Wednesday, August 11, 2010


We are nearly as wilted by the heat as this basket of weeds which we removed from the pasture Tuesday morning.  Although J. has "bush-hogged" the acreage, he decided we should spot weed the toxic jimson weed.  I am the official locator, then J. uses a viciously sharpened shovel to root out the plants.
This battered thermometer was hanging in the carport when we bought the place.
I'm not sure if it is comforting to watch the needle move past the 90 degree F. mark each day.
The "natives" are telling us that there has not been such an intensely hot summer in local memory.
A number of us had a group grumble after chuch this week regarding the pitiable condition of our gardens.
It is not, we agreed, a good year for tomatoes.
Grasshopper?  Katydid?
The scrape and hum of these creatures is constant, a metallic rasping that hangs in the thick air.

I have encountered toads of varying sizes while working in the garden and near the house.
During yesterdays afternoon rain I found this one chinning itself on the edge of this large flower pot. A rosemary in a smaller pot usually resides here.  I removed the rosemary the better to view the toadlet.

Pebbles seems to take the heat well. Keeping flies away from her face is a problem.
Most days she wears her fly hood. She is very interested in everything that we do around the dooryard or in her pasture.

Maybe this small green insect is the katydid?
Good camoflauge.

This half-grown bunny bounced out of the catnip patch and dithered dementedly before disappearing into the hydrangeas.

The cats have spells of lethargy in spite of the air conditioning.
They rouse to oversee our doings.

Early mornings have been misty with heavy dew.
The wild turkeys have been grubbing in the upper pasture.
No matter how quietly I open the side door, they hear me.  Their long necks stretch out, their bodies seem to flatten as they scuttle toward the woods.

I have devoted several of these stiffling afternoons and evenings to my genealogy projects.
The process of discovery is exciting--a treasure hunt.
I'm now disciplining myself to go through notebooks and transcribe data to the PC.
Eggnog loves to be with me.  She is such a sweet-natured old girl that I attempt to type around her.
The young Amish woman who keeps a tiny general store at the end of the road phoned this morning [6:45!] to announce that the peach order had arrived.
[The area Amish don't have phones in their homes but have one installed somewhere on the property and go outside to make calls.]
 We rush several times per day to answer what turn out to be nuisance calls--recorded solicitations and such.
Maybe we need to locate the phone in the garage!

It has been a long day of feeling that the kitchen needs to be a bigger space at canning time.
A cooking range should be designed especially for large kettles and steamers and canners.
Today's yield is 10 qts of peaches and 7 small jars of preserves.
I know where I will spend tomorrow.


  1. Oh my gosh, In spite of the heat you are still working away inside and out. Your peaches look wonderful and I know will be greatly enjoyed during the winter months.

    Reading your post makes me want to get out and do some things before it gets too miserable out.


  2. Hullo MM,

    Lovely photos especially Eggnog at the pc

    stay cool!

  3. Gosh, that's HOT - too hot for me. I would wilt as well.

    Enjoy the genealogy. At least you can do that in the relative cool of indoors (with the fan close by!)

  4. Oh send me some warmth MM, I have a tee shirt, rugby shirt, zip up sweat, jeans and thick socks on and its SUMMER here in England! Love all the pics, especially the cat ones. I did smile at the early morning phone call, I expect your Amish neighbours had already been up and working for several hours! not implying you were laying in bed of course :)
    In England we can register with the "TPS" which removes our number from such lists. It has reduced our nuisance to almost zero.

  5. I love that rabbit!

    Here's how I deal with the junk calls. I turn my phone off. I have both caller id and an answering machine. If it is someone I know, they will leave a message. But the bulk of calls now are from long and unknown numbers. I type them into google and hear from so many people real horror stories about those calls. Rude, unkind callers sometimes. Other times no one really there, just a taped voice. So we've found the best solution is to just turn it off. I turn my cell off most of the time, too.

    When we had our horse, someone told us that Avon's Skin So Soft was a good way to keep away the flies and it is. We would spray some on his mask before putting it on, and spray his mane area.

  6. I'm feeling the heat with you, they say we're going to break the record of 45 days in a row of 90+ weather.
    Our tomatoes haven't done well either, but your peaches look heavenly.
    Loved the turkeys in the field, we get turkey buzzards.

  7. I wonder if catnip has the same effect on bunnies lol.

    Love all your bottled fruit have become a 'domestic/kitchen goddess'.
    I really do not know how you do anything in that heat ...except sit and sip cold drinks....I'll send you some rain ...we have loads to spare xx

  8. Those peaches look delicious. I do admire you canning and cooking in that heat.

    The idea of wild turkeys is quite incredible here in England, where most of the poor things live enclosed and in crowds as they are fattened up for Christmas.

  9. I am so glad Pebbles is doing well except for the pesky flies. So who is Eggnog? She's not on your side bar. I love reading about all your farm activities. I can live vicariously through you, a life I think I would have liked, but not one I would have the stamina and skills for. The peaches look delicious. Our summer has just arrived -- 5 days without overcast, dreary clouds! Temps around upper seventies , but still not as warm as usual, though I'm happy with upper seventies. IO'm sure you would be too,

  10. GREAT PICTURES !!!!!!!!
    your peaches are beautiful! XOXO

  11. I love the pics of your life there! I imagine it is a bit hard typing around a kitty cat foot! ;-)

    The peaches look wonderful. I can just imagine a warm peach cobbler straight from the oven when there's a few inches of snow on the ground.

  12. I really didn't intend to let these comments go unanswered--can only plead the lethargy of the heat.
    FL; The peaches do look pretty--I hope they will taste good next winter.
    Al; Eggnog can be a silly about the PC--but she is so loving I seldom make her move.
    BB; I enjoyed the genealogy to the point hat I couldn't stop the endless roll call of names after I went to bed that night!
    Kath; summer evenings and many mornings in Wyoming required layers of woolies. Here its the minimum we consider decent!
    Nan; Interesting that you mention the Skin-So-Soft. I've been making up a fly repellent mixture which has SSS as the base ingredient along with oil of citronella and eucalyptus, as well as cider vinegar. It works as well as most of the chemical sprays, though Pebbles has had some miserable days.
    We didn't install caller ID here, just the basic service. The nuisance calls seem to come in spates.
    Janet; I expect your temps top ours by another few degrees--it is exhausting!
    Angie; Iced green tea is my cold drink of choice. Sometimes I wish I could be pampered--come in from the garden and a frsoty glass presented with some sweet little nibble.
    DW; we also have the turkey vultures--less than lovely creatures. We have seen wild turkeys in other places we've lived, but never so many as in Kentucky. The feathers seen close up have lovely shades of bronze and brown.
    Chris; Eggnog is the first cat on the sidebar--the one with a white bib. She is a gentle and placid companion.
    Carole; The weather this summer has me even more in awe of the pickles and canned goods you have so often displayed on your blog.
    SH; Having lived in this are, you can no doubt recall the weather that has us gsping for relief. Snow, as experienced int he interior west, probably isn't to be expected here.

  13. As always, such an interesting post! The little green guy is the cicada; i'm not sure who the guy on the screen is, although i'm leaning towards grasshopper. The din that you hear is most likely cicadas...a swelling metallic chorus signalling hot late summer. Your jars of peaches look gorgeous, and you will be in heaven in the winter when all is cold and grey and you'll have these brilliant delicious reminders of summer-in-a-jar. If you all are drinking folks at all, i'd recommend making a jar or two of brandied peaches! A friend of mine used to have a Garland of those big, 6-burner, cast iron stoves that would have been at home in a restaurant, and it was wonderful for canning on. Me, i used to make do with my small gas stove, with burners so small that the canning kettle practically sits on the adjacent burner. If i ever find the top of my kitchen table again i might start canning again!

    I'm sorry that your tomatoes have been such a bust. For whatever reason, despite very hot dry weather here, tomatoes have done fantastically well here this year. (Not mine, 'cause i never got them planted!, but the Farmers Market is full of them in all shapes, sizes, and colors.)