checking in

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This weekend was spent mostly indoors. A storm hit Friday night and it rained all through Saturday until early Sunday morning. We lost power for about 36 hours, but because we have a generator, our house was able to function per usual. Starting in fall and well into spring our area looses power multiple times a year and I’m always surprised to hear people talk about how they had to stay with friends or check into a hotel during the longer outages because they don’t own a generator. Why don’t they have generators? I understand if you have a small generator and it runs out of fuel after three days, but to not have one at all…why? It baffles me.

On Saturday evening a tree branch fell on an electrical wire that’s connected to our roof. Gave had to grab the orchard ladder and cut it down with a hand saw. I wish the pictures showed just how rainy and windy it was while he was up on the ladder. He was relieved to make it down to the ground in one piece.

Side note: notice the color of the leaves in our trees? Red! It happened overnight, I swear. Fall is coming!

On Sunday I spent the day surveying the damages to the garden. It wasn’t that bad. My dahlias took a beating and I had to cut down a few and throw them in the compost. I doubt my sunflowers will stand back up, but they weren’t doing too well anyway. Our corn was almost completely flattened. My lovely 4×4 rows are no more. A few have popped up over the last day, but most of them are still quite supine. They are still alive…but I don’t know if there is anything I can do to help them pop back up or if I should leave them be.

We turned the old garden shed into a makeshift beekeeper’s station for Gabe. He bought a propane stove and a turkey fryer so that he can heat up big batches of sugar water and basically keep his sticky mess out of my kitchen.

Gabe checked the bees today to see how they were faring and remove the second round of mite treatment that he placed in each hive a couple weeks ago. The smaller hive grew from two frames that my parents gave us a few months ago. My dad used plastic frames instead of the traditional wood frames and the bees don’t seem to like them very much. The hive had become increasingly weak, and he gave it to us in the hopes that we might have more luck than he did in strengthening the colony. When Gabe opened up the hive, he discovered that they were building their comb on top of the frames in the temporary space reserved for the mite treatment. Thus, the sticky weird looking mess (honey!) you see in the above photos. Normally Gabe would scrape that off, which would force the bees to use the frames, but because their colony is already so weak and cold weather is approaching, he has decided to leave it as is and hopefully the hive will be strong enough come spring for Gabe to scrape that off or just replace the frames altogether.

There was some honeycomb in the stronger hive that Gabe scraped off and he brought it inside. He drained some of the honey out and we scooped it up with our fingers. It tasted incredible. I can’t wait until we can collect a big batch of our own honey.

wednesday yarn along #8 and other things

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*Joining Ginny

There has been a bit of radio silence on my part the last few days. On Thursday I came down with a horrible stomach virus (perhaps the same one the kids had two weekends ago?) and I’ve only recently begun to feel like an actual human being.

On Sunday (since I was finally able to pick myself up off the bathroom floor) Gabe and I took the kids to a park on the Hood Canal. It was overcast because of the fires in Eastern Washington but the view was still incredible and the breeze felt amazing. The kids enjoyed themselves, but I wish I had thought ahead and brought a spare change of clothes for them. I didn’t expect for the water to be so warm and they were itching to splash around. Normally I would have let them wade in and play in their clothes, but we were heading to dinner shortly afterwards and two small children sitting naked and shivering in a restaurant just wasn’t an option for us, go figure.

The photo of Sam holding onto a shell is one of my favorites. He claimed he could hear the ocean from inside the shell.

I haven’t done much knitting or reading this week. I’m still working on Inland and I finally caved and ordered my own copy of A Well Trained Mind. There is too much information in there for me to take in without being able to highlight to my heart’s content.

memories trump cucumbers

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I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately. Our warm summer has resulted in a prolific garden, and while I’m grateful for the food, I just can’t keep up with it. Canning takes a lot of time. A. Lot. Time that I just don’t seem to have. Harvesting and watering can easily consume half of my morning, which means less time for cleaning, cooking, and laundry. Eddie learned to walk a few days ago and I had to completely reorganize the kitchen cabinets so that there wasn’t anything within her reach that could possibly maim or kill her. Sam is potty training and it’s proven to be quite the commitment for both of us. He spends a lot of time sitting in the bathroom and I spend a lot of time sitting in the bathroom with him. Bright side: we are reading more books than usual and that can’t ever be a bad thing. Also, my bathroom is spotless because almost every time Sam misses, (which is quite often) I clean the bathroom top to bottom.

On Thursday, Eddie took a nap and I prepared for my usual three hour scramble where I rush to get as much done as possible during her nap, all the while trying to keep Sam preoccupied and out of my way. Just as I was getting ready to lift myself off the couch, Sam looked at me and said “Hey, Mom, why don’t you sit here with me and knit? We can cuddle.”

Cuddle? My baby actually wants to cuddle with me?!

That did it. I threw my to do list out the window and I spent the entire afternoon sitting on the couch knitting and playing legos. I didn’t clean. I didn’t cook. I didn’t water or weed.

Man, did I need that. I can’t remember the last time I ignored my daily duties and just spent time with my kid(s). It started raining that afternoon, so watering would have been a waste of time anyway. It felt like it was meant to be. I think I need to make a point to do that more often. Let go. Relax. Build a lego tower with my son.

Later, as I was telling Gabe about my much needed day of laziness, he said: “At the end of the day, Sam had a moment with his mom that will inevitably become a good memory that he will hold onto for the rest of his life. Nobody is going to remember the cucumber that was never picked.”

He’s right, of course. But it’s not easy to sit and read a story for the millionth time or put a puzzle together or do anything really when there’s so much to do around the homestead. 

Balance. This should be my new motto. Perhaps I should create a bumper sticker? Memories last forever. Cucumbers don’t.

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