Friday, October 02, 2009

Favorite Days

Well, here we are again at my absolute favorite time of the year.  As you may know, I was raised Roman Catholic and the old religious teachings from pre-Vatican II are well-rooted in my psyche (though I must confess I'm not considered a "good" Catholic because of my differences in opinion with several Church teachings along with the fact that my personal idea of religion has grown waaaay past the dogma of traditional Catholicism.)  Still, I don't believe in throwing out the baby with the bath water, and there are some of the old practices I like.  I refer now to what is called The Calendar of the Saints, which is where every day of the year has a patron, or saintly person who has gone on to heavenly reward, dedicated to it and who is specially to be asked for help on a particular day -- their appointed feast day; kind of like asking your big brother or sister who happens to be hanging around the house on a given day to give you a hand if you need help with something.  (The idea being that God helps them who help themselves, so why bother God when you can hit up somebody else in the family.)  This week beginning on September 29th starts my favorite week of feast days.  September 29 is the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel; September 30 is the Feast of Mary the Mother of Jesus under her title Queen of Angels; October 1 is the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux; October 2 is the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels; and October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Asissi.  For me, this is always a very spiritual time as I spend a lot of it looking inward evaluating where I am and where I'd like to be on The Road Less Traveled.  Sort of like rodding out the sewer line . . . .

That makes me think of garbage (time to clean out the basement!), which puts me in mind of compost, and

Heirloom Tomatoes.

Bear with me here; sometimes my writing is as circuitous as my thoughts.  Day before yesterday, I went through the tomato bags and collected two big bowls of tomatoes that were ripe enough to process, so I pulled out the Mehu Lisa steamer pot and made juices and sauce.  (The skins and seeds went into the compost bin.)

Yesterday, we had a gorgeous day, the last good outside day predicted for a while, so I tried to finish cutting the hay in the small meadow and orchard out in the field, but the best I could do before leaving for Special Olympics was to finish cutting the big garden section where I had planted the corn and squashes that never produced and just went to weeds, and only started cutting the orchard. 

Today I awoke to a Ray Bradbury dreary October day so I went into the garage and made wreaths out of the hops bines.  I used upended bushel baskets as wreath forms and that worked very nicely.  The wreaths will stay put till they are good and dry.  I may decide to further decorate them or try to sell them as is.  They smell really nice.  After that, I decided to freeze the last of the cabbages.  That took a couple of hours, but by noon I was well into making Tom's new batch of apple dumplings.  (We had them for supper.)  I brought in the half bushel of dried beans to shell out after I finish this blog entry, but I may wait on doing that.  Tomorrow is laundry day, and hopefully I'll get to Tom's three bushels of corn.  His corn didn't fill out very well, but it's mostly good enough for us to eat, so I'll try canning it in pints since my last attempt at freezing corn didn't work too well -- the corn was very mushy when I tried cooking it. 

I added another layer of wood shavings to the chicken coop floor when I went out to check on water and feed.  Some of the hens were smart enough to stay dry in the coop, but most of the chickens looked bedraggled from being out in the rain.  They reminded me of that scene in the movie Gone With The Wind where the black house servant was trying to catch that scrawny rooster to cook for dinner.

All told, it was a productive day.  I always feel better when I think I've accomplished something.   A nice end to the day was my nephew, Johnny, calling from Cornell University.  It was great to hear from him!

See ya later!

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