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Messages - Ben

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General Discussion / Re: RIP Gopherbroke
« on: July 27, 2019, 12:35:22 PM »
Hi all: another update on our friend Bill Morris' services.  I spoke with a family member last night who called to advise of an added event to Bill Morris' services.  There is to be a Memorial service in Bill's memory on August 10th.  She gave me contact information on Bill's mother for those who wish to send cards or flowers.  Due to security and privacy concerns I will not post on forum but will send it to you by PM.  Just PM me and I will PM you back her name and address.

RIP Bill and prayers for your friends and family.


General Discussion / Re: RIP Gopherbroke
« on: July 25, 2019, 09:38:28 AM »
Hi all--  Yesterday and this morning I researched and was able to make contact with Bill's son-in-Law in MI.  He stated that Bill was going great right up until this sudden event.  He was still driving and was trying to plan another trip to south Louisiana.  Bill was cremated and is going to spread 1/2 of the ashes in Mi and the other half in Fl.  He is having a military funeral with a select few of friends and family.   Bill was a family mentor.

Bill's daughter is to call me back after work this evening.

I join our members in prayers for Bill's family and friends


General Discussion / Re: Watermelons
« on: July 20, 2019, 12:59:48 PM »
Hi again Rat--thanks for the additional information on your watermelon.  It is very useful.  The sugartown  melon is a melon that comes from an area around the town of Sugartown, La.  It is a strip of land that is on the DeRidder, La. Oberlan, La hwy.  It is about 10 miles wide and 30 miles long consisting of some of the best natural soil for growing watermelons.  It is like the Vidalia onion and refers to the area where it is grown and not a variety.  The variety of choice planted in Sugartown is the Jubilee.  It weighs about a 40 pound melon and matures in 90 days.  It is a long melon light green melon with light green strips and dark green strips.  Although it has a yellow meat variety the major seller is the red meat variety.  It has a firm rhine and ships well.

Planting late season melons has its advantages and disadvantages.  One advantage is less insects.  Disadvantage is cool growing season.  The cool season could mean increasing the maturity date from say 90 days to 96 days.  Exposure to  frost and freeze.  One year I was hit by early frost and freeze.  The next morning I went through the patch and cut the melons from the stems to keep them from roting.  Advantage I had was no competition during October and November harvest.  I had a prime location to sell and could sell out an entire pickup load in as little as 15 minutes.  Customers asked when was I coming back.  I had a route man for Porters Cleaners from Shreveport, La. that would buy 15 at a time, twice a week when he made his Natchitoches route and haul them back to Shreveport and sell them too his lady friends. 

Rat, I checked a map and find that you are located due east of me.

Just remember in the cooler weather the maturity days will increase.

Have fun it's a challenge.  If I could help just let me know.


General Discussion / Re: Watermelons
« on: July 19, 2019, 01:04:26 PM »
Hi Rat, with days to maturity varying from 76 for the small icebox variety to 120 days for the ole heirloom varieties such as Jubilee and Black Diamond it is almost impossible to know the maturity days so we need to determine when it will ripen.

Here are some tips to determine when a watermelon is ripe or when it will ripen.

Observe the melon.  If it is bright and shinny, it is not ripe.  Observe the ground contact spot on the bottom of the melon, If it is still white, the melon is not ready.  The observed melon will be dull and the ground spot on bottom will be yellow if the melon is ripe.

Next observe the vine where the stem is attached.  There is a curly spring looking tentacle where the stem attaches to the melon.  If this tentacle not brown and fully dried out the melon is not ready.  If it has just started turning brown and still green the melon is about 2 weeks from being ripe.  If it is brown and brittle the melon is ripe.  The first leaf from this tentacle toward the end of the vine is the ripening leaf.  If it is wilted shows ripening, if brown stem where it connects to the vine, then it is ripe or very close to ripe.  One last tip is making a thumbnail print on the melon.

I have had some experience in growing melons.  Prior to selling our farm in 2012, I had a 3 acre watermelon patch.  Raised lots of melons.

I hope this tips will help you in determining when your melons will ripen.


Happy Hour / Credit Card--Strange Happenings
« on: May 26, 2019, 12:38:06 PM »
This is just to let you know of some strange happenings on my Credit Card yesterday.

In preparation  to see how to divide up my old age Social Security Benefits check (I noted that it is now a Benefit check that the Government is now given to me. Ha!! Ha!! LOL), I logged onto my Americanexpress website to see if a recent purchase was going to be added to this months Bill.

It had not been posted.  However I noticed a strange $100.00 transaction in the post pending section.  This was related to use by my wife when she got gas on 04-21-19.  The purchase was made at a service station gas pump.  Upon quizzing   my wife she stated she tried to use a gas pump but could not get it to accept her zipcode, which is required by American Express.  A service station attendant was outside and came over to assist.  After trying it herself with same results she instructed my wife to go to another gas pump.  That transaction correctly, showed up as paid on my AmericanExpress website.

I noticed in the lower right hand corner of the page a click on for CHAT and clicked on it.  I entered pending post fraud for the reason for chat.  I immediately got a response with a lot of personal questions to verity that I was the true owner of the account.  In less than 15 minutes on chat it was take care of.   I refreshed the page and it was gone.  Thank you American express.

I pass this on to the members in case it were to happen to you.  Don't discard a non working pump but be extra vigilant if it happens to you.


Happy Hour / 13 Memorial Day Facts
« on: May 26, 2019, 11:13:06 AM »
Happy Memorial Day weekend Everyone.

Below is a link to a slide show revealing 13 facts about Memorial day that we did not learn in school.


Happy Hour / Re: Today is our 56th Wedding Anniversary
« on: April 16, 2019, 06:25:19 PM »
I would like to thank all of you for your nice posts.  There are really great members here on the BG. 

Thanks again,


Happy Hour / Today is our 56th Wedding Anniversary
« on: April 14, 2019, 01:47:10 PM »
Yes, today is our 56th wedding anniversary.  We have enjoyed the happy days of good health and joy and met the perils of life head on.  Now with both of use well into our 70's we are facing the perils of declining health.  We still enjoy those happy days even though we are faced with the old age challenges.  During my old age challenges is I can hardly walk and spend nearly all my time looking out the window.  When we have to get out we have a transport light weight wheel chair.  I have terminal emphysema and I'm in the final stage.  My days are numbered and we happily enjoy each day  as it could be close to the last.  Somehow the wife does the extra work with love and does them well.

As I do not have a garden any more I seldom post on the forum.  I still enjoy reading the present members post and check in often.  I really enjoy the phone calls and emails from friends on the forum.   Lord I miss y'all. and miss gardening.

God bless all of you,


Happy Hour / Re: Always good to talk with a friend
« on: March 09, 2019, 10:31:13 AM »
Monroe--As usual it was a great pleasure to speak with you again yesterday.  It was so sweet hearing about Mrs. Jewel's singing in her sleep.  Music and singing has been so much of Mrs. Jewel's life.  It is just natural for her to be singing in her sleep.  Thanks for sharing. 

The forum has many good members.  It provides a way for members to talk with each other personally as well as share gardening tips and help. They are also so helpful with ideas and suggestions on problems we might have.  Even though I am not able to garden anymore, I still read the forum and enjoy the projects that other members are doing.

This week I have also been blessed with phone calls from Curtis (setx_gardener) and Rick (agragardener) in Oklahoma.  It is always nice to speak with forum members.  Thank you guys.

Below is a link to the article I was speaking to you about.  It was actually a radio station that posted the article.

God bless all of our forum members


Homesteading Skills / Re: antique cast iron
« on: February 21, 2019, 04:01:32 PM »
Sorry folks, my bad-- thought it was like my grandmothers.  I'm getting old and blind.

Sorry again


Homesteading Skills / Re: antique cast iron
« on: February 21, 2019, 12:33:40 PM »
Lakerat-- excuse me If I am wrong, but the pot as I see it is sitting upright and the legs you see are actually on the lid of the pot so it can be used on a bed of coals and converted into a skillet.  Just like my grandma's.


Happy Hour / Re: This has been a long day
« on: February 21, 2019, 12:19:30 PM »
Monroe-- Glad Jim is feeling better and hope he is on his way to a speedy recovery.


Homesteading Skills / Re: antique cast iron
« on: February 21, 2019, 12:01:13 PM »
The legs on the lid are to support the lid over a bed of coals to convert the lid to a skillet or griddle.
We also had a cast iron wash pot that was used to heat water to scald hogs, wash clothes, and heat water to be dipped from it for baths in a #3 galvanized wash tub.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!!!!     MY THOSE GOOD OLE DAYS LOL!!!


New Videos / Re: Self watering seedling bed
« on: February 16, 2019, 09:53:08 AM »
Super job Danny.  Great idea and workmanship.


General Discussion / Re: Tomato plant recomendation
« on: February 12, 2019, 11:32:33 AM »
Hi neighbor-- Glad you registered and joined the  BG.  You can now enjoy the full benefits of the BG.

Really some good members on here to help with any of your garden or orchard needs.  Welcome!!


General Discussion / Re: Soil test results advise
« on: January 22, 2019, 01:38:27 PM »
Hi Dwight-- the addition of the 2.40 pounds of ammonium  nitrate per 100 sq. ft. as recommended by your soil test  should lower your PH some.  The mustard greens and collards would appreciate a little extra nitrogen, not so much for the beans as they will make their own nitrogen if you have the right bacteria in the soil.  Tomatoes need some nitrogen but too much will have a lot of growth with not much fruit.

You can also sprinkle with cottonseed meal.


Happy Hour / Drinking and Driving on New Years Eve
« on: December 31, 2018, 02:54:18 PM »

I would like to share a personal experience with my friends at BG about drinking and driving. 
This might save you the cost and embarrassment of being arrested for DUI.
As you know, people have been known to have unexpected brushes with the authorities from time to time, often on the way home after a "social session" with family or friends on New Years Eve.
Well, one year, it happened to me.  I was out for the evening to a party and had more than several margaritas coupled with a bottle of rather nice red wine.  It was held at a great Mexican restaurant.  Although relaxed, I still had the common sense to know I was slightly over the limit. 
That's when I did something I've never done before...I took a taxi home.   
On the way home there was a police roadblock, but since it was a taxi they waved it past and I arrived home safely without incident.  These roadblocks can be anywhere and I realized how lucky I was to have chosen to take a taxi!!!!
The real surprise to me was I had never driven a taxi before.

Be careful this New Years Eve and take a Taxi!!!


Happy Hour / Re: 2019----WOW
« on: December 28, 2018, 08:26:29 AM »
Monroe-- Thanks for the update, didn't know you had knee surgery.  I guess I need to call more often.  Hope you get along OK.  PT can do wonders.  Hope you can get adjusted and keep from falling.  We definitely don't want any broken bones. 

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner but I have had a serious digestive problem since Christmas.  I had not eaten much prior to Christmas so with all the good food at Christmas I just pigged out, big mistake, and I'm paying for it now.  Resulted in another partial digestive tract blockage.  Living on ole folks diet, ensure, choc. pudding, and orange juice.  Condition is inoperable due to my emphysema and low lung capacity.  They say I would not wake up from the anesthesia.   This morning thou I think I have found a work-around.   I had a kolache.  First one bit then the rest of it.  Chewed it up to get the taste and nutrients, then spit it out so as not to add coals to the fire in the digestive tract.  I believe it will work for a different taste of food.  Hoping the high powered laxative perscription my doctor prescribed will work soon.

I noticed in your post you referred to my phone message.  Did you know that I actually called back and spoke with Mrs. Jewel?  She had a very loud, sweet, and understandable voice.  In fact I could understand her better than you.  LOL  I am hard of hearing but could easily understand her.  She was very alert and at end of conversation ask "Now who is this again?"  This is not unusual and shows she was very alert.

Just thought I would pass this on.  Hope you can continue to improve on your balance.


The Greenhouse / Re: Greenhouse #2 build 34 x 60
« on: December 26, 2018, 09:16:02 AM »
Danny--Enjoyed he video.  Little Man Is now Big Man with wheels.  He has really grown.  Won't be long he will be feeding the chickens by himself.  Patiently waiting video of new GH construction.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, looks like Little Man did.


Happy Hour / Re: 2019----WOW
« on: December 26, 2018, 08:56:38 AM »
Hi Monroe-- Hope you and Ms. Jewel had a very Merry Christmas.

I did a search for it and found the following YouTube of it.  Hope you don't mind me posting link.


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