Friday, August 19. So like always.... lagging around.
Went out an about shopping in SH.. Menards for a propane tank.. and guess what? THEY ARE PUTTING OUT HALLOWEEN!!!! SQUEEEEE!!!!
Guess who picked up a tiny freestanding birdhouse for ghosts, and a creepy monster standing town square clock? This girl! Three bucks each, ouch. But I pretty much totally missed any smalls last year due to putting off to wait till sales, then missing it.
I've hit the amount of buildings point that I really wasn't interested in any buildings at all. I've almost got a couple too many honestly, and might be culling out a "poorer christmas" or two to set aside for next year to give me extra time.
I'll hit Michaels soon to see what they got for village shit this year too.
I'm far more interested in now that I legitimately have Halloween on- hey man, candy in the aisles counts.. anywho. I have a lot of projects that I want to work on.
150 tiny brains I picked up at GenCon to turn into various stuff like farmers brain patches, a brain tree, and some fun jewelry.
A lot of random stuff, like a bunch of presents from Christmas that I now get to bust out with and touch up for evil farming :)
A few buildings.. and other random detail stuff.
And now that I have a bunch of the materials saved up... I want to take a crack at some set building, and start a vertical cavern system for the fireplace corner.
So yeah, Menards, Meijer, Hardings, and Rite Aid.. vape shop, bank and auto store too. Had to get it done before evening cuz sis is borrowing the car to get to work this weekend- her truck is puking oil like mad and needs repair.
Sat, August 20.
Had severe storm action blow in mid-morning, and kind of effectively put a hold on a lot of preserving plans till after one in the afternoon. I wasn't going to start firing up a canning kettle unless I knew darn well I could keep it going till the canning was done. And a dozen pint jars of Brussels sprouts got done, along with two quart jars of fridge zesty lime zucchini spears. Got the two cases of beets and 8jars of jalapeno slices from before GenCon de-ringed, labeled, boxed, and shelved. Sure feels damn good to actually have canned goods back on the shelf again. I have to get into the spare bedroom and really clean up previous stock and take a tally of what we got. I know we still have some jellies and jams, and a bunch of sauces, especially enchilada sauces. And it's a good thing we had such a boom tomato year last year that I felt good with making up two years worth of those products- because this summers tomato crop is pretty much null- been too damn dry to keep up with most of the summer, and some late planting really stunted the shit out of everything.
I do have a couple of volunteer white tomatoes from last year going strong in the kennel beds. I've decided to support them as much as possible so I can at least try to get one good batch of white tomatoes set aside for my brother.
In general, haven't been out in the garden in about two weeks. Got in a couple good days of weeding right after GenCon, on the 9th and 10th- but overpushed it in light of my plauge- and we have had three solid days of good rain in the days between.. just enough that I was only doing up some mandatory and much needed mowing. And stringing up clothesline and getting a lot of wash done.
Heh, we have been without a dryer for a couple weeks now. I managed to break the knob on the dryer- cracked it so it spun out of round. Glued and clamped knob. Then the back panel that has to hold the knob falls out while trying to put knob back on. Well fuck.
We have mom and sisters dryer sitting down in the pole barn, so we can swap out- but sheesh, it's been bloody hell trying to get that done. We need the dolly.. and I finally go to fix the tires, and discover that they are tubeless, and I picked up those innertubes long ago for no reason, and I don't have any tire sealant- need another trip to the auto store.
Anywho.. I picked up a nice package of top round steak slices- not enough to make rouladen, sadly. So I did it up kind of swiss steak style with a pound and a half of fresh mushrooms that were on clearance, some baby carrots, and mashed potatoes. Yum.
Sunday, August 21:
Summer has broken. The earliest of Autumnal cools blew in overnight. I don't think we will see any more summer heat this season honestly. The Dog Days are over. Weather is predicting a particularly hard cold winter this year for us. I can't help but think of last year Labor Day Weekend and Argent passing away and summer broke when he did. I kind of have to wonder if I will always think about the first breaking of summer this way.
But no melancholy like that today.
Got a half dozen pints of sweet and sour pickled red onions done. Three trays of hot banana pepper slices dehydrating- I actually picked those up a couple weeks ago for canning, but other shit happened, and they ripened on the counter in the solarium instead. Now they are past prime for pickling, but perfect for dehydrating. Seven trays of mushrooms on the dehydrator- they too are past their perfection for pickling already from the day I bought them, but perfect for drying. Shucked 8 ears of corn, 4/buck, and drying- made stock from the cobs, as usual. It's still cooling, so I don't know final yield yet.
And hey... been cooking a LOT out in the solarium this summer. Using the nesco as a steam oven, canning and cooking over the electric hotplate and coleman stove.. and I really, really love it. So much so that I have kind of decided to do this much more year round. In the winter months I can do canning and it would be a welcome help to warm the solarium while still leaving the kitchen free for other cooking.
I'm also now much more comfortable with being not chained to the kitchen directly for use this way. I'm ready for firing up really big burners- AKA the darkstars, in a more outdoor kitchen situation.
I have noted that for outdoor kitchen action, I really need to pick up a few 5 gallon water jugs for potable water. The outdoor spigot on that side still isn't working for sink action. And I just want to use more potable water than the spigot for some of the cooking action.
I'm also much more comfortable now with small batch hotplate canning. When sales hit and it is cold, I will have no problem picking up a few more pounds and cranking out winter goods.
Something tells me that this winter will be buckling down for more than just the cold... I feel kind of instinctively prompted to extra store up now. It might just be fearful of me.. but I don't think a bit of an extra stock up now to prepare for the coming winter is a bad idea.
Perhaps it's because I've been closely reading over last years preservation tallies and feel the need to catch up too.
Dryer still broken- but the day was cooler and winds were crisply clipping along. So a load of house linens, bed linens washed and line dried. Must fix the line, lol. It's cheap cotton, and even with my poor props, it needs tightening up and I need to cut a couple of those long bits of wood for some proper clothesline props. I strung up a secondary line in another more discreet side yard for more delicate outdoor drying, as well as a three pole rack in the solarium.
I've now dedicated myself to being out at, and working at Bristol for the last two weekends. You know it I'm excited about this. It should be good times, and good friends, and hopefully not too much drama.. cuz, lol, you know there is always at least some drama out at faire. And holy crap, as always, figuring out five days worth of garb is a PITA- especially now that I have an expanded yesteryear collection to choose from.
Cleared off the workbench today while cooking in the solarium.
And LAMO.. it's September 12..
Nightvale county has been waking up since the day after Labor Day. Picked up a shitton of produce to start firing up. Dryer still broken. Bristol was frigging awesome. Started taking cuttings off the hibiscuses and fuchsias today. Made a couple gallons of ham stock. Taco night for dinner. It's sis's b-day, and I couldn't think of a better dinner request :)