October 2 – Many years ago, maybe fifty, our son David came up with a new name for his little sister, Betty Jean. As usual she was moseying around here and there, checking on this and that, and enjoying what she was finding. She often tried to interrupt poor David, who was enjoying a puzzle or book, at the time. Finally, when he had had enough, he called to me. “Mommy, you know we should call that little girl, Busy, because she really is busy, into everything all the time!”
Somehow or other, his idea took over, and from those few words, she lost her given name Betty Jean! First she was just plain Busy, then Bizzy, then Bizzy Girl, then just plain Bizzy, before ending up with Biz, the name that stuck with her for the rest of her life. To this day, I’m sure that many of her friends never knew that she was named for her two aunts, Betty and Jean!
Now that was a very long introduction to this blog. Why? Because I have been so busy these last few weeks, that I am really beginning to wonder what MY name is! I think I have forgotten things that I didn’t even know, but should have! As I have mentioned before, Dale and I are always “up to our ears,” as my mother used to say when talking about all of the tasks yet to be completed in a short time. Actually, I think that’s what kept her going through all the years of her hard work taking care of us seven kids day in and day out, working in the garden, walking several miles to the grocery store to carry home milk and other foods that our garden couldn’t produce, canning at least a thousand quarts of vegetables, fruits, and delicious juices, but always ready to bandage a sore leg or talk with a hurting child. She still worked in her garden when she was ninety!So what have we been doing to keep us busy? Yes, you’re right, as I have written about our work here on our 18 acres, about our volunteering in various places, of our visiting friends and making more in the stores and in their homes, and of our church activities. So much fun and such a real blessing to find folks who become real friends, those you can count on when you need somebody.
This last week or so we have been picking the last of our delicious Pearly Pink tomatoes. Kind of sad to think there will not be another crop for another year, but as Dale checks through the catalogs in the winter or very early spring, his heart bubbles over with the prospect of having another garden which will produce not only a good crop of delicious vegetables, but a healthy body as well. I know that he will plant much more than we could possibly use for the year, but it really is fun to pick those Pearly Pinks, Jersey Devils, and Sun Gold tomatoes to give to our friends!
Of course, there’s a lot more to do than picking tomatoes or peppers, or digging up the sweet potatoes which aren’t quite ready yet. The lawn still needs to be mowed, the blackberry patch needs to be weeded, the horrible tent caterpillars need to be ripped off the trees where they are comfortable in their filmy locations, many branches need to be trimmed, and other fallen ones to be carted off to the burning piles.
This year, thanks to our friend Clyde, we have a brand new heavy duty clippers to use. No more of that trying to twist off the branch or taking a long time to do the job. The clippers really do a good job with a lot less effort and time than our old ones. We could just wait till next spring to take care of work like that, but we would be so far behind by then, that we might never catch up! Dale trimmed many of the trees, including the apricot, pear, Asian pear, apples, and walnuts. He also sprayed Round Up along the fences and around the trees to get rid of the tall grass that had grown too fast before we could do the job by hand.One of these days, Dale will go back to putting out millet and sunflower seeds for the birds who have had to find their own food this summer. I can already see what will happen. The same old squirrels along with the babies of the families, will be back to pick up a free dinner (and an afternoon snack as well), and before long, several families are represented. We still enjoy the presence of robin and blue bird families. Not only do they like this area, but during the really hot times of the day they enjoy taking a bath in the big metal bowl that Dale keeps filled with water every day. Fat Cat still likes to sit in the bird feeder watching the birds and squirrels come and go. Fortunately, she doesn’t bother them, and they aren’t afraid of her! Dale has been busy harvesting the chestnuts, too. I help a bit, but it’s too hard to break up the prickly burr. I have learned to use the bamboo-handled rake which makes it possible to get even the highest nuts. Now that’s a job that has to be done just about every day, because our friendly squirrels need something like chestnuts to fill in the gaps and give them more energy. When we go out to check on the tree, we find a number of empty burrs left behind by the squirrels as they break the burr open and grab the nuts. I always enjoy seeing the nuts, sometimes two or three in the burr, as they look like they might be from another planet. It’s easy to see the “faces” with glaring eyes and big mouths! Strangely enough this year, with the year’s crop ready to be picked, I found a number of the white flowers that come in the spring. This tree appears to be planning on a second crop!
How sad it would be if we were told we couldn’t get out and work outside through the year. Yes, it’s good to be busy, even if sometimes we do wonder how we are going to get all the jobs done! Guess we’ll just have to remember our Bizzy Girl and keep up our interest in so many items of nature. – CHRIS