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Autumn is here…

September 9, 2011

Yes, yes it is. No, I’m not paying attention to the hot weather and the preponderance of mosquitoes. It’s here, dammit! Do you know how I know it’s here? I keep buying wool sweaters (well, let’s be honest, I’ve been collecting Goodwill finds all summer) for wearing and for felting and turning into other things. Like mittens. I made soup for the first time since spring. Chicken and corn chowder. It was delicious. Roasting chicken for two hours with basting ever half hour is a new hobby (just parts, though, not a whole one). I’ve even rendered chicken fat down to schmaltz. I saved bacon fat from all those BLTs this summer, too (much easier to do when you bake the bacon). Both are now residing in my fridge. The bacon fat has made excellent fried egg sandwiches, which I’ve also become obsessed with.

Oh, and I got laid off. But it’s kind of okay, because I’m now going to school full-time (instead of part-time) and I don’t have to drive as much and I spend less money because I’m making less and I actually have time to work out (and, oddly enough, do so). Although what I’ll do when I’m all graduated in the spring and student loans come do, I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll have a job by then. If not, I’ll be kind of screwed.

I’m also kind of, sort of, maybe someday going to start an Etsy store. Or rather, I already have, except I haven’t listed anything to sell yet. I’ve got stuff ready to go up, I just have to take the damn pictures.

Oh, and the FarmHouse project? Yep, still going. Which is why I haven’t posted anything all summer.

Here are some things that happened this summer:

  1. I got laid off in July. Bummer.
  2. I got a free, vintage New Home, console-mounted 1940s electric sewing machine that mostly works.
  3. I got a free, vintage New Home, portable-with-carrying-case 1940s electric sewing machine that I’m not sure if it works or not because I haven’t tested it yet. And yes, it’s exactly the same as my first one, only portable.
  4. I knitted a lot.
  5. I helped a friend can peaches.
  6. I hoarded more wool and wool blend yarn than is probably good for me.
  7. I went thrift store shopping. A lot.
  8. I went home to Fargo for a visit and a family reunion and it was awesome.
  9. I became obsessed with wool sweaters from thrift stores (hello? Can’t go wrong with a 100% wool sweater in good conditions for $2.50-5.00) and both wearing them and turning them in to other things.
  10. I spent way too much time on Etsy.
  11. I discovered and have since become somewhat disillusioned of GnomeTown, one of those stupid games on Facebook.
  12. I did not cook as much as I should have, mostly because it was so damn hot outside.
  13. I went swimming in rock pools.
  14. I went hiking. A lot.
  15. I learned the joys of salted tomatoes.
  16. I bought a lot of new cookbooks and weeded out some (read: a quarter of my stash) old ones.
  17. I set up the craft room. Mostly.
  18. I purchased and cleaned/refurbished some ridiculously cheap vintage furniture.
  19. I did not spend enough time outside.
  20. I got viciously and repeatedly and subversively attacked by mosquitoes, who somehow did not like the taste of the boy, just my feet and ankles. Seriously, at one point I had over 40 bites on each foot/leg. It sucked.
  21. I started doing homework again. Yikes!
  22. I for some reason became obsessed with the impending apocalypse after reading “Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs” randomly at Barnes & Noble one night after trying to escape the heat.
  23. I started writing fiction again.
  24. I got uber-frugal in my cooking/prep. My little fridge-top freezer is getting full again, and it doesn’t even have ice cream in it.
Okay, I think that’s a long enough list, no? So here’s my To Do list for fall:
  1. For godssakes can something! Applesauce sounds delicious and ridiculously easy.
  2. Make ridiculous amounts of soup and share it with people.
  3. Get the sewing machines fixed, or at least cannibalize one so that the other works.
  4. Once said machines are fixed, start sewing shit and wearing/using/decorating with it or put it on Etsy. Curtains and produce bags are high on the list. Followed by clothes and satchels.
  5. Continue to look for a job.
  6. In the meantime, do a really well in school.
  7. Try to keep the house clean on a regular basis – especially the kitchen, because having a clean kitchen makes me want to cook more.
  8. Learn some new knitting techniques because mine, while skilled, are rather limited.
  9. Finish cleaning up the previously filthy basement (no really, you have no idea), particularly the giant double sink to be used for hand-washing sweaters, of which I now have a boat load.
  10. Using plastic mesh, 1×1″ wooden slats, rope, and some nails, build myself a giant hanging sweater rack to flat-dry said handwashed sweaters.
  11. Throw some parties, because for godssakes your side porch with fireplace was built for them.
  12. Actually pick up my violin and/or guitar occasionally.
  13. Start baking instead of buying bread.
  14. Keep the yard looking decent.
  15. Continue to compost, but turn the pile every once in a while so the animals stop eating all the scraps.
Does anyone else always feel like fall is more “new-beginning-y” than New Year’s? Maybe I’ve been too-long steeped in academic life. It’s just really nice.
Also, remember when I said I was going to write a cookbook? Yeah, still working on that, but with new angles. Mainly, peasant/farm-style food and American flavors and forgotten vegetables and promoting frugality and cooking from scratch. Should be awesome.
And now that I’ve FINALLY updated this blog, it’s late and I’m off to bed. But not before I quickly wash the crock pot and start my favorite overnight whole grain porridge. It’s seriously wonderful. I might even share the recipe with you tomorrow. 😀
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