Saturday, October 19, 2013

Freedom and Unity

We made it!  I've been trying to write this post for a few weeks now, but whenever I sit down to do anything, the boys make me get up to play with them or go for a walk.  Yes, I'm blaming my procrastination on the dogs.  

The boys love the weather, the landscape, and the house.  They have a lot more energy, and Miles' skin problems and ear infection have completely cleared up.  Must be the air.  

Miles has his own little apartment here, so he no longer has the opportunity to antagonize his brother.  But don't worry, Miles won't be lonely in there.  He said he'd lease one of the rooms to me for a sewing studio.  Thurgood is enjoying the rest of the house, and he spends his down time stretched out on the bed, occasionally lifting an eyelid to look out the window.

Thurgood Morsel

Ben and I start our new jobs on Monday.  Though we'll be working outside of the home full-time, we'll still be able to let our freak flag fly on weekends and holidays.  Luckily, both of us are thrilled about our new careers.

Now let's get to the fun part.  Our new home place has about two dozen giant old apple trees scattered about.  We arrived just in time to harvest some of the later varieties.  Two of our loveliest new neighbors helped me pick (Thank you so much!).  We ended up with four bushels total.  If we had picked all the apples, we would have enough to feed two Asian elephants for an entire year.  

Most of the apples are tart, and some are sweet - a great combination for hard cider!    There are a lot of great resources out there for the home cider maker, so I won't give you a how-to (as I rarely do anyway).  I looked to the Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible, The Homebrew Helper, and Home Brew Hard Cider from Scratch on Instructables.com.  We don't have a cider press yet, so we used our juicer.

This is our first go at hard cider, so everything is an experiment at this point.  The process is not much different than brewing beer or making fruit wine, and all of the equipment overlaps.  

Oh yeah, I never gave a final review of our fruit wines.  Both the dry and sweet strawberry wines were decent and drinkable, but not really good enough to share with the world.  The blackberry wine was a little too good to share, and our blueberry peach wine is still aging in bottles.  

If you ever get a wild hair up your ass, I strongly recommend fermenting your own beverages.  It's not rocket science, but it can make you feel like a genius.  If you can read, you can brew!

Just so you know, we haven't just been sitting around on top of our thumbs watching airlocks bubble.  We managed to plant everything we brought with us!  That's seven varieties of garlic, 105 blueberry bushes (some are in nursery rows), six pawpaw trees, and five Asian pears.  Thanks to Ben's hard work and planning, we've begun a new micro-mini farm here in Vermont.

Baby blueberry bushes

We have a lot of work to do on the house.  Luckily, the majority of it is cosmetic.  Carpet is not a good idea when you have two St. Bernards, and the kitchen counters and some of the walls are pink!  The list goes on.  I'm looking forward to chipping away at these projects.  For now, our living room is our bedroom until we paint and change the flooring upstairs.

I'm looking forward to lots of new adventures, and meeting new people.  So far, I love everything here.

We miss our friends and family, but we don't miss the stinkbugs - they came with us!