Nose to the Grind stone

It’s a holiday weekend .

What are you guys doing for the holiday weekend?”

“Well… As Ma has to work. I’ll be working around the house mostly.”

The theory was sound. I had no way of knowing I would throw my back out Saturday morning..

Starting off the long weekend right

I worked early Friday making it early when I got home as well.

Ma and I went over the “Honey-Do” list together making plans for each day.

With our first dip below freezing the gardens finally shut down.. Looks like harvesting is on the ticket.

It was chilly when we got up Saturday still dark out as always. We went out for our morning on the porch though it didn’t last as long as normal…

“Sun’s up..Somewhere in those clouds. I’m freezing heading back in.”

Also sounded good in theory.

We had a town run that needed to be taken care of but being in the in Actually in the cloud bank , we didn’t feel like driving through the crap just yet.

I threw on my work clothes and teased “Lil Red” our 50’s Ford tractor to start up..Throwing her first tantrum of the season , she finally gave one last cough before she began her putting hum .

While the tractor warmed I went over to the wood shed , We had a new load of wood.. Right in front of the entry to it… Jolly…

The wood is not ready to burn yet so I needed to make room on the back wall for it. The only problem is ; I’ll have to move the wood so that I can move the would so that I can finally..Yes.. Move the wood …. I thought about swearing but it was just too dang cold .

I began moving the fir to make room for the oak so that I could get past the oak to get the fir out to make room for the oak..whew… when I finally heard ” Lil Red” humming away.

I had enough room that I could get around the pile as long as I was careful..yeh.. I know..

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if…

“Lil Red” and I puttered back over to the wood shed , trying to get her high enough on the slope so that I wouldn’t just bugger it all , lose my balance and go under while at the same time not getting too close to the oak pile so that I didn’t get tangled up and end up in the wood pile…

Good damn thing I have the reflexes of a panther….fine ; a slinky …whatever…

I managed to only get tangled up on every load..I didn’t fall..well not all the way down so sweet.

First tractor load to the entry….and the first armload ended up mostly on my foot..So, I had THAT going for me…

Five loads later and I had room for the wood …Well Hell.. Might as well finish off one more load.. ( you’ll notice I didn’t mention the swearing or falling or getting stuck when I went backwards into the oak pile when I parked too close…shhhh..)

“Lil Red” was getting irritated as I kept telling her ;

“Just one more load..”

and grabbed my pant leg of my overhauls twisting my foot down between the brake pedals…Brat…


I got the tractor back to bed before she bit me and headed back to the oak pile.

Ma came over all bundled up.

” No Honey , there is just no room to help..”

She stared at me for a bit…

” Yes, but can I take down the gardens..?..”

“Heh.. Oh.. Yup That you can do.”

While I worked I watched a constant flow of plants flying over the garden fence and into the yard.

The oak is still wet and heavy as crap.. I had a load in the crook of my right arm when I twisted through the tangled mess when my back blew…

I had gotten in too much of a hurry trying to get the wood done as we have more coming in and I didn’t want to fight through a second pile.

Me , load and the piece of oak all ended up in the pile…..Yes… THIS is where I started swearing.

I had a good half cord to stack yet and I was stuck…Crap on a cracker.

I finally managed to get the weight on my right side , pulling away from the spasm limping the rest of the cord into place.

Perfect…. Well it stood be just fine by the time I have to go back to work….Crap and Jolly.

Harvest time again

We had buckets of green tomatoes and green hot peppers. Any that at least have a blush will ripen fine in the house. The rest go into our Salsa Verde . It’s pretty frickin tasty so dang…..

We also had a bunch of sugar pumpkins and winter squash …even some more zukes.

Once we got home I started choppin up tomatoes for the sauce…. Yup Lots… I ran a second batch today and have another yet to do…They’re green , they’ll wait.

Ma’s been roasting ripe tomatoes and peppers , cutting and drying the hot ones. The Pumpkins will be roasted then smished and frozen. Squash will be chopped and frozen. Last year’s squash ended up rotting when they REALLY shouldn’t have so better safe this year.


We had taken some up for the band folk this last year…and had to take up a second bag of jars of it.. The stuff went over well.

We normally put it in half pints but it seem smart to do up some pint jars this year.

I finally thought…much too late.. to use the big roasting ovens we picked up for harvest for the salsa…derrrrrr.. New cool toys that we just aren’t use to having around yet.

That cleared up the stove for the evening…I may even get a chance to go hang out with Ma soon.

Now the problem with salsa is..well , like everything else.. I tend to tweak the recipes and generally forget to write it down.. Well .. Now Ma writes it down too much for me to try to see crap on paper. Friggin Kaleidoscope I have for a right eye now makes anything over than my comp tough to read. and even on this I tend to guess.

We used the recipe that we had written down from a couple years ago…Welllll Damn it , I sure as hell added goodies , but we are close.

Once it cooks the extra liquid off and develops… I’ll get it all canned up.. It tastes a little too green so slow cooking it will be great.

The added vids..

This last week I added what? three music videos? yeah I think so.. They were all mostly done so boom boom…” Brewin”  was the last up and probably the last for awhile. Saturday I thought.. ;

” Hey.. dumbass… maybe you should set up a new , better generic vid intro . “

So.. I put a little time into that and once again this evening using a moon video and then adding some of my music to it… I am ALWAYS going back and forth to see what the heck I did on the ones previously… So it is pretty close to done and I can just edit as I go. Next I’ll do my outro…I may watch the videos more than anyone else but learning is learning..

Final Thoughts

Yet another quickie .. We are on a roll… It is still that bust time of the year .

I did a couple things for “Lil Red” to keep her a little happier for winter though I wasn’t able to do as much as I wanted to and I have more yet to do..friggin chains need to go on very soon as well for both her and the Sami…crap…

Putting my back out was good times too… Just the stupid sounds alone SOOO make it worth doing….Crap ….

I know when I get out of this chair , I am going to be facing the ground more than where I am going but ..Oh well….

Tomorrow I’ll start the canning , hopefully reasonably early . It is all water bath so it’ll go fast anyway.

The weather is turning cold.. I mean it really isn’t that bad. It got down to 28 last night , already 32 as I write but the dang breezes are coming from the East so that makes it a lot colder. The fire is keeping the house toasty so it’s all good. It’ll have a whole lot more of this before it’s all said and done.

We are still seeing the bucks come through, chasing our girl . She is getting a little irritated with them and with me for not doing something about it. Told her to just come up and lay on the deck then. Pretty sure they wont come up….Yes.. I got ” The Look. ”

Soon all the deer will group up. No idea whether they’ll hang around here or not. It’ll depend on the weather.

Hummie and his Mrs are still hanging around though they are also not happy with the chill. They come in later now , after the sun is up. They stay snuggled up in bed spoonin’ until it is warm enough to come in for breakfast. I am sure that soon they will be getting the town house ready and lock up their little cabin up here.

Zen the sun came up

The shorter days and cooler temps make it a little tougher sitting out when we get up and until the sun comes up but we still manage as the Sun slowly peaks out , a nose out of the covers to create the dawn…

Ma and I had gotten up early again , the clock barely clicking to four AM before we both were slipping out from under the covers , rushing to get dressed before ice formed anywhere unsightly .

Grumbling about the chill, I threw on my robe as I heard the coyote kids start singing . Ma made her way into the kitchen to start coffee as once again we were up before the settings.

I looked outside into the dark then I walked over to the stat , looked again . Walked over to look at the room temp…Crap.. 59 in the house and 28 outside….

I was getting chilly and there was a breeze coming in from the East. Looking outside then at the stat , back outside and back to the stat. I hobbled back into my room waiting for the coffee to perk. Ma in her office doing the same.

Finally the last choking gurgle of the coffee maker told us it was time to go sit out in the chill.

Shambling outside Ma and I sat chatting quietly as I listened to the morning sounds…Though the dawn was still far off.

Coyote kids singing just on the other side of the berm also chatting back and forth , complaining about the temps.

‘Limpy” made his way over to the pit, glaring at the beans… Looking over to where I sat , then back to the beans , and back again slowly he padded off in a huff.

” What? It was good soup. You really need to get over your dislike of no meatie goodness.”

Limpy stopped. The colors of predawn just enough that we could see him, or his silhouette anyway . He turned back to me. Back to where he was going and lifted his leg.

” AH.. Duly Noted …”

Ma went back inside to warm up her coffee as I sat listening to the animals over Zen. I could hear deer walking in grunting to each other. The higher voices of the young as well as deeper of the bucks. It was getting to the point where I could tell them from the buck brush they were hanging about as they slowly made their way to the homestead for a morning chat with Ma.

Ma coming back out timed with a doe coming around the corner as well some few feet a part. I smiled as they both stopped and stared at each other for a second then they both shrugged , Ma sat back down and our girl nibbled at the new green grasses.

I saw movement from the corner of my eye as Ma and I talked to see a buck and one of our does playing ” The flying Postman “ together some ten yards away when the doe heard us.

“CRAP! BUSTED! If I were you, I would go now.. I have seen what Da does to bucks.”

“CRAP! Sorry! Sorry..Um Sir…I really do Love and respect Julie”

” Jenny”

uhh Jenny . I’ll be going just now. No need to get up. “

Over the fence the two of them flew like the wind.. Wonder if Santa was watching. The boy has some talent… flying I mean… *eye roll *

One of our bigger bucks was looking about as the other girls chatted around the mineral block. He had seen me and had decided that he was close enough at some forty yards out.

I grinned watching them and watching the colors of predawn darken , then fade as the sun came ever closer to crawling out of bed.

Clouds low in the skies , heavy with rain soon to fall hid the slow climbing sun as he took and let out a breath , the East breezes slowly picking up. It look like it would soon become

Just another day on Zen Mountain



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