Saturday, July 27, 2013

Quote of the Day

Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become. Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies; they are ready enough to tell them.

--Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 1894), The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 1858

Saturday Breakfast

We have Tara, Gracen, and Sami for breakfast this Saturday morning.  Biscuits and gravy seemed appropriate for the occasion.

The plate on the right is Sami's.  She likes both white and chocolate
gravy on her biscuits.
Gracen loves her Nana's cooking. (Don't we all)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Quote of the Day

It is as impossible to withhold education from the receptive mind, as it is to force it upon the unreasoning.

--Agnes Repplier

Summer Days and Summer Nights

Wednesday night severe thunderstorms came sweeping down the plains. Mild storms don't interrupt my sleep, in fact, distant thunder that seems to roll on forever down the hollows and valleys is very conducive to a good night's snooze.  But these storms brought a long series of lightning strikes that lit up the house as bright as day with a loud Crack! and a window rattling boom.  Not much sleep came my way that night. But joy comes in the morning.

I was out early checking the garden and I made a good haul.

Dorothy was busy yesterday afternoon. Here is her first batch of
blackberry jelly and peach freezer jam. Our friend Laura Palone
gave us some peaches that she bought in Porter, a town famous
for the fruit.
And, of course, whenever fresh peaches are in the house we must
have fried pies. I think it's the law here in Oklahoma.
 After making jam it's necessary to test it. So a pan of biscuits along with eggs and sausage and hot coffee was the perfect way to evaluate it.
While we were eating breakfast this morning our grand daughter Marley
(far right) was having waffles with her friends in Montreal, Canada. She was
with a church group on a mission trip.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quote of the Day

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.

 -- Agnes Repplier

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Quote of the Day

Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.
-- Bertolt Brecht, The Mother, 1932


Our tomato harvest is lagging behind what it was last year at this time. We have 23 producing plants, about what we had before. The daytime temperatures are almost 20 degrees cooler (although it's going to get hot soon) and the night time temps are in the 70's, a little cool for tomatoes. The drought is not as bad this year. It will be interesting to see the results of that combination of moisture and temperature. Anyway, here's our first bacon and tomato sandwich of the season:

Salsa's cooking!  I've spent the last hour or so helping Dorothy in
the quality control department.  We've been sampling the salsa with
tortilla chips and she has been making adjustments here and there to
achieve the perfect taste.
Tomatoes ripening in the kitchen window.....
and in the laundry room. The two on the left are Cherokee Purples,
not very pretty on the outside but superb flavor.
We picked black berries behind our house today and then went down by the creek for more. There was not one ripe berry on the vines. The grass had been stepped on all around the vines so some varmint, two legged or four, had had a feast. I looked around for scat to determine what kind of thief made off with our berries but only found a few cow turds.  I've never heard of cows eating black berries.  The thorns probably wouldn't hurt their thick hides but I would think that their mouths and noses would be too tender to allow them to push deep into the bushes to clean them out.  
(I left off writing this post to Google the subject of cows eating blackberries and according to the articles I read cows will not only eat blackberries but also wild roses and thistle.  You learn something new every day)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Quote of the Day

The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.

--Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quote of the Day

The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking......The solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.

--Albert Einstein

New Zealanders

This morning when I went out the door the check on the garden I noticed some motorcycles parked in front of the old school. I walked over to see if I could be of some assistance and met Bob Bertram and his son Dave Bertram from New Zealand. They had shipped their motorcycles to Los Angeles, picked up the bikes later and rode all the way to Tellico Plains, Tn.  From there they started a tour of paved and unpaved country roads that will lead them back to L.A.  A mechanical difficulty caused them to stop where they did. A great opportunity for me because I always like to meet visitors to our country. Have a great trip Bob and Dave and Godspeed!

On their way.


It hasn't rained here for weeks. The plants in the garden we beginning to wilt. Last night we hear thunder in the distance, but thought the storm would pass us by as usual. Then we heard the rain on the vent pipe; I looked out and it was pouring down. An official toad strangler.

This rain will get us through the next heat spell and increase the
yield of our vegetables and berries.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way

. -- Buddha

Fed from the Garden

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken, cucumber-tomato salad, steamed
yellow squash, new potatoes, and green beens. Except for the chicken
everything was still growing in our garden yesterday.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Black Berry Season

Dorothy was looking out the patio doors this morning and noticed some color in the black berry patch. We took a bucket and some loppers out there to see how much we could harvest. It's the first picking so we knew it wouldn't be much. We use the loppers to eliminate any interfering weeds and black berry branches that are in the way.

Picking black berries is a tricky business. The vines grab your
skin and clothes and won't let go. It seems that the fattest and blackest
berries are always hidden deep in the center of the patch. I keep after
them because I have this image in my mind of home made ice cream
smothered in syrupy black berries. I'm careful to maintain my balance
when I'm reaching for those berries that  are hardest to get at because
if I fall into the vines I won't be able to extricate myself unassisted and
I don't know if Dorothy loves me enough to risk getting herself caught
in there with me. That would require a 911 call.
As you can see the thorns are unmerciful.  After picking the berries
it's necessary to pick the thorns from your skin.
After we picked that patch clean we drove the truck around
the pasture looking for more bushes.  Then we walked down
to the creek for the first time this summer. It's flowing but
not at the usual level. Looks like another drought is upon us.
The swimming hole is still deep  enough for the grand kids to play in.
All those thorns and bleeding for
this bowl of berries. Each picking will yield
more and when I'm eating my first bowl
of black berry cobbler I'll forget about
all the trouble.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Day

The cows are in the pasture.
Cinnamon rolls are on the table
fresh from the oven.
The icing, still warm,  is dripping on the table.
Get the plates and forks.
I'll pour the ice tea.
This is our first canner of green beans this summer. When Dorothy
turned off the stove and let it cool the lid was stuck. Nothing we tried
would budge it. I researched online and got all kinds of advice.
Dorothy broke one of the lid handles with a hammer and I broke the other
with some channel locks. Finally, I heated the canner back up and kept
trying to twist the lid open and at just the right temperature it easily
opened. I should never have gone against my own philosophy, which is
"Finesse always trumps brute force".
While we were struggling with the canner, down in the Caribbean our Daughter Rachel
and her husband Brad were sailing to St. John.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life. They appear so while they are passing; they seem to have been so when we look back on them; and they take up more room in our memory than all the years that succeed them."

- Robert Southey

from the Happiness Project

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ride 'em Cowgirls!

Our friends Kathleen and Rick graciously allowed us to bring Marley, Jenna, and Gracen to their ranch to ride their horse Blue.

Marley mounts up.
Kathleen, Jenna, Gracen, Dorothy
Blue expects a treat for his work.
Gracen says "When is it my turn?"
Gracen finds some dirt to play in.
Ready for a bath.