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September, 2013 | Scuff Productions

Portland late Sept. One gets ready for the Fall.

Bloged in Fall,garden,General Home Life by mark Thursday September 19, 2013

Still in amazement that our almost perfect summer is being abruptly thrown into a solid rain pattern for a week. Dropping temps, humidity, meant time to get those “fall” tasks DONE immediately.

Not before harvesting the last of the corn and freezing some…..but you MUST know that didn’t happen without making some creamed corn along the way (YUM!):
makin creamed corn

Yes, that would soon become this:
creamed fresh corn yum

WHO doesn’t LOVE creamed corn when it’s JUST been picked! That gave us the energy to start some other tasks….RODGER has ‘intended’ to get the back deck steps fixed….for proper drainage in the winter….he got a lot of work done, but this still awaits getting the gravel:
back dck stp repr

I had gotten the lawn fertilized with iron 2 weeks ago just ahead of the rain, and man has it taken off. Yesterday, it was mowed and bagger attached to the tractor. That means as the garden is cleaned out (yep corn and some ‘maters are gone now, it gets its first blanket of “dirt food” . . . lawn n leaf cuttings:
1st blnkt on grdn

This bagger will probably stay on the machine NOW until later November after all leaves have dropped from the maples:
woodshd pre-wntr

**that also shows the state of the woodshed, BEFORE, all the summer “stuff” gets brought in sometime next month for winter…then we’ll have to use a little imagination to get everything in……….

Speaking of woodshed, above picture is ONE end…the other at today’s start showed I haven’t done one thing all summer to get wood moved in, so junk was in the way for my “today” job, aka, move wood:
wdpile b4

The “woodpile” out back didn’t look much better:
pile1 mess

But I DID get busy this morning…..moved things out n around, moved a lot of scrap wood outta the way, and made major progress….now there’s a new row of wood stacked in the “shed”:
wdpile aftr

AND….there’s the first little woodstack IN the garage and ready:
where wood is
The woodpile, for the first time in 3 years, looks smaller….there’s only ONE ROW of wood in this low pile left:
pile after

The 6 Russian “Stupice” tomato plants suffered through their last harvest today (I’ll make some more of that fab juice I like (canned with just a sprinkle of sugar & salt…makes ALL the difference)……..and were quietly murdered, mutilated, and thrown on a heap of other dead plants. What a horrible end for something that has given MORE than any other garden year. Poor things:
stupice last hrvst
**I know, there weren’t many left anyway………I called it a “mercy killing”.

Tomato cages (except for 5 still on duty holding up the paste tomatoes…..hopefully, they’ll endure this week’s rain ’cause we want to make some pasta sauce to freeze)…….are finally resting for winter:
mater cgrs restng
**They’ve held up now for 12 years…..amazing……since we HAVE learned to grow bigger better tomatoes, and the strain of weight sure showed this year.

I had harvested the giant sunflowers, and they spent their day just laying around. Did nothing to help me, but hopefully they ARE sobering up and drying out:
sunflwrs drying

BERM NEWS……..along the driveway, I KNEW I was experimenting when we planted some things where they got placed….I didn’t visualize well that just a FEW years is all it took for them to begin overtaking each other. Looks like we have some big digs and moving to do this winter:
time to plan BERM
That’s been the adventure since we moved here…….LEARNING a lot about a lot of things I’ve never done.

SO…………it’s been a VERY busy couple of days……….. and THIS IS THE LAST THOUGHT………it’s THAT time of year. EVERY spider up here is preparing to surrender itself to the next generation and WEBS are going up everywhere. WHEN you walk a dog in the morning, you are probably wise to wave a longer light stick ahead of you on the trail to avoid the web surprised……
**Some of these make astounding creations when the framework gets stretched out by the breezes then filled in…they’re incredible.

Yep, another diary entry hurriedly written……..not edited or worded well….but at least I’ll have some reference for whatever happens next year. Oh well. Fall begins this coming week. sigh………….

September began with a goodbye to August and a truly warm dry summer

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Sunday September 8, 2013

and a lot of hard work. MARK THINKS THIS: NEXT YEAR……..that damn garden is going to have FEWER Plants started……There were fun things I missed doing t his summer because I just couldn’t let that stuff go to waste out there….including the dahlias. I feel worn out:
marks grandma
.AND….once again, I’m in a hurry…this is a quick entry to get some pics in before I leave and enjoy some lunch out with friends. I’m NOT going to miss another bit of this later summer…..
It…summer….. WAS good in many ways. There truly is something therapeutic about growing a garden, nursing it along, harvesting and preserving it….. not to mention the nostalgia for a farm kid…..

A constant happy time was looking, cutting, looking at the Teddy Bear Sunflowers….they’re one beautiful hybrid….and hold up in a vase for a week or more:
1teddy bears 0813

a BIG celebration was being invited to Matt & Kate’s Music-a-thon one friday night….I chose to take guac….for a lot of people….
1guac 0813 burlins
***IT was a HIT…..gone in a bit…. then later, while chatting with others, I barely backed into what was a lit candle (that had NOT been at that spot all night)….and got my shirt on fire…..It’s a strange thing to be standing somewhere and friends start saying, “Oh MARK, YOU’RE on fire!” . . . .I reached my hand back in a stupid reaction moment and burned the wrist, but they got things off quick… What a moment……. …..
1shirt burn back 0813

***The past week was a constant use of: DMSO, Royal Jelly, Colloidal Silver….and Aloe….and the healing is almost done…

THEN, neighbor Aaron goes out Salmon Fishing….they all get their limits, and he brings this over one night, right out of the Ocean at Astoria:
salmon what to do
***Good Lord! I’ve never dealt with an entire 15 lb salmon. We tried to make Gravlax, but I’d already filleted it wrong for that…. I poached some very nicely and enjoyed that…..the rest is still in the freezer for the next “experiment.”…… Turned out to be fun and a learning experience…. it was a beautiful fish.

ANOTHER big CHANGE: NO hot SPICY Tomatillo Salsa. It seems people got tired of that quickly…too hot….. and it was a bit warm to even use for Chili Verde, my one favorite dish to make with it. THIS year, 2013, an entirely NEW direction with all those tomatillo plants out there…..I’m canning SALSA VERDE….and have already made one Chili Verde batch to test it. Liked it, so there’s now 20 pints of it out there almost ALL from the garden:
1salsa verde 2013a

AND…with a DRY warm summer, we have had a record tomato harvest…… so many “eating” tomatoes ready, I HAD to stew some:
1stwing matos 1
The only way to preserve these very liquid slicing tomatoes is to stew….but I DID find a way to save delicious Tomato Juice” while doing that….as this stuff cooks down, I kept using a wide, shallow ladle and ‘scooped’ out the liquid at the top…..since the whole batch HAD enjoyed the adding of a bit of sugar/salt….the juice is delicious:
1stwing matos 2
ANOTHER BIG event! Aaron also went out one weekend on a chartered TUNA boat at the start of the season….he and his brothers caught more than they could use….and brought back some 40 POUNDS for us……….. our friend Marie at John St Cafe had wanted to can tuna just like we’d been wanting to do….so we gathered at the Cafe on her day off, Monday, with our 3 pressure canners, and got to work, Yes, right here, in the heart of that efficient kitchen she works in with Sean & Russell…. (she BEGAN the day by cooking ANYTHING we could dream of for breakfast: 2 huge omelets, 1 huge fabulous pancake with walnuts/blueberries added)….roast potatoes):
1tuna canning 2013f

The whole time spent was a matter of packing sterilized jars….NOTHING added. NO…the packed jars are: TUNA…in its OWN juices.

4 hours later, we waited for these to cool:
1tuna canning aug 13

The magic of the Pressure Canner, eh?
1tuna canning 2013g
That was a magic day getting to know Jamie and Marie in a whole new way….they’re fabulous people….and did I mention? In the middle of this whole thing, I mentioned I’d never been good at making pie crust…there she went….into the pantry and out with the butter, flout, salt….and then with her hand over mine….we made a big batch right there…. .THEN, she GAVE us the whole batch……. Enough to make 3 pies……double crust. This was a memorable. day.

A BIG Change in the ‘hood: DAVE’s old house comes down.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Thursday September 5, 2013

DAVE has been building, by himself, and some contracting along the way, a most beautiful, customized solid home for the last 12 years as he can “pay” for it along the way. He’s a design engineer, and it shows from every nook and corner you see in the home. For 10 of these years, he lived in a tiny cottage in front of the house………….
dave sayler

Finally, he was ready to say ‘bye to the old, and on with the new.
dave old house
.The new place is a piece of art:
dave new house
.yes, a design masterpiece in every detail inside AND outside:

Today was that day as a builder he knew with the right equipment came to literally rip the old house down……all of it to be removed in a drop box tomorrow.
prep to demola
We sat to the side (mostly) and simply watched this demolition take place in minutes….it was astounding to me that a little place with some “history” can be gone that quick:

dave demolf,
and I could post more, but……it was all gone soon…..and next day, into dumpsters and hauled away…..

YES, of course, Dave had spent many hours prepping, emptying, and getting ready for this. Two days later, we helped him get up the old old wood from the floors that he was going to recycle…..

THIS week, he, alone, knocked down with a sledgehammer, the basement walls ….and threw them up top….he works HARD!

Oh well….that’s the big event on Skyline this week!

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