So, here we are. The day we had all been waiting for--Labor day. My Dad managed to get hold of an old Farmall tractor and decided the wanted to "restore it" which pretty much means he sits there and tells mom and my husband what to do. Needless to say, that darned tractor is a thorn in all of our sides. Anyway, Dad wanted it in the parade today with the weird wagon thing he also watched get restored (heh) and wanted my husband's repair shop to be advertised on the back. Dad was sitting in the yard in his wheel chair just waiting with bated breath to see his tractor come down the street pulling his weird (It had spoked rims with rubber tires--so, weird) wagon with all his grandkids throwing candy. He was much like a little kid himself leaning forward trying to see if his tractor was next. We didn't tell him that it died before it even had a chance to get going. My husband ran down to the other end of the street to get it started, embarassed that his repair shop was advertised on the back of the dead tractor. It did start eventually (I guess there was a reason those things came with a crank start) and Dad lit up like a Christmas tree when it finally came. I'm probably the only one who was not lost on my Dad being so excited, but then I didn't have to drop everything to work on it all the time like my husband and mom did.
We cooked out, saw people we had not seen in a year, chased kids and laughed a lot. I think it was a good day.
Tomorrow the Big Yellow Angel of Mercy comes to take the kids to school for the first time this year. The leaves are starting to turn already, the apples are almost edible and oh my word I am sooooooo not ready for fall.
My garden isnt the best this year--I managed to grow quite a crop of crab grass. I did get an impressive tomatilla plant with lots of fruit. I was rather excited, since I had never had a tomatilla before. To my surprise, they tasted just like the wild ground cherries we used to pick when I was little. I'm only 33, but I don't think I have even seen a ground cherry since I was 7 or so, but I remember the flavor and I'm definately planting more of those next year.
Lastly, I'm going to try my hand at making jelly again this year. I made plum 2 years ago that set up beautifully; however, the choke cherries didnt set up at all, and I had to call it syrup. Last year I tried elderberry, plum and apple. None of it set up at all except the apple that was so stiff it was like eating apple flavored lutifisk that had been cooked too long. Eh. Like soft plastic. Like yuck. i thnk it had something to do with the pectin in the apples and my adding sure gel to that...something chemestry something. I always wrote the answers on the back of my hand in chemestry-squeeked by with a D+.
I sometimes feel like im wasting my time with all this. My husband rolls his eyes when he sees me drag up my buckets of fruit and big hot water bath pot. OMG huge mess-4,000 quarts of syrup and at least 210 of those need to be eaten RIGHT NOW because they didnt seal well. I have my laser jet printer printing off jar lables that say, "If its set up it's jelly, if its runny its syrup, you probably won't die-Merry Christmas." I'm pretty famous for my either/or home made/mostly harmless experimental Christmas presents. My neighbors have not taken to hiding when I come around---yet.
I really wish I could have figured out the laundry soap. i thought it would have been neat to give everyone good smelling soap; however, if you keep up with this gardening-fail blog, you know what my laundry soap did and did not smell like. I have, however, taken to buying free and clear soap with no fragrance at all and adding essential oil of my choosing-This last time was eucalyptus and it smells just knarly good! It even gets the shop/gear lube/armpits/???? sm ell out of my husband's work clothes! Natural germ killer! Koala bears go crazy for it!--so I hear.
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I hope you all ate too much and had fun and saw your Dad grin over Puttin' John tractors and weird wagons. I hope you squeezed 100 babies and got to eat Aunt Linda's 3-bean hotdish. I hope your yards were perfect and your flowers were blooming just as hard as they could. I hope you all saw old friends and even made a few new ones. I hope you all had a great day today. Happy Labor Day.