Because I did my last round of canning this week, I thought I would include a photo to commemorate the moment. They are called Dilly Beans, and you can find the recipe in this book.
Well, the deadline has since passed, and I still have a sleeve and pockets to knit on my Inland but I’m glad I participated in this KAL. I finished the first sleeve and I don’t know how it happened, but my sleeve was about two inches longer than it should have been and I haven’t even made the cuff yet. I’m going to try it on tonight and see if I need to reknit the sleeves or if I can make some modifications and just continue on. Instead of facing this problem head-on, I’ve been knitting a basic pair of socks and trying to avoid looking at the half finished sweater sitting on my bookshelf. Denial is a powerful thing.
It was a beautiful day on Thursday; sunny and warm with a cool breeze. After the kids’ afternoon nap we went outside and played. The weather was so nice I let them eat on the back deck. I have to admit, I would have loved a cold rainy day just as much, if not more. I should be grateful: in two months I’m going to be craving some sun and praying for a respite from the rain. But I’m just so ready to spend the winter curled up on the couch, knitting and a watching a new season of something on Netflix. (Because in my fantasy there are no children clawing at the doors to get outside and whining for my attention…there’s that denial again.)
Gabe has the weekend off, and we are looking forward to spending some family time together. Sam was gifted a balance bike for his birthday this summer and we are going to take him to a paved trail and practice riding. Should be entertaining to say the least.
I haven’t blogged in a week, not for lack of things to say, but mostly because I have lacked the time. Sam is going to start preschool soon and I have been chatting with other moms in the area who are also interested in homeschooling and possibly starting a co-op. We will have our first meeting next week to see if there are enough people interested and if we have enough resources (time,volunteers,space, etc.). I’m very nervous and excited.
I did my last round of canning for the year. Dilly beans. I’ve never made them or tried them for that matter but the recipe looked good and I had three pounds of green beans sitting in my fridge so that was a good enough reason for me. The rest of the beans will go in the freezer. I have to say, I’m relieved. I’m so tired of canning. It sounds ungrateful to say that. People are starving in other parts of the world and here I am lamenting that I have so much food that I don’t know what to do with it. I believe this is what my 25 year old sister would call a “first world problem.” Whatever kind if problem it may be, I’m done with it, and I’m glad. Less canning, more knitting!
I am still working on my Inland sweater but as the weather has cooled over the past week or so, Eddie has finally been able to wear her Into The Woods poncho that I knit for her last spring. It’s perfect for an active toddler. The yarn is Madeline Tosh Sport and the pattern is here.
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.