Five simple things


This "Five simple things" is being posted as I sit with a glass of ice-cold water in front of the air conditioning unit that sits in our front sitting/dining room. It is sweltering here in the Willamette Valley and our poor water sprinkler has been overworked this week trying to keep up with the heat of the days. We reached well over 110 degrees and the sky here is blanketed with a smoky haze from the wildfires we are flanked with here. This weekend is set to be in the 90s all across the board and well into next week. The Bean has been cooling off with his slip-n-slide we got him to replace his pool, but nothing beats a cool shower before bed lately and an ice pouch under the pillow, or near the feet. We are keeping cool and the weather lately makes me think of Arkansas summers a lot. According to my dad they are having a cool spell with 60-70 degree nights. We always seem to get the opposite of their weather. Besides the hot temperatures there were a few things that made the week great, and here they are.

1. Our garden.

Cucumbers and Pole Beans 

PITA escaping the heat under the zucchini plant.

Broccoli and a tiny yellow bloom making it's way into the world from our watermelon vine.

Roma tomatoes and our strawberry plants still giving us a strawberry or two every few days.

And the wonderful supply of cilantro going strong. I am planning to make some homemade salsa before the summer is done. More on that later.

2. This nest.

We went for a walk to check out a small brush fire that was behind our house a few days ago and came across an osprey guarding its nest of babies. There were two of them flying in and around the nest for about 10 minutes and we were fascinated. One of the osprey brought in a small trout from the river that's nearby and we watched as it landed and disappeared into the nest to feed the young ones. The Bean tried to get a closer look, but the osprey parents were making noises to tell us to buzz off and leave them be. We took a few shots and then left them alone to eat dinner.

3. This plant.

This is Bull Thistle, or Cotton Thistle, and I was shocked to see if growing in the field behind our house. It's right by the fence line and in many areas it's considered invasive, but to me, I want to try and harvest it. I have heard that these plants can be eaten once the prickly parts are removed. I am in the process of doing more research on this plant before foraging it. Hopefully, it won't be mowed over before I get a chance to harvest it. Keep in mind that most weeks, or what people consider weeds, can be used in some way.

4. This clothesline.

With it being so hot here lately I've been taking advantage and hanging our clothing out to dry. Line-dried sheets are the best things.

5. This brew.

This picture was taken in hast because this step was needing to be done within a few seconds of the boil, but The Mr. and I have brewed our first batch of beer and this is the hops going in. We had to use prepackaged hops this go 'round, but we have hops planted currently that will mature into adult plants and give us the hops we need for future batches. We are pretty pumped for our first wheat beer batch and can't wait to share updates on it in the future.

Have a great weekend!

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