Sunday, August 28, 2011

Odds n Ends

A few things kept me from the writing I intended, but I hope to do some catching up this weekend. Here's what kept me busy...

First of all, my sweetie and I took a 3-day, 2-night trip to Eastern Oregon.  Photos are here...more details to come. We packed a lot into those 3 days.  Then there was sifting through nearly 500 photos and editing the ones I chose.  I never would have taken that many photos in the days of film.  Now, rather than stand for 5 minutes and read a placard, I can take a photo and read it later. 

Some people scoff at the constant taking of photos, but I find it doesn't necessarily separate me from what I am experiencing because a view screen allows me to put the camera anywhere, as opposed to the view-finder forcing me to put the camera right in front of my face. The photos even allow me to see details I might not have otherwise.  This allows me to experience a place, preserve it for memories and future learning without getting all worn and bedraggled because I stood around reading all those signs.  There will be more posts to come on our trip, and more updating of those photos.

Yesterday I finally drank some mint tea brewed from leaves harvested from my front yard, sharing it with my best friend.  I spent several evenings on that harvest...that'll teach me to procrastinate in the future.  The Julep Spearmint was most fecund, and if anything needed to be cut back just to stop it from encroaching on the path to our door.  Next to it, the Chocolate Mint, also quite healthy but not quite as weedish, also had bolted.  Last thing I want is for those flowers' seeds to jump the concrete and asphalt and start growing everywhere.

I cut back those belly-high stalks of mint, and laid them out on a sheet to dry in the yard. We were having warm, dry weather, so I figured it would take 1-2 days to dry, which it did.  Then I stripped the leaves, and avoided the flowers.  This made it a much longer task.  Next year I'll be better about harvesting earlier and more often, especially the chocolate mint, as it smelled more chocolaty earlier in the season.  Still, the brew was better than I expected, so what was I waiting for?

Meanwhile, my baby roses are thriving, and some rose hips are ripe...certainly riper than my tomatoes.  I'm still getting new flowers, too.  The nursery where I bought them has some recipes for jam, puree, and tea.  Here's a forum where someone posted even more recipes.

Some tomatoes are finally turning color.  It looks like I will have at least 2 kinds.  A friend gave me several starts from her heirloom seeds...what I get is the luck of the draw.  I'm glad, because I like both the green stripey ones and the red or orange ones

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