Friday, June 19, 2009

Shop Til You Pop


If it can be done, I sure hope I can find it! I'm giving it a shot, anyhow!

Craigs List
Word of mouth
phone calls

and doing searches online for hours now, trying to line up some way to either purchase or fabricate a pool wall.

They just don't sell the walls any longer. You have to buy an entire kit.

I kid you not, I have even been emailing Chinese manufacturers and importers of rolled and coiled sheet metal.

No dice.

We are picking up a pool wall someone had on FreeCycle that is a 3 by 12. It will be welcome to have to cool and splash in until something larger makes itself available, but I'm wondering about hooking up our huge filter system. LOL If the wall can take it, it ought to filter that whole pool in about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, I'm going to try pickles, I think. We have a lot of cukes. And we had zucchini for breakfast. ;)

That was three days of rain on the garden. Lots of mud. But they clean up just fine.


Here's what I've got so far...

Gooseberry pie filling, gooseberry jam with no stems, and gooseberry jam WITH stems.

I planned on making jelly from the frozen gooseberries, but didn't have enough sugar for the whole lot of them. So I decided to do the 1 1/2 gallons of black currants I still had.

I did not follow directions. I wanted to see if using my juicer would give me juice to make the jelly.

It did not. I stopped after only doing about 1/3 of them. My juicer clogged up and I ended up with puree. I should have remembered that this juicer will not do soft fruits at all.

So I put the whole thing into a pot and cooked it til the remaining currants had broken down, then tried to strain it.

Kept trying...

And then tried leaving it for a long time...

It was not use. That stuff was not going to let go of the juice. So I ended up making black currant jam.

Isn't this little guy cute? I think he got too much nitrogen. I hope I don't have a problem. The plants absolutely would not grow until I gave them some later, but it may have been too much.

Having just gone through the cupboard, I'm short on some pickle spices, so I may have to put that off until I go to town tonight and can get some.

Michael is out taking down the massive amounts of grass growth we've had since the rains. We'll be raking it up and putting in the compost pile, it looks like. Too thick to leave there. We ended up with nearly 5 inches of rain this week! We, like so many of you, have been dealing with drought conditions (weird for me to say, as I'm from CA in an area that 15 - 20 inches was a good year) here for a few years. The top of the landscape is good, our lakes are good, but the water table way down deep is still a bit low. I'm hoping this week has brought it close to where it's supposed to be. :)

One bad thing from the rain, is that all the last herbs we put in, that were soooo tiny, got buried by runoff. Next year will be better. If we have the greenhouse going, we can get an earlier start and be able to put plants in that are not tiny, but maybe 6 inches tall. What a blessing that will be in so many ways!

The Tomato Garden

An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden , but it was very difficult work as the ground was hard.
His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.
The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent:
I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.
Love, papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Pop:
Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried.
Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.
That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop:
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love you,

It is going to be hazy-sunny today and 95 degrees!




  1. Your canning season is so far ahead of ours I am jealous. But when the work comes I won't be.

    Thanks for the joke..I had a nice chuckle.


  2. I have only canning jars of pickled eggs. You are doing much better than me. We are not getting as many squash as you but we are eating everyone with a few to share. We are grilling them on the grill on sunday.

  3. Oh my that is a lot of cucumbers and yellow squash! I am jealous too. My garden is no where near being that far along and this weekend it is suppose to remain in the low 60's. The veggies are stalling and I am growing anxious for a harvest!

  4. Linda,

    I think it's just because of the gooseberries. I think everyone should have them - so rewarding with so little effort. ;)


  5. Tracey,

    Pickled eggs! I've never had them. Yeah, I over planted the squash, thinking we were going to do farmer's market. But we just need to pick them smaller. It's just that rain kept us out of the garden longer than we'd realized.

    I love grilled veggies!


  6. Cynthia,

    We sure had a boost with all the rain. Those plants did almost nothing with the hose, but when the rain came, WHOOSH!

    My dad says gardens always do better with rain than with the hose. I'm not surprised as the town water has chlorine and, have you notice how many hoses we buy say, "Not for drinking!" YIKES! This is what we water our produce with?

    I plan on taking pics of my mystery squash tomorrow. :)


  7. LOL! That's funny! Only in NJ! ;) Your harvest looks so bountiful! I'm hoping to try making pickles for the first time this year. I'm so scared to try canning, I just remain in awe of everyone who does!

  8. Jo,

    You and me both. We'll be adventuring into canning together this year. :)



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