Thursday, August 30, 2012

Evening pictures

Here are a few pictures I took at my friend's house in Canada earlier in the month.  It was just past sunset, and the sky was beautiful.

I love how the trees form a silhouette against the sky.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I got back today from visiting my daughter for a few days.  We spent quite a bit of time going to thrift sales in the Twin Cities area.  One outstanding huge sale was at a church that has been doing this annually for over 20 years.  Each category of item is in its own room, such as linens, kitchen items, antiques, books, crafts, designer clothes, holiday, etc.  It ran from Thursday through Saturday.  At noon on Saturday, they had a bag sale. 

We went on Thursday and got a few things, but then went back on Saturday for the bag sale.  It started raining just after we got in line to wait for the doors to open.  So we got a little wet, but that was okay.  When they opened the doors, I headed to the craft room and for $3.00 got a bag with the following things in it:

The red on the right in the background is 2 2/3 yards of red felt.  The package in the middle with the sunflowers on it is a kit to make 2 hotpads and includes batting and backing. 

At another church sale I bought a nice Liz Claiborne winter jacket with hood and zip-out lining for $4.00.  It looks like it has never been worn.  I am especially excited about this purchase since I need a new mid-weight winter jacket.

My daughter got some great designer clothes at a sale this morning for an average of less than $4 per item.  She was so excited about it!

We both got some terrific bargains and had lots of fun doing it. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Garden harvest

The tomatoes are ripening fast these days.  Last week I canned 14 quarts on Wednesday and 7 more quarts on Saturday.  And, of course, we've been eating them fresh also.  Don't you just love eating a nice, warm tomato that's just been picked?  They are not even close in taste to those flavorless ones from the grocery store.

The green tomatoes in the above photo are called Green Zebra and are ripe when they have a yellowish tinge to them.  There are some Amish Paste here, as well as some German Red Strawberry (both favorites of mine).  We get most of our seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Missouri; they are non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds.  This year's catalog had 16 pages of tomato seeds; there are  greens, oranges, pinks, purples, reds, stripeds, whites, and yellows.  How exciting to be able to try so many varieties and colors. 

It's a nice feeling seeing canned goods on the pantry shelves.  I appreciate all the time that goes into them:  starting seeds indoors, planting seedlings and seeds in the garden at the appropriate time, weeding, mulching, occ. watering, picking, and preserving; plus, I just enjoy looking at all the colors of the canned vegetables.

Here are a few more veggies we recently picked.  All three zucchini at the bottom are from the same plant.  It's supposed to be a yellow zucchini, but a couple of them ended up green.

We've started digging potatoes;  have dug up potatoes from about 20% of the more than 100 plants.  Last fall we kept even the very tiny potatoes, hoping they would work for seed potatoes this year.  Well, when planting time came they all had "eyes" about a foot long.  I didn't think they would actually grow, but we planted them anyway.  And to my surprise, they all grew into nice plants.  That's why we ended up with so many. 

Raising most of our own vegetables is a lot of work, but worth it in the end.  DH does most of the maintenance on the garden after we both do the planting.  We both harvest, but I do most of the canning/freezing of the produce.  Seems to be a nice balance for us. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


The fireworks during the Fishermen's Picnic at Grand Marais are awesome, mainly because we always sit in lawn chairs at the beach near the campground.  This way most of the fireworks are right above us and seem much more beautiful than if we were further away.

These are a few of the wonderful fireworks we saw.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back home

Well, we got back from vacation yesterday afternoon.  We had a great time at the Fisherman's Picnic in Grand Marais, MN, and then spent a few days at our friends' house in Ontario. 

The Fisherman's Picnic is an annual event that we have been going to for at least ten years.  There are so many fun activities over the 3-4 days such as a used book sale, pancake breakfasts, parade, softball games, shopping, log rolling contest, fish toss contest, and the best fireworks I think I've ever seen.

This is a view from near the North House Folk School looking out at the break walls.

A few of the sailboats in the harbor.

Another view of the harbor with the break wall in the distance.

And one more.

We checked the garden as soon as we got home and discovered lots of ripe tomatoes, so I've been busy canning today. 

Will get more pictures from our trip up in a day or two.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Garden

Despite the lack of rain this summer, our garden is doing well (the weeds too).   We have been watering parts of it about once every week or two, though.

Part of the tomato jungle

The tower of beans

Pumpkins starting to spread (amongst some weeds)

We have been picking lots of zucchini--surprise, surprise!!  Some of the garlic is ready now, and we also dug a couple of small onions and a few potatoes.  We planted several small potatoes saved from last year that had 12-18 inch long runners on them by the time we got them out.  I didn't think they would grow because the potatoes were so small--some were large marble size.  But they all grew, so we ended up with just over 100 plants.  So there should be plenty of potatoes for us and some for the kids and their families also.

We're heading north for a few days, so I imagine the weeds will be really taking over by the time we get back.  But maybe by then some of the tomatoes will be ready to pick and the corn also.