Deep into summer, I think about the concept of settling and settling in. I have imaged and envisioned this home for many years. Now that the dream has become a reality, it takes regular reminders that it is reality and not a dream. I easily forget. The beauty is overwhelming. When my sons do something astonishing like acknowledging how overwhelmed they are by the beauty, I nearly fall to my knees in supplication and thanks. I have been adrift regarding my writing and blogging. I have lost my voice or rather my voice is not as fervent and eager. Having made the dream real has opened a wide space around me in which my voice is not contained. When you shout at the top of your lungs from inside a 50 gallon drum, it’s deafening. Now I can hoot and holler at the top of my lungs from my wide 3.5 acres and the sound is lost amidst the train whistle, quail calls, black crows, whispering pines and rolling thunder. I also find I rarely feel the urgent need to shout. Many days and most night (especially if the boys are not home) I barely say a word. While silence can be unnerving, I have practiced being still and being quiet in my head and heart. My fundamental needs are well satisfied. Now I have the joy and blessing to focus on the things I want. Here are a few of my recent discoveries:
- Mia Dyson, an Australian singer who got guidance from Andy Stewart of the Eurythmics. She comes from that strong Aussie singer/song writer tradition that I am so enamored. I first found Clare Bowditch and then Josh Pyke. I have her latest album The Moment in heavy rotation.
- high bush blueberries snatched at the farmers’ market this morning for $5/bucket. This adds an additional eight shrubs to my current seven. I have highly acidic soil that is perfect for the blueberries. I will plant them in a staggered line and add them to the drip irrigation. I even have five bales of pine straw for mulching.
- Breadbeckers in Georgia is shipping me my first grain mill. I will start grinding my own wheat from organic, non-GMO wheat.The super wheat will be high in gluten (wheat protein). I am skeptical regarding the abundance of people claiming a gluten allergy. I really think most people are reacting to the GMO grains(wheat, corn and soy). I have been making slow changes to my diet and my food supply since moving into the house. I want to try to source as much of what I eat from local or close (less than 300 miles) sources. I want heirloom varieties or those varieties that have a long local history. I have hunted for saved seeds and native fruits and trees.
- I snuck eggplant into my spaghetti sauce last night. I’ve been cooking the same “meat sauce” recipe for spaghetti since 1995. My ex-husband perfected in while I was pregnant with our first son. I made it last night with green bell peppers from the garden and a medium sized calliope eggplant, diced into small pieces. No one noticed the additions and I have a second pot in the freezer for later in the month.
- Neil Gaiman‘s latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, was stunning and eery. We listened to the novel while driving to Tennessee for a family wedding. I hope he is writing a sequel or prequel.
- Ikea powertrips: Knowing exactly what I wanted and needed from Ikea, the boys and I managed to get in and out of the Atlanta Ikea store in less than 44 minutes. We set a record time. I now have a completed office and the great room is 85% finished.
- Serialized TV shows. I binged watched the Israeli series Prisoners of War. I devoured the first two seasons of The Killing on AMC. The boys are daring me to start watching Dr. Who. With seven seasons, I might risk missing work if it was good. We watched The Newsroom‘s first season and eagerly await season two starting tomorrow night.
- Wild blackberries: I had an abundant crop of wild blackberries and managed to put up 8 jars of blackberry syrup and 8 jars of jam. I have 2 cups of milled, seedless blackberry juice waiting for plums to be ripe so I can make plum blackberry jam.
- Popsicle and shakes: The boys and I had glorious shakes made with hand scooped ice cream after a hot, sweaty morning of hiking the Burgess Falls in Tennessee. We came home intent on making our own shakes. I bought a shake maker off Amazon and ordered two different Popsicle molds – one looks a wee bit pornographic – and we shall set about making healthy yogurt and fruit Popsicle. The homemade shakes are indeed heavenly and perfect made with organic whole milk and Haagen Daaz ice cream. Haagen daaz is the only ice cream with all natural and pronounceable ingredients.