Yesterday was a perfect fall day – the air was crisp and the sun was shining. We decided to get in one more hike before the weekend’s expected low of 28 and wintry mix! We thoroughly enjoyed the hike up toward Rich Mountain, and I am thankful that we took advantage of the nice weather.
It feels like it has been a whirlwind of a week. We went on a little vacation to Denver, CO for a long weekend, and although we had a blast, we are both recharging. We have a completely packed September, complete with lots of travel, so we are trying to rest up whenever possible. I feel like I have been fighting off a cold for several days now, so yesterday after work I took it pretty easy. I had lots of hot tea and laid on the sofa alternating between knitting and napping. The good news is that I’m almost finished with a lace scarf I’ve been knitting since Thanksgiving. The bad news is that I didn’t get the tomatoes made into sauce and I didn’t get the peppers frozen. Oh well, I’m hoping that paying attention to my body’s need to rest will pay off.
Until I get the 1,213 photos from our trip sorted, let me share this one with you.
The caterpillar ate my camera … or at least that is the story I'm sticking to. My posts have been fewer and far between lately. Please be assured that Its not because I don't have plenty of worthwhile things to blog about – because I certainly do – I just haven't been able to document them with pictures. My camera broke several months ago. Well, actually I broke it. As it turns out, the kitchen floor isn't as cushiony as one might think. The screen busted and I could only see about 1/2 of the frame for taking pictures. That worked for a while, and I got pretty good at guessing what I wanted to photograph, but slowly the working portion of the screen started shrinking and shrinking until there wasn't any left. Unfortunately, the iPhone camera isn't a great substitute. It is fun to play with and easily accessible, but the pictures just aren't as good.
So, while I've been blueberry picking, gardening, sewing tote bags, making pickles, knitting sweaters, and enjoying life, I've had little inspiration to document anything.
Except for this swallowtail caterpillar. He was capable of eating several dill plants, so I'm certain I can blame my camera woes on him.
Well please do not fear. The posts shall be back up soon … because I have just ordered the camera I have been dreaming of for months. Thats right, this camera shall be sitting in my hands on Wednesday, and I couldn't be more excited.
Anyone have recommendations for good photography tutorials?
I have to confess that of the gardening blogs I follow, there is only one that I truly love.
Chiot's Run – Susy Morris is the writer, photographer, and real-lifer behind Chiot's Run. Her posts are incredibly authentic, practical, and inspiring. She is an organic gardener in NE Ohio, so her growing climate is similar to ours. I have learned so many practical things from Susy, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Making your own potting soil
- The best gardening gloves
- Making your own toothpaste (someday I'll do an entire post on this one!)
- Making your own brown sugar
- Blueberry skillet cake (one of our favorites – I always make skillet cakes instead of muffins now!)
- Organizing your freezer
- Making maple syrup (this is definitely in the plans for next year!)
Honestly, I could go on and on with links to Chiot's Run, but I'll leave it at that for now. Trust me when I say that you will never find a more down to earth, comprehensive organic gardening blog, with some cooking, preserving, and simple living thrown in. Second only to SouleMama, this is one of my favorite blogs! Even if you don't garden, you will love this blog, and I bet you'll be inspired to at least put some basil in a pot on your front porch.
I am so glad that the weekend is here. I had so many posts I wanted to put up this week, but there just wasn't time. We had strategic planning sessions off site for work all week, and they absolutely drained me. We are in the process of putting together a plan to roll out a new program, and we walked away with some great things in place, but it took all of the energy I had. I am more of an introvert than an extrovert, and while I can certainly give my input and brainstorm all day, it zaps me of my energy.
This morning I was looking through some photos to update some of my projects on Ravelry, and I kept finding pictures from last summer. These are some of my favorites that give me inspiration and keep me going through the winter.
Summer will be here before we know it – enjoy!
As I was sorting through some photos from 2010, I stumbled on this particular photo that I meant to show you but never did.
We always encourage butterflies in our yard because they are such good little pollinators! So even though these caterpillar babies love to feed on our dill and carrot tops, they don't do too much damage in the two weeks that they live as caterpillars before they spin themselves into a chrysallis.
Just looking at this picture makes me think about warm summer days working in the garden. Anything to keep my mind off the fact that the high on Monday is supposed to be 11 degrees with snow squalls …
*Thanks Brian for pointing out the difference between a swallowtail and a monarch – after some research I realized that is a pretty common misconception.
Can I please introduce you to my favorite baby bell pepper? Its so teensie and cute, with the perfect bright red color and the most lovely indentations in the side. I wanted to display it on the shelf in my kitchen forever. Alas, it wouldn't have lasted long, so we ate it on a pizza instead! Seeing the pictures again just makes me want to hug it. Seriously, I think I have a problem.
Most farmers' markets have started up by now, and even if they don't have a lot of produce yet, they'll probably have plenty of plants and homemade goods. I love these thyme plants that I found at the Watauga Country Farmers' Market the other weekend.
Go out and support your local farmers' market this weekend. You'll probably be surprised and delighted with what you find.
Its strawberry season! If you haven't made these strawberry shortcake sliders from Simply Recipes, you're missing out! I'm telling you, there is nothing like fresh, in-season strawberries, on a slightly sweet biscuit, with homemade whipped cream. I wish I had a whole plateful now.