primsong: (threejo hug)
Hubby is home for the long Labor Day weekend plus a couple extra days on either side of it, nice to have him around at least for a bit. Too bad I have so many things that need fixing on the house before the rains come back that he's kind of just having to be a drive-by handyman. I am so grateful for every bit of it, though - he even went up and cleaned all the needles off the roof yesterday and didn't seem to mind while I would have been a bit freaked out running around up there.

Today is Fix the Leaky Outdoor Faucet day, which will be a great disappointment to the little patch of green plants around it in this summer heat. I potted a volunteer Rose of Sharon and was pleased to find it was a survivor of one that died last year so it's a different color than my surviving shrub.

Also, my Italian plums are definitely ripening up like mad. Got my spiced plums put up, taking a huge metal bowl of them to church this morning for folks to take some home. Yum! I felt very picturesque picking plums in the sunrise, gathering them into my grandmother's old calico apron over my church dress.
primsong: (penguin question)
Wow, that dip at the corner of the house where the broken gutter washed everything out this past winter is even bigger than I thought. It didn't look like that much to fill and tamp down when I started in on it but I've now fed THIRTEEN buckets of dirt into it and I'm not sure it won't need more after I tamp some more and level it. Holy cow. It was like a funnel right into my foundation. Thank goodness I have a friend working on a deck who let me have clean fill dirt.

It looks like SO much dirt but when I put it in there and spread it around it's amazing how it all just kind of disappears and then there you are, still with a hole to fill. Now I get to figure out how to fix the gutter itself, adventures in home ownership never cease.
primsong: (tarzan)
Still poking away at repairing my house for eventual sale, learning all kinds of stuff - with Hubby down in CA I am free to run amok with power tools unsupervised, hee hee....

Finished replacing the rotten boards on the back deck with some caveats on it being 'successful' - I can't figure out why some of them refuse to lay flat when the boards themselves are not bent and the under structure was still sound. Better luck, I hope, with the rotten boards in the front steps that are next, I have them cut, sanded and half-stained in the garage at this point. Woot!

Busy chipping away at our very hard soil trying dredge up enough dirt to fill a dip the torrential rains this last spring dug by one corner of the house. Got a chunk of new gutter so I can do my best to replace the bad gutter section responsible for that - hope I can figure that one out, as the October Rains will be here before I know it. Also learned how to play with the air compressor so I could get the car's tires back up to snuff. ;-) Learned air compressors are fun!

Hope everyone else is also getting some of those summer projects out of the way while they can.
primsong: (ship)
Golly Moses it's hot today - 102+ at the moment and supposed to hit 106, unusually toasty for here. I've been working on replacing rotten boards on my back deck but it's too hot to be outside so I ended up learning to make quick no-corn-syrup marshmallows. These things Happen when I end up in my kitchen unscheduled.

Did a recipe mash-up and made it with 3 pkts plain gelatin softened in 1/2 c. cold water. Added a generous dollop of vanilla, a dash of salt and about half a cup of honey then 3/4 c. boiling water. Dissolved, cooled and whipped with beaters for 15 minutes - ta-dah!

Ate too many marshmallows. I regret nothing. Wish I had graham crackers.

Tonight our dancers are going to the local high school to teach the football teams some Greek dance steps, we go each year and the coaches swear it helps the teamwork and footwork. O-PAH! They sent us a message promising they'd have the A/C cranked up.
primsong: (lunch)
Went out and picked 2 gallons of blueberries this morning, now they're freezing on trays so I can bag them up without them all sticking together into a lump later on.

While picking a young family went by me with two little kids "helping" pick (Look what I got! Look! Look what I got! Look! I got some! Look! I can pick A LOT!) and the parents going along in good humor (Yes, I see. Yes. That's a lot all right. Berries! Yes. Pick the blue ones. You have berries. I see. You picked them! Good job. Now let's pick some more. The blue ones.)

As they were paying for their berries I could hear him (he was too short to see over the bushes): "I ate a...a...GALLON of blueberries! Weigh me!" - then he climbed into their car jauntily calling out "Have a BERRY NICE DAY!" while laughing at his own joke. X-D

Happy summer fruit time everyone!
primsong: (jo keys)
We had our last graduation event for my youngest's school chums, the ones who were Freshmen when she was a Senior so we worked with them in drama, etc. and got to know them. End of an era with her school in a way as most of the amazing older teachers she had that were so influential are all retiring as well now. Good people, the kind that pour their lives into those kids and it really shows, the kind the kids still talk about when they are old themselves.

The roses are all so tall and abundant this year! My yard is going crazy with blooming things so I cut back two big bouquets of miniature roses to give away to people at church this morning. Now I've dragged out my dehydrator and loaded it up with rose petals for a friend who adds them to her homemade soaps, the house smells heavenly with drying roses.

Hoping all is well for everyone as we all wade into another summer together.
primsong: (fireplace)
Yay! I landed a nice fire pit online when the Labor Day sales were going by and it arrived this past week.  It's a 'heat wave' which is a portable fire pit with wheels and a top lid, something very important here where the continually falling fir needles and rain are an issue.  Also, if we move I can take it with me that way.

Now that they are unfortunately made in China they do take some extra tweaking - I replaced the cheap hollow plastic wheels with nice steel ones (reviewers said the wheels MELT), and sprayed it with 2 coats of high-heat bbq paint (otherwise it will rust away, apparently).  Drilled drainage holes in the bottom also (this is Oregon here...) and got a cover for it.  Added L brackets to raise the cooking grill to a level it can actually be used, though I don't really plan to use it for cooking, as otherwise the grill would sit right on the firewood.

Then there's where to put it - Spent a couple days leveling a nice space in the yard with my son's help and placed pavers to make a mini patio for it to sit on. Got paver sand packed between the pavers. Whew! 

Been a bit of work, but now it's ready to go - once the current batch of rain goes by - maybe have a nice fire to sit around in a couple days.  I've always wanted one of these, so happy to actually get one. Ah, ambiance and camp fire smoke!  Marshmallow roast, anyone?   ^_^
primsong: (ship)
My friend and I are headed out for an Alaskan cruise this next weekend, a modest one-week adventure heading north - it's more about finding out what a cruise is like than about the destination.  Should be interesting, I've never been further than Victoria BC.  She'd never been on a train, we're taking the leg to Seattle that way for a bonus - and that way I don't have to worry about my car sitting there in Seattle for a week.  Shoestring budget means so not much excursion fanciness for us, and we'll just use the common buffet for food but I think it'll be worth the experience.  Basic cabin, all we could afford was a porthole that looks out at a lifeboat but that's ok, we can always go out on deck to see stuff.

If this goes well, maybe we can start saving up for a longer one somewhere a little further away!
primsong: (zucchini)
It's baaack - my own zucchini / marrow plants died, which is typical for this yard, the only place I've ever lived that they don't just spring out of the ground if you accidentally drop a seed (which did indeed happen at my previous home), but never fear!  The world is awash in helpful people who are VERY happy to give you a zucchini. ("Would you like more? I have more!")  My friend had a total stranger timidly ask if she might like some zucchini and produced a modest bag full when the answer was "Sure!"  My neighbor just gave me a baseball-bat of a one and I turned it into 7 loaves of chocolate chip zucchini bread for the freezer, but it was only on the agreement that she would come take some of my apples which she did.  Good ol' barter the old fashioned way.

The old joke about not leaving your car unlocked in summer because someone will fill it with zucchini is believable at this time of year - spotted a box of them along our street yesterday with several generous oblongs and a big FREE sign.  Would that all good things should come in such abundance!
primsong: (jo keys)
Opened up my mailbox and there were my new glasses!  They came with a cleaning cloth, a little glasses repair tool and a couple extra screws which is a nice touch - and best of all, they work!  Just had to adjust the nose pads slightly, but that's easy enough, so nice to have new eyeballs without having to spend so blinkin' much for a change.  :-)

Also survived selling drinks at the Fair, golly what an endless river of thirsty people, we were completely bushed but we did it - though my feet are still recovering.  

Tonight my dance group is teaching some basic Greek dance to the local highschool football players, their coach thinks it makes them move together better and pay attention to their feet, there's supposed to be 120 of them (!)  so it's good we have about 10 dancers, we can each take a column of them that way.  Should be fun.

Onward we go, here comes August!
primsong: (hamster smooch)
Time for the Washington County Fair once again, which in my case means working my tail off at the beverage booths there, it's one of our main fundraisers for our preschool - last year it was SO HOT and the lady who sells those little neck things full of water beads so you can soak them in water and tie them around your neck was doing hopping business - I still have mine from last year but I expect she'll be doing well again.  Supposed to be around 90, bleah...!  I'm sure we'll be selling a lot of water.   Took my feet forever to recover after last year so I didn't sign up for quite as much this round - trick is to not give in when the inevitable "but we NEED you" comes by, will see how I do, I'm a softie.

Hope I get either the food court (it has shade!) or the barn one (it has nice farm people and animals!). 
primsong: (mouse gape)
Asked a friend if she'd like some apples.  She said "Yes! I'd like 10 please.  If you have enough."
Look up at my Apples, current Apple Level 200 trees.
"Right. Ten apples."

apple plumes

primsong: (pears)
My trees are utterly loaded down with apples this year, the bees did a good job! 

Branches are hanging low with so much fruit.  I gathered up four buckets full and am in the process of making them into applesauce, the kitchen smells fabulous and all my big pots are full of steaming sauce.  I'll freeze it once it cools down and then work on spicing and cooking it down for apple butter another day so it isn't too much of a job all at once.  Only one jar of apple butter left from last time, didn't realize it's been six years but sure enough that's the date on that last jar.  Glad it keeps.

Wish you guys were closer, I'd totally be asking my flist if they'd like to come pick apples otherwise!
primsong: (squirrel)
Went out to set a sprinkler in my flower bed and found a squirrel laying there in the hot sun. I thought it was dead and went to get a paper towel to transport the body with but when I came back it flailed around weakly and flipped over. "Oh no, you're not dead...yet."

Got a flat shovel and used it as a squirrel stretcher to take the unresisting patient to a shady spot under the vine maples, screened it off with a small bench tipped over to make a little hospice courtyard where my old cat ambling by wouldn't immediately see it. It lay there looking miserable and hot. Felt very helpless and inept as a nurse.

I dribbled a little water from the nearby birdbath from my fingertips and the squirrel eagerly took in every drop I managed to land near her mouth, little pink tongue flicking in and out. She sucked the water that had fallen on her foreleg. Fetching a dropper of clean water, I came back and she drank from the dropper desperately, then fell back and rearranged her paws to make a pillow under her head, half closing her eyes. I made a loose dome of dry grasses over her to conceal and comfort then left her there to rest with a blueberry and a few crumbles of nuts near her nose.

I presumed it was a squirrel hospice rather than a hospital. My Pi-cat came by and just sat on the edge of the bench and idly watched for a while then wandered off - glad she's not as young as she once was, she used to catch and eat them. Later on I went to presumably gather the body, but found the squirrel had gone! No sign of violence, she simply gathered her wits and slipped away.

It's a small thing, but I am grateful for small life.
primsong: (pears)
One thing about living where I do is the summer is absolutely filled with berries. We could rename it Berryland and it wouldn't be far from the truth!

Picked some strawberries, blueberries are coming in - there's kotata, boysen, marion and tay berries ready to go as well as raspberries in both red and golden. Yum yum. My childhood memories of picking berries and being paid for by the flat are shared by many here.

*squirts whipped cream on blueberry and banana pie*

An artist friend was assigned painting a picture of what summer is to her. She painted a blue sky literally raining berries.

My apple and plum trees are absolutely loaded with fruit for later on as well, hopefully they won't get so fried that they start dropping the green ones because I want to make apple butter this year.
primsong: (eagle)
I've seen two Vs of geese honking along this week, headed south. Kind of strange when it's over 90 degrees out and we haven't seen a drop of rain in what seems like forever - a welcome promise that this unending summer will indeed end one day, the sound of autumn in the sky.

Plums are coming in like crazy cakes, need to get out there and pick some.
primsong: (beware of the thing)
The back patio light, which has a motion-sensor, came on - so my son opened the door to see what had set it off. A raccoon had just climbed up one of the plastic chairs and was reaching for for a mug my husband had forgotten on the patio table.

Raccoon(seeing my son and putting a firm paw on the mug possessively): GROWL!

Son: GROWWWWLLL!

Raccoon: GROwwwwl?

Son: GROOWWWWWLLLL!!!

Raccoon: growl...

Son: GRRRROOOOWWWWWLLL!!!

Raccoon: 0.o

My son wins the rights to the mug; the defeated challenger scampers off into the dark.
primsong: (tarzan)
Today is the last day of the Fair at last! Still selling water and soda bottles, seems like it's been a really loooong four days - made liberal use of my peppermint foot lotion these evenings. Temp is "only" in the 90s today, thank God, though my booth has more shade than some of the others so I've done fairly well.

I offer a free bandana-swishing and hat-dipping service to anyone who comes up to my tub of ice water, and throw cups of ice water on people on request. ^_^

There's a guy there who breeds and sells sugar-gliders and he let me hold one when he was going by, they all sleep in the pockets of his shirt and cargo pants, she was adorable, soft and so light - And he had an 8-week old baby in his shirt pocket he let me see, adorability overload!

Fair Time

Jul. 31st, 2015 09:34 am
primsong: (monkeys)
Working the Fair this weekend, and it's blinkin' HOT - just figures... we run the beverage booths as our main fundraiser for the church's preschool each year and it's quite a job.

Worked yesterday til 10:30pm, going out again shortly, sore feet, way too hot out there - I just kept dipping my hat straight into the ice water tubs and sticking it back on my head, letting the water and ice cubes drop over me, seemed to work pretty well. We're shorthanded so I'm having to work the booth right in the middle of the food court by myself, hardly time to sit down. Our guy driving the little truck that delivers more soda and fresh ice to the booths couldn't keep up either, I completely ran out of water bottles for quite some time - of course, it being 104 out there didn't help, and everyone just wanted to buy water instead of soda. Every time I dig around the tub of ice and ice-water for any that might have sunk to the bottom my entire arm goes numb.

I'm right across from a bright red food vendor's place that says "THE DOG HOUSE" painted across a giant wooden weiner-dog... some folks went by with the biggest corn-dogs I've ever seen in my life, maybe they came from there. Ha!

My 3 kids are working as table-washers, trying to keep the eating areas up to snuff, unfortunately they're the ONLY table-washers for the entire fair - they were moving pretty slow by the evening, oy, I could see them plodding by with their squirt bottles and rags from time to time.

Going a little earlier today as I had no chance to look around the fair yesterday, just straight to my booth until closing. I passed a tent with a reptile show in it on the way, bet the reptiles are loving this heat.

Stay cool, everyone!
primsong: (harvest)
Doing a bit of raking in the yard and discovered my apple trees are ALREADY dropping ripe apples... in July! My initial reaction was "noooooooooo!" I am so NOT ready to have to deal with apples again, we haven't even used up the ones in the freezer from last fall.

Oh well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em (or consume 'em).

Made three apple-blueberry pies with brandy this afternoon to kick off the early apple consumption for this year, plenty more where those came from.

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