This weekend, I noticed when I was standing in the chicken yard feeding them whatever the hell I was feeding them (they are SO spoiled rotten that now when I toss some cherry tomatoes in the chicken yard they look at me and are all “Whatevs. You got anything more… grainy? Some cornmeal, perhaps?”), it was particularly stinky. I chalked it up to the fact that we have way too many chickens now and chickens = chicken poop = STANK, and thought no more of it.
Sunday, Fred said “Can you come out here?”, and when I obediently walked onto the side stoop, he said “Does it smell like something dead out here?” I sniffed and sniffed and sniffed some more, but I smelled nothing at all. Which is unusual, since I can smell the smallest amount of cat pee from three rooms away and he doesn’t notice it if he’s sitting in a big puddle of it.
All day long he kept insisting that it smelled like death outside, and I would sniff and shrug ’cause I didn’t smell a damn thing.
Finally, Sunday afternoon while I was making dinner, he said “There is SOMETHING dead out there, and I’m going to find out what the hell it is!” He went out and I returned to making dinner hoping it wasn’t a person, a cat, or one of our chickens.
A few minutes later he returned to report that it was a dead armadillo, but that – luckily, I suppose – it was actually on church property.
Every year for as long as I can remember, we’ve passed at least one dead armadillo by the side of the road (in various places) and every time we’ve seen one, Fred has said “Huh. An armadillo. Weird. They don’t usually come this far north!”
A few months ago we started noticing spots out under the tree near the pig yard where something had clearly been digging. I suggested that maybe it was an armadillo, and Fred said it could be, but “They don’t usually come this far north.”
I think someone better tell the armadillos they don’t come this far north, ’cause they don’t seem to be aware of the rules.
So the corn, as you may have seen in yesterday’s entry, was harvested over the weekend. We planted, I think, twice as much corn this year as last, but ended up with about the same amount of corn. I don’t know why we didn’t get more – Fred thinks he might have planted them too close together. Last year, we froze a bunch of ears of corn still in the husk and when we ate them this spring, they were fabulous. I wanted to do the same with most of the corn this year, but when Fred checked a couple of ears, he found bugs or worms in every one of them. Since I prefer not to freeze ears of corn in the husk if there are bugs in there (just call me picky), he husked all the corn.
We thought at first that just the white corn he’d planted – Silver Queen – was going to be ready to be harvested and the rest would take a few more weeks, but at the end of the day Saturday, after I’d blanched and frozen all the Silver Queen, he brought in a couple of ears of the other kind he’d planted – Golden Queen – and announced that it was ready, too.
“Can we wait until tomorrow to pick it, please?” I begged. I’d been pickling and chopping and blanching and freezing all day long and hadn’t had time to even vacuum the house, which desperately needed to be done.
So he kindly waited until Sunday to harvest the Golden Queen (a few test ears showed plenty of bugs and worms in this corn as well), and after I vacuumed the house and got groceries, I started using the vegetable brush on the corn to get as much of the silk off it as I could. About a third of the way through desilking the ears piled in the sink, I asked Fred if he’d do the rest of the ears while I ran to the recycling center and to Big Lots. He agreed (but gave me a dirty look. Puh-lease.), and I left for my errands.
I had to stop by Big Lots, because for the last couple of years – ever since I vacationed in Gatlinburg at Christmas time with my sister, nephew, and parents – I’ve been using SunSilk De-Frizz 24/7 Creme on my hair after my shower, and of course it’s either no longer made or just no longer carried in my area.
(Though a quick Google search indicates that it might be available at Walgreens, so I’ll be needing to check there, I s’pose.)
The only place I’ve seen it in recent months is at Big Lots, so I thought I’d stop by and get as many bottles as I could.
But of course Big Lots didn’t have any, so I bought a couple of bottles of other stuff to try, and now I’m carefully using as little of the De-Frizz creme as possible every morning, to make it last as long as possible.
So I got back to the house to find that Fred had finished the ears of corn, so I began the corn-blanching cycle, followed up by the laying-corn-everywhere cycle (I use a FoodSaver when I freeze food, and so try to get everything as dry as I can before I start using the machine to suck air out of the bags before it seals them – it can handle moist foods, but too-wet foods mess up the process) and then made yellow squash pickles and so on.
I was well into the yellow squash pickles-making cycle when I realized that the recipe (which Fred got from his stepmother last year) said that I should add vinegar to the other ingredients, but didn’t specify how much vinegar or whether it was white or apple cider vinegar. A call to Fred’s stepmother didn’t help, because she looked at her recipe to find that her mother hadn’t written that information down, either, but as soon as he hung up the phone, I found the exact same recipe online.
We are seriously full up on yellow squash until next year (to prepare it for use over the fall and winter, I just dice it and freeze it raw. A lot of people refuse to preserve yellow squash, saying that it gets gross and bland, but we ate it all fall, winter, and spring, and it was just fine made in a saute with onion and dehydrated cherry tomatoes), so Fred pulled up the yellow squash plants that aren’t producing as much (I think he pulled up like three plants out of 53. YES HE PLANTED 53!). From here on out, we’ll eat squash fresh out of the garden several times a week, slice the larger yellow squash in half for the chickens (they really like the seeds, and when I slice the squash in half they end up eating everything but the skin), and if there’s anything left over we’ll feed it to the pigs.
We still haven’t gotten nearly enough zucchini for my taste, though, so I’ll keep freezing those for future use as they come in.
Next, the tomatoes should start coming in with a vengeance, and soon after that I think the okra are due to start coming in. Also, I think Fred’s going to pull the onions and potatoes this weekend.
Mid-July, and we’re already talking about what we want to plant in the Fall garden!
Tommy adores hiding in the whatever-it-is growing in this corner of the yard. Every few days I think he’s escaped the back yard and run around looking for him, only to find him sitting here watching me. Brat.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: “Bessie,” he said. “That is CAT POOP, not kitty treats!”
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: Our kitties, spoiled? Nah.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.