Summer Dew Point

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hubby's New Toy

You know how everything changes in the blink of an eye?  Well it has happened again here at Anniversary Grove.  We just got back from the foot doctor and Hubby has to have surgery on October sixth.  In some ways that is good news, and of course there is always a down side.  The good news is his foot pain will be gone, and after 6-8 weeks of idleness, he will be able to do all the winter work around here…foot pain free.   The down side: because he is on pain pills every day for a variety of problems, and because he will have to get off them 7 days prior to surgery….he will not be able to go to Rapid City for my best friend’s wedding.  He cannot travel very long, nor can he sit very long without pain pills.  It will be a very hard week for him. 
But Hubby has a new toy that will keep him occupied for the long recovery time and for a very long time to come.  Perhaps 15-18 years?
Meet Guy, a pug cross puppy.
Watching football
Watching football together?
The boys will be able to watch football, tell guy jokes and generally hang out together during recuperation. 

I have always thought that what is meant to happen, does; and little life experiences lead you to where you should be.  So because Hubby went to the store with me when he usually doesn’t; because Hubby read ads on the bulletin board that he never looks at;  because Hubby has been especially missing little Cricket that we lost last year….we now have a new puppy.  Hubby’s best girl, Ren, is getting old and he wanted someone around to learn from her while she is still able to help train. 

Beautiful Ren.

As most of you know, I am a sucker for animals; especially dogs and cats.  So I would never say no to another pet. 

And I miss Cricket too. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall is Coming

As much as I hate to admit it, I have been very distracted for the past few months.  And now I am paying for it.  Summer has passed me by.  Granted, we had months of cold and snow, months of flooding and rain, a whole month of sweltering heat and days upon days of biting bugs.  But that is no excuse for me to hide in the house and watch my gardens get choked by weeds.  Well…I think they are good excuses.  My poor plants don’t agree. 
But with all my neglect, most of my plants have survived and even thrived.  I attribute that to my hubby and the type of plants I have; hostas, peonies, lilies and iris.  All of them are very hardy perennials; lucky for them. 
The vegetable garden is a different matter.  Because of the heavy moisture with cool weather, then the oppressive heat….our garden and many others are not producing well.  So we have had to resort to buying produce to can and freeze.  Thank goodness some of the farmers around here have had good luck in their gardens.  Our beans are just now starting to produce, and not many at that.  So we bought enough green beans to put up 24 ½ pints.  We got some great sweet corn and froze 24 cups, enough for Hubby to have this winter while I am gone. The cucumbers are hit and miss.  Some have ripened, some just hang on the vine and rot.  And there not even enough to share, so no pickles this year.   I have harvested some tomatoes, enough to put up 12  half pints of salsa (I had to buy the green peppers).    I have bunches of green tomatoes on the vine,  but they are not turning red very fast. And I am not sure the weather will hold long enough for them to ripen. We are going to get very chilly soon.   The only produce doing well this year are the Fairy Tale eggplants and our raspberries.  Once the berries got started, they went crazy and I can’t keep up with them.  So the birds are getting a good treat this year.  I have already shared bunches, eaten bowls full and frozen 3 gallons for winter.  And they are still going strong.  Thank goodness they freeze well. 
 Arkansas Traveler and Pittman Valley
Arkansas Travelers and Pittman Valley
Fairy Tale Eggplant
Fairy Tale eggplants
Mandolin and corn
Hubby using the mandolin.

So the canning season is here, although not as productive as we wanted.    And fall is coming, sooner than we would hope.  How do I know?   Because they are gone…left without so much as a goodbye or thank you yesterday.  And now you ask “Who”? 
Our hummingbirds are gone.  After a month of scrambling daily to keep 6 feeders full (they are in a feeding frenzy before they migrate), being buzzed by up to 6 per feeder and watching them fight for control of the food….they are gone.  And we won’t see them again until somewhere around the second week of May.

We’ll miss the little darlings.

PS…I wrote this yesterday, then last night we got a freeze.  The cukes, beans, squash and eggplant are gone.  We covered the tomatoes and they still look good.  Now I need a couple more weeks of warmth to get them off the vine.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do You See What I See?

Round circle

I know, it just looks like dying grass doesn’t it?   Look again.

Hidden cement

I’m not sure, yet….but it has the distinct shape of a circle.   And it has pieces of cement hidden under the grass going around in that circle.  So, I'm not quite sure.....I think I know, I hope I know....I will know soon.

Most of you know that the home site we purchased here in SW Minnesota has a house built in 1910. This house was a step above the ordinary farm houses. It has an entryway closed off by double doors, a beautiful newel post on the staircase. It had a separate pantry and a small alcove separated from the living room by posts and railings. The woodwork is elaborate and it had a beautiful front porch with gingerbread trim. Rumor has it that the house also had a cement pond. And I think we have found it.
The people we purchased our home from are the children of the farmers that bought this place in 1950. We were told that the wife didn’t like the pond and filled it in with dirt. I have secretly been looking for it ever since I’d heard the story.  I want to find it and preserve it as much as possible.  And oh I do love ponds.
You are probably wondering why I care. Most people wouldn’t. Well, I have a love of history. I love antiques. And I spent 10 years working with South Dakota’s archaeologists; 8 of those were as the assistant to the curator of all of South Dakota’s archaeological collections. I learned to dig, and learned to identify, catalog and curate artifacts of all ages. I loved my work and especially the historical (instead of the prehistoric) artifacts. My passion is of course the textiles.  But to actually find the pond would be wonderful.  And then there is that one memory….
When I was in about the 6th grade I went with my parents to visit my mother’s cousin Ester that lived in Big Stone, SD. She still lived in the family home amongst all the family heirlooms. I remember her taking me outside and showing me the cement pond that had been in the yard for years. It had lily pads and koi or goldfish. I spent hours sitting by the pond watching the fish swim around in the lilypads. It was in the fall and Ester asked me to help take the lily pads and fish into the basement for the winter. She kept them in some sort of tank and would put them out again in the spring. I have always remembered that pond. And I have always one of my own. I finally got my wish around the year 2000 when garden ponds again came into vogue and were easily obtainable. Hubby built me a pond and my own secret garden with a cedar moon fence and deck surrounded by hostas. And again, here at Anniversary Grove, he has put in pond for me.
Oh, look… I have another one.

We found it. And I will have more pictures for you when it is completely dug out. I am so excited.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Small Changes

Well, we have downsized to two vehicles.  Hubby lovingly sold his PT Cruiser to our daughter Brook.  He has always felt bad that we could not get her a car when she was younger.  She is now a single mother raising a teenager, going to school and working.  So, like many others these days, she has no expendable income.  NONE.  And as her old car was slowly dying, Brook was slowly panicking.   Hubby sold his car for the price of “you’d be a fool to pass up this deal”.  And trust me; we did not raise a fool. 

Hubby's F150.
So Brook is happy with her new car, Hubby is happy with just his pickup and I am happy that our daughter is safer and that our insurance rates will now go down. It has been a good day.