Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dealing with it

Life, that is.

Dahlias help.

So does a good (all things being relative) night's sleep . . . and a hot drink . . . and a boy who is trying a little harder today to cooperate . . . and especially parents who always have your back. (I'm much better today, Mom and Dad. Love you!)

That's it for today from . . .

Monday, September 15, 2014

Last day of summer?

I know, I know; the last day of summer is still officially a week off. But today might be the last time we see 90 degrees on the thermometer this year (good riddance, say I, in spite of my new sandals), and there is a brisk breeze blowing the wildfire smoke out of the Willamette Valley tonight. I noticed some hints of autumn around the place today as well:

I can hardly wait for another of our typical fall colors – GREEN!

That's it for summer today at . . .

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dishpan hands

Our dishwasher died. It waited, of course, until it, the sink, and the table were all loaded with dirty dishes after Friday's usual cooking marathon followed by having company for two of yesterday's three meals. So this morning I found dishtowels that fit my guys' manly hands and put them to work drying, and got all the dishes washed. Then I dirtied some more making a four-loaf batch of bread and canning seven pints of tomatoes, and washed again. I also did three loads of laundry, watered as much of the garden as I could, and worked on one of the two newsletters that were due last week.

Don't worry; my day wasn't ALL work and no play. Before doing evening chores, my horse and I enjoyed the gathering dusk walking around the arena.

That's it for today from . . .

Friday, September 12, 2014

Foodstuff Friday

It has been a very dry summer here – not record-breaking, but certainly not "average." Nothing is growing in the pastures; we're keeping the horses and sheep off them so the dormant plants are not destroyed. Today Rick picked up three tons of pricey 2nd cutting grass hay (the lovely green stuff); I'm hoping that will be enough for the ewes and lambs until the grass comes back. The big boys (Blake and the four adult wethers in two separate lots) are on 'horse' hay – and maple leaves. Crispy dry leaves are falling from the big trees on our place, and the sheep love them – apparently they are the equivalent of sheepy potato chips. ;-)

If I were as industrious as Leigh, I'd be out there raking all those leaves and finding a way to store them for sheep feed!

Last night I filled the dehydrator with small tomatoes. We're picking big cherry tomatoes at my MIL's while she's gone (and some basil – I made pesto for tonight's supper); our garden has been producing quite a few small tomatoes, too – but not enough to fill a canner. These will dry into flavorful nuggets that will be good in soups, stews, and beans through the winter.

This morning I opened a pint of prunes that didn't seal yesterday. I had some for breakfast, and asked Rick if he would please try them even though canned prunes are not his favorite. Well, he LOVED them! Now I wish I'd canned more and dried less; I'd better make a note of how I made them for next year. (Prunes picked firm, cut in half and pitted, packed with a syrup of 4 c. water to 1 c. unrefined sugar with 2 t. cinnamon and 1/2 t. cloves – I think.

That's it for today from . . .