Beau August 3rd, 2009
It’s been a “catch-up” week at home, along with a little county fair fun tossed in. This has been the darnedest summer with such cool morning temps- altogether enjoyable really. Hard to believe it’s August, on the backside of summer already. The garden has struggled quite a bit, probably more with lack of attention than anything else. But a few days of weeding and watering has it looking a little better.
Managed to plant some more potatoes, and new beans, carrots and beets- another experiment to see how things work out for a fall harvest. If we have room, I’ll plant some peas again. The tomatoes are just starting to ramp up finally too. You can see the planted rows and the cucumbers trying to climb the fence… they’re just beginning to produce some nice ones. Matter of fact, think I’ll fertilize today again.
The county fair was nice the other night- I’ll write another post about that. Except for the part about driving home, which was a little scary. We’re heading home on a small country road at night, overgrown with trees, and an oncoming truck swerved briefly across the yellow line and back. I didn’t think much about it as that driver corrected, but apparently he drifted again and something on the side of that truck smashed into my driver’s side mirror on the ’93 Ford, which then swung back and smashed my driver’s side window- kablamm! We ended up with glass exploded all over us. Thankfully no injuries beyond a few cuts on arms and fingers, and we pulled into a car wash vacuum place down the road to clean up and check things over. What were the odds? The other truck just kept going- it was either their mirror or something sticking out, but apparently it didn’t bother them. I just wanted to make sure we were all okay. So now I’ve got plastic covering the window until finding a place to fix it. Crazy.
In better homefront news, it was also time for a honey harvest! I’ll write about that another day, but needless to say it was really fun to see the fruit of the bee’s labor for over a year. They worked their little tails off this year and I ended up taking off over 50 pounds of spring wildflower honey. I’ve been bottling the honey, and preparing for labeling… haven’t got that far yet, but it’s really tasty. The young boy enjoyed cleaning up a bowl of drippings- nothing like fresh honey from the hive. If things work out I may put some up for sale :)
One of our stops last week for cheap fun was a visit to the Shepard of the Hills trout hatchery near Table Rock Lake. You can fill a little cup with fish food and throw it to the fish- which is perfect fun for the kids. The trout appreciate the food as well!
Missouri has four hatcheries for managing trout fishing in many of our beautiful spring-fed rivers, with naturally reproducing populations in several rivers. Some of these rainbow and brown trout grow to trophy size. But we camped by the lake, which was a lot of fun- and the yellow lab really enjoyed swimming at the shoreline. He has grown into a beautiful adult labrador retriever.
After getting home earlier this week it was time to cut the dam again. One of those yearly chores I enjoy after it’s finished, but not the doing part. It keeps the pond dam in really nice shape and is a necessary part of the maintenance. I thought I was going to pass out from the heat and exertion, but water and gatorade really helps. Maybe I’ll put a Twitter feed on the site, then I can just pull out my cellphone and send a message. There I am, lying in the weeds … “Just came to after passing out while brush cutting the dam, I’m staring at a frog…”
The picture only shows part of the dam… but it’s 265 feet across the top, and nearly 33 feet down the face. I don’t cut about 50 feet on that one side by the cedar- it’s still too brushy and rocky yet. Took about 3-4 hours to finish, except for the damp spot that I’ll cut with a weed eater. Sure looks better though, and tons of trees, brush, and poison ivy won’t grow up there now. Small accomplishments in the countryside.
The school year is almost upon us once again, and there’s a host of unfinished things to do. I hope your summer is going well!
One final note, sad but also bringing clarity and relief, the remains of a navy pilot from the ’91 gulf war were found this week. Contrary to years of reports of his status as missing, Michael Scott Speicher apparently died at the time his FA-18 was shot down in January, 1991. I didn’t know him personally, but knew of the search and his status for a very long time. We shared a lot of the same airspace, rituals and traditions, and I’m very glad they found him. I know his family hoped he was still alive, but are also proud and relieved to find resolution, and to have his remains returned home.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Captain Speicher’s family for the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country,” said Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy. “I am also extremely grateful to all those who have worked so tirelessly over the last 18 years to bring Captain Speicher home.”