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Oct. 1
The summer was hottest, dryest, and smokiest in memory.   But it's time to file the quarterly sales tax, so I did the books and checked against last year.   Almost exactly the same amount of sales.   Given the year, that's a win...  Now just have to get through more of the dry and smoky (but the heat's about over)...
    The killing frost is still off on the horizon.  I've canned 28 or more quarts of tomatoes, so the rest can just get given away or used fresh... We're still getting a little broccoli, and the carrots are as sweet as they usually get after the frost.  We've started cutting the pumpkins and squash, since the books say it's good to let them dry or mature after cutting their umbilicals...

Oct. 4
The dynamic duo of Sondahl and Hawkins played at a Goat Cheese Festival today for 3 hours.  The weather was perfect, just under 70, lots of people came and some of them applauded and thanked us for our music, which doesn't happen at events where we're strictly background...

October 6
From yard -saling this summer we acquired a Pizzelle cooker, and tonight I made the chocolate ones, from a kind of an eggy brownie dough...

They're skinny flat waffle cookies, originally Italian (not the chocolate version) and you could probably make Scandinavian Krumkake in the press...  Wikipedia says they're one of the oldest cookies, going back to Latin roots.   I don't know how or if the Romans got the griddle thing going...

Oct. 14
In this most unusual year, there's still been no hard frost, nor none on the horizon.   But our horse manure man wants to bring manure, so I dug most of the carrots and the last of the potatoes today.  For the record, the carrots were good, yielding about 20 gallons (picked by the bucketful).   A similar acreage of potatoes only yielded one box this year, due to a scabby blight that will probably have us rethinking potatoes next year...  We're still picking some broccoli florets and scarlet runner beans.  I bought a used cider press and fruit grinder a week ago so we hope to use our plentiful green grapes and cull apples for juice this year...  I also canned 7 quarts of pears, the rest we're eating fresh...

October 21
Still no hard frosts, but they're supposed to get harder each night, so we've gone ahead and picked our apple crop, and will get the grapes before the hard freeze..  For the record, the apples were large and more damaged by bird pecks than codling moths.   There were 7 boxes of red delicious, 3 of golden delicious, and 6 boxes of windfalls/culls.   Previously we would use the windfalls soon for making applesauce, but I bought a cider press a couple weeks ago and plan to use that as soon as we secure a bunch more canning quart jars...

Oct 27
The cider and grape juice squeezing went well, once I'd adjusted the "built from a kit" base, which was exactly the same size as the basket, so when the juice squeezed out half of it was dammed by the apple mush basket...  I've also had to remake the piston part since I apply more force than the previous users had...   That's okay, I enjoy doinking around with stuff.  The best part of the cider press was the grinder, a beauty of stainless steel hopper and sharp stainless knives to chop and crush the apples quickly with a hand crank.  Anyway  I used about half of the windfall apples and grapes and got about 3 gallons of cider and one of grape juice.
We're starting to dig up the dahlias, even though any that we've covered are still surviving the frosts.   We've had light rains for a couple of days, enough to settle the dust and lower the fire danger, but not to touch the drought...
Books read and other media of note
The collected Bowdrie Dramatizations Vol. 1 by Louis L'Amour  Filled with Western conventions, where Bowdrie the Texas Ranger inevitably gets knocked out or shot and at the mercy of the bad guys, and his two fisted gunfighting skills pull him through... 

Back to the Time Trap by Keith Laumer.   This was a hold-on-to-your hat scrambled time travel book, which gradually made more sense as you read it, and had  a satisfying conclusion...

Blast from the Past by K. Friedman.   He manages to be outrageous and funny and a decent who-dun-it author all at the same time.  I can't think of another novelist who uses real characters like his famous such as Abbie Hoffman and not-so friends  as characters.

Klll two Birds and Get Stoned by K. Friedman.   This would be one of his more serious novels, using the fourth wall convention to talk to the reader about the book he's writing that resembles the book we're reading...  Two citizens of the world take the author under their wing for some revolution for the hell of it.  Apparently Friedman never saw Paper Moon (which many Americans did) or he would've picked a different con to start the story with...

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century by Addison Steele  This is the kind of simplistic plot, written after Star Wars, of a classic serial, of the sort that inspired A New Hope.  It was good for putting me to sleep...

The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter  This novel has a short half-life, since Washington legalized pot and one of its main topics is a mid-life crisis guy getting into pot sales.  I tried reading it once before but quit since there are multiple downers in it, but I stuck it through this time and felt like it was a bookend for  Citizen Vince, which was a criminal going over to the good side.  

The Woodrow Wilson Dime by Jack Finney.   This came in the mail from someone that used my Little Free Library.  It's from the 60's, and seemed like a Woody Allen movie, based on an alternate universe and one man's romantic troubles...  

Kickback by Ace Atkins.   He's really getting in the Robert Parker groove, with a story as enjoyable as the orginals, and timely as well, since it involves for profit prisons...


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