In which summertime is hot and dry, and we make pickles (and "ketchup")

Today's post is completely unfocused--we'll call it a "ketchup" post, 
because there's lots of stuff to catch up on.

Farmers always want to talk about the weather, and this year, especially.  So hot and dry!

The garden sprinklers were on timers set to run for a hour
every other day for the last month! For context:  the summer started with
"Where ARE the sprinklers?  Didn't we have some around here a few years ago?"

We finally had real rain a few days ago--several hours of fast, fat raindrops.

We don't irrigate the pasture, and the grass has been crackling dry

It isn't nearly enough precipitation to boost us back to our usual Swampish levels, but it helped a lot to bring down the fire danger.  So that's good.

The garden is growing like crazy, though.  Anybody wanna zucchini?

"Zucchinis make us grow up big and strong!"
photo by M. Bretherton
Speaking of growing, the turkeys are ginormous this year.

Since turkeys don't start add fat until 22 weeks, we need to keep them going until mid-October--

Foxie Loxie watches over "his" turkeys  

I truly hope they will fit in the oven at Thanksgiving!  Foxie has offered to exercise them for us, but I'm pretty sure that goading them into premature death by cardiac failure will not help.

Foxie thinks everyone should play with him.

What else is happening? 

Madeline came to visit!  She's on summer break from her teaching job in Texas.

(my cute hate, my cute dog, my cute girly)

Patty borked her shoulder a few weeks ago (somebody else's horse did it! not mine!  not hers!) and wasn't quite sure how to cope with the 16 pounds of cherries that she had procured on the way home from Renegade Rendezvous..

Covered in cherry blood.
We pickled all those cherries...err, except the cherries we ate.

The Usual Suspects came to the rescue and had a pickle party!

 Jim and I went to the annual Powellswood Storytelling Festival.

Antonio Rocha tells a story from Brazil

He ran the sound, I ran the stage.  We do this every year, and it's always fun and inspiring.

In between storytelling sets, I wandered the Garden
with my camera.

I've been writing a bunch (just not on this blog).  Look for my articles in fall and winter issues of Northwest Horse Source:  the September issue will have a piece about equestrians and pain (and hip replacement).  Then (I'm not sure what month), an article about lost horses,

Local endurance rider Katie Glowaski lost a horse near the
trailhead where the Suspects usually ride.  I interviewed her
 after Normandy was found, and added my own insight on the topic.
and how to find them again.  Late in the winter will be an article about biothane.

I've got another potential writing gig upcoming, but I'm going to hush-hush those details for a little while until things are more concrete.  (but very excited!!!)

There have been parties and visitors.

Instead of gathering around a campfire, we gather around the
Boat of Cold Water.  Connor thinks this is the Best Thing Ever.

lytha from the Horse Crazy American in Germany blog came to visit
with her family.

Fiddle loves showing off her tricks for visitors.

And, of course, I've been riding.

Fiddle is still in good weight despite lots of training and competition miles.
We are "coasting" right now--not conditioning anymore, just working enough
to keep everything in good order.

During the hot weather, riding in the river is always a good idea!

We have another 50-miler coming up on Saturday.

The Best View of the World.
Wish us luck!


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