This long silence? It's blackberry season. I've been out picking, and I'm close to my target goal of 10 gallons. However, it's been hot work, and I've been lazy otherwise, since three hours picking a day wipes me out completely. (And two hours to stop sweating. Man, it's hot. I've been able to get out early once or twice, but events conspire to have me picking in the heat of the day.)
I have lots and lots and lots of blackberries, though. They taste like summer.
I will make jam, jelly, syrup, preserves, and I think maybe some puddings to freeze for later (you'd be surprised at how well cream fools freeze), and possibly sorbet, but only if I'm feeling ambitious. I will certainly have enough blackberries. The preserves will be canned so I can use them for pie filling - I'll do those with the larger firmer fruit, and no pectin.
We also had a big get-together for the July 4th weekend - we've been building this fort, you see, and some work needed to be done on it, including creating wattle retaining walls (it looks super cool). We had a fabulous turnout of helpers (Gardiner's Company is always awesome in that respect, even though we're all old and crippled)), and friends stayed for the whole weekend. It was great fun, from blackberry picking with Vic Friday morning (she will make blackberry cordial, which I don't usually make, since I can't drink alcohol with Tramadol), to hanging out in the wading pool Vic, Sandy, and Jimmy bought at the dollar store on Sunday. We even did fireworks on Saturday - though Virgina laws prohibit rocket-type fireworks (and right now, I'm not too unhappy about that, since setting the woods on fire would suck), we still managed to have a very good time with the fireworks, since Bob and Harv are talented showmen, and can do silly things at the drop of a hat.
I even got to use the courtyard for its intended party purposes - we pulled the firepit around from the back garden, set up chairs, and enjoyed the setting, roasting marshmalows and watching fireworks.
I do, however, need to get off my butt and start putting together a couple of things for Pennsic, since we're going for the two weeks - I need another 14th century shift and another 16th century shift, plus I need to hem the monk's robe Bob just got (in white - he looks very good as a monk). Small things, but time is creeping away from me.
This happened the last time I stopped working - I was idle for a few months before I really got my ass in gear and started doing things. I haven't been really idle, but I've been haphazard, and I need to make working schedules (and include "update LJ" in there! I had no idea it had been so long since I last posted!). One thing that is already happening is making goods to sell for Gardiner's at Atantia's 30-Year Celebration; we'll have our booth there, with the embroidered shifts and coifs we specialize in, but a number of other 16th century goods, including some men's clothes (especially trousers), bodices for women (including plenty of plus sizes, hopefully - that's one of my things), and smaller stuff like fingerless gloves, jewelry, and I'm making more of the linen lacing cords that fit small eyelet holes, and are strong enough to handle anything. I use them on almost all my outfits, and I've never had one break on me. Now, I can't guarantee they're unbreakable, but they're attractive, strong, and they come in lots of colours, plus natural linen and hemp.
If I feel up to it, I'll also have some larger hemp and linen braided cords - suitable for apron strings and such.
I also need to work on my things, like patterns and my jacket. I've been taking a bit of a sabbatical from the jacket - I've been at it for two years now, and I need/want to work on some other stuff (and the gilt silk twist thread is tedious to work with, so more tiring on my hands), but I need to keep plugging away, or it won't get done.
Anyway, that's what's up with me these days. I also have been following the vulture chicks - they're now gawky teenagers, just starting to learn about flying. And I've finally attracted hummingbirds to my feeders. And my morning glory and nasturtiums are blooming.
Life's good. But that doesn't excuse me from writing. :)