The days, weeks and months are starting to run together as we start scheduling out to my due date in December. The cool shift in weather makes it feel like fall when it should be scorching hot so I can dust off my maternity swimsuit and make use of it a few more times before summer is truly over. The countdown until school starts has begun and it always makes me a little sad. No more late night bonfires, letting the kids stay up late chasing fireflies and roasting s’mores.
This week I managed to get all my pickles canned. I tried a few different varieties out of my official Ball canning book. Hamburger dill slices, sweet sandwich pickles and our favorite jalapeno dill pickles. My Mom came and helped me with the last batch of pickles, before we loaded up Nathan and headed to the city to visit Dan, grocery shop and then treat ourselves to some frozen custard.
Saturday I got a lesson in sauerkraut making, as you saw from the pictures above. I had two really nice big heads of cabbage and my friend brought a few purple and green heads. The effect of the two together will mean that we’ll actually end up with pink sauerkraut as the purple and pale green ferment together. How fun is that?! I don’t care how it looks, just as long as it has the healthy pro-biotics of the fermentation process, plus I LOVE kraut on grilled brats. It must be the German in me, I guess. Sooo….. the cabbage rests in a 5 gallon pail at the top of the basement steps out of Nathan’s reach doing it’s thing for a week or so, until it tastes just right. Then it will be packed in jars and stored in the fridge. I can’t wait!
Nathan is talking non-stop now, although most of it sounds like a jack-of-all-trades musician. A funny combination of scat singing, yodeling and lip buzzing like a trumpeter preparing for a performance. His latest accomplishment is figuring out how to climb up the fence by the goat pen. He can get up, but not down. He hangs at the top by just his hands with me as the spotter, since he hasn’t quite figured out how to balance and where his feet should go. So I slowly guide his feet down while his tender, strong arms hold on and shimmy down. I’m treating the situation like I did when he learned how to climb stairs. He’s going to do it no matter how I discourage it, so I might as well jump on board and teach him how to come down safely. Climbing seems to be the skill of the week as he can now manage to get up on the couch and recliner by himself. I can’t help but smile when I glance over from the kitchen making enchiladas for dinner and see him paging through one of my magazines in the recliner, sitting like a proper little boy. He’s just SO cute!
I think he might have a very active brother or sister too. There’s been a lot of movement and I’m not sure if it’s due to personality or just the fact that Nathan is always pushing against my belly, as we start learning about body parts and he searches for my belly button underneath layers of maternity clothes. He can identify his toes, belly button and nose.
The Lord smiled down on us and after weeks of rain storms skirting us to the North and South, we finally got several good showers, over an inch yesterday and last night. My third planting of carrots finally emerged and I feel hopeful again. A handful of tomatoes here and there, the usual overly productive zucchini, the fertile cucumbers and the fragile raspberries occupy most of my harvesting time in the garden. The green and wax beans might make a come back with this burst of moisture and more to come. The pumpkins and squash are forming, hiding many of our muskmelons and watermelons, but Dan carefully tiptoed through the tender vines confirming their presence. The okra needs heat, but they are starting to put out the beautiful pale flowers that I always want to use to make a leis or adorn my hair like a little girl.
The week went by so quickly I forgot to take pictures with humans in them, but I am trying to remember to take more family shots. I don’t want to get so busy I forget to enjoy the beauty of our everyday routine. Our daily walks, getting the mail, collecting rocks, snack time, hanging laundry while Nathan hands me clothespins, chasing the chickens, eating raspberries, cucumbers and carrots from the garden, and reading lots of books are all part of our schedule. The fog settled in thick this morning and yesterday, so mornings are inside playing until we layer on our socks and tennis shoes to let out the chickens.
And that’s the news from this Nathan-is-a-climber week on the farm!