Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Still rearing children.

My 65th birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and my wife is several years older than I am. My birthday is a good time to reflect on where we are, and where we're going. The one thing that stands out is that, after 45 years, we're still rearing children.

Jean and I became the permanent guardians of Timmy back in July of 2009. Timmy was a part of our lives, and living in our house, off and on for another two years before that. He's now 6 1/2, and will probably be with us for another few years, if not until he's 18. My youngest daughter wants to adopt him, but she's got a lot of issues to get through before she can. We'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, Timmy is ours. He calls us Grandma and Grandpa, since that was the way he knew us before we became his guardians. We don't intend to change that.

Jean and I are both retired, and have our physical problems (getting old seems to increase the frequency and extent of such problems). We're not doing as much as we want in showing Timmy the world around him, but we do go and do fun things with him. He's really having fun with "his" garden this year. I'll write more about Timmy as the year progresses.

Garden update

We're finally seeing some produce from the garden, but not an overwhelming amount (except for zucchini - that always overproduces). Our only doubts now are whether we'll have enough warm, sunny days to get everything that's currently beginning to produce to finish the project. It's already starting to be cooler in the mornings.

Our garden has done two things we wanted it to do - it gives Timmy a better idea of where food comes from, and he's trying new vegetables. He still won't eat radishes (the few we've harvested have been hotter than average), but he's tried zucchini and raw green beans. He can't wait until we get some more tomatoes so he can eat them. I doubt we'll get any pumpkins, watermelon, or cantaloupe, although we do have the vines growing everywhere they can.

We have one ear of corn on one corn plant, and that plant was actually planted by a squirrel! We have fox squirrels in the neighborhood, and my next-door neighbor feeds them corn on the cob. The squirrels of course bury the corn for the winter, and sometimes it grows. We have corn plants in several places in the yard that were definitely not planted by any of us.

We planted tomatoes late, but they're finally beginning to produce more than one or two fruit each. We're going to try to plant earlier this coming year. This year we had a freeze on the last day of May, and had to replant. I've found a couple of ways to keep our new plants from being frost-bitten, so we should have a longer growing season next year.

We had a disappointing time with carrots, and the sunflowers are just now beginning to produce heads.

The blackberries I planted ten years ago for my wife are doing well this year. Last year's crop was fairly poor, but we've gotten three or four quarts from the canes this year.

Our big worry now is an early fall snowstorm. I've seen snow in my back yard as early as August 29th. If that happens this year, it will probably mean the end of our gardening until next year.

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