Cotonwood Tree Amoung the Largest?

The older we get the more we cherish our memories and want to share them with anyone who we think might be interested. I for one am very interested in others childhood stories especially generations older than myself. Right now there are actually some of them left.

            Whether my parents just happened to live at the right place or God’s will I don’t question but where I grew up I couldn’t have loved more. Put this country girl/tomboy on a cattle ranch situated in a wide valley; divided in half by a rambling river only a stones throw from her upstairs bedroom window and you have made her one happy girl. Give her a red and white paint horse named Dixie to ride anytime she wanted and permission to ride anywhere she wanted and she was in heaven.

            This spring I was able to go back to that little spot of heaven for a visit, although time has taken it’s toll some things stay the same. A friend and I took a trip back in time as we toured the place where I spent my childhood. When we topped the hill of ‘my’ valley, my heart started beating just a little faster and as we started down the hill and the river came in view I audibly sighed. One really can go home again after all. Oh, I admit it’s not the same but those heartstrings still felt a tug.

Cottonwood Tree with 21 foot circumference

            One of the main things I wanted to check out was a cottonwood tree that as a child was the biggest tree I ever saw. Well, it’s still the biggest Cottonwood tree I’ve ever seen. At the base it measures 21 plus feet and five feet up it measures 19 feet around. That’s me holding the measuring tape. My Mother, two sisters and myself tried one time and could not reach around it.

 

            The local Girl Scouts used to have their campouts just across the fence from the tree and every year we used to see how many of us it took to reach around the tree. 

            It wasn’t just my family that loved that tree. The ranch was located 1 ¼ miles from Mullen, NE and the river was a source of entertainment for many of the town folks. People floated the river; fished for trout and just simply enjoyed its beauty my tree being part of it.

Advertisements

Shopping 101 – saving where I can~~~

With the uncertain times we are all facing now it is even more important to save where we can. It is hard sometimes to tell myself to hold off on purchasing something I really want and distinguishing a want from a need; this is what I have come up with. I divide my list in two sections, my wants and my needs. If I have saved some money I feel I can spend on wants I put it in an envelope in my dresser and when I go shopping I put that envelope in my purse in case one of my wants is on a really good sale. This way I don’t feel guilty purchasing something special once in a while.

I also carry my coupons in my purse and before I go shopping I go through my coupons, if I have one to match something on my list I make a C by that item to remind myself I have that coupon. When I put that item in my cart I get out that coupon and put it with my money so I don’t forget to use it. I also cross off items I have found, it saves me time looking over my whole list to see what I still need to purchase.

Competing stores often try to out do each other and that means money in our pockets; don’t forget to ask if the store will honor a competitor’s coupon. Wal-Mart honors all other stores coupons, which has saved me many dollars several times.

If I have several stops to make I plan out my route to save time and gas. The first thing I do is check the papers for the sales and coupons. Will it pay to drive to another store to save a few pennies? Not unless they have some of the other items I need or coupons that will pay off at another stop. Most times it doesn’t pay to make too many stops.

The important thing for me is to keep the wants separate from the needs.

If you have ideas on how you save shopping please share them by commenting.  Thanks!

How I saved $45 walking in the rain

That’s right I made $45 at least this morning, got a little wet doing it but it was well worth it. Now I don’t get paid to walk, if only, wouldn’t that be great. I picked up somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 dozen nightcrawlers and at $3 a dozen that’s $45 I saved by not having to buy them for my fishing this summer. OK it’s creepy to some but it’s worth it to me when we sit down to a mess of those fresh fried fish. Hey, besides that someone has to feed the fish and lots of them eat the worms off my hooks without me catching them so that is a good deed I am doing, right?

So far the buried cooler is working, this morning’s catch went in the cooler and that will be all it will hold I think; there was already 5 or 6 dozen in it. They are working on the rhubarb leaves I put in a few days ago, I will put something else in the next day or two. Worms are vegetarian and love anything fresh from the garden just don’t give them anything dairy or meat.  Also will add some dry bedding to help soak up some of their ‘moisture’.  Shredded newspaper works well and a good way to recycle, a green living tip also! 

So get out there and gather some worms. No? Then just get out there and walk, enjoy Mother Nature and her wonders. Remember she speaks many languages, see how many you can hear-

A Day in the Life of ME

This post isn’t going to be for everyone but if you are a redneck you will have been there, done that! When trying to pick a category for this blog I was really stumped. It just didn’t fit any one section but I figure if we are living off the land that’s Green Living right? We love to fish and use a large worm called night crawlers, well the night crawlers do just that crawl out at night and only after a rain. So we gather them at dawn in the rain most of the time and I love doing it. My mother-in-law got me started many years ago. Her method was to take a flashlight during a nice warm rain and haunt the alleys and streets around the town park. The crawlers were out but as soon as they felt the light on them, zip down the hole they went. If you haven’t been night crawler hunting you really can’t imagine how fast the little buggers are. If you were lucky enough that there were some just outside your flashlight’s range those were the ones you aimed for. Oh and one interesting little tidbit, they breed at night and if you could catch them in the act you could grab two at a time. Our 4 year old son ask what they were doing and my MIL told them they were wrestling. Good save Mom. We spent many rainy nights this way and laughed while getting soaked, but we had the last laugh as we enjoyed eating the many fish caught with those juicy night crawlers. We live in the country now on a Wildlife Habitat area with an irrigation lake at our front door. Where the water is let in to the lake – the inlet – is where I have the best luck. The ground is lower there so the worms have to stay out longer. Well twice this spring I have gotten to go worm hunting. Yesterday morning was the best so far this year. I gathered around 3″ in an ice cream bucket. We keep them in small Styrofoam containers in an old refrigerator in our garage; that way everyone can help themselves for we like to share. When my garden gets to over producing that is the only refrigerator for the overflow. Now the worms can’t get out of their containers and the two are on different shelves but still, worms and food? Yesterday after studying some ideas on the Internet I took an old insulated cooler and buried it for a worm farm. The drain was broken and we had it taped so no big loss. I drilled holes every 5″ in the bottom, laid window screen over the bottom inside. Then I layered the cooler 1/2 full using couple of inches of soil from the hole I dug, moistened 1″ strips of newspaper and bought worm bedding. I found 6-7 worms while digging the hole so I put them in the cooler to test it for a week before I put the big batch in as the pieces I read said to do. This morning they were scattered out and that is a good thing according to the so called experts. I will transfer the others the first of next week. So that’s the extent of my hunting, that and my excursions with my camera. Took time to plant two rows of peas today, late getting my Good Friday potatoes in but did it anyway. I thought they had gotten thrown out so when I found them I just had to plant them. Radishes and onions are up, the cold frame is doing fine, most things are up, had to transplant broccoli and cabbage yesterday. Found a few of the giant sunflowers coming up from a head I laid in the box last fall, a nice surprise the birds will enjoy this fall. There are flowers sitting around my house everywhere, even the bathroom, I am forcing blooms on plums and crabapple, cut some forsythia and hyacinths. Oh the smell of the hyacinths, mmmm. Tulips are starting to open up this morning so will have lots of color soon. Well, if you are bored and don’t mind some advice, get out of the house. Take a walk with Mother Nature and listen to all she has to say! She speaks in many languages!

We’re Off and Growing

Well that might be a little presumptous on my part but the cold frame is planted. I did get lazy and left last years soil, just gave it a good boost with more compost and sand. It is packed full with tomato, cabbage, broccoli, summer squash, two kinds of cucumber, basil, jalapeno and another kind of hot pepper I can’t remember the name of and morning glory seeds. Some of the tomato seeds are in my homemade newspaper pots, last year I had some trouble with shock when they were transplanted so thought I would try something a friend suggested. The paper will disintegrate letting the roots spread out as needed.

With 200 onion sets and two rows of radishes planted we are well on our way. The hubby helped me put up the panels for the peas to grow on and hopefully the soil will warm up enough in the next couple of weeks they can be planted.

The rest will have to wait until we are sure Mother Nature is in her Hawaii mode for sure or they might get their topnotches frosted. Waiting to be planted are carrots, beets, koli-rabi and beans at least.

To make the paper pots take 1/2 sheet of newspaper and tear that in half. Fold that in half and roll into a tube approximately 3-4″ across the opening. Fold the raw edged end together, staple or tape shut or make two tight small folds up. When you are ready to use your pots fill as you would peat pots insert your seed and keep moist. When you use the paper pot that isn’t stapled make sure to support the bottom so you don’t loose any soil.