It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these, last August, in fact!
This will be one part good things, one part things I’m reading/link-ups, and maybe one small rant.
- Blackberry Jam! Last summer I made my first ever batch of blackberry jam. It was a half batch and the jars lasted all year after I had canned them. This was awesome! About a month ago I was going to open the last jar to use up before the blackberries came in but I was dismayed to see that the jar had come unsealed! So sad! I opened it and it smelled fine but I wasn’t about to test it and end up with botulism or something so into the trash can it went. Booo! Well, now that we’re fully into a new blackberry season with blackberries out our ears, I made some jam one evening after work and canned it. The good thing about canning the jam is that it only takes 5-10 minutes for 1/2 pints (one site said 5, another said 10, so I split it and did 8). The recipe is super simple, it was the one I used last year, and I knew I could do it one evening. Now I have another 11 jars of jam! But, it looks like we have plenty of blackberries to do another round of jam so I may make another batch this weekend so we will have some jars to share with friends and family. Since I’m on a jam kick, I was flipping through a jams and preserves cookbook Chris bought years ago and I saw a recipe for strawberry jam. Strawberries are in season at the store so I might make some of that, to!
- The evening light. I’ve always been a sucker for noticing the light, how it falls during different points of the day and year. I even noticed this as a kid. Inside the house around 7pm the light pours into the living room from the front door and staircase portal window such that it really reminds me of Samson. He used to lay in a puddle on the floor during the evenings, soaking up the sunshine, or sit on the stairs and look out into the garden and yard. I miss that little kitty. Outside the light is spectacular when the sun starts going down behind the trees across the street and I’m always looking up at the trees above the garden to see how the light is coming through the leaves. And of course the light on the side yard garden during that time is my favorite!
- Return to sprinkler season! I pulled out the sprinkler the other night for Forest to have his first foray into playing in the water for the summer. We started it rather late last year so he didn’t get to play as much as he could have so I am trying to make sure he gets a good amount of sprinkler in this summer! I need to pull the little pool out for him this weekend so we can keep it out, too.
- Quiet time in the garden. Usually Forest is around me when I’m in the garden and sometimes it can be difficult to get a decent chunk of time in to pull weeds or just inspect and look so if I can get a bit of time to myself where Forest is with Chris, then it is really nice to just sit and pull weeds or quietly look around. Right now a lot of the frogs start their chorus at a particular time so I love listening for them, or maybe the birds fly over head. Last night I was in the flower beds pulling basket grass and saw something that looked like a weird snail—turned out to be a leopard frog. Yes, your thinking how does she get from snail to frog? Well, I was looking at the frog’s eyeball and it kind of threw me and as I was reaching to inspect I focused in and saw the frog was half covered by some mulch and was just chilling. The frog stayed there while I continued to weed around him—having a little companion to enjoy the garden time was pleasant!
- A few links for reading:
+Is the U.S. Education System Producing a Society of “Smart Fools”? via Scientific American.
+How to Raise a Feminist Son via The New York Times. Something I think about a lot!
+The Myth of the Kindly General Lee via The Atlantic. This isn’t quite a new discussion but seems to be more on the forefront given today’s political climate. Chris was mentioning it to me the other day an on-going discussion about the removal of certain Confederate statues across the south and because he saw something about a Sam Houston statue being protested. We had a mild debate about it but I didn’t know enough to have a huge opinion one way or the other; if anything I was definitely on the side of not having schools named after Confederate generals/soldiers/”heroes”. But this definitely gives a little more sway to that thought. I’m not for eliminating the history of certain historical figures of question, but it does bear some thought to figure out where they should stand in our cultural memory and how we should choose to figure out where they stand in significance as subjects such as statues and the like due to their conflicted narratives. This is definitely a much broader discussion than should be covered on this little blog, but it is something to ponder and think about.
And a couple of two thumbs down:
- Anne with an E on Netflix. I have a lot of thoughts about this and will probably write a spoiler filled post about it soon, but I almost threw the remote at the tv after the final episode, because what the fresh hell was that???
- Leaf footed bugs on the tomatoes. I’ve never had a huge problem with these bugs on the tomatoes, we have them every year, but this year seems to be an all out population explosion of them. Because I hadn’t had a huge problem with them I wasn’t really squashing a lot of them but that was to my detriment on one or two particular plants that have suffered some tomato rotting because of their sucking on the tomatoes. So, now I’m squashing a lot more of them and taking a more active role in trying to control them a bit. I’m not a huge fan of kill-all-the-pests in the garden but these buggers could use a little taming right now.
What about you? What are some favorites in your life?