Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Garden of Good and Evil

What I wanted to grow in my new garden…(Crookneck Squash)

What I planted instead by mistake. UGH.

I have no idea how to cook these things. (Butternut Squash)
I did some research and you have to peel them and then use the “meat” for soups.
I wanted some nice tender yellow squash to grill this summer. Oh well…..

Good news is that they are growing FAST and I have to keep re-directing the vines so they don’t take over the tomato plants. So once I figure out what to do with them, I’ll have plenty. Maybe I’ll share some with my co-workers.

I have to get a picture of my little, raised bed garden – it’s not pretty. I clearly didn’t know what I was doing and planted WAY too much in that little 8x6 box. 7 tomato plants, 2 strawberry plants, 3 cucumber plants, 9 (3 per hill) squash plants, basil, mint and rosemary (just remembered that one – I haven’t seen it in awhile because of the da*n squash! )

I am hot and cold when it comes to taking pictures, but I think it’s time to dust the camera off and get ready for my WV trip this weekend. I’ll try to get pictures on here soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Instant Karma

We live at the end of a 1 mile long gravel, one lane, curvey, hilly farm road and share it with the families in 2 other homes. We share the expense of upkeep and have had a bit of a struggle with one family who thinks they must go VERY FAST!! even though they may be saving 1 minute from one end to the other. I enjoy taking my time and look at all the birds (several times have had a flock of turkeys fly in front of me) and deer etc. that live along that little drive. But they must think of it as an amusement ride and get a thrill out of flying around corners and spinning out on the gravel and going over hills and bottoming out. No lie, they do that – we’ve witnessed it and said something. We’ve been nice about it because we do have to live near these folks, but the husband and his son just don’t get it. Annoying as hell, but we decided we would say something the next time they want $$$ to put down more gravel and grade the road.
Well…..turns out that there was a little accident a couple of weeks ago. Mom and son (just got his license last year) had an accident on the driveway. They ran into EACH OTHER at one of the corners. They weren’t hurt, but one of their cars sustained $7,000 worth of damage!!! This on a road where we agreed to go between 10-15 MPH! Now they want to put up mirrors and cut down trees. Nope. That would be enabling these guys. If you GO SLOW there isn’t an issue.

So I don’t know if John Lennon would call that Instant Karma, or if it’s Irony or Poetic Justice. I just know that when I heard about it I SMILED.

Speaking of John Lennon – we still miss you……

Instant Karma - John Lennon

Instant Karma's gonna get you,
Gonna knock you right on the head,
You better get yourself together,
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead,

What in the world you thinking of,
Laughing in the face of love,
What on earth you tryin' to do,
It's up to you, yeah you.

Instant Karma's gonna get you,
Gonna look you right in the face,
Better get yourself together darlin',
Join the human race,

How in the world you gonna see,
Laughin' at fools like me,
Who on earth d'you think you are,
A super star, Well, right you are.

Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,
Well we all shine on,
Ev'ryone come on.

Instant Karma's gonna get you,
Gonna knock you off your feet,
Better recognize your brothers,
Ev'ryone you meet,

Why in the world are we here,
Surely not to live in pain and fear,
Why on earth are you there,
When you're ev'rywhere,
Come and get your share.

Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,
Yeah we all shine on,
Come on and on and on on on,

Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,
Yeah we all shine on,
On and on and on on and on.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

VBCA Summer Trial

Last weekend we went to the VBCA (Virginia Border Collie Association) summer trial and annual meeting. It was held at the beautiful farm of Richard and Rae Rogers in Luray, VA. I just love the spectacular views of the mountains from their place. And they are unsurpassed in their hospitality. Wonderful folks.
I’m not going to go into detail about our runs because they were awful. The best thing about Heather’s run is that she didn’t grip for once. But she was pushy as hell and we never did get the sheep settled. Andre was sick on Saturday but went anyway and he just wasn’t into working his dog. Champ was pushy and the sheep wouldn’t settle to get around the course nicely (I’m seeing a trend here……).
On Sunday I ran Vic in Novice Novice and before I went in I saw the mud at the entry gate (we had some rain that day) and was worried that he would pull me down into it. Someone suggested that I go into the field without his leash on – what’s the worst he could do? WELL……he took off down the field before we even got to the post. Thankfully they hadn’t brought the sheep down yet so he finally came back to me after running all over the field looking for SHEEP. Afterwards, some people said they loved his double lift (something that is done in OPEN trials where the dog has to gather one set of sheep and then “look back” for a second set and then bring them all – not exactly what we were supposed to be doing in this trial….) This boy is 4 years old and has never settled down – and we just can’t get him to understand that we are in the picture. I’ve had the bright idea lately to let him gather our sheep at home in the evenings when they are out in the yard grazing, thinking that if he does this daily then he won’t be so hyped up every time he sees sheep. That has helped some, but it has also made him a sheep gathering fool! He’ll now go out for potty breaks with the rest of the gang and will push his way through 2 gates before we notice all the sheep moving and coming into the paddock……Vic following nicely behind. What do I do with this guy?
I think we’ve ended up with some dogs that needed good handlers who could have seen the issues and dealt with them – and we’re not good handlers. But we’re having fun – YES Andre – You Are Having Fun!!! I do enjoy this even if I don’t place, but Andre is a little more competitive and would enjoy trialing more if he could place occasionally. He’s learning patience….
The trial went well for most people – the sheep were good but a bit challenging to pen and also seemed to not want to split for the OPEN dogs to shed. Nathan Mooney was the judge and did a great job. Seems lately I don’t hear complaining like I used to at trials about this and that – I think people are grateful and understand the hard work that goes into putting on a trial. Thanks VBCA.

Next Trial = Keepstone Farm, July 26th. Blue’s Debut.

How to save $1500 in one day....

Cross kayak purchase off the list.
Don’t get me wrong - the kayak trip was a lot of fun! We drove up to Rocky Gap State Park in MD last Wednesday and rented 2 kayaks. The lake there was on the small side and we decided a 1 hour rental would a good amount of time to paddle around a few times and get our feet wet so to speak. The hardest part was actually getting in and out of the kayaks. I felt a little awkward at first and felt like I was going to tip over, but it turned out they are pretty sturdy and surprisingly easy to maneuver. I enjoyed it, but we got a little bored just going up and down this little lake. I think the next time we’ll try going down a river. I would recommend a lake first for first timers like me, just to get a feel for it. We did have blisters on our thumbs, so maybe gloves would help with that.
We’re glad we did this test run before buying 2 kayaks, because after doing the math we realized we just wouldn’t go enough to justify buying the kayaks versus renting them every time. We only paid $5/hour rental, and that is probably the norm for most state parks. We stopped in at Cacapon State Park in WV on the way back and they also rent kayaks. If we decide to do a river trip, that only runs about $40 at the outfitters. So we’d have to do a lot of trips to even come close to the $700+ each to buy our own. Last year we wouldn’t have blinked an eye at that, but we’ve had to tighten our belts lately because of the sucky economy.
Wish I had pics to share, but I didn’t want the camera to fall in the water so I just didn’t bring it along.