Sunday, July 17, 2016

Chit-Chat on a Summer Evening

We have a niece and nephew visiting from California so our daily schedule is obviously different than usual.  But it's a good thing as we're doing some fun type things that we don't always seem to make the time for otherwise.

This isn't to say we haven't taken them up on their kind and very willing offers of "help" on projects that wait for no man . . . or visiting relatives.  Harvests from the garden, mowing and such can't be put off this time of year.  At least not for very long anyway.

Today I harvested and dehydrated a quart jar full of peppermint from the garden.  Yesterday we socked away a quart of parsley for winter use.  Tomorrow I know strawberries will have to be picked again and I think this batch will be made into more jam.  Most of the berries from last week were smooshed and frozen (without sugar), and we're hoping to try making some wine this winter with them.  Homemade strawberry wine?  That could become addicting.  (Or not . . . depending on our beginner's luck at wine making.)

We picked some of the haskap berries about a week ago.  We stopped after harvesting only about two cups of them because despite the fact that all berries on a bush are supposed to ripen at the same time, in our taste testing as we picked we found some of them were still much too sour! tarter than others.  But now we see they're starting to fall on the ground so methinks tomorrow they should be harvested.

Tomorrow dear daughter, niece and I will be meeting with an old friend.

When we first moved up here we lived in a leaky, cold, old, tin can of a mobile trailer which we moved from Illinois to our (empty) eighty acres.  One of our first construction jobs was a building we could use as a workshop for the gazillion building projects we had ahead of us.

Then dear daughter started to going to a Montessori school in town a couple of days a week when she was three years old because there were no other children near her age in the boonies where we lived and we wanted to provide some socialization for her.  The young gal who was an assistant at the school found herself in a position of desperately needing a place to live so we ended up remodeling our "workshop" into a cozy cabin for her.  She lived with us on the property for a couple of years before packing up her car and heading for new adventures on the East Coast where she ended up settling.  We've kept in touch over the years -- 40-some now -- and on the occasions when she makes the trek back to our area to visit we try to get together.

The other happy circumstance is that our niece, who came to spend several weeks with us the summer she was sixteen, and who formed a special bond with our friend, is here now also.  The two of them have not seen each other in those 40-some years, but will meet again tomorrow.  I have a feeling a lot of memories will be shared and old times relived.  It should be fun.  (And I hope not too embarrassing for me, the cranky, old, spoil-sport mother figure who probably, during that time long ago, may have been a little "hard" occasionally on her three girls!)


Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

How fun of a meet and great moment! You are right about how many jobs can't be let go. If I do not pick green beans right now, it will go to waste, and I can't do that. Now, painting my wicker chairs and doors on the house can wait. We are still talking about the root cellar, but the tree must come down first. Hubby told me that he still thinks we have time after these long hours end (in a week or two he says).

Laurie said...

Tomorrow should be a fun day! I love it when things like that happen. Is the East coast girl driving? I've always wanted to drive to my daughter's in Colorado..... haven't had the guts to try it yet. But, Hallelujah, by way of an airplane, there will be a sweet reunion come Sunday. I miss my girl!

Will be waiting patiently to see how your strawberry wine turns out.

Happy week!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Fortunately we all still have a bit of summer/outside work project time left yet. (Just more projects than time, but that's always the case!!) But at least we know the garden harvests will get done, by hook or by crook!

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - Our friend always flies here and back. That way it gives her more time for visiting (and relaxing) when she gets here.

Have fun in Colorado with your girl!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I had never heard of a haskap berry. They sound like they are maybe too tart to eat out of hand. Will they become jam? -Jenn

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - The reason we are trying the haskaps is because they are supposed to have even more antioxidants than blueberries . . . and be similar to blueberries. BUT, thus far, we're not too impressed! Yes, jam is definitely a possibility. They are also touted as making very good wine! At this point, I'm glad we only put in an experimental three bushes . . . rather than more! Time will tell how they prove out. :o)

Sandy Livesay said...

Mama Pea,

How cool is that!!! Your niece and nephew visiting and you get to meet up with a longtime friend.....I'm excited for you. You'll have so much to talk about. I'm thinking you may need more than one day to reminisce.

Fresh strawberry jam YUM!!!!
Enjoy your company sweetie, then put them to work.....LOL

Sending hugs and love you way.

gld said...

Hope you have a good time.

You can't let things go this time of year no matter...or you live to regret it.

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Omigosh, we four gals yakked and yakked for 2-1/2 hours straight yesterday afternoon. And could have gone longer, I'm sure.

Company is here until Friday. Lots to do today that MUST be done today, but they are very understanding. :o)

I have another double batch of jam simmering on the stove as we speak. Niece and nephew seem to be "sleeping in" this morning which is FINE!

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - I sure don't want to lose any harvest from the garden, that's for sure! Strawberries still coming in and my shell peas are plumping up. Yayyy!

Anonymous said...

'Admire you and hubby for rehabing the "tin can" instead of turning it into a heap of scrap. You were ahead of your time when you consider how many people are recycling shipping containers into nice homes.

Susan said...

I am GREEN with envy - although I did get three and a half days with my sister, during which time I shamelessly put her to work. Be sure to enjoy yourself in amongst all the 'must-dos'. What a wonderful get together it must be.

Sarah said...

Can we have a show of hands for everyone that had Deana Carter's voice singing Strawberry Wine in their head? Enjoy your visit!!!

Mama Pea said...

Anon - Well, I'm not positive it was the best idea in the world, but it was all we had to work with at the time. We eventually cut a large hole in one side of it and added a couple of rooms on. Then sided and roofed the whole shebang. We no longer live on that piece of property, but the folks who bought from us are still happily in the same structure!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Relatives are heading home to California tomorrow. They can hardly believe we've been having such (extremely!) high temps while they've been here and I'm accusing them of bringing it with them. No other explanation.

Mama Pea said...

Sarah - :o)! I'm hoping you'll have the same voice running through your head this winter when we get around to actually trying to make the wine!!