Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer bounty

a big bowl of WILD blackberries, picked down in town.  Hello Pie Filling! (already dug into it for breakfast)
 And, introducing the solar dehydrator!
I built a little cabinet with glass walls and rack holders to dry fruits and veggies:
 It's got some mylar on the door, but getting it hot enough isn't the problem. I might need to have more ventilation as I figure out what works and what doesn't.
 The trays are made from old onion mesh bags stapled to some redwood frames. I wanted something that would be 'food appropriate'.  We've used that sort of thing before.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More daily activities

A medley of activities: making jam from OUR blackberries:
 While the dog looks on, hoping something will fall on the floor:
 Melissa's command center, where she seems to be taking up a lot more time lately:
 a nice haul from the meadow for a lovely breakfast (note the wood-fired oven baked granola in the jar):
 My current failure: trying to get this wasp nest out of the wall by the hot tub. They've made a nest behind the wooden slats of the patio footing, so that one can't work the fire without being in danger. So I've attempted to do them in by making a cob mix of clay and sand and diesel fuel... but they keep tunneling out a different way. You can see all the clay attempts, and in this picture, right in the center, they are still humming in and out of a hole.  I've used buckets of sand also, as I figure they can't easily tunnel out of that. Still, today I thought I saw a few of them carrying baggage OUT of the nest, so perhaps they've decided it's a bad neighborhood (that smells like diesel fuel) so I'll let them be (bee!) for a few days and see if they move out.
 Today also included cutting a tree down, taking off the branches, cutting up the branches, peeling it and getting it ready to be part of the carport project. It's at least 40 feet long:
 This is a picture of all the chipped up branches and bark:
 and a 'foot included' shot to show the diameter:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Berries, baby!

It's blackberry pickin' time!  It's a bit messy, but while my hands get stained, I'm loving my milk jug easy-picker-holder tied to my belt:
 and here's the pie, sitting in its little redwood pie box (did I mention I don't like just having a pie with aluminum foil sitting out?) so I made a little box: 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer time

Besides some traveling on my part, we've been taking it easy and trying to beat the heat (96 in the shade, 110 in the sun) and hosting the in-laws... so here's a few photos of hanging out:

Taking the kayak out on the neighbor's pond:
 The 6 year old niece actually can play some real chess!
 and now the blackberries are coming in!  I really watered them a lot this year, I'm hoping we'll get so much we'll have to make jam.  If not, I'll go down to town and pick gallons down there. 
 Here's this morning's pancake covering:

$1 tool rescue

Had a moment last week, so we strolled the flea market. A woman had a pile of rusty tools "anything $1!" and so I dug through it ...