September newsletter

 

Finally the hot weather has subsided and we had 3 inches of rain to green things up a bit. Now the nights are cool and the days are pleasant. I tried to make my first jelly from wild plums. It turned more into syrup, but the taste is superb on pancakes. I also made wild plum chutney, tomato relish, and various salsas and pestos. In exchange for my eggs and vegetables, people give me apples and pears so that the next weeks will be filled with pie-making.

 

Next year I will be less exuberant with vegetable seeds and concentrate more on the cutting flower garden since the bouquets from my garden seem to be very popular. I have been furnishing all the altar flowers for our church here since we came back from Boston and will do so until the first frost will put an end to the spectacular blooms. The garden fences are overgrown with morning glory which is considered a weed here in Kansas, but I canít get enough of that deep blue color.

 

David is more active in the meat department, i.e. hunting. He purchased a muzzleloader so that he could go deer hunting now already before the official deer season for rifles opens. Hunting season for ducks and turtle doves is also in full swing.

 

For us this is all just fun and experiments, but it is truly amazing how busy you can be if you just want to provide for your own food. Add to that making your own clothes, no washing machines, making your own shelter, furniture and pottery and you can really appreciate how hard people worked that lived before us.Luckily, we do have a washer and dryer and a furnished house and can spend some of our time in a leisurely fashion.

 

September is a nice time to go walking and bike-riding again. And to make this more pleasant, we have a new puppy who likes to come along.

Meet Lilly:

Lilly comes from the Humane Society in Nebraska. Her mother is a pure-bred Irish Setter, her father was supposed to be a Husky mix -- and she will be one of a kind. So far, she seems smarter and less rambunctious than Max was. Of course, Lilly is a female and Christina, Cecile and I agree on the advantages of females.

 

David also spends a lot of his free time restoring his 1964 Ford pick-up truck, literally piece by piece. Unfortunately, a good many of these pieces need to be replaced and the amount of packages arriving from all parts of the US containing this or that old automobile part is truly astonishing. I have resigned myself to the fact that this pickup will be just as expensive as buying a new one. Weíll have to buy an old ramshackle house again after our two years here so that David can go back to that kind of fixing. I think I will appreciate his abilities more in the house restoration realm.

 

Last week, we took the kids out of school for one day and drove with Davidís parents to the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson to keep up with a long tradition in Davidís family. The first fair actually took place in 1873 when Hutchinson was barely one year old. This infant local fair, only one of many held throughout Kansas, later became the present Kansas State Fair. Today, it is a big exhibition for farm equipment, a showcase for farm animals, a carnival, and various other entertainments like pig races.

 

My favorite was the poultry barn where you could see every variation of chicken, duck, goose or turkey. Some chicken breeds like the naked neck or the crested Polish varieties look like good nature jokes:

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Next week, I will be driving to Denver to take my nephew to the airport. Due to a new multitude of immigration and homeland security rules, he will have to go back to the consulate in Frankfurt to finish transferring his visa to a regular student visa. Itís hard to believe how much hassle and expense these new rules create and I sincerely doubt that they will protect us from future terrorist attacks. Anyhow, I will make the best out of the situation and stay for a Yoga weekend in the Rocky Mountain National Park before I drive back this long and desolate stretch of Highway 36 through Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado.

 

Here is a picture of my nephewwith Christina and Cecile in front of a growth chart at the State Fair. Since he is off the size chart, Iíll give you the answer: He is 6 foot 7 inches tall.

 

 

Greetings from the whole family!