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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Householding Update 13 October 2013

Today I got a start on the epic, sweeping changes I have planned for the garden this winter.  I am turning the five beds just off the deck into three beds.  I've discovered that I prefer working in a larger bed, so rather than five three-foot beds and four two-foot walkways, I'll have three five-feet-two-inch beds and two three-foot walkways.  It is much easier to get a wheelbarrow down a three-foot walk way than a two=foot walkway.

These are the five beds, destined to become three beds.

Here are one-year old homegrown asparagus crown that are moving into the expanded first bed.  (So much for buying all male plants.)

The tops of the crowns got lopped off and then they were set at the bottom of the new side of the bed. This is the first 'course'.

And here we are all done with the first enlarged bed.

I still have the other two beds to move as well, but they can wait.

Other plans for this winter include moving the hive stand to the back of the yard, moving the dwarf blueberries (I haven't figured out where, though), and then moving around a bunch of fruit trees once they go dormant.  (I also want to try a pluot from Peaceful Valley, but that's another post.) And then last but not least is prepare a bed in the back for more subsistence crops.

But not potatoes.

Sure as Shootin'

Another great Saturday.

On Saturday Steve and I went to a trap shooting event sponsored by my employer.  My goal for the day was to successfully fire a gun with out hurting anyone (my goals are sometimes fairly restrained)- if I got a target, that would just be gravy.

Well, I got three targets and didn't hurt anyone (other than myself) so I consider it a great accomplishment, for me, anyway.  I started with a brand new Winchester twelve gauge that belonged to our company president.  No one tells you how heavy shotguns are- they just wave them arounds like bamboo sticks.  Holding that shotgun was a chore, but I got three out of twenty-five targets.  Now don't just sit there snickering; I had a handicap, one that I'm not sure how I'm going to fix.  I'm right handed but my left eye is dominant due to the scar on my right retina which is inconveniently located right next to the optic nerve.  It's a lot better than it used to be but it means that if I close my left eye, I can't see the bead on the end of the barrel, and if you can't see the bead, you can't aim the gun.

After lunch I tried the twenty gauge, and while it was lighter and easier to handle, I didn't have it seated correctly in my shoulder so the recoil smacked the bejeebers out of my right shoulder and I knew I was done and that one was going to leave a mark.  Well, a bruise, anyway. I called Steve over and handed him the twenty because at that point, I was toast.  Achy from holding up something heavy for a half hour, and sore from the recoil.  Naturally, he did really well with it.

So if we ever get to go hunting, I'll have to learn how to throw a knife or a tomahawk, because I can't shoot and I don't think I could pull a bowstring either.

Maybe I should just learn how to fish.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

How I Spent My Birthday

I know it's been awhile.

Between working 50-60 hours a week and canning, canning, freezing, and canning, and then not having anything to report on my wheat harvest, I've really let the old blog go.

I absolutely have to tell you about today though.

Today I got to do something that I've been wanting to do ever since we got to Oregon in March of 2007.  Today I got to go mushrooming!

I'd planned on spending the day out in the yard cleaning up the vegetable beds and thinning the collards and carrots, but last night at dinner Rae said, "what are you guys doing tomorrow? You wanna go hunt chanterelles?"

Did we ever!

Today was my fifty-fourth birthday, and I got to spend it tromping around in the woods on a beautiful, sunny, warm autumn day with a sharp knife in my hands.  I could not have been happier, I don't think.  I didn't tell Rae it was my birthday because I didn't want her to feel awkward or duty bound about anything. Instead, I got to reap her generosity and time just because she was willing to give it to me.   That is the best kind of gift, I think.

Needless to say, we filled a shopping bag full of chanterelles.  Tonight we had them in a cream sauce with bacon and garlic over pasta, and tomorrow night we'll have them with steak.  Tomorrow I think we're going to dehydrate some of them, but Rae sautes them with butter and garlic and then freezes that.  If you have any ideas, let me know.

In the meantime, the memory of a great day spent out in the woods will probably last a lot longer than the mushrooms themselves.

Thanks Rae.