Dogwood Ramblings

Do you like ham?  We have ham at some of our family gatherings and in between times and I have usually picked out Smithfield Ham at the store.  Well, Virginia based Smithfield Foods (ham, bacon) has been bought out for $4.7 billion by China’s Hong Kong based Shuanghui International Holdings.  The marketing impact of this, both nationally and internationally, is being questioned and the deal is now being investigated by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Newest neighbor Cathy Shultz and her daughter came for a visit on Wednesday.  She was curious about acquiring beef and other farm foods locally for her family.  Her husband, Mike, came by several months ago to check out my vent-less propane wall heater.  Mike then got one for his house (formerly Eva Wymer’s place) and they are so happy with that system.  The Shultz place has been having problems with critters, damaging vehicles by chewing wires, etc.  Mike makes sharks for film and one of his sharks will be featured on Aug. 22nd on the Sci-Fi channel show about sharks.

I haven’t heard from Eva in quite some time.  Hopefully she is doing well.  I miss that nice lady.  Back in 2002 Eva made an unexpected and quick trip to California with me to deliver a litter of American Eskimo pups and to see my son in Riverside.  She is such a good travelling companion.

A week ago we received another half inch of rain and the yard is again green.  Bob Wagner mowed the ditches and that is always such an improvement.  Bob called later and I learned that July 25th is his birthday.  A belated happy birthday, Bob!  A couple of birds tried to make a home in my garage, probably the mommy and daddy of those babies the black snake devoured.  We received another 1.1 inches of rain last Friday and the Passion Flower vines are really coming on.  If anyone wants a Passion Flower start, give me a call or stop by.

Patsy Williams phoned to say that John Nelson has been doing some work for her.  On one side of her house John found a mass of Japanese Beetles, then he found a hornet nest, and then in the back he found a spread netter snake (hognose snake) that played dead and had a frog in its mouth.  John is removing all of these but they wonder if the snake might return.  Patsy has been on the sick list as she has been severely allergic to mold since 1954 and had to be taken to urgent care so they could improve her breathing.  Patsy suggests folk look for and remove these beetles as they are havoc to bushes.

Even with my house closed up tight I can still hear the trains going through Seymour as I lay in bed at night.  I wonder if others in this area can hear them.

Some of my family was here Saturday evening so the guys could do a few chores for me and then we put some supper together.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, especially when the stories of old popped up giving all a laugh.  Sunday we had a potluck after Mass at St. Leo’s with a Mexican theme.  Everyone brought something and no two “dishes” were the same, but all were tasty.

Here’s hoping the rains have improved your gardens.  Several have stated that their tomatoes aren’t doing very well while the cucumbers and zucchini are doing very well.  If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.  Until next week my friends!