Home et Garden Aug 24 2011

Bloged in garden,General Home Life by mark Wednesday August 24, 2011

TOO busy to write in my boring diary. BUT…. I DO refer to them for the very information I’m entering about today: Garden, the weather conditions for this year, the TIME of year we’re harvesting, and home updates. So I need to at least post something. It has been helpful to look at past years when seeing the NEW year be so different. 2011 HAS been different, so it’s been wonderful to see August explode in growth…and LOGGING tasks.

Mostly, a picture post, at least the pics will remind me next August what we were doing this year around this day, Rodger’s Birthday! Let’s begin….

ALMOST ALL……OF THESE pictures benefit BIG TIME by clicking on them to see FULL SIZE…..I think the Sunflowers against the sky full screen look pretty dramatic. As do the branch pieces…..enlarged you’ll see Rodger over there splitting up stumps… Go ahead embiggen ‘em)….

Today’s

**Yep, squash season, eh? Tomatoes are starting to ripen faster than I’m eating ‘em, YES.


**Yep, another year, another “baby” pumpkin….WILL our weather last long enough for this thing to get bigger ??


**I LOVE seeing the MANY kinds of bumblebees EVERYWHERE now…sometimes dozens on this butterfly bush.


**Or on the green onion plant going to seed now. LOVE these blooms every year


**LOVE the giant sunflowers at least 8′ tall now, and beginning to bloom all over the place….


**Favorite one is this dark flower.


Wherever CORN & Tomatoes are, the garden’s now taller than I am by a foot or more.


Another view,……


*and another one….the garden is VERY impressive right now…..MAYBE I’m FINALLY learning how to grow one! (OF course THAT could change in ONE week if the weather tanks after September).


**HERE’s a MYSTERY: Out of the hundreds of Gladiola plants in the yard…THIS is the ONLY ONE that developed into a bud, then flowered. How did that happen?

NOW ONTO BIGGER Manly things. The GIANT 60′ Fir directly in front of the garage had finally gotten completely unmanageable, it should NEVER have been allowed to stay that close to the place when they built this house. We finally accepted the reality that it must come down. So that was arranged…… I BELIEVE RODGER is going to post some detail on it, but here’s a small preview of what’s NOW out there being worked on:


**This modern logging cowboy was a wonder to watch…. seemed like his life was constantly at risk every time that saw came on….THIS was taken about 2 hours after the project started, THAT is how many branched were hanging over the garage roof.


**AFTER he was done, MOST smaller branch ends and pieces were set aside for the chipper…..THESE are the pieces left for me to SAW proper lengths for the wood stove and then move / stack. (Chain saw in the shop until next week).


**THIS is the chip pile that we started with ( After today, I have moved about 80% of it….and that’s good, this thing was seriously “Smokin” hot composting in the sun).


**And these are some of the STUMP rounds left for the splitter….THAT job is finally done as of last night.


**Some of the split pieces…..some have already been loaded, moved, carried into woodshed and carefully stacked….a tedious job …… I now have 5 rows done about 8′ tall……


***The sign of a very hard working, tired logger…..he’s been carrying wood pieces around here and there for a few days now.
SIGH.

Now off for a bit of rest.

Pickling post next time….eh?

missing days

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Thursday August 18, 2011

It is uncomfortable to me just HOW fast the days are moving day and how little I’m noting of the summer frenzy.
1. Garden has exploded into a maintenance issue…..as tomatoes ARE forming, ripening….. CORN tassling growing little ears, squash blooming ripening, tomatillos…ALL requiring water, and of course, NOW? the MOLE loves where the water is being run and bugs are aplenty.

2. YARD – It WAS time to thin out hazelnut branches along the front…. mowing, weeding yard…….. a Growing time here, drying time. First time we watered the lawn this year.

3. Began enjoying summer bounty: FRESH local watermelon, (rich and sweet), peaches now ready for picking, making creamed corn from fresh local corn, the LAST of summer puddings almost gone….and Rodger grilling….good food has come our way!

4. Company. A cousin here from Idaho undergoing a bone marrow transplant because of cancer has been staying with us a few days, hopefully preparing to finally go back home after 3 months. The therapy has taken its toll on him, but now we’re all hoping his recovery will stay in the positive direction….they leave this morning.

5. LOGGING! We have needed to remove the massive FIR tree directly too close to the front of the house for years, but finally done it. Now into day 4, it seems I’ve barely BEGUN to even clean up the ground, let alone finally make a little headway splitting logs, let alone get them moved and stacked. They left all our “chips” in a massive pile that will ALL need to be moved around the property and thrown. Yes, someone here is sore and stiff this morning.

6. PICKLING preparations are underway for the cousin project that will happen Saturday-Sunday. Supplies are being set aside now, and we’ll begin promptly 0900 then. It will be a sad day missing our dear cousin Nancy, but her son J & Bahkti are stepping in to take her place. We’ll enjoy a day of reminiscing about his dear mom, and HER Mom, Aunt Merle who taught us how these pickles are done.

7. Apricots are ON the island READY to go, and “somebody” is gonna have to let the yard mess go sometime in a few days to get a box and make jam, else they’ll be gone.

8. Fandango Beans are ON the island ready to go………and repeat repeat repeat.

9. Peaches are ON the island ready to pick……and repeat repeat.

10. Dog needs exercise sometimes, and repeat repeat.

11. FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS year, weather forecasts ALL AGREE our WARM week is about to begin…….. ALL are saying temps will reach 90 saturday and stay in mid 80’s ALL next week. I can’t wait to tell all those garden veggies out there….their lives are about to reach their peak with this fabuulous forecast.

and on and on and on. Remember the tale of the grasshopper and the ant….. I’m NOW the ant.

Summer Puddin’ Time it is!

Bloged in food: recipes + dining out,General Home Life,Nature,Pacific Northwest by mark Thursday August 4, 2011

NOTE: ALL the photos here were caught JUST with the PHONE Camera…it was all I had…. I AM surprised how well it does, I know some aren’t composed really well….but……..it summer’s moving too fast to pose for long.

On to my favorite summer dessert.

You KNOW your summer’s peaked when you eat SUMMER PUDDING (link to Recipe) . . . . . the first time.

Nancy had a few family members over last evening for a summer picnic evening ….yes it was fabulous. We both made a little of that magic dish and “I” thought it was the highlight of the evening.

There’s no stopping me now….after the dental appt this morning, picked up 4 mixed berry containers and am on the way! (Blueberries, Boysenberry, Blackberry, Raspberry)………

***** SOME of these pics can be enlarged ******* They get a little more interesting on a hot day if you can almost FEEL some of this summer air *****

Summer Pudding starts this way:

Next thing you know, your berries are mixed, and brought JUST to the point that the juices start to run:

Next thing is slapping down the pound cake slices around the bottom and sides of the bowl, pour in the fruit & juices, then TOP the thing with more pound cake:

NOW:
Weight that all down, set in the fridge for 12 hours. You’ll pull out a purple lovely Dessert just begging for a little whipped cream………. Yep, that was Poor Man’s Dessert in England 100 years ago.

We’re STILL enjoying the best of summer, and hoping friends suffering from the 100+ temps back east can feel the falls, here’s photo of La Tourell Falls, this time kept LARGE so you can feel it’s power…..CLICK on this photo:

And sure, portland has lots of rose gardens. Here’s a minor one: Peninsula Park Rose Gardens #1:

Garden Pic #2

And those SAUVIE ISLAND FARMS old trucks they keep seasonal flowers in? Here’s what they look like this week.

Truck 1:

Truck 2:

Truck 3:

Let’s try to cool off a little…..Here’s a Columbia River Gorge Shot from cooler times in the early summer, shot from the Washington Side of the river, simply with the Android phone camera….

And lastly, a little wild foxglove….really stood out hiding there in the forest:

Ah summer. It’s too short.

Migrants are Leaving. Sad.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday August 2, 2011

ALL the migrant songbirds are slowly leaving. Mornings are getting quieter and quieter, NO bird chatter FILLING the treetops, NO feeders getting “drained” daily.

I WONDERED IF they’d be leaving later than normal since they all arrived 2-4 weeks later than usual. But NO! The departure clock says now! I am sad. The hilltops here now will become quiet other than human noise.

The NICE thing as it happens is I’ve been seeing EVERY kind of bird that’s been here for the summer including a new specie or two…a new WARBLER (gotta look it up….).

I HATE this little departure from the NW of seasonal songbirds. They add a LOT of LIFE to hilltops while they’re here.

Sigh.

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