Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekly Menu August 18


This week we have:
Jam & Almond Cookie Bars
Sweet & Sour Pineapple Meatballs
Plum & Peach Ginger Jam

For today, Aug 18 ...

Outside my window... 'Tis sunny and slow, the summer is nearing its end. Okay, we have another month left, really, but it feels end-of-summer-ish. It's hard to describe why... the sun in lower, the light is more mellow, all of the fluttering and buzzing seems to slow down just a bit, as if the world is sighing, relaxing in the last few weeks of summer before Fall arrives. Because once Fall is truly here, it's time for home-building and food collecting!

I am thankful... for a supportive husband who doesn't get mad at me when I mess up my "job", for boys ready and willing to take on a brand-new start at a brand-new school, for Stephen's adorable, cheerful, enthusiastic teacher who he already adores, for hours on end to accomplish (or not) anything I need (or want!), for a beastie who is patient and loving through misery, for school supplies and sprinklers and window coolers. 
WE are going... BACK TO SCHOOOOOOL!!! Do they look excited?? THEY ARE!!! We switched schools this year, to a smaller, closer, higher-performing-er school in our neighborhood. Stephen had a rough year last year, so we've had our fingers crossed for the perfect teacher to help him love school all over again, and I think we might have hit the jackpot! Joe is just excited to be going to "big kid school", staying all day with his brother, and having his own LUNCH BOX!! I'll miss my shopping buddy... but I won't miss the three different trips to school. I might actually be able to accomplish things... :)

I am hoping... That my poor beastie's feet heal soon. We've joked since she was a puppy that she got her dry, itchy skin and seasonal allergies from me, and ironically enough she seems to have inherited my tendency for autoimmune disease. It looks like she has a condition called symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy, (SLO) which means her immune system attacks her nails. They've been brittle and splitting for a few weeks, but when two of them just lifted up off her toes like clam shells, we were pretty sure of the diagnosis. Three nails were in bad enough shape that they needed to be removed, so the vet is also using them to do a biopsy to confirm before we start treatment. I had to rig up a new cover for that back foot, she had the bandage off in a few hours, despite a double soak of that awful bitter spray. Long term prognosis: all her nails fall or break off, and we hope they grow back stronger, but it could happen again. Sigh.  It's hard to see her so miserable, but I'm hoping she never has to have this many nails removed at one time again!

Around the house... Time for a garden update!! First off, our handful of vegetables. When we planted them, we didn't realize (duh) that instead of a nice sunny spot, we were planting them directly under an apple tree.
Oops... I still have no idea how we missed that... Anyway, the beans were a total bust, but there is a little patch of carrots in there, which are NOT ready to pick yet, as I proved by... um, picking some...
Next year, not so much clay, I'm thinking. Those are some stubby carrots. Hey, I'm learning as I go here! The boys loved them anyway, I think mainly due to the novelty of actually picking them from our backyard. 
The tomatoes, on the other hand, have gone CRAZY, despite not getting the "full sun" they're supposed to need. Or maybe that's WHY they went crazy, reaching through the apple tree, looking for the sun!
Taller than the chain link fence, they really do reach up into the branches of the tree! It also took me a while to learn that you need to cut back sprouts so they start focusing on tomatoes, not so much on branchy-ness. Oops, again!

That jungle of tomato plant is actually only TWO plants!! I got my first red one yesterday, and though I was worried they wouldn't be any good, what with the lousy clay soil and shade, it tasted AWESOME!!! I'm so excited for the rest of them!! Any opinions out there on the best way to preserve tomatoes? I'm debating between canning and freezing... don't want them losing that awesome summer tomato flavor... There's a grape vine tangled through that apple tree too, as it happens!
The Geologist gets credit for this one, I bought him a self-contained raspberry plant, but couldn't plant it in time, so it became root-bound and almost completely died... but he made a place for it and we ruthlessly cut it back, I think it had three barely green leaves left, and it's growing like crazy! Yay raspberries!! They can be friends with my baby blueberry bushes, which arrived as little trimmed sticks just a few inches tall, and now...

Two different varieties, aren't they adorable?? I might even get a cup or so of berries next year!
My front garden bed is no longer empty! All those tall spear things are my random assortment of gladiolas, not bad for their fist summer! A few freesia are coming up in the very left corner, I didn't think they would, since they're a spring sprouter. But I'll take what I can get! My Don Juan climbing rose is thriving, though there aren't any blooms on it at the moment. 
That's my little baby mini rosebush The Geologist bought me from a grocery store, and it has tripled in size since I planted it out here! It might be my happiest transplant of all! In the back are my two dinnerplate dahlias, though they won't get plate-sized this year.
Imagine THAT as big as your head! I can't wait!! They're doing much better than I expected this first summer too!
This little path from the back cement patio to the spigot is filling in nicely! It's going to be sooo pretty when it's all grown in; there are two kinds of groundcover in there, one with tiny light blue flowers, (the bushier looking one) and the lower one is called Corsican mint and has a lovely minty smell when you step on it!

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE MY HOUSE?? :)

Try your own Daybook! Get ideas here!

1 comment :

  1. I love your house too!! We need to have the grand tour now that you've been there a few months. Loved your day book entry as always. Poor Bracken. ((((hugs))))) from Mitzie to her. Doggie to doggie. I hope that Stephen has a good teacher this year as well. Sometimes teachers just don't seem to gel with kids. Although they shouldn't they have their favourites and they have their unfavourites as well. My kids had to deal with that a few times. It's really sad because it can really colour their whole school life! Teachers should try to love all their students, even the ones which are hard to love! Probably easier said than done! Love and hugs! xxoo

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