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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hobo Dinners, Yummy Bean Casserole for the Hay Crew and Little Deer has a Fawn!

Oh what a busy month it's been.  Almost a whole month and I've almost blogged so many times and then just....didn't.

Have you ever lost someone you loved so very dearly?  Almost 9 months have somehow passed since we lost my mom and still some days I am shocked and heart-broken anew.  Did she know we loved her so much?  I still dish up too many plates for dessert sometimes and a few days ago I stood in the room that was hers and cried.  I miss her company.  Sigh.  More time.  More time will ease the ache and loss, though never the hole.

It seems like our summer was here and now gone.
First, it was day after day of HOT, unseasonably
so, weather.  Up in the 80s, the 90s...Way too hot
for us Western Washingtonians!  Like boneless chickens, we lose all ability to do anything useful as we wilt.  Too hot to do any more planting or weeding outside.  Just when I finally had gone through my closet and found capris, short sleeved shirts, sandals.....South it went!  Now, the low temperature tonight may supposedly reach the upper 30s and it's been nothing but gray skies and cloudbursts and gullywashers!

 I must say, it was almost....chilly!  I donned a flannel shirt and woolly socks.  I sequestered myself in my sewing room and finished a quilt top!  The weeds in the garden and flower beds have gone crazy, the dandelions have taken over the yard and I've no need to feel guilty for not working on them because IT IS RAINING CATS AND DOGS!   Ahhhh.

What else have I been up to?  Hmm.  I had loaves of onion mustard sourdough and Italian Hersbs & cheese breads in my freezer, left over from the Farmer's Market & Spring Festival, so I sliced & diced & dehydrated them!

 Now I've got dry bread cubes for every occasion!  Yesterday I crushed a couple cups of them and made meatballs!

It's going to be a 'fruit' year for sure, if the pests don't get all the goods.  The apple trees are loaded with little apples and even though Dave hard-pruned the pears, there are quite a few of them, too.  The Italian Plum is loaded, but one huge major branch split and needs to come down, so not as many plums as we thought.  What can you really do with plums, anyhow?  I mean, you can eat SOME, but boxes and boxes?
 Something has been digging up everything we plant.  Hostas are dumped upside down.  Artichokes strewn out of the ground.  Onion bulbs UNplanted.  Then, in the barn, feed bags torn and feed scattered about.  Traps with tempting tidbits have now managed to catch 3 possums (opossums) so far.  We'd been expecting raccoons but we were wrong!

Mama Deer has twins this year.  She's very flighty and we only catch an occasional glimpse of her.

 On the other hand, Little Deer has a single fawn and she proudly brought him to the yard for me to see.  She's in my daughter's black books, however, as she has on more than one occasion, jumped the fence into her yard and eaten a special rose bush.  For some reason, I get blamed for this.  Just because I sit on the porch and converse with her and occasionally throw her an apple does not mean I am responsible for her friendliness....does it?

The perfectly pretty peonies pleased Pam.  There.  Say that 5 times real fast!
Windows 10 took over BOTH my computers when I wasn't looking.  My desktop computer upstairs in my sewing room crashed.  Completely.  It died and I am sad.  It also took over my laptop, but we have managed to adjust without bloodshed.  Just when I finally had a mutually agreeable relationship with that dumb computer and now I have to LEARN NEW THINGS.  I am old.  Well, getting there!

Hobo Dinner.  THAT is not a new thing and it is so easy that you'll want to run to the kitchen right now and fix yourself one for dinner.  Or lunch.  
 I keep frozen hamburger patties in the freezer just for such occasions.  I made individual ones in oven-proof plates.  Just slap a frozen (or thawed) hamburger patty in, salt & pepper..maybe a delicious tangy onion, few potato wedges and some sliced carrots.  You can dab a little butter on top or, if you're not afraid of real food, bacon grease!  Then you just slap a piece of tin foil aluminum foil over those puppies and bake at 375* or so until it's all done!
Yum, what a feast!
During those 90*+ days, I had to keep two fans on my rabbits in their building.  I went out on the two hottest days when the temps reached almost 100* and misted them with water and laid wet rags in their cages for them to lay one.  I didn't lose even one bunny, even out of this litter of little ones!   I got some dirty looks from rabbits as I sprayed water on their faces, ears & fur!
 The weather's been so unseasonably warm & dry (well, until this rainy spell) that we've already cut & baled over 600 bales of hay!  The barn loft is full and ready for winter!  I fed the hay crew dinner two days in a row - hamburgers on a bun and Yummy Bean Casserole the first day,  and the next day, pizza.  Homemade, of course.  It didn't dawn on me until later that I could have actually PURCHASED ready-made pizza!  Go figure. What will they think of next?

NOTHING is better than this bean dish.  Try it.  You'll thank me.
 Of course, unless you raise your own ground beef and have kielbasa made, and of course use your own canned beans and won't taste quite the same as mine, but it's one of those no-fail recipes, so give it a go anyhow.

It's great for potlucks, too.
 While my mom was undergoing cancer treatments, we had to be in town (about 35-40 minutes away) sometimes 2, 3 or even 4 days a week for anywhere from 2 to 5 hours not including the drive.  Then, of course, taking care of her when we were back home again took up much of our time.  Now I'm still trying to get used to NOT having to go anywhere and NOT feeling guilty for sewing or working outside.
I realize that a lot of women go to work and spend many hours away, but with a chronic illness like Lyme Disease, it was a hard road to travel and none of us has recovered very well yet.
In past years, varmints ate my strawberries & raspberries before I could get to them.  Now I've got them under wire row covers and in a chicken wire covered cloche and they are doing GOOD!  Here is my little batch of strawberry rhubarb jam.  If this rain hasn't molded them, I should get more strawberries.  I confess that we've mostly just scarfed them down as fast as I could get them in the house.  Can you say....Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream?????

Well, I'm sure more stuff has happened than I have remembered to write, but I'll stop rambling for now.  God has been good to us and I thank Him every day for His love and blessings to us.  This farm is my happy place.  All those years when I was a child, living in duplexes in the city with my single mom, I dreamed of living on a farm.  Well, I also dreamed of eating all the whipped cream I wanted, but never mind that!  Until next time!


  1. The pizza was excellent. Way better than store bought! :)

  2. Very beautiful blog
    Best wishes

  3. Thank you for taking such good care of your bunnies.
    We would put a frozen water bottle (like a liter soda bottle) out in the hutch and the bunny would lay next to it.

  4. Thank you for taking such good care of your bunnies.
    We would put a frozen water bottle (like a liter soda bottle) out in the hutch and the bunny would lay next to it.