After a very cool, wet June, we have had two hot sticky days with no rain. More rain and cooler days ahead, but it has allowed walks without umbrellas or raincoats and being able to inspect my hives for the first time since I installed them. This is a very different experience than last year. The two medium boxes for brood on each hive are bursting with honey, eggs, and brood. So many bees. I added a queen excluder to each hive and a honey super on each in hopes of some fall honey. The sourwood is just beginning to bloom so they will be busy, the fields are full of daisies and since we haven’t had a mower in over two weeks, the lawn is full of white and red clover.

The shelf unit I put on the front porch with houseplants has a Wren nest tucked between pots. I think is was a practice nest as it hasn’t been occupied. I will leave it for a few more days before I remove it.

Walks have had some wildlife to see, yesterday a box turtle who didn’t seem to like the attention it was getting and today a caterpillar that has been parasitized with several eggs on it’s back.

The garlic pulled was brought in to the garage and hung in bundles to cure for storage. The garage smells very garlicy now and will until the leaves dry and the skins dry.

Since we live in a log home, we have had annual problems with Carpenter Bees. They drill holes in the facia boards and lay their eggs. That is less of a problem than once they hatch, the woodpeckers peck at the wood to get the larvae. This year the woodpeckers have been relentless, so we purchased 4 owls with a bell and mylar strip and hung them in strategic places hoping that they will discourage any more early morning pecking and stop the damage they are doing.

The month is fading away, July and August bring harvest and processing, a busy time.

Living local

As I re-read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable Miracle, a book I reread every couple of years, it re-dedicates me to live locally. We have the best Farmer’s Market I have ever shopped. They are open April through October on Wednesday afternoon and on Saturday mornings year round with more vendors. During winter, there are fewer vendors, but still some products are available including storage vegetables, eggs, meat, breads, and cheese. Each spring, I plant a garden and we have an orchard with 4 kinds of fruit trees and 3 kinds of cultivated berries, but other than tomato sauces, peppers canned and dried, tomatillos for salsas, and cucumbers for pickles, I don’t grow enough variety or quantity to supply us year round. This year, in support of the vendors, I decided to buy extras of items that can be blanched and frozen for winter use. This week was the first week of making these extra purchases and I came home with extra Sugar Snap Peas, celery, and carrots. The peas have been getting added to the freezer for a few weeks as I had extras and are coming to an end. The celery sliced for Mirepoix, the carrots sliced for soups and stews. Herbs are grown here in the garden to be dried and others in the Aerogarden for fresh use. Meats and poultry are available year round so don’t have to be stockpiled. One farm, in addition to beef and eggs, grows corn for meal, oats for oatmeal, and wheat for flour. Being able to watch my flour ground and bagged, unbromated whole wheat with bran is wonderful.

A bag was brought home, a loaf of artisan bread started last evening that was baked this morning. What doesn’t get used immediately will be frozen so there will be flour for bread this winter as well.

The finished bread is a little more dense than I had hoped, it was a new recipe that I will tweak in the future.

After putting the produce away and some frozen, dinner prepared using plenty of fresh vegetables from market and garden to make a salad, a little garden time was enjoyed. This week has been so wet, it was nice to be able to get in there, weed a little, pick berries, and pull the 34 heads of garlic to cure in today’s sun.

All but two are large and full and this should be enough to last us the year. The fall garlic seed needs to be ordered.

Soon there will be peas from our garden to enjoy and freeze. And the beans are beginning to have blossoms, the first zucchini is forming, tiny peppers and tomatoes are developing. The apple and Asian pear trees are heavy with fruit to be enjoyed raw or made into sauces later in the fall.

There was cheese purchased, Garlic Chive Chevre that was enjoyed on the salad, and a weekly treat of a bouquet of flowers from our friend’s farm.

Keep it close to home if you can, better for the environment, better for your health.


Hubby says I have an addiction, not to alcohol, drugs, or other dangerous harmful substances, but to beautiful wood, especially wood that can be used daily.

This basket holds 5 Jenkins Turkish spindles, 4 Finches, 1 Wren, and a social media friend who lives on the West Coast was able to travel to Black Sheep Gathering, a festival in Oregon this weekend and proxy shopped for me today to add a Pear wood Wren to the mix. There are 4 top whorl drop spindles in the house as well, two that get used when dressed in Colonial garb and presenting fiber use in Colonial times, one that was gifted to me but is so light weight I have trouble keeping it spinning, and one purchased to help support a Ukrainian artist.

These beautiful works of art are used daily. For a year, they spun the wool to make the breed blanket in 2021.

This year, the wool to knit the Shetland Hap shawl.

And now, working through about 30 ounces of Jacob/Alpaca blend and Shetland/Nylon blend that will become a sweater when I settle on a pattern. Both of those wools can be seen in the basket above and the plied ball of them together that will be the yarn for the sweater.

He mostly was kidding me, as I have been an easy on the budget wife, I hate to shop, I don’t have my hair and nails done, I love to cook, I wear very little jewelry. But I do love my spindles and the calming effect of making yarn on them.