Thinning the Forest

Here’s a surprise – it’s January and we’re still cooking up spaghetti sauce using fresh garden tomatoes; red sauce, not the green tomato sauce. The tomato plants that were nailed in the December frost were hammered but not killed. At least several of them made it and were loaded with fruit which is just now ripening. The plants look funny with zero foliage but the fruit seems to be doing just fine. The forecast for the next week calls for daytime temps in the low 80’s and night time temps in the low 60’s so I expect those that are still green will ripen all week. It’s unusual to be picking tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower the same day.

I have to admit, I’m absolutely worn to a frazzle. Dealing with those trees turned out to be a much bigger job than I’d anticipated. The pictures show the demise of the water oak closest to the house. The pines are mostly laying in the forest and will become a hunting ground for woodpeckers, termites, and whatever other creatures deal with dead pine trees. It was one full day cutting them down, that was my trees plus George’s. We didn’t actually do the big cutting but keeping up with the cutters and making sure they had clear paths etc was a full time job. Then cutting the branches off the trees into manageable sizes was half a day and then moving them to Ashcraft’s field for burning was another half day. Those are half days of hard, physical labor. The only job left is literally lighting the pile and keeping it fed with brush and branches. That too will be several hours, probably half a day which I’ll do that tomorrow or the next day depending on wind conditions and my condition. I have to think that all this would have been a one day job 10 years ago. I guess I should be glad I’m still able to do it – slower though.

Fireplace ready logs
Fireplace ready logs
Branches and limbs
Branches and limbs

With no storms in sight, I need to get over to the coast and do some fishing. Either in the river or the surf, but somewhere for sure. The forecast is for 80 degree weather for the next week or so. That’s my idea of how winter should be in Florida.

The move to appoint Hagle for DOD was a smart move for Obama. Obama is not a supporter of the military and would like to see the budget cut way back – defined by the sequester. Hagle is anti military and will support large DOD cuts and he’s a nominal Republican thereby giving plenty of cover for Obama. He will also support moving away from Israel, another big plus for Obama. Perfect nomination – that is, perfect if you are not a big supporter of the military or Israel. Combined with John Kerry running the State Department, the bad guys in the world have to be rejoicing. Wonder where Jane Fonda would fit with this crowd?

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