I have been crazy busy – as last weekend approached my husband and I realized we really needed a 5 day weekend – one for the cross-country meet and garage-cleaning we had planned for Saturday, one for the Art’s Fair on Sunday, one to clean the house and do laundry, one for catching up on work such as grading and preparing classes, and one just to vegetate. Unfortunately, we only had the two days.
All in all in was a fine weekend though. Friday was the high school carnival. It is their big fundraiser for the year and involves games for the young kids, various foods in the cafeteria served at food booths built by each high school class, a Chinese auction (you put tickets in the cans of items you want and the drawn ticket wins the item) and a live auction followed by lip sync skits by each class. I tried to win a print done by a good friend that included my father’s handwriting – but someone else (a very good person herself) won it. I’m told I’ll be getting a copy as an early Christmas/Birthday present anyway – – yeah!
This year’s theme for carnival was Delavan CSI – What was Carnival like from the 50’s – 80’s. Each class had a decade. I was asked to be a lip sync judge. They like to have a school board member, but it has to be someone without a high school student – this was my last chance for the next 8 years. It was fun, and the seniors won – all told though I think the skits had a record number of young men dressed in drag.
On Saturday my son ran well at his race as did much of the team and my husband and I did get the garage back into shape. Everything had been pulled away from the walls back in May when it was rehabbed and had never been fully put back together. We needed to get it in shape so we can put the cars in when the frost hits – which really could be any time now.
On Sunday my husband and I got to go to an Art Fair – alone! The kids didn’t want to come and they are old enough and responsible enough to stay home alone. It was wonderful. We spent too much money, but we got some Christmas presents for each other and family (and for at least one item we don’t even know who will get it). We bought some art for the house. Here’s one by Lou Zale. We have 3 more of his pieces from previous years – photographs (film, not digital and not altered) with an often whimsical quality.
We also bought a glass globe for the garden and some blown glass drinking glasses for very special occasions. For ourselves we bought pewter wine goblets – light and pretty and just waiting for a chardonnay or maybe a merlot – actually, I don’t think they are picky and any wine will taste especially yummy served in these.
Yesterday was full from dawn until late. I got to work to find a message from the elementary school; my daughter was ill. A consultation with my husband and we decided he was in a better position to cancel his classes than I was. So I was able to put in a full day of work. Then I went to a friends to see her house rehab, but more importantly the babies (the recipients of the baby blankets), but more importantly than that, to take the mom out to dinner – her fourth outing sans babies in 8 weeks.
But I wasn’t done yet. Then it was get home, kiss everyone hello and goodbye and head to a school board meeting. It was a very long meeting. Not at all tedious though – we had a number of important issues to hear about and deal with, so it did not feel like a waste of my time in the least, but I’m just not used to getting home at 11:00 at night.
Up this morning at 6 a.m. and off to work by 7. My husband dropped my daughter at my office at 8:30 (she was still feeling a bit low). I had class until 10:30 then we came home. Frankly, I needed the break.
I was able to get some work done, and I had a chance to say hello to the bees. No honey to harvest, but the bees seem to be doing fine, as far as I can tell. Here’s a frame of comb they made:
And here’s my helper today:
Speaking of honey, last week I helped my friend Bill harvest some honey. He borrowed a hand cranked extractor (it spins the frames and the honey is pulled from the cells by centrifugal force) and I had a 5 gallon honey bucket with a filter. It took us about 2 hours [used to say 6 – – it only took 2 hours] to extract about 6 frames of honey and bottled about 1.5 gallons. I left with a 2 pint jar for my efforts. Next year I hope to be able to harvest my own.
Oh, and the garden. Our latest crop has been the sweet potatoes. We grilled some with white potatoes and carrots the other day. Good eatin’. We still have carrots in the ground but are short on storage space. I prefer to store them in the fridge – we haven’t had luck keeping them in the basement. We have juiced some, and that is tasty. Perhaps I’ll grate some for carrot cake this weekend.
Still to come are sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) and pears. The pears seem to be ready to come in – they won’t ripen until they are off the tree. Someone was out there recently knocking them down – a raccoon perhaps. Still, there are enough to share. The sunchoke crop doesn’t seem as large as past years, but I think it will suffice.
All said and done, how green has my life been of late? The commute to work is never very green except that I drive a Ford Focus and get about 29 mpg – even with 194,000 miles. I did break down and turn on the heat in the house this afternoon since my daughter was sick and it was 60 degrees inside and only 59 out. It took the chill off, but now the heat is off again for as long as we can stand it. We’re eating from the garden quite a bit, supporting the local grocery store too, so that’s good, green, and socially appropriate. But, we’re driving to cross-country meets all over the tri-county area – all the driving is probably our worst offense.
We can’t do it all, but we do what we can.