Sunday, July 31, 2011

Garden Update - Tomatoes

While this year's garden MAY be experimental, it still bums me out that I miscalculated and planted my tomatoes in the shade. Seriously. It does.

However - while everyone else's tomatoes are winding down and getting raggedy, mine are just coming in. I've Green Zebras, Cherokee Purples, and Amish Paste tomatoes. And whoa, are the Amish tomatoes producing.

So excited I ate the first several ones in a sandwich. Nothing but bread, Duke's mayo, and a super ripe tomato, still warm from the sun. As much as I love Caprese salads and whatnot, you can't beat a simple tomato sandwich. 'nuff said.

Why does this photo look SO extremely crappy? Because TRUE red doesn't show up on screens well. The tomato was super duper bright true red. (and damn tasty!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Shrubbery! - Explained

OK. So I got a teensy bit excited in my previous post and really didn't tough too much upon *what* a shrub is, before I told you all how to make one. Akin to teaching you how to drive without explaining what a car is. This will not do.

A shrub is really a beverage that was popular in colonial times - as far as I can tell for two reasons. One: it's a great way to preserve the flavor of those ephemeral summer fruits and berries that ISN'T a jam, and two: it's a very refreshing beverage to have in the heat.

Essentially a shrub is an acidulated beverage base. It historically can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and my version (and many other's, btw) is of the non-alcoholic variety. It does, however, go very well with gin (what I have in the house), and is reported to go very well with vermouth, etc.

There seems to be, as with many things, a renaissance of sorts going on in the cocktail world - people are going back to the old fashioned classics of yesteryear, and the shrub seems to be a highlighted member of the party. As I haven't been to a classy bar in ages (nor will I ANY time soon. And that is not a complaint, mind you), I haven't seen this happening, but it seems to be.

In colonial times people would mix a bit of the shrub syrup in with cold water, and off you go. It was evidently as popular as lemonade, and we have the Temperance Movement to thank for both of these beverages' popularity.

If you're into food science (and let's face it, all of the coolest of us are) - here's a nice little explanation of the science behind it from Neyah White:

    "When a shrub ages, it is like an ecosystem. The ambient yeast (yeast on the fruit itself and yeast from the air) turns the sugar into alcohol, and the acetobacter (the bacteria in unpasteurized vinegar) turns the alcohol into more vinegar. Eventually this will stabilize and not turn the whole shrub into fruit vinegar since the bacteria-induced pH change will stall out the yeast’s fermentation process (and thus the bacteria’s acetic acid-producing pathway)."

Very cool.

I highly recommend trying one out if you have one cup of random fruit on hand - and I would suspect that just as with jam, those fruits just slightly past their prime might be the best suited for this treatment as their flavor will be the most intense.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Back when the blueberries first came in, I made a shrub syrup out of those first berries.

For the longest time it looked like the blueberries may or may not come in - they were wizening (yes, this is one of my favorite words. I also made it up. Look up "wizened") on the bush before ever ripening. It's like they went from unripe berry - to dried fruit. It was sad.

And then we got 2 inches and then 5 inches of rain (in 2 days. Yes. A LOT of water), and voila! Berries. Just in the nick of time.

I love pies, and jams and whatnot - but dude. I live in a tin can, and it's effing HOT outside. Turning on the oven, or slaving over a stove, is completely not on my list of things I want to be doing right now. And then a few of the blogs I subscribe to started mentioning 'shrub syrups'. Better yet - a cold processed and therefore a way to do it with NO time on the stove! I was in love.

In a nutshell, here's what I did:

Start with one cup of berries.

I used half of these.
 To the one cup of berries I added one cup of sugar, and a potato masher. Mash everything together, and then I let it all sit overnight in the fridge. In theory this allows the sugar to draw the juices out of the berries.

When I pulled it out the next day, not the biggest change. Nevertheless, I pushed forward and put the whole thing in a "cheesecloth lined strainer" (see here for appropriate rant on cheesecloth). Blueberries have really thick skins and these weren't the juiciest (see aforementioned rant on lack of rain and wizening...), so putting them through "cheesecloth" (read: flour sack towel of the cheapest variety) didn't do anything, really. I got a teensy amount of juice, but really not anything proportionate to the amount of berries I put in it.

This is after an hour. No joke.
 So I gave up on the "cheesecloth" and just mashed them through the strainer - even if this would leave me with seeds in my syrup.
Muuuuuuch better.
 At this point you're supposed to be able to add the apple cider vinegar to the strained syrup, mix, let meld, and then you're done. I wasn't OK with this. I wasn't exactly convinced all the goodness had been gotten from the berries - mostly due to the lack of "cheesecloth" squeezing that I normally would do in this situation.

So I poured the vinegar over the leftover berries in the strainer, and mashed it around a bit thus essentially giving the berry husks a second spoon-squeezing ordeal to go through.

Vinegar. That is a measuring cup, not a sauce pan. I can understand your confusion.

Strained + Vinegared - you can see the tiny seeds at the bottom. Ignore those.
  Then I dumped the whole thing in a jar. That was conveniently EXACTLY the right size -

Shrub syrup!
 And there you have it. The Stoneyhaw Blueberry Shrub Syrup. I tasted it before I put it into the fridge to "mellow" and my reaction was.....KAPOW! I got literally assaulted by blueberry, sweet, and vinegar. All distinctly, yet all together. It was intense.

Shrub with club soda.
So how was it after letting it sit in the fridge for a couple of weeks? Still intense. If not intenser. Everything had mellowed out and melded together - yet stood out more. Crazy. And so good! I'm currently addicted, and thinking about making more.

*just remember that apple cider vinegar can have a laxative effect - especially if you're sensitive to it, or if you drink a lot of it. It won't harm you, but it might not be pleasant if you drink too much. The good news? You'd have to drink a lot of the shrub syrup to get that effect. I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Space!

So here's *part* of the reason why I've been MIA... we've been adding some space to stretch out in. Yay!

If you're friends with me on FB, you've seen these pictures, but here they are in their expanded and expounded upon glory nonetheless.

Manfriend had done some research on our best options for expanded space for this winter. Really we can't afford to build a house (by like a LOT), but my beloved Melvin would be a bit crammed with the 3 of us... so basically we need just one more room to get through the winter and not kill each other. I think we found a happy medium between what we can afford and what we need. I drove down and finalized everything, and gave them delivery instructions.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
 Our materials and blueprints were delivered the next day.

Chicken approved worksite.
Manfriend recruited a buddy, and the two of them started working on it Sunday evening. They got the toughest (in my non-participating humble opinion) part done that day - placement and squaring and leveling the bottom of the whole thing.

When you look at it this way, it looks huge. Wait. It kind of is.
 The boys did well amongst the chickens and the puppy.

Early the next morning, they had the floor finished.
 The next morning, as the boys finished the floor, the chickens and the dog had found a new favorite cool place to hang out.

Zora is helping.

Wall #1!
 Yes. At this point I hid. I had tears in my eyes. When wall number one went up is when it all kind of sunk in - that I will soon get my manfriend here all the time, and that he and I can start figuring out what to do/where to go (metaphorically speaking, thankyouverymuch) from here.

(Thankfully Mike never reads this blog - otherwise I will NEVER hear the end of it for that one)

The other walls went up rather quickly.
 By the time I got home from work on the second day, They had ROOF RAFTERS on. It was awesome. It reminded me of the first time I drove home to the property and saw Melvin gleaming off in the distance... a first glimpse on what will soon be my normal "almost home" view from the car in the dark.

Heat makes you loopy.
Those two boys did the good work. OMG. Yesterday they got a bit of a respite, but day number 1 and day number 3 (today) was blazing hot. BLAZING. Day number 1 more so, but today they had the distinct luxury of being up on the roof in full sun with roofing felt and asphalt shingles...

I felt guilty not helping, but there wasn't anything I could have done. Mike's buddy is SO efficient and good at construction, combined with Mike's renaissance man quality (and previous dabblings in various construction projects himself), they needed no help from me. Except for the occasional run to town for ice, nails, and gyros :)

Taking shape...
As Mike and co really needed to get back to their neck of the woods, they got the roof done, and the key pieces of siding on. Mike'll be back at the end of the week and we'll start knocking out the rest. I will finally get to help - by holding up siding while he nails and by trying to stay out of the way...

Yet another way in which a redneck further hooks a hippie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Garden Update

I know. I stopped posting garden updates. The worst news is I even stopped taking weekly photos of each of the beds. (Yes. I did that for 12 weeks.) I kinda blame it on not going out to the manfriend's anymore - it used to be part of my weekly routine... clean (or pack - depending on who was going where), water garden, photograph garden, leave/wait for manfriend.

But let's face it. We all knew my keeping it up that long was miraculous...

Now I'm kind of in a weird place with the garden - most gardens around here are between plantings (although technically the fall plant date around here for many veggies is July 15th). My garden is strange in that some of it is more shaded, and so I have spring plants that are done, brassicas that are just getting ready, and fall plants I just planted. Never mind all the plants I thought we lost in the heat wave that have decided to bounce back. So. Lots of things in various stages going on.

Cowpeas. More specifically, Red Eye Peas. Even more specifically, YUMMY.

Okra flower. I love Okra flowers.

Wasn't sure these cabbages were ever going to start cupping. They were planted in February and it's now July, after all. But here they go!

My artichokes weren't mulched well enough when the heat hit, and they died down to nothing. I cleared the mulch away this morning to see if anything survived - and sure enough all 4 plants are sending up new growth!

Kamo Kamo squash, a New Zealand heirloom. It is absolutely edible in this green state as a summer squash, but as my neighbors have been keeping me supplied with summer squash, I'm leaving them to mature further and keep them as winter squash.

Kamo Kamo squash almost ready to be harvested as a winter squash.

Cayenne, baby. Cayenne.

Baby Sakata Sweet melon.

Eggplant that decided to germinate MUCH later than everyone else. Thai Round, either purple or green. Not sure.

Wave 2 of edamame - can you find it?

Baby blue corn (a gift from the Etsy seller I bought a bunch of my fall seeds from), baby cucumber (more of those Ruby Wallace Whites), and baby Genovese Basil.

Baby White Sugarlump Watermelon. Too cute, IMHO.

Mustard greens. I like to eat them as babies, too, so planted a lot so thinning can be tasty.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Dahlias!

So you may remember that way back in January I ordered a bunch of seeds, and planned and schemed and finally got them planted.

What I didn't blog about (yes. I do have things I *don't* blog about), is that I have actually given away some of the seeds I purchased to some friends and family. Not needing whole packets of everything this year, and seeds only stay viable for so long...

My mother sent me a picture of the Dahlias she grew from the seeds I gave her:

Here's hoping she continues to get sun in Vancouver so those other smiling faces can bloom!
Hers are even healthier! Love it! And the squash she's got growing behind them.

Someday I'd like to have seeds from the Stoneyhaw garden flung far and wide and see pictures of their offspring growing elsewhere...but for now - Thanks Mom!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Flowers for Grammy

These cheerful smiling Dahlia faces are for my Grammy. Normally I would send her cut flowers, but this time around I'm posting a picture of the Dahlias that (inexplicably) make me think of her, and will save the tubers to replant next year. (I grew these from seed). So I can (inexplicably) think of her when I see them. Even though her favorites are Bachelor's Buttons.

So without further ado - for you Grammy, to brighten your day:

Keep smiling Grammy!
My favorite is the one trying to be seen in the back ...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blueberries - the Wonders Never Cease

So it shouldn't be news to anybody that the humble bumble bee is suffering a massive population decline. Scientists don't seem to be able to pinpoint why, or argue on said elusive pinpoint, but they all seem to be in agreement that this is a problem. (duh)

I still don't know *who* it was exactly, but someone got me a subscription to Organic Gardening. (thank you, whoever you are!). And I was reading the latest issue and I came across an article in the Common Ground section entitled "Common Ground: Collaborating with Gophers". I probably wouldn't have stopped to read it, except that it had a half-sheet size photo of unripe blueberries - a sight I now know very very well. And a sight that I am happy to not be seeing now. (if you remember, I was concerned that the berries weren't going to ripen this year due to the shriveling before ripening act they seemed to be very good at.)

First of all, extremely impressed that they cultivate 8 1/2 acres of highbush (what we think we have) blueberries. I have maybe a quarter of an acre and good golly it's a lot (even though I have yet to do any of the 'cultivating' part ... hehe).

But here's what got me - blueberries rely (mostly) on the also native bumblebee for pollination. Honeybees have a tough time getting into the flower to get at the nectar (bumblebees have long tongues, apparently and don't have to physically squeeze into the flower itself), they don't like cold and rain (bumblebees being American through and through make a point of suffering through cold and rain, something that their Eurpean counterparts the honey bee gave up eons ago) and they don't vibrate the whole flower at takeoff and landing - something bumblebees do that greatly enhances pollination.

Basically blueberries and bumblebees have a symbiotic relationship. Umm. Duh. They're both native to North America, a fact that doesn't seem to register on many people's radars anymore when they're trying to avoid the buzzing nuisances.

I had noticed that I had some bumblebees out here this past spring when the blueberries were in flower, but in all honesty didn't pay them too much mind as I really didn't pay attention to any other pollinators that were doing their job at the time.

Bumblebees are ground dwellers, and I always tried to avoid the holes in the ground that I know that they come out of, but I will redouble my efforts from now on. Odd as the perfect holes in the middle of my dirt walkways are...

And I am proud to realize that I am sitting on a cornucopia of cooperation in my blueberry patch. The fact the the blueberries have been around for decades - decades - is not something the blueberries pulled off alone, nor is it a fluke.  And not only have the bushes survived, they have flourished. Their descendants are all over the property, and all of them are thriving. They have had their busy little bee friends by their side and helping them along the way nature intended this whole time. Now it's time for me no to screw that up!

Cool blue dragonfly on a blueberry branch. I just wanted somewhere to put this photo. Ha!
Half-hour's worth of work. Woot.
Varying degrees of ripeness
This photo was taken holding my phone up above my head, arms extended.
From the fabulous wikipedia

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Living in the Heat

Ok. So at this point you KNOW I live in an Airstream (crikey how I love my Melvin!), you KNOW I live in North Carolina.... but do you really KNOW what that means in July?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - adjusting to living in the south for me has been more of a re-adjustment. The parallels between NC and Japan are astonishing. Socially as well as geographically. And my life is mirroring the way I grew up in some freaky ways.

Mainly in the following 3 ways:

1) I don't run the AC

**waits for gasp from those who know the oppressive heat in the south/Asia to die down**

My beloved Melvin has an air conditioner. From 1974. And just like a car from 1974, it is well built and costs an arm and a leg to run nowadays. Added to the fact that the insulation on the camper is mah-mah (as we would say in Japan. Translates literally to "so-so", but actually translates to "not good"... nuances!), and you get inefficiency everywhichway.

And now that I have a job I work in AC - which means I am doubly miserable when I get home. Yet still thankful for what one of my co-workers calls the best invention of the 20th century - the 'climate controlled workplace'.

2) I have the damnedest time cooking dinner and eating anything hot. It starts off cool enough in the morning, but by 1pm the heat is really going, and peaks at around 3pm. And when I say 'peaks' I really mean plateau - it'll stay that shade of Hades until 9 or 10. If you're lucky. On extremely muggy days you're shit out of luck. Taking a shower to cool off? No problem! You'll start sweating as soon as the hot water hits you, and will dry off around October.

Again - thankfully I have a job in basically a supermarket and day old sandwiches often come home with me. No cooking AND cold food. Problem solved :)

3) I find myself - ME, Miss Doesn't Have a Sweet tooth - eating a much larger amount of sugar. I chalk it up to the fact that I need the extra energy in the heat, especially since my normal intake of food is down. And it allows me to  make things like the following:


**moment of respectful reverence and silence**

I like to say that I'm looking to hotter climates for ways to beat the heat (who in the world came up with that phrase? You can't ever actually beat the heat. Sans AC, anyway. And then you're just making it hotter somewhere else....hrm).

Also I miss the Bay area and its saturation of Taco joints - all with their own house made Horchata....

So. Back to the Horchata.

I follow David Lebovitz's blog, and he recently posted a Horchata recipe (Thank you Sir!). I modified the how to slightly, but not the amounts. I will let you link through to him for the recipe (and pretty pictures!), but I changed up the following:
  • I used short grain sushi rice. It's all I've got in the cupboard. Also unless absolutely necessary, I don't really like buying ingredients specifically for recipes when things I have on hand aren't *that* far off.

  • I don't have a blender - I use my (cleaned out kinda) coffee grinder to grind up the rice in the first step. I have a hand-held immersion blender I use when pureeing it with the water. But that's not as difficult as the coffee grinder does such a kickass job in the first place.

  • I abhor cheesecloth. (Except for real cheesecloth for making cheese. It's the stuff you can find everywhere that is atrocious. Hate it. Pttttoey.). I use flour sack towels instead. I like the super-duper cheap ones as they have a lower thread count (more holes), but are still substantial enough to actually wash and use over and over, which I do. A lot. I also don't feel bad about ripping them up into smaller squares that fit perfectly in my strainer. And being cotton, if I've used one piece too many times, into the garden it goes. As a mulch of sorts.

  • I also don't do stirring sugar into cold liquids. It's annoying, time consuming, and I never have superfine sugar which is really the only one that dissolves in any reasonable amount of time. So. When making this recipe, I pour the strained rice liquid, milk, and sugar into a 2 liter container (which may or may not be green plastic and which may or may not have housed the manfriend's favorite caffeinated beverage in its previous life), cap it, and shake like crazy for like 10 seconds. Done. Into the fridge and off to the races.
Now I just need a Blueberry aguas frescas recipe, and then I will really be set!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Am Profiled Today Over at Life on the (Clothes) Line!

It all started when I saw that Life on the (Clothes) Line was giving away a clothespin bag, very very much like the one my grandmother uses, and has for YEARS. Of course I had to comment, and Jeannie contacted me about doing a profile on her site.

And better yet - she has agreed to do a guest post here in the near future. Check out her blog - not only are her clothespin bags awesome (I am itching to get my hands on one), but her profiles are such a great way to see different perspectives filtered through something you might think as mundane (laundry), and she's also doing a series of recipes copied over from her Grandmother's wedding book. Very very cool. Check out my profile on her site here, and prepare to spend a little time on her site.

Monday, July 11, 2011

You Win Some, You Lose Some. And Sometimes You Win More Than You Think.

So - Yes. My garden took a hit, but I didn't lose everything, and I've been fortunate to be able to continue to be able to take advantage of its hard work producing under adverse (albeit, experimental) conditions.

The not-quite-ready to be harvested Tomatillos I salvaged from my poor ravaged plants.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

You Win Some, You Lose Some.

And it still makes you cry. What does exactly? Losing a good percentage of my blood sweat and tears from the past several months.

We NEED rain. We're in a drought. I get it. And I am fully guilty of doing raindances (of sorts), talking to the sky in hopes of a watery response, and flat out begging the heavens to open up.

And they did. In abundance and with a vengeance. It rained so hard and so fast last night, that not only did my neighbor call to check in on me at 2am, but my phone (and I will admit I sleep with it next to my pillow) on the loudest setting was drowned out by the roar of the rain. Albeit the roar of the rain on my aluminum 'roof' on the glorified speaker tube I live in, but the rain nonetheless. Oh. And I was awake at the time.

The most obvious loss is the tomatillos - and I'm not ready to admit their loss. I went out to check the garden on the way to the blueberry patch (they are really starting to come in!), but saw the devastation and got stuck in emergency gardening mode.

First I broke down and cried in the middle of my garden. Like giant heaving sobs. I almost called my mom, (Hi Lone Reader!!) but was afraid she'd think someone died or something if I called her at 6am (her time). Someone other than plants who don't talk back when you talk to them, I mean. Those of you who know me personally will not be so terribly surprised by any of this. But then I felt like I had to pull myself up by my proverbial bootstraps (I wear flipflops), and come up with a battle plan.

I trimmed the tomatillos. Then I cut off what I thought were the most vigorous tops, dipped them in rooting hormone, and planted them in pots I filled with a combination of topsoil, vermiculite and perlite. All I had was a 1/2 bag of topsoil that had been sitting out (in the rain) all season and was looking a little funky, but I loaded it up with as much of the Ites as possible and I have my fingers crossed. The rooting hormone I got on sale thinking that at some point I wanted to play with propagating grapes or something (OK - really I didn't have a plan), but I am so happy I had it. Ditto for the Ites!

I only had 45 minutes to get something figured out before I had to go to work, and I felt like I had to give it a go before I left - by the time I got home it would be too late!

Fingers crossed, people. Fingers crossed.

(and note to self: no more dances of the "asking for things" type)


The good news: I found 3 picture-perfect tomatillos that were ready for harvest

The bad news: I have 3 of these containers full of teensy (as in most are the size of peas) tomatillos I'm not quite sure what to do wtih. I'll probably dry them. Never tried it, but I hear reports of them making salsa as good as fresh tomatillos. And that way they won't take up freezer space.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

And so it begins...

OK. Actually it's been going on for some time now, but people. Harvesting is happening. After the heat wave that put everything into 'deer in headlights' mode, I lost some stuff, but some stuff went straight to the next phase. And the more anticipated of phases - producing seeds.


This year's garden, as I keep telling you in an effort to remind me, is an experimental one. An experiment to see what works, what doesn't, and really just kind of like an intro to the climate. One frustratingly similar to the one I grew up in, but completely foreign from what I've been living (and gardening) in.

So while the brown spindly stalks may be unsightly to some, to me they represent a minor victory. I managed to coax a plant through it's entire life cycle, and am ready now to usher in the next generation!

Borage, Dill, and Edamame seeds. Once I get them out of their casings!
Blueberries (woot!), Marigolds, Pintos and extracted Edamame
(I will just have to try to be patient and politely wait for next year to get here!)

Friday, July 01, 2011

Ode to the one and only Grampa

I know I have been out of the loop these days - between Stoneyhaw and a new job, I am still getting my whole time management thing figured out (it's been a while for me on the whole being employed front). So I hope you will indulge me while I put the Stoneyhaw-related blogging on hold and talk about my Grandfather for a quick moment here.

My grandfather took a bit of a tumble yesterday, and is currently dealing with a broken hip. He hasn't been doing too well recently anyway, and while all of us have kind of been holding our breath for a little while now that he actually *has* taken the feared fall, it's not easy to take.

It is, however, easy to get caught up in the recent image of him and his current difficulties, but I have decided to spend today thinking about him as I grew up - as my beloved (and actually my only) grandfather. While he's still here.

First things first. My grandfather is (and always will be) an Iowa farm boy. (So that's where I get it!) I have a GREAT picture of him in a bathing suit at the dapper and dashing age of 20 or so, but alas, it is in storage at my parents' house - along with many of my pictures of him 20 or 30 years ago. sigh. His house and shop have bits of Iowa memorabilia spread throughout, even though I do believe he has spent his entire adult life out of that particular state. He taught me how to parallel park on his mower. And while I can parallel park amazingly, somehow the mower bit didn't stick because I still managed to bash in the back of my manfriend's truck with MY mower....

He is a redhead, and hasn't a single gray hair on his head. It's blond now but retains a fair amount of ginger. And he still has hair. He is a dapper man. My sissypants inherited the gingerness. And the full head of it. Slightly jealous...

Bu let's move on (in no particular order).

He met and fell in love with my grandmother, and they have been married for 61 (I think. I know my family will chime in here if I'm wrong) years. Even if I'm off by a year or two, good god that's a long time. A looooong time. And they still talk! (although both of them are suffering a fair amount of hearing loss and that might be helping their case...hehe).

He is a Navy man, and even though I never saw them until I was older (he always wore long sleeved shirts - even in the heat of summer!), he has some amazing tattoos that have withstood the test of time and are rare nowadays.

While grampa was a school teacher, he is an amazing woodworker, stained glass window maker, carpenter and crafter extraordinaire. He dabbled in enamel, as well as other mediums. He spearheaded the construction of their cabin on property they bought out in Pennsylvania (his construction crew consisted of his wife and three pre-teen to teenage daughters). He built 3 (2? family? Chime in anytime) fiberglass canoes. And wooden oars. For a family trip down the Missouri river. You know, no big deal. Pack up the wife and kids, camping gear, 2 canoes that have never been in water before and head down the river. Fun!

I am lucky enough to have a stained glass window he made for me as well as a violin he made and wrote my name on the inside of it in ballpoint pen (alas,  both are in storage). He never was happy with the violin he made for me (he calls it old splotchy as the varnish is imperfect in his perfect eye - I don't see it). And one of the (in)famous canoes. That if you will remember, made it across the country (yet again!) on top of my mom's truck.

So today I am thinking about, and bragging about, my grandfather. He is a good one to have, and I love him very much.

He made soup for the Salvation Army often, and his soups rock to this day. Especially his Navy Bean one. And his Chili.
Our for a walk in '94. His 3 daughters and one of his granddaughters behind him (he has 5).
Ever the cute couple :)