Blog: Reflections from Rural Route 2


Tuesday, June 08, 2010, 05:55

At the Speed Of Light. . .

I hardly know where the time goes to anymore. The 100th Anniversary Celebration for my hometown high school is coming up this weekend. About 1,200 people have registered for the chicken dinner. More people than that are expected to show up for the reunion and the program.

A week ago, the committee decided that we ought to have a birthday cake for the high school. The plan is to have a bunch of people bake a bunch of different cakes and put them into a patchwork cake.

So . . . I spent the weekend baking six cakes and getting them into the freezer. I actually baked eight, but two are not acceptable. One came out of the pan in pieces when I foolishly believed the package directions on the parchment paper. "No added shortening needed. No flour needed. Just put the batter on the parchment paper."


So, that particular cake came out in pieces.

On the first batch of cakes, the batter did not raise very high, so I decided to just freeze the in-pieces cake and the "short" cake and use them otherwise, maybe for strawberry shortcake. I used a different kind of the baking powder (Clabber Girl) for the other cakes, and they came out much better.

This past weekend I managed to get my tomatoes and peppers planted but not much else. It was raining on Saturday (rain!) and on Sunday I did not have enough time to get it all done. I keep consoling myself with the carrot story from last year. The first batch of carrots didn't germinate so I planted them again in July -- and still managed to harvest carrots in the fall.

I spent two hours Monday night cutting out ribbons with the Womens Club for the name tags for the 100th Anniversary celebration. Each registrant will have a name tag along with ribbons of different colors (alumni, parents, committee member, volunteer, past administrators and who-knows-what-else).

I don't mind saying I will be glad when the last of the chairs and tables and tents are packed up Sunday morning and the 100th Anniversary is over. Of course, my work will just be starting then, because there will be pictures so sort through for the newspaper. . .

LeAnn R. Ralph


Thursday, June 03, 2010, 05:53

On Their Way

I *finally* got my galvanized tubs in the backyard dug up this weekend, more soil added and planted.

I've got one with chinese cabbage, one with two Lemon Boy tomatoes, one with soybeans, one with garden huckleberries, and two with Red Sails lettuce.

I also managed to get my containers planted with petunias this past weekend -- purple, plum, white, and red-and-white candy cane striped ones.

I've also got two hanging baskets of petunias, one for the cemetery and one for the backyard.

Talk about a difference in hanging baskets. The one in the backyard, lovely pink petunias, is watertight. I can pour water in, but no water drips out. The basket at the cemetery, however, is a much different story. Pour the water, and it runs out as fast as you pour it in. Very bad for the cemetery -- a hot, dry place that can burn plants up in a day. And the really funny thing?


I bought them at different places. So they must have different kinds of potting soil.

The cemetery pot is full of deep purple petunias. Randy and I figured there must be some way to plug the holes of the one at the cemetery, seeing as I am not there all of the time to water them four times a day.

Sunday afternoon, we struck upon a solution.

Plumbers Goop.

I have used the Plumbers Goop to fix the soles of shoes that were coming apart and were able to get another year of wear out of them. Work boots, at that.

So, we headed down to the cemetery with the tube of Plumbers Goop and used it to plug the holes in the bottom of the pot.

I shall have to wait to find out if it will hold water after it has had time to set.

I also managed to get some of the garden planted. I always have to wonder why nothing ever goes as fast as I think it will -- or as fast as I hope it will. I've got Swiss Chard planted. And bunching onions. And some pole beans. And pole peas. And radishes.

I bought some paste tomato plants Wednesday. But I need to buy carrot seed yet. Last year my carrots did not germinate the first time around, so I planted them a second time — after the Fourth of July. And the carrots turned out just fine. I dug them in November.

I have to plant my beets, too. And I've got a fistful of different kinds of pumpkins that need to go in the ground: Once in a Blue Moons, pie pumpkins, Jack-Be-Littles and something called "Pumpkin on a Stick" (which I understand is actually a type of egg plant). I've got Turks Turban gourds, too.

I was really, really hoping to have the garden planted by the end of Memorial Day weekend, but of course it didn't work out that way. In other years, the garden has seemed to be none the worse for the experience when I get it in later rather than sooner. The seeds don't germinate well if the ground is too cold or if it is too dry. Cold ground should not be a problem this year. I can't predict about the dry ground. We got six-tenths of an inch of rain Wednesday but who know when it will rain again?

That's why I have my buckets and a tub under the eaves of the lean-to. If we get a little rain,the buckets will fill up, and then I am able to water the garden, or at least part of it. We are entering the eighth year of the drought. So far, anyway, unless the weather pattern changes drastically -- and soon.

LeAnn R. Ralph

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