May, always our busiest month, is next week you guys! Which means we are fast approaching the days where Pat and I traditionally communicate by post-it note, only recently enhanced by technology and the ability to text each other. But that is entirely dependent on my carrying a device in which to text and since I rarely do that, the post-it note is still generally the most reliable form of communication here. Thankfully, Edie is old enough we can leave her home alone, because we’ve already had one incident where both of us committed to something without looking to see if the other one was around. Edie has started realizing when I ask her if she has her key, it means she stands a good chance of being locked out when she comes home if she doesn’t have it. Ah, spring in the Calvert house. Continue reading
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? True to form, May has kicked my ass on every level imaginable once again this year. How is it Memorial Day weekend already? I’m still not done getting the gardens in, the only batch of strawberry jam I made was at last night’s Happy Cook class and when people ask what our summer plans are, I have no answer. None. Continue reading
I didn’t mean to take a week break from blogging. I’ve been busy puttering about the homestead, but nothing I was up to seemed to make an interesting enough post on its own. So here’s a dump of some of what I did last week. Continue reading
Hello there. It’s hot & muggy as all get out this week and thanks to those french doors that lead from the dining room to the sunroom still in need of serious love and therefore, not installed, I can’t close the house up and turn on the AC. That task is on the to-do list for week after next. In between now & then, I have a few canning classes & demonstrations lined up, a few articles due to editors here & there, a kid to pack up and drop off at camp, some girls nights and date nights to attend to. I’m also organizing a swap next Saturday, July 27. Continue reading
I finally finished getting the garden in this weekend, although I still have some raspberry bushes in a bucket (Pat & I are debating their placement) and the landscaping plan in the backyard has changed somewhat (Pat wants to add a pond or some sort of water feature. I think he’s realized I need a new digging project.) and weeding is never-ending. All this rain the last week or so has brought back weeds I thought I’d dug up already. I just walk around with a shovel in my hand these days, attacking weeds and vines. Which is how I got poison on my hands again. I hate when I get it on the palms, really makes it hard to do stuff. One of these days I’ll learn to wear gloves, but that won’t happen until I find gloves that fit just right. I have been looking and tried some on the other day when I was picking up netting for the blueberry bushes, but the ones I really liked they didn’t have in my size. All I ever seem to find these days are the type of gloves with the rubber on the fingers and palms – I don’t like these gloves at all, what happened to the good old fashioned canvas ones and why are they so hard to find?
The Planting Seeds Music Festival is tomorrow at Buford. It’s a music festival celebrating all the Charlottesville elementary schools gardens. I’m the food chair for the whole shebang, so today I’m wrapping up loose ends, dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s. I got the rough draft for the flyer for the class picnic out today too. I’ve put Edie’s class picnic together since kindergarten. It’s really quite easy – I can pretty much tell you who’s going to bring what, who’s going to help and who’s going to call me the morning of in a panic. When you do the same thing 5 years in a row, you learn these things. There’s also prep for the upcoming swap going on. I’m really excited about some of the responses and what people are bringing.
Last weekend’s bug seems to have faded into just another huge allergy flare-up. I woke up feeling crummy yesterday, with that lovely racking allergy cough I get that just hurts. I don’t like the stuff the doctor gives me for the cough – honestly, I can’t take anything stronger than a tylenol without some horrible reaction. But, at least Pat was home so that I could lounge all I wanted to. Also, it was Mother’s Day, so I had full cart blanche to lounge. I got myself caught up on the NYTimes Book Review section. I had like 3 months worth of Sunday’s piled up. It was heavenly. We went to Mono Loco for dinner, where I realized the tequila in my margarita made the cough stop, at least for a while. I think I’m going to need more medicinal tequila.
We officially have the fattest squirrel you have ever seen in our yard. I’m going to see if I can’t get a picture to show you. Seriously, it’s huge. When Pat got a good look at it on the back porch today, he wondered if maybe it wasn’t a small groundhog with a bushy tail. It is that fat.
We are hosting one of Pat’s coworkers this evening. I had totally forgotten about it. Honestly, since I came home from the gym this morning (which totally kicked my butt. I definitely was aiming too high after taking most of the last week off with the ick), I have been lounging in my bathrobe coughing and answering emails about the festival. I have exactly two hours to get the first floor of this house in presentable condition. I want to make a better impression than I did the last time we hosted his coworkers. At least I have no where to go but up, right?
Mark your calendars gang. Cville Swaps is back and we are planning our next event on Sunday, June 3.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for details. You can swap your homemade goodies like jams and pickles and granolas and soaps, as well as fresh homegrown items from your garden. You can swap some of those plants you need to thin from your garden, you can swap eggs from your chickens. Think homegrown, homemade. Hope to see you there!
If you know me at all, you know I have a tendency to can or freeze everything in sight. You know I’m pretty devoted to knowing where our food comes from. When I first heard about these food swaps going on around the country, I thought, oh cool. Someone should organize one here, because I’d like to check one out. And then my friend Vikki emailed me and said WE should it.
That does make sense. I mean, I do have a tendency do that sort of thing too. Like start a knitting group, a girl scout troop for my daughter and her friends, the list could go on…..
So, we got together and brainstormed where to have this thing. I talked to a few folks and found a space for us to use, The Garage, and we came up with a name, Cville Swaps. We have a Facebook Page and I’ve created a page on this blog for it. (See it up there across the top? I’m pretty impressed with myself for figuring that out.). We plan on holding our first event on Sunday, November 13, from 2-4 pm. Everyone is invited, so if you are in the area and interested, please let us know!
All manner of items that you make, grow and forage for are acceptable to swap. The lists I’ve read around the web are pretty cool. I might borrow Edie’s body scrub recipe and make some of that to swap. I’m also thinking some of my watermelon rind pickles would be a good swap. I’ve thought about bringing some Amish Friendship Bread starter too. Ever since I found out I could freeze it and always have it on hand and seen all those recipes on their website, I’ve been a happy girl. I’ve made the orange cranberry muffins, the triple chocolate muffins, the double chocolate muffins, and the pumpkin spice ones. Mmm. Oh, sorry. I’ve wandered off topic….
So, Sunday, November 13. See you there?
Update – I created a blog just for the swap. I’ll have some things about it on here as well, but look on the Cville Swaps blog for more updates.