Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I made the first pickles of the year today.  It's been a couple years since I've had a good cucumber crop, so we had almost run out of pickles.  As a pickle fanatic,  the very idea is frightening.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Prepare Yourselves For a Shock.......

I am culling books!  And not just a few--I have made serious inroads toward filling a box:
As a former English major, a book lover, and a rescuer of obscure books from library book sales, this is huge for me.  Some were duplicates, a couple were stinkers, but most were just things I was never going to read again.  Today I have admitted that I am not going to finish reading the volume of popular plays during the Restoration.  It wasn't bad stuff, but if you have just gone through a period of beheading a king, Civil War, being ruled by Puritans who banned any and all forms of fun (including Christmas), and THEN invited back the son of the beheaded king because you have promised faithfully to not behead him as well, I think your best drama hasn't exactly been reserved for the theater............And Dante's Inferno.  How many times can anyone with free will actually read that one?  If I feel a desperate need to revisit circles of hell, I will try yet again to figure out how Google+ works.  Besides,
 I needed the shelf space.  Luckily my mother-in-law taught me the space saving trick of stacking books 2-deep in the shelves, which is wonderful.  I will never really be an e-book person as I love the physical nature of books, though the dust was a bit much today.  I still have a long way to go, but I was very proud that I only stopped to read a few times, and tonight my reward is to settle down with this:
 I've always liked American Heritage magazine, but haven't subscribed for a while, so was delighted to find this at a library book sale--I'd guess for less than a dollar.  Maybe someone else will be as excited to find a book of Restoration dramas.....................?

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Good News and the Bad News

The good news:  the garlic is harvested
The bad news:  my back and my trowel with the telescoping handle were injured in the process. 

This had better be some REALLY amazing garlic..............

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Random Thursday

*  Next time I decide to make jam, I will find a fruit that is available when it isn't 100-plus degrees......
 *  Even with air conditioning, do not underestimate how much ceiling fans help
*  When making something like "brandied apricot preserves," it's probably best not to think about the fumes that are going to hit when the directions call for boiling the alcohol IN the jam for 5 minutes:
*  I have given up on recipes that say "boil until.........."  The brandied apricot preserves never passed the "sheeting off the spoon" test, but they are my first attempt that didn't end up as a solid gumdrop-in-a-jar.  Whatever texture I didn't get, I still got some sugary spread with fruit that one can actually get out of the jar.  I'm calling that a "win."

* It's over 100 degrees again today and smoke from fires here and in Oregon and Montana have made outside completely miserable.  The garden is on its own.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Big One

Last night we had a party with all our friends to celebrate Andy's upcoming birthday.  We had a marvelous time, and while I still take lousy pictures with my cell phone, I did get one of Andy with the 50th birthday portrait done by a friend of ours.  It's my favorite picture of the entire night. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sign of the Times

I ran across this yesterday while out running errands:

Fall! Finally!

Even without extremely hot summers, I've always loved fall.  A little coolness in the air, leaves starting to turn, sweaters coming out-...