Monday, October 16, 2017

What is He Waiting For?

He was waiting as we drove by early in the morning and was still there when we returned in the evening.

I think he was waiting for dinner.  What do you think?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

My Husband's Favorite Country Store

Back in May, I shared my favorite country store and now I will show Bill's preferred store type.  Normally when he goes shopping, I stay in the car and snooze.  Not today, I decided to explore.  Definitely a man cave; however pink camouflage guns are beginning to be popular.  There were none in the store on this day and it appeared emptier of merchandise than usual.

The first thing you notice when you approach the front door is this sign.  They take gun safety seriously. Every person inside is probably armed so it is friendly but no-nonsense.  An armed society is a polite society.

In addition to selling guns, they also sell archery equipment.  These are compound bows which are different from the traditional longbows you see in movies.   Compound bows have wheels which store the energy so when you pull the string back to full draw, you are only holding a small percentage of the poundage.  A compound bow with a 70-pound draw weight, (which is like pulling 70 pounds) has a typical 80 percent let-off.  This means you are holding back 20% of the 70 pounds or only 14 pounds.  With a traditional longbow, you must constantly hold the full draw weight until you shoot. Most people can't pull back a 70-pound bow much less hold it while waiting for the perfect shot.  I can't even pull back a 50-pound bow.  It is really hard.  Traditional bowhunters jokingly refer to compound bows as having training wheels.

Compound bows.
This is a bow press which is used to push the limbs together so you can change the strings and "tune" the bow.  The wheels must be synchronized so the arrow will fly straight.

Bow press.
You can't buy a bow without buying arrows and every type of gizmo possible.

The table below has a row of fletching jigs which are used to hold the arrow while gluing on the plastic feather veins.  

If you buy a gun, you will also need accessories and more gizmos.

This is a vise which holds your gun while you work on it to mount a scope or attach more gizmos.

Gun vise.
In the middle of the store is a room size vault which stores the rifles and guns.  Federal law says all guns must be secured when the store is closed to avoid theft. This is the door to the vault.  Like I said, they take safety seriously.

The walls are lined with rifles and shotguns and the handguns are in the glass display case in the center. 

These are the modern sporting rifles.

Modern sporting rifles.
This section is all shotguns.

If you are wondering about the price.


These are the handguns.  I looked for a pink one but they were sold out.  They would have been glad to order me one.  I am sure.

This is my happy hubby.  His new toy finally arrived.  I love it when he buys a new gun.  Now I get to go shopping because he can't say no!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Signs in the Heaven from God. What Do They Mean?

September 22, 2017, the new moon over our front yard which signaled the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets.
I, Scooter, knew something was up because it was time for the Feast of Trumpets.  This year would be the appearance of the prophesied star sign in the book of Revelation of  "The great sign in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head..."  If God said it is great, it must be important.  Some of my non-furry pack members returned home to celebrate and as always, brought their junk.  Why can't they be more like me and travel with only a fur coat?  We dogs are much smarter than humans.

Me observing the junk beside my favorite on-guard-duty-spot.
Since they are here for a short time, I am nice and move aside so they can find places to sit, even though I am higher on the pecking order.  When you are Pack Leader's favorite, you should be gracious to the others below you.

Mom cooks for days before they arrive so there is plenty of food for everyone.

Meatloaf. I smell meatloaf. Give me meatloaf. Now!
Members of my pack eat anywhere they want which means I must work the whole room to be certain I do not miss any dropped food.  I am an expert at manipulation begging.  No one can resist my charms.  Watch me work.

I see food
I want food
I am starving.
When we spotted the new moon in the sky, it began the Feast of Trumpets so it was time to blow the shofar (ram's horn trumpet) which is the sound of the voice of God.  My pack members are gentiles and don't have a shofar nor do they know how to blow one.  They did the next best thing and played one on youtube.  I know the sound of God's voice, all animals do. They could have asked me; no one ever asks me.

I really do know it all.
Mom only speaks English so she does not realize the word "Feast" is a poor translation in her Bible.  It should mean an appointment, (Strongs #4150, Moed) which literally means a stated time to meet together for a dress rehearsal for the real performance.  They are like the rehearsal dinner before a wedding.  Everyone meets together at a set time so they can prepare and practice for the real event which will happen at another time.  Jesus fulfilled the Spring feasts (Passover, First Fruits, and Pentecost) when he came the first time and will fulfill the Fall feasts (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) when he comes again.

Jesus told a parable in Matthew 22 about a wedding feast where many people were invited but few bothered to attend.  Mom wants to be prepared so she will know what to do at His wedding.

If you want to prepare also, these videos will help.

Mark Blitz, The Feasts of the Lord, Learn God's Timing and Calendar
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Before they left, Mom wanted a good picture of everyone together.  They took a million pictures but all were silly.  I was embarrassed by their behavior and didn't want anyone to see my face.

Then Pack Leader looked at everyone, silence followed. Pack Leader never says many words but everyone understands.

Smile for Mom so we can get to the chocolate cake.
A weekend of being the center of attention with constant rubbing and dropped meatloaf crumbles is how life should always be lived.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September's Garden (2017)

The word which describes September's garden should be "neglect".  It has remained hot and humid until the end of the month, and I am tired of it.  All I have accomplished is harvesting what was ripe, ignoring the remainder and planting seeds for the winter garden.  Sometimes you have had enough, and this month was my limit.  Next month will be rough so I have allowed myself time away to do other things.

The first row, closest to the field is okra which has grown so tall I must bend the plant over or stand on a stool to reach those at the top.

The pods need to be picked every other day or they become tough.  Since I am known to be neglectful, I tried a new variety this year, Louisiana 16 inch Long Pod (upper) which is supposed to remain tender at longer lengths.  It does stay tender a bit longer than my usual favorite, White Velvet Okra (below), but not that much, certainly not what the seed catalog claimed.  Before the large seeds turn black, they can be used to add okra flavor in recipes such as rice, soup, stirfry or beans.  Cut the top and bottom from the pod, then peel it like a banana and knock the seeds out.

The row next to the okra is Henderson Bush Lima Beans. They love the hot miserable weather and have managed to produce a second harvest. 

It didn't appear the second crop would make it before frost, but yesterday I checked and they are loaded and ready to be picked.

Next is the row of an assortment of odd things.  This area will be used for one of my winter hoop houses.  Soon almost everything in this row will die when it frosts. The seedlings which were started earlier this month will be planted here.

The strawberry bed is in desperate need of weeding; it too has been neglected.  The flavor has improved and they are sweet again.  It is time to put the net back over because the birds have realized they are now delicious.

Peanuts are ready and waiting for a good rain to soften the soil; then they will be pulled up by hand and stacked in the front yard to dry.  I must put them close to the house or the squirrels will help themselves.  It will be a big job.

The tomatoes are being invaded by the sweet potato vines. The sweet potatoes will be the last thing harvested.  I like to wait so they can grow as big as possible.  A hard frost will kill the vines but the potatoes will store under the soil for a while.  It will be a difficult chore because the whole area must be dug and every inch searched for potatoes.

There is always a surprise. The sunflower finished blooming and looks ragged. Since the birds love the seeds, I left it up for a while longer.  Beside the root, in a small empty spot late in the season, I planted a banana melon seed.  It has circled beneath the sunflower plant, grown up the stalk and out on a branch.  Will they ripen before frost?  I sure hope so.

This month the compost pile looks even worse than last month. The Tahitian Butternut Squash has begun to suffer. The vine on the fence has deteriorated but the vine galloping across the field is in better shape. As they spread across the ground they root as they grow.  The vine on the fence is limited to only receiving nutrition from the single root under the compost pile.  Soon I will see how many squashes are hidden in the field.

The volunteer bean plant which sprouted in the compost pile and grew up the blocks beside the fire pit is growing rapidly.  I have discovered it is some type of Lima bean.  I love Lima beans!  The more the better.

Since I am located in lower middle Tennessee, we were hit first by the tail of hurricane Harvey, then by the tail of Hurricane Irma. We received high winds and rain, rain, rain.  Not enough to do any major damage, but enough to make everything soggy for weeks.  I never thought I would live to see the day I said it rained too much in August and September.

My Intense Purple Amaranth could not handle the winds along with soggy roots.  It is gone, but not before dropping a million seeds for next year.

Before Hurricanes
After Hurricanes
My tomatoes cracked and rotted on the vine due to all the water.  We were able to harvest enough to eat fresh but not enough to can.  This was not a good year for tomatoes.

Of course, the saga continued with my second yellow squash plant also being devoured by squash vine borers.  No surprise.  I did open up the vine so you can be repulsed and I could enjoy smashing them beneath my shoe.  Revenge is sweet.

What little time I have spent in the garden has been used planting for winter.  As usual, I am far behind.  The seedlings should have been started around the middle of August but, better late than never.  The best way I have found to start my seedlings is in paper cups I make from newspapers.  Avoid the slick colored pages because the ink may be toxic.  I fold the newspaper, roll it around the wooden mold, put a drop of glue on the edge, then press the bottom shut.

This is my plant nursery.  It is on the east side of the front porch and catches the early morning warm sunshine. The white siding reflects the light back and the concrete holds heat long into the night.  Warmth is not important now but it will matter soon when the nights begin to cool.  When they dry, the water faucet is close which makes it easy to fill the boxes with water.   

Plastic CD holders with a hole drilled in the bottom are perfect for starting seeds.  After they sprout, I move them to paper cups filled with a mixture of dirt and potting soil then place them in cardboard box tops lined with plastic trash bags.  After the seedlings are a few inches tall, it will be easy to transplant the whole cup into the ground.  The paper cups keep the roots from being damaged so the plants will not be shocked.  After they are planted, the plastic bags are trashed and the cardboard is composted.  

Empty spots in the garden have been planted with saved seeds from last year's winter garden.  Nothing has been weeded yet.  All I did was rake the ground and throw the seeds out.  This is an empty flower bed in the front yard that I never got around to planting any flowers.  This area was chosen because I did not have enough empty spots in the vegetable garden during August.

This area is in the back of the vegetable garden by the woods and has been munched by many critters.  Since showing it in last months garden update, the few plants left have grown large and I have sprinkled seeds in the empty holes.  This will become hoop houses when cold weather arrives.

These are the collard greens that seeded themselves from the plants that bolted in the Spring and we have already eaten many of the leaves.  This area will also be under a hoop house although collard greens don't really need to be protected.  However, they are my favorite and I want to make sure I have enough in February.  

Next month we transition from summer to winter gardening.  Around October 15th, the first frost may hit and kill the summer garden.  All the warm weather produce must be harvested by then while at the same time preparing the winter garden.  It is a frantic race against the clock as I watch the weather report constantly.  

Harvesting summer crops will begin with digging and drying herbs. The last of the beans will need to be picked, shelled and frozen.  The peanuts will be dug, washed, dried then it will be time to dig the sweet potatoes.  The butternut squash must be found where they grew out in the field, pears will need to be picked, dehydrated or made into jam.  The pecans may be ready to harvest and must be watched closely or the squirrels will get them.  At the last minute right before frost, the remaining tomatoes, peppers, okra, and herbs will need to be picked.  Strawberries prefer the cooler weather and will begin to produce.  It will be a hard month.

The weather will be magnificent.  Fall in Tennessee makes living through the summers worth it.  Every second outside is enjoyable.  Mornings will be spent on the back deck with a cup of coffee.  It will be difficult to come inside at night.  Evenings will be enjoyed on the front porch watching the sunset with a cup of hot tea.  When it cools, blankets will be used; when it becomes cold, I will drag out an electric blanket, plug it in and stay even longer.

This morning's sunrise from the back deck. 
This past September was hot but Scooter knew how to cope while waiting for someone slow to finish picking okra.  First, find shade beneath the biggest plant where everyone can witness your misery.

Next, face Mom (she is the easiest to manipulate) with your eyes closed, pant hard and act as if you are exhausted.  Make sure there is a leaf hanging in your face and pretend to be too tired to move your head.  She will not notice how goofy you look, nor will she think you are beyond lazy because you won't bother turning your head to avoid the leaf in your eye. Just keep panting. Eventually, she will feel sympathy and let you back into the air-conditioned house.

If she takes too long to notice, peep out and see if she is looking then pant harder.  This trick works every time.

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