Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer Fruits & Frugal Accomplishments

Last week, J & I put up trellises for our cucumbers and beans.  We've replanted our squash so many times, we're no longer sure where the squash needing trellising are.  Tromboncino squash are probably the only ones getting a trellis, and they will once they're identified.  We usually don't trellis our pumpkins and other winter squash.  They're in a garden where it's not a problem if they ramble.  Cucumbers and winter squash are starting to blossom, so I'm hoping to be harvesting cucumbers soon.  After creating my new logo, I hadn't taken photos of most of the soaps in their new labels, so I finally got that done.  When I first opened my online shop, I hired a photographer friend to take photos of my soaps.  I helped do most of the styling, & he said I was a natural.  Since then I've taken my own photos.  Good thing, as I expect I've taken thousands of photos for my shop and ebay listings in the 8 years since.

Wild blackberries, blueberries, and a few mulberries and raspberries make their way into my basket most days, eggs are gathered, and japanese beetles are gathered and fed to the chickens.  I'm working on eating down our freezer to make room for summer produce, & cooked spaghetti squash, lambs quarter & tromboncino squash.  When I tried to use 1/2 onion & 3 avocadoes that I noticed during my crisper clean out, I found they were too far gone.  A frugal fail, and into the compost crock they went.   I hadn't realized you could extend the life of an avocado in the crisper until a friend told me.  If you wait until it is just barely ripe to put it in the crisper, it significantly extends the keeping time, which  I still managed to pass.  I sewed a button on a nightgown, and made a vinaigrette using mixed berry syrup I had canned.

This spring I learned about Long Keeper tomatoes, bought seeds & planted 8 in pots quite a bit later than the others.  As you don't harvest them until you're expecting frost, which is October here, they should be fine.  I planted the seedlings in the garden & fertilized them with nettle tea.   Another gardening experiment in the works.  I also planted asters and sweet marjoram that I had grown from seed.  We'd had a good rain & a cloudy and cooler morning, so it seemed like the time to plant.  I made a hearty salad, and used our eggs and arugula in it.  Orlaya flowers are lovely in the spring, but they'd rather overtaken my rose bed.  I pulled up all the spent plants, and set some aside for seed saving.  As sweet marjoram is said to be an annual here, I put it in some of the space vacated by the orlaya in the rose bed.  The asters went where they can be viewed from the porch & the new room.  I'm hoping they do well, and we'll have some pretty fall color.

I gathered and washed a basket of lambs quarter from the garden.  Watched an episode of Victorian Pharmacy online.  J & I dug our potatoes.  They're lovely, though there are not many due to an extremely wet spring that delayed planting, & some pretty hot temps early on.  We'll cherish every one.  I harvested kale & brought a kale salad to a gathering, & was delighted to be gifted a basket of cucumbers while there.  I added several strands of twine to our cucumber trellis, & hope to soon be picking our own.  Had a fruit & homemade yogurt breakfast, including our blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mulberries with a bit of mixed berry syrup canned last summer.  After scrubbing off rust with a wire brush,  I applied stove polish to our woodstove, which has it looking much better.

Last year, I took both pups to the vet for their rabies boosters the same day, so I was surprised to get a notice that one was due for another booster.  When I called, I was told they gave one pup the 3 year & the other the 1 year because it was only his second time there (the 1st time being just a few weeks earlier).  I noticed the same serum lot number on both their certificates, & after researching, learned the vaccine used is usually the same for both 1 & 3 year vaccines. A lot has to do with the states laws, & some to the vets discretion.  Both pups have always been kept up to date on their rabies vaccines, & vets say they give immunity for at least 3 years, so I can't in good conscience subject him to an unnecessary vaccination.  We have pet sitters come in rather than board them when we're away, & they almost never leave here except to go to the vet, so I don't feel it will be an issue.  This & this are two of the sources I used in my decision.  Though it does have a frugal outcome, that is just an added benefit of what I feel is doing the right thing.  Have you any thoughts or similar experiences?

My heart has been heavy for a dear friend.  Her 20-something son has been very sick, but no one seems to have any answers so far, even after a week's stay in the hospital and multiple tests.  They've thankfully ruled out a number of things, but the waiting is scary and frustrating for everyone.  I'm hoping the coming week will bring good news and better days.  I'm joining in with Frugal Accomplishments today.


Debra Spinks said...

I agree with you on the rabies shots, if only because you mention they had both been up-to-date previously. But although it was from the same lot, could it have been a smaller dose that would not last three years? Usually they give the one-year shot to a puppy getting their first rabies shot or a dog with unknown vaccination history.

Michèle Hastings said...

Laurie, my daughter is a veterinary pharma rep. She told me that ALL rabies shots are the same dose with the same efficacy. Veterinarians are able to establish their own protocol. Some issue the certificate for every two years to ensure a trip to the vet for an annual exam. The only time you will run into an issue is if you have your pets groomed or boarded and they require an up to date rabies certificate. I agree with you about not subjecting them to an extra dose if it isn't needed.

Laurie said...

I've never had a vet give a one year rabies shot other than the first one, so this was unexpected. I appreciate your input, Deb & the info from your daughter, Michele. My main concern is what the county would do in the unfortunate event he was picked up for some reason.

April said...

You have such a great eye: No wonder the other photographer said you were a natural! Love the photo of the berries in the skillet!

Laurie said...

April, your comments always lift me up. Thank you for that!