Sunday, September 29, 2013

September Notes

Ahhh, September, harvest time.

I'm not a hard core food preserver. My Mormon neighbors can “can” me under the table. Still, I’m pretty proud of the produce I put away for the winter: an assortment of pickles, beets, pears, beans and apple pie filling, frozen corn and raspberry jam, spaghetti and butternut squash for keeping and red potatoes to stash in the cold room.

Why don’t people grow gardens? How much chemical, mowing, and irrigation do we put into our lawns with only a view to show for it? Seems nuts to me. And, sorry, but I see acres and acres of lawn with nothing more going on. No volleyball net or Frisbee lying around. No kids playing, no tents set up, no lawn chairs. To me a lawn is for using. If you can’t use it, might as well put a goat on it.

I went to change water today and came home with an armful of apples from an old tree in the pasture and a bunch of sumac branches in full color. I came in the house, showed Callie my treasures, and said “this . . . is autumn!”

Mark has been pumping water every day for the cow herd. I was with him one day and it rained so hard the cattle hardly came to water. We turned on the generator, had our cookies and coffee and took a nap. Tough stuff.  

A banker once told me (he’s not our banker anymore!) that he envied the life of a rancher, “sitting on a horse watching the sun set over the mountains.” Yeah, right. More like:  guarding the float in a water trough while cattle fight to get a drink, getting soaked with wet snow, getting home after dark in time to gulp down some Campbell’s soup, fall into bed and do it all again the next day.  

Still, ranching has its perks. As we waited for the storage tanks to fill, the rain quit and we did some fencing. There was a mob of bluebirds, fifty or so, flitting from sagebrush to fence post and back again, flashing their brilliant blue on the fly. 

I was a bank employee in my other life. I liked the work. I liked dressing up, the paycheck and working in a clean and comfortable office. I’d do it again most of the year, but I’ll take the ranching life in September. 

Thanksgiving pies?

old timey

portable water system will go home when the cows do

rainy weather means gorgeous skies


  1. I completely agree with you about lawns! How much worry do we spend on lawns and how they "look?" (Just like our bodies, how they look, but not what they do - and can do.)

  2. Hi there! I'm a city girl but I grow a garden and I love it. I enjoyed this post and the photos very much. I would be proud if I could can like that. There's something about the care and effort in it that's so counter-culture. I imagine it would be so satisfying. Thank you for sharing your life in writing... please continue!

    1. Hi Anna! You have to try canning next year. It's pretty easy and definitely satisfies the soul. So fun to hear from you.