Saturday, July 16, 2016

rose tincture update

The rose tincture from earlier this summer is coming along nicely. I was disappointed with the results of the first infusion (it was more appley/rose hip flavored - the perfume of the rose blossoms didn't come through), so I've continued to infuse fresh batches of rose petals every 3-4 weeks. This is the fifth infusion and the perfume is finally coming through. I may do one more infusion before bottling, just to see if I can push it a little further. Never too much rose perfume!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

high summer

Since I'm sick with a cold, let's just look at some pretty pretty pictures I've been snapping on walks in the park lately, shall we? It's strange to think that the hottest part of the summer is still ahead of us; we had a couple weeks of hot weather sprinkled throughout the springtime and now that we've returned to a normal northwest summer (lingering clouds, a marine layer), it feels like ... okay, that was it! Time for apples and pumpkins!

And then the rugosa hedges are already setting their hips and the rowans are covered in brilliant orange berries and even the haws are coming on (but they're still very green). Which is all a bit disorienting ... are you sure it isn't autumn?  

Summers are still a strange time for me. It's only been a couple years that I've been working them, and despite the length of the days, the season does slip so rapidly through your fingers when you only have the weekends (and as exhausting as it is to learn a new job, I really only have the weekends - I am positively crashing when I come home at night).

See? Apples. Some of the apple trees on campus (somehow I never noticed before that there are apple trees on campus - how did I never notice?) are dropping their apples all over the place already. (Oh. Maybe that's why I never noticed; the apples were gone by the time the school year started.) Walking back to work after a yoga-lunch-break this week, I caught the rich, spicy tang of the decaying fruit, a scent that seemed out of step with the hot, summery sunny afternoon weather.

But I'll be sad when the spiraea fades and the fireweed has bloomed all the way up to the tip of its stalk again. These wild flushes of pink are my favorite signs of summer. Okay, autumn can wait. Let's bask a little longer in this glow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


It's been a crazy couple of weeks. My exciting new job comes with ... a real lack of coherent structure/training/orientation. It's a good thing I'm logical, methodical, and extremely driven. I'm working on training myself as quickly as I can. And then my boss suffered a serious injury on July 4th and I haven't seen her since my first day. We're mucking along as best we can, over the phone and I email her things periodically, but she can't really respond via email, but wow. There's nothing like being thrown into the deep end, eh?

Still, despite the fact that I'm completely wiped out when I get home, and though I may have a had a little moment where I almost cracked today, part of me also recognizes that I'm actually incredibly at home in this environment - I thrive in it. Oh, academia. You're so wacky.

So, sorry it's been quiet around here lately. It's been hard enough just managing to DO anything other than work, sleep, and wrap up my final freelancing projects (I've been ending all those commitments, too) that it's a miracle I documented anything. But I did. And hopefully this week, as some things start to level out for me, I'll have time to go through all those photos and share some things.

We did manage to hit the Farmer's Market a couple weeks ago, just as the tart cherries came on the market. That in itself is such a hit-or-miss, blink-and-you'll-miss-it occasion that I've actually started growing a tart cherry tree for our garden to provide us a reliable source in the future. So I did a completely normal thing and bought six pounds of tart cherries without any plan for how to use them. I spent an evening pitting them and then cooked them lightly with a bit of sugar and pectin and lemon juice to make a perfect tart cherry sauce just like my grandfather used to make - just as delightful poured over pancakes, ice cream, or baked into a pie or a tart. Of course, it's just as likely, I'll eat the entirety of every jar with a spoon, like I used to as a kid!!