Sunday, April 11, 2010

The End of Vacation

Today was my last day of vacation, and you can imagine I am sorry to see it end. We managed to finish on a high note, getting the new strawberry plants in the ground, the raspberry bushes planted, a quart of ramps dried and redbuds steeping for redbud jelly.

It feels good to see the gardens in such good shape. The potatoes are coming up, lettuce is almost ready to pick, and the greenhouse is full of seedlings.
In the house, my flower and herb seeds are sprouting in their little individual "greenhouses"--I just fill flowerpots with potting soil, plant the seeds, add a label, and put the whole thing into a gallon freezer bag. They sprout beautifully, and I save the bags to re-use the following year.
The new herb garden is dug and ready to be prepared for planting. I got some mulch spread and some weeds pulled but still have a lot more to do. But for mid-April I feel like we're on top of the gardens.

We had some fun this week too--going to my friend Melissa Dennison's farm to buy herbs, salve and soaps, visiting yard sales and junk shops, firepit time, Larry went ramp-digging and got this bag-full.
Yesterday our oldest grandson brought five friends over and I cooked dinner for them and two granddaughters. We had a feast: four kinds of quiche made from my eggs, homemade crusts, and various fillings, corn and green beans, cornbread, salad and peach cobbler with whipped cream. With so many veggies and fruits in the freezer and cellar, and the chickens laying like crazy, fixing a meal like this is low-cost, even for 11 people. It was heartwarming to see these young people so interested in our way of life. One said, "No one lives like this any more. This is the coolest thing!" I loved it, and was encouraged that perhaps there is hope that the younger generation values the old ways and might want to give at least some of it a try one day.

Our junking trips yielded a porch swing, four wood folding chairs (great for when we have a crowd here), a hand-knitted sweater, a lovely crystal decanter, two hand-painted wineglasses, and a Revereware stainless steel large skillet with lid, a wicker wall cabinet for the bathroom, and a six-foot long coffee table made from American chestnut, along with a few other things.
The oddest thing was this pretty hobnail glass bowl that someone spraypainted gold--under the gold paint it is cranberry-colored glass overwashed with white. I think it might be Fenton glass, but if it is it is a second because as I've been cleaning away the gold paint I can see imperfections. Still, it was a great deal for a quarter, I think. I'm still trying to find an easy way to get the paint off, though. Any ideas?

It's been a very good week, and I am tired, sun-kissed and sore. It will be hard to get in the car and head out of here tomorrow, but all good things must end, I suppose, and my muscles could use a little rest.


Jason Burns said...

Wow! An American Chestnut coffee table? John's parents have one, too!

I love your stories about junkin', because its one of my hobbies too.

As for the paint, maybe you could soak it in something? Like maybe alcohol or some other solvent?

Janet, said...

Sounds like you got a good haul at the yard sales. I'm cutting back on bringing things in from yard sales, we've run out of room. It's a shame someone spray painted that pretty bowl. I love hobnail.

Deer Camp Diva said...

I wish I were a lot further along on my garden. I planted carrots and beets in January but nothing since. I did start a pack of Hungarian Wax Pepper seeds indoors but not one dang seed sprouted - must have been a old pack of seeds.

Redbud jelly - never heard of it, I'll have to give it a Google.

Sounds like you had a fantastic feast! I miss fresh chicken eggs. Can't wait to get more chickens - a fox got my cochins a couple of years back and I haven't gotten anymore. I need to fix up the duck pen and get a few hens in there.

Soak your lovely hobnail dish in acetone.

Twisted Fencepost said...

I've been experimenting with herbs a little this year.
Have you transplanted any ramps to your place before?
Sorry your vacation had to come to an end.

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