Right on cue, mid August is the time for making pickles!
At least it's time here in my kitchen. Yesterday morning, we admired our first small bounty of fat cucumbers picked fresh from the backyard garden. They were washed and left to soak in a sink of ice water while I gathered up and sterilized jars and lids, and prepared the salty brine from Grandma's old recipe.
Earlier though, standing out in the garden, I realized with disappointment that the dill I planted is not worthy. I've been puzzling over it for months now wondering why in the world it is only four inches tall. And it's flowering. I had no luck with it last year either, so threw out the old seeds and bought new ones. Dill is known to grow with very little effort. Like a weed in fact. The seeds scatter on their own and can result in a forest if you're not careful. Molly is probably still contending with the 'dill forest' we left behind at our previous house. So it's a mystery why we can't get it to grow here.
Fortunately, I know where to find a nice big bunch and sent the girls out to gather some while I peeled garlic cloves with my new gadget. Oh, how I love this silly thing.
The hot summer weather crept up on us over the weekend. Naturally, just in time for the pickling AND for the air-conditioner to unceremoniously die. It's an older unit we've tinkered with and had repaired and coaxed along for several years now, so it really wasn't a surprise that this day would finally come. And when it hit 102 degrees on Saturday, I had a certain knowing feeling that this would be the day. And I was right! Murphy's Law rarely disappoints. It was quite dramatic. Funny, but not funny. Without warning it cried out with one loud horrible shriek just as the sun was setting. Everyone stopped what they were doing. Then it went quiet. The Mister and I just froze and stared at each other. With the same thought: $+$+$
You know, the *JOYS* of home-ownership.
But looking on the bright side: We Have Pickles! Lots of them! And that's a good thing too because we've almost eaten them all, and there's only one lonely jar remaining from last summer. Just one! Soon to be opened, I might add.
Here it is, sitting on the shelf awaiting its fate.
Anyway, it's a lovely morning here in the valley and supposed to stay in the 90's today. Electric fans are moving the air around. The AC salesman has already been here and dropped the $ bomb. I'm still recovering from sticker shock even with all the rebates and discounts. And those official looking efficiency ratings. (We must not forget those.) He thinks the furnace should also be replaced at the same time to maximize the system. That is always one of the selling points of any upgrade--all the money that will be saved on energy and fuel costs in the longrun, and that over time, it pays for itself. Makes perfect sense of course. But I quickly ran the numbers in my head and came up with a thirty-year figure. I can only hope I live that long. I think I'll go up to the pool and think it over. Or try and forget.
Hey--thank you for the BOOK love! I'm pretty excited about it! Mostly just relieved that it's finally done. A lot of time and effort went into it. I can't wait to show you!
Meanwhile . . . I'm still adding sewing patterns to my Etsy shop.
I didn't realize how many patterns I need to part with. They've been stored in a large dresser for years and I haven't really gone through them in awhile. Some are well worn favorites, used over and over, and some have never been used at all. Typical, I think, of those who sew. We always have the best of intentions, but hunting for fabric and finding time is hard sometimes.
The number of shoeboxes I'm sorting all these patterns into keeps growing! I have so many now that I think I will just concentrate on patterns first and add other things later. I haven't actually pushed the "activate" button for any of the listings yet, so they won't show up in the shop. It's a tedious process---I'd forgotten that. I can only do so many at a time before I hit the wall and run screaming from the room with my eyeballs burning.
I'll give advance warning the day before though, so please do check back if you're in the market for vintage and retro patterns. It's mostly kids clothing, lots of costumes, and a few adult sizes.
Bye for now...my dears!