Tag Archives: Cole

Around The Compound (Taters-N-Onions)

Posted on by 1 comment

Hi everyone it’s John again, here to bore y’all with some horticulture.  A while back I shared some pictures from Feb. 23, 2014 and talked a bit about adding organic material to the garden soil.  The next day, Feb. 24th, we planted our potatoes for the year. Once again I took lots of pictures and would like to share.

Opening rows using a middle buster.

Opening rows using a middle buster.

I started potato planting by opening rows using a middle buster plow attached to the center of my cultivator implement bar behind our tractor.  As shown above, I started out by plowing one straight row and placing each additional row by simply running the wheels of my tractor  in the track left behind when I made the previous row (above left). This makes the row spacing just right for future cultivation and weeding between the rows.  To cultivate I remove the middle buster from the implement bar and attach smaller plows at the attach points shown in the picture (above right and center).   These smaller plows will contact the soil right behind my tractor tires as I cultivate.  This method of laying out my rows allows me to drive the tractor back through the same tire tracks left behind when I opened the rows to accomplish weeding without damaging my plants.

Cutting seed potatoes.

Cutting seed potatoes.

After opening the rows for planting we cut our seed potatoes.  The part of the potato that grows into a potato plant is the eye.  Each seed potato may have several eyes so this allows us to cut the seed potato, usually into several pieces, for planting.  We planted about sixty pounds of seed potatoes this year.

Placing seed potatoes in the row.

Placing seed potatoes in the row.

We placed the seed potatoes in the open row approximately six inches apart along the length of each row and at the bottom of the furrows. We use chicken manure for fertilizer but commercial fertilizer may be used at this point in the process.  Something like 13-13-13 works well, however, a soil test can tell you exactly what you need to use. Keep in mind that if your soil test says to use lime, never use lime on potatoes.  A calcium supplement can be sprayed on the plants later instead.

Covering the seed potatoes.

Covering the seed potatoes.

Here’s Justin Cole, my step son, covering my seed potatoes.  Pretty nice of him to help me out with all this huh?  He spent a good part of his day out in the cold helping me with this potato project.  Notice he is using his feet to close the dirt in over the seed potatoes.  If we would have had a large field of rows to close, we could have placed hilling disks or closing plows on our cultivator and closed the rows with the tractor.



Hay to protect our seeds from a hard freeze.

Hay to protect our seeds from a hard freeze.

I hauled a truck load of hay to spread directly over the rows to protect them in case of a hard freeze.  Its a good thing I did too!  Not long after we planted this potato crop we had about three inches of solid ice and freezing weather.  The hay cover provided enough insulation to keep my potatoes safe from the freeze.

Oh Boy!

Oh Boy!

The above picture was taken Saturday, April 12, 2014.  Looks like our potatoes are doing well!  I have already had to spray for potato bugs though.  A small brown bug that looks kind of like a ladybug will eat the potato plants and bring the crop to spoil if not kept in check.  When I see these bugs begin to appear I spray the plants with insecticide or treat them with 5% seven dust.

A pretty potato crop so far.

A pretty potato crop so far.

The next thing we planted was onions.  About two weeks after we planted potatoes and right after the last hard freeze, my brother-in-law John and I planted a couple of rows of onions.  We started out by opening some rows just like I did for the potatoes.

Onion sets.

Onion sets.

There are a couple of ways to start onions.  One way (shown above) is to plant onion bulbs.  Bulbs can be saved over the winter just like many flower bulbs or they can be purchased from a feed store or farm supply in late winter. Onion plants can also be used.  I have also heard of people starting them from seeds but I’ve never tried it, maybe a future project.

Placing onion bulbs.

Placing onion bulbs.

I place the onion bulbs in the row differently than I do potatoes.  I don’t put the onions all the way in the bottom of the furrow.  I put them about half way down the side  and alternate them from side to side as shown above. This makes one row almost like two close rows side by side.

John H. working!

John H. working!

Covering the onion bulbs.

Covering the onion bulbs.

Above is my brother-in-law John covering the onion bulbs.  He just covered them loosely with a couple of inches of soil.

Onions coming up!

Onions coming up!

The onions did come up and are growing well. We also have planted strawberries, lettuce, turnips, radishes, kale, and about a third of an acre of sunflowers.  I will keep you updated on our progress in the vegetable garden in future posts.

Look forward to Pigs-n-chickens in just a few days!


Tombstone Tuesday – Sharon Dean (Frey) Cole

Posted on by 0 comment

Justin Cole at Sharon Cole's grave

This is my oldest son Justin Cole, at the grave of his paternal grandmother, Sharon D. (Frey) Cole. We had not seen her grave since she had been buried and last year when we went to Clinton, Arkansas so Justin and Knucklehead could get baptized at Sharon’s church, we went by the cemetery for a visit.

Sharon and Justin Christmas 1993

Sharon and Justin Christmas 1993

I have some other pictures of Sharon, but I don’t have them scanned in. This photo was taken Christmas of 1993 right after Justin was born. She came for a visit and never put Justin down.

I will always remember Sharon with great fondness. She loved her children and grandchildren and most importantly, she loved God. Everything she did or said, shined through her love of God and his word. She was always praying angels around our cars and would pray until we were home safe after coming to visit her. I figure the only reason my car works good without her praying over it now is because she’s the angel around the car!

Christmas Past to Christmas Present

Posted on by 0 comment

As I was decorating the house the other day for the Christmas holidays, for some reason I started thinking about what my ancestors would have been doing at Christmas time during the civil war.

Christmas Decorations 2013

I’m sure they didn’t string fancy garlands or lights and probably not every one put up a Christmas tree as the European custom of having a tree was just becoming popular.  If they did decorate a tree, I’m sure the decorations would have been handmade usually of stringed sugared fruits, ribbons, popcorn, pine cones, colored paper, silver foil and spun glass ornaments.

As I looked around guiltily at all of my decorations, I wondered did they decorate their houses? Did they sit with their families around a fire and sing songs?  Did they trade gifts and visit neighbors?

Continue reading

Knucklehead’s First Day of School and Pvt. Cole Reports for Duty

Posted on by 3 comments

I know, you are wondering where my next DC Trip post is, and hold your horses, because it’s coming!  First, I had to take a couple of days away from the computer and spend it with my kids and get caught up on chores around the house.

The first thing I did was hug on these two boys!  I missed them while I was gone!

JT and Knucklehead

The Hubs is on 60 hour weeks, so with him only home one day a week, it’s just not feasible for him to do much around here.  He needs at least one day of rest with the schedule he is keeping so there were quite a few things to get done.

While I was gone, and enjoyed near perfect weather in DC, it rained here at home almost every day and my grass was so tall, the mower kept bogging down.  We had no choice but to bust out the tractor and get the heaping piles of grass up.  I was being smart and raking down hill!

Yard Work

Knucklehead had his first day of school on Monday, and you know we had to prepare for that, had to attend open house and get all his stuff ready and together.  Here’s the big 6th grader on that first morning.

First Day of School

Not a happy camper can you tell?  His stomach hurt, the grass was wet, he wanted to get down to the end of the driveway and wait for the bus even though he had 15 more minutes, and he did not want to smile.  AT ALL.  But I made him.  So then this is what I got.

First Day of School Smile

Totally fake, but at least it wasn’t that frown!  After I snapped the shot, he went right back to his frown and walked down to wait for the bus.  He did have a great first day though and was very glad to see his friends.  He has been getting his homework done easily enough.  So far, so good.

Then on Monday evening, the first day of school, and Justin’s last day at home before leaving for boot camp, we had a small, family gathering to say goodbye to him, and to say goodbye to my nephew William who is going back to Colorado for High School this year.

But first, I should back up a bit and tell you that Justin’s Dad drove all the way up here from Alabama to spend the weekend with him before boot camp.  He picked him up and they went to stay with his Dad’s family in Sherwood for the weekend.

Justin with his Dad

They came back on Monday and his Dad stayed and had dinner with us.  After we all had dinner, since Justin and William both were leaving we all decided to load up and head over to the Romance Cliffs to get good pictures of everyone.

This is my favorite picture of my family.  I wish The Hubs had been here, but he had to work. :(

Us Romance 2013

My friends David and Diane took this picture of all of us, and I think it turned out great. From left to right is Justin, Knucklehead, William, Mom, Dad, Me, brother John, and Addie.

This is a great shot of the boys.

JT Knucklehad William

I love this shot of Mom and Dad.

Mom and Dad

This is a great shot of my brother John, William and Addie.

John William and Addie

These are my friends, David and Diane.

David and Diane

Did I mention that I love these boys?

Michael and Justin

This is Justin with his Dad, Junior Cole.

Junior and Justin

And here folks, you are looking at a rarity.  One of probably three pictures of Junior and I together with Justin since we divorced, oh, I’d say about 15 years ago.  But Justin wanted a picture of us with him so we did.  Luckily, we get along great most of the time and it was no problem.

Junior Susie Justin

The next morning JT had to be up at the Armory in Heber Springs by 6 am. It was still dark when we got there and we took some last, going away shots.

Me JT Knucklehead

Junior and Justin

JT and Knucklehead

I have mentioned my love for those boys, right?  Yeah, I thought so.

Sgt. Gipson arrived and I got this shot, then they got in the car and drove off.  Headed to Camp Robinson where Justin would be processed in and leave from.

Sgt. Gipson

Justin’s Dad left to make the drive back to Alabama, I got knucklehead off to school and guess what?  I didn’t cry!  I made it all day without crying, and I was doing great. Then Justin sent me this picture from the plane that night as he was boarded and waiting for takeoff to Oklahoma City. I admit I did cry for a bit.  But, it wasn’t tears of sadness.  I’m so proud and happy for him.  This is what he has wanted to do since he was a little boy.

JT on the plane

He arrived in OKC about 8:30 and had a two-hour bus trip to Fort Sill.  I did get to talk to him last night, and he’s doing ok. It’s a lot more than he thought, but he is brave and strong and he’s making it.  From what I understand, he is processing in and the real deal boot camp starts on Monday, and then it will be three or more weeks before I can talk to him again.

Since he left, I’ve been just keeping up with the normal compound chores and duties and resting up from the trip and chores and stress of getting everyone where they have to be. Now, I’m back to the computer and settled into a routine with Knucklehead in school and I will get back to posting about my trip.  There’s still some sight-seeing, my trip to the National Archives, and my trip to Richmond, Virginia coming up so stay tuned!


Around the Compound – July 2013

Posted on by 1 comment

Beware, this post is going to be VERY picture heavy.

Cause that’s how I roll.

I’m a visual person, what can I say?

Anywho, I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

Genealogy work has been on the light side, like slim to none actually, because I have been super busy with all of the things below, either directly or indirectly, and then, I was sick for two weeks.  I mean so sick even my skin hurt. blah!

If I have been slow to answer your emails, or comments, please forgive me.  You will see why in just a few minutes.

So, before I get started with my pictorial history for the month of July, I have to warn you, I have some great things coming up!  My two-year blog anniversary is coming up on August 16th and I have secured some pretty great giveaways so please stay tuned for that.

Also, I’m leaving next Thursday to spend 10 days in the DC area with my niece Leslie, and I am beyond excited!  We will be visiting cousins in New Jersey that I have found via this blog.  Also, the possibility that more cousins found via this blog will make the trip there to meet me, so I am blessed beyond words!  I can’t wait to meet my family!

Of course, what would a trip to DC be without a visit to the National Archives, the DAR Library, and the Library of Congress.  Maybe I can break a brick wall while there!

Then, I will do the usual sight-seeing and visiting with Leslie.  Be ready for lots of updates while I’m on my trip.

Now, for the compound news.

On July 1st, this was Knucklehead in our corn.

Knucklehead in Corn

Then, on July 25th, this is The Hubs in our corn. Thank you chicken poop for all your great fertilizing qualities!

The Hubs in the Corn

I did my first canning job with the help of my brother John. Tomatoes.  I’m so proud!

Tomatoes - My first Canning Job

Speaking of Tomatoes, The Hubs picked these out of our garden, look how green they are:

Picked Tomatoes

Now they have ripened up and I suppose they are the next canning project.

Red Tomatoes

There has been lots of picking of squash and The Hubs has already canned all of those up. They are done! Whew!

Knucklehead with Squash Pickings

On July 13th, my babies, ok not so babyish anymore, chickens laid their first egg. It was a proud moment for Knucklehead as he was the one who found it.

First Egg

Now, this is our daily haul. I’m sure they aren’t all laying yet as I have about 70 chickens. If all 70 are only giving me eight eggs a day, some are going to end up in a pot, with about 10 roosters that I know of!  As Renee Zellweger said in the movie ‘Cold Mountain’ – “I hate a flogging Rooster, let’s put ‘em in a pot!”

Daily Eggs

Then, in a rare moment. I caught this on camera, the suspects unaware. Knucklehead was giving JT a massage. I later found out, that Knucklehead was told if he did this, JT would play a video game with him. For shame on JT, cause he never did. Some big brothers will stoop to anything to get a massage!

Knucklehead and JT

There has been lots of picking purple hull peas. I mean lots. This is my stepson Cameron helping Knucklehead. JT was on another row.  This Rooster, made it to the Pot.  Nine more to go.  We sure had a great meal of fried chicken that day!

Cameron and Knucklehead

Here is a sample of our haul of purple hulls, there ended up being about seven bowls like this.

Purple Hull Peas

The kids and I sat around in the living room picking them out while watching TV, and it made me think of the many times I did this with my grandmother.  It sure made me lonesome for her.  They ended up like this, in my freezer.

Put Up Purple Hull Peas

Then, The Hubs brought in plums. He had to go back to work, so I juiced them for him so he can make plum jelly. He has made one batch, but has several more to go.


I did this.

Cooking Plums

To get all this.

Plum Juice

Silkie came by to get loved on, and I snapped this shot of her. She hates, and I mean hates the flogging Roosters too!

Silkie Silk

There has been lots of snuggle time with Ringo. Especially when I was sick. He loves me and I love him.


Then a very proud moment, and one that will be put in our family history. JT had his first Drill this weekend. He goes to another Drill next weekend, and then he leaves on August 19th for boot-camp. After finding all the Ancestors in my tree that have military histories, this makes me so proud as I’m sure it does them. I hope they all smile down on him and help the good Lord above to keep him safe. All prayers accepted!

I snapped these pictures of him when he came back home. They gave him his uniform and boy oh boy, does he look handsome! So, without further ado, please meet Private Justin Tyler Cole.

Private Cole

JT back from Drill

Did I mention how proud I am? Just wondering!

He sent me these pictures that another Private took while at Drill.

JT at Drill

JT at Drill

JT at Drill


One thing he found at Drill was that he needs to get his two-mile run down to 15 minutes and 56 seconds. He was up in the 19 minute time range. So, what’s a momma to do? She gets in her car, drives around part of the compound, and figures out three times around is 2 miles. Then she puts the boys to work, while she drives behind them in the car soaking up the AC. Ya know, just in case they pass out or something. I’m a good Mom like that.

Knucklehead and JT Running

Knucklehead made it 1/2 mile before he had to stop. JT stopped at around 1 1/2 miles. I told him that big breakfast wasn’t a good idea!


So since then, I decided I should be more supportive. As in, take part with them.  I took them to the park here in Mt. Vernon the next day, and I walked with them. Actually, I started this Couch to 5k app that I heard about over on Mama Laughlin’s blog, and downloaded to my iphone. This is what helped her get started on her journey, so I thought, why not! I’ll give it a go.

I have survived the first two work outs, the next one will be this evening. Now, it’s been a couple of months since I have weighed, but after I did the first two workouts I thought, I better get a good weight so I know where I have started. As I stepped on that scale, I was so afraid it would be way more than it was last time. But guess what, I was down 7 lbs!! I guess being sick, and then doing this, I have dropped a few. Thank you GOD!

Then, the peaches came.


They turned into so many jars of this.


Then, cousin Debbie came by for a visit, and I was so happy.  I have been so lonesome to see my Texarkana family and she just brightened the day up for all of us!  This is Mom and Dad, with cousin Debbie James.

Mom, Dad and Debbie

Now, in preparation for my trip to DC, Addie (my sister-in-law) and myself went to the mall yesterday. We spent the whole day, doing girlie things.   Things my chickens wouldn’t know about, and wouldn’t care about.  This is Addie while we were getting our toes done.


Thank you Addie, for paying for my toes for my birthday! I wish I had remembered to take the cotton out before I took the picture, but oh, well they were still wet and I didn’t want to mess them up.

My Toes

Then I decided, what the heck, I’ll get my nails done. Thank you Glenn (my mother-in-law) for the birthday money!

My Nails

Then The Hubs told me I could get my hair done. Thank you Hubs! No more gray hair!  Muah!

Me - No Gray!

Wow, I feel like a girl again!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Bulk Email Sender