@Johnny Mango and @Samnantha Wilson … sorry I haven't posted in this thread in some time. I have been working hard on my blog and my fiddle since I last updated here. Thanks for your interest. I do have a few early progress tunes recorded on my blog, Johnny, but haven't done any lately. (I really should update that area.) Lately, I have learned to play Angelina Baker, the Battle Hymn of the Republic (better now than the first recording I made!...LOL), Amazing Grace, Yankee Doodle, When the Saints Go Marching In, and Oh! Susanna. Progress has been forward, but slow. I only finally found an old time teacher a few weeks ago.
Chris Kott wrote:
I can't do simple tasks with my mind wandering without finding myself singing. At those times, it may be lines from a massive choral work, a solo jazz number, or some random classic rock. Hell, it might even be a jingle from some random commercial.
I can relate to this. While I don't always realize it, I have been told by others that I am constantly humming, lightly singing or lowly whistling a tune. I know sometimes I will do this with a tune over and over because I have a family member who will put on a song on the radio just to get me to "change my tune".
Jason Hernandez wrote:
That same book I referenced earlier also said that, according to the best research, "talent" is not a real thing, but rather, a label we apply after the fact to the ones who worked the hardest. It said that it takes 10,000 hours of work to become a virtuoso, and that virtuosity is within reach of anyone who has the time and discipline to put in those 10,000 hours.
Now that I have decided to learn how to play the fiddle, I have read very similar statements by Wayne Erbsen:
Some people have more natural ability to learn musical instruments more than others. However, after teaching people to play for over fifty years, I still feel that determination is more important than natural talent. In fact, if I had to choose between having talent vs having drive, I’d pick drive every time. People with talent sometimes don’t appreciate their gift and often squander it. On the other hand, people with drive tend to succeed at whatever they’re working on, be it the fiddle, or pinochle. If you’ve got the will to learn to play the fiddle, and the drive and determination to focus and apply yourself, I have no doubt you’ll be successful.
and by Dr. Josh Turknett in speaking about learning a musical instrument:
Those who have reached the level of mastery have done so because they were masters of the learning process, or masters of changing their brains. They did not reach mastery on account of any special genetic gift, or talent.
Oh boy! That looks like they are having fun. I had two large apple trees in my backyard that I used to climb all the time as a kid, sometimes just to pick and eat apples. Other times, these trees were my fort, spaceship, hide away, or some other imaginary place depending on what games we were playing. We also had a huge maple tree taller than our three story house to which my father attached a rope swing up about 30 feet. That swing could swing clear over into our neighbor's yard. Those were the days!
I hope these little guys continue to have fun with their Tree Fort House. Post more pics if they make any modifications. I would love to see them.
Gail Jardin wrote:I would not consider myself a fiddle player, but I have a fiddle that I attempt to play on occassion. I would love to become proficient enough to play old bluegrass songs and hymns. My biggest issue is tuning it as I find it impossible to tune by ear and I break more strings on the fiddle than I do on a guitar.
Aaron Tusmith wrote:mandolin player myself but have been around fiddle players my whole life, and I can play a handful of tunes on the fiddle. listen intently to all the bluegrass fiddling you can, be patient and avoid developing bad habits early on. Take's Bluegrass Album Channel is an excellent source on youtube. Pitch recognition is important, and having a good musical ear is essential for fiddle playing, with no frets you must have a great ear to even play the simplest tune. Best of luck!
Thanks for the advice. One thing I have already learned from all the reading I have done, is that bad habits are usually formed early on because the student does not master the basic steps before moving on. I have signed up for online lessons with Dr. Josh Turknett at https://oldtimefiddle.net He is the inventor of the Brainjo Method and his home page describes his method.
Does anyone play old time and bluegrass fiddle? I am going to start learning, something I've wanted to do for a long time, but never did. Now, at 62 years old, I'm going to do it. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who plays, especially about things like how old you were when you started, how you learned, pitfalls and achievements. My fiddle will arrive on Monday (Feb 4th) and I am probably going to start with an online course and perhaps find a teacher for periodic lessons.
Well, today I took the plunge. I have been thinking about it for so long and wanting to do it. I woke up this morning thinking what am I waiting for. I really love fiddle music and want to learn...even if I am 62. The past few days I've read a couple of pieces about folks who didn't learn to play until they were in their 70's and 80's. I have had my eye on a violin I've wanted to buy for some time now, so this morning I bought it from Fiddlerman in Florida. https://fiddlershop.com/collections/fiddlerman-violins/products/fiddlerman-concert-violin-outfit
I have terrible cell phone service in my house ever since we put a metal roof on the house a few years back. We have our phones set up to make and receive phone calls via our computer wifi. Once we go outside or to other areas, the regular cell service automatically kicks in. So, if you will have a computer with a router at your new place, you can connect via wifi.
Citrus in a compost pile is fine and not placing it in a compost pile has long been debunked. Citrus peels can take a long time to break down. You can speed up how fast citrus in compost breaks down by cutting up the peels into small pieces. Another old tale of why you should not use citrus was thought that several chemicals in citrus peels are used in organic pesticides, however, these oils will break down rapidly and evaporate long before you ever use the composted soil in your garden. Citrus also has an unpleasant odor to many scavengers that might like to dig through your compost, making them a plus. As far as vermicomposting, it has long been said that citrus is bad for worms. Not true, however most worms do not choose to eat citrus until it is at least partially decomposed, so citrus will hang around in your worm composter longer than most common ingredients.
Judith Browning wrote:I did not grow up with this although when we moved south more than forty years ago it was a natural phenomenon in this area.
Local to us and one that we went too as often as possible, was what was known as a 'musical' held saturday nights in one of the musicians homes. The furniture was pulled back, more chairs got out and they played all evening and those who could danced...several generations, all in one room...it was always lovely. The hills here had many of these happening for decades and still do.
Many potlucks and events are music oriented here...mostly acoustic, mostly hill music, heavy on fiddle, banjo and guitar.
My husband plays guitar, so maybe we are more aware of the local music community here. It's quite awesome
...and we're expected to sing a long
Not a Saturday Night Musical, but I found this on YouTube today, and it reminded me of this post. At 62 y/o I am thinking of learning the fiddle. I have always loved fiddle music.
Here is a dish I first made a few years ago, and for lack of a better name, I call it "Quick Chili". Very easy to make and a real crowd-pleaser.
1 LB Ground Beef
2-3 Sweet Italian Sausage links
1 jar Black Bean Salsa or Black Bean & Corn Salsa (pick the heat level you like)
1 jar Chunky Garden Salsa (pick the heat level you like)
1 small can Tomato Sauce
3-4 large Garlic Cloves
Chili Powder (optional)
1. In a black iron skillet, chop up and brown the ground beef and sausage. Remove sausage from casings first.
2. While ground beef/sausage is cooking, dice up garlic cloves and saute to a light brown in in a bit of olive oil.
3. Add tomato sauce to browned garlic and simmer.
4. Drain ground beef/sausage.
5. Add jar of black bean salsa, 1/2 jar of chunky garden salsa, and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
6. Add 1/2 cup (more or less) of tomato sauce.
7. Add salt/pepper/chili powder (optional) to taste
8. Simmer until excess moisture evaporates.
Serve over rice or in Taco Shells with Taco fixings. Makes a good event snack on Tostito scoops.
Charles Laferriere wrote:2. Is it possible to test for all chemical presents? Expensive...?
There are tens of thousands of chemicals in use, some more harmful than others. Every chemical has a chemical fingerprint. When any type of water testing is done, it is searching for particular fingerprints depending on the tests performed. To test for all chemicals is just not practical and it would be cost-prohibitive.
Here's another one (I think this was posted in another thread). Winter temperatures in Alliance, Nebraska can drop to -20°F (the record low is -40°F/C), but retired mailman Russ Finch grows oranges in his backyard greenhouse without paying for heat. Instead, he draws on the earth's stable temperature (around 52 degrees in his region) to grow warm weather produce- citrus, figs, pomegranates - in the snow.
Travis, I am so sorry to read this. Like I am doing for you, I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers. We don't know why God gives us such burdens; we only know He does not give us burdens we can't bare. His intentions are unknown to us, but if we have faith, we can endure. My best. Jim.
BTW...my mom who was 101 and 8 months old passed away yesterday. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. She had a good run, and we are happy she is no longer suffering, but it doesn't matter when in life it happens, it is never easy to lose your "mommy". Thanks.
Not sure if this is pertinent to the discussion, but from Reimer Seeds regarding disease resistance in Better Boy Tomatoes....
A – Anthracnose
Scientific Name: Colletotrichum lagenarium
Anthracnose is a world-wide fungal disease that affects the growth of cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons. This disease is most common in the southern, mid-Atlantic, and mid-Western parts of the United States. Symptoms include lesions on the leaves and then yellowish circular spots begin appearing on the leaves. On watermelons the spots are irregular and turn dark brown or black. The most striking symptom is circular, black, sunken cankers appear on the fruit. When moisture is present, the black center of the lesion is covered with a gelatinous mass of salmon colored spores. With tomatoes, the disease mainly affects the tomato, but also can infect leaves, stems and roots. Sunken water soaked circular spots appear on the tomatoes. Leaves show symptoms of small circular spots with yellow halos. It can cause significant yield loss and even total crops losses. The diseased tomatoes are usually unmarketable. The infected plants should be removed to avoid further infestation. Increase space between the plants to maximize air flow and drying of the leaves. The disease is favorable when temperatures are 75-82 F and usually occur when moisture and humidity are very high. Plan on using a 3 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, as the disease can survive in over winter on crop debris. Proper tillage practices may be helpful in managing the disease. Fungicides can help manage the disease. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.
F – Fusarium Wilt (Race 1)
Scientific Name: Fusarium oxysporum
Fusarium Wilt, Race 1, is a fungal disease that affects the growth of tomatoes. It is one of the most devastating of all soil-borne diseases. Race 1 is the most widely found throughout the United States, especially in warm regions of the country. It attacks the roots of the plants and moves up the stems. Symptoms include yellowing and browning of the older bottom leaves, stunting, and wilting. Often the entire plant will die. Usually little or no fruit develops. The infected plants will produce inferior and unmarketable tomatoes. It can cause significant yield loss and even total crops losses. If you stick with Fusarium Wilt Resistant tomato varieties you don’t have to worry. Many of the older heirlooms don’t have any resistance to the disease, so if you grow these then you should keep an eye out for it. The infected plants should be removed and burned to avoid further infestation. Plan on using a 5 to 7 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, as the disease can survive in the soil up to 10 years. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.
LB – Late Blight
Scientific Name: Phytophthora infestans
Late Blight is a fungal disease that affects the growth of potatoes and tomatoes. Symptoms include large dark brown blotches with a green gray edge on the leaves resulting in large sections of dry brown foliage. Stems become dark brown. Dark brown circular spots cover most of the tomato. The entire field turns brown and wilted as if it was hit by frost and die.It can cause significant yield loss and even total crops losses. The diseased tomatoes are usually unmarketable. Late blight was responsible for the Irish potato famine of the late 1840s. The air-borne disease can destroy an entire field in a short period of time. The infected plants should be removed and burned to avoid further infestation. If you stick with Late Blight resistant tomato varieties you don’t have to worry. The disease is favorable when temperatures are 60-70 F and usually occur when moisture and humidity are very high. Plan on using a 3 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, as the disease can survive in the soil for 7 years. Fungicides are available for management of late blight on tomatoes. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.
N – Root-Knot Nematode
Scientific Name: Meloidogyne spp.
Nematodes are soil dwelling parasites that feed on plant roots and affect cucumbers, okra, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. Symptoms include yellowing of the leaves, wilting, and stunting of the plant. The plant will have galled and decayed roots. Nematodes are most active when soil temperatures are 85 - 95 F and usually occur when the soil is moisture. Plan on using a 3 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year. Nematodes are most active in warm soils and they need water to thrive so take advantage of summer’s heat to wither them away. Withhold water from nematode infested areas of the garden and turn or till the soil every 7-10 days during the summer to expose nematodes to the drying effects of the sun. Proper tillage practices may be helpful in managing the disease. Certain types of marigolds work by excreting a substance that is damaging to nematodes as well as trapping them in their roots and preventing reproduction. Elbon rye is an effective nematode control that can be planted as a cool season cover crop that is turned under in early spring. The use of soil fumigants like Vapam has been helpful and a fungicide called Actinovate can also be helpful in managing the lowering of the nematode population. Using transparent plastic mulches for 4 to 6 weeks have been shown to kill nematodes. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.
St – Stemphylium Gray Spot Leaf
Scientific Name: Stemphylium solani, Stemphylium floridanum, and Stemphylium botryosum
Stemphylium Gray Spot Leaf is a fungal disease that affects the growth of tomatoes. It is found in warm regions of the country, and is common in the Southeastern part of the United States. Symptoms include brown to black specks on leaves. As the lesions grow in size, they develop a gray center surrounded by a yellow area. The spots may dry and fall out, forming a shot hole in the leaf. The disease may cause the entire leaves to turn yellow, then brown, and drop off, and the plant may be stunted. The tomatoes are not usually affected unless there is severe defoliation, where sunburn damage can occur on the tomatoes. If you stick with Stemphylium Gray Spot Leaf Resistant tomato varieties you don’t have to worry. Many of the older heirlooms don’t have any resistance to the disease, so if you grow these then you should keep an eye out for it. The infected plants should be removed and burned to avoid further infestation. Plan on using a 5 to 7 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, as the disease can survive in the soil for many years. Stake tomato plants for better circulation. Give plants extra space to allow air to move among leaves to keep leaves as dry as possible. Use soaker hoses and avoid overhead watering. The best option is to use disease resistant varieties.
V – Verticillium Wilt
Scientific Name: Verticillium dahliae
Verticillium Wilt is a soil-borne disease that affects the growth of lettuce, peppers, spinach, and tomatoes. This disease is most common in the United States and Europe. In lettuce symptoms include wilting of the lower leaves and then the outer leaves turn yellow, wilt and die. Brown and black streaks appear on the taproot and crown The disease can cause substantial yield loss and total crop loss. It is a seed-borne disease that is spread by farm equipment, wind, and water. The infected plants should be removed and burned to avoid further infestation. The virus can live in weeds, so use weed management techniques. The fungus is very difficult to eradicate once it has been introduced into a field. Plan on using a 4 year crop rotation and avoid planting in the same location, year after year, and can survive in the soil for 14 years. Keep the fields weed free. Deep tilling may be helpful in managing the disease. Thoroughly clean equipment after working in a field. Fumigate fields with methyl bromide. The best option is to use virus-free seeds and disease resistant varieties
Good question. I planted organic heirloom seeds for years because I wanted to keep things "pure", however this year I am going to grow some hybrids to test their disease resistance (one of them being Better Boy). The last few years I have been battling tomato disease problems. There is a big difference between a hybrid that has two or more genetic parents and a GMO whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering technologies.
A hybrid plant is the result of cross pollinating two different plant varieties and growing the seed the cross produces. The plant that grows from that seed is considered a hybrid. The process is natural.
A GMO plant has had it's DNA modified using genetic engineering methods. The process is not natural.
Love it, Travis. I've started my own spread sheet based on your post. Yesterday, I was going to buy a sandwich on my way home from a delivery for $3.99. I resisted. Saved $3.99. Today, I went to the liquor store for a bottle of gin. Instead of buying my usual brand for $22.99, I bought a cheaper brand for $15.99. Saved $7.00 for a total of $10.99 so far. Now, also today, even though I have enough tomato seeds for this year, I bought a couple of new varieties for $3.25 each. So, I'm only $4.49 ahead so far....but, I plan to keep my spread sheet and see how well I can do. Off to a slow start, but I know I can do better.
Sorry...couldn't resist. "I disagree" also carries with it a feeling of opposition, perhaps drawing a line in the sand, or having to prove something on both sides. "I have a different position" allows for more than one view, and an opportunity for further discussion.
Create a compost pile. You can use the compost you create to keep your lawn and garden healthy.
You can compost: eggshells, nutshells, teabags, coffee grounds, fruits, vegetables and other plant matter.
You cannot compost: dairy products, grease, oils, bones, and meat scraps.
Select a dry shady spot in your yard to keep your compost.
Mix food scraps with plant materials such as dead leaves or branches.
Add water to your compost pile as needed to encourage decomposition.
Turn over your compost pile regularly to mix the top additions into the base of the pile.
I have attached a pdf file (The Complete Guide to Home Composting) by Joe Lampl from Growing a Greener World. https://joegardener.com/
Just started selecting seeds this morning from a couple of catalogs. I usually don't start them in my greenhouse until the first day of Spring...just something I like to do on that day. They don't go into the ground until mid-May, and even that's taking a chance here in the Pocono Mountains.
Seeds picked out so far...
Ace Sweet Pepper
I'm trying to cut back some this year. I always over-plant.
I like that idea! If you write it down whenever you don't spend money, it becomes a challenge to see just how much you can save! Adding to that, if you take that money you didn't spend at Micky D's or the Chinese place or whatever and put it aside, you can use some or all of it for a project, tool, equipment, etc. you really want and can use.
I have a habit of never, ever using change in a store. I always just use bills when paying cash. Each day I put all my change in a big container and never take from it. Once a year, I cash it in and treat myself to something I want/need. I just cashed my coins in about a month ago and got enough to buy a new wall mounted shop vac and a heavy duty miter saw stand for my workshop. Last year, I purchased lumber and plastic sheeting to make two 6 x 3 cold frames for inside my winter greenhouse.
I'm not terribly musical, but there's not much that can beat a male voice choir in my opinion.
I would have to agree with you, Travis (at the risk of sounding sexist. :) BTW...How Green was my Valley is a great movie. And, I once read (in Reader's Digest) that we should all sing out loud in church. If God gave us good voices, it is the time to thank Him. If He gave us bad voices, it is the time to get back at Him.
The pictures below are what our house, that we have lived in for the past 23+ years, looked like in 1990 and now. Quite a difference! It had been abandoned for years, wisteria growing in and out the broken windows, animals living inside including a ceiling full of bees that yielded 65 pounds of honey when they were removed. The foundation is easily 3+ feet thick made of stones collected on the property and the floor joists in the cellar are birch tree trunks, many of which still have the bark intact. The original portion of the house (left side) dates back to the Civil War and was not as tall as the house is now. An addition was added some time in the early 20th century (right side) and the entire roof raised up. (The right gable wall of the original house is now part of the staircase wall going up to the "new" attic in the middle of the house.) A young couple bought it, fixed it up the best they could repairing and replacing the clapboard siding and patching up the slate roof and rehabbing the inside. We bought it in 1995. We made many improvements, the most obvious being additional insulation and siding (painting that house once was enough for me) and a new metal roof. (The slate roof was starting to loose shingles because the nails were corroding.)
An interesting tid-bit...shortly after we moved in, we were cleaning the attic. The vacuum cleaner latched onto something down inside a soffit. When I pulled it out, I saw it was an old photo of 3 elderly woman sitting on a front porch...looked like something out of a history book. We decided to frame the photo as part of the house's history. Fast forward to last year. There was a knock on the door and a man introduced himself and said his family once lived in this house in the early 1900's. He had never been in the house, but he told us some stories about it that had been passed down in his family that made it clear they had lived here...including one story about a family wedding and reception held right in the front yard many years ago. We showed him around. I decided to show him the picture we had found. His face lit up as he said the 3 women in the photo were his great-grandmother, grandmother and aunt. We gave him the picture to take home to his elderly mom.
You might want to see if there are any locally owned sawmills in your area. I have one not far from my home where I have purchased 2 x 10's of Tamarack and Black Locust. I've had the Tamarack raised gardens for 5 years and they are still solid. The Black Locust ones I built this past year; they will probably outlive me. The best part is I paid less for them than if I purchased regular lumber at one of the big box stores like Lowes or Home Depot (which would rot in no time), and certainly much cheaper than cedar.
Dillon...Good insight. That is what I am trying to get across. Rather that using the "guru recommended" tricks and techniques that everyone else is using on the internet (dime a dozen), one needs to pack his/her website with quality, useful and UNIQUE information. (Google likes that much better than the tricks du jour.) AS I mentioned earlier, good content, not sales and promotion tactics, will keep you high in the search engines and keep people on your site and make them dedicated users, not quick lookers. I did sign up for your "cheat sheet", Darron, but once I received it, I was somewhat disappointed. It really has nothing more than I can get on 100's of other websites about homesteading. What unique aspects are you bringing to the table? I don't mean to sound harsh, but what makes your site unique, different from the 100's of websites "trying" to teach homesteading? So far, I don't see the difference, so your site is one in a sea of many. What you have explained in subsequent posts about how you plan to create blog posts, products, etc., is not going to make your site a flagship in homesteading. Not putting it or you down; just trying to push you to think outside the box.