Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Collection of a few lost Stories combined together

MY Lousy Month,the Flip side

I look on the bad side and if anything goes right I appreciate it more.
Such was the case of the terrible month I just had.

Medicare still sucks but we found salvation in Wallmart,Americas retail giant.THey have 4.00 scrips and after reading the list of things available I can get most of my meds from them.
Another of the challenges was my oxygen and checking Craigs list may have answered that. THere is a nearly new Ivacare oxygen concentrator that a guy has for 500.00 or best offer.
We dont have 500 but we have 300.00 and we are the only person to call about it. It was given to the man by his father who went main stream with his oxygen to LOX.My wife just left to go make the offer to him. If she is successful my Oxygen supply will be taken care of and not a pricey insuarance claim each month any more.
Publix grocery stores are advertising their antibiotics for free. I use 1 and it will be covered at n/c.
THere are a couple more meds that have no generic equivalent. They are so expensive too. I take back what I said--there is one with no generic equivalent.It's Lyrica a med for the damaged nerves in my diabetic feet.If I want Lyrica it will cost me hundreds of dollors or if I spend 1300 more with medicare/Humana I can get it for 60.00 for a monthly supply.
My insulin is another matter. If I paid for it we are looking at 1000 per mo.There is supposed to be a plan with most of the drug companies to get insulin either free of lsss money and we have to write off about it.
THe other thing causing me stress is this crummy flu that hangs on seemingly forever. It still is but my joy about the meds makes me notice it less.
THe sons going through divorce is still happening but we have nor yelled and screamed at his wife when she called here to pick a fight. Marty was very calm and matter of fact. When his wife threatened to get out son fired somehow Marty said oh well, I guess he would have to get another job LOL.When she threatened to withold the grandkids from us Marty said that would make her sad but she would fight to have that honor restored.Marty rebutted everything she said so she hung up and told everyone Marty was mean.They haven't seen mean till she tries to withold those kids.Our oldest son is at our house and doing great. He seems more relaxed and knows he is in a place where all love him. He currently is at the park at a bench in a shady area creating his next cyber genius software idea.
THe son in the Carolinas is going through divorce as well and he always says everything is good.He is so pleased to be away from his controlling wife that everyday is like a holliday.
THe tooth ache which has been killing me is not quite as bad since I got some antibiotics to take away the infection. I have an 830 an appointment tomorrow to have it pulled but I'm going to cancel.
Why cancel?I hate going to the dentist and the only time I go is when the pain is so bad,no matter what they do to me it couldn't hurt any worse. I am at that stage and got some med. I am tired and don't wanna go in the a.m so early. I will take the rest of the med and go on a Friday. I realize I am putting this off. I am using my wifes dentist and I dont know her.I was hurt so bad when I was like 14 by a Winter Park Florida dentist.He drilled directly into a nerve and I shot outta that chair like in a rocket. No torture done by any country could have hurt any worse that that and since then I hate dentist,trust none of them,make them give me extra shots of pain killer and still am wondering if the unthinkable could happen again.
It is a beautiful day and I feel 20% better than the last writing entitled my Lousy MOnth. THe Codgerman---Rickl

Posted by codger at 2:53 PM - No Comments Add a Comment (edit)

Friday March 6, 2009

Bullys-Rat Face,and Chinaman

In the 8th grade I looked a lot like the dude whith his hand at his face on the beach blanket getting sand kicked on him by the hulking muscle bound bully at the beach. I had brown hair with a cow lick like alphalfa and you could count all the ribs in my body.
I was the perfect weakling target for the class bully Alan F-----l.Alan was nearly his adult size in the 8th grade he was a smoker and carried his pride and joy zippo lighter around and was always flipping the lid open and shut,just to let all know that he was lurking on the premesis.
Alan sat behind me in mechanical drawing class and one day had his opening. He plopped his book on my desk and then said out loud in the class,Green what ya doin stealing my book.I put his book back on his desk and said I didn't steal it you put it there,then he said you calling me a liar Green?
He proceeded to proclaim that after school he was going to beat me up.
I was a bit of a wreck and was clock watching that day and when the last bell rang I scrambled to the bike rack and got my english racer western auto bike with the pump and water bottle and headed home,there was no sign of Alan as I pumped harder I was already hyperventillating.
Suddenly I was knocked to the ground. Alan came out from behind some bushes and knocked over my bike and me onto the pavement.He kicked in the spokes on my bike and then started on me. He put that dam ligher in his right hand and started to slug me with it and I was bleeding and was getting really hurt with each blow.
Just as suddenly as the attack started it was interrupted by a guy named Hilliyard who hollered at Alan that he was gonna kick his azz which he did. Hilliyard was an athlete and stronger than Alan and about the same size. Hilliyard hollered at me to get home which I did but had to walk the bike. Hilliyard beat Alans butt and they both sat down laughing and smoked a cigarette together after.
I was humiliated and it got worse when I limped home and mom saw my condidtion and then dad came in and they made me tell them what where when why how and who.Dad called Alans father and ask them to come to our house and I cringed nooo please dont do that,you'll make it worse!!Before Alan and his father got there dad gave me the ya gotta stand up for yourself speech or these bulleys will always bother ya.
I had already decided that no human being was going to do me that way again no matter what happened to me I was gonna fight back with all I had.
Alan and his father came over and they made Alan appologize and I could see the look in his eye. He was gonna go for the kill at school the next day .
THe next day in class Alan had the chair behind me and we were back in the left corner.I couldn't see Alan so he was able to start his lighter and he heated the lid of it till it was red hot and slapped it onto my calf of my left leg. I hollered from being burned and in one motion knocked Alan off his desk dumping the mechanical drawing table on top of him. I picked up the T Square and whailed on him with that them kicked him then jumped on him and started slugging his face. The teacher pulled me off and Alan went to the principals office.
Prior to my retribution I was being teased in PE cause my mom put a picture in the Orlando Sentinel of a sailfish I caught down in South Florida. I was looking into the sun and my eyes were squinting.There was a guy who hung out with the bullies and he was called Rat Face.
He saw the pic and started calling me chinaman and chinc and others took it up and I was harrassed in PE.
When I stood up to Alan ,he never bothered me again nor did Rat Face call me chinaman any more.I have remained true to my vow not to shy away from protecting myself and even though I lost twice I won more times when those situations developed in life.
I saw Alan years later in Club Juana a club owned by a fellow classmate at the Jr High where all this happened,he looked a liitle apprehesive as I approahed him. By now I had out grown him and was not the weakling I once was. I bought him a beer. THe Codgerman

Posted by codger at 3:00 PM - No Comments Add a Comment (edit)

Monday February 23, 2009

Welcome to Wild and Wonderful West Va.

The wife chose our first rental in West Va. It was
> picked
> > out of necessity.Our money was running out.She rented
> a
> > small mobil home on top of a mountain.For the sake of
> having
> > the nomenclature correct it was a hill,A bump in the
> earth
> > less than 1000 feet tall.
> > The owner was a nurse who worked in Charleston W.Va.
> She
> > had two charming teenager daughters--he said tongue in
> > cheek.
> > Their father and her husband had tragically died
> recently
> > and the girls didn't want to live in the house
> cause it
> > brought bad memories.
> > It was for this reason that the lady was willing to
> take 2
> > weeks rent and part of the deposit for us to move in
> and I
> > would draw 300.00 from my job to come out of the first
> > monthly check.
> > This little mobil home sat right up on the top of this
> hill
> > and from the front porch you could see the whole area
> and in
> > the distance we had a clear view of interstate 79.
> > It was a beautiful lot and had an awesome view of the
> last
> > remnants of oranges browns reds and yellows as the
> last
> > leaves of Fall slipped to the ground laying bare the
> > skelitized trees of Winter.
> > From the ground level of the hill the road up to the
> house
> > was terraced.After the first rise and then flat spot
> was a
> > red house on the left,our neighbor the Burdetts.I had
> not
> > met them yet but their name was clearly and evenly
> attached
> > to their mailbox.
> > At the top of the hill was our trailer and off to our
> left
> > quite a ways were the Gandees with a pretty little A
> frame
> > and nice 4 wheel drive Nissan.
> > We were proud of our little home on top of the
> world,even
> > though we had to burn our trash and carry the 50
> gallon drum
> > to the bottom of the hill for pick up.We started with
> 1
> > mattress and a pile of blankets and our little black
> and
> > white sayno 12 inch t.v and the pots and pans and
> silverware
> > and of course our light weight Florida cloths.
> > The mattress was donated by a man whose house we
> checked
> > out but it wasnt available for a month. He ask if we
> had any
> > furnitre and we said no.
> > He gave us the mattress which he used to stick in his
> pick
> > up for deer season. He also gave me an old shotgun to
> use
> > for hunting and safety.
> > There aren't many places where people do that for
> ya
> > and ya dont even have a house yet!
> >
> > I forget to put the year on my stories---this all
> happened
> > in Nov 1980
> >
> > I worked with my district manager for a couple of
> weeks. He
> > was staying in the holliday Inn in Charleston. He was
> a nice
> > guy and was from Ohio,can't remember the town off
> > hand.The day came where we would go up to Parkersburg.
> > Parkersburg was up near Ohio and was North of
> Charleston
> > and I would stay at he Holliday Inn across the bridge
> and
> > Bob would stay at the Ramada on this side of the
> bridge. I
> > would work the small towms off of interstate 77 on my
> way to
> > Parkersburg.
> > I worked my way up the small towns and it was
> interesting
> > and the people were nice. The old saleman had not
> missed a
> > beat selling to all of our companies accounts with his
> new
> > company. I was furious,for I had moved to West Va. to
> take
> > over an account that paid more money or so they told
> me. I
> > then learned that the ex-salesman had started his on
> tape
> > business with all my supposed customers. He even had a
> whse.
> > and a delivery truck.
> > They knew it to that he had done it and there was no
> law
> > protecting me from him as it was a right to work
> state.I was
> > screwed,all I could go was undercut his prices and try
> to
> > get some accounts back but at lower prices I would be
> > loosing money. This was not good!The ex salesman was a
> West
> > Virginian and that means a lot there. I tried telling
> people
> > he had done me wrong but the customers liked him and
> were
> > pleased to help him in his new business venture.
> > When I met Bob that night for dinner I was not very
> happy.
> > It seemed that the two Bobs were friends from 5 years
> of
> > working together.The best the company could do for me
> was
> > give a Holliday Inn credit card to use as I went
> around the
> > state.Just that token amazed me they just paid a
> monthly
> > salary and bonuses at the end of the year.The credit
> card
> > would help since I had the whole state to cover in my
> > territory.
> >
> > The next morning brought a very big surprise. After
> > breakfast Bob said you drive today and I said sure
> till I
> > walked into the lobby and snow was coming down, it had
> > already covered the roads. I told Bob I had to get gas
> in my
> > car and would meet him out front.I walked into the
> parking
> > lot very tentatively. I had never driven in snow in my
> life
> > I put new tires on my car before we left Florida but
> not
> > snow tires.The filling station was across the four
> lane
> > road. I couldn't even back out of the parking
> space,the
> > rear end kept going sideways.
> > I tried to gingerly ease down to the edge of the road
> so I
> > could get out to the center median. I started sliding
> and
> > ended up on the middle of the road with cars coming.I
> tried
> > to give it gas and get out of the way but spun in a
> circle.I
> > was cussing and crying and yelling at the same time
> and
> > people were doing the same to me LOL.
> > I finally figured out that slower was better and
> somehow
> > got pointed across the street and when the traffic
> slacked
> > off I gentley gave gas and scooted across the highway
> and
> > couldn't stop for the turn in to the gas station
> and
> > kept going past it.It was a dead end road and it took
> me
> > forever to get turned around.I headed back and tried
> to turn
> > left into the gas station but spun 180 degrees and my
> rear
> > end was in a ladies yard right up next to her porch.
> Before
> > I could try to get off her yard she emerged from her
> house
> > and saw my Florida tag and started laughing at me .
> > She said ya got the wrong kinda tires for up here
> buddy.!!!
> > I thanked her and got out of her yard and was headed
> for
> > the gas pumps sideways and the car would not stop.I
> just
> > gently toed the brakes and the car slid up next to the
> > island and didn't jump it. MY heart was in my
> throat and
> > I knew one thing for sure. I was not--I repeat,I was
> not
> > going to drive around Ohio and West Va this day no
> matter
> > whether I got fired or not. I was totally scared to
> death
> > and need some practice .
> > I barely made it to the front of the holliday Inn
> where Bob
> > was waiting. He had witnessed what went on and was
> laughing
> > himslf sick!
> > He started to get in and I said no way,period I'll
> give
> > you gas but I am not driving on these roads another
> inch
> > untill they are cleared and I can try to get home over
> 100
> > miles. I drove around with Bob and promised him I
> would do
> > some practicing and get out there in it.
> > Bob left at around 1 p.m to go to Ohio and I limped
> around
> > about 2 hours and hit the salt trucks,behind them
> heading
> > home slowley petrified to give any gas hardly.
> > Interstate 77 and then 79 were cleared partially
> enough for
> > me to drive in the tires paths.I made it the 100 plus
> miles
> > and onto throughfare ave and the gradual climb up to
> where
> > the bottom of out hill started.I stopped at the bottom
> and
> > surveyed our hill. It was solid snow covered all the
> way to
> > the top. I could see steam rising from heat on at our
> house
> > way on top of the mountain.Our road to the top was
> covered
> > in about 3 inches of snow.
> > I backed up slightly as a hill was behind me and got a
> > running start and hit our pristine snow covered road
> with
> > all the steam I could muster and even though I fish
> tailed
> > slightly I almost made it to the first flat but not
> quite.
> > There was a sickening feeling that overcame me as by
> big ole
> > yellow Pontiac Catalina started sliding backwards and
> > picking up speed. I had a deep gulley to my left and a
> rock
> > and dirt wall to right. I could not go flying down the
> hill
> > and out into the road and off the other mountain. I
> had to
> > crash the car into the rock and dirt wall to my right
> and
> > stop the car. I did and the collision caused the car
> to
> > stop,scratched my right rear quarter panel and busted
> out
> > one of the tail lights. It was the first time I had
> ever
> > delibertley crashed a car.
> > I was 1/4 of the way up the mountain and blocking the
> road.
> > I got the car away from the rock and dirt wall and
> started
> > sliding again and crashed the car but was a little
> further
> > toward the bottom of the hill.I tried one more time
> and
> > broke the rest of the tail-light. I was close enough
> to the
> > bottom that on the next attempt I pulled out into the
> road
> > and prepared for my next assault on the summit.
> > This time I backed further back and got a running
> start and
> > turned right and had the car floor boarded and the
> wheels
> > were spinning on the snow and I made it up to the
> flats by
> > the neighbors and should have stayed there but I
> didn't.
> > I tried for the top and my house!!I made it part way
> up the
> > incline and started sliding back but when I hit the
> flat
> > spot I kept going picking up speed--there was no where
> to
> > pull over and I hit the steepest part of the hill and
> was
> > really moving. I started spinning the steering wheel
> right
> > and left and spun the opposite direction this time off
> the
> > left side if the hill down into a deep gulley!When the
> snow
> > stopped flying and I finally focused -my car was
> standing on
> > end and I was looking out the front window looking at
> the
> > clouds float by.
> > I just sat there as if I was in the space shuttle on
> the
> > launch pad ready to take off.I heard a voice and I
> thought
> > angels were calling me. I just sat looking at the
> clouds
> > hearing someone calling to me and realized someone was
> > calling to me from outside the car. It was a farmer on
> a
> > blue Ford Tractor. I put my electric window down and
> he
> > said. I've been watching you for a while and
> wondered if
> > ya needed a hand. He yanked my pontiac out of the
> gulley
> > and told me I would have to park at the bottom of the
> hill
> > and walk to the top of the mountain to my house.
> > I did what he said and I was exhausted when I got to
> the
> > top to tell Marty the story.
> > I had to go back down the mountain to tape my tail
> light
> > together again and remount it.
> > I had dinner,talked to Marty about the territory about
> the
> > ex-saleman taking all the customers starting his own
> > business with them.
> > No matter what I had to work so I went to bed. I had
> to get
> > up at 5 a.m. and drive to Beckely and Bluefield West
> Va. in
> > the morning.
> > I woke and put on my suit but unbeknownst to me the
> snow
> > had turned to ice over night. I stepped one foot onto
> the
> > road going down and I sled to my butt and down I went.
> I had
> > my leggs in the air and my butt was catching hell from
> > little rocks in the snow and past the lower flat I
> flew just
> > like I was on a fast sled. I careened down the
> mountain
> > going flat out my briefcase busted open and paperwork
> and
> > tape samples littered the mountain road to our house
> and at
> > the bottom I finally stopped in a 1 foot deep slush
> hole. My
> > suit was ruined ,briefcase ruined,contents ruined and
> I
> > screamed at the top of my lungs--------WELCOME TO WILD
> Codger
> > Man

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Monday February 16, 2009

The Monster Garden

The Monster Garden

We answered the ad of a Mr. Sam Naylor for a house to rent in Clendenin West Va.The ad read Jinny Lynn house on the Elk river 250 per mo.
The house had a huge yard and was on the top of the hill over looking the beautiful river. The house however was falling in and was rather depressing looking. The Sam Naylor charactor was one in a million,as gregarious as they come.He showed up in bib overals had a boys haircut and was as friendly as if you were related to him.
We said no to the jinny Lynn house but he immediately interjected that he had another house we would love!He described it as a farm house on Big Sandy Creek,had an out building and 125 acres and was a old farm House with 1 1/2 stories and came with free gas.
I didn't even ask how much, I said lets go look at it,and up the road we went.
We followed Sams brown Nissan and exited hwy 79 at the # 25 exit which said Amma. We followed down to the bottom of the hill and then turned right. The Exxon station and a car wash were to the left.
We found ourselves on a dirt road,a small creek on our left. It had rained in the not so distant past and the road was bumpy. The road veered to the right past an old farm on our left and the road here had been partially covered in large chunks of rock to make the often muddy road passable in the rain or winter.
The brown Nissan 510 kicked up a dust cloud as I pressed my pontiac to keep up on the rough rock strewn road. I figured I would have a flat before we got there.
We arrived at the driveway to the house and pulled into the yard behind the house. The house sat near a small blue metal bridge and from hence forth would be known as the house beside the blue bridge.
Sam showed us the house and exclaimed that if we rented it he needed to keep a small room off the back left corner for himself. That room had a sink bathroom and stove. He explained that he would be out there working on the farm,cutting grass and brush and trees and mending fences.
I didn't mind that arrangement at all. He was a really nice guy.
Sam gave us the grand tour of the place and it certainly was a pleasure to the eye..
The creek ran right in front of the house and actually fronted a lot of the farm going down a quite a ways and then making a sharp right and then down some more turning right again. The creek eventually ended up in the town of Clendenin emptying into the Elk river.
The farm house was not much to look at but it was still solid. The upstairs was bare wood which was very dark.There were remnants of mutiple layers of wall paper that had been applied over the years.
Old timey ceramic gas heaters were both upstairs and down and put off a lot of heat. There of course was free gas. Sam made me a flat price offer for the place which would include the balance of the utilities.
I just tried to call my wife and ask her how much we paid. She didn't answer so I will guess and tell all later. I say 385.00 per month.
Sam was very excited about the place and its possibilities. He said we would love it and he also said that he would use his new orange Kubota Tractor to plow us a beautiful garden right there by the creek. Sam related that no one had plowed that bottom in over 15 years and it should make an incredible garden!!. He further stated that we needed a second garden right up by the house for taters onions carrots and I said I wanted to grow some big max pumpkins .
We moved into the farm house by the blue bridge and made ourselves at home.
There was a chicken coup near the house,a small wooden building with a door. Down at the end of the property was a hog pen and we were excited to get some chickens and a couple pigs.
We moved in Feb and there was a little winter left so Sam couldn't plow us that garden till winter was over.
We had an apple tree at the entrance to the driveway and a last minute April frost killed the buds /flowers that had come out. We never did see an apple on that tree.
Our closest neighbor lived up the creek past the blue bridge we would later meet them and they were an amazing couple. Mr. and Mrs Helmick.
Their house like ours was right on the creek and Mrs Helmick said there were muskies in that little river as long as your leg. She said she would sit and watch them frolic around in the eddy she had in front of her house.
There was another neighbor across from our house and up a 30 foot embankment and back some distance. We never did meet them but heard about him. A govt agency from the state came in with special trucks and hauled away one truck load after another of 10 foot marijauna plants and they also took the mans cultivating tools. He got furious and put an ad in the Spencer paper that said that was the only cash crop that paid anything lol.
Our first weekend I sat on the front porch--the river was up from heavy rains and flowing really fast. Sam had given me a single shot 22 to use and a bunch of old shells he had. I sat on my West Va. farm house porch and shot bottles and things floating down the river. Marty was in the kitchen fixin vittles LOL. I thought I would get in practice talking country!
Marty had a little experience with gardens having helped her dad Big George with their's in Alabama when she was young.I also had limited experience having grown 2 very small gardens in Maryland when I was 8 and 9 years old.Neither one of us was really ready for what awaited us and at the moment the garden was just a plan yet unfullfilled.
Marty and I lay in bed one night and decided what we were going to grow.
We decided to have the basics first,half runner beans. I had never heard of them but Sam said they were good so be it.We wanted okra cabbage,corn and tomatoes,peas and potatoes. We wanted squash and carrots and pumpkins and peanuts LOL. Martys sister sent her peanuts to grow. We didn't know if they would work in West Va. but what the hey .
Martys sister in Ca. also sent some special potatoes that ya dig a hole and put the potaoe in then fill the hole with hay and ya just keep picking the potatoes and more grow in their place. Martys sister loved gardens and had them herself in Redding Ca.She also sent us okra that grew very large.We had others things that escape my memory now.
The next few days I picked Sams brain about different vegetables and he said ya better get some tomatoe plants to put out.
I learned about a couple who had a greenhouse up Grannies creek and I went there and bought a couple flats.We took care of them in the house untill we could transplant them in the garden.
We visited with the Helmicks and just talking to them was like opening a time capsule. She was 92 and he was 89. The first time I saw her at 92,her legs were sticking out of a chevy hood and she was doing car maintenance herself I could not believe it.I came by her house another time and she was up on the roof repairing something. I kid you not old timey dress and all doing roofing!
Mrs Helmick gave us all kinds of helpful suggestions about things and one was to take the tomatoe bedding plants when we put them in the garden and cover them with 1/2 of a milk jug. That was it was like they were in a protective little greenhouse,protected from wind and rain and even cold a little.
Wonderful Mrs. Helmick had taught school her whole life and her husband worked for the public works dept. of the city of Clendenin and retired from there.I wish we had known them longer and recorded our conversations.

We also decided to grow some water melons and popcorn.

One day when the winter had finally slipped away till the next year I came home from work to find Sam busy plowing our garden and what a garden it was!I think he got carried away on that Kubota.The garden was about 110 yards long by 60 yards wide and the one by the house was big as well but not as big as the main garden.
Since I now knew the demensions of the Monster Garden I could plan how much space would be devoted to the various vegetables.Corn was the most with about 5 rows 110 yards each.Beans were a big project I got poles and spaced them 10 feet apart and drove them in the ground and got twine and made a spider web design for the beans to grow up on.
I also made climbing trellices for the tomatoes. I got more poles which were 4 inches in diameter and ran them down 1/2 a row to have climbing trellices for the okra which I pre-maid.
We transplanted the tomatoes to the garden and covered each one with the top half of a gallon milk jug. When they grew they would have a tall trellice to climb and I could further support them with twine.
Marty and I were Florida newcomer flatlanders and were determined,even though we didn't have much experience,to have a beautful garden anyway.
I figured out how much space for everything. We had never grown squash so didn't know how many plants to have we just randomley selected 40 hills.
We planted 1/2 a row with water mellons and just 10 feet to try the peanuts her sister had sent LOL.We had 2x60 feet of cabbage.we put out 48 tomatoe plants.
We planted peas and had a long row of them -they ended a disaster will explain shortly.
I made a planning chart for the Monster Garden how many feet for each item and the seed store in charleston said bring it and they would sell me how many seeds for the space I had allocated. I said thank you.
I went to the seed store and showed them my planner and they helped me choose some of the vegetables. I selected a hardy corn that grew 10 feet tall.By the time my sales person was done filling my order I had spent 74.00 for seeds and then got 10 bags of lime and 10 bags of fertilizer that the guy recomended. I also purchased 150 feet of hose 3/4 inch and some bug spray and a few other things.
I hauled it all home to my Monster Garden. The next day was Sat. and Marty and I planted everything the same day with no particular knowledge of how long each item took to grow.
Marty made a simple error on a couple things that really caused a big problem. On the peas she read the instructions which stated plant 15 seeds to the foot. She thought each foot she had to drop 15 seeds into the hole. She did the same with the carrots and something else which escapes my memory.I will tell later how all this turned out.
Now we also had the garden by the house. It was planted in mostly taters,2 types. It was in this garden that I planted a couple hills with Big Max Pumpkins.I was determined to grow some giant pumpkins like ya see on T.V although I didn't know how exactly. I got cow manure from the cow Sam had and used that and also nursed the pumkin plants and other things with miracle grow.
Me and Marty worked so hard on the Monster Garden,we wanted people driving by to notice how nice it looked.It was a thrill to see these tiny plants break the surface and greet the above earth world. It was about this time that Sam came to me with a proposition. He showed me a catalog of chickens and pointed at this picture of a big gold/yellow chicken called a Buff Orpington. He said they weren't egg layers but got really big and should be good to butcher to put chicken in the freezer.He said we could buy 1 gross of them ,144 chickens and split the price. They were coming from another state,Ca. I think.They were to be put into the chicken coup.
Sam gave us some more instuctions. He said we needed to get a pressure cooker and some canning jars and a freezer for a garden that large. He gave us a few canning jars and I went to K-Mart and purchased 144 which seemed like a lot to me LOL.I also found an old pressure cooker at a yard sale and found a 25 cubic foot freezer which looked like new for 200.00.
We were cruising. We had a plan and it was coming together niceley.
Sam told me that when the garden came in we would have a ton of canning to do and that a pressure cooker would not be fast enough,that we should get one of those giant round wash tubs like they used to bathe kids in and when we started to can vegetables we would set a fire under the giant wash tub which would be filled with water and let it burn all night till the water was boiling and put the canning jars in it and the lids would seal. He also said that when the chickens got old enough we would have to heat a 50 gallon metal barrel until it was boiling and ya dip the killed chickens into the boiling water and then it made it easier to pull the feathers off.
My life got into its regular routine. I worked all day in Charleston and surrounding areas selling and came home and worked the garden.
I howed and fertilized and watered and worked into the night. I did not get tired cause it was such a thrill to do. It was looking beautful.
The chickens came and they were so cute and ran around and pecked the feed we gave them plus what they found like bugs etc.I limed fertilized and used miracle grow on everything.
The vegetable plants were growing so fast and so were those darn chickens. They got huge fast and soon were too large for the hen house,just too many giant yellow chickens so we had to open the hen house door and they dispersed through the garden like locust laying bare the fields. There were not yet any veggies for them to eat except for the big max pumpkins and the tomatoe plants which were coming in. I tried shooing them away with a broom. At night I would go collect 1/2 of the birds and put them in the hen house-which was a pain in the neck. Those darn chickens were causing havoc!
The chickens were destroying my big max pumpkins,they each looked like they ad been scarred all over and it stunted their growth.
The chickens were eating our tomatoes and it was funny to watch cause they would jump in the air to reach the tomatoes--which eventually climbed up trellices almost 10 feet high.
I discussed the problem with Sam who said your gonna have to butcher the chickens. We had 144 huge chickens and the thought of all that work boiling a 50 gallon barrel of water killing and plucking them suddenly did not appeal to Sam. He said you can have my half of the chickens I dont want them.
There I was a hillbilly newcomer from the Florida Flatlands and I was faced with this awesome task with no help from my mentor.
I gathered the family around and discussed our predicament. They all had to help in this butchering operation.
Initally filling and heating a 50 gallon drum of water was a pain in the patuckus. Do you know how long it takes to boil 5 gallons of water?
It took part of one day and all day the next finding and putting wood under it constantly.
Jason tended to the fire and Todd and I were to kill the chickens.
Todd would be in the hen house and hand me out one,we had a stump there and I had a hatchet and I would have to chop off their heads and just throw them to the side to bleed and then Marty and Jason would dip them in the boiling water and pull off the feathers.
It only took a few mins to make Todd and I's work area look like a terrible massacre. I wacked off their heads but they didn't die right away they ran around the flopped around their wings were flapping like cracy and blood was spreading all over the area like Freedy Kruger and Jason and the species chick and jack the ripper had all been there working their dasterdly deeds.
Marty and Jason fell behind in the plucking and chicken bodies started to pile up. They flopped around all over my garden and I kid you not it was turning red from the blood. Me and Todd were covered in chicken blood. Marty was griping about those damn chickens.
This job took into the night. I finally stopped killing chickens and helped pluck them. Feathers were everywhere--it looked like 300 people had a pillow fight with feather pillows that busted.The feathers stuck to us to the chicken blood. We all looked like murderers.
The next day Marty cooked some of those chickens and they were disgusting. They were as tough as leather and tasted terrible. We tried cooking themin the pressure cooker and they didn't taste any better.
All that work and damage for nothing. They were strickly a show chicken with no redeeming qualities other than they were pretty.
All that work for nothing plus my damaged big max and tomatoes.
Our garden looked magnificent from the road as cars went by. I could see people checking it out and felt pride in our work.
Everything was growing it seemd at the same rate,the corn was shooting up in the air and it was so tall and healthy.The beans were growing like crazy and the big long trelice I made wa working like a charm.WE had so many tomatoes it was amazing and the okra was getig big and the squash. Oh MY God the Squash. had no idea one squash plant would put off so many squash and we had planted 40 hills of squash !!!
The cucumbers we planted went crazy as well and the Zuchinni. Everything was growing and coming in at once.
We were in a terible crisis. I estimated we had 4000 ears of corn coming in . It was sweet yellow corn and the stalks were 10 feet in the air.
We canned 144 jars and didnt even scratch the surface of the garden.WE need about 1000 jars or more plus the freezer.
We had a wheel barrow of squash every morning. We had mountains of 1/2 runner beans and on and on.
I put signs out front corn 10 cents an ear and pumkins 5.00 that were 30 pounds. and free signes for stuff.We filled every canning jar and the entire freezer and still had mountains of food. We called everyone we knew the phone number for to come get free veggies.
We missed the land lady I did't like from our previous house up on the mountain and she heard that we invited all these people to get free veggies but hadn't called her. She got her daughters to start making prank calls to our house saying all kinds of nasty things and threats which really had us upset cause the calls kept coming . We were harrassed day and night and it was very un-nerving. We called the phone company for help amd kept racking my brain to figure out who it was.One day the girl made a mistake and mentioned someone I knew that lived the next house down from them and I figured out who it was. When they called again I said her name and I was reporting her and her sister and mother for harrassment on the phone. The phone went click and we never got another call.
The garden was depleted except for ears of coen left on the stalks which turned hard and various shaded wand was cool in decorating. The peanuts whichonly had 10 feet actually grew and were huge,2/3 inches long.
The water mellons did not grow more that 8/10 inches for some reason. Te were bushes because all the seeds went into the same hole LOL,even at that rate we still had plenty.
We stacked the corn stalks and the old dried corn and big max pumpkins in front of the house for a Halloween decoration.
The vegetbles were amazingly good,so much better than store bought and I loved the half runner neans. I had never been a big fan of green beans but these tasted so good I wanted them with every meal.
We made some big time mistakes. We bought useless chickens that were just for looks. We planted everything at once and everything came in at once which was more than we could handal. The garden was too big and we were not set up to sell veggies on the side of the road.
We did something wrong with the water mellons and planted the peas and carrots incorrectly.
We wasted a bunch of food that we couldn't give away in time.
There is one last story I will leave yall with regarding the Monster Garden!.
We had some giant big Max pumkins that didn't sell. I didn't mean to sell them when we set up the halloween display but people stopped and ask if they could buy them. I sold them for 3/5 and 10 dollors.
Marty said she would make us some pumpkin pies. It had been since she was a child and watched her mother make them but she would give it a try.
I picked the biggest best one left and we cut off the top and scooped out all the indide and boiled it down removing the seeds and that giant pumpkin on made 3 scraggly pies that were stringy and didn't taste very good. Marty called Mrs Helmick to ask her what she did wrong and Marty fianlly got an answer when Mrs. Helmick stopped laughing. She said Honey your supposed to us the pumkin rhine to make pumpkin pie. With a pumpkin that size you could easily make 15 delicious pies. We started laughing ourselves--then Marty remembered it was the pumkin rhine ya use.
The whole thing was hillarious. WE had given Sam one of the pies the bad ones and he politely said it was good LOL--good ole Sam. W e gave hime a good pie too lol !!!! He end Eic (Rick) Green The Codger man

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Recent Posts
The Dark Hills
MY Lousy Month,the Flip side
Bullys-Rat Face,and Chinaman
Welcome to Wild and Wonderful West Va.
The Monster Garden
Bits and Pieces entry #-2
The Canal From Hell
Recurring Dreams
Remembrances of Ron and his times
What it's like to go rabbit hunting.

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