Saturday, September 30, 2023

Oh! My! Goodness!

James is slowly disintegrating due to over 13 years of living in the elements. Bees live in him. Birds peck him. I am facing the fact that that soon he will endure his end and I want it to be in a certain manner. I have called the fellow, "Razor" who carved him for me as "The Spiritual Guardian of Cabin Tranquillity" in April of 2010. He is carved in the image of my Great Grandfather, James Marshall Folkner, but in a whimsical manner. I have left several messages to Razor for a consultation about how to handle James's last days.

Surprise! This morning Razor showed up. Unannounced. I looked out the window and saw him stepping back quickly and then realized that he was trying to avoid being stung! After several applications of bee repellent sprayed into every hole by my yard guy, they are still there! I quickly went out and invited him in to have a talk and develop a plan. Maybe, just maybe he can save the front with James' face and I can keep it indoors. The rest would be taken away. 

Razor, as he left said he had to go to the truck for a minute and he soon came back in carrying a replica that he made. The thoughtfulness and preparation for this gift overwhelmed me. It was so unexpected. It is so beautiful!  LONG LIVE JAMES!!

(October 1, 1914 was my mother's birthday. James was her maternal grandfather.)

Oh and I finished my clothespin angel picture! Her name is Pauline.
please tap image to view larger

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Autumn Color

Not leaves! Not landscape! 

I made peanut butter fudge today. Tomorrow I am thinking about making a crustless pumpkin pie. I do have that tiny Honeynut squash to cook for dinner tomorrow as well. It is patiently waiting. Seems a shame to cut it. Gotta get into the mood for the seasons I guess. I cleaned out a closet today. All of my clothes have grown and I have shrunk! Poor James won't be dressed, though. He is full of bee nests and the damage of birds and weather has me thinking about how to handle him as my guardian of the cabin. I'll think of "something." Created in 2010 is a long life for a stump even though he was treated with preservative every year but last.

I haven't had a piece yet!! 
Hope to put some candy corn in my table dish soon. I like that stuff!
(A great-granddaughter turned 7 today. Time flies!)

Thursday, September 21, 2023


Yesterday my daughter visited, bringing flowers from her garden and a tiny Honeynut squash, some baby swiss chard, homemade chicken vegetable soup and a sweater. I really got a kick watching her pick out vessels to contain the flowers. She chose two of my favorites that are always out and ready to be used. One is the wobble top mug and the other the fantastic pinch cup, a/k/a Tuscarora Trout Beer Tumbler. My friend the potter, says it this way: " I create works that matter for people who care." Oh yes, we care.....  Now he is doing most of his work on the treadle wheel.

Size of a teaspoon!
FYI, the swiss chard is better (MOP) than spinach.  Well, after a visit, she went fishing - nothing caught this time. I shared some of my elderberry syrup, raisin walnut cookies, candy fudge, and other items. Oh! Forgot to tell you she brought me some vanilla ice cream so I can have a bowlful with my syrup! Just gotta get through the winter so can make more of that stuff next Fall. Her older brother turned 65 yesterday. I am now really feeling the aging devil.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Almost Ready

I am getting impatient with my small garden projects. I cannot stop taking pictures of the flowers. Seed processing is on my mind and I can see when the best time to start will be when the photos tell me. This will be the last time you will see the blooms. I know you're tired of these, but wait, just wait. I have a plan.

In the meantime, here we go again.....

Oh, and remember the plant with the pretty red and pink flowers? It is a succulent and called Kalanchoe. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of the entire plant so this closeup is all I have. It was a gift from friends in May and sat outdoors all summer, then died off. I was able to save a little bit and have started it all over. So far, so good. It seems to be doing well.
please tap image to view larger

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Syrup Project

After plucking the elderberry clusters from the bush and preparing them for a small project, they sat in the refrigerator overnight. The reap was only 1 cup so no jelly project this year. Instead I made syrup for pancakes, French toast, waffles, ice cream and any other use I can think of. This syrup is finger-lickin' wonderful! If you don't know the flavor you really ought to try it - next year! I LOVE the color!

The cleanup is worth it!


note: I used a mesh strainer, not cheesecloth. 

Thursday, September 14, 2023

And Autumn Begins...

I did have a lot of energy today. Probably this is due to my hope of it not being too cold to take a buggy ride. The first thing I did was to bake some raisin/walnut cookies. That warmed it up a bit in here. I love sharing my baked-from scratch products, even though the cleanup can be time consuming.

Then I went on a mission to see if the elderberries were ripe for picking. The road where I found a large bush leads to a friend's home so I went there right after having a difficult time cutting down some. It seems that the wind and rain have taken them away from other bushes! BUT this bush was accessible and it had a few. No one was home so I checked out the garden after seeing squash on the patio picnic table.
The Rose of Sharon bush was in full bloom and very beautiful. The last rose of summer?
As I rode further over the property to the garden area, I am now convinced that summer is really over. 
These are the leavings of the elderberries after I rinsed and plucked them off. Hint: A fork is used for easy plucking.
My yield is only about one cup. At least I have a few! I will refrigerate them and decide what to make with the ones I waited all year for. I'm thinking syrup. It won't be as labor intensive as adjusting my recipe for jelly. I have made jelly for so many years and never had a problem finding enough for the task. If you have them - treasure them! They are good for you!!!

Monday, September 11, 2023

More Wind and Rain Damage

Well, all I can say is that the people around here who have trees down and damage to properties are on the ball. A quick run about showed this. There was more progress but I didn't want to be in the way. Another event occurred soon after I returned and more limbs and debris filled the dirt road. A neighbor told me this morning that she had to get out and drag the impediments away to get to her cottage. 

The heron is everywhere. I see it about once a day fishing in different places.
AND... The poppies are still producing and look well, so I will have to keep a close eye on the seed pods and gather them when the time is right.
tap image to view larger

Saturday, September 9, 2023

And the rains came down in a straight line wind event.

It was a hellova storm here at the lake. I have never seen such hard winds coming from the south, up over the dam road and onward. The water mist was actually picked up and moved to the other end of the lake. My zinnias were knocked down, the petals ripped off of the poppies and the sunflowers bent far to touch the ground! Scary stuff.

The worst of it all is that there was a death of a young man at our neighbor lake when a tree fell on him! Here are some images I took the next day. We were out of power for over 24 hours. As I rode around there were a lot of branches, leaves and other debris in the road. I was accompanied by the sound of generators at almost every home.

Up the road this large branch came down on a neighbor's garage roof.

The rabbits came out of hiding.
Further on my ride I saw another tree down but it didn't cause damage, just a major cleanup for the neighbor. His sunflowers were spared as his home is not on the lake.
There were several scenes like this one at neighboring properties.
As I continued my normal route it was good to see flowers that weren't damaged and a Honeyboat winter squash growing untouched.
On my way back home I drove by the tree stump that harbors a seedling and people have been putting piles of stones on it. The little tree is holey due to bugs but is hanging in!
As I returned, I saw the egret who was playing peek-a-boo. I watched him and sure enough he went fishing and left with a large one as he flew away.

Earlier in the morning three deer came down for a drink but I wasn't prepared well enough and my photos were too blurry to post. This doe and fawn come often. They have shown another where good water can be found and she came along as well. 

This sudden and strong wind sure did lots of damage. I have never seen such an event when the water lifted and moved along the top of the lake pushed by its power.