Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in country living

Working on the house

We hired our neighbour Vince to come do some work on our house. He actually works in construction, as well as farming. This is not as an unusual combo as you may think – it’s pretty common.

Anyway, this morning as I lay in bed trying to catch a few extra winks from being up half the night from sciatica, I heard him tell Ron this story.

“Some local boys at the high school, well they went and got a couple small pigs. Musta cost ‘em sixty, seventy bucks a piece. So then they went and wrote a number one on the first one and a number three on the second one. Then they let ‘em loose in the boy’s washroom, you know?

I guess they hunted all day for pig number two.”

Guffaws followed.

But the big gaping hole in my dining room ceiling (since we moved in) is being fixed. A post is run across the ceiling to level up the floor above and support it, plus the toilet drain on the side wall is getting covered up. New drywall on the ceiling in the office and the green bathroom so the plaster doesn’t look like it’ll fall on your head any minute now.

Pig story’s kind of a bonus, really.

Friday, October 1, 2010 in country living

Drop is here

this is me, jumping back into the blogging habit and just doing it. Not trying to catch up (gah… we did a LOT over the summer) just not thinking about writing, or sentence structure or What I Did All Summer and just.. .write.

My hands sometimes hurt. My right hand, finger bent sideways to type. I can see the skin aging on the backs, the veins sticking out. They are turning into my grandmother’s hands. This is not so bad.

Supper is in the oven. The pouring rain stopped just as suddenly as it started, the orange and red leaves almost neon in the sun, highlighted against the dark cloudy sky. I grabbed my wallet and jogged across the road to the vegetable stand my neighbours run.

No large bags of potatoes this year. They sold really well, there’s not enough left to bag up that large. I took two ten pound bags and two and a half pounds of carrots, rummaged from plastic buckets, brushing the mud off them. Nine dollars please.

Mashed potatoes, carrots and individual meat loaves for supper. I took the time today to think about it, after my brain could obviously not think about work any more and be coherent.

So it’s fall.

Sunday, September 27, 2009 in country living

Fall fell on us

This week it started to get pretty chilly out there and the leaves suddenly turned. In two weeks or so, they’ll peak. I always remember this, because they peak around Sarah’s birthday.

Friday they called for a heavy frost overnight. My phone rang and it was my farmer neighbour on the other end. “Hard frost tonight, tomatoes still out in the field so come get all you want, no charge. Bring your tractor.”

Like crazy people we went, a half hour before sunset. We took six huge cloth grocery bags – a few of them those sturdy ones that stand up by themselves. Ron figures we got 90 pounds of tomatoes, most of them green. They overplanted and didn’t cage or support them (lesson learned, they said) so I had to go down some rows on the ridge tops between where the plats were growing flipping over the branches to find the goodies sheltered underneath. And then scrambling to pick the ones that fell off as soon as the branches moved, dodging bad tomatoes on the ground. It didn’t take us any more than twenty minutes to fill our bags. Ron loaded them up in the tractor bucket, and while he lumbered across their field, back over the road and into our yard, Meaghan and I came up the rows of peppers and onions.

We filled our jackets, and carried home as many onions as we could. I think Meaghan’s going to make them an apple pie, because earlier that day we went on a field trip.

Of course, we went apple picking and we came home with a pile of apples. Four 3 pound bags of Cortlands we picked ourselves, and a 20 pound bag of Macintosh for eight dollars. Somewhere between the coming home and the tomato harvest, I took a bag of apples over to our elderly neighbours and caught up on the local news.

See? A circle of kindness. Fall harvest time, neighbours helping each other, supporting one another.

***

In other news: we turned on more breakers and things were fine. Nobody injured themselves with stupid accidents. Work did not get too crazy.

Overall, that makes me suspicious.

Thursday, September 10, 2009 in country living

We like the sauce

Tomato sauce, that is. And a good thing, too as our neighbours with the u-pick overplanted tomatoes. We ran over there last night because of the frost warning and picked three cloth grocery bags full of tomatoes in various stages of ripe, but mostly green.

It was 43 and a half pounds.

we also picked up a fifty pound bag of butternut squash. Or buttercup? I mix them up, it’s the green ones that look like UFOs. Yes, that is a lot of pie, but the thing maybe a lot of people don’t realize is as long as the squash is kept cool and dry they will keep for most of the winter. Easily through to January.

(and my mom will steal some)

Anyway, the cost of this bounty? $25.

Yeah, you read that right. Twenty five dollars.

And if the frost didn’t kill off too many, I will probably go back and get more because I hate to see them all go to waste. Besides, sauce making is really easy. :)

making tomato sauce

(.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009 in country living

What did we do this week

This week can be summed up in a very small number of ways:

What happens when I pick berries

We picked berries.

Strawberry jam

And used them up.

Strawberry icing

We worked on quilts.

Quilt blocks

Marking.

Marking

And sewing.

More sewing

And we just plain worked.

Dirt

I also worked myself into a Not Good state between the berry picking and the heat and the stress and spent a couple days off and on just napping. Or trying to.

But I didn’t take pictures of that.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 in country living

Where my talents are noticed

Yesterday was a big day for our local community club. We planned a Harvest Supper from 4pm to 7pm, and all the food was brought beforehand by club members and volunteers in a sort of pot-luck fashion. this way, one or two members were not stuck cooking a turkey, for instance.

I put myself down on the list to make my Chinese food spread. At first, I was not sure how well it was received. But hey, it was food for the supper.

I started cooking yesterday shortly after lunch. I made fried rice, sweet and sour chicken balls (with the sauce separate) and won ton soup, which I finished off down at the clubhouse so it wouldn’t be soggy or sloshy to move. Ron helped be bring everything down about 20 minutes beforehand.

Some people were already there, waiting to eat! The tables were already set up – I have no idea when that was done, as nobody let me know. The food tables were already full of food, and piles of more food was in the kitchen.

I’m still in that place where I’m floating around trying to sort my place in the scheme of things around here. some of them I haven’t worked with enough to find a comfortable spot. And I really need to be told what you need me to do. Some of it I can guess, but I can’t read minds very well.

Eventually, Sarah and I started to dive right in as more people showed up and the workload increased. I gravitated towards standing behind the serving tables, helping seniors lift lids off crock pots while trying to hold their plates and utensils. I even directed people to certain foods, and explained what was in each pot. I spent quite a bit of time by the tables, and the ladies who were more comfortable running back and forth to the kitchen,or staying in the kitchen washing dishes, prepping the next batch of food to come out, sorted themselves out that way.

At one point out of the corner of my eye, I noticed two other club member standing in the kitchen doorway, look in my direction and talking.

“What?” I hollered.

“Nothing! We’re talking about you, not to you!” they joked back.

“You gonna tell me or am I gonna hear about it next week at the post office?” I can hand it back just as good.

The crowd died down and I made my way over to the lady who had been talking about me. She immediately said, “We’ve found your calling!” Oh? What’s that?

So now I get to be “out front” and deal with the crowd, since I’m apparently a natural. And then they ran me out of the kitchen. :D

It must have been good, because we raised one pile of money. I brought home one tray of leftover sweets, and a bunch of my dirty dishes. The chicken balls were a big hit with the kids especially (they look like chicken nuggets), and everyone loved my soup.