Winter’s here

Woke up this AM to really cold weather. It was just 50 degrees when I walked up to get the paper this morning. I guarantee my next trip outside involved my down filled vest so I moved into full winter mode – the vest, gloves, and a skull cap. When it gets down to the low 40’s I move to lined jeans but hopefully that will not happen until January. Update – It’s supposed to be 80 in a couple of days.

Nancy’s eyes definitely improving. She has 3 quilts going now and the sewing machine is on fire! She hasn’t started driving yet but I suspect her eyes are now in better shape than they were for a few months before the big crash. It really hasn’t been that big a hassle “driving miss Nancy”. About the only really bothersome thing is having to be more involved with grocery shopping. I liked it better when all that was done as if by magic.

I pulled the jalapeño bushes and stripped the last of the peppers. It was a combination of pending cold weather and a better use for the space in mind. We pickled them and had enough to make 3 jars – actually 2.5 jars. We filled the last jar with a green grilling pepper and green cherry tomatoes. I’m anxious to see how the tomatoes turn out since we always have more of those than we can handle and if we get an early frost, there will probably be a load of green ones coming available before they ripen. Pickles? I think we made about a dozen jars over the season which is more than enough to carry us thru to the next season. George picked a handful, nothing like he usually does, we gave away a few large bags to friends and relatives, and grilled some stuffed with cheese so it was a well used crop. There were 6 plants and they produced steadily from June thru now. The nice thing about jalapeño peppers is that they can absolutely handle the heat and the bugs steer clear of them so once you get them started, you’re insured of a successful crop.

I took on a small job that turned out to be quite a bit more than I’d estimated. We’ve had lots of company and visitors for the past few months and I noticed that some were having trouble parking and navigating our jungle road. Having my truck parked where I could easily get to it was also part of the problem so I decided to cut back the jungle that had gradually crept in and to carve out a better spot for the truck to rest. The couple hours I had mentally allocated to the job took a couple of days and expanded to include hauling and spreading a few yards of fill dirt. But’s it’s done and even Nancy’s quilter was able to get in and out without hitting a tree.

I’ve been debating whether to plant more onions and also some garlic. I decided yes on the onions, no on the garlic. We just don’t use that much garlic and Nancy likes the chopped garlic she gets from Costco. Fate intervened and one of her buddies happened to buy a sock full of garlic bulbs and gave us three. The donor is also the beef lady so I hope this donation wasn’t garlic in lieu of beef in exchange for a couple large bags of turnip greens. I took one of the bulbs, broke it down to 11 cloves and planted those – as it happens in the place where I pulled the turnips. I’ll give them a couple of weeks to germinate (or not).

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