Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tree House Update

As it has been weeks since the last post...  I suppose we need a tree house update.

Nick finished the joists and I helped him secure in the railing posts.  This process took a good weekend and a half to complete.  Mind you we had family obligations and guests in town so that didn't exactly speed up the process.

Once the posts were in, Nick began laying the floor boards.  Nick is just shy of completing these.  It will likely be next weekend until the final boards are laid though.

We will have a hole in the center of the deck by the tree for access from underneath the structure.

We took another trip to Restore, Habitat for Humanity's non-profit store early this morning.  Unlike last time, we really lucked out and found the small windows we were looking for.  We also found a shorter than average door that will just be perfect for the front of the structure.

 miniature door on top of large window

two smaller windows for front and side of the structure

None of the windows match and Nick will have to build a sill for one them.  We don't care.  This is fun, and I love the idea of finding and reusing old materials wherever possible and designing as we work.

For the back of the structure we've been considering attaching a climbing net with a doggie door entrance but the cost of a doggie door is more expensive than all of the windows we bought combined.  So we are still working out just how we will get kids into the structure from the back without a full-on door.  It might just be a pass through with some sort of covering.  We'll see.  For now, we are keeping our options open and our eye on Craigslist!


Harvest Time

Well, it's been a crazy couple of weeks and I've been consistently inconsistent with my blogs of late.  Since my last blog post we've had a lot of exciting events, not the least of which was an awesome earthquake.  In retrospect, it was a neat experience though I hope to never again feel one.  We live about 40 miles from the epicenter and felt quite a jolt but nothing to cause major damage.  Our house as well as our in-progress tree house are still standing, lol.  It was nothing more than a scare.  I know it was little in comparison to what California feels but as we aren't used to them, our minds went other places.  Thankfully, we have only felt a few of the aftershocks and things are tranquil again here.  We were only just grazed by Hurricane Irene and now we have a 4" surplus of rain for the month.  Yee haw!!

Summer is coming to an end.  Ladybug had her first day of preschool.  I was a little more teary eyed than I thought I'd be.  It's hard to believe how quickly life seems to pass by.  I feel like I have not had much time to do the things I really want to do, like harvest the basil.

This year, in lieu of making pesto (I still have some leftover in my freezer from last year), I decided to preserve my bounty by freezing it chopped in olive oil.

I put the fresh basil in a vase until I was able to get them ready for processing.   It's all over the place in the picture above but I find it quite lovely as it is.  There are at least 4 vases full in my garden still waiting to be plucked and saved.  The stuff grows as good as any weed!  Thankfully we have a bit longer before any threat of frost.  It gives off the loveliest scent to my house.  

 I finally got around to processing the first batch today.  I would show what they look like in ice cube trays but honestly, it doesn't look appetizing though it will be lovely in many dishes over the winter.

Speaking of harvesting, we were offered Hatch Green Chiles in our area by a local grocery chain for a very reasonable price.  So I could help but pick up 20+ pounds of the stuff.  Why not local, they are in season, and wonderful reminder of what we miss from Albuquerque.  They weren't pre-roasted so I grilled them myself and then placed them in a large trash can bag to let them sweat it out.  I then de-skinned and de-seeded them, rinsed and chopped them.  But I forgot one very crucial step.

The gloves.  Mind you, I've forgotten the gloves before and it was no big deal.  Unfortunately, this batch was very hot...  much  hotter than any I had gotten prior.  I was up the entire night with hands feeling like they were being held up to a burning hot grill. I tired everything but nothing felt good except putting them in ice water. What an awful night! It was truly terrible.  I tried a lot of things that I will never do again to my hands including bleach!  It took about 10 hours for the feeling to go away.  I didn't sleep that night and I may have sworn off chiles for quite a while.

Worth it?  Well, I don't think so but my husband might disagree.