If they gave Olympic medals for running all night long

I would have won them all until I went pro.

Another Jimmy Buffett song, Last Man Standing.  I got miles of dedication and a natural inclination…
Sometimes I feel that way and then other times I can only see how far I have to go.  Last night I stayed up until 11 canning peaches.  I had a slightly crazy instant while we were shopping yesterday to get a bushel of peaches, not remembering that I was totally behind on canning all the things we are growing.  I have issues, I know.  We are on our second shelf of canned goods.  While I was so proud of that for about five seconds I then realized that it actually isn’t much food.  It really isn’t.  That is over 100 cans of food.  It is nothing.  We are also running out of jars!! AHHH!!!  I remember when we started accumulating all these jars.  I thought there was no way I could fill them all.  And here I am, wanting more.  Some of the little jars I wonder what I am going to fill them with.  I am thinking they are going to be hot pepper relish.  Still, it doesn’t give me much more room for tomatoes and other things that need canning.  I am not even going to get to can meat this year.  That makes me sad because it is a fond memory of our residency year.  I had canned a lot of meat before coming here and it was super quick and easy to open a can of meat, add some rice or beans and a few veggies, cook for a little and eat.  Maybe we will get some more cans and I will be able to fill more shelves.  Actually, that is just silly talk.  We NEED more cans and I NEED to fill more shelves.  Also, while we are at it, I also need to have a bigger garden and I really shouldn’t be writing right now, I should be canning.  

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But I just love you all so much.  Plus the stove is totally in the sun.  It is hard enough to can in 90+ heat, having the sun beat down on you also is just a special kind of torture.  I am starting to think that I should just can at night.

So what else is going on?  The garden is starting to die.  Some of it is lack of rain, can the rain come back?  Just a little, please.  Some of it is bugs.  We almost lost all of our chard.  Frank, who brings the awesome sauce, also brought us a solar dehydrator last week and saved the day.  I started dehydrating kale and all of our chard.  I think if we can get some moisture the chard will be happy again.  So far I have about two gallons of dried greens almost powder type stuff.  There is still a lot of kale out there also.  So along with homeschooling, canning, now I get to add dehydrating to the list.  But I don’t care, because guess what?? It is just more food that we will have this winter!!  

I also went through our row of broccoli a few nights ago.  A lot of it was bolting.  It is kind of crazy that it has lasted this long, no water, hot heat and well, more broccoli than what we could handle for awhile.  But it is all coming back now again.  Just two days after I chopped all the plants down to almost nothing we had good sized heads again.  Our broccoli is surely blessed this year.  So are our tomatoes.  They keep going and going…  Gwendy went out and picked all our ripe tomatillos yesterday morning.  I canned about 12 pints of salsa.  There is so much food, and so little time to make it into food that will last until winter!  I am trying though.  

In animal news, we did have another animal death.  Rest in Peace Joscelin.  He was the sweetest ram ever.  It was parasite load that got him.  We actually ended up using a chemical wormer trying to save him, but it didn’t work.  Of course, in some ways it totally goes against what we are trying to do, build up a stock that is resistant to worms, but we did still try and save him.  This is also a very bad year for worms.  I have seen it all over my message boards and such for livestock.  People are losing animals all over.  So, if this is a bad year, hopefully next year our stock is stronger for it.  

The rest of them seem alright.  I am seeing more worm pressure than I would like.  Also, with this heat, well, in some ways they are sad, but still holding in there.  Our pregnant sows are keeping us guessing.  Every day we go out there expecting to see some little piggies.  They are getting huge.  Also, they are starting to get used to us.  They come, snort and wait patiently for us to feed them.  They used to just lay around all day, but they are much more active now.  I love being able to feed them our food scraps and not be wasting so much.  Not that it was ever really wasted, it was always going to one animal or another, but pigs don’t waste food like other animals can.  They know that they have the very important job of creating bacon.  They take that seriously.  And I appreciate that.  I also appreciate that Natalie went out and took some pictures of them just now for me. Image

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While it is going to be hot for awhile,  there is relief in sight.  Geez, we even have slight chances of rain.  You can bet that the girls and I will be doing rain dances here soon.  It is funny how each season has its own problems and advantages.  Sometimes it is really easy to only see the problems.   And sometimes it is really easy to only see how great a season is.  In many ways I am very glad to live the way I do.  One of the reasons is that we live to closely to the weather.  We are not disconnected from the heat or the cold.  Or the dryness or the insane soggy wet that does happen in the spring.  It is easy to forget about soggy wet when it is this dry out…  We see and live it all.  It is hot right now.  It has been hot for quite a few days now.  There are heat advisories that say that you should stay in an air conditioned room.  Don’t go outside, don’t work outside.  In fact, don’t do anything.  Yet, we go out.  We need to make sure the animals have water, that they aren’t too hot.  There is a lot to get done and it doesn’t stop just because it is a little, hot, or cold or pouring outside.  You suck it up and do it.  Of course, we do try to be smart about it.  We aren’t going to go out there and move fence at the hottest time of the day.  But we still do move fence.  Sometimes there are hard things to do in the heat of the day, that can’t wait.  You still do them.  Our life revolves around the weather, but we also don’t let it get to us.  You accept it and  move on. 

So that is where I leave you for this week.  The stove is finally out of the blaring sun and while there is no wind today to help me stay cool, the canning must be done.  Until next week… maybe I will post another picture of our pantry so you can see my progress…

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