Wow, I can't believe that July is almost over! School is fast approaching. Here in South Texas we are in the midst of Hurricane Dolly. My area is only getting the outer northern bands. We really need the rain. Nothing big has been happening, yet I've been busy. This is the time of summer that I go into panic mode because school will be starting soon, and I haven't even begun to accomplish my "summer to do" list. I have managed to do some cleaning out and boxing items for charity. A highlight for me was spotting two Swallowtail Kites flying overhead when I was taking laundry off the clothesline! That is one reason I like using clotheslines. It gives me an excuse to be outside listening and looking for birds and to enjoy the hard work I put into the garden. Back to the story. I heard an unfamiliar bird sound and looked up to see two large white birds gliding in a circular pattern. They were white with black along the rear side of the wings all the way to the tips of the wings. They also had long dark forked or "swallow" tails. I rushed for my binoculars and bird reference guide. According to my guide, Swallowtail Kites are not common in South Texas during this time of year, but with such distinctive markings there was nothing else they could be. This morning, I telephoned a local naturist. He told me that he has also seen a Swallowtail Kite from his yard this summer. He said that they are usually only seen during the fall and spring raptor migrations. I feel to honored to have seen them.
I have also become addicted to iced coffee in the afternoons. After some online research and watching one being made at my local Starbucks, I have been making my own at home. I brew a large espresso and pour it over a container of ice (with a lid). I then shake and swirl it to cool it down quickly and pour it into a glass that has sweetener to my taste. I add a dash of milk and YUM!
Now to put my sauerkraut that has been "ripening" for about 3 weeks in a crock into jars. I'll give them a good hot water bath and they'll be "good to go"! Several weeks ago, my sister-in-law came over, and we started our sauerkraut. She had helped her grandfather make it when she was a youngster. He job was slicing it with the mandoline. I had done some research on the good old internet to guide us. I had also bought a small mandoline of my own. My sister-in-law brought 2 crocks that her grandparents had used. It is great to finally have a "sister" to share the fun with. (I have 2 brothers).