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Just chatty…

Beautiful spring day. I went over the hill  to tend to some business and hit the grocery store. On the way back I spotted a column of smoke at the end of Derrick. I thought it was someone burning brush. Could have been, I guess, but a bit ago I got a call from a neighbor saying it was a one acre wild fire and that both volunteer fire companies & the USFS were there in force!  That’s sorta good, but it left no personal or vehicle when an accident call came in, so the highway patrol ended up sending a chopper to that ‘event’. the fire’s over the hill from us and as today is a not too hot, still green, and a still day I expect they’ll get ti down in a short time.

Meantime, I’m getting the garden planted and the early flowers are starting to bloom. My prettiest iris has put up a second stalk!

And my little tomato experiment has succeeded beyond my best hopes! I wasn’t able to find a ‘cherry’ tomato at the nursery so I saved a small yellow and a small red out of the basket I bought at Costco some time ago. I think there are maybe more ‘plum’ than cherry, but they’re small. Some years ago we kept heirloom seed and we were told to ferment them so I kind of applied that to these. I’ve had them come up in the garden from dropped fruit so I  filled the pots with a combo of potting soil and dirt and smashed each tomato into a pot and covered it lightly with soil, watered it, and put the lids on. Several days later I checked and there was every sign that fermentation was going on! 🙂 Sometime later with the lids only partly on to keep the soil moist, I spotted green! There were several in the red pot but only one in the yellow. But that’s okay, I really only need one. But guess what?!  I am unable to kill these little baby plants so I am going to have to find a lot of friends in need to tomato plants! Red on the left, yellow on the right.

As for weaving and knitting, well, not much these days of getting the garden ready. Did I say the alpaca project was a bust? I got about 8″ of ribbing done and decided to try it on. Nope. There is no way a human being could wear that garment. It was not only huge, it was just weird. So it goes into the frog pond. I’ll find another use for the squares but the ribbing was a lot of wasted effort. Except I guess I learned something, not sure what just yet but I’m sure it was something! lol I’m knitting on my Tee, It’s top down and I just got past the vee neck so there are at least several months of knitting left! It gets a row or two during the evening ball game on the radio.

We have a huge population of birds this year and have had some we’re not see before. One that says, “kitty, kitty, kitty”. I’m told it’s a titmouse but they dont’ seem to be in California. At least the one that sings like that isn’t. Anybody know what it might be? Lots of gross beaks and tho they do “sing”, they just never shut up so it’s very noisy around here. I’m hoping that’ll change once the nesting season is over. The Robins have taken over one of the Jays nest sites. There was a bit of a confrontation over it but the robin won. The jays are losing out all around. They have been nesting here for some 30 years at least, but they lost the ‘discussion’ with the gross beak in the rose bush the other day, too. I don’t think they  wanted her nest, I think they just thought she was too close to theirs.

But my Super mulch garden seems to have worked. At least when I moved the mulch back this week, it is working with earthworms. The tomatoes and peppers I planted look quite happy out there. I’ll probably plant beans this next week, too, unless it does get cold as they seem to be forecasting. Not cold enough to have to cover, but just a little chilly. Himself planted his corn (I think it’s a waste of space) but he’s got a Plan. He planted it and covered it with black plastic, says it would heat up the soil. He checks it daily just in case any green shows up. He and dog have gone up to check the water in Treasure Creek and see what the beavers have been up to!

Well, I guess that takes care of chatter for today! I hope you’re having a lovely warm spring. Unlike Denver, where the Giant and the Rockies played baseball in a snow storm yesterday!

 

Memorial Day

I spent most of memorial day the way my Dad would have. Working in the garden. He was a vet but mostly he was a gardener. Randy, with my help, got the fence up around the new bed and I planted the first plants. Two zucchini and one unknown from the compost pile that I think may be a cucumber. There’s also a Borage for the bees.

 

The white around the plants is crushed egg shell. Hoping to keep hungry crawlies at bay. The sharpish edges are supposed to discourage them. If they happen to have wings or are good jumpers, I guess that will be in vain, but I’m trying.  There should be more melons and winter squash along soon and we’re saving a space for some corn and sunflowers.

I also tried out my new Mean Green Machine, a food processor, gifted to me by my MIL. I mentioned that I was wanting one and she said she was never going to use this one. I have been trying to decided between a new bread machine or one of these guys. I only have room for one. Today’s recipe turned out well, but it was a bit big for this machine. I’ll try a smaller recipe next time, but if I can get one that’s worth while I think the bread machine will lose its place as I can use this one for chopping dog’s veggies, too! And there’s even the possibility for finding other uses for it!

Now I think it’s time to go try out the new recipe for oven-fried chicken. Sometimes my excursions into cooking turn out well. I hope this one does and I am already hungry for it! Hope your weekend is as lovely as ours is starting!

PS: The chicken tasted good but it was certainly not Crispy, as the recipes author promised. 😦

Photgraphy lesson: “Architecture” ,

  

  

The Jays know how to keep their young families safe from cruising ravens. They build under, usually under an overhanging roof if they can find one. We’ve been raising Stellar Jays for many years. I like to think it’s great great grandchildren returning every spring. The one on the tree branch is really a squirrel nest but the Jays play around in it, too. We raised two families this spring. I think they’ve abandoned the one in the rose bush that they used for years because we use the deck out there now at that time of the year and they feel that’s a little close, I suppose.  But the other two are on opposite sides of the house. The first one is the newest nest. Randy put up the shelf brackets and strung chicken wire between them as a platform. It was in self defense as they wanted to build in his supply of fence panels and we were going to be needing them!

But the subject is architecture. They build rather free form but it is a tight and sturdy nursery. And safe, as I have mentioned. We have other birds around but these are the only ‘house’ birds. I had a house wren build a nest in the pocket of a pair of my pants which were hanging on the clothes line. By the time they were done with it the pants were pretty faded but I could not bring myself to oust them.

Water..

Anther blog photo lesson. Water is an important subject now days. Seems like there is either not enough of it or there is too much of it. This year we appear to be edging onto not enough here. And it’s spring with summer not looking wet at this point. But immediately water to me means Treasure Creek, the stream running though my garden. Not very big but a pretty stream, it’s my “white noise”, masking traffic on the road and loud talking neighbors. Dog can get a drink, I can dip my watering can in there to refresh any dry looking plants and local wildlife take advantage of it too. We see frogs and some little trouts.

 

And last summer we had a family of raccoons wading up steam. Not unusual to see one or two but these were 4 babies and I got some fuzzy pictures. I spooked them and they hid behind an alder and peeked around at me. Of course, the camera focused on the maples leaves in front of me where I wasn’t paying attention. Still a cute, if fuzzy shot, I think. And one with Water! 🙂

 

Dear Diary… the longest post you’ll ever see here!

Every day when Himself comes home the first thing he asks is, “What did you do today?” I don’t think he really wants to know, it’s just a conversational gambit thingy but I usually am unable to answer. I know I’ve been busy all day but most of it was apparently not notable. So I thought I would let you suffer through a day with me and lets see what it is I do all day!

April 23, 2018

  • 5:32 am: Woke, glanced at the clock, sighed and got up.
  • Bathroon first, as usual
  • Started the coffee, Himself gets it ready before he goes to bed so I just have to push the button.
  • Checked the temperature. It was 63 in here, not really cold but chilly enough to warrant a fire in my opinion so I built one.
  • Poured coffee and turned on the tablet, checked my usual morning sites and email, by that time Himself was up.
  • So I got dressed and started breakfast. Eggs and sausage this morning, toast & applesauce.
  • Then, lets see… Printed out paperwork for loom orders, boxed up same, let the cat out, printed postage and hauled them out the the truck so he could drop them off in the mail box (it’s a big one!) on his way to town.
  • Answered some more email, put my shoes on and managed to get out of the house in time to meet Tsuneko for our morning walk. Lovely warm morning, I left the window open we I left, the fire having been long out. Visited with a couple neighbors and our old mailman on the way. Jack has been delivering mail up here for many many years and loves to talk. It was his idea for us to put up the big box so i don’t have to drive to Trinity Center to the post office to mail the packages. He’s got his grandson taking over the route, (nice boy) but he still does Monday and whenever Peter needs a day off. I wore just a light sweater this morning and it was getting to be too warm by the time I got home. Cat weather~ see below!
  • 12:00 Opened up the house, turned on the drier to freshen up the load I didn’t get folded yesterday, made my lunch salad and am now typing this. Next I’ll eat my lunch while defeating Evil with my Viking hero- that’s my noontime treat. Rest of the day coming later….
  • You know it’s a warm day when the cat naps on the deck. she’s loving the sunshine!
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  • After lunch cleaned up in the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher and washed the bread machine pan, ready for the next batch.
  • Got sausage out of the freezer to thaw for tonight’s meatloaf. Brought in and folded rest of laundry while I was there also put away the soup I canned yesterday and straightened stuff out for the new shelves he built this morning.
  • Planted kale seed and some marigolds. Also some garlic bulbs that sprouted in the kitchen. Dunno if they’ll make new roots or not, but decided to chance it as they looked  fat and healthy. The peas are showing leaves now, too. And I have some tulips blooming just across the path.
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  • Gathered pine cones for a basket, found a checkered cloth, and “decorated” the corner table in the rental cabin. Mom-in-law says I am not to clean it before she comes in mid May as she’ll need a project while she’s here. All it needs is dusting and airing out, tho I intend to paint the back bathroom, it’s a gloomy place as is.
  • So now I’m ignoring the fact that the dining table is full of clutter again. I guess that’s next, tho, as it has reached the point where we have to push stuff aside in order to eat dinner each evening. Shameful, I know, but it’s such a handy spot to dump whatever you have in your hands at the time. I took off my pretty cut work white cloth, I had spilled gravy on it and he has what looks like coffee stains at his place! Yikes, I knew better than to put that on in the colder season. In summer we eat on the deck so the cloth would stay pretty. Table may still look cluttered to some of you, but the stuff in the top right corner is His. It’s a box that he sometimes hits with his mail and paper work. The turn-table in center top has stuff like salt & pepper, napkin holder, the electronic candle from my MIL and the SFGiants gnome from the same lady! On my place mat, there on the left, are a couple packets of arugala seed, last years, but I’ll offer it to Tsuneko, if she wants it. I found that I detest the stuff! Yuck, in fact. Right along with cilantro, and that stuff they make with basil- pesto! I don’t object to basil in reasonable quantities but pesto made of it… no thanks. I made some once when I first heard of it and had lots of garden basil. My buddy loved it so she got it all! lol
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  • Tossed the kitchen rugs into the washer. I’ll mop tomorrow.
  • 3:30 pm Himself has come in now and he & the dog are sharing a bag of salami. So I guess it’s time for me to head into the kitchen and assemble the meat loaf. I baked hamburger type buns and am planning meatloaf sandwiches and slaw for dinner. I might bake a batch of brownies for the game later.
  • Meatloaf in the oven. Decided against the brownies, too much oven. Had a graham cracker crust in the pantry (love $General!) and a packet of vanilla pudding plus a can of cherry pie filling. Not fresh strawberries but it’ll do until they come along in another month or so! And it’s pretty!
  • 4:30 Dog has quit following me around, she was smelling hamburger and thought I was making her dinner. She’s ever hopeful! Disappointment! I don’t have to make hers for a couple more weeks, just made a new batch. Her dinner is thawing on the counter so she’ll get it at the proper time.  The vet put her on grain free because of a chronic ear infection, says grain feeds the yeast. So I make her meat and veggies & freeze them in baggies, she loves it but I can’t see that it has helped her ear problem much.
  • But now I’m going to sit and read a new knitting pattern to see if I really want to do it. My loom and yarn is ready for when the game comes on this evening. The Giants are playing the Nationals, coming off a win and a fun game with the Angels!
  • 5.35 pm: Meatloaf is done, slaw’s made, as is dressing. Do we need beans? Nay. Himself is reading the news, I’ve been doing x-words here, Jays are fussing at something. Who knows? Jays are always bitching about something. They are just a mouthy group. I guess that’s why I like them- We have much in common!  The temperature is starting to fall, too, so I think I’ll close up now. Seems a shame but I don’t want it to get too chilly in here for old people!
  • Where’s dinner, Ma?!
  • Dinner’s over, time for the kitty to go home. She lives in the studio since there’s no room here for that necessary box that house cats need. Dishwasher is loaded and going. Game not on for another 10 minutes so here’s the end of my day. Game and weaving a square. Last email to my sis or both, take my melanin pill (it’s supposed to cure my tinnitus), brush teeth – all the usual bedtime stuff and off to dreamland.
  • Well, if he had asked what I did today, I could have told him.
  • He didn’t, of course.

I am finally going to learn how to use this blog thing… I hope.

The tutorial says I should: Tell us about you and what we’ll find on your blog.

Well, I am Hazel. I haven’t always been this old but have always been more or less  arty. I guess my main ‘art form’ would be drawing, extended to painting, but I have always been interested in any art form that crosses my path. I’ve dabbled in many, no point in listing them here, it would take all day, but they range from fiber crafts to metal & wood work. My Pop was a rock hound and lapidarist (is that a word?) and I tried my hand at those forms, too.  Momma taught me to crochet way back and my 4th grade teacher taught me to knit so yarn arts have always been in there, too. Is gardening an art? I don’t know that I have a green thumb but I enjoy my garden, too, both flowers and food. I’ve written some poetry and short stories, designed birthday and get well cards, written children’s picture books, directed siblings & off spring in musical plays, just for our own entertainment. i can  pick out a ragged tun on piano, cord a guitar, and used to be able to tootle a tune on a clarinet or flute. Badly in all cases and sing along as well, probably badly at that, too, but with Gusto! Well, I still sing along in the car! Randy and I celebrated our 34th year yesterday and he is having a birthday poker party with the boys for his day today.  I had mine a couple weeks ago, but we won’t talk about that. What else? Well, it’s already more than you wanted to know!

So what’ll you find on the blog? Pretty much what you have already found I’m sure. Stuff about the looms and my weaving projects. Stuff about my dolls and what I am making for them. Pictures of my garden and our trips hither and yon. Things I bake and can and a few pictures of the dogs and cats and the deer & other wild critters who wander though the place. We have two Stellar Jay nests this spring, there’ll be baby birds all over soon!Checkered lilies close

My checkered lilies are blooming again. and my peas are up. I’ll plant kale tomorrow. So there you have it for my first lesson in how to make a proper blog. I think it’ll get better. Well, to be honest, I hope it’ll get better!

But thank you for reading this, both of you, even if you are my sisters.

 

Montana

Ever wonder why it’s call the Big Sky?

And here we are on the top of the world. I don’t remember what pass this is but it was lovely and exactly the right time of the year to meet the most populous residents.. mosquitoes!

But we had nice camping places.

Saw lots of wild life.

Opps! Sorry!

     

But on the way home we found Mt Shasta on fire. Turned out to be a ‘control burn’ which, this time, did not get out of control.

And we got home to find we have a new neighbor, spending the summer in the community.

Now we’ve gone to Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon without taking any pictures & are home again for awhile. But it’s been an enjoyable month! Hope your summer is not too hot!