Monday, August 23, 2010

Independence Days- the summer of butterflies

A beautiful visitor
We have had so very many butterflies here this summer. There seem to be even more than last year. It may be the weather, or just the year, or the fact that it was too wet for V to go mow-crazy so we have a bazillion wildflowers growing on the farm. It was funny/sweet to see the boys being very sad over a dead Monarch they found on the sidewalk. They were fascinated (and kind of grossed out) to see the ants eating it. Even at 10 and 13, it's good to see them so interested in what's going on in the natural world around them.
It's Monday, time for my usual check in with Sharon's Independence Days challenge. For those of you unfamiliar, check the link in my sidebar (I'm too tired and lazy to add it into the text tonight). It is a great challenge toward self sufficiency and a great way of keeping tabs on what I've accomplished in a week or so.
1. Plant something- um, no.
2. Harvest something- tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, basil, eggplant, apples and the first edamame! The plants are loaded but the pods are still pretty flat. I managed to find enough filled out pods so everyone (MIL included) could try them last night.
3. Preserve something- froze and canned tomatoes. made some refrigerator dills with dill I had dried and stuck in the freezer last year- not as good as fresh, I'm guessing- but dill is impossible to find around here this year (I asked multiple vendors a the farmer's market)
4. Waste not- nothing too unusual here- composted, recycled and repurposed as usual. It was fun to see my MIL looking at everything we've accomplished. She even was commenting on how much we have done and how much money we have saved by doing much ourselves and by not being wasteful. It felt good to have some recognition of that.
5. Want not- Have continued to stock up on dried pasta at the store- they keep having good sales so I have been picking up a box or two every time I'm at the store. We tend to eat a lot of pasta- especially in the winter and it stores well (I'm fortunate to not have trouble with bugs!)
Also, because I'm not sure where else to put it: our new bedroom furniture was delivered today!!

The tall chest (this one is mine)
Finally, after more than a year, my socks and undies have a permanent home (not in the suitcase- isn't that pathetic!) We also got a lower dresser/mirror combo that will be mostly V's. Our antique dresser that was in our bedroom has been moved down to the sewing/guest room so I'll have a dresser to store my fabric stash. Ooo's and AHHs here!
6. Build community food systems- shopped at the farmer's market and took my MIL along. She was bemoaning the fact that they don't have such a nice market in her hometown (Reading, PA). We got sweet corn, goat cheese, local wine, cheese curds and possibly the best brats I've ever had from a farmer who raises pastured pork. I also got some information on a new endeavor that someone I met at my permaculture class is trying- he's trying to set up a "local foods buying coop" Kind of like a CSA but for things like meat, eggs, dairy, etc as well as fruits and veggies. The nice thing is that you can order what you want, not have luck of the draw in a CSA share. He's hoping to have it up and running in 2011 so I'll have to let him know we're interested.
7. Eat the food- we fed my MIL fresh, local foods all weekend. Friday night it was grassfed beef and caprese salad. Saturday was farmer's market brats and sweetcorn (accompanied by tomatoes and cucumbers) and even a bottle of local wine (Felony Red by Wide River winery). Sunday night was pasta with sauce of fresh tomatoes, pattypan squash, peppers, onion and garlic. Not fed to the MIL- but we had tortellini (OK, they were the frozen ones) with fresh pesto. YUM!!

The rush of events is beginning. J16 starts up violin lessons tomorrow after a few weeks break, choir practice begins this week and the children all have back to school nights coming up. sigh- it was so nice to have evenings to ourselves this summer.
Tomorrow afternoon, I13 is having oral surgery to pull 4 teeth. His mouth is so overcrowded they can't get the others to line up properly. Hopefully everything will go smoothly. We're going to have to make an appointment for J16 to have her wisdom teeth out soon, as well. Oh what fun.
I hope you all have a fabulous start to your week.


  1. The blue butterfly is so pretty and having fields full of wildflowers seems ok to me!! Sounds pretty. We let 2 acres of our mountain house be natural and we have lots of butterflies and a neat place for deer to bed down in the tall grass. I am so glad your unders have a new permanent home! Hurray! I can only imagine how happy you are. No more bending over all the time! I hope the dental visit goes ok. That's a lot of teeth to have pulled. Guess it will be soft foods for awhile. I guess you'll be running your kids all over the place again now that school is starting. Better take more vitamins! lol...debbie

  2. Poor I13, my son will be in the same boat in a few years, his mouth is so crowded. Nice dresser!


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