Preserving the Harvest

Just as I harvest vintage pieces from estate sales, flea markets, second-hand stores and friend’s attics, making them useful and loved again, I also reap the harvest of the land. I’m still building up the orchard and have yet to put in a veggie garden, but the friends and neighbors with a plentiful supply and the farmers markets, provide all that I need. I was gifted a bucket of Sebastopol Gravenstein apples from my Aunt at our family reunion.

The Gravenstein was first introduced to North America in 1811 and is the first apple to ripen in late July.

The apples were ripe and ready to go. We made 5 apple pies for the family reunion and I took my bucket home to dry and freeze. My process uses an apple peeler, corer to remove the seeds, stems and skins.

It’s a beautiful process. The green and red skin piling up in a neat little mass. The house sweet with the smell of fresh apples.

The first batch went into the dehydrator. Cut the rings apart, dip in food fresh, spread on the racks and turn on the machine. By dinner the next day I had a gallon zip bag filled up. The plan was to re-hydrate in December and make pies. Alas, the daughter and her friends discover this little stash and enjoyed most of it. I assure you, those kids would not have eaten that many fresh apples if they had been place on a stick surrounded by caramel.

So I have to take time out from furniture re-purposing to preserve the harvest. Next up… tomatoes!

Hope you’re enjoying this bountiful season.


Miss Ellie


Dear Blog

It’s been so long. I’ve missed you. Have you been busy? I have! This summer has just flown by and now its fall. Can you believe it?

Lets catch up. Grab a cup of tea and we’ll chat.

In early August I had the cottage painted. I went with a professional. It was a hard decision being a DIYer. But they had the tools, I did  not. They had the time, I did not. It was a good price, although just barely within my budget. I got to work with them; sanding and scraping and spraying. I learned a great deal about painting a house. Being an exterior situation the paint had to survive harsh winters and blazing summers, creating a shield against the elements. Unlike painting furniture where we want a chippy, faded look. Not so much on my house. If you’re hiring a pro ask to see samples that are 10, 15, 20 years old. You’ll know how long the job will look good. I still have shutters and window boxes to paint and install but here’s a peek at the color.

When the house was done I promptly went on the family vacation. A little sister time, a little Mom and Dad time, a little me time. Well, not me alone time, but me away from the ‘to do’ list time. We tried new food, new beverages and new yoga poses (with my Dad). The mornings were cool, the days hot, and the evenings beautiful.

With the cottage painted I could now tackle the landscaping. So for the later part of August or was it early September, I worked landscaping after the day job.  I dug up the rock path at the front of the cottage and moved it to the drive way. I used the cement blocks from around the trees to start a flower bed. I’m 32 blocks short so when the budget allows I’ll get more. I had to dig up half the lawn so it wouldn’t grow back. I’ll tell ya, it could have been back braking but my new exercise plan has made me a lot stronger. Oh! I didn’t tell you about my new plan?

In September I moved compost. Once the flower bed was complete I had to figure out how to fill it with some good dirt. My native soil is mostly clay and grows natives just fine, but I wanted to branch out seeing as I was going to fence it off from the Deer. Yes, I have deer that dine in my yard. It’s an amazing nuance. I love to  see the babies in the spring but hate how they eat everything I like to plant. So I was watching Freecycle and a lady posted she had compost/manure available. “Great” I thought. I’ll just fill the bed and let it mellow over the winter. Turns out she has a never-ending supply. Yah! I go every two weeks or so with my little trailer and pick up two loads. I should have it filled up by… Oh… say December.

And some where in late August I hosted with my parents the family reunion of about 50 family members, who came to town and then tacked on a 50th wedding anniversary for my parents at the end of it. Busy, busy.

And here comes fall. I love this time of year. I have several things brewing on the horizon that have me excited and energized. As they come about I’ll share. Can’t jinx anything.

And you. Have you been swamped lately and neglecting the blog?


Miss Ellie