"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"
Reece, summer has been pretty darn good to us this year, and you, my little man, have soaked up all the goodness it has had to offer. We still have a few more weeks, and I am sure there will be a ton of time spent outside as summer slowly fades away.
You might think with all the gardening, and putting food by my hands would be busy enough, but they aren't. There is always knitting happening around here, sometimes it is just a row here and there, other times I am knitting every second I get. This summer knitting has been a little slower, mostly because I am not knitting any Christmas gifts this year. There will be the traditional winter solstice hats for Justin and Reece, and maybe a sweater for Reece, but other than that Christmas gift giving will include other handmade goodies.
The wonderful thing about not knitting Christmas gifts is that I am free to knit for me! I cast on the hitchhiker while we were away at the end of June and finished it shortly after we got home. I highly recommend this knit. It is fun, easy to pick up and put down, and as you can see, looks amazing. With the cooler temperatures we have been having, and the forecast of a cool September, I just might be wearing it sooner than later.
I finally picked up the courage to cast on the February lady sweater. I have had this pattern printed, with the yarn and needles ready to go since March, and just couldn't cast it on. Finally, one night, I just did it, and I am so happy I did. It is a top down knit, which I love, and now that I have separated for the sleeves, and have the four row pattern pretty much memorized, it is moving along nicely. I am really looking forward to wearing this, just need to make sure I keep steadily working on it so I can wear it this winter season.
In between these two projects I knit up some mason jar cozies, a few knitted wrist bands and some little yarn bowls, which still have to be felted. My needles have definitely been clicking away a little slower than usual this summer, but they are clicking, and I have to admit, I am enjoying the process of knitting for me.
Wednesday is nature day in our home, and not much keeps us from heading outside to explore the trails close to our home. Yesterday, Reece and I headed out to a new-to-us trail about 45 minutes from home. There is always a little excitement in the air when we check out a new trail, we just never know what we will find. Yesterday we found a gem.
The Seaton Hiking Trail was beautiful. Wooded paths, beautiful meadows, a creek flowing beside us at different parts of the trail, and wild herbs and flowers everywhere. The two of us walked, talked, laughed, enjoyed our picnic, stopped often to take in the view, and searched for wild plants along the way.
I am not sure how far we hiked, and really, it doesn't matter. We spent time together, connecting to nature, ourselves and each other, and ended up back at the car a little dirty, tired, and very happy.
It's a jungle out there...well, pretty close. Things are getting a little wild and crazy in parts of the garden. The tomato plants are starting to lean over, heavy with tomatoes to ripen, the pole beans are reaching out looking for more trellis to grow on, the cucumbers, zucchinis, squash and pumpkins have left their individual raised beds and are spreading out far and wide, and we keep harvesting greens, beets, and carrots, but can't seem to put a dent in what is out there. It has been a pretty good gardening year. Yes, some things did better than others, that happens every year, but really we have nothing to complain about. The pantry shelves are filling up, over 100 jars of food have been put by so far, and the freezer is filling up fast.
I am still fighting the cabbage worms in the garden, and with all the rain and cooler temperatures, powdery mildew has hit the squash, zucchini and pumpkin. This happens pretty much every year around this time, but this year seems a little worse. I have been spraying them with my trusty water, dish soap, and baking powder mixture, and trying to control it. The plants are still producing, and sending out new leaves, so I am hopeful I can keep them around a little longer. The cucumber plants look brutal from all the hail damage, but the cucumbers keep on coming, and the pole beans are coming along great and providing us with lots of beans, for both meals and putting by.
The strawberry plants are getting close to giving us some late season strawberries, and as soon as they ripen, I will be taking them all out. This is their third year, and production is dropping. I am planning to move them next year, and will start fresh with some new plants. This bed will be worked over, amended with some compost and fresh soil, and will wait for garlic to be planted in late October.
The fall and winter beds are doing great. Seeds are sprouting, and this week will see a little bit of thinning here and there. We are hoping to get the tunnels up on the two raised beds this weekend, and then once the cooler weather hits we can get the covers on and protect our precious food for the fall and winter.
I moved a little soil into the empty potato beds, getting this area ready for berries next year...blueberries and raspberries. We are also adding some blackberries in another area of the yard, and will have the new bed of strawberries.
The harvests keep rolling in. I head out at meal times to pick a little bit here and there, and Justin usually hears me yelling from the garden to bring a few bowls out. You would think after all these years of gardening I wouldn't be surprised at how fast everything grows and ripens in the garden during these late August days, but here I am again, surprised and loving it.
The chickens were out, roaming about, when I snapped photos of the garden yesterday afternoon, so you get a few photos of them, free ranging around the yard.