Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sneaking out September's back door...

October signals the real end of the season for me. Mostly. In my head, anyway. lol

  Last year in November I was still canning...turkey broth and stuff anyway.  And pumpkin. And the music plays on...

  It's been a chaotic couple of days around here.  My wonderful son (who loves his mommy soooo much he's willing to do things he hates)  fixed my broken kitchen sink sprayer. That is plumbing work people, and we all know that if you aren't getting 30 dollars an hour to do it, EVERYONE hates that work.  lol  Anyway he got it fixed with relative ease and minimal swearing and I am so grateful because it was driving me crazy. The hose wouldn't retract into the sink base and stay there. It was all flippity floppedy googlybongled.

  The other major thing he did was build me some new shelving in the pantry in this room. This is my main pantry and there was a lot of wasted space in here.  It has some built in shelves, that are great--big and deep--but dark and go from floor to ceiling and made it hard to know what was in there. Lots of jars of stuff I thought I was out of hiding away in the recesses of those shelves.  So, he did this. 

  The bottom picture shows all those gallon jars that have dried goods in them. Vegetables, fruits, rice, flours, know.  To get here, I had to take almost everything out of this pantry and stack it in the floor of the office here. And there were boxes that needed sorting (Xmas paper, junk, old electronics stuff...lordy). It was a mess  Here's what kind of a mess it was...

...and this was after tossing some stuff.  Sigh...  At any rate it's mostly done now.  And the pantry (which has not only those floor to ceiling shelves, but also a wire shelving unit like they use in restaurants, with 3 big shelves on the wall of this closet opposite the new shelves)  is SO much more user friendly now, not to mention that I don't have boxes of canned foods sitting willy nilly around the place. And there's still a little more room in there...YAY!!!!

  We've been harvesting sweet potatoes this past week as well. I think we will get therm finished up today, maybe. There still about 5-6 feet of the original big bed and the box to dig. It's been a pretty good crop this year, thank goodness.

  It's a beautiful Sunday morning. The Irishman is taking the dogs to the reservoir where they can run and run and sniff out exotic things and have a ball. He can only take one at a time, and little Caylee doesn't go at all (she's a homebody, like me lol), and he just brought back Bella, and took Molly. So Bella is outside howling and crying because she wants to go EVERY TIME. lol  I'm in here stalling, and listening to my new Janis Ian cd turned up loud. 

  I've been drying more fruit since Friday...I got some persimmons and they are drying too--what a pain those things are. I came upon a foolproof (ahem!) lazy way to circumvent just having a pureed blob of stuff so I can dry them. I slice the crown off and them kinda smash them into a flower shaped mess with the big seeds still in them. So--to eat them will be chewing around the seeds, but that okay. You have to do that to eat them fresh too.  And btw...the seeds this year is shaped like a spoon (or shovel as some call it). That is supposed to mean a cold winter is on the way. Honestly, the seeds have different shapes depending on the weather prediction. 

  And--the Irishman came home from hiking yesterday with 2 pawpaws.  I haven't seen or eaten one in years...I wish we could get more of the persimmons, there used to be a lot of those trees around these parts, and now you're hard pressed to find any...

  Okay. I do have a few things to do today if I am gong to make it in time to go to a matinee and then to a speaker meeting tonight where my friend and her husband are speaking.

  Have a blessed Sunday, everyone.  


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dehydrating, Freezing, Marinating...what else ?

 Big giant peaches. 2 dehydrators full, one full of apples still because it's slower than the other two. (No fan). Still have half a dozen of these peaches left and about a dozen apples.  They will make their way to the dehydrator too, as soon as one opens up. lol

  And there are currently 4 quarts of dried apples. The dehydrator that's still full has 6 trays, so that will probably be almost 2 more.  Nice to have...

 I picked these bell peppers this morning.  They aren't real big, but there sure are a lot of them.  I sliced and froze 4 quarts of them.  I also found 2 cucumbers out there. Crazy...I don't think I've ever had cukes in September --they usually burn up in July and August around here.  But they're a good size and taste fine. I'll take 'em.  lol


11 PM now. I sat down on the couch this afternoon about 4:30 ad the next thing I knew I woke up and it was 6 PM.  Holy Moly-- I rarely take a nap, but this one kinda took me. lol   I jumped up and checked the ribs I had in the little oven and then the Irishman pulled in the driveway.  Luckily I had made a big salad at lunch time so I didn't have to do  much.  Himself went out back and dug another tub of sweet potatoes. Picked a couple of errant okra.  I think those plants are ready to come out of the ground. I found a few more tomatoes.  The new green beans are flowering.  And for the first time I can remember, something is eating the heck out of my kale.  I'm going to plant some more in the box when the sweet potatoes come out of it. And some spinach. That box was originally a cold flat and we have some old glass windows that fit over the top of it. The beets are looking okay, and the chard is making a comeback. That particular chard is called Perpetual Spinach, and I kept it going a long time last year...

I sliced up over 4 pounds of chicken breast and made the jerky marinade and got that stuff in the fridge this afternoon.


I just went into the kitchen to turn over the bag of chicken jerky in the fridge.  My little dog Caylee sleeps under the dining room table most nights, in the corner up against the wall.. I went over to look at the thermostat and see how much it had cooled down in the house, when I noticed something along the baseboard right behind her.  At first, I thought it was a string or small rope of some kind. A patterned cord. I turned the overhead light on and looked closer and it was a snake. I made some noises, and the Irishman came out of the bedroom.  He took one look at it and said it was a baby copperhead.  HOLY CRAP !!!!   We got Caylee out of there without her getting bit and got the broom and dustpan and he got it finally and threw it out into the yard.  It was going crazy the more he tried to pick it up...wriggling and striking and twisting about.  I don't know how it got in here, although the doors were open today off and on...I can't imagine how it could have gotten past the dogs though.  

Whew !  Crisis averted.  But now I've got the heebie-jeebies, thinking it came up through the floor somewhere.  lol

Never a dull moment on Honeysuckle Hill.  lol


We seem to have an epidemic of frogs this year too.  All shapes and sizes. Last night when I let the dogs out for the last time, there was a medium sized toad doing the backstroke in the water bowl. When he saw me, he pulled himself up on the edge of the bowl and just hung there, watching me.   I made sure he could get out. We have several really big toads that hang out on the front porch and meander down the sidewalk into the garage now and then. Every morning when I go out to see the chickens, there are hundreds of little tiny frogs cavorting in the grass, hopping up the steps, and hanging out in the corners of the deck. I mean tiny--no bigger than the end of my pinkie.  And every night when I do the dishes, there are some tree frogs that climb up on the screen, attracted by the light, I guess.   We also have a box turtle who's been regularly visiting the flower bed where I planted the extra tomatoes, and there was a tomato hanging low today that had the bottom half of it eaten off, and you could see the imprint of his beak in the shape of the chewed places.  

I love Mother Nature.

(Except snakes in my dining room).

  Okay, I might be getting ready for some sleep.  Hope you all had adventures and naps today too !!

[Oh my. I just realized that I have been dating all my bags 9-23 today, and here it is 9-26...]


Monday, September 23, 2013

It's here. The first full day of Autumn

 Some beautiful peaches we got after  taking the ferry across the river yesterday. These are strictly for drying and eating.  I couldn't believe there were still peaches available this late, but there were. They are huge and hopefully really sweet.

 Got these too. They're Jonagolds and look pretty good for dehydrating.  Should keep me busy for a minute.  lol   Gonna get started with the apples, as soon as I finish this bit of housekeeping (that's turned into an ordeal).  I can't believe the dust that collects around here this time of year. I live on a road that is about 2/3 farm fields and when they start harvesting the dried corn and soybeans, it's a nightmare.  Especially when the weather is conducive to having the windows open.  It's deceptive...because none of those fields are within sight of my house.  But they can't fool me.  


  We had a lovely day yesterday. Originally, we were maybe going to the Butterfly House at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. But the Irishman didn't get home until after 1, and they close at 4, and it's over an hour to get there. So, that was out.  We might go this next weekend.  So, we changed course and decided to just take a ride over to Calhoun County, because I wanted to get some apples to dry, and it's apple season. I also wanted to see if anybody had any peaches left, although I honestly didn't expect to find any. Surprise! Got both, though at 2 different orchards.  As you can see in the pictures, they are beautiful, so I was one happy camper. I was distraught that the coons ate all our apples and I had to buy them, but still...

  To get to Calhoun County, you have to drive for about an hour and then take the ferry across the Mississippi River to Brussels.  It's pleasant. And Calhoun is mostly floodplain, but also has some of the only hills in this part of the state. Lush and green from all the alluvial effect from flooding over the years. We stopped for lunch in another small town, Hardin, which is about 15 miles from Brussels, more beautiful scenery.  We had  grilled walleye and baked sweet potatoes and salad.  Really good (and diet friendly).  As we were coming out of the restaurant, onto the back parking lot that is on the river, we saw this:

 Chugging down the Illinois River. It was so beautiful !  They never cease to delight me, these riverboats. I guess I'm still such a child. lol  Brings to mind Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and how reading those stories of adventures made me feel when I was 9.  Back in the days before the world became such a scary place and you could trust people and go places and stay gone for hours and hours and nobody would worry. I use to hole up in the treehouse at the end of our street and read until I heard my mom calling us for supper.

  Anyway...then the Irishman and I headed for Pere Marquette State Park, where we drove all the way to the top of the park and found a wooded picnic spot where we could read and play backgammon. But first, since it was the approximate time of the equinox (4:44)  we stood in the clearing and held hands and said prayers of peace  for the earth and all its inhabitants to  the four directions. First north, then east, then south, and finally west, where the sun sets. It's a little tradition we like to practice at each equinox/solstice. And it was a beautiful day for it. Sunny, mid 70's and clear blue skies.  We played backgammon and talked and laughed until it got too chilly to stay and we packed up and headed home.


  And today.  Today we are back at it. lol   Himself is back to work, I am housecleaning. And maybe just stalling a little getting started on the apples. lol   I have the bread machine going with some gluten free bread (a Bob's Red Mill mix--outrageously expensive, might as well buy the Ezekiel! )   But I have another recipe I will try as soon as I get some sprouted wheat flour and some spelt flour.  I really don't like the Ezekiel bread--it's tough and dry and blah.  We'll see what happens.

  I started vacuuming, and noticed that the ceiling fan was really dirty, so shut it off and took the long handled brush to the blades.  Then I noticed how dusty it was on top of the entertainment center, where all the hurricane lamps sit (yes...they were filthy too). So I took them all down, took the scarf off the top and put it and a chair cover into the laundry.  I wiped down the top of that, washed all the hurricane lamps, moved the bird cage and cleaned up seeds and feathers around that. Got those things done and then decided I needed a break and something to eat. This is what happens. lol

  I'm having a few strange dizzy spells this morning...not sure what THAT'S about.  Wondering if I should go up to the little clinic in town and have them check my blood pressure.  Wondering if it's low, because it certainly isn't high. Don't have time for this kind of foolishness.   :)    Almost feels like vertigo.  Weird. 

  Okay. I've finished my lunch and need to get back at it.  Need to spot clean the carpets in a couple of places. Finish up the vacuuming. And then get at least one dehydrator going with apples. It won't take much to get them ready...a vinegar bath and then my handy dandy apple corer/slicer.  I don't usually peel them, and I'm sure not going to start that now. lol  Unless the peels are particularly tough, and I don't think they are.  Maybe I should eat one for dessert....


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Autumnal Equinox, 2013

 Equinox: When the night and day are of the same length.  The turning point of the seasons, and from now on, the days will get shorter as we move towards winter.  I think it officially falls tomorrow, but there have been some celebrations today as well.  The autumnal equinox is marked by the harvest moon this year...when a full moon falls closest  to or on the date of the equinox.  It has surely been magnificent.


  We have been working our way slowly through the harvest.  Spent Friday night shelling edamame that we are saving for seed, and then some.  Filled the jars for seed, and then filled another quart+  of dried beans, thinking maybe I can rehydrate them and see what happens, or just grind them and use for flour.  Not going to waste, at any rate.  I wonder if I could sprout them? Hmmmm...  

  We also got the green bean seeds all shelled and are now laying out to dry.  Those plants all got pulled up and relegated to the compost bin.  The new beans are looking pretty good, but it's getting cool fast, so nothing may come of them. We shall see...

  Still harvesting the errant tomato and okra pods...drying them as we fact, there's a dehydrator full waiting to be put away now.  Still harvesting and freezing bell peppers. Saving seed from those too. 

  Started checking and digging some sweet end of the bed, the plants he dug the taters were small, but healthy looking. The other end were OMG! huge and healthy looking.  I think we're going to have a good crop this year. In fact, we sliced up several of them and feasted on sweet potato fries with burgers for supper last night.  Gorgeous bright orange flesh, thin skinned. Hope they store well.

  I have sage drying, anise hyssop drying, chives drying, parsley drying, lemon balm drying, basil drying can imagine what my kitchen looks like. lol   Himself finished harvesting the fingerling potatoes and we have 2 big trays full of those hardening off a little here in the office. 2 butternut squash as well were brought in after the fact. lol


 Once we recover from the hit of paying the property taxes, it will be time to see about restocking my pantry with some things like canned tuna and maybe salmon (if I can find Atlantic salmon--not going to risk eating the Pacific stuff--too much radiation danger from Fukashima) . Other odds and ends that I like to keep on hand, or extras of too.  I may still can some chicken breast this year as I am almost out of the stuff I canned before. That was my first time to can any kind of meat, and it worked out very well. It was really handy to have those jars of chicken on the shelf.  Same with the turkey and turkey broth that I canned last year. But I still have lots of that.  I recently found a recipe for home canning baked beans that I am dying to try.  I thought about canning some chili, but I don't know--it's easy enough to make. would be convenient. I actually could can about any kind of fish too, local stuff, and forego buying any potentially contaminated fish.  hmmm..that's a thought.  Oh well--all this talk is the rambling of a dangerously tired mind. LOL  Lately I have been thinking I am so done with canning ANYTHING!   Until I see a neat recipe.  lol  

  I'm going to make some hot cocoa mix and not have to buy that anymore. I can sweeten it with xylitol and use my fair trade cocoa...and the recipe I found (thanks! Alton Brown!!)  makes about a half gallon of mix for about 3 bucks.  AND YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT'S IN IT !   So, there you go.  We don't drink a lot of hot cocoa, but it's nice to have in winter.  The Irishman really likes it, since he doesn't drink coffee...

  I got all the laundry stuff to make soap again, it was a buy 2 get one free deal on all 3 main ingredients, so I did.  It's still sitting on my kitchen table while I ponder the mystery of where the heck I'm going to store it. lol

. Tomorrow morning I'm going to bake some pumpkin muffins, for breakfast.  Phase 3 on the weekends gives me more latitude on what I can eat. And I am dying for something healthy/sweet.  That's not fruit.  :)


   Okay...I'm starting to yawn--must be nearing bedtime. Sat with my neighbor today for about 9 hours. Made for a very long day, lol.  The temps here are in the low 70's during the day, and the 50's at night.   I meant to open up my house this morning before I left, but forgot. It'll happen first thing in the morning, believe me.   All I can smell is dog and I need to air it out.  The AC has been back on for several days because it got so hot again. Sheesh.

  Happy Saturday to you all...wishes for peace in your happy !!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Autumn has arrived...

  The past few days have barely hit the mid 70's and some of the nights have been in the 40's.  I made a pepper steak tonight for supper...some bottom round steak cooked forever with sliced onions and then bell peppers thrown in at the end. It was awesome. I went out to pick peppers for it, and found all kinds of small peppers with damage or rot or weird white paper-like scars on them.  Those I cut up and trimmed for the meal. This colander is the other ones and I'll cut them into strips to freeze tomorrow. (I've already frozen about 6 quarts).   I've been canning tomatoes-diced, sauce, and my old favorite--tomatoes/onions/okra.   I have green tomatoes out there that may not get a chance to ripen, but I'll just pick them green and store them until they ripen. Or something. My friend pickles green tomatoes, but that doesn't sound like something I would eat, lol.

  The food plan is going well enough. I've lost 18 pounds since I started.  It's getting easier to know what to eat and when to eat it.  I could probably be losing more/faster if I was exercising, but that isn't in the cards for right now.  Maybe in a few more weeks, when all the garden is done.

  I wrestled with buying a Vitamix today.  They are so expensive, and even though I know I could use it to do a lot of things...I just cannot justify that kind of outlay of deniros.  They had an option called Easy pay, which would break it down into 6 payments of 83 dollars each, but...I just can't do it.  I'm sure himself will be glad to hear it.  lol  I told him I was thinking about it, and he didn't say much.

  ***I have to go to bed--am suddenly soooo sleepy.  I'll come back tomorrow  ***


  Early lots done today, cleaning house and laundry and putting the freshly laundered sheers back up on the living room windows.   Cleaned the big bathroom, took everything off the giant vanity and wiped them all down, then the counters and the sink. Cleaned the mirrors, the toilet, the floors.  The Irishman will have to clean the big handicapped shower we have, because I am unable to do it.  I got the property taxes (second installment) in the mail. I got the bell peppers in the freezer. My wonderful son mowed and did the weed eating and cleaned up the whole property today for me.  Am I blessed or what ?  It all looks so good. I went out and swept the cut grass off the porch and sidewalk.

  I made a big pot of 3 bean chili for tonight's supper. 3 bean, because I only had 1 can of dark red kidney beans and was too lazy to go out and get more. lol  I used the one can of kidneys, one jar of home canned pintos and 1 can of cannelini beans.  It was really good and there's plenty of leftovers.

 It was a stay at home and do mundane chores kind of a Monday.  What did you do ?

  I'm reading my 3rd of the 4 books I got at the Methodist Women's Rummage Sale last weekend.  Lisa Gardner.  Good so far.  We also watched a couple of good movies this past was called Parental Guidance  with Billy Crystal and Bette Midler.  Very good, entertaining family  film.  The other was a bit heavier, Denzel Washington in Flight.  A disturbing film about alcoholism and a plane crash. VERY good movie. As usual, Denzel showed the range of his acting abilities and wow-ed me.  Highly recommended (unless you're getting ready to fly somewhere...)  LOL

  Okay....enough of this mindless drivel.  I'm sure you have better things to do, lol

  I'm going to get back to my here this evening and I've been in sweats all day.  Autumn certainly seems to be in the air...


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hasta la Vista, summer...

  The last week or two has had temperatures back in the high 90's around here. It's been miserable. But--sunny.  So tomatoes started ripening at a pace as yet unseen in 2013.  lol  As you can imagine, it's been a crazy September around these parts as I've spent days and days canning and dehydrating tomatoes in all their forms. Sauce, salsa, okra-tomatoes-onions (one of my favorite things to heat up and eat when I can't think of anything else for lunch. I only canned a dozen or so jars of that, since I'm really the only fan here. The other night I was up until 1 canning quarts of sauce because I had to neighbor-sit the next day and would be gone all day.  I canned more diced. I may can some whole tomatoes today, since I have about 15 pounds of Romas in there and they need to be preserved. I've dried at least another 15 pounds already. There won't be a tomato shortage in this house come winter.  lol  Or a sweet relish shortage either.  lol  I harvested about 2 dozen good looking butternut squash yesterday morning.  But today is only supposed to be in the mid 80's and down to the 70's from then on. We'll see.

 The sweet potatoes we planted in the winter box (I don't know what else to call that thing.  It was supposed to be a covered box to try to grow lettuce or spinach in winter, to start seedlings in, etc.  But himself built it like 3 ft. high and it never quite worked out as intended.  So, after planting my sweet potato bed this year I still had about 9 plants left with no room and had the bright idea of having him fill that box with compost and leaf mold. He did, and I planted those sweet 'taters in it, along with a couple of Roma plants that I had no room for (after I had planted a tomato bed, planted 5 more plants in a flower bed in front of the deck, between the hostas, and STILL had 2 more plants.  lol--himself said--just put them in the compost pile--I must have looked stricken, because he added, or anywhere you can find a hole!)  LOL  So, into the sweet 'tater box they went, in one corner.  They have grown like crazy...who knew sweet potatoes would be a companion plant to tomatoes ??  Not me, for sure. But those 2 little tomatoes have produced more and better tomatoes than any of the others.   Live and learn.  Anyway, I accidentally uncovered a sweet potato in there digging around for tomatoes and it looks like there's going to be a good crop there.  It's getting close to time to harvest the big bed too, I suspect.  My friend Cathy, the Sweet Potato Queen, who grows like 3 acres of them every year and sells them up north in Minnesota, has said hers are ready to harvest. Of course,   she probably planted at the end of March, and mine weren't planted until May. So, maybe not quite yet. We'll see.

  I am behind on everything...correspondence, emails, housekeeping... I keep telling myself that I have all winter to catch up. But the rush at summers end is always so time consuming, it's hard to remember that. I've been freezing a lot of bell peppers, and still have lots out there. I harvested the sage and put it to dry in the back pantry in a paper bag. I have friends who save me their paper bags with handles, and I use them to dry things like that by putting the uprooted plants (or the leaves and flowers in the case of anise hyssop and a couple of other things like that) into the bags, hanging the handles of the bag over a clotheshanger, and hanging it up in the back pantry/closet on the clothes rod. In fact, when I put the sage in there, I realized that I hadn't yet emptied the bags from last year--parsley, sage, fennel, onion flowers for seed, and feverfew are some of the things in there. I still have some other herbs to dry, but they are fine for now and I think I'll wait until the tomatoes are finished before I worry about them.  Sigh... I've been trying to save more seed this year too, and there are flats of waxed paper covered with seeds drying all over the kitchen and spare room.  It's a circus around here, I'll tell you...

  Well, I better get moving. I need to go down and visit a friend in the hospital this morning.  She had to have a complete hysterectomy and is as discombobulated mentally over it as she is physically.   Naturally. And I've been through it too, so I can hold her hand and tell her it will all be alright. I'll stop and get her some flowers or something on the way...

Speaking of flowers---my wisteria is blooming !!!  It is the one growing all over the arbor:

  Only 1 clump of flowers that I can see so far, but still--it's the first time it's flowered.  I excitedly told my neighbor yesterday (she has wisteria everywhere on her property), and she said--wisteria bloom in spring. I said, I don't care, mine doesn't. lol  Anyway, thought I'd share that little joy with you. There are other new tendrils sticking out all over, that look like the one this bloomed on, so maybe there will be more. I pruned that wisteria within an inch of it's life last year (or was it spring this year?) anyway... I seriously cut it back to about 2 ft high all around the arbor.  Maybe if I prune it like that this fall, it'll flower in spring. Who knows...the mysteries of life.    Also, the little griddle I was hoping to get??  I got the last one, and it seemed like a good one so I bought it. $14.99  I used it last night to grill some New York strip steaks for supper, and it worked like a charm. here it is:

It measures almost 18x9 and fits my 2 gas burners perfectly.  The other side is smooth, for pancakes or sandwiches .  SCORE!  It's a good heavy cast iron too...

  Alright. I am off to get on with my day (if Facebook still won't load, lol)  I have lots of small things to try to accomplish today, hospital visit, picking up chicken feed, finishing up the tomatoes, reading the selected magazine stuff for tonights discussion group, and figuring out what to make the Irishman for supper. Something he can eat on the way to La Vista while I drive.

Another day in the life of a tree hugging dirt worshipper.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The best laid plans ...

 Okay.  so the plan was, I would begin my Wednesday of food preservation really early this morning. Get a few things done. Then interrupt it about 10:30 and get showered and dressed and go meet a woman struggling to get her sobriety and her life back, and go to a meeting at noon.

 Right.  I didn't even get out of bed this morning until almost 8:30. I was so tired yesterday that, even though I needed a nap and didn't take one, I was sacked out by 11:30 last night. That's early for me, although I have been trying to rewire my sleeping habits, and go to bed by 12:30 instead of 2.  Still...I got up finally and thank goodness the boy had been up early and put the chickens out.  I had breakfast by 9 and even made some coffee. Had a hard time shaking the sleep from my brain. I came in here and got on Facebook with my breakfast, and subsequently with my coffee and didn't do a damn thing about preserving any food.  sigh...

  While I was in the shower, the woman called and is waiting at a counselling office for an assessment and isn't going to make it. Of course, I'm all shiny and clean and dressed.  AND, I called my sister, who lives down there too (down there being a 30 minute trip one way) and said I would drop by and see her later this afternoon when I was all finished.  She was excited about my visit, and has her new grandson...and I do want to see I can't really just cancel the trip.  I need to pay the water bill (which is on the way down there) and I need to go to the market for a couple of things. Consequently...nothing's getting done today, unless I get in there right now (in my clean clothes) and start that tomato and edamame mess.  Which, as you can see, isn't going to happen, because I've found yet another way to distract myself by blogging instead.

  I'm hopeless.  I'm a prisoner of my lists and plans (not really so much) and blah, blah, blah.

The temps have retreated into the mid to high 80's around these parts.  It's pleasant.  It's actually only 77 right now and it's almost noon.  They've predicted? forecast?  87 for a high today, but there's not that much time left. Still no rain. Nary a drop. I need to get out there and water this evening I guess. At least the new beans and the beets. I think I have reached that apex of apathy where the garden is concerned.  I'm tired of canning and drying and freezing. I'm tired of watering. I've completely stopped weeding, except for the stuff I pull up deliberately to feed the chickens.  But, I tell myself, it IS September and the stuff is winding down. Sort of. lol

  I'm going to Aldi's to buy myself a present today. They have a cast iron griddle which fits over your stove burners that I want. I've wanted one for a long time, just not enough to shell out 30 dollars for one (thrifty bitch). Ahem.  But this one is half that, and if it seems like a decent heavy one, I'm buying it. They  have some nice fruits on sale- nectarines, plums and cantaloupes and apples- so I'll pick up some of those.  I also need lemon juice, as I'm going through tons of it canning and making flavored water drinks for the Irishman. I drink it a little, but lemon water makes me pee like a racehorse for some reason, and I have enough problems with THAT.  I basically stick with local spring water, which hydrates me nicely. I save my vinegar jugs for use as water jugs--much heavier and better than the old gallon milk jugs that I used to beg people to save for me, since we don't drink milk, and certainly NEVER gallons of it. lol  Since I started using so much vinegar (pickling, fabric softener, cleaning products) I buy it by the case from Pappy's Market and have lots of bottles. Win/Win.

  Well...time for me to eat a snack. Probably sliced turkey from the breasts I cooked and sliced and froze with some cucumber spears. I am down 14 pounds.  It's not hard eating according to this plan, except on Wed/Thurs. This is the day that's most like the Atkins diet and I hate it. Too much protein. But at least I can eat all the (certain) vegetables I can stuff in my gullet.  lol  Mostly no tomatoes or sweet potatoes, and I love both of those. But any and all greens, green beans, mushrooms, peppers, onions,'s not SO depriving.  It just kinda feels like it.  LOL  14 pounds in 2 months is a very reasonable weight loss.  Right ?

  Time to get a move on, change myself to fit the new plans and write a check to the water company. Believe me, after 5 years of having to haul water, I don't resent this particular bill ONE BIT.  On the other hand, my car insurance just went up over 18 dollars a month, and I am calling them to find out why.  The letter said ..."after a policy review..."  WTH ?  Moneychangers.

  Enjoy the beautiful weather--assuming you're having some.  I'm going to...