Grit Blogs > Rosedale Garden

Blackie's Surgery, More Flowers and Hummingbirds, and Remembering a Molasses Bath

A photo of MaryWhen Dad milked in the old milk barn he fed cotton seeds hulls, molasses and cotton seed meal. The barn was a stanchion type with sixteen cows on each side and a trough in front of the head locks and a walkway in front of the trough.  The cotton seeds were stored in a side room on each side, and we would carry a big scoop down the walk and drop in front of each head lock. That would be followed by a small hand scoop of cotton seed meal followed by the molasses over and around the mound. The molasses was kept in a metal 50 gallon barrel stored laying down on the foundation remains of an old milk truck shed. The barrel was in full sun and during 100 degree weather would get very hot and the contents expand almost to the point of exploding. It didn’t have a spout on it so it was opened by un-screwing the small cap in the lid. When the last bit of thread lost its grip, the molasses would shoot out like a rocket. 

One nice hot humid summer day, this two year old decided that she wanted to help pour the molasses from the barrel.  My uncle kept telling me to move out of the way, but Miss Smarty Britches wouldn’t listen and kept telling him to let me do it, and I got a bath when the plug was removed from the barrel. Dad brought me back to the house and had a good laugh, telling Mom to take me down to the cows and let Francis (my pet cow) lick me off. Mom was extremely upset as she had just given me a bath and had me smelling so nice, and now I reeked of the odor of burnt molasses.  It took her five wash changes to get all of the molasses off of me and out of my hair.   

  ruby throat 3207 

    ruby throat 3208 

The hummingbird migration is almost complete. This weekend I had one straggler at my feeders. In a day or so she should be moving on. A hint of fall is in the air. The leaves are starting to show their autumn colors. With the lack of rain trees are quickly loosing their leaves. However, the apple trees are confused with the crazy weather we had and are in an spring bloom. The last of the daylilies are finishing their re-bloom. Cone flowers and blanket flowers are still blooming strong. The sedums are showing their red signaling that fall is almost here.  


   blanket flower 
 Blanket flower  

I had a beautiful couple of weekends and spent the time moving iris and daylilies out of and into my Deshler High and Auburn sections. During Auburn’s games I listened to the game on my head phones while working and recorded it on my DVR for later viewing. I moved orange daylilies into my Auburn section along the driveway. I now have Tuscawilla Tigress, Bold Tiger and All American Tiger daylilies in my Auburn University section. Putting a deep red one called Scary Mary (name is the reason I got it) and a double red called Fires of Fuji in my Deshler section on the opposite side of the driveway. Now I need to mulch everything before the rain comes back. I still have a lot of potted plants to get into the ground before my knee surgery.  

    Carnaby Clematis 
Clematis Carnaby  

   Charming Ethel Smith daylily 
Charming Ethel Smith daylily  

   Cradle Song daylily 
Cradle Song daylily  

In my Born in the USA section, I have American Revolution, Empire Strikes Back, Forty Second Street, Sticky Fingers, American Bicentennial, Pearl Island, Shortening Bread, All American Chief, Making Double Time, and America’s Most Wanted daylilies; Millennium Falcon, Starship Enterprise and Jitterbug iris; Mount Saint Helens Azalea; and Cheatin Heart hosta. 

   Mangus cone 
Mangus cone 

Blackie had major surgery last Wednesday and had four large stones that looked like the smooth brown river rocks removed from her bladder. I’ve been told that a lot are the result of poor quality dog food and biscuits. She was two years old when I rescued her, and I think she had the stones when I got her as she has gotten a good quality Purina Pro Plan food since she arrived. Thinking back, I noticed her squatting a lot after I got her, but she also loves to drink and play in water, so I didn’t realize there was a problem until it got much worse.    

While sitting in the vets waiting room with Blackie, I read a poster listing poisonous foods for dogs found in the kitchen such as grapes, chocolate, yeast dough, diet sweeteners and caffeine. After leaving her there for AM surgery, I came home and made a cup of coffee and took it outside and laid it on the folded up ladder I have attached to the tailgate. It makes it much easier to crawl into and out of the back of the truck when the tailgate is down. I left my coffee and went around the house to the flower bed I was working on. After the first wave of mosquito attacks, I turned around and went back to the garage. Levi shot out of the back of my truck like he’d been shot out of a cannon which was very usual for him. Usually he jumps in the back when I’m near the truck so he can get some love without the girls interfering. When I check my coffee, half of it was gone. First thought was of the poison poster I saw at the office and coffee was on the list. Next was the bill I’ll be getting with Blackie’s surgery, and now I have a poisoned dog.  Thirdly I got to wondering how many other times he had jumped in the truck and drank some of my coffee and I didn’t notice it and finished drinking it. Lucy after being kissed by Snoopy came into mind. Luckily, I like a little coffee with my milk, so he didn’t get too much caffeine, it fact it didn’t phase him, rather he snoozed all afternoon. 

Blackie enjoying her pool 

 The two days she was gone was like a morgue around here. The other two hooligans moped around and wouldn’t play. They kept smelling Blackie's collar in the garage and looking upset. I got her home Thursday afternoon, and by Saturday she had Levi running for dear life around and around the house barn and garden as she chased him. Things were back to normal; well ... maybe abnormal.

mary carton
10/16/2011 8:13:14 PM

Thanks Cindy. I've gotten into collecting some of the better daylilies, especially the spider forms. I took Blackie to get her stitches out yesterday and she has just amazed the vets at her recovery. They said she was up and walking an hour after surgery, drunk, but walking. She has been on a tear catching the mice & field rats and leaving them at the end of the drive. I have several fruit trees that I'll have to replace this year due to the 13 yr cicadas. Two of the trees were over 12 yrs old and I lost a pear tree that fruited for the first time and all lost so much sap they died. I lost a couple of dogwoods also. The local paper had an article quoting the Extension Agent who said not to worry they are harmless will lay their eggs in the barks of the trees and the noise will go away in 6 weeks. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

cindy murphy
10/16/2011 7:52:48 PM

Mary, when reading your blog, I'm always amazed at the variety of daylilies you have, and such unique ones too! Just beautiful. I'm sorry to read in your comment to Dave, that you lost the apple tree, but very glad for you that Blackie is on the mend, and sure to be up to the usual hooligan antics soon.

mary carton
10/12/2011 8:18:48 PM

Thanks Dave. I've had 0.15 inches the other day, it's the only rain we've had in a month. Cooler weather has been nice. The apple tree was knocked over in a storm and I took the tractor and pulled it up Saturday, so I won't be able to find out if it would have bloomed next spring. It had apples while on the ground this year. It was a Pink Lady a variety I just love. Leaves are falling here also, I think from lack of rain. Thanks for commenting.

nebraska dave
10/12/2011 7:54:59 PM

Mary, your flowers are beautiful. I don't really have fall flowers other than the flowers on the poor man's living patio trellis. I find it rather amusing that the apple trees would be blooming again. Will that mean no apples next year? Our leaves are falling fast here in Nebraska too. The little bit of rain we have received the last six weeks barely registers as rain. The fall weather has been fantastic but it's been very dry. I'm glad that the surgery turned out OK and the things are back to abnormal again. Have a great fall day.