It's been a long summer, full of lots of stuff, so sit back and get ready for an update!
We started with some fun to celebrate (distract from?) my 40th birthday. We went to New York City for a long weekend with my cousin and her husband (who, I hope they won't mind me saying, also both turned 40 this year--lots of celebrating!)
At the end of the month, I sneaked home to Canada for a long weekend to visit with family and join in the celebrations for Canada Day, including visiting with my great-niece, Ella, who is completely decked out in her Canada gear:
All of my sisters were there and here we are standing at the part of the beach where we camped out all during our childhood. (It used to be the deserted part, away from concessions etc, but now the whole beach is very busy. Toronto has found it and descends on the weekend.)
First major one was helping Troy finish the fence around the garden. Troy had been working on the holes for the wooden corner posts, and Isaac got to do most of the digging to bury part of the chicken wire along the bottom:
They put in two gates, this one by the back door, and another one on the east side of the house.
The other major project that Isaac did a majority of the work on was building a garden shed. (I know, right--another building?? Anyway...) It's 10x12, on a concrete foundation, no insulation.
Troy and I have been working on the siding over the last couple weeks.
At the beginning of August, we went up to the UP (=Upper Peninsula, Michigan) to stay in some cottages right on Lake Superior with my family. We had a great time hanging out and enjoying some big waves in the lake.
Troy and I then went home so he could face the back to school rush and I could face trying to get a haunted house open. (He's done with the rush; I'm still working on the haunted house.) Isaac went home to Ontario with my mom and last week started his college career.
All through the summer, we've also tried to keep up with the garden. Troy tried a little different planting design this year, laying out rows of compost to plant in:
|End of May|
|End of July|
The turnips and rutabagas are huge. This one was an early one, and they've grown a lot since then.
We got a huge crop of cucumbers. It seemed impossible to pick them before they were a huge size. When we got back from the UP, I picked everything out there:
The tomatoes also did well:
I think we only picked beans for one batch of canning:
The new stove still isn't really wide enough to comfortably accommodate both canners going at once (you can do it with some careful arranging), but it is such a vast improvement over the old underpowered stove we had. My water heats quickly and it really helps a lot to have the two "power burners." Plus lots and lots of counter space on both sides. It's wonderful.
We have a bunch of huge, round, bowling ball sized cabbages coming in. I think they'll be up next.
Let's see...we've also got all the potatoes out of the ground. We got about 15 gallons and will be storing them a couple different ways to see what works. And we have half the beets up. I canned a bunch and pickled some and Troy is going to try to store them as well.
I really did nothing with flowers this year. Troy started some morning glories and we put them in the east lawn where they could climb the wire cages around the fruit trees.
I think that is the summer update. Hope you feel caught up!