TsFlowers's blog

Another Present Day Interjection . . . about my Truck
Posted on Nov 20, 2017 7:48 PM

If I had the extra money, this is what the back of my truck (the topper) would look similar too: [Though my preference of the emblem would be a wild-west woman, with long hair, and with two pistols pointing from her hips.]

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Interjection of the Present:
Posted on Nov 20, 2017 6:36 PM

This is a photo of front side of my house. But I generally work in the back and not much going on in the front. Nope, not fancy or great, but I'm very thankful for what I have!!

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You can see two (2) satellite dishes, one attached to the carport, and one installed in-ground. This is a sore-spot to me. I neither have satellite or cable TV. These I was kind enough to let former tenants install, and I was left to pay to have them removed.

Also in the photo, you see the front door. This is the non-rented apartment side that I'm *trying* not to clutter up, but currently there are several dried flower bunches in there, along with some paper bags full of seeds. You can see on the house to the lower left the green algae stuff that needs removed. There is a short bed there at that side of the house with a dwarf type hydrangea, the caladiums that I just dug out, and some mini hostas and columbine. Hopefully I will get a picture in the right season.

Also in the photo you can see a portion of the carport, and the trailer that my mom bought that is currently filled with natural mulch that didn't get put in its place.

Next is a photo of my truck which is dual-purpose used for the farmer's market.

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This is a photo with one of the topper sides up. I call them wings ~smile~. Most (not all - you can't see it) stuff has been taken out and stored in one of my sheds. You can still see one shelf, but other shelves removed, as well as tables that are left in it continually through the season.

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This is the back of the truck viewing the topper doors which both open, and I can slightly walk in it with head held low.

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Gardening Ceases for a Short Season . . . then begins again.
Posted on Nov 20, 2017 8:19 AM

Then I went through a second traumatic divorce (not uncommon to children in todays world). This caused a move to the small town in which I now reside. I had just graduated high school and began working (a full-time job; though I had had paying jobs ever since probably years 8 or 9 of mowing yards, delivering papers and working in stinky huge chicken-houses). We moved to a mobile home park, and were one of the first (of three) to move into that newly developing mobile home park. For the first year, because there was open ground, we planted a small little garden in back of the mobile home. Then I moved out and on . . . (The mobile home park, after 40+ years, is completely full, and my mom still lives in the same place.)

Shortly thereafter, I ended up in Texas for 3 years in a bad marriage. One of my main goals in life was to *own land*. This was not one of his. In Texas, I really never gardened except for one apartment I bought a very large container (probably 5 gallons), and put in a tomato plant. I didn't tend it very well. I remember my mom, brother and younger brother, and my grandpa (my mom's dad) came to visit. I'm thinking my grandpa was probably a gardener-of-gardeners, and a farmer-of-farmers, and of course that's how gardening got into my mom's blood. Well my grandpa saw my pitiful tomato plant and began tending it. He told me that I always needed to keep the soil loose and free, to let it breathe.

Then my journey took me to Idaho (Sandpoint rural area, actually 30 miles from Sandpoint to a place called Elk Grove Estates), to live-off-the-land (but it was somebody else's land). This required saving up money to live self-sufficiently (which my mom had taught me to do). It also required burning wood for heat and no electricity or indoor bathroom facilities. Water was gravity feed from a rain barrel system. Wood was gathered from the National Forest of dead and standing-dead (though there was plenty of wood on the property itself). At this point there was again a garden, but not of my own. Potatoes grow nicely in Idaho, as did carrots; but tomatoes a different story. Because of the short season, we had to harvest the near ripe (or even green) tomatoes and store them in boxes with newspaper wrapped around them. This worked, but they would quickly spoil if one tiny bad spot. And they weren't as good as fresh-wholly-ripe tomatoes.

Because there wasn't a lot of money-making work to be had nearby, we made a trip to Spokane, Washington, living in a small RV camper in a KOA campground, and spent a little over a year getting jobs and working to save up some more money, and then back to Idaho. Now it was in Spokane that I had my first very own garden. I liked it because the conditions were very similar to that of Indiana. I grew mostly tomatoes and corn and a few peppers, and these all did nicely.

Then when physical and verbal abuse began happening back in Idaho; I journeyed home again, Indiana . . .

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My Formidable Years . . . and a bit past that . . .
Posted on Nov 19, 2017 10:15 AM

Now we all form opinions . . . some of those are truth and some are not, and some may be neither, just remaining opinions. But it is my opinion that a person's formidable years are from the womb to age 7. My formidable years in many ways were *bad* as I suffered through some verbal abuse, and seeing a little physical abuse too. My parents were divorced when I was age approximately 5. I have searched out my past, and put the blame on the former generation, and one specifically. I love and respect both my Father and Mother. My Dad has since gone on, but my Mom still helps me out a great deal.

Though most of my formidable years I only remember the *bad* things, some of those better things I'm sure have impacted my life. My dad was a gardener (my mom too). He so wanted to grow peach trees too, but always had trouble with those moths.

The small property (probably 1/2 an acre) they owned had a very small creek running through it (would I love to own that property today). Then, I thought that creek was *huge*. I remember my brother (2 years older) and I going out to play when snow covered the ground heavily. We went toward the creek, and I began sliding downward into it. Scared me to death!! But as for gardening, my dad had a large patch. I have no idea what he grew nor did I pay any attention to that. What I did notice was that he would carry bucket after bucket of water from that creek to water the garden. Now that creek was flowing with minnows. He would pour those buckets onto the garden and those poor little minnows would be flopping around. This broke my heart. So I would gather up glass canning jars that my mom would let me use (I guess she let me because I never got in trouble) and I would put water in them and try to gather up those minnows. Of course, poor things would be floating dead by the next morning as I would anxiously go out to look at them. Then I have realized that when I started gardening myself, that those minnows actually became fertilizer in the soil, and their life was put to good use.

Then when my mom remarried, gardening was to be had again. Then I know what we grew. Always lots of green beans, tomatoes, peppers (we called them mangos), carrots, (onions which I hated), cucumbers, plenty of cabbage, and we even had some gooseberry plants. This garden was a real treat for me. When I got hungry, I would visit the garden, savoring on a fresh tomato, or pulling a carrot and washing it off with the hose and eating it just like that, or picking a pepper and eating it. Those gooseberries were also a great treat too when they were ripe. But I also developed a *hate* for gardening. We also grew potatoes, and lots of them. In fact, one whole plot of them which was probably 100' x 100'. We were made to go and help remove the potato bugs, larvae, eggs from under the leaves, and all (this was always done manually without the use of chemicals). I hated every time we went to that plot (it was in another location)!! I didn't mind squishing the eggs, but when it came to the bugs and the larvae, this was just too gross!! But we also helped plant them, which I didn't mind. They hoed out the hole, and me and my brother would go behind and drop in the potato piece, being taught that the *eye* was to be placed upward.

Now these above mentioned things have benefited me in my future. Therefore, I do think there are some things that a child should be caused to do whether they hate it or not. Now that I grow asparagus, I've had a terrible time with the asparagus/bean beetle. Instead of using chemicals, when I go out to harvest the asparagus, I squish every beetle I find, and if I find eggs that they have laid on the asparagus stems, these all get harvested and either brought into the house and washed down the sink, or thrown in the garbage which is carried off to the landfill.

My mom also did a lot of canning. This included lots of whole tomatoes and tomato juice too. There were always green beans on the shelf and potatoes in the cellar (which I often had to go and gather for the meal . . . which that too I hated ~smile~). Onions too were stored in the cellar. Above the cellar was a small space with shelves for all the canned goods. My mom also had a large crock, and turned that cabbage into kraut. That too I hated, but I loved the smell. I since love kraut, but do not have a crock, nor have I tried to make it myself. My mom also made and canned her own catsup, that too I hated. I still don't like it, though she tells me it's great on certain things. I might like it now, but don't plan to make any myself. (I think it had nutmeg and or cloves in it.) I'm pretty fond of good ol' Heinz. There was also a grape vine, and on occasion my mom canned grape juice, until the vines became too aged and were removed. This I loved, and loved eating the grapes (Concord) fresh from the vines!

So I believe that canning also was in my heart from childhood, and I'm so thankful for it!!!

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A Continuation of Who I Am, and What I Do . . .
Posted on Nov 18, 2017 7:21 PM

What else I do:

First, I would like to say I will be 60 years old next year. I am thankful to some of the members here for great encouragement, that I can still go on and do what I do!

A portion of my garden is devoted to vegetables. I love to grow my own onions and sell a portion of those at the farmer's market. But for the farmer's market I specifically grow 'Sungold', a cherry tomato. I also like to have a couple hills of cucumbers, some seasonal lettuce/spinach, lots of large tomatoes, including heirloom and paste-type varieties, some green beans, a couple hills of Super Sugar Snap peas for eating right out of the garden and a few bell pepper plants and one jalapeno.

I think it was probably 3 years ago, maybe 4, I made a major life-decision. This decision included keeping the Sabbath on Saturday, and eating kosher. (The Saturday is a whole other story, and a huge life-change, but I won't go down that path here.) But the eating kosher was a large life-change. My tendency previously was that I was way too busy to cook, and so I ate at fast food restaurants all the time, and those choices generally small since we only have a McDonalds, a Blimpie, and a Subway in Delphi though the small town grocery store also sells lunch type items of deep fried chicken, etc. But Kosher = cooking, for the most part.

So although I already canned, and that including making and canning my own Salsa, and canning green beans if I had enough, I was challenged with cooking or preparing my meals for both mid-day (lunch), and late-day (supper) meals. Then I started canning even more. I learned to can my own chicken and enjoy just eating it out of the can. I learned to can my own beef, and enjoy quickly making it into a barbeque sandwich for lunch. I also enjoy opening a can of beef-brisket to make a Ruben sandwich for lunch. I found that canning most in 1/2 pints to be just the right amount. I also purchased a small freezer and enjoy freezing my own strawberries and asparagus (yes a portion of the garden are dedicated to those items too). I now read labels on food products, whereas I never did before. (This itself can be time consuming.) In the freezer I also have make-ahead type food (meal) such as frozen goulash or soup, or for breakfast, make ahead Bran Muffins.

Aside from that, I purchased a small air compressor which I had to learn to use. I have 2 wheelbarrows, the rider-mower, and a wagon with mesh-metal bottom, sides and tail-gate. These items can have a tendency to lose air especially during the winter, but sometimes even in summer. As for the wagon, I love it, but couldn't use it all season because it has 4 flat tires. It is originally the reason I purchased the air compressor. But I found that the tires of the wagon had deteriorated so badly over the past winter, that they would not hold air. That means replacing the tires or having tubes put in them. This is not cheap, and I couldn't afford that this year, so it is on my agenda as hopeful to get done, money permitting.

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