Long, tired days. (i.e. wherein I ramble in a disjointed and somewhat exhausted state of mind)

The Dearliest is nearing the end of a several-month-long job (putting new roofs and siding on an apartment complex), which means the pressure is on to finish well and finish by the deadline. It wasn’t unusual for him to put in 10 hour days, but for the last month or so he’s been hitting 12+. I admire his dedication and drive and focus, and I know it must be done, but I’m REALLY looking forward to when this job is OVER.

The kids and I have been managing well for the most part. Recently it’s been too hot to be outside much, so we water the plants in the morning and then hole up inside until evening. Some days it’s easy to find stuff to do that doesn’t involve a movie or the GameCube, but especially on the really hot days nobody wants to do anything, so I cave and we lounge on the couch with smoothies watching kddie films (or a chick flick if I’m tired of their movie of choice). Hopefully it won’t be too much longer and the hottest part of summer will be past…I for one have much I’d love to be doing outside!

Later this week my sister-in-law is picking up 240 pounds of peaches, and then she, my mother-in-law, and at least one other sister-in-law are coming over here for a big canning party. It should be quite a show! 100 qts of peaches is the prediction, although I think several of us want a number of fresh and frozen peaches, so we’ll see what the final count works out to. Good, fresh peaches are one of my favorite fruits in pretty much any form, so I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on some!

The garden is starting to produce, albeit slowly. One zucchini and one tomato so far, although we have dozens of little green tomatoes on the plants and lots of blossoms on the bell peppers. I’m hoping to try my hand at canning salsa later, but we’ll see. I’m still a novice canner and haven’t done anything beyond a little preserves and sliced peaches. Salsa seems a little daunting to me.

Before the Dearliest left for work this morning, he asked me to try to identify a shrub that grows wild around here. He thought it was hawthorn for a while, but one of the neighbors said the berries were sweet and made for excellent preserves and pies. So, not hawthorn (hawthorn berries are sour). Some research later, I determined the shrubs are Saskatoon shrubs. The berries are similar to blueberries but not quite a strong-flavored. I think we may have missed the crop this year, but NEXT year I want to try to collect some. The mountain is positively covered with the shrubs!

If anyone is interested, I finally compiled a list of the natural food resources on the mountain that we’re aware of:
– wild rose hips
– plums
– apples
– cherries
– elderberries
– Saskatoon berries

There is so much I love about being here. Sometimes I think I never want to leave, even though I know long-term it’s unlikely we can stay in this house. It’s not sized for a growing family, although the 5 of us are making it work comfortably for the moment. We’ve talked about trying to buy the place and build a bigger house, but so much has to happen before we can even think about that…it gets kinda overwhelming.

Then there’s the question of whether we should move to town, but I’m not particularly thrilled with that idea. Besides the fact that we’ve tried a few times without success, it’s hotter there (on average 10° hotter than here, and my body doesn’t like heat too well), there’s more people, it’s not country, and they have hobo spiders. After my time in Silverton with hobo central in my backyard and the Dearliest getting a few bites (never severely, but still painful and one left scarring), this is a MAJOR turnoff for me. Out here it’s too cold for too long to support them, and I like that. A lot.

And with that, I think I’ve emptied my mind of the things currently weighing upon it. Now it’s back to work, back to work. But maybe after a cup of tea.

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6 thoughts on “Long, tired days. (i.e. wherein I ramble in a disjointed and somewhat exhausted state of mind)

  1. I was just in Coos Bay at a house the Ketelsen’s own and Linda has huckleberries growing in her yard. I wonder, if you haven’t definitely decided it’s a Saskatoon bush, if it might be huckleberries? They are smaller than blueberries and turn black when ripe. Anyway, there’s my two cents.

    • Huckleberries are quite different, actually (there’s a hillside down in the canyon covered with them). The plant is much smaller (the Saskatoon shrubs we have are more tree-like at 10+ feet), and huckleberries are less than half the size of the Saskatoon berries (which are about the size of small blueberries). They are similar in shape, though! 🙂

  2. Not too rambley or disjointed, a nice catch up of news. If you get stuck with lots of green tomatoes my Grandma used to make gorgeous Green Tomato Chutney… Something else for you to practice your canning with?

    • That’s a most excellent idea! There are predictions of an early winter here, and I’m already concerned that frost might hit before the tomatoes are done. I’ve already started thinking about what to do if I found myself with lots of green ones, and I do enjoy chutney.

  3. Pingback: Rhubarb, cherries, brain food, berries | Creative Wending

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