July 1st/2nd, 2014
It’s gotten to that part of the year where we open up in the evening and close up in the morning, using fans to suck in as much “coolth” as possible during the night. This is a little harder when the range of temperature runs in the nineties during the day, and only down to 65º or so at night. Still, any improvement is an improvement.
I worry about the peas and spinach in this heat, I know they prefer cool weather. We’ve been enjoying our lettuce and I expect it will appreciate not being raided daily while we’re up at the lake. I’m writing now because we’re leaving for Clearwater first thing in the morning, and will be coming down again Saturday. The van is packed except for the food in the refrigerator we’ll be taking. I’d be in bed now except that while grabbing the towels and sheets to take up with us (so we wouldn’t have to wait for them to wash and dry when we left) that somehow moisture has gotten into the linen closet, and there is much mildew there.
I tried the first batch (the dark colored ones) with White Vinegar first (which is supposed to kill mildew, but perhaps only if you soak it in straight vinegar). Then with borax, ditto- and I used a half a box, but the internet suggests that a load of wash is 40-50 gallons (my particular machine declines to offer more than “it senses how much water is needed and recirculates it so you use less”) so I’ll go with the 40 gallons, what with rinsing, maybe the wash load only uses 20, but still, I only had a gallon of white vinegar on hand, and that’s supposed to be a 50:50 mix, or at least 2 cups per gallon, and 1 cup borax to 1 gallon of water, so, once again, the five or six cups I threw in were short of effective. If using the washer, in theory I should have put in 80 cups of borax! (yeah, right). Luckily, the whites can be bleached. I may just get more white vinegar and just soak them in it straight. If the mildew can’t be gotten rid of, we will have to throw away the sheets. I sure don’t want it spreading it around anywhere. Maybe a borax paste (or even bleach) will get it out of the linen closet. Not everything in the closet seems too bad, so I am suspecting we may have put away a load of clothes “not quite dry”. That’s pretty much why I’m awake, because in this weather I want to make sure the load is in the washer before I go to bed. The last thing I need to do is leave it damp overnight if not all of the microorganisms are killed.
I prefer hanging the clothes on the line, but the last few times I’ve used it, the line has slipped off the pulley, which has required John and Willow (it takes two of them) to climb down the stone wall, wade through the poison ivy and raspberries, carrying a ladder to climb up the outside of the barn to fix it. What the heck did people do when these pulley lines were hung across streets? So, even though it’s heating up the pantry, the dryer it is!
Anyway, as soon as the washer beeps, and I get it into the dryer, I’ll be going off to bed. So this is mostly a promissory letter. Tomorrow first thing we’ll be headed for Maine, and while I’ve got a laptop, I’m not sure I’ll be able to sent the letter out from it, so I figured I’d give you a bit tonight while I wait for the wash. Next week I’ll have to cover what we did in Maine. I’m hoping it’s “Not Much” because we could use a rest.
The red hollyhocks are blooming (haven’t seen the black ones yet), and some flashy yellow lilies, and the daisies have come out. We have a few roses, but the climbing rose is not happy since Willow made it a trellis. Go fig. Mostly I’m enjoying other people’s gardens when we drive by them.
I’m falling farther and father behind on my theoretical Pre-Pennsic schedule. I have pretty much finished the booklet for the Anglo-Saxon Kings, although I continue to read up on them. They are so full of good stories! Luckily, I had the Queens booklet on a flash-drive. Other preparations continue. Yesterday I drew a motif from the Oseburg ship around the neck of a gown for Willow to embroider. I have a couple of gowns cut out, but am taking the book cover with me to finish.
I’ve got some trim on some old gowns, and am finishing bits and pieces- I think I need to break down tasks into doable sub-tasks. It’s too easy to characterize them as “Do booklet for Anglo-Saxon Pots” and “make samples”, but just making the samples includes throwing them, decorating them, firing them, maybe glazing them (I still haven’t finished the research on the Lincoln/ Stamford/ Thetford ware and other later pottery styles), then firing again. That’s steps each of which require something first- like clearing the area around the kiln, or making sure my clay is ready to use (or replace it).
Willow’s been plugging along on her list- she made a batch of herbal ointments last week. She’s now waiting for the right label blanks to be gotten so she can print them up and put them on the cans. She’s also made garb, and tried to make a pair of shorts from a piece of blue denim with stars on it we found while going through the fabrics. Sadly there wasn’t enough to make a pair of shorts she’d want to wear (although I’m sure there’d be enough for a “Wonder woman” size set of briefs- but she wouldn’t want to wear those. I think she sent out another blanket too.
Kat’s arm has continued to be weak, which is frustrating her horribly (as well as being painful); we’ll be seeing a doctor on the way out in the morning. She did manage to glue together the “lady” who I made in high school and has lived on the roof of the woodshed since we moved up here. She’s sort of the female genus loci of the place to the brass lion knocker’s male. She came down when the shed was being re-roofed, and we discovered that one shoulder had detached. Kat glued her together again, although she couldn’t lift her.
Ah, I think I hear the washer shutting off.
More later… depending on how the computers and wifi work up at the lake.
“Now that it’s all over, what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?” Coleman Cox