We’ve been enjoying the Seedless Thompsons (also called Sultanas) since the middle part of June but the past few weeks of triple digit heat began to take its toll on the raisin cultivars. I decided to dedicate most of my weekend to the delectable chore of harvesting what remained on the twenty-something-year-old vine that grows in our yard.
A reflective moment under the arbor was an opportune time for a self-portrait.
If our freezer would afford us the space to save twenty-four pounds of grapes, I may not have attempted the arduous process of making jelly. It is trickier than I imagined and despite my good intentions and recipe, did not quite get the formula right. Instead of jelly, we have a concoction that looks like syrup and tastes like honey. Pancakes anyone?
“Up the Creek Without a Palette” 16″ x 14″ pencil and watercolor work-in-progress on paper.
I invited my partner to have a look at one of my sketches, and he admitted that he wasn’t quite sure what he was looking at. His reply initially hurt my fragile self-taught artist ego, but I appreciated his honesty, and forgave his lack of shared vision. My former, less confident self might have accepted his comment as absolute truth and hastily abandoned the newborn work but instead, I allowed my intuition to confront and dispel the fear of dreaded rejection that keeps many artists from sharing their work in the first place. The truth of the matter is this: My artistic style is not going to appeal to everyone, and not everyone is going to support my creative endeavors, but that is not going to stop me from bringing my work into the world. There is no other option because at my very core, I am an artist.
Stella is very good at initiating work breaks, and employs a few different strategies to get me out of my work space. Last Friday, she lured me out of my studio with her “come and play with me” bright eyed, wagging tail cuteness and invitation to play a round of a game I call, Goofball.
Standing at the bottom of the stairwell, I toss the ball to the top of the landing where Stella waits to make the catch. She then spends a few minutes toying with the ball until she is ready to send it down the stairs to me, then comes racing down to intercept it. She remains undefeated.
I’m not entirely certain where some of these Bell Pepper seeds are going to land in next year’s garden, but I insist that we make room for some of them. Peppers of all varieties are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. The seeds from one pepper, if germinated successfully, could yield us a peck if only we had enough acreage to accommodate them.
Bee keepers have varied opinions about which type of bee feeders work best to nourish their hives. Rusty Burlew’s Honey Bee Suite provides comprehensive information on the subject, along with beautiful photos of bees and other pollinators. I don’t keep hives, but I do like to feed bees, and find the Black Eyed Susan model is affordable, beautiful to look at, and easy to maintain.