Sunday, September 24, 2023

Where to begin...

So much has been going on, I don't know where to begin.

Monday night we were lucky enough to see the northern lights again. 

They didn't last long, barely 30 minutes. The colors are magical.

We've been seeing lion tracks around. This week my husband got pictures of it on two different game cameras on two different days.  We are keeping a close eye on Ella.
About the only thing I have blooming that the deer haven't eaten are my hollyhocks.
I cleaned out what was left in my outdoor vegetable garden. I found several pumpkins and squash I didn't even know were in there. It was like an Easter egg hunt.

I put all of the pumpkins, squash, and unidentified green things in my haywagon.  The colors are wonderful.  I think the unidentified plants are eightball squash.  Only they are closer to the size of a volleyball than an eightball.

Here is my itty bitty sweet corn.  It looks delicious,  but is always so darn small.
I ended up with nine sweetgrass braids.  I tried the 7x7x7, but the braid was tiny.  I ended up going with 21x21x21.  Looking back I had 11 braids last year.
There is nothing more relaxing then the smell of sweetgrass. Sue asked if my Hindus Rope flowered like other Hoyas and it does.
The blooms should open any day.   Maybe it is my imagination, but my vines all seem a darker green since their little foray into the world. 

We did get our new bed.  It was an adventure getting the old bed to the basement and the new one upstairs. We are sleeping much better and I am not waking up with massive shoulder pain.

We had a great visit with my Aunt and Uncle yesterday.  They were out from Oregon.   Then today one of our neighbors had a party.   The best part was when our good friend/neighbor,  who had moved to town, showed up. We haven't seen him for almost two years and really miss him.

When I started this blog in 2011, I never thought I would find something to talk about every week.   Yet this has become my "garden" journal and there always seems to be something going on.  Sometimes I don't know if I  can get everything in.

Do you use your blog to keep track of your yearly achievements?  Why did you start?

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Thirty eight feet...

I've been deep cleaning our bedroom.  We are getting a new bed on Friday.  At this point we are referring to our old bed as the torcher rack.  Between my husband's back and my shoulders,  I don't know how much longer we can wait. 

The deer are everywhere.  From big bucks to little fawns.
This little fella seems to think he owns the place. He is pretty  bold.
The bedroom has needed a good cleaning, but as you know, one thing leads to another.   I have several house plants (about 40).  Quite a few of them are vines that start upstairs and wander throughout the cabin.  
They also needed needed hosed off. I figured the best way to do it was to take them outside.  I've alway wondered how long they were, so now was the perfect time to measure them. My Heartleaf Philodendron has been in the cabin since the day we moved in.  In 20 years she came in at a whopping 38 feet.   If you look hard you can see me at the end.
Do you see my beautiful Hoya?  It is called a Hundu's rope.  I've had it for 25 years and she has reached seven feet.  She is such a beautiful plant and an easy keeper.  A lady at a store gave me three little starts.  I always have a few starts rooting, so I  can pay it forward.
It was a short weekend.  Did you have any adventures? 

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Nature waits for no one...

 I should have harvested my sweetgrass weeks ago.  Nature waits for no one and I almost waited too long.  

The ends were starting to brown on many of the strands.  I had to be picky.  It was a pretty wet and damp day to be harvesting anything. 

It was beautiful down by the pond and extremely peaceful.   Harvesting sweetgrass is a type of meditation.   Every strand must be cut individually.  It keeps a person focused yet you can also be reflective.

This year I am going to follow Native traditions and braid seven, seven, by seven strands.  I didn't think it would give me enough grass per braid, but as you can see, it should work fine.  Each clothespin has 21 strands.  Please read the following link as she explains the meaning behind the 21 strands better than I could.

The fawns are cute , but they have pretty much munched my garden down to nothing. 
These tiny little mushrooms showed up after the last rain.  They are so delicate. 
Here are a few flowers that have escaped the deer.

I made several jars of grape jelly and a batch of wine.  The grapes were picked at the home of a good friend.  She also made a fabulous eggplant parmesan.

That was it for my weekend.   A little of this a bit of that.  I hope your weekend was productive. 

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Summer bounty...

 I bought a peck of peaches. You know what that means... canning and lots of it.

One dreams of peaches like these.  They are absolutely amazing, juicy and perfectly ripe. 

Do you see my beautiful vegetables?  Carrots that are every color of the rainbow.   Chinese pink celery and potatoes.   I have never successfully grown celery or potatoes, but this year I overcame. 

I spent all Sunday canning.

Do you see the glass of Wizard of Oz wine?  I earned that for sure.  It is made with ruby red grapes. 

Stew Vegetables  - 9 pints

Peach salsa -  2 pints & 4 Jelly jars

JalapeƱo Salsa - 3 jelly jars

Honey Spiced Peaches  - 10 pints

Spicy Vanilla Peach Jam - 2 pints & 8 jelly jars

Maple Peach Burbon Jam - 3 jelly jars & 3 sample jars

Wizard of Oz Wine - 2 big bottles & 6 little bottles

I am exhausted, but ecstatic.  If you added it all up it probably costs more than what you would buy in the store.  Still, there is nothing more satisfying than in the middle of winter eating venison pot pie made from canned venison, vegetables from your garden, with freshly made peach cobbler and a glass of homemade wine.  All from one long day in the kitchen. 

I got a little teary eyed while preparing the veggies for the canner, as it brought back childhood memories.   My mom had a huge garden and we spent most of the summer canning tomatoes, beans, and making chokecherry jam. Let's not forget butchering chickens in August.   

I don't preserve the same things, but I am forever thankful that she taught me these skills. I will admit I wasn't the best student,  at the time (I wanted to be riding horses NOT in the kitchen).  Still, I learned and I am glad I did.  Maybe I could just buy some canned peaches for the cobbler and they sell potatoes at the store.  It isn't the same.

Do you do any preserving?  What are your favorite things to can?  Did you learn from your mother?  Do you can the same things she did?