On his days off, Herbie fixed the zero-turn and the weedy wacker. Yesterday I weedy wacked while he roto-tilled in the vegetable garden after I'd done lots of hand weeding directly around our plants like the potatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, squash, popcorn cabbages etc etc. There are little cucumbers, lots of flowers, lots of green tomatoes.
On Tuesday evening we went to the Ionia Free Fair. Herbie was so funny. All he could think about was the wonderful sirloin tip dinner I'd had there last year while he'd chosen a sausage dinner from a different kiosk. So that's the first thing we did, get sirloin tips with smashed red potatoes, onions, green pepper and mushrooms. Green peppers must be expensive as Herbie didn't get any, and I only got one piece, but it was still yummy. Sat and listened to the live music, a Beatles knock-off while we ate and then we went and tried the chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick. Herbie liked it so much that he went and bought a 2nd piece as we were leaving, after finishing mine ! There were 2 African elephants, poor things, just standing there eating hay. Went to see the draft horses, which were huge and beautiful. Those are the horses we'll get if we ever get the horse itch. Good working horses that can pull a plow and the wagon into town. Herbie has always said he wants to go to WalMart with a horse drawn wagon ! Looked at some pigs, poor things, most had their curly tails cropped off. Now why on earth would you crop a pigs' tail ? Of the dairy cows there was only 1 Jersey, we popped into the milking parlour and decided we didn't like the system where you stand below the cows, sort of like one of those car pits, but the equipment was nice. Wandered through the sheep, until Herbie decided he was done - he really hates sheep, although he suggested we drop off our 5 lambs in different sheep pens at random :)
When we got home he looked up the instant setting chocolate coating, and a little later I made up a batch, which I tried on some vanilla ice-cream. Worked well, and I feel much better about eating this when I know exactly what's in it, no high fructose corn syrup or chemicals. Herbie said that if I'd made it without him looking up the recipe, he'd thought I was magic and would have told everyone his wife is magic, but not since he now knows what the ingredients are. Now I need to make a NY style cheesecake so that we can stick a stick in it and dip it in chocolate.
Found a pressure canner on CL. Just need to get the address in GR and go pick it up. I'm rather excited about it, although have no clue on the size, as Francie can't find anywhere that says how big it is. Should be buying some produce from Jackies' Mennonite friend tomorrow, so need that pot quickly.
My dad has bought his ticket to South Africa end November via London where he'll visit with family as well. Going to miss the whole Tennessee Winter this year. Herbie asked if I wanted to go with him, but no, I'd rather take Herbie to SA to show him where I'm from than go with my dad.
Well, our fox is back. I saw it this morning while I was collecting eggs. A chicken started clucking down the drive to the right, and as I'm getting less eggs in the chicken house I know they are laying in the woods so I wandered down to see if they were laying down there, following the clucking. All the geese came shoosting up the drive, followed by various chickens but I still heard and saw some in the woods so I went to investigate, only to see the fox. It must have thought I was a chicken, as I saw it a 2nd time before it realised I was a person. About the size of Anni and a beautiful red colour, but damn, no wonder I'm missing so many ducks and chickens. Chased all the chickens back up the hill closer to the house. Took the gun and went back down there a little later, but no sign of the fox.
Looked at the black raspberries and wild grapes yesterday. There is something attacking the grapes as the leaves are really distorted and damaged, especially those close to the ends of the vines, looks like those insects that bore into citrus leaves making that round bubble. The dry weather has affected the raspberries, burnt to a crisp on the vines. Also found a huge fat green worm on one of the tomato plants - it'd eaten most of the leaves off, so I plucked him and fed him to the chickens. While weeding I saw a cute little black frog, and a huge spider. Need to investigate American spiders to see which are the dangerous ones.
Yippee, Teri and Andy are on their way to Saranac, always enjoy seeing them.
Dolly is much better, I still put her foot in epsom salt water during milking today, and Stars' face is much better as well, although he spots on her sides although scabbed over don't seem to be going away. Maybe a little more time. The lambs didn't bother me while I was milking, but I forgot to close the gate to the milking parlour behind the cows, so when I got back from taking them back to pasture, the 3 lambs were milling around there, eating the leftover grain, peeing, and with soft runny poops in 3 different places. Yuck. More to clean up, but I wonder what they ate to get that, it was a greenish colour, so I presume something fresh in the pasture. Anni snuck over to the milk dish and helped herself with my approval, but she slunk away when I saw her, I didn't even have to say anything !
Taught Anni to eat popcorn, and last night Herbie was giving her pita crisps. She wouldn't take the command to eat from him, looked to me, so he'd put it on my leg, I'd tell her to wait, then OK, and she'd take it off. Caught her teeth in the material a few times, but didn't hurt me.
Great news, we are getting another Jersey in milk. My dad is sending some money and we are buying one of Tinas' cows as a replacement for Buttercup. I check the bank account twice each day to see if the funds have come through. Can't wait. My dad asked what we'll name her. Tina probably has her named already, I just don't want another Buttercup. Think Elenore ( a la Green Acres) would be good, or Bessie. This means that we won't have a milkless spell after end August when we need to dry Dolly for her calf due end October which was a bit of a worry. Don't know if Star is preggers, and if she is, how far along. But thank goodness we don't have to get the vet back for Dollys' foot.