The first half of these photos were taken back in April while Gabe and my dad were building our compost.
Gabe designed it and I have to say, it’s quite ingenious. He actually incorporated it into our fence and used some leftover fence posts so that everything matched. He and my dad spent a day digging holes and setting posts in concrete. Once the concrete was dry, Gabe drilled metal tracks onto the sides of the posts and then cut flat boards to slide down the tracks, essentially making a removable and adjustable wall. This way as the compost pile grows we can can add boards, keeping the scraps from dumping out everywhere. Sam had a good time watching them work while drinking strawberry lemonade.
It’s hardly rained the past few months and our property is looking pretty dry. I don’t know if it’s the heat, but our apples are already dropping from the trees; a month ahead of schedule. I haven’t had the chance to pick any for canning, and so every few days Gabe scoops as many as he can into his wheelbarrow and dumps them in the compost. We ordered a cider press months ago but because they are made by hand, it won’t be ready until late September at the earliest. I don’t like the idea of wasting food but I just haven’t had the time to do anything with them. Hopefully this weekend Gabe will be able to help me collect a bushel so I can make some applesauce. I would hate for the entire season to go to waste.
While I haven’t had time to process apples, I have had the time to pickle vegetables. Pickling is my new obsession.
Now there’s a statement I never thought I would make.
I am still reading the Well Trained Mind. I am enjoying it, but I feel a bit overwhelmed with all the information. I wish I had purchased a copy so that I could highlight important sections, which seems to occur practically every other page. I doubt the library will appreciate me returning the book covered in pink highlighter ink.
Yesterday I received my Biggo Yarn from Knit Picks and knit up a swatch for my Inland sweater. The yarn is very soft and plush. I’ve never knit with a nylon/merino wool blend and I’m curious as to whether or not the nylon will lesson the chance of pilling as I suspect it will.
Now that I have my gauge worked out, I will try to cast on today. I haven’t knit a sweater for myself in over five years. I tend to shy away from big projects if I am knitting for myself. It feel too, I don’t know, indulgent. I think of the cost of the yarn and all the hours spent making something from which only I would benefit and it just seems selfish. But that’s silly. I should be able to enjoy a hand knit sweater just like the rest of my family enjoys their hand knit items. Right? Of course, right. (Name that movie.)
This weekend I decided I was going to be productive. Pro. Duc. Tive. I made a list of everything I wanted to get done: laundry, weed the garden, pick plums, can and freeze said plums, plant winter vegetables, pickle vegetables, exercise every day, and finish knitting at least half of one sock.
While I didn’t accomplish everything on my list, I can honestly say I did complete most of the list. I pickled three quarts of vegetables. I canned two quarts of plum pie/cobbler filling (using my favorite recipe from this book), and then froze the rest, filling eight one-gallon ziplock bags.
Seriously. Who consumes eight gallons of plum pie filling? I hate wasting food. Obviously.
(By the way, I really like my new canning labels. I found them in Portland a few weekends ago and I love the designs. Very sweet with a vintage vibe. I wish I purchased more than two sets.)
I managed to semi-weed my garden and plant some winter greens and carrots. I sort of rushed through this and didn’t weed enough or plant enough but the kids only overlapped nap time by a half hour so I had to do what I could in that short amount of time.
I washed five loads of laundry, however I didn’t fold a single item and there is a pile of clean clothing in our bedroom that is threatening to topple over and bury a kid alive any minute now. Baby steps.
I have yet to receive my yarn that I ordered last week for my Inland sweater. I am participating in my first KAL, and I’m very excited. I am also four or five days behind everyone but at least I signed up. In the meantime, I am working on a simple stockinette stitch sock. I did not finish half of it. I have knit less than 12 rows. Again, baby steps.
Ah yes, and finally, my exercise plans. Did I exercise this weekend? I did not. Did I discover a new Mexican place and gorge on burritos and street tacos? Yes. Yes, I did.