Italian prune plums in my huge bowl waiting to be cut and then dehydrated.
All the jobs, that we normally have another month to get done, have to be done by this Thursday. Believe me, the list is long and the energy, on my part at least, is short.
Jeff has been up on the garage roof replacing all of the screws and washers that hold the metal roofing on. The roof has been leaking for years now and he is determined to get it done and waterproofed. Now that all the screws are replaced, he only has the ridgecap to fix. He was hoping to get that done today but between the high winds and the fact that he got home at 7:30 this morning from work, I don't thinki that is going to happen, at least I hope he does not get up there today.
While Jeff has been up on the garage roof, he has been picking prune plums for me from the neighbor's huge trees that overhangs our garage. Our neighbors are wonderful people told us to pick all we want. We have! Once they are picked though it is up to me to get them all cut up and on the dehydrator. That takes lots of time and energy for me. So far I have done one batch on my huge dehydrator and I have another batch to do today.
I finally got all the applesauce done that we need and am now dealing with the last of the tomatoes, squash, beans and cucumbers from the garden along with the glut of blackberries.
I have been freezing and giving away tons of blackberries this year! I am dealing with the cucumbers but sharing with friends and neighbors and making lots of quick pickles, which I eat on a daily basis. The tomatoes have been finding their way into lots of my dinners and lunches lately and my middle grandson has discovered a love for them, so Grammie here is trying to feed that new obsession...literally. The beans are finally done and we ate the last batch of them last night with dinner. To be honest, I am relieved. One less thing to deal with but oh, they were so good! The squash is another matter all together. Yes, I have shared lots but I still have a ton here. I need to make a bunch of zucchini bread or muffins and I plan on freezing some and taking them over to Montana next month when we all descend on my parents in the days before Josh and Lauren's wedding. My mother will be busy feeding a crowd and I want to be able to help here with that by providing some food that is already done and ready and that my brother Fritz will also enjoy.
Within the next few days I need to pick the rest of the tomatoes before the frost and let them ripen slowly inside the house. I also need to pick more blackberries before the killing frost gets them also. I would like to pick more apples and some of the wild yellow plums that are growing alongside the road up the hill from us. That is a lot of work, but as a wise farmer friend of mine has always said, you need to make hay while the sun is shining.
Jeff and I have also been getting the inside of the house ready for the colder weather. He got the wood pellet stove all cleaned out and ready to go and cleaned up and lubricated that fan we hang at the end of the hallway that pushes the warm are from the stove down the hall to the bedrooms. He also got the swamp cooler all emptied, winterized and shut down for the cold weather to come. Some of our warmer weather furniture, both indoor and out, is being put way and so are all the hoses from the gardens.
I have been busy washing up and lighter weight blankets and getting those put away and swithching out for the warmer ones. I have also decorated for Fall, got out the Fall themed cozy throws and blankets for the living room and still need to switch out the cloth napkins to the Fall and Winter themed ones. The pictures on the walls that are Spring and Summer themed ones have come down and been replaced with my Fall and Winter ones also. I love the warm glow they give to our living room at this time of year. It makes it feel so cozy in there and is where I spend most of my time once I cannot be outdoors as much.
All of this has left me very tired and zapped of my energy. It is worth it though as we head into this season of being able to cozy up by the fire and know that we have put away lots of food from our gardens to be used throughout the Fall and Winter months. Being able to pull some homemade applesauce out of our freezer to enjoy with pork chops or to use in baking in a real treat. All those bags of raspberries, plums, blackberries and blueberries will find their way into muffins, cobblers, pancakes and possibly some jam. They are like treasures that I will unearth from the freezer over the long months ahead and bring a taste of Summer to us. I have been getting things ready for this time of year as energy allows and have spent many days in bed or on the couch as I have overdone it. I know that time is short when it comes to getting everything in and out of the garden and this year, it is even shorter. That reminds me...I have to get some more herbs and green onions in and dried.