Wednesday, June 16, 2010
In the Good Ol' Summertime
It's rare these days that I spend much time on the computer; I've listed a few new wire-wrapped stones in my Etsy shop , but there is just too much life beyond this machine and I can't be contained here for long! There's gardening, weeding, planting, harvesting, baking, photography, tubing, and gathering with friends for great summertime meals and music-making.
Last Saturday, we enjoyed the annual First Fruits Festival just a few miles from here at the home of two very good friends. They've got a place on the river, and so on that very hot morning, a tubing trip down the river was in order. I hadn't done this in about three or four years, and I always forget just how wonderful an experience this is... so peaceful, so refreshing, so so enjoyable to float down the river, letting the current take you along, chatting and laughing with friends while enjoying the sky, the trees, the birds, and the rocky outcroppings leaning over the water. It was about a two hour trip, and I hated for it to end.
Perhaps later this summer, we'll take a longer, four-hour trip... and strap a cooler in an adjoining tube for drinks and snacks. Following the tubing trip, we enjoyed a potluck lunch including a giant stir fry of fresh garden veggies, with a few store-bought organic goodies too, cooked outside over an open flame, rice, salads, squash fritters, watermelon and so much more. Delicious!
On Monday morning before the sun got too high, I weeded an area that we are trying to contain in order to do some more manageable landscaping. I also planted some flowers that John brought home... in an effort to disguise our very large handmade composting container. While I did the weeding and planting, John picked a basket full of apples from our June apple tree so that I could start putting them to use.
On Monday night around 8:30, I was home alone, John having gone out for a meeting at church. I was at the table working on a song, with the dogs at my feet, when I heard my favorite bird, the Wood Thrush. It was loud and it was close, so I got the binoculars out and spotted it easily in the very top branches our our pear tree in the front yard. I was thrilled because we don't normally get to see the thrush since it prefers the depths of the woods to open fields. I watched for a minute or so as it sang its heart out, and then I decided I'd try to get a photo or two. Sure enough, by the time I'd rounded up my camera and got the settings adjusted for photos at dusk, the thrush was still there. So I managed three photos before it flew back into the woods where it usually stays. Because I'd adjusted the camera's settings, I didn't get a clear photo of the bird with its beautiful markings; instead I got a silhouette, but I'm happy with it anyways, and it will probably become the focus of my next painting... but I can't say when I'll get started on it.
This morning at 7:30, I began dicing apples and by the time 11:30 had rolled around, I'd made an Apple Harvest cake and two batches of fried apple pies and cleaned up the kitchen. Everything was made from scratch, and while these recipes have eggs in them, they could easily be made vegan. If you have never had a fried pie, that means you don't live in the South and haven't ever visited. It's high time you headed this way because these pies are to die for.
And tomorrow night we'll enjoy a small dinner party with friends, feasting on homemade potato salad, fresh steamed green beans with mushrooms, strawberries with sharp cheese, and for the meat-eaters (everyone but me), ham biscuits, courtesy of one of our dinner guests... and guess what we'll have for dessert? All that followed by some wonderful music-making on the deck as the sun goes down!
Don't you just love summer? Come join me... there's enough garden goodness and apples to go around!