Saturday, September 22, 2012

There are no apples....

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to move home was the lack of fresh apples in Florida. Growing up in Michigan, you can't go more than 50 miles without coming near an apple orchard. Beautiful trees full of shiny apples, fresh doughnuts, and fresh pressed apple cider. A serious glimpse of heaven that only happens in the fall up here.

Cut to this spring, the weather got tricky. It warmed up so much in March, that the apple trees blossomed. And then the temperature bottomed out, well below freezing. The blossoms fell off. And they didn't come back with the next warm up. So what does that mean? Very little to no apple crops. At least not here anyway. We went to an apple orchard just to check it out. Figuring that it couldn't be as bad as they said. There were no apples to pick at all. None. Apple cider was frozen from last year. Thirteen dollars a gallon. Thirteen. I wanted to cry.

I had to explain to my kids why we couldn't buy any apple cider. Surprisingly, they took it well. We had been discussing the drought with them and how it is affecting the food supply, so they had a basic understanding that weather affects food. They left with nary a tear and in good spirits that maybe next year would be better. Me, not so much.

There are rituals for each season for me up here. Fall is the apple orchard and Halloween. With my husband laid off from teaching right now, Halloween looks to be a low key affair. Pretty hard to accept when all you want to do is cover your house in spooky things for little monsters to enjoy. I have even considered dressing up the chickens in prison outfits and putting them in a cage on the porch while I handed out candy. You know, get the whole family involved.

For now though, I guess I will have to cross my fingers that he will have a job by the Holidays since I love decorating then as well. Trying to keep my head up. You do the same.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Damn you, squirrel!

Gardens, at the best of times have many insect pests. But, when the squirrels decide that your watermelons are fair game, it is on like Donkey Kong! I came outside one sunny morning to let the chickens out and check on the garden. I stumbled across a barely eaten, not even ripe yet, baby watermelon. A quiet rage built inside of me.

This punk ass squirrel had not only been stealing my bird seed which had me looking at very expensive anti-anything bigger than a song bird feeders, was now raiding my garden. If I was already in possession of a BB gun, those little suckers wouldn't stand a chance. In fact, I still plan on getting one. I am so not a trap and release kind of gal when it comes to squirrels. Where is a damn hawk when you need one?!

Every time I see him outside, I run after his ass and chase him up a tree. My kids do the same. He still isn't terrified and my neighbors are calling the white coats to come and get me. He did make the mistake of taking something from my chickens and those bitches got nasty with him. Maybe I should let them wander around the garden, like security does at a concert. See how he likes it when they get his tail in their beaks.

I understand that animals have to eat and are going to take the easiest thing they can lay their hands on. But, I worked hard on that garden and I am going to defend it like it's the Alamo. My family doesn't make much money and I plan on storing a lot of that food for winter. Better get into that squirrel protection program, you thieving bastards!