I want to get right to the topic of hot dishes, as my hamburger is thawing in the sink as we speak. So, thanks, Martha, for the idea about stroganoff. Yep. And Kelly, I was pretty excited when I came across the recipe I most remembered from Grandma Viehl, the one with rice? Got it from Mr. Google. One can each of chicken/rice soup and cream of mushroom, plus 4 TBS soy sauce and 2 TBS Worcestershire? O.M.G, that’s it! Come on over, the recipe makes one pound hamburger feed a LOT of hungry Minnesotans.

Now, when last seen, Larry and I were trudging through the tall fescue. I’m disappointed to report that Ryan came and cut it while we were away, but when we got back, here’s what we saw:


Amber waves of grain? See, this is not what those words have always brought to my mind, but it will be now.

Ryan seems to work on the weekends, and of course, we seem to be in Portland on the weekends, so we missed the next two chapters in our little story. I did see Ryan, or someone, driving a tractor through this field with strange whirly devices on the tractor front which whisked the waves into flat land, but the baling went on behind our backs. Rats. Would have like to see that! But here’s what was next:


To give you an idea of the scale here:


These bales each weigh approx. 1200 pounds. Each. It’s about equipment, baby. Look at this:


It took five trips to take this to the hay sheds Ryan owns, and here’s some exciting news: Ryan wants to pay us half in US currency, half in — meat! Larry said fine! Well, you know what’s for dinner when you come to my house.

This is not the only thing going on at the “Wood.” Remember the meeting with Ryan and the Grant (Fence Guy)? We agreed to start on the perimeter, and this whole past week our days have been filled with the sound of grinding, hacking, felling. The idea is to clear the land in front of the existing fencing, see what needs to be replaced, or mended, or what is good enough to keep. It’s really magic to walk along a newly created path — well it’s more than a path, more like a boulevard through a park. It’s so gorgeous. First, the machines:




Hmm. Okay, maybe you have to use your imagination, hear the bird song, feel the hush of the ancient trees? I was going to go out and take more photos this afternoon, but, oops, it’s raining. What?

I’m sure you will want to hear how the Vision Garden is faring? Sorry to say, not so well. Apparently the long 13-day period of neglect in favor of a golf tournament has thrown our tomato plants into a sulk. Leaves curled, though they are getting enough water. Seeds didn’t sprout, ditto water situation. So, off to Shonnards for an explanation and, it is to be hoped, a remedy. Only remedy may be replacement. But our Master Gardener did not wish to give up on his babies, and instead, purchased four more tomato plants. Maybe twenty flower starts (instead of seeds), which he is ourside planting. Right now. Yes, in the rain. (We are Oregonians, after all — little rain never hurt anyone).

And as we drove up, we met Scott, the Guy who will be working to enclose our orchard more securely in advance of the chicken coop, which we ordered and now await. So we’re busy old folks, and in fact, when Larry finishes, before our hot dish supper, there will be naps!

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