The End of Summer…And Finally the Start of a Kitchen!

Unlike last summer where I had over 100 heads of garlic, this crop, because of all the rain (and the flooding in particular), yielded less than 50.  Of those 50, the cloves were very small.  I might have picked them too soon, but I was afraid if I kept them in the ground any longer they would rot and then I’d have nothing. And while most of the literature I’ve read about harvesting garlic insists you can do it with a fork, Lynn actually has to take a crowbar out to the garden to pull them up. Yes, the roots are that deep!

Once unearthed however, the German “reds” were tinged the exact shade of purple they were supposed to be. I’ve saved some cloves to plant in October but I think I’ll also have to pick up some more hearty varietals from a roadside farm market, too.

IMG_6813What’s left in the garden are tons of zucchini blossoms but only a few very large zucchini.

IMG_6984I picked the zucchini but also in error picked what I thought might be acorn squash which my newest contractor told me was pumpkin.

IMG_6959I contemplated putting the pumpkin back in the garden for the bunny to chew on but decided instead to take it back to Long Island to see if even after it’s picked it turns orange or simply rots. (My guess it will be the latter.)

The more exciting news to the end of the summer is that finally, my kitchen is underway. The walls have been stripped down to the studs, new framing has been put in, with insulation and new sheetrock to follow.

IMG_6927I also suddenly have electrical outlets.

IMG_6951And an indication where the fridge and dishwasher will go.

IMG_6948Unfortunately, while Lynn and I have been putting off thinking what type of floor to put in the kitchen, we suddenly had to make a very quick decision this weekend and pick out some tile.  Now, we had picked up tile samples of things we liked over the course of the summer and decided on a simple brown, but when we went back to the store to buy it, they had discontinued the exact shade of brown we had agreed upon. Which is how we ended up with this:

IMG_6957Ironically Lynn is the “fussy” one with things related to the way the Red House should look but when push came to shove (as in you need to make a decision now), he was actually kind of cool about the choice.

There’s still much plumbing to be done not to mention the painting we ourselves have to do, but at least it’s a start in the right direction.

I’m already thinking of next summer…when hopefully all the painting will be done and the appliances bought and installed.

Meanwhile, because of the crazy weather this summer, my bamboo, flowering madly on the property, seems to be confused. Normally this time of year it’s actually turning brown not lush like this.

IMG_6993Wouldn’t it be lovely if summer could start all over again? On second thought, no. I must admit though, we learned a lot of “skills” this summer. #1 being how to make sandbags, fill up gaping holes in a basement wall and not panic when you’re standing in 6 inches of water.

When I woke up this morning, our last day of summer at the Red House before we head back to Long Island, we found a sparrow in the house. Apparently we have many holes in the recently demo’d kitchen that need to be plugged since it appears that’s how the bird got inside. We opened all the windows in the living room and it managed to fly outside.

For those readers who remember my garlic story that I wrote this time last year in relationship to our daughter Rachel, you might be pleased to know that she is going to school in Florida next week. She had completed a trimester last spring and is now heading back to hopefully a productive and successful year. Like the sparrow, she’s managed to escape and for that Lynn and I are very very happy.

We didn’t work on the Red House all summer. We managed to take some time off to do a few things we really wanted to do: a short trip to Montreal, a couple of trips to our favorite lake, and lunch at a new winery. It’s the little stuff that makes me happy, really. Oh yeah, and the thought of next summer and a finished kitchen.


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