I'm currently sitting out on my back screened in porch listening to the rain come down while soft piano jazz music is playing in the background. The rain is so welcomed as it scrubs the heavy smoke from wildfires out of the air. I can breath again! I am praying that the rain makes its way up to the Spokane area and beyond as they have had devastating fires up that way with many losing their homes and with 2 deaths between 3 different fires. My neighbor's co-worker lost her home and I am waiting to hear how we can help her rebuild.
My garden and yard desperately needed this good soaking rain. Everything has been so dry and despite our constant watering, it seems the plants can never get enough and have been struggling in the horrible heat. I am so very thankful for a much cooler day and rain, as I can feel it refreshing my soul once again. It is much needed before the heat comes back on later in the week, just in time for our Josh, Lauren, Tate and Peyton's visit. They are used to the heat and kind of like it...I know...how can Josh be my kid and like the heat? LOL! Going to a little splash pad in in the plans for this coming Sunday and we will be celebrating the twins, Josh and Chris's birthday with that and a baseball game with friends and family. I will happily be in the splash pad area with the little ones while the game is going on. 😉 I can't wait to have Josh and family home again. They will be staying at a hotel with a pool due to the erratic sleep habits of my two youngest grandbabies. The pool is a nice bonus and one that I plan on taking advantage of while enjoying it the grandkids.
As you know, Jeff and I have been planning for him to be able to work part time and take early retirement. Well part of that plan involves replacing things that need to be replaced and fixing other things, as well on stocking up on needed items. It has also been learning new skills that will save us money, and/or enrich our lives. I'm a firm believer that God will guide you to those needed or desired items, and He has once again come through for me in a big way. My poor little immersion blender has seen lots of use and was one it's way out. I had been wanting to replace it. Well I found one at Goodwill for $5.99 and it had the blender and the milk frother attachments. Now I needed a new immersion blender and I had been wanting a milk frother also. Now I have both! On that trip I also was blessed with a Home Dairy book on how to make cheese, yogurt, butter and more. I already know how to do the yogurt, butter and a simple cheese, but I wanted to learn how to make other types of cheese as well. My find of the day though has been something that I have wanted for a very long time. I wanted a nice basket with handles that I can use in the garden to gather produce and I wanted it to have a washable and waterproof liner. The only baskets that I knew about that had these attributes were Longaberger baskets, and those are way out of my price range. Imagine my surprise and happiness when they wheeled out a new trolley of merchandise and there it was, the basket of my dreams (with the illusive liner) for $3.99! I carefully flipped it over to see if there were any brand marks on the bottom because it was so well made and much to my delight, it was indeed and Longaberger basket. Oh Happy Day!!! On that trip I also found a hand blown wine glass from Italy (which is now being washed) and a movie. Yes, it was indeed a great trip to the thrift for me!
Our garden continues to bless us (even though the heat has definitely slowed things down) with Sungold cherry tomatoes, squash and apples. The blackberries are just ripening and I ate the first 2 last night...I had forgotten how good they are. I've been busy making applesauce and I need to freeze some of the tomatoes since I am getting more than I thought I would from just the 2 largest bushes and the other red cherry tomato buses are setting fruit, as are the Black Crim and Romas. The green beans are just starting to get big enough to pick and I am sure we will have a lot of them once they really get going. I have been sharing with my neighbor and she is anxiously awaiting for the pears to be ready to picked. We are going to have a lot of them this year, and yes, I will be sharing them with her and with the rest of our family that lives nearby, as well as trying to put some up for Jeff.
Well I suppose I should go and work on my "to do" list for a bit. I have taken most of the day off to relax since Jeff and I did so much around and in the house over the weekend. Between all that, the fires up north of us, as well as one just a few miles from us earlier last week, and just the general day to day trying to keep up on the gardens, it has left me exhausted and in lots of pain. I have not been sleeping well, but last night, I was finally able to get into a deep sleep and slept until 9 a.m. My body must have really needed it and I am not going to argue with that. Be blessed my friends who are reading this and keep stocking up on those things that you need, and yes, even some nice "surprises" along the way.