Sunday, October 24, 2010

First Autumn Storm

My delphinium on it's second flowering.

I did a first coat on the bathroom trim today. It never looks good with just one coat - all streaky, with the old paint showing through. So I'm not going to post a picture. I won't get to do the second coat for a few weeks, but once I do I'll put up a picture. Hopefully it will look better after that. We hope to do the termite thing sometime early in 2011, and then we'll have to re-finish, or even tear out the old plaster-board and replace it, to get those walls in shape for painting. So there's still a lot of painting to do in the other part of the room.

The chickens still have not laid any eggs. I expected the oldest hen to have at least begun laying by now, even if she didn't keep going for long. We had a good windy rainstorm last night, which brought down a lot of leaves, and t's rained off and on most of the day. If you compare it to last week's picture, you can see how many leaves fell. 'Sposed to rain until Tuesday. Then we may get a freeze on Tuesday night. So I might be doing the last harvest of veg that afternoon. I'm hoping for a bit more color on the peppers, and a few more leaves from the swiss chard. For now, I better get some more tomato sauce done.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Stuff

Here are some pictures of my hens and the garden. See that Barred Rock hen in the front with the beady-eyed stare? You don't want to get too close to her - she's the mean one. I think she has delusions of rooster-hood. She'll try to nip my finger if I put it up to the wire. Good thing I wear gloves. Those two both go a little nuts when the dog is out with me. They run back and forth, pecking at the wire. You can see they'd just love to get at him.

We've got their tractor set under the apple and ash trees near the veg garden. The trees will lose their leaves soon, but even without them it's shelter. The snow doesn't get as deep there. It'll be interesting to figure out how we're going to keep their water bowl from freezing.

This is the sedum and achillea, with the delphinium on it's second flower in the corner. I am so impressed with this sedum. It looks good from the moment it comes out of the ground. No pests I've ever noticed, drought-tolerant. Pretty much care-free.

Here's what's left of the tomatoes and peppers. The flowers have been getting their second wind as well. I think they like the cooler weather. I'm hoping I can go another week without frost getting things. It would be nice to get more color on the peppers - they'll taste better. And some of the tomatoes are nearly ripe.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October Frosts

We had our first frosty morning on Wednesday. Nothing serious - even the peppers didn't have any damage. Tonight the forecast low is only 45F, so I don't need to break out the old sheets yet. I'm hoping to keep the peppers, tomatoes and swiss chard going a bit longer. There's still plenty of things out there that need to get riper, and the swiss chard could give us one more meal-sized harvest in a few days. The forecast is for highs in the mid 60's in the coming week, and low 40's-high 30's at night. But there's not much of this mild fall weather left. We sometimes have our first snow fall by the end of October. Certainly the frosty nights get more regular. So I could be limbering up that old sheet by the weekend.

Made more tomato sauce today with some of the older tomatoes. A lot of them have been ripening this week, so I have a big influx of new ones. Hopefully we'll get around to eating more of those. It's strange how once the weather turns colder I'm not as interested in tomatoes. And after my stomach bug this week, acid-y tomatoes just did not appeal.

I have a pie pumpkin I've been meaning to roast and make into a pumpkin pie. Maybe this weekend if there's time. We're hoping to do another coat of paint on the bathroom walls (at last!). Then I can paint the trim and put up the new towel racks. Be nice to hang the towels in the bathroom again. I'd really like to get the tile grout cleaned in the shower enclosure, but I'm not sure how much that costs. Might be worth renting a steam cleaner to try first.

I've been trying to transfer some of my old document files from the old computer to the new one. The photos take sooooo long to move over to the flash drive. I should get started on that after I finish here. After everything I want is moved, I then have to decide what to do with the old laptop. It still works ok, although it's very slow, the springs on the lid are gradually breaking, and it won't run Java. So someone who wanted it could certainly still use it. The most important thing is I need to delete a bunch of stuff. Once I've cleaned it up, I'm thinking of donating it to Computers for Kids here in Boise.

Anyway, better get moving on the computer chores.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another Weekend Away

Last weekend The Bru played for the Nampa Farmers Market on Saturday morning. Then we drove out to play a wedding in Buhl. I was the caller for dancing. The bride went to that event we did at Sawtooth winery in January, and wanted the same kind of thing for her wedding.

The reception was at the bride's family home, a large ranch outside of town. They have a big house with a large yard. Dinner was outside in the backyard. The band set up in the back of the garage. The dance space took up the rest of the garage floor. They put a portable dance floor next to the cement garage floor, so it increased the smooth space. Guests who didn't want to drive home afterwards could camp out in a nearby pasture. Which is what we did, along with a lot of the younger guests. The wedding couple had a big green Army tent set up at the far end of the pasture, so they could join the party.

The dancing went on until almost 11pm, and we all went back to our camps. I had a small shot of scotch with Tim and Ken, then went to bed. They joined the young people around the bonfire. I think they came back from the party around 2am. Ugh. We didn't get much sleep that night.

But it was a good event. The bride marshalled her bridal party and friends and got them to join in the dancing. I don't think they would have tried it if she hadn't convinced them. The first few dances were a bit rough, but they caught on fast and everyone had a good time. It was mostly easy stuff - Cumberland Reel, Gay Gordons, Reel for Jeannie, Strip the Willow, Canadian Barn Dance. It was fun. But we were exhausted on Sunday after we got home. I think Ken had a bug of some kind. He slept most of the day and had no appetite.

This weekend is the Trailing of the Sheep in Hailey/Ketchum. We haven't been, but it looks fun. And a lot of friends will be there too.

I bought a lot of Italian peppers and six Poblano peppers at the Farmers Market. Assuming I'm not totally wiped-out from Saturday, I plan to roast the peppers and freeze them for the winter. I should also make another batch of tomato sauce to freeze. We still have tomatoes ripening, but it's slowed down a lot. The raspberries have really slowed down too. I only got about 20 of them this morning. They're still producing new flower buds but the sunny weather isn't going to last much longer. We usually have frost overnight by the end of October.
How incredible that it's October already! Seems like it was just summer!

I picked up my new laptop computer last Friday, got it home, and tried to boot it up. But I couldn't get Windows to start. After letting it go through a few cycles of trying and failing, I shut it down. Took it into Best Buy on Saturday morning. The Geek Squad guy tried to get Windows to start but couldn't, and declared it defective. So I did an exchange. Which means I have to wait another week until a new unit gets here. Hopefully this one will be fine.