Happiness is …

… listening to the soft plink of canning jars sealing in the kitchen.

Not enough tomatoes yet for salsa, but I just put up seven pints of pickles. I think I might roll Vegan Friday and Eco-Saturday into a single entry this week, because canning is an incredibly useful skill to have if you’re trying to shrink your environmental footprint.

This project wraps up a pretty productive weekend. I made a feed-store run, started two more batches of beer, blogged, planned for vacation, sorted recipes, ran errands, moved the quail, harvested cucumbers, took the dogs to the park, picked up guitar strings and a comic book, and put up pickles. Not bad; the only thing on my to-do list that didn’t get crossed off was a trip to Shivelbine’s to have the action lowered on my guitar, which I’ll try to do this week.

I am considering making two acquisitions after our vacation.

The first thing I need is a vehicle suitable for chasing stories in lousy weather, because the Dreamcar did NOT perform well on these hilly streets last winter. If I can put my hands on a reasonably priced AWD Volvo wagon, it’s going in my driveway. If I can’t, I’ll probably just buy an old pickup. Whatever I get will NOT be my daily driver, but I need something I can use for covering stories in the snow and hauling (sometimes literal) crap around on weekends.

The second thing I need is a half-feral cat to guard my tomatoes. We never had a problem with birds and squirrels raiding the garden in Tulsa, because the neighbor’s cat was always hanging out back there, but we’ve been battling the SOBs all summer here.

I’ll have to put a latch on the quail pen to discourage the new hire from going after the wrong fowl, but if this proposed right-to-farm amendment passes, I should be swapping my vulnerable little birds for a few big, saucy chooks in the near future anyway. (While I suspect right-to-farm is Monsanto’s latest middle finger to the planet, if it passes, I’ll certainly be happy to exploit the loophole it creates exercise my constitutional right to life, liberty and a flock of buff Orpingtons, and the city can get riiiiiiight the hell off my land while I do it. Supremacy clause, bitches.)