Somehow the Fourth had its quiet moments, too, even for little feet and childish voices, and small hands stole into each other as we sat looking at our fire-works with a sense that independence was a fine thing to declare.
~Lucy C. Lillie, “Memories of the Fourth,” Harper’s Young People, 1885 June 30th
If we were having coffee, tea, water, or some other beverage, I would be happy to see you again. Come on in! I have drinks and snacks set up on the porch where we can enjoy the breeze and the view without being bothered by the insects that would happily nosh on us. It feels pretty good outside today, doesn’t it? Even though the temperature is in the mid-80’s, the air is dry and fresh, and the breeze makes it seem cooler.
How are you? What you have been doing lately? Have you gone on any adventures, walks, or hikes? Have you traveled anywhere or seen anything new? Have you read any good books or seen any good films?
I finished reading Life Class by Pat Barker, and started Toby’s Room, the follow-up to Life Class. Both fictional novels take place during World War I, and follow three artists from the Slade School of Art in London. Life Class was an excellent read, and I suspect I’ll say the same of Toby’s Room when I finish it. I got the books through an interlibrary loan, and I’m hoping they have the third book, Noonday. I haven’t had a chance to look just yet. If not, I may end up buying it. That’s how much I want to read it, and read it soon.
If we were having coffee, tea, water, or something else to drink, I would tell you that it seems like such a long time since our last coffee chat even though it has only been a week. I think that’s because I haven’t had much time for blogging lately. It is the busy season here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. I spend a lot of time outdoors keeping up with the gardens and mowing, and now that the harvest has begun, I also have to spend time indoors preserving some of that harvest. I made my first batch of refrigerator pickles (for this season) a few days ago, and they are yummy! Try some. I put them out with our snacks and drinks. M wants to try canning pickles which we might do later on in the season. I like the refrigerator variety because it’s less bother, but it would be nice to open up a jar of home canned pickles in the midst of winter and be reminded of the summer growing season.
The sugar snap peas, green and wax beans, and Swiss chard continue to do well. We harvested our first eggplant this week. We decided on a Japanese type of eggplant since they are small and tend to be less bitter than other varieties. It’s thin-skinned too, and doesn’t need to be peeled. We grilled our first one and, boy, was it delicious. We also picked a quart or so of black raspberries the other day. Some of those went into a blueberry, peach, and raspberry cobbler which we’ll be having for dessert tonight.
Tomorrow we’ll be harvesting more beans and peas, onions, and broccoli. I bet there are some cucumbers ready to be picked, too. I don’t think it will be long before we have peppers and tomatoes. Things grow fast here south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I heard a rumor that the local farm markets will have local corn by next week.
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that this might be our last big coffee chat for a while. I am about to embark on an adventure, and will have to spend time getting ready for that while keeping up with things here on the ranch. I’d also like to get a few things arranged for M who will be here on his own while I hop on a train and travel west. I’m going back to the Bogs for a few weeks to visit and help out with the Little Wookie (in case you missed it, he is my new grandson). I love traveling by train so I’m looking forward to that, but not quite as much as I’m looking forward to spending a few weeks with Little Wookie. It will be nice for us to get reacquainted. I haven’t seen him since he was a week old, and he’ll be almost three months old by the time I get there. His parents have been wonderful about sending me a picture or video nearly every day, and it is amazing how fast he’s growing. I’m afraid if I blink, he’ll be a grown-up, on his way to college or getting married or having children of his own.
I’ve been thinking about a blogging break. If you follow Frank, you might have seen his post last year regarding blogging breaks: On the Blogging Blues. My break will be a Level 5 which is not listed among Frank’s levels of blogging breaks. For me, a Level 5 break means occasional posting, usually short posts such as Wordless Wednesday or Silent Sunday or maybe a postcard or two, along with occasional visits to other blogs as time permits. I wouldn’t mention it at all, but I might slide into one of the other levels so don’t be surprised if I disappear completely from time to time.
If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would tell you that we had a lot of rain this week. It was pretty amazing. I think we got somewhere around 5 inches. In places south of us on the peninsula, they received over 8 inches just yesterday alone. When it rains, it pours. In between, we dry out quite nicely. The marsh takes up most of the extra water. In places where we had problems with drainage, M solved the difficulty by directing the water towards a rain garden. The rain garden has lots of life going on in and around it. Toads and lizards, bunnies and flowers, and blueberries that are almost ripe enough to pick. The birds will probably get the blueberries before we do.
If we were having coffee or tea or whatever pleases you, I would tell you that Bella Cat has been sick this week, and I’m a little worried about her. When we finally managed to get Izzy and Bella to the vet in May (after the attempt that resulted in a car accident and traumatized us all), the vet noticed that Bella has what she thinks is feline tooth resorption. Early this week, Bella was acting like she didn’t want to eat unless it was very soft food. On Thursday and Friday it seemed as though Bella was getting better so we thought perhaps she’d lost the tooth and that was that. Naturally she started getting worse again today. Because it’s the weekend. That’s how these things work. She’s still eating and drinking, but she won’t eat hard food and she needs a very wet food with lots of broth. Bella doesn’t appear to be in pain, but it’s difficult to tell with cats. I’m hoping she’ll hang on until Tuesday. However, if she appears to be getting even a little bit worse or I think she’s in pain, there might be an expensive emergency vet visit in her immediate future. I don’t want her to suffer. I just hope we will be able to get in touch with the vet. Holiday weekends make it tough to find some services here in the Middle of Nowhere.
If we were having coffee, I would ask if you brought your swim suit and, if you had, I’d suggest we go for a walk and then for a swim. We’ll have to watch out for snakes while we’re walking. I saw three the other day when I was out trolling for deer flies. It was the usual eastern black rat snakes which are good to have around (it’s why we don’t see rats or many mice here on the ranch), but they are healthy specimens (meaning: large!) and they can be startling. Somehow they blend in to their surroundings until they decide they want you to see them. I’m sure we’ll see plenty of rabbits, and if we’re lucky, maybe a doe or two. We should watch for terrapins as well. Both M and I have seen a couple of them on land so it must be egg laying season. Oh, and don’t mind the Great Blue Heron squawking at you. He does that to everyone.
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else, I would tell you it is time for me to turn this chat over to you. Thank you so much for visiting and listening to me ramble. I always enjoy our coffee chats, and hope we’ll be able to get together again sometime in August or maybe September when things calm down a bit. Because this is beach season, we will likely have visitors here at the ranch when I return from my trip to The Bogs so August might be a busy month, too. In the meantime…
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂 And take good care of you.
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Thank you to Diana for hosting it. Also, a big congratulations for the #WeekendCoffeeShare being featured on WordPress’s Daily Post. So glad to see it being shared among the rest of the community! Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.