"Harvest" seems to be the theme of the last few days. Many things have come to fruition--- literally! Our little peach tree in the front yard--- the one we bought before we'd even officially closed on the house--- bore its first fruit this year! We call it "Audrey's Tree", and have planted a second one beside it that is "Robbie's tree." Audrey's became heavy with fruit that we watched and babied and fretted over ever since those first blushing blossoms bloomed. How satisfying to get to go outside and snap the fruit off the trees--- just enough to fill one big bowl. Probably enough for a very satisfying pie or cobbler! Oklahoma is good peach growing country--- in Porter there is the state-famous Porter Peach Festival--- and all the stores are filled with Porter Peach jams and jellies and fruit. It feels good to participate in the local growing harvest, so I always try to get Porter Peach items when I'm buying peaches. That is--- unless we're eating peaches off our tree!
Another harvest of the furry kind--- our sweet foster kitty Lucy had her babies! They were born on July 23 and today are 5 days old. We were all able to watch and monitor the birth, which was exciting for my junior veterinarian in residence. She was acting odd (crouching and hissing when she's never hissed at us) so I told Audrey to go out to where Lucy lives in the studio and watch her. A little while later, there was a clatter at my back door and audrey exclaiming "Lucy had a kitten!"
By the end of the afternoon, that one little orange kitten turned into the largest kitten brood we've ever had--- seven kittens! Seven! That little cat....had seven babies!
I'll admit I got a little teary eyed watching her clean them up and get them moving and they crawling around, blink, looking for milk and then drinking it up with ferocious abandon. I think about how the woman at the shelter told me that this mama cat had been caught in a trap and then brought into the shelter, where she'd languished, already heavily pregnant, for more than a month. What a pleasure it is to have been able to give her a safe cool place to make her nest and welcome her babies.
To be honest I worried that seven would be too many kittens--- that one would get the short end of the stick and not thrive-- and what if one was sickly? Or.....you know. But those worries are easing every day as they just get fatter, fluffier, more feisty and loved.
And when we're not picking fruit off trees or watching live cat births, lol, I have gotten the baking bug. My commitment to making more homemade things usually leads to one afternoon a week where I just...bake stuff. Some of my favorite things to bake for our treats is this granola concoction that I, frankly, just made up with the idea for muesli and granola in mind.
What I do is cook down some peanut butter and honey together till it makes a sauce. Into this I mix oats and other healthy things I have on hand--- like nuts, dried berries (raisins or cranberries) seeds and ok, chocolate chips. I think I'd mixed in some cocoa powder in the batch pictured above. After I mix it all together, I bake it just for a few minutes on 350* to 'set' it and then let it cool....I put it in a big canister for us to pick at when we need a snack, and feel good that its all something I made and not something in a wrapper.
I also love to make banana bread in my "eh, whatever is in the pantry!" method of cooking--- I made two loaves to cut up and keep for grazing during my last baking day; one with chocolate chips and the other with a batch of nearly-over-ripe blackberries we had.
Of course, around this...as always....there is painting. Painting caught in fragments of time. Large chunks of quiet painting are rare jewels these days, but sometimes I can snatch one up to enjoy. This saturday I was able to slip off to a yarn festival-- Fiber Christmas in July and bought some dreamy alpaca yarn, then spent the afternoon painting (in peace and quiet!!) and it was lovely. I just finished a big private project and am working on a few more. Commissions and dare I say--- book illustrations? The painting table is a busy place, these days!
Well, I will sign off for now. It's nearly lunch time! Gotta get these little people fed. Talk with you later!~