Things are slowly getting back to the normal abnormal with the hooligans. With temperatures in the eighties, bumble bees are out and Blackie has worn herself out chasing them, and Patches has been busy chasing the shadows. Blackie has reminded me of Gomer Pyle sticking to Andy like glue after Andy saved his life. Every time I turn around I’m tripping over her. She was like that after her surgery and was getting where she wasn’t so clingy, now she’s like Velcro again.
She had a something dead smell and I thought she might have gangrene under all that thick fur. Trying to check a wiggle worm energizer bunny Blackie is just about impossible, so while she was eating, which is the only time she is still, I took the scissors to her back end. Apparently the dead smell was from either the snake or the rat she killed as I didn’t find any infection. Patches is still not doing her Trigger impersonation at feeding time yet. She really looks awful now with her back half cropped like these kids that wear their hair pointy and spiked all over their head. If you remember one of the hooligan’s New Year’s resolutions was for Patches to stop doing her Trigger jumping, but we didn’t imagine that a shooting would make it happen.
The weather here has been warmer than normal all winter. The last official day of winter we have record temperatures predicted. We did have a brief snow storm in February that caused unexpected delays getting across the Tennessee River. The saucer magnolias, star magnolias and daffodils are finishing up their bloom cycles. Dogwoods, flowering almond and silverbells are starting to open. Iris should be blooming shortly. We had a warm winter like this in 2007 and had snow and a hard freeze in April which killed corn, strawberries and blueberries and fruit on the trees. I hope this year won’t be a repeat of that year.
One thing I know is that fire ants are going to be bad this year. I got into them several times today. My neighbors already have their corn planted. My heirloom tomatoes are up. I’ve planted my favorite Cherokee purple again this year along with Black Russian, Giant Pink Belgium and Mortgage Lifter. I had tried the Mortgage Lifter a couple of years ago and it didn’t do well, but neither did anything else in the garden due to the extended weeks of 100 degree temperatures. I planted two or three seeds per cup, and the germination rate looks good. I’m one that I can’t kill off the extras. I divide when they get a little bigger. If they all do well, I’ll have enough tomatoes to feed an army.
My flower beds need cleaning and mulching and grass mowing, but first I need to get new underground wire in the ground to keep the hooligans in. I tilled my garden area and pulled the tiller off and put the middle buster on my John Deere. I decided to install the PTO adapter someone on tractorbynet forum recommended to make it easier to get implements back on the PTO but I had bought one with the wrong threads. So Monday it’s back to the Co-op to exchange it. The PTO on my 3032E won’t turn in order to get equipment attached and I’ll spend an hour trying to get something attached, so I hope it works. It is a community forum of tractor owners and it’s a great place to get answers to your tractor problems, or to help another owner if you’ve had the same issue.
I dug a trench around the lower forty to bypass the section of wire that has corroded and put the wire that I had lying on top of the ground in the trench and used a rock rack to pull the soil back into the trench. Later I’ll get the landscaping box on and try to smooth it out a little better before mowing. Next section to get in the ground is the front yard. I had used a flat bladed hoe to install the last one, but the zoysia is now so thick, a hoe or shovel won’t cut it and I had to use the middle buster. As I tried to cut just an inch deep trench I could get a stable cut, it was either too high or pealing off huge chunks of zoysia like you would use when sodding a yard. After getting off and putting the sod back down, it occurred to me that I had cracked the blade trying to dig up a rather large privet bush last year and hadn’t replaced it yet.
Blackie was busy looking for lizard that was in a stack of plant containers by the barn. I’m not sure if it got away, I hope, but I had to restack the pots twice. Then she turned her attention to digging up a field rat and soon had her quarry. As evening came Levi started picking at her and she chased him around and up and down the pile of wood chips the power company had dumped. At the end of the day she was limping on one of her bird shot filled back legs. Patches was busy fussing at the Black Angus calves and continuing her ongoing feud with the filly next door and sitting staring at something across the dry creek.
Since it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend, I’ll leave you with a couple of Irish Blessings:
An Irish Prayer
May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.
An Old Irish Blessing
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!