I want to warn everyone about Diet Doctor Pepper Wild Berry and Cream soda. This is a soda so vile that tasting it will traumatize you. I inadvertently bought one last weekend, and I still wake up screaming. The memory of that awful taste lingers yet. Beware of any flavored Doctor Pepper.
We finally got to the farmers’ market last weekend and stocked up on free-range chicken and grass fed beef. We grilled a grass fed porterhouse on Sunday and split it. I am determined to keep a stock of this meat on hand and to store enough to last the winter this year. It is so much more flavorful than store bought beef, even the “organic” stuff we always buy. Seriously, that steak could not have been better. Mrs Vache Folle learned from Alton Brown, the anal retentive cooking show host, to let the steaks come to room temperature before grilling and to coat them with a crust of salt, pepper and cumin. Spectacular!
We have enjoyed lettuce and parsley from our vegetable garden, which is mostly a weed infested disaster this year. We are planning on raised beds next year and to make the present garden area into a patio. I am lobbying for a hot tub to put there as well. The raised beds will be easier to work, will be easier to weed, will not have compacted soil, and will not require rows. Also, the dogs will not be able to pee on the vegetables.
The dry season is upon us, and the creeks have slowed to a trickle. The pond’s water level is falling, but the comets and other critters do not seem to mind. If it looks too stagnant, we will put in a pump to circulate the water. This was not necessary last year, but we are keeping our eye on the situation. The scum on the surface makes the pond look pretty bad, but it appears to be ecologically sound.
The season of all cowbirds and grackles all the time seems to have passed with a change in feed to “Neat Feast”, and we are attracting many more finches and grosbeaks now. The goldfinches are especially numerous this year, and our neighbors accuse us of luring them away from their yard with our fancy bird food. The birds will doubtless benefit from our neighborly competition to attract them.
Jasper is not as frog crazy as he was earlier in the summer, but he still has the occasional frog hunting frenzy. The heat is hard on him, and the pond provides some relief. He enters the pond, sees a frog, and the hunt is on.
The baby turkeys are a joy to see. I sometimes have to stop the car to let a line of little turkeys cross the road. These birds travel up and down the hollow every day. They sometimes roost in the woods behind our house.
The pond and the yard are a lot of work, but I derive so much pleasure from digging in the garden, tending the plants, and observing the animals that I would not have it any other way. I feel a sense of profound joy and serenity when I sit on my deck and gaze at the meadow or when I walk the road. I feel as if I have an inkling of how gracious God is to have given us this life and this universe. I wish I could hold on to that feeling longer and export it into other areas of my life.