Thursday, April 29, 2010

Garden Update

Well, things have been going pretty well in the garden so far. Two weeks ago I planted half of my tomatoes and some lima beans. Last week I planted just about everything else. I hope to get the rest of it planted Saturday.

When I went out yesterday to check things I saw that most of my first row of lima beans have come up. I was very pleased to see that. If I can get my irrigation out I'm sure it won't be long until the others follow suit.

So far we have about 50 tomato plants, a dozen squash plants, half a dozen zucchini, a long row of blackeye peas, a long row of purple hull peas, a long row of green beans, 2 long rows of lima beans, a hill of watermelons, a dozen jalapeno peppers, 3 red bell peppers, 3 poblano peppers, 3 yellow bell peppers, 3 green bell peppers, 3 purple bell peppers, 3 mild banana peppers, 2 dill plants, one basil plant, and one cabbage plant (that belongs to my niece.) Oh yeah, and three short rows of corn.

Still to be planted are two rows of lima beans (one will get planted next week) three or 4 rows of corn, cucumbers, and several hills of cantaloupes, water melons, and maybe even a hill of honeydew if I can find it. I also have some sweet potatoes to see if I can sprout. I may do some of them too.

It still sounds like a lot, but not so much really. I will probably plant the rest of the corn, one row of lima beans, and one hill of cantaloupe on Saturday. If I can find it I'll probably do a hill of honeydew too.

This year I selected 4 main varieties of tomato. I have a dozen Better Boy plants, because that has been my family's favorite for years. I have also planted a dozen Roma tomatoes for canning and salsa. There is also dozen Celebrity for eating, canning and salsa. Finally, I got a dozen Cherokee Purple for juice. I also added a grape tomato and another "tommytoe" variety. And my friend Terry gave me another variety that I have divided into three plants. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of that one.

Saturday's work in the garden will also be spent getting my irrigation sorted - or at least planned. Every year you have to chase leaks, and I'll have to take some time to find out what hoses are working, which ones can be repaired, and which ones need to be trashed. Then I can figure out what else I need. I also need to put down some lime and fertilizer. It probably wouldn't hurt to get the tomato stakes in the ground too.

So far the weeds haven't shown up yet, but when they do, I have a handy new pointy hoe to take care of them, thanks to my girlfriend's mom! As much work as gardening is, for some reason I really enjoy it.

Well, that's all for the farm report tonight! I'll try to get you caught up this weekend.


Hello, friends. It has been difficult finding the time to write here. I have started several posts at different times, but finishing one has been a major challenge. It would seem that my time management skills need some improvement. I am always amazed by the folks that are able to get massive amounts of stuff done with their days. I have that from time to time, but by and large I find that my time is stolen from me by little annoying things more than not.

OK, enough whining - about that anyway. If any of you out there were like me, but found a method that helped you to consistently manage your time well, I'd love to hear about it.

To get more to the point of my title, I am quite frustrated by what I see happening to my country. Every day (literally) I read another headline that points to the greatly decayed state of the union. Every day it is a new revelation of corruption - every day some new abomination laden bill sneaking its way through congress or being ram-rodded through it. And each report brings with it the certainty that my freedoms and rights are being eroded at an alarming rate. I have honestly never been so angry.

As an aside, something else that really pisses me off is the gall of progressives to call themselves that. What a load of crap! Progressive insinuates a moving toward something better, but the path that they would lead us down is anything but better. The progressive path is one headed 180° away from God and his Law. They steal but justify it by claiming that they are doing it to help the poor (which they never manage to actually do). They murder but call it choice. They slander but call it freedom of speech. They lie and call it truth. A perfect example is Al Gore, who was reported to have purchased an $8 million ocean front home this week. Guess he's not too worried about rising ocean levels after all. No, progressive does not match what they are. They are bad, old-fashioned liberals.

And then I begin to wonder, what can I do? Protesting obviously does no good, and violence does no good. Neither do phone calls or emails or written letters. I am losing confidence in the republic. The only hope that I have right now is in prayer and in my vote this November.

Truly, I can't wait for November to get here. God grant that the right heads roll. I would be shocked if there are more than a dozen each in the House and Senate that deserve to be there. I hope that when the dust settles that they are the only ones left. Change is clearly needed - but not of the variety that the current administration has brought. I only hope that God will favor us with a majority of leaders who love what America has historically stood for, are fiscally responsible, are willing to call a spade a spade, can't be bought, are willing to make tough choices for the sake of our country, and who don't give a rat's left hind tit if they get re-elected or not. I'd vote for someone like that any day.

Interesting Music

I discovered these guys through a friend's post on Facebook and really like their creativity and energy. They are called Pomplamoose. They remind me of my friends, the Dicksons. I hope you enjoy them too! This is one of my favorites, but they have a very diverse repertoire!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Mission From God

So, me and the guys are putting the band back together. We've been trying to get practices going again because we're supposed to play a gig at our church on June 6th.

This time we are planning to incorporate some "secular" songs in the mix. We did some work on U2's Pride (In The Name Of Love) last week and it went well. This week I am thinking about bringing this song:

I like the key Sara is doing it in. Great song. I also like Edwin McCain's version. I could hear Chris Daughtry singing it too.

I did some checking for tabs for this song and got wildly different versions - all of them wrong. The good news is that I was able to piece most of it together from the different versions that I found. I still have one chord that I can't figure out. There is a passing chord at the end of the chorus that I can't quite figure out. I have something that works, but it isn't what they are doing in Sara's version. If only Justin and Sara (from the Stillwaters Jazz Band) were right up the street I would bug them and get some help!

We're also looking at doing Daughtry's "Home." I have found a really good acoustic version online, but haven't been able to quite figure out what this fellow is doing. I think that he is using an alternative tuning because I can't make the chords that it looks like he is playing work in the tuning that I use.

Of course then we have to find someone who can pull off the song vocally. I'm praying that the Lord will help me to do justice to these songs or that He'll provide someone who can!

Another song that I like comes from a somewhat surprising source. I've really been drawn to Nickleback's song "If Today Were Your Last Day."

Good song. The "official" video is pretty good too, but there is something about the image of the black doctor working on the injured Klansman in this one that is really powerful.

Well, it is getting late so I'll wrap this up. Happy listening!


It has been an interesting season.

Boy, if those aren't loaded words. Terry Pratchett wrote a book called Interesting Times. I haven't read it yet, but if I understand correctly one of the greatest curses that you can invoke on a person on Discworld (the Yoknapatawpha County of Pratchett's imagination) was that they would live in interesting times - which are always a bit more interesting in retrospect than they are when being lived out. Ask Frodo if his times were interesting, and he would have most likely responded, "No, they were bloody awful." Yet for the Hobbit urchins gathered around him listening to the stories of his adventures they were fraught with intrigue and fascination.

I love the way John Eldredge put it,

Twenty clear days a year - that sounds about like my life. I think I see what's really going on about that often. The rest of the time, it feels like a fog, like the bathroom mirror after a hot shower. You know what I mean. What exactly are you perfectly clear on these days? How about your life? Why have things gone the way they have? Where was God in all that? And do you know what you ought to do next, with a deep, settled confidence that it will work out? Neither do I. Oh, I'd love to wake each morning knowing exactly who I am and where God is taking me. Zeroed in on all my relationships, undaunted in my calling. It's awesome when I do see. But for most of us, life seems more like driving along with a dirty windshield and then turning into the sun. I can sort of make out the shapes ahead, and I think the light is green.
- Waking The Dead p. 5

Yeah, that pretty well sums it up.

Lately I have asked the Lord - at the encouragement of my significant other - what the future might look like for me. Not some sort of crystal ball inquiry, but a real frank discussion with Him about direction and destiny. I was surprised to have some answers and to see some really disparate puzzle pieces put into context with each other. It was really nice to see how these vastly different interests could possibly work together. It was encouraging to see that even pieces that I received years ago were not "misses" but are still a part of the plan.

I won't say that I have the road map, but at least I have a good general lay of the land now. That is comforting. I hope I can remember that when journeying through Mirkwood. All journeys seem destined to pass through its depths, don't they?

I have friends plumbing some of the same depths that I have over the past 20 years. It is hard to see them struggling. I hurt for them, but I am also encouraged by their struggle, for it shows me that the Lord has taken notice of them, and He is in the process of disciplining them to make them more like Himself and to help them love Him better.

So often we look at discipline (at least in the United States) as something that is for those who have done something bad. Yet God's discipline is not like that. See, those whom He loves He disciplines. It is kind of hard to understand until you experience it. Often what God is after isn't some great sin pattern in our lives. The thing that often brings His discipline is wrong thinking and wrong heart attitudes that keep us from knowing Him and loving Him correctly. These are almost never our fault, but are the result of woundings that we receive throughout the course of our life.

It is nice to have a little perspective. It makes the discipline a lot more bearable.

So, to my friends who are hopelessly lost in Mirkwood's haunts (now or in the future) my prayer is that you will quickly discover that you are not alone, that God is right there with you, and that God is GOOD. You aren't as lost as you seem. God knows right where you are, and none of this surprises Him. He's got you right where you need to be. Rest in these truths.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Garden Time Again

Today was the official beginning of gardening season for me this year. I got to disk the garden, which was pretty fun. But then it is always pretty fun to get to drive the tractor.

I had thought to go ahead and till tomorrow, but I think I am going to hold off. I don't really want to plant anything for the next couple weeks until I am reasonably sure that the danger of frost is past. I'm not planning to do any colder weather crops this year.

As I have been thinking about things, I am reasonably sure that I will do tomatoes, green beans, corn, cantaloupes, watermelons, peppers, squash, cucumbers, basil, and fordhook lima beans. I am also probably going to do black-eyed peas as well.

I plan to do a lot of tomatoes - at least 4 dozen plants. I want to do a dozen Cherokee Purple plants for juice, a dozen Better Boys and a dozen Celebrity for just plain eating, and a dozen Romas for canning and salsa. I'll probably also throw in some grape/cherry tomato plants too. I had good results from the Goliath hybrids last year too. They produced longer than the others did. I may do a few of them too. I'd like to do at least 2 Ox Hearts too. That's a lot of tomatoes.

I am going to try something different with my lima beans this year. I am planning to wait until most of the beans on the bushes are just beginning to turn a little yellow and then pull up the plants. In the past two years I have only gotten 1-2 good pickings off of the plants and the first was always bigger than the second. I think that I will have better results by planting pulling and re-planting than by doing what I have done before. Time will tell. Gardening is a great place to experiment!

Well, that is all for now. I'll keep you updated!