Yay for school holidays – and not a minute too soon. Every year teaching seems to take more and more of my energy, and the holidays are so needed. That’s not to say that I’ve not got work to do over the holidays. Between marking, planning, and catching up on whatever I didn’t get finished at the end of the last term, I will be keeping busy. I am, however, hoping to take some time off to catch up on sleep and other important things.
I was sent a copy of Slow by Brooke McAlary* I’ve been a fan of slow living for a while, despite the fact that lately, we have kind of fallen off the bandwagon. Reading it has refocused me on cutting back, and saying no (and meaning it) – two areas that have taken a knock lately. I’m reading it slowly so that I can take in each part and ponder it.
I’ve also downloaded (and read) The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainright. It was both hilarious and bitingly close to reality. I have picked up afew more books at the local op shop to get into over the next week or two as well. Holidays are the perfect opportunity to sit down with a book and get back into reading. I’d love some more suggestions of what to read next.
I’m making lots and lots (and lots) of woollen hexagons for my current blanket project. Seriously, I can knock a hexagon out in about 20 minutes these days, which is good since I need to make so many. I’m loving the colours and imagining the final result. Once I have finished making the hexagons, I’ve got to sew all the ends in, and then join them together so I have a lot of work ahead of me. My goal is to get it done in time for the local agricultural show next March. It’s good to have a long-term goal…
For many gardeners, September is the hungry month. The winter veg has finished, and the Spring crops haven’t yet come in. For us, however, September means one thing: fresh asparagus. It seems churlish to complain about having so much of a luxury, so I won’t, but those delicious green spears are poking up much quicker than we get to them. If we miss even a day or two, there are suddenly so many spears needing harvesting. Fortunately, the chickens are also back on the lay, so we are enjoying asparagus with soft boiled egg. If you can get your hands on some fresh asparagus you should totally try this – boil the eggs until soft, and blanch the asparagus in the same water at the same time. Once the egg is perfectly cooked (we do 3 minutes and 20 seconds an egg, but do more or less according to the egg’s size), cut the top off, and grind in some salt and pepps, then add a big knob of butter and a few drops of apple cider vinegar. Use the end of the asparagus to dip and mix the yolk, and you have your own hollandaise style sauce, right in the egg. There is truly no better way to eat asparagus.
Now that the warmer days are beginning to come, the trees in the orchard have begun to flower. CB and the kids are building a chicken coop right next to the orchard for the girls’ latest business venture (they are breeding silky chickens – stay tuned for that another time), so I have wandered down several times to check out their progress, and to admire the blossoming trees. It seems like no time at all since we first started planting the orchard, but some of the trees are reaching the top of the trellis already. Just imagine all that fruit this summer!
On Wednesday, we went for a drive to town to get some shopping done. Longtime readers will know that I’m not a shopping person. I love a good farmers market, but all other forms of shopping are not for me. Unfortunately, the kids tend to grow out of their clothes from time to time, and Toby had just two tee shirts that fitted, so a trip was seeming inevitable. Whilst I hated buying the fast fashion tee shirts and finding shorts that were not too short for the girls was hard work (in the end we got some from the boys section – why do girls shorts have to be so short??), we got it done with a minimum of fuss, and we got to enjoy sushi for lunch (the kids and I love sushi, but don’t get it very often). We also picked up a new apple slinky machine. Ours gave up the ghost after 4 years of solid work. I finally got some new tea towels as well. Our old ones were looking less than respectable, and so it was time. We managed to knock a few other little things off the list that we needed and now that we have got the basics covered, any additional shopping for the season will now be done online only… well let’s hope so anyway! It’s almost embarrassing that new tea towels make me happy, but there you go!
Got any book suggestions for me? Have you tried asparagus and boiled eggs? Do small things (like new tea towels) make you happy?
*As per my disclosure policy, I was sent a copy of Slow. All opinions are my own.