September 27, 2010

B-A-T-H time

We are on day two of the most delightful rain showers ever. Maybe now the garden soil will be workable enough to finish planting the garlic, and hopefully the lettuce seeds I planted the other day will be brave enough to sprout now. Our car is getting a much needed bath, and it's not the only one...

On Saturday, before the rain started, we gave Wilson a bath so he would be presentable enough to go to a friend's cookout with us. Wilson HATES baths, but he always comes when called, even when he knows the consequences. He has his own way of making you feel sufficiently guilty for tormenting him in such a fashion. Here's a video clip of Wilson's "abject bath crawl".

September 22, 2010

The Cobbler's Children

What's that old saying about the cobbler's children having no shoes? Well, how about the professional gardener having no fall crops in her garden. The professional gardener, frantically trying to check off her to-do list also has an infrequently updated blog. Oh well, winter is coming. :) According to the calendar, we are counting down our final hours of summertime. Fall and spring are both so invigorating. I almost feel like I could check off everything on my to-do list....almost.

We spent most of last week enjoying a beautiful house, wonderful weather and fun times with friends and family at the beach in Ocracoke, NC. Joe said he hasn't had that much fun playing with the ocean in years! He even woke me up at 6 a.m. the morning of our departure for one last jaunt in the waves. I was game enough to get up, get dressed and go to the beach with him, but I left the wave riding to him while watched the sunrise. I don't think it's safe to take on the ocean when not fully awake.

A highly camouflaged sand crab, mere seconds before he attempted to leap up my shorts.

My boss Phil, wife Anne Elise and daughter Ayla - gracious sponsors of our beach vacation.

A black swallowtail caterpillar, one of six I found happily munching away on my fennel plants. Such pretty little fellers.

September 12, 2010

This has been an amazingly beautiful, delightfully unproductive Sunday. A few times I have felt tempted to be guilty about being unproductive, but I've decided to fully embrace it. But, just to pacify that little bit of me that still feels guilty, here's a few photos of all of the productivity of the past week.

Joe ricing the cooked apples. I think he was singing a song about applesauce.

The chickens were waiting patiently and mischievously for us to drop our guard so they could sneak in and try to grab some apples.

I love outdoor canning! Keep all that mess outdoors.

Putting the outdoor kitchen to good use, running two full canners and getting ready to bake as well.

In addition to applesauce, Joe baked four beautiful and DELICIOUS apple pies, several of which went as thank you gifts to the suppliers of our apples.

Our onion crop drying from the rafters in the outdoor kitchen.

September 04, 2010

The parade of deaths around here lately has me feeling a little fragile and vulnerable. If I were a turtle, I'd be clamped tightly in my shell waiting for the storm to pass. But, I'm not a turtle, and life goes on, and it is a BEAUTIFUL September, fall's-around-the-corner kind of day. I don't have much to say, however, but here are a few random pictures of the moment.

On Wednesday, we went on an apple harvesting expedition and then came home and canned 32 quarts of applesauce from 6 5-gallon buckets. This is a sampling of the 14 buckets we have to tackle tomorrow.

It'll be quite a few years before our fruit harvesting expeditions only go as far as our front yard, but here are a couple of the beautiful apples our little Fuji tree has produced this year.

Joe and our friend, Robert, are digging out our spring. We've decided it's time for a more sophisticated spring capture set-up, and this is step one. It is quite exciting to see the steady stream of crystal clear, pure water coming straight out of the hillside...

...and the river of mud that has resulted from all of the digging and water diverting. :)