Flowers from the garden!

It’s almost officially summer! So it’s time to start thinking about projects and plans. I want to do some sewing, knitting, gardening and food preservation.

I want to do some more Christmas sewing. I have 2 stockings to go (mine and the cats) and I have a fabric panel with birds and a wreath I might want to make into a wall hanging. I also want to see what I can do for Halloween this year… I have done some sewing recently. I did stockings for Will and the older Patrick. And I replaced our bedroom curtains (4 new ones) and added two to the dining room (now there are two on the back window and a new matching curtain for the back door).

I’d like to sew a dress, but…I think that’s asking too much at the moment, and I do have a nice collection of dresses. So I think that will wait until later or next summer.

I’d also like to do a summer wall hanging for the living room and new pillowcases for the living room.

This one’s easy, I’m currently knitting a sweater for the tiny Patrick. It’s green and brown (Plymouth Yarns Fern and Fox) and it has a chevron pattern around the yoke that looks like tree branches to me. Next up will be a sweater for Will. I’m thinking probably one with color work.

I’d also like to knit myself a hat since the last one never fit right. And maybe make Matthew a new one for Christmas. And at current speeds, that should cover knitting through the end of the year…

I need to plant a couple more cucumbers, and do something to replace the arugula which is bolting. Beans are a good option, or I could wait and do some sort of fall plants like beats or broccoli. I do have space for fall plants where the potatoes are though and where the determinant tomatoes are too… So probably it will be beans.

Harvesting should pick up soon too since it’s almost time for tomatoes, peppers and beans!

There probably won’t be too much more planting until late July/early August when the fall things will go in. And then in late fall, probably after Halloween I’ll do the spring bulbs. I’m going to plant a bunch this year, and hopefully I’ll actually be planting them myself!

Food Preservation
The next round of stuff from the garden will mean it’s time for food preservation. The early stuff either doesn’t preserve well (radishes and lettuce) or gets eaten fresh (strawberries and blueberries).

  • Canning – I’m doing crushed tomatoes with the determinant paste tomatoes (I’m growing Mariana paste tomatoes). I’m also planning to do pickled jalapenos and dill pickles.
  • Dehydrating – I’m going to do cherry tomatoes, maybe some slicing tomatoes and probably summer squash and eggplant. I like dehydrating them before freezing since they freeze better and thaw faster. And I might dehydrate some herbs and chamomile too, we’ll see. And next year there should be lavender!
  • Freezing – If there are extra blackberries and raspberries I’m going to freeze them. I’m also planning to freeze beans and peppers (hopefully both hot peppers and bell peppers this year!).
  • General – I will also hopefully have potatoes, garlic, onions and shallots to store too.

There are always plenty of house projects. We did the big stuff at the start of the year with replacing the bathroom vanity and the roof. And this month we got the outdoor faucets fixed.

I’d really like to get some small electrical stuff done before this winter (utility size outlet for the freezers in the basement, outside outlets for yard work and Christmas lights, outlets by my desk in the sewing room and by the TV in the den). So that’s on the project list. And I’d like to get a screen door for the back door. The one that was there when we moved in was damaged so we took that off, but it would be nice to have one to protect the main door and also be able to leave the main door open when the weather’s nice and have a breeze.

I also really want to paint the kitchen. There’s not a lot of surface area in there, but it’s concrete gray (the previous owners really liked gray). And I’d like a light teal to match the dark teal tiles and set off the white cabinets. I also think it would feel more cheerful.

The other thing I want to do before winter is replace the couch and chair in the living room. Ideally, I think a new loveseat and the glider from the small Patrick’s bedroom would be nice. It would free up space and we could put a cabinet thing (like a china cabinet with cabinets on the bottom and shelves with glass doors on top) along the wall between the living room and dining rooms. Then we’d have nice storage space too. Of course that means actually dealing with the decorative half wall thing that’s there… but it would be nice when it was done I think.

General Life
I want to take the little guys to the pool (we got our pool membership this year!) and to the library. I’d also like to take walks with the little guys and the older Patrick now that that is feasible again.

Maybe I’ll even get my bike tuned up and see if I can ride it…

I’d also like to take the little guys to the zoo or a museum. Will still prefers a morning nap but sometimes he’s willing to wait until the afternoon so that might be an option now. Of course summer weather is here now too, so figuring out when would be a good time is a little tricky.

Driving up to the pick-your-own place, even if we’re not picking fruit, and just going to the farm stand and enjoying a drive could be fun too.

And it’s almost 4th of July, Patrick might be big enough to enjoy the fireworks this year, but Will is probably still too small, so we’ll have to see what might work for that.

So there should be a lot of fun things to do this summer.