croquetfloorfoot

…I am somewhat keeping up with the garden cucumbers better than most years with the help of this recipe and this one

fermented-pickles

They are both so easy, which is important to me when it comes to preserving and partaking of the garden abundance. The refrigerator “pickles” have been showing up in lots of summer dishes and have been my favorite side to a sandwich or salad as I try to wean myself from the organic potato chips I’ve become seriously enamored with lately. And the fermented pickles? My first time with fermenting and it seemed almost magical to taste these a few days later and find them sour and delicious (and crispy thanks to the addition of blackberry leaves)…

calebcleaning

After my Caleb did the physically hard work of “spring cleaning” the mudroom/laundry room/pantry, I’ve been very slowly doing the mentally hard work of paring-down this too-full room. It is a real challenge to sift through attachment and the dream of certain things we keep with the reality of whether we will actually ever use them.

oillamps

lampchimneys

And our house these days makes the storing of things rather like the “if you give a mouse a cookie” story. I want to store some mudroom things in the basement, which is also too full with inherited things and dream/reality things. Same for the attic. So nothing is simple…or very satisfactory…except the oil lamps, which are now washed and back on the top of the pantry cupboard, minus all the rest of what used to live there, which awaits my attention…

beaumbrella

escapees

fencewalkers

chicksgardendining

   The young hens have graduated from their makeshift pens, large and small. After many escapes from their last berry patch pen and too much scratching and eating of tomatoes in the veggie garden which contained them for quite awhile, they are living the grown-up free range life. Audrey is tolerating them. They almost put themselves to bed now in their hay-lined horse trough on the porch each evening. And we are just days away from my deario completing the new hen house. Very soon I can take the porch back from the messy chicks and the garden will be safe for autumn planting…

crossbeak

Oh! Names! They are coming more slowly than usual for this flock…but Wren was christened a month or so ago (she is the one laying down to eat up above) and that’s Bea next to her (named after Beatrix Potter) and Sylvie (or Sylvan) is the all yellow one. I am awaiting my son Sam’s contribution to the naming of the others and am a little hesitant about naming this dear one with the cross beak. I feed her specially, as many times a day as I can, but can’t get my hopes up about her long-time survival. We’ve had two or three with this condition in the past and the outcomes were all different, so….

daybookcovers

Lot’s of time being spent inside, too (out of the heat) designing my Wild Simplicity Daybook. It is the most complex project I’ve ever worked on and is so interesting…when it is not frustrating. It shouldn’t (in these days of ecological awareness) be so hard to source truly recycled papers, and yet it is. There are so few choices.  So this incarnation of the daybook will be a taking of first steps…

daybookdesigning

I see it getting better and better with each go-round, as I can find the materials I envision. But already, I’ve sourced natural rubber and hemp cording from Japan, 100% post-consumer paper for the booklets, and a printer will be making the covers for me. Well, printing the covers for me. This is my first time sending work out, and I am on tenterhooks about it! But the covers are too large for me to print in my studio, and by sending them out, I can have white printing on earthy, brown cardstock, just as I pictured…

mayyoufindcomfort (newest e-greeting-we are having a wonderful winged insect summer…)

The Daybook designing has been a lovely opportunity for me to work on the little systems I have (or need) to keep my days and work and home flowing along smoothly.  Even with these in place, tho’,  certain things still fall through the cracks. So I was happy to think of a new way to use my Post to help me in that area. The first was resolving to use it much more often instead of the emails I usually send so that I know my missive has been received. So often an email goes out and I wonder and wonder if I haven’t received a response because of the understandable Life/Time/Energy reasons…or because it was never received or noticed. The Post has a box to click to be notified when the e-card is opened…a very handy option that is now allowing me to let go of one of my brain-circlings…

sea-hearts

And the other came up when I made an appointment for my yearly thermography (do you know of this alternative to mammograms?) There are few special things to do to prepare in the hours before (things to avoid, actually, like hot drinks and deodorant and the like). Something like this doesn’t fit well on a to-do list or calendar page…so I sent myself an e-greeting with the guidelines, scheduled to arrive the day before. I will open it and leave it open on my computer until I leave for my appointment. Coral hearts and memories of the beach in Hawaii last summer will help me as I take care of myself, and that makes me happy.

Here’s hoping that you are making your own lovely discoveries as August unfurls…