We’ve enjoyed an extended period of socialization that may be, as yet, unprecedented. Dave and Anke left recently, after more than a month of visiting with them and their many friends, old and new, who rendezvoused with them here. My aunt and uncle made a brief appearance off a cruise ship, and the usual summer round of potlucks and casual visits have increased this season.
It’s been wonderful, but I can’t help my concern that the usual work of the “homestead” has suffered a bit as a result.
A lot of work did get done during the period. In fact, Dave and Anke helped considerably, foraging with us, and contributing significantly to the winter firewood collection by helping bring down a major tree (see A Tree Falls in the Forest) and buck up a good deal of it. As I write this, one cut remains to finish the bucking on that tree.
Still, the fishing suffered, the firewood effort has been neglected despite the advances we did make, and other projects got ignored while we visited and played.
Now that it’s just us three again, we’re getting back on track. The wood shed may be as much as 3/4 full; a relatively short period of intense work should see it filled for the winter. We’re stepping up fishing, foraging, and gardening again.
We’re also moving ahead on our micro-incomes. The Sheldon Museum gift shop now offers my latest book, Sacred Coffee: A “Homesteader’s” Paradigm. Aly has completed a knit animal toy for a client, and is gathering yarn for more projects (see How Many Knitting Days Until Christmas?). A couple of people have contacted me about possibly helping them with publishing projects through Yeldagalga Publications, LLC.
We’ve even managed to produce some soap. I made a batch of lavender/tea tree more than a month ago, but I neglected to grease the tube molds well enough. The soap stuck hard in the PVC piping! Eventually, Aly and I pulled out the table saw and carefully cut kerfs on either side of each mold, then, with a lot of poking and prying, worked the soap free. We just delivered some of the cakes to our exclusive retailer, Alaska Rods’s in Haines, and will even have a few of them for sale soon to online customers through our store page.
As ever, there’s still much more to be done. We’re getting ready for winter, for the upcoming Tier II Subsistence Moose Hunt starting the middle of next month, for the loss of Aly’s cheerful help, support, comfort and company as she returns to school, and many, many other events. But at least we’re back on track, and moving forward.