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The return of In Oak Park

October 19, 2009

I’ve been a bad blogger.

In part, I just haven’t felt myself since I’ve been in Texas.  Despite some missing home and a few slow bits, the rush of doing birth for a month straight was a kind of high (and subsequent energy drain) that it’s hard to recover from.   Plus, I got sick (nasty cold) so that hasn’t helped. I don’t want to say I’m bored, because there’s plenty I could be doing; and I have been keeping busy.  It’s just not the same.

A picture as proof that I was sick in bed, and to distract you from my lack of blogging.

A picture as proof that I was sick in bed, and to distract you from my lack of blogging.

So while I’ve been kind of down from that, P. and I have been having to make a lot of major life decisions.  Money is tight, and me not working (and spending a lot of money on Casa) for a month, did not help at. all.  In fact, it sort of showed us that me not working is a bad option for any extended period of time.  And just so it’s clear–we are not gluttonous, money-dropping people.  P’s salary is not meant to support more than one person by any stretch of the imagination.  We’ve been trying to figure out different ways that we could both be satisfied with our careers and our home life that would make the money situation easier, and we’ve come up with a few things, but they aren’t particularly easy decisions.  More on that later.

So what have we been keeping busy with?

The last few weekends we’ve been picking loads of apples (and other assorted fruit) from an orchard that is about to be destroyed for levy work near the river in Sacramento.  Last weekend we made and canned applesauce.  This weekend, I’m slow cooking apple butter in a crock pot that was gifted to me by our lovely neighbor.  I’m not really using a recipe, but started with guidance from here and here.  It’s been bubbling away all day and it smells amazing.

And we’ve been doing some work in our yard.  Today we started the process of lasagna composting our front yard.  We scored a few straw bales off Craig’s List last weekend and they got wet in the giant storm we had last week so although we didn’t really have quiet enough stuff to get a good number of layers, we’ve at least started the process.  Apparently straw bales are known to burst into flames if they get wet an then sit.  After opening them up, I believe it.  They were steaming, too hot to touch, in the middle of the bales.  Crazy!

like the new landscaping?

We put down a thick layer of cardboard on the bottom to hopefully suffocate some of the bermuda grass.  Hazel loved it, and she’ll probably dig the whole thing up to get to the cardboard (she loves cardboard), but I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll leave it be.

covered in straw, garden waste, and compost

I’m going to get back in the habit of posting more, so I’ll save some of our latest endeavors for another post or two.

Hope all is well with everyone!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. hanna permalink
    October 19, 2009 4:40 am

    that is so weird about straw/fire.. why does it do that?

  2. inoakpark permalink*
    October 19, 2009 5:24 am

    Hanna-http://www.blog.thesietch.org/2007/08/14/ask-the-sietch-can-my-compost-pile-catch-on-fire/

  3. October 19, 2009 7:11 pm

    Were you at the harvest this past Saturday? I’m bummed that I didn’t get to meet you! Hope you are feeling better.

  4. October 20, 2009 7:09 pm

    I’m glad you’re back Katie! I love following your life from a blog even though you live a few miles away :).

  5. October 26, 2009 3:16 pm

    Thanks for linking to my site! How did you like your apple butter? Did you do anything different?

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