Sunday, September 19, 2021

upson downs

in which our plucky heroine attempts to roll with it...

The last few days have been all about dealing with the autumnal fruit bounty, always happy-making, if rather exhausting. Plums into the freezer, pears into the dehydrator, apples into applesauce. Lather rinse repeat. There are still ripe grapes on the fenceline, not to mention the yet unripened persimmons and quinces.

I'm planning on turning the last years tomato randomness I found in the freezer into Awesome Sauce, to make room for this years tomatoes. After I work through the daily needful chores, plus there is an online class at lunchtime on Anglo Saxon embroidery I intend to sit in on. At least there were no nightmares last night, and I even traveled to a beautiful rocky beach in dreamland!
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~ creativity challenge ~
I'm was wondering if am quite sure Almandine needed/wanted hair... I was rather taken with the long orange braids the child gave her fox doll here. There is some thin russet orange yarn, hiding somewhere near the bottom of the tablet weaving yarn box. It was rather a challenge to figure out how to best create and attach her new hairdo, but tacky glue seemed to do the trick, and now she, and I, are much more satisfied. 

In other news, have started on making a miniature jack-o-lantern pumpkin, and two small candy buckets from spun cotton, yet another experiment. My hypothesis is to make an armature from yarn balls, covered in tape, with the idea that after the cotton has dried and hardened, the yarn and tape can be pulled out, leaving what will be a hopefully sturdy shell, suitable for painting, and to be used as part of the miniature Halloween party. Also, hawthorne berries look a lot like miniature apples.
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Well crap! Roof leaked in the workroom last night. We had almost an inch and a half of rain and wind. I guess the onetime leak last year was not a fluke after all. Gah! I shall try and give Mr Dawson a call, and see if it may be possible for him to come and slather the likely spot with some kind of patch. This is not a good time  either financially or seasonally to try and replace the roof!
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beauty in the time of isolation:
Ten pounds of organic San Marzano tomatoes. Locally grown, toted home from the farmer's market in my bicycle panniers, and destined to become sauce. Yum. I ate one on a sandwich yesterday, because this type of tomato is my favorite.
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Greek masks block carved
rodent removal
yard waste bin
2 pillowcases printed
bicycle tube replaced
recycle bin
3 snood for Ariadne
side plum pruned
yard waste bin
4 memorial calligraphy
apple tree pruning
broken oven bits
5 tiny fox "Almandine"
moar apple pruning
old frozen food
6 fig lemon jam 5 jars
added bat embroidery yard waste bin
7 Almandine clothing
freezer defrosted x
8 windfall applesauce 5 jars
pears dehydrated
x
9 Nandina blouse x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - For some unknown reason, while I was out riding my bike Saturday, before it got too warm and too weird out there, and before the rain arrived, my intuition told me to go check out Fred Meyers, and see if they had canning jar lids?!?... I masked up and headed over there. Much to my surprise, there were a few boxes of wide mouth lids on the shelf, next to the sections of all the other canning products all marked off with "sorry, out of stock" labels. I was in and out of the store like a dose of salts, but delighted to bring home another four dozen new Kerr lids. Now the tomatoes I bought have all the accoutrements to be properly preserved.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

turn turn turn*

in which our plucky heroine notices that the season changed...

though the quality of light is still bright, this morning it was actually chilly, with that particular autumnal scent. The forecast is for some rather intense rain on Saturday, so gathering in more of the remaining plums and apples beforehand seems wise.
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~ creativity challenge ~
Nandina and Almandine in their new party outfits...I'm rather pleased with how  the embroidery on Almandine's felt pinafore turned out. I drew it in first, using a Pigma micron pen, then carefully outlined and filled it in with stitchery using my smallest pearl cotton floss. Not sure what party decorations, food, and favors might be possible, other than that I know I want to make some "trick or treat" bunting.
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This morning, when I was out riding my bike, what did I see (for the first time) but the Alpenrose delivery truck... and sure enough, when I got back home, there was a shiny new box on my porch, and inside, my first delivery! Nom nom nom.
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So.. in order to make space in the chest freezer for the 10# of tomatoes, I needed to declutter and sort it. Which rather led to "remove the contents", and hence to defrosting (which needed to happen anyway)

Four hours later, there is now space, and all the random unlabeled mystery items are in the compost. I am so exhausted, from moving that much cubic of frozen things, that I don't even feel up to cooking dinner. But the remaining plums will have room, and the tomatoes from the market can have their frozen couple of days...

I freeze tomatoes at the start instead of blanching them... I don't like tomato skins in my sauce. At a certain point in their thawing out, the skins just slip off; it is much easier and less messy to remove their skins that way than faffing about with dipping them in boiling water and then in bowls of ice cube water. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, each. 5# of tomatoes = a quart of sauce... which I'll put up in one meal recipe portions of 8oz. With luck, I'll be able to get another 10# in the next week or two.
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Greek masks block carved
rodent removal
yard waste bin
2 pillowcases printed
bicycle tube replaced
recycle bin
3 snood for Ariadne
side plum pruned
yard waste bin
4 memorial calligraphy
apple tree pruning
broken oven bits
5 tiny fox "Almandine"
moar apple pruning
old frozen food
6 fig lemon jam 5 jars
added bat embroidery yard waste bin
7 Almandine clothing
freezer defrosted x
8 windfall applesauce 5 jars
x x
9 Nandina blouse x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - It isn't exactly what I thought a time machine would be, but YouTube lets us go back in time and see what we may have missed the first time, or to revisit beloved media, over and over again. *There are so many versions of this song; this one was new to me:
 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

"that's all right, I have a lid out in the car"*

in which our plucky heroine has a rather busy day...

Trying every morning to deal with windfall fruit (plums to the yard waste bin, apples to be salvaged for sauce), and do a bit of pruning... if I get to it while it is still cool out, the Danger Bugs are asleep... I'm beginning to wonder if the yellow apples are actually Golden Delicious. (though they are far more tart and less the sweet and slightly floral taste I associate with that variety)
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~ creativity challenge ~

design sketch for neckline decoration
now that the sleeves have been pieced together, I will be starting on the leafy counterchanged motifs for around the neck of the long sleeve jersey top. The tiedye sleeves will get teal foliage, and the teal center front and back will have foliage backed with the remaining scraps of colorful tiedye jersey. I'm thinking about using some translucent small glass beads in irridescent light and dark turquoise as well, to border the design edges alongside the hand stitchery...
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This Linguistic Family Tree is so visually beautiful (created by Minna Sundberg, creator of the webcomicStand Still. Stay Silent) as a way of presenting knowledge. And this is only the indo-european language tree, there are a number of other language trees here on the planet...

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Rode my bike to the local farmer's market this afternoon, where I was very excited to be able to pick up 10# of organic San Marzano tomatoes. I plan on making some tomato sauce for pantry storage, (since I cannot eat commercial tomato products. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, that will make about eight half pints of sauce.

I shall have to check how many lids I have available, sigh. First step will be to clear out enough freezer space, as I freeze tomatoes before processing them. As they then thaw, the skins slip right off with a little encouragement, thereby eliminating all faffing about with blanching and ice water baths. It will be wonderful to have the option this winter for tomato based meals!
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September SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 Greek masks block carved
rodent removal
yard waste bin
2 pillowcases printed
bicycle tube replaced
recycle bin
3 snood for Ariadne
side plum pruned
yard waste bin
4 memorial calligraphy
apple tree pruning
broken oven bits
5 tiny fox "Almandine"
moar apple pruning
-
6 fig lemon jam 5 jars
added bat embroidery x
7 Almandine clothing
x x
8 windfall applesauce 5 jars
x x
9 Nandina blouse x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - There is a farmers market, there is one organic farm that sells there, they had what I wanted, and I was able to use my old person farmer's market scrip, plus the "double your EBT" benefit to get lots of tomatoes to process at an affordable cost. And if I have enough lids, I can get more next week or the week after, and put more up for pantry storage... wishing I had bought more wide mouth lids the only time I saw them earlier this year, but I am grateful that I did buy some. (Might be time to give the reuseable Tatler lids a try!)

* from "The Further Adventures of Nick Danger" - Firesign Theater