July

Key Tasks

Introduce shade cloth on the tomatoes to keep them from splitting. Plant fall tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in early to mid-July. On or around July 15, pull all blackberry flouricanes and train new primocanes to the trellis line. Put up peaches. Begin watching for the sales at garden supply stores. In particular, watch for native perennials that attract native beneficial pollinators and predators.

July 1

2015

We had a forecast of rain the afternoon but very low rain chances in the morning, so we jumped out early and packed a full day’s outdoor work into the morning. Amanda weeded and planted; I fixed some drip irrigation breaches on Veg Hill, mowed, and used the weedeater, and then I blew off the pavilion and porch of the lodge and the porch of the barn. This afternoon after Lunch with the Boys and shopping in town, I tested out our new windscreen for the Zoom H2n. It is profoundly ugly but effective. I made rolls this afternoon.

2014

This morning I pulled the solarizing plastic from beds #15 & 16. Had two sessions scheduled later this morning, but one of them just didn’t answer. This afternoon I worked in the orchard pruning, shaping, etc. I’m now in a regular routine of sowing cover crop each evening when I move the chickens. I’m now down to only one Nesbitt muscadine cutting that’s still alive. I think I’ll cut some more and plant them. I’d like to have a few backups. Hung out clothes in the morning and collected them this afternoon.

2013

Picked up Cracker at Parker Tire this morning, then a session that ran overtime. The rest of the day was occupied with our day trip to the lake, although Adrian and I had to cut our trip short to meet the movers in East Tallassee so they could transfer her stuff into the mini-storage.

July 2

2015

Busily preparing this morning for a visit from Scott Somerset and his fiance Karen. We cleaned up the apartment, and Amanda planted out on Veg Hill. Delightful visit this afternoon with Scott and Karen, mostly focused on what we learned in the process of building the lodge.

2014

After a quick trip to town, we welcomed Toni Bourke and her family to the farm today. Nice visit. This afternoon I pulled down the splitter off the pallet rack, removed the spark plug and cleaned it in a little gasoline, and cranked the engine a few times with the spark plug still removed. I also removed the air filter, cleaned it, and dried it in the sun. Then it cranked immediately! So gratifying. Now I’m waiting for the replacement handle to arrive. When it does and I install it, we should be ready to split firewood. Fresh from my triumph, this afternoon I mowed the orchard floor. I chose the hottest part of the afternoon to do it, and I had to stop about 2/3 of the way through to drink some water and to rest; then I was able to finish the job. We did not record the podcast this afternoon, so we’ll need to do everything tomorrow.

2013

Our last day with the Joe Bordens today. A leisurely breakfast; then we took a family picture. Then Smith and I drove Scamp some. Then Amanda spotted a water moccasin on the pond dam, so I dispatched it with the shotgun so Joe and Smith could do some fishing while Michelle packed up for them to leave. We followed them to Auburn and had lunch with Nancy at Bloomin’ Colors, then shopped at Kroger and returned home. When we got back the first task of the day was to mow the grass around the barn, then I mowed Veg Hill and used the weedeater around the beds. By that time it was getting late, so I quickly fed the fish and showered. Amanda and I ate supper in the lodge.

July 3

2015

Cutting down those weeds around the blueberries this morning, which should help them to grow and thrive. I finally committed this morning to the Granny Val in position 9.1. She now has only one shoot growing up, which I secured to the trellis line and clipped off to force branches.

We got two eggs for the first time this morning, although one of them was TINY. But hey, we know we have at least two girls whose plumbing is waking up, so we’re delighted.

2014

We recorded the podcast first, modeled on Sharon Astyk’s book Independence Days. Amanda worked on Veg Hill while I started a fresh crop of five Nesbitt cuttings to accompany the one that’s still alive. Then I bush hogged the area around the orchard and the grass south of the lodge. Then I mowed around the perimeter of the orchard and inside the three-line fence. Late in the day we shot a couple of pics of Amanda and the tomatoes to use for the podcast.

2013

I had planned to go to the church this morning and mow, but it was already raining at dawn and almost never let up all morning. So we decided to go ahead and record the podcast so I could leave all the equipment at home. Spent most of the day doing indoor work and dodging rainstorms.

July 4

2014

We’re clearly past the peak of blueberry season. We’re still getting berries, but more and more bushes are surrendering their last fruit of the season. Soon we’ll be looking at blueberries in the rear view mirror, and it will be time to prune. Apples are getting ready for a nice little run, though, and the muscadines are showing lots of promise.

2013

Rain, rain, rain. We published the podcast today about how much we appreciate government. Amanda watched gobs of tennis from Wimbledon. That girl loves her some Wimbledon. I was feeling a sore throat, so I babied myself and spent a lot of time in bed. Tom and Jan Bray came to see us this afternoon and we had a lovely visit; Tom gamely pitched in and helped accompany Adrian in singing her rendition of “I’m Proud To Be an ‘Epescitarican.'” Tom contributed a Boston butt he had barbecued. Yum! The rain let up nicely in the evening, so we loaded up and headed for Kowaliga to see the fireworks. When I noticed how little traffic there was I asked Tom to check online; sure enough, Russell Lands had decided to postpone the fireworks. So we turned around and came back.

July 5

2014

Some nice weekend relaxing time after the big day. We lay around. A long boat ride to see Robin and Buddy, Cherry and George, and Connie and Gary. This afternoon we picked blueberries, checked on the chickens, and watered the vegetables.

2013

Up early and to the farm to feed Oddie and the fish and to get a shower. When I returned I got a nice picture of Justin, Adrian, and Amanda and used it on a page for the web site describing the podcast theme music. Justin had to go on back to Birmingham to be ready to work a 12-hour shift tomorrow, so it was just the three of us for fireworks tonight.

July 6

2015

I’m afraid those magnificent Sweet 100 tomatoes are peaking. They sure have lit up the garden for me this summer. Ditto the blueberries, which are having a wonderful season if not a breakout one. The chickens have not missed a day for the last week producing at least one egg, and today’s was a good size. Yay!

2014

Preparing a place for the church’s trailer to return, so this afternoon I bush hogged the area around the gate on Rifle Range Road and the driveway up to the Greenfield. Ran out of time, or I would have put the bucket on Tractor and moved out of the way that big pile of clay gravel that’s been waiting there for me to use it. Next time I’m there I’ll move it to a spot inside the gate and out of the way of the direct approach to the Greenfield.

2013

We simply ran out of time and the grass at the church needed cutting, so I was headed for the church at 6:00 this morning. Cut the grass in the driving rain and got soaked in the process. I had neglected to pack a set of dry clothes, so I had to sit in my wet clothes to finalize and print the bulletin. Then back to the farm to feed the fish and Oddie, check Veg Hill (several cucumbers and a couple of tomatoes), do my exercises, shower, and fetch several items for Adrian and Amanda. It rained most of the afternoon; all three of us worked indoors on our computers. I spent most of my time updating and cleaning up the web sites (conforming links, updating plug-ins, cleaning out spam, that sort of thing).

July 7

2013. Good morning at church. Then back to the farm where I watched a little tennis and then beat myself up trying to get the pressure washer started. Siphoned out the old gas (why didn’t I run the gas out before I stored it?) and filled it with fresh gas. Couldn’t even get it to cough.

July 8

2015

We have a real aphid problem among the peas this year. All we know to do is to wait patiently for their predators to find them. Until they do, our pea crop is severely diminished. We came back to the farm after being away for three days and found two eggs in the laying box. Then one of the dominickers blessed us with another egg this morning. Then when I left them on the porch, Oddie got into them and ate them. Valuable lesson for me. Next time I kill the dog.

2013. I’m high as a kite. I completely rebuilt my divorce blog this morning, and it went off without a hitch! I had agonized over it for several days, because I knew what a disaster it would be if it didn’t work. But it did! The forecast called for partly cloudy weather in the morning and showers in the afternoon, so we fixed a picnic and took off in the boat for a delightful lunch. Good thing we did. It did in fact rain most of the afternoon, which worked out great for me because I had two sessions. After the sessions I cleaned up plugins and themes on the divorce blog.

July 9

2013. Our last day at the lake. We had another beautiful morning and took advantage of it with a long boat ride down to Gary and Connie’s place near Little Steel Bridge. Just delightful. Stopped back by the marina and topped off the gas tank and then spent the rest of the day cleaning up and packing up. When we got home we found the washing machine makes a funny noise and blinks a lot when it washes. The washer also smells of a dead animal. It’s still washing okay, but we don’t know how long that will continue. This evening Tom Bray and I managed to install the new lock in Amanda’s bike, and it’s now FIXED! What a relief.

July 10

2015

We’ve been away from the farm several days, and we’re paying the price. It’s hot enough for the grass to have slowed down, but there’s been too much rain for that. So much to do!

2014

We picked blueberries this morning at George Brown’s farm. We were disappointed to learn that George has begun spraying his blueberries. He’s decided it’s necessary to deal with Spotted Wing Drosophilia, a fruit fly newly arrived from China by way of Hawaii and the west coast. We are concerned, of course, because spraying poison isn’t an option for us. We’ll be doing some research in the next few weeks and see what our options are. This afternoon we recorded the podcast on the extent to which subsistence farmers can ever take a real vacation.

2013

Amanda spent most of the day in Wetumpka. I mowed the blueberry strip and then half the orchard until the mower ran out of gas. Left the mower in the middle of the orchard. Tim Ledbetter recommended a guy at Friendly Rentals, Eric Cagan, to work on the washer, so I called him. He happened to be down the road and was here within an hour. Took him about 30 minutes to clean out a mouse’s nest from behind the control panel and solve both problems, the stink and the funny noises and blinking. Problem solved! I ran out of gas mowing today and had to leave the Quick Dually on the orchard floor in the rain. Unfortunately, I also left the ignition turned on, which ran the battery down. When I hooked up the battery to the charger, it read open cell or sulfated condition and wouldn’t take a charge. It was working just fine before I let the battery run down, so I’m feeling very stupid right now. The big news of the day is that Oddie is not trying to follow me when I leave on my bike. That’s great news, because it means Amanda, Adrian, and I can now ride together wherever we want to go. Yea!

July 11

2015

Mowed the church grounds this morning, first with the small mower close in, then with the larger one in the fields. Then the weedeater. Then blowing everything off. Normally, Maurice and I would do it together, but he’s recovering from surgery, so today it was all my show. I was exhausted when I finished. Home to bush hog all around the lodge and barn, including inside the orchard. By the time I finished that, I was just a big, tired. sneezing mass of protoplasm.

2014

Great to be back and have some unhurried time to work. I started by installing the new handle on the splitter. It’s working great, and the splitter is ready to use. Then I opened the new stainless steel sink and installed the faucet on it. Then I mowed and edged Veg Hill. This afternoon I pulled lumber to build a stand for the sink.

2013

Another drenching day. Everything is wet, inside and out. Recorded the podcast and then helped Adrian record some music. The battery of the walk-behind took a charge just fine today, so it’s back in place and I’m ready to mow again.

July 12

2014

Spent most of the day at Loachapoka, first for the Tomato Tasting and then for Whistle Stop practice.

2013

We had three hours of partly cloudy sunshine today! We were able to dry some clothes on the line. I rode my bike to town with the two batteries from the gate opener, but Bruce at Carquest wasn’t able to help me. Amanda and Adrian drove to Montgomery to have lunch with Brenda Aiken. I took the Rincon Giant out for a spin just for kicks, and it reminded me why I love riding the Stromer so much. This afternoon I finished mowing inside the orchard fence. Even though I really slathered on the insect repellent, the mosquitoes were really after me by the time I finished. Hurriedly fed the fish and then hit the showers. Then I needed to lie down about 30 minutes out of exhaustion.

July 13

2014

Good morning at church, then to the farm for a quick rest, care for the chickens and shower, then to Depot for Whorehouse rehearsal. That’s going to be the story of our lives for the next two weeks, I think.

2013

Amanda and Adrian headed back to Montgomery this morning, this time to hang out with Mama. I cranked up the mower and used it to mow all around the lodge, as well as to the south and west of the barn, and then Veg Hill. Then used the weedeater on Veg Hill and around the lodge. By the time I finished, I was exhausted. This afternoon I took Cracker to Darrell Guilliams’ house and collected his trailer and all his buckets. Quite a collection. Then I slowly returned to the farm. Tuesday, I will slowly drive to the CAMGA meeting, give away the buckets, and leave the trailer there.

July 14

2015

The brutally hot weather continues. High today of 98, feels like 106. My technique for coping is to work for an hour outside, then sit in the direct path of the floor fan for 10 minutes and drink a big glass of ice water while I work online. Then repeat the cycle. Seems to work fairly well. Keeps me hydrated and relatively comfortable. Started this morning with identifying the parts I need for my Quick Dually mower and composing a lengthy email asking about them. Then I did a little weedeating until I noticed a leak in the orchard drip system. Stopped to repair it (and rebury the tape) while the system was still running. Then I replaced a fiberglass pole that I had lost a few weeks ago. Next I finished the weedeating I had interrupted. Then I did some pruning in the orchard.

This afternoon I decided to begin work clearing the tree that had fallen between the barn and Veg Hill, but that necessitated lengthy preparation. I started by drilling a hole to store the auger from Scamp (which hadn’t been removed since we reworked the floor of the barn). The dry dirt kept falling into the hole, so I used the hole diggers to ream out the hole and remove the loose dirt. I used Scamp’s bucket as a “kneeling wheelbarrow” to hold the dirt as I removed it, and then dumped the dirt in the woods. Then I removed the auger from Scamp and left it in the hole. Next I attached the mulcher to Scamp. Even though the PTO harness was badly rusted, it went on just fine. After parking Scamp near the downed tree with the mulcher seated on two concrete blocks, I was in the process of swapping out Tractor’s pallet forks for its bucket when Jayne and Ramona arrived for a visit.

We enjoyed visiting with them, but eventually I excused myself and returned to the task. I was making good progress cutting off the smaller limbs and putting them through the mulcher when we decided to break for the night.

2014

A session first thing this morning. Then I erected trellis on bed #6 for the tomatoes there. The time-consuming part was extricating the tomatoes from the cages that had collapsed around them and attaching them to the trellis. I basically was able to get about half way before stopping for lunch. This afternoon I attended to some paperwork, then I did some in-field repair to the chicken coop and run. A little more progress on the trellis for bed #10, and it was time to head for Wetumpka for rehearsal.

2013

Great morning at church. Took pictures of the vestry after church with and without Wells, so we can substitute the one with Wells if (after?) he becomes our permanent priest. This afternoon I did some quiet work inside on the photo, the web site, and next week’s bulletin. We policed up and I blew off the pavilion and front porch of the lodge. Cooked burgers on the grill for supper.

July 15

2015

I knew the weather was iffy in the afternoon, so I hit the downed tree south of the barn this morning first thing. By 10:45 when it was time to knock off and shower for lunch, I had all the branches either mulched or cut into segments for firewood, and the firewood segments were stacked up southwest of the lodge. Feels good to have that cleaned up. I had hoped to get back out this afternoon, but a late afternoon thunderstorm knocked those plans back.

2014

We started the day with a batch of pickles, which kept us busy right up to my 9:30 session. Then some paperwork. This afternoon I had two sessions.

2013

Leisurely breakfast this morning with Adrian as she and Amanda prepared to drive to ATL so Adrian could leave for the UK. I did the T-Pups thing with the blackberries this morning, and then pruned and trained the rest of the orchard. Finished the morning by bush hogging the path from the barn down to the pond. Two sessions this afternoon.

July 16

2014

Refreshing cool turn made today so pleasant to be out, with low humidity and slightly lower temps. I finished building the trellis on bed #10 and secured the cherry tomatoes to it. Then I did a little more securing of the tomatoes on bed #6 as well. Discovered as I worked that the weather station is not firmly set in concrete as I thought it was, so now we can decide where we want it to be. Amanda washed and hung out two huge loads of laundry. Completely filled up our clothesline and used all the clothespins, which is impressive. This afternoon we recorded the podcast and I began planning on the installation of the outdoor utility sink.

2013

Up early and on our way to Wetumpka with Cracker, a load of buckets, and Darrell’s trailer. We made it okay. After a helpful presentation from Mary McCroan on shade gardening, we gave away all 50 buckets. Then we put the extra lids in the recycling bin. We finished the morning by delivering the trailer to Johan’s house in Santuck so he can give it the mechanical once over. oddie after groomingThe big project of the afternoon was our first grooming of Oddie. I started by giving him a thorough bath and drying him with a towel. I needed help from Amanda to secure him while I trimmed him, but we both thought he looked pretty spiffy when we finished. He seemed to like it too. He loved running around in his freshly shortened coat. A quick trip down to the pond at the end of the day (freshly slathered in insect repellent) to feed the fish.

July 17

2015

We’ve been more away from the farm than home for several days, and the farm shows it. Grass needs cutting, beds need weeding, and porches need sweepin

2014

Another great day, cool with low humidity. I spent almost all of it on church business. A session this morning. Then Maurice and I pulled down and cut up the big limb that had fallen from one of the pecan trees behind the Little House. Then he mowed and I trimmed with the weedeater. Then a quick lunch and to the Food Bank in Montgomery to work with Jimmy and Betty, where we loaded up my truck and part of Jimmy’s with our haul. Back to the church to unload and stock shelves. Then a quick stop at the farm to take care of the chickens and shower. Then to rehearsal at Depot.

2013

Quiet work in the morning, and then I bush hogged the area southwest of the lodge where Amanda’s new magnolia is growing. Then we drove to the lake place to meet Shane from SWAT to deal with the ants. While we were there we changed out the shower head in the downstairs bathroom, which turned out to be more challenging than expected because we had lost the washer that went with it. I finally found a serviceable substitute at the Do-It Center in Eclectic, and it’s working fine now. The next task was to replace the third step going down between the pier and the floating dock. That went about as smoothly as we could hope. By the time we returned to the farm and unloaded the truck of all the tools I had taken, it was getting close to suppertime. I took a long nap, and then I fixed supper while Amanda worked out on Veg Hill to harvest cucumbers.

July 18

2015

This was Beans & Rice day at the church. So after we finished with that, we went straight to the lake and cleaned up the house, fridge, etc and put the cover on the boat. We returned home with the truck practically full and took a while to unload. Then toward the end of the day, I bush hogged around the lodge and barn.

2014

I had an early session today. Today was mostly about readying Scamp for the long trip to Ft Deposit tomorrow. Loaded up now and waiting for early morning getaway.

2013

Recorded and edited the podcast this morning, then we took a photo of Sad Longleaf to use with it. Then off to Montgomery for lunch and our food-shopping appointment at the Montgomery Area Food Bank. Purchased 1600 pounds to add to the 400 pounds we had on hand, so we have about a ton of food.

July 19

2015

The mower is still on the fritz and I’ve heard nothing from anybody at what used to be Better Outdoor Products, so I’m making do for the time being with a combination of the bush hog and the weedeater. That can’t continue very long, though.

This morning I used the weedeater on the west bed of the barn and burned some trash. Then I milled some flour and started a batch of rolls before church. This afternoon I finished making the rolls. Then I moved the chickens as ominous dark clouds promised an afternoon storm. We ended up with a nice thunderstorm that cooled things off, at least for a while. After it was over I used the weedeater on the lodge, Veg Hill, and the Blueberry Strip.

2014

Today was all about Jack Cater’s Eagle Scout project in Ft Deposit. We worked in the rain, but we got 10 4 x 4 posts set in concrete. They will have a couple of weeks to set up now before we have another day to attach the runners and slats to them.

2013

Got to the church early and mowed and trimmed all morning. I was exhausted when I finished, but the place looks pretty good. Then I had lunch at Hardee’s, then returned to the church to print the bulletins and send out the e-mail about this week’s worship service. Back to the farm, where I installed the new batteries for the gate opener. Then I brought down the Sunn hemp in Bed #3. By this time I was on impulse power, so I slathered on the insect repellent, fed the fish, and headed for the showers. After a nice nap, I did indoor work.

July 20

2015

We hosted Joe and his family at the farm today. I put on ribs about 6:30 this morning. When they got here we immediately headed down to the pond to fish and finished up with five bullhead catfish. Cleaning them took some time, and then we grilled them for lunch along with the ribs, some carrot salad, and some baked beans. Then they headed home. I showered and spent the rest of the day doing quiet work.

2014

Church in the morning, then an 8-hour rehearsal for Whorehouse. First tech (lots of stopping and starting for light and sound cues), and then a quick dinner break and a run-through. Exhausted.

2013

Amanda woke up feeling poorly and decided not to risk infecting people. The morning was all about Beans & Rice at Epiphany. We served 1600 lb of food to 44 families. 10 church members plus Buster helping.. Everybody did his or her job smoothly and well. Lunch with Weldons and Van Ettens, and then back to the farm. A little quiet work in the afternoon, and then I cut up the big oak branch that had fallen near the compost pile, mulched its branches, and started cutting up the big wood for firewood when I ran out of time. I showered and drove in to Jean Kerr’s house for foyer group.

July 21

2015

This morning early we welcomed Fred Hunter and his camera operator Mike from Absolutely Alabama. We had a delightful visit, and the chickens proved the most entertaining part. But we also talked about the orchard, the vegetable garden, and Sad Longleaf. I have no idea how much will actually make it on the report.

I had to leave early for the Camga meeting, which continued until noon. Then I returned to the farm and got some rest while Amanda drove to the lake to return sheets and towels.

This afternoon I tried and failed to remove the center spindle from the Quick Dually 36. I’m going to have to load up the whole mower and take it to Tom.

2014

This morning I changed the sign at the church and ran several errands in town. This afternoon I re-trellised a couple of the kiwis that had fallen on Veg Hill.

2013

Delightful morning at church, starting with pancakes and sausage at 9:30, thanks to Jimmy and Betty Weldon. Then worship with Ben Alford and a nice lunch with Ben and Lynn afterward. We stayed quiet in the afternoon; I worked on the church web site and next week’s bulletin, and I began the process of moving the church’s domain name over to www.hostgator.com.

July 22

2014

I bush hogged all the grass this morning, then a meeting in town, then rehearsal in Wetumpka.

2013

Amanda spent the day driving to Birmingham and back with Susan Powers to shop for a computer at the Apple store. I had a morning session and had blocked out the day to be here to greet the Sears repairman to check out the refrigerator, but I got a call from Sears about 9:30 to say their one technician was sick and wouldn’t be coming. Bummer. Then decided to ride my bike to town and run some errands. Then started going through papework (and there was lots of it to go through). At the end of the day it became apparent Amanda was not going to make it back in time to pick up a prescription at the drug store, so I ran to town in Cracker to get it for her.

July 23

2015

Amanda spent most of the day in Montgomery with Mama. I put my task list together and started hitting it. In the process, I bush hogged in and around the orchard and the area around the driveway, started the dishwasher, cleaned the roomba and set it off to clean, moved the chickens, gave them treats, and collected eggs, used the weedeater around the beds on Veg Hill, refilled the pecan waste bucket for the compost tumbler, cleaned out the dishwasher, repaired and put away our ice cream freezer, and cleaned off the work table. Finished with two sessions. Good day.

2014

Delightful morning puttering in the orchard pruning and training fruit trees, mainly muscadines and apples. This afternoon I used the weedeater around the lodge and then blew off the pavilion and front porch. Then some quiet work. The battery finally appears to have died in the Quick Dually, so I need to replace it before I can mow.

2013

Totally lazy day. Amanda went to work in the learning garden, but they sent her home because she was sick. I did indoor work. It rained most of the afternoon, and I worked to clean up the base of the shower so George can install glass doors there tomorrow.

July 24

2015

Started the day sinking a nail to skin catfish and then grinding it off to a dull point. It’s close enough to the house to be reachable by power and the hose but far enough so that the guts won’t draw flies to the porch. Then I emptied the compost tumbler and returned it to its position. This afternoon I enjoyed pruning on the orchard floor and on Veg Hill. Then I bush hogged the trail below the pond and a short loop on the East Side.

2013

George Hutto came this morning to install the new glass doors on the shower in the barn. They’re installed now and looking good. We must wait until tomorrow morning for Amanda to use them. We listened to Adrian and the Satin Dollz from BBC Radio Berkshire – they did a great job. This afternoon Amanda picked more cucumbers and decided to make pickles. While I was gone to town (confirmed that the Exede Internet service seems to be fine for our needs), she cut them up. When I got back we put them in the jars and then into the water bath. It was after dark by the time we removed them from the water bath, but it looks like a good batch.

July 25

2015

Started the morning bush hogging underneath the clothesline so Amanda could hang out clothes. This is a substitute for mowing because the Quick Dually is on the fritz. Then I bush hogged on Veg Hill. Then I moved the rest of the hay bale to a spot south of the raised beds so Amanda could use it to mulch beds. Then I dismantled the compost cage I had rigged up a couple of years ago. I stacked the chain link and a patch of deer fence over to the side so I can take them to the church during the week. Then I took all the compost down the hill to the work platform. I finished the morning moving the chickens. I had intended to give Oddie a bath, but I just forgot to do it. And by the time I remembered, he didn’t smell bad any more.

This afternoon was quiet activity, first Whistle Stop practice in Loachapoka, and then some quiet work indoors before Letters from the Heart Pocket tonight.

2014

I purchased a new battery for the Quick Dually 36 yesterday and added the solution to it this morning. It spent most of the day on the charger. I spent a good bit of time in town today attending to several errands, including a rather lengthy wait at Parker Tire while they put the Corolla up on the rack to find out just what needs to be installed to repair the damage done a couple of nights when we hit a possum on the road. We’ll need to take it back and leave it with them when the parts come in next week.

2013

Cleaned up after the pickles. printing labels for them and moving them to their permanent storage spot in the wine cellar. Then we recorded. edited, and published the podcast, a shortened version to help care for Amanda’s voice. The subject was cucumbers (and of course the pickles). This afternoon I did some quiet work. Then I finished cleaning up around the oak branch that had fallen near the compost pile. Near the end of the day I made a quick run to town for a session and to print the bulletin. Unfortunately the toner cartridge they sent me didn’t fit, so I had to eke by on the old one. Only was able to print 22 copies of the bulletin.

July 26

2015

The hot weather is really getting dreary now. This must be more than two weeks in a row using the air conditioner here in the barn, which neither of us enjoys doing. But it beats sweltering.

Spent the morning at church, then lunch with Mama, then she and I installed her “new” (since Christmas!) DVD player. It seems to work fine, but we couldn’t didn’t have a DVD to play in it.

2014

Installed the new battery in the Quick Dually this morning and it cranked right up. So good to have it running again! Mowed the south and west lawns of the barn and then Veg Hill before stopping to prepare for the MAGC rehearsal at 11. The rehearsal went well. So proud of how effectively Adrian is directing things. This afternoon was mostly quiet work.

2013

Mowed the Blueberry Strip and Veg Hill. Then the lawn of the barn. Then used the weedeater on Veg Hill. Then used the chain saw to bring down the sunn hemp in #4. Then I mulched the long tall trees we had piled up west of Veg Hill. I was finishing up bush hogging to the west and south of Veg Hill when Tractor dropped the bush hog. I gave up and came in for lunch. In the afternoon I got out and used Scamp to pull the bush hog back so I could remove the damaged part, a lift pin on the bush hog. Now I need to see how I can replace it, I’ve already satisfied myself that my usual suppliers in Tallassee (Carquest and True Value) don’t have it.

July 27

2015

Started the day putting on a load of rags and towels to wash. Then to town to change the sign, unload recycling, purchase wax paper, check the mail, and buy diesel fuel. Then home to hang out the clothes. Then I used the weedeater on the orchard fence and the muscadines. After lunch I avoided getting filthy again and did mostly indoor work.

This evening Tom Bray and I were successful using his tap & die set to get the blade retention screw to engage with the spindle on the Quick Dually 36. This was the major hurdle I faced in getting the mower to work again. Now I need to find belts and blades, and then I may be back in business.

2014

This morning before church I picked the last of the apples, and it was quite a haul. This afternoon after a too-short nap, I cut them up, then chopped them in the food processor, then cooked them with sugar and pectin, then put them up in jars for the water bath canner. I lost track of how many I did, but it was a lot, and I had enough apples to do about twice as much again. Let us pause to thank God for awesome abundance. Late this afternoon I grilled 24 chicken thighs, and we watched a movie with Adrian in the lodge. How nice to enjoy a break!

2013

Today was all about fireworks. Drove to Alex City to meet James Hart. First I stopped by the Sears store and visited with Maurice. Then to Tractor Supply to buy a new lift pin for the bush hog. Then lunch. Then to the softball field parking lot to meet James and his family. We worked hard most of the afternoon, until about 6:30, and got everything set up. Then we waited until a little after 10:00 pm to shoot. Watching a fireworks show up close is a different experience from being a normal experience. It was 1:30 am by the time we cleaned up and I drove home, and I was keyed up and didn’t get to bed until 2:30 or so. I shall need to catch up on my sleep at some point!

July 28

2015

First thing this morning I unloaded the mower from the truck, which is about a six-step process. Then I drove to town and ran several errands, including ordering a couple of belts for the mower and some wire to use in building a compost pile out of pallets. Then to the PO, then to the pallet place where I loaded up six pallets plus a seventh they gave me to cannibalize for parts. Then back to the farm to unload before I drove to Betty Stricker’s to pick up spoiled hay. Returned with it and took it straight down to the work platform where I mixed it in with the compost. Then shower, lunch, and two rather long sessions. Then I moved the chickens, fed the fish, and called it a day.

**2013. **Good morning at church. Didn’t feel too tired, and in fact I thought Wells’ sermon on the Lord’s Prayer was spot on. Then lunch with Mama, her friends Grace and Anna, and Anna’s son Ken and his wife Kay. Just a delightful conversation, with topics ranging from golf to cell phones to texting to romance to gardening, etc. I took a LONG nap at Mama’s house and then tried to figure out the router. All I can say with confidence is that both the routers we had appear to be kaput. Need to buy a new one; luckily they’ve dropped in price since we bought the last one.

July 29

2015

Today’s big news is that I finally got the Quick Dually 36 working again, but that was the last event of the day. Started with busting up hay this morning so Amanda could use it. And I used part of it for the ladies. Then I reattached the center blade on the mower and used the weedeater on the apples and pears in the orchard. Then a shower and a trip to town for Lunch with the Boys and several errands, including picking up the belts for the mower from Carquest. This afternoon I began working to attach the belts. Finally got them on about 5:30 and was able to mow a good portion of the Blueberry Strip before an afternoon thunderstorm drove me indoors.

2013. Amanda was gone most of the day to fetch Adrian from the Atlanta airport. I spent most of the morning indoors, designing the floating dock on Sketchup. It worked fine, but I realized after I got away from it that I was wasting too much lumber. Decided to do some outdoor work to clear my head. I removed the poly we had placed on 15 to solarize it. Once again we left the plastic in the sun too long, and it had begun to shred, so I had a more difficult cleanup job than I would have had if I had removed it sooner. After a quick trip to town I changed out the lift pin on the bush hog and started cutting on the core campus, the plot east of the lodge, the parking strips north of the lodge, the pathways down to the pond, and the pond dam. I got aggressive then, and bush hogged the area south of the orchard that I seldom cut. It looks almost civilized for the first time in many months. After taking time to welcome Adrian back and visit with her a bit, I mowed the north portion of the orchard before I ran out of day. Tonight after supper with Adrian I rebuilt the dock on Sketchup, making it three inches wider without needing to buy any more materials. It will also look a little nicer when you approach it (as most people will) from the side.

July 30

**2013. **Amanda was gone to Wetumpka to help in the learning garden, and Adrian was catching up on her sleep from the all-nighter in the Amsterdam airport. so I focused on clearing for pecans. So slow! Progress is measured in a few more trees down, a few more stumps cut flush with the ground, and a few more piles of brush ready to dry out for mulching. This afternoon I finished mowing the orchard, including the space between the deer fence strands.

July 31

2014

We recorded the podcast this morning on the importance of diversity in the context of our big apple harvest this year. Then I used the roller to put the first coat of paint on Adrian’s storage building. Then I edited and published the podcast. This afternoon was mostly brushwork on the storage building and moving Adrian’s gear into it, along with some quiet work. We had a Whorehouse performance tonight, so we were out late.

2013

Quiet work early, then we recorded and I edited the podcast. Then I used the weedeater on the orchard. Just as I was finishing I managed to tear up a strand of the electric deer fence with the weedeater, so I had to stop and repair the damage. By the time that was complete, there was a thunderstorm moving in. Stopped for shower and lunch. This afternoon I mended three breaks in the drip irrigation lines, one on the Blueberry Strip and two in the orchard. Then Oddie and I took Scamp down to the pond dam. We. were making good progress trimming the bank of the dam when we disturbed a nest of yellow jackets who took out their wrath and indignation on poor Oddie. I don’t know how many stings he suffered, but it was enough to get his attention. That stopped us cold on the dam trimming. Amanda came down and we fed the fish, but they were way off in their feeding. We don’t know the reason, but we speculate it had something to do with all the noise I made with the trimming so soon before we fed them.

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