Greetings of the Season to you all!
I hope this finds you well. Can you believe how quickly it has become almost-Christmas? It’s almost a little scary.
I have been meaning to put pictures here of the rest of the season’s garden including the harvest, but it hasn’t happened. After Christmas I will backtrack and post those pictures.
But in the meantime I wanted to put some wintry pictures up. We’ve had approximately two days of wintry weather so far this year. It’s been too warm and dry. Most of what we’ve had is this:
That picture above is pretty too, but I love the raw bleakness and snowfall of a real winter’s day. We had one yesterday, and I went out and gathered evergreen boughs and made a wreath.
If you need any last-minute Christmas making-and-baking ideas, here are some from my recipe archive:
Challah Bread, 6-braid
(Healthier) Pecan Snowball Christmas Cookies
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peel
Snow Ice Cream
Traditional Hot Mulled Apple Cider
Yep, we have moved again. It’s such a breeze and so stress free, you know, we can hardly get enough!
This last year, circumstance dictated that my folks reclaim their home that we had been renting from them for the past three years, which meant we needed to find ourselves a new pad. Their house is where I grew up, so this homebody’s roots there run awfully, awfully deep–soaking up comfort and familiarity and cherished memories like precious life-giving droplets of water over these past few terribly challenging years. Difficult to pack up and go, you bet. Our move has blessedly been to a place just a couple hours “down the road,” so visits back are realistic and doable on a semi-frequent basis — which has been helpful for my heart which does not, alas, sway to the currents of logic or plan or situation, and does not apparently even realize that it’s actually their house and not mine at all. Helpful also in that I finally found some good doctors and I’m not, and I repeat not, in the mood to drop them and doctor shop in a new city right now. Commutes back for doctor appointments are softened by wonderful time spent with my family so this setup is working well, considering.
Going through the experience of a home purchase was new to both F and me. I would totally not recommend it. We’re lucky that we also did not have a house to sell at the same time! How do people do it?? We felt heroic for getting through it (applause especially to F) but wow, the stress was busting out the seams. Hopefully we will not have to buy, sell, or move again, ever, for the rest of our whole entire lives but if we do, I think it will definitely be easier the second time now that we’ve traced the learning curve.
We got really lucky with the place we found. And by lucky I mean that if we’d missed seeing the new Zillow listing by a single day, it would’ve been gone. And since we already had a contract on another house the realtor wasn’t sending us any new stuff so it was F that stumbled upon this one thanks to his persistent internet searching late into the night. We shudder now to think of ourselves at the first house we had the contract on! Instead, we lucked into a perfectly sized, solidly built 60’s house (we’re only the second owners!) on three irrigated acres. We wake up to meadowlarks and mountain vistas. It’s a special spot, as you’ll see:
Wish this tractor were ours!
Your eyes do not deceive you my friends! Yes I am finally updating my blog.
February of 2016! And I haven’t even shown you the rest of last year’s garden. There’s much to tell you about since we last chatted back in July, but first things first and this post will be for catching up with the rest of the season. Last summer’s garden is a distant memory already and these pictures remind me that it was a pretty good year although at this point I can’t even quite remember the details of it. Right – oh, I know. I remember I was impressed actually with how well things did considering the long-lasting, cool spring we had paired with a few pelting hailstorms, each one progressively more damaging, leaving leaves and stems hanging by threads. All that hard work, seed starting, transplanting, and coddling, shredded! It was a Great Year for roofing companies, let’s just say. I think I may have already talked about the hail — I bet I did, this is sounding familiar. No matter; it was a surprisingly satisfying year with a solid harvest in general and more tomatoes than expected. Then again when you set your expectations to ZERO, a number of things do tend to look surprisingly good! (Do you smell a life lesson too?)
The pictures really do look luscious don’t they? The beauty of this garden absolutely fed me and kept me grounded when I needed to block life out for a while and put my bare feet on the earth and my hands in the soil, or relax with a cup of tea and admire my living, growing, changing, edible creation.
POTATO OF THE YEAR!
Siamese twin squash blossoms
‘Early Silver Line’ Melon – they were seedy and not very sweet, strange texture, not that tasty.
Zucchini Parmesan about to go into the solar oven
Elderberry Fluff (cooked & pureed elderberries) – I love it
A completely bearable, beautiful wet summer we have had so far! Since we’ve had no need to turn on the sprinkler system yet, last night was the first time this year that I dragged a hose out and watered a dry patch of lawn. Believe me when I say, this is unheard-of! After a late Spring warmup and some dismaying hail storms early on that defoliated or bruised much of the garden, things are finally looking pretty nice.
Pruning fire blight off the apple tree.
Unless you prune during the winter, pruning utensil blades must be wiped off with rubbing alcohol between Each And Every Cut.
This is half of what came off:
On her quinceañera:
This tiny being – a wee chickadee – quietly completed its circle of life within the safe boundaries of our backyard.
We must honor our fellow Earthly travelers.
Out and about for the joy of it, soaking in Summertime at a beautiful nature space, with my Mom. It was really a special day. Our eyes were even treated to male and female Cedar Waxwings, as well as male and female American Goldfinches. And many, many irresistible baby bunnies!!
~I hope this finds you all well~
Just some photos for today.
We are busy here; isn’t that the way of the world though! The to-do list never seems to shorten does it…
I’ll post more of an update in the coming weeks but for now, enjoy this most glorious time of year with a tour through the garden… pausing to pet the Kitty of course… and maybe you’d like a few strawberries too, still warm from the morning sun, and a cold fizzy glass of homebrew kombucha? (I’ve finally upped production, brewing it by the 3-gallon-full these days and I’m thinking of going to 4!)
Greetings from a wet, chilly Colorado night,
Merry Christmas! My best wishes to all of you.
What will you be doing this year for the holiday?
It’ll be a quiet little Christmas here, with us at home here and my parents coming over for a simple, relaxing get-together with a few presents and some special items to eat and most of all, each other’s company. And now it looks as though some snow is being predicted!! Even better. Growing up, Christmastime was joyous and so full of excitement and anticipation and the richness of sensory delights. Low glowing lights and the smells of pine and cookies, the sound of the heater kicking on, the cushy wall-to-wall carpet underfoot, the coziness of our house decorated so beautifully and soulfully, the real tree and prancing out to the street to admire it glowing in our livingroom window; special Christmas cookies in the oven, eating scraps of gingerbread dough as we rolled it out for the cookie cutters, standing on the step stool to make Eskimo Balls with my mom, rolling them in powdered sugar, eating many, and putting the rest into the same tupperware container every year, and then into the fridge where they would be kept until every last one had been snitched. Too bad, that recipe is largely out of circulation these days since it calls for a couple sticks of margarine — oh the glorious 80s — which we would remove from their foil wrappers without a single second thought.
The good ol’ days. These are good ol’ days too, in different ways. At Christmas, I bask in those old memories with relish, while enjoying these good ol’ days right here and now, with Bing Crosby’s White Christmas — the soundtrack of my kid-hood Christmases played on the record player — in the background, and the tree all a-glow.
Happy late-Autumn to you all! We only recently stepped into real Autumn actually, after the longest and most luxurious Indian Summer here, which topped off a perfect Summer season and glorious Springtime. The garden looked beautiful this year, it was a satisfying harvest for most items, everything was lush, we received rain at regularly spaced intervals, and it never got uncomfortably hot. On the health front, I’ve certainly made progress after referral to a more responsive, take-the-reins style doctor and some quality time on a couple of antibiotics. Another pneumonia came on in the Spring, as well as various other ups and downs, several viruses, and the identification of an immune deficiency. That pretty well glazes over it. It’s been a hard, embittering year. I’ve fought tooth and nail to even be this far. Obamacare itself has been my saving grace, and yet our alleged “world-class” healthcare system is a giant obstacle course, broken in many places. When you’re feeling awful, you don’t have the strength or stamina to run through a marathon obstacle course, yet that’s what a patient often must do if they’re unfortunate enough to be a patient. As I said though, I’ve been feeling far better overall than I have in quite a while, and by hook or by crook, that trend must continue.
Let’s move on though; there’s a lot of good stuff that balances out the infuriating crud, so let’s go on and have a tour through that, okay?
Oh right — and the downtime and move to a new web hosting provider did happen a couple months ago. I was shamelessly puffed-up for weeks afterward, because I blindly googled my way through the manual migration of this wordpress blog and database, augmented by my minimal technical “expertise,” and without benefit of handy-dandy migration plugins or other sanity-saving tools (learned about those too late, after the old hosting was already turned off). I certainly “learned a lot” — which is the euphemism that you use, instead of telling people that you nearly murdered your laptop trying to rebuild your wordpress file structure.
Anyway, get ready — we’ve got a lot of catching up to do with the photos! Starting with the succulent, late Spring garden bounty, through Summertime, and into the late Autumn now…