Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Projects, People and Pear Preserves

Johnny continues to work through projects that had been on hold for years... first because he was too busy earning a living, then after his back went out because he couldn't move. Since his successful back surgery and recuperation, he seems to think he is indestructible. The latest project was replacing the cracked firebricks in our wood stove. He used the firebricks he had bought for that purpose... 25 years ago.

He also flushed out the water pipes that go through the wood stove and up to our hot water heater on the top floor. When we burn wood, we are preheating the water to our water heater, all because hot water rises and cold water sinks. Of course, we are not burning wood in this hot summer, but the nights are growing cold so it won't be long before we'll fire up the wood stove again.

Although the stream of summer company slowed with the start of September and school for grandkids, it did not stop entirely. A phone call from an old college chum of Johnny's brought Mike and his wife Bonnie to the farm overnight from Missouri on their three week tour of Oregon. Johnny showed them the new goat barn and his recent projects (outhouse, fencing, dam, chimney), then I showed them the arboretum. And we took the obligatory photos.

My projects are not as photogenic as Johnny's. I cut trails through the woods, cleaned the chicken house after the meat roosters were safely in the freezer, pruned trees, pulled tansy, but mostly, I tried to keep up with the garden produce.. plus watering the garden and newest arboretum plantings. Everything would appreciate water much more often than I give it. But, in spite of thirst, the trees and garden are outdoing themselves.

We had so many pears this year that I gave many away to neighbors. I still have pears canned from two years ago so instead I made pear preserves. Delicious! And easy. I cut the sugar in half but otherwise followed the recipe that I found online as "Old-fashioned Pear Preserves".

Soon it will be cold and wet again, with our summer projects and summer visitors in the past. Hopefully, Johnny won't wreck his back before then trying to get all his projects done.

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