It is hard to believe that August is upon us. Where did July go? What happened to the summer? Is it just me or is 2013 barreling by so fast you cannot catch your breath? Well, that lands me right smack in the middle of a "glitch in time" and my hypothesis that time has taken a giant leap these past couple of decades. Whether or not my oft expounded theory is correct, did you ever have a long, lazy summer? Seems like I remember those very early summers, perhaps when I was in elementary school that way, but neither long summers or the chance to be lazy endured. While I am not nearly as industrious as I might wish myself, summer always seems to be the busiest time of year except for perhaps around the holidays. From Hallowe'en, through Thanksgiving and Christmas, until we cross the finish line of the year on January 1st, there seems to be a tremendous lot of pressure to do too much, be too busy, and meet all sorts of unreachable expectations. Summer however, is not the subject of any such pressure. For me though, it always seems to be an intensively busy time. I am smiling as I say this because, of course, I am starting this post with a photo of the beach.
|A happy me at the beach in 1950 something.|
|Caladiums and torenia thrive in a tub by the Garden House.|
|Zinnias bloom and thrive no matter how hot it gets.|
We have several acres here at The House— a large yard surrounded by pasture on three sides. Keeping this cut and weed trimmed during this wet season is a time consuming and very hot job that cannot be delayed by any more than ten day intervals, and is better done weekly. I love to stand back and admire the yard when it is freshly mowed and landscaped, but that is a fleeting joy. It only takes a few days for weeds to sprout and the grass to begin wildly growing and looking rough. It is a beautiful place though, whether newly manicured or slightly unkempt. I see it through eyes which remember many a former summer's splendor, but also with a "vision" of what it can be again with time and a good deal of work. We have watched this season's batch of turkey poults grow into gangly and amusing adolescents, feeding on seeds and insects in the pasture, and the cracked corn we provide them with. There are a myriad wild birds, hawks, and buzzards constantly providing an aerial ballet overhead. And at night, the deer, bane of my garden, come up to feed along with possums, raccoons and possibly armadillos. All of them leave their mark, marring the pristine beauty of our land, but providing interest nonetheless.
|Sweet Corn-- $10 a box at the Farmer's Market.|
|Ready to prepare for freezing.|
Though I have refrained for some time from buying magazines other than the couple I still have subscriptions to, I succumbed to temptation earlier this summer. The cover of this special Better Homes & Gardens Canning issue not only caught my eye, but beckoned me beyond my ability to resist. As I said, I love making jams and jellies, and I love finding new recipes for them. My Mother and Stepfather, returning from a visit to their house in North Carolina, picked up a box of peaches on the way and gifted me with half of them. I made two batches of spiced jam out of them, and it was very good. On the same day, since I also was enjoying an overabundance of tomatoes at the time, I made a batch of tomato-basil jam from a recipe in the magazine. Quite good.
|Time to wash the jars and sterilize before prepping peaches.|
|Jars ready to be filled with hot Jam. This is second batch. Partial jar is from first.|
|Tomato-Basil Jam and Spiced Peach Jam cooling on the counter before being dated, labeled and put away.|
I do seem to have spent a good deal of time in the kitchen of late. It seems that my Mom has an elderberry tree in her back yard. We had spoken of it earlier, wondering how elderberry jelly would be since neither of us had ever made it before.
|Elderberry Juice-- Ready to make into jelly.|
Was it worth the effort? Next year, I will bring a ladder. Why should the birds get so many of these tasty berries? The finished jelly is lovely to look at and already gaining a big fan base among family members who have gotten the chance to try it. It is reminiscent of tart wild blackberry jelly, and since I have no source for those at the moment, it makes the elderberry all the more worthwhile.
|Elderberry Jelly-- The finished product.|
|Thrifted or recycled items being refurbished with a coat of paint.|
|Still not sorted out. Lots of lace.|
We were about to leave this particular shop, but everyone waited while I rifled through a box, searching for more frilly treasure. Unfortunately, I ran out of cash before I ran out of bags of lace. It was the end of the day and I was near my $ limit. However, for $6.00 or so, I estimate that I got at least 70 yards of assorted lace and ruffles. Not a bad haul. I still have not got it all sorted out.
Even though we had just been to that particular shop a few days before, my youngest daughter and I swung back by while we were out a few days ago. I didn't find any more lace, but did get some very vintage sewing notions from that same box, a lovely Christmas tin with a music box attached to it, and a nostalgic wicker piece that reminded me of unrequited childhood dreams.
There it stood in the children's room of the Thrift Shop, with a price tag fluttering from beneath it. I am getting used to thrift stores that aren't so very thrifty anymore when pricing vintage merchandise, so I was expecting it to be more than I would or could pay for the piece. It was $3.00, and no matter its age, I feel that I got a very good deal. Needless to say, it followed me home, and will undoubtedly soon become a basket for yarn or other sundries (or a cat bed, if they get the chance). I have done a little research, but have yet to find a doll bassinet that is really comparable, though I have seen many that are vaguely similar. It needs cleaned up yet. there is a great deal of dust build up in the weave. I suspect it has sat unloved or forgotten for some time. I will give it new life and purpose.
I have enough projects lined up to take me through to next summer, no doubt, and perhaps beyond. When the weather starts to cool off this fall,
I want to get back to working on the Garden House. It needs painting, inside and out, and I have all sorts of ideas for it. In the meanwhile, my daughter and I are repainting and embellishing some of the many weathered, faded birdhouses that hung on an outside wall. We are going to hang them from the rafters inside after it is painted.
So many projects— so little time. Before I say goodbye today, I want to take a moment to thank Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage again, for hosting Where Bloggers Create 2013 and for letting me participate. It was a blast. And thank all of my many visitors this past few weeks, for stopping by, and for all of the kind and supportive comments. It has been a joy. I have still not got around to nearly all of the other participants' blogs, but I am working on it. I have seen so many gorgeous web sites, and got to peak into the most fascinating studios and workrooms.
Hope your summer leaves a little time for lazy enjoyment. Blessings to you all.