Thank you for those who dropped by or e-mailed me to wish me a happy birthday. It was not just a wonderful day, but a wonderful weekend. In an earlier post, I had mentioned how my husband was unwilling to field gift ideas from me since he claimed that my gift was already taken care of. This of course, was a real surprise, since I had not so much as hinted at anything recently. So. We went out for a lovely meal at a Mexican restaurant that we used to dine at when we were still courting. That in itself was a wonderful treat. And back at home when the Mister gave me a beautiful card and a book that he picked out all by himself, that was more than enough for me. But there was one more thing! Hidden in our backyard under some tarps (that I would have never looked under in a hundred years because we have tarps covering all manner of construction nonsense out there) was a brand new shiny red gang reel push mower. Now in order for this gift to make sense, you would have had to eavesdrop on many previous conversations in which I point out the benefits of having such a mower. Benefits such as its lack of noise (I detest loud noise) and how it doesn't spit tons of grass dust in the air as you are mowing, causing the allergy-prone among us to struggle for days with an itchy throat and watery eyes. And best of all, how it never runs out of gas and there is no complicated starting mechanism which I don't have the strength to start. Yes, just fast, easy, and perfect for quickly tidying up the grass around the gardens in between the major mowing sessions (which will still be managed by the Mister with a gas mower.) But for my purposes, it suits. And it cuts grass like a knife through soft butter. I love it. Even better was the story of how the Mister had to procure it by running out to Lancaster one day while I was at work so he could shop for it. Then, how he just made it back home in time to throw on his work clothes and make it look like he had been there all day about fifteen minutes before I walked through the door. Who would have thought that a man who once gave me a hammer and screwdriver set as a gift (he really did think I would find it handy) could actually come through with something so, so...wanted? Even better, it is tangible proof that once in a while he actually does listen to me. Oh, and my birthday cake was a completely delicious Boston Cream cake of my own choosing. And although it was still not as good as my mother's homemade Boston Cream pie, it was good enough to be memorable.
In the Garden: Pole limas are coming in now. Although our tomatoes have not been great, I'm not going to complain since hearing that Brenda up in Maine did not get a single one this year. Also, I've at least canned the same amount as last year, maybe more, so what is there to complain about? I'm already thinking about the Fall garden- peas, lettuce, spinach. Someone recently asked me how we keep the animals out of our garden. All I can say is, we don't. We don't have a fence or any complicated wiring, and there are at least two rabbits that live in our yard. If those rabbits do any damage at all, it's minimal and I don't notice it. The only advice that is fit to offer on this subject is to strive for balance in your garden by planting diverse crops, and hope it will attract diverse critters that are both predator and prey.
In the Kitchen: Canning tomatoes, freezing peppers, and thinking about using the watermelon jelly I made in a jelly roll.
Books I'm Reading: The Amish-Jewish Cult series by Patricia Hochstetler (Riveting and almost hard to believe) and Home Life on the Prairie by Susan Hochstetler (some hard living in Oklahoma!)