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Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass
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Winter is comming!
Rain has finally arrived to the south coast of MA. There is the possibility of snow flurries, but I'm not concerned. I would like to get my dill harvested before a hard frost. But we shall see how the next few days go.

The buyer will take the camper this weekend. He wanted to meet up at 5 PM on Tuesday, but it's already getting dark and there's just too much to do to unhook the LP tanks, jack up the camper, remove the blocks, load them into the pick up truck, get everything ready to tow. The new location is only about three miles from where the camper is now, but I don't guarantee the running lights work on the camper! They don't need to be stopped en-route for no running lights! We settled on Saturday...and I will be in Rochester anyway at a client's working. I will be glad when this sale is done.

This has been a week of disasters...not for me as much as for some of my neighbor/friends. One gal, who is in her 80's...car broke down two days ago. She doesn't have a cell phone and had to walk back to the apartment building to call me for a ride to get her car towed. We had to leave the key inside the car for the tow truck or waited (for how long???). Since I didn't like the instructions she got (leave the key under the driver's side floor mat, doors unlocked), we took a ride over to the mechanics. He called the tow company, they said to put the key under the driver's side mat and LOCK the doors. They open locked doors all the time. I went by where the car broke down later on and the car was gone. Unfortunately, it was the alternator...and the bill is $900.00!!! WOW! I guess this is the price of a "modern" auto! Now, we have to get her over to pick up her car. And that is another situation...for she seldom if ever drives in the rain...and that is what it's doing today! Rain! Tomorrow, also. Rain. But she is fretting about it...and the bill. Poor gal, she has almost paid off her credit card and now another huge bill. Add to that her car insurance went up, she is trying to work that out with her insurance agent...and she has NO CELL PHONE!

I'm so glad I have an older car...easy to work on, not all the "safety" components to block getting to the motor to do work!

My other neighbor, the gal upstairs...and I went apple picking last Sunday. We got two milk crates of drops at a great price! I still need to scrub the apples and make sauce. Possibly tomorrow? Who knows!

On Sunday, while we were picking apples, I roasted a chicken with all the good veggies in a slow oven. When we got back from our apple picking, the bird and veggies was done. I had to brown the chicken, then shared it with several of my friends. They got plates full of really great food. I made gravy from scratch, it was outstanding! I save all my chicken bones...and had a large reserve in the freezer. I started a stock pot with all the bones (I boned the roasted bird, too) and simmered for 24 hours. Strained off the bones and was left with a wonderful broth for soup. Yesterday, I made chicken soup from scratch, using up the rest of the chicken from Sunday...and some more from a roasted chicken I bought at the store. I shared with the same folks who had Sunday's dinner.

I have been trying to get another neighbor/friend to early voting, but she has not been feeling well. Sinus, I believe. But she is the person who won't get out of bed...after walking her dog and feeding him & the cat, she goes back to bed! She signed up for more channels on her cable network, so she has plenty to watch in the bedroom. I have suggested she get out of the bed and watch TV on her couch, but that falls on deaf ears...as do many things. I don't know how to motivate her...

Today, I take my neighbor/friend to get her car. It's raining, so I will suggest she pay for the car and leave it till she can get a ride over next week to pick up the car. She can take the keys so she can go at any time she feels she isn't in the rain.

Today is the last Farmers Market downtown where I can use my HIP benefits. Rain or not, I am going! Maybe there is some nice lettuce today...and that would be good.

Meanwhile, BB the dog is sleeping off his itchiness on Benadryl. I have been dosing him since Sunday after he licked himself a couple of nice hot spots when I wasn't looking. Such a sneak! He goes over to his bed by the door (I can't see him there) and he licks. Nice hot spots about the size of dimes. I bought some fresh Benadryl capsules and a generic topical spray to assist. I pierce the capsule and squeeze out two drops, stuff the capsule into a piece of chicken and he eats the medication. Then I feed him...and he sleeps. Today, in the rain, he wouldn't walk far from the entry door to pee. He hates the rain. Tomorrow there will be hard rain all day...but he has to do his business at some point!

Time to get ready to take my neighbor to get her car.

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!
Emptying camper
It's been a week of chaos for me. The exhaust system came loose (new stainless steel, very $$$) a week ago yesterday after I left my cousin's. We had given her dog a bath and I washed my car. It always is that when the car is washed...there is an issue shortly after. In this case, it was within 5 minutes after leaving my cousin's yard. I'm smart enough to know what that sound is...the sound of metal scraping against blacktop...and I stopped immediately when I heard it. I tied up the tailpipe and called my mechanic. The car was out of commission Thursday - Monday afternoon. Fortunately, I had all my chores done. I also can borrow a car or get a ride from several folks here in the apartment complex.

The car went in for servicing the exhaust, I also had the oil & filter changed, the wiper blades swapped from summer to winter and the coil wire swapped out. There was rain on Tuesday and the car once again hard started & ran rough for awhile. So, the coil wire isn't the issue. Something else is amiss.

Meanwhile, I prepared to empty the camper. I have to take everything out of the car, haul it inside my apartment. Bonnie and I went to the camper on Wednesday. It was foggy and overcast, a perfect day to do heavy lifting! In truth, there wasn't much in the camper, but it was mostly big stuff...and we left the winter tires for the Volvo and a few gardening items for the last trip. I hope to make this trip today, clear all out and be ready to sell on the weekend. YES!

Many years back, when I lived with the FAT MAN, I left him and went to Vermont. I stayed with a friend for several months, looked for work, found none. During that time, I had set up two online bank accounts with ING or Orange bank. After not finding work, I went back to Mass and lost track of time...and that bank account.

I tried to access the funds, but got nowhere, that bank had disappeared! Since I am cleaning up loose ends now that I have a much better living situation (not threatened to be burned while I sleep, having bulldozers push my car around, snow piled up against my front steps, you get the idea?), I found the original banking information for ING or Orange bank. Capital 1 bank ate up Orange!

I continued my exploration of these bank accounts and found out that Capital 1 bank had sent the funds to unclaimed funds in Vermont...the state where I set up the account. More exploration and I connected with unclaimed funds in Vermont, received the paperwork and filed a claim. I got the check in a week. I was pleased, since I had forgotten about that account and it was like pennys from heaven for me! Some of the do-re-mi went into the bank, some into petty cash fund. Nice.

Thursday, after walking BB at the park, feeding and taking care of his eyes and face, I took the camper items to my cousin's garage, unloaded it and played with her dog...the 150# Rotti, Hunter. He was so happy to see me, he wouldn't leave me alone for a minute! I was able to escape when he had his afternoon bone. What a character he is!

After emptying the car, I picked Linda up and we went to the farmer's market. I bought some Swiss Chard, two pumpkins. Linda bought some garlic and winter squash. We headed back to our apartment complex, I put the Chard in the fridge. We then headed to the supermarket to grocery shop. I was helping my cousin...she can't deal with the big supermarket, so I took her list and bought what she needed. Linda and I took the groceries to my cousin's, then we headed for home.

Linda decided she wanted to buy the "old lady cart" I had found in the dumpster and refurbished. It's larger than the one she has and much more sturdy. She headed upstairs, I started to unload groceries.

I was tired...Wednesday working at the camper, Thursday, unloading the camper, shopping and the WORST!!! Dealing with BB the dog who is now licking himself raw. This is a yearly thing with BB, he gets very itchy in late summer and early fall. Now that he has no upper teeth, I thought he might not do such damage to himself, but I was very wrong. When I got back from the marathon day, he had created two lovely hot spots on his thigh! Witch Hazel directly on the hot spots, then later I put some AAA ointment on the sores. He had a walk and supper. Then he slept in my bed for the night. No licking in the bed!!! Seems he rested without any more licking.

I think I have mentioned his issues with the Seresto collar. That came off about six weeks ago and he now has Advantix II. So I know no fleas on him. But he gets so itchy! He seems to lick more when I leave him, this could be a sign of separation anxiety. Or allergies? I have tried Benadryl, nothing good happens except he sleeps for hours. But he still licks when he wakes up from the medicine. So, that's no help. Just makes him stupid. He has had success with a shot of steroids but I don't like to do that to him. It works, but the side effects make me uncomfortable.

Just one more thing to deal with! Emptying the camper, getting it ready to sell, the exhaust falling down, then getting the car to and from the mechanic, BB's licking...and every day life!

Today, I plan to empty the rest of the camper, tomorrow, taking the contents to my cousin's garage. I have checked all the keys to be sure I will give all to the new buyer. And that will close another chapter in my life.

That's all for today. I have deleted some robot spam from my last post (thanks gem!) and get myself into gear for today.

Thanks for reading!
I'm hoping!
I think I have sold my camper!!! YEA! As soon as it's empty, I can sell it to the new "buyer", then I don't have to pay monthly rent on that. I'm hoping to have everything out by next weekend, then I don't have November's rent. I have promised the guy who helped me make the connection a $50.00 finder's fee...and that will cushion the blow of not having my camper rent as a monthly income.

I hope to stash all of the stuff from the camper in my cousin's garage (yes, the same cousin who has the 150# Rotti). The challenge will be to figure out how to keep the dog from pissing on my stuff in her garage! Maybe some cayenne pepper? That might work.

She has a ton of metal in her garage, I have contacted another friend of mine who scrap metal hunts and we will get together this coming week so he can relieve her of the scrap metal. He will be very happy to have the metal, she will be happy to have it gone! Best of both worlds!

With COVID-19, nothing much is selling on CL or FB market place. I am still reluctant to sell on eBay, since they are making a lot of policy changes, so many I can't keep up!

So, this week looks good for emptying and selling the camper...and I have to measure my client's yard for lime application...and do some dividing and transplanting for her as this season winds down.

Fortunately, we have had some rain fall here. Not enough to make up for the summer's lack of any rain, but at least a dent. The soil in my garden is wet all the way down, first time since they shut the outside spigot off for the gardens. Not many have anything going on in their gardens now. Such narrow-seeing people! They want to grow only hot weather crops...when they can grow such nice greens this time of the year if they plant at the proper time.

OK...I am checking often to see if there is any robot spam in my comments. I haven't found any new spam...and I did send an email to support@copper.net...and have had no reply from them!

Enjoy this fall weather...and thanks for reading!
Searching for SPAM
I'm checking my comments to see how many spam bots left messages for me...none which I have prompted by using their services or products. I did notice that on the main page at copper.net, there are some strange typing in the headlines. Some look like a foreign language typewriter...so I suspect that any hacking is done by countries across the big pond.

Meanwhile, I have sent several messages to support@copper.net without any response...regarding the excessive spam on my blog comments. I know they got hacked a week or ten days ago, since there was porn on the home page (under the blog setting). That has been cleaned up...but there is still the strange typing in the text and headlines...

We had about 1 1/2 inches of rain on Tuesday. Badly needed, we are still about 9 inches short for the summer. My garden is doing well, happy for the rain! Today, I picked some dill for freezing, catnip for drying and basil for seasoning. Spinach is close to harvesting. Swill chard is growing as is the kale.

Today was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky and a very light breeze, temps in the mid 60's.Tomorrow it will be warmer but I think windy. More rain coming on Friday afternoon into Saturday. We need all the rain we can get!!!

Today, the apartment maintenance man continued cutting off the dead branches on the pine trees! There are many pine trees on the grounds. Most are probably 10 - 15 years old. There has been no pruning done on these pine trees (that shade the garden plots) and the lower portion of the trunks support about 4-5 feet of dead branches. The regular landscrapers are such jerks...they haven't cut the dead branches away, even though they have to mow around the trees! They have to get slapped in the face every time they mow! The landscrapers (that's what I call them) always cut live growth from the shrubs and trees...and always incorrectly, but they leave the dead branches on the pine trees! For instance, they use hedge trimmers on the rhodendrons in August. This cuts off all of next spring's buds. All flowering shrubs should be pruned immediately after they are finished blooming...that's when next year's buds are forming. To prune with hedge trimmers in August should be a hanging offense! Last year, in July, just as the hydrangeas were coming into full bloom, they cut off all the blooms. Idiots! These men are seasonal employees, most don't speak English, none are familiar with gardening practices. But they can run the lawnmowers and leaf blowers around! I'm sure they are glad for the work, but the employers are greatly mistaken to call them landscapers! They are just fools with tools! Or maybe just tools?

I'm done writing for today...thanks for reading!
Rain, finally! And spam in this blog?
Rain has finally arrived here on the south coast of Mass! Too late for the trees but not too late for my fall crops. The leaf color is less dramatic than usual due to the extreme drought. This topic is not on the news much, but the eastern part of the state is in an extreme drought situation. I feel bad for local growers, for many don't have the ability to irrigate crops, never mind the cost of the systems to set up irrigation. When I gardened, I was lucky to have water close enough to invest in drip and soaker irrigation. I had to be careful with irrigation times, we had a well but the risk of running out of water was real.

I combated the moisture situation in multiple ways. I planted clover in the aisles to retain moisture. I mowed the clover with a bagger mower and used the cuttings as a mulch around the plants. Soaker hoses worked best for crops such as lettuce, kale, swiss chard and other row greens. For plants like tomatoes & peppers, I used point irrigation...drip irrigation. This took money and a lot of time to plan the layout. I grew pole beans, melons and cucumbers vertically and they needed extra water. These crops needed extra irrigation, so these lines had to be set up differently so extra water could be applied.To add to the mulch, which preserves water and deters weeds, I used hay, thickly applied to the base of every plant. I seldom used overhead watering since the loss of water was huge. And putting water on plant leaves opens up the plant to mildew. Not a happy thing for any crop.

I was a successful gardener for several years, but found moving the crops from the garden to the farmers markets to be such a job! The probability of selling all I harvested, washed, bagged and packed into coolers with ice along with all the necessary equipment for the market to be more than I could manage alone. The fees for each market took away any profit made from each market. There were some nights before each market that I didn't sleep since I had so much to do...always by myself.

In 2002, I was struck with extreme pain in my right thigh. The pain ran down my thigh, through my calf and into my foot. The pain was constant and enduring. There seemed to be no relief. I was unable to walk for three months. During this time, I attempted to find a diagnosis of what was happening. I had to find the answers in Boston, since the local doctors were unable or unwilling to be straight with me and offered me large quantities of pain killers as the answer to my pain.

It took me a year to recover, but at least the Boston doctor explained my situation. I had to make an extreme life-style change, that didn't come easily. I gave up the market garden and took up chickens as a hobby, then poultry became my newest interest.

I'm not sure if this website has any moderators...but this blog has been hacked repeatedly with "comments" made by what appear to be robot spammers. I don't get any notices in my email that there are comments to my blogs and I can't figure out why this is! At one time, I got a notice in my email so I could check the comments. But not anymore.

To my few readers, thanks for staying with me. I will enjoy the rain today and watch my fall crops grow.
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