Black currants, black cat

We have several black currant bushes that we planted decades ago and that have since multiplied.  They get no attention, yet they thrive and every year we have more currants than we can use.  Sometimes after we pick, another friend or two also picks them.   I love the flavor of black currants.  I started black currant vinegar and made freezer jam.  If there’s not enough for my ambitions, we can always wait a few days till more ripen and then pick again.  I had about 8 cups to work with. 

The rabbits seem to have slowed down a bit on eating our pole beans as soon as they start to climb their teepees.  I hope so.  We always eat many beans and freeze many, but we’ll be lucky to get any this year.  So far they’ve left one teepee alone and but the other seven are fairly decimated.  The lettuce is bolting – latest ever.  The Jericho lettuce is still good  — an Israeli-bred lettuce that can stand heat better then all our other seven types.  Some I’ve pulled already.  The red and green cos lettuces are hanging in there a while longer.  We promised to bring a salad to friends’ house today when we dine with them and I think we’ll have enough good lettuce.  We’re rolling in cucumbers.  I picked nine of them last Sunday and many more since. We have been in a minidrought after all that rain that fell all spring and well into June.  But finally Thursday night around 4 a.m., the rain started and continued into Friday.  All the plants and trees really needed water.  We can only water so much as we’re always aware of the stress on the well and the pump.

I had a haircut this Wednesday.  I’ve now read all the mss. for the Marshhawk book contest and am now rereading the best mss to select three and rank them.  I’d like to be done by Monday so that I can send off the results and the one mss. that has to be back by post.  Then I can get back to my own poetry book I just started work on.  That I’m really looking forward to. I often revise poems when I’m about to put them in a book manuscript.  I’ve pulled a lot of poems written since the last book and roughly sorted them into categories, like family, politics, Jewish, nature etc.  Now I go through the categories and try to winnow each folder down to the best.

For the first time in four years, the birds did not get all the sour cherries off the tree before we could pick any.  I think it’s partly that we don’t have orioles this year for some reason and I haven’t heard any catbirds.  Woody was able to pick enough to I could make some sour cherry preserves.  If we had been able to get more of them, I would have made a cherry pie, one of my favorites.

We ate out with friends Wednesday night, something we rarely do.  However, the highway and the restaurants are so crowded weekends that the only way to eat out at all is to do so in midweek.  The Cape was exceptionally crowded from the weekend before the Fourth until well after the Fourth.  Many accidents. We try to figure out how long it will take us to get someplace, how much extra to add. Tonight, friends have invited us over.  We’ll bring a salad.

I bought a slowcooker because often my ankle really starts to hurt around 5- 5:30 when I’m making supper and all that activity makes it hurt much worse.  My doctor thinks it is slowly healing but the operative word is  S L O W L Y.  Since I can do more in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.  The first slow cooker recipe I followed was mediocre.  Woody has not been enthusiastic about trying more, but I think next week, when it is supposed to be very hot even here, I think I’ll try to again.  Different protein, different recipe. 

It’s hot and humid.  Schwartzie suffers the most of all the cats, as he has very long black fur – like a Maine Coon or a Persian.  We try to figure out his ancestry, since he’s so gorgeous.  Woody jokes about getting a DNA test. I’ve been reading short stories by Kelly Link and enjoying them. 

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