First Week of July 2014 – The Week That Was

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you might recall a post at the end of this past winter where I included a photo of a gray fox out by the back porch, eating the bird food that was on the snow and ice on the ground.  It was early evening, and the fox did not seem to fear me.

A few days ago, I saw another gray fox come down the path between the yews out by the barn in the early evening.  The fox saw me and stopped.  I made a clicking sound with my mouth and the fox tilted its head and had a sweet look on it’s face.  It made a left turn and disappeared.  A few days after that, this fox (at least I think it was this fox) and a young fox appeared between those same yews.  I took them for mother and child.  They appeared happy and seemed to be foraging for food…grubs or maybe moles in the lawn.  I was able to take the following picture through the kitchen window. 

The mother was out by the edge of the bed and the younger fox was in the middle of the lawn.  It looked like he / she was finding and eating grubs.  The younger then turned and made its way through the dense goose neck loostrife in the bed.  Mother stood and watched and listened.  A few minutes later, the young fox had circled around and pranced down the path between the yews, joined its mother and off they went.  It was a lovely sight to see.

Gray Fox Mother and Child

Gray Fox Mother and Child

The very pale pink late blooming rhododendron is in bloom now.

Late Blooming Rhododendron

Late Blooming Rhododendron

And the giant hosta is blooming as well.  These flower spikes are almost as tall as I am.  When I say this hosta is huge, I mean huge!

Giant Blue Angle Hosta Flowers

Giant Blue Angel Hosta Flowers

Okay, can you even see the pickled eggs in the following photo?  There was condensation on the side of the jar when I took it out of the fridge.  They were only in the pickle juice a couple of days, but they had a nice tang to them.

Pickled Eggs

Pickled Eggs

In anticipation of pickling some of my own beans at some point, I bought some fresh green beans on sale at the market to experiment.  I washed them, trimmed and cut them, and blanched them in boiling water for one minute.  Then I immediately placed them in ice water to cool.  Once cooled, I drained them on paper towels. 

Blanched Green Beans

Blanched Green Beans

Then I placed them in my Woodstock Organic pickle juice.  And now I have to wait a few days.  How does that song go….”Anticipation, anticipation…is keeping me waiting…”

Freshly Deposited in Pickle Juice

Freshly Deposited in Pickle Juice

The daylilies have started to bloom. 

Daylily

Daylily

The bee balm is starting to flower.

Monarda / Bee Balm

Monarda / Bee Balm

This past Sunday I went to a local barn sale.  I had been to this barn years before.  The old gent who owned the barn was a collector.  I mean a serious collector.  The barn, actually barns, were chock full of stuff, with more piled up outside.  The really big barn even had a second level that was full of things.  This old guy tried to sort by type, and considering the amount of items, he did a pretty good job.  He has since passed away and now his daughter and granddaughter are trying to get things organized and hopefully sell the stuff.

When I saw that big “Barn Sale” sign as I drove down the street, I turned in.  Things were not as organized as they used to be and there was a rather thick layer of dust on everything.  There were only a few light bulbs hanging here and there, and not many windows, so it was pretty dark.  But I knew there were some treasures to be found in there somewhere. 

I didn’t even make it to the second floor of the big barn.  I gathered as much as I could carry and bought it.  The old man’s daughter said she thought they’d be open on weekends during the summer but wasn’t sure.  I’ll check it out again this coming weekend.  I know there’s much more to be found.

This is a photo of what I bought:

Barn Finds

Barn Finds

A brass candlestick and a brass elephant holder thingy.  I’m not sure what the long upturned elephant’s nose is supposed to be holding but I think it would be nice to hang some old brass bells off the tip of the nose and place it in a window kind of like a portable wind chime.  The art deco looking ashtray is gorgeous.  It has a lotus blossum engraved on the bottom of the bowl.

The tri-cornered silver bowl is marked “Reed & Barton, 251, AC”.  Searching on the internet, I saw that some people took the AC to stand for Alexander Calder.  But doing a little more research, I found that the designer actually was John Prip who worked with Reed & Barton from 1957-60.  He later taught at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Rhode Island School of Design.

There are neat cookie cutters with wooden handles, an oval dish marked “The Trenle Blake China Co., Ravenswood, W. VA”, three pottery condiment servers marked “Mustard”, “Ketchup” and “Relish” all marked Taiwan and an old amber glass furniture caster. 

There are two octagonal dark green shot or cordial glasses, a pink Depression Glass Madrid pattern cup, and a lovely, heavy, clear glass martini pitcher with glass stirrer.

Probably the most interesting thing is the bottle.  It stands about 6 and 1/4 inches tall.  It is clear glass and appears to be free blown.  It has about a one inch deep “kick-up” or “pushed up” base and a crude laid on ring top.  You can see the swirls in the glass.  I’m thinking it’s from the mid 1800s but have to do some more research.   If anyone knows anything about antique bottles and can provide any info, please do!

All of this stuff will be listed in my Etsy shop and hopefully I can find good homes for it all. 

I got to visit with my brother and his family this past weekend.  T.J., the husband of my neice Amy, who hosted the event, has quite a vegetable garden going.  His pole beans are much higher than mine!  Of course, he didn’t have some critter eating them before they started to sprout!  I know…excuses…excuses.  He gave me some fresh rosemary and mint to take home with me. 

And when I bought the martini pitcher the following day, I gave it a good washing out and made some mintinis!  I see on the internet that most people make mintinis with varying amounts of mint liqueur added to vodka or gin.  Well, I’m not fond of sweet drinks, so I just added the fresh mint to my gin martini and stirred, then I added a couple of crushed mint leaves to the glass.  You get a heavenly aroma of mint when you take a sip and a very subtle taste of mint as well. 

Mintini

Mintini

The invasive goose neck loosestrife are blooming like crazy.  Although they spread like crazy, they do have lovely flowers and in the fall the foliage turns a bright red.  If they are contained in a certain spot, they’re wonderful.  It’s the containing part that is tricky.

Goose Neck Loosestrife

Goose Neck Loosestrife

And the butterflies love them.

Invasive, Yes, But Butterflies Love It

Invasive, Yes, But Butterflies Love It

That’s all the news for the first week of July 2014.

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One thought on “First Week of July 2014 – The Week That Was

  1. KerryCan

    What a full week you’ve had! The foxes are gorgeous–how lucky you were to see them cavorting, and to have your camera at hand. Your mintini idea sounds yummy–my husband has been on a mint julep kick for weeks. And you did better at your barn sale than I have at sales lately–we’ve had slim pickings. That silver bowl is beautiful!

    Reply

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