Sunday afternoon EJ went into the garden while I gathered duck and chicken eggs. He picked a bowl of green beans. Yay! I don’t know how to can. I remember my Mom having a large garden when I was a young child, but I don’t remember her ever doing any canning. It’s a skill I would like to learn someday because I would like to be able to can tomatoes. However, I dry my herbs and I prefer to freezing veggies such as bell peppers and green beans. Many articles say that green beans ought to be blanched before they are frozen. Blanching means that you cook them for 3 minutes to kill the enzymes before you freeze them. However, I’ve also read articles that say you can just freeze without blanching them. I wasn’t sure which was best so I asked a homesteading group at Facebook that I am a member of. Some people said that blanching was a necessity others said it was fine to just freeze them. Some said that beans frozen without blanching were inedible, others said they noticed no difference in taste. Not exactly helpful. LOL. So I went ahead and blanched the beans, but I am going to do an experiment and skip blanching a handful to see which method works better.
Yesterday a large truck with a crane on it lumbered up our driveway. Hannah Joy went wild barking warnings to them. I shut her up in the hallway and slipped on some shoes so I could go out and discover who and why the truck was there. But then I saw the company logo on the truck and realized it was our previous propane company coming to–finally! after more than a year!–pick up their tank. I’m glad it’s finally gone. The company charges a $75 rental fee if you don’t buy propane from them within a year. When they sent me a bill a few weeks ago, I called to tell them that, uh, we notified them a year ago that we were switching to a new company and to please pick up their tank. They told me to disregard the bill and someone would pick up the tank. EJ said that if they try to charge us another rental fee, he is tempted to send them a bill for storing their tank for a year. LOL. But I suspect it won’t come to that.
Yesterday the weather was quite wonderfully cool–only in the low 70s. It was perfect. The temperatures dipped down into the high 40s overnight, which makes sleeping very comfortable. Meteorologists say that it will be cool again today–although not as cool as yesterday. Then temps will warm up and we will have rain this weekend. Rain is good. We have moderate drought conditions this summer and really need some rain.
A couple of days ago when I walked Hannah down the driveway she walked up to some pines trees and started wagging her tail. I wondered what she saw that got her tail a-waggin’ so I looked more closely. I spied Madeline hiding under the pines. She was so camouflaged that I didn’t see her until Hannah pointed her out. Although Madeline is very timid, she held very still as Hannah sniffed her. I thought, wow, this is how Madeline catches little birds, rabbits, chipmunks, and other critters. She is really quite an amazing (and scary) huntress. Madeline is in the photo at the top of this post: Did you see her? Can you see her now in the closeup below?
Hannah gets along with most of our cats most of the time. She and Luke didn’t get along right from the start because Luke hissed and growled at her and lay in wait to ambush her. Now whenever they get too close to each other, Luke growls and hisses and Hannah lunges at him with a snarl. They don’t hurt each other, but it disrupts the peace. Hannah also chases Timmy–not because Timmy hisses, growls, or ambushes Hannah, but because he runs. Hannah thinks it’s fun to chase a running cat. Yesterday I watched Hannah do a little jump near Josette to try to make her run, but Josette is mellow and friendly and didn’t so Hannah didn’t chase her. We are trying to teach Hannah not to chase cats. We don’t want her to think it’s fun or acceptable.
Timmy hasn’t been able to sit on my lap since Hannah joined our family because Hannah lunges at him, he runs, and she chases him. Poor kitty. He loves cuddling, but he spends most of his time now in our master bathroom or on one of the beds, trying to keep out of Hannah’s way. They only way we can keep Hannah from chasing Timmy is if we catch her when she first sees Timmy and say “No!” as she’s tensing up to lunge. Yesterday Timmy made his way to the end table next to me. I told Hannah “No!” as she perked up. I made Hannah sit quietly while I petted Timmy, and every time I noticed her tensing up to lunge after Timmy, I told her to sit. I didn’t let Hannah on my lap because she was jealous and I know she would have lunged at Timmy and chased him away. I took a video of it. You can see Hannah yearning to chase Timmy, you can see her eyes glancing over at Timmy, and then she begins to grumble and complain. It’s pretty funny. Hannah actually did quite well with letting me give attention to Timmy:
Hannah Joy is an interesting dog. She is very alert to the slightest sight, smell, or sound. She sometimes leaps to the window to bark. When she does, I look out the window to try to discover what she has become aware of. Sometimes I’m able to see the critter she has noticed while other times I see nothing at all. But I know that she doesn’t bark for nothing so there was something there.
Yesterday evening Hannah alerted me that something was outside so I looked out the window and saw a doe with her two little fawns walking across the driveway. This is the first time this year that I’ve seen fawns. I was delighted and was hoping to watch them for a while and to photo them, but Hannah barked and scared them off. Bummer. I’m going to have to somehow teach her not to bark at deer.
Early this morning I was putting the sprinkler on the hose after I had filled the ducks little pool so I could water the garden. I haven’t watered it in several days and the tomato plant are looking a bit unhappy. I suddenly saw a turkey on the other side of the garden. I hunkered down and kept still while she walked along the fence and up the hill. She made a “put-put-put” noise as she walked along. I looked for little babies, but didn’t see any. After a bit I got a little tired of stooping down, so I quietly stood up and went back to fastening the sprinkler on the hose. I went over to the faucet and turned it on. I looked up the hill and saw a second turkey. They wandered calmly into the forest.
I went back into the house and put Hannah’s harness and leash on her to take her outside, as I always do every morning: I feed Hannah, feed the inside and outside cats, take care of the ducks, and then go back into the house to take Hannah outside to “do her business.” It’s our routine. With Hannah suited up and on her leash, I opened the door–and saw that the two turkeys had wandered into the front yard. Hannah hadn’t seen them or she would be dashing out with loud barks. I blocked her from going out and quietly closed the door. If there is wildlife in the yard, I wait until they leave before I go outside. I sat in my chair and watched the turkeys meander down the driveway. Then I saw the Mama Turkey with her flock of little ones come of the forest. Mama walked gracefully down the driveway while the little ones clumsily hopped, skipped, and followed after her. I waited several minutes to give all the turkeys time to get down the driveway and then I took Hannah outside.
I love watching the critters. It’s so magical.