Saturday, September 08, 2012

A New Post, Finally!

Since FB came on the scene, I've been terrible at keeping up with my blog.  FB is too easy; keeping a blog is difficult, and I've become accustomed to short, pithy posts, as opposed to long, considered ones.  But I shall try to post once a week for my students' benefit.

Aside from the weather, I like summer.  I usually teach one course online, so I can legitimately stay home all summer, interact with the chickens, and just generally do whatever I want.  I drive when I want to, which amounts to maybe a trip into Shreveport to see my parents, or have lunch with a friend, or maybe I'll drive down to the Brookshire's in Natchitoches. I don't use up much gas during the summer; I've been known to fill up my car maybe three times in two months.  Works for me.

Then comes the fall semester, and, depending on how many trips I have to make into Shreveport, I fill up my car twice a week.  I have a seven-year-old Mazda, which gets decent gas mileage on long trips, but these weekly forays to teach my class seem to drink more gas than I like.  I use three gallons of gas, at least, to make my round-trip each time I go into town.  It seems excessive, and, considering gas prices, I tend to not drive any more than I need to.

I plant gardens in all seasons.  The summer garden did well until the heat of August.  I had a nice crop of tomatoes, cucumbers, and pumpkins, but the squash and beans withered, thanks to squash bugs.  The eggplant is just now starting to bloom.  The same thing happened with the eggplant last year--in September and October, I had more than I could reasonably eat, so I gave a bunch of it away.

I try to garden organically. I don't use chemical sprays on anything I'm going to eat, and I expect some attrition--I don't mind sharing with the bugs, to an extent.  When I do spray, I usually use a spray I've mixed myself from natural ingredients--apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, and castile soap.  It works, most of the time. If it doesn't, I use Neem oil-based sprays.  Again, organic.

In addition to the eggplant, I still have some greens and (mangled) brussels sprouts (the chickens like to peck at them), and I've planted some fall tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli. A few of the watermelon vines are hanging on with blooms, but I don't think they'll produce anything. I have a number of herbs growing, as well.

The chickens have been laying fairly well, producing usually 5 - 8 eggs a day.  From 10 hens, that's not bad. I'm glad I have family and friends who like eggs!

That's about it for this post.  This tells you most about what occupies my time and my thoughts--though I didn't include all the grading I do.  With three writing classes and a fiction class, I spend a great deal of time grading/reading.

It's a life!


Michelle Whitis said...

I enjoyed reading about your home life! I live in the backside of Keithville, so I burn through gas. I usually fill up twice a week. I hate seeing the price on the gas pump, but I love where I live, so I guess it's worth it.

I don't do any gardening, but my parents plant a tomato garden each year. I came home late one night a few weeks ago and saw a raccoon running across my driveway with a tomato. My car scared him so he ran off, leaving the tomato. I felt bad, but the next morning it was gone... I'm fairly positive he came back to get it.

dotsmom said...

Those raccoons! And possums! I don't like having them around my house. But, I guess we transgressed on their property to build our towns and cities; it's our punishment!

K. Smith