Lately life is full. I keep wanting to write here, but just can't make it happen. We're getting ready to head out on a trip together, and life will continue barreling forward until we get back (please let me continue to delude myself that it will in fact slow down once we're back and settled...). But I wanted to take a moment or two to share a few random photos and some things that have been going on around here, lately.
It's apple season, of course, and Jim, pressed cider a couple times with apples he gleaned here and there, and we have been slowly working our way through a mountain of apples we picked at a local orchard: sauce in the pantry, apple rings keeping the dehydrator going all day and night this week. We didn't manage to do anything but press cider last year, so this feels like a victory, even as I grumble about the doing of it. It will be such a treat this winter.
I've been experimenting a bit with natural dyes. I keep meaning to take pictures of what I've done, but haven't managed it yet. Mostly I've gotten yellows: from purple asters, some small white aster (which actually gave the prettiest yellow I've gotten), goldenrod and ferns. I tried walnuts, too, which turned out so beautifully! They gave me a really golden brown that I'm hoping I can duplicate. I tried the little white asters a second time, and they gave me a brownish/golden yellow. I have no idea what was different? The space of a week or so? Were they not actually the same flowers? Or did I simply not clean something well enough after the walnut bath and some of that golden brown got mixed in? Today I'm trying hickory nuts, which last I checked, I couldn't quite tell the color yet – the water looked sort of pinky brown, but the yarn was looking very faintly yellow. It's just too bad that it's getting closer to winter... it will be a long wait until spring and plants start growing again. Though we have so many trees around our house, I'm hoping I can do some experimenting with various bark. If I can figure out a way to get more yarn to dye...
Homeschooling has been going along. It seems like there is a lot to say about it – more than a quick mention here can do justice. But, that will have to wait for now. We had a rocky start, but these last few weeks have been better, which is encouraging. We've been doing letters, and just today I started teaching them to knit. I was surprised that I was able to teach them and they were able to get it, at least basically. I love getting to see their faces when they get something, or when they are so excited at a new skill, some new knowledge. It's a wonderful thing.
We've been taking semi-regular nature walks through a path in our woods, and last month we were surprised one day to find a huge locust had fallen across the path. So now it has become a stop along our way each time.
And maybe that is all, aside from the every day things that are always occupying our hands. And there are so many of those.