In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way
I have to go to bed by day.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
Can you tell I’ve been busy? I can’t recall the last time I posted but it’s been a couple of months. What have I been up to?
I taught at a local community college from the end of June through the beginning of August. I teach academic enrichment courses and camps for elementary, middle, and high school students. It’s really enjoyable–I design the course and write the curriculum. Probably my most well known course is Hogwarts Satellite School which I began teaching in 2000. Since that first course, I’ve taught Hogwarts to over 2500 students. The basic premise of the course is that I am a representative from Hogwarts, a traveling teacher focusing on Muggle Overpopulation Zones and areas without nearby schools of magic. I offer most of the subjects taught at Hogwarts, and students use the basic information to continue their magical studies at home. The best thing is, we make real magic. There are no fizzy sugar drinks to be had in Potions, and we don’t draw whimsical photos of madrakes in Herbology. Instead, we study ethnobotany and herbal lore to provide a basic understanding of 12 essential herbs, ways to grow, acquire, harvest, and store them, learn preparation methods including tinctures, decoctions, infusions, salves, and more. During Potions class, our projects include a healing salve and sleeping draught-both of which actually work. In Ancient Runes, they learn all about the Elder Futhark-the alphabet and phonetic sounds as well as what each represents and the divine meanings. And so on…. I teach a variety of courses in a range of subjects, and I had a wonderful time at it.
Of course, the farm was crazy busy as well. We hosted our annual event which draws 300-400 folks for a long, exhilarating, entertaining, and exhausting weekend. The garden is coming along nicely-it took quite a long time for the weather to heat up past 60, but it finally did manage it and the plants are trying to play catch up before the fall weather starts in. Speaking of fall…have I mentioned lately that it’s my very favorite time of year? I used to love spring the best, and there are so many obvious reasons to sing its praises, but I’ve come to really appreciate and enjoy the autumn. Maybe it’s my stage of life. Spring is all about expelling and putting forth energy…bursting, blooming, planting seeds in hope that you will find return on your investment. The fall seems to be about collecting and storing energy, letting go of what is no longer necessary, and gathering forces to sustain the coming change. I feel so wealthy in the autumn, harvesting all manner of fall crops and putting the land to rest. I love peeking in at my root cellar, chock full of stored food–feels better to me than a hefty bank account. I love that my family, through absolute necessity in avoiding the insane deluge that is November in Western Washington, gathers together in our cozy cottage for food, warmth, and companionship. The fall means spinning and listening to audiobooks all day long. It means reading books aloud to the family, and getting an early start on holiday gifts, and writing letters, and homeschool. It means playing music, and watching old movies, reading, and writing. I love it, love it, love it!
Back to the present. Or recent past anyway. I spent 10 glorious days in the glorious South. We flew into Knoxville, TN on the 9th and home on the 19th. Spent a week in a bougy resort with Violet, Willow, Willow’s boyfriend Leif, Robert, Robert’s mother, Robert’s grandmother, and Robert’s great-grandmother who turned 101 while we were together. We had a marvelous time together, relaxing, swimming…took a short trip into North Carolina through the Smokey Mountains, and after a week we headed south for a couple of days with my family. We spent the night with my great Aunt Violet in Chattanooga, then up to the family land in Dunlap to my great Aunt Dot’s house to visit with cousins and distant kin. I love visiting my family–I feel in some ways more “normal” with Aunt Violet and Dot than I do with most people. I think it’s because we all share some sort of genetic predisposition to multitasking, crafts, homesteading, hosting, and are busier than most people. I’m always hearing from friends and nearby family that I am too busy-but these ladies are the same way, and they’re in their 80s! All in all, it was a fantastic trip and I was glad to make it.
Of course, I’m now drowning in all manner of fruits and veggies–waiting to be canned, jammed, pickled, dried, or otherwise processed and preserved. I also need to be drowning in yarn as my stock much lower than I’d like it to be, heading into September.
I’m going to post a slideshow-should include some amazing projects from customers-scarves are from Cyndi, triangular shawl is from Oksana, the bodice is from Innerwild (http://www.etsy.com/shop/InnerWild), and the doll is from Kori. Other photos feature new colorways, a few photos of my trip, and some garden images from our farm. You can see the whole farm slideshow at http://www.finneyfarm.blogspot.com
In September, please use the coupon code for free shipping! FALLFIBER