Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yesterday was sort of accidentally/intentionally a "get things done" day. When I got home from work I told Shane that we absolutely had to go to the grocery store, and that we needed to figure out our meals for the rest of the week. Shane mentioned that the house was looking a little, well, overgrown and that we should also do some dishes and laundry.
It was off to HG Market first, where the only thing we bought were beans, sadly. They were out of almost everything else. When we talked to one of the managers we found out that their demand has really, really dropped off for the summer. More people going to the farmer's market, plenty of people out of town. Also, it's not exactly peak animal slaughtering time (that's usually in the fall, and then again toward the end of winter to cull out animals that won't be useful for the upcoming summer) so they didn't have much in the way of meat. Disappointing. Next time they get deli meat, I think I'm going to stock up in a big way and then freeze it in individual sandwich portions to make it easy to thaw.
Also, if you go to HG, they would really appreciate it if people would stop using their rewards credit cards. They started a FB discussion about it, since they get charged a 5% transaction fee for those cards. That's something I guess I knew (at least, that those cards charge more) but I admit that I've used my airline mileage card there often in the past. No more. Debit or cash now, since those are much cheaper for them. I was actually surprised by the number of people on FB who said, "That's simply the cost of doing business. Deal with it." Wow. And if the business costs too much, they're going to quickly be OUT of business. What a callous attitude. I hope the wonderful folks at HG come up with a solution quickly.
They've had veggie boxes going for a long time now, sort of like a CSA, but we've never ordered through them. For the summer, I'd rather go directly to the farmer's market. But I think that as soon as that starts closing down I'm going to start ordering a veggie box. It'll be an adventure, at the least ("What will it be this week?") and will probably expand some of my tastes as well as challenging my culinary skills. (What on earth does one do with kohlrabi?)
After we got home from the stores, Shane immediately set about doing dishes, then making dinner. Mmmm...shrimp fettucini alfredo with peas, and beans on the side. I helped with the dishes while trying to also get laundry sorted and started. While Shane made dinner, I was fertilizing and watering my plants in their buckets, popping in to help whenever Shane called, "Can I get a hand?" It was both frenetic and frantic, and I'm almost surprised that we got as much done as we did. It doesn't sound like much when it's written like this, but just this was over half an hour of running around for both of us.
I finally got a chance to go out and weed, but not for long. My potatoes already needed to be hilled, so I was tearing up dirt from wherever I could find it and packing it down around the plants. Last time I was weeding I accidentally pulled up too much dirt and found that I already have at least one fist-sized potato. (Don't be too impressed, I have tiny hands.) So that should be a bumper crop this year. :)
Just as I was about to move onto weeding the peas, Shane called out that dinner was ready. So I quickly yanked the worst of the weeds (I've got some flowers on my peas!) and ran inside to wash my hands. But I realized that everything outside was quite dry from the heat and said, "Be right back, I'm gonna set up the hose."
After dinner, we still weren't done with our productivity. I still had more laundry to do, mostly thwarted by the upstairs neighbor who washed a pack of cigarettes in one load and had to re-wash it. But I'm loving the heat for laundry time. Things air-dry so fast! I didn't have a full dryer load of stuff (kitchen towels, socks, etc.) so I ended up line-drying a sheet. It was surprisingly simple, considering my lack of space. I used two slacks hangers, one on either end (duh), and hung it on the shower rod in the bathroom. Ta-da! It was perfectly dry by the time I got up this morning and I'm thinking that I might always start drying sheets this way, as long as we have room for it.

The final thing I did was baking. I didn't make bread, because it ended up being another really hot evening. But I did need something for breakfast, so I made some oatmeal/barley scones. They didn't need to bake for very long, they're easy, and they're delicious.
All that, and we still managed to watch the first two episodes of "Game of Thrones: Season 2", plus an episode of "QI".
Tonight, I feel, might be almost as busy. I need to finish the weeding and also finish the planting. Yep, I still have a few plants I haven't put in the ground yet. It's atrocious. I keep thinking I have more time than I do, but it's pretty much the end of June. Where has all the time gone?! We've only got about 2, 2 1/2 months of summer left. Eek! So much to do between now and then. And I've only gotten a few veggies so far, exclusively from the plants I have at work, so I'm getting nervous that my garden won't be as productive as in past years. (Which really isn't saying much to start with!)
I really should be enjoying summer. It only comes once a year, and it's a fabulous time around here. Despite my complaints about the heat and the mosquitoes (bastards!), I really do enjoy it most of the time. But yesterday I stumbled upon an Australian slow living blog and seeing all of her lovely pictures of their autumn/winter, I suddenly really craved that time of year. You see, it's my favorite. (I almost said favorite month! Which is pretty much true here....) I love when the air is crisp, when you need a sweater but not a jacket, when mittens and fingerless gloves come back into play. When it's time once again to start mulling cider and making pumpkin or apple pie. When homemade soup seems like the best idea ever, and the leaves are turning colors, falling, and covered in frost in the mornings. I love the now low-slung sun, the lengthening of shadows. I love it all, and I'm so excited that it's coming up.
However, this longing did push me to do one winter activity now. A friend of mine is an absolutely amazing knitter (and gardener too--he's one I turn to for lots of advice on gardening and house plants) so I asked him if there's a time he and I could get together so he could help me with reading a pattern I'm having trouble with. I was so excited about this project and started with high hopes, but I had trouble reading the pattern so I put it down. It's been sitting in the living room for months, not being worked on. So after seeing the blogger's lovely pictures of her own knitting, I contacted him. We're having a coffee "date" next week so that he can help me. Since it'll be a little shrug, it will be light enough for summer but cover enough so that I can wear some of my tank tops to work.

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