Saturday, July 14, 2007

Day In The Garden

The Sussex County Master Gardeners of the Delaware Cooperative Extension hosted an open house of demonstration gardens today. They were very nice. I guess my garden envy show itself when I was thinking " I could do this too, if I had free flowers, plants, mulch, water, etc or if not free at least paid by taxpayers". Well the truth is I couldn't, I just don't have the commitment to these kind of projects anymore, but it was enjoyable looking at gardens made by people who do give the commitment.

The Shade Garden

Part of the Butterfly Garden

The square foot garden

The Herb garden

They answered your questions on growing certain plants and how to handle soil conditions etc. I was disappointed when I asked one of them about growing Prickly Pear Cactus as she screwed her face all up as though she was insulted I would ask that. Her answer was short "Just throw it on the ground and those things will grow anywhere". Well I guess when she saw the look on my face she decided too go into more detail, as I got a better answer out her.

Prickly Pear Cactus

As I have mentioned before I do some genealogy research on my family. Part of that research takes you to cemeteries. In the summertime I usually stick to maintained cemeteries that are usually next to churches or in town. This is not the time of year to trek across a corn field to that mass of overgrown vines on old tombstones under a cedar tree and in the middle of the corn field. Tearing away vines disturb furry creatures that live there, not to mention snakes and wasps.

Since this area is quite sandy the graveyards will often have Prickly Pear Cactus growing in them. One I have just came from is Laurel Hill Cemetery in Laurel Delaware. The place is covered in cactus. The first trip was in flip flops so I immediately raced back to the van to change to shoes. The Prickly Pear Cactus has fine quills that are short and difficult to pull out unless you have tweezers.

Prickly Pear Cactus all over the place

Growing between the tombstones at Laurel Hill Cemetery
Now I don't know if Laurel Hill was given that name due to the number of families with the surname of "Hill" buried there or for that slight raise in the ground that only someone from the Eastern Shore would call a hill.

I have seen very nice specimens of Prickly Pear Cactus in this area. They seem to stop at about two to three foot tall with about a 12 inch wide flat pad on them. They have a yellow bloom in May and the fruit from the bloom can be eaten. Those I encountered today at been mowed so often they were just a couple inches tall. I understand you can also eat the pads and they are considered a health food.

Salisbury Soap Box

There is a new Salisbury Blogger that calls his blog Salisbury Soapbox check it out.

Wars, Conflicts and Invasions

I was thinking yesterday about how many wars, conflicts, invasions and other situations where the United States has sent Armed forces to a foreign county, I have see in my lifetime.

World War II
Korea (1950-1954)
Lebanon (1958, 1983 and 1986)
Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos (1958-1973)
Taiwan, Quemoy and Matsu island (1958-1973)
Congo (1960-1962 and 1964)
Berlin (1961-1963)
Cuba (1962-1963)
Dominican Republic (1965-1966)
El Salvador (1981-1992)
Grenada 1983
Panama (1989-1990)
Liberia (1990-1991)
Gulf War I (1990-1995)
Haiti (1994-1995)
Somalia (1992-1995)
Bosnia/Yugoslavia (1995 to present)
Afghanistan (2001 to present)
Gulf War II (2003 to present)

And countless other Naval Show of Force operations, Police/Drug hunts in South America, Covert Operations, etc. So many of the above places still have military forces stationed there after a decade or more.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

It seems like we just had a Friday the 13th and in looking back at the calendar I see it was in April. Looking ahead, it looks like this is the last Friday the 13th for the year. For more than you would like to know about Friday the 13th click here

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mimosa Trees

The Mimosa trees are in bloom and I think they really look nice. I know they are a messy tree and drop a lot of litter, but if you don't have one in your yard they look like a really great tree. These are not native trees so some people have branded them as Alien and Invasive. They have been here since 1745, my family may have arrived on the Eastern Shore a 100 years before that, but frankly I would consider a plant that has been here over 250 years a native. On a trip out west a few years ago I found they are related to mesquite trees as they are in the same family of legume (Pea) trees. I have not heard of anyone around here using the Mimosa wood for Barbecue grilling. Since mesquite is a popular grilling wood has anyone tried a mimosa for grilling?

Happy Birthday Erika

My neice, Erika Lee Ludwig, turns 18 today. Happy Birthday Erika!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mayor John Outten

I received this email today from David Pollitt

"Just an FYI for you to pass along to your readers. Mayor Outten suffered a mild heart attack on Monday, July 9th. The Doctor found that he had a heart blockage in the artery that is behind the heart. They performed angioplasty (ballon) surgery on him yesterday to clear the blockage and were successful in doing so. He is currently recovering at PRMC on 4 West. Please have your readers send their wishes and prayers for him and his wife Rochell for a speedy recovery."

Wishing John well and that he is home shortly.

Captain Irvin M. Tindall

Photo from paper State register July 18, 1952

Today in 1952 Captain Irvin M. Tindall, while flying his F84 Thunderbolt Jet Fighter, went missing in action in Korea. Captain Tindall graduated from Laurel High School and had enlisted in the Air Force in 1949. His father was Charles Tindall of Wilmington and his grandparents were William and Edith Boyce of Laurel.

Oddfellows Cemetery Laurel Delaware

Monday, July 09, 2007

Another Delmar Blog

Karen Revel has decided to do her own blog it is called Whats happenin' in my life

Delmar Police Commission Meeting

The Police Commission meeting was held tonight with Mayors Outten and Niblett and Council person Diane Buckley. In addition, Police Chief Saylor, the Town manager Sara Bynum King and the Council Clerk Cindy Fisher were present. The meeting kicked off at 6:35.

The prior minutes were approved with no changes, that Cindy Fisher is on a roll.

Chief Saylor said a grant had come thru and he showed off one of five Fuji Digital cameras the town has received from the grant.

In Delaware 14 handwritten Delaware citiations were written and 52 E tickets. E Tickets allows a police officer to scan a possible violators driver license and generate a citation, the only paper produced is the copy for the driver. It has certain advantages in that poor handwriting on a ticket is avoided.

There was a discussion on printing tickets for the Police Department. Since it is a bi-state thing Chief Saylor is trying to come up with a ticket that will be acceptable to both states as opposed to carrying two sets of tickets for Maryland and Delaware in the Police cars.

There has been vandalism at the Woodcreek golf course.

There is an on going investigation of vandalism at State Street park. The Police are running everyone out at sunset.

There has been possible gangs related graffiti in Delmar. It is being looked into. Salisbury Police department has ongoing gang problems and Chief Saylor read from a memo that said the Bloods have taken over Pemberton Manor in Salisbury. For a spot on gang activity click here.

There was a discussion on what to do with officers who may have a Domestic Abuse charge pending against them. None currently have one. The discussion was should they be allowed to take their gun home. The opinion was their gun should be left at work.

Chief Saylor talked about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in hiring people for the police department with drug use problems. It seems if they are casual drug users we can denied hiring them but previous habitual drug users are protected by the ADA. For the full writeup click here. The main discussion however was this
"7. Q: What about applicants with a history of illegal drug use? Do they have rights under the ADA?

A: It depends. Casual drug use is not a disability under the ADA. Only individuals who are addicted to drugs, have a history of addiction, or who are regarded as being addicted have an impairment under the law. In order for an individuals drug addiction to be considered a disability under the ADA, it would have to pose a substantial limitation on one or more major life activities. In addition, the individual could not currently be using illegal drugs. Denying employment to job applicants solely because of a history of casual drug use would not raise ADA concerns. On the other hand, policies that screen out applicants because of a history of addiction or treatment for addiction must be carefully scrutinized to ensure that the policies are job-related and consistent with business necessity. If safety is asserted as a justification for such a policy, then the employer must be able to show that individuals excluded because of a history of drug addiction or treatment would pose a direct threat -- i.e., a significant risk of substantial harm -- to the health or safety of the individual or others that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. Again, individuals who currently use illegal drugs, even users who are addicted, may be denied employment because of their current use. "

Chief Saylor has found a grant to apply for that will pay for 75% of a $40,000 police car complete with lights, radio, computer etc.

I asked the question if the Police Department had an aproved 2008 budget and they said yes. It is not the same budget as was originally proposed and the new budget should be available for public review shortly.

At 7:20 they went into executive session.

The Sweet Smell of Corn

These hot humid mornings when you ride on the back roads you can just smell the corn. You can also get your car washed from the irrigation shooting out on to the road.

Casie Turns 23

Today Casie turns 23 so give her a big Happy Birthday when you see her.

Police Commission Meets Tonight

As a reminder the Delmar Police Commission meets tonight at 6:30. This is a quarterly meeting so if you miss it, you have to wait another three months. Since there is some type of disagreement between the Police Commission and Chief Saylor perhaps it will be interesting. Usually the items discussed in the meeting have already been addressed with the commission prior to the public meeting but perhaps something will come out about crime in Delmar. We will perhaps find out if the police department ever got a budget approved for this year or is everyone unpaid? Perhaps even the secret police report given to the commission will be shared with the public.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Upcoming Events This Week

July 9 Monday 6:30 PM Delmar Police Commission Meeting
July 12, Thursday 6:00 PM Sussex County Planning and Zoning Meeting
July 12 Thursday 7:00 PM Delmar Concerned Citizen Meeting

Sunday Morning Jog

Back when I was a child I had an Uncle come visit us and he was telling us of his trip to New York City. He said "that place is so crowded that when they race horses they have to put the driver on the back of the horse as they don't have room for a sulky".

Garden Envy

Envy is bad enough but garden envy is horrible. For the last few years I have not been able to grow anything decent in my garden. The plants just seem to die or the fruit they bear is small and sickly looking. Now my envy is not about some fancy garden you find on the cover of a magazine. Down the street from me is a family we in the neighborhood refer to as "the Turkish people". The wife each year digs up her yard and plants a garden (no grass to cut, right there shows she is smart) but her gardening technique drives me crazy. She doesn't smooth the earth after turning it over, just leaves it in clumps. She plants everything very close and in no apparent order. She uses small cutoff shrub branches for support for her plants. The worst part is her garden out performs everyone's in the neighborhood. Even her sunflowers are better than mind. She has about everything imaginable growing in the garden and she starts early. I was talking to her today and telling her how nice her garden looked. She gave me four cucumbers (rubbing salt in a wound as she must have known mind wouldn't be big enough to pick for another 3 or so weeks). My hat is off to the woman, I think her name is Jules, compared to me she is a master gardener.

The Season of the Zucchini

It is that time of year again when zucchini and squash are rolling in. It is an on going effort to figure out different ways to cook them, so you won't get bored out of your mind with them. Here is one recipe I like for Zucchini. I call it, in my simple Eastern Shore manner, "Zucchini with Cheese". It actually has a name of Zucchini Gaetano but I have enough trouble pronouncing Zucchini so Gaetano is just out for for me. No doubt many of you have prepared it this way or some other close version of it.

3 to 4 Zucchini thinly sliced
1 onion diced
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
8 ounces of mozzarella cheese, cut into 10 slices.
grated Parmesan cheese

Brown the onion in the olive oil. Add the zucchini, oregano, salt, pepper and tomato sauce. Cover and cook slowly until the zucchini is tender (about ten minutes). Add the Mozzarella cheese. Heat until the cheese melts. Just before serving sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Note I found the original recipe and modified it from the Alexandria, Virginia cookbook called "A Heritage of Good Tastes".