Well that was a long break! I hadn't intended to pause quite so long between posts but life has been busy trundling along and blogging has very much taken a back seat.
Inspired by this lovely blogger I have been doing some planning. I usually think ahead to our next project(s) but these past few weeks I have planning much further ahead. She planted a seed a while ago now when she blogged about planning for a whole year at a time. When I first read the post I thought it would never work for us, but the thoughts stayed with me and so I found myself sitting down and planning a whole year for Cameron. At the moment it is mostly just a framework, I have organised the first six weeks and will work on the next six soon, with our Advent project that will take us to Christmas. I spend quite a bit of time each weekend planning the following week and whilst I will still have to do a little each week I am hoping it will reduce the time I need to spend. In a way I had already started to do this as the work I am doing with Alice at the moment we started back at Easter and it will take us up to Advent. I will plan her next year in early 2017.
We have been enjoying lots of lovely books recently. I read a chapter book to them both every lunchtime, it always needs to be suitable for them both and is often aimed at Alice rather than Cameron, to balance things up for him I also read them a different book each at night. We are on Swallows and Amazons for Cameron and the Little House in the Big Woods for Alice, these are both my old copies from my childhood, the latter I bought when I was seven the former when I was twelve. It has been lovely to revisit these old favourites. I am reading a fascinating History book myself, about the social history of the Home during the different periods of prehistory. The author is an archaeologist who has been working on this period for many years, I have read other books by him and have enjoyed them. I am glad I found this on the shelves of my library.
Last Friday I had intended to write a daybook post, the in the kitchen and around the house categories would have made interesting reading on that day. I had taken delivery of a big food order from a wholesale company part of which was frozen. We have a large chest freezer in our garage which was in desperate need of some attention, it is not it was full but there was not much space due to the large quantity of ice that had built up inside. In order to be able to get the vegetables, fruit and butter in there I needed to empty it and scrape out the ice. Have you ever emptied your freezer and found unexplained objects in there, perhaps it is just me, I think I went through a period of not labelling things thinking I would remember what they were! The ice came out easily, not really knowing what to do with it I put it in the bath to defrost! The unexplained objects were put in boxes in the kitchen to defrost along with several very old (2011) bags of fruit, we had a delicious blackberry and apple crumble for tea that night. Now that the frozen items were dealt with I could check the rest of the order off which resulted in big bags of food on the hall and porch floors. Cameron slept through all these goings on (he was very tired after a long cycle ride with friends the day before) and when he did he was most bemused by the ice in the bath and the food all over the floor!
We visited a local pick your own recently, it is a place that I have driven past numerous times but have never actually been too I wanted to take a look round to see what it was like. It was a really wet day and we were the only ones there, but we came home with four kilos of plums and plans to visit again, hopefully to pick apples and pears in a few weeks time. I have had a go at fermenting some of the plums, not sure how they will turn out but they smell good! The emptying of the freezer made me realise how many blackcurrants I have in there so I have used a kilo to try my hand at blackcurrant vinegar. We have tasted this but have never made it before, I will let you know how I get on. The weather here has been cool and wet for the past three weeks but that has gone now and it has warmed up considerably and everything is drying out. I have been wanting to pick some comfrey leaves to make into a salve, I already have some plantain leaves soaking in oil to do the same with them, but they need to dry when you pick them. I think that will be this weeks job as long as the weather holds!
I would like to say a huge thank you for the wonderfully supportive comments on the recent post I wrote about home education. They were very comforting to read, thank you all so much.