the last laugh

Bloged in Gay,General Home Life,humor,Religion by mark Friday August 31, 2007

From friend Baird, I just found this photo more than funny.

stupid
=========================

Now on another matter………………and I’m sure EVERYBODY WE call friend knows the idiocy of closet case religious folk who stay in denial even if they’re caught hand-under-divider.

I HAVE known Closet Mormon Men who talked exactly the same as Senator Craig when asked why they are lying about who they are. SO. I got curious. Just what would it take to make my toes start tapping and sliding, irresistibly toward the lovely foot in the next stall. The news DID report that Craig sort of peeked into Officer Karsnia’s stall before he entered the one next to him.

IF YOU saw this Officer Karsnia a few feet away, would you feel those feet of yours begin tapping uncontrollably?
craigcop
Hm. Oh, that’s right, I see why I somehow maintained control of my feet. I’m not in the closet lying to his mother, his wife and step-kids, his religion, his Senate peers, the entire nation. Maybe THAT’S why his feet are moving uncontrollably. Lying about everything. Attacking gays while committing acts that violate every moral code he’s promised to live with the wife.

Oh well. Officer Karsnia is kind of cute, maybe LOGO’s CBS news report can get an interview with him wearing his undercover outfit, eh?

HAH. I just remembered the Mormon Choir Director in Nashville, TN, Dennis, who kept trying to get me away from my companion for some “Music” rehearsals………….he was married, but those looks, those smiles, those tapping feet………..I KNEW something was up, but of course, was still unaware myself of exactly what all this meant. Oh those were the days!

further note on “late” summer….

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday August 31, 2007

Rodger first made the comment and maybe I’ve lived here too long to notice but once he said it, the change was obvious. NO question why this lovely rain forest area is looking long in the tooth. The LIGHT is not what it was. This sun is more slanted for us now, we’re getting that filtered light. It takes until noon to get sun on the garden. Broad leafed trees are losing that rich deep green… fading a bit. Insects know what’s up. It’s becoming the spider season…IF you are the first to walk on any trail in the morning, you might want to be waving a stick in front of you because you ARE going to be clearing out several webs that have popped up over night.

HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN SO FAST? I will miss summer.

A word on Seattle

Bloged in General Home Life,Pacific Northwest,TRAVEL by mark Friday August 31, 2007

For 3 months, we have been planning to get up to Seattle on the weekend of August 24 for Rodger’s birthday. His gift to self this year?
frankenst
Yep. Tickets to see the pre-broadway production of Mel Brooks newest scream, “Young Frankenstein the Musical” at Seattle’s fabulously restored Paramount Theater. So, on his birthday, August 24, Friday night, that’s where we were. Rodger’s written a thorough review of this on his page: RodgerDodger.

But I am ahead of myself about this trip. Rodger took Thursday afternoon off….we had JUST finished shampooing ALL the carpets, furniture was askew, but we skipped out on all responsibility anyway, exiting for Seattle immediately. Paul and Kristen graciously took Mac in for the weekend so we routed ourselves out on U.S.30 to Scappoose for Mac’s weekend vacation seeing his dog pals Mason & Quinn. (NOTE: WE take in Mason the next weekend while Paul & Kristen go to the Gorge….this is a great tradeoff we all share…..at least I hope they think the same way).

We continued north from Scappoose on U.S. 30, the normal route to Astoria from Portland, but crossed into Washington over the bridge at Rainier, OR. That puts you into Longview, WA where you see about 8 trillion logs awaiting destruction or shipment. Don’t ever let anyone tell you the logging industry no longer exists. They’re are still a few trees left they haven’t cut, so……………. THAT sight left me with an empty feeling. BUT. We got back on I-5 and headed north.

We arrived in good time, and checked into the Edgewater Hotel, booked using Priceline on the web, who, in the past, have often found us great deals. IT IS very close to Pike Place Market, and that’s where we immediately headed for. It was late afternoon, some places closing, but still that flower hall was gorgeous, I called this the Dahlia Sea:
dahliasea
Hundreds of bouquets were made up of dried flowers and I couldn’t believe the solid colors still in them:
driedflowers

We accidentally saw this deck space where you can see the Mariners Stadium AND the Seahawks Stadium in one view with Mt Rainier in the middle:
rainier

The Market is different in the afternoon, not so crowded, so you can really browse easier. BUT, we left there for Seattle Center and a possible ride up the Space Needle.
needle
We looked around, wandered, but decided the sun angle to sharp for good photos. We’d return the next day early to avoid crowds.

We rode the monorail downtown and ambled back to the hotel. We decided to tour the nightlife area early at Capitol Hill. The last time I was there years ago one had to look for the clubs. Not today, they’re everywhere and the neighborhood is packed with young and old, so ALIVE. We checked out a new spot, Purr Seattle a very nice venue and a busy place. We met Becky, a young girl enjoying a night out with the gay boys who told us she wanted to visit us in October……….Great we said. During the day, she’s one of the many Starbucks baristas, so we promised to drop in the next morning. We visited the hottest club in the area, the Madison Pubwas packed, and I couldn’t believe how many people we talked to there. Nice place. We got home finding no food available, so ordered the kind of pizza you know you’re going to see delivered at a hotel. But it was a grand day all in all.

Friday began with breakfast at the Edgewater restaurant that turned into a great surprise. Four star food at the “67“……….. (the 67 name because the whole place is ON Pier 67.

We went back for the photos atop the Needle. The lighting was better:
needle2
I had never been top here, and thoroughly enjoyed both the views and the history lectures looking all around. I loved seeing the Olympic Mountains directly across from the downtown area just to the west, and exotic rain forest area worth anyone’s vacation time on its own:
olympic range
If I were more the rock music fan, we would have gone into P. Allen’s Experience Music Project building. I WAS intrigued by architect Frank Geary’s designs though:
expmusic
So we wandered back, got our “stuff” and checked into the Sheraton then wandered the afternoon. We both were unable to accept the idea this tower would be earthquake proof:
towernarrow
It was “unsettling” at the least to see this tall tower sitting on a foundation that narrowed to what seemed like a tiny foundation.

We even walked into the Seattle branch of New York’s Barneys. It is not in my earth brain to get a grip on the kind of clothing-slash-prices here. Whew! That was an experience itself.

We finally decided to eat, and close to the theater was a slow-roasting joint called Vons where we settled outside to eat. Don’t you know, two wild and crazy guys come walking by:
wildncrazy
Yes, that’s Roushdi & Chris who would be at the theater that night also! They were off to meet Chris’ sister-in-law for dinner, so we decided to meet later.

I haven’t mentioned Pigs on Parade…..the Seattle version of street sculptures that were like Chicago’s Cow sculptures all over town. A couple favorites were:
piggy1
or this “When Pigs Fly” at the market:
pigsfly

We finally made it to a absolutely fabulous production of Young Frankenstein, the Musical. Rodger’s review sums it up for me, and yes, I LOVED Andrea Martin’s performance. She was born to play Frau Blucher. What a grand theater this was! We both hate Portland’s Keller auditorium and refuse to go most of the time because the sound is almost dull and inaudible…it’s just TOO BIG an auditorium for performances like these. The paramount was just right. We talked to a few people around us and found lots of tourists who came just to see this preview, and we all agreed it was lots of fun.

Once again afterwards, capitol hill was the destination point where we visited with Roushdi and Chris at a few pubs before retiring for the evening. What a Grand Day Out!

Saturday dawned completely different than the previous two sunny warm days. Overcast but clear, it looked like a shower or two may happen. We saw one fine piece of art near the convention center with a humorous look at capitalism:
artsea

Once again, we hiked back to Pike’s place to try Maximilians finally, BUT arrived to find they were only serving brunch. No. We wanted seafood. So we hiked down to the waterfront to lunch at an old Seattle landmark, “The Crabpot.” As you can see, it’s a messy lunch, but as fresh as seafood can be (and touristy as can be):
crabpot
We survived and headed for a local treeless park made by salvaging all the old iron works from the city’s main ancient power plant that sits directly across Lake Union from downtown near the University of Washington. Called Gasworks Park, this was a place with fabulous views of downtown, the Needle, seaplanes taking off from Lake Union, and interesting old ruins to study:
gasworks
A view toward the city from the Gasworks:
seafromgasworks
And another through the gasworks:
gasworks2
What a bizarre place:
gasworks3
That was fun to relax and take in the views at the Gasworks, the seaplanes, and bask in the sun.

We finally had to say goodbye to what had become a very busy birthday celebration in the Emerald City.

Not the end of the story though. We got on I-5 to head south to Edgewood where my cousin Nancy and Bruce live. They’re my age and philosophically as close to us as could be. So that’s where our Saturday night was spent in their beautiful home. Except for two old growth firs in front of their living room window, they would be looking at Mt. Rainier about 60 miles away and if their house was about 200 feet lower in elevation, they’d be living in a Volcano Evacuation Route area. Whew!

We enjoyed a great time together at Mr. A’s Steak and Pasta House trying to watch the Mariner’s game (they’re both big fans), and then an evening renewing our friendship. Next morning, Bruce cooked up the big country breakfast before they sent us on our way back to I-5 and a trip home.
Thanks Bruce and Nancy for such a warm memorable evening. I love them very much and wish we’d get together more often.

We came back via I-5 as far as Vader, WA where we exited the freeway and hoped for a scenic drive south to cross the Columbia River at Longview….Here’s the Vader jail:

Things WERE VERY scenic until we got to Kelso….then it’s nothing but industry the rest of the way. Vader was an interesting place though……….

blah blah

the LATE summer garden

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Wednesday August 29, 2007

still love the Dahlias blooming, and the more we cut the more we get. I don’t know why I love this dinner plate pink baby that twists inside the bloom:
bigdahlia

I had thought our garden was a goner. Rain, cool damp weather just when things were at their peak…..but since our last weekend Rodger’s Birthday trip to Seattle, things have moderated. Since that last post of the “HIGH” summer garden the picture is completely different, and it looks like ONLY the Corn “may” going to be lost (and maybe not?). We’re not going to get ALL our Tomatoes, but our cool damp weather Russian Stupice are doing great, and as always, the Sweet 100 & Sungold cherries are too.

Still, the place looks like a jungle now. The Tomatillo forest that’s producing a batch or two of Salsa every two-three days now, Yum:
salsaz

In the view from the south side, tomatillos cover most things. The corn is in the background, fennel at the right, the truly giant sunflowers beginning to bloom, and for little MAC, the carrot row is being given to him one or two at a time:
ngarden
You’ll notice something’s missing from the corn. The two foot high tassels are no longer there. They’ve been clipped off in our desparate attempt to get these plants to focus on making corn ears. Beautiful tassels they were on this variety though:
corntassel
Those sunflowers are truly giant again and I’m loving the beginning blooms:
gsunflower
On the North side of the garden, we get to see the corn an edge where tomatoes begin, but in the front rhubarb just harvested for the 3rd time, and lettuces in various stages including the new starts, yum:
sgarden

Rodger planted flowers in the wine barrels at the front of the driveway late this year and I am very surprised how beautifully they’re peaking out right now to include that lovely pastel morning glory blossom we love:
driveway

Oh well. September begins in two days, and it looks like this is a great beginning for it. In fact, I think it’s sometime in September when nights begin to cool, that one’s appetite begins glancing over at the apple tree and thinking about apple pie and ice cream, no?
appleg

Lastly, Eran lives out almost at the eastern city limit of Vancouver, WA., and for some reason, HIS deer aren’t as afraid of them as ours are of us (is it our brave dog Mac?). Just like last year, he once again, stood taking pictures of the deer invading his garden while she munched and stared at him just a couple weeks ago:
erandeer
I would love to have been taking those pictures……not sure though how I would have felt about the munching part. I love summer.

The New Bible Cover! Finally, an honest one.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Wednesday August 29, 2007

Thanks to Baird, I can finally see the Bible as I WISH I’d been taught to read it as a child:bibledisclaimed

Can’t read the little “disclaimer” finally getting put on their where it should have been for the last 1000 years? I tried to sharpen it up, but the original photo was too small to reproduce, however, I felt the disclaimer text SO important for friends of mine, those who search for truth, I am typing it here:
=========================

WARNING: This is a work of fiction. DO NOT TAKE IT LITERALLY.

CONTENT ADVISORY: Contains verses descriptive or advocating suicide, incest, bestiality sadomasochism sexual activity in a violent context, murder, rape and violence, use of drugs or alcohol, homosexuality, voyeurism, revenge, undermining of authority figures, lawlessness, and human rights violations and atrocities.

EXPOSURE WARNING: Exposure to contents for extended periods of time or during formative years in children may cause delusions, hallucinations, decreased cognitive and objective reasoning abilities, and in extreme cases, pathological disorders, hatred, bigotry, and violence including but not limited to fanaticism, murder, and genocide.
==============================================

FINALLY! I can NOW understand this great book in proper context, as ancient legends, myths, i.e., fiction.

Just think how different world history would have been if ALL these thumpers books had been given out with this disclaimer on top, we wouldn’t have had war? We wouldn’t BE overpopulated like we are? I can see lots of improvements……….with Just that little paragraph on the cover. Whew!

*FRESH* Tomato Sauce (an excellent freezer candidate)

Bloged in food: recipes + dining out by mark Wednesday August 29, 2007

We had so many roma tomatoes ripening last year, we decided to try this, and the result was what we felt an outstanding “fresh” sauce for pasta, pizza, whatever. We are freezing these in pints again this year (yep, we ARE getting some tomatoes finally…….10 lbs since we left town Friday) to use this winter when we’ll really miss the taste of all fresh tasting tomatoes. AND, the BEST part, our weather has warmed enough, it looks like the little red things are gonna ripen after all. These “stupice” variety for our cool damp climate taste fabulous when really ripe:
stoms

I’m sure it’s not only the fresh tomatoes that make this great, but the fresh herbs we are using from the garden…. even down to the onions.
================
FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

2 Tblsp Olive oil
1 med Yellow Onion
2 lrg Garlic Cloves–peeled and mashed. **I use 3-4
2 1/2 lb RIPE Fresh Tomatoes.

***You CAN use canned tomatoes — drained, cut in a 1/2 dice. reserve the juice.

2 Tblsp Fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp Fresh Sage, chopped
1 Tblsp Fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tblsp Fresh Basil — chopped.
*** Salt and Pepper to taste.
and, finally:
1/2 to 3/4 Cup DRY White Wine

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat: saute’ onion and garlic until softened. Add tomatoes gradually keeping heat as high as possible without browning. Stir in herbs, wine and any reserved juice. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or just until the vegetables are softened and fragrant. Add more wine or water if needed to prevent sticking and maintain a desired concistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: about 4-5 cups.

And finally, DOES this finished Sauce NOT look absolutely fragrant with basil, rosemary, etc….and in a word, fabulous?
stoms2

The original creator of this recipe wrote: “This tomato sauce, made without the usual paste, is wonderful to keep on hand in the freezer for pasta, omelets, and grilled meats & poultry.”

So, kids, tomatoes are as ripe as they’re gonna get in those stores right now, and this will be a FUN recipe to cook up and freeze. You will LOVE how this smells about the last 10 minutes of the cook time, so: Turn off that tired TV repeating Bush propaganda, get your buddy in their mashing the garlic, and make some fun winter food. /Mark

Potato Salad Recipe – the Best!

Bloged in food: recipes + dining out by mark Wednesday August 22, 2007

I have TWO favorite Potato Salad recipes that seem to be completely different but equal in how I like them. Here is the Potato Salad Recipe I first learned from my Mom and later tuned a bit toward a version Rodger’s Sister, Cheryl makes. Later, Kris Lechelt showed me a delicious one made with new potatoes and olives, that recipe follows below. We’ll call the first one Classic American Potato Salad*:

Mom’s & Cheryl’s POTATO SALAD:

Ingredients – Amounts are determined by size of crowd of course…..so these are only a suggestion for serving 6-8 and having a few leftovers.

6 Medium Russet Potatoes – cubed in chunks, not finely chopped. Just a bit larger chunks allow more pure potato flavor to come through. (***SEE NOTE on how to cook, dry, and cool them)

6 Hard Boiled Eggs – cubed in pieces, not too small.

6-7 Dill Pickles – – chopped, once again not too small….try to use Mark & Rodger’s, a bit more spicy pickle makes a better salad.

3-4 stems Celery – chopped, a bit more finely, to not overpower other fllavors.

Salt & Pepper —- To Taste.
Mayonnaise — To Taste…. Quite a bit…..enough to make the salad wet. Some will be absorbed overnight.
1 Tblsp Mustard — — Maybe 2 Tblspoons at most.
1 tsp Dry Mustard also.
1 Tblp Vinegar – at most, but give it at least a little.

Optional adds:
Dash Celery Seed
Paprika – – to be added only at end for presentation.

Method:

Boil eggs and let them cool to room temperature.

ON the russets: Try to buy them in uniform size, and not really those huge ones. Cut them into 3-4 piece sizes, place into water and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat DOWN to a bare simmer. Watch them carefully, and after 10 minutes, check them with a fork to make sure they’re still firm. Do not overcook them. You do NOT want them mushy. As soon as a fork can go halfway through them at all, remove them from the heat (depending on piece sizes….for me about 12-14 minutes), drain, rinse, and let them DRY and cool. Let the steam out (it’s better IF the potato gets a little bit dry because it will then absorb the moist mayo and mustard).

When EVERYTHING’s cool, get all into one large mixing bowl and add everything but the paprika. I MIX with my hands to make sure everything is coated evenly. Mix until that happens – – coated evenly, place in your presentation bowl and sprinkle “lightly” with paprika. More than lightly gives it the smoky taste that paprika has and changes the end product.

Let set overnight for the flavors to absorb into the potatoes and eggs. Make sure it’s still moist…..before you go, and add more mayo and remix if the potatoes absorbed too much. This salad will be MUCH BETTER if it sets overnight and absorbs all those flavors together.
—————————–

KRIS’ POTATO SALAD

(Note: I love this version as well. About the only difference is the kind of potato, and using olives. I often now, in fact, add olives to the recipe above anyway.)

Ingredients:

6 Red Potatoes – – New even better, cooked, allow to dry a little, cooled, and cut into chunks.
5-6 Eggs – Hard Boiled – Cut into Chunks
1 CAN* Black Olives – – – cut into thirds or so……. (if making a large salad)
5-6 Dill Pickles – cut into chunks.
*** Mayonnaise – enough to get everything wet.
1 Tblsp Dry Dill
*** Salt & Pepper – – –

HERE’s KRIS’ OWN EDITORIAL COMMENTS on this recipe:

“I use a can of black olives (usually make a large potato salad). Usually at
least a tablespoon of dried dill weed. About a Tbsp of vinegar and a very
long squirt of regular prepared mustard. Also, I put in finely chopped onion
(amount depends on how big the salad is). I Use enough mayo to pull together,
but not so much it gets “soupy” Sometimes I do this with sweet pickles and leave out the olives and dill pickes and dill weed.

======================

Weather, Carpets, Kite Runner, Chipper, dogs & garden

Bloged in garden,General Home Life by mark Tuesday August 21, 2007

What a week this is turning out to be.

Last Saturday night Emilio & Elena, the “Italians” and Freddy & Inge, the “Austrians” came up for a TRUE American home-made BBQ. For example, The ONLY American Potato Salad they’d ever tasted was from Safeway and a horrible runny drippy tasteless gooey experience. Hence, I made my favorite home-made potato salad, and I DO think ours is my favorite of all I’ve ever tasted.
Maybe a bit of that is that the dill pickles used are our OWN, and believe me, OURS have MORE flavor than commercial varieties. I do NOT know a commercial pickle that’s got serrano or habanero peppers in the jar. Store pickles now taste just vinegary to me.

We started with some of our home-canned Dilled Beans, a recipe from Kris Lechelt, now almost our own version since we add more hot peppers to ours. Rodger made the steamed Asparagus with the luscious dill dip, that’s american ain’t it? Then we added home-made guacamole.

They had NEVER had a chunky home-made Guacamole, a recipe given to me by Don Elliott back in 1982 in Los Altos, a recipe taught him by his partner’s mother who was from Mexico City….a fabulous recipe, which I MUST post soon.

None of them had ever had fresh SWEET Corn on the Cob (which was picked Saturday at the Pumpkin Patch, after all, most Europeans think Cobbed Corn is Hog food. They never had experienced an American Hamburger outside of a fast food restaurant….so a delicious home-made American Hamburger from Ground Chuck was grilled covered with provolone / Swiss cheeses, garden tomatoes, garden lettuce, and condiments. Yum. The other menu item was a southwest
Black Bean & Corn Salad made from a recipe given to us by dear friend Nancy Grossenbacher. Everyone had seconds!

Inge then turned tables on us and had baked a fresh Austrian Apple Strudel brought up here with their own whipped cream, a Fabulous finish to a fun meal. I had made American M&M home-made cookies with added coconut, walnuts, but forgot about ‘em.

On Friday we leave for Seattle to experience Rodger’s birthday gift: attending one of the pre-Broadway performances of the brand new Mel Brooks / Susan Stroman production of, “Young Frankenstein” the musical. Fabulous, I think…………..

Until then……..the weather is absolutely the OPPOSITE of what a DRY Portland August should be, and it’s having a serious effect on corn & tomatoes. The cucumbers that should have dried up and been gone a month ago are producing new ones every day and looking like some alien plant…. This is a mystery. I fully expect to go out there and see slugs on the lettuces……….. I will postpone that garden audit until tomorrow …. you know, if you can’t see it, the bad stuff ain’t happenin?

P & J are back, so I begin using the chipper on the mountain of small tree branches this afternoon as things begin to dry out after all this rain, OR…..maybe not until tomorrow.

Tomorrow? The Carpet Cleaner comes in for a day of restoring our carpets, a long overdue and welcome event. BUT? I’ve moved all the furniture I can do alone, so tonight is larger stuff like Klipschorn Cornerhorns being carefully moved with the furniture mover we’ll borrow from B&K. Busy night.

I’m SURE there are more tomatillos ready for canning by now.

So why am I sitting here writing this? So when I review THIS year about next August…..I’ll be reminded of what this year was about………. NOW, Mark, get outta this chair and get busy.

NOTE added 11:30…THANKS, LELO……..I forgot about that “other” little thing that slowed me down. Karen gave me a copy of Kite Runner and I made the mistake of starting it…… “KITE RUNNER” ………I kind of hated the beginning, it seemed sort of stereotype, but by page 45, I was absolutely hooked, by page 100, absolutely crying at how Afghans have been persecuted by empire invaders in just these last few years! I cried because I know how spoiled I am, but I still whine. I cried at what suffering goes on in other countries I just close a blind eye to. I’m ONLY on page 120……so am still on the downslope. I do pray there IS “redemption” at the end….as they promise. This is RICH stuff, almost hero stories embedded in here. It truly gives you “stuff” to digest later. It is MUST READ

Tree Deconstruction

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Saturday August 18, 2007

Sore and stiff. The tree crew got a cancellation in their schedule and came last Friday the 10th. In 7 hours, 4 huge broadleaf maples that reached about 70′ were on the ground and ALL cleanup was my/our job to save the bucks. That WAS the work friday and yesterday. Today I’m sore and it’s a bit wet,but will still get out there and saw some of the big pieces into 16″ rounds so we can split and stack. It always amazes me to see a clump of maples that look SO VERY Umbrella HUGE standing, and once limbs are stripped, cut, stacked, broken, a tree can look compact. As of this afternoon, I’m sure there are two cords of wood cut and stacked but cleanup remains as the chipper we’re borrowing from Peter & Jeannie await their return from Canada.

I hate cutting trees, but this ain’t Nevada, it’s a rain forest and we were heavily surrounded by trees growing fast when we moved here 10 years ago. Here was a picture in 2001 taken from the lift we’d rented to do some pruning:

You can see why our garden remains small…….this is the sunniest part of the yard where the vegetables grow:
treesgarden
Here’s how little one sees of the house from the front:
trees2
Here’s looking toward the back of the place…..Yes, that joins up with Forest Park immediately:
treesback2

Broadleaf maples here grow fast, die not too old, then a clump of 3-6 babies will grow around the old trunk as it rots. By the time they are 40-60 feet tall, the old trunk is gone. That’s what this was, a clump of old maples now leaning over the spot we have to put the new tool shed:
treesbefore
David and Adam arrived and within a very short time, logger Adam, with nothing more than a rope or two and some cleats, was up cutting branches from up high:
logger
He’s almost impossible to see while the branches were so thick little light penetrated them.

But within an hour or two, it was easily visible what how he was slowly working the tree over from top to bottom:
adam1
Total work time was 7 hours, and, for the most part, he dropped these things like a surgeon on exact spots heaving this way or that way:
adam3.jpg
One more shot as he was finishing the main trunk of tree #3:
adam4
By 3:00 pm I had been working on the smaller branches, splitting up finer limbs from ones large enough to use for firewood, separating them into different groups, and we had many stumps that would Rodger & I’s job to cut into 16″ rounds, split, move and stack:
cleanup1
As of today, this stack is four layers deep and is probably two chords of wood:
stack1

What’s left are some big piles of small branches waiting the chipper, cutting the trunk pieces with big knots in them preventing the splitting maul to work, then we begin leveling the berm for the shed foundation to be placed. Whew!

With all that going on, little else got done, but I DID finish reading “THE CORRECTIONS” a most fabulous sometimes dark read about goes on in our lives regarding families. There’s some of me in almost all of those characters. It’s not more than a few monster chapters in 570 pages. Lusciously writtten, you can feel the ice winter wind up against that Kansas home at Christmas. It is a MUST read, and THANKS to TATER for the reccomendation. Now that the tree drop is under control, perhaps we can cook his Grandma’s recipe for Green Tomatoes, eh? I can’t wait………..and with this August continuing to be cloudy and cool, it looks like we’ll have plenty of green tomatoes through September.

TODAY, at least, I made the first batch of Tomatillo Salsa, the recipe for which, I will have to post soon….after I clarify something in there…..just how many Habanero’s are safe to use. Today, I must have forgotten….I put in about 6-8 habaneros (a batch makes about 5 pints), 6-8 Serranos, and the rest Jalapeno’s…. THIS was VERY hot.
salsa
It was be our favorite one I’m sure. Last year we made a mild batch for the white people and called it “Cracker Salsa”. We thought we were doing a favor for those bland midwesterners (hah)…..and it was simply boring, even to the Midwesterners. So this year, we’re back with some happy Salsa. We should have plenty of batches to make in the next month.
salsa2

We’re very much looking forward to seeing Sheila tomorrow……………she’s up visiting her brother’s family and tomorrow’s OUR turn to visit. Rodger, Sheila and future husband Doug all met while working at Jack in the Box, lo, many years ago! Yes, they have some stories to tell.

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