a compost bin like no other

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Version 2

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.

Too Many Hobbies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past week or so I decided I needed to make more of an effort to devote time to myself; this includes self-maintainance such as working out or getting my nails done, or carving time out of each day for one of my hobbies, like knitting, gardening, reading, photography, blogging, etc..
Just writing that sentence makes it seem all too obvious that I have too many hobbies.
Anyway, I managed to cut my nails this week. (Not paint them. Not file them. Cut them.) But that was about it. Oh, and I actually did attend a four hour photography class, but I’ve had that planned since October so I’m not sure if that really counts.
The class was great; it covered the basics, which was was incredibly helpful. I walked out knowing exponentially more than I did before (as in, I know what ISO means) and I’m excited to take another class. Hopefully my newfound photography knowledge will develop into actual photography skills that I can share on this blog.
Half of these photos were taken before the class and half were taken after the class. I can totally tell the difference.
Alas, I’ve only managed to buy myself about 20 minutes of practice time in the last two days. Ellie has developed an awful case of eczema and she’s just miserable. I’ve been applying lotion and cortisone cream to her little body like crazy but it just seems to be getting worse. I’m going to try to get her in to see the doctor tomorrow. I hope they can do something to at least ease her discomfort.
In addition to Ellie’s fussiness, Sam has skipped his naps for the last three days, and Gabe is recovering from hernia surgery, so he can’t lift…or really even walk upright. Basically, I picked a bad time to focus on me.
Because we haven’t set up our office, my layout plans for our new raised beds, as well as my current knitting projects have spilled out into the dining room where they have taken up residence for the past week. Before every meal, we shove aside my laptop, camera, grid paper, gardening books and  random double point needles to one side of the table so we can eat on the other side. It’s becoming tiresome but I have nowhere else to go. Gabe says the office will be our next “house project.” I can’t wait.

 

Tuesday Morning

Tuesday Morning

Tuesday morning Gabe arrived home after finishing a night shift at the hospital. Usually he sleeps as soon as he gets home, but there were no emergencies that night, and he slept his entire shift. Motivated by a night of good rest, he decided to tackle the mess in the barn. Gabe has been working a lot these past few months and we have acquired quite a bit of farm equipment in that time. Because of that, the barn has become an absolute disaster. I took photos of the inside after Gabe had been cleaning for at least an hour, so the photos don’t really do the mess justice. It looks much better now, and we have a lot more room to move around.
It was a (very) cold morning, but Sam refused to miss an opportunity to ride his “Little Mow.” He’s so funny.
While the barn’s interior has improved, the inside of our house has slowly fallen apart. Despite doing my best to tidy up every night, the house is a complete disaster before lunch. Being stuck inside due to ten solid days of rain hasn’t helped my situation one bit. Toys are strewn about, laundry is piled high on the table or the bed waiting to be folded, and I find puddles of water, orange juice and formula everywhere. For the record, I never find the puddles visually; they are always discovered as I walk through them. Ugh.
I often feel like I’m barely holding on, and just struggling to keep the house manageable and semi-decent but I never seem to get ahead of the housework. I’m perpetually running in Neutral, and sometimes in Reverse, but never in Drive. I’m told things improve as your kids age, but considering Gabe wants three more children in the next four years, I don’t see my house becoming even remotely Pottery Barn-esque within the next, oh, say ten years? This won’t stop me from trying, A girl can dream.
The nights have dipped into the twenties, which makes for some beautifully frosty mornings. I love the morning light shining through the apple trees, and the satisfying crunch the grass makes under our feet. It feels good. I am so looking forward to more cold mornings and the upcoming holidays.  This is truly the best time of year.

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