a few years ago, a thing he stuck in the ground that made a sound at intervals, and he still had it.  So I put that in the ground between the houses, now I need to shop for some kind of critter repellent for the back yard.  A nice side effect would be keeping the damn bunny rabbits out, too.
Well again, just start typing and see what happens, that seems to be good for me.  Still, time to wrap it up.  I do need to get on Amazon and look for critter repellent, after all.  
*And one last thought - like last year, we have been wanting to have a fire pit and invite all we know.   though just like last year seemed to go, every Saturday has been the hottest, most humid day of the week for several weeks now.  This week should change, so I need to get on that.  
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Stump Flowers

I've been neglecting this space, sorry about that.  Not up for writing at the moment, either.  So here's an updated picture of the stump flowers I just took.  Compare to the picture I posted two posts (and almost a month!) ago and you can see the growth.  I think I'll dump the rest of the pictures on the garden blog.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Holy Cow!

This is what one-quarter of a cow looks like in our freezer.
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Some time ago a friend asked if we would be interested in going in on a cow.  We had talked about it previously but now it was time so we jumped at the chance.  Grass fed, corn finished, and from Door County, Wisconsin.  The cow had been picked a while ago but it took some time waiting for the cow to fatten up for slaughter, so we've been waiting for several weeks.  Then I got word earlier this week, it's time!  Our friend went up to get it from his dad (who lives up there and also had a share of the cow) after work yesterday and showed up here late last night to drop off our quarter of the cow.  It is a shared quarter, meaning we have front and back cuts of meat.  I was told over 200 pounds, though it appears lighter.  Still, we paid a good rate across the board for good beef that includes several kinds of roasts and steaks, stew meat and soup bones, and over 40 tubes of ground beef between one and one and a half pounds each (in a box at right under tenderized round steaks, among other cuts).  Kate took inventory this morning, but we still need to get it sorted better in the freezer.

Well, that's one less thing to think about now for quite a while.  And it makes grocery shopping easier, too.  We had this in mind when we bought the freezer and I'm glad it is now full of meat.  Should be a lot of fun grilling this summer.  Yum!