And Just Like That, It’s August

Okay, so not quite. August is tomorrow. But, as they say, close enough for government work, right? We are still having some hot weather, although not quite as hot as it was, and very little rain. There are brown, dry patches on the lawn both front and back, and it is just now, after two weeks or so, getting to the point where it needs mowing. Really glad we decided to go with mostly native plants for the gardens. They don’t need as much water as non-natives and cultivars, although since they are newly planted this year, I have been watering more that I should going forward. Nothing has died so far, and I am very happy about that.

A week ago Saturday, while we were out doing our weekly shopping, we decided to go to the bigger farm stand of a local farm. They have one not far from our house, but the main store looked like it had much more, so we decided to take the extra trip. It was worth it. They do have a lot more stuff, not only in the fruits and veggies, but local cheese, milk, coffee, and more baked goods. We bought a good portion of the produce we needed for the week, and found a nice half-bushel of tomatoes that we bought for canning. I haven’t done any canning in a number of years. It took two days to get it all done. On Tuesday, I peeled, chopped, and cooked down the tomatoes. That got me about 6 quarts of tomatoes plus juice, with almost 5 cups of extra juice. I also got up the canning jars and ran them through the dishwasher. That won’t sterilize them, but they had been sitting in the basement in MA for a few years, and here since we moved, so I figured a good washing was in order. On Wednesday, I did the actual canning. Sterilized the jars and lids, reheated the tomatoes, filled, and processed the jars. Since tomatoes are acidic, you can water bath can them. I do add a bit of citric acid to each jar, just to be sure. I got 11 pints of tomatoes, which is about what I expected, as there was a good bit of liquid in that 6 quarts from Tuesday. All the jars sealed well, so we are good. And we have a whole bunch of tomato juice, also! I will freeze some, and we also have Sunday Bloody (Mary) Sunday!

August is going to be a busy month. This coming weekend, we will be in CT for a chili cook off, then the weekend after that is the monthly family dinner here, the third weekend is the BaldMan’s high school class reunion, and the last weekend of the month we will head to ME for another cook off. Phew! Lots going on. This will be the busiest month around here in a long time. But things should settle down after that with just one longer trip in September for the Worlds Chili Championship in Myrtle Beach, SC.

I am starting to catch up a bit on my reading goals. I am now just one book behind schedule for this year. With a little luck, I will get that one caught early this week. It didn’t help that the one I just finished was a bit of a slow read for me. Some stuff just didn’t click, and there was too much trying to hard to be relevant to some issues and it just dragged the story down. But I did get to the end, and now it’s on to the next. I also found a few new titles to add to my Want to Read list. I am never sure whether that is good or bad!

The Smashwords summer sale is over now. Thank you to everyone who went and got one of my books. I hope you enjoy them, and as always, please write a review if you did like what you read! That’s about all from here for now. Summer is winding down. Let’s make these last weeks good ones!

“Crossed Wires and Other Very Short Stories”. Twelve scifi and twelve fantasy short stories that can each be read in minutes. Available now Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and most other e-book retailers. More information here

I have written science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy stories. There are novels, novellas, and shorter pieces to fit everyone’s reading time. There are even some free stories, both here on the site and in other places. You can go here to find out more about the books I have published. They are available at Amazon, Smashwords, and most ebook retailers. Thank You!