What’sa Mater You?

Veggies are kicking in for the beginning of the Fall harvest and it is time to start making Ma’s pasta sauce.

What Maters

Our tomatoes, as I have mentioned…lots…all ripen at pretty much at the same time as they are a Roma variety  for making sauce. I stare at the plants all summer as they climb towards the golden goose and magic harp , loading branches with hundreds of maters….and stay green until September.

I went out one morning hoping to find a couple to bring in and ended up with an overflowing big ole bowl of them…and so it begins.

With the countdown towards Ma’s; my better half, and my anniversary holiday.. we start doing the snoopy dance thinking about canning up pasta sauce, apple sauce and juice as well as all the other tasks moldering on our ” Honey Do ” list… Yes, yes, we know how to live.

One spicy meata balla

Ma’s pasta sauce is always incredible , thoughts of sugar plu…. no wait..dang it ..that’s the other one…. Thoughts of fresh pasta Ma’s sauce and meatballs from our own grind make my mouth start to water just writing about it..

Our Zen grown herbs and tomatoes along with a few other Ma secret thangs tossed in a couple giant kettles to simmer for hours on end before we break out the pressure cookers to can.

Along with the new batch of sauce , we’ll be breaking down and grinding pork as well. That’s always another fun task, usually a half hour of prep , 3 minutes of grinding { gotta love the beast of a grinder we have } and a half hour of bagging gives us usually in the neighborhood of 30 some pounds of burger. We generally pull some steaks out of the cut before we do the final  break down to grind

All of that alone makes the Harvest Holiday our favorite.

Gettin’ a wee bit elky out

We have been listening to our elk herd in the mornings for most of the summer, since the nursery herd settled in early this Spring.

Now a smaller bull has brought his harem in to hang at Ma’s. It seems that once again, the herd waited for me to leave before they came in. Ma had the them all come in to have breakfast Friday morning…. I , of course , had to work the early shift and , once again , only got to see pictures… the brats…

Turkey Lurky

Our turkeys have started hanging around again as well.. That time of the year. They tend to stay where it is a little cooler during the summer , hanging in the vales . With cooler temps back  they are making their way through the yards again.

Ma was working in her office the other day when one of the flocks came in , a few feet from Ma’s window , covering the island just to the north watching Ma while she was on the phones…..Nothing like performing before a live audience .

Shortly after I walked into the morning room on Friday , after work , the kids came storm trooping through once again. The turkeys , at least , make sure to stop by to say “Hi” when I am around.


We canned up another batch of Zuke pickles on Sat with enough left for Fridge pickles . I like getting the batches as we have been , running a single is fast and easy. Before you know it , you’re cleaning up the kitchen and listing to the ” PING” of lids .

While we were canning , and a while after , we watched/ listened to Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie Hall . It’s an acoustic concert and one of Ma’s favs , mine too for all that. We slid into watching David Gilmour shortly there after. They work well when we are , well, working.

I had made the trip into Eden Friday after work . I was just going to see if there was anything out there. Ma handed me a large bowl. I shrugged and thought..

“Meh ..may be one or two zukes but ok..”

I ended up with a large batch of zukes, including two that have been hiding from me, not quite Zuczilla but one was working hard at getting there.

I found that Bunnie had ;

” assidentally maybe nibbleded on a pepper. “

” Buuuuuunnniiieeee”

“It was an assident. Rweally . I was eatings a weed and my toofs slippeded. “

I looked at the …four.. peppers then back to Baby Bunnie.  She shrugged , looking up at me with her big guileless eyes.

” But , but, I was just eating on a weed and my teefs ….just kept going. I couldn’t stoppeded them. “

Needless to say ; I picked all the pickable peppers that were left while she glared at me in a buck – toothed pout.

While I was looking at the peppers , I noticed some potatoes that were giant and pushing out of the ground….so I picked them too.

Making my rounds , I picked some acorn squash and on to some more zukes , finally down to the lower garden to see a couple potato plants that were done…and picked more potatoes…. LOTS….

Walking back up to the house, I was juggling the large bowl full of veggies and arms filled with squash , taters constantly trying to escape from between my elbows…dang wild potatoes.

This morning I looked at the maters again ….and came back in with two large mixing bowls full…

The summer being on the chill side, our pepper harvest is , once again , down below our norm for this time of year.. The plants themselves are barely large enough for a couple peppers at a time. That plays hell with my salsa production… Three years in a row now between cold and smoke.

Pumpkins are pretty much ready to pick as is the corn.

The cantaloupe plants are starting over again  with  a lot of small leaves , wee bit late now buddy.

In the studio

Very little actually going on yet  with me still working on setting up the new comp. Everything pulled from the old and as yet, not running as it should on the new. It took a long time to get things worked out the first time so other than a feeling of falling behind , which is silly as I don’t have a time line , I just get flustered when I pull up songs I have started to work on and can’t remember how I had done what I did do.. Which is why I always record.. At least I can figure it out again .

Out in Innie

I was working on moving crap around in my office and ended up with some things to haul out to Innie, some cases and such . I haven’t been able to do much with my knee buggered all Spring and Summer so I did a lot of ;

” This will work for now. I’ll just restack and put things away correctly later.”

Later turned out to be a;

” Well, Crap! I can’t put anything where it needs to go.”

Ma and I spent hours hauling out what was in there for the Now and made a nice little dent as well as clearing out things we simply don’t need . After it was all said and done , Ma managed to put a twinge in her back and I , of course , did my knee no favors…as well as getting drenched in manure tea….yeh.. that was Special.  That happened about mid way through the job when we needed a cart to haul crap off with .. Said cart had several 2.5 cu feet of manure in it and the character at ” Home Disappoint ” that helped her load them managed to tear every single bag. Bags ripped and in a large water proof belly cart..and all the rains we have had made for a nice potent barrel of tea…. Which slopped all over my legs and crotch as I pulled the final bag …. Seems the tea was REALLY attached to that last bag…Mmmm yummy…” Ode de old Steer and rotted vegetation ” My Fav cologne .

Final Thoughts

Well, we never made it above the mid fifties today and the temps are already beginning to fall.

Rain laden clouds sluggishly amble overhead, scraping the roof as mists press against the plants and us when we make our way out and about. Breezes , pushing the clouds ever to the East , drop the temp of the already chill mists . I can’t imagine why the pepper plants are still so small . * EYE ROLL *

We are suppose to stay chill and moist through the week , warming on our week off… That would work for me, though warm enough to get some more peppers on…….

Hummie and his clan are happy that most of the relatives have already moved on south .The few that are left , besides Hum’s kin , are getting an ear full from Hummie and Liam now that they are back home.

The kids zen the castle


Ma leaped out of bed. I opened an eye . It was still dark , but late enough to get up.

I waited until I didn’t have to be concerned with running into Ma in the dark before I rolled out of bed and looked out the window.

”  wretched elk . Not a bum in sight. “

I followed Ma through the house and finally outside. She sat on the porch while I walked out to the edge of the deck , looking around the side of the house both to the North and to the South waiting to see if any of the kids were coming in yet….Nada..

While Ma looked at articles from her spinning and knitting groups , I walked around looking at the skies , woods and meadows….Still nuttin…

Ma was looking through the knitting and spinning forums while I stared at a formation off to the East..

” That looks like a castle.”

” Yes, it does. “

“That looks like a dragon. “

” Mmmm yes .. sorta..”

I ran..err hobbled.. into the house to grab my camera, only to find that both were falling apart.

” Crap!”… *snap, snap , snap*….

My duty now done , I took the camera inside , thinking about how much cooler they both looked before I got back out.

” I always forgert the camera. “

I sat the camera on the Morning Room table and headed back out with Ma.

Hummie , Liam and kin finally started waking up.

” Well.. About time Sleepy head. “

“Whatever and a good morning to you. “*mumbling *” Freakin’ Earlybird..We are hummingbirds.. We don’t eat worms… and Ma puts out new juice after coffee..sleepyhead.. I’ll show you sleepyhead. “

…and then she buzzed me. I felt her feathers slap my ear as she went by.

“Early enough to give you a good smack down old man. “

About that time , Hummie made his way to his feeder and perch , twisting his head side to side as he watched the encounter.

” You started in with Mrs. Hum?…Really?.. Are you Insane? ….err..nevermind…”

I glared at Hum , who was not impressed . He rolled his eyes , yawned and began to moan as he had his first sip of juice.

“Bo-yeah.. That’s the stuff. “

He squeezed  his eyes shut  and slurped again…

“Ahhhhh yesssss…”

” You know that’s just sugar water right? Not cocaine , right? “

” Shhhhhh.. You’re messing with my buzz Man. “

“whatever….Weirdo. “

” Hey! this is my version of coffee and breakfast.  Be quiet at the dinner table…Gimp. “

” Y  you little.. I would…”

” Chase me? ..Really? You and what jet pack ?”

” Gawwwhhhhh.. “

” Thought so…. shhhhhh.. Sippin’ here. “

I crossed my arms, stuck out my tongue and sat in one of the chairs at the outer edge of the deck.

” You call that a tongue? This is a tongue. ” 

To which he waggled his long skinny tongue at me…and preceded to ignore my mutterings.

Looking to the south , I saw one of our girls and a fawn as the fawn hopped around in the tall meadow grasses at the edge of our fields. The doe looked at me , tilted her head and figured out it was me , jumped the fence and raced up.

I sat in the chair , watching not just the two but several more that had been in the saddle come barreling in . They all hit the water first then made their way up to the mineral block.. feet away.

One of the girls walked up to me , staring…

” Oh! It’s you! You look weird in a cap.”

” Thanks? “

She watched me for a bit , just to make sure…apparently that the hat wouldn’t cause the world to implode … Then turned back to the mineral block.

Another fawn came in…and another….AND another. Three fawns and three does. Our girl and the grand baby along with her friends from Deer Care . One doe had twins and then our girl and finally the girl with the cap problem.

I looked to my hands , remembering my taking the camera back into the house….

” GAWHH!…..err, gawhhhhh”

I had done it yet again.. Today…Crap…

I watched the fawns playing , running at near clone- like moves as they leaped and bounded…

“Well , that would have been a cool video…”

The Doe with twins took off , one of the twins hanging with Grand Baby until Capper, smacked her in the rear to get her going with her mom. She followed behind to make sure the little kid didn’t turn around. Off and down into the saddle they headed. Our girl and her fawn still at the block.

” Mom..”………….” Mom”……………” Mom ! Mom! Mom! Mom! “

” Yes? “

” My friends are going.”

” In a minute. “

” But.. Look!”

” Yes dear. In a minute. Visiting . “

” ARHHHHHHH!” The fawn ran off to the edge before the drop off watching her friends go then back to her Mom and back again.  ” But.. Mom!”

Our girl licked at the block , turning her back to Grand Baby who stomped her foot then slowly made her way back , muttering and kicking dirt clods. She stood at the fence glaring at her mom , then back over her shoulder  with a dramatic sigh.

” Laterz Da.. Gotta run..Someone is throwing a tantrum. “

” Ok , see you later. “

She spun , leaped the fence , running towards the group. The fawn looked at me then at her mom.

” Oh! ”  and off she ran trying to catch up.

I laughed as I stood watching the two run down the hill side towards their friends.

Truly…. This is ..

Just another day on Zen Mountain






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