Friday, September 30, 2011
We are off for a long weekend in Maine. The first weekend away together in over 7 years! Kids have a way of doing that… ;)
Cats, guinea pigs, and chickens are settled and ready for their weekend at home. Kids off to their daily dose of education before the grandma sweeps them away for a weekend of fun, and we are heading out! And, as an extra dose of coolness, we have brought our wireless connection with us in the car, so we are super high tech!
I was shocked that packing turned out to be a very simple affair. Ever since having kids, we have found it so easy to get ourselves prepped to go anywhere (the kids are another story….). A few changes of clothes, a toothbrush…heavens, I spent more time organizing my yarn for the trip then anything else (and that was time well spent)…we just don‘t have high needs for ourselves. It is good to simplify.
As for the trip, I haven’t a clue what we are going to do once we get to our destination. And I think that might be the best part of this weekend away - we don’t need to make plans. It will be as it is, and we will enjoy the journey. And maybe catch up on some sleep. Yeah….sleep would be good.
So, long story short, we are off. With luck, plenty of awestruck pics of the ocean and the quaint village town of our landing spot will follow.
Enjoy the day, y’all! I know we will J
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
I tore much of the downstairs apart yesterday for a thorough cleaning. And it was very much needed.....I love the summer, but I find it so hard to remain indoors when there is so much to do out...and my house shows that neglect. I mean, I figure, where will the dirt go? Veggies can rot on the vine, but dirt will never leave. So it can wait.
And it is Fall.
So, the house is clean (at least for another hour....until the kids get up) and much of the outdoors is closed up for the season. Not as much to do out there now. I admit, I did have visions of a grand Fall garden, but the intense rain from the late summer took care of part of that thought, and my full frozen and pantry took care of the rest. Without veggies to harvest or storage for said harvest, the gardening is pretty much complete.
But, even as I type this, I remember this is not quite true.
The garden of this past season is nearly put away. But the garden of next season is still in the works.
Our functional veggie and fruit garden is currently about 20 feet by 60 feet. A decent size, nothing to sneeze at... But, for next year, this garden will grow. To about a quarter acre.... Which might still sound small, but it not. It will be 4 to 6 times bigger than before! It will be a whole host of possibilities!
So, in the next 2 weeks, we need to get a rotiller and start to work the soil. I would like to have everything turned over this Fall, so that beds can be raised and ready for planting next Spring and Summer. I figure, we will have our work cut out for us this Winter, between selecting seeds, starting seedlings...and dealing with the frigid winter chicken care (shoveling...lots and lots of shoveling....) it will be so lovely to have everything that much closer to planting next garden season.
And now...I am all amped up to get back outside, and start work.... But is it Fall, the house, and family, need my attention, and I must remain right here....At least for another 5 minutes....I am sure that I can manage five minutes....
And I can always grab the kiddos and bring them along....I am sure they won't mind...really....
OK, maybe a little... ;)
Happy beginning of the week, y'all!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
It just feels like filth is clinging to every corner....even if I just cleaned something, it is like I never touched it. The wet air attracts dirt and coats everything with a layer of stickiness that even the strongest vinegar and water solution is no match for....simply said....Ew.
So, in honor of the horrid and unseasonable humidity, I declare today a cleaning day...and no-holds-bar, shake 'em up, outta-my-way, cleaning day....
I wish the best to all the nastiness covering every surface....may it find a lovely home elsewhere!!
Happy Sunday everyone.... ;)
Friday, September 23, 2011
Not that it's been a particularly difficult week - but Fridays are always more joyous then other days. The signal of the weeks end bring about a few days to focus on home and family, which is always welcome.
But, it is always amazing to me how fast the weeks go. It feels like I just made the post from last Friday, and here I am again....still in the same spot, made warm by the the same blanket, next to the same cat.....
I remember this feeling so strongly from when my son was a baby. Each night, while my husband read to our daughter, my son and I would sit on his bedroom floor, leaning against the large stuffed horse, as he had his final beverage of the night. And each night, I would think to myself that the next thing I know, we will be back in the same spot the next night. And we would. The days that would surround those nights are a blur, but those precise memories stand out.
Time passes quickly. Summer is gone, and the Equinox is here. It is Fall, and there is no stopping the change. And I will blink, and be back in the same spot yet again tomorrow....and the only remedy for this passing of time is to fill my days in the best way I know how. To live complete and fully, and be able to fall back to bed each night, knowing that each day was lived truely. To live with love and joy and build a snap shot of memories in my head with each passing moment.
And so here I go, into another Friday, and I am ready for this day. Fully.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Shortly, I will have to get somewhat dressed to let out the chickens. The weather will not be kind this morning what passes for sleep wear in this house.... It is rainy and cool, and this atmosphere provides no incentive to get up and moving....Rather, given a choice, I would snuggly into the couch with the sleepy daughter, and continue working on the blanket I am crocheting for her...
However, that is not the choice. And I will rise and get moving this morning. I have already sent the husband off to work, and given myself a much needed haircut (don't tell the daughter - my choice of hair style is a source of constant embarrassment to her...).... So, enough stalling....here I go...
Wishing everyone a lovely, although rainy, Tuesday....
Monday, September 19, 2011
So, I am now in the love/hate part of the day where I am relishing in the 9 hours of sleep I had last night, and and cursing all of the work I didn't get done in the wee hours of the morning....
So...I guess I better get this morning started.... ;)
Saturday, September 17, 2011
That is said with the understanding that late is 6:15am. Which is really late for this family....
Saturday is the day that I give myself off from the office work. I don't get up early to dial in, and I don't stay up late working the spreadsheets. Saturday is all about home and family.
So, it made sense to sleep in...and be woken by the cuddly kiddos. While the husband escaped downstairs to start the coffee, I stayed put and rejoiced in the moment....until the fighting began...
The fighting aways amazed me...they just got up - what is there to fight about? And how do they have the energy to fight first thing in the morning? I can scarcely open my eyes without coffee, much less engage in a heated debate over who has more room in the bed, who got up first, and who gets claim on the blue cup....
But either way, the morning had begun. I escaped the room, and headed out to the feathered ladies. Frost had fallen, and lay on grass in a multitude of beautiful crystals. I was very thankful that I took the time yesterday evening to harvest many of the pumpkins so that they could hide in the safety of the garage. Frost on pumpkin skin weakens and lead to early rot...something we learned last year and were not anxious to experience again. And the frost, albit beautiful, made certain the knowledge that the sweet potatoes would need to harvested.
Once the ladies were dealt with and freed for a day of free ranging, it was back in for the breakfast and cleaning segments of the day. While anxious to get out to the garden, those duties could not be escaped....and the harvest would come soon enough....
And come it did, with a fierce hardiness.....we had planted the sweet potato slips in previously unbroken ground, which made freeing them that much more difficult. Add this to the fact this was the first time for us with that crop, and I was just pleased to have any harvest. The bounty filled one small reuseable grocery bag, and I felt satisfied. These would have to rest in the warmth and sun to help the skins to cure, much like the pumpkins and the winter squash. At the moment, they are all resting together in the tractor wagon, which will be hidden away from the frost each night, and dragged back out to the sun each morning....
And seeing that frost had fallen this early in September, we have come to terms with the fact our time on the land this fall may be limited. Therefore, every moment that we can travel cross town to work on our soon-to-be camp site needs to be take advantage of. And so, we did....for many hours, to the chagrin of our children. They were nicely self entertained for a good hour, building forts from fallen pine branches, and trying to make a teeter-totter from a dropped tree...but soon became a bit on the bored side....and were happy when we tired as well and decided it was time to head out.
We had wanted to travel into town afterwards for some grocery shopping, but, honestly, we were so tired and so filthy from the work. Instead, we traveled to the local small store to get the supplies that we needed for dinner....the big store could wait for another day.
And now, we are here. I have water simmering for spaghetti, and meatballs are browning. It would be a hardy, family dinner together - something that doesn't happen nearly as often as it should.
So, we will enjoy this moment, and rest up for another day. For, tomorrow will be another one, chock full of work to do, fun to have, and family time to spend.
We hope everyone is having a joyful Saturday as well...
Friday, September 16, 2011
It was the first full week of school for the kids....starting the year with a week of 3 days, then a week of 4, warming up to this week. School definitely in session.
And with school, comes our new routine. And we are beginning to settle into it. The mornings go by fast....getting up early to work from home, then breakfast for the husband before he runs out the door, followed by caring for the chickens and the cats. At 6:15 am, bright and early, I am rousing the kids with a wake up call, as we leave for school an hour later. Come 9am, I am settling in to the office, having already been up for 6 hours, and ready for yet another cup of coffee.
This is oddly comfortable.
What is missing, however, is time in the garden. I am a mix of emotions as we work to close down the garden...sad that summer as passed and the cool weather is rushing in, but content in knowing the harvest is nearly done. The freezer and pantry (although small) are close to bursting with frozen and canned goods from the garden's bounty, and I am welcoming the break. Only a few crops are still left out - mainly the rest of the butternut squash, pumpkins, a few late edamame plants, and the sweet potatoes. Many of these will be coming out in the next few days.
I have been spending much for time crafting, as you may have noticed from past posts....crochet has caught my attention again, and while I wish I could knit with the best of them....I can't deny that I love the ease of handling only one needle at a time. And there are very few things better than having cozy family time indoors crocheting a warm gift for another, while the brisk, and often rainy, weather carries on out of doors.
And I feel more prepared for this coming winter than last. This will be our second winter with the chickens, and we have made some good decisions to handle it well. The coup built by the husband is holding strong, and we have downsized from a count in the 20's last winter, to only 16 feathered ladies this time around. Everyone fits in the large coop together, and we have the heated mat, heat lamp, and heated water dish ready for the frosty weather. That being said, I do so hope that such temperatures are still far off.
But, for now....it is time to continue on with this morning. Chickens, cats, kids....here we go again ;)
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I am continuing to practice my knitting....and have been making some some movement in a positive direction....but in the meantime, I need something else to work on.
On the reading front, I have been very lucky to receive a loaner copy of Jim Butcher's Ghost Story. It is the next in the Dresden stories, and I am loving it! It is great to have something fun to read.
On the fiber front, I have also been reading "Knitting for Dummies", which sounds horrid, but has been very helpful in learning the basic knit and purl stitches. I am entertaining the idea of finding a local knitting class for this fall, to assist in this learning process. Can't have too much help :)
Well, that is all for now....Happy Wednesday everyone!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
And I have a confession to make.
I have huge outdoor allergies.
Minutes in the garden without full protection, and I break out into hives. The touch of many plants leave me inching for hours. A night with the window left open, and I wake to a throbbing head and sour throat. Add to this my allergy to cats, of which I have two, can you can call me a very not smart person.
I have tried so many type of medical relief, to no avail. Pill, potions....even allergy shots. And nothing works.
But, most days, it is OK. Something I can live with without too much issue....but Sunday and Monday were exceptions.
Our small neighborhood is surrounded by 19 acres of common land. And a few of those acres were overgrown grasses and weeds. And....two of our neighbors teamed together to cut down a lot of the overgrowth on Sunday.
It was so nice of them to take their time to do this, and it does look great....and will hopefully stop the wild parsnip from growing back so fiercely next year....but all of their hard work caused the air to come alive with flying allergens!
And....I live with a man who loves to sleep with windows fans on high....
Needless to say, Monday morning came....and I was a wreck of a person....
Every step I took resulted in a painful echoing in the head, and clear thoughts were impossible....
But, it is now Tuesday morning. And the pain has receeded. But I am left feeling pretty annoyed. I love gardening, being outdoors, playing with my cats...I think I should be able to opt out of this whole allergic thing. 'Cause, it isn't going to stop me....but it does slow me down....
But, for the moment, here's to a clear thinking today!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
So, yesterday was a Salsa Day!.. A batch so fierce, I ran out of canning jars....And, I even had a helper for the project, as my daughter was chomping at the bit to jump in and help!
Lots of time was spent in,the garden yesterday, getting ready to close it down for the winter. As much as I love the garden, it was quite bittersweet being out there yesterday....Looking forward to next year already!!!
On the fiber front, I just couldn't leave that sock alone...tore the heel apart 3 more times on the quest for a better fit....ugh!!!
I guess we will just have to wait and see what today will bring...;)
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
OK...so I know I was going to start knitting...but it is hard.
Like, really hard.
So, I am practicing, and practicing...and practicing some more.
But, in the meantime, I need a project. So, I am making some socks.
We'll have to wait andsee how this all works out... ;) Your guess is as good as mine!
On the homestead, all is safe and issues are so very minor. What is left of my garden is constantly soaked, and will be gone to rot shortly. I have no desire to leave indoors of the office or the home, and am perfectly content to stay within and watch it all come down without my participation. I am getting lazy.
During the summer, I would have braved that rain, clad in muck boots and an old rain jacket, and headed straight out to the garden. Now, however, I daydream about crochet and knitting projects....I want to cook and craft, occasionally clean, and read blog entries on other inspiring sites.
I feel guilty about this attitude towards the outdoors, but feel no motivation to make a change. So, I will continue to live on the indoors during these days...but will always remember to feel grateful for my safe and dry home in this rainy, rainy weather.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Holy, holy...now that was a sun set! And spotted by the 5 year old, no less! I only wish the picture could capture the true beauty of the moment...
The sun has now set, however, and sleep awaits. It was a beautiful, calm day - a much needed change after the crazy night of yesterday....
And I am now eagerly awaiting a calm nights rest....
Yesterday was a bonus day....a rainy day....a prime day to get things done around the house.
And we succeeded! We cooked and cleaned, scrubbed and canned, crocheted and organized. We filled every moment to the max, and at the end, I was completely empty. Not another iota of energy left to be expended.
But, as crowning parent achievement, we let our daughter have a friend over for a few hours in the afternoon. They entertained themselves well, with scarcely a peep to be heard.
But, unbeknownst to me....they were fully engrossed in the telling of scary stories.
All seemed fine until about 9 that night. We were headed to bed, with the plan to rise very early in the morning to get some work done for the office. And it was right about that time that we learned our daughter really isn't scary story material.
Needless to say....it was a very long night.....
And this may be a very long day....
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
I have just received the call from home saying that
1) Spike is too big for our cat carrier (crap! I never thought of that!)
2) after the husband tried to take him in the old guinea pig cage (which obviously did not work), Spike revolted, escaped, and has now taken to hiding.
There is mutiny on the homestead!
What a way to start a Friday.....
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Now, five days a week, the days will begin and end on more certain terms. Children will rise to prepare for a new day of learning within that brick building and will fall asleep at earlier hours, after more scheduled dinners and homework sessions. Much of the unpredicatability of the day will leave us.
This change is occurring just as work in the garden is slowing down...at least for the moment. We rushed to harvest as much as possible before Irene arrived, and now there are very few crops left to deal with. We do have the garden expansive left to work on this Fall, but that will be put off for a few more weeks.
So, in the meantime, we work to settle into this new routine. And look forward to the calming sense of peace that this rhythm will bring us.