The beginnings of a happily busy autumn.
Compared to people who actually know what they're doing when it comes to modern homesteading (or urban, or suburban, or whatever you want to call it) and to people with actual farms, we're not really so busy. Nevertheless I'm scrambling to keep up with all the things I want to accomplish right now, and adding more and more things to the list. They are all related to the change in season. Autumn is, for me, like a combination of spring and New Year's. All of the sudden I'm galvanized. Time to follow up on improvements to my life, like write more letters, get outside more often, drink less more coffee. And time for spring cleaning! Let's rearrange, let's replace, let's rethink. Time to call the woodcutter. Time to paint the living room. And outside! Let's dry teasels and grasses and herbs. Let's gather and store. And this is what we've been up to, what we'll be up to for some time.
Mooing at the cows across the way. There used to be horses running in that field. It was empty for a long while, and I wasn't sure even cows could make up for the loss of the free spirits racing across the field. But I think they do.
Taking walks in the rain. Oh, how I love to be in the rain. Jane does too, but she especially loves the wind--"It's WINDIN'!"
Admiring our home from afar. It's the little green one way over there, looking back across the cow field from a bend in the road. I'm sure I've posted this view before. For some reason, standing and looking at our house from here gives me no end of pleasure.
Thrifting, shopping, receiving and making fall clothes. The sweet shoes are from my mom, the boots from Fred Meyer with a coupon (woot), the clothes from Value Village (I've got practically a whole new wardrobe for her for less than $20) and the sweater I knit during the summer. Finally finished.
Redecorating. This is the south end of our living room, rearranged in anticipation of the REAL redecoration which will happen this weekend. It's a challenge to fit everything we need into this space--it's a smallish living room with lots of window and door space, not much wall space, and a woodstove. It also happens to be the room we spend almost all our time in, and must therefore contain all the media, toys, and furniture we require. And, the walls are pretty awful. I'm looking forward to sprucing it up and trying a new configuration. More after the weekend.
Visiting our fair city. This is the view of the distant capitol building from a park on the water. I just love this park, even though it's small and mostly concrete. Look at the way the concrete has been poured to mimic wave marks in the sand. Up close, there are bronze seashells and other maritime detritus. The landscaping is just right. You can look at the boats, the city, the mountains. Particularly if you go up here. On a free afternoon once I took my knitting up the tower and spent some time on a bench with shortbread and an iced coffee. It doesn't really matter when I go or what I do. Every time I go to Olympia, I like it a little bit more.
Catching the bug. On many of the blogs I read, folks are talking about reaping what they've sown, but also about foraging and gleaning. It all started with my hazelnut obsession, and now I'm as greedy as can be. Never mind the fact that I still don't have any canning equipment and there's a bag of rapidly ripening plums on my countertop, never mind the apples in our own garden. Look! Look at those rosy apples on the other side of that fence! That's not the cow pasture is it? No? Well then it seems unlikely I would be shot. Besides, I would be in full view, not lurking in someone's bushes. I think the deer go through here. See the path? I'll bring shears to get through the blackberries. What do you mean, what am I going to do about the barbed wire fence? Oh it IS barbed wire. Well....I'm pretty stubborn. Too bad when I got up close I saw the tree was covered with some sort of blight. Scab, the interwebz tells me. If anyone has a concise opinion, please share.
I'm impressed by trackers, but learnt that it's pretty easy in some environments to spot even the slightest trail.
Poor tree. Some spots were worse than others. I cut one of the apples open with my shears. It wasn't ripe but it's scent was ambrosial.
Beyond it was this beauty. Hey, those look like pears...
And they are. Did I mention this fruit is tiny? There's you're average apple (gingergold, in case you're wondering) on the left. Two apples, and two pears, one in cross section. I believe they were planted for serious harvest. THere were quite a few trees, some diseased beyond recognition, some not bearing, but all planted in two rows. I imagine they were planted there when the neighborhood land was part of a homestead. In any case, I plan on going back soon and harvesting. If anyone can tell me what varieties they are, I'd be ever so grateful. I'll be figuring out what to do with them in the meantime. Along with those apples I saw along the road near the sheep pasture....