Sunday, July 12, 2015

Other factors enter in

Regarding that last entry, it isn't just politics that has me in this slump; there are several factors.  For instance, this record rainfall we've had this year.  It's no use to complain about the weather, but I have to admit it's been getting on my nerves.

Everyone who has watched me blog about my gardening efforts for several years knows that in my garden, tomatoes are the priority.  Everything else can fail, and if I have tomatoes I will be happy.  I only ask for enough tomatoes to eat fresh, although in most years I have lots left over to can.  This year, I will be very surprised if I get enough for a BLT.  The plants are all blighty, and the green tomatoes, while plentiful, have spots all over them.  Some of them are rotting on the vine when they are no bigger than a walnut.  Someone asked if I had any green tomatoes to spare recently and I had to tell her no; there aren't any green tomatoes out there big enough to use for anything. 

Potatoes and corn have done well.  The only problem with the sweet corn has been the earworms, and they should be less with subsequent plantings, since I've been dusting the silks with Sevin.  I'd trade all the corn for a few tomatoes, though.

I can afford to buy tomatoes, but I've yet to find anyone selling home-grown tomatoes that actually taste home-grown.  The local peach orchard guy is in our tractor club, so I guess I should go down there and harass him, just to see if his tomatoes are decent.  In fact, I think I'll go see what Cliff is doing as soon as I finish this entry.

I long ago stopped expecting any zucchini, since the squash bugs kill my efforts before I can harvest more than a couple of zucchinis.  I hear legends all the time of people who give away so much zucchini that people run from them when they approach.  Alas, nobody has ever offered to share their produce with me.  Every year I plant a few seeds, every year the bugs have a feast.  

Here's another thing, and it's my own doing:  I have painted myself into a corner with the cows.  The timing of their freshenings and pregnancies has made it impossible for me to leave home for over twelve hours at a time.  I am considering perhaps selling one, but I need the wisdom of Solomon to help me decide on which one!  I love them both, you see.  Grace is a wonderful nurse cow, so she is very handy to have around for raising calves.  I don't even have to milk her, as long as there are calves to take her milk.  She is the one, by rights, that I should keep, because that would allow me some freedom.

I force Penny to accept calves, but she has hated the idea from the first; although if she ever has her own calf that survives, that might change.  She is the one that gives the good milk and rich cream and she is gentle and easy to hand-milk.  However, she is timid, and I'm pretty sure I would never get her to accept anybody else's presence in the barn lot, even if I found someone who was able to do chores when I'm gone.  All the time I'm outside choring after the cows, I struggle over this problem, but even as I type these words I know that Penny is the one that needs to go.  

The thing is, I am past seventy, and if there is someplace I want to go, I need to be able to do it.  We can't do a huge amount of traveling because Cliff has a hip that bothers him if he does a lot of driving, but if we could only go to Arkansas for a night, it would be nice.  We might be able to make it to Colorado one more time, who knows?  I can always get another cow in the future.  In fact, I have a five-month-old Jersey/Holstein heifer right here, waiting in the wings.

All this mental turmoil that I've caused for myself adds to my cloudy mood.

If I ever make a decision, I will be letting my readers know.

By the way, life is good.  I won't be doing any more of these "woe-is-me" entries.  When I look around and see people with real problems, I realize how blessed I am.  If I so desire, I can sell every cow and calf on the place; there is nothing and nobody to keep me from doing that!  I need to wake up and smell the roses; I do believe the very act of creating this entry has helped me with a decision.

I still want a good tomato, though.  




I know what you mean. The rainy days are getting me down too. Lots of flooding here. Sorry to hear about your garden. I hope somebody gets you that juicy tomato you're craving. It's hard to be housebound. we haven't had a real vacation in years and I'm getting real antsy like you are for a night or two away. Hope it happens. ps) I hope you do not miss Penny too much if she's the one.

Margaret said...

You have every right to feel the way you do and to vent on your blog or in real life! Too much rain, NO home grown tomatoes(my favorite too) and difficult decisions to be made. xoxo

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Some times things just seem to pile up on a person. It's funny how writing through our thoughts can help us see things more clearly. We haven't planted the past two years. I'd love it if Pete would truly plant a very small garden. Just enough for fresh tomatoes, squash, okra. But he can't seem to do small, and he can't keep up with all the work, I don't have the time and there you go. There is nothing like a fresh off the vine tomatoe!
Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Just Because said...

Good luck with your tomatoes. I went out this morning and the tomatoes the deer didn't eat last night, they stomped on. Sooo sad.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I had my first homegrown tomato yesterday and it was wonderful. I didn't grow it though, some Amish farmer about 45 minutes out in the country did so. It was my first visit to the roadside stand in the country. I got peaches, cherries, cukes and squash too. All of it was wonderful. You are very blessed there and I know whatever choices you make for the future will be good ones.

Leonora said...

Everyone deserves at least one "woe is me" day once in a while!
Regarding your tomatoes, you're not alone. I compared notes from my blighty tomatoes in Virginia with my daughter's in New York and we're all in the same spotty boat. I'm hoping few will ripen before the entire plant dies from the bottom up. Usually Copper Sulfate dust holds it at bay, but it's not working this year.