Friday, August 19, 2016

helpers

Last winter our neighbor recognized that a persimmon tree near his mailbox would be destroyed when they started construction or paved the road this year. So he saved quite a few seeds.  Earlier this week, some of Bobby's great nieces and a great nephew came over and helped me plant the seeds into cups. I didn't get pictures of the action (or of one saying "Mom painted my nails last night" as she refused to get near the bag of dirt. Did I mention she's not quite 3?!) or of the final result, but I'm hoping in a few weeks to see sprouts. At that point the sprouts will be replanted into larger containers. Hopefully by next spring we'll have decent seedlings. 

Most kids know which room in our house is the "toy" room, and they tend to gravitate toward it. Their grandmother told them to pick up, and I couldn't help but laugh when I walked in the room later that evening and saw this:


There's not a toy in the floor. I've not bothered to go in and straighten the box up so the lid will close. But it made me smile, and not just because the floor was clean. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

coming changes

About ten years ago, a small section of the farm that bordered our property was sold to the Wake County School System. We've known since then that both an elementary school and a middle school were going to be our neighbors. We also knew that when that happened, this view would change:

I know nostalgic people think I'm crazy, but I'm not an overly huge fan of living on a dirt road. The state does "maintain" the road, meaning that when the potholes and washboard effect get too bad they scrape it (and almost always cut our phone line) and add new gravel (which teenagers drive through super fast and sling everywhere). But that is not all that often. And we don't get a whole lot of rain, which means we have an incredible amount of dust. Sometimes in the summer it seems to just hang in the air. So I always thought I'd be glad when the road became paved.

But then ten years passed, and the layout of the school property changed, as well as requests from the town of Garner for the property. The long and short of it is that there will now be a town walking path that is right on the border of our property (and we have a pond), and immediately next to it is the school driveway. And the school wants a turn lane. So we were QUITE shocked two weeks ago when surveyors showed up in our yard, unannounced (by law you're supposed to have a 30 day notice), and started putting stakes around our 20 year old oak tree (in the picture below), our well, and in the opposite corner of our yard from the school property, all the way down into 1/3 of our yard. The stake they placed in the middle of our driveway I promptly removed.
We have yet to receive an explanation on any of the stakes from the BOE or DOT, no one will answer any of our questions, and their promised "we'll contact you next week" has now gone two weeks without happening. So we don't know if the paving of the road will require the removal of four trees, a huge section of our yard, relocating the dog's underground fence and our well, or not. I know that the person we've dealt with over the years left her job sometime in May. I don't know if the person who replaced her is overwhelmed in the new position, or simply inconsiderate and incompetent. But one of our neighbors is being treated even worse. And it makes me angry. Eminent domain is one thing, but this taking this much is arrogant and unnecessary.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

moving out of summer

With the crazy humidity we've been having it certainly does NOT feel as if we're moving out of summer, but as back to school posts are showing up on Facebook news feeds and the tomatoes in the garden are fading and drying up, I have to accept the reality that it really and truly is August. This year seems to be disappearing before my very eyes.

And August means it's time to start transitioning from the garden to the fruit trees. The hard frost we had back in April/May (I can't remember which, just that it was bad and very late into spring) killed almost all the leaves and bud on our trees. Even our pecan trees took a horrible hit. So we weren't expecting much produce from our trees at all. Last week I started seeing squirrels running across the road with apples and pears in their mouth, so I had to admit to myself it is time. Yesterday I picked one bucket of both apples and pears (together), which is the lowest amount of fruit our trees have ever yielded. I've not checked the grape vines yet, though it should be time for the grapes to be ripening as well.


I decided to do apple jelly this year, which I've never made before. I didn't finish with all the apples yesterday and had planned to finish up today. Unfortunately, my sinuses/allergies triggered a bad headache that was nearing migraine status. So my day has mostly been a wash. It was almost five before I could get rid of the pain, and I am totally wiped. I've managed to get a little bit done (I actually stayed home from church tonight), but am mostly taking it easy. But hopefully before the weekend is out I'll actually have some completed apple jelly to show you.