Monday, August 31, 2009


Yesterday was Girls' Day at Letchworth State Park - I had soooo much fun.

It rained on and off most of the day, so I was surprised at how many people were at the park - definitely a lot more than I would have expected. I haven't been there in a couple of years and it was really nice to come back. We were there pretty much all day, and I still still didn't get to see everything I wanted to.

It was too wet to really enjoy some Geocaching, but I was really happy to take my camera somewhere besides my backyard. I used to be an avid photographer - I've won prizes and have had some of my pictures published, but I haven't done any serious photography in a long time. I can see I've lost my touch and have to work hard to get a halfway decent shot - I really need to get back into practice again.

My calves are a bit sore today from the hiking, but it's a good kind of sore. I need to get back into shape too :)

The only black spot yesterday was the fact that some idiot hit my truck in the parking lot while we were out exploring. The dent is pretty big, but without seeing it happen, there's not much I can do about it. I can only hope that whoever hit me has more damage to his vehicle than there is on mine. Jerk.

We are planning on going back when the leaves start changing for autumn. I can't wait - hopefully it will be dryer then and there will be blue skies for prettier pictures!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Well it's official: I guess I am the most worthless person on the face of this planet.

No matter how hard I try to do the right thing or make things nicer or easier for other people, it's not right.

By not saying what's *really* on my mind makes me a hateful and evil person. It must be true - that's what I was told.

My opinions and point-of-view don't matter - they are all totally wrong.

I guess I wasn't raised right and I am socially inept. What makes sense to me and what I perceive as common sense doesn't seem to be on the same wavelength with any one else in the world. I don't understand why everyone seems to think that I expect too much. Apparently courtesy and manners and doing your fair share is too much to ask from anyone.

It appears that the world would be a happier place if I crawled under a rock and stayed there.

It seems the only way everyone is happy is if I'm a doormat.

Screw that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cool Beans

So between the rabbits and the rain, my garden didn't really stand much of a chance this year. I guess it is what it is.

The one bright spot was my green peppers - they were definitely very happy with this summer's weather.

The first harvest

Too bad I don't like peppers. My friends and family are enjoying the fruits - I mean vegetables - of my labors, tho'. (Or is a green pepper a fruit?) I'm still picking a few each week.

And just like everyone else, my tomatoes have the fungus that's going around. I lost a lot of tomatoes to it, but I still picked - and still am picking - a ton of good fruit. Fresh homegrown tomatoes are the highlight of my garden every year and as long as I have these, I'm a happy camper. I figured out that if I pick them just when they start turning red, most of the tomatoes ripen perfectly on my kitchen counter. I must have taken about ten pounds of (good!) tomatoes to my Mom's this weekend. I think chili is going to be on the menu soon :)

These are some bad tomatoes :)

My cucumber plants don't look that great... There's a glimmer of hope that I might get a few cucumbers before we get a frost, but it's so late in the season I doubt it.

Look at how cute!

I replanted beets after the rabbits ate the first batch. I don't have much hope for any beets either... but that's mostly because they got shaded out by my cherry tomato plants...

I'm beet!

The underdog story of my garden this year is my green beans. The rabbits were kind enough to leave one - yes, just one - bean plant to grow.

Doesn't it look so lonely?

I'm really surprised it grew at all. And what's even more surprising is that I might get a few beans from it. Does anyone know of any recipes that calls for only three or four green beans?

Cool beans!

Project sunflower never got underway. I plan on trying out my idea next year, tho'. I let my volunteer sunflower grow. It seemed pretty happy this summer too.

So there you have it. No strawberries. No lettuce. No peas. No corn. My dill grew, but without cucumbers it doesn't do me much good... Here's hoping for more success next year!

And what would an entry be without a picture of a chicken?

Friday, August 21, 2009


So last night another big rain storm blew through the area. The sky reminded me of one of the Poltergeist movies - it seemed like it was constantly lit until the storm passed. My house lights flickered within minutes of the rainfall and then I totally lost power. It was the first time I've lost power since the October Storm.

I'm happy to say that I was pretty well prepared, relatively speaking. No big house generators or anything like that for me, but for the hours I was without power, I was pretty comfortable. I knew exactly where my flashlights, batteries and candles were, along with my radio and of course my glow sticks!

After the October Storm, I came across a good deal on glow sticks and stocked up on a ton of them. Last night was the first time I had the chance to use them for real - not just for play. My house was aglow with yellow and green, and I was able to almost finish the book I'm reading.

For the record, the yellow glow sticks are definitely brighter, but it seems like the green ones last longer. So I have to remember that yellow is for reading and 'doing' things and green is for general don't-trip-over-anything lighting. Of course, I could always have used my flashlight or my Coleman lantern, but hey - glow sticks are way more fun :)

I heard that during the October storm, people in office buildings were using glow sticks to make arrows on the ground pointing to bathrooms and exits. I thought that was really innovative.

I have no idea what time the power came back on - I left a light on so I would know, but I was asleep. I remember getting up to turn off the light, but I never looked at the clock.

Fortunately, there didn't appear to be any damage in the yard... the way the wind was whipping through, I thought for sure that there would be a ton of branches all over the place. There was a small inflatable pool in one on my side ditches tho'. And the chickens seemed to have weathered the storm just fine.

I'm so sick of rain. Hopefully that's the last of it for a while!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


So I spent yesterday evening at the funeral home. My brother-in-law's Grandmother had passed away.

Of course that got me reminiscing about my Grandmother. She passed away 27 years ago. She would have been 100 years old if she were still alive. No one could have had a better Grandma than me - she was the best. Growing up, she was the one that understood me when no one else did. I still talk to her often and I think that if we really do have Guardian Angels, she's the one watching over me.

I still remember being so disappointed when she died... Grandma didn't drive, so she relied mostly on my Uncle to take her places she needed to go. For some reason, he really didn't seem to like to take her grocery shopping. I couldn't wait to get my driver's license so that I would be able to take her grocery shopping or anywhere she wanted to go whenever she wanted. She passed away three months before I got my license.

I miss my Grandma.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


So this was kind of a health week for me. I went to the dentist earlier in the week - no cavities :) Today I went to the eye doctor - my eyes have really been bothering me and I couldn't put it off any longer. Out of the two, I usually prefer going to the eye doctor - but not this time.

A usual trip to the eye doctor for me included the exam and a new set of frames and lenses. It usually ran me about $130. With money being so tight, I decided that I was going to keep my old frames and just have the exam and new lenses. This was my first visit to the eye doctor since I started this job. Imagine my shock when the bill came to over $350. I think I left a dent in the floor where my jaw hit. Either I had super-great insurance at my old job or I have super-crappy insurance at this one. I have no idea where I am going to find the money for this. For me, it's like coming up with an extra week's pay from somewhere. I'm still in shock.

My grocery bill is usually around $30 a week, so if I don't eat for about 12 weeks...

Jill Factoid of the Day: 60 mph is not fast enough to knock a grasshopper off the hood of my truck.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wild Things

I used to have a bat problem. I thought I had it taken care of, but they came back. They were back in my eaves :(

A face only a mother could love

This week I put bird netting around the eaves of my house. This allows the bats to fly out at night, but because they aren't as good flyers as birds, they can't navigate the netting to get back in. It seems to have worked, as I haven't seen any bats coming out of the eaves since the netting went up.

A bat heading out for the night - notice the full moon :)

This weekend, the project for me and my posse is to seal up the eaves so I can take down the netting and the bats (or starlings!) won't be able to get back in.


The Stupid-Garden-Eating rabbits in my yard are getting bolder and bolder. As much as I try to scare them so they will stay away, they just don't scare.

This is what my corn looks like, thanks to them:

Every morning and every day when I get home from work, at least two of the three Stupid-Garden-Eating rabbits are hanging out by the chicken coop. For some reason, they seem to like the chickens.

Yesterday I had let The Ladies out for a little while and one of the Stupid-Garden-Eating rabbits hopped on over to the chickens. It was funny, because the chickens went over to see the Stupid-Garden-Eating rabbit - they've only seen the Stupid-Garden-Eating rabbits through their fence. It must have been too overwhelming for him, because when Stupid-Garden-Eating rabbit saw six chickens coming towards him, he took off like a shot. Maybe when The Ladies start free-ranging, they will protect my garden too :)

The exciting thing today tho', was when I got home from work and went to check on The Ladies, there was a Mama Turkey and little baby turkeys by the coop! I have never seen wild baby turkeys before - it was so cool. Mama Turkey took off pretty quickly when she saw me, but I think she must have had five or six babies with her. I would think that it was too late in the season for any kind of wild babies, but I guess not.

I see wild turkeys all the time in the farmers fields around here, but I rarely ever see any in my yard. Much less a mama with chicks. I really hope they come back!

The Ladies love to go out exploring!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Upside Down

So the phone rings and my sister is on the other end...

Sister: "How's it going?"

Me: "Good. What's up?"

Sister: "Mom wants me to fix her computer."

Me: "What's wrong?"

Sister: "Everything is upside down."

I couldn't stop laughing. At one of my old jobs, we had to log off of our computer if we weren't at it. If someone caught your computer not attended and not logged off, this was the exact practical joke we would play on each other. It's funny, but a pain and got the point across. I have *no* idea how my Mom managed to rotate her screen - I can only image what random things she must have been clicking through trying to accomplish whatever it was she was trying to do. You have to understand that my Mom is a novice in the computer world. She's definitely getting better, but still has a lot to learn. Anyway, I give her credit for exploring and trying new things :)


People send me email asking how I'm doing. I reply giving a short synopsis of the highlights of what's going on and the usual pleasantries. I end the email asking how they are doing and what's going on with them. And then I never hear back. This happens more often than I would ever think it could.

Why do people do that?

I don't think rude is quite the right word, but it seems so one-sided. Why ask if you're not going to reciprocate?


Am I the last person in the world to hear about Sheesh! I learned about the site while there was an 80% off promotion going on. I got a $25 gift certificate for only $2!!! That's my kind of deal. I'm so excited about an affordable night out :)


In the world of chickens: Do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of a chicken? Chickens are perpetual-motion machines. They never seem to be still for a moment. And when they are, the camera isn't ready. That's the one thing I hate about digital cameras: You can't instantly snap a picture like you could with the old SLRs. I guess that's the tradeoff for the instant gratification of the picture.

Anyway, the Ladies are doing well. It's turning out that they are picky eaters, just like their owner. My sister's chickens seem to eat everything and anything. They like cherries. Not mine. They like corn. Not mine. They like raspberries. Not mine. They like apples. Not mine.

My Ladies do however love dandelion greens and clover. That makes me happy because I figure that when they start free-ranging, they will be weeding my lawn for me :) Today I found out that they do like tomatoes too. I picked my first two from my garden over the weekend, and shared some with them.