Week in Pictures

Two of our four girls thinking I can’t see them as they nap behind the lavender and pineapple sage. I suppose it’s a good thing they don’t like to be snuggled as I’d be taking them with me everywhere if they were the cuddly kind.

This year’s canning, much more disciplined than in years past but enough that it required a bit of stacking as these rows only go 4 or 5 deep: ketchup, pickles (4 kinds – curry, dill, lemon, and bread & butter), three kinds of strawberry jam, serrano pepper jelly, sweet relish, more pickles, 25-30 lbs of honey from our hive, salsa, and marinara. First quart of marinara must have not sealed as it appeared however and heartbreakingly had to be dumped as when my husband went to open it, it had fermented and literally came out of the jar like molten lava. Ugh. Along with this we have a few quarts of pickled eggs, a couple dozen jars of blueberries in the freezer along with one share (we had to cut it down to just one this year due to finances) I just picked up of 20 lbs of Alaskan wild salmon from Iliamna. It’s my 5th year getting salmon from them and it’s so freakin’ good, and I just realized it’s probably going to be our last, since I can’t really fathom moving to a town known for fishing and not supporting the locals with our next supply.  FYI to peeps in Austin, NYC and Anchorage – these fish gods and goddesses now bring their fresh=caught salmon to your area, woo hoo!

So in taking an entire day off to digitize all of the rest of our photos, including a stack of Dan’s, this photo above that I’ve had from my Dad’s genealogy stack simply says “Ivanhoe” on the back…and that’s it. I don’t see that as a last name in our family tree (and on his side we go back about 500 years- gotta love how Ancestry.com has advanced over the past decade or so…my dad did most of our genealogy work though microfiche at the local Mormon libraries and entering everything on DOS – let’s just say I had it all on a floppy disk, sigh…by the way, click here if you’re not familiar with the Mormons and their vast history of family tree building, it’s pretty amazing), so I am super intrigued as to who these guys are, where the photos was taken, and of course, which one(s) of them are in our family lineage? Either way it’s a pretty rad shot, don’t you agree…?

While much of the big show of blooms are gone, the roses are still having a grand time in the front yard. Oh yeah, once these girls go dormant they are absolutely getting potted up to follow us wherever we land!

I think my favorite part about late September is the beautyberry bush. It’s not that exciting most of the year, just a nice fast-growing tall shrub along the fence, but once the berries turn purple, it just makes my day! Even better will be when the leaves drop and it’s just the berries on the bare twigs – gorgeous! Unfortunately these don’t transplant well and we missed the softwood last month to make cuttings, so most likely will have to start over at our new homestead. But happy to leave this for the next people to enjoy!

And finally, I’m always a big fan of the “before and after” shots people do, so here’s our version for the north side of our house. Initially, it was just a wall of laurel bushes and nothing else back there during the first 8 years of owning the house, but when my elderly nextdoor neighbor passed away and her house was demolished a couple years later to make way for a big “tall fatty” three-story house, the builder said in exchange for allowing him to remove the laurel hedge he’d build a fence with horizontal slats so it matched the rest of my newly-built fences in the back yard. Considering the house would tower over the hedges anyhow, and the laurel was a bitch to maintain (recently having been moved onto the “invasive” list here in PDX), I said hell yeah! With that, it meant some work needed to be done, however, so in 2015 my husband and I moved our huckleberry bushes over there and went crazy at the annual Native Plant Sale, along with (as you can see) planting a few random giant sunflowers and a massive load of free mulch courtesy of the ChipDrop guys here in town. It was pretty bare for a couple years, but this year the weather was such that things really have started to come into their own, with the hostas, fuschias, snowberries, rockroses, huckleberries, snowball bush, and more filling in things nicely. That’s the kind of thing that makes us a bit misty-eyed about the thought of leaving next year – the history of your home, your garden, your life that only you know about.

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