Friday, July 17, 2015

Another Day, Another Thunderstorm...

Welcome to the lake district! Or as I like to call it, southwest of Chicago!

Last night, it being a Thursday, of course there were severe storm warnings. Every Thursday, lately. So I'm guiding my class through a sun salutation, and I cue them to fold over and release their necks, "listening to the gentle sounds of the rain and letting your thoughts flow away with it."

And then the skies open and it starts thundering down. So, of course, I say, "face the long side of your mat, toward what I like to call "the river view"..." as the parking lot floods... 

Egret taking off from soybean field
You have to laugh. 

On the way home, I stopped to catch a picture. It's so wet that the egrets are mistaking the soybean fields for small lakes! This guy was standing, but he didn't appreciate my squishy approach. 

And today, again: severe t-storms supposed to happen in about an hour. 

Oh well. We do need the rain. Just not all in 24 hours. 

Sweetpea the Swallowtail...

I think it's a girl and I shall name her Sweetpea! 

Of course, I have no idea. But somehow, this little thing is just capturing my heart. I go out and check on her(?) every day. I'm worried now, because we're under a heat advisory, and I don't want her(?) to get too warm. 

It looks as if she's(?) lifting herself off the stem to either say hello or to get a better tan!

I'm not sure which. 

I haven't seen the monarchs back. And I haven't seen hummingbirds for a few days now. But up till today, the weather had been cold and damp, which isn't all that conducive to hummingbirds. 

The weeds are insane again. I'm not sure when we'll get to them; you'd think the rain would loosen the soil but it only makes the dirt heavier. 

And today, there were two odd "explosions" near the river. I'm not sure what, but they upset the dogs. 

The Garden Rocks...

We have another handful of cherry tomatoes, six decent cucumbers (salad, not pickle, I hope!) and a whole load of peas. 

Sink full of peas
For what it's worth, pea shucking isn't my thing. It's that fused left thumb - I go to grab the pea and pluck off the tip and it just won't work! So Hubby's farm training kicked in and he's plugging away at it. 

I did a bunch, but it started to hurt. And then I kept losing my grip and sending peas flying. That's enough for me, sorry!

Some of the cucumbers are going to live with my mother. I can't eat all of them by the time Kid #2 and I leave for The Faulkner/Vonnegut Pilgrimage, on Sunday, and Hubby dislikes cucumbers. 

I was hoping to juice at least one or two, which may happen tomorrow. 

The larger tomatoes are taking their sweet time, and I'm hoping all this water won't mess with them. Last time it was this wet, everything got root rot and a blossom-end fungus and we got nothing. But since it also seems to be heating up like crazy, that may balance out the damp. 

The lettuce has virtually gone to seed, so this weekend, that comes out and we plant another section. I would love to compost, but as hubby pointed out - it's just the two of us. Unless I can find a spot in the yard (which isn't likely, given the size of the yard) where I can put a decent compost pile, and then sell the excess, we'll have more than we can even consider using. 

Sage leaves
I'm about ready to do more pesto. And the sage? Holy moley!!! I had purchased garden sage, intending to dry it for use in smudging. Seems I should have done more research: you can't use garden sage. But it doesn't matter: our sage is huge. I mean seriously huge. 

I can't get over the size of the leaves. So now I have to figure out just what to do with it. Any ideas?

We planted this in a raised "trug" style planter, which has really nice drainage. We put a cover over it, and even though it's in the shade, it's obviously doing fine. So the foreground is sage, the back left is basil and directly behind the sage is rosemary. 

I'm going to dry the rosemary, and probably freeze a good bit of the sage in those "suck the air out" vacuum bags. That way, it should still be ok and not get mushy when I need to use it. 

The basil here? Seriously, when I stripped it for the first batch of pesto, I thought I'd done a good job. Well, I had - because it's come back almost double what it was before I took it all apart!

I could probably invest in a dehydrator. I dried herbs last time using the oven, but it does take a long time, and it's not the best use of the oven since we've apparently now decided that summer is upon us. I'd rather not jack up the A/C bill with the oven on. 

I might also look into herb jellies. I think that if I can find a decent recipe for sage jelly, I'll make it. That would be kind of cool. Excellent on a pork roast, I think. 

But I'm still trying to figure out how they all got so big!

Random Picture...

"Why yes, I can hang off the couch just like a cat," says Quinn. I'm truly not sure if she's pure canine or part feline! 

All three of them went nuts today when the UPS man came, even though he was dropping off treats for them. 

They didn't care. They just don't like him; and even if I introduced Tippi to him, he doesn't like dogs either. 

They know. 

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