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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Consider the Onion

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Onions

A woman's chastity consists, like an onion, of a series of coats.

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Salsa!

Backyard Homesteading, Canning Your Own Food, Gardening, Salsa, Superstition

It is said that the origins of salsa dancing can be traced to its spicy roots and probably earned the name because salsa dancing, like sauce (salsa) from Latin America, is a mixture of different and spicy ingredients.

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How to Make Crispy Crunchy Dill Pickles

Backyard Homesteading, Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Dill Pickles, Gardening, Home Canning

Since September of 2011 readers from all over North America and beyond have been visiting WauwatosaNOW to learn about how to make crispy crunchy sweet pickles.  Lest you doubt that claim check out the lower right-hand corner of the home page under the category:  Most Popular.  Usually right around the start of July that old blog post finds its way to the list and is frequently at or near the top.  There is a remote chance I may have become one of the World Wide Web’s foremost authorities on crispy crunchy sweet pickles. 

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How to Make Friends and Influence People With Broccoli

Backyard Homesteading, Broccoli, Food Storage Tips, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Global Politics

I was reading on the world wide web yesterday about Russian President Vladimir Putin banning western grown produce and pork products.  Seems old Vlad probably hates broccoli and bacon.  As a consequence the average Russian citizen will go without, the Russian Oligarchs will get what they want and there'll be more for the rest of us.

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The Holy Grail of Pickledom

Backyard Homesteading, Canning Your Own Food, Gardening, Pickles, Superstition

12th century lore bore the fruit that led to the tale of the Holy Grail.  The Grail being a plate or cup - maybe holy maybe not - but important enough that it played a significant role in Arthurian legend and literature and ultimately led to a hilarious Monty Python movie.  At least that's my understanding of the legend.  It might also be mere superstition.

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Gentlemen...Start Your Gardens!

Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Labrador Retrievers

The annual garden ritual is running just a bit behind schedule for 2014.  Depending on which year I check in the diary I'm one to two weeks behind.  A colder and wetter spring has kept me indoors and out of the dirt.  Same for the local farmers.  They're just getting around to discing last fall's plowed fields. And only a bit of planting activity is going on.  Nevertheless, a couple of weekends ago I tackled the big job of prepping the garden palette.  Six bales of certified organic peat moss and four hundred pounds of composted cow manure from the Door County Co-Op.  I rototilled all of it into both the rock wall garden and the main raised bed garden.  With every passing year my clayey peninsula soil continues to improve.

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Vive le Jardin Magnifique!

Backyard Homesteading, Canning Your Own Food, Gardening, Life is Good

There hasn't been much criticism of the garden during the 2013 growing season.  Sure, there have been a few disappointments (which I will cover in the annual report) but on balance everything has been stunningly successful.

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The Garden Chronicles

Archery, Deer Hunting, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Backyard Homesteading

I cannot remember a gardening season as terrific as this year's.  Plenty of rain has granted me a reprieve from irrigating.  The bugs and the critters have been few,  The sunshine abundant.  And as a consequence the harvest has been stunning.  About the only thing that has gone wrong is that my seed-producing pumpkins (the Snack Face Hybrid that was previously so successful) never germinated.  Three attempts were unsuccessful.  Go figure.

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Sliding into Fall

Canning Your Own Food, Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Hunting, Life Is Good

For some folks Labor Day signals the arrival of fall.  The camper is cleaned and stowed and the children return to school. For a couple of weeks I've been saying to anybody willing to listen that there is a hint of autumn in the air.

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Jardin Magnifique!

Backyard Homesteading, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Gardening

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words...

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The Garden Chronicles

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables

If any of you have been out in the Wisconsin countryside in the past week or so you would have noticed farmers, growers, ranchers and anybody else in the business of agribusiness has been out burning the midnight oil to get their crops planted before the monsoons arrive.

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Random Musings and Idle Chit Chat

Black Bears, Gardening, Pope Francis, Saint Francis, Rand Paul, Crazy People, Sister, Eschweiler Buildings, Forest Exploration Center, Dig Deeply and Give Generously, Random Musings and Idle Chit Chat

Here it is - we're coming-up on the end of March already and gardening is just around the corner.  Last fall I left some of my vegetable remnants in the garden as green manure.  Along with the weeds there were cabbage bottoms, broccoli and Brussels sprouts mainly.  I figured the garden rubbish would fester over the winter and when spring arrived I would simply plow it under with the rototiller.

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The Garden Chronicles - Is Organic Superior?

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Organic Food

The garden is done.  Finis.  ¡se acabó!

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The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds In The World

Backyard Homesteading, Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Gardening, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Snackface Pumpkin

Well at least possibly the world's best roasted pumpkin seeds.

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The Garden Chronicles - Kermis Time

Backyard Homesteading, Canning Tomatoes, Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Kermis, Pickled Beets

The Belgian American Walloons who settled around southern Door, northern Brown and Kewaunee Counties in the 1850s, brought with them a rite of Fall – the kirmess - or harvest festival.

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The Garden Chronicles

Friends, Gardening, Terrific Cooking

I have a suspicion that the Tosa Food Pantry is going to be the beneficiary of some surplus garden produce this week.  It has been a busy harvest so far.

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The Garden Chronicles - Breast Feeding the Tomato Plants

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Pruning Tomato Plants, Tomatoes

A half-dozen posts ago one of my readers suggested that I get back to breast feeding my tomato plants. The reader also inferred that I was manifesting symptoms of dementia.

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The Garden Chronicles

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Jung Seed Company, Friends

This past weekend a bunch of us got together for an organized bike ride.  Have I told you lately how well that new hip is working-out?  Getting back in the saddle was - in a manner of speaking - just like remembering how to ride a bike.

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The Garden Chronicles

Construction Projects, Gardening

A couple-plus weeks ago I planted peas, spinach, beets and radishes.  After basking in the glow of any number of 60-70 degree days I was gloriously optimistic about 2012 vegetable gardening.

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The Garden Chronicles

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Onions, Pumpkins

The closing chapter on this year's garden.

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The Garden Chronicles

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Tomatoes

Finally got hammered with a hard frost the other evening.  The tomatoes are kaput.

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The Garden Chronicles - The Tomato Avalanche

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, The Best Bloody Marys In Tosa, Tomatoes

I was reading the news over at The Mothership yesterday and noticed that there was coverage of the 5th Annual Tomato Romp, Tomato Fight and Best Bloody Mary competition on Saturday.

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How to Make Crispy, Crunchy, Sweet Pickles

Backyard Homesteading, Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Gardening, Home Canning, Pickles, Vinegar

Last summer I went on a tour of a lighthouse and happened upon an itemization of the perks that the US Congress alloted keepers employed by the Light House Service back in the 1800's.  Aside from lodging there was an annual salary of $600.  There were also consumable provisions including sacks of potatoes and onions.  A barrel of salted pork, sacks of flour, dried beans, sugar and salt.  Coffee, tea - and of all things - barrels of vinegar.

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The Garden Chronicles

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Guy Stuff. Potatoes

Jill says that this year's garden has been the most productive ever.  Judging from the volume of produce that has all of a sudden materialized I am inclined to believe her.

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Fun With Vegetables

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Humor, Strange But True

Sometimes I  think my vegetables have a sense of humor.  Labor Day  weekend I plan to excavate my spuds and onions and there is no guessing what might be lurking underground to tickle my funny bone.

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Tom and the Amazing Bean Stalk

Gardening, Backyard Homesteading

Who'd a thunk that gardening could be so popular?

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The Garden Chronicles - First Harvest

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables

A couple of weekends ago the green beans started coming on-line.  Ohhhhh baby.  Fresh grilled green beans.  I took a big canvas tote filled with fleshly-picked beans to the day job last Monday along with some paper lunch bags.  Sent an email around about that tote sitting in the kitchen.  Those beans were gone by 10 AM.  Who doesn't like fresh green beans.  Especially Blue Lake 274.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Family, Saving Your Bacon, German Beer Radishes, Spinach Salad

I spent weeks hardening-off my precious tomato plants.  Taking them from the garage in the morning  and leaving them to fend for themselves in the wind and the sunshine of favorable spring days.  Late in the day they were returned to their lair in the garage. When I was not around Jill did his for me.

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The Garden Chronicles

Firearms, Gardening, Organic Gardening, Organic Gardening, Turkey Hunting, Talking Turkey, Hunt'n, Labrador Retriever, Girlfriend, Sister

This has singularly been the latest spring arrival in recent memory.  The consequence of this is that weather conditions for turkey hunting have been appalling.  Snow, rain and high winds.  Nevertheless, I shot a gobbler and Lawyer and Sid each killed a jake.  Only Braumeister got skunked.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Homesteading, Gardening, Organic Gardening

Less than three weeks ago there was four inches of snow on the ground and it had been raining incessantly.  The month of April posted record amounts of precipitation on the the Door Peninsula.

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Gas Pains Kraut

Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Gardening

Yes, I know.  Catchy headline eh?

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Kermis Time

Gardening, Hunt'n, Life Is Good, Holidays

When the Belgian immigrants came to this country one of the traditions they brought  with them was the Kermis.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

With every year changes are made in the garden.  This is why we keep a detailed journal of where and when everything was planted.  The weather conditions.  The results - both successes and failures.  Along with what might have altered the results along the way.  Brilliant ideas are recorded while still fresh.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

Wow!  My wife tells me that this year's garden is one of the best. 

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Friday Night Living

Life Is Good, Gardening, , Dangerous Kitchen Experiments

I'm living a brief bachelor existence.

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That's a Crock of...

Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Gardening, Politics-Tosa

...Lactic Fermentation.

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Phil's Revenge

Critters, Critters, Gardening

My nemesis - Phil the groundhog - has returned and has taken-up residence in my septic mound up-north.

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Friday Garden Chronicles and Garden Music

Critters, Gardening, Terrific Cooking

I know that many of you are great fans of the Wauwatosa Farmers Market. My pal Karen, who also blogs on this page, has extolled its praises

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

The garden is growing like mad.  Very jungle-like. We've been blessed with more than twice the normal amount of rainfall for the month of June.  There has been no need to water so the initial plans for a drip irrigation system have been shelved.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

The B.A.G. is comfortably established.

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Talkn' Turkey With The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Hunt'n, Friends

Lawyer has been up here turkey hunting since last Wednesday afternoon.  One of a succession of hunters turning their hand at gracing their Thanksgiving table with a wild bird.

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Uncle Dick's Tomato Juice

Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Family, Gardening

Last month I was at a birthday celebration that happened to include a generous cross section of my vast extended family.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

It's just about time to begin prepping the garden for spring planting.  Remarkably - a bunch of vegetables have survived the winter and as the frost has left the ground they have emerged and made their presence known. 

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

It is almost February and I am down to my last garden cabbage.  A nice firm one.  What can you do with one red cabbage?

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An Ode to Kraut - Or The Odious Cabbage

Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Gardening, , Popular Culture

A little more than three weeks ago I chopped a pile of garden cabbages and embarked upon another potentially dangerous kitchen experiment.  

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Watcha sell'n out the back of that truck?

Gardening, Life In Tosa

I'm up here on the farm - just me and Girlfriend - hanging-out and doing  some bird hunting in the morning and me doing some deer hunting in the afternoon.  Based-upon the reports from home it sounds like the inaugural reincarnation of the Tosa Farmer's Market was a resounding success.

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Watcha sell'n out the back of that truck?

Gardening, Life In Tosa

Earlier this year I talked a little smack about gardening

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Reaping What We Sow

Gardening, Parenting

The President spoke to the children yesterday. 

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The Big Kahuna

Gardening, Gas Pains

Did you know that the People's Republic of China is the world's largest producer of cabbage?

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The Little Melon that Could

Gardening

Did you know that your garden variety watermelon is loaded with important antioxidants?

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Consider the Spud

Gardening, Strange But True, Firearms

If you're like me and you think about potatoes when you have too much time on your hands you'd probably arrive at the same conclusion. 

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Ruination

Critters, Gardening

Yesterday dawned with sweet corn on my mind.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Outdoors

I have good news and I have even better news.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Outdoors

Everything seems to have fallen into place and on-schedule.  Mind you this garden is about 150 miles north of Tosa so the growing season starts a tad later and ends a bit sooner.

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Recipe of the Day

Gardening, Terrific Cooking

One of the cool things about having a garden is having a steady supply of fresh produce.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

I'm feeling better about the garden with every passing day.  After that close brush with the cucumber beetles things seem to have settled into a routine with everything putting down roots and growing.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

This morning my wife said to me - You know honey, your corn is looking pretty cute lately.

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The Garden Chronicles - Man Against Nature

Gardening, Critters, Outdoors

Any other frustrated gardeners out there?

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Outdoors

There has been an inch-plus of perfectly-timed rain in the past week.

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Recipe of the Day

Gardening, Terrific Cooking

I like homemade soup - don't you?

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Outdoors

I've been planting.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Outdoors

Remember this character?

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Watcha sell'n out the back of that truck?

Gardening

Unlike some of you I don't mind all of the snow and cold.  I like being outside in winter.  I remember going winter camping for the first time with my wife.  We were sitting around the campfire at night and a duck flew-in and landed next to us.  I'm not making this up.  There we sat; Jill, me and the mallard.  But that's an altogether different story.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening

It is November and believe it or not one of the last crops harvested was a late season planting of radishes.

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The Garden Chronicles - Memories

Family, Gardening, Just For Fun, Terrific Cooking

One of my fondest memories from childhood is of the big family garden behind our garage.

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The Garden Chronicles - Canning and Freezing

Gardening, Just For Fun, Terrific Cooking

Easy Salsa

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The Garden Chronicles - Sweet Corn!

Fish'n, Gardening, Just For Fun, Outdoors, Terrific Cooking

A bit late but worth the wait. 

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Just For Fun, Outdoors

The vast garden is doing its thing. 

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Girlfriend, Just For Fun, Outdoors

The garden has recovered nicely and fresh veggies are rolling in the door and finding their way to the table and freezer.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Just For Fun, Outdoors

The replacement tomato plants added following the post-Memorial Day frosts are doing well.  We have blossoms and some green tomatoes on the larger plants that survived.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Just For Fun, Outdoors

Garden was planted on May 23-24 and stuff is growing.  Well, sort-of.  Until last Sunday.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Girlfriend, Just For Fun, Outdoors

Gardening season is almost upon us and I have the itch really bad.

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