How the heck has HIGH summer gotten here this fast! I can’t keep up with pace of this hot/dry summer……
Last time a post was published, we were going on and on about the Evening Grosbeaks.
*That beautiful huge flock of evening Grosbeaks was gone by Mid-June as we thought they would be…..boy, were trees ‘quiet’ in comparison for a while, till the rest of the Black Headed Grosbeaks ALL arrived and began calling those beautiful long floral calls every morning beginning about 5:00 am. BUT they too, have JUST finished fledging their last bunch of chicks, and have already thinned out by half……there are NO birds calling in the mornings. Seems sad in comparison to the beautiful sounds of spring.
*First of July company were the Ebert/Hoppe’s from Minneapolis….Thomas was here to perform a wedding for Matt & Kate….. this things was one gorgeous affair held in the Hoyt Arboretum ….on a sloping hillside …. one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been to, memorable, and so MANY fabulous people. We were lucky to be included!
*Matt/Kate, Todd/Lizz came up about 2-3 weeks later for an evening of some music fun…..perhaps it was obvious some had been enjoying a little wine when Beethoven inspired the MICE to appear:
****Click on the mark-matt-tod text…I don’t know why I’m not getting an image uploaded!!
*The GARDEN! This year is almost in the record books for being DRY and HOT…..it’s been impossible to keep the lawn from dying, it’s solid brown….and all the flowering shrubs are demanding time/water we’ve never had to give them. The toll on the vegetable garden is visible….the lettuce exploded in growth, bolted, withered….the Chard is still out there and giant but a little bitter by now. IT was SO hot, I never replanted any lettuce….so there’s about 15% of the space empty…….now while The cool weather crops suffered, tomatoes/tomatillos are SO tall I’ve had to tie up branches as best I can for the tomatoes, they’re all well over 6′ and trying to spread out….they’re JUST beginning to ripen, though, tasting great, and that MONTH of fresh tomato dining will likely over-ride any negatives I’ve felt this whole growing season….I’ve just never had enough free time to keep up!!!! As I type this, the big orchard boxes out front full of flowers NEED water….and I’m NOT going out there in the hot 96 sun to do it…..they’re gonna have to figure out how to suffer it out until about 6:00. Whew.
Lord! After last winters winds blew off about 15-20 shingles from the new wing of the house, it was obvious, this older portion would have to be replaced…..DONE in July! 25 yr guarantee …. to save a little of the cost, Rodger tore out the old chimney from the front older part of the house ….(we’d replaced that wood stove with the new one in the family room in the newer portion of the house)….that was a bit of a drafty, and dirty chimney hole in the dining room. Rodger had most of gone by the time I took a pic:
With the help of pal Aaron show showed up by surprise, and gladly so, (it was AARON who crawled into the attic opening to grab that old chimney and lift it out)….. soon things were all on the ground to get hauled off:
Best part of that story is that the 3-man crew showed up at 7:00 am next morning ….and as the day went, it was obvious they wouldn’t finish ….. I didn’t like that because good rain was expected sunday. On their OWN…..they decided to stay put ’cause THEY wanted a day off Sunday….there were there until 7:30 PM….and did a beautiful job….and boy were WE happy with that action….it DID rain lots Sunday afternoon…. yea!
*PICKLES! THIS IS the weekend the cousins will be here for what’s become an annual family tradition. NEW cousins this year? Joe & Stacey Smith from Kennewick…..Joe works in the wine business there….they’re lots of fun, and hopefully will have so much fun they’ll be here every year. Joe is the grandson of Aunt Merle, the last Aunt who was still making these back in 2008….she taught us how to do this stuff…… and Joe’s Aunt Nancy P was with us from year one, until she too passed away 3-4 years ago of the scary Mursa Virus, we still miss her fabulous personality, and loving spirit:
Getting READY for it? It’s a little work……the cost for supplies (not jars) is about $2.25 per quart, and a jar cost give/take $1.00 1.15…….so you’re not saving much money, but you’re sure getting something that makes memories, and if I may say so, are delicious. SO……OUR 30 jars are here, and each cousin brings how many jars they want to make.
Everything else? I’ve been collecting as I tour around farms, markets: so we have some beautiful just harvested garlic, dried red peppers, grape leaves out on the vine yet, canning salt, habanero & Serrano peppers ready, vinegar, leaving the Cucumbers and Dill Weed at the Pumpkin Patch awaiting our arrival tomorrow……
We’ll bring them home, get them soaking in cold water tubs overnight, cutting off the blossom end……and await the cousins saturday morning!
The new dishwasher has a hot enough rinse/dry cycle, it’s wonderful to load the jars in there…. when done, they’re ready for packing….the real fun of the day.
I can’t believe it was early June for the last post…..it’s been a VERY busy hectic hot 2 months…… whew!