summer descending

the longest day is past, and still i can rise with the sun shortly after five and wish it to sleep somewhere between nine and ten. the days are ripe and long, with time enough for a siesta in the afternoon and still substantial amounts of work on either side of that. i have slowed down a tiny bit since the end of spring as i healed up from a three-week sickness and my schedule got a bit less full. we celebrated solstice with a land day party, which started and ended at my place (with a great fire surrounded by friends) and left me yearning and full up on this awesome life we're building out in the middle of nowhere.

here are a couple of recent pictures so you can tell we haven't been too lazy -

rejoice has been writing a Lot of letters. i think she sent about fifteen or so to acorn alone. needless to say, that's been drawing down the one little bottle of ink i've ever purchased... so a few days ago i grabbed the bag of walnuts i'd been saving since last fall, and she and i hammered away at them while watching a kid's movie on my laptop (the guardians of ga'hoole) with nightshade and ingrid. i've seen plenty of vague recipes for how to make ink from walnut hulls, but never many specifics. well, we mashed the hulls off the nuts, then hammered the hulls into smaller bits, stuck three handfuls into a quart pot full of water, and boiled 'em for 2-3 hours. somewhere near the end of that time, after adding more and more water, we strained out the hulls and added a splash of vinegar and salt to 'set' the ink. i declared it done when it was reduced to 1/2 a baby food jar's worth that looked slightly thicker than it had been. it writes beautifully, has only the tiniest halo of ink, a Gorgeous color, and does not seem to mind a bit of rain or sun exposure. hooray! i will never purchase ink again.

i am painting this chair blue. i bought the chair (a school desk, really) at the last dog and gun for $5. it's perfect for a lot of the crafty work i do that requires a ready flat surface (not abundant out here in the wilds). the paint came from a dumpster on a recent city trip, and is such a lovely blue! i can't wait to have this desk chair in my summer house, with no bugs around, where i will sip herbal teas and paint pretty things.

the red caps are growing up. i got a 'straight run' of 7, which means they're not guaranteed to be a particular sex, and i've ended up with four roosters and three hens. that's Mighty, over there on the right, with the impressive comb and wattles. he is not the biggest, but he is one self-assured son of a bitch. and he's nice in all the important ways so far, so hopefully within the next few weeks we'll slaughter a couple of roosters, have some tasty meals, and get lots of pretty feathers to play with.

nightshade is making us a rocket stove out of clay, straw, (sand?) and bits of trash/recycling from neighbors. soon we will no longer cook with propane. instead we'll use free splits (shim size, 40-60" pieces of scrap wood) from a local mennonite furniture maker, which are easy to come by and a great and easily splittable size for rocket stoves.

here is our new fridge. it is a beautifully dug hole (thank you rejoice!) that fits our largest cooler (not the one shown) AND a bucket, all below ground level for extra cooling powers. i heard ingrid call it our 'Frigidaire'. now if that is not f*ckin fancy, i don't know what is.

the billboard tarp blew off the summer house in a recent storm. so it's roofless again. none of our shelters are rain proof. often times, this is a very sad/frustrating/horrible thing. most days it doesn't matter. though i can't help but appreciate the magic of the walnut trees above my beautiful reciprocal roof. i love the way this looks, and knowing that i cut these poles by hand and that rejoice and i peeled them together makes them even better. i love this house with so much of my heart already.

i got a nasty old trash pile window cleaned up and ready to go into the summer house. i've had it for i Think three years now... i'm pretty sure it had some lead paint on it. i sanded it down and cleaned the glass and prepared a space for it right next to where my bed will be, so i can look out and watch the sunrise filtered through a lush bottomland forest. oh, the glory of my life to come.

i've started attaching the battens to my summer house. they're those oakwood splits i mentioned up by the rocket stove picture. we hauled a pile of the heftier ones down to the summer house, and i've been cutting them to size and attaching them to cover all the gaps between the pallet wood siding. nightshade has started helping too, and we are well over 1/4 done. i'm hoping that the battens, along with a bit of strategic plastering and a finish floor, will keep bugs out. it will be so lovely to have a house that i don't share with hundreds of bugs!

and now you're caught up after my two months of blog-slacking. of course a million other things have happened, but those are most of the highlights. if you're aching for more, just remember that the reason i'm not posting is because i'm out there Living, and you're welcome to join me. for a day, for a few days, for longer if we get along - my home is open to friends in all its glory and squalor. come play with us :)

and if you can't come visit and still want to support me, i've got an etsy shop and herbal stuff for sale and you can just tell me if'n you think i got somethin you want to trade for monies of some form and we'll work out a deal. remember, you're fueling the living dream of a witchy homesteader who really, really needs it! <3


memeticist said…
indeed, living the dream. And it turns out that the dream is not fabulously expensive, at least not the dream we are chasing.

Thanks for the refresh, i want more people to check and see what this pioneering lifestyle looks like.

And you capture pieces of it so well, even under deadline. Big Thanks

Paxus at Twin Oaks