Friday, October 18, 2013

Daily doings - empty lands and heartwarming gifts

The lands are going empty; the harvests have been done, the fields are empty. The birds of summer are leaving; the skies are becoming empty, too. And so are the trees. In a final, spectacular display of colour they show their grandeur, before shedding the leaves on a massive scale, leaving the branches empty as well. According to the weatherreports winter's on its way....

A picture taken from our balcony last week.
There are no leaves left now.....
Picture take by Johanna van Mullekom, one of the other Dutch people, who live in the municipaly. She and her husband are retired and have the luck to live in the middle of the fields, regularly visited by cranes, geese, deer and other wildlife.
It beautifully shows what we can see here.
What else have we been up to....
Well, our youngest daughter had here first outing and overnighter with the scouts too, last week and had the luck of doing so on one of the very rare rainy days! She had a wonderfull time and there was no need for a parentalert or for a "please come and get me"-call.

It also seems to be a season of gifts!
Well, not really, but many people we have come to know around here seem to be thinking of us, whenever they are about to get rid of something they no longer need, weither it is ripened fruit, clothing or firewood.
The following picture needs a bit of explanation. During summer there was a large possibility of me going to be working in Kiruna during the winter and I talked about that to a local artist and overall absolutely loveable guy, Jonas. He's the one I bought those oldschool skipoles from, by the way. A couple of days later he contacted me and said he had some clothes for me in order to keep warm up there. It was a insulated winter coverall pants and a wintercoat. If I wanted them?? Of course I accepted. I only had to promiss I would send him a picture of me wearing them.
Well, Kiruna turned out to become Borlänge and since there still is no winter around here......

From a former coworker of Esther, Inger, we got a large bag with clothes. There was something in there for all of us in there, Inger said. Well, the girls were spoiled again and even for me there was a little something. apart from a bodywarmer I found a small 100% woolfelthat and a Swedish army woolen jumper in exactly my size! The fit is very comfortable, the zipper a nice touch and the extended sleaves with thumbopening a nice feat! The fireplace gets used as an inbetweenrestingplace a lot these past days/weeks by the way. Whenever I pass it for some reason, and often for no reason at all, I sit down and enjoy the sun, the birds, the falling leaves or what ever there is to see, hear and feel. It has truely become a central point in the garden.
As a final gift and job at the potatoefarm I worked there was a load of wood to be split. They had a couple of treetrunks lying around and wanted to get rid of those. I could have the wood if I wanted to. Only had to split it myself. They'd cut it and transport it home to me. I even got half a dozen pallets to build me a woodshed! So now I have a bunch of free firewood for next year, since it isn't dry, half a dozen trunkpieces to make seats around the fireplace, a new cuttingblock for cuttingfirewood old fashioned style and a few large appletreebranches I might be able to use on my new, old lathe.

You guessed it; it is a busy time. Many chores have to be done befor winter comes. The parkingarea is usable, but not quit ready yet. What you see on the picture is the remainder of some 20 tons of gravel... I fixed a armrest/fence next to the stairs, so we have something to hold on to when everything is covered in snow and ice and the pile of wood looked so small in that tractorcart... but I was guessing it'd be more then 2 m³. Now that it is stacked, it is almost 3m³. That'll keep us warm for a while next year.
There is a collection of woodpieces seasoning for later use, such as (a lot) of apple- and pearwood, juniper, ash and birdcherry.
I also (re)planted a rhubarb, strawberries, garlic and half a dozen blackberriebushes. I've sown several species of summer- and woodflowers and together with my youngest daughter  planted acorns too.
But even due to all the chores we had to do, only a few handfulls of the apples we received or picked have spoiled and the vast majority ended up in the applesause and applepies my wife made. Yet that is an important lessen for next year; make sure all the work is done BEFORE harvestingseason. We'll be busy processing the crops!
Last night we were busy making jam and applesauce again. Our "loot" was 16 large jars with strawberry/rhubarb, with and without apples and 4 large and 1 small jar with applesauce. We also kept ourselves busy with filling our freezer with meat, mushrooms and bellpeppers.

I must say that this kind of work is the most satisfactory of all to me. You are busy preparing the most essential things, like food, for yourself and you have a direct result. The same goes for the wood; I split it and stacked it and my reward for that work will be about 2 months of warmth and hot water in the house. Using some of our old fashioned kitchenutensils is fun too. No fussing with cables, batteries and such. And no noice!

                                   FIRST SNOW!
And while we stood there, at the kitchencounter, peeling, cutting and cooking we saw the first snow of the season drift by the kitchenwindow!
At our place the snow did not last the night, but at my parents-in-laws place, 14km further down south, it was still white around 15:00. The coldfront did not push on enough to reach us, I guess.

What we were "left with"....


  1. You and your family are good people, Ron, so I'm not surprised at the generosity shown to you. :) Happy to read about the "goodies". :)

    Looks like the homestead chores are coming along nicely and that you'll be set for the winter with some items. :)


  2. Thanks Matt!
    Well, we will not be having a shortage on jam and applesauce any time soon. :)