Browsing Archives for May 2010

Last year my tomatoes caught a brief, but distrubing case of blossom end rot, which is quite possibly the most horrible sounding name of a disease in the history of horrible sounding diseases.

It just makes you want to grab your babies and run…

“C’mon Kids!  We gotta get outta here!  The garden’s got blossom end rot and it’s spreading to the peppers!”


Blossom end rot occurs in tomatoes, peppers and eggplant when there is not enough calcium in the soil to keep up with the growth of the plants.  This is especially likely to happen after a heavy rainfall or if a gardener might uh… accidentally…  uh… forget to uh… turn off a hose… or if an… um… sprinkler tips over and uh…  sprays the pepper patch for two hours or if the soil is already low on calcium.  But blossom end rot can easily be fixed.  You just need to add some calcium to your soil.  Last year, I added a general tomato fertilizer after the ‘end rot’ appeared, but this year I wanted to be pro-active.  So on the advice of my father-in-law Joe, I bought a bottle of Tums.

Well, I bought an off-brand bottle of ‘Tums’.  We only buy generic medicine around here.  According to the Country Doctor, ‘It all comes out of the same vat’.

I was only able to find a fruit flavored off brand version of Tums – hence the pastel colors.

I just took a tablet…

And pushed it down into the damp soil where the tomato roots could find it.

We’ll see if it works.

This year I tried some new varieties of tomatoes…

A Celebrity.

A Mountain Fresh

A Rutgers…

My father-in-law’s favorite variety – Early Girl.

And a Juliet.

It will be interesting to see how these varieties do compared to last year’s overwhelming crop of Romas.

May your tomatoes be bountiful and beautifully blossom rot free.

Beware the disembodied hand that holds the blossom end rot tomato!

To read a fascinating post on how to prevent this wretched scourge from attacking your tender tomatoes (and peppers and eggplant) visit Farmhouse and Garden.

Oh just do it!

Just GO already!


You don’t want a disembodied hand crawling around your garden do you!

He Shot the Rat

May 28th, 2010

The Country Doctor shot the muskrat.  I did not witness the event, but after the CD disposed of the body (by throwing it in a thick clump of trees) the neighbor’s dog found it and dragged it up on their lawn.  So we have a body and a suspect who has confessed to the killing.  Case closed.

This is his testimony (the unabridged version).

“I saw it swimming around.  I got my gun.  I walked over to the pond and when it poked it’s head up, I blasted it.”

At his trial he said, “I did it to defend my manhood.”

The jury let him off easy with credit for time served (sixteen years with a crazy wife).

In other news…


It’s our anniversary today.  In honor of the Country Doctor bagging the rat, I thought I would re-run our wedding announcement.  This was our actual wedding announcement.  It ran in both of our small town newspapers.  The Country Docotr wrote it and just like the man, it’s a little unusual.  


Rechelle Renee Bishop and Michael Joseph Malin were blissfully entangled in holy matrimony May 28, 1994 at St. Lawrence Chapel in Lawrence, Kansas. Celebrants were Fr. Vince Krische, Lawrence and Rev. Ed Preston, Wichita.

Escorting the lovely bride were her strong but reluctant parents, Harrison and Martha Bishop. Goodland. Looking relieved, Joe and Rita Malin of Plainville presented their son, the groom.

The lovely bride wore flowers in her hair and a snappy little white outfit from Green’s Bridal Shop of Plainville, replete with numerous snapdoodles, vivisections, and just the right number of booleyboos (see photo). April Phillips, self -appointed wedding authority and sister of the bride, served as Matron of Honor. She shared time with the Maid of Honor, Kelly Hagan a college chum of the bride, most recently of Oxford U.K. Rachel Murray and Susan Munn, both from Lawrence and friends of the bride were bridesmaids. Emily Malin, niece of the groom, bore her basket of flowers without mishap.

The groom wore what grooms always wear. Steve malin (6-2, 205), was his brother’s Best Man. He was assisted by groomsmen Dave Malin (6-5, 225) of Dallas, brother of the groom; Jake Jesse Sheffer (6-5, 220); and Joe Courtright (5-10, 175) Joplin, Mo., the latter two of who endeavored to set a poor example for ring bearer, Michael Davidson, impressionable young nephew of their friend, the groom.

Eric Moeder, Bo Bernasky, and Rod Chard, friends of the groom were the ushers. Christi Malin sang a touching solo while Bonnie Bonine, friend of the bride, handled violin duties. Norma Osborne and Hal Sears, dear friends of the bride served as lectors and pronounced every word correctly.

Following the ceremony, all retreated to Stony Point Barn in rural Douglas County for a dinner and reception complete with roast pig, wedding cake, a bluegrass band, and a beautiful Spring evening. All present agreed the baked beans were outstanding.

The bride is a 1987 graduate of Goodland Highschool and a 1991 graduate of the University of Kansas. The groom is a 1985 graduate of Plainville High School and a 1989 graduate of the University of Kansas. He recently began his first year of study at the KU School of Medicine.

Following a honeymoon which much to the groom’s chagrin did not include a Royals baseball game, the couple is at home trying to decide whose turn it is to do the dishes.

Wedding photo by Rick Mitchell