Country Living Series

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Picking peas

This time of year, the focus on the garden has shifted from weeding to harvesting. So far we've harvested strawberries, raspberries, and peas. Right now I'm picking blueberries, which I'll do for the next few weeks as they come ripe. Garlic is next, but it's not quite ready yet.

Last week it was peas. While not my favorite vegetable, it's one of my favorite garden plants. I dunno, I just think they're beautiful.

I only have two beds for peas (remember, not my favorite vegetable), but they invariably bear heavily.

I mean, look at that!

I picked this crop during a heat wave, so I started before dawn and continued as the sun peeked over the horizon. The rising sun illuminated how not every pod was ripe.

Some late bloomers even still had flowers.

In my opinion, there are worse places to be than picking peas on a summer morning.

This is what I got for the first picking.

A couple days later, I went back and filled the basket full.

After shelling, I ended up with nine pounds of peas, which I bagged up and put in the freezer. When the weather is cooler, I'll can them.

Thank God for a bounteous garden!

Friday, August 7, 2020

More on becoming "anti-fragile"

Here's a piece I wrote for Daisy Luther (the Organic Prepper) called "How to Become Anti-Fragile." It's a follow-up to an earlier piece I wrote on the same subject.

I gotta hand it to Daisy. The very first comment posted on her site under the article was a snark, and Daisy put him in his place with firm professionalism. Woot!

Update: Squeee! This appeared on ZeroHedge!

Lots of comments!

Pretty porch

I have a penpal in Maine. She's been harvesting onions and garlic from her garden this week, and sent me a photo of her porch with produce set out to dry. I thought the photo was so pretty, I asked permission to post it.

(Oh, and the sign says: "Just one more trespasser and my windchime is done." She has a quirky sense of humor.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hummingbird wars

Who doesn't enjoy watching hummingbirds during the summer months?

I mean really, it's such cheap entertainment. An inexpensive feeder, a bit of sugar-water, and voilĂ : Hours of birdwatching.

But let me tell ya, it's a good thing these little guys aren't six feet tall or they would rule the world. Seldom do you meet such martial birds intent on dominating everything. Their fights around the birdfeeder can be vicious.

This little guy, perched so innocently and picturesquely on our yard fence, is cleverly positioned to watch and defend the feeder.

The moment an unacceptable hummer gets too close, the defender zooms into action, cheeping its outrage and chasing opponents away. Often the hummers will bodily smash into each other in fast motion. You get five or six of these tiny pilots duking it out, and it can be positively dangerous to step out onto the porch.

But watching them is just pure delight.

Here's a rare instance of full cooperation at the feeder. Needless to say, it didn't last.

As I said: What a blessing these guys aren't the size of ostriches or no one would be safe.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Irish dancing sensation

I came across a story the other day that made me grin from ear to ear.

I love Irish dancing. Don and I have seen Riverdance twice over the years, when it passed through Spokane. There's something about the precision of this dance form I find thrilling.

So when I caught wind of this article, I cheered.

It seems there's a 20-year-old African-American Irish dancer from Richmond, Virginia named Morgan Bullock who posted a TikTok video of herself dancing a jig.

The video went viral, and the Social Justice Warriors came down on her like a ton of bricks for -- get this -- cultural appropriation.

Then she got a call from Riverdance...

Woot! Go Morgan!

Friday, July 31, 2020

A little night music

I stumbled across this video yesterday. Cracked me up.

(If the above video won't play, here's the direct YouTube link.)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The passing of a legend

I received an email today from Glenda Lehman Ervin, VP of Marketing at Lehman's, as follows: "Dad passed way Sunday at the age of 91. I thought you would want to know."

She was referring to Jay Lehman, founder of Lehman's non-electric store in Ohio.

I never met Mr. Lehman, but he was so well-loved that the store put up a life-sized cardboard cutout so fans could take a "photo" with him. I think that says something about a person's decency, don't you?

Some obituaries for his remarkable life can be read here and here.

Rest in peace, Mr. Lehman.

Ah, the little dramas of life...

This is our garden gate.

At the base of the gate, lying in the shade, is our mighty hunter barn cat.

At the top of the gate is a wary chipmunk.

Bottom of the gate, cat.

Top of the gate, chipmunk.

Any questions?

Monday, July 27, 2020

Someone has "issues"

In the tribute piece I put up bidding adieu to actress Olivia de Havilland, someone left a comment that was so unrelated, so hostile, so out-of-the blue "huh?" that I decided to post it separately:

"You baby boomers destroyed your own children's future, and then laughed about it and blamed it on them. Do you realize that you are going to end up in a retirement home where you are going to get treated like total trash, and abused? Your children won't be able to help you, even if they wanted to. Karma's a bitch, you boomer scum."


What does this have to do with Olivia de Havilland? What does this have to do with me? I'm not a baby boomer.

I'd say someone has "issues." How very sad. I pray he or she can get some professional help and find some peace of mind.

Rest in peace, Olivia

I just found out legendary actress Olivia de Havilland passed away yesterday at the venerable age of 104.

She was best known, of course, for her role as the doe-eyed beauty Melanie Hamilton in "Gone With the Wind," though her acting career spanned decades (from 1935 all the way through 2009, in fact).

Rest in peace, Olivia.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Shopping trip

I took a shopping trip into the city last Monday. I was kinda on autopilot (I hate shopping), following the list in my hand without much thought as I made stops at my three usual places: Costco, Cash'n'Carry (now called Smart Food Service), and Winco.

At Costco, they had toilet paper (but not the Kirkland brand, my preferred choice). Also, I wanted to pick up two jugs of laundry detergent, but was limited to one. (Why, I don't know.) Needless to say, anti-bacterial wet wipes were out of the question.

It wasn't until I was at Cash'n'Carry (a wholesale restaurant-supply store), trying to find a jug of dish soap, that I snapped out of autopilot and realized there were a lot of empty shelves. A lot. Here are the big gaping holes where the dish soap normally is:

I also couldn't find a bulk bag of red lentils. After seeking the assistance of a store clerk -- and after he pointed out the empty shelf where the lentils would normally be -- I inquired why the store was so bare. "Well, we're expecting a shipment in tomorrow," he explained, then added, "but we're not getting everything we order."

This was confirmed by a different clerk, explaining to another customer that they're "lucky" to get in 75 percent of what they order.

So I went back through the store and photographed some of what I saw (or rather, didn't see). Sorry for the blurry photos, I was trying not to be too obvious with the camera.

Then I moved on to Winco, where most of my purchases were in the (fully stocked) bulk section. But, curious, I wandered by the meat department and saw this:

So there you go. That was my monthly shopping trip.