There is one portion of our property that we have yet to attend to and that is the pile of ahem, stuff, located behind our shed. It appears to be old gardening equipment, along with a spare toilet or two. Classy, yes? (I would have included a photo of the toilet but it’s covered in blackberry vines and is situated directly under a wasp’s nest. Wasp’s nest=no toilet photo. My apologies.)
The mess isn’t visible from the road or the main house, so we aren’t in any hurry to start sorting. It’s going to take a while to rifle through everything and there are plenty of other things to do around here. Besides, you can’t say you’re living in the country unless you have a toilet somewhere in your backyard, am I right?
This weekend was exhausting. Gabe was gone the whole time on a fishing trip and brought back eight beautiful salmon. One or two more trips and we should have enough fish to feed our family for the entire winter and spring. While he was gone, both kids came down with a horrible stomach virus and they were miserable all weekend. I spent both days doing copius loads of laundry and refilling sippy cups with Gatorade. Sam actually asked to be put down for a nap yesterday, that’s how terrible he felt. Thankfully, they both seem to be on the mend. I did manage to can 12 half-pints of jam and five pints of applesauce. I have some more applesauce cooking on the stove as I type, and judging by the smell, I’m probably close to burning it. Too tired to care.
I wound all ten skeins of my yarn for my Inland sweater. I allowed Sam to “help” me with a skein. It was really cute to see him concentrating on keeping an even pace while winding. I’ve divided the stitches for the sleeves and I’m almost ready to begin the waist shaping. I’m really happy with this pattern, I think it’s going to be a very cozy sweater that will get a lot of wear.
**UPDATE** I burned the applesauce. Badly.
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.
I finally finished Sam’s Abate sweater yesterday. We took it for a test run on my parent’s farm this morning. I knit the 4 year size because I wanted him to be able to wear it for more than one season and that seemed to work out perfectly. (I know the photos are a bit fuzzy, but you try convincing a 14 month old to hold still for more than .5 seconds. It’s impossible.) I used a yarn I’d never heard of before, Plymouth Yarn Coffee Beenz. It’s a wool blend so it’s not scratchy and is machine washable.
I’m quite proud of it. It’s adorable.
So is the kid.
My first batch of harvested lavender is drying in the dining area; it gives off the faintest scent of lavender when I walk past it. I look forward to harvesting more.
Gabe and I canned the pears given to us by family friends. I used the same book as before, Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff. We made spiced pears in red wine and a pear and ginger preserve. What does one do with a preserve? I have no idea. It tastes amazing eaten straight out of the jar with a baby spoon accompanied by a glass of cheap red wine…so I’ve heard.
While discussing our future plans for the farm, Gabe and I decided that we would try our hand in raising bees. It doesn’t seem terribly complicated and Gabe puts honey on everything. Since I switched our family over to the Paleo diet, we’ve been going through lots of bottles of honey; most food items are sweetened with honey as opposed to refined sugar, a big no-no in Paleo. We thought it would not only save us some money, but also be a fun activity for us and our kid(s) when they become older. Gabe checked out a few books on bee keeping at the local library, one of them being shown in the above photo. I can’t comment on the content of the book just yet, as I’ve only skimmed through the first few chapters, however the pictures are lovely. I love the robin’s egg blue color of the hives. I will probably insist Gabe paint our hives the same color. Because one must have colorful bee hives.
Everyone knows that.