July 2008

Last night, the rain finally arrived with a vengeance! At about 11:30pm, the wind started whistling past the house (which is always a bit unnerving!), then walls of rain slammed into the front of the house with such force! The lightening preceded the storm by an hour. We do get some hellacious storms out here – but since we are surrounded by mountains, we are somewhat protected- altho it doesn’t sound like it!

It was raining most of the night and today, for which my garden is very grateful !! I just went out to check the rain gauge, and it had tipped over and washed down the garden!  I would say we had close to two inches since last night. I can hear the river flowing, that’s a sure sign.

A lot of indoor chores got accomplished today, well, maybe not ALOT- and I made some berry preserves with the 3 lbs of berries we picked the other night!!! I froze some for future fruit smoothies- mmmm!

The husband and I went out the other night, after I had picked my first harvest- he was needed to get the berries that were beyond my reach. With him along, I got a little more adventurous, and we followed the bushes into the woods thru the deer trails. We found the motherload of berries, near where the deer bed down. I was also excited to discover another patch of grape vines! My new Ball Blue Book of Preserving is going to get alot of use this year!

Surprisingly, after an hour and a half in the woods, I had no ticks on me, altho I was itching all night, sure there was one crawling around!

All is well, and well saturated, at Mountain Meadows tonite!


My vegetable garden is doing well, after the fire (see previous post). These 6 tiny little cucumber plants, have expanded to almost the full 40 foot width of the garden plot! The bird house gourd plants are even more immense, and are producing rapidly. I will have to get a trellis out there for them to climb!

After the late night berry picking the other night, I was tempted to go check on the vegetable garden, but didn’t. Yesterday, mid day, I went to the garden, and was horrified to see the cucumber plants were wilted and covered in flies! The gourd vines were in almost the same condition!! We don’t have a water source out by the garden yet, but with the rain we’ve had, and the plastic covering the garden, water has not been much of an issue.

It was in the upper 90’s already, probably 110 degrees standing on black plastic! I ran to the house and uncoiled the several hundred feet of garden hose and dragged it the several hundred feet to the garden. After turning off the electric fence, I got out the scissors, cut some more holes in the plastic and started watering like mad!!! All the other plants were fine, but these two vines needed water in a hurry. I shoved the hose under the plastic and let the water flow.

While watering, I noticed a few little piles of bunny poop!! The baby bunny we see around the yard, had found a way to scurry under the fence. That would explain the one string bean plant that was beheaded! Fortunately, the young Mr. Bun did not snack on anything else, but we will have to secure the whole length of the chicken wire again to keep him out! I wouldn’t be doing that just then, because after a half hour of frantically watering the garden, I was about ready to melt away from the heat! I coiled up the hose, hoping for the best, and retreated to the house, the couch and the a/c,  to water myself, with several glasses of ice cold water!

We have quite an assortment of bugs who inhabit the garden, (other than those dreaded flies) mostly good ones, as far as I can tell!! The one pictured succumbed to either the heat or old age, and was found on one of the vines’ broad leaves, his final resting place.


Later that evening, when the temps were alot more bearable, I checked back on the garden, and was thrilled to see the vines had perked up almost 100 per cent. The husband did another watering session, and I guess if we don’t get the rain promised, I will keep a closer eye on things, and keep that length of hose stretched out and ready to go!

All is well at Mountain Meadows today, and we are hopin’ for rain……………………………!!

I went to do my evening check on the horses, and took my berry basket with me. The husband had been out bushhogging the other day, and noticed that the blackberry bushes were up and running!!!

The raspberries have ended, and I thought it was a little too early for ripe blackberries, but there were quite a few! Tonite’s small harvest would have cost me about $5 in the supermarket! Woohoo!!!!

We have berry bushes running  along the horse paddock (about the length of a football field ). There is a wooded  area, where the deer hide, and berry bushes abound!!!

It was about 8:30 pm when I started the search – and I was hoping I could pick by the light of the full moon, but it was too overcast. By 9:00 I had to quit, it was hard to see the berries, and I was NOT about to venture into the dense overgrowth to search for more !! As it was, I was talking to myself, and whoever  might be hiding in the bushes! I did not want any deer jumping out in front of me!  I was also trying to shush my brain, as it kept thinking about stories of bears and snakes hanging around berry bushes! We are, hopefully, too far down the mountain for bears, but snakes…………!!

The horses usually accompany me on these late night forays, walking along on the other side of the fence- they are my companions, serving as a comfort AND an early warning signal, if there should be anything “lurking” in the bushes!!!

My vegetable garden is starting to produce- I gathered the first (of MANY!) zucchini and cucumbers, 3 whole string beans(!) and one pitiful tomato. The corn, watermelon, shallots, sweet and pantry potatoes, and birdhouse gourds should be plentiful, along with the herbs. But, the peppers, okra, eggplant, beans, and my tomato plants did not weather the heat of the fire  too well (see a previous post about the fire), so I will, unfortunately, be buying those from a farmstand this year!

As  today comes to a close, I look forward to having breakfast tomorrow, and enjoying the fruits (literally) of my late night walk!!



All is well, and very, very dark, at Mountain Meadows tonite………………………………………………………………..

I was just “chatting” with a friend, and the idea came to me, that maybe I should have a “giveaway”!

I have seen  links to other blogs (see one in a previous post ) where you can comment and enter to win a lovely prize!!! A quilt, an altered art goodie, a book, and I’m sure there are many, many more cool giveaways out there in cyberspace!

So, I will ponder on that, some ideas already in are : a vintage apron, tea party for 1 in a hatbox, handcrafted purse, complete ready to make country breakfast in vintage picnic tin, a doggy goodie basket, an original zentangle…………………

Let me know what you think – and I will keep you posted!!!!

I saw this on another blog this morning- and thought it would be an interesting prompt!!!

Feel free to join in and add your own list of 10!!!



1. First thing this morning, the smell of shallots, from dinner last night, that still lingers in the kitchen.

2. The dog’s breath- was she eating poop again???

3. My mint tea

4. My Burt’s Bees lemon cuticle cream…………

5. The damp earth as the sun burns off the morning dew

6. Fabric softener in the dryer.

7. Cow and chicken manure carried on the breeze from the neighboring farms.

8. Newly sawn boards from the church being built near the front of our driveway.

9. The scent of tomato plants and basil as I  jostle the leaves while watering the porch garden.

10. The horses’ warm scent- a combination of their individual fragrance,  the grasses and night air they absorbed while sleeping, and the pine shavings in their stall.

Just a quick post – if you LOVE quilts, and WHO doesn’t????- go to this great blog and see the one she is giving away to one lucky person!! I don’t have much luck with the lottery, but maybe I can win a quilt!!!

Her site is interesting too!!


Of course, when you all enter, it cuts down MY chances – but good luck to all of us!!!

I thought I would follow up on the previous post about eradicating groundhogs.

I still think they are cute, and always feel bad about having to remove them. Farmers do consider them vermin. It is kind of sad, the animals WERE here first- and it’s always people shoving animals out of their habitat and taking over!!

There is one groundhog, down by the river, who was written about briefly, in a previous post. He or she is old, and does not affect us in any way. I keep the dogs, and the husband away from him/her!

This old groundhog, crossed my path, literally, down by the river, one day last year. He was stumbling around, not bothered by me in the least, literally walking right in front of me! I thought he was not too long for this world, because the usual groundhog reaction to humans is to take off in the opposite direction as fast as their little legs can carry them! The husband did go looking for him, thinking it was ill, but never did find him.

This year, same spot, same slow moving groundhog!  He/she survived the winter, has the same rumpled appearance and still unconcerned about me walking by. So, I figure, he and his dens are no threat to me or the horses- he lives in a heavily wooded area near the riverbank, on a small cliff where horses, tractors, or 4 wheelers wouldn’t be. If he/she has lived this long and survived, he has the right to continue on, without disturbance from me or anyone else!  “His” wooded area is a place I had thought about putting a ‘thinking’ bench, but it appears the old groundhog has already staked a claim to the space!!

I suppose, from a farmer’s point of view, that groundhog would still present a problem, thru its many offspring. They have 2-6 annually, and the little guys are ready to move out on their own in about 6 weeks. So when those babies spread out and dig their own dens – that is a problem!  Hopefully, they will stay on their side of the road, near the river, and won’t be an issue to me or any other landowner in that area!

All is well, and another beautiful, hot day at Mountain Meadows this morning………….

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