Monday, August 21, 2017

So much time, so little to do. . .

Scratch that.
Reverse it.

Despite my best intentions of writing something for the blog consistently every week, I fail spectacularly in August.

I just realized that it's been weeks since I added anything new here. I think this happens every August because of our summer routines. I also think this summer has been particularly difficult with the current political upheaval. But you didn't come here for politics - I talk about that more on Twitter and G+. So I'll simply talk about some of the lovely things that have been keeping me busy.

We live this fiction that things slow down in summer, but for us, life has been quite hectic these past few weeks. 
August is the time when we usually take our family vacation to visit my in laws in rural Maryland and this year was no exception.

To be fair, it's hard not to do anything but stay in the moment with a view like this. And such was our view for a full week. There is something healing and centering about the ebb and flow of the water and the endless parade of clouds across a blue sky. The time we spend here is the soul's version of a field lying fallow for a bit. It recharges and reenergizes me.

We came home to an overflowing garden, full of summer's bounty. This is the time of year I can barely keep up with what comes out of the 6 raised beds my husband plants and then we get a weekly farm share as well. Yikes.

I've been chopping and freezing tomatoes and pickling cucumbers and zucchini in an old crock a friend gave me. We're on our 3rd or 4th pickling load and the fridge is full!

And then there are the peaches.

For the first time in my life, I have a property with fruit trees. In January, we bought what will ultimately be our retirement plan, but for now is a weekend/retreat space about 90 minutes from Boston in Central Massachusetts. As the seasons have changed, we've started to learn what lives on the property. And the most delightful discovery has been the 3 peach trees. After last year, where there was no stone fruit at all north of NJ, our trees are laden with sweet peaches.

Today, I prepared a crockpot full of what will be peach bourbon butter, sliced and froze 3 quarts of peaches, and made 4 halfpints of peach syrup. And I still have most of the 3 boxes of peaches I picked this past weekend. There will be at least as many more ripe next week to pick.

We've named the place StarField Farm and on a clear, dark night, the sky overhead is, indeed, full of stars.

Right now, we're in the midst of construction, which is another claim on my time.

When it's finished, this will be a large garage/workspace with a car lift on the ground floor. The upper floor will be a master suite with a living room/office/spare room.

It's been a fascinating process to see something go from concept to drawn plans to hole in the ground to the shell of a building in just a few months.

We're currently only able to spend 1-2 weekends a month there and wonder of wonders - this 'city mouse' has fallen hard in love with small town rural living.

A few days ago, I attended the Hardwick Fair. They had a ceramics category in the arts and crafts judging, so I entered this handbuilt teapot. 

Not only did it win first prize, but it was awarded a premium and I was given a rosette ribbon. Not too shabby for my first fair!

It would be easy for me to mock the earnestness of the fair and its attendees. There's a lot that could be described as small town cliche - the tractor parade, the cow showing, the pit bbq, the canned goods judging, the yarn spinning demonstration, the live music. But I loved being there. Every part of it. It was a town wide block party and it showed off the best of people's hard work and hobbies. Also, I helped judge the Literary Contest. I suspect I've been swept up into the Fair forever.

And yes, I'm writing, too. Work proceeds on Halcyone Space book 5 and I'm in the midst of finishing a short story for a themed anthology.

So I'm still here. I just may be a bit quiet on the blogging front until mid September. It's nearly tomato canning time, after all.


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