Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes… and Cats!

Yesterday was a busy afternoon. Final count: we have 26 quarts of plain, whole tomatoes. The only additives were a tad of salt & lemon juice. These should be tasty in chili, soups and more this Winter. Mr. W set up the turkey fryer on the front porch of the Barn/Cottage and ‘scalded’ tomatoes so we could skin them easily. What a huge timesaver! He proceeded to help with the ‘mater-skinning process, and I finished up canning by about 9 pm last night. Next time, we might move the entire canning process out to the porch.

Thanks to my parents’ contributions of their surplus tomatoes, we had plenty to work with. Our tomato plants are just about dead from the blight/fungus. Hopefully by next year I can figure out this problem and what to do about it. Perhaps I can start a new, separate tomato garden. It’s a thought.


I’m trying to ignore the fact that we could have gone to ALDI and purchased all the tomatoes we wanted for 50 cents (more or less) a can. But they wouldn’t be so pretty. And they wouldn’t be local.

It had been so long since I’ve canned/preserved, I had to use a reference book I purchased several years ago. I originally purchased this book because it was pretty, but it actually is chock full of great, practical recipes. Looking through it actually made me want to preserve more. Perhaps grape jelly tomorrow. Our grapes are ready and we’ve had possums in them every night snacking. Time for them to share, don’t you think?  I think this book is out of print, but available used from Amazon and others.


Henry and Hazel have been growing like little weeds.  They’ve been teasing the donkeys lately by running across their pen, and then running safely into the barn just in the nick of time before Ruby and Gracie catch up to them. If possible, I’ll try to get some video of this cute little trick. However, I’m getting a little worried they’ll cut their escape just a little close one of these days.  Little devils…



Hope your weekend is an enjoyable one. We are still loving the cooler temps here! 


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Walkabout ~ Late Summer

It has rained,
and rained,
and rained since last Saturday evening. Finally, we have some sunshine today. Hooray for that!

Tonight, everywhere I looked I saw things that reminded me that we are now into Late Summer. With temps in the 70’s, it even feels a little like Fall.

Brown Jug in Herb Garden, Hydrangea close-up, Sunflower after Bird Attacks, Wild Sunflower Silhouette, Sunset from last night (oops, I kinda cheated here, but it was so nice to look at), Spider Grass, Friendly Yard Squirrel.


What are your weekend plans? I’m collecting tomatoes to can this weekend. Doesn’t that sound like fun? So far, I have a whopping 6 quarts canned. I’m slow, but it’s a start!

Hope your week is going great! Till next time…


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Missouri State Fair

Mr. W and I had a fun day yesterday at our State Fair.

Mr. W spent the day at the BAM tent.

It was a hot day for forging, but those BAM guys & gals are very dedicated.

There were BAM wares for sale, such as this iron armadillo.

I combed the fairgrounds for floral inspiration, which I found in several places.

And also in the Floriculture building.

I bumped into our State Fair Queen and her family, who happens to be from my hometown. Our families are friends.
Yay, Samantha!

I met some interesting roosters.
They appear to be thinking, “What are YOU lookin’ at, Sista?”

And now, for my favorite part of the fair.  I met up with friends (fellow mini donkey owners)  from Warsaw, MO to watch various miniature mule and miniature donkey contests. Our favorite by far, and the one we look forward to from year to year is the Miniature Donkey Costume Contest. The photos aren’t the greatest. I always have bad luck getting good quality pictures in this big exhibition center.

Here are a few of my favorite entries. They were all cute, and so creative!
Clockwise from upper left:
Hippie chicks with “Age of AquariA$$” – donkey had a ‘fro’ wig and brown fringey vest;
Singin’ in the Rain (love those yellow rain boots on the donk!);
Brahma “bull” donk, complete with the Brahma hump-  and rodeo clown, rodeo queen and cowboy;
BoPeep complete with a wool fleeced donkey  (so glad it was air-conditioned in the arena). BoPeep took 1st place;
Jack In the Box;
Holstein Donkey.


We had Jumbo Corn Dogs for lunch. I never thought the time would come when we would pay five buckaroos for a corn dog! But they were quite delish, and certainly a meal on a stick.

I’ve also enjoyed seeing my blogger friends’ reports on their county and state fairs. If you want to visit the Orange County, CA fair, see Dawn (Dandy) at Spontaneous Clapping. Her ‘recipe’ for seasoning roasted corn on the cob sounds (and looks) simply divine!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Walkabout ~ Flower Power

On tonight’s walkabout I visited with the flowers in the yard. We still have a lot of bloomers, but with the heat they’re taking more and more water. At the center of this mosaic, please notice our old well pump.

Profusion Zinnia, Twin Hibiscus, White Zinnia, Wonder of Staffia Blue Aster, Flower Wagon - Varied, Orange Marigold.


We utilize the well pump every day (almost). We hand-pump the rainwater from the well (actually ours is a cistern). It’s really a lot less hassle than using a garden hose. Mr. W is the one who carries two five-gallon buckets out almost every day to the flower wagon near the road, and to the buckets of flowers & ornamental corn on either side of our driveway entrance. It’s quite a trip! I handle the remainder, and water as needed. Hey, it’s good exercise and best part is it’s free and better for the flowers!

I also want to update on my Hydrangea progress. I’ve been using Aluminum Sulfate every week or two, and now I have one of these.


Blue! I’m so happy I could cry (I know, I take this waaaay too seriously).  I’m going to keep adding the aluminum sulfate periodically to achieve an even deeper blue – I hope. Below, you can see the life of a hydrangea bloom. The faded pink bloom on top has been there, looking pretty for an entire month!


Enjoy the remaining weeks of Summer – savor every moment that you can!

Till next time…


Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Morning you sure look fine ♫

Soon, they’ll have travelin’ on their minds…

(Can you name the song/artist? If you were around for the sensational 70’s, of course you can!)

Our hummingbirds in Missouri stay from (approximately) April through September. Last year, we had one pass through in mid-November. At first I thought I was seeing things! I put fresh nectar out for him and the next morning he had traveled on.  

I love Fall, but it always makes me a little sad to think about Summer winding down. I’m filling all six hummingbird feeders twice a day now, but I’ll miss these little guys when they head South for the Winter :-(

What will you miss most about Summer?


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday Walkabout ~ Woods & Pastures

These were taken tonight along my favorite walking path behind our house & barn. 

I promise – no snakes this time :-) Oh, and especially for my friend Patti, no scary frogs either.  Speaking of Patti, go check out her turkeys.

Oh, back to the walk… A few of the Wild Things you may recognize are: Black Eyed Susans, Cedar and berries, Milkweed, Wild Rose, Oak Leaves.

8-6-09 walkabout

This one I call “On Brown Pond” (lovely, huh?).  The cows have been taking cooling-off baths during these warm early August days here in Missouri. It’s just a few yards behind our house and barn. Many mornings I’ve watched a Blue Heron wading along the edge. Some day I will get his picture here, whether he realizes it or not.


Hope the weather is nice where you are. We have one more day of decent temps, then it’s upper 90’s for the weekend. Looks like Summer is returning with a vengeance! 


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rural Entertainment

Yes, people in the country tend to find “different” types of entertainment. In our case, it’s usually critter entertainment of some sort. Tonight we were amused by Hazel the Kitten investigating a baby Bullsnake (non-venomous).

(By the way, what is it with our snake population this year?)


He was kinda cute and very calm, for a snake I s’pose. I am also told that it is a blessing to have abundant and varied wildlife in one’s yard ~ it means you have a healthy environment in which to thrive. This year, our environment seems exceedingly healthy…


I’m happy to report that both snake and kitten escaped, unscathed.

After dark, I tried my hand at night photography. Not so successful, but I will work on it. I was also reminded of our son’s favorite bedtime story when he was little. After the story, we would go down the list to wish goodnight to everything and everyone until someone fell asleep.

So here’s my Goodnight Moon, and….


…Goodnight All!


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