Back Forty

Back Forty and life update

I’m trying to get back in the habit of journaling or blogging. I’ve been feeling rather flat and it is good for me to write. I find it easy to write but hard to dedicate the time to it when there are so many projects calling to me during the little spare time I have in the spring. So I’m writing this post in bits and pieces as I snag a few minutes during lunch and the mood hits me right.

I’ve spent most of that time in the yard the past few weeks. Sandy and I ripped out most of the vinca and other vines next to the fence. We mulched about half of the paths with cardboard and cypress mulch, and I’ve planted tomatoes, peppers, and leeks in six of the eight half whiskey barrels that used to be our rain barrels. I gave up on these rain barrels because 1) although picturesque and rustic, they were beginning to rot, 2) they were clogging up and breeding mosquitoes, and 3)I discovered that when we were in drought I never had any water stored in them anyway. A lot still needs to be done and I hope that I’ll get more done before the mosquitoes hatch out.

Sunday, I dug up all the leeks in the bed next to the fence, because I’m going to plant my butterbeans there this year. The babies were planted into a barrel for next year’s harvest, and the others were cooked in chicken broth. Some I froze as base for soup, and some I baked in the oven with sliced fennel. I tossed them with a little melted butter and olive oil, poured a little of the broth over them, and sprinkled lemon pepper and fresh parmigiano cheese on top. Oh my God, so good. I planted fennel (a bulbing variety) this year and I hope it is a success since this vegetable is very pricey in the grocery store.

I found a local supplier of loom reeds and he is making me two stainless steel reeds for my Macomber loom at a little more than half the price I can get them elsewhere. Plus I can pick them up and avoid shipping charges! I’m really happy about this, because I am still trying to save money for the India Flint workshop trip. It is due sometime within the next several weeks. I am going to consummate my marriage to this loom by a complicated double weave rag rug project based on the instructions in a book called Weaving Contemporary Rag Rugs that I’ve want to try for years, but I didn’t have a loom that was heavy duty enough to weave a good rug.

My day has been made! I just heard that the Rhino Times is going out of business, and is in tons and tons of debt. I hate this publication with intensity. It is difficult for me not to curse like the worst sailor you have ever heard when I talk about them. I realize that the hole will be filled by another hatemongering group sooner or later, but hopefully the next one won’t target my friends personally.

The end of the spring semester grows near, and sweet summer months with little stress and activity beckon. I’m going to kick it off with a trip to Lake Waccamaw the week after graduation. Sandy and I are going to make it an art retreat for the two of us.

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