The lack of rain this year has been nothing compared to 2012, but even so, it has been disheartening. Eight miles to the south, people got an inch of rain when we only got 2/10 of an inch. South and east in Higginsville, Cliff's brother received a generous two inches while we got barely 1/10 of an inch. Using soaker hoses, I have managed to keep green beans coming and tomatoes growing bigger and finally starting to turn. Despite squash bugs, I've been able to harvest zucchini, even though it isn't within reach of soaker hoses, by carrying cans of water every other day. We are eating a tomato or two a day, but there are still no extras to use in the making of ratatouille. That's a tricky dish to make from garden goodies, since the bugs have often killed the squash plants before the tomatoes ripen. I think I will get it done this time, because even if the zucchini plants die before there are enough tomatoes, I have quite a few zucchini in the refrigerator. They keep quite a while.
The seeds I planted last week came up. It looks like I am FINALLY going to have a decent carrot crop. My third planting of beets for the year came up, and the second planting is about ready to start using. I did make the mistake of planting my late zucchini and cucumber crops on the end of the garden near the chicken house, and when I turned them out, the chickens couldn't resist pecking and scratching until the cucumber seedlings were no more. I replanted this morning. I have some screening to lay over that area next time the chickens are released.
Yesterday the rain came, mostly in the form of sprinkles and drizzle, but it was over a half-inch. There's a chance of more this morning, although I won't count on it until it shows up. One thing about it, when rain comes as slow as it did yesterday, you get the utmost good from every drop. It was especially timely for the seedlings that had just emerged. That's the miraculous thing about this rain, the timing.
We spent a large part of our day with our ninety-five-year-old friend, Helen. She lives in senior housing where my mom spent a couple of years. Every weekday a bus comes by around 10 A.M., picks her up, and takes her to the senior center in Oak Grove. Last time we visited her, she told us she wanted us to come and eat lunch there with her, so yesterday we joined her there. She and some other ladies were at a table doing crosswords and word games. Their exercise time was over already, but one lady was on the treadmill.
So we met some of Helen's friends, chit-chatted about one thing and another, and ate lunch. Helen usually stays to play Bingo, but she left with us and we took her to Walmart to spend a couple of ten-dollar gift cards she won from previous Bingo games. We went in and visited with her awhile, then went on to visit other people. It was a good way to spend a rainy day.
I have to say, this senior center thing is great for older adults, especially for those living alone. They might not bother cooking for themselves, but at the center they get a square meal prepared for them, they enjoy one another's company, and they can take advantage of an exercise program. For those unable to ride the bus to the center, Meals on Wheels delivers lunch to their door, thanks to volunteers from various churches.
Cliff and I laughed at how we had to fill out an information sheet complete with social security numbers, listing any health problems we might have and answering questions that would let the people in charge know just how poor we are: I told the ladies we will officially be poor when Cliff can't afford to buy another tractor. We had to stand and be introduced, amid polite applause. We only intended to eat with Helen that one time, but we are signed up now and can eat there for $2 any time. If we didn't have $2, we could give them a buck, since the $2 is a "suggested donation". All we have to do is let them know the day before we plan to be there.