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Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass

Winter has arrived!
Hi readers!

Yes, I know it has been over 60 days since my last post. I have been doing what all Americans should be doing...wearing a mask, washing my hands often, especially after going outside, social distancing. So far, so good.

Thanksgiving dinner was a hit as was Christmas dinner. I fed 18 - 20 people those two days! Some came to my place and did a take-out, a couple of folks who don't have cars got their dinner delivered to their door. Clean up was another day after chore. Since Christmas, I have been cooking on Sundays and sharing food with resident/friends in the building. Many just don't cook and don't eat right, some are handicapped and limited to what they eat. Cooking one day a week provides them with an interesting menu of food and fresh veggies, cooked right.

Many things have transpired since my last post. I have to say, the political climate may have had a lot to do with why I haven't been posting. With the inauguration of a new president, I'm feeling less threatened in general. I'm hopeful that the new president will be able to fix what was broken by the now ex-president and all his lies. And inciting a riot on the House was unacceptable. It will take time to smooth out the choppy waters of political issues, but I do have hope!

My mom's Lincoln Rocker went in for a new cane job and is ready to come home. I will pick it up tomorrow afternoon and be happy to once again rock my time away in that chair! I have several chairs that my mom salvaged from the dump in the late 70's and 80's. She stripped off all the paint, re-glued the parts and caned several herself. The rocker was caned too tightly (back in the early '80's), the cane was brittle and torn. But tomorrow, the chair starts a new life!!! A tribute to my mom.

We had some snow before Christmas, then temperatures rose into the 40's and low 50's and it melted. Nothing else much in the snow category since. Rain, yes...no snow. The past few days have been very cold with harsh winds from the north or northwest and chill factors have been in the teens. Tomorrow brings a promise of snow in the late afternoon into the night. We might get 1-2 inches...then it will get very cold as the Polar Vortex finds it's way down to our area. We have had a very mild winter so far, but I knew we would pay for it...and we will!

I've been doing some deed research for a friend who's neighbor is insisting on a right-of-way over the friend's property to gain access to a 70 ac. lot behind my friend's hay fields. Seems the original deeds do offer a right of way which was passed down for many property transfers. However, there might be a gap in the right-of-way transfer in a couple of deeds, which negates the right-of-way. That and abandonment of the right-of-way for 20 years or more also negates the right-of-way.

Tomorrow, I will be admitted into the Bristol County Registry of Deeds to research deeds. I'm hoping I will find the deed with the gap and be able to help my friend keep his property his own property. The fear is that the neighbor may sub-divide house lots on the 70 ac. lot and build a big road to access the subdivision. Right across my friend's hay fields and registered grass air strip. Wish me luck!

Everyday activities are keeping me busy...housework, keeping on top of all the mail sent by different companies to have me sign up for their additional health insurance benefits. I did get my Christmas cards mailed out before New Year's day! I had to look up some addresses since some of the cards went to folks I hadn't been in contact with for years. Seems I have found some time to catch up with my "loose ends" of correspondence.

I seem to still get some spam in my blogs...and I hope to remedy this somehow. Anyone got any ideas? The spam comes from robot email addresses...and robots don't respond well to "take me off your contact list"...or much else. So far, they are harmless but annoying.

Happy New Year to all my readers (who ever you are)!
Thanksgiving approaches
As the great day of thanks approaches, I think of the Native Americans day of mourning. HOw can someone discover a nation of people and consider it "theirs"? I am in sympathy with them.

But...I am cooking up a storm for the residents in the apartment complez (just a few of them) who are alone for the day. Many don't cook, many don't have family. We won't eat together since this virus is so prominent in our lives, but come, serve themselves one at a time and take the food home.

So, I bought a 20# turkey (the smallest size that was a fresh, on sale), Brussel sprouts (which I will roast), stuffing...and will bake the Butternut squash from the farmer's market, make a garden special with some veggies that my cousin was given & make a few pies. With the help of these chosen residents, mashed potatoes, roasted Brussel sprouts, from-scratch gravy, fresh cranberry sauce, cooked chestnuts, crescent rolls, a cake my friend is making...and when it's all done, it will be a real feast. I'm not sure what I will do with all the turkey left over!!! except make soup!

I'm still trying to get things done in my apartment as far as posting for sale items online. But I'm not making any progress!

Meanwhile, a candle had an event, it smoked up my dining area and into the kitchen! I spent the better part of a day washing walls, part of the ceiling and all the soot-covered things! What a mess! I almost have it under control now.

So, I am focusing on getting the dining room table ready to serve all this food tomorrow. I will start the turkey baking between 8-9 am for a hopeful come-out-of-the-oven time of about 1-2 PM. All else should be ready by then.

I have been prepping veggies, making pies and cleaning up since yesterday. I did my shopping on Monday morning. Not a lot of crowds early in the AM, I was home by 11:30, considering I was at three markets, that wasn't so bad.

Time for me to get off line and get my day started!

Happy Thanksgiving, sad day of mourning to all who read.
Days are short now
The camper is emptied and sold. I have been able to store my stuff in my cousin's garage. I hope this spring, I can have a street sale (rather than a yard sale) by her house and be relieved of it. I have a nice ceramic space heater that doesn't work for some reason...don't know if I can get it repaired or not...it was my mom's and a good ceramic heater. The collection of stuff involves many different items...another heater is an old but very nice kerosene space heater from the 80's. I used it on several occasions to keep basement pipes  or to in the milk room to keep pipes from freezing when power was knocked out.

I had two squirrel baffles, hand made for me some years ago. Cone-shaped metal, they keep squirrels off your bird feeders. While I was unloading from the camper to my cousin's garage, she was chasing squirrels off her suet feeder. I got one of the squirrel baffles out and put it on the wire that hung the suet feeder. After a day without squirrels on her suet, she asked me to fit the second baffle on her second suet feeder. I was glad to share these with her. I have been dragging them around for six years in hopes that someone would need them! A good trade, my baffles for her garage!

Gardening has taken up time lately. My friend/neighbor was assigned a sunnier garden space adjacent to my space. We turned the soil over with some Azomite (A-Z minerals), then transplanted cold-tolerant greens from her previous garden space to the new space. I transplanted my herbs into her space, then dug up my horseradish...which was growing to China! It was a job to dig it and some roots remain below 16". I hope to sell some of the crowns and roots on CL. I still have to incorporate 44# of green sand into my garden soil and prepare it for winter. I will leave what I have transplanted from my garden into my friend/neighbors garden, I don't think the plants will endure another transplant and survive the winter.

I have work to do at my client's...but suffered two tick bites the last time we were working there. It mus have been when I was in the lilac stand, I have picked up ticks there before. One of the bites was from a Lyme infected tick, so I got antibiotics to treat it just in case. For the first time, this antibiotic is giving my stomach fits. I already know to drink plenty of water and always take with food. But this time, even with food and plenty of water, I have had a lot of pain & nausea...a friend suggested bananas and crackers. So far they are working for me.

As the holidays come around and the election is in contention (only by the donald), COVID-19 has regained a hold on us. Carelessness or virus fatigue it's called. I was tested a week ago and was negative. But it took 4 days for the results! What is one to do while waiting for the results? Quarantine at home? It shouldn't be so hard to create a "spit" test for this virus, don't ya think? Massachusetts is caving under a ton of newly infected patients and setting up the field hospitals again. I am glad to hear that the patients with COVID-19 will be treated and kept in the field hospitals rather than in the hospitals proper. It never made any sense to keep COVID-19 patients in the same hospital as other patients not infected with the virus. Hospital staff have to change clothes between differently affected patients...and seems that isn't the best way to keep people well. The worst must be to have some kind of surgery, then get infected with COVID-19, then rip out stitches while coughing or throwing up! Keep them far apart, these patients!

Early this morning, Stan, our resident astronomer and I went outside to watch the Leonid meteors. I got out my cold-weather clothes...ski pants, leg warmers, long johns, fleece socks, winter boots, turtleneck sweater and my puffer coat with fur-lined hoodie. We met outside where we had a wide view of the sky and were out of the apartment complex lights set up or chairs and waited. It was a bust! I saw 4-5 in two hours...Stan saw two. We did see the space station go by as well as some other high flying objects. No UFO's, so I'm bummed. It's always good to have these adventures with Stan! We gave in by 5:30 and came inside. Sitting outside, not moving, I got chilly even with all the winter gear on.

I'd love to report I have made progress on listing items for sale, but seems those I have listed are not selling. I don't know what else to do except for donation, but most are not taking donations with COVID-19.

I went shopping at Savers and bought NIB, a yogurt maker! I have been thinking of buying one...and one appeared for $5.99 with 20% off! I need a new vegetable grater, I found one. I'm still in the market for a good spatula to flip quesadillas, I did find one, but wish for a stainless steel rather than plastic. I did find several nice Pampered Chef items at a good price. It takes time to look, but bargains do still exist.

Last Thursday, I went to the Plymouth Registry of Deeds to find some ancient deeds for my friend. His neighbor claims a right-of-way onto his property. However, it seems the right-of-way that was issued has been abandoned. If you don't use it uninterruptedly and continuous for 20 years, it may be considered abandoned. Only the lawyers know. I hope it doesn't go to land court...but there are wetlands to consider, too. The proposed road (changing this path) is going right over the brook. I believe the Conservation Agent will veto any road development. The neighbor wanted to put in a solar array, the town vetoed this idea. Now, he may be looking to sub-divide and sell house lots! A road would have to be sizeable to accommodate such a sub-division. I have been looking into the Massachusetts General Laws, but seems there isn't any real documentation on this subject.

That's what I have time for this morning...
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!