Friday, November 18, 2005

Living in the country

I almost forgot that winter is fast approaching and it is time to pick pecan again. You know those delicious pecans that are so expensive in malaysia, but are growing widely in my part of the country. All along the dirt roads in my area there are those big pecan trees which most time are loaded with the nuts (fruits). You can pick as much as you want along the roads or if you have neighbours whose grazing land are dotted with pecan tress (for cattle to rest under), you can go and pick them for free. Usually pecan pies are a must for Thanksgiving and I think I will make a couple of them next week.
Another thing I forgot to do is to pick the ripe pessimon which were staring at me at the intersection of the dirt road to my house. I was planning to pick them and, I don't know how it slipped off my mind. Perhaps I will drive down the road and see if they are still good to pick. I guess Miz King's ( the only black in my area) pears are still on their trees. I have not driven that way for a very long time. Last Fall, she gave me hundreds of them pears, that I had to can them in syrup, otherwise they would have gone bad.
I must be getting old, or time just flies that i could not keep up with the changing of the seasons. Things are done here according to the seasons. You start gardening at the end of winter, you do serious gardening in spring. Summer is the time when all your garden produce is ready to be harvested, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, etc. Tomatoes if you have many of them, they have to be preserved. I usually canned whole tomatoes and make all kind of sauces as well as salsa. I canned green beans too and last year i canned my peaches as well as made them into jams and jellies. Summer too is the time to go and pick all those wild plums which are so good for making jellies. they just grow abundantly along the dirt roads or in someone's grazing field. You just go and pick them. This year i pick some and have turned them into juice and freeze the juice. Out of that juice I made jellies, that some people have tasted them. Summer is also the time to pick them big juicy balckberry from the back part of my property. Summer is a real busy time of the year.
Fall is just nice and relaxing depending if mother nature is kind. This fall so far has been dry and windy and above average temperature. This kind of weather means that they would be brush fires everywhere. We have some around our area, some hundreds of acre of grazing fields and wooded areas were burnt. We have to be very ready, because the fires can spread very fast with the wind is blowing at 30-40 mph. Living in the country we have to be sensitive to the weather and our surroundings. When we see smokes way out, we would call the fire department as well head that way with neccessary tools to help fight the fire. If it is near enough, my husband would take his tractor and i would drive the pick-up truck with a tank of water, just in case we need to use the water before the fire engines arrives. Everyone nearby would do the same. We are very neighbourly, eventhough our houses are miles apart and we do not know each other.
Macam duduk di kampong masa dulu-dulu. Gotong Royong.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My flock of guinea-fowls

In the early summer, a neighbour brought some baby guineas to us to keep in the incubator with our baby chicks. They were 30 of them. We raise them and the neighbour did not want them anymore because they have some white in their feathers. What do we do with 30 of those critters?. We lost a few, one was accidently killed by Roo, who thought that it was a quail. Roo can catch a quail in the air. When reprimanded and told that the guineas are her birds, she no longer bother with them. One was killed by Max who wanted to play with the baby guinea. He was told that he no longer can play toss and catch with 'his' birds. Nowadays, he only scares them to induce them to fly overhead while he chases them. We lost another 2 to the black garden snake. Then we had about 26 of them with one very sickly and ignored by the rest of the flock.

Guineas are an intelligent birds and they belong to the same family as the peacock family. They make similar sound or noises. They get excited rather easily and make a lot of noise. people say they are good 'guards' as they will shriek at anything they see which is not familair to them. They roam everywhere and they even go out of our 20 acres yard. However, they do come back in the evening to roost in their pen. One day they came back without the sickly one. I went around calling for 'nini..nini'. I was sad because i was sure that 'something' must have got it. There are a lot of predators around too. They would be safe in the yard, but when they roam around the neighbourhood, they are exposed to the elements.

One morning, the new neighbour south of us, came and told us that our 'ninis' have been visiting her yard and her son's yard. She said that she has dogs and her dogs might kill our 'ninis' if they keep going into her yard. My 'ninis' are not scared of our dogs as they are used to them. They even lay down next to Max or Dumdum to sun bathe. However, I suspected, my neighbour's dog must have got the 'sickly' nini that tag along the main group.

I did not realise that my ninis roam far and wide. they visit other neighbours too. They even brought home one afternoon, a very handsome peacock. Since then, the peacock keeps coming into our yard to visit and walk around with my ninis. If the peacock does not turn up in the morning, my ninis will fly over our 10 ft fence to go visit and bring back the peacock.

Oh..I now only have 6 ninis. I sold 8 of them to a friend at $8 each. Another 10 to a farmer down the road. By keeping only 6 of them, I could at least contain them in the yard. However, they still fly over the fence to visit the peacock and bring him home. Such friendship I could never fathom. Probably the peacock is lonely since I have never seen a peahen with him. As long as they know the way home before feeding time, i am ok with their disappearing act.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Max wants to be a film star

Max got excited when he was mentioned in Adiejin production with the Makcik bloggers concert and now he is trying to launch into acting and singing. He has been training hard into singing and he said he could be a back-up singer for makcik bloggers concert anytime. He now can do the woouuu, wouf wouf, auoooo, etc. He is also, polishing his act on the stomping and drum beat. So, anyone there talent scouting?? Max is ready, that is what he says.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Season changes

Everything is pretty if we only see
The world is a poetry
The birds and the bees
The ants, the flowers and the trees
The cloud that drifts, the sky so blue
The world is lovely, because I want it to be.