Yep, it's beginning to feel like wild geese calling: time to go South. Actually we're leaving a little early. This is the year we are forced to choose Hachita, New Mexico, or Troy, Oregon as our permanent home. Due to deterioration of Jim's health, he is no longer physically able to maintain both places.
Being a fourth-generation Oregonian, (his great grandfather Billy Morgan was a wagon train organizer and one of the original founders of Albany) it's unthinkable to transplant him to the high desert of New Mexico.
As for me, so much of my life has been spent all over the world my roots are shallow and I love Howard's Place on Eden Bench where I honestly believe photo ops and scenic beauty surpasses anything encountered in Europe, South America and down under.
Meanwhile, we will head South, and continue this column with the help of good friends Conni Curry, Bonnie Pierce, and Sandy Mallory along with e-mail correspondents such as David W. Martin of Little Sheep Creek, who requested a recipe for rose hip jelly mentioned in a recent column. David said they have a large local crop.
Rose hip jam
An easy method is to follow the jelly recipe for berries or mayhaw enclosed in the Sure-Jell package, or the one for rose hip jam on page 836 of "The Joy of Cooking," by Rombauer and Becker, Bobbs-Merrill publishing.
Wait to collect the hips until after the first frost. Do not use fruit sprayed with insecticides. Place the hips in heavy stainless steel pan and simmer until fruit is tender, allowing 1 cup of water to 1 pound of hips. Rub through a sieve, weigh and for each pound of pulp allow 1 cup of sugar. Then simmer the concoction, stirring until thick, and seal in sterilized jars. It's optional to seal with paraffin and store in a cool, but not freezing place. Then enjoy! The jam makes a great holiday gift. Tie a red or pink ribbon on top.
With the change of weather and onset of hunting, a lot of not-usually-seen animals have been spotted locally. A cow moose is hiding out on Elk Flat. Rumor has it that three cougars have been killed on private property on the grounds that they are a very scary menace to children and livestock. A black bear was spotted commuting from the loaded fruit trees on Howard's Place across the road to Marie Edward's orchard. Bear signs are present all over Eden Bench. Six Rocky Mountain sheep were heading up the hill from the Grande Ronde northeast of Mallory's Ranch. One hapless bull snake - possibly mistaken for a rattler - was run over on Eden.
School sets up for open house
Happy birthday on Oct. 8 to Art Cannon. Mel and Berta Hokanson are expecting a visit from Mel's mother. We are fortunate the Hokansons have recovered from the horrible auto accident suffered last year. Good neighbors all.
Down at the little green schoolhouse everyone is getting ready for an open house on Sept. 30, starting at 6 p.m. It's also the 95th birthday of Howard Bud Johnson.
Conni Curry said teachers and students are excited about the current theme of planets. The students have concocted a form of Play Dough on the new Hotpoint stove to form models of planets. Each participant, which includes the teachers and all students, have adopted a planet: made a model, then researched via the Internet to learn about the planet and prepared a PowerPoint presentation for the open house. Did you know the red cloud around Mars is actually rust? Did you know 100 Earths could be housed inside the planet Jupiter?
Student-prepared refreshments will be served at the open house. If you have any workshop tools to fit small hands, or spare muffin, cake or pie pans, along with other kitchen utensils, our teacher, Stephanie Haggard, asks for donations to help the youngsters perfect their science and cooking projects.
David Flynn said a refresher course of CPR is being scheduled. For more information call David at 828-7902.
Meanwhile stay in touch through e-mail at wmorgan59@tds, or as soon as we reach the adobe, the e-mail address will be email@example.com, or call Conni Curry at 828-7786, or at the library. Meanwhile, seize the day!