Sunday, August 18, 2019

At Home Marathon

It was a plum good day yesterday. 

And, a busy one.  

I toiled from dawn to dusk here at home (partially over a hot stove) and enjoyed pretty much every moment. 

You're seeing the highlight of the day:  the plum jelly operation.  

I can report this morning that this project was not one bit in vain.

THE JELLY SET UP overnight.

And, the next best thing, "That jelly is good," uttered by Bill.

And, that pronouncement came with no prompting after he sampled the jelly with a slice of toast from homemade bread. 

Every once in a while, the domestic scene can be quite rewarding, even though it can also be quite demanding.   

With several hours spent in the kitchen with jelly-bag dripping, jar washing, lid and ring collecting, other dish washing, sugar measuring and stirring seemingly forever over a hot pot of boiling juice, I spent another hour filling the jars, skimming off the froth, screwing the lids tight and then admiring the rich color of the jelly. 

The plums come from a tree next to the barnyard.  For years, I thought it was just an ornamental bush, just like the other one over by the first pasture. 

Then, one day plant expert Bob Wilson told me that if those plums had a pit, they were edible. 

That was good because, over the last few years, both bushes/trees have produced oodles and oodles and even more oodles of plums. 

One tree produces purple plums while the other bears bright red fruit.  It's a bit behind the purple tree in ripeness but loaded with probably twice as many plums.

As mentioned before, most of the plums, which don't fall to the ground first, go to the local Food Bank.

And, by the way, a bit of advice, if you take your excess plums to the Food Bank, don't wait too long.  

Food bank staffer John was quite pleased with the first bucket I brought in because they weren't cracked.  He says those cracked plums tend to draw flies.

I'm sure I'll be making at least two or three more trips with buckets of uncracked plums in the next week or two. 

And, one more "by the way": they sure do appreciate the donations.

Anyway, I'm very happy about my jelly this morning.  And, if my friend Tom Tharp is reading, I'll be stopping by with a new supply one of these days. 

My marathon at-home day included much more than the plum operation.  

Cat boxes changed, weed-eating in dog run and other areas around the yard, finding and harvesting 'maters and cukes in the garden, picking and freezing green beans, picking blueberries, walking horses to and from the hay field, watering and planting a few more late potatoes in the manure pile.  

In the midst of all those projects, I made several trips upstairs to this computer where I'm working on stories about the next four "Natives and Newcomers" for Sandpoint Magazine.   

Again, four fine people and some interesting perspectives and life experiences.  As always, I love the assignment.

Now, before readers think I'm bragging this morning about all the stuff I accomplished yesterday, please know that I am.  

Only, I'm bragging to myself.  

My self discipline is seldom so disciplined.  

All the stars lined up and yesterday was just a day that seemed like the main goal oughta be: instead of inner constantly whining about all that stuff that needs to be done, just wrap up yer sleeves and get 'er done. 

Those action-packed, domestic days are pretty rare for me, so when the aging 2-cylinder engine occasionally decides that sputtering is just not an option, one must "seize the day" and convert into energizer bunny mode.  

So, on this Sunday, I get to be relatively lazy in comparison to yesterday. 

A leisurely pace accented by some sort of recreation seems like a good goal to meet today. 

So, I'll try my best to stay on task.  

Happy Sunday.        

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Saturday Slight

My patches of wildflowers have brought me daily joy this summer. 

Seems every morning, afternoon and evening they offer new bursts of color.

It's probably not completely accurate to call them wildflowers because, unlike true wildflowers,  I did sow their seeds, and they're growing in garden plots.

Plus, I water them every day. 

Still, they come, stay briefly and go, making room for others to take their place and to bring me some more simple and colorful joy. 

Each time I stroll past the patches, I feel happy because  the ever-changing wildflower show is sure to last through the rest of the summer. 

So, on this quiet Saturday morning, I'll try to be as fleeting as a wildflower and just post a few photos and the lyrics to a lovely country song by Dolly Parton. 


Happy Saturday.

Wildflowers by Dolly Parton

The hills were alive with wildflowers and I
Was as wild, even wilder than they
For at least I could run
They just died in the sun
And I refused to just wither in place

Just a wild mountain rose
Needing freedom to grow
So I ran fearing not where I'd go
When a flower grows wild
It can always survive
Wildflowers don't care where they grow

And the flowers I knew
In the fields where I grew
Were content to be lost in the crowd
They were growing too close
I had no room for growth
I wanted so much to get out

So I uprooted myself from my home ground and left
Took my dreams and I took to the road
When a flower grows wild
It can always survive
Wildflowers don't care where they grow

I grew up fast and wild
And I never felt right
In a garden so different from me
I just never belonged
I just longed to be gone
So the garden one day set me free

Hitched a ride with the wind
And since he was my friend
I just let him decide where we'd go
When a flower grows wild
It can always survive
Wildflowers don't care where they grow

Just a wild rambling rose seeking mysteries untold
No regret for the path that I chose
When a flower grows wild
It can always survive
Wildflowers don't care where they grow
Wildflowers don't care where they grow

Friday, August 16, 2019

Oh, Deer! Odds and Ends and Buying Ireland

This morning, after reading the Friday fake news, I'm thinking I'd like to buy Ireland. 

Just a thought, but if the price were right, I'd do it. 


In other news, there's a fawn haven/heaven not too far from where we live. 

It's on Center Valley Road.

Last night the fawns were almost as thick as the alfalfa.

I think I saw five fawns all together. 

They and their moms were enjoying an evening meal of lush alfalfa when I drove by. 

In one case, Mom was on one side of the road maintaining a close mom-like look, while her twins were on the other at the edge of Todd and Jody Russell's woods. 

Eventually, everyone decided it was okay to cross the road and get over into that alfalfa field. 

While all this was happening, I was having a good time taking pictures.

During my short evening drive, I also found "love" on Colburn-Culver Road.

Happily, nobody was behind me when I caught the yard art out of the corner of my eye.  

So, I backed up and took a picture of love. 

Seems I find love in some interesing places. 

The sun was just about to set when I set off down South Center Valley Road last night. 

So, this big mama cow belonging to Jack Filipowski, which is pasturing at Leedy's place, was particularly stunning in the evening light. 

In my garden this year, there are a lot of alien plants crossing over into others' territory. 

And, by golly, in most cases, like pictured below, the undocumented daisies and NASTY urshums have received a warm welcome.  

It seems as if my green bean plants are particularly welcoming, even providing some comforting protection for their visitors.

Garden plants can certainly teach us lessons about humanity. 

Miss Sunny has certainly become a fixture in the barn.

In the mornings, she comes down from high up in the hay stack, crosses the barn aisle and heads in to the tack room to lounge for a while in her three-story cat condo.

She's definitely a keeper.

There's a story with this swiss chard.

I have learned my lesson about veggies in the stand-up planter boxes.

They need much more watering than I was originally providing.

A few weeks ago, this year's chard crop was literally on its death bed, tiny, tiny leaves all shriveled up and ready to disintegrate into the soil.

Finally, a gong went off in my head.  I threw on some Miracle Grow and made sure the planter boxes and the rest of the garden got doused each day.

In the short span of a couple of weeks, the chard came back to life and its about to grow right out of the planter.

So, I'm proud to have learned my lesson and am looking forward to snipping off some of the regenerated crop for this year's annual quiche supply. 

And, that's pretty much it on this pleasant Friday morning.

 Bill is headed to Costco later to pick up supplies for the annual Bike and Build weekend stay at the church.  

I'll be taking the ladder back to the plum tree for a big picking up the latest batch of ripe plums and just enjoying the day.  

More than likely, I'll probably keep thinking about raising an even better chard crop and selling it at the Farmer's Market so I can buy Ireland. 

Better get to work. 

Happy Friday. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Fairtime TBT's, Football and a Ford

It's Thursday:  TBT day. 

The fair is less than a week away. 

I spent a few minutes there yesterday, taking a photo and visiting with fair manager Darcey Smith. 

Darcey tells me things are going FAIRly smoothly as she looks ahead toward her second year as fair manager.

During our visit, Darcey told me about a concert scheduled next Wednesday evening at the fair, featuring the Red Headed Express, now based in Sandpoint.

Darcey says the group will perform on a stage at the outdoor arena.  

Do a little reading on this group, and I'm sure you'll agree that they'll be a perfect act for the fair.

I have also included a YouTube video of this group, which you'll find below. .  

Always lots going on at the fair, and the best part, it involves residents from all over Bonner County and then some, all doing their best to make the annual event something special. 

All but one of today's photos have something to do with our Bonner County Fair----photos I've entered in the fair, photos taken at the fairgrounds or those snapped during some aspect of the annual fair. 

The photo directly below is not associated with the fair, but since these young men have moved to the Selle Valley from their previous home in Connecticut and because they're wasting no time getting involved with local activities, I promised them I'd do a little promoting for a fundraiser.

These polite and engaging young men are Ely and Evan.

  They're grandsons of our neighbors, the Taylors, and when their house is built, they'll be living up the road from us.

  Evan has signed on to play football as a Sandpoint Middle School eighth grader.  In fact, he's already started practicing AND of course, the team is trying to raise some funds. 

So, if you're interested in a 1964 Ford F100 pickup, you can buy one or two or several raffle tickets for just $5 apiece.

If anyone reads this and wants to know where to purchase some tickets, send me a note, and I'll give you their grandma's phone number. 

I can tell you after visiting with them yesterday that they are very nice boys.  

Yesterday when I went to the fairgrounds, I saw this sign on the main exhibit building.  It honors former fair manager Rhonda Livingstone who passed away earlier this year. 

I had seen that the main exhibit building was named in Rhonda's honor, and I thought it was pretty neat to see that Darcey, our present fair manager, had a key role in seeing that Rhonda would be honored. 

The photo below shows Darcey a few years back when she was very involved in Girl Scouts. 

As for the other photos, they pretty much speak for themselves.  Enjoy the photos and do plan to enjoy next week's fair.  

Lots of fun sights, sounds, and, of course, good food.