Sunday, October 10, 2010


After raining most of the weekend, the weather turned sunny this afternoon, so we headed up to the vineyard my husband works with a friend. Grapes are getting close to ready here in the Willamette Valley, but they probably need a couple more weeks.

It was a beautiful day in the Chehalem Mountains, and the baby vines planted last year are coming right along. We tromped through muddy fields, played with muddy dogs, and were thankful for four-wheel-drive.

My daffodil, snowdrop, and bluebell bulbs have arrived, and I can only hope we will have a sunny weekend soon. Right now we seem to be in the usual fall/spring pattern that gave rise to the joke, "What comes after two days of rain?" "Monday." Last year I was very late planting my bulbs--thanksgiving weekend, I believe. I had to hack through an inch or more of frozen soil to get them in the ground, and they understandably did not perform terribly well this spring. Ah, well. Nature is the boss, and we will deal with what she gives us.

It's amazing how quickly we've gone from Saturday afternoon reading in the garden with a Pimms cup to reading by a fire while drinking Irish whiskey (the winter drink chez moi, as gin or Pimms is the summer drink).  The shortening of the days is what I mind the most. In the dead of winter, it will be dart by 4:30. For those of us who work at desks, there will be precious little time outside. I think that's why Oregonians practically live outside in summer--we need to stockpile vitamin D for the long dark months ahead. 

I am finally and at last buried in tomatoes, which I thought would never come. I dried two batches this weekend for later use, and have been enjoying a tomato sandwich for lunch each day. I found a recipe online for a green tomato relish like my grandmother used to make. Her recipe was sadly lost when my evil grandfather cleared out the house and sold her things after she died. My tomato plants are still setting fruit, but at least some of it probably won't ripen, so I'll have green tomatoes that need to be used. Now if only I could figure out what to do with a tree full of green figs...

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