02 September 2010

Everything Retrograde

Well folks, it's been one of those seasons. It seems like everyone we know has been having a bear of a summer between the heat and everything going pear shaped so I at least can feel like it isn't just us. ...And that's why I haven't written much except that silliness that Chet and Rocky dictated to me. We all just wanted to hide under the covers until Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus have all gone direct some time in December.

But you can't do that, really, now can you? Instead it's been a routine of sleeping lightly so I hear Lady, our foster hound, creep up the stairs to ask (oh so timidly) to be let out to pee at first light. She is finally starting to learn to come and to sit for her meals and has even learned how to do Rocky's silly half smile... something I'm told is quite rare in hounds! Our friend Lisa will become her new human in early October. (And I will sleep like a rock again!)

The garden has been mostly a failure. We had an avalanche of squashes which, once again, psyched me out. What do you do with the beasts after you've made 3 dozen jars of pickles and you can't stand zucchini bread?????? Thus far a tasty squash casserole recipe has eluded me. That's what I really want. Squash and cheese and goo and yummy. Our Country Gentleman corn tasted like cardboard and the Silver Queen refused to set. My heritage paste and SunGold tomatoes both tasted like winter toms from the grocery.

Waaaaaa! At least we weren't the only ones who had these problems this year, especially with the corn.

On the plus side we have parasitic wasps laying eggs on the tomato worms (that ate the yucky paste tomato plants) and our Striped German toms not only taste good but re-flowered and have set more fruit. And, as you can see above, we've had another bumper crop of mystery mushrooms. These are volunteers growing out of bales of rye straw. It took me two months to catch them in good condition! The birds love them.

The birds have been our big success story of the season. After loosing one to a hawk and another to a raccoon I decided that a pen just made them an easy target. Now they rage freely, eating bugs, scraps, and a little supplemental feed. One of their jobs is bug control and we've definitely had a huge reduction in numbers since their daily circuit of the house began. Fewer ticks on the cats, too! The resident four-leggeds still enjoy a good game of Bowling for Chickens but mostly they get along. The dogs are especially fond of feeding time.

I just wish they'd learn that it's a dog's job to keep the chickens off the porch! YUCK!

And, oh yes, we closed on the Santa Fe house. Don't mention it to Mr. Fuzzy. The couple and their Realtor were truly horrible people to try to work with and very unreasonable. Yet, in a crashing market you take what you can get. In the month between the offer and the closing the price went from below market value to a little above it.


The Language Wench said...

We had the most amazing squash pancakes today. Very savory with a little sun dried tomato on top. Delicious and possibly something you can experiment with for your squash. I could swear I saw a really good squash gratin recipe. If I find it again, I will hook you up.

Lausanne said...

I don't know why but your "everything retrograde" posting stayed at the back of my mind more than most...This morning I stumbled onto a gardening site in my search for some hypertufa information and the more I explored the site, the more I was reminded of you and your gardens, worms, container beds and greenhouse remodeling!
During the doldrums of August I was flattened by heat at times, even a bit overwhelmed by weeds and the overbearing lushness of growth everywhere ....but now with a nip in the air and so much rapid change outdoors, I am back to my bouncy, hard-working and creative self! I'd like to share this site http://www.the-artistic-garden.com/site-map.html in case you might find some interest in making gardening containers or garden gnomes! I know you have a flair for miniatures, but I can imagine you creating art for your garden with a similar touch of inspiration. Let me know what you think...