Saturday, January 23, 2016

In The Smokey Sun of Summer

When we were gone on our trip the air in the city we live started to fill with smoke from all of the forest fires. We also had a real dust storm come through like the dust bowl days. When we got back the air was thick with smoke and our windows were covered with dust. The past few summers now have always brought smoke for a week or so making outdoor activities less than pleasant but this year was very, very, bad. The forest fires in our state burned and we were put in a state of emergency. 

We became confined indoors for weeks and weeks.

We looked out the windows at the red sky and wished we could go outside and play.

So instead we busied ourselves with fun things to do inside, like sewing a kindergarten apron (for me). I didn't have a pattern so I made it up. I might try again next summer if the smoke is bad again.

I like to bring flowers inside as much as I am able to all spring, summer, and fall. For the month of August it was almost the only thing I had linking me to the summer sun. 

During it all my garden kept going strong. I would duck outside once a day to feed the chickens and collect the produce. We caned a lot of pickles and I learned a lot about cucumbers.

I got more tomatoes than ever this year. The ones you see here are from a German heirloom that produced more than I could keep up with. Many fell to the earth and rotted. The ones I could process made strange pink salsas and garden sauce. 

We lacto fermented.

These flowers grow 8 feet tall out in my garden. Every one asks me what they are, but I don't know. I should figure it out and commit it to my garden encyclopedia memory.  I love them until they topple over with weight from the blooms. They might make me invest in some sort of garden system to hold them up. 

I painted a chalkboard wall earlier in the summer. I love how I can just dump my brain on there and not have to remember things, or search for them in my planner. It looked better in the house than we expected too. When I was trying to decide if I should do it I looked at all my options. I finally went with the quart of premixed black chalkboard paint you can get at any large big box store for around ten dollars. In the end I decided I wanted to go with traditional black as any other color might make my kids think that chalk was for all the walls. We keep it simple around here.

Play is hard work.

The red sky. It was interesting and overwhelming at the same time. We ended up putting our storm windows on in August to try to keep some of the smoke out. It was like there was no escaping it. Of course it was the worst outside but we could smell it in the house too. It was nice to go to places like the mall, but then it made it hard to come home. For the first time I found myself wishing I lived in a newer home with less cracks and leaks to let the smoke in.

I collected and dried a lot of Calendula. I made salves from my herbs in the garden and crafted a bunch of things for year two of Kindergarten for my boy (because with Waldorf you do two years). We stayed busy and dreamed of rain. I wanted the cool weather of fall to come and wash the smoke away. Lets hope for a wet winter and a better summer next year so we can go outside and play.

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