Showing posts from August, 2018

In which there is a nice thought, and the Bad Idea Fairy helps out

This is, under good circumstances, my life:

I understand (intellectually, at least) that there may come a time in the (extremely distant) future where I might not be able to just hop on my Dragon and trot down the trail.

I expect that when that time comes, y'all will want to build a memorial for me.  I have actually got a plan in place with my loved ones, involving a couple bags of redi-crete, my cremated remains, and the building of a permanent water tank up near Clover Springs, on the Renegade Ride trail.

Here's what I don't want:

It's on a trail.  At a junction of three blind corners.  

With just a little bit of breeze, the balloon not only bobbles back-and-forth, it also makes an appalling hissssssssssss.


Fortunately, I was not riding an impulsive horse when we discovered this sweet little memorial.

The Dragon definitely Did. Not. Approve.  but she managed to keep her brains on board, and keep me in the saddle when she slammed o…

in which we travel through time, and find (inevitably) zucchini

I suspect that even if we traveled via TARDIS, we would find zucchini in August.

But I admit, I didn't expect zucchini to be part of the conversation when I met up with some old friends last weekend at a place where I spent countless hours over more than 13 years.

Our sensei of many years died a few weeks ago, and the call went out that the doshi (students/family) were planning to meet up at the the old dojo for a last kanpai (toast) before the formal memorial service at the Elks Club.

I've been away from the dojo for (counting on fingers, switching to toes) a long time.  A very long time.  Long after I left, our sensei's health failed, and the dojo was sold, and sold again.  Apparently, though the building is a bit of a structural nightmare (so says the fire inspector who was one of the senior black belts, back in the day), the location of the land made it valuable.

But the City Council knew our sensei.  And they didn't think the city needed another condo building that…

In which the air is getting dark and chewy, and I take (ghetto) steps

The jury-rigged air filter in our bedroom ain't pretty.

But then, ain't nothin' pretty about what's happening in the land around our Swamp...

...or in the skies above us.

We kept getting encouraging forecasts, so I put off making an air filter for the house...but today the filters at work were beginning to fail, and the forecasters are "hoping" that the air will clear up later this week, maybe... I broke down and got out the duct tape.

I have a new fan and a filter that fits better ordered.  But for now, the ghetto filter is better than nothing.

 It makes breathing while sleeping soooooo much better.

If you need an air filter for your house and can't afford hundreds of bucks, here's an instructional video showing how (and why) to build one with a box fan and a furnace filter.

Take it easy, y'all.

In which I do the things I always do in August (mostly riding)

We had a break in the heat last week, but then it hotted back up again. Ugh.  Temps above 80* do not make me happy--and hot temps make the forest fire smoke even harder to breathe.
I was happier than usual to be working:  my library is a cooling shelter.  Ahhhh.
Then came the weekend.  No AC at home.  What to do?

So, that was Friday. 

Saturday had thunder and lightning in the forecast.  Hmmm.

But wait! 

Madeline is home visiting from Texas, and she will be riding at Fish Creek on Saturday afternoon. 

How about...

Madeline saddled up her old friend Hana, and we doodled around the arena for an hour.

Speaking of doodling around, Eleni was at the barn too, riding a couple of horses.  Eleni is getting ready for a horse-safari trip to Botswana (!!!!!!!) and wants to ride all kinds of horses so she'll be ready for whatever they give her in Africa.
Okay, then:

And I rode too, of course.  Here's the evidence that I need to spend more time in the arena this winter:

Sunday morning, out came…

In which I carry buckets around because fresh food tends to appear

Summertime, and the fooding is easy...

Blackberries are the obvious easy target here in the Swampland--they are everywhere.  This year's harvest promises to be a good one, as we had a damp Spring and a sunny Summer so far.  That makes lots of big, fat, juicy, sweet berries.

But blackberries aren't the only food that runs amok locally.  There are also apples.

At Fish Creek, an elderly apple tree was so heavily laden that two major branches broke off.  

We harvested the apples from those branches right off the ground.  Dick told me that the tree was considered "old" when he bought the farm more than 40 years ago!  Alas, it will probably not survive much longer.
But the apples, combined with some blackberries made excellent blackberry-applesauce. The recipe* is at the bottom of this post.  

The buckets are also used at home, of course.

This year I planted 4 varieties of beans.  We ate almost all the purple bush beans fresh.  They ripen first, when we are enthusiastic abou…