Archive | July, 2011

Made In The USA

26 Jul

Here is the rant I promised myself when I wrote the last post about cotton production. I still find it hard to believe you can take a bale of cotton produced here, load it on a truck, ship it to a seaport, load it on a ship, transport it halfway around the globe to China, put it on another truck, ship it to a mill, process the raw cotton into yarn, process the yarn into cloth, ship the cloth to a factory, make a shirt, truck the shirt back to a seaport, load it on a ship, transport it halfway around the globe back to the USA, take it off the ship, load it back on a truck and take it to a local store, and sell that shirt for HALF of what it would cost if we just made the shirt here. I have listened to a presentation from a man who closed his factory here in the US and started buying his shirts from China, and I understand the economics of his decision, but it still just doesn’t seem right. We have let far too many of our jobs go overseas, that is one of the worst things to happen to this economy. I know I can’t make a difference by myself, but maybe all of us together can. Whenever possible, I buy products made in the USA. I know what you are thinking, “Nothing is made here anymore.” Well you are wrong. If you are computer literate enough to be here at this blog, you can google “made in the USA”, or “american made products” and you will find a whole list of products still made here. You may have to shop around a bit, or you may have to order the product, but many things can still be found. Sure, they may cost a little more, but if it can keep some americans working and paying taxes instead of drawing a government check we would all be better off. About the only thing you might not be able to find still made in the US are electronics such as televisions, but almost anything else you can find. So let’s help each other out. the next time you want to buy something, whether it’s clothing, shoes, tools, furniture, or just about anything take a look around online and see what comes up. You may be surprised. God Bless America!

Upland Cotton

24 Jul


Part of my job is working with upland cotton ( Gossypium Hirsutum ), so for all you city-slickers out there I’ll give you a short primer on cotton development.

This first image is a fruiting bud of the cotton plant called a square. This first bud should occur about 35 days after planting.

This is a square ready to bloom, this occurs about 21 days after it first appears on the plant.

The cotton bloom is a large white to slightly yellowish flower on the day it opens. It will be available for pollination for only one day.

After the first day the bloom closes up and turns a pink then purplish color.

At this time it forms a small fruit, called a boll.

This is the fully grown fruit, or boll.

Approximately 50 days after white bloom you should see an open boll similar to this. This is what is processed into your favorite jeans and t-shirts. In a few days I will add a rant to this blog related to this post, stay tuned!

Threatening Sky

19 Jul

We were out at the homestead last week as a storm front moved through, Sweet Thing snapped this photo of the threatening sky. We sure could have used some rain, unfortunately all we received out of this storm was wind and lightning. There have been several storm fronts come through this spring and early summer with damaging straight line winds. Luckily, we haven’t had many tornadoes in the area this year. We really could use a little rain now, forecast is hot and dry, typical July weather in Tennessee.

Toadstools and Mushrooms

15 Jul

I was taking a stroll around the homestead this morning and I found this toadstool. This thing is huge! It is 8 inches across and 10 inches tall. I don’t know if something like this is edible, but if it is you could make a meal out of this one. It’s big enough I could imagine a leprechaun taking a nap underneath it, maybe I could snatch away his pot of gold. We could use the gold to pay for the homestead! HaHa. We still have not heard back from the contractor about his bid. Come on! It’s been 3 weeks, I’m itching to know where we stand.

Independence Day Report

10 Jul

We had a good time on the fourth of July, spending time with family and friends. Our local neighborhood has a mini parade for the kids ( and grown-up kids ) to celebrate. some of us decorate our golf carts or ATV’s and ride and march around the neighborhood up to the commons area where we eat ice-cream and watermelon.

We also get to eat locally grown sweet corn! Nothing finer in my opinion, but Sweet Thing has some sort of defect, she doesn’t like corn. Oh well, more for me.

Pony Rides!

7 Jul

This is April, the family pony. The children enjoyed riding April when they were younger, but they are all grown up now. April’s riding days are pretty much over anyway as she is at least 20 years old. She now spends her days being petted and hand fed special treats such as corn, carrots, and apples. Apparently she also likes green beans. Last week she got out of her pen and into the garden where she then proceeded to eat an entire row of green beans, ignoring everything else. So now we know what she really likes.

Independence Day!

4 Jul

We bought a large assortment of fireworks for the kids to have fun with. This box has over 1000 pieces, it should keep them busy for a little while. On this Independence Day we should all stop and thank God we live in the good ole USA. Yes, there are many things wrong with this country, and I wish we could change them. But even with all the flaws this is still the best country on earth. I won’t go off on a political rant on this blog, I will keep it G rated and family friendly, so I’ll just keep my political rants to myself!

But now for a real treat on the fourth of July, you must have this. For all of you not fortunate enough to have been born and raised in the South, this is a rare treat you probably have not enjoyed. This is real Hickory Pit Bar-B-Q. That’s right, not some city-slicker B-B-Q where you roast a piece of meat in the oven then slather it with Kraft B-B-Q sauce. No Sir. This is a whole pork shoulder slow smoked for 24 hours in a pit with indirect hickory smoke and heat. It is so tender you can pull it off the bone with a plastic fork, no knife needed. As a matter of fact, i’m going to pull some, put it on a bun, add a little bit of Swamp Dog’s Secret Sauce, a spoonful of sweet Thing’s homemade cole slaw, and eat it for breakfast. What? You’ve never heard of a breakfast bar-B-Q sandwich? You must not be from around here. The only way it could be any better would be to add a fried egg and call it a sunrise breakfast sandwich. HaHa! WHOA! Wait a minute, I may be on to something, I’ll let you know later.

We were at the in-laws celebrating the fourth, and here is my sister-in-law peeking through the fence at the neighbors celebration. Get away from there Miss Nosey Rosie!

Fresh Peaches!

2 Jul

A roadside stand was selling locally grown Flippens peaches so I stopped and got a large box. I like to slice them up and add Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. I also like to use them for homemade peach icecream. YUMM! I have already picked out a good place for our fruit trees on the homestead. We plan on having peach, apple, pear, and cherry trees.