Fribble's Blend

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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory ( and Awe-Struck E-Books (

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yesterday Didn't Start Well

When the propane truck arrives at your house before you've finished breakfast, you suspect the day will not go well. Even just getting two hundred gallons of propane can wreck the budget these days. We're hoping for a warm winter, little snow, not much wind.

The second caller of the day was the man who lives to the east of us, a Baptist preacher who is about the nicest guy you;d ever meet. He had a five-gallon "mud bucket" full to within about four inches of the rim with ripe tomatoes. I knew better than to tell him that our tomatoes are producing more than enough.

Husband was doing an errand and when he got home, he carried the bucket into the sun porch, as nonplussed as I over what we would do with them.

Then our friend Jessica, who is sharing our garden patch with us came along to get some squash. We prevailed upon her and her husband to have lunch with us -- and to take the excess of tomatoes home with her. She has close neighbors who aren't gardening.

That took a little of the sting out of having to pay for the propane -- not much, but some.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Menu Planning

Our tomatoes are finally starting to ripen. Sure, we've been feasting on the little ones -- the ones that you need four slices of to make a decent sandwich -- but the big ones that just one slice will hang over the the edge of the bread and the juice runs down your arm or drips off your chin -- ah! That's what I'm talking about! That's what I start dreaming about when the seed catalogs show up in January.

Our corn isn't doing very well. It's in too much shade. This lot has more trees than any acre should be allowed. I think the county should have tree police go around and count trees. ("Sorry, ma'am -- only two producing black walnuts per acre are allowed in this neighborhood!" Well, that would be one way to get rid of the squirrels.)

Now, there is a really nice fellow who lives across the road from us. He plants a garden every year -- then leaves town for five days every other week or so to drive produce cross-country. He generously offers us the privilege of raiding his garden when he's gone. We use his offer sparingly, but this year I think I'll talk Husband into -- well, a sweet-corn raid. I've had my heart set on corn for months. Look at it this way -- we'd be protecting it for the crows.

We got a plant catalog today -- talk about vicious cycles!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Knowing My Own Strength

It has been so hot and dry here in Tennessee that I've gotten tired of hauling water from the rain barrels to the tomatoes and lettuce and herbs. It sometimes takes three watering cans full, twice a day to keep things green. Yesterday, I'd had enough!

There were weather reports on the radio saying that there might be rain in the afternoon or evening, but the rains had been skipping our county -- when we need it so badly. So at noon I did a rain dance. Not my usual one -- but an extended one. Then I did some errands with Son --his car has good AC, but still -- it wasn't what I'd call comfortable. The skies were clear to wispy contrail-type clouds. It didn't look like rain.

After dinner, Husband and I had to go take some things to a friend -- and as we headed west, the sky had that changing look. When we got home, the wind had picked up and up! Just as the rain was starting, we heard a crack and thump.

A limb on the walnut tree near our porch had split, but not fallen free, the leaves at the end of its branches just grazing the porch roof.

Son gave me a high-five said: "You've done it again!"

I don't know if I'll ever do that dance again. These powers are better left unused. But it's good to know that I've still got 'em.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Marge Was Here!

Those of us who have a passion -- as I do for quilting and writing -- are brave about meeting face-to-face with those of like mind whom we've met on the Internet. That's how I met Marge about eleven or twelve years ago, early one morning -- in a chat room.

Marge has gone on to build herself a nice little business doing quilt retreats. She started her vacation today, and stopped by with her husband to visit Husband and Son and I this evening. It's only the second time we've had the joy of meeting face-to-face, but it is like we are old friends -- who still have a lot to talk about.

We both wore purple!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Trusting Lables

I was raised in a period when you couldn't buy the same toothpaste twice in a row, and boxes were reused many times to contain birthday and Christmas presents, so I learned not to trust, not to count on anything.

We buy plants from a number of places, sometimes through the mail. We have about seven butterfly bushes, have had them for several years, time enough for them to "volunteer" some extra bushes in the driveway garden. Little did I know that several of the plants and herbs I grow are favorites of butterflies. Next-generation butterflies love my parsley, and some little lavender-blue guys are crazy about the basil.

The butterfly bushes are living up to their names, attracting species big and little, white and brown and all sorts of colors and sizes. While I was weeding tonight, I paused to take a breath and saw six black-and-yellow butterflies on the blue butterfly bush beside me. When I took a step toward them, they spooked and fluttered up into the air, then settled again on different spokes of blossoms.

So butterfly bushes live up to their billing. The flowers smell like honey -- and the butterflies love them. I guess I can count on something after all.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

"Criminal' Buys Over-the-Counter Drug

I woke up this morning in dire need of my breathing medicine. I got through all last summer without using it, so it got pushed to the back of the kitchen drawer where be keep medicine. (When the kids were small, I decided to keep the medicine in the kitchen where I could keep an eye on it and them -- worked great!) When I caught up to the medicine this time, there were only six pills left, and this morning after I took what I needed, there were only three.

So Husband took me to the drug store on the way home from getting groceries. I looked hard just to find the aisle where the stuff is kept -- reminded once again of Granny Clampett calling the drug store a "whatnot shop." I finally found the brand name way at the bottom of a counter -- just little cards to take to the window in the back to get the real package. HUH!

I had to produce my driver's license and sign my name to purchase the product, my signature meaning that I was not planning to use the medicine illegally. "It's just to save my life," I told the clerk.

Now, I know we have to protect little kids and idiots from taking the stuff "accidentally," but have you seen how it's packaged? I usually break a fingernail opening the box, then I scream . . . How's that for doing something clandestine?

Well, Husband sat patiently in the car. I'm glad he kept the AC running, 'cause I was a little hot by the time I got back to the car.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Hair Today, Gone to Someone!

About thirty years ago, my mother died of brain cancer. Her recently permed white hair had to be shaved off for surgery, and every time is started to grow back, she had another round of chemo and it fell out. When she died, there was a thought to have the wig she'd been given by a friend put on her, but we opted for a white pique scarf she liked to wear. It was fitting for her to have a hat on -- she was always ready to go somewhere.

Well, Sunday morning one of the cute little girls who go to our church showed up with her hair recently cut very short -- it had been down past her waist -- and when I heard that she had of her own volition donated her hair to Locks of Love, I decided that I would do the same.

Today Husband took me to the shop that does cuts for Locks of Love and I had my hair cut. It qualified, it hadn't been cut in four years, and it reached below my waist.

Mum, I wish someone had been able to do that for you. As it is, I said a prayer that the person who gets my hair finds comfort.