Monday, March 22, 2010

Clean Bill of Health?

I’ve heard the old saying “The proposed project got a clean bill of health from the board of directors” etc.

I believed I knew what was meant when anyone used that particular phrase.
Today I am wondering if the Health Care Reform Bill” that Congress passed with three votes to spare on Sunday isn’t just a little bit “dirty.”

I heard it said this morning that so many lobbyists worked on the behalf of a number of entities that had a dog in the fight, that along the way toward yesterday’s results, each Congress/person was visited by at least eight different Lobbyists who were applying pressure attempting to get them to vote FOR the bill. That comment needs some clarification, for it makes no sense to me for a lobbyist to spend a lot of time trying to persuade any Congress/person whom was already known to be backing said bill. Perhaps that means that in reality every Congress/person NOT known to be backing said bill already received more than eight visits each.

What ever happened to the promise that lobbyists visits to our Congress/persons would be limited?  I wonder what the actual “Limit” was set at?

Well! The horses are out of the barn now. I hope they don’t stray too far afield and become difficult to round up. OH! That’s right … those are not really horses.

Also, I doubt that the fact this bill was voted on and passed on A SUNDAY was ever close to being a coincidence.  What it was is devoted worshipers of Lord Obama paying homage to him and his commandments.  All the rest may be stricken with leprosy. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Giant Tree Tomato Seedlings

Here you see two trays of Giant Tree Tomato Seedlings that I grew from seeds I saved last fall.  It was my first experience at saving my own seeds.  Who knew if I was doing it correctly?  I watched a video or two about the process and went from there. I stored the seeds in the snack drawer of my refrigerator. They stayed there all winter long.  That supposedly simulates the winter season without putting the seeds through the actual experience and exposing them to any number of natural dangers wild seeds are prone to being eaten by.

I didn’t have any idea how good a job I did for a beginner.  Let’s say I didn’t have a lot of faith in my efforts … so, when it came time to plant them I added two or three seeds to each compartment, thinking that at least one of them might make it.  How wrong I was. Everyone of those seeds sprouted and are now in the maturing process … whatever that entails. I’m learning as I go.

What I do know is that if I got only one viable tomato set from each one of the compartments in the planters I used, I would end up with 108 tomato plants. I believe I can use perhaps ten of them in my garden. Now, what am I going to do with the rest?   I will give many of them away to those friends I think will want them. That should leave me with around 50 or so.

I paid $10.00 for six seed containers last year. It was late when I received them in the mail.  I watered them and set them out on the patio table under a clear glass cake dish cover.  They came up.  I waited a while and stuck them in the ground over by my fence where I once had a large rose bush. They amazed me!  If I plant ten vines and they do as well as I expect, I should be able to eat tomatoes until New Year’s Day 2012. Of course, I’ll have to do some canning to accomplish it.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Migration, suicide or driven out by heavy rains - Earthworm mysteries

YES! This post is about Earthworms.  I know you are interested ... aren't you?

It's almost spring in Kentucky.  Temperatures are moderating, precipitation falls in the form of rain and not snow and our earthworms are committing suicide.  Well! That's how it appears to me anyhow.

I'm mystified as to the reasons worms do what they do at various times throughout the year.  I'm also baffled as to why birds that normally devour every worm they can find, especially Robins, DO NOT seem to like worms that are found crawling around on concrete.  Now that's really weird to me. Is it because they are too hard to pick up off the concrete.  I know they are because I've tried it a few times myself. Of course, I don't have a sharp beak to use for the job and all that slime those worms have coating them when they are crawling around doesn't help anything either.

I've also considered that it may be that birds other than Woodpecker types do not have a built-in shock absorber mechanism that allows them to pound their head against something hard repeatedly and those type, such as the Robin, could quickly develop a pounding headache which might cause them to forget they are hungry. Like I said ... it's weird. I've observed how Robins go at it as they thrust down into grass and soil to grasp a worm that's trying to escape.

One other thing I've suspected at various times during the year, especially the Spring time, after I've applied "weed and feed" to my yard, that the weed killing aspect of weed and feed could prove to be an irritant or poison to earthworms and their reaction to that is to crawl out onto any concrete nearby where the concentration of harmful chemicals is not as great and where they stand a better chance of survival.

I've often feared that with that many worms lying dead and dried up everywhere one looks, sooner or later we are going to run out of worms and then what would our yards and gardens do?  But ... next year ... there they are again, in abundance.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Inspired, blood surging, mind going a mile a minute and my body thinks it’s a good thing.

Today was one of my favorite kind of days. It was one of those days we wait for all winter long. Mild temps and occasional periods of sunshine.  I believe the weather people call it “partly cloudy.” 
On days like this, something comes over me and I have this urge to get the tasks on my early spring To-Do List done.  After getting Maureen to the bus-stop before six this morning and returning home, the rest of the day was all mine to do with as I saw fit.
I got out the two planting trays I recently purchased and sterilized them using a diluted bleach solution and rinsing them thoroughly. I filled all the compartments with special seed starting mix and wetted that down using a “MIST” setting on the hose nozzle. I allowed them to sit for a time, then rewet them and waited some more. Taking them into the garage, I sat them on the work bench and started planting seeds. The Bell Peppers were first. I had more than enough seeds to plants one half of one of the trays. I used one tiny compartment for planting a Pear seed I saved from a very special Pear I enjoyed last fall. The rest of the trays was planted with the Giant Tree Tomato seeds I so carefully saved from my first test planting last year.
I had clear, plastic covers for the trays, so I placed one on top of the other and sat both behind the door that connects the garage to the kitchen.  All those seeds need right now is warmth and moisture.
After that, I tore into the garage, trying to clean up and organize the over-winter clutter and mess in general. I DID achieve some major progress. Believe me, it’s not done yet. I still must get the women involved in the decision process concerning what to get rid of and what MUST stay for them to be happy. It has been a long time since I been able to see that much of my workbench at one time.
I had this little job I swore I would get done ASAP. That was to drive down to Dryridge, Ky to deliver that box of “Cow” themed ceramic figurines to my sister, Julie, who is the collector of such items in our family. Also, I thought I would stop by the little nursery where I had purchased the trays for planting my seeds and drop off the Giant Tree Tomato seeds I had left over. I accomplished both goals.  It’s a longer drive than I remembered and I missed a couple of the turns I needed to make and had to back-track to get back on the correct course. The guy at the nursery seemed glad to get the seeds. He said they were very healthy looking and showed much promise for germination. I told him I would stop by and talk about his results with them.
Upon my return home, I got a bite to eat and went back to work in the garage. I managed to return the snow throwing machine back to the small attic storage space above the garage, along with Maureen’s and my own golf bags.  I suppose that makes them officially “retired” too, just like myself.
Later, I brought out the patio table and chairs, then I tackled putting back the sliding, screen door for the patio door.  I’ll confess, that little job was kicking my butt for a while. Nothing was working the way it should. I got myself into a real job when I decided to exchange the top roller mechanisms for the bottom ones, believing that might be why the door was so difficult to slide. That seemed to help a lot but it’s still not like when it was new. I hate to think about what the real problem with it might be. Those carpenter ants could be undermining the wood support under the door sill, allowing it to sink somewhat. When the door guy first installed that door, he mentioned that I had some ants working the wood in that area. I’ve treated the who area with some very potent poison which I thought had solved the problem. Last year I noticed a “swarm” of ants emerging from a crack alongside the vinyl frame for that door. Could prove to be the harbinger of a disaster heading my way. Lord! I hope not.
I was simply worn-out by the time I went to pick Maureen up at the bus stop. I messed around out there for a while before dinner was ready. I didn’t accomplish a whole lot more before I called it quits for the day. I pulled the car back into the garage and locked up. There’s always tomorrow.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fuming and stewing - again

I can only assume, because I feel like this also happened to me personally, whenever I hear about such an injustice, I am instantly beside myself and the two of us look at one another and only get more and more upset and stew all the more.

I was watching Fox and Friends with Maureen this morning when THIS STORY WAS REPORTED. I couldn't see the TV screen after that because the curtain of steam that was rising before my eyes blocked my view. This kind of stuff is pure evil.

Thirty-five years on the job. Not one negative entry in her personnel file, and this top paid nurse was discharged because she failed to come in to work on one of the worse days of the recent storms which has plagued the New York area.

Read the story by using the link above and judge for yourself if this action is FAIR.

What's up! In my opinion, the hospital management saw an opportunity to cull the higher paid staff and cut a few head out of the herd for slaughter, thereby reducing their bottom line. As the story goes, some 250 employees failed to come in on the same day this one long-time staffer didn't show-up for work. So, why was she and a small group of other staff members led to the chopping block and made an example of?

I'm done now. Hope you will read about it and commiserate with me on the matter.
Something needs to be done about this and I suspect that it might ... but in the mean time, what are those few supposed to do?

Julie Kae Sings My Fair Lady

Julie Kae Sings My Fair Lady

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