Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bits & Pieces....

Well, at least ONE of my crops produced reasonably well for me this year. That would be my bigger rhubarb plant. Here's the load of stalks I got off of it this year. It was enough for 3-1/2 sandwich-baggies full of rhubarb pieces for cobblers this winter. I also got a half-baggie of rhubarb from the biggest of my dad's plants, for a total of 4 baggies full. Not bad! I think I could get considerably more rhubarb if next summer I keep on top of pulling it. It can be harvested continually throughout the summer and into the fall.
I also cut down my chives again. This time to harvest. Just went out with my kitchen shears & gave the whole darned plant a very brutal "crew cut". I decided to try drying the chives prior to chopping them up & jarring them. Typically I've cut them, then dried them. It's less messy, in the long run, to cut first, THEN dry. I wound up having to grind them (almost dang pureed them!) in my blender. The bits wound up much smaller than I prefer. Rather more powdery, instead of small bits of chive. I may get a bit more prior to the arrival of winter.

Speaking of fall.... As of Sunday, most of the fireweed in the area has "cottoned out". And over the last several years I have been very careful to note the date that the fireweed cottons out, and the date of our first snow. One of the local little "farmer's almanac" type predictions is that you'll see you're first snow right at 6 weeks after the fireweed "cottons out". And it's been consistently true for the last several years. Last year I predicted (based on that little "tool") that we'd see snow before DD's birthday, Sept. 30th. Sure enough, we had our first snow on the evening of Sept. 29th. DH was about ready to kill me. *wink* Like I wished it on us, or something. Not so!!!! I was simply using the predictive tool given to me to accurately predict the arrival of winter. Well, this year that prediction puts the first snow (termination dust) at approx. Sept. 23rd. Which means winter will be arriving a bit early for us this year. We're typically close (cold & rainy) by that time, but no REAL snow until about half-way into Oct. (Or even towards the end of Oct.) This year it's going to be a bit earlier than that.

Do ya like my new "lawn ornament"???? It's there on the other side of my car. Yep, that street light. Doesn't it look rather..... ooh, BIG for the area??? So much for being able to see the Aurora Borealis or stars in the winter sky. No longer!! Now.... NOW I get my whole house lit brightly by this bigger-than-it-needs-to-be street light that _I_ didn't want in the first place. DOT took it into their brilliant brains to come through and plant these bohemoths in our neighbourhood WITHOUT our neighbourhood's approval. That's right, we didn't have ANY say in the matter. DOT made the decision for us. Jerks. Ironically they're blotting out one of the very few things that many freezing alaskans have to appreciate in the winter: the night sky! *shaking head* The idiocy of modern "civilization". We're so damned afraid of the dark that we'll plant ugly mammoth street lights in our front yard in order to avoid seeing the moon, stars & aurora. The very things that NATURALLY light up our skies for us! *shaking head* Seeing this light out of my front door (because I was standing on my front step when I took the pic) almost makes me wish for Peak Oil. Because then the damned city won't be planting more lights to block out our natural wonders. *sigh* Ok. Done ranting about that. For now.

In other news..... My brake lights are out on my car, and I hate it! We found out last Tuesday. Wednesday DH had me go to Napa to see about buying a new brake light switch for my car. According to the Chilton's book for my car, it's an easy replacement, and a likely cause for the lights to be out, if all fuses & light-bulbs are ok. Should take all of about 5 minutes for the average joe. Not so! Not if your average joe has average joe sized hands. In which case those average joe sized hands aren't BOTH going to be able to fit up behind the steering column & remove the wires that are holding the brake-light switch in place. We wound up paying $90 for a local shop to replace the switch (after DH & I both cut open our hands, attempting to pull the switch out ourselves, with our "average joe sized hands"). It was $45 for the new switch itself. And we couldn't pick up the new switch or get the car into the shop till Friday. Ok. We coughed up the $$ to get it done. Guess what. Didn't solve the problem! The lights were STILL out on my car! *shaking head* So, Friday night, DH picked up all new bulbs for my car & made sure that they were brand-new, just in case one of the old bulbs had been blown without looking like it. And it worked! Temporarily. Because Sunday, when he wanted to check again, just to be sure, the lights were back OFF. *shaking head* So, I've been driving around for at least a week without brake lights. I hate it. I've been careful about my speed so I don't hopefully have to hit my brakes (and wind up with somebody else inadvertently rear-ending me). I've been leaving my headlights off so that I can use my parking lights (which DO work) to signal that I'm braking. And I'm hoping to the good Goddess that I don't have to drive at night (or in the rain) when I'll have to choose to use my headlights & not my parking-lights-for-brake-lights.

So, DH now has my car over at the FIL's replacing the fuses, just to be on the safe side, and checking the wiring while he's got the manual & a properly lit garage to do so in. I hope he can get it fixed, because otherwise we're going to have to shell out more $$ to get the car back in the shop & have the wiring gone over professionally. Which is more $$ than we have at present. *sigh* Just when we get out from under our credit-card debt, something else happens!!!! Murphy's Law, dontcha know!

Ok. I think that's it for now. Gotta go get my dinner made. We're having fried cod filets & "chips". Should be yummy.

Have a Blessed Evening!


Tori_Z said...

Oh! I love Rhubarb! I'm glad you managed to get a tidy amount of it. 4 baggies is quite impressive!

Well... Er... That's a 'nice' lawn ornament. And, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do people assume we need those things all over the place? I'd much rather have the ability to see the stars than have a huge street light that helps me see if any of my neighbours happen to be out of their homes. And, I'm sure a lot of other people would agree.

sammy_bunny said...

I've always wanted to see the aurora and now they are making it hard to see with too much light. Just goes to show that some people don't appreciate the wonders in their own backyard (or sky).

peppylady said...

Rhubarb pie is one of my favor.

I never heard the thing about the fire weed and winter snow.
On Halloween we usual get our first spit of snow but if it snow before Halloween around here it could be long winter with a lot of snow.

I just had some tail light work done on my car and my switch is kind of ify. Sometime in near future we'll have to replace it and around $65 and the switch is located in steering column

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I hope your harvest goes well.

I am so sorry about the street lights. I have always wanted to see the aurora borealis and it sucks that you can't now. if it were me I'd shoot out the damn light.

I hope you get your brakes fixed. Car problems are so annoying!