Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sundays meditations...

Been a wacky week here.  And I am so glad it's Sunday, and I can have a day of rest.  Sort of.  Rain is supposed to be coming this afternoon late.  I really pray that it does. It is so dry out neighbor is worried about losing some of her trees. I dug down into the sweet potatoes this morning and it was like rock. Not good. I watered massively this morning...maybe that will make it rain.   It's so humid you can barely breathe.  We need a couple of good days of rain to bring these temperatures down and clean things up.

  I harvested about 2 pounds of beautiful carrots this morning. This is without a doubt the best carrot year we have ever had.  I also picked tomatoes, okra and some more jalapenos. The dehydrator is full and running.  Over the past couple of days, I have frozen a load of chives and garlic chive flowers. I have a big pan full of chives drying too. I dried lemon grass for tea.  I froze broccoli, about 2 gallons of florets.   I sorted the box of apples that the Irishman picked, and got them ready for storage...the ones with soft spots are being dried .  I made the beautiful salad at the top of the page for our discussion group at La Vista..we are doing another of the Northwest Earth Institute's books, on food ethics and sustainability.  I also made crostini--french bread in garlic and olive oil, toasted to a sprightly crunch.  I called this an Italian Layered Salad.  It was awesome.  It started out with an overabundance of ripe red tomatoes from the garden. Then I added some chunked cucumber I found  hiding under the pole beans.   I sliced white onion, added edamame, fresh chopped basil, --all from the garden. Some cracked pepper and sea salt.  Red wine vinegar and EVOO to taste. Topped it off with chunks of fresh soft mozzarella and garnished with a sprig or two of basil.  It was to die for...

   This is the limbo-land time of gardening...waiting for the last of the beans to dry or ripen, tomatoes are still there by the tons, but ripening more slowly than they were. We have planted a lot of the fall garden and not all of it, because it is still so hot.  Got the ground ready for the peas and beets. Anyway, it's just a funny time, almost anti-climactic after the rush of July and early August.  Almost feeling let down. lol  I told the Irishman this morning that it sure is a lot easier to be motivated during the rush of garden season. You have to be, if you're gonna survive it. Then things slow down and it's like WHHOOOOSH!  all the air goes out of you. And all you want to do is sit down. For a month. lol

  It's only a high of 85 today. But the humidity  must be a thousand percent--I'm dripping with sweat. Trying to hobble around and at least vacuum the living room...the dog hair is taking on a life of it's own.  And I stripped the loveseat covers off too, because they are filthy and full of cat and dog hair.  I put some carpet fresh down and threw the covers in the machine. Yes, the new-to-me machine. lol  Sonnyboy found it at a yard sale for 75 dollars. I'm a happy woman. Now, if it would only cool way down or I could get the AC fixed, everything would be perfect.  I can always go cool off in the bedroom--we have a window unit in there.

  I managed to get myself tangled up in the watering hose this morning and fell on my keister when I slipped on wet straw. sheesh. Not hurt, just really sore and bruised I suspect. I'm just grateful nobody was around to see it.  I'm sure I looked like an idiot, arms flailing around trying to catch myself as I went down.  Sigh...


It's now about 3 hours later. Floors vacuumed, slipcovers washed, dried and back on the loveseats.  I got so hot I went into the bedroom and l;ay down on the bed, where it's air conditioned. Slept for almost 45 minutes, lol.  Musta needed it....feel better, after a quick rinse in the shower and a change of clothes.  The Irishman is home from the picnic and it started to rain. A nice soft rain for a while, but now it's stopped. Driving the humidity up even higher. Hopefully it will rain some more soon... Himself took his fishing pole out for a quickie, between raindrops and supper. lol   I need to go out back and check the chickens--only got 3 eggs this morning, so I'm betting there's some more out there by now.  

  Thinking I'll make a quick spaghetti and salad for supper. He isn't too hungry after the AA picnic and I'm not real motivated to do much either. This will be easy, good and satisfying. My favorite kind of meal. (Unless somebody else cooks it for me) lol

  The house is marginally clean, there's mood music playing, and everyone seems calmed by the little rain. The forecast is for rain today and tomorrow....keep your fingers crossed for us.

Happy Sunday!!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's happening...baaabbbeeeeee ???

  Pulled some gorgeous carrots this morning. Thinking about making some vegetable soup to can.

 The chickens loved the carrot tops !!  This is the queen mother of the Buff Orpingtons,  Goldie.

 And this is the gorgeous Australorp.

  This is Brewster... he tries to be mean, but can't hold a candle to our last rooster!

And here are a couple of the youngsters, eating carrot tops. They do love their greens!

 Last stand of edamame

  Beautiful lemon grass !!

  Big pot of rosemary on deck.

  New green beans in foreground. Sweet potatoes in the background.  Swing and pond.

  My big beautiful coleus on the back deck.


  That's it for Wednesday. There's other stuff out there...but....

  Yesterday the belt broke on the washer in the middle of a load of workclothes.  Son is going to check it out today and fix it (hopefully). I pulled the wet things out and hung them outside, even though they're have to be re-washed. Don't want them to mildew.

   Just closed everything up and tried to turn on the air..and something popped really loud when it tried to kick on. I can smell something burnt--electrical wires, I think. Damn.  It's always something.

 And the temp has already gone up 2 degrees in here.   Sigh.....

  Alright...gotta call the repair guy I guess for that....later taters....


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Now...where was I ???

 Such a week it has been.  And I'm hung up on the computer this morning, accomplishing nothing that I had hoped to...but I'm tired today. Emotionally exhausted, so I'm cutting myself a little slack here. The service last night for my nephew went off relatively well...a few fireworks, but we got there just after those, so I didn't have to witness any of it. (Thank you, God.)   I got home a little before 9 , I think.  The rest of the family went out to eat afterwards, but we ate before we went, so we came home, since both of my guys had to get up at 5 AM.  It was okay with me.


  It rained last night/early this morning. When I went out to tend the chickens, everything was all damp and good smelling.  After the watering/feeding/trying to decide if I need to clean the coop this morning (the answer, you'll be glad to note, was NO)  I wandered around a little and did my morning garden check. Came in with about 5 tomatoes.. The new green beans are about 3 inches tall, and the radishes are looking good. The spinach and lettuces are coming up nicely. Carrots are starting to show, and himself got the kale in Saturday evening. Still have to plant the beets, and haven't been able to find any parsnip seeds. So...that might not happen, unless I order them online.  Still up for debate.  I did notice that there are about 5 or 6 more smallish, (but growing) butternuts out there, to add to the 13 we already harvested.  It's been cool this last week, and the tomatoes (there are lots of them on the vines) are not ripening very quickly.  That's okay, as I have plenty to do. lol

  I have been researching how to harvest the lemon grass. I can use the tops for tea, which is a VERY beneficial tea. Antioxidant, antinflammatory, more here:  

   And I'm going to dry some of the stalks as well, to use in cooking. The plants did really well here...this past summer was a good one for tropical plants. lol  Then the experiment will be this: one plant will be cut low to the ground and  heavily mulched and left to see if it will come back next year.  And just in case it will not...the other plant will be dug up and potted and brought in the house for the winter.  Hedging my bets, as it were...because it really is not that easy to find lemon grass plants. I lucked out at a farmers market and found a guy with one pot, who says he grows them every year. I snatched it up. lol

  Tonight for supper, I am making  a coconut Thai noodle and lemon grass dish and spring rolls. I bought wrappers yesterday and some mung bean sprouts. I usually sprout my own, but this was last minute and ...well...I have a lot going on right now that's taking up almost all my kitchen counter space.  LOL   I'll take pictures and post them.


  I'm feeling particularly motivated to work  on my house today, so maybe I'll really get some stuff done.

  On the big screen at the service last night, my nephew and brother had done a beautiful montage of photographs of my of them was at my house at Thanksgiving last year, and we had a pic of all the boy cousins together. You could really see the beautiful walls...and I thought--WOW! I really like how that turned out!!  lol  Several people commented on it too. Let's see if I have that pic in my archives...hmmm..don't see it. Maybe it's some where else though...I'll have to look later. Wait--here it is:

 ...and this isn't all of them either....(oops).

  Anyway...I had a big old bowl of granola this morning,. all glopped up with plain yogurt and bananas. Finishing my coffee now. Had a long phone call from a friend. 

  Not a bad way to start a day....


Sunday, August 19, 2012

A long hard week...

  Love is all there is.  And the older I get, the more I know this to be true.  In the end, all we have is each other and family is everything...and friends are family and life is hard sometimes.  I'm feeling very blessed this week to have people in my life who show me again and again that I am not alone. Some of these people are my family of origin. Some of them are my AA family. Some of them are my cyber-family.  

  Sometimes sacrifices must be made for things to come together the way they should. I think we all have had times in our lives that were so painful and so difficult at the time that we couldn't possibly see any point to it. Or maybe even see that we could possibly survive it.  But we do. And there is.  And eventually the grief passes and the pain lessens and we are left with a gaping hole in our hearts that takes longer to heal.  But heal it will. And learn we will.

  At least that's been my experience.

  This past week, my brother's 19 year old grandson was found dead of a heroin overdose.  It seems that heroin use is on the rise again among our young people.  We have known that this boy and 2 of my brothers sons (and one of my sisters daughters) have been messing around with it.  At one point (maybe 6-7 months ago--maybe longer) at my brothers request, I got involved in a bit of an intervention and took one of the boys to a treatment/rehab/evaluation place.  Of course, they aren't all boys...the one I took is in his 30's I guess.  They sent him home.  They said he was a recreational drug user and not qualified for treatment. He wouldn't have stayed anyway.

  That's how these things go.

  One of the brothers went to rehab. He seems to be clean.

   The other brother got treatment for depression and seemed to be getting better and was off the stuff.

 The dead boy got pulled over for speeding and they found paraphernalia and arrested hm. He did 6 months and got out a couple of weeks ago.  I think we had all hoped it would have been enough of a scare (or kick in the butt) to make him stop using for good.  It wasn't.

  And now he is dead. No more chances, no more options, no nothing.  And his family is reeling. And the devastation is acute. And my family is left with that gaping hole where young Cody used to live. It is senseless, it is tragic, it is beyond grief.  Allegedly, the dealer and his girlfriend picked him up, took him somewhere, they shot up the dope and they took him back to his house when they saw he was od'ing, and left him there to die. And the outrage of everyone involved  leaves me thinking--well, what do you expect? That's how these people live.  And I had to say the words more than once--He made the choice to use.  It was Cody that called them, went with them, shot up.  He is not a blameless victim in this.  And my words fall on deaf ears, because they all want this to be someone else's fault. Of course they do. Because when something like this happens, everyone feels so guilty. If only...we could have done this or that or MORE.  Because they don't understand the nature of addiction.  It doesn't make it all any less wrong, or only leaves us with no one to blame really.  And lots of unresolved issues and no chance to say goodbyes  or I love yous or anything.

   Yet, life goes on.  This boy's baby cousin turns 1 year old today.  The party has been postponed.  People have to go back to work and take care of their children and live their lives.  Mothers and fathers have to get on with their other children. Sisters and brothers have to learn to live with the ghost of a boy who won't be at the table come Thanksgiving. And maybe everyone will pull each closer and be reminded for a time that we desperately need each other in this life.  And that we have to take every opportunity we get to say I love you and to pay attention and to live the best lives we know how.

  And maybe that's all there ever is anyway. 


  And my garden keeps me busy, with too much solitude and too much time to think. We have been harvesting and freezing edamame this week. Drying tomatoes. beans and kale and lettuces, radishes, carrots. I still haven't made the jalapeno jelly. Sat with my neighbors husband 2 days last week and am helping a friend with her grandchildren tomorrow.  I plan to get my fridge cleaned out today if I don't do anything else. The front yard needs mowing drastically and I may do that or save it for the Irishman who gets home around 4 today.  My knee has been hurting pretty badly, so I may forego that job. 

   Well..not a very upbeat post today, but I feel a little better for having verbalized some of this and gotten it out of me onto the page, so I guess that's certainly worth something. 

   It's been lovely weather lately--no rain  :(  but temps only in the 80's.

   I have some dishes to clean up and a little other stuff to do. I have started reading Carson McCullers The Heart is a Lonely Hunter...hard to believe I haven't read this before now, but if I did, I sure don't remember it.

   I'm feeling a little heavy and taking it slow.  And that's a good pace for a quiet Sunday morning...


Monday, August 13, 2012

Mondays child is...sore as heck......

 Had to use this--love it.   I'm not sore from dancing, that's for sure. Unless dancing with the vacuum cleaner AND the carpet shampooer for HOURS counts.  IN which case, then yes, yes I am. The good news is that my berber carpets are clean for a minute. The bad news is, the dogs came in while they were still damp, and suspiciously spent too much time sniffing for their old familiar smells. 2 of them immediately got down to business...rolling around like Pentecostals at a revival, smearing their dog smell back onto the carpet.  All I could do was watch.

 I had a very productive day, and almost none of it had to do with the gardens! (Shocking, isn't it?)  I was trying to think--surely I did something??  But no--it appears that I did not. I was out and fed and watered the chickens and cats, and gathered eggs. And maybe I LOOKED at the garden...but I don't think so.  I hadn't had my coffee yet...I slept a little late until one of the more annoying yowling cats sat outside my bedroom door and screamed at me til I got up.  But I got into bed really late and I was really tired....

 I had a list of things that I needed to do, because tomorrow I am over to the neighbors at 9 AM and not sure what time I'll be getting home. So..I vacuumed and dusted and cleaned the ceiling fan in the living room.  I got out the trusty Oreck carpet shampooer and went to work on all the rugs. The brutally hot weather we endured in July caused almost every dog and cat I own to vomit numerous times in the living room or the office...and no matter how well you clean it up when it happens, within a few days there will be a dark spot on the rug. Sigh....Today was dark spot removal day. I worked on the rugs for over 4 hours. In between there, I did 3 loads of laundry, and cooked a wonderful bean soup--chock full of Great Northerns, kombucha, kale, onions, carrots, celery and tomato paste. And I made a cast iron skillet full of a yummy cornbread to go with it. That was supper. I made a big pot, and froze two lunches  worth as well as putting a decent sized container in the fridge. It was freaking  awesome...and I could feel the nutrient dense kale and kombucha tickle my cells.

  At any rate, this old banged up body is plum tuckered out. Vacuuming always hurts some...even with my fabulous 8 pound Oreck platinum vacuum cleaner. But vacuuming AND carpet shampooing is just asking for it. But what's a girl to do?  You just do it and pay later. Plus I had to get the front porch swept... and tonight I am paying. lol  I just took 2 naproxen tablets and hoping I can sleep.  If it didn't hurt so much to lie in a hard bathtub, I'd be in there soaking in hot water and epsom salts right now.

  As it is, I think I'll head to bed. Lots to do before I head to the neighbors at 9...critters to tend and all. Breakfast to eat. Clothes to put on. LOL

  And don't forget the dancing....furiously.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday night musings...

  I just love this...


  11:30 PM, and I am sitting here with 5 quarts of marinara in the canner.  It turned out beautifully..I started chopping tomatoes and onions and peppers this morning right after breakfast, and then I simmered that bad boy all day.  In between there, I managed to pick the rest of the edamame from plot # 1, and wound up with a 2 day total of 4 quarts in the freezer, plus dried beans to save for seed for next year. WooHoo!  2 more plots to go. One is ready to pick and the other not ready yet.

  Been planting too....and cleaning up some of the spent beds. An hour later now, got the marinara out of the canner, the island full of canned things into canning jar boxes and labeled...Made some breakfast sandwiches for the Irishman for tomorrow, and since I had all the stuff out, made some for the boy too. He is leaving around 4 AM for all points south, and will work down there until Thursday. I thought he would appreciate not having to stop and grab something on his way down...I think it's about 2 and a quarter hours from here,  and they'll put the guys up in a motel.

  I sat outside for a while tonight while the canner was heating up to see if I could see any of the meteors from the Perseide shower tonight. It is winding down, but I saw about 5 of them. The thunder is rolling out there and the clouds were moving in...very pretty sky with lots of stars and the dippers visible and vague lightning in the distance. I sat until I actually got a little chilly.  lol    Anyway I read that the activity is stronger after midnight, and it's now after midnight, so maybe I should go out back and have a look, since everything in the kitchen is finished, including the cleanup.


  Got the potatoes out for a day or two and now they are in a big basket in the mud room. I also harvested about a dozen and a half nice sized butternut squash...not a great crop, but still better than nothing, and certainly better than the rotted squash bug infested batch from last year. There are still a few smallish ones out there that aren't quite ready yet, and flowers everywhere. Kinda weird.  But I managed to only lose the stem on one of them--they store much better with the stems on. 

  I see that I have a whole new batch of flowers on the garlic chives too--thinking maybe I'll cut a bunch of them and freeze them and see how they do. There's more chives to freeze in general.  And I am going to cut the tops off a bunch of the walking onions and dry those. I dried a full dehydrator of okra slices, and put those away today.  I also bought some beet seed today, and hopefully will get that in the ground soon. I was looking for parsnip seed, but Pappy's didn't have any.  I want to plant some, because I can mulch them and leave them in the ground all winter. We have radishes coming up now, as well as spinach and one of the lettuces. 

  The pullets are laying regularly now--am getting 3-4 eggs a day from the 5 hens. I guess technically they aren't pullets any more once they start to lay. The eggs are still small, but it won't be long before they are a better size. They've been eating like Queens lately--lots of greens, and tomato trimmings and okra and soy bean plants. And they are as thankful for this cooler weather as I am.  Our temps the last few days have been barely in the 80's.  It was almost cold in the house this morning. lol  When I came into the living room, little Miss Roxie was wrapped up in her little blankie like a burrito !


  As you can see, there's never a lack of fun things going on here at Honeysuckle Hill...we know how to have a good time.  'Maters and okra and beans and eggs.  I feel pretty blessed--was talking to Dolly down at the local market and she was saying they had a terrible garden year...lots of folks have. I attribute my bounty to organic , sustainable methods.  Lots of rich compost, heavy mulching and  companion planting.  

  And love. Lots of love...of the earth, of the plants and of family and friends.

  And dancing half naked under the stars...watching the meteors streak through the sky and the constellations dazzle and glow brightly.

  Sounds like it's starting to rain out there...I better go check the windows.

Sweet dreams!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quiet moments...

 This has been a day of quiet moments..interspersed with not-so-quiet-moments, to be sure. But I have appreciated the lot of it, and feel grateful to be in a place where I can .."smile, breathe and go slowly" as I need to. And so, I work some and sit some and work some more.  I went to the local Dollar Store and got 2 gallon sized  containers of dishwashing Ajax citrus and one Palmolive Original.  I bought some other things too, some bleach and some carpet stuff.   And there must have been more than that, because I spent about 25 dollars. I think. Then I stopped at our little Pappy's market, and picked up a few things, including nearly 20 dollars worth of beautiful pecan halves. And some black plums. And I sashayed back home, thinking that I kind of had a whole day with no real plans. And my heart and soul felt soothed by the thought of it. lol

 Well.....I barely returned home when my phone rang and it as the local produce guy (whose little business I try to support when I can) telling me that he had found me some okra. 15 pounds of it, to be exact.. YIKES. But... I had asked him to find me some.  So I told him I'd be over directly to pick it up.  I do grow my own okra, but this years crazy weather has had it coming in spits and spots, with barely enough to do anything with at a time.  I have dehydrated some (and will be dehydrating more, it appears) and I did can a few jars of pickled okra the other day. Sooooo....I spent the bigger part of this day canning pickled okra (20 pints) and canning okra, tomatoes and onions (10 pints) and I still have a gallon ice cream bucket full. I will dehydrate it, and maybe freeze some.  Maybe.

 When the Irishman got home from work, we had a little conversation about the weekend...seems he forgot that he has to go Mt. Vernon for a Regional Forum, and he is supposed to be there tomorrow by 2 o'clock. He will not come back home until Sunday early evening. Sigh...we spent the next two hours out in the garden digging potatoes so that I can plant the green beans tomorrow. We harvested a good 40 pounds of potatoes...maybe more. And they are bugs, no mole chomps...just gorgeous. And nice sized too...many pretty big ones. SO tomorrow morning I will get them spread out to harden off before we store them for the winter. And where I had super mulched the Kennebecs at the top end of that bed...the taters were just laying right up on top of the dirt. Our theory is that because it was so dry, they didn't go too far into the dirt. It felt like a very successful harvest, considering the bad drought and the blistering heat. We have probably already eaten 15 pounds or more that I harvested here and there.  Almost all of the red potatoes and quite a few of the Irish Cobblers.  And boy..the dirt in that bed is magnificent. All the composting and mulching  is blessing us with some awesome dirt.  I will plant our second planting of the Blue Lake Bush Beans there.  The temps for the next week are supposed to be low to mid maybe we are finally finished with the heat waves.

  We had a doozy of a thunderstorm last night...complete with winds and hail and massive lightning strikes.  I sat out on the front porch watching it and more than once thunder was so loud and close that I nearly jumped out of my chair.  It dropped over an inch of rain on us, thank goodness, over the course of the evening. The power went out twice, for only a few minutes each time, but I had closed down the computer and unplugged every thing--just in case.  We need some more rains like that..about a weeks worth. lol 

  I'll be picking tomatoes again tomorrow. And drying them I think. I used about 20 pounds of tomatoes in the okra mix I put up today.  I'll also be picking edamame starting tomorrow. That's a job to shell, but it is easier once you get the beans all blanched. Then they kind of shoot right out of the pods. A good job to do sitting in front of the television with a Lifetime movie on.  lol   It gets frozen, in quart bags.

  And that is this life...this time of year. This woman stays busy and certainly gets her fill of playing in the dirt. One of my friends wants to stop by tomorrow, but then called and said she had grandsons coming, so could we do it next week ?  Surely we can, lol, and maybe by then I can even get the kitchen cleaned up and all the jars labelled and organize this chaos just a little.  Maybe. And I need to pull some of the older canned goods from last year and the year before (not much of that left) and get the newer stuff rotated to the back of the pantry shelves to ensure that we use the older stuff first.I was thinking I might check into those plums too...because wouldn't a batch of plum preserves be a great thing to have????

  I must be totally insane.  I have last years blackberries and raspberries in there waiting to be made into jam. Not to mention peaches. But still....plum. Mmmmm...Maybe I could even can my own plum sauce for some of my Asian dishes.  Although traditionally they use Umeboshi plums...wonder how different they are and would anybody (namely ME) notice ?  lol

  And I need to get a new batch of kimchi started and I want to try to make Paejon (thanks Kymber!!) which is a Korean pancake type thing that makes a main entree meal.  The pictures almost look like a version of an egg foo yung...though much more delicate. Seems easy enough to make--maybe I'll try it this weekend when I'm only feeding me.

  I need to stop thinking about all the things I need to get started and just focus on the things I already have going.  One thing I will say...I'm one heck of a multi-tasker !!!!!!  (Which, of course, is in direct opposition to the mindfulness I strive for.)  LOL

  Alright. It's past midnight and I need to hit the hay. Morning comes pretty early around here and it will be a full day--full of blessings, full of love, full of honest work.

  The kind of life dreams are made of...


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A good productive day...


  Indeed it does... and all my efforts have brought me a bounty of healthy nutrition.  Today I harvested basil and got it in the back to dry. I harvested another 8 pounds of tomatoes.  I picked a little bit of okra and some jalapenos and some chard. Tomorrow I will be picking bell peppers and edamame.  I watered this morning too and I gathered eggs and I spent some time looking things over. This late morning/afternoon, I made tomato sauce and cooked it down and canned it...I canned some pints of dilly green beans and pickled okra and pickled onions too. This evening, we got the radishes, kale, carrots and lettuces planted. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the green beans and the snow peas in.  Then I'll take a


  Still hot here and pretty dry. Hoping to get some rain this week...they said maybe on Thursday. I really hope so. That little bit we did get really greened things up. Still need a lot of rain to come close to catching up though. It's amazing the way you can really SEE the difference in the plants that comes from rain as opposed to city water.  


  I'm really craving something chocolate...thinking maybe I'll bake some walnut brownies first thing in the morning before it gets too hot. 

  I made a sweet & sour chicken dish for supper with brown rice...lots of veggies from our garden--carrots, onions, tomatoes, summer squash,  as well as broccoli, celery, pineapple, and a little bit of leftover canned chicken breast that I had canned last year.  That reminds me....I seem to have used up all the pinto beans I canned too. Need to get on that and can some more, and maybe some black beans too. It's really convenient to have them already cooked/canned....The last time I bought canned pintos, they were 99 cents a can...I can do them myself for WAY less than that.


  Watched some Olympics tonight again--I'm getting really tired of it frankly. The Irishman loves it though, so....I usually am up and down and doing things while he sits there mesmerized for 4 hours.  lol

   I'm pretty tired tonight...duh.  Think I'll call it a night. Sweet dreams, all y'all....


Monday, August 6, 2012

Why I blog....

 Life is good...

    Someone asked me the other day why I blog, and I immediately said, because I am an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.  Who knows why else we would be so quick to write about our lives, our foibles, our sorrows and our triumphs for the whole world to see.  I want to be clear that I don't think that this blog is leaving any kind of mark on the world. lol  I do love the opportunity to interact with people that I would never otherwise have met...friends from all over this country as well as the world. Even some local ones. Mostly THAT has worked out okay, although I can see the potential for problems could arise.

  Blogging sometimes helps me be honest with myself about my life. It gives me an arena to spell things out that I am confused about, or when I read what I have written, gives me a perspective on things that I can't see when they are all bottled up inside my head. It acts as a kind of diary for me, to look up things I can't remember, like when did Roxie the Doxie come here to live with us?  Or what month did we harvest the edamame last year, because I somehow did not write it in the garden journal... It acts as a written marker of events and celebrations, of loss and sorrows. 

  It isn't as if I have a huge audience of readers like some bloggers do. To say that I write simply for myself would only be a half truth as well. Why do any of us write?  When I first started I was obsessed and wrote here or in the other one almost every day without fail. Then I slacked off a while and now I write about every other day, sometimes less. Depends on how busy I get, especially in summer. In winter with more downtime, it's easier to get in here and find things to write about.

 Blogging is an awesome experience and I'm really glad it's part of my routine. It helps me to remember that I have much to be grateful for. Reading other blogs gives me so much knowledge and information...I learn new things every day. I get questions answered by other bloggers/homesteaders (although I am not exactly a homesteader...), I get support and I get ideas. How cool is that??

 I guess the one thing that I really love about blogging is feeling a part of this blogging community too.  We come to care about each other, to hold one another up when times get tough, and to cheer each other on in this endeavor called life. We get to touch and be touched by others lives.  We get to share knowledge, to share smiles and to share life.

  That, is why I blog.

  It doesn't get any better than that.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday rides again!!

 The tail end of the 2012 peaches...waiting in my sink for me to get busy...

  And I am in here stalling. I have so many things to do today, I don't know where to start. My day was filled up yesterday with my neighbors (delightfully) and I didn't do anything here except feed and water the critters and get the garden watered all by 8 AM.  This morning, it's all staring me in the face, lol.

  I was up at bed at 11 too-so I got some much needed rest.  I've been operating on way too little sleep lately, getting only 4-5 hours per night, for one reason or another. We've been watching the Olympics, for some reason, lol.  And staying up too late.  And then getting up too early, to make sure I can get the gardens all watered before the day gets too hot. We've just had another long string of those 102+'s getting really old.  Today is supposed to be 99-100 though, and then 90's for the next week. (Mid-high 90's, but 90's just the same). It will seem like Paradise. lol

  My son helped me pick the rest of the peaches this morning. Trees are both bare now. I have about a bushel in there between the ones this morning and the ones that have been being picked  the past few days. I should be able to get them done today and get some peach salsa made too. I have a lot of peaches in the freezer, and some jam and salsa already canned. 

  The two worst jobs of the year,  for me,  are the peaches and the tomatoes. Both are the messiest of all the fruits/veggies to work with. You wind up having to completely clean your kitchen by the time you're trying to finish up, wiping down cabinet fronts, mopping floors and wiping down the walls behind the counter. No matter how hard I try to be neat about it,. it just ain't happening.  lol  It's SO worth it--don't get me wrong, but it's a mess. And my tomatoes are still loaded with greenies out there, so I just may be doing tomatoes until October.  Grateful to have them--absolutely!!!  I've already dried quite a few tomatoes, as they were coming in sporadically, and I happened to have room in a dehydrator. That's the beauty of's easy enough to get that little machine out and do a few. When you're canning, it's a lot of work just setting up for it, and you need to have X amount of jars to run the pressure canner.  So you need a bounty of tomatoes for that.

  That being said...I gleefully look forward to the peaches and tomatoes every year, because there is absolutely NOTHING in the world like fresh peaches from the freezer in the middle of February...or home canned tomatoes for spaghetti sauce.  And the kid in me probably LOVES making the messes...just wishes someone else had to do the clean up.  lol

 Guess I should put the dogs outside for a while...soon it will be too hot. They are spending lots of time in the house these days, preferring to go outside later in the evening when the heat isn't so brutal. Can't blame them. But 4 dogs under your feet gets annoying sometimes. And if I'm in the kitchen doing anything, believe me, they are under my feet, waiting for something--anything-- to be tossed their way.  lol

  I really don't have any more to say this morning. lol  But like I said earlier, I'm stalling.  Once I get up from here, it's probably gonna be nonstop until I quit for supper.  Well...I'll just put on some lively music and get moving--that always helps.  It also helps if I shut off my brain and just get doing and stop sitting here thinking about it. LOL

  Adios, amigos!  I'm outta here, baby!!