Sunday, September 27, 2020

Fast and furious...

 My weekend was fast and furious.  The wind blew and it was cold.  Our refrigerator finally died.  It's been crying around for awhile.  Just when we thought it was done for we'd wiggle this and clean that, but it was just prolonging the inevitable.  It took some looking to find one that didn't have a tv, ice maker, or water station.  After two major leaks thanks to those fancy water dispensers we stuck with a plain no frills fridge.  Go figure none of them have ice cube trays.  Can you believe that?  Enough complaining.  I did get a few projects done.

I cleaned the porcupine quills.  I have been dreading this project all year as the smell is less than pleasant.  I poured some Dawn in the bucket, covered the quills with hot water, and stirred.  Wearing leather gloves, I covered the bucket with an old sheet and poured out the water.  I did this twice.  It wasn't perfect, but I did not want to lose a quill and have Ella find it.  Sorry no photos, but I couldn't hold my nose, sheet, bucket of quills, and take a picture.  Use your imagination.
This is the quill clipping station.  As you can see, I have a ways to go.  

On the gardening front, the Tomato Taj Mahal is wonderful.  I have a ton of tomatoes to roast.  There is nothing better than roasted tomatoes and peppers.  I pulled up the last of my carrots and replanted the carrots and added some lettuce for the hell of it.  Sometimes I'm lucky with fall planting, but not always

The herbs were repotted and moved indoors.  I have licorice, lemon, and lime basil.  In the fall I move from lemonade to tea.  I tried using my French press for licorice basil tea and was pleasantly surprised.  

The milkweed seed pods harvested from our prairie property opened and wow.  Aren't they pretty?  It kind of looks like a pinecone.  They will go in the butterfly garden.

During all of this, I butchered the deer my husband harvested with his bow.  Nobody where I work hunts and they always call me Bambi killer.  They weren't making fun of me this year when hamburger was $10 a pound.  We ate every bit of our venison.

Ella got a bath, combed all over, and trimmed.  You would think I ran her through the mill.  She has slept all day.  I guess I don't blame her it was too cold and windy to do anything else.

Now that I think about it, I'm tired too.  I've got too many projects going.  The family cookbook, porcupine quills, quilt, butchering, and end of the year gardening.  Time to sit down with a nice cup of tea.  What projects are you working on?  Is it fall there?  What do you do with your tomatoes?  Have a fabulous week.

Sunday, September 20, 2020


 It is that time of the year when plants need divided.  I have a friend who just built a new home and is need of some landscaping.  A good deal for both of us.  I am more than happy to share.

Not only was I busy gardening this weekend, but we also had my cousin and her husband over for brunch.   After we ate, we took turns four wheeling in the Roxer.  Phyllis was kind enough to give me quite a bit of beading supplies.  My goal is to make earrings and bracelets with the girls next summer.

We had a wonderful visit.  I look forward to our yearly tradition.  Phyllis and I spent some time discussing the family cookbook I'm working on, Cozy Cabin Kitchen.  I've been adding recipes, photos, and stories like crazy.  I want it done by Christmas.  

Speaking of cooking.  I finally made my beautiful cabbage into coleslaw.  1/2 c. Miracle Whip, 1/4 c. Milk, 2T. Vinegar, and dash if salt and pepper.  Don't forget the grated carrot also from the garden.  It was perfect.
I got all sorts of good things from the garden and was happy to share.

My husband harvested his giant pumpkin.  It weighed a whopping 3 1/2 pounds.   He is already making plans for next year.

I picked and ate my Minnesota Midget Melon.  They weren't kidding.  It was good, but it was mighty small.

Not quite what I was looking for in a melon.  That is pretty much my week.  Busy, but productive.  I have been doing a little bow hunting here and there.  So far, I've seen a little badger and this fawn.  Tonight I'm watching the bluejays eat the acorns.
I hope you all have been enjoying fall.   I apologise for not commenting on your blogs.  My phone recently crashed and wiped everything clean.  Slowly I've been getting it back together.  Now for some reason, when I push the  comment buttons on your posts my phone kindly gives me the definition of "comment." Not sure what that is all about and I'm having a difficult time figuring out how to make it stop.  Until then know I am still living vicariously through your posts.  Even if you don't hear from me

I hope you all have a wonderful and productive week.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Life goes on...

 I was asked what zone we live in.  If you look on a map it laughingly says zone 5.  At a mile above sea level, we are not a zone 5.  After much trial and error, I would say we are a zone 3.  That being said, my orchard is only 200 yards away and I think that is in a zone 4.  While everywhere around us will freeze, the orchard remains untouched by Jack Frost's brush.  I think it has something to do with all of the aspen and birch compared to the pine.  It all boils down to my growing season is unbearably short.

That is where the Tomato Taj Mahal comes in.

Everything stayed nice and snug.  My tomatoes are on the cusp of being ripe.   It made the smudging of my beloved phlox a bit easier to take.  We covered the squash and pumpkin.  They didn't do too bad.  

I'm still harvesting carrots and they taste amazing.  I also pulled up my glads and dahlias.

I think we are back to "normal" temperatures.  At least for a while.  I know Ella is sure happy to have her yard back.

I sure wish I could send this moisture to the West Coast.  I hope they get rain soon. 

Some have asked if a September snow is unusual for us.  I can't say it is.  Looking back at pictures I'd say it happens every few years.  What is the earliest you see snow?

Monday, September 7, 2020

Like that...

 It was too good to be true.  A long slow summer on the porch.  I'm still teleworking, as we don't know when our students will be allowed to return.  The weatherman warned us that summer was coming to an abrupt end.

Last year I was caught unprepared and didn't get my quilting materials before the snow.  Then had a hard time getting what I needed.  Not this year.  My husband and I found the perfect materials for my winter project.
I spent yesterday gathering seeds, sorting them, and preparing them for storage.  Below are gaillardia seeds and above my sunflowers.

Everything is neatly labeled and stored. Ready for fall and spring planting.

Leaves are changing and colors everywhere.  We scuttled around picking apples, gerkin cucumbers, and any ripe tomatoes.

Everything I could possibly fit in the greenhouse is in there.  My dad gave me a little heater and we got it all set up.

It was hard to feel urgency when we were so busy admiring the colors.  Even the animals were hunkering down.  This butterfly spent all weekend pretending to be a piece of wood.  We found the caterpillar snuggled in on a branch of the apple tree.

Then like that...
Summer is over.
Summer was wonderful while it lasted and fall was fleeting.  A three whole days.  Hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend.