Posts tagged plums

Happy Mother’s Day

Okay, ONE hour left in Central time in the U.S. to wish mothers a very special day today. We went to church, I played two violin duets with a former Korean student and then to pick up my folks.  I had to give my Mom our lilac and plum blossom bouquet first.  Then I also had along a Campfire coleus that requires full sun. That’s unusual for coleus which requires little to NO sun.  Then I also gave her a Ukrainian beaded necklace I bought for her a month ago in Kyiv.  Hard to believe I was there for ten days just a month ago.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Glad I’m back to our beautiful spring and how everything is greening out so nicely in the tree lines.  Our plums have been wonderful, next up will be our crabapple tree out front.  We are starting to get lilacs and then the chokecherry blossoms should be out as well.  Ken hosted my folks and me to a nice buffet this afternoon after church and then we went for a drive to a very famous nursery, it was bustling with activity, lots of flowers, plants, bare root trees were going out the door.  The grounds itself will be planted with whatever is left over from what people don’t buy.

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Ken and I planted our garden that I had in our bay window for several weeks.  We put out brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers and 24 different tomatoes.  Some insect was already eating up the leaves of the cauliflower and cabbage so I put SEVIN on it.  Now tonight I discovered that our ever so industrious gopher took out one of our peppers because he is setting up his mounded home in OUR garden. Ken put out some “bait” for that critter.  I DO NOT LIKE gophers!!!

Tonight Ken and I went for a drive in the countryside to our favorite asparagus patches and found some surprises and other places that are late bloomers.  I will bring some of that to work to share with others and also some lilac bouquets.  We are blessed to be living out in the countryside although right now it is VERY dusty.  We could use some rain soon.

For this month of May, I thought I better get this post done so I have at least two postings for my blog this month. I was advertising this to a genealogy group I spoke to last week.  I used to post every day while I lived in Kazakhstan.  Now being away from it for so long, I only keep up with what I am doing while living back in the U.S.  I am glad I still have visitors that come to this site…many are from either the US and Canada or Kazakhstan. I’m surprised how many other countries are represented in looking up about what I experienced while I lived and taught in both Almaty and Astana for about four years.  Great country. I wonder if I will ever get back to Kazakhstan again?

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Fall is here, much harvesting to do…

3 grape clustersI probably already wrote this but I am busy with harvesting of all of our crops out in our vegetable gardens. I pick tomatoes every day and give to my Mom who cans them in quart size jars. Then I also pick sweet peas every day so I can give to people as a little but nice bouquet.  These flowers won’t last long, so I am making the most of them around our yard light fence.  Yesterday was a strong wind and that helped me to see the pumpkins that are under the big leaves and also all the decorative gourds that we have.  I cut those and will bring to the Pioneer Day celebration next week.  People may want to buy them but they are soooo BIG that it is not your usual decorative gourd.  They look big enough to eat instead of placing in a cornucopia.

My husband and I picked most of the plums that were on our trees to the south, bumper crop this year.  I have given away about 8-9 gallons worth and probably have from last night about 7 or 8 more gallons to deal with.  I roasted some of them last night at 400 degrees for about a half hour and the juice that came out will make a nice plum jelly. I’ve never made plum jelly before, always jam.  I made three batches of grape jelly last weekend and have enough grape juice that I processed for probably another three batches. The problem is that we don’t eat much bread so why all the jelly and jam?  Have to preserve this somehow so they will make nice gifts in the winter time.  The jars look so colorful with the bright jelly inside and one friend of mine says she uses the jelly jar I gave her last year as decoration in her kitchen. She is not the canning, jelly making type so she wants to make it LOOK like she did it.  I should give her some other jars to further decorate her kitchen.

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pumpkins from our west west garden

What else to do today on this fine Saturday?  I have to dig up all the potatoes and we have a LOT of them. Plus all the carrots and beets.  We are still getting yellow beans and I’m glad we are DONE with the snow peas. I just kept giving those away after I made two salads out of them.  We have some green peppers and have been eating Swiss chard when it is ready.  We had brocolli and cauliflower but not much.  I think we are supposed to have cabbage but I’m running out of interest in watering that.

Last night I pulled up many of my flowering begonias from the flower bed and potted them to take into work or the Carnegie.  I have a lot of healthy coleus that should be planted as well.  I need bigger pots for that.  Anyway, I finished two weeks of teaching two classes of composition so I have my students who are into their schedule and a good bunch of kids. They want to learn. I have one know it all type student who seems mouthy but he will be harmless…I hope.

We got our grant of $8,765 to write articles about our farming area and our town so there will be three of us researchers working on that in the next nine months.  Always something going on for which I am grateful I can do things still.  Having my folks out for supper tonight, they are busy in town getting their garden torn up to put back into lawn.  So, I better get outside and do things that need work before we get another big rain tomorrow and Monday.

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Biking around town with a 14 year old nephew

I needed the exercise yesterday. I wanted to make sure that my 14 year old nephew from the Cities experienced our small town from the outside and going in. We had our helmets on and I took the bypass highways at a pretty good clip. We were passed by big industrial trucks and semis and I was okay with that. My nephew, however, prefers mountain biking with his dad. Yes, he loves nature and is good help to his mom in their one acre spread with her wooded, shady garden.

However, I asked if he enjoyed Dairy Queens in the wooded areas of his mountain trails. No, probably not. He spotted the DQ and of course we had to cross over the four lane interstate highway to get his favorite blizzard which he couldn’t finish. Guess who had the honors in downing the rest of the $4.50 blizzard? Yes, you are right! I then knew we had to bike extra miles and extra hard because I had already downed a Buster Bar! Oh my!

So, we took in the thrift store after leaving the golf course area and then to the library to retrieve his earbuds that he forgot the day before. We had stocked up on plums that were out for FREE at the food shelf. I may go back for more so I can make plum jelly. We have plums but nothing as big as the ones we put in bags. They are tasty!

After that we went to a war memorial when we had seen the damage done in one of the additions from the tornado that passed through a week before. LOTS of trees down and people had mostly cleaned up and it had been taken away but it was easy to imagine all the chaos that was created with the tornado. Also, we went east of town to see the path of the tornado in the trees near homes that are out in the country. Along the way we met up with some Canadians who were passing through and had 450 miles left to go to get home.

That was our tour of the city which I kept saying it was about 8 miles that we biked. It was probably a lot more. My intention was to tire out my 14 year old nephew so he would sleep well for the night. Here I am up at a very early hour and he is sleeping after watching two DVD movies. Well, I will put him to work at hacking down noxious weeds like thistles and itch weed later this morning when he is up.

I have some writing to do so I should be doing that but I had to recount the day I spent yesterday during a beautiful high 70s day, slight breeze. We have to appreciate our very tolerable summer days while we have them. Soon enough it will be cold winter again. The green everywhere is healthy for us.

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