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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1446
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 17 1:48 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Sorry to hear husband is not well hope he gets better soon, MR. I have no worries about the chute sizes in time terms for the logs, when you can you will I am sure. We could be in a spring day today the sun is shining and it is warm, not hot-what I call working weather.

Yes many of the pallet blocks today are of the small timber block variety. When I ran the family sawmill I used to cut all timber into 4x4 or mainly 3x3 for fencing posts, all the excess length was converted into pallet blocks as one part of the company did packing cases and pallets and they would take all we could cut and then more! However there is an increasing amount of sawdust being of "pressed" into service. They say when burned on a fire the adhesive is not good, but the self gluing sawdust made ones are good fire fodder. A chap at work uses sawdust blocks for bbqs and when he goes camping, but takes no notice of what he is burning-he just says they are good and last for ages! I chop the soild wooden blocks up for firewood starters for OAP's; they sell well through a coal man-he moves at least 50 bags each season. I just have to be sure there are no nails in them. I wish I could find another outlet for them as they are so quick and easy and I have a lot of bags the right size.

I am away tomorrow to the friend's derelict barn in north Wales again. We are removing tree stumps-we hope. So I won't be about. It is a lovely spot on the edge of a village, with a view down the valley, and the Talyllyn railway to the right. I just wish he would get on and make it habitable enough to stay up there and get a weekend's work done. It is so much easier to go there on Saturday rather than get involved with the holiday/weekend traffic on Sunday going home at twice the speed they should be doing. I also have to empty the van on Sunday as it will be going to the man for checking prior to testing on Monday. Fingers crossed.

See you all on Tuesday

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8914

PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 17 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have a good weekend on the tree stumps Gregotyn.

Helped at food bank yesterday, then plyed some wool in the evening. Nearly have one spool of plyed wool done and then probably enough for another spool, which should give me enough to finish my jumper. Then back to knitting in the evenings until that is done.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8914

PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 17 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Decided to go to the National Hedgelaying Championship yesterday. It was quite a distance, but as it moves around the country, it was closer than usual. It was at Stourhead; the opposite side of the road to the gardens, and round a couple of fields owned by the National Trust, although farmed, probably by someone else. There were several styles being done, so saw a number we never see round our way where it seems to be mainly, for some reason Midland, and South of England. There were some nicely laid ones, and several that were struggling. It was unfortunate that a woman was using only had tools and her section had some really big stuff in it, so she didn't finish in anything like the allotted 5 hours. She was doing Dorset style. Dorset Hedgelayer from the old RC site was there, but I didn't get to speak to him.

Weather was nice to start with but the cloud came over and wind picked up, so got quite cold. At least it stayed dry, and the field was surprisingly dry.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1531

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 17 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sound like you two have been having fun!

I had a complicated trip to Hobart - on my way down I called into the social security equivalent to drop off the form for the History Room to be formally registered as a host for Unemployed volunteers. The girl at the Counter mistook the purpose of the form, despite my attempts to clarify the matter, and insisted I wait, which I did. When I finally had my interview the girl made a similar error, but was at least willing to hear me out when I corrected her, agreed I did not have to wait, and I headed off a little behind schedule for my next appointment.

Once that was sorted, I called into my former place of employment to brief them on developments so they can ensure the proper mechanisms are put in place to brief relevant politicians (the author having sent his book to all politicians!) and headed back home via the property of a friend who ran for Council the time before last, but who did not run last time. I think I have persuaded him to run this time, and I am rather hoping he will run for Mayor. His leaflets were dumped last time instead of being distributed as he had paid for them to be. So this time I have proposed that we each distribute each others' leaflets as we do our own, to avoid such difficulties (the arm of our Council is a long one as you can see).

As for the History Room, they have clearly decided to proceed with selling the book, on the basis of advice provided by my former Secretary (who has no legal training whatsoever) that they did not face a risk for doing so. Boy is she going to be in trouble if it goes to law!!

The author apparently nominated himself for President, but I am not sure how that turned out, though it would be fitting if he were accepted as he will steer them into troubled waters, and will have responsibility for their downfall if and when it occurs. So it's all very sad. I know i will miss my time there and the interest it had added to my life, but c'est la vie.

I have had the offer of endless quantities of calendulas which I will be taking up some time this week - though I will need to allocated time and space to processing them for drying (removing the petals and discarding the rest). I will take some pillow slips to pick them into so they have air circulation in the mean time.

And you will recall my 'lump' - I have been patiently waiting for the appointment from the Hospital, and had become impatient so made an appointment to see my local doctor to chase it up. So you can imagine my surprise when, on my return from Hobart on Friday, I received a letter demanding to know why I had not attended an appointment at the Hospital and rescheduling it for another day. Since the day of the original appointment was the day I had the dog in kennels, had arranged an overnight stay with my friend and was already in Hobart and at a loose end at the time of the original appointment you can imagine how impressed I am that I now have to make a separate trip!!

Weather has been warm and generally nice of late, but apparently we are expecting snowfalls to 700m by the end of the week!

I have five big lumps of firewood left, and a small quantity of smaller wood - so it will see me through as the interior of the house has already warmed up in response to the weather over the last week.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1720
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 17 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A big storm on Sunday - more than 7.5 cm of rain and very windy. Something like 1.5 million people lost power from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and on up the East Coast to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine. We're O.K. here.

Today the garden club was scheduled to go and again pick apples for the food bank at the research farm. Could not be rescheduled so 10 of us put on our good-for-mud shoes and rain gear. Still very windy and cold and a sadly large amount of apples blown down. Not allowed to take any off the ground due to E. coli concerns.

We picked less than last time but still a respectable 934 pounds of apples for the food bank. And for ourselves too, but that doesn't get weighed.

Then went over to a tomato plot where the ground was carpeted with cherry tomatoes. Still, we managed to pick 37.6 pounds of tomatoes for the food bank and some for ourselves. Pick, pick, pick, because later in the day the support strings would be cut, stakes pulled, tomato vines chopped. There have been frosts, but spotty.

There were also tomatillos - food bank got 13 pounds - apparently they have Hispanic clients and they'll know what to do with them. So do I, so I took some home too, for salsa.

Then Geoff took us to the Ag Barn and used a fork lift to drag over a bin of cabbages, nicely trimmed of outer leaves. They were from some research project. Food bank = 98.5 pounds and most of us each took two heads of cabbage.

And then Geoff shared a huge picnic cooler of freshly harvested cranberries that a researcher had brought over from some farm down in south Jersey. Only for us, not the food bank. I took four pressed fiberboard punnets.

So in the next few days I need to make more chow chow. Salsa. Thinking of also making some sweet pickle relish, and cranberry chutney with Bosc pears and raisins.

Bought more jars when I was at the store this afternoon - seemed like a good idea.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8914

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 17 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sounds as if the author is determined to drop himself well and truly in it Cassandra. It sounds unforgivable to me to be so rude to and about respected historians, but to circulate it as widely as he has lays him open to all sorts of trouble. Is this all about the rival claims of two houses, or is he trying to take on the entire Historic Buildings department? Or is he just a fool? Lets hope this gets sorted quickly as it is going to cause a lot of trouble in your town.

Also hope you get this lump sorted out quickly. I suppose the original letter or e-mail didn't get through for some reason. Sounds as if you are going to have a lot of petals for dyeing, so look forward to seeing the results.

Jam Lady, the weather sounds awful where you are. Must have been difficult for people in towns in particular to lose power like that. It has supposedly been dryer than usual here, but in spite of that we have been in the clouds, so actually rather wet for us. You did very well with your picking. I don't recall hearing about not picking stuff up off the ground before, but I suppose there is a risk, although slight if the fruit is washed. The food bank should be very pleased with that lot. I don't know about where you are, but with us it is often the fruit and vegetables that get dropped first when people are struggling, as fruit in particular can be quite expensive. You have done well for them anyway, and your own preserves should be nice. The chutney sounds interesting, and rather more typical of where you are because cranberries are quite expensive here.

I now have husbands cold, so spent most of yesterday with a tissue clamped to my nose. The weather is better, and it was sunny and quite pleasant yesterday. I went for a short walk as I had to get some stamps at the Post Office, but otherwise rested. Hoping after today, when I can feel my sinuses rather full of muck, I will start feeling better.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1720
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 17 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The more remote an area, Mistress Rose, the slower the restoration of power. Priority goes to hospitals etc, and streets where they get "more bang for their buck" - power is restored to multiple homes rather than a few. Which is why we and many of our neighbors have whole house generators to keep us going if there is a lengthy hiatus. It was Superstorm Sandy, 5 years ago, that made the decision for Mr Jam Lord.

Have you seen any stories about the situation in Puerto Rico, where many are still without power weeks after the two hurricanes came through?

Here's a picture of yesterday's cranberries to amuse / entertain you -



Most of the crop goes for cranberry juice. Dried 'craisins' are also popular and readily available. Craisins are somewhat sweetened as the fruit itself is so tart, even more so if dried without sweetening. Good for baking, as a snack, added to muesli, in your morning oatmeal - or should I call it porridge.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1446
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 17 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes I think the author chap may just be in it from an irretrievable depth, well sometimes there is luck for the right party in this case. But doesn't always follow that the baddies get it. Crossed fingers that the wrong 'un lands in it fair and square without the proverbial paddle. Let us also hope that he takes the other nasties down with him. I really hope that the new star of the history room goes down with the author of the book. The law will sort it if needed. Have fun, Cassandra. I really hope you get an "I told you so moment"
I am assuming calendulas are for dying cloth?
I hope the firewood holds out for you Cassandra. I as you know do a lot of chopping and my sack supplier for the kindling-the seller still hasn't set out to order the sacks so that I can get on which after MR's and my work is annoying, and a few locals my be waiting for wood or as they will do-go elsewhere.
I would be talking to the hospital about the original appointment and asking for compensation for not sending the appointment, so that you now have to make another journey, when you could have had it as scheduled if someone had bothered to let you know.
I hope the snow stays high up and you can maintain your warmth without too much extra expense.

I would be tired out by now with the amount of fruit you have been picking Jam Lady. I don't do porridge, and haven't done cranberries as far as I know, when it comes to food I am not good about trying new things! I like what I like and don't vary very much. Jacket potato and beans suits me well at this time of the year, warm and filling!
Glad you have a personal power source Jam Lady. I sometimes wish I did too. Probably not the cheapest way to have power but if you need to keep warm then that is the best way have your own available.

I am envious of your trip, MR, to the hedgelaying competition. I used to do it now and then when asked and really enjoy it. Now I am not so fit and with arthritis in my wrists it is not a job I am aiming to rekindle, but I have a few bits of my own to do so may get round to it when I retire-I can take my time that way!
The tree stump went well and has been removed by hand we don't do chainsaws-mate forgot it, in fact accidentally, so we cut and dug and prized with some big timbers and out it came. We are going back next Saturday, weather permitting, to do as much as we can to a second stump and hope to complete a trilogy by Christmas, weather permitting. I am much more of a fair weather person now than I was. I just used to get on and do now I am less tolerant of bad weather.

I was supposed to be at the doctors for blood testing samples at 10.30 this am but managed to forget. Luckily the nurse did it for me at 12.00 so not so bad. I ate humble pie and lots of it, thought I was going to get indigestion!

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1720
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 17 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have a wood burning stove for heat, Gregotyn. But without power we don't have water - there's a pump to bring water up from the wall and compress it so the well tank in the basement is pressurized.And the surge / demand when it comes would stall the smaller generator we used to have unless everything else was shut down - lights, refrigerator, freezer, etc.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8914

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 17 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think the same happens with power in this country Jam Lady, but we have been fortunate in having underground feed, so generally not too much trouble; unless some idiot digs it up. Sounds sensible to have a reasonable generator, especially as you need it to get water. We are on mains supply for everything, so don't have that problem thank goodness. We have a wood burner for heat, and if all else fails, for cooking, candles for light, and fortunately the water and sewage are unlikely to fail.

Those cranberries look lovely. I have seen them fresh and dried in the UK, but we tend to stick to them just for cranberry jelly with turkey or dried, as you say, with breakfast cereal.

Gregotyn, which style of hedge laying do you do? I didn't realise there were so many types until I went to the competition the other day. Glad your tree stump came up all right and good luck with the others.

I stayed at home yesterday feeling coldy, as I was feeling a bit dizzy. Think it is catarrh in the wrong places, and if it is anything like husbands, should be feeling better tomorrow.

Husband and son finally got some bracken mowing done yesterday and hope to finish off today. It has taken 2 months to get the stuff dry enough for mowing, even though it is supposed to have been dryer than average. That doesn't count 'no actual rain' but being at over 100% humidity though.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1446
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 17 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Now that is interesting you mowing bracken, is that normal round your way, MR, and is it done for a reason? In this area they mow it a lot sooner in the year and then bale it for bedding cattle. 2 friends do this as a norm. They both use it as a base for their cattle sheds with straw on top as that way it gives better drainage out of the shed, keeps the cattle drier and so their cattle don't need bedding as often or get as wet when the straw starts to matt-particularly common with barley straw. Do you bale it and sell it or isn't it yours to sell? Another friend uses rape straw to form the base to the cattle shed in winter which has the same effect but is stronger than the bracken and so holds up for longer.

I don't do a style of hedge laying MR, I just put it down and knock a few stakes in and hope, in spite of being trained at farm institute in the late 60's. I don't think any of us was following style, just after the proficiency certificate at the time. I suspect it was a case of you passed if it looked ok, which it evidently did as I passed with credit-well I should as I was the group leader! I think the judge was biased as it was straight forward..... and I knew him oops! We didn't do fancy binders and things like that, just a stake every 1.5-2ft and all fairly level. You have reminded me that it is about time I walked the boundary and had a look, with a view to laying a bit each year from now on. Retirement is looming I think.

I am off again to the N. Wales project that my friend is involved with and we are aiming to do another stump this week. He is taking the chainsaw so that will help. It is another stump in the way of his planning application, which if successful he will have a place to be able to sleep for a night or 2. and make some serious headway to making a beautiful new home. At present he goes up for a day midweek and again on Saturday to clear things out of the way. I go on Saturday 'cos it is a relief from doing stuff in my house.

I wish you hadn't mentioned frosts Jam lady, as I had my first on Wednesday morning-white, and difficult to remove; driving someone else's car to work because mine went to the garage to have its annual Mot test to make sure it is road worthy-passed thank goodness. His car is 2 wheel drive and I am used to 4 wheels pulling together, luckily it was not too bad, the frost had not got to the road, so no bother.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8914

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 17 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We just mow the bracken as a form of control Gregotyn. It was supposed to be mowed in September, but the weather has only just been good enough to do it. We flail it and let it mulch down; it doesn't seem to enrich the soil particularly, and by doing it in autumn other things get a chance to grow. There is a beautiful display of primroses there in the spring, so we are trying to encourage them. We prefer to leave until autumn as the flowers of all sorts get a chance to set seed first. It seems to be working slowly as there is now a lot less bracken than there was.

I finally managed to get up to the woods yesterday. As I had to walk through from the other end it was a bit of a struggle, but managed to do some log sacks too, so a productive day. I measured the logging bag tray and it is 28.5x16cm outside Gregotyn. It is thin mild steel, so you may need to make it slightly wider and shallower to take a 10" log but still fit in the bag.

Hope you have a good time on Saturday with your tree stump. It will be nice when you can stay there overnight. Our hedge laying is always done with the stakes set at a cubit; the distance between the elbow and the fist or end of fingers, whichever you like, so about 18". A handy measure. The stakes themselves are about 5'6" long, which I find handy as that is my height.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1531

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 17 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That sounds like a ginormous (if very satisfying) harvest effort JL - what a great contribution to the Food Bank though!

Our weather has gone to custard as predicted and it is once again a chilly night. The remaining logs are very large and require smaller wood around them (something I no longer have) so I picked up an extra bag of logs on my way to Hobart.

The Hospital has put me on the 'urgent admissions' list (ie, some time in the next month), and requires me to have a CAT scan to see what is going on in there. So that's all sorted and will no doubt happen in due course. I admit I am sick of driving to Hobart so often though.

The author appears to now be the President and has instructed the Secretary to write me a letter threatening legal action for removing my computer and the files contained thereon. I have drafted a response which will be emailed tomorrow once I have slept on it. Basically I have pointed out that the computer was provided for the purpose of increasing our engagement with technology. That this has not been achieved is demonstrated by the fact the only other computer user has clung to the old machine and resisted all efforts I have made to introduce her to newfangled ideas, like easy edits etc. And our donations policy requires that if a donation is not to be used for the purpose that it was supplied, it must be offered first to the donor (in this case me).

I have also pointed out that they have been informed on two separate occasions (now three) that all files were deleted prior to its removal from the building and that it is therefore offensive and redundant to remind me of my lawful obligations in this regard.

I have also reminded them that all records are retained on their own computer and they can all take a flying leap (though perhaps not in those terms) but if they wish to attempt a deep recovery on my hard drive they will be obliged to sign a document setting out the terms and conditions under which it is to be supplied to their IT consultant.

I do feel like reminding them they could buy a computer with considerably greater power than mine for less than the legal action would cost them, but will leave that to them to work out.

Currently drying vast quantities of Calendula petals collected from a friend's garden, with a view to using them for dying wool when and if I get around to spinning some white wool for that purpose.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1446
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 17 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The bracken is a cover for other things during winter and as you say probably doesn't add too much to the soil, but bracken favours acidity, so it may be that as it rots it gives a bit of compost, which will as it decomposes 'opens' the soil a bit and allows less acid tolerant flowers to grow.That is my theory, but could be rubbish! It could well enrich the soil with minerals, I would doubt its addition as a vegetative feed to be of much value except minerals; and slightly acid soils are more plant friendly than alkaline soils. It is years since I did soil science, but was a topic I enjoyed at college.
Thank you for the sizes of the logging tray. I will go for 30cm wide to start and see how it progresses. I will be making it out of rigid plastic-heating the bends to make the 2x90 degree turns then cooling asap to save holding it in place too long. I have some of that plastic sheeting which is made of 2 sheets on the outsides and joined together by walls between them,once one fits the job I will make the chute in rigid plastic, or if it is right first time, ha ha, I will simply make one in wood and fix the experimental chute inside theory again!!
I am all geared for tomorrow's trip to no 2 stump, got 'elevensies' and lunch packed last night-except the fruit. Friend takes the water for the tea. and a good time with no pressure will be had by all. (Maybe pushing the luck there).

Sorry you have to buy logs, Cassandra, I would give you a load from here, but the lorry driver I asked won't have a night out!
I am pleased that you have started on the hospital trail and will be getting a suitable appointment to start sorting you out.
Hang in there for the computer, they don't appear to have a leg to stand on, why on earth do they do it? I think I would point out the fact that a new improved computer would save them litigation and money, leaving them to work it out seems stupid to me as they may try and so waste precious resources of public money.
Our weather has also taken a plunge in temperature and it is colder in bed at night, and even colder, if I need to get up during the night! But on the plus side cold weather helps kill of the bad bugs. I have started to make bug houses out of scrap cardboard for the RSPB. Once I get it right they will come on stream for them to give away at shows, making sure there is a food source for the birds the following year.
You are right, the effort of Jam Lady and friends have picked a lot of food for the Food Bank. It is so sad that it is necessary in our time, when you consider the massive advances made in agriculture, and the restrictions government put on production. They seem to want to give money to the poor governments which they spend on anything but food for their people, mainly on arms, I think, to keep themselves in power.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1531

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 17 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Great minds Gregotyn - it occurred to me that this was the case, and hopefully their solicitor - should they consult one - will draw their attention to this fact.

I am still drafting my response which I want to keep down to one page and presently it is one paragraph and a signature block too long. And after a lovely day at Spinning I am not really committed to getting back to it at present.

We agreed at spinning that local politics would be banned from the discussion and so had a happy day of it chatting about all manner of stuff. I finished off my dark brown fleece and have started work on the lightest brown fleece which will be needed for this infernal vest. Then I will have only the mid brown to do. So far it all seems to be roughly the same weight of yarn which means I should not experience quite such size shock as last time, though I will still knit a tension square to be sure.

Today has topped out at 11 degrees and is presently heading rapidly down to the minus 1 we are expecting overnight. Rain and hail have been a feature of the day, alternating with bright sunshine.

So, a fire is lit, and I am just about to change into my comfy (but not to be seen in public) clothes for a quiet night in.

That bracken sounds interesting. Having seen it standing in a mid-winter field it would certainly suppress small growth if it were not mown, so I can well understand the benefits of doing so when you are trying to encourage biodiversity in the woodland.

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