Monday, October 27, 2008

"Weep No More, Milady"

Our massive Weeping Willow met its demise two weeks ago. It's fronds, (nice word, eh?), were hanging over the electric power line and causing power outages and burnt fronds. The men from Asplundh, a tree cutting firm that contracts with the local power company, came to the rescue and quickly and efficiently put the tree down - something like putting an animal down but not quite as sad. Those fellows really know their work and have excellent tools to get the job done. Their occupation would probably provide lots of chills and thrills on a reality show and it was fun to watch how they felled the mighty wooden weeper. The willow was on the edge of the yard and hillside and they had two very flexible cranes with buckets where the lumberjacks wielded their electric saws. Two men on the ground deftly gathered the fallen branches and fed them into two chippers that then fed a dump truck with the willow chips. The cutters of course had to watch out for the power lines and the grounded men. Everything went well and even though that tree was beautiful, it really did make a mess with late falling leaves in the Fall and loads of broken branches littering the yard and hillside. So, we salute the life of that faithful tree but kind of hail its loss. Is that a conundrum?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Well, Hello Dahlia

A few years ago our neighbor, Jim Hoha, offered us some Dahlia bulbs. He said he was overloaded with them. We took several and planted them. Wow, the flowers they produced were a beautiful dark red and the way their petals came together was so perfectly engineered. They took extra care because you had to dig up the bulbs after a freeze and store them in a cool dark place for the winter, then replant them in the spring. But they are definitely worth the work and they seem to perfectly represent the old biblical saying that there is a season for every purpose under Heaven. Their season is summer and their purpose is to bring joy and delight to all who behold them. The pictures show The living Dahlia, the bulbs dug up from just 15 plants and the carting away of the exhausted plants. Long live the Dahlia!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crop # 32 Apples

Fall brings one of the tastiest and dependable harvests. Bing picked the apples from only one of our apple trees - the one behind the garage - You'll see in the picture that he got four huge sacks of apples from that one tree. They are medium size, tasty and juicy. We used to call them Cortland but now we think they are McIntosh. He'll pick from the other trees pretty soon. Yum, yum.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Double Digits for Jamie

Another happy day in September was the day we helped commemorate the tenth birthday of grandson, Jamie. Jamie is and has been a wonderful blessing in our lives. We've known him well from the day of his birth and have seen him advance in wisdom and knowledge. He's a ready participant in any activity we have to offer and always looking for fun. In the picture is his dad, Bernie and Jamie's 3 year old cousin, Eli. Jamie is always kind and protective of Eli and Eli in turn is real happy to have a big cousin to idolize.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Von Krautmaster

See the German twinkle in Bing's eye. He has been the saurkraut maker here for the last several years. I used to try but it would always turn moldy on me. I think it's definitely in his German genes and not my Irish ones. But I love eating kraut in spite of my heritage. Here's how he did it during this last month. He used our Kitchen Aid grater attachment to grate eighty pounds of cabbage. For every five pounds of cabbage, he sprinkled not quite three tablespoons of canning salt. He packed it tightly in two big crocks and very sanitarily tightly covered it. We keep the crocks in the kitchen and let them ferment. Very soon it will be done and I'll help him heat it up and water bath it. It's really good - light colored and not too salty or too sour. MMMMMM! Also, if the Bird Flu epidemic comes around, we're going to eat lots of it because it's supposed to ward off the flu.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Catchup Time

Wow, September 8th was my last posting. I think I'm going to turn over a new leaf and just post short entries with one or two pictures so that keeping up with the blog doesn't seem like a burden. That way people don't have to keep checking to see if there is an entry and then getting nothing new for a month. I'll try to give you an idea of this past month. The two pictures for today will just let you know that the 2008 garden is mostly history now. A killing frost came on October 2nd. The root crops are still in ground and broccoli, bok choy and kale keep going through the first few freezes. This frost was two weeks later than normal up here so we're grateful for the extra tomatoes, peppers, beans and cukes. The pix show the frost on the pumpkins and the main garden. There is a season for every purpose under Heaven and this seems to be the season for garden stopping.