A bit of rain must fall. That’s what they say, anyhow. It’s been raining here for three days straight, to the tune of over five inches, and I think that’s probably enough for us for now.
As chance would have it, the last afternoon just before all this started, I had put in the seed potatoes. We don’t have a lot of success with potatoes – sweet potatoes, that’s a different story – but usually it’s because they get blight or borers take them out. I’m hoping that all this rain does not mean an immediate end to this year’s potato experiment because they all rot in the ground before they can get going. The sweet potato slips have not yet gone out, as they just arrived last week and have been getting some hydrating of their own since they looked a bit limp when we unpacked them. That isn’t a problem now.
The problem now is finding a place to put them where they won’t overrun everything in their path. I have a couple of empty rows up front, and I suspect that’s where they’ll end up (and where we will find sweet potatoes coming up for years afterward, as we do out back where we’ve had them previously).
One thing that does love the rains: weeds. Today, since the forecast is finally backing off, I’ll be heading out to do another round of weeding. The good thing about weeds in wet soil is that they come out pretty easily. The bad thing is they come out heavy, holding that wet soil, and unless you get most of the dirt off somehow, the weed bags get pretty damned heavy. One of the (many) tradeoffs at the ranch.
With the rains and the flooding, it also means no log runs chasing a thrown ball for the puppy. Until the flooding subsides a bit, that will be on hold. And that, my friends, makes a puppy sad.
Finally! Purveyors of chicken jerky treats for dogs are voluntarily recalling products based on antibiotic residue found in chicken jerky treats coming from China.
“Milo’s Kitchen® today announced that it is voluntarily recalling its Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats from retailer shelves nationally. No other Milo’s Kitchen® products are affected. ”
“Nestle Purina PetCare Company and its wholly owned subsidiary Waggin’ Train, LLC today announced it is voluntarily withdrawing its Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats sold in the United States until further notice. ”
Of course, at the ranch, we make our own, so we know what’s in them: chicken. No glycerol, no antibiotics, no anything else. Grind it, put it in the jerky gun my aunt Susi kindly gave me for xmas, and stuff them in a low oven to dry. The salmon jerky was way smellier, but they seemed to love the stuff, so another batch of that will be in the offing as well.
Morning thus far: retrieved the trash can and two days’ worth of mail, made another batch of syrup for the bees, checked the transplanted tomatoes (a few knocked out by the storm yesterday, but overall, not bad), checked the cuke progress (flowering!), watched a super league rugby playoff match from Sunday, fed and watered the dogs, and sliced a bunch of chicken into thin strips to make jerky. For the dogs – because I keep reading bad stories about chicken jerky treats from China, and the jerky at Costco? From China. We’ve not noticed any ill effects on our dogs from that, but making our own is easy enough (plus we know exactly what’s in it: chicken, no glycerin). Now eating and waiting for two new servers to show up so I can build those out and hustle them to the NOC. The day is young!
Short of hiring a bunch of people to come out and get the property releveled and sloped appropriately to make up for my jerk of a neighbor raising the base of his property at my expense by trucking in huge amounts of dirt (and instead of my jerk of a neighbor doing the right thing and sloping everything to the pond he has at the back of his property), for now, every time we get dumped on, we have to deal with the flooding. We also have to deal with the animals – both chickens and dogs – getting into and drinking the water. All of the animals are happy enough to get ass deep in the water and drink from the lakes that form wherever they happen to have access, neither of which is pretty. Well, I take that back: it’s pretty disgusting, especially if it’s an area that has been shat upon by said animals. But when I look at the big picture and realize I can’t really do anything about it at this point except try to keep them out of those places until things dry out, life is much less stressful.
I still cannot figure out why, with London only five hours ahead of us, NBC couldn’t show the opening ceremonies live. Tape delayed wasn’t terrible, but the talking heads talked way too much, and the ad-fest was annoying. Still, there were some rather amusing moments (the Queen and James Bond), some rather geeky moments (Sir Tim Berners-Lee), and some great visuals (young athletes lighting the cauldron, which itself formed from 200 individual petals, and the shot of the Olympic rings from the ISS). So begin the Games. In this day and age, almost every sport will get television time, even if those times are rather weird and on the oddball channels. How often do we get to see archery or fencing or competitive shooting here? The fact that these will be on at all will make hunting them down worthwhile.
Ends: one of the chickens needs to be dispatched, so mom tells me. She – the chicken, not mom – is laying about under the palmetto bushes, not going for treats, and it appears she’s on her way out. The last time one got this way, it was somewhat prolonged, since we didn’t know what the hell was going on with it. Now that we’ve seen it before, we know it’s unlikely she’ll recover from whatever it is – old age, perhaps – and it’s better to take care of her now instead of allowing her to slowly starve to death, or suffocate because she gets crop-bound. Later this morning, I’ll go dig a hole, then take up the ailing girl, talk to her a bit, and make it as quick as possible. Then I’ll return her to the soil to join the girls who preceded her. It’s a bit sad, but it is truly the cycle of life on the ranch.
Maybe not every day. That could get tedious very quickly. This morning, two CT scans, with contrast – the contrast courtesy of iodine they shoot through an IV into you, which rapidly spreads and makes you feel like you’re about to piss yourself. While that’s coursing through you, they slide you back into the CT for more pictures. Lucky me, I got toe do the contrast twice: once for the chest, and once for the head and neck. Fun stuff. Even more fun is that they didn’t put the IV into the crook of my arm, but slightly below it. I now have quite the knot there, it’s already started to bruise, and it hurts. A lot. The price of going through tests to make sure no growths are lurking about anyway, I suppose.
Today was spasm day, thanks to the combination of bouncing around on the tractor yesterday, and the raising of my arms above my head while lying on the table for the CT scans. As soon as I pulled my left arm up above my head, I could feel them starting, and they haven’t let up. That, as they say, is what the drugs are for, and I gave in and took some to calm this down so I could move. No workout today, alas.
My sister arrived from Illinois in a sneak attack visit with her dogs. She’ll be staying with my other sister, so there won’t be as much worry about Einstein and his distaste for other dogs invading my space, although I have to say he was better behaved this time, and didn’t actually attack either of the visiting dogs when my sister got to the house. Maybe he’s realized that those two dogs both outweigh him by a lot and that they’re much larger than he is. Or maybe he just didn’t fee as threatened by them this time. Whatever the reason, things were just fine. I made lime and cilantro chicken for dinner, and we had fresh corn on the cob and squash baked with parm-reg. Not a bad little summer meal. Next up: seafood feast, since my sister now lives in the middle of nowhere and doesn’t get seafood as much as she would like up there.
Random note to the people who made the ourtime.com commercials that appear from time to time on my tv while I’m watching rugby or shows about stupid people (“World’s Dumbest…”): if you’re going to have people giving testimonials about meeting people through your service, it would be best if they didn’t sound like they were standing and talking in a gigantic cavern. The sound on those needs a ton of work.