Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Summer Solstice or The Longest day of the year

                                                 Our Anniversary

We got married on the Longest Day of The Year.  It was a little over 4 decades ago.  It happened in Northern Wisconsin/Michigan.  Where I grew up was actually 2 towns.  I went to School from 4th grade to 12th in Watersmeet Michigan.  I am a Nimrod.  (There once was a commercial run during the professional basketball finals about my town and then PBS did a story about it.) My parents house sat on the shores of a lake in Michigan the other side of the lake was Wisconsin.  Our mailing address was Wisconsin.  The Catholic church I went to was in Land O' Lakes.  (No that is not where the butter comes from that is Minnesota.) We met because he rented from a resort on the lake.  He was working on a project in Sylvania Tract.  This at one time was a privately held property in Michigan.  When it was owned privately my father (he was a Chef at a "special" resort,) made dinner for Eisenhower.  He made dinner for him at the resort too.  My childhood was interesting, filled with "B" movie stars, and even Senator Joe McCarthy.  We Met Memorial Day weekend and a year and 21 days later got married.  We were attending 2 different colleges.  I was at Northern Michigan University in Marquette Michigan and he was at The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
I chose June 21st because I felt we would never forget the date.  I think we have each only forgotten once.  Not Bad.
We did something that was quite fun, for us.  Last year we picked our Green Gage plums and instead of me standing at the stove making jam we made Plum Brandy.  There are lots of recipes for "Slivevits?"

Here is a picture of the the tree this year.  The Fisherman thinned some of the plums so they were bigger than last years.  They are very tasty on their own.

We had a little problem finding the right kind of jars, but a local Michael's store had them.  We put the cut seeded plums in the jar added the amount of sugar suggested and then Vodka.  Our first 2 batches (we decanted one in December) were lighter in color.  The plums weren't quite as ripe as the second 2 batches.  We also had issues decanting the first batch.  I realized I really needed cheesecloth to strain the brandy.  On the first batch I tried different things.  But on this second batch the cheesecloth is the thing.  

The second batch is slightly darker than the first.  We sampled and the second seems to have a higher alcohol content.  But Yummy Yummy it is gooooooood!!!!  The fisherman is sampling right now as I am typing.  The aroma is incredible.  This is definitely a great gift for people. If it lasts that long. The first decanting we did in December we gave away as gifts.   The Fisherman wants to make a brandy using cherries, plums and peaches.  This was prompted because we went to the Farmers market and bought some.  We didn't buy enough so next week we may experiment.  The only limitation we have is the jars we use.  

On Monday we head back to the cabin and I hope take some photos to share.  The lake is dropping dramatically as we are facing a drought.  The birds are very active and fun to watch. 

My knitting has been very slow, and I think it is because we have been busy with the Fisherman's work and out travel back and forth.  I hope to really start doing more I have all this yarn at the cabin. There are more baby things in the future, not for my kids but another part of the family.  So I need to get my knitting mojo on and knit clickety clack as fast as I can.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Weather Extremes

We were at home and it was in the low 90's.  Our grandson came to swim.  At first he was a little hesitant.  He will be 4 in August, and he really does not remember much about swimming but he picked it right up again and got braver as the time went on.
He swam so long he got wore out.  But he was till smiling.  

We left on Friday to go to the cabin, so beat the heat.  Our temps were going to be up to 108 so we headed north were it was only going to be in the 90's.  It wasn't too bad, we figured out how to make the air conditioning and ceiling fan work together.  On Saturday I went to Weed to check out the thrift store and The Mercantile and the local Ray's Market.  I found these hankies.  I thought my daughter might like them.
I remember these as a child.  People gave them as tokens, a small gift for someone.  I remember how important it was to pick the perfect one for someone.  I have a few of my own tucked away, but these were too sweet to pass up.  

I also found this pie plate.  For me it ends up having another fond memory.  I have 2 dear friends who still live in Texas.  At one time the Fisherman worked for Texas Instruments, on the Hudson River and a lot of the people were from Texas.  The Fisherman went often to Dallas for meetings.  I never got to go.  So there was an opportunity for me to visit my friends in Texas when we lived in CA the first time.  I remember the East Texas Pottery from Marshall, Texas.  At the time I couldn't afford to buy any pieces, but I remember how much I liked it.  So for me this was a find at a quarter of its retail price.  I had been looking for something for fruit to have on the counter and this fits the bill perfectly and if I want to make a pie even better.  

The Fisherman was going to float the Scott River on Monday because the weather had already started to be slightly cooler.  He had to scrap that thought as in places it was too low even for the inflatable.  But the river at this bridge was gorgeous and I had to take these pictures.

I did drop them off in a different spot and he and his assistant walked a mile and a half up the river and back and I went to the little town of Etna.  I got to spend time with a fellow blogger Yetzirah and we talked and knitted.  She has this great garden going.  She gave me a yummy salad from the garden and a specially brewed tea she is working on.  We met through our commonality of knitting and a knitting group we both belonged to in Sacramento.  I truly enjoy her company and sense of humor.  

We will head home on Wednesday as the Fisherman ended up going to a meeting on Tuesday.  The weather last night turned completely as a front moved through and it became much cooler.  The birds on the island were actually quiet, probably because they were cold.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bats in My Belfry

I actually do not have a picture of the "bats in my belfry", the bats reside in a vent in a roof peak.  We are protected from them but they do make rustling noises.  In fact the picture of Pippi is not the one I wished I had taken.  Earlier she had hid her head between the pillows on the sofa so she couldn't hear them. They eventually calm down and you don't hear them.  They are only here during the warm months.  No one disturbs them because they are great bug catchers.
She is so sweet, loving and patient, and one of the best companions.  
I was finally able to finish the Five Hour (ha ha) Sweater, I am pleased with how it turned out, the buttons are mother of pearl in a pink-mauve tone shaped like flowers.  They are the same ones I used on Granddaughters sweater. I will make a hat to go with it next.  

We came to the cabin on Wednesday, the Fisherman found out Tuesday afternoon he had to be at a meeting on Wednesday.  It was a whirlwind, luckily we were basically ready to go.  We will probably have to always be ready to go for the Fisherman's job.  

The weather is gorgeous, what can I say.  We have had the Pelicans visiting in front, at first it was 2 and then at one point it was 6.  They are herding fish so they can catch them.  There are other birds there with them, but it is fun to watch them
The photo is not too clear, I did take a photo with a regular camera, which I will work on uploading.  Another group that appeared are the deer, they are like squirrels around here.  There are so many wandering around.  I guess they are a nuisance for the gardens and the landscaped yards, but there are not as many of those as you think.  Around the golf course there are more landscaped houses, but not where we are.  
I promise to do a better job about photos, will have to work on it.