Thursday, July 30, 2015

Our Crazy,Busy Summer 2015

 It's been way too long since I last posted, but I guess that's what happens when you double the size of your garden!  It's been a super hot and busy summer.  Mostly garden and yard busyness.  I actually was wondering why I felt so overwhelmed with yard/garden work in such a dry year...and then it dawned on me...I doubled the size of my garden!  Mistake much?  Perhaps?  I certainly was feeling that these past 2 weeks!! 

I've been picking peas, beans and raspberries 3 times a week for the past few weeks, on top of regular yard work.  For some reason that awful weed called "fahtta han" or portulaca absolutely loves this hot, dry weather!  It's growing everywhere!  In my garden, flower beds, tree line and even in the gravel!!  If you're familiar with this weed, you know that every single leaf left on the ground produces at least a million other plants!  Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it really is an awful, awful weed!

Thankfully we got a fair bit of rain last week and it saved me from having to water by hand.  Our well has been producing very little water, so we're water rationing.  This means no sprinklers, only watering by hand so as not to waste water.  It's a lot of work.

Anyhow, my garden has been doing very well considering the lack of rain and the intense heat.
My freezer is stocked with enough raspberries to last the winter (which means there should be enough berries for hubby to make his yummy raspberry wine!!!), and almost enough beans.  My peas are almost done, but I'm happy with the amount stored in my freezer.  We picked lots of cherries to make everything from pie filling, to cherry vodka to wine.  I am also in the process of making raspberry vinegar and I can't wait to try it in my homemade salad dressing!  My cucumbers are just starting to produce and I've already canned 5 quarts!  I couldn't find any of the hot red peppers I usually use to my dill pickles, so I used jalapeno peppers for a few jars and hot Thai peppers for a few.  It could be interesting!  And hot!  lol! 
A few years ago I started to put posts and string along my pea rows.  It results in the peas nicely vining up instead of laying on the ground.  They're much easier to pick and take up less garden space!
This was our first picking of peas!!
My kids all help with shelling peas and snapping beans...although there may be a few kids who eat more than they work! 
Each of the kids (except Alex) planted their own garden.  It's been really neat to watch them learn about gardening, weeding and harvesting the produce.  Morgun loves radishes and couldn't wait for us to have enough radishes for this salad.  It super easy to make...
Zippy Radish Salad
2 cups thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup cubed Swiss chees
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. tarragon vinegar (I use regular vinegar and add a bit  of tarragon)
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Combine ingredients and chill for 2 hours before serving on a bed of lettuce.
3 tbsp. olive oil
I absolutely LOVE cooking with fresh garden produce!  There is something incredibly neat and fulfilling about heading to the garden to gather produce for supper, lunch or breakfast.  We love fresh carrots, creamy dilled name a few...and raspberry mojitos!!
Martin has been super busy at work too. It's hard to connect in this busy season, but we've gotten into a wonderful habit of having coffee on the back deck each morning.  I go to bed at night looking forward to our time together each morning!  It's a balm to my tired body and mind!

We took a few days to head to a local lake.

Each night the kids were tuckered out and more than ready for bed!

We have a lot of forest fires in our province this year and unfortunately it really affected our air quality for a good week.  One day at the lake was so bad that we only spend a bit of time at the beach and then headed to the city to get out of the smoke!  It actually reminded me of China.

One of nephews came out for a week and we had the privilege of having him over for a few days.  The highlight was driving the boys' jeep and go-carting.

We've also spent a lot of time in the pool.  The littles are becoming such good swimmers!  Even Jackson is comfortable enough to paddle around wearing water wings.


The girls spend a week at a one hour lawn club and a week at a local VBS.  They both enjoyed immensely...although Raina's expression on crazy hair day says otherwise!  lol!

For Martin's birthday we went to the RCMP Musical rides.

I'm not sure who enjoyed it more...Raina...

...or Malia! 

I've been trying out different zucchini recipes and this one was a hit...for most of us.
Simply brown sliced zucchini in butter with a bit of garlic.  Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and some lemon juice.  Yummy!

Anyhow...that was a random kinda post with a lot of pics! lol!  Perhaps the next time I post it will be about an actual summer vacation?  I've been trying to convince hubby we REALLY NEED to take a summer vacation!  He thinks he's way too busy with work and that we should wait till fall...I say no!  I want/need a HOT summer vacation!  Here's to hoping we can take a summer vacation!...a girl can dream!


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