Sunday, September 16, 2018

Progress isn't always pretty

So, first thing this morning I got begrudging help peeling apples for a batch of apple pie filling. It's supposed to sit and create juices overnight before canning; doing it first thing this morning meant that I could get it canned this evening – ✅.

Next it was time to 'tutor' Chuckie, which didn't go as smoothly as everyone involved would have liked. Let's just say that it's been a long, miserable day for kitty, but we think he'll make it. Our tackroom will probably never be the same again, though. (I decided to spare you the photo I took of the bloody mess. 😳)

After that Rick picked up Brian, we got the camper off the pickup, Rick finished mowing the upper pasture and cleaned up a bunch of clutter beside the garage while I did laundry and dishes, and I exercised Lance. The teenager settled right back into his habitual recalcitrant attitude, more fun than a barrel of monkeys (not).

So progress has been made in spite of ourselves, and to reward you for enduring the report, I'll share the photos of the sky I took on September 7, in the order I took them. It was a spectacular show!

That's all for today (and the 7th) from . . .

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The skies! The skies!

When I got up this morning it didn't look like the sun was going to rise with any fanfare. Then I happened to glance out the window to the NE – and saw this:
Definitely worth the price of admission!

If you click to biggify that photo, you'll see fog down in the valley; that fog came up the hill and enveloped us during morning chores:
A pretty sunrise and fog? A double treat!

Make that a triple treat. This evening DH and I went for a walk up the hill, and the clouds – oh, how I love clouds – were glorious.

It's been a lovely day of worship and rest. Tomorrow it's back to work!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, September 14, 2018

In praise of blogs and blogpals

Blogging is a lifeline. If you're reading this, you get it. Others never will. When we met at the State Fair I learned Ruth and I both have DHs in that last camp. So this morning, I'm ignoring the "shoulds" and sitting here journaling for myself, starting a conversation with you, and calling out just a few of the many in the blogosphere who feed my soul. Some I count as friends; some, like Julie, the Yarn Harlot, and Pioneer Woman have so many people following them that they can't possibly know I exist (even though I've seen the last two in the flesh!), but they bless me, too.

In case I haven't mentioned this, September flipped a switch to fall. No segue, just BOOM. I'm delighted, if alarmingly behind. Take the garden, for instance. It's muddy; I haven't checked it in several days. The tomatoes are probably splitting and rotting. There may be a few green beans to pick. As I have mentioned, I've been busy with fruit and baked goods, but I shouldn't neglect the other free food that's out there. I need some clones (of Mama Pea!) – or some help from the other half and our offspring. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

It's been foggy the last couple of mornings; our first fogs in forever. If Sara's tradition holds true (each fog of August=one winter snowfall), we won't get any snow this winter, which is certainly within the realm of possibility here and wouldn't break my heart. As long as we get sufficient precipitation in liquid form and a hard freeze or two, I'm happy to forego the white stuff, even though it's pretty.

I got a message this week from one of my in-state fleece customers. We were going to meet up at OFFF to collect and admire our rovings from Columbia Carding (she recommended them so I sent them Blake's fleeces), but she was just diagnosed with breast cancer so everything is up in the air. The diagnosis is not a death decree; my good friend Kate and blogpal Alanna, both also horsewomen, have both survived it, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Please add her (and Alison, another blogpal who recently finished treatment) to your prayer list, if you have one (I highly recommend it!).

Brian is gone this weekend on a backpacking trip with his "Active Living" elective class. Next weekend he'll be gone to Bible camp. While he's gone I would love to burn through some needful outdoor projects as a team like Leigh and Dan do, but that's not the dynamic here. I hope we at least get Chuckie neutered, as the tackroom situation is becoming untenable. He doesn't use the litter box; 'nuff said? (I'm the one who uses the tackroom most often, so I'm sure no one else will be bothered enough with the mess and stench to clean it up....) As affectionate and adorable as he is, I have a very bad feeling that as soon as Chuckie is loosed into our little world, he will vacate it. His prey drive seems limited; his attention drive will probably lead him to more available hands/laps. Then we won't have him and neither will the people who gave him to us – who said they would gladly take him back if he doesn't work out here. I'm thinking we should neuter him and give him back – ASAP.

We all have our challenges and struggles, sometimes hinted at but mostly kept out of sight. Life grinds on; the clock is ticking. People and animals get old and eventually die (sob). The world is a mess – and getting messier. I'm glad I have older blogpals showing me positive ways forward in this complicated life; women like Anna Blake (oh, she's good!) and Sandra. I'm thankful for blogpals who make me laugh with their gift of humor; Susan, I'm looking at you! I'm thankful for like-minded souls to remind me that the current madness is NOT normal (thank-you, Theresa and Miss Effie!). Then there are those who provide Calgon moments – temporary escapes from my reality to their very different ones, like Mary, now living in the desert; Claire up in New Brunswick; Francis in Shetland; Alison (mentioned above), a Brit living in France; Lene in Finland (oh, her wondrous creations!); Shane, enjoying seasons opposite of me in New Zealand (she posts more on Instagram now as @brocantesme). Ah yes, the bite-sized blogging on Instagram; love that, too!

Okay folks, it's time for me to get to work. See you in the comments!

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Baking weather

This morning after chores I picked a bowl of prunes for Plum Upside-Down Cake, and the rest of the apples from apple tree #1. For some reason they are much less wormy than those from apple tree #2 (still loaded). Wish I'd known that before making most of them into sauce already; this last picking will become pie filling because they are easier to peel and slice.

But rather than prepping apple pie filling (it needs to sit overnight to get juicy), I went on a baking binge! First I made the prune cake, then I made Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes/Muffins, and finished up with ANZAC biscuits. Sometimes you just have to fire up the oven. 😊

After picking Brian up from school I squeezed in a short ride on Lance between showers, then made a big pot of dill pickle soup for supper (to go with the plum cake). After supper – snuggles.

'Night all, from . . .

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Dust-rinsing, air-freshening, grass-greening RAIN fell off and on today, with more in the forecast! Can you hear every living thing in our area breathing a collective sigh of relief?

One of the "off" times was this afternoon, giving me a chance to ride my pony in the freshly watered arena (much safer for his lungs and legs) while rainbows danced overhead. 😊

Yep, I'm a happy girl. And this is a happy cat:
No really; he is! I took this photo after rolling Chuckie around like a lump of dough on my lap for ten minutes straight; he was positively love-drunk – and ready for more. I have never met such a love-hungry cat! Tonight Rick medicated him for fleas and tapeworms; he'll wait a few more days for Chuckie's "tutoring."


In "squirrel season" news, last night Rick and I put 56 more bales of grass hay in the barn from the same first-cutting crop we got earlier. We left enough room for some fourth cutting for the ewes if the producer gets any put up.

Today I put up another seven quarts of applesauce and topped off my fourth gallon bag of dried prunes. I found the Plum Upside-Down Cake recipe that got rave reviews last year, so I'll pick a few more prunes for that; the apple processing will be ongoing for awhile.

That's it for now from . . .