Monday, August 8, 2016

Life is just Peachy

Good Morning Friends.  I began the morning early by trying to catch up on what you have been doing all week. I didn't quite get through the list, but I'll get back to reading soon. It's been a busy morning already, after a whirlwind of a weekend. When the weekend ended, I told the family that we must not try to squeeze the entire summer into one day: two class reunions, a parade, pony rides, and birthday party.

So far this morning I have processed the peaches. The Head Gardener picked them right after they were hailed on. They had some damage and most were still a bit green. I ripened them on cookie sheets that I placed on the dryer in the laundry room. A couple had spoiled so I knew that I had to do something with them this morning. They are small, about the size of apricots, but tasty. I thought I would just cook them down for jelly, but couldn't bear to let them go to waste, so I skinned and pitted them--very easy since they were cooked. I will freeze them for peach pie. later I did save the liquid so that I can make peach jelly later in the week. I had hoped to do the same with the apricots, but the birds got to them before I could pick them. I was wanting to let them ripen on the tree, but I am thinking that these fruits need to picked while they are slightly green just before they are bird food. What was so maddening the birds only took a few bites out of each apricot, ruining all of them. But I guess birds have to eat, too. But we feed them--good stuff, too.

While I was processing peaches, the HG was supervising the tree service that cut down two of the many dead trees on the property. This one was a cherry tree, the tree guy said. It bloomed every year, but never fruited. It was not a particularly pretty tree either. We will replace it with a hawthorn or mountain ash, an nice ornamental and shady tree. The other tree was out the pasture that had died. No need to keep it either. The tree cutters didn't take long to take out the two trees. I wanted to see how they actually cut them down, but the cherry tree was halfway shredded by the time I got outside to take pictures.

A few whacks with the chain saw--I assume-- then the chopper/shredder and the tree is gone. The really big logs were hauled off. Good-bye loyal tree. So sad to see you go.

Looking back, despite the busy weekend, the family did get to spend some time together. It was the annual Highland Fall Festival, our small town celebration complete with a parade, old car show, bouncy houses, the opening of a redesigned playground in the park, and other festivities.

Jennifer attended her 20th class reunion dinner Friday night. She had such a good time connecting with the old gang. As well, the HG attended the 10 year reunion for the old folks, years 1964-1974. Had I gone I would have connected with former students; instead, I was much happier staying home with the granddaughters.

You either love small-town parades or you don't. Ault has a population in town of under 2,000 and then there are the residents who live on farms and acreages outside of town, so the crowd can be substantial. The parade represents the current trends of the community: The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) always lead the parade with the Color Guide and a gun salute; Stan Cass, retired military pulls the Honor Fight veterans. Honor Flight raises funds to send the aging vets back to Washington DC to visit the war memorials. Smokey Bear reminds the crowd about fire safety and prevention, and the vintage GTO reminds everyone that Alcohol and Kids Don't Mix

He says he has waited a life-time to drive his tractor in the parade, so here smiles the Head Gardener on his 1965 Case Tractor. I have to say that I was not very pleased when he spent money on a second tractor last winter. Then when he said that this was the tractor that he had wanted since he was kid, my cold heart melted. In 1965, he was the farm kid and this was biggest row crop tractor Case made, but his dad never owned one.

He is pulling the Ault Area Historical Museum float. We are on the committee that is working on the project. Right now the building is undergoing restoration work, but we need to let the community know that we want its support and help. You will see Nathan, Ellie sitting right behind, Heather with Lily on her lap, and Lucy behind the flag. 

And what memories this float brings back. The kids that grew up at our house and Jen at their houses from pre school to graduation. Jason lived next door to us for years until we moved. But I am still his "Other Mother." Kelly in the dark glasses runs a meat processing plant, Jen raises her girls, and Michele works in Denver. I ran into the moms at the park later. We laughed because we all had grand kids that we were herding around. Twenty odd years ago we were in that same park selling burritos to raise money so that these kids could to Washington DC for 10 days to the 4-H convention. I think it was called Washington Focus. Our group raised money for years so that the kids could spend 10 days to tour the the area.  Now look at them. Grown up. Parents. Professionals. Whew. Getting emotional here. 

The parade always ends with local Fire and Rescue squads. Sunday morning they host a free pancake breakfast, where we always leave a good donation because we have used their services more than once: a fire in the basement in the middle of night, my fall that broke my ankle, and just the other night when the HG called the paramedics because I had a stomach ache. A really bad one. I am fine. Better safe than sorry and the whole crew including two ambulance crews were in town for their monthly meeting, so they needed a training exercise. None-the-less it is an all volunteer department and we appreciate and value their service to community.

We really cannot believe that it is August already. Here at the Garden Spot I have waited all summer for the Star Gazer lily to bloom. I planted three bulbs, but only one bloomed, but she gave me double blooms. The glads have recovered from the hail. I love them; I want to plant dozens next year. I think I'll buy more expensive bulbs. Some did not grow. I planted 22 and got just over half. 
The weeds are getting away from me--AGAIN. Still. This week: weed patrol. I have been spending a lot of time trying to get this dollhouse done. I need to update that blog so that you see the finished project. It's looking pretty good. Here is a sneak preview while I work on that blog: 

I have been calling it the Blue Farmhouse, but that no longer applies.

I wanted a taupe shade, but had a very hard time getting the color I wanted. I like this color, though, a pink sort of shade. Check out Ann's Dollhouse Dreams in a day or so to see my progress.

I hope you have a wonderful week. Thanks so much for stopping by. I am going to try to do another post this week about our trip to the prairie. I think you'll enjoy those photos. In the meantime stop by Maggie's for Mosaic Monday because I'll be there, too. 


  1. Hello, I bought some peaches to make a peach tart recipe this week. Your peach pie sounds yummy too. I can not believe Fall festivals are already happening, it is still summer right? Great shots of the parade and cool tractor. Your flowers are beautiful and I love the cute dollhouses. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  2. The Parade looks like great fun, the flowers are lovely, and fresh peaches are so scrumptious .... It would be amazing to pick in your own yard. (We used to go to a UPick orchard back in the day. That was fun.)

  3. Lots of good things to see in your post. Pretty flower mosaic. Hope you have a nice week.

  4. I love peaches. Enjoyed your post.

  5. What a tasty, beautiful and fun post! I adore your flowers.
    Have a great new week!

  6. What a tasty, beautiful and fun post! I adore your flowers.
    Have a great new week!

  7. I just had peaches on my good! Love the old tractors and trucks in the parade...sure brings back memories! And now I'm off to see if I can fit into your dollhouse! heehee! Hugs, Diane

  8. My peach tree is 4 years old and has not fruited ... not once :-(. Love your flowers!

  9. I'm enjoying peaches with yogurt and nuts every morning for my breakfast. But not homegrown ones. Your stargazer lily and the glads are a wonderful sight. So bright and cheery. Mr. HG looks like he's having a wonderful time on his tractor in the parade.

  10. Sounds like a great summer weekend to me! So much like my hometown, restoring, history and pancake breakfast. Your lilies are beautiful, I only have 2 varieties. Now I need to go check out your dollhouse.

  11. I've made a couple of peach pies and a crisp but there are still plans to bake with more before they're done.
    We have small parades too, not very long nor lots of floats but the kiddies still love them. Your hubby looks proud as punch on his 1965 Case tractor, do tell him I enjoyed seeing it!

  12. It's so great to catch up with you, Ann. are crazy busy. The peaches are a full time job! lol! I used to have quite a large garden and everything seemed to be ready to pick at the same time. I didn't have a lot of experience in freezing or canning so it became more of a sharing things with neighbors. Back in the 90's here in the city, people weren't so educated on buying local and organic. I just wish I had the time and energy to have a garden again but with the lakehouse every weekend its difficult.

    The pictures of HG on his old tractor make me smile. I do love parades, the excitement of our hometown parade in the little town of Illinois I was raised in used to make me so excited I would hyperventilate as it came by. Now I feel an incredible amount of pride when I watch or go to some of the many parades here in Chicago.

    Your dollhouse is darling, I had no idea you were into that! I'll check out your link!

    Have a great week!


  13. My goodness Ann - what a lot of peaches, your tree must be so prolific - I don't envy you standing in the kitchen for hours preserving them though. HG looks very happy riding on his tractor. Your gladioli are beautiful - I have never grown them which is an oversight on my part. Sounds like you are still very busy what with one thing or another - making the most of the summer - perfect.

  14. Your flowers are lovely, Ann! The dollhouse! Swoon!

  15. After reading your post I can't get peaches off my mind, I must run to the fruit stand tomorrow and buy a sack full !
    Your gladioli are gorgeous, I once had them in my garden, but a very naughty mole destroyed and ate the roots.
    What a beautiful doll house, it would be every little girls dream house :)
    Enjoy your summer sweet lady, the leaves will be falling before we know it.

  16. I think I'd better make some peach jam soon, I only have one jar left. But I did manage to make strawberry recently. What a mess I make on jam day!