Friday, July 29, 2011

Almost August!!! Autumn is coming...

...ok, so maybe August doesn't equal autumn, but it does get my heart moving toward thoughts of autumn and away from summer.  Back to school sales -- today and tomorrow is Tax Free Day here in Mississippi, FYI --   The garden is coming to a slow close here, with a handful of straggling acorn squash, some okra and the last few tomatoes.  Not sure about the 200 onions that went in as their tops disappeared long ago and we simply mulched over them. The beets are really sluggish this year as well.  I'm about ready to say enough, give up the dream, and turn the chickens loose in there. I'm ready to rip it up and get moving on next year's garden! Having even minimal success this year has spurred me on.

Hay season.  Not that I have to cut and bale it or anything, but I do have to get to hauling and fill the clearing and barn for the winter here. We ran shy last year, thanks mostly to my not factoring in near enough for Miss Judy the cow-hog. Man, when she wants to eat, she really cuts loose and packs it in :o)  Not having ideal grazing pasture land here, hay it is.  This year I plan to be prepared. Hopefully on the side of over-kill. Better too much than be hunting and begging up hay in February!

Our Little House on the Prairie journey is moving along on the school blog.  We will begin the second book, Little House on the Prairie, Monday already. Everything is linked along the top bar, if you're interested in following along.  I'll be getting the reading schedule laid out this weekend and be posted in time for Monday.

We have missed being able to get outside for school every so often this year. I don't have to say why, everyone's been dealing with the same insane weather all over. It's been miserable.  We did find a few days where we could at least do some reading and nature study outdoors, though, without melting into a puddle.

We were going to put it off, but we couldn't....had to head to the spring Wednesday this week to get water. We filled 15 3 and 4 gallon jugs.  And I enjoyed the peaceful-as-always scenery at the lake, and even shared some crackers with the fish while we filled the jugs.  They area just around the deck must be a spawn bed...there were fish in varying stages of size up around the deck and shallows there. And what a feeding frenzy when I crumbled the crackers and tossed them in! Looked like an attack of pirahna :o)



My new crochet book arrived this week, and I really enjoyed browsing and planning with the great patterns. I have a....um, cousin's daughter would be what???...expecting her first this November, plus our friends' daughter is expecting her first as well. It appears there is a run on boys in my circles :o) I have plenty of patterns stashed away here, sure, and a ton of them tucked away online and in the iPad files as well.  I wasn't in the mood for any of them. I tried to find one or two I liked, but no luck. Everything just seemed girly to me, and with boys in the future that wouldn't do. So, browsing around at Amazon and Annies Attic, I stumbled across a bunny trail that led me to this book...


And it's FILLED with great fun patterns! Best of all, each pattern is sized for 0/3, 6, 12, 18 months! There's a hoodie I think is kind of neat made up in a chunky yarn...


A really cute chevron striped swing-style pulloever, sort of a cross between a poncho and a sweater...


A couple cute toys as well...


Your basic baby winter set with hat, booties and mittens...


And my favorite...this terrific romper, very much a crocheted Union suit! I love it! I mean, sure, you could do it up in all sorts of colorways, but honestly, you just gotta do at least one in RED...



So what did I choose? Well, I'm leaning toward the union suit myself, but we'll see.  I actually started it already, then frogged the whole thing because I simply wasn't thrilled with my pale colorway. It deserves something with more oomph! and color I think. Guess I'll just have to break down and go check out Hobby Lobby this weekend....poor me, I know.

Dewey is still up in Indianapolis. He alternates weekends home with another guy on the job and this wasn't his weekend. We've been clearning and purging yet again (face it, that is simply an on-going project on most homesteads....) and finally attacked the yard with the mower and weed-eater. Should have just left the jungle in place because all we managed to do is uncover the hidden junk out here.  But, I suppose it needed to be done at least twice this year. Without rain, and with all this heat, the grass wasn't exactly growing by leaps and bounds but still, were we not rural, it would have been mowed long before now. Out here I tend not to care either way as no one but the mail delivery and the neighbor sees the place. Plus it's been too dang hot to give a whip about the yard length.

But it's done now, and we even attacked the workshop and emptied out the oldest upright freezer to dispose of it. I decided that, depsite its useless state as anything resembling energy-efficiency, it was still too decent in condition to salvage out, so off to the barn it goes to be upcycled as a feed storage container. I have several 55 gallong drums we fill with the grain feed for the animals, but there is usually a bag or two that won't fit and needs to be stored properly to keep from mildew and other animals...the upright will now do that job. It's an old enough model that it has these incredible sturdy metal shelves in it, perfect for storing 50# bags of grain. Eventually I do plan to line one of the small rooms in the barn with sheet tin, ceiling floor and walls, to make a total feed storage room, but for now, it'll be the upright freezer.

One of the main reasons it headed off the grid here is for the 2nd month in a row, my electric bill bounced too high. I understand the heatwave has had a great deal to do with the increase in electrical usage, especially here where I hate summer heat and all, but going up to the tune of $140+ in just 60 days...no, that isn't the turnip truck I fell from. We have cut back to the bare bones here for electric, and yes, the single window a/c has been chugging away faithfully here, we have cut back if not eliminated completely so many things, I don't believe my bill is correct.  Of course, calling hillbillyville electric and complaining just nets me a condescending tone and "well you know now, your bill will go up when you use more electric" comments.  Like I said, hillbillyville and turnip trucks. I don't mind an increase, I expected an increase, like I said I don't like summer...and this one 'bout pulled me under with heat and humidity...but $140 is a scam and I don't like it. There is nothing different running...that can't all be a/c when there's just ONE medium_sized window unit running, and it's not even a year old, so it's top of the line energy star rating and all.  The fridge hasn't changed, and it's about a year old as well...the water heater is brand new and we don't use that much there...the chest freezer runs, yeah, but it always does. Turn on the ocassional light in the evening, run the tv and DVD player  for a couple movies or documnetaries and I sure can't see that adding up to $140 EXTRA all of a sudden.


Oh well, nothing I can do about it now but cut the cords for the next cycle and see what happens.  They gouge us every year in the summer, but this one was just too much. I want a generator. I'd rather pop for the diesel than pay this scam rate anymore :o(

So how bad was your electric this month in the heatwave?


2 comments:

Mrs. Trixi said...

I turned my AC up more than usual, so mine hasn't been too bad and my garden hasn't produced like normal so I haven't been canning, as much as normal. Which is not a good thing other than the lack of electricity being used. I usually have 50-100 bags of peas put up by now and I only have 26. :( I guess I need to thankful for those.
When it comes cow time around here, I will have to get with you about hay needs. I have no idea how much you need for a cow.
I am with you and ready for Autumn. 55 more days......

Carla Raley said...

I'm a crocheter! I've sold some things on Etsy, and dream of someday having a crochet blog!

Jer.6:16

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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