Sunday Drives

The forecast came true for Sunday and it was a beautiful day for a drive. After church we headed to Kettle Falls and enjoyed some lunch and then continued on across the Columbia to Sherman Creek Orchard.

 

Note to self: Next year go in early fall to see all the beautiful color this orchard affords. We bought 16 pounds of pears and enjoyed the drive home.

I will share more photos from the drive home on another day. My upload speed for photos has been slower than molasses. ūüôā

We are entering a busy week for many here in the U.S.A. with preparations for our annual Thanksgiving celebrations. It was good to start the week off with a little time away from home and focusing on God’s creation. I’m thankful for Sunday drives and beautiful views!

We Can See Clearly Now…

…the smoke is gone.

We have blue skies again and white clouds that are visible after we enjoyed a light rain last night and today.

Our pear tree is full to the brim and I always wonder when the time is right to pick the pears. I will have lots to share this year. Our apple crop was very small this year compared.

Since we had some cooler days Dear decided to freshen up the shingles and scrape and paint the overhang.

Things are looking a lot better.

The hydrangeas are still looking nice even though they are waning. The raindrops on their leaves and petals looked refreshing.

We’re enjoying the look of the ground cover varieties we planted. Looks like I need to weed out a couple of grass blades.

It’s a full time of year in our yard.

We are so thankful for our cooler nights and our clear skies. It is so refreshing and we were tired of moaning about the smoke and haze!

“Shower, O heavens, from above,
    and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
    let the earth cause them both to sprout;
¬†¬†¬†¬†I the Lord have created it.”

Isaiah 45:8 (ESV)

 

Summer is Waning…

…but we are still enjoying what’s left of it.

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Because of all our renovations at this old house we had the patio furniture cleared off the deck for the workers to set up their saws to cut the wood for the new flooring. Last weekend after using the clear path to re-furnish the house with all our furniture stored in the garage we put the patio furniture back in it’s place and were even able to have a meal on the deck with our traveling guests!

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Fun end of summer times with Josh, Laura, Lana, Steve, Dear and me! What do you serve come as you are guests of hosts with no time to fuss over a meal? Dear and I had been working all day getting the house back in order so I didn’t have time to plan a meal but had time to throw together a meal!¬† We had flank steak, cucumber and tomato salad and are you ready for the starch?? All I had were frozen hash browns and that’s what I cooked up and served. Yummy! I also steamed some frozen broccoli in their own steam bag.¬† Love the carefree company that just enjoys sitting down to food on a plate! We had ice cream for dessert and Steve ran home to bring some of Lana’s homemade cookies and banana bread to add to the ice cream.

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The hydrangeas are losing their summer brilliance.

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I like them at all stages.

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Don’t judge me but this is what’s happening with my apples this year. I do not have the energy to pick them all and make applesauce again. I’ve offered them to friends and neighbors and haven’t had a good response. I’ve been able to give away some of the pears and have offered more to neighbors.

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This handy dandy pick up and reach tool that I bought at Goodwill a few years ago is really saving my back when I pick up the fruit that has fallen and been partially eaten by crows and some nocturnal animals. I’m content this year with letting the animals glean my fruit.

We are looking forward to the arrival of Katie and Andrew on Saturday. They have a 12 hour drive from Salt Lake City to us. Dear is making his Tomato Rice soup that you can find in our latest Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations cookbook for their arrival and he’s adding some Lobster and crab leg meat to the pot which will transport it to a wonderful bouillabaisse!

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Summer in the City

…or summer in the burbs.

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty

Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

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We finally put our patio covers up on the last day of June. That’s pretty late for us but very timely with the heat wave that has been hitting us here in the Northwest. I took these photos in the morning so things are still cooler and pleasant.

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We are going to have a few friends over on the 4th of July so it was time to get the deck ready for our celebration. While it was still in the 80’s instead of 90’s I walked about the yard to take some photos of the progress on our fruit trees and bushes.

summer yard 005Apples are moving along nicely along with our bumper crop of pears!

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summer yard 013The blueberries on our large established bush are starting to turn blue.

summer yard 016The berries on our small deck blueberry bushes in pots are looking good, too.

You know you can invite friends over with all your floors torn up and they won’t mind? It will be a memorable 4th of July celebration here. We can call it “4th of July in the rough” or “4th of July before the floors”. Besides the good food we will share together we’ll mix up a pitcher of a very relaxing beverage just in case someone stubs their toes on our rough floors!

Pears for Your Heirs…

Pear trees, especially the old English varieties that would have been the subject of this proverb, take many years to mature and give fruit. You don’t plant them for yourself but for your heirs.

The full version of the phrase, which is a 17th century English proverb, is:

Walnuts and pears you plant for your heirs.

The sense of the altruistic nature of tree planting was also expressed by Thomas Fuller in his work Gnomologia, 1732:

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.”

ht: The Phrase Finder

We’re thankful to whoever planted the trees in our yard. We have a few very mature trees compared to the rest of the neighborhood because our home was the original home surrounded by acres of land that were sold to a developer who put in houses. An old resident down the hill from us told me that our property was originally a nursery called Primrose Acres.

Look at all those pears we picked off our one tree. I know a small portion of them will be used to finish off my Smirntopf but what to do, what to do with all the rest. I’ll try to give some away. Maybe make some pear sauce. There are lots of lovely tarts and other things I can make but I’ll have to give those baked goods away as I’m restraining myself.

If you live close by and want some let me know.

What to do with your Bounty…

When trying to lose some extra pounds put on over the last year for different reasons what is the best approach to using produce from your own fruit trees? We have an apple tree, a pear tree, and blueberry bushes on our property.¬†Property sounds big but truth be told we only have 1/3rd of an acre. I froze much of our blueberry harvest and made applesause that is frozen from our apples but now I’m working on the pears. Everything that sounds good for pears is sweet and yummy and loaded with calories. I saw this great recipe at LazyonLoblolly and it helped me to use up some of my pears. To make your frosting look more like the Southern Living magazine photo you will need to add more powdered sugar than the recipe asks for. The frosting is delicious so I would not exhange it for caramel sauce.

So back to losing weight. If you are going to continue to use the bounty available to you from your property/garden the best remedy¬†to gaining lots of weight is to give some away to your neighbors. I have a neighbor who is a younger widow and she would never bake a whole cake, pie, etc. for herself anymore. She gladly accepts a¬† piece of cake, or a piece of pie or a couple muffins from me. It’s a win win situation. I took 3 pieces of this cake to another neighbor who works full time and probably doesn’t have the same time I have to bake. Her husband and daughter would enjoy something homemade. ¬†My sister and BIL¬†were the other recipients of a couple pieces of this cake. My sister travels back and forth from California and even though she stills enjoys baking¬†she also appreciates a treat from her big sister. ¬†If you have creative ideas that need to be brought to fruition don’t abandon them. Think of ways you can share your bounty with those in your neighborhood.

Maybe this started out as an all about me and losing weight post but I hope it was warped into a better love your nieghbor as yourself post instead…

Thank you for your get well wishes! I’m feeling a lot better and happy to say I didn’t get the full on ick my husband endured…

 

Ruby Tuesday ~ Pears

 

My pears are just beginning to grow and at this stage they are a nice ruby color. They will end up being green with some golden added in but for today they are just right for Ruby Tuesday.

Please visit Mary at Work of the Poet who is the hostess for this weekly meme.

For those of you who wonder why a meme for Tuesday starts on Monday, it’s because most of these memes are international and somewhere out there it’s Tuesday already!