Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Morning Singers

This is what I was listening to this morning as I sat on the porch swing with my coffee.

The following pictures are individual shots of the "choir"

I think this is an Indigo Bunting, but not sure yet.  Need to get a clearer picture. 

A Rose Breasted Grosbeak has stopped by for a while on his migration route.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

40 is not the new 29

It started out innocent and simple, I wanted to clean out from around the peonies and put down some mulch.  So on Saturday while running our errands we picked up five bags of mulch, just enough I figured to do the job.  With all the running we did not get to start on this project till Sunday morning.  Farmer Joe tackled one group of peonies and I went at the other.  Briars were trimmed and dug up, weeds and leaf litter gotten rid of and then the mulch went down.  I actually had enough to do a third group of peonies that I did not realize were there.  Farmer Joe and I stepped back to admire our landscaping, then we looked at each other.  Wouldn't it look better if those two dogwoods and the azalaes and the boxwoods had mulch around them too????  Back to the store we went with trailer in tow for more mulch.  And since we were there let's just look to see if we can find something to prop up the rose bush with, oh, and aren't those purple azaleas pretty??  Back home we head with 54 bags of mulch, 2 trellises, 2 azalea plants, 2 (more) finch feeders and and extra bag of bird see, just in case. 

First we completed mulching around the azaleas that got us started thinking.

Then around the other dogwoods and azalea bush.

The two new azalea's that were planted in between the dogwoods trees on the left in the above picture.

And finally the rose bush arbor came together.  The picture is a little crooked, not the actual trellis.  To me this is the most dramatic transformation.  You see this is my grandmother's house that we live in now and she planted this rose about fifty years ago.  Then when she got older she was afraid that someone might hide behind it and come after her so she kept it trimmed severely and bound up.  As in there were wire ties going half way up and the top half just sort of drooped back down to the ground.  I lost Nana on March 2nd of this year and seeing her flowers blooming and how beautiful the rose looks untied I am hoping that she is smiling and likes the changes we have made.  Ok, enough or I am going to start bawling.  Back to work.

After completing almost all the landscaping, we still had 18 bags of mulch left, we needed to feed.  And that meant we had to pour into barrels the pig feed that we picked up on Saturday.  All 975 pounds of it.  Now I can pick up a bag of mulch, but by no means can I lift those feed bags.  However, I can manhandle them into an upright position and get them opened so Farmer Joe can do the heavy lifting and dump them into barrels. 

About 7:00 that night I am laying on the couch moaning in pain and praying for the ibuprofen to kick in.  Parts of me that had not gotten a lot of use over the winter were protesting about how much work we did today.  I looked at Farmer Joe and said "Next time I get the idea to do lot's of yard work in one day, remind me that I am 40 and not 29!"

Fatback and Lost Photo Upload

First let me say a huge thanks to Hermit Jim over at  Coffee With The Hermit for helping me figure out how to load photos once again.  It seems that blogger changed things around on me and for the life I could not figure out how to get photos that I had taken uploaded.   So now I can publish all my posts that are sitting out in my drafting file.  Yay!!!

Hog Jowl's and fatback waiting to be sliced

  So a couple of weeks back, we took the Hog Jowl's and Fatback out of the smokehouse where they had been curing covered in salt.  First we sliced the skin off and then ran them thru the slicer on a slightly thick setting.  Just to be sure it tasted ok, Farmer Joe quickly fried some up.  Oh my!!  Sweet and salty deliciousness.  After the quality check we proceeded to weigh out and package.  We left most of the fatback in chunks, but did slice some and we sliced all of the jowl meat.  We opted for 3/4 pound packages as 1/2 seemed to little and a whole pound just seemed a little much for Farmer Joe and myself at one time.  Vacuum sealed all those babies up and plopped them in the freezer.  Final count 13 packages of jowl's and 27 packages of fatback.  It is supposed to be cold and rainy this weekend and I think a pot of beans with some fatback on the woodstove will be just perfect.