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Archive for August, 2012

My best friend bought a slicer.  It’s a mandoline type, like the one in the photo.

It’s a wonderfully effective tool.  But, as both my friend and I discovered, it does not discriminate between cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and fingers.  She cut her middle finger first.  Her cut was near the nail and deep.  So, I took over.  I was slicing an oddly shaped cucumber without the use of the veggie holder (yeah, I know, Duh!) when the blade almost removed a slice off my middle finger.  I kind of figure mine was the worse of the two cuts because I was dumb enough not to learn from her injury.

Okay, lesson learned.  Now, how do I type fast and accurately with a bandage on my middle finger?

Oh, and please do learn from my mistake.  A mandoline slicer is an excellent tool that makes short work of any slicing job, when used responsibly.

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I awoke this Saturday morning to my dog, Thor, dreaming.  He was barking in his sleep.  It was the muffled, closed-mouthed bark that accompanies dogs’ dreams.  His feet were moving as though running after some critter, perhaps a deer.  Outside, the early birds chirp their good mornings and boundary warnings.  The bugs hum and chirp their greetings to the day.  I don’t hear crickets.  These are unknown humming chirping bugs in the grass.  I’m a bit chilly under my not-quite-sufficient covers.  I think about reaching for my bear blanket and decide to get up for the day instead.  But, Thor is awake.  He wants to be petted and has moved close to my hand.  His wet tongue makes my hand chillier, but I pet him anyway.  “Good morning, puppy,” I tell him.  He lays his head on my tummy and rolls to expose his belly to me.  I pet him and make him move his foot like scratching an itch.  He’s happy, evident by his closed eyes.  I stop, and he asks for more.  I pet for a few more minutes then get up.

Bathroom is chilly.  Floor is. too.  My bare feet chill which means no more sleep will happen this morning.  I do my morning routine in bathroom and bedroom.  Then, I start coffee in the kitchen.  It’s a quiet, lazy morning.  It’s a good morning.  I stretch as the coffee brews.  The smell slowly wafts out and throughout.  Coffee is a good creation; the coffee-maker is a good invention.  Stretch again punctuated by a *yawn*.  Freya wakes up and begs for milk on her food.  I fix cereal and her milk-food before heading to my computer which still sleeps.

Before sitting down, I put the bowl down and put on my black sweater that doesn’t match the Summer-colored skirt and shirt I’ve decided to wear.  The sweater is cold and will warm slowly.  It will feel good and warm soon.  I sit down.  Shoes off and under the desk, my feet are cold by now.  It’s okay.  It lets me know I’m truly awake, even without coffee in my cup,…yet.  I press the button that awakens the computer.  I eat my cereal and patiently wait for it to boot up.  It’s done long before my bowl is empty.  The desktop image and icons wait patiently for actions given by mouse click or keyboard.  Computers have more patience than their creators.  Computers are like very obedient children.  They do exactly what they are told, even if it’s wrong.  Maddening, sometimes.

I look outside toward the greenhouse.  The plants will need watering and harvesting today.  Cherokee purple tomatoes will be in my harvesting basket along with carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, and more tomatoes.  Chickens need food and water.  Egg collection will come later.  I’ll be careful to watch for bees.  I’ve had enough stings for one year.

I open my browser.  E-mail, Yahoo Groups, Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter on their tabs…take time to load.  I don’t mind.  Coffee is ready.  My cup is there with cream and sugar already to go.  They mix as the coffee is poured into large, blue mug.  I smell and sip while on my way back to my desk.

Time to get busy on this Sacred Day.

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Abundant Tomatoes

Yesterday for supper, we had subs and baked zucchini.  Each of us made our own sub.  While preparing the veggies, I decided to slice three different types of tomatoes; Cherokee Purple, Yellow Brandywine, and Red Brandywine.  The subs were excellent!

I put some of each type of tomato on mine.  There is little difference in the two Brandywine tomatoes, but there was a distinct difference between those and the Cherokee Purple tomato.  I liked the purple one best, but I’ll eat any variety of tomato.

How about you?  Which tomato variety is your favorite?

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I awoke to the sound of rain on my roof.  No thunder.  No lightning.  Just the gentle and varying sounds of rain.  Never the same amount.  Ebbing amounts, flowing out of the gutters.  Cloudy skies.  Good for sleeping in.  Good day to curl up with a good book.

But, the chicken’s need to be fed.  They’ve been laying all at about the same time.  We’ve been finding one egg in each nesting box.  The others are scattered around the run, which means they are not taking turns as would be normal.  Interesting phenomenon that makes collecting the eggs a bit more difficult.  The ceiling of the run is only chest high.  The door is narrow.  I suggested to my son that we close the chickens into the coop until after they lay which would make collecting much easier.  It’s raining outside.  I would really rather sleep in or curl up with a good book.

But, the greenhouse plants need to be watered.  The rain, after all, doesn’t reach these plants.  The ones in the raised bed will be fine for today.  I watered the ones on the workbench early yesterday.  They’ll be thirsty.  I really would like to curl up with a good book, or take a nap.  The rain does make it a good day to sleep in.

But, I started coffee.  The house is filled with the aroma.  My cup is setting here, empty.  Begging to be filled with the hot liquid that I’ve come to enjoy.  The smell.  The taste.  The warmth on this rainy day.  *sigh*

Time to get up, fill my cup, water the greenhouse plants, feed the chickens and let them out into the run, water the dogs and cats, fill their bowls too.

It’s raining again.  Rain on the roof and coming out of the gutters.  After my work is done, I think I’ll find that good book.  Or maybe I’ll let it find me.

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I picked a very imperfect Cherokee Purple tomato.  I decided to save the seeds and feed the meat to the chickens.  After arriving at the junction of the chicken run and the new fence, I discovered a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly was in the run.  It was trying to climb out through the chicken wire, but its wings would not make it out.

I tried many times to get it to go toward the door that opens into the new fenced area.  I also tried to get it to go out of the hole through which we feed the chickens.  Then, I whistled for my youngest son, Josh.

When I explained what I wanted, he very gladly entered the run to mount a rescue.  He’s tall, so he had to remain bent at the waist the entire time he was in there.  After several attempts, he was able to catch the butterfly and release it through the new door.

The butterfly promptly flew into the tree line.  Josh came out of the door near the waterer.  His first question was, “Where did it go?”

Results: 1 butterfly rescued, 1 happy momma, and 1 most excellent son!

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My dog, Thor, loves to roll in the grass.  He also loves to roll in the dirt.  He just loves to have a good time.  He also reminds me that sometimes I just get too busy that I forget to have a good time.  This happened the other day.  I’ve been stung by many bees this Summer, about every two or three days.  I’m allergic to them.  My allergy to wasps isn’t severe.  It just makes everyday chores difficult.

This was the case the day I watched Thor rolling in the grass.  I’d been stung the day before.  I felt tired and stiff.  All of my joints were popping and snapping.  *Snap, Crackle, Pop, Right crisp knees*

Then, I saw Thor.  I chuckled and smiled for the first time in weeks.  Then I started thinking.  I love my greenhouse and enjoy harvesting the garden.  These things are very pleasurable to me.  I relax.  I breathe.  I smile.  Sometimes, I hum or sing.

I made up my mind right then and there that I would give my Self permission to enjoy, to relax, to breathe, to smile, to hum, to sing, and to roll in the grass.  (Not literally since I’m not so sure I wouldn’t roll onto a bee.)  When is the last time you gave your Self permission to just enjoy?

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Our greenhouse was ready late in the Spring.  I didn’t have it in time to start seedlings for this year’s garden.  When I first walked in to use it, it looked like this.

 

 

Some building tools and supplies were still inside.  The fan was not yet installed.  Not all of the gutters were installed.  As you can see, the work bench is to the left; the raised bed is to the right.

This was the Cherokee Purple Tomato when I transplanted it into the raised bed.  It already had a few flowers but no fruit.  I was about a foot tall.

This is the same tomato now.  It touches the roof of the greenhouse and surrounds the exhaust fan.  I’m very careful to make sure it doesn’t choke the fan.  The greenhouse is about eight feet tall.  We have gotten tomatoes from this plant.  It has about thirty or so tomatoes at varying stages.

I’ve used yarn to tie stems to the center post in the greenhouse to keep the tomato from blocking the door.  You can barely see the exhaust fan in this photo.  The closest stems are about five inches away from the fan.

The lower stems stretch about five feet from the base of the plant.  These stems are laying in the raised bed.  The closest plants to me are a part of that tomato.

Here’s a closeup of some of the flowers and stems.  This photo was taken at my eye level.

Here’s a closeup of some flowers.  In the middle, there’s a small tomato.  It’s hard to see because it’s not focused on the tomato.

This Cherokee Purple Tomato loves the greenhouse.  The fruit we’ve been getting from it taste wonderful.  I kept it in my greenhouse so I could harvest pure seeds from it.  I’ll definitely be starting a bunch of these for next year’s garden.

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