If you're like us you're gardening at dawn and sunset. We're constantly
getting temperatures in the high nineties. Just to hot for us old gardeners.
We are expecting a little rain and perhaps some temps down in the
seventies and eighties, we hope. Weather heads here seldom hit the
golden bell and, most likely, they're taking wild guesses as we are.
The water bill and the electric bills have gone up double size during
the July/August times. Our AC seems to be running constantly this
summer. Our HOA lets us only have black roofs, dumbest rule I ever
heard. Native Texan and I want a white roof, at least some heat will be
pushed away from entering the attic and seeping down into the rest of
We water at sunrise and sunset, just to give the water a chance to be
taken up by plants and to soak into the soil for a bit. You can tell it
is hot when the St. Augustine grass is starting to turn brown due to
heat. St. Augustine will grow on concrete given a little water and some
At any rate, we are still getting a cantaloupe here and there and few
puny sweet chilies. Tomatoes have gone to the composter as have many
other vegetables. The kumquat tree is full of little fruit, second crop
after a January freeze killed all the blooms then. Have one lousy pear
on the pear tree and the fig tree has nothing, a freeze split it in
half, so we may have to get another fig tree.
I keep track of our old home in Louisiana and I see them getting rain,
getting clouds to alleviate the heat and I miss that climate. Moved here
to be close to kids, grands, and great grands and, since most of them
work, we seldom see them. Can't convince the Boss Lady that we should
move back to Louisiana. She has gotten fully entrenched into this
community and intends to stay. Oh well, she's getting some paying jobs
teaching senior citizens how to draw and paint so I shouldn't complain.
The dog and I don't mind being house bound as we can take a nap when we
very busy and very tired when i'm not
busy. in other words a normal summer with
plenty of projects going.
temps are moderate here today (currently
69F). next three nights are forecast to get
down to the mid 40s.
rains regular, but too much clouds. things
are not growing well without enough sun.
we picked green peppers today. they were
ok. Mom's turning them into stuffed green
plenty of red peppers coming along, just
starting to get some red on them. i hope
we get some sunshine to get them red. rain
is not forecast now until next Monday.
we also picked a bucket of tomatoes. i'm
not sure if we're gonna can them or if she's
going to give them away and/or eat them.
plenty more on the plants to ripen.
and she also made german potato salad
today from taters she dug up yesterday.
We're still right here in The Holler ... I've been harvesting some okra
and tomatoes about every other day , doing site prep and digging post
holes for our new deck , working on my motorcycle (and riding hers) ,
and cutting/splitting/stacking firewood for the coming cold season . The
wife has been working at Walmart and reading when she's off ... she
hates the place but feels locked in until February when she can start
drawing her SS . We did manage an overnight trip to Branson for dinner
and a show (Hughes Brothers) for our (44th) anniversary last week . I've
decided to keep her ...
My best friend of umpteen years was a weatherman in the Air Farce. He
always says forecasting is, at best, a wild ass guess. We've gone
through several hurricanes in various parts of the Texas coast in this
very long marriage. We've only run twice and came home to a home that
wasn't hurt at all. Then, there's always the chance of tornadoes coming
out of the hurricane and carrying house and all somewhere else.
We're about forty miles north of Houston proper with very few trees
around us. Trees falling on houses due to the tornadoes within the
hurricane is fairly common so we don't have many trees here.
I once rode out a hurricane aboard a USN destroyer and it wasn't fun but
we made it out okay. That was scary but I've never been afraid of
hurricanes one the ground. I guess you get used to bad weather when you
live this long and, what the hell, you have to go sometime and I'm tired
all the time.
I seldom shop at Walmart. Mostly because of the sad looking older women
I see at the registers. Plus most of their products come from some
country I never heard of and I've traveled the world for years. I did
recently buy a new office chair and Walmart delivered it by UPS. Nothing
was said about Walmart when I bought it. Weird. My old, thirty year old
chair, is now a roll around plant carrier. There's always something good
in letting good old stuff go. At least the wife's happy.
We will be married 57 years come December 26th and, so far, we're still
living and loving. We ain't as purty as we were in 1960 when we married
but we get along pretty good, still. She's gone teaching art a lot but
the dawg and I get some really good naps in while she is out. Plus she
enjoys the teaching and I enjoy the money she brings home. We're some of
the better off elders, we own everything we have, have some money in the
bank, are close to our kids, grands, and great grands, and, best of all,
we don't have to fly home from some weird country to see them. All the
travel was a lot of fun and learned a lot from folks in strange
countries but being home with your get is a lot better plus we don't
have to pack and run when some idiot decides he or she will run the
country we were in. I do love my time in the oil patch but love my
retirement even more. Oops, the boss is ringing the breakfast bell.
You and I are contemporaries with similar situations. My gardening
today is practically nil due to age issues, shade and deer. Formally
large garden has been reduced down to a few tomato plants. Too much
rain has been bad for them and they are pooping out early.
In spite of all the rain this summer, my next door neighbors well pooped
out and he had to drill a new one. Poor guy's grandfather just died and
back in January his wife was severely injured by a tree that fell on her
and the house. I've taken down any tree that might threaten the house
and tell everyone the same. We sometimes get hurricane remnants here in
Northern Delaware and sometimes tornado or tornado force winds and I
have seen a lot of houses damaged. I actually saw a tornado take out a
nearby school gym maybe 25 years ago.
Reading about the storm threatening Texas I hope you are not in the path.
We lived many years on the old family homestead and had a well,
sometimes it didn't work right but was easy to fix. Then we lived in
cities and the water never tasted right, the big difference was the
chlorine and other chemicals they put in the water. I worked as an
operator in a chemical plant for sixteen years, my job was turning river
water into water suitable for boilers and drinking and learned a lot
about water, which most folks just take for granted. Many years overseas
drinking shipped in bottled water, tasteless but healthy. The water here
comes from a man made lake and is piped all over the large area here.
It's okay but I still break out the chemical set and check the water
quality frequently. So far it has been okay. Told one of my great grands
that fish peed and pooped in water and he decided he would drink bottled
water for a while then he got over it. I hope he does that for his great
grands some fifty years after I'm gone.
We hope we are not in the path either, I will be watching it on the
computer to give us enough time to batten down the hatches before we run
for high ground. Been there, done that. Lost a cabin on Bolivar
Peninsula many years ago, also lost the lot so we don't have to pay
taxes on a vacant lot. That was a lucky one as family members are still
paying land taxes on lots that disappeared years ago.
It's hot as a two dollar pistol here but the sky is getting a little
darker. I probably should go on line and see where the storm is now.
Well water better than city water and when they were still alive my
mother and father would often come for water when theirs was tasting
like chemicals. Water is abundant here but not cheap and I figure over
the years well and septic have saved me a bundle. I'm a retired chemist
and have seen wells analysis free from plumber that wanted to put in
treatment but calcium was borderline so all I have is a sediment filter.
I have a generator for power outages but wish transfer box included AC.
None recently but outages have lasted as long as a week. Lines here run
along treed roads and since we are in a small area we are usually last
to get back service. I do have a portable AC that I bought a few months
ago when home AC was down for 3 days and it was very hot. I could run
that off the generator.
Hope storm does not bring problems to you.
We live right on the verge of The Woodlands of Texas. Pretty far from
the Gulf, and a higher elevation (barely) than Houston area. I've been
watching hurricanes come ashore since I could read and write and that
was age four. Wife and I just had a conversation about this storm, she's
from Maryland and we've been through a few hurricanes and tornadoes
together over our long married life. She gets nervous and wants to run
and lock everything down, I'm not to concerned about this storm. Mostly
because of where we live now, how high the area is above sea level, and,
I guess, just because I've lived through a great many hurricanes. That
doesn't mean we won't stock the SUV with clothing, food, etc. just in
case but I don't have that weird feeling I get when hurricanes are
Over the next 48 hours we shall see what happens.
I'm reminded of a horse owner friend who had a cartoon tacked up in
the barn: Grinning horse in stall; sweating woman with steaming
wheelbarrow full of poo, muttering "I love horses, I love horses..."
You may apply this to digital technology if you wish.
And I'm in garden recovery mode; planting fall things and trying to
get the upper hand on the weeds.
Looks far enough from Houston, probably as far as we were from Sandy
when it hit NJ a few years ago but we lost power a half day and a lot of
trees were down.
I told my wife the other day when power when out for a couple of hours
in the evening that we were spoiled as it was not a threat but just an
inconvenience. All the wealth of things we have now like TV, internet,
phones, we feel bad when one is lost even for a brief period.
I can remember when my folks got a tv in 1953. On Saturday nights all
the neighbors would come over to watch the old wrestling matches. The
good part is that they brought stuff to eat and drink.
I've never cared much for wrestling and boxing. I would like to have a
NRA channel and some good shooting matches. I'm a better shooter than I
am a hand fighter.
I started with the internet in 1982 with an Osbourne One. Took forever
to get emails going so mostly used it like a typewriter with a tiny
screen. Cost a good bit of money back then, now computers are fairly
cheap compared to a big screen TV. I keep hoping someone will bring out
a big screen with a computer set up. I wouldn't need my glasses to read
I stayed in my room with my books and kept the door closed. A lot mo
I just checked and there are 3 sportsmen channel dealing with out door
sports on Comcast cable. One channel is just fishing but Outdoor and
Sportsman channel mostly shooting sports. Years ago I got an email from
Jim Scouten who had a shooting show on NBC sports that got taken off for
rodeo. I had asked him where to go and Dish was his recommendation.
Got him back on Comcast cable when we went to HD channel a few years
ago. Yesterday evening I watched his show after seeing Jerry Miculek's
Shootout Lane show.
Can't remember year we got a TV but an uncle in the neighborhood was
first to get on circa 1950 and his living room was crowded every
Saturday night watching Milton Berle show on, as I recall, a round 8
inch black and white screen.
Looks like biggest threat from Gulf hurricane is rain. A foot over a
couple of days will cause flooding where you normally don't see it. We
live up hill but creek below can get flooded as well as stream to it and
I've seen neighbors basements get flooded.
Same old me, doin' the same old things, in the same old places.
Oh: And feeling "grateful", I s'pose one might say, for the opportunity.
Okra and peas bearing with more coming. Hoping they'll carry me
'til October, maybe 'til Hallowe'en. Several varieties of sweet and
warm peppers. Not enough of the sweet ones, though. That's an error I
continue to repeat. Eggplant. One tomato that appears to be holding on
(because it spends its mornings in shade, I suspect) but is not even
close to actually making tomatoes. If it survives the remaining hot
weather, maybe in September or October it'll resume fruiting.
Unfortunately for it, said tomato occupies my favorite onion nursery so
its days may be numbered, regardless. Tomatoes are not a priority item
around here. Onions get planted in the fall, after the weather cools a
bit, to be transplanted in December or January. Trying to figure a way
to increase onions by about a third but expanding long?season crops in
limited bed space makes for interesting bedfellows and companion
planting "experiments"; ha. Almost time for fall green beans: Another
week, or so. Delinel, for sure and a tossup between "provider" and
"slenderette". Nearly time for garden peas, too. If I get an early
start and they don't get frozen in January or February, I can have peas
continuously from October or November 'till May or even June (not often
June). For examples, those planted in 09 September '16 lasted 'til
mid?March, this year, and those planted 12 December, '16, made it to
early May. As a rule, if they're planted up 'til early February,
they're good 'til May, when the heat finally gets to them.
Early mornings have been a bit cooler of late, signalling that my
gardening year is about to begin and creating a breath of optimism
toward an early start on some "cool weather" stuff this year,
specifically carrots, spinach, "English" peas. Didn't happen last year;
not unusual. Some years I can; some years I can't. Collards and
cabbage did all right but the broccoli was a waste. Of course, turnips
and mustards did well. They're moderately heat tolerant and I'll be
planting "early" seeds of both as soon as some new okra plants get tall
enough to provide part-day shade.
The Axe and I are splitting this winter's firewood second thing in
the mornings. Fortunately for me, not much is needed by most of NA's
standards. I'm told that I'm of an age to be considering saving up for
a powered splitter but there's the 40?year relationship to The Axe to
Noticeable upsurge (a late bean threatening upsurge) in adult
grasshopper population means more "nolo" in January and/or February
(last applied in Feb 2012). Budget permitting, I'll cover a larger area
this year. Also noticed root knot in this spring's summer squash and I
turned up a couple of "grubs" in a bed this summer. I guess the degree
of infestation in the okra when it comes out will help decide whether
and when to dump in more predators. The last were applied in Nov 2011.
The predatory nematodes take out a couple of troublesome "leaf miner"
gnats, beetle larvae, and some other nematodes. Of course they may be
the reason I never see any _large_ earthworms in the garden but those
things happen. Or maybe those worms just don't get big; who cares? At
least the don't seem to molest ground?dwelling instars of wasps.
See what happens when you go around turning over rocks and poking
at stuff with a stick?
We're hoping for that rain to come here. Haven't had much free water
this year and it's a pain watering our plants twice a day to keep them
going. I think we're high enough up from the Gulf that we won't flood
badly. Some of the smaller roads going here and yon haven't been built
up yet so they will flood easily.