Saturday, July 30, 2011


  In my fantasy, I live on a rugged coastline, high above the pounding waves of the wild ocean. I can look out the windows of my lighthouse and see nothing but cool clear water into the horizon. I can venture down and climb around on the rocks and feel the brutal chill of ocean air blow through my jacket and muss my hair. I can see the tidal pools and their inhabitants at the mercy of the furious sea, feel the spray on my face, smell the salty seaweed and fish odors that permeate everything.  I can see the barnacle encrusted rocks, the jellyfish floating along the waves, the small crabs and langostinos that crawl over the rocks in search of food. And I embrace the loneliness of this existence I have chosen...and I embrace the sea, the mother of all life.


  And then there is my reality. Living in a landlocked portion of the world that I swore to myself I would never come back to, once I'd made my escape. Living in a place that (right now) is so hot and so dry, it puts deserts to shame. In a place where there are too many people wanting too much of my attention and time, where I feel like I never have enough money, like I never  I fit in, and I never thought I'd be.  And I know this is the kind of craziness that affects people during the Los Ninos, and the 24 hour daylight times in Alaska, and during anytime that conditions feel insurmountable, whether it is weather or war or day after day of hundred degree heat. That feeling of being so powerless in a world gone crazy. Where there is nothing to do, absolutely nothing, but hang on to your ass, and wait for it to blow over, or through, or away.


  It's been extraordinarily hot here, with the heat index in the 110's.  There was rain in some parts of the area today, but not here. Again. Because it didn't go over 95 today, they declared it a "break" in the heat. Tomorrow the heat advisory goes back into effect until at least Tuesday.

  I don't do well in the heat. When I moved to the west coast, way up north, by the Oregon border, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. The extremely mild temperatures were such a blessing to me. I didn't care if it rained a lot.  I fell in love with the fog.  When it got hot, it was about 74.  When it got cold, it was about 40. It was wonderful. And now I am old, and I am tired and I am particularly sensitive to the why am I here?

  I keep asking myself this question.

  And I'm not finding a lot of answers.

  My son is here. That is mostly it. My family is here, most of them. That's a little part too. I spent much of my growing up life here, but I don't feel like I belong here. Except when I'm in my garden, tending my chickens. I love my little house here mostly. And I am trying to practice being content, but some days this is how I feel.

  Lao Tzu said " Be content with what you have. Rejoice in the way things are. When you realize that nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you."

  Good thought for a day like today.

I have had a couple of whacky days in a row, and things aren't going my way some, and people don't do what I want them to.  And I am hot and cranky and nervous about the future.  But still,  the sun sets in a blaze of glory and the birds sing and the squirrels chatter. The dogs are playing and the gardens are burning up and there is nothing much I can do about any of it.

 Did have a wonderful conversation with my 8 year old niece today when she said she missed me terribly. lol So we hatched a plan, and she is going to come up and stay a week from Tuesday, and will be here for 4 days.  I love being her co-conspiritor. She told me she was bored. She said she got grounded from her bike because she rode off to her friends house without telling her mom and dad. They, of course, were frantic. I said, but you learned an important lesson, right?  She said, oh yes,Auntie--I swear I did!!  lol  I am blessed to be the favorite aunt of such a beautiful child.

  So, I will be content with what I have and be grateful for the love of my family. I will sit here and try to figure out how I am going to get this pup into this crate and just how much crying and barking I will be able to handle when the time comes.  I will try to get enough sleep tonight and be grateful that I could can another 6 quarts of tomatoes today. I will get ready to can peaches next, and plant beans tomorrow and clean up the burned out garden remains. This weather has been brutal...the worst in a long time.  I may be digging potatoes soon too...I'll check them tomorrow. The squash are a loss. The tomaotes are on their way out. The cucumbers are gone completely. The corn is a wash.  Not a great year's harvest this time.

 Time to give it up for this day, knowing I've done the best I could, with what I had, where I was.

  And somedays, that's enough


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursdays ROCK!!!!!

Oh, only because I get to stay drink all the Sumatran coffee I want!

  It's hot as Hades out there, 100 today with a heat index of 116 they said. O.M.G.

  It has been a roller coaster ride of a day.  My son showed up early to finish the job he was doing for me. He didn't really even start it yesterday, because he spent most of the morning chasing around for a car battery for me. Really, I guess, he was doing the job, not finishing it. lol  If you remember, I had to have a new alternator put in this car last month. At the time, they told me that my battery was old (as batteries go) and that it seemed to be charging okay, but keep an eye on it. Well, Tuesday on the way to MissB's, the battery light came on again. So, I figured it was time for a new one.  My son was coming over on Wednesday for lunch, and he did me the favor of running around trying to find a new battery. It was a challenge, and he had to go to 3 places before finding one. But he got it and came back and installed it for me, and we had lunch and I went to town. About halfway up the road, the battery light came on again. I made it to town and back, with no incident, just that evil little red battery light, grinning at me from the dashboard.

  First thing this morning, after my son came to work on the bathroom, and we had some coffee and a bagel,  I left to go to my friends house where we were supposed to blanch and cut and freeze corn. On the way through town, I pulled in to the mechanic that did the alternator and asked them if they could take a look. I explained to them that we had just put the new battery in yesterday and the light was on again...and they brought out a little tester and hooked it up and said "Hell. The alternator isn't charging." 

  Here's the thing I love most about doing business with local businesses: He never once hemmed and hawed, he asked if I remembered what date it was he put it in (I was able to look through my check register and find it), he never asked for a receipt, he called me by my name and he apologized for the problem. He then said they would fix it today, and that he would drive me home. When the work was done, he drove back out to my house (about 4 miles) and picked me up to take me back to get the car. There was no charge for anything, not even labor. The part, of course was under warranty, but they worked on it (pain in the butt to put on in these little cars) for several hours. Again, as I was leaving, he said to me (Like he did the last time, like he does everytime) "If there's any problem, bring it back. Really sorry again for the inconvenience."

  So, my plans for the day got sidetracked, and I was able to spend my day off at home and taking it easy. I have cleaned a little and put slipcovers back on the loveseat, moved some furniture around and dusted. I went to the garden and picked  tomatoes and bell peppers. It has been a delightful day, all in all.

  I have some big beautiful chicken breasts cooking for supper tonight. There'as a bit of leftover mashed potatoes and I have some summer squash that needs using. We'll have a nice quiet supper, and sit back and try to finish off this horribly hot hundred degree day with some sort of dignity. LOL  The AC is struggling to keep up and it's cool enough in here, but not below 80. Just can't quite get there. But it's a LOT hotter outside, so..there you go.  For some reason, my dryer suddenly wouldn't  work today, I had some clothes in there that needed a bit of fluffing before I could put them away. But the power button won't do anything but a long drawn out er,er,er.... Sigh...if it's not one thing, it's another...

  But--I'll not fret about that right now.  Just now, I'm cool enough and the house is clean enough and the animals are all healthy. And they're saying we might get some rain tomorrow,. so we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the very best. They are predicting 2 days of cooler temps (only the mid-to-low nineties!) and then headfirst into another heat wave. This is the worst summer we've had in a longtime around these parts. I've checked on my neighbors, cared for the pets and done what I can.

   Take care in the heat, y'all. It's a barn burner out there!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I am so tired tonight....

Busy, busy morning. Errands to run, beans to can...
 Tomatoes to dice and can...

 Busy time of year.
 My son was at a job today and got himself stung when he grabbed a hornets nest that was behind a fascia board on the house. He said he thought he was going to pass out. The lady he was working for gave him a benadryl and he lay on the cold basement floor for a little while. He said he isn't usually allergic, but maybe he got stung more than once. He's not sure. He seems to be fine now, except for his cartoon sized hand. When he was finished working for the day, he picked around 30 gallons of peaches for me from this same woman's trees. They're small, but look fairly good. Sigh...guess we know what I'll be doing tomorrow... I'm grateful--don't get me wrong.  I'm just tired. The hardest part is finding a way to sit so that I don't have to stand the whole time I'm peeling and slicing and dicing. I have a tall stool that goes to my island and I use that, but it still isn't quite comfortable.
  Guess I owe that boy of mine a peach pie....
    Wanted to stop in tonight, because I will going full tilt tomorrow and probably not have any time to get on here until after I get back from MissB's house at 9PM.   On Thursday I am going to a friends house to do corn for the freezer. I am off that day (hallelujah!) On Friday morning, I am going to visit another friends new house for the first time. So,. I need to find the perfect housewarming gift to take with me. It might be a gift basket, filled with homemade goodies and Useful Stuff. hmmmm.....

    Sweet dreams all.  I'll be back tomorrow.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Quiet Sunday Morning...

 Yesterday, however...not so much.

 LOL  Yesterday was salsa morning.  I chopped and peeled and seeded my way to over 11 pints of beautiful salsa...2 of them extra hot for my boyo. During the bottling process, I added all the extra jalapeno seeds to his 2 jars.  Bahahahahahaha....every year I make a few jars just for him, and always with the seeds in, but he says (every time) "Good, but not THAT hot."  Well, we'll just see, Mister...  lol 

  I'll be putting my recipe on my other blog, DragonWoman'sKitchen...complete with pictures.

   The Irishman was out back, watering the poor garden when I got up this morning. Yes, boys and girls....he got the outside water hooked up yesterday! Quite ingeniously, I might add, by drilling  a hole through the back wall of the house where my kitchen sink is, putting a special pipe that attaches to the kitchen plumbing through the wall (where almost all of the pipe stays located inside the house--no freezing pipes!) and comes right out the outside wall.  His friend came over to help and then they went

   SO, now I have an outside faucet for doing whatever I need water for out there. Yippee!!  It only took 6 years!!!

   I was reading about a lovely curry dish that Kathleen had posted over at Hill Country Mysteries...and shared about eating goat at a Jamaican place in NC that I loved and in the middle of my salsa endeavors yesterday  the phone rang, and it was someone wanting to give me a bunch of goat meat from her freezer because she had just picked up a half side of beef and needed the room!!! She wondered if I might like it, and I said Hell yes!  So now, I have probably 45 or 50 pounds of ribs and chops in my freezer. Talk about answers from the Universe...after reading and posting on her blog, I sat around thinking about where I might be able to find some goat around these  Ask, and it will be given. I like that. 

  I got home from MissB's last night and the puppy had shredded a newspaper all over the living room floor. I would have boxed her ears, but she looked so pleased with herself, and she and one of the other dogs were sitting on it all like a nest. Sigh...this morning I had to clean up pee again in 2 places..puppies.  Puppies and their charm. Puppies and their mischief.  Puppies and their walnut sized bladders.

  Cooling down just a tiny bit today, only 95 as compared to 100./..still high heat index of around 104, but a 40% chance of thunderstorms today. We can only hope.

  MissB had turned off her AC yesterday and when I got there it was 85 degrees in the house. It couldn't have been off very long, but it was so hot that it couldn't catch back up. When I finally left at 8PM, it was only down to 81. I was exhausted and yucky and drove home with my car's air going full blast. 

  For some reason, my left leg is swollen. Noticed it after I got home last night. I had an ace bandage on my knee yesterday and thought maybe it was from that. I sat with my leg up last night, but this morning it's still swollen. Last night I thought it was just my feet had swollen from the heat until I noticed it was only the left. Then this morning I see that it isn't just the foot, it's my whole leg.  Damn. Guess this will be the thing that finally makes me get to a new doctor...I've been stalling because it's always repairs, property taxes coming due...something. But I'm just gonna have to bite the bullet and go. I've neglected myself for too long. I desperately need to get to the chiropractor too. And the dentist. Sigh....

  I have been reading a bit, and seeing the bewilderment and pain of people trying to make sense of the tragedy in Norway.  There are things that have no making sense of. I want to believe that somehow all this seeming madness around us must be part of the evolutionary catalyst that is bring a quantum change to our universal psyches. It is obvious that tragedy has a way of uniting people, and maybe it's as simple as that. Maybe these souls have agreed to make themselves the target of these situations so that the greater good of drawing people together (and in the day of the internet, quicker than ever before possible) can be achieved. In Norway, in Haiti, in New Orleans, in Joplin, in Japan...if the Christ consciousness ( loving and giving up one's life for his brother) exists in everyone of us, then why couldn't that be the "sense" of things like this? In a grand cosmic global playground...we are learning compassion, love and generosity of spirit every time we are touched by these disasters. In the age of the internet, we cannot turn a blind eye to things that happen, even if it's on the other side of the world. We are marked by our reactions to things that happen to our fellows, whether we know them or not. We are touched by the pain of another, whether we like it or not. No longer can we choose to be callous and unaffected by the pain of another human being. Surely-this is an evolutionary leap.

  In the meantime, I have beans to pick and berries to gather and a check to be mailed off to St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis. "To do whatever small thing I can...."

  Have a magnificent Sunday, and remember that we are all children of let's ACT like it.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Freaky Friday

 Look at the hair on that dog, wouldja??  And she's the one that never wants to come in when it's so dang hot.

 It has been a weird day since the minute the Irishman woke me up to tell me that the truck wouldn't start and he needed to take my car to work at Zero Dark Thirty this morning. I groggily told him okay and be careful and leave the truck keys.  (Don't ask me why. Not like I'm a freakin' mechanic or anything...). I got up shortly after he left, although I really wasn't ready to be awake.  So you can see...I moved through the rest of the day like it was a Twilight Zone episode. lol  I haven't really accomplished much, though I have done a few things that needed doing. The slipcover is back on the chair. The laundry is almost finished. The filter on the ac/furnace has been vacuumed.  That's about it, I'm afraid.

  Very hot out there again...though maybe not as hot as it has been.  I haven't really stayed out long enough to know.  We are going to the Harry Potter movie this afternoon (matinee) and then going to a restaurant called Salsa's Bar and Grill for supper. It's up in Carlinville, which is the county seat here. It's about 25 miles away, I'd guess. But then...everything is.  lol  Salsa's is right on the historic courthouse square, smack in the middle of town. It's got great food and a great atmosphere and we've not been there in a while. So it will be great.  

  My son called to tell me the jalapenos I sent home with him were incredibly hot.  He said he called to thank me, 'cause he's loving them. He's going to split the rest of them open, stuff with cream cheese, wrap in bacon and cook them on the grill tonight. That's my boy.  I'm sure they're so hot because of this brutal drought we're in. 

  The Irishman says he has all the plumbing stuff he needs to get the water put in for the backyard this weekend.  HURRAY!!!!!!!!  IT could really happen.... we'll see.

  Okay. I have to get showered and dressed for a date with my handsome husband. He's in green shorts and a Key Largo not THAT dressed. lol  If I wasn't so fat, I'd wear a summer dress. As it is, I'd feel funny all I'll just dress in some casual capris and a flow-y top probably.

  Happy weekending, all y'all....and Mz.Moon...have a wonderful trip to my old stomping grounds!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's the newest Thursday yet....

  Not sure where this picture came from, but I like it.

  Interesting how some peoples idea of cleaning things up differs so radically from mine.  lol  For instance. I have neighbors whose idea of cleaning up their yard/property has been to cut down every  other tree in sight, scrape the ground bare, eradicate every piece of anything green that might be visible from outer space. THEN replace it with expensive lawn benches, gazing balls and godknowswhatelse. Oh, and don't forget the expensive artificial and/or designer, non-native plants. They mow every other day (probably not, but it seems like it). I'm surprised they haven't had the sod removed and replaced with astro turf.

  Not that ANY of this is any of my business.

 I'm sure they think we are slobs. Our property is full of gardens and fruit trees in the front yard, berry brambles and wild honeysuckle all around the perimeter like a compounds barbwire fence. There are beautiful patches of Queen Anne's lace, wild daylilies, violets, Bethlehem Stars, yarrow, trillium in spring, wild roses tumbling all over each other and patches and pods of lilies and other flowers planted all willy-nilly everywhere you look. And I love it.  The backyard has grown so wild around the edges that I can barely see lawn benches or gazing balls, feels like you are in a small secluded park back there.

  No accounting for other peoples taste, I reckon.

  It's my weekend and I picked up the freckle faced boy on my way home last night so he could come spend the night with his puppy. He said, very seriously, on the way home "Nana-do we need buttermilk for our waffles in the morning?"   These are the little things that he will remember when he is all grown up and sullen and hiding in his room for months at a time. lol  And that we took his puppy so it wouldn't have to go away and him never see her again. And all the nights that he could come stay the night and sleep on the big pull-out bed with all the dogs and cats snuggled around him...something he can never do anywhere else he sleeps in his young life. 

  And the best waffles in the whole wide world. And he may even go out and pick blackberries so we can have some fresh blackberries...either on the waffles, or in a little bowl with a little cream on top. Something that, the first time he had here (picked himself 6 years ago, when he was still "a kid")  he declared to be THE best thing he had ever eaten, in the whole wide world.

  The Irishman left this morning for work, but came woke me up and said--you have to see this, honey. We walked out in the living room and there he was, asleep, with his arms around 2 dogs on either side of him, and a cat curled 'round his head, like a tiny crown on a sleeping prince. He is safe here, and happy, and all the troubles of his life melt away in the wake of whooping and hollering and chasing and feeding chickens and picking berries and beans. Soon enough he'll go back home and face the reality of not seeing his real dad for a year (he turned himself in yesterday felony DUI...3rd offense). He'll cope and we all will help however we can. His young life will take a turn, one way or another, guided by gentle and loving hearts and hands. I fervently hope it turns the best way for him.

  And this is the stuff life is made of, isn't it?  We take every opportunity possible to teach him about walking gently on Mother Earth, about conservation, about healthy choices in every aspect of life. When he was little (he's been in our life 10 years, since he was 4)  it was all about joy and fun and loving. Now there are new dimensions added all the time, as he matures and we (gasp!) mature along with him. He's wicked intelligent, and we have some great conversations about everything under the sun. I am blessed that he loves me and trusts me and wants to let me be his old granny.

  We have a big day ahead and I should get in there and get those waffles going. It's going to be the hottest day yet in our little heatwave (they said on the news last night that it hasn't been this hot this long since 1936.). The heat indexes are supposed to be 112 today. I'll not be doing was 82 already at 7 AM.

   If I was truly a good wife, I'd be out there picking beans before it got any hotter....not looking too good for

    Have a remarkable day everyone...


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Morning

No time to post yesterday...a full and long day and was beat-by-the-heat by last night, so I was in bed early. I got home to find the Irishman  had picked peaches, blackberries and some add to my pile of beans, tomatoes and okra and jalapenos that I need to take care of. sigh...I know he thinks he's helping. They could have stayed on the trees/bushes one more day so that I wouldn't have to try to do everything in one day. Before I have to go to work!!!!  The heat has brought a plethora of insect problems, and my house is subject to fruit fly attacks and ant rampages and I honestly don't think I can take much more. When all that fruit is left to sit more than one day, it's a war.

 Having trouble with google this morning, not letting me post on other blogs. Some yes, some no. Aggravating and frustrating.

 The puppy peed on the carpet again last night, so I have to get that cleaned up too. Mostly she's doing very well...I tried putting puppy pads down and she thinks they're the best for chewing and pulverizing and dragging all oper the house. sigh...

  I had a plan for this morning, but now that has changed and I am cranky. Sort of.

 The chickens are getting a little heat stressed, but managing. Egg production is still okay, but it kills me to see them panting so hard. I mist them every now and then with my sprayer and have thought about putting a child's pool in there for them. One of the hard plastic ones, not the inflatable ones.  LOL  Would they bathe like wild birds do in the birdbath?  hmmmm.....

  We are moving into Day 5 of the Dangerous and Excessive Heat Wave.  They are warning people to stay indoors and be especially careful. I worry about the Irishman at work, it's so hot in that welding and burn building. He said they had a safety meeting the other day about the heat. Thank goodness. It was already 85 at 8 AM today. Didn't get below 78 last night.

  I wanted to stop by and say hey to several peoples blogs and google is screwing up and puts me into this endless round of going to sign in, not working, going back to sign in. That really annoys me. And won't even post it as anonymous. (Which I don't want it to do anyway, but could at least say hey and make my presence known.)

  Alright. I have lots to do and better quit stalling. Hope you all stay cool and have a blessed day...whatever your endeavors. I know I'll be a lot less cranky in a bit.  lol

PS...the dryer balls came yesterday!!!  Can't wait to try them. Will let you know...stay tuned.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday night...

This is Ms. Molly McGee... in her favorite spot, on the couch, on the Irishman's lap, getting her tummy rubbed.  And the whole time, he is babbling to her in babytalk and she is loving him with a fierceness that is unmatched by anything I know.  She is a Jack Russell terrorist, and would take down dragons to protect him.  lol

  All the dogs have been in the house most of the hot out there. Tonight though, they were outside raising hell and going completely berserk until I made them come in. Must have been deer passing through the yard and gardens again. Hopefully the racket from the dogs kept them moving right along.

I made a simple chicken cacciatore tonight for supper...some chicken that needed cooking from the freezer and lots of tomatoes, summer squash and onions. It was seasoned with just a little oregano and salt and pepper and filled the bill over rice for supper. Especially since the rice was already cooked. lol

I have not felt quite right all day, and tonight doesn't seem much better. A little nauseous, a little poopy and a whole lot tired. I did manage to get to MissB's today, and as a result, I will be going in 3 hours early tomorrow. No rest for the wicked, I guess. (In all honesty, I offered to do I can't complain too much). A last minute "situation".  I don't really feel sick, just a little off.

Didn't accomplish much of anything today, except the cacciatore. And straightened the house a little and picked up dog hair. And of course, did dishes. And then did them again after I got home. And now, for a few hours, my sink is shiny and my dishes are done. Once he gets up for work in the morning and I get up later, there will be dishes again. Some days I feel like the maid. Especially when I'm a little "off".  lol

I ordered some Crocs online this morning...2 pair. One pair of sandals to replace the Columbia sandals the dog ate and one pair of winter time polar fleece lined ones that were on sale. 2 pairs of shoes and shipping for about 45 dollars. Not bad. The pair of slide on sandals that I bought at Payless shoes are already coming apart, a big tear across the footpad in the leather or whatever it is. They're still wearable, but it bugs me, 'cause I can feel it on the bottom of my foot.  I seem to be doing more and more online shopping these days. I have a set of wool dryer balls in transit, even as we speak. I'm pretty excited about them...20 bucks and the set should last for about a year. Anyone who doesn't know what they are...they are an eco-groovy fabric softener for your dryer. I'll come back and post a link to them in a bit...I think it's called Stoney Mountain Farms, in North Carolina.

  Anyways, you should know something about me. I am NOT a shopper. I prefer to buy anything I need secondhand if at all possible, and Goodwill and Salvation Army and mom and pop thrift stores are my favorites.  My entire house  (almost) is furnished in Early American Garage Sale. I have a few pieces that were bought new, but only on great SALE and as a last resort. But I have to tell you,. online shopping is the best thing since sliced bread.

Alrighty then, I need to get some rest, so I'd better be finishing up here and getting on to bed. Morning comes mighty early around these parts and I am tired.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lazy Saturdays...

  Even the dogs slept in.  All three of them are in here with me now, sleeping around my feet. This is my Caylee girl, who now has somebody (Bella) to boss around, and is exhausted by it all. She is ecstatic to have a playmate again, since Lucy has been gone she has been just lost.

  Bella is a big galoot. Her paws are already bigger than Caylee's and she is at least as tall. At 4 months old, I suspect she's gonna maybe be around 65-70 pounds eventually. She is acclimating well and loving having Caylee to play with. She is doing better on the housebreaking issue, but not perfect. Part of that, of course, is these two old humans trying to learn to read her. But, it's better already, after being here only a week.

  We went to dinner last night at our favorite Chinese place, and I ordered the wrong thing and didn't like it at all. And the place was packed and the service was not as good as usual, and I was cranky. We had plans that got changed at the last minute, so we just ate and came back home to watch a movie a friend had lent us. Called "Inception" with Leo de Caprio...a movie so action packed and frenetic I could barely keep up with it. When it was finally (over 2 hours!!)  over, I was exhausted. It was good, but so fast paced this old woman could barely keep up. Towards the end, even Bella was sitting up beside the Irishman barking at the television. After it was over and we had even closed up the cabinet, she still barked at it.  LOL

  It's 10 AM already and I haven't even fed the chickens. They always have food out, but mornings I throw scratch and crumbles down for them and we have our little daily get-together. Then I stroll through the gardens with my coffee cup in hand and exclaim over the progress or demise of things. Today I am lazy.

  Our local Sierra Club is having a workshop on Ethical Eating the end of the month. The Irishman is on the committee and so I shall go along. They will have interesting information and then a local vendor exhibit, complete with samples. It will; be at the Jacoby Arts Center, a lovely venue. All about local eating and organics and surely some vegetarianism thrown in for good measure.  Also about feeding the hungry and becoming more active in your own community in this area.

  I still have to finish the booklets I am preparing for my canning workshop and get them off to the CSA for publishing. I have been lazy about that too. I have started them though, and the workshop is not until October. Still...I have procrastinated something ridiculous.

  I need to rearrange my pantries and start getting canned beans and such put away. Rotating last years harvest (what's left of it) and putting this years stuff in the back. Cleaning out anything old enough to go away. Dusting and wiping and straightening. I have 2 big pantries and then a big 3 shelf cabinet in my kitchen as well.

  Okay. Nothing gets done when I am sitting here now, does it ?  So, I am off into my day, having a limited amount of time before I head down to MissB's house for my usual Saturday event. She timidly asked me if I had any fresh real tomatoes yet last I was I shall gift her with one today. Thought I might also take some green beans (cooked) because it's one of the few vegetables she remembers growing herself, back in the day.  Apparently she and the mister used to grow some ferocious gardens back in the day, and she loves to tell me stories of growing up in the country and how her mother grew such magnificent vegetable gardens, and her father raised chickens and pigs and they always had a milk cow.  It was a good life, albeit hard at times. She was born in 1929...

  The heat wave is on its way back here (we had a couple of days of respite) and we haven't seen a drop of rain in almost 2 weeks. Things are looking a little raggedy out there, in spite of our attempts to keep things watered. You almost cannot water enough when the temps are nearly a hundred degrees...leaves are burning up, things are starting to crackel.

  Off I go.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Whew. Am glad today is finally over!

  I was awakened this morning by a certain new puppy whining outside the bedroom door. I foolishly thought she wanted to go outside. She only wanted company, she had already peed and pooped on my carpet. Sigh...To add insult to injury, it was only 4:45.  Needless to say, I am bushed tonight at 11:45 ! This is the picture the sun came up to while I was sitting on the front porch in my rocking chair with the dogs . I guess I need to put water in the birdbath! lol (And yes-I have a rocking chair. 2 of them, in fact, on my front porch.)

  I woke the Irishman up at 5:15 because he wasn't up yet. Curiously enough, he had apparently forgotten to set his alarm. (Thank you, Bella)  I made him breakfast and we ate and he left for work around 6:30. By 7 AM, I was out back in the garden picking beans, tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. By 8:30, I was sitting in front of a mountain of green beans, nipping and cleaning them to get ready to can.  I canned over 30 pints of green beans today and 6 quarts too.  I took the last batch out of the canner at 7:30 PM, just as we were getting ready to eat supper. We grilled a couple of the filets I had in the freezer, I cooked up a bunch of baby sweet potatoes in the bottom of the box from last year, and sauteed fresh green beans, summer squash, onion, and whole garlic in olive oil and butter.  I was starving. And exhausted.
 Here are some of  the fruits of my labor of love:

  Am thinking of setting up a summer kitchen out in the studio. A friend has an electric stove she wants to get rid of, and it would be great to have somewhere to do some of this stuff so that it doesn't overtax my air conditioning like it did today. Having 3 burners on (lids and bands, tea kettle, and canner) creates a lot more heat than you would think. Something I'm thinking about anyway....

When I was a kid, we lived in an old Victorian house that had a summer kitchen. It also had a smokehouse.  The house itself had turrets and an attic bedroom and was very cool, like an old castle.

We are going to dinner and a movie tomorrow night with some friends. It will be nice to get out and socialize, not to mention eating at my favorite Chinese place and getting to see the new Tom Hanks movie--Larry Crowne.  I'm really looking forward to it.

  They said tonight on the news that the heat wave is coming back.  We just had 2 whole days where the temps were reasonable...only in the high 80's.  lol  Makes me think of the way they jimmy the gas prices up and down and now we feel blessed when we have gasoline for ONLY 3.69/gallon. Anyway, there's a heat advisory starting Sunday night at 5PM that is supposed to last until the following Friday. There have already been 2 deaths from the heat around these parts.  Scary.

  Alrighty...I am going to bed here in a minute.  I feel like I have been whipped, lol. I also got some laundry done and some floors vacuumed and so tomorrow should be a pretty easy day. Unless I decide to make jalapeno jelly.  (I do have kind of a lot of peppers out there....)

Sweet dreams, y'all.  Gabi--I am so glad to see you back blogging. Love ya, girl!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

HEY! We needed some of that rain...

...the temps have been around a hundred for several days and things are drying out like crazy. Had a big rash of storms move through here yesterday and we didn't get a drop of rain up here.  WTH ???  I was 15 miles south, and it was like a monsoon.  It just isn't

  But at least things cooled off.  It's only supposed to hit 86 today. And that sounds like heaven.  lol

  I have been up early, got some laundry going, sprayed the squash, checked the peppers and started nipping the beans for canning. There's probably no way I'll get any canned today, but they'll be ready for tomorrow morning when I have the whole day off.  I keep stalling...and now I have to leave in 4 hours, least I don't have to make supper for the Irishman, as he has a meeting that he has to run to directly from work. Sierra Club stuff.

  Yesterday I made him a potluck dish for the meeting he had...sheesh....I forgot about it til the near last minute. Made a cooked summer garden potatoes, 2 kinds of summer squash, fresh picked green beans, tomatoes (all steamed tendercrisp and then thrown into ice water to cool quickly), cucumbers, fresh basil, garlic, onions...all doused with a tarragon vinegar and olive oil dressing, accented by sea salt and cracked black pepper. It was awesome. I added a can of garbanzo and a can of kidney beans for the protein factor, too. So it was actually a full meal...

 Blogger just lost most of this post. Dammit.  Arrgghhh  It wasn't saving.

  I'm outta here. Got laundry calling my name.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday...a new week.

 Here's a glimpse of the things that made my past 4 days so full that I could barely get on the computer!!

Aren't they beauties ??  Grandson, niece and friends grandbaby (friend in the wing chair)

We painted our faces...(If I look pretty rode hard and put away's because, believe me, I was!!) Youngsters take a lot of wonder it's the young people that have children.  lol

And here, is Bella. The grandson's dog that is gonna live with us. For a while?? For EVER ??  who can tell. She's very sweet, 4 months old, and is being taught about boundaries and etiquette by the other dogs and kitties. lol So far, so good...though I do wish she could figure out about peeing outside ALL the time..mostly she's doing okay, if I keep an eye on her.

 The weather has been atrocious. We had 12 people here on Friday for supper and had to stay indoors it was so hot and humid. It went well though, and we had a good time. My niece begged to stay when her parents were ready to leave, so we cajoled and pleaded until they gave in. So for Friday and Saturday nights I had 2 kids to play with. I declared Saturday an "Internet and TV free day" and they looked at me like I had stolen their popsicles. "What are we going to do?" they asked in unison. I laughed my best witch laugh and said that they were going to play like real kids. They went down the road to the bridge and creek and promptly fell in the mud and made a wonderful mess.  When the Irishman got home around noon, we started making plans. We went to see Zookeeper at the movies, played on playground equipment at the park, went to the lake and fished minnows out of the water, went out for pizza and then came home, where we promptly got buckets and headed for the garden, where we picked over 2 gallons of beans, plus some squash (zucchini and crookneck) and cucumbers.

 Later we watched Harry Potter and it was a fine day. Oh yeah...somewhere in there we also painted each others faces with watercolor paints. They both slept like the dead that night. lol  On Sunday, we took the grandson home first (he lives 20 minutes away) and then headed south to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law for lunch at a halfway point between them and us. This was the first time their little girl has slept away from home, so you can imagine how THEY were. She, on the other hand, wasn't ready to leave and wants to know if she can come stay a week before school starts.  LOL  Her daddy got a rather wild look in his eyes...

  Yesterdays heatwave somehow caused an explosion at one of the electric company (not ours) substations, knocking out power in the entire town of Bunker Hill and all outlying areas. We got ours back on (God bless our little rural electrical cooperative!) within 4 hours, but the town was out until this morning, waiting for the big guys to get it back on. It was dangerously hot and humid  and the temps in the house quickly climbed to suffocating mode.  It was already 90 this morning before 10 o'clock...they're saying 101 with heat index of 112. Crikey--that's PHOENIX!!!!!!  lol Hopefully things will be up and running for everyone, as this kind of heat can be dangerous.

  I have a little housekeeping to do and some decisions to make about something and then I will be off to MissB's house in the middle of the afternoon. We have plenty of leftovers for eating, so I do not feel the need to cook, probably for a couple of days. lol Yippee.  There's a big bowl of salad, some Scandinavian potato salad, cucmbers and onions in vinegar, pulled pork,watermelon...mmmmm...good summer eating.

  Taking it easy today.  Should pick beans, but probably won't. Did water the petunias and my big spider plants. And myself. lol  But it's already too much out there. May have a friend coming for lunch...we'll see. If not today, then tomorrow. She's at the doctor just now...

  Have a cool day, all. It's cloudy like it might rain, but I'm not holding my breath. We could [surprisingly] use a little wet.



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday ...going, going,. gone...

 This is one of the many things I did today...canned my first batch of green beans. It would have been more than just 6 quarts, but I gave a big bag to my neighbor, who was thrilled at the thought of fresh green beans. They are ready to pick again, we go, into harvest season 2011. 

  I have family coming tomorrow. It will be a ridiculous crazy day...I have my alarm set for 6 AM so I can get some housework done...I have to go to a meeting at noon to give a sponsling her 18 year chip. I have to leave there early to go pick up my grandson and his dog that we are probably going to keep for him.  They are going to spend the brother and his family will be here around 2 and then my sister and her husband and their daughter and my son and his wife will all be over for supper.

  I made a Scandinavian potato salad today, It's very plain, yet elegant, with simple potatoes, onion, celery, dill weed, celery seed, sour cream and mayonnaise. I usually make the old standard with mustard and eggs...not this time.  I will make a huge green salad tomorrow, some cucumber and onions in vinegar, and we will cook hot dogs and burgers on the grill.  I will get out some salsa and  make some ranch dip to go with the chips my sister will bring.  I will put out a huge plate of pickle...dilled green beans, pickled okra, pickled garlic, pickled baby beets, and pickled peppers, sweet and mixed.  I may even have some olives, green and black to go with. Like my husband always says: We may not have much, but we eat like kings!

  Had a gullywasher of a rain here today and high winds as well. So, the yard didn't get mowed. The humidity is terrible. I did buy some petunias and geraniums and begonias today and they are sitting in the pots, but not really planted.  I can promise you, THAT won't get done tomorrow.  lol

  I had a bit of a meltdown last night...after talking with my sister, who just found out she is going to be a grandmother...and reading Mz. Moon's news about another grandchild...and knowing I will never have a blood grandchild of my own...I just came undone.  My son has 2 stepsons and they are as close as I am ever going to get to being a grandma. The youngest one that comes over all the time is a sweetheart and I am blessed to have him in my life, don't get me wrong. But to never have the chance to look down at my own grandchild that carries my family just breaks my heart. Somedays.  After my son was born, I got pregnant one other time. From then on, I could never get pregnant again. I didn't want a house full of babies. I was never THAT girl.  But I wouldn't have minded one more. When I write this out, it all sounds silly. Yearning for a life I will never have,  mostly because of choices I made. Must be old age that makes us all so dodderingly emotional about things that might have been.  (And when I say US, I mean me).  I'm tearing up even now...

  So, I am off to sleep. Tomorrow there will be family and food and children playing and dogs barking and birds singing in my life.  And it will be good.  And I will be glad. Glad for those whose lives are full of grandchildren, and glad that I have such a big loving family.

  And glad for pink and purple petunias, blooming their fool heads off.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011


  Canned chicken breast.

  It was an extremely busy weekend...for everyone, I'm sure. I've picked about 2 gallons of green beans, have lots of summer squash coming out of the garden and the tomatoes are looking a little rough. It rained twice this weekend and things are already so wet,....not boding well for this year's harvest...

  I spent way too much time away from home for my liking and cannot wait for Thursday to have some time off. The fireworks had the dogs scared to deathy and they wouldn't leave the house. Somehow, we only had one big poopie mess. A 4th of July miracle. There has been a lot of vomitig this year, mostloy outside. Too hot even for the dogs.

  I've spent my morning chatting with various sisters-in-law, coloring my hair, and [of course] vacuuming.  Have the mister's supper going right now and really need to run to the store, so I may not finish this til tonight.

 Thought I'd drop in though, as it's been a few days since I posted.

  Okay, I'm back. made a quick trip to the market for some cat food and bread, lol. Put some corn on to cook and the Irishman can have devilled eggs, corn on the cob,  and hamburger for his supper.

  My son stopped by Monday morning, terribly upset. He'd been to visit his grandmother in the nursing home and on the way there, on the road, someone had hit a small rabbit. It's back end was smashed flat and it was trying to pull itself across the road without much luck. He said it was keening and it broke his he went back and ran over it so it would die immediately.  THAT upset him to start off...he's a very tenderhearted (yet pragmatic) man.  Then when her got to the nursing home his grandma was lying in her bed unable to move and barely able to talk. She kept asking why she couldn't go home and he said she looked just awful. He held it together while he was there, he said, but when he got outside he fell apart, so he came over to talk about it. He was feeling very bad that he couldn't even stay there for an hour...but he just couldn't take it. We talked for about an hour, about things like euthanasia and the way we treat our older people in this culture, and alot about acceptance and what things we can change and what things we cannot. He headed home from here. I had to sit and think alot about it all too....and it's scary stuff, the older I get. Choices, decisions, and all that.

   We are so quick to put our beloved pets out of their misery, yet we stick our elderly frail parents in nursing homes to slowly die. Not trying to be judgemental about this. God knows, my parents didn't live to be old enough for me  to have to deal with this stuff.'s hot out there and the dogs are both in now.  Not as hot as it has been, but I suspect the heat index is up there due to the humidity.  Last night we sprayed the beans and squash with the voodoo juice (onion, garlic, dish soap, cayenne), and you can smell it when you walk out the back door. I had to buy a new sprayer on Sunday as our old one bit the dust. They're only about 11 bucks at Ace Hardware, and I think we had the last one for 5 years.

  Well, things to finsh up befrore I head out the door.

  Hope everyone had a safe and fun filled Independence Day. We are pretty blessed to be living in the good old USA....


Saturday, July 2, 2011

My baby turns 40 today...

(Big bowl of green beans that I picked this morning) I didn't think there were that many ready!

Feels surreal.  I can barely believe that I'm  They are having a big birthday party today at his house, complete with swimming and bbqing and a bonfire. I cannot see him today, but I called him this morning and wished him happy "day you were ripped from my loins" day.  lol.  He told me that he had a dream about me last night, and I had this duck that he named chicken, and I kept losing it and he kept having to come and find it and get it back in my car.

Okay then. He sounded really happy this morning, and there's nothing a mother loves more than that.

  It is hotter than Hades out there. The temps are still climbing and we're supposed to have a heat index of 107 today. I have to work 16 hours today, and will be getting ready to head that way in about an hour. I picked green beans, cukes, basil, sugar peas, and a couple of tomatoes. I was truly shocked by how many beans there were.

  Had company for dinner last night. They provided filets that we grilled and I provided a big garden salad, small red potatoes, and watermelon sorbet for dessert. It was easy and awesome. BUT--I told the Irishman this morning that I will have to modify that recipe a little, because I think it was too sweet. I will definitely make it again though.  My friend picked up a beef tenderloin on sale for me at 6.49/lb...It was a 40 dollar chunk of meat, but I cut it into about 14 - 1 inch thick steaks and froze them this morning.  They were good....but I still prefer my trusty old NY strip...but THEY haven't been on sale for a while.
 Here's the sorbet:

  I spent all day cleaning and cleaned the lr carpet as well yesterday morning....since my new Oreck carpet cleaner came on Thursday.  Jury is out on it...I have 30 days to fall in love with it or send it back.  I also did 5 loads of laundry, 4 of which are [still] hanging on the clothesline. sigh...I realized at about 10 o'clock last night that I had forgotten all about them.  I told the Irishman this morning that he might have to get them down today after he gets back home. We get such heavy dews this time of year, I'm sure the clothes were wet again. lol

  I need to go hit the shower and get myself ready for the long haul.  I really would rather stay here at home in the air conditioning, on the couch,  but duty calls. 

  I will be back online sometime tomorrow, probably evening.  Have a safe and happy holiday weekend, everyone.