Hello dear friends! Sorry about the delay in posting. In spite of it being the quintessential summer's day with blue skies and a gentle wind, the internet kept skipping in and out. After reentering my passwords several times, I became frustrated with the whole thing and just gave up. Technology is a thorn in my side.
A DAY IN OUR LIFE
I think sometimes it may seem that I romanticize my life. To be sure, not everything is always rosy as some may think. For instance, in the past couple of months we have spent over one-third of our yearly income on unexpected repairs. When we retired, we thought we would mitigate these costs by buying a top-of-the-line new furnace and a new car, but fortune had other ideas, and the furnace required a major repair when it was hit by a power surge and the car is a lemon that requires the wheel bearings to be replaced every few months. Our savings are dwindling quickly. Fortunately we had a savings account set up for the unexpected. Just didn't expect so much "unexpected" all at once! Ha! So for us, gardening and canning is not just a nice little hobby, it's the insurance that keeps the wolves from the door. But I'm not complaining, in spite of it all, I'd rather live like this than have a big fat paycheck. There is such serenity and delight in each new day, it surely offsets any inconveniences that we may encounter from lack of funds.
So I thought I'd show you what a typical day for us entails. Ran awoke early and dug the remainder of the potato patch before the heat became too unbearable.
I had a quick wash up and made the trip to the post office. When I returned I had this
While the chili was in the pressure canner, Ran washed and seeded the peppers and I diced them. I have a new device called a Vidalia Chop Wizard, that is a tiki-tacky seen-on-TV device, but it really makes it a quick chore to dice up veggies for canning; can't wait to use it for relish. The peppers went into the dehydrator.
While I was busy in the kitchen, Ran took advantage of the hot and windy day to wash some more of our heavier rugs. It felt like a clothes dryer outside so they dried fast.
In between the busyness, I stepped outside to feel the breeze and to observe the little Ruby Crowned Kinglet that has taken over the back yard. She really does rule the roost. We all tip-toe around her lest she get annoyed and flee. For such a teeny tiny bird, she has such bravery ; she gets right up to the stray cats and squawks to keep them away from her nest. Such a courageous little mother! And that is a typical August day for two pauper retirees. Perfect!
We are drying raspberry and sage leaves. When combined and made into a tea they make a good astringent for sore throats and gums. I never get canker sores but it probably works for them also.
Whenever I go to garage sales, I always pick up quirky little things to re-purpose. This is a wind chime that I call "An Ode to Wm. Rogers Silverplate" :
Lest you think we are dull boys with all work and no play, on Friday we ventured out on the annual garage sale trail that runs along the coast of Lake Huron. We found mostly practical things, like knitting needles in sizes I didn't have, an awl for Ran's leather working, and a extra extra large black wool coat that I plan on making into a Maggie Bonanomi-type quilt this winter. Most of our finds cost under a dollar; our one big splurge being this tin wahstub that cost $20:
RECIPE FROM THE GARDEN
We packed a lunch to bring along while out on our "hunt". I wanted to have bring some peach cobbler along but didn't want to deal with forks and dishes, so I came up with this recipe for Peach Cobbler Bars, using a crumble recipe and my peach cobbler filling.
Peach Cobbler Bars
3 C. peaches, peeled and diced
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt and nutmeg
1/2 C, butter, softened
Combine the filling ingredients and set aside.
Combine the dry ingredients for the crumble.
Cut in the butter until soft crumbs form. Stir in the egg.
Pat half of the cobbler mixture into a lightly greased 8" pan.
Top with the peach mixture.
Crumble the rest of the cobbler mixture over the top of the peaches.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cobbler starts to turn a light brown and the peaches begin to bubble.
Harvested the rest of the potatoes and broccoli.
Harvested peppers, tomatoes, and corn.
Dried peppers, raspberry leaves and sage.
Made a wind chime from "found" objects.
Canned 8 pints of spaghetti sauce, 15 pints of chili, and 16 jars of ketchup.
Bought some tools at garage sales.
Brought our own brown bag lunch on our roadtrip.
Washed more rugs, the washtub method way.
Ate almost exclusively from the garden.
Hung the laundry on the line.
Started knitting a scarf from my yarn stash.
Well that's it for this week. Hope you all have the loveliest week ahead of you filled with joy and delight!