Our hearts and prayers are with all of those in Texas who are enduring such terrible hardships because of the hurricane. So many sad stories of people who are going through so much as the flooding is just devastating the city of Houston, and yet so many incredible stories of bravery, and people going out of their way to help their fellow man.
I read today of a man who owns a furniture store who opened his store to anyone who could get there, and they would have food and a bed for them to sleep in. It is amazing to see the people of Houston come together and work to help each other in the midst of this terrible tragedy... and that brings great hope to my heart... to see the generosity of the American people helping each other in time of need.
We are still in dire need of rain here in the northwest, even as we watch the flooding waters in the southwest, but one thing that really stands out to me is that whatever the weather systems may bring us... it gives me hope to see men and women reaching out to their neighbors, helping them in any way they can, putting themselves in the line of danger to try and help each other... and it is a wonderful thing to see. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are suffering with these massive flood waters.
I was reading today that in South Asia in the countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and India the monsoons there have killed 1200 people, and displaced millions. So many, many hurting hearts in our world! I pray for them all!
With my maple tree rapidly turning red, days getting shorter, nights getting colder... and squirrels busily working to stock their food for the winter, we know that fall is here, regardless of what the calendar says! Shrubs are turning colors, and my chickens are starting to molt. The signs of the times point to a season change, even if we have another month or so before it is official.
With the end of summer drawing to a close, I wanted to recap some of our summer adventures that I had no time to write about while we enjoyed the summery days...
A local town holds a logging festival every year, and watching the loggers compete is always a highlight. The man on the hewn log plank had to use an ax to cut a wedge in the tree to place in his plank,which he then used to stand on to complete cutting the top of this tree. This 70+ man was up against other much younger men using only an ax, but he beat them by a few seconds, truly an amazing feat to watch! The old saying "they don't make 'em like they used to" seemed to ring true here! This man was truly amazing to watch his skill up against other much younger men.
Some of the first bounty that began rolling out of my garden in early August. I've not had to buy fresh produce since the middle of July, my garden has produced it all!
Before the fires and smoke took over our area, my husband and I took a Sunday drive with Riley. We found a quiet little creek to explore.
The quaint path down to the creek.
The water looks muddy here, but it was sparkling and clear, with a rocky bottom. We had fun exploring the creek and letting Riley swim. We did not come prepared to swim, so we just found a spot to sit with our feet in the water, and watched Riley splash around. What a relaxing afternoon we had!
My dear friend T lives right on the river with this beach, so many times this summer we spent the afternoon at her house swimming in the river.
Fresh broccoli out of the garden... these are the main heads, and the side heads will continue to produce until frost, an abundance of yumminess!
I've really enjoyed hanging my clothes out on our clothesline this summer. It is more work, but we love the smell of the sun-dried clothes. However, maybe one of you has a suggestion for how to keep the clothes from getting so wrinkled? Also the towels and facecloths are quite rough. I tried washing them with a vinegar rinse, but still they are rough... could it be because of our hard water? I don't know... but regardless, while the summer sun is out, we will enjoy saving $$ by hanging our clothes out to dry... but the family is protesting a bit because of the hard, rough and wrinkled clothing coming off the line... lol!
Our local county fair was a delight, and we enjoyed walking around and looking at all the displays. I thought this display of the cuts of meat on a cow were interesting.
The top quilt won the grand champion for the fair for its design and handwork.
The zucchini and squash in the garden are prolific this year! I cut up both the zucchini and yellow squash, blanch them (dunk them in boiling water for a 1 minute, then cold water bath them) and then I freeze them. We like to eat squash throughout the winter.
I've found that I can melt a tablespoon or so of butter in an iron skillet, add the mixed zucchini and squash, along with a bit of Mrs. Dash seasoning and a large sprinkle of brewer's yeast (this gives it great flavor), let it simmer until tender, and it is almost as good as it is right out of the garden. This really helps to supplement our vegetable intake during the winter, and that is great, because squash is definitely a very prolific vegetable in the garden! I also shred up zucchini and freeze it in 2 cup freezer bags, and this is nice to have on hand to make zucchini bread or cake during the winter as well.
Annie and Riley sharing a rare quiet moment together.
A happy red daisy blooming in my garden.
A peek at my happily growing garden. The zucchini and yellow squash are in the foreground, with corn and sunflowers in the background.
The marigolds are blooming amidst my tomatoes, and the bees are happily swarming inside my greenhouse... they love the marigolds, and visit my tomatoes and peppers after being drawn by the marigolds. I heavily mulched with straw because our soil drains so quickly that even after watering heavily in the morning, the soil feels bone dry by noon. The straw helps to hold in extra moisture.
Profusions of marigolds... oh how I love their happy faces!
Pumpkins are growing abundantly as well... we are looking forward to homemade pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving :) These are Amish pie pumpkins.
Cabbage is growing steadily along, we should have a head or two ready before long.
Another peek at my Garden-Within-A-Garden... oh how I love this little space of mine! It is a quiet, peaceful and tranquil place to go....
My little wagon, a rescue from the dump.. is blooming happily away.
My rose begonia is gorgeous, I love its beautiful shimmery blooms.
A walk in the woods with the three dogs... we are amazed to see the shrubs already beginning to turn colors.
Roger is one happy boy out in the woods exploring.
Annie loves the woods too, and we let her off the leash for a short while, and she behaved very well. She has a tendency to chase her own trails, but she stayed right with us. Perhaps she has learned her lesson?
We had a 94% eclipse here. It darkened just a little as the moon overshadowed the sun, but we did not experience complete darkness. It was a very neat experience though, and I was so glad my husband was home to experience it with me.
A pensive Miss Riley who now likes to sit atop the picnic table as her vantage point to survey the yard.
I think this is one of my favorite pictures I've taken of Miss Riley, what an expressive face she has.
These hanging baskets outside my windows bring great joy for me to see the happy hummingbirds who love drinking from the feeders and the flowers.
Homemade dill pickles using cucumbers out of my garden...
Homemade sourdough bread... finally it has cooled off a bit to where I feel like baking again!
And finally, I know fall is here when our resident Steller Jay shows back up at the bird feeders. He spends quite a bit of time on this perch, and is letting us know he is here with his loud calls. He is alone this time, and I wonder where his mate might be.
Well, I have quite a few more pictures to share, but will save those for another post, as this one has gone on and on and on! I've been staying busy keeping up with the produce coming from the garden, and I'm thankful every day for the bounty we've been gathering and eating. As I hear of the tragedy happening to our fellow Americans with the hurricane, I continue to pray and lift them up in prayer in the midst of this terrible event that continues to unfold day by day.