A few short days at home between the visit to Shrine Mont and leaving for a week of being Grandmom in charge for eldest grandson have been busy. The first night back, when I went to lock up the chickens, my reluctant pullet managed to fly over the fence into the garden. The lower un-planted part of the garden was literally chin high to my 5’8″ frame. The lawnmower was fueled and with much effort, about half of that area was mowed down in an effort to remove the cover for the chick. As it got too dark to see what I was doing, a decision was made to leave her to her fate, hoping that she would just find safe cover in the remaining weeds or up in the tomato jungle. She did survive the night and greeted me the next morning outside the gate. The mower was still in the garden, so in spite of the heat and threatening thunder storms, the rest of that area was mowed and hand weeding commenced on the area around the cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and the dozen or so volunteer tomatillo plants. By the time I finished, my stamina was gone and I quit, tossing half a dozen overgrown, yellow cucumbers to the chickens. No harvest had been done in our absence.
Today, with the temperatures only a few degrees lower, a determined effort was made to weed the upper garden, thin the tomatoes and sunflowers, and harvest as many tomatoes as I could. A 4 gallon feed bucket was filled with mostly plum tomatoes, a dozen heirloom slicers, and peppers.
After a long cold shower to refresh and renew me, I tackled the haul. There were 19 pounds of tomatoes, which I divided into 2 one gallon bags of diced tomatoes each almost 5 lbs.; 2 one gallon bags of whole paste tomatoes, several slicers to take with me tomorrow; 3 pints of jalapenos pickled, a pint of mixed hot peppers in salted vinegar that will be made into hot sauce once a quart has been gathered. Another pint or so of jalapeños were too large to pickle whole, so they will be diced and frozen. Another couple of dozen tomatoes were split and rotting and were tossed to the chickens.
I will be away from home for another 10 days, so I’m sure with the persistent heat and daily rain, a repeat of the past few days will be in order once I return. Hopefully it will be a bit cooler by then.
Yesterday, in anticipation of my absence, I dyed a half pound of Shetland roving to spin.
With these two braids, another that I did of Romney to learn the process, and my monthly installment of the Tailfeather’s Club from Unplanned Peacock, I will have plenty to spin while sitting on the porch while grandson is in school. I will arrive home with about 2 to 3 hours to unpack and repack to leave for a few days at a spinning retreat. I may have to spin all undyed fiber there and dye the yarn later. I will also be teaching salve making and be a vendor at this event, so I have to be organized before I leave to babysit.
Tonight, Jim will be taken out to dinner and to buy a couple new pair of jeans as an early birthday. I will not be here to celebrate with him on his actual birthday.