Fall Equinox starts the beginning of mine and coyote kids favorite holiday.
Let the Feasting Begin
The coyote pack that lives here at Zen are out there right now doing the ” Snoopy Dance ”
We started harvesting , cutting , packing , canning today .
For the next week, Ma and I will be putting up meats , stocks ,sauces , cider ,burger, steaks , chops whew..and more .
What does this mean to the kids ?
Well, coyote kids, Wolffie , if he comes through , the bobcat family , CawCaw kids , get ALL kinds of meat scraps and bones . Our deer and bunnies will get all kinds of veggie scraps and well , Dumbear is more than happy with any , all of it.
Ma and I renew our vows each year on the 23rd . Having a Hand fasting rather than the average church wedding makes renewing much less complicated as well as much more enjoyable for us.
Gilded trappings just aren’t part of either Ma nor myself . We live by the Seasons , making a Hand Fasting the perfect option for us. The outdoor setting ,with some friends and family we took our original vows in our own gardens in Idaho.
I sit here , as I type ,watching the pics of the original because I enjoy that ..yeah.. I am all kinds of warm and fuzzy with Ma , which means more cold and prickly to go around for everyone else.
You’ll notice two things here..
A) I don’t go into depth on any of this. You either understand or you don’t .
Number 2 ) I am working on a Sunday Post on Saturday as the 23rd is Sunday so , this is a Pre-Sunday Sunday Post
We all know this starts the beginning of Fall…You will also notice that no varmint has to crawl out from under a rock to tell us this either…Nor the Great Pumpkin for all of that .
The switch has been flipped and the hot dry weather is changing over . In the forties at night and fifties to sixties during the day are not all that different but different enough.
Clouds roll across Zen’s skies once again leaving a mist to the air rather that the dust and smoke we have had all Summer.
Last weekend I pulled the AC and started a fire in the wood stove . Things changed just that quick. We have no problem with the house at 58 F but when it hangs at 54F ; That , is the switch .
The Harvest Moon coming through this week will be fun for us as well , being able to enjoy it , assuming that we are neck deep in clouds , without me having to get up at 3:30am…. and What the Hell is that about anyway ? Having to get up at that time is crazy.. Yes Yes.. That is only an hour and a half earlier than normal but…. I woke up last night at 1:30am and for a second just groaned… For the last two weeks , that was morning… My brain kicking in , if only shortly , reminded me that NOW 1:30am is still night … I stuff my headache back in where it belonged and , eventually , fell back to sleep.
Rise and Shine
My first day off , Ma’s second , we were up and running before the dawn..Shocker… We sat outside waiting on the hummingbirds to get up and chatter at us for a few then off to the shop , Innie and the Kitchen ..
Burnin Daylight my Friend ! Burnin Daylight …well, once the sun comes up anyway…
By sunrise , we had a large roaster oven stuffed full of chicken to make stock . I had brought in the grinder , two roasters , a cooler full of chicken three pork butts a full Pork sirloin ..actually three sirloins ..and a full ham . Two of the butts are still stone cold frozen so they will have time yet to thaw in the cooler . Three turkeys are still frozen solid… all of them have been in coolers since Wednesday so I have little concern about anything bad happening over Sunday .
The steaks are cut , packed and in the freezer along with many months worth of chops , stew meat and ham. The stock is simmering away and white bean and ham soup is in the slow cooker. It probably wont be ready until Monday when we will be back at the kitchen stations again .
ON the menu
By Monday , we will be getting ready to grind , make wontons , eggrolls , many months of burger , stock pots will be rolling with turkey , cider prep will start along with apple sauce prep, picking the last enormous batch of too small apples , which will be the cider , Ma’s home made Pasta sauce from the nearly , as of today , 100 pounds of tomatoes . My Red Habanero peppers are finally turning so I’ll be able to start picking them. There are more eggplants to pick ( and bury )…umm.. make into delicious Parm ( I mean bury )… ( Editor’s Note from Ma : ” No. You are Not Burying my Egg plants !” )……..( Post editing note :” Yes, Yes I am “..and what she doesn’t know wont feed me ) We have another round of herbs to cut and dry…loads of it… The turkey breasts we will be raw packing so that’ll be nice too.
Yup I’m giving us all a break and making this super short…Not the least of which , because we have lots to do.. I mean relax..while we work our tails off this coming week.
This is fun for us . A LOT of folks travel on their vacations …. We have Zen.. Why travel when there is so much to see in your own back yard?
Renewal of our vows in our way keeps Ma and I always newly wed and I imagine till after we are both long gone from this side of Zen.
We have a week to enjoy all the kids that come through to visit rather than as I am driving off or travelling back home or Ma seeing movement from her office window .
Life is good on Zen , if this is the life that chooses you. Everyone dreams of this type of life …Then they get a taste and run back to the city , or citify everything around them; Flood lights ( There go those stars you were so amazed at seeing at night .)
Cutting down all the trees to make stately lawns ,and gardens ..Save that for town , live with Nature , don’t invade her , beat her back and then whine about it..
We have more than a good share of rough days up here..Most of them involve me trying to get to and or home from work. Ma’s emergency dates were rough as well but that, fortunately , is not something we have to constantly deal with… Me driving , even on a good day.. yeah , that’s different but not Zen’s fault …. Some day………
I love the Fall.. Not a huge fan of Winter , which I can not separate the two as of yet. Travel will get tougher very soon , but today.. Today Fall begins , weather gets crisp . Soon it will be time to start looking at the Brussel Sprouts … This week , Ma and I get to actually spend full days together , work hard and simply enjoy the work as it is for us , not someone else.
The sound of rain travelling down the gutters wakes Ma and myself as we lay in the dark. I open my eyes and wince at the clock. We made it past 3:30am …No alarm , no coyote kids with their Good Morning Song.
We both creak as we get up, bustling about in the dark. Coffee is already ..errrr… ready . This is a first in some time now as I have been racing the clock .
We both walk out the door , slowly and quietly we look out over the hills and valleys of Zen. Taking in a deep breath we smile at each other . Vacation has started and it is Fall Equinox .
Clouds travelling across the sky , here and there stars wink in the heavens above. The breezes that bring through the mists shake the drops from the frame over our deck.
We can see the beginnings of the dawn as colors burst through a hole in the clouds to our East before the winds bring the clouds back together swallowing the light .
To the North we watch as a doe and fawn streak across the plains . Something must be into our Northern Grove.. No telling if it is Limpy and crew , a cougar , Wolffie or Dumbear. Whomever it is doesn’t come out after them.
Looking behind us , I see that our girls have come in to the water some fifteen yards away. Our doe that stays so close , and enjoys a good game of Apple Catch , simply blows off that chatter between Ma and myself .
The first hummingbird comes in , hearing us talk. ” Hummie” himself sits on the fence by my window to my office as he normally does and begins to call in the troops. Within a minute another half dozen hummers are flying around Ma and I. In and out of the covered porch , zipping between Ma and myself as they chase one another from feeder to feeder then back again , seeing how close they can come to us as they do.
First one humming bird then the next brush past me only to swing around into the porch to do the same to Ma , Back and around yet again within inches of us both and to a stop , catching their breath on the fence next to us.
Hummie moves over to the Fence on the other side of me , calling out to the kids again bringing in a few more hummers. We watch the hummers playing about us , knowing full well that as many feeders and more flowers are on the other side of the house and yet when they know we are out here , they will come .
We are getting close to the end of Hummie season up here. Maybe another month before the bulk will take off , either to town or heading South , depending … Hummie , his Mrs and a few of their kids will stay until snows hit. Hummie is always the last to take off to Gotham to spend the Winter in the Town House. When the days are clear , he will come back up to visit , if only for a few minutes to make sure we are still here. He will grab a drink ,as we always have food for him.. It is not you taking away their food that makes them leave to head South.. They find that you no longer will feed them and they go to where they can find food. The Annas don’t leave… EVER .. They live here their entire lives. Citiots that think otherwise..well.. Citiots..Go figure….
Hummie sits at HIS feeder , next to where I am standing chasing everyone off while Ma and I are out there.. We are his pets and he doesn’t like to share his toys. In short order Mrs. Hum lands by him and I can see him shrink if just a little in a Hummingbird version of
Soon there after , Hummie’s kids come flying in to take advantage of their Ma keeping their Da in line , drinking up and playing with Ma and myself…I have to smile at their antics knowing that not a lot of folk see the hummies as we do. They are as they are because we are as we are and this……. This is
Just another day on Zen Mountain