Oh, it's been quite the week...

Mike left on an impromptu road trip for five days.  We were house sitting for my brother when he got the call.  His cousin was buying a new spray foam machine, but it was in Florida.  If Mike agreed to ride with, to keep him company, his cousin would spray foam our house for free.  I was really excited for him to see the countryside and for us to have a warm floor this winter.  I reminded him that this is the reason we chose this lifestyle.  So that when these kinds of opportunities arise, we're able to be flexible and take them! He wasn't sure it was a good idea to leave me and the kids alone in the middle of the woods, but I assured him we would be fine and to go have fun.  With one change of clothes, a toothbrush, and his pillow, Mike set out on a Saturday for a cross country excursion.

That's when it all went down hill.  Fast.

Cole got the flu.  Then Luke.  I pretended to be healthy.

One chick disappeared every morning for five days.

Seven of our eight newborn kittens died.

Our beloved old cat, Marco, died too.  Of old age, we think.

Then to top it all off, both of our vehicles broke down.  One ended up being just a dead battery, but still.

I'm glad that week is behind us.

Maybe we can just look at some pretty photos and pretend that none of it ever happened.


Tansy and Bee Balm

This afternoon we're going to look at a woodstove we found on craigslist.  Our little boxwood stove got us through the winter but we really need something more efficient. The season's changing, I felt it come with the last full moon. The smell of the air, the rich golden colors of the wild flowers.  I love the wildflowers of August. Bee balm for slaves and soap.  Tansy for dye.   I think maybe I'll dye enough yarn for a sweater for me.  Yellow may be a welcome color come winter.  Have a wonderful weekend, friends.



Mint.  I can see how quickly and easily this herb is going to take over the garden!  I'm slowly thinning out the herb spiral, hanging bundles from the rafters of the loft.  The house is smelling amazing!


Simple Decreases

It hasn't been blocked yet, but Cole's hat is finally finished.  {I don't know about you, but my knitting mojo was in a seriously slump last month.} I settled on a simple decrease that I think works very well with the stitch pattern.  I'll be writing up the pattern over the weekend and needing test knitters.  If you're intersted in helping out, please email me at thesittingtree{at}gmail{dot}com for details.

What's on your needles this week?

{joining Ginny this week}


Leather Britches

I'm kind of lazy when it comes to preserving food.  The heat and humiditiy of July and early August is about enough to do me in, never mind adding a canning bath to the mix.  No, you won't find me canning green beans, but without a freezer, what's a girl to do with all this garden goodness that I so desperately want to save for winter.  I started reading around about dehydrating veggies and it seems like just the right solution for us.  A solar dehydrator has been added to the list of projects, but I kind of doubt it will be done this year.  In the mean time, I found an old fashioned way of preserving green and waxed beans called leather britches.

Basically, here's how it works...
Pick the beans.
Snap off the ends.
Rinse the beans {if needed}
Cut a piece of fishing line about 24 inches and tie a small stick onto the end.  Most instructions say to just use a bean as a stopper, but mine kept breaking through the line.  Stick stayed put.
Thread a darning needle with the fishing line.
Sew through the middle of each bean.
Make a knotted loop for hanging.
Hang out of direct sun until completely dehyrated. {not sure how long, yet.} They were so pretty to look at that I've got ours hanging from the rafters in the house.

I'm planning to use them for soups and stews during the winter, so I'll let you know how it goes!

Have you ever made leather britches?

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