Saturday, August 25, 2018

August Update

August is a good time to clear out and make space in the chest freezer. For me, that means taking the remaining bags of whole pecans from the last harvest and cracking them so there will be lots of nuts ready for holiday baking. The nutmeats take less room than the whole nuts, and the chickens just love picking through the shells. Everybody wins. 

While I was busy shelling nuts, my single zucchini plant was sneakily producing baseball bat-sized squashes. No worries--these make wonderful zucchini spaghetti when run through the spiralizer. Even the very largest ones still taste great. 

In my last post I described my experiment with gradient dyeing of yarn. Here is what that yarn looked like out of the dyepot and when knit into a baby sweater. I'm hoping there is enough yarn from this dye batch to complete the sleeves. Gracie the cat looks pretty confident that all will work out.

The gradient-dyed yarn with the accidental white spots from being tied too tightly

The white spots showed up as random flecks, which Gracie and I actually like. 

In between experimental dye pots, I was working on this Easy Peazy Shawlette from a skein of Mineville Wool Project sock yarn in the Solar Flare colorway. I finished the piece in plenty of time for my sister's birthday. She liked it! and she put together the perfect outfit to go with it, including several of her handmade necklaces. 

August is chile harvesting time here in the Mesilla Valley, and the high school Future Farmers of America had a fundraiser/green chile roast. It was like a big party--country music, lots of kids in cowboy hats and boots slinging big bags of freshly roasted chiles around, and the wonderful smell of chiles roasting over an open flame. It was a great reminder of why we live here. 

BZ photo

When we got our twenty pounds of roasted chiles home, we cooled them in ice water, drained them, and packed them into quart ziplock bags. Now you know why I wanted more room in the freezer! Now we have bags and bags of chiles ready to use for green chile cheeseburgers, chiles rellenos, enchiladas, burritos, and all the other delicious New Mexican dishes we love.

BZ photo

I've been working on the last paint details for the living room. I scrubbed down all the old worn thresholds and painted them to match the rest of the room. Henry helped, as you can see from this photo taken between coats of paint.

My morning walk has to take place a little later now since the days are growing noticeably shorter and my old starting time is quite a bit before sunrise. The crops are growing well in all the fields we pass, but the ditches are now empty and the farmers are irrigating with groundwater from wells, instead of ditch water from the Rio Grande. 

The view is the same, but the ditch is empty now. 

In addition to the views, we also come across the occasional bit of wildlife!

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