Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The End of Summer - or is it Fall?

The days are cooling, a little early for me. The spiders are appearing everywhere, making their webs wherever they know I'm going to pass. Geese, although I haven't seen them flying south yet, are starting to gather together in larger flocks. The snow level is low enough in the mountains (6,000 feet) that the news is warning hikers. Fall colors are starting to tease - the vine maples are blushing a bit and smaller trees are fading to yellow, although it may be from the heat a couple of weeks ago. And the rain has started.

The apple trees are bending under their loads. I think this weekend my earliest variety will be ready, two weeks later than last year. I'm trying to hold off as long as possible as the apples I've tasted are a little sour yet. Thing 2 can hardly wait for the first apple pie of the season.

I'm hoping that we'll have an "Indian Summer" so all my tomatoes will ripen up. I have them under a clear plastic tarp to keep the rain off, the heat in, and hopefully keep late blight at bay. There are lots of tomatoes, but they're all green, even my early variety.

My corn is just now tasseling, and although it's only a little behind all the corn in the nearby fields, it's pretty stubby looking, barely four feet tall. I think I'm going to leave growing corn for the "experts". I have failed as a decendant of Iowa corn farmers! :(

Although the parsnips didn't germinate well, I have turnips galore. The spinach is growing well, too, and I'm ready to start adding it to my salads. I have a lot of cabbage to figure out something to do with! I need to also get all of the potatoes out of the ground. I was hoping to do this while the ground was dry, but it's been raining so much, that hasn't happened, and the dratted rodents are still nibbling away at my crop.

My friend, J, wants to learn how to can. Although I'm no expert, I will love having someone else in the kitchen to help. I think canning is best done with two people! She wants to make apple butter, and since I have lots of apples, I think a batch of apple butter, and two of spiced pear apple butter are in order.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Tomato!

I got back from vacation to find my first ripe tomatoes! And my first cucumber! Yippee! And I'd love to show them to you, but my normal computer won't connect to the net, and I'm stuck using my son's ancient second-hand laptop.

Been really busy as well, what with all the laundry from a week's camping trip, and school forms to be filled out, etc. All the rain we've been having has slowed the gardening up a bit, but the whole yard needed it since we don't water our lawn at all but especially...

...every day (which isn't allowed) like Mr. Creepy next door. Speaking of which, he built the aforementioned fence while I was away. It totally cuts off the view between the driveways, so I hope for all the neighborhood children that ride their bikes, scooters, etc. up and down our driveway, that these people are very careful pulling out of their driveway, or someone's going to get killed. Not to mention the fact that the fence doesn't gel with the neighborhood, and makes them look like the jerks they are - it's so obviously a spite fence. And all because I informed him that he was bulldozing a native growth area. Wow.

I do feel bad for the rest of the neighborhood that I haven't gotten out to weed the front like I normally do, but one of Mr. Creepy's workers parks in front of, and sometimes in, my front flower bed, and since the car looks like something from a serial killer movie, I'm not going out there while it's there. Which is every day.

So the weather is supposed to dry out starting tomorrow, so hopefully we can finish painting the house this weekend. It's starting to feel like fall already, and I have so much planting to get done - onions and whatnot. Been a very short spring/summer if the weather stays this way. Seems like our summers are ending earlier here in Western Washington. Or at least the rain is starting earlier. Anybody else notice that?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Stitch and Pitch

Last night I went to the Seattle Mariners annual Stitch and Pitch with my friend, M. It seems like the turnout is larger each year. My favorite part is the shopping, although I was a little disappointed in the selection this year. Or maybe I'm just getting pickier as I get older. I was hoping for some nice, wood needles, but didn't see any.

Lots of bamboo yarns, some organic yarns. It seemed like the theme was socks, as almost all the yarn for sale was sock weight. Frankly, I'm finishing the sock I'm working on, and that's it for sock weight yarn for a while. It takes me too long to finish a sock on size 2s. Too many projects to do to be fussing with size 2s!

I also noticed how the price of everything went up. It seems like most yarn is imported, and with the lower dollar value, yarns from Spain and Japan went from pricey to outrageous. On the other hand, it's making all the more local homespun stuff seem reasonable by comparison.

Anyway, the Ms won on a walk-off homerun, so everyone was happy. Well, the Ms fans were happy, anyway. I got about an inch done on said sock.

I'm taking a week to power down, and won't be posting. See ya back on the 18th!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Sorry for the lack of posts, but it's that time. We've been putting it off for too long. It was time to paint the house.

Two backbreaking days later, it's still not even close to being done. Well, it's 95% done, but those last 5% are going to take all summer.

This house has a ton of trim, so we're painting it backward. Mr. E sprayed all the trim, and then sprayed most of the main part of the house, and now we need to go back and get the edges and missed spots (it was 9:45pm when we finally came in on Sunday. Kinda hard to see). The trellisii look mucho better. And although Mr. E and I like the color (gray), Thing 2 and Mr. E's dad don't. Tough. Don't judge the house til it's done.

Now, what color to paint the front door?