• Elisabeth/Tonya

Summer Rain

Although the calendar doesn't yet indicate it is summer, all the summer things are happening. As I write this, a gentle (and sometimes forceful) rain is falling. Trees surround our house on all sides and everywhere I look it is green, green, green! Peach and apple trees and blueberry, gooseberry, and currants are loaded, blackberry canes are blooming, and all of the flowers have been beautiful.

We're past peony season which always goes too quickly but when it is here we revel in it. Elisabeth's ranunculus and anemones bloomed beautifully and gave us many, many bouquets for the table. This was her first year trying these and after keeping them cool, soaking the corms, and then planting them, it was good to enjoy.

Strawberry season is almost over and I made one batch of cooked jam using the Weck mini-jam jars. I use Weck jars for other things but had never used them for canning. Usually, I turn the jars upside down after filling for about 5 minutes and then turn them over and they will seal. That's not necessary for the Weck jars, so my turning them over before they sealed caused them to leak a bit. And, yes, I know you're supposed to water bath can cooked jam, but my grandmother and mother did it the way mentioned above, and I have done the same things for years and we've never had any spoilage or botulism. So, I'll continue to take the risk.

I finished handquilting my most recent quilt and got the binding sewn, pressed, and rolled onto a spool (given to me by a friend). I like handsewing on the binding especially while listening to a book - right now that is Domby and Son by Dickens that Elisabeth and I are listening to together or Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome that I'm listening to alone. The library app Hoopla is a great way to listen to books for free. I also have Audible as not all books are available through the library. I have some favorite readers that I look for when choosing books on Audible. Charles Dickens' great- great- grandson, Gerald Dickens is definitely one.

I've finished crocheting the squares for a lap blanket and now comes the task of sewing them together. I don't usually crochet so I have to read a pattern as I work which makes it go rather slowly. I believe my next needle project will be one that is knitted.

We've begun harvesting from the garden - lettuce, Lacinato kale, collards, golden beets, and onions. Salads every day! We're getting ready to dehydrate some beet chips and kale, which we chop into flakes and add to soups and smoothies throughout the year. The rain has caused the garden to be very lush.

Katharine moved into a new apartment and, I'm happy to say, one of her first purchases was a table full of plants. She's so thankful that her new home is full of large windows letting in ample light. She and Elisabeth got to go on a kayak trip down the Muskingum River recently between bouts of rain.

Oh, and we do have some new items in our shop - two styles of organic shopping bags - French string shoppers and canvas shoppers. The canvas bags are the size of brown paper grocery bags but have the added advantage of handles and 6 interior pockets, large enough to hold mason jars or other jars from the grocery store. They're dyed with either indigo, osage orange, or osage orange overdyed with indigo.



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