August

Key Tasks

Compost the zucchini plants in early August and the tomatoes in mid-August. Plant cover crop wherever the summer garden is shutting down. Look for ripe muscadines by late August. Make sure any new trees are protected from deer. They’ll be desperately hungry in the fall. Plant brassicas and fall cover crops in deer plots. If you’re planning to plant onions in October (which you should), start the seeds in August.

August 1

2014

Lots of cleaning up this morning after the big push to get Adrian’s storage building painted. Took the gate opener apart and discovered that the batteries are completely run down. Need to take them to Battery Source (they sold them to us) and figure out what’s going on. This afternoon I prepared for Ft Deposit and 2013

Amanda and Adrian spent the day in Birmingham. Dentist’s appointment for Amanda, then lunch with Sara Parker and Sara Beth McVey, then Margie Abbott’s funeral. I first published the podcast, then ran to town for several errands, including printing the bulletin. This afternoon I bush hogged south and southwest of the lodge and then mowed north and west of it. Finished up with the weedeater close to the lodge. I then bush hogged most of the East side. The portion I didn’t get to was the low-lying trail sections that were still too squishy. Imagine that: trails squishy on August 1! At the end of the day I bush hogged the North Trail. Then I took a quick bike ride to relax. I had to cut it short, though, when I got caught by a popup shower.

August 2

2015

Returned after a family reunion and found the farm in surprisingly good shape. Bush hogged this afternoon, and then I mowed around the lodge.

2014

Today was all about Jack’s project in Ft Deposit. Up at 6:00 despite a very late night and off to the Home Depot to pick up lumber, then to Ft Deposit Elementary. The project went smoothly once we decided how to approach it. I had to leave a few minutes early to make it back to the farm to shower and change for the show tonight, but they finished a few minutes after I left. The fence is going to look nice, and really will help to enhance the appearance of the school as seen from the street.

2013

Today was mostly about two things: assembling our donations for the church yard sale and preparing for our EfM group to come to the farm tonight. Started the morning pulling items to donate, including the Christmas tree stand, the push mower, the breadmaker, about 20 books, and several other things. We piled them into the truck and headed to the church, where we stayed longer than we expected to help others unload. A few errands in town and then back home, where I blew off the pavilion and porch, then made toll house brownies, and then moved the grill into position to cook the burgers. The gathering itself was a lot of fun; it was good to see everybody again.

August 3

2015

The heat wave continues, but the nights are getting a tad cooler. That’s good news, right? Amanda was gone to Montgomery, so after I did my trip to town to change the sign, install the new letter boxes Jim Davis had made, and run errands, I hung out clothes, checked on the chickens, and bought a bale of hay from Steve Dennis, who cuts the hay on Dr Kim Peters’ field on Dark Corners Rd. This afternoon I used the weedeater around the lodge. Then I mowed Veg Hill and used the weedeater around the beds before a late afternoon legal session.

2014

Three big events today, all away from the farm. Sunday School and church this morning, then Whorehouse this afternoon, then MAGC rehearsal this evening.

2013

Today was almost all about the yard sale at the church. Up and out absurdly early to be at the church by 6:00 am. The crowd built more slowly than we would have liked, but people came most of the morning, and we ended up making more than $400. Afterward, Amanda went on home and I joined the Weldons, the Van Ettens, and Cathy Jones for lunch at Acapulco. Then home to catch up on my sleep and to feed the fish. Also put the grill back up on the pallet rack.

August 4

2015

Began the day with one big goal: to fetch a round bale of hay from Steve Dennis’s field and bring it back here using Tractor’s pallet forks. Turned out to be simpler than I had expected. Steve’s round bales are a great fit with my pallet forks at their widest setting. The only issue is that when the bale is loaded up, I can’t see well in front of me. The solution will be to make sure I do this when traffic is REALLY light (as it was this morning).

With the big task of the day complete before 9:00, I was free to shift my attention to other things. I washed out the olive oil container and moved the bulk container to the root cellar, unpacked several treasures from Amazon.com, and uploaded new pics to the Epiphany Sign Archive. Then I bush hogged and mowed the orchard floor. Finished the day with two legal sessions.

2014

After a session and errands in town, today was all about bush hogging. I started with the grass between the lodge and the barn. Then above the lodge. Then I actually bush hogged the orchard. A first, but it really saved some time. Then I bush hogged most of the west side, including the greenfield. I even re-cut an area beside a trail we rarely use that’s close to the creek. It really opens it up to the eye. 2013

Good morning at church. The best news is that Wells told us at the end of the service today that he would like to meet with us after church next Sunday (August 11) to talk terms. What great news! I focused at home on getting the bulletin and website updated. Then I spent WAY too long trying to make Mama’s router work. I finally just packed it all back up. I think there are too many idiosyncrasies of our network making the job challenging; my hope is that we’ll fare much better when we get in Mama’s (much simpler) environment.

August 5

2015

I started the day with an appointment in Mgmy with Maddox, and by the time I returned I was reluctant to get all sweaty for an hour and then have to shower for Lunch with the Boys, so I did mostly light work. Cleaned out the chicken poop tray, turned the pile of hog mulch, researched application rates for Mighty Grow fertilizer. After lunch, I processed some divorce paperwork, and then I applied the Mighty Grow fertilizer to all the blueberries. Had a little time left at the end of the day, so I sharpened all the kitchen knives.

2014

Followed up on yesterday’s bush hogging with the mower today. Spent most of my time on the orchard, and it looks nice now. The muscadines are poised to bust out. I think it’s going to be a good year. This afternoon it rained on and off, so I caught up on quiet work like filing cases and marking my Murder at Graveyard Creek script. 2013

Up early and on our way to Fairhope for the pecan workshop. Delightful visit tonight with my high school friend Kay Lowery Walther.

August 6

2015

Spent most of the morning pruning blackberries in the orchard (long overdue). Then I applied Mighty Grow to the blackberries and other fruit trees. This afternoon was a short work time, because we knocked off early to shower and head to Mgmy for some errands, supper with Adrian and Thomas at

2014

Up early to record podcast on fruit abundance. Then we spent the rest of the day away from the farm. First to Birmingham for a quick stop at Macy’s for Amanda, then to Judie Vinzant’s mother’s memorial service. Then to Cafe Iz for a gift card for Mama and lunch for me, then to Montgomery for Amanda and Adrian to go shopping and for me to explore options of the gate opener batteries at Battery Source. Then finally home tonight. 2013

The pecan workshop turned out to be just perfect for us. Lots of information that we need right now as we contemplate our pecan planting, and great chances to visit with experienced pecan growers (most of them, of course, much bigger producers than we ever hope to be). We now know pretty much how to do our drip irrigation, how far apart to space them, and how to control weeds around them. Great day.

August 7

2015

Kind of a strange and quiet day. This morning Amanda and I plotted strategy to solarize the area north of the cucurbit strip. Then we drove to Mgmy to pick up my computer, which I had left at Genghis Grill last night. Then to Panera, where I met Irving Wheeler so he could change out the keyboard on the computer. Amanda met me for lunch at Panera;hen we shopped at Costco and Foodland before heading to Tallassee. In Tallassee we picked up a handle for the old hayfork I had found in the field.

Later today I sanded down the handle and attached it as firmly as I could to the hayfork.

2014

Busy day. Started with the publication of the podcast this morning in the wee hours. This morning the new battery charger I bought for the gate opener batteries was still showing red, so I left the battery on it through the morning. I moved the ladies into their coop and turned the run upside down to repair it. Why did I use such short screws to build the run? They had about 3/4 inch penetration into the 2 x 2 post, and that just wasn’t enough. So I secured the connection with longer screws and on one post that had come completely loose I used bolts and nuts. Then I turned it back right side up, moved the run and coop down a little to expose fresh soil, and let the ladies back into it. Then I mowed the Blueberry Strip and the back yard of the lodge and used the weedeater to spruce up. By then the battery charger was glowing green to indicate the battery was fully charged, so I installed the battery in the charger and was gratified to see that the gate opener works fine. I still need to figure out why the battery is no longer being charged in place, but at least this gets the gate opener working normally again. Then I re-attached the shutters to Adrian’s storage building and blew off the pavilion and porch of the lodge. We got word that John Douglaass would be a little late, so I grabbed the chance to get a nap before he arrived. When he got here we had a quick lunch and then walked over to the West Side in the heat of the day. We were all sweaty by the time we returned, so we sat on the porch and visited for a few minutes. Then John operated Scamp and lifted me in the bucket so I could clean out the gutters of the lodge. I’m glad we at least tried it, because now I know what I’m up against. I had thought there was 4-5 inches of clearance, but there’s not. In most cases, there’s just an inch or so between the edge of the steel roof and the edge of the gutter, not really enough room to get your hand in. I need to figure out another technique for clearing them. Maybe water pressure with the downspouts removed? Tonight, of course, we had Whorehouse. This is our final weekend, so we’re beginning to get a little wistful. 2013

Reglued the top drawer of the washstand that sits inside the door of the lodge. Now I need to let it set up overnight. Then I hung out a huge load of clothes to dry. Then I mulched up a pile of branches that had been drying west of Veg Hill.

August 8

2015

I started the day by measuring every dimension on my new Quick Dually blades that I received from Better Outdoor Products. They are quite different from the original blades BOP had used on the mower when they sold it to me. They are 12 3/16 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide, .200 inches thick, and the updraft on them is 1 inch. The opening for the retention bolt is 5/8 inch in diameter and circular. The order # from BOP is 10043-S. I haven’t tried this, but after researching replacement blades, I believe that I could if necessary replace them with Oregon 91-636, which is shown to be a replacement for a SCAG OEM # 482959.

When the measuring was finished, I installed the new blades on the Quick Dually mower. I had to use my air wrench to remove the bolts on the blades, so I was careful not to overtighten them when I reattached them with the new blades. Armed with the new blades, the mower cuts noticeably better. Not perfect, but certainly better. I’m not sure, but I believe that it’s cutting better now than it ever has before, because this is the first time it’s had the right blades.

I used the mower to cut the fence line around the orchard. Then I mowed the south and west lawns of the barn before getting a shower and doing some quiet work. Then we headed to Loachapoka for Whistle Stop practice. This afternoon, all I did was feed the chickens and the fish. I tried cleaning the rust off my “new” hay fork, but I wasn’t able to make much progress, because I couldn’t get the brush in between the tines.

2014

This morning I ground wheat berries and made rolls in stages while I cleaned off the porch and removed the fender from the splitter. Strange combination of tasks that required a lot of hand washing but otherwise worked pretty well. The rolls are a “work awhile, wait awhile” task, so I had plenty of time between working to fuss with the splitter. This afternoon was mostly quiet work.

2013

Amanda made a big mess of pickles this afternoon. I put the canner on to boil just before I headed to town for errands. When we finished the lid was stuck on the canner, and I foolishly decided to use my pry bar to remove it. When it came loose it exploded off the top of the canner and I got sprayed with boiling water. I have third degree burns all over my right arm and right leg and a big second degree burn at one spot on my arm. Feeling very stupid.

August 9

2015

We found at least one good way to cope with the 113 degree heat index today: spend the day indoors. Fed and watered the chickens first thing and got a haircut. Then to Sunday School (a tender, honest conversation about gay marriage) and worship. Brief break for refreshments before heading to Wetumpka for Smoke on the Mountain at the Depot. We were leisurely about leaving and were in fact about the last ones to walk out the door. Back home, we collected eggs, fed the fish, and then retreated indoors for quiet work.

2014

Started the day with another batch of dill pickles. We put up seven quarts and seven pints. Then we cleaned up and drove to Loachapoka for the Whistle Stop rehearsal. Before the rehearsal, Cindy Mask and I worked together to put a new F# string on my autoharp. It held its pitch surprisingly well. Then back to the farm to take care of the chickens before heading to Wetumpka for our FINAL performance of Best Little Whorehouse. Then a very late cast party. 2013

Spent most of the day gearing up to record interviews for podcasts (I’m planning to do the first one tomorrow with Jim Davis). My torch arrived. I assembled it and used it briefly close to the barn, then I took it down to the pond dam and used it to scorch the weeds. Can’t wait to see whether I got a good knock-down. Then I brought it back up to the barn and went all the way around the barn scorching the little (and not-so-little) tufts of grass that are coming up through the gravel. So satisfying!

August 10

2015

I moved the chickens this morning, but the main focus was cleaning out Mama’s garage. I reported for duty in Montgomery about 10, but it was after 11 before we started working. Most of the real work was in the afternoon. We took 1/2 load to Goodwill, and by the end of the day we had another full load to take.

2013

Amanda and Adrian spent the afternoon in Loachapoka. I printed the bulletin and prepared for the presentations next week. Iworked most of the day to prepare my systems to use interviews for the podcast. I interviewed Jim Davis

August 11

2015

The forecast called for 60% chance of rain in the afternoon, so I got out and made the most of the dry weather in the morning. First I traveled to Mgmy and back to retrieve the rucksack I had mistakenly left there last night. Then I bush hogged around the barn and lodge. By the time I finished bush hogging, it was time for lunch. It rained a good part of the afternoon, so I spent the afternoon on quiet work. This afternoon I fired up the grill and cooked 24 chicken thighs.

2014

Spent a great deal of time in town today, first with an interview at 7:30 with Pete Cottle and Randall Hughey at WACQ, then at 11:00 with Justin Giles of the Muscogee Creek Nation, who was in town to commemorate the bicentennial of the signing of the treaty with Andrew Jackson in the wake of the massacre at Horseshoe Bend. Harvested our first muscadines today, just a handful from one of the Supreme vines. 2013

Good morning at church, followed by a really good, constructive, candid conversation with Wells and Leigh Warren. We are hoping to sign a letter of agreement next Sunday. This evening Amanda and I drove to Jim and Kara Shea Davis’s farm to interview Jim again, this time with much more controlled conditions.

August 12

2015

Good day. Started by feeding the chickens; I couldn’t move them because we had one in the box. Then I did some pruning. By the time I finished we had another one in the box. I decided to light a fire and burn Mama’s old bank records. Then a shower and trip to town for LWTB. Then a couple of errands and home. This afternoon I moved the chickens (finally found a time when they were all out!) and hitched up a persimmon limb. Some more pruning, then I checked on the shower in the lodge. I decided it’s above my pay grade and decided to call Tim Ledbetter. Then a late afternoon session before calling it a day.

2014

Productive day. This morning early I built the center support for a trellis on bed #1. Then I mowed Veg Hill and the south and west lawns of the barn. Then I installed the center support and attached the trellis to it. Then I rearranged the order of the firewood pallets east of the lodge so now I can simply grab the next one I need off the top of the stack. Then I cleaned off the porch and fetched a load of logs so I could begin splitting and stacking firewood. Got about 1/3 of pallet #2 full before stopping for lunch. I finished pallet #2 after lunch. bush hogged the portion of the orchard floor between rows 4 and 7, and placed pallet #2 there so I can remove it first in a FIFO sequence when it’s time to pull it under cover. MAGC rehearsal tonight at the Guest House. Our new Hobbs is Ed Drozdowski, and he’s going

to do a great job. 2013

Traveled to Channel 12 for Alabama Live, then lunch with Mama at the Indian buffet, then I installed her new router. Wireless is back at Grandma’s!

August 13

2015

Delightfully cool morning, a tiny taste of what fall could be like. Amanda was gone to Wetumpka most of the morning. I used the time to get through paperwork and pay bills. Then I took care of the chickens. We reported to the church to help unload and shelve Beans & Rice. Then home for a session. After the session, I mowed Veg Hill and around the lodge.

2014

Poured it on with the firewood today and managed to fill up two more pallets and get them out on the orchard floor. We now have pallets 2, 3, and 4 filled and soaking up the sunshine. We recorded the podcast late this afternoon. 2013

CAMGA graduation and the board meeting before it was the big event of the morning; didn’t finish until 12:45 or so. Then we headed back to the farm where I put my head down and focused on polishing up the slides for the lunch & learn tomorrow.

August 14

2015

Amanda was gone to Mgmy most of the day. I moved the chickens, then ran to town for errands, then a coat of polyurethane on Amanda’s tray, then some quiet work, then I flamed some poison ivy and the pond dam before lunch. This afternoon Betty Stricker texted me that they have some water oak limbs down if we wanted them. The answer is yes, but she wasn’t home today, so I’ll get with her next week. After that, I clipped some vines that were tormenting the trees along the driveway. Then I cut down the weeds around the trees on row 4 and applied fertilizer. Then I fed the fish before getting a shower.

2013

The lunch & learn in Wetumpka was the big event of the day. We were taking new photos and I was inserting them madly as we prepared to leave for Wetumpka. The presentation went really well, and then Amanda and I had lunch in Wetumpka and shopped at Wal-Mart before heading back to the farm to start on the slides for the climate change presentation. Worked most of the afternoon. Tonight Amanda and I had a painful disagreement about how the presentation should go, and I ended up agreeing to trash my work and to use her outline exclusively. Tonight we also recorded a brief introduction for tomorrow’s podcast on beekeeping.

August 15

2014

I changed out the batteries in the gate opener this morning, replacing #1 with #2. #1 lasted 9 days with no problem, so I’m now going to see if #2 can last two weeks. I’ve marked my calendar for August 29. 2013

I worked in the wee hours of the morning first to edit and publish the podcast, then to translate Amanda’s outline into slides for the climate change presentation. I spent the early morning shooting new pics for the slides and inserting them, and then we headed to Dadeville. The presentation went better than we could have expected. Then lunch at Oscar’s, then a longer visit than we expected with Bill and Dee Shell, then to Kowaliga Restaurant to meet Adrian and Chris Shuemate. Then we finally got home about 9:15 exhausted.

August 16

2013

Cool and cloudy. Felt great to work outside. First I staked several of Amanda’s peppers. Then I mowed the south and west lawns of the barn. Then I mowed the blueberry strip. Then I mowed the orchard inside the deer fence. Then I hit the driveway around the barn with the propane torch. Then a late lunch. Then I did indoor work, getting through e-mail, an afternoon session, and printing the bulletin.

August 17

2015

Amanda was gone to Montgomery most of the day. I started the day with a trip to town to change the sign. Then several errands. Then to Betty Stricker’s farm to pick up logs for firewood, a burn barrel, several t-posts, and a propane heater. Then home to unload everything. Tested out the heater to make sure it works. Then I moved the chickens. After lunch, I did quiet work during the rain. At the end of the day the rain let up, so after feeding the fish, I used the weedeater around the blueberries, around the deck on the barn, and around the orchard fence.

2014

No farm work today. We had a good morning at church celebrating Jimmy and Betty Weldon’s 54th anniversary and having them renew their vows in worship. Then a nice gathering afterward, then to the farm where Amanda and I both rested. Then rehearsal at the Guest House. Then home for a brief supper with Adrian before she headed to the lake for the night. 2013

Up and out early for Beans & Rice at the church. then briefly back to the farm to unload some items and pick up others. and then off to the lake to get ready for SS Book Club tonight.Seeing the forecast for rain, we morphed our plans from low country boil to boiled shrimp, potato casserole, lima beans, and homemade bread. Susan Powers brought cheesecake for dessert. Just a lovely evening.

August 18

2014

This morning I made a big move of the chickens, transferring them to the space between rows 8 and 9. Later I had two sessions and changed the sign at the church. This afternoon I spent with my head down building the slides for our presentation to CAMGA on fall vegetables.

August 19

2014

Up early to take some more pics, revise the CAMGA presentation, and get it ready to show. Then we drove to Wetumpka for the meeting. After the meeting, we stopped by Wetumpka Depot to return the whores’ prom dresses that Amanda had washed. Then back to the farm to rest and do quiet work.

August 20

2015

Amanda headed to Wetumpka this morning. First I worked on the slides for our cover crops presentation. Then I fed the chickens, then mowed some of the orchard floor, then bush hogged between the barn and the lodge. This afternoon I started with quiet work. Then packed for the lake.

2014

This morning I headed over to the West Side to cut down and buck up three doomed trees near the Greenfield. I brought them back and started splitting. By the middle of the afternoon I was able to fill up Pallet #6 and place it in line with 2-5 on the orchard floor. I still have a little wood in Scamp’s bucket to use to start Pallet #7. We’re knockin’ ’em down! This leaves Pallets 7-11 still needing to be filled. This afternoon we had dueling jellies. Amanda made a small batch of pepper jelly and I cut up the pears Virginia Pruitt had given us for pear preserves. Because both batches were small and both needed a 10-minute water bath, we were able to can them together. Didn’t finish until 7:30 or so, so we were both exhausted. Didn’t get a chance to record the podcast, so that will need to wait until tomorrow.

August 21

2014

Recorded the podcast this morning, and then I edited while Amanda pulled squash from Bed #7, her trap crop bed. I took her picture for the podcast, and then I set the squash afire while I pulled clothes from the line. This afternoon we made several stops in Wetumpka, then quiet work before we headed to rehearsal.

August 22

2014

Insanely hot today. I spent it felling trees south of the orchard (to open up the view from the lodge) and splitting them for firewood. I stopped more frequently to rest and drink cold water, but the heat didn’t really bother me that much. It’s taking longer to fill a pallet now, because it takes so much time to bring down a tree and buck it up before I begin splitting. Pallet #7 in a little more than half full after today’s work. Today before lunch I stopped to shower, and it’s the first time I welcomed an honest-to-goodness cold shower. This afternoon after I knocked off from splitting, I put labels on the pear preserves and pepper jelly and stocked them in the root cellar. We’re slowly building up a nice supply of canned food! Then I picked about seven pounds of muscadines from the supreme on the east end of Row 8, my best producing plant. I estimate I picked about 1/3 of the berries, so that puts its production at about 20 pounds. Extrapolating further to the other muscadines, that means the total production this year will be in the 80 pound range. This is in comparison to maybe 15-20 pounds last year. Encouraging increase year on year.

August 23

2014

This morning I made yellow cake and baked it outside. Amanda planted collards in Bed #7 and mulched them with pecan waste. I set up hoops and deployed insect barrier on them, so now the collards are reasonably protected from those voracious grasshoppers. This afternoon we traveled to Loachapoka for Whistle Stop practice and a cookout.

August 24

2014

This morning before church I defrosted the deep freeze. I moved all its contents into the fridge in the barn and two ice chests, and there were several items I didn’t mind leaving on the counter in the kitchen. It’s amazing how fast the ice melts in the summer heat; it was almost ready to turn back on before we left for church. When we returned this afternoon I wiped it out and turned it back on, let it chill down, and returned the contents to it. We need to be more attentive to our food purchases. We had four loaves of whole wheat bread, three packages of whole wheat bagels, three packages of whole wheat hamburger buns, and a virtually inexhaustible supply of fake meat. This evening I grilled some of the real meat from the deep freeze, 12 thighs, 3 breast portions, and one large salmon filet. 2013

Missed several days. No excuse. Just let other things get in the way. This morning I staked tomatoes on Veg Hill and then fashioned a homemade tomato cage for a couple of others. Then put the first coat of paint on the little bedside table Amanda found that will go in the downstairs bedroom at the lake.

August 25

2015

Picked our first 8 pounds of muscadines today. It’s too soon to say for sure, but I think this year’s harvest will top last year’s 80 lb. Today was the first day I could honestly say there was a hint of fall in the air. Low humidity, lots of sunshine, cool, and breezy. Delightful to be outside.

2014

Filed a divorce case this morning and then adjourned to the area south of the orchard to fell another tree, this one a trash hickory that was blocking my access to the one I started out wanting to take down. It was leaning sharply up the hill, so I was able to cut it down with one cut rather than needing to use two. Spent the better part of the day bucking it and splitting it, resulting in a full Pallet #7 now on the orchard floor (six down, four to go!). Then disaster. I was retrieving the gas grill from the pallet rack to cook salmon when I clumsily toppled it over, knocking the handle off and spilling the grills and pan everywhere. Laboriously, tediously, working on the top shelf of the pallet rack, I managed to get the grill back onto the pallet forks and get it down to the ground. The grill seems to work fine, but I’m not sure what I’ll do for a handle. At least the salmon was delicious. 2013

Morning Prayer at church, then to Montgomery to have lunch with Mama. Worked on her computer a good part of the afternoon. Stayed until nearly 7:00. so we were pretty much worthless by the time we returned.

August 26

2015

Started the day mowing the grass south and west of the barn to get it ready for today’s big run of laundry. Then I mowed Veg Hill. Then I used Tractor to bush hog the areas around the lodge and the barn. Unfortunately, I lost control of the steering at a critical point and took down a small blueberry bush. Doing everything I can now to help it regenerate while there’s still time in the growing season.

This afternoon I installed the tube on the kids’ bike and discovered that the rear tube too needs replacing. Bummer. Pruned and trimmed the kiwifruit and muscadines on Veg Hill; then I picked about 6 lb of Noble muscadines, bringing the season harvest to 14 lb.

2014

Today I brought down that tall dead sweetgum that I had set out to remove several days ago. Made good progress bucking it before I ran out of day and energy.

2013

Quick visit with Barbara Watts this morning, followed by errands in town. Then I cleaned out the Roomba. Then long visit with Rodney Griffith about the changes we’re asking him to make to our driveway and cleanout around pond. This afternoon was mostly occupied with changing out the motherboard on my PC. Went smoothly.

August 27

2015

Started the day with a visit with Scott Ruppert, who will be installing our new whole house fan next week. He’s optimistic it will go smoothly, and I guess I am as well. After a little quiet work, I removed the rear wheel from the kids’ bike so I could replace its tube. Then a trip to town to run several errands, including buying another tube. When I returned, I replaced the tube first so I could take advantage of my short-term memory about the assembly of the rear wheel. Then I bush hogged most of the trails on the West Side, an overdue task.

After lunch I did quiet work, then I dismantled the trellis on Bed #10 so Amanda and I could harvest sweet potatoes. We ended up with about three buckets full. That’s less than last year, but should be plenty for the season, and for some reason we have more normally shaped potatoes this year and fewer of the bizarre and oversized ones.

2014

Amanda spent most of the day in Birmingham. I finished splitting and stacking the wood I had cut from the downed sweetgum this morning, and then I got excited about using a new blade on my chain saw. Couldn’t get it to crank. Gave up and came in for lunch. A session this afternoon. 2013

Muscadines are only now beginning to ripen. They seem really slow to ripen this year. The Granny Vals are bringing up the rear as usual. The persimmons are shifting from green to amber but have a ways to go before they’re anywhere near ripe. The apples and pears are peaking now. This morning Adrian and I had a pleasant bicycle ride, and this afternoon we got Amanda on her bike for the first time! I finally sort of insisted. I think it went pretty well under the circumstances.

August 28

2015

I unpacked the whole house fan this morning to make sure it ran normally, and it does. Unfortunately, once I unpacked it, I couldn’t figure out how to repack it, so I got Amanda to help me move it on up above the apartment so it wouldn’t be underfoot down below. This lessens the chance that we’ll damage it while waiting for Scott Ruppert to install it. I then picked about three pounds of muscadines and spread them on a baking sheet to freeze. That brings our total to 17 lb. Amanda and I then took down some spent tomato plants and offered them to the chickens, and I removed from the trellis the PVC poles that had been supporting them. This afternoon we applied insect barrier to Bed #10, fresh after Amanda planted brassicas on it.

2014

We recorded and published the podcast first thing this morning. Then for the rest of the day, it was all mowing all the time. Started by mowing the lawn around the barn, then mowed and trimmed Veg Hill, then bush hogged the rest of the grass (except the orchard, which I didn’t try to address). Then I bush hogged a couple of circuits on the East side. By then it was time to clean up and head to MAGC rehearsal. 2013

Went in fasting for lab work this morning, then several errands in town. Then Amanda and I drove to Chris George’s farm to get a load of hog manure. I spent the rest of the morning into the afternoon spreading it before taking a break for shower and lunch. I spread 5-6 buckets near the top of the orchard where the grass was struggling. Then I just picked a spot about four feet south of row 4 and spread a row there. This afternoon I cleaned out the pickup (turned out to be quite tedious), coiled up a couple of hoses, cut some stakes for Amanda to use on her tomatoes and peppers, and cleaned off the porch.

August 29

2015

We had planned to attend the funeral for Al Cantrell’s dad today, but we never made it. Got a call this morning from Adrian that she was at the medical clinic in Wetumpka for help with a headache and vomiting. We suspected a migraine. We monitored during the morning. Then they referred her to Wetumpka Community Hospital to rule out brain tumor, etc before simply giving her medicine for migraine. We suggested she go to Baptist East in Montgomery instead, a suggestion she took. Meanwhile, we continued to work here. I bush hogged the orchard, then mowed the spots I couldn’t reach with the bush hog. Unfortunately, in the process I severed the irrigation line on 7 and the trellis line (aircraft cable) on 1. Bummer. Then I moved the chickens and repaired the irrigation line. I’ll have to wait to address the trellis line.

Then we drove to Montgomery and met Adrian at Baptist East. After the ER successfully ruled out the truly scary stuff, that left migraine or stress headache, so they gave her medicine for the pain and released her. Amanda and Adrian left in Adrian’s car and I followed them to the lake (after a detour to Genghis Grill). Then home to rest.

2014

One last prep day for friends visiting from Birmingham. Amanda started the day with a honey-do list, but I needed to focus on the church’s grant application and making sure my chain saw is in good working order for Monday. Couldn’t address it, though, because one person dawdled sending me what I needed. So I did outdoor work instead. Started by changing out the chain on the chain saw and got good news. Everything works fine with a different new chain. I must conclude that the new chain I tried Wednesday was defective. Then I bush hogged an area Amanda was concerned about just north of Veg Hill. Then I split the wood that was in Scamp’s bucket and placed it pallet #8, which is now about 3/4 full. Then I cleaned off the porch of the barn and the pavilion and porch of the lodge. This afternoon everything finally came together and I got the grant request filed on time. I don’t know that it will be approved, but I know we did a good job presenting our case.

August 30

2015

The Darlene muscadine is peaking right now, making it the first out of the box among the muscadines. The Nesbitt is right behind.

2014

No farm work today. Enjoyed visiting most of the day with Randy and Candy Todd. Adrian and I did run to town in the middle of the day to help move tables and chairs from the Chamber offices to the Guest House, and then to set them up at the Guest House for MAGC. Then we had a delightful lunch at 1220 before returning to the farm.

August 31

2015

This morning Amanda was gone to Montgomery. I started with a trip to town to change the sign and several other errands. Then I picked 7 lb of muscadines, which brings our season total to 24 lb. This afternoon Amanda arrived at the lake and found a huge mess. She called me to help, so I loaded up a few tools and took off. We got it cleaned up. I made it home by 6:30, fed the chickens and the fish, and got supper ready. Amanda made it home about 7:30. Long day, particularly for her.

2014

Church this morning, then home for rest before MAGC rehearsal and then to Charles Borden’s 75th birthday party. 2013

First job this morning was to build a trellis bridge so we didn’t need to sink a t-post through the hardware cloth. I fashioned one using a TYP 2 x 6 lateral and two TYP 2 x 4 verticals, all screwed together. Then after Amanda and I attached the hog wire to the t-posts at either end, I used another 8 1/2 inch length of 2 x 6 to hold the hog wire to the verticals. While I was getting the lumber I noticed that the lumber pallet wasn’t sitting straight on the pallet rack. Discovered that it was actually being held up only by a length of metal conduit. So I cut three new horizontal supports out of 2 x 6 and placed them on the pallet rack. Now the lumber pallet is sitting squarely and firmly again. Then I bush hogged all around the orchard and down on the pond dam. This afternoon was mostly quiet work and watching football games. Roll Tide.