summer days ~ sweet and slow

Blueberries.  Last year our favorite picking place, the sloping front yard of a sweet and very hardworking older couple in nearby Old Fort, NC, was a bust.  The mild winter followed by a hard frost in early spring wiped out their plants for the year.  We still went picking somewhere else, but didn't get as much as we usually do.  Used the last jar of jam (from the previous summer) way before winter and were out of frozen blues not much after.  Claire and I went picking last week and got the gallon above, and I plan to go back a few times to ensure a stocked freezer and perhaps some jam.  Though, despite having already eaten/gifted about a dozen jars of jam from this year, our pantry is still sitting pretty with 24 jars of strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry jams.   

These late summer days have been fun.  Out for ice cream, trips to the pool, making homemade ice cream and pickles (not indicative of any hormone-induced cravings), our backpacking and camping trips.... just two weeks to go and then school is back in and I'm back to work.  Of course I realize having two weeks of vacation still stretching before me is pretty awesome.  It's all relative.

Inspired by a Christmas gift of stitched paper that Laura gave to Carrie in The Long Winter (our most recently finished Little House book), Claire requested to do some stitching of her own.  She repeatedly poked an envelope with a pencil to make holes and then came to me for needles and thread (they were real needles, but I threaded them for her and supervised).  She says the different colors are helping each other find their way around the envelope.

I scored this railroad crossing sign at a secondhand store, and am currently deciding if it will live on the living room wall or on the side of the garage that isn't a garage, pictured below.

Enjoying a cake dropped off by a neighbor as a thank-you for help moving them in weeks ago,

and smoothies, with (or without) coconut.

Her firetruck makes sounds like the British police.  Or rather, she makes noises like the British police when she plays with it.

Tis' the season for tomatoes to be covering many surfaces.  Though this year it's a bit different because most of them are green or in some stage of ripening/rotting.  I pulled all of the plants out the other day because they were so sad and diseased and the fruit was just getting all blotchy and gross on the vine.  There may be a few jars of tomatoes canned, but mostly we're using them fresh with pasta dishes, nachos, or tomato soup.

Planning a few fall plantings.  More beets, peas, and greens.  Possibly carrots, leeks, romaine and parsley.  The chickens have discovered they can indeed fly over the chicken wire and into the garden, so there is now a string above the chicken wire.  Still, I've had to shoo Margaret out a few times and say goodbye to some baby kale, a few little rows of newly seeded beets, and some pumpkins.  Ah well.

The rains have returned.  The five dollar froggy umbrella is holding up just as you'd expect a five dollar umbrella would.  Something charming about the wonky little grin though, isn't there?

I'm fitting in some morning yoga whenever I am up before her and feeling somewhat well-rested.  And of course, it feels wonderful.  And would surely be good on the days I'm feeling less-then-well-rested.

Tonight starts a 10 day stretch of mini-farm sitting for good friends.  In a few hours I'm off to feed a bunch of chickens and milk a goat.  Planning to make some chèvre.


  1. this is so wonderful! I love your posts, photography, thoughts, reflections ~just all! xxoo

  2. farm sitting sounds like a vacation, well sort of, I hope you take a few photos. Love the umbrellas together-your summer is looking quite full of goodness. I like the rr sign where you've placed it :)

    1. oh I love it~ I feed the chickens, collect eggs, feed the dogs, and milk the goat. after a few more days I'll have milk enough for my first batch of chevre! the umbrellas are getting a lot of use this summer for sure! thanks~ we'll either hang it on the wall of that building, or in the living room.

  3. blueberries. yoga. farm-sitting. all sounds good to me :)

    have a lovely time!

    1. thanks, Renee~ trying to live up the last week or so of leisurely summer!

  4. look at those toms! my goodness girl, looking good.

    1. ah thanks- a bit bittersweet of a year for tomatoes (when isn't it a bittersweet year for tomatoes in the humid Appalachians I am beginning to wonder....) but I guess it's making me enjoy the ones we have even more.


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~