Summer blessings

Urgh, it’s sooo muggy! We want our “dry heat” back! 

The garden is growing and growing, keeping everyone busy. New crops going in, old ones going out. and harvesting of summer crops.  New crops are ripening each week  — apples and limas are the latest to come into production.  The kitchen counter is overflowing with produce – life is good!

Well, almost…

Unfortunately, there is a massive spider mite invasion on the tomatoes. Every day there’s another casualty.   We are going to have order some predatory mites from Rincon Insectaries pronto!

Speaking of spiders, there seem to be spider webs and spiders everywhere! I wonder if their increased presence has anything to do with all the rains we had over the winter and spring?

The past few days, we’ve been working on getting the PTF open source portal up. Pretty soon you readers will be able to contribute articles and links to this new online resource directory.  We are excited about this new service and look forward to your contributions. 
Last week, there was an incident with one of our animals that really concerned us greatly.  

Moonshadow, one of our dwarf rabbits (aka “lil chipper”) wasn’t feeling too well. You could tell something was wrong; she was just sitting there and didn’t want to eat the tasty greens that are picked for the bunnies every morning.  She was, however, excessively thirsty.  We hadn’t a clue what could be wrong.  After doing some research, it was determined that it was possible that she had a hair ball caught in her gut.  Jordanne then ordered some natural herbal treatment for this sort of condition in rabbits.  We also put colloidal silver and grapeseed extract in her water to help with her immune system.  We tried coaxing her with all types of her favorite greens and she still wouldn’t eat.  Finally we hit on something that she liked – blackberry leaves.   What better treatment than blackberry leaves which are extremely tonic  and anti-inflammatory.  She definitely knew what her body needed.  Moonshadow has already improved, though now I think she’s spoiled. She likes all the attention she’s been getting, wanting food brought to her, etc.  Silly bun!

Every morning Justin is firing up the oven and we are steaming veggies for lunch and dinner. Yesterday evening the oven reached temps of 550 degrees! Once the oven is completely “cured” I can’t wait to bake these tasty, golden loaves (great “down under” blog, btw – with lots of pics on building a mud oven)!  

We gals went thrifting on Monday with a friend. Instead of it being a pleasant shopping experience, it turned out quite the opposite. It seems that because there are only a few thrift stores left in Pasadena, the selection of clothing is pretty limited.  We really miss the huge Veterans thrift store that was nearby.  We always seem to come out with bags of clothes with great finds.  These days you’ll find us walking out of Salvation Army empty handed (sniff) and frustrated.

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  1. dragonfly183 says:

    The rain probably does have something to do with it. More water, more bugs after all. i have noticed here in Arkansas when you live near a large body of water such as a lake or river there are loads and loads of spiders, so much so that in one of my homes i was afraid to walk outdoors at night because there were so many. i was terrified of blundering into one of there webs.

  2. Jamie says:

    Hi Guys, What an awesome oven..!! I too am having a ton of spiders in the garden, from beautiful red or brown jumping spiders to these light green beauties :)They have pretty much saved my garden !! Sorry to hear about your thrift shop woes..on the bright side it must mean more people are “recycling” by shopping there getting all the good stuff before you 🙂

  3. Anais says:

    Hi Dragonfly

    Thanks for your comments – we’ve seen some really pretty spiders this year! Although I do hate running into their spider webs and ruining all their work! 😉

  4. Anais says:

    Well hello Jamie! So nice to hear from you again? How is everyone — the kid, the animals?

    Hope you are all doing well and we hope you have a chance to come down and see us sometime.

    Thanks for the comments on the oven — you will show up at the pizza party?

    Yes, there are definitely some beauts (spiders that is) this year.

    Yep, people are certainly going to thrift stores – every time the parking lots are packed! Next time we are going to try the Veterans in either Burbank or Glendale.

    I miss the days when I’d come out with 4 huge bags of clothes for a little over 30 bucks.

    Tell everyone we said hi — keep cool!


  5. Jamie says:

    Hi !
    We are all doing just fine we are having a very busy year. We’d love to come to the pizza party any date set yet ? I have a question about the ones one go about gathering the materials ? Are permits neded to get the clay and dirt ? I assume it was collected not purchased. The fact thats it made from places around southern california is such a nice touch.
    Talk to you soon

  6. gerry medland says:

    Hi folks,
    glad to hear the harvest is going well!Weather here is cool!Chooks and Ducks fine,am now working on the goathouse!We have more spiders than usual,indoors and out!Must be this crazy weather.Best wishes with the sourdough,I shall be baking myself this weekend.
    blessings to you all.

  7. Anais says:

    Hi Jamie

    Glad to hear everyone is well. No the date is not set for the pizza party yet ( awaits when Ray says the oven is finished) We still have to plaster the bottom and clean up all the mess. 🙂

    Ray collected the clay and materials from people he knew and from construction sites. About 99% is recycled or free materials. We did however had to pay for Ray and his time.

    Have a great weekend!

  8. Mairi says:

    The oven looks great! Your’re right, there should be a hobbit hovering around somewhere 😉 I think it’s just that time of year, concerning the spiders. The beginning of the summer rains is also the time that the tarantulas are on the move. YOu see them all over the roads this time of year, I think it’s mating season. Also this time of year we see a big increase in wasps of all kinds, but especially yellow jackets. What I really like to see though are the ones they call tarantuala hawks, huge [close to 3 inches], red, thin waisted, black wings. They are cool. They actually sting the tarantualas, but just to paralyze them, then lay their eggs in the spider. When the babies hatch out they eat the spider. Also wanted to say I like the new features on the website, though the pic album does load a little slow, probably because i”m on dial up, not cable. hugs mairi

  9. Kendra says:

    WOW! What a great oven! You guys continue to inspire me. 550 degrees that really hot!!! I need one of those so I can stop heat up the whole house to bake. 🙂

  10. Florence says:

    I hope little Moonshadow makes it. Those little creatures can sure get into our hearts.