Not a day above -8C this past week, and we still had more snow. Certainly manageable compared to what some have been experiencing mind you--spring blizzards on the east coast and painfully frigid temperatures on the eastern prairies that just won't let up. Still, we plunge forward with the certainty that even if fleeting, spring just has to arrive at some point.
At least we've had the sun, and my tomato seedlings are doing really great as a result. That is I think they are; I've never grown tomatoes from seed before and everyone assures me that I'll be disappointed with the result, especially since I'm determined to use only natural sunlight-- no complicated grow lights for this cat. Just as an experiment mind you, I do things like that. So anyway, I folded little pots out of newspaper, filled them with potting soil and planted three seeds in each. To my surprise every single seed sprouted, so now it's time to transplant them all into their own individual little pots after which they will take up most if not all of the shelf space at the window. I planted two short season heirloom varieties: Early Anne and Latah. The plants smell great, that hot summer green gardeny smell right inside my kitchen... Love! I just may be giving away tomato plants to a few deserving homes this year.
We've been having majorly frustrating internet troubles recently. A couple of weeks ago the internet stopped working properly right out of the blue one day. Our provider was honest and said our community is growing so fast that the service is topped out and they need to do upgrades in order to keep up with the demand. In the meantime, service during the peak usage times between 4pm and midnight is basically non-existent due to saturation. They say they're on it and gave us a significant discount which helps ease the frustration. Meanwhile our time spent on-line has reduced considerably, which has not been a bad thing at all. Remember those pre-internet days when you spent all your time actually doing stuff and being productive rather than surfing the net looking at all the cool things you would like to do? Good times. I miss them. I think we really have to be more conscious about how we spend our free time now, which always have been, but it just seems to creep up on you, you know?
1) Rosemary Soapmaking - basic recipe found here, 2) Felted Stone Embroidery - inspiration found here, felting instructions found here, and general natural dyeing instructions found here (I used onion skins followed by a dip in an iron bath concocted from steel wool and vinegar to get that gorgeous green colour).
We celebrated a birthday this past week, the Mr is another year older. I whipped up a scratch strawberry shortcake and a version of his favourite soup as the meal of the day. Now normally I make this soup with leeks, but in keeping with my current experimental spirit and what ultimately resulted in a barely mentionable shift in the end result, I substituted onions.
....Onions you say??
Well... I needed onion skins you see... I have after all, a Very Important Dying Experiment going on here. And go on it did. Pulling the contents out of the numerous jars that have been sitting on my counter over the past couple of weeks was exciting to say the least. And I was not disappointed.
I'm not sure why, but for some reason I feared globs of greyish brownish goop, each indiscernible from the other, to plop from the jars into a massive colourless wad gathered at the bottom of my sink. Okay, I admit the Experiment did posess a very slight but fleeting resemblance to this at first. But after a quick rinse, cotton flosses in the softest of pinks and purples began to emerge, and further transformed before my very eyes by a quick dip in an iron bath causing my heart to skip a beat. Very very cool. I'm hooked. Even the Mr commented on the softness and beauty of the colours: "You did that? Wow!"
Now to practice my stitches and actually think of something practical to make. In the meantime I'll be popping by for bloggy visits; however, my commenting ability on blogger seems to be compromised for the time being, so those of you affected please know I am there until the problem is rectified.
I am up and at 'em long before dawn every single morning: rain or shine, work or play. I try to be quiet for everyone, but it's tough to tippy toe around for hours before the rest of the house starts to stir.
It's not that I can't sleep... it's that I can't sleep in. No matter how late or early I go to bed, my circadian rhythm takes over, too deeply entrenched for me to fight. So, I find myself quietly baking, knitting, painting, sewing... long before daylight hits the Canadian winter sky.
But never cleaning for some reason... no, never that ;)
That's right, the Mr and twelve-year-old K worked very hard over the last couple of weeks to finish this deck project which has been on our "to do" list since we moved into our house over four years ago. It's a little late in the season for us to get much enjoyment out of it now, but the smell of cedar is strong in the air and I absolutely love it. Not only the deck itself, but the memories of watching the whole father/son bonding thingy and the son-learning-about-tools-and-working-through-to-see-a-job-get-done thingy too. A prideful moment let me tell you. Now comes the fun part for me and E which will be shopping for deck furniture. The main considerations will be: Comfort, durability, and looks... in that order. Of course price will play into that equation as well, but if we get lucky we should be able to find something that fits the bill on a good end-of-season sale. Fingers crossed. Oh how I am enjoying being able to walk outside directly from the kitchen without having to clamour and descend what felt like a small scale obstacle course. I was so used to it I didn't even notice it anymore. Funny what you get used to...
While summer is here in all her glory, I can't help but think how fall is just around the corner. I can feel her presence in the coolness of the evening breeze, and I catch glimpses of her in the lengthening shadows cast by the early morning light.
The leaves are beginning to change.
For the very first time we pull beautiful frames of capped honey from the hive. The strawberries are finished, and the tomatoes are beginning to ripen on the vine. The Mr works on the deck we've been planning for so long, and I imagine myself sitting out there in the mornings wrapped in my quilt with only my tea and my knitting for company. I imagine all of us out there spending time together sharing, eating, talking, laughing.
I am off work again for a couple of weeks vacation time and plan to savour these moments leading up to September in the most leisurely manner possible. I've thrifted some books: Runaway by Alice Munro, and The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra. I rarely have the time to sink into a good read these days, so this time is to be savoured and treasured.
Oh, by the way, I'm knitting these socks in Tosh Merino yarn... to be ravelled soon. I'm not altogether crazy about sock knitting, but I absolutely love the yarn which happens to be perfect for this pattern. So I make the sacrifice and will get on them in earnest... eventually.
Lazy golden summer days. The best days. I am captivated by it all.