Catching up…

Well, it’s been a month since I found my way over here, and I am finally finding time to catch up. A couple months ago I started acupuncture due to some health issues I am struggling with. Since the first visit, I have felt amazing changes in my body and mind every day. I have not had as much sustainable energy since I was a teen. However, since I have many years of exhaustion to make up for, I have not been able to sit still at the computer long enough to write a new blog post. So, today here I sit. I have spent the last several weeks getting the rest of this house unpacked, and getting the three of us wiggled in to this space….it has been too long coming. It has been a hugely productive month, and now school is in session and I am excited for the productivity to come. In the last month, I have managed to make two quilts, ten strands of beads, and two up-cycled candle-holders. I have made three types of Jelly and canned them, as well as some soup, which I am a little nervous about because as my first canning experience I am not positive that it was a successful. I got a lot of the stuff done that I have been meaning to for the last two years…and that is a great feeling. I have been doing lots of baking and cooking, which I really, really enjoy, as does my family.

The garden has been quite productive. I have beans and peas and carrots coming out my ears….and the raspberries. Oh man, we put up a lot of raspberries, which works out nicely because my son will eat frozen fruit with cream on it all day long. I have been making fudge and cookies. I found a recipe on another blog for some delicious cookies, made with a chocolate cake mix. Since no one in our home is a big fan of cake, this has been a huge blessing… we somehow have an abundance of cake mixes in our cupboards. As my dear hubby days “Best cake I have ever had”.

The tomato and pepper plants are ridiculously prolific, and I can’t imagine how we are gonna eat all those peppers in the course of a year. I make a lot of homemade chilli and spaghetti sauce, so the tomatoes will get eaten up no problem, but looks like all the neighbors are gonna be eating peppers this winter. I even managed to successfully grow cantaloupe here in my short season garden. Tires…that was the trick to success. I assume it is the warmth in the tires that made them grow so prolifically. The tires also raised them up off the ground. I grew them in stacks of tires two high, and not one melon is sitting in the dirt rotting on the underside! I am sold on growing melons and squash type plants in tires from now on! I can’t wait till I live on land that I own so that I can grow whatever I want, in whatever container I want, whenever I want.

We have a small rural home, right outside of town, rented from an elderly farmer who is very stuck in his ways. He gave me a big lecture about how vegetables are not meant to be grown close to the house, they are not meant to be grown in containers, and I am watering all wrong…plus, it’s way too late for any crops planted after may or June, so he is convinced that my second succession crops will fail….  My dirt is too rich and I haven’t fed my plants enough.  The old grouch just complained about every aspect of my non-traditional, non-square, too close to the house, garden. I was so irritated with him for days, but I figure I will show him…When my cool season succession crops come up, I will take him a big basket of goodies (he is, after all, a ninety year old widower), and it can’t hurt to share my abundance with him. I try to just let it roll off my shoulders when his negativity overflows into my bubble, but this time I stewed for a few days. When I finally own my own property, I will have an entire row of tires set up. They work great for anything that loves warm soil, and they hold water great. I highly recommend trying some “tire gardening”. Because the warm season crops love the tires so much, I want to figure out a way to make covers for the tires, but they are gonna have to be pretty big, because by now, the gourds are pretty large. The temps got into the thirties this week, and I was worried about them every night. They are not done yet, they need a few more weeks, if they can just get through this cold snap.

I am ready for Fall. I am ready to start tearing down some of the garden stuff that’s done, and rounding up and bringing in the stuff that doesn’t fit in my tiny greenhouse. I look forward to the cooler temps and the craftier season. I spend most of my summer keeping up with my very social husband, and tending the garden. I look forward to the slower paced cool seasons, when I can spend time focusing on projects in my home and my craft surplus for the spring farmers markets.

I especially look forward to the routine of “school season”. We are wound down and in bed by close to the same time every night. I enjoy getting up at five am to walk my mutts before getting the child and hubby up for the day. I start the coffee, walk the dogs, get the boys up, and make breakfast. I feed the boys and dogs, get the laundry started for the day and make sure the dishwasher is empty for the day. By then, the boys are heading out the door, and I now have an opportunity to spend an hour doing Bible Study while drinking my coffee and waiting for the laundry to be ready to change. Once Bible Study/quiet time is done, I head to the chore list and start working on projects or chores I want to accomplish for the day. I have found that my motivation for chores in the afternoon is lacking, so I spend that time working on writing, research, crafts, gardening, baking…things I really enjoy. As dinnertime approaches, I get that ready and then wait for my boys to come home. I love when I have had a ridiculously productive day and they both notice (I am pretty spoiled in this department, as they do seem to notice). After dinner, I clean up the kitchen, put away food, and water the garden. Get young one ready for bed, and get the dogs cared for for the evening. I love the part of night when everyone winds down and I can sit with my journal and spill my thoughts for the day. I love having bedtime routines and having my clothes set out for the next morning before I go to bed. Somehow, I can’t manage this routine in the harried days of summer….and it is welcome relief from the chaos that ensues when we go go go too much for too long, for my tastes anyway.

We moved the sewing table out of the too small office, and now everything fits better, and I have better access to my sewing machine all the time. This makes life much, much easier. I look forward to a very productive craft and sewing year. I have been keeping my eye out for inexpensive material….I even found two yard swatches at Wal-mart last week for a dollar a piece! Score one for the craft budget there!

I finally got the SD card cleared from my camera, so maybe now I can start taking some photos of all these great projects I am working on and sharing them with you. Meanwhile, I guess you are stuck with your imagination. I have been successfully saving money from my nanny job to buy craft supplies, and I have been thinking about looking for a part time job in a craft store around here, or a bead store…. just a few hours a week. Not sure if I could pull it off or not. Guess we shall see how school goes for my son this year. Really, I just want to make stuff and sell it more than anything. I don’t need much income, but a little would be helpful.

I also want to go through all my books…I have so many books. I would like to trade them at the bookstore for some used books that I would rather have. I own tons and tons of books I will never read again. Why not trade them for some I have been longing to have, like that beekeeping book, or that Hobby farm book I have been eying. There are tons of craft books at that particular store that I would love to bring home. I want to make several binders, from all types of articles and information I have collected on all types of subjects. Cooking, crafts, gardening, household management…’s pretty ridiculous, my obsession with organizing things in binders…Ugh. Well, I have chatted long enough for today. Have a blessed evening. Until next time…