Gardens finally starting to produce on Zen

While so many folk are up to their ears in veggies from their gardens, Ma; my better half and I are just now getting a few tomatoes and peppers.

One of those seasons

Although we never get large harvests over all, a fair amount of years we generally get one plant or tree that goes a wee crazy.. This, however, is not one of those years.

This week we are finally getting a few tomatoes every few days as well as some peppers. I don’t see enough tomatoes coming on from now till frost to get us what we need for canning pasta sauce.. but.. we shall see. Last year we were stuck with no canning goods. This year is due to crazy weather.

One of the driest Spring and Summers I have had up here, but not the first. However, between the constant winds until a few days ago.. on, and the winds are back again… and the flux of 20 degrees both night and day have wiped most of any would be harvests. No fruit of any kind and all squashes wiped from the earth. Winds scouring the soil, ripping apart wind fences, and in general; pissing me off.

With the fairer weather as of late, peppers and tomatoes, in their new garden, have started to produce. At this point, we can do some drying , canning, well, the tomato plants are the smallest we have ever had though they are getting the best attention any have ever had.. New beds up here have never done well their first year, so that is nothing new.

Peppers are doing better than the tomatoes. The problem we are having there is the sun is burning the fruit… Again, really weird year. Even when it is cool out, the sun shine just feels intense.

I started picking the peppers green to try to not lose so many , so we work with what we get.

At present, we are back to a nice counter full of veggies . We have peppers to roast today, along with garlic.

Poblanos are doing really well and we will get this batch roasted to make up a fair sized sorta veggie lasagna ..

Ma’s Italian Peppers have gotten a little friendly with one of my hot peppers; most likely the Poblanos .. Any of the Italians that begin to ripen also gain heat which is interesting.

This isn’t the first cross we have ended up with. Some time back , we got a cross between our bells and Mexican peppers creating almost the same results but a different flavor..

Most things wont grow up here, but what does has a tendency to do things they aren’t suppose to be able to do, which is always fun.

So, we may not have gotten many plants to survive this crazy year, but we are getting a few that are doing interesting things.

Deer Crossing

With things as dry as they are, we are still seeing deer almost constantly as they know we have water for them. We know we have at least four fawns and it looks like there are others. We saw four together and we have seen a doe with twins coming through on her own early and late. We also have a couple does with single babies. Some of the kids have fresh looking spots while others barely show any spots, so some of our does were running late.

We do see several bucks right now, but they are already getting wary.

We also get a LOT of traffic at night. The water level drops like crazy from dusk to dawn each night.

Having elk hanging about could easily mean they are coming in. With the winds as they are, any prints are wiped pretty much as they are made and I just don’t feel like putting up the cameras. We’ll see whatever or we wont.

The elk have a few babies as well, they spend most of their time reasonably far from the homestead, at least in the waking hours.

The only coyote we have seen for a while is Teary. I haven’t heard enough racket up here to assume someone took out three packs of coyotes, far more likely they are hanging lower, out of the weather and sneaking through during the nights.

Still no signs of Bobcat Kitty, I know she is out there, just not coming through when we are looking.

I put up a new salt lick last weekend for the kids, it is more than half gone. This morning it was covered in dirt and there had been a ruckus around the watering hole so maybe the elk came in.

The Hard Drive

Well…. I lost everything on the drive. All the work trying to salvage was for nothing.

I am slowly picking up my pics from FB , though, of course, they are resized and cut so not even close to what I had, plus I put up maybe one in a hundred pics, saving the others for just us or projects.

Fortunately, I sent any pictures of Ma’s work to her as I go through them so she has all of those.

My music that I wrote and recorded, I lost most of that along with the software for several instruments I run.

I lost the Art software I had as well both for pics and videos. Although I picked up new versions, they are nothing like what I had, some is better some not as good.

I also had the stories I have been picking at off and on for months to years on that hard drive.

All of my music from over the ages was on it as well. LPs and CD converted onto the drive… All of which are gone now for some time.

I did have a little luck when I found a cash on my main hard drive… They weren’t really there , and yet, they were. I checked with Microsoft on that as I was cutting and pasting the pics back onto reality.. They told me ” Bring up this window and that will show you where they are..”

Um..no… It actually wiped them from existence. Whatever little pocket they were floating in was wiped when I brought up the window off one of the pics…sooooo, I lost them all a second time.

Now I am simply working on what I have and starting over with pics. No choice. Can’t go back in time.

Ma’s spinning and knitting

Ma is still working with Long draw spinning, which is so much faster and lighter. Sweaters and caps will be great with this spin , so she is prepping for a fair isle cap for me.

She is also knitting on socks from the four ply short draw she did not that long back. Being a four ply, it is very round which really makes the designs pop out. It’ll also make the socks stronger…We shall see, for some reason, I am going through sock heals like crazy all of a sudden again….Well, for a good month or two.. No idea.. It made sense when I was working, I constantly pivot, but here.. seems I must still be pivoting .

I even wore through my bullet proof socks Ma made me out of Suffolk wool..Sooo she tore out the heals to remake them rather than patching them.

Ma has sweaters, socks and gloves all on needles and looking at a new shawl design. All the while she is flicking locks of wool for another shawl project.

Elizabeth ; the fleece she is working on, has a fairly short staple length so Ma is thinking it may go through the drum carder to make spinning easier.

She is also getting fluff off her that won’t need to be carded. And then, of course, there is the waste from flicking that Ma will go through again to get the most she can before whatever is left will be used as fill for pads and such.

Final Thoughts

Well, we have a fair amount to do in the kitchen today, which is always fun, but, still takes time, so yet again, I am keeping the Post short… I doubt too many folk mind.

It is suppose to get hot again so I imagine that once the winds settle, we will be back into the 90s. Today we are in the 50s…

Hopefully we get tomatoes continuing to pop along with the Peppers. Still only flowers on the hot peppers so hopefully they start putting out soon.

I have a new project I am working on as well. One of my original guitars I used back in the 70s is torn down. That will be a story on its own. But it will be nice when it is fixed. Someone tore the heck out of it when I wasn’t there. Repairing what I can and replacing what I have too.. and can find… It looks like something pretty heavy was dropped on the case. It also looks like someone opened up the controls. That wasn’t soldering done in a shop. That would be the second guitar of mine I have found that someone screwed around with while they were in storage at my folk’s place… Plus those that came up missing.

All in all, things are going fairly normally, other than harvest. Odd as summer has been, we have had a few really pretty days now and again. They were really nice right up until the smoke from all the fires funneled through.

Though there have been a lot of fires, the only close ones were taken down quickly. We had a few days that the air was bad up here and close to 24 hours I had the place locked down. It is incredible how the whole west from Alaska down to the Mexico border is pretty much on fire again this year. The last seven years I have seen more fires locally then in all the years I have been up here combined . It worries me that we are in a loop, fires changing patterns which makes it drier and idiots on top of accidents and nature setting everything on fire over here.

Fire Season officially opened a few days ago…so yeh, way too dry this year. We have been burning since the beginning of Spring. I haven’t been doing a ton of things outdoors this Summer because of all of it. A fair amount of what I need to do takes a gas running machine so that’s not going to happen.

Things are suppose to turn around over the next couple months.. lol.. which probably means lots of snow.. which is great except we could get snowed in. and The tractor is still sitting rotting away beings it leaks both gas and oil now.

* chuckle* So, so much for that.

Watching the parade of deer as I sit here writing, things change, they always do, but all in all, it is

just another day on Zen Mountain

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