Heat of Summer

We are heading into the heat of summer now. An early morning walk was in order, trying to beat the heat of the day. The effort was not entirely successful, as it was hot and humid before 7:00 a.m., and the sun was blistering as soon as it rose above the horizon. But the walk was accomplished, a good thing.

Attila estimates that it will be a full year of catching up, after retirement. There are projects that have been sitting for some time, waiting. One of those projects was the wood from the two mature Ash trees we had felled over the last few years. The logs and branches were piled high in the back corner of the yard. Although small branches were dealt with by the fellow who felled the trees, there was still a lot left to be dealt with. I stopped helping with that project when my aneurysm was discovered, so we left it for later. There will be no more chain saw work, or wood splitting for me, which is a disappointment, but I am grateful to know enough not to take risks.

For the last two days Attila has been hard at work on that pile of wood. He separated the large trunk logs from the smaller branch logs, and removed the bark. There was a LOT of bark. The night before last he spent from 6:50 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning, burning the bark. We have a burn permit, and it stipulates that burning can only be conducted two hours before sunset until two hours before sunrise. We do not have a trailer or any reasonable means of transporting the bark to a dump site, so burning was the option we chose.

After burning the bark, the task of sawing the branches into short sections took a whole day. Then he moved on to splitting the smaller logs. Today all of the smaller logs should be dealt with, and the large trunk logs need to be split. A maul will be purchased to do that job, those logs are a few feet in diameter, and have been sitting in the weather for over a year, they will be tough to split.

When the Ash tree project is complete, we will have firewood to use in emergency situations.

The garden continues to draw the rest of Attila’s attention. Luckily this year the fence is keeping the rabbits out. But it doesn’t deter the bugs, and they are fierce this year. Earwigs destroyed the Nappa cabbage, but luckily Attila has been able to keep ahead of the flea beetles, and the potato beetles. The edible pod peas on the the other hand, have given us a magnificent crop. Every day the plants yield at least a quart of pea pods. Last years carrots were left to overwinter, and are lovely shredded in a stir fry, and in green salads. The Golden Acre cabbages are coming in now, tender and sweet.

There are lots of other plants that have not yielded a crop as of yet, it is too early, and they look hopeful. Kohlrabi, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, beans, peppers, onions, tomatoes, come to mind.

It has taken a bit of time for me to fully recover from the colonoscopy, and I am back up to speed now. Another batch of Kombucha is bubbling away on the counter. I am trying to rescue the sourdough, it does not seem to be going well, but perhaps it is too early to tell. Sourdough works best I think, if you are producing baked goods frequently, or in larger quantities. Traditional methods of tending to sourdough involve discarding half, and I would not willingly discard food. So I think there is a real element of resistance in my approach to sourdough starter and I wonder if the organisms just are not feeling the love.

I continue to make efforts with the sourdough starter. Sometimes it takes a lot of failure to get a feel for something new.

I have been limiting my eating time to between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Since I usually arise before 6:00 a.m., the wait for breakfast seems endless. I keep myself very busy to pass the time between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., but it still passes slowly. I’ve now taken to setting the timer at 8:45 a.m., to remind me to start the kettle for my morning coffee, and to start preparing breakfast.

At the other end of the my eating time, 6:00 p.m., I usually feel full, and will not eat much after an early supper.

The biggest challenge to this eating regime is that I work with food a lot during times when I do not eat. For instance, I usually start my bread early in the morning, and have to remember not to lick my fingers. In the evening it can be difficult to remember not to taste things I am canning or cooking. I’ve had to watch myself.

As far as the buzz from Kombucha is concerned, I believe it was the caffeine in the green tea. I had been leaving the tea bags in until the tea cooled. Now I only leave the tea bags in for 15 minutes. The buzz is gone, which is a good thing.

I don’t drink regular tea. I have never thrown out a tea bag. I have a rather large collection of tea bags, randomly collected over a period of fifty years. Some of it is green tea, which is making delicious Kombucha. I think I will give other types a try for Kombucha, to see how that works out. But the green tea Kombucha will be made constantly, and is a must for daily consumption. When the green tea bags that I have run out, I plan on buying loose green tea. I’ve found a store about an hour from here that specializes in loose teas, so a visit there will be fun in the future.

Since we do as much for ourselves as we possibly can, day-to-day tasks take up a lot of our time. For instance, my day usually begins with stretches, then into the kitchen to get the bread making started, or muffins, or check newly canned food for bad seals, washing, labelling etc., filling containers from our stores. I think container management is the most consistent activity, requiring daily attention. Instead of throwing packaging away, we are washing it, storing it, and reusing it. Our vegetable scraps go into our compost bins, there are three of them, and we might need another. Then there is our drinking water, we use tap water, but I run it through the Berkey before using it for food preparation or drinking. New forms of self-reliance come into our lives, and are added to the list of daily/weekly/monthly chores. Fermenting Kombucha is an example of that, the sourdough another. And there are still many things to learn about. I continue to experiment with flatbreads, and haven’t got a handle on them yet. Pasta making is on our list.

All this is to say that we are constantly busy just taking care of ourselves. Much of that entails repetitive tasks, not very glamorous, but very nourishing to body and soul.

I amaze myself in my ability to fill a page with words about a life as dull as mine!! It is nice to be good at something.



Updated on Thu, Jul 4 at 10:27 AM
Partly cloudy
Wind 11 SW km/h
Humidity 78 %
Visibility 22 km
Sunrise 5:29 AM
Wind gust 16 km/h
Pressure 101.2 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:54 PM


“Believe nothing against another but on good authority; and never report what may hurt another, unless it be a greater hurt to some other to conceal it.”
William Penn
1644 – 1718

Unfortunately technology has confused a good portion of the population as just what constitutes a good authority, e.g. social media influencers, great career, easy money, very entertaining, but not authoritative resources in my opinion, which is not popular opinion.

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I whole-heartedly agree that media influencers are usually not authoritative sources. Fortunately, turns out the ones I’ve found online are either acknowledged experts by well-regarded mainstream media or people that are test gardens for well-known nurseries (Proven Winners).

Maggie, are you producing too much sourdough starter to freeze it?

I hear you about Attila taking the first year of retirement to get most things around the house done. We went through that too. But oh what a treat as each item is finished!