Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wa-Hoo, Let's Celebrate!

We finished filling the big wood shed today.  Completely full.  Now we have two wood sheds full to the brim with wood cut, split, stacked and (hopefully) drying for this winter.  It took us about one full month longer to accomplish this task than we had estimated it would.  It wasn't that we didn't keep working on it.  Too many days of rain interfered with our efforts.  But now (whew!) it's done, and we can relax a bit on that count.

Our rainy summer does continue.  Today we had only one brief downpour.  Just two-tenths of an inch in our rain gauge.  Yesterday we had two heavy, hard deluges that lasted only about 10 minutes each, but the first one racked up four-tenths of an inch and the second one seven-tenths of an inch!  I thought everything in the garden was going to wash away, but it all withstood the onslaught.

We had another plant damaged by our night time visitor last night.  Dear daughter loaned us her trail camera which is in place to capture the identity of the bugger if he/she/it returns tonight.  Stay tuned.

Despite the heavy amounts of rain, the garden is (kinda sorta) doing well.

The green cabbages are heading up nicely, and I'm not going to be able to keep from harvesting one of these soon.  They're about 6" across now.

The red cabbages are slower per usual.  There's something about them that I find very beautiful.  In a vegetable sort of way.  Don't you think they are lovely to look at?  Doesn't affect you that way?  Okay. 

I'm not holding out much hope for either my winter squash or pumpkins this year.  They just haven't had enough warm weather to encourage growth.  In the pumpkin patch shown above, the big pumpkins (jack o' lanterns) are on the right, and small ones for eating on the left.  The vines haven't even started to trail out yet.  Sigh.  I don't think there's any way they could form fruit and mature in the days we've got left before a killing frost.  Especially if it stays as cool as it has been.  Down into the 40s again last night . . . we're still sleeping under our down comforter.  This is NOT typical end of July weather! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Who (What?) Was in My Garden Last Night?

I've mentioned before that my efforts at starting seedlings inside this year were less than successful.  I had a few brassicas that did sprout but never looked like they were going to amount to much.

But, of course, I couldn't toss them in the compost (which would have been the kind thing to do with them) so I set them outside in their little started peat pots where they languished for the longest time.  Not growing really, just continuing to look pretty pathetic.

Finally I decided to give them a chance (hey, why not?) and stuck a few of them in bare spots in the field garden and four of them in one end of a raised bed where a cherry tomato plant had decided to die deader than a door nail on me.

Only thing is by the time I planted these little stunted plants in the garden, the labels in each of the pots had done washed clean away so that I don't know whether they are cabbages or broccoli or Brussels sprouts.  No matter.  If they grow, we'll soon know.  And they actually had started to grow and put on some size.

This morning I saw that one of the plants in the raised bed had been chomped on by "something."  Too much damage done to be an insect/bug type marauder.  Papa Pea says he doesn't think a chipmunk or squirrel (my first guess) would bother the plant.  My next thought was that a rabbit had gotten through the fencing around the garden, but I don't think a rabbit would chop off the leaves and just leave them lying about . . . some in the raised bed, some on the grass outside the bed.

I don't have much hope of catching the varmint, but I've got a trap set out just in case he/she/it decides to return to sample more broccoli.  Or cabbage.  Or Brussels sprouts.  Or whatever the plants may be.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Tale of Two Cucumbers

Okay, so I'm not talking about two cucumbers exactly, but rather two varieties of cucumbers.

The old heirloom Lemon Cucumbers are very slow to grow and mature compared to nearly any variety of long, green, slicing cucumbers.  Most years I grow the two varieties, because my daughter and I are both crazy about the lemon cucumbers and tend to munch them as if they were apples.  With a little salt sprinkled on them?  Mmmm, good!  Refreshing and with their own special crunch.

Last year I neglected to put in any of the lemon cucs because by the time they mature, we're up to our gills in slicing cucs, and I thought we just didn't need both varieties.

Dear daughter was disappointed when she found out there were to be no lemon cucs last season (and frankly, I missed them, too) so I planted my usual bed of slicing cucs and another bed of lemon cucs this year.  

I always plant my cucs in a raised bed so I can put a cold frame over the top of them.  Otherwise, they might not mature until who-knows-when because of the coolness of the first part of our summers up here.  Warm weather loving crops need all the help they can get.

So the seeds sprouted and the cucs in both beds started to grow.  But the bed that I thought was slicing cucs was way behind the bed I thought was the lemon cucs.  Hrumpf.  I decided that some dummy (that would be me) had somehow switched the labeling of the beds in my garden book.

But now, strange as it seems, the way ahead bed, which I thought had to be the slicing cucs IS lemon cucs!  The little round, yellow fruits have started to form and are, indeed, way ahead of the slicing cucs.

Lemon cucs going crazy in their bed.

Slicing cucs looking like they might need a shot of steroids or at least a pep pill.

This is the first year I've ever experienced lemon cucs being so far ahead of the slicing cucs, and I'm wondering why it's happened.  As usual, both varieties were planted on  the same day, under a cold frame, both cold frames were opened and closed (or not) each day at the same time.

Oh, well.  I'm not knocking my rocketing along lemon cucumbers.  Perhaps some things just need to be taken at face value, appreciated and not over-analyzed.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Urge to Make Some Aprons

I've said over and over that I need to start wearing an apron when I'm in the kitchen 'cause I inevitably get ingredients splattered, splashed or smooshed on my clothing.  I'm not sure I have an "at home" top that doesn't have some sort of little (or large) stain on it from my mishaps while cooking.

But have I gotten into the habit of wearing an apron yet?  Nooooo.  (Yes, as mentioned previously, I really am a slow learner.)

However, a couple of days ago I was given two boxes of fabric to sort through and take any pieces that appealed to me.  I have been so good (SO good, do you hear me?) for the past couple of years in buying very little new fabric, because I have so much in my stash right now that I'll never use it all before I kick the bucket.  (Have you heard the expression among those who quilt and sew, "Whoever dies with the most fabric wins?")

But these boxes were full of really good quality material and since it was FREE . . . well, what's a girl to do?

Aprons.  Oh, yeah.  I was talking about aprons.  Where was I?

I found several pieces of fabric that would be perfect made up into aprons.

I want some aprons that look something like the above.  (I also want a waist that size.)  Ones that provide coverage for my front . . . neck (almost) to knee.  A style that is old-fashioned in a homey, cozy kitchen sort of way.

Here's a sampling of the fabrics I took that said, "Make me into an apron."

This has such an old-timey look to it.

This one, too.  Neither of these two would look soiled right away.  Dark prints.  Good, camouflaging, dark prints.

This one is a chirky little print I really like.

Same for this one.

I like this more subtle print, too.

Yep.  I'm putting "Make Aprons" on my list for this winter.  It would be fun if maybe one of them appeared as a giveaway here on my blog.  Ya never know.  Could happen!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Can You Guess What I'm Fermenting?

I filled this quart jar with something from the garden and set it on the counter to ferment yesterday.

We have to wait at least two weeks before we can sample the contents to see if they are to our liking.  The recipe I'm following reminds that fermentation is never an exact science, and it could take even twice the two week time period before the flavor is perfect to tickle our taste buds.

What do you think is in the jar?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Do We Know How to Have Fun or What?!

The roofing project has started.  We're doing it in stages . . . primarily because the weather this summer has not provided many consecutive days of dry weather.  Seems we have a small window of good weather this week so we're taking advantage of it.

Today the shingles were torn off the part of the roof we're starting on.  Different areas need to be done, but not all will be attacked this year.  Think of it as working on the installment plan.

Long ago, hubby built this box that can be put on the flat bed trailer for hauling gravel.  Now it's proving to be handy for containing the old shingles and associated debris that we'll haul to the dump.  And have to unload by hand.  Ooof. 

Heavy, dirty work ripping off the old stuff right down to the plywood.

Invaluable, professional builder and good friend, B, is on this job with us.  She complained today that the only reason we hired her was so she could do all the hard work!  (Please don't tell her I captured this shot of her . . . she'll kill me.)

Tomorrow the underlayment of Ice and Water (a waterproof barrier used instead of felt paper) will go on, and then we'll wait for another stretch of dry weather to do the shingling.

Progress.  It's all progress!

Monday, July 21, 2014

In The Garden . . .

Papa Pea loves the little chipmunks.  I would love the little chipmunks if they weren't so darn prolific.  And didn't eat so many expensive sunflower seeds.  And other things.

I harvested strawberries this morning and found several beautiful berries snapped off the plants, lying in the wood shavings between the rows with telltale teeth markings on each berry where one of those cute little chipmunks had helped himself to an early morning snack.

I went into the house and posed a question to my dear husband.  "Okay," I said, 'which do you like more?  The cute little chipmunks or your fresh strawberries?"

A few minutes later, these two traps appeared in the strawberry patch.  'Nuf said.

I planted three rows of shell peas, peas planted on either side of the 16' long cattle panels used for trellises.  Two of them are pictured above.  (Do you see the half eaten strawberry in between the rows?  Gr-r-r-r!)  With our up until now cool, moist weather, you would think the peas would have grown like crazy giving me peas galore earlier than usual.  They didn't, and are just now finally flowering.

There may be hope for a bunch of fresh frozen peas stashed in the freezer yet.

I have one whole bed (yes, I do) devoted to purple poppies.  They are from seeds Sue (of Sue's Garden Journal) was kind enough to send me a couple years ago after I admired a picture of the poppies in her garden.

I am just crazy about them (I think it's the color) and captured a picture of the very first one to bloom this year.  It greeted me in all its splendor when I took my morning garden tour today.  Thanks, Sue!

We're getting some real summer weather today.  Way up in the 80s.  (Which probably sounds downright cool to some of you, but it's hot to us!)  My wash on the outside lines dried lickety-split, but doing anything that causes any kind of exertion out there brings the sweat pouring forth.  (The humidity definitely contributes to the situation.)

We didn't want anything but watermelon for lunch, and it was enjoyed in our cool kitchen.  Thankfully, our house does stay lover-ly if we close up the doors and windows early on during weather like this.

Papa Pea just came in for a drink of water and said he was now going out into the bee yard to get organized for the replacement bees we hope will be arriving sometime this week.  He also said he might indulge in a root beer float (a weakness of his) when he was finished.  I told him there's probably no better weather for it, and to go for it.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hello, My Name is Mama Pea and I'm a Slow Learner

Well, a-PPARENT-ly.

I've always grown parsley in the garden and used it a lot during the summer months as a fresh herb added to my cooking.  Since I've never had any luck keeping a pot of parsley alive in the kitchen over winter, I have regularly purchased dried parsley from our local co-op to use when I didn't have fresh.  Until last year, I hadn't dehydrated any of our homegrown parsley.  How silly was that?  And why didn't I?  Just one of those (should be) logical, super-easy things to do that slipped by my mushy gray matter.

The amount I dried for last winter's use wasn't nearly enough, and I was a bit grumpy when I had to go back to using store bought.  Homegrown dehydrated parsley is soooo much more flavorful and . . . well, GREEN.

Today I finally had a big enough "stand" of it in the garden to warrant harvesting a bunch and getting it into the dehydrator.  (I'm betting cutting it will also encourage more lush growth.)

(A little glitch, I made a mistake by not mulching around the plants.  With all our rain, the parsley got fairly splattered with mud and required repeated washings to get it clean.)

Once thoroughly washed, spun in my salad spinner and rolled in a clean bath towel to take as much moisture out of it as possible, I filled four dehydrator trays with small clumps of parsley leaves.  Wanna take a guess as to how much dried parsley I'll end up with?  A cup?  A quart?  Somewhere in between?

A dehydrator temperature of 110° and three and a half hours later:

Right in between a cup and a quart . . . two cups on the nose.  With lots more to come.  I may be a slow learner, but I'm socking away as much homegrown, dried parsley as I can this year!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

No, I Ain't Dade!

Just a quick post to let you know all is well, and we've been busy as bees.  (Speaking of bees, did I mention that we lost every single one of our hives this past winter?  Yep, 'twas a hard, harsh one [in more ways than one] and none of our bees survived.  The sad thing is this summer would have been very difficult for them also, because our spring was so long in coming and then the too cool summer arrived along with fewer than usual blossoming plants . . . and we had a rainy spring which has continued into a rainy summer.  Not good environmental conditions for honey bees.)

But I digress.  We've just ended our third lovely day in a row (we hardly know how to handle it), and we've been hitting outside tasks with both hammers.  And chainsaws.  And wood splitters.  And hoes.  And other things needing to be done in the garden.  In short, we've been busting our bustles getting lots of great things done.  (Poor hubby had such a cramp in his hand at lunch today, from gripping the chainsaw, that he couldn't hold his fork!)

The strawberries are coming on in full force and we're having a terrible time figuring out what to do with them.  Such a hardship!  (I made the above pictured Strawberry Cream Pie around 7 this morning.  We did have a little help whittling it down to what's left.)

I need to go do dishes and then take a badly needed shower.  (TMI?)  I hope to spend an hour or so on the couch before bedtime snip, snip, snipping on my quilted frayed-edge project.

Another good weather day forecast for tomorrow.  Hip-hip-hooray!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Starting to Build the Ark

No, fortunately we really aren't starting the boat building . . . yet.  But we did have rain all day yesterday again.  Temps are still staying cool which we wouldn't mind at all if we weren't trying to grow a good chunk of our year's food in the garden.  Old-timers in the area say they can't remember ever having a summer like this one has been so far.

But this morning dawned with the promise of a sunny day so we were out splitting wood at 7:25.  Our blessed Firewood Fairy brought us two more loads of logs yesterday.  We guesstimate he's given us about $800 worth of wood so far.  We are indeed fortunate and grateful and appreciative.

Our strawberries are finally starting to come in . . . about a week later than usual.  (Kind of curious they are not nearly as sweet as they should be.  Lack of sunshine?)  I knew some needed to be harvested today but it was late afternoon before the plants dried out enough for me to pick.  I also harvested a big bunch of kale and a good sized bowl of baby Swiss chard, Osaka purple mustard and mizuna mustard.  I've been sauteing a skillet full of one green or another (or a combination of a couple) in a small amount of bacon fat with a chopped scallion or two to accompany our eggs we have for breakfast nearly every morning.  The serving of beautiful, fresh greens just makes me feel STRONG!

Yesterday (during the rain) I got some time in my quilt room to work on a flannel blanket/rug I'm making for our granddog to use when he's here.  It doesn't look like much right now, but will shape up as I get more done on it.

It's done using the frayed-edge technique (picture above taken from a book) and it should have a cozy feel to it when finished.  I did some more work on it tonight after I took the picture of the strips on my design wall earlier.  It took much more time to cut out all the rectangles than it is to sew them together.  Now the process is going really fast.

The weather people are saying we're to have another day of sunshine tomorrow so you know we'll be doing some more wood working.  Our large wood shed is just about half full . . . what a relief it will be to have it completely full.

I've noticed I've lost a little bit of weight lately.  I'm still eating like a horse, especially with good vittles starting to come from the garden, but I think I've been working like a horse, too, so it all balances out and still allows my decrepit assortment of work pants to hang a little loose.  Better loose than tight with all the bending involved with gardening and wood working!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Win A Few, Lose A Few

Rats.  I think I have a bad case of downy mildew.  Or rather my broccoli plants do.

It's obviously all over for this plant.

This one is still looking robust but . . . 

. . . symptoms of the disease are showing.

Downy mildew is caused by halyoperonospora parastica.  (Aren't you glad to know that?)

Optimum conditions which favor the disease development and spread are:

~  Night time temps of 46° to 61° for four
or more successive nights
(Check, got that.)

~  Day time temps of 75° or lower
(Check, got that.)

~  High humidity
(Check, got that.)

~  Fog
(Check, got that.)

~  Drizzle
(Check, got that.)

~ Heavy dew
(Check, got that.)

~ Overcast days
(Check, got that.)

~ Spore spread by wind or water
(Check, got that.)

I've never had a problem with downy mildew before.  These broccoli plants were purchased at a greenhouse because, you might remember, I had a terribly low success rate starting my seedlings this year. I've never used anything but seedlings I started myself for veggies in the garden, so I'm wondering if I could have brought the spore in with the purchased seedlings since seedlings are supposedly very susceptible to the disease.  Although, I realize the spores could have been just hangin' around, and since our conditions have been perrr-fect for them this year, that could have kicked them into gear, too.

It's not the end of the world for us, but can you imagine a truck farmer who has a whole field infected with halyoperonospora parastica?  Ugh.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Are We Skipping Summer This Year?

We're continuing to have our cool, very wet weather.  And the projected forecast, as far as they are projecting, is for more of the same.

These are the facts, folks.  I'm not just whining.  Here it is nearly halfway into July, and the temps are still dropping down into the 40s overnight.  

Truth to tell, I'm kinda surprised things are doing as well as they are in the garden.  (The weeds, of course, being super-adaptable, are growing like . . . weeds.)

The plants in the garden do look lush and green . . . or it might be mold, I'm not sure.  But they're not really growing as they should.  Kinda just sitting there.  Waiting for some warmth and sunshine.

At least the impatiens in my window boxes are doing exceedingly well, non-sun worshipers that they are.

The plants in the two pumpkin hills in the pumpkin patch are no bigger than the weeds alongside.  (Pretty pathetic, huh.)  'Tis definitely not a good growing season for squash or pumpkins.  (Bird bath has stayed nice and full though.)

The continual (at least it seems that way) rain is sure putting a crimp in our wood working.  Let alone the fact that the wood we do have already in the wood shed isn't doing much drying without sun and warm summer breezes.

Besides our wood supply, there are many things (like the re-roofing job . . . ugh) we could/would/should be doing outside, but the weather simply isn't cooperating.

We've had to find something constructive to do inside (which, believe me, wasn't too hard) so we've been using the time to build shelves in the basement.  Years ago, we purchased some (supposedly) heavy-duty plastic shelving units, but have been really dissatisfied with them.  Or maybe we just try to store items on them that are too heavy.  You would think they could withstand the weight of cans of paint, jugs of motor oil, boxes of plumbing supplies (okay, maybe those are a bit hefty) and such, but they haven't.

Well, these sturdy wooden shelves we're putting up now will do the job! 

It snowed, snowed, snowed all winter and now it's raining, raining, raining all summer.  I know everyone around here is hoping our real summer weather has got to start soon.  If it doesn't -- well, gee -- we won't have a chance to grump and grouch about any uncomfortable heat at all this year!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Strange Question?

I'm wondering.  Am I the only person who has never had a professional . . . 

. . . manicure?  

Nope, I've never ever.  Not even once.

So how about a professional . . . 

(Oops, sorry wrong picture.)

As I was saying, how about a professional . . . 

. . . pedicure?  Never done that either.

I'm not sure what brought this burning question to the forefront of my mind, but I'm curious and would really like to know.

Have you??

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Another Mosquito Repellant Fail

My dear husband reads a blog written by a fellow in Canada who works as a handyman.  The blog contains all sorts of helpful hints on DIYing.  Lots of good, solid information that hubby files away for future use.

A while back this blogger wrote of having to do a roofing job in an area that he knew was going to be riddled with hordes of mosquitoes.  He was aware of and decided to try out a homeopathic remedy which reportedly keeps mosquitoes from biting.

Turns out the remedy worked extremely well for him, and he was able to complete the roofing job with next to no problem of being bothered by the mosquitoes that were definitely present and out for blood, but did not bite him.

So Papa Pea immediately found a source for and ordered a sample box for me.  The box says it's a "homeopathic remedy used for reducing the frequency and severity of insect bites."  Hooray!  "Keeps biting insects from attacking for at least 2 hours after chewing a tablet."  Wahoo!

I ingested a tablet each of three mornings this past week before going out to do our wood work in Mosquito Heaven, otherwise known as our back wood working area.

Didn't work for me.

But then, I can use nearly any mosquito repellant, purchased or homemade, and it does very little to repel the nasty little blood suckers from feasting on me even right through clothing.  Anyone standing smack dab next to me will comment they can't believe I'm getting bit when they (using the same repellant) aren't bothered at all.  (It's a curse, I tell ya, a curse.)

I'm not saying Mozi-Q doesn't work, because I believe it certainly did for Mr. Canadian Handyman.  It just doesn't work for me.

What's next on my list to try?  Tami over at 500 Dollar Tomato is as much of a mosquito magnet as I am, and she's had great luck this season using Downey dryer sheets.  She just tapes one to the back of her clothing and is pleased as punch to report it is working for her.

So next trip to town . . . Downey dryer sheets, here I come!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Oh, How the Wind Doth Blow

I mentioned in my post yesterday that we had some ferocious winds here on Monday and Tuesday.  How ferocious?

Well, they ripped one of my red kuri squash plants right out of the dirt.  The one you see on the right was out of the ground except for one feeble, white rootlet when I found it.  I "replanted" it but it doesn't look like it will make it.  The one on the left doesn't look too good either.  I put a couple more seeds in the hill, but it's getting too far along in the growing season for any seeds to sprout, grow, form vines and fruits, and mature before frost hits.

The same thing happened with my pie pumpkin vines.  None were ripped out of the ground, but they do look so sad that I planted more of those seeds, too.

The zucchini plants sustained a few broken leaf stems, but will survive. 

My dill and purple mustard plants were laid flat, but seem to be rebounding now.

This poor cherry tomato plant is another victim of the wind.  The leaves are losing their green coloring, becoming dry and brittle and curling up.

Being a gardener requires you to learn to roll with the punches, doesn't it?  We all have setbacks of one sort or the other to deal with.   I don't know what one can do to combat a natural happening such as high winds though.

Wait, I do!  Plant everything inside a huge hoop house that covers the entire garden.  A huge hoop house that is fastened down VERY securely!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Garden Progress . . . Mostly

This afternoon I worked in the garden while Papa Pea finished the lawn mowing job started yesterday.  He bagged the lawn clippings so I could use them to mulch the lettuce and other salad greens which had been coming in splattered with more mud than I liked.  Washing them will be much, much easier now.  Plus, we'll ingest less dirt.

But my main goal was to get the potatoes hilled.  The picture above is Before Hilling.

And, in logical order, After Hilling  (The two pictures were taken from opposite ends of the three 25' rows.  Sorry if I caused undue consternation or confusion.)

I took what was most likely my last picking of rhubarb yesterday.  I usually quit harvesting it by mid-summer and I've set the date of July 4th as mid-summer, although we have more summer-like weather after the 4th than before it.  (Am I making any sense?)

Anywho, the poor plant now looks as if it has been struck by lightning and needs to be shipshaped up a bit.  Actually, we did have darn high winds again on Monday and Tuesday of this week that didn't do several things in the garden any good.  I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.  It just doesn't make a lot of sense.  Here we sit, surrounded by heavy woods on all sides so you wouldn't think we'd get blasted with that much wind.  But.  We do.  (Sigh.)  Frequently.

Before I sign off, a report on the homeopathic tablet to repel mosquitoes I took this morning before going out to work on firewood.  Didn't work.  Although after the first mosquito nailed me, as he took off with a full tank of my blood I do think I heard him say, "Pa-tooie!  Yuck, that tasted awful."  I'm going to give it another test run to see if I get the same results.  Today, I gave up in short order and had hubby spray my exposed skin with what seems to be doing the best job for us this summer . . . "Buzz Away."

Getting With It Again

I wrote a friend last night that things tend to get a little uncomfortable and wonky around here when I'm not ready and able to do my usual thing.  Tending to think I don't do as much or what I do isn't as important as the endeavors of my better half is a possibly erroneous notion of mine.  Maybe I should give myself a raise.

Things necessary to keep this joint running smoothly do, indeed, start to go rapidly down the tubes when one of us isn't totally engaged with mind, body and spirit!  Now it's catch-up time for a period in this already over-scheduled summer.

Papa Pea just disappeared into the bathroom to brush his teeth while announcing he's going directly out to the wood pile in about 5 minutes.  Was that a hint?  Not necessary as he knows I feel quite left out if I'm not back there grunting and groaning playing right alongside him.  So, this shall be shorter than originally planned.

Before leaving the house, I'm going to try a new mosquito repellent we've obtained.  It's a homeopathic tablet one chews and which claims to keep mosquitoes from biting for up to two hours (or longer).  Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful as the *$%#! buggers have been simple AWFUL lately.  They are the worst they've been in the 17-18 years we've lived in this location.

A rhubarb pie is nearly ready to come out of the oven, the sun is shining brightly, I'll brush my teeth, chew the damned-mosquitoes-be-gone tablet (damned mosquitoes, not tablet) and head out for a couple/few hours of wood splitting and stacking.

More later today if I can.