July

July

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Days Aren't Long Enough!

This morning as I was getting myself together, I realized summer is passing by at record speed and the days aren't long enough to get every thing done that I want to get done in a single day. This week, I have cleaned and threw away and straightened my kitchen. I cleaned cupboards and drawers and scrubbed floors. I guess you could call it my getting ready for fall.



Yesterday I went out to take care of the garden, and I thought maybe I would have about six ripe tomatoes. I picked tomatoes for thirty minutes so I knew the plans I had for yesterday were going to be put aside for making more spaghetti sauce.

After the cooking down and putting through the food mill I ended up with one huge pot of sauce.


When Peter came home for lunch he took bowl and dipped sliced Mozzarella cheese into fresh sauce. I love it when they make yummy sounds. It simmered and cooked down and I ended up with more jars of this lovely stuff.
I feel like I am getting ready for winter.

Two of my largest stock pots cooked down to just 7 jars.

Here is my pantry this morning.

Its dark in my pantry so I will use the picture with the flash. That is just part of it. I have the jam I have made at the other end.

I need to make more jam.

I did manage to make a peach pie yesterday. I went out to get the mail and I had a few ripe peaches so I picked enough for pie and made that while my spaghetti sauce was in the water bath canner. I don't like to leave it boiling on the stove so making a peach pie gave me something to do. Really it was because I knew if I sat down it would hurt too much to have to get up so I stayed on my feet.


I have been on a different kind of book read this summer. I had these books on hold at the library and they came in on Saturday. I would like to slow down a bit to bury my head in these books for a while.


They are The Stranger in the Woods, Pioneer Women: Voices From the Kansas Frontier, Hearts West: True Stories of Mail Order Brides on the Frontier, Women of the West, Pioneer Women The Lives of Women on the Frontier. Ron thinks I am wanting to get away and live on the prairie. Who knows, maybe I do.


Of course, still working on my rug. I did manage to get most of my unfinished rugs bound. I have one tiny one left. Life still manages to be life. On my list of things I wanted to get done is still getting my bed room painted. I just don't think that is going to happen this summer. August is around the corner so that means getting windows washed and my neglected flowerbeds ready for fall too. Its still over a hundred here every day. The game cam said one day out in the pasture it reached 134. It was in full sun but even at hundred and twenty that is still hot to be out in it and I am most of the day trying to keep my garden and my hens alive.

I just wanted to check in and show you the things going on. Its been a nice summer all in all. I hope yours has been nice too.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. Its always nice to know you are out there and having a nice summer  too.

~Kim~

“Perhaps, after all, our best thoughts come when we are alone. It is good to listen, not to voices but to the wind blowing, to the brook running cool over polished stones, to bees drowsy with the weight of pollen. If we attend to the music of the earth, we reach serenity. And then, in some unexplained way, we share it with others.”
― Gladys Taber

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Is Flying By

Chocolate Sunflower
I hope you are having a nice week. Today the weather man said we have had 31 days over 100. I wouldn't be getting these flowers or tomatoes. I would like a few summer storms though. Fire is all around. I had thought I would make it up to see the rugs at the ATHA Hooker Hill Rug Retreat this week, but I ended up not going because of the terrible fires up there. Maybe next year. I would love to see Monica Jones in person. So I worked in the kitchen.

This week I picked this bushel basket of tomatoes.

Aren't they pretty?

I spent the rest of the day turning the tomatoes into this sauce.


It really is a all day project. Cooking the tomatoes, onions and pepper and garlic until I can put it through my
food grinder. Then back on the stove to cook two, or more hours and then finally getting into the jars after it has cooked down and then in the water bath canner for 35 minutes. I make such a huge mess, by the time my kitchen is finally cleaned that takes a while too. I was pretty tired yesterday. My tomato vines are still loaded with tomatoes so I hope to repeat this a few more times before summer is over.


My flowers are still producing and most of my zinnias are multicolored so I thought this was interesting that this plant has nothing but purple blooms.


Most of them look like this. That purple bush is in the background.

I was out with my camera. I normally have a hard time getting pictures of the orchard bees when they are on the sunflowers. I got this series of three photos that made me so happy. I would like to share them with you.

The first photo, I was afraid to get much closer. They fly away at the point normally.

I took the next step, and see how her little pollen baskets are filled to overflowing?  
I took one more step and got that last picture. She flew away at this point.   
My sunflowers are growing so fast and the finches are already chattering up a storm, as they wait for the
sunflower seeds to harden. I found this sunflower already in the process of being opened by the finches.

The finches take the brown stuff off and watch and check on the progress just as I keep checking the fruit on the peach and nectarine trees. I noticed yesterday that I have a male finch with his red summer colors on his chest and face starting to follow me around when I am outside. Finches chatter almost non-stop. Even when they are alone. The male was flying ahead of me tree to tree. By the end of summer the trees and sunflowers will be filled  with a large flock. I will have to race them if I am to get a few seeds to plant.

This summer we have some pretty large ant hills. The kind with giant red ants. I have always been intrigued by those kind of ants. I like to stand and watch them as they carry giant seeds or bits of straw or even parts of other dead bugs back to the ant hill. I like them because I always think I will get an ant farm and then have a steady supply of ants. Don't mess up and get them from another ant hill that you think might have been the same kind. Its results in horrible results. I had one in my kitchen when the kids were younger and lets say, I am still scared by what I saw. I haven't ever had one again so I am content to watch them outside.

Earlier in the summer, I don't normally have my pest control guy spray out in the garden, but we have these box elder beetles that really get bad so I have him go back out there and spray the trees that the box elder beetles live on.
As I was walking ahead of him, I hear him remarking to himself, " Wow!! What a big ant hill!!" He is just spraying the heck out of those poor ants. I wanted to cry. Every time I walk by that ghost town of an ant hill. I am reminded why I don't let pest control out in the pasture. I have found that mulching and fertilizing has done more for my pest control than any thing I have tried in the past.

 That is my animal and bug stories for the day. I think there are so many dramas being played out every day and I never even write about half that I see on a daily basis. Like this year, we have so many of those tiny dragon fly looking things that are from ant lions. They are what are pollinating my tomatoes. I think it is because we have had such a wet winter, and of course, the ant hills.

Its never a dull moment. I have been hooking but not as much as I wish. I hope you have a delightful weekend.

~Kim~

 "The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change."

―E.B. White, Charlotte's Web


Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Summer Evening


Here we are at midway in July. I really wanted to start this post griping about the heat. As I just came in from outside and I had to wait before I could type because of my sweaty hands.  That wasn't what I wanted to write about. I wanted to tell you about all of the nice things I have going on in my life. I have been thinking of the things I am thankful for and how I can choose to be grumpy or I can be happy.

1. My garden loves hot days. It loves the heat and the flowers bloom and the tomatoes get ripe. The cucumbers are growing great.

2. There is a new sunflower blooming every day. Ditto with the zinnias.

3. I go swimming every night. The water is perfection.


 4. The new kitty is getting better day by day. It does have a name now.
Banjo. It seems like a good name. I can change it any time I feel like since it is still technically a stray.

5. With Ron's early hours now, I am up way before the sun. I get to watch a new sunrise every day. I love being outside in the early morning. I love the peace that a new morning brings.

6. I love my kids and my grands. I love that no matter what, when  they have all been in a trial or just out of a trial.
They weather the storms with grace and honor and guts. Which makes me so proud and thankful they are such wonderful people and they are in my life. I am still amazed they like me.


7. I love being this age. I have enough years behind me to find it easier to accept things I cannot change.
Acceptance comes easier. Well except when I get a jury summons. I know that God has never failed.

8. I love summer fruit. It seems that this year every thing just tastes sweeter.

9. Chickens. What is there to say besides that.


10. Books, sewing and rug hooking. I have enjoyed the work of my hands so much this summer. It has been so nice to sit and do those quiet things after my work is finally done. I think with my produce I have been canning almost every day, when I do get to sit I feel like I have earned my hand work time. For some reason I haven't figured out, it makes me so thankful and happy.

Just a list of things that I needed to tell myself. Things I need to be thankful for and not complain. I do complain far too much. Even I am tired of hearing me. I hope your week is a fantastic one.

Thank you for stopping by today,
~Kim~

My almost every day occurrence.
"Fruits have been visible on the apple tree and on all the various trees around me, for some time, and now they are reddening, ripening and swelling and darkening.  Stand at the top of the stone steps , now, looking through the branches and they are what you first notice.  Turn your head.  In the wilderness garden of the derelict cottage, the apple trees and bending with fruit, berry-red and huge."
The Magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill ( My current reading book.) Among others. I think I am reading five.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jury Duty and Produce.


 I am back!! Jury Duty was on my list of things to do for July. I got off so now I am free the rest of the summer. I know it is a Civic duty and a privilege. I might not feel so jaded if I felt that as jurors we had more rights than the prisoners. I did learn something new though, we have so many courtrooms now. My goodness! I went to a place I have never gone before and it had three floors of nothing but courtrooms. I guess you could say that crime is now big business. I have a story. I should leave the house more often.

Garden growing like crazy!
 To say that I have spent more time worrying than just about anything this last month since I got my last summons would be an understatement. I have worked myself silly, because you know, what if I didn't come back and someone saw my junk drawer and it wasn't cleaned. You know weird stuff like that. I worked all day on Monday making spaghetti sauce. Which is about 8 hours not to mention the regular stuff. Like cleaning and laundry. Just so I wouldn't think.

Lovely Tomatoes!
I had to report to Jury Services and I went out to get in my car and my battery was dead as a door-nail! I was so shocked, scared and befuddled. I just couldn't believe it, not in all of my born days. I ran back in the house and ran up the stairs and poor Elliot was just out of the shower with his hair standing on end,  when I yelled, " Hey do you have to go to work today? He patiently replied, " No, Mom, Why?" I said " My battery is dead in my car and I have to go to Jury Duty, can I borrow yours? He said, " Oh of course, and calmly walked back in his room to get his car keys. He has a new car that I have never drove before. Elliot is always calm, cool and collected. He never gets ruffled by anything. So opposite from me. I was in full blown panic!!


I listened while I am transferring my stuff from my car to his car, all the while praying I will remember everything thing he is telling me.  I got in his fun car and took off. His car is new and my car is getting up in years, so it was a blast to drive. I made it safely to juror parking, which is miles away from juror services. Its on the other side of train tracks. I parked and realized there was a train. I should have moved the car to another parking lot further away but I didn't. I walked to the other parking lot. I had almost 10,000 steps by the time I went home last night.

In 100 degree heat. Downtown. In the summer!! Since there was a train. I had to climb three flights of stairs to a crossing over the train. Then walk just as fast as I could to juror service to get checked in. It was packed with people. In fact, I don't know when I have ever been there and it was so packed. I checked in and walked around until I found a seat.


I carry a knife in my purse. I always have. I had taken the knife out of my purse before I left home. I made sure I didn't have anything on the list that you can't take with you when you go through the metal detector. I was looking for my glasses, when I noticed Elliot's car keys in my purse. On his key chain he had, pepper spray, You really can't have that at court. He also had a little knife, and fingernail file and a beer opener and cork screw. Really??? I went to the lockers that they have there, but they were kind of sketchy. So I decided I needed to go back to the car and put all of that in the car. In 100 degree heat! Miles away.


The check in guy said I had about 15 minutes. So I took off again. Yes, there was a train. So it meant
walking all the way back and going up the other side of that three story crossing over the train. Back three parking lots to Elliot's car. I took the key off the key chain and began my walk back, in 100 degree heat.

By the time I got back to jury services I was a sweating mess. Then of course, I had to sit by this guy who talked and talked. When they finally called my name for a court room I was happy. I saw pictures of his kids, and grand kids and his Harley. I heard about why he had to go to jail. He told me about his crazy wives. He is on number three by the way. I just shook my head at appropriate times. Heck, he even showed me his tattoo.  He was in the 101st Airborne in Desert Storm.
 Ron said jokingly when I told him, " Maybe he was like Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park ,  " He is always on the lookout for a future ex-Mrs. Malcolm." Only his case, wife number 4. Gross!!


I am home now, and my schedule is my own. Which is nice. I think being on jury duty gives me perspective. How cushy my life is and how wonderful I have it. Even getting up at 4:30 isn't bad. Its nice to get up and have my day started. So its a good thing all in all.

If you are still reading along, thank you. I know this is very wordy. I do love summer. In spite of the heat.

Have a lovely day,
~Kim~

“Come with me,' Mom says.
To the library.
Books and summertime
go together.”Lisa Schroeder---

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy July!


I hope you all had a lovely, fun filled Fourth of July. Ours was normal. Fireworks, fun and lots of food! The swimming pool was a nice place to spend on the hot day. We had Tri-tip and hot dogs. I made vanilla home made ice cream and peach cobbler. My peaches aren't ripe yet so I had to buy some.

I picked cucumbers this morning.


 I will admit I was rather shocked  when I couldn't carry them in my hand and I had to go up to the house and get my half bushel basket. I was tired this morning. I wasn't planning on making pickles but I did anyway.


My first batch of fermented pickles.  I didn't have grape leaves but it said I could use black tea bags, so I put those in the top of the jars, along with some whey. I will let you know how they turn out. I put in fresh cut dill.


I went out and gave the dill all careful hair cuts with my scissors. It is a nice quiet morning.


 We have new neighbors!!


One of the hardest things for me, is I grew up in the house next door. It was my parents house that they loved and worked so hard on it. I have to live next door and watch renters come in and just tear the heck out of it. Sometimes when I am out in the garden, I think to myself, I just can't take this anymore. I need to move. Last night I was ready to call the realtor. The last firework mortar went off at 2:30 A.M. They were so big that the floor would vibrate. Since Ron has to be up at 4:30 it makes for a really hard start to the day.

But like everything. It always looks pretty in the morning. Life is back to its normal routine. I have lovely cucumbers and tomatoes to pick. I wandered around and counted my blessings. I prayed for God to be in me not a different set of circumstances. To get my peace and accept that for now, this is where I am to be.


 Four weeks ago, this little kitty showed up.  I have no idea where it came from. Sasha chased it the first time I saw it and it ran from me until Sunday when I caught it. Four weeks of hot weather, no food and I am sure terrors I have no idea it underwent. I have spent a lot of time just sitting and holding it and talking to it. It still doesn't come to kitty kitty. Nor does it know how to use a cat box. I gave it a bath Monday morning. It just laid there and let me wash her and dry her. She doesn't meow or make a sound. She has never unsheathed her claws or tried to bite. I don't know if she is just in shock but every day she is a little bit better. She was so painfully thin. She eats very well and drinks. I am hopeful she will be okay. I will take her to the vet just as soon and I can stand to do one more scary thing to/for her. She tugs at my heart because she is such a little fighter against all odds. Needless to say, Sasha and my other cats are not happy about this new development.


 The sunflowers are opening and it does make me happy to go out to the garden and see all of the smiling faces.

I hope you have a lovely day.

I wish you blessings upon blessings and hope you have a wonderful restful day.

~Kim~

"It was rapture enough just to sit there beside him in silence, alone in the summer night in the white splendor of moonshine, with the wind blowing down on them out of the pine woods."

―L.M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle

Monday, June 26, 2017

How Does My Garden Grow.

The heat wave is almost over! Last week was like running a marathon. Every day was hotter than the last.The petals of this poor sunflower got a tad sun-burned. Today, 103 will feel like a nice spring day. The garden liked it, better than I did. 

I love looking out the secret gate to the garden. When I walk out that gate, it is always like my own magic garden. I love being out here in the early morning, in the twilight and yes, even when my game cam says its 125.

The first zinnia.


Ron put More Bloom on everything yesterday. I don't know what is in that stuff but it makes everything bloom so much faster. When I went out to the pumpkins this morning blooms were every where.

Pumpkin blossom

pumpkin vines.

Three tiny cucumbers
As I was taking pictures of these tiny cucumbers this morning, my thought was, "Oh yes, you are cute now, but when I am drowning in cucumbers, I doubt if I will be so excited." I am going to make lots of pickles this year.

Dill
 I hope my dill continues to grow like crazy. I am going to make fermented pickles this year. I wish I could find my grand mothers recipe. Every year she would make hundreds of jars of pickles. I have never been able to find any recipe like hers. She would pack her jars. Then she would pour the brine over the dill and the cucumbers. She wouldn't tighten the lids real tight but put them in this dark cupboard she had. The pickles would ferment and get cloudy for about a month. As soon as they cleared, they would be ready to eat. They were always crunchy and perfect. I wish I had paid better attention.

Blackberries
  We moved our blackberry vines this year. I have a few blackberries. I don't know why, but these taste like hair spray to me. I don't think I am going to keep these vines. They are pretty though.

My lovely tomato vines

Green Tomatoes

A perfect tomato this morning!
Standing at the end of the garden. It continues to surprise me. I planted two more beds of pumpkins and they are coming up and I planted more sunflowers. I hope by staggering the planting of sunflowers it will keep sunflowers growing out here much longer.

The zinnias did pretty well in the heat. They are such a durable little flower. I can't wait until this bed is filled with fireworks of color.

I planted some Jack Be Little pumpkins with some of my sunflowers to see if I can get them to climb up the sunflowers. I did that year before last and it was so nice to get those tiny pumpkins off the ground. Now that I finished planting this morning, I can watch it grow.


 Ron put in such nice hoses for watering this year. Each plant has its own little hose. I have kept every thing mulched and because there isn't water every where, I don't have the weeds. When we have a heat wave, things get away from me. When I was out working this morning, I had a few weeds to pull, not chop mind you. I did a little raking and it was so clean and nice. Trying to have a garden in the land of drought is always about learning to conserve water and make better use of what we have. 

I hope you have a lovely week, and thank you so much for stopping by to watch my garden grow.

~Kim~

Nectarines
"All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world."

—L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams