Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Diary 12/31/13

Last day of 2013. Hope to finish 10th edition of "the book" today. It has become a romance for what it is worth...Otherwise, plans to start cleaning out the chicken pen, working on cleaning at least one bed in the top greenhouse and incorporating the chicken bedding. I am hoping that the organic matter will scare away gophers maybe. It will be a battle again this year, but if I work fewer beds, I stand a chance of holding them at bay. Electronic sound makers have been working, just obnoxious to be around, beeping all the time. I haven't given whirligigs a chance and I should, but I want a low key one. I don't want a rainbow bicycle swirling at the edge of my view. I may have to take to painting my own in some sort of garden camo. The clicking is important and I don't know what that is going to sound like. Felicity,
Summer hunt
the Wonder Cat, has been taking some hunting time off, but then the ground has been mostly frozen. I may have to cut back on her rations when spring approaches if she doesn't get back out their on her own! She is pretty passionate about gophers, so I am sure she will. She caught 2 last week.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Diary 12/29/13

Every time I go out to the pond, I find a new formation. It is fascinating if not a bit scary as the pond is basically empty. We are many inches below normal rainfall here.
This one looks as if ferns have been caught in the ice, but no, just the way the freeze and thaw cycle has made ice "branches".

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Diary 12/28/13

Twilight visitors to the garden include a tom turkey and a buck. Oh, and a skunk, who left little sign, but plenty of smell...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Diary 12/26/13


Post Christmas wind down. Football, leftovers, and thoughts of accomplishments before the end of the year.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Diary 12/24/13

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight~

Monday, December 23, 2013

Diary 12/23/13

We are lucky to have some of the nicest neighbors in the world. This time of year we receive some pretty awesome goodies including this pistachio bread wreath. It has pistachio nuts and what I think is brown sugar and ? layered into a sweet roll. I kiss butt when I can to stay on good terms with the maker. It is an amazing gift we relish as it adds inches to our waistlines
. Thank you Linda and David!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Diary 12/22/13

Between a proud cookie maker and the fastest Santa in the west, it was a busy week's end! Wishing everyone everywhere such fun and joy!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Diary 12/21/13

Winter Solstice! The day seemed to be short and gloomy. Back from a trip north to 1/2 inch of rain in the gauge and alot less snow and ice in general. The pond is thawing and the green grass is showing most places in the yard.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Diary 12/18/13

The snow has taken on a new consistency with our first day of clouds and warmer temperatures at night. It was interesting to hear everything dripping. Maybe the snow will slide off the roof tomorrow!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Diary 12/16/13

We are lucky to live above the fog. I am so sorry for those who live in the valleys this time of year when an inversion sets in and they are stuck in freezing fog day in and day out. It is certainly depressing when you can't tell what time of day it is. I guess the weather will change starting Wednesday. For us, it is cold and clear at night and bright sun in the day. Every evening we have these wonderfully colorful sunsets, the "red skies at night, sailor's delight" kind.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Diary 12/13/13

Pruning the "chair" and gathering the longer canes for basket making over the next few days. Not sure if I will be able to get to the red osier bushes up the hill due to the snow, but willow is available here and there around the garden. Weather is warming up today which is great news to all those who are waiting for pipes to thaw. With thawing comes the work though, as leaks and broken plumbing become evident. Been there, done that. Happy to have been able to survive this latest cold without a huge project. Good luck to all!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Diary 12/12/13

For the last few years, I have been painting the windows so that birds don't see the reflection and run into it. I have some random hangings in front of the windows in the worst spots. I rescued a bird such as this one, maybe a little larger, a female Towhee, the other day after she hit a window. She was on her side with one leg stretched out strangely, but breathing through an open and closing beak. I have developed a program for such birds. Shock can kill them more quickly than anything, so I do as little to disturb them as possible. I set them upright in a protected site, in this case the sun was out, so I found a sunny corner where I set a box with the bird sitting with head leaning on the box edge. I think they are disorientated, and after all they have a concussion. Then I leave it up to nature for the bird to recover, which has been better odds than bringing them inside to weird noises, a sniffing dog, and curious cats. After checking her once after an hour, her leg was back under her and she was looking about bright-eyed. The next time I checked, the sun was gone and I was worried I might have to re situate her, but success and her departure made it unnecessary. I will take my window paint out and draw some snow scenes when it warms up.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Diary 12/10/13

Garden Dog received his present early. Although it seemed small,

he has been spending all his time in it. I take this as a sign of "Cozy, thanks!", and it makes me smile.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Diary 12/9/13

Small gathering of my next door neighbors for wreath making yesterday. Too icy for most to make the trip. Our driveway is cleared to gravel, but there are still icy spots and the county road has many icy sections, also. Those who attended went home with some lovely holiday cheer. I have made two wreaths so far. Need to finish up today and get them ready to send or take to their destinations.  Sounds like the interstate is clear which is good news as I have to retrieve a guest from Eugene train mid-week and I am a big chicken.
wreath miscellaneous

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Diary 12/7/13

We ended up with 9 inches of snow. A potent storm. It is all dry and fluffy and nothing to have a snowball fight about. The animals are gathering around us as we have more available feed than some places and maybe fewer cougars. Every left over dried berry and and blackberry leaf becomes an important food source.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Diary 12/6/13

We, like so much of the country, are going to get smacked with a winter storm. The snow has started and there will be constant snow all day. Then after the low pressure passes by off to bother the rest of the country, we will have single digit temps tomorrow night. So we have hunkered down with plenty of everything. The internet satellite will no doubt go down soon. We have LED lanterns and battery powered tap lights( gone are the days of burning kerosene
Honeysuckle bloom in the sunny cold yesterday while the storm clouds began to arrive
lamps that could set a house on fire when your water was frozen...), our water is trickling in the sink, and we are keeping an oak or madrone log burning brightly at all times. Wishing safety and warmth to all those across the area who are dealing with this and much worse.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Diary 12/3/13

Our pals were out getting as much eating in while the sun was out and the grass was unfrozen. Tonight will be even colder than the 15 last night. Snow due tomorrow night through Friday to the valley floor. Then after that an even colder bout. Poor deer. I may have to let them in a greenhouse...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Diary 12/2/13

Returned from a northern sojourn to three dead rodents and a whining dog. It was a good weekend in that I was able to see all three of my children, all five of my grandchildren, one of my best friends, and cousins galore that we love.
Glitter glue + pine cones = fun
Cold blast coming tomorrow, little or no snow. Gonna clean house and decorate, get ready for wreathing and crafts. Need to finish wrapping water spigots and anything else for 14 degrees, Me?.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Diart 11/27/13

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I am so blessed~ Great family, good health(except for short bout of laryngitis) and prosperity if not financial. Best wishes to you and yours for a nice holiday weekend.
Go Beavs! (Just had to stick that in.)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Diary 11/25/13

Found so many different patterns on the ice at the edge of our pond today. I am sure someone would understand the chemistry that made for these patterns. For me, it is just another example of the wonders of nature. Glad I went for a walk there, I almost skipped it, worried about mud on my boots. I guess that is the opposite of "smell the roses".

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Diary 11/23/13

The plum tree that offers shade and hawk protection to the chickens all summer has now performed its last duty by adding a new layer of bedding to their yard. Notice the leaves above our rooster, Mr Darcy's, head. They have been sent airborn by his wild back kick. The sunny afternoons, though cool, have been delightful and will last several more iving me a chance to get hoses rolled up and tools put away before all is missing under snow.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Diary 11/21/13

While picking the last of the tomatoes yesterday, I found this cauliflower! I forgot I planted cauliflower and I had given up on them because the gopher made off with several of the young plants. This one survived and was a great surprise yesterday. My favorite cauliflower recipe is just to steam the florets and add a cheese sauce. I have eaten mashed cauliflower that a Paleo diet fan prepared, it was interesting if not quite like potatoes and a lump of butter...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Diary 11/20/13

A high pressure system blew in this afternoon. With it comes sunny days and very cold nights. I believe the inside of the greenhouse will freeze tonight and the trickle of vegetables we have been enjoying is going to come to an end. The cold wind announced the change, and the clouds were smeared by it's entrance.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Diary 11/19/13

After traveling a few logging roads, we found a small patch of Chantrelles. At least we didn't get skunked!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Diary 11/14/13

The last few days have started with fog and then opened up to be beautiful days. Not so much today which stayed cloudy and pretty much gloomy all day. It seemed close to raining all day, but never quite pulled it off. The woods are stark with their leaves gone. The evergreen trees and the newly watered moss give some relief from the browns. I am ready for a sprinkle of snow.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

I can't come up with the words to say thank you to those who served, especially those who had to sacrifice their goals, their dreams, and sometimes their bodies for the ideal's of another. I could never ask for that. I wish our countries would not either.

Diary 11/11/13

I love spooky nights when the moon drifts in and out of the clouds, one minute lighting the nigh, the next fading to pitch black. The leafless trees add an element of mystique.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Curing Garden Dog's cough (Diary 11/9/13)

Thank goodness for Google, once again. Garden Dog was retching and choking and I was worried about him. He has done so before and one bowl of chicken broth seemed to do the trick, but not this time. As the cough continued, I looked online for help and found a YouTube video of exactly what Garden Dog was doing. He had kennel cough. I must say that I thought it was a serious ailment, but when I read more, it was kinda like a common cold in dogs. He had been stressed as he had cysts removed the week before. he also got wet and cold a couple times when he insisted on helping gather firewood and other farm chores. The vet on the video suggested the age old remedy for coughs: honey, lemon, and warm water to be an aid. He said you could add goldenseal and echinacea also. I had echinacea, so I made the dog some cough syrup. At first it took a dose every 3 hours. Then that lengthened to 6. Yesterday morning when we had a visitor was the last time he coughed. After only 36 hours, the dog was cured! Information highway, for sure.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Diary 11/8/13

So many mushrooms, so little time. I have spent many an hour trying to identify various fungi only to either not be able to do so conclusively, or finding out they are either inedible or even toxic. It is a fun science, but tiring! I don't touch them anymore as I have heard there are some small brown ones that can put neurotoxins through your skin just by touching them. I know the friendlier families such as the boletes, and those I will examine closer. The ones I don't know, I nudge with my foot to see their gills which will help with identification. Photos help also. I really should start a diary of my hunts to help as far as where each mushroom was found and what time of year. Meanwhile, I will be happy to search for the few I do know to be edible even if I have little success.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Diary 11/7/13

The day length grows shorter and shorter, and with no sun, I know mold and mildew are on their way. For now, I will continue to bring the orange tomatoes into the house to finish up. I will enjoy having them until sometime late in the month, and then not eat a real tomato until late June or early July. It's a cruel world...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Diary 11/5/13

You might be a redneck if you get excited about a stack of dry firewood...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Diary 11/4/13

Lots of mushrooms coming up now. There are so many I don't know. This one I do because it is easy to identify with their smooth, fringed, yellow caps. Still, not going to eat this one as its edibility is unknown. Maybe the name might give it away. It is the Questionable Stropharia, Stropharia ambigua.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rendering Pumpkin

It is a cold and gloomy afternoon, so I decided to tackle the stemless pumpkin sitting at my front door. The pumpkins that keep their stems tend to last longer than the ones that lose the stem and expose a bit of their insides at that navel-a weak point for decay. This pumpkin was fine, but it was the largest and so I took it on. 1. Open the pumpkin as if carving a Jack-O-Lantern, extracting the seeds. I love roasted pumpkin seeds, so that is all part of the deal.
2. Cut, chop or break the pumpkin into pieces that will fit in a large pot with a steamer tray in the bottom. I tend to use an ax or the edge of our stone step as it is safer than me and a knife tryoing to cut open a large pumpkin.
3.Stack the chunks, flesh down in the pot above the water line. If they get into the water the flesh will absorb too much water and mess with you later in recipes(pies that won't set up, for instance).
4.Steam for at least 45 minutes or until flesh is soft.
5. Remove with edge of spoon and if it is soft enough, great, if still firm, food process for a minute. If there is excess water showing, squeeze into another bowl before measuring.

6. Measure for use immediately or in my case I made pumpkin bread and had a nice package for pie later this month.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Diary 11/2/13

Snow storm on the top of the Cascades made for a spooky view from here. Light showers and cold temperatures kept cats, dog, and me inside most of the day.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Diary 10/30/13

Finally getting back to the shop project. We bought some metal beams from the next door neighbor. Another friend brought a plasma cutter up last night for us to use. Still a third friend who is a welder and has some experience with the plasma cutter is doing the cutting of the pieces to make angle chunks to put at the base of each upright. Just for starters we need 24 of them. They will need to be drilled so that a bolt can hook them to the 12x12 beams. Then there is the metal plates for the horizontal beams and all the beams on each side.

 Lots of work ahead!