Light rye toast with fried eggs over easy for Ed; 7-grain toast with scrambled eggs for Mary.
On Monday, our final day at the resort near Tucson, Ed used up the last of the eggs, juice, and sausage to make us a lovely breakfast. For lunch, we packed delicious smoked turkey, black forest ham, and provolone sandwiches to eat on the road after we checked out of our condo at noon.
The little laundry room found in most WorldMark condos.
After breakfast, I gathered up all of our dirty laundry from the weekend and did 2 loads of wash in the little washer and dryer in our condo. I love going home with clean clothes to unpack and put away instead of laundry to be done! (Yep, definitely a resort kind of gal...)
The packing process proceeds on our resort bed. I always pack on a bed.
It's easier for me to see at a glance what's done and what still needs to be packed.
While the laundry was going through its cycles, I worked on getting all our stuff packed back up and ready for the 3.5-hour trip home. As the laundry finished, it was quick work to fold it and pack it.
The view from our bedroom window in the condo.
Finally, while Ed loaded all of our stuff into the car, I took a long last look around. Travel always evokes such mixed feelings in me. I love traveling and seeing new places and I'm always sad to leave, yet I'm also anxious to return home to the people I miss and the bed that fits me like no other.
The hens were busy while we were gone.
We were on the road around 12:30, so we arrived at home a little after 4:00. The first thing Ed wanted to do was check on his chickens and his garden. Sarah and Chris came over to care for the chickens everyday while we were gone, so they were in fine shape.
I don't think I ever reported on our hatchlings. Back on June 29th I did a post about the 7 Easter Egger chicken eggs Ed was incubating, which were due to hatch the day after we left on our New York vacation. He gave them to Leevi, the neighbor boy who took care of our garden and chickens while we were gone for most of the month.
Six of the seven eggs did hatch successfully on July 3rd, as expected. Leevi took good care of them and still has four of them. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago some kind of animal got into their coop, killing two and injuring one. Luckily, although Ed has seen these chicks, I've never laid eyes on them, so it's a bit easier to handle the news of their deaths. I'm just glad we have our rooster, Percy, who aggressively challenges all threats to our flock.
Meanwhile, Leevi started another batch of 7 eggs incubating for us, and they should have hatched soon after our return from New York. For some reason, none of the eggs hatched. So Ed waited a couple of weeks and started incubating yet another batch. However, again, not one of them hatched.
We aren't sure why we had such good success with the first set of eggs and none since then. It's now too late in the season to start another batch incubating. The chicks would still be too small to handle the cold next month when the chill weather hits. We will try again in the spring.
3 Sept 2012: Ed with his giant zucchinis!
Ed found that his garden had also been busy in our absence. He found 3 zucchinis about the size of baseball bats! They were fed to the chickens, who made short work of them!
Normal-sized zucchini, sentenced to the grater.
I prefer regular-sized zucchini to saute in butter and top with melted cheddar cheese. And nowadays a lot of zucchini is getting shredded and packed in quart-size freezer bags to await Jacob's homecoming.
Grated zucchini, one frozen and one headed to the freezer.
We have about 16 cups of frozen, shredded zucchini now.
In an email last month, Jacob said the first two things he plans to do when he gets home are do some baking and watch a movie with the family. He especially wants to bake some of his famous zucchini bread to share with us and friends he misses, and he asked me to put aside some zucchini for him. It won't be in season by the time he returns on November 12th.
He said he actually baked some zucchini bread in August. He left the room, and when he returned he discovered his companion had almost finished it off!
You can probably tell, the cherry tomato plant is the one on the left.
Upon our return home on Monday, we also found the tomato plants had kicked their production into high gear! We are now eating tomatoes in salads, on sandwiches and burgers, topped with melted blue cheese, added to sauces and soups, as toppings on omelets and burritos, and as snacks.
On the left is one small regular cucumber and six lemon cucumbers.
One new surprise is the lemon cucumber. When a frost killed off most of our garden in May, only one of the cucumber plants survived. When we went to replace the dead plants, the nursery had only one kind available: the lemon cucumber.
We gave it a try, since we were out of options. It turned out the lemon cukes were more hardy and prolific than the regular ones. On the outside they are quite odd, with tough, prickly skins. Inside, though, they are exactly like a usual cucumber, except shorter and wider. The flavor and texture are just the same. Very good in salads, and Ed enjoys just peeling and eating them.