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People are dumb when it comes to fireworks. I still haven't forgiven Jesse for legalizing them in Minnesota. Our city show is on again after being canceled last yr. The FD runs that show and fires them over a lake. It's the private yahoos I worry about, but not much to do about them. We still have at least a 4" rain deficit here and the heat from the PNW and western Canada arrives tomorrow. So (not) thrilled. I'll be glad when it (4th) is over. It's supposed to be hotter than Miami and Dallas here this weekend.

On the bright side, Minnesota has reached our president's goal of 70% at least partially vaxxed by July 4. I know that was supposed to be the whole country, but at least we did our part. I just hope our tourists aren't dragging their diseases up here to us.

Got the touchups done on the MW. Still have to do drawers and knobs.
 

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Time for an update perhaps:
A couple of cousins may hit my place on the weekend. 1 asked what jobs there are so I have a few lined up. She likes to work. Her mom, my first cousin, LIKES to work but is super ineffective so I'm lining up errands/wild-goose-chases to send her on. You don't want to put her on essential tasks.

The chickens are back to 3 or 4 eggs per day. I am letting them have one out-post laying area because it's by the coop, well sheltered and pretty handy. I did see a porcupine waddling in the general vicinity this AM and if it gets into the outpost then we will have to de-activate that (take all the eggs and mess it up so they stop laying there).
They broke into the under-shed area. I'll have to re-fence. I think it was to get out of the heat. I was ready to crawl under there myself.

Heat wave is mitigated by the smoke at least...we can't breathe but we don't sweat as much. I haven't seen stars in 2 nights. No clouds, just smoke.

I did see someone had driven into my place yesterday while I was out. I think it was the builder since they laid the rope gate (ok...bit of bailing twine) down very neatly. and forgot to put it back up. that's his MO. I called his wife's number but she didn't pick up. I'm taking time Thursday to go do some permit payments and talk to him. I need to drive around the town of Moscow Idaho until I find him. Will also check on renting a lift while my mom is here so we can do more work on the outside of the house.

I guess we're at the boring part of construction.

I have made another important discovery that everyone else knew: Pigweed is also amaranth! Cripes! This morning I carried a bag with my when I went to pick radishes. I always weed a bit while I pick and instead of throwing the weeds (pigweed and lambsquarters and dandelions) I put them in the bag and added a head of lettuce from a different garden. I had greens in my eggs for breakfast and will have the lettuce and radishes with a service berry infused vinaigrette for lunch. Eating mostly from my property!
Apparently pigweed seeds in particular are easy to harvest and super nutrititious and might be pop-able! Cool. So, I will let a few go to seed. Same with the lambsquarters. I give up growing garden versions of amaranth. The seeds would be prettier but the effort for return is a real loser.

The camelina is doing well. Should get plenty of seeds The corn is stunted but trying to tassle out (tassel?) Hope to get an ear or two off the 20 or so plants. I am watering like bonkers and planted them with beans and squash all together as is traditional. I've fertilized a bit with heavy nitrogen, but one area of the about 15' by 3' bed is getting pale yellow leaves...missing something there.
Gophers continue to eat the damn potatoes right in the ground! Found some laying on top of the soil. Not good enough for gophers??
Even the lovage is looking wan. There is loose gopher dirt by it so I think they ate some roots. Jerks.

Service berry crop is astounding this year! I didn't plant any, just harvesting what there is. They are bigger and sweeter than any year since I moved there including the previous dry year and smoky year. They apparently like it really rough! Big as grapes. I've picked tons and eaten so many that...well, I will spare you the details. With the kombucha vinegar (over brewed kombucha) I got from a local producer, I've made some very tasty infused vinegar with them and put them in a second soak of vinegar to store for the winter. Trying to eat up the stored 2020 ones to free up jars! Even making mustard with the vinegar which is surprisingly tasty.

Ok, time to cut this off and get back to work.
 

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I love your newsy updates. Construction is never boring! It sounds like you're getting a ton done, and free labor!

I was all happy I was ambitious enough to make a gallon of pickles today, but now I realize I'm still a total slacker.

Moscow, Idaho, must not be very big. Better than the other one, I suppose. Happy hunting. When will the builder be back to do more work?
 

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I'm growing lambsquarters in pots this year. I hadn't seen it on our property before and this spring it self started in some empty pots. So I'm letting it grow and when it seeds I'm setting the pots in the yard to spread. If we're going to grow weeds I hope at least they'll be edible weeds.
 

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SD: the builder still owes me the refinish on the floor that they f'd up last year (putting it on in the rain before the roof was on), and fixing some soffit/siding stuff that failed. Not major. WHO KNOWS when he will show up. I'm up to date on payments so my leverage is like zero. I may offer more money once the stuff is done.

CH: I agree! I'm cultivating weeds now. Looks like pigweed might be native so why not. It likes open ground and pre-colonial times there wasn't much. It's all over now because we've left so much ground open (construction, road work, gardens, etc). I found a wildweeds pesto recipe and think that pigweed and pinon pesto could be fun to try.
I'm liking the lambs quarters fried up in eggs or just in salad. I am seeing if the hens like pigweed. they weren't huge on the lambs quarters. The seeds could make a nice winter protein source for me and the chickens.

Yesterday I picked another quart of service berries. Lunch today is a rye flour biscuit thing (using up the rye flour) with service berries, smoked salmon my colleague brought in (he cut up the salmon himself and used a low salt habanero rub on it...it is amazing), and ever more service berries. Should poop be blue?
The chickens taking running jumps at the berry bushes is hilarious!

Mom gets here in about a week. I hope there are still berries. There are still very pale and green berries on the bushes so maybe! The birds, not just the chickens, are really going bonkers for them.

And now off to check the work bees! Moved a hive last week...we got no stings from the bees but the salmon colleague managed to stand on a yellow jacket nest and got them up his pants. I tried not to laugh...much.
 

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What are service berries? funny how the pigweeds other name is the fancy new grain marketed a couple of years ago after quinoa was out for a while. I know fireworks are a no no but I do like them but then you can do them better. here big ones are over the water. You can get your ashes packed into them too.. like that idea lol Not a lot of people get buried anymore too expensive land here. cus we had so many relatives pass dh and I have talked about it what to do for the ashes.
 

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Serviceberries are also called juneberries and saskatoons. Sort of blueberry like on a tall bush. Some of mine are nearly 15feet tall. Similar nutrition to bluebwrries. Easy to pick because no thorns and you stand up huckleberries are so low we have to crouch down and backs get painful. I am just picking the easy to reach ones and getting 1-2 lbs per day now.

Had pigweed and lambsquarters frittata for breakfast. Adding a few chives helped the flavor.

My cousin was supposed to come today and assist me setting up to use a borate treatment on my new house. She decided to come tomorrow. Oh well. Napped today.
 

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ah have heard of the other names. here we have so many blueberry farms. I have a couple bushes but don't get that much.
 

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The service berries are so variable flavor-wise but reliably produce a crop so they will be my faves for a while

I got 4 raspberries off the canes I replanted last year. It is my biggest crop of those so far. I am a
Pretty crap farmer
 

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maggie don't think it is to do with you .. we have raspberries that came with the house that I don't do anything with ..seems every other year you get a good crop. but they need lots of water so if you aren't getting it or too hot then none. when we had our heatwave that wasn't normal at 40c the farmers were on the news cus their raspberries crops were getting wrecked because just at that time of ripeness..sunburned etc. blueberries etc too but not as bad. though being watered but water burned in sun the leaves. my shasta daisies in the front in the granite planter had started growing then watered but just fried. they didn't recover well.
 

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Thanks for the encouragement and perspective.

I just had 4 cousins visit and the one who had seen the garden on year 1 said she is amazed at my progress. A few more years of sheep poo and I may get there.

My mom got here yesterday to help with the wood treatments and whatever. One cousin is a wood scientist and had great ideas I will share when I have more time. I think using cedar closet liner for a ceiling is my fave suggestion!

Now off to feed chickens and pick mom up from her Airbnb.
 

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The cedar tongue and groove would make a nice ceiling. Knotty pine, too. Both are thin, light, and easy to work with. There's also the chipboard cedar that comes in 4x8 sheets. That can be nicely done, too, but probably not as nice as T&G.
 

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Mom got here 6 hours after the cousins drove away. She had a company that did paint and wall paper for years so she is great help!! We got Hertage brand finish on all the window trim pieces and the bath room rough cut live edge boards sanded. First 2 coats of finish and the first rough sanding. 2 more finish coats to go and several more sanding. During the vile hot part of the day we did our hardware run and talked to the window people and the builder. 7 of 8 windows came in and the last 1 should arrive the 2nd of August. The builder has a couple of things to fix before those go in. I ran out of borate treatment so that is being shipped in. We can sand until then. And have trim to take off throughout the house and a chicken poopy cement floor to clean.

I nearly ran the cistern dry!! Oops. Got it filled up yesterday and will try to get the siphon going today. The water is running but the pressure is LOW. I hate when I do this! T sucks clay soul up in the frost free drain valve on the spigot and is a real but pain to get going again. I hope I don't have to dig anything up.

Mom is here until the 5th. At 79 she is still a real worker. Wears me out
 

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Got most of my water pressure back. That is a relieve. Maybe it will work is way up to maximum soon.

Mom and I had to stop working at noon yesterday. Toooooo got. I ran home (slept in the a/c coooed air at her vacation rental place) at 4 am and did chicken and garden chores. We have a few things to work on at the rental because we are in a heat warning for 2 more days and I am prone to heat stroke and she is pushing 80. We need to test 4 options for bathroom wall finish. I am thinking the butcher block wax that works o. Counter tops.

We have 3 coats of exterior oil on the window trim. One window of the 8 ordered did not come in. It may get here August 10. That should mean I will have the borate treatment here and have time to get it sprayed on, and a coat or two of oil finish on bruins where the window trim goes.

I am using Tim-bor borate treatment and Heritage brand finishes out of Oregon. Beautiful stuff but not cheap!!!

Mom said she is pretty blown away by the house even having seen pics via email. But she knows better than to criticize.

I am heading back to the rental shortly to make us breakfast. The sun is coming up and it is getting hot already.
We will not get much done Saturday either. Tooooo hot. Then Sunday I need to take mom to see a sister in law and a niece in south idaho. Don't want to go Saturday in my 5000$ car driving they 110deg heat. The car doesn't have enough power to get up a mountain with the a/c on. The risk of a break down in that heat is too much with mom in the car.
 
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