Monday, August 26, 2013


The weather turned cooler here in the Northwest--much to my relief! We got rain, pretty normal with the State Fair up and going. 

My gourd vines that were going wild and crazy just a week ago have stopped their incredible growing sprint. The squirrels have harvested most of the nuts off my walnut tree, and the bees are flying low to the ground. Signs of the coming fall are all around. 

I love fall, but don't care for the cold rain and blowing winds that follow in winter. Mild by most weather standards but not my favorite season. 

However, I discovered a web site about self-sufficient living <> that I love! Living in self-sufficient luxury is my next goal. This web site has great, practical articles about the experiences of a husband and wife who made the switch to this lifestyle a number of years ago. 

One of the articles talked about a masonry heater--a huge block of bricks with a labyrinth of flues inside. Build a hot, hot fire for a couple of hours and the bricks will radiate heat for 12-18 hours after the fire goes out. With our changing weather, that sounds like a cozy luxury!

Following the lead of Mother Nature and the wise critters who share our Earth, I'm preparing for the rainy months ahead. Do you have any fall preparations you do? 

Friday, August 23, 2013


The farmer girl in me is loving my wild growing gourds! This was a seed package of what I thought were miniature gourds planted in May (see previous blog post). NOT miniatures! Well, there may be a few hidden in the huge vines that have traveled halfway across my back yard, but mostly these are leaves about a foot across and vines that grow 6-8 or more inches a day. With each section of growth, they bloom and set fruit, leaving pumpkins and a variety of as yet unidentified squash and gourds as they take over the gravel pathways. 

These wonderful plants have encouraged my beans to grow wild and crazy, and intertwine with my cherry tomatoes that are giving me eat-off-the vine fruit every day. :)