Thursday, August 11, 2011

What a situation

The picture above is my oldest daughter Kitt. It was taken 50 years ago. She was about 6 weeks old at the time. Just the other day there was a surprise birthday party for her. Where does the time go?
 Just a few days ago, it seems, I was lamenting the fact that winter was too long and we were longing for spring.Click here.   BUT I don't think spring ever came. Summer did though. It came in a hurry and then we said "enough is enough". We all like warm weather but triple digits or high 90's day after day is too much  especially with high humidity. We're lucky in our area as we had enough rain everything is still looking great. I have a friend in Matador, TX. He was telling me the other day that since the middle of October of 2010 they've had only 1/10th of an inch of rain, over 40 days of triple digit temps and no relief in sight. Matador is in West Texas where the cattle industry is number one. At one time the Matador Ranch stretched all the way up to and into Canada.
  Can you imagine having cattle/horses and not enough water for them and yet your neighbors to the north, are losing cattle and  horses because of unprecedented flooding.
  Here in Michigan we are blessed with an abundance of water, so far. How long will it last? Neighboring states are clamoring for it and a huge bottling plant is taking millions of gallons weekly and sending it out into the world. That bottling plant has created more stink in Michigan than all of the proposed sewage systems combined. They say Lake Michigan is at its lowest in a lot of years. I wonder why? Lake Superior is still stable, but for how long?
  What is it about bottled water? Why do we pay 3 to 8 dollars per gallon for tap water. Then we throw the empty bottles wherever we might happen to be. Our landfills are filled with, can you believe this, empty water bottles and throwaway diapers.
 I see man people running into C Stores and grabbing a $1.50 bottle of water and thinking nothing of it. Yet they complain about $4.00 gasoline. There is something wrong with our mentality, I believe.
  When we were out in Idaho and people there paid dearly for their water for their crops and animals and of course drinking water. I was mowing some campsites and gone from headquarters for about 6 hours. The manager asked  me where my water bottle was. I said I didn't have one as I didn't think it was necessary. I got a lecture on the human body and the results of dehydration. The first thing to shutdown is your kidneys, your body is trying to save the moisture needed for living. After your kidneys shut down the poison goes through out your system. If you let that happen many times through life you can have problems, that's for sure. 
 In the harsh climate of the south and west you needs lots of water so I learned to take my water bottle and fill it and put it in the freezer every night. As it would melt I'd have cold water to drink instead of it being tepid. 
  I also have a friend out in the NW corner of Iowa and they had too much water. Drowned a lot of the crops and they lost some of their animals also, too much water. I haven''t heard from them in awhile and I hope it is "no news is good news".
 So that makes my home area seem pretty good to what some of the country is going through.
Summer has been a success for me in the flower section. Sally loved "morning glory" flowers. I found a little envelope of the same in her jewelry case. It said simply morning glory Michigan.  So this spring I planted them about a dozen little seeds. I had to do some reading up on them but I did a gamble and TODAY is the first BLOOM
I'm sure there will be many more and she'll enjoy their glorious colors, from afar.
 The summer harvest of some of the fresh  fruits and vegetables is really looking great. I myself have enjoyed the wild blackberries, red raspberries and sweet cherries and don't forget the tart cherries for pies. They seemed to have gotten just enough rain to make them large enough with out leaving them too tart. New potatoes ah, so good. Green beans, cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash are oh so delicious, don't forget the sweet peas and asparagus. SWEET CORN!! Nothing says summer like fresh sweet corn. We've got a farmer that has quite a reputation with his wonderful sweet corn. And fresh, canned or frozen it is wonderful.
 The fresh rhubarb and strawberries are a thing of the past but having canned some and frozen more the taste will be looked for this winter. Blueberries are doing great and did you know that the picking can start about the 4th of July and last all the way to first frost. They say blueberries is one of natures most perfect foods.
Grapes whether for jams and jellies or eaten fresh, is a sign that summer is in full stride and fall is not far behind. Carrots, celery, broccoli growers are getting set to do their harvests also. I haven't been down to the peppermint fields but there is nothing sweeter to smell than peppermint when they're making some of the peppermint oils and it is also grown around here.
 Speaking of fall the apples, peaches, apricots, plums and other tree fruits are looking good in our neck of the woods.
the branches of the trees are heavy laden with the delicious fruits. Just to the south and east of us they grow large amounts of sweet potatoes and sugar beets. I used to stop and pick up a sugar beet or two and Sally would put a slice or two in whatever she was canning instead of sugar.
  Western Michigan is a wonderful place to live, especially when the HARVESTS are coming in.
  When our children were growing our Thanksgiving Dinner was always homegrown/wild vegetables and fruits along with the main course of meats that were harvested also. Now days you could add turkey to our list of partridge, fish, venison, pheasant and duck or goose. It was what we had and it was what we could afford.
 The only things the kids did not like was our eggs. The chickens were free ranging so they had all kinds of good things to eat and the yolks of their eggs were bright orange. There was no way you could tone that color. But they were used in baking and etc.  I believe they still remember those eggs.

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