The time flies again and I feel like I managed to do exactly nothing. This is not true, of course, only I managed to do just enough to be ever so slightly behind what needs to be done. I was in part hampered by the extremely hot weather, but mostly by the fact that I only have two hands, and by now I do all heavy work around the house solo. Thus I am in a perpetual state of frustration and a feeling of inadequacy.
At least I have managed to repair half of the walkway to our house.
The tiles sunk in the middle about 2 cm over the years since it was built in 2017 so I need to dismantle it piece-by-piece, add some gravel underneath, compress it, and re-assemble it. I have finally some use for the stones that I managed to collect in my garden over the years as well as the leftover gravel from house renovations. Here you can see two buckets of fine stones and a wheelbarrow full of gravel, all collected from my vegetable patches and flower beds and sieved from the soil when preparing the substrate for bonsai. This gives you some idea about the natural state of topsoil around here and why fields were replaced by meadows as soon as centrally organized agriculture stopped being a thing. I can run out of a lot of things, stones not being one of them.
The other thing that is half-done is firewood for winter.
I wrote about this wood last year, these are offcuts from making palettes and furniture, and it is a lot of work, and I mean a lot of work now as well as in winter when I will need to carry each of these sacks down to the cellar. But it is very cheap – about 1/10 of wood briquettes or paletted firewood. Since I am not good at selling knives, I can more easily afford to spend time doing this than to spend money on better fuel. Even though I spend with it about two months’ worth of labor, at this price it actually saves me about two months’ worth of living wage, so it is worth it. I really do not need to go to the gym, I get my workout at home – I just bagged 3700 kg of firewood in three weeks.
I do not know when the other half will be delivered so today I took a little break from all my work and I made shrimp for lunch. I like shrimp, but they are a treat that I eat only a few times a year. I did not do anything fancy, just french fries, deep-fried shrimp, and some steamed vegetables. The steamed vegetables were from the first harvest of this summer, the first pattypan squash and a few bean pods.
I planted five different kinds of beans this year to get some variety. Shame, really, that the red pods lose color in steaming, they do look quite appetizing and colorful when raw. The result was good anyway – each type had a slightly different texture and taste, so the final dish was quite delicious.
I do hope to manage to do some work on knives before the next batch of firewood arrives. I would also like to take a few photos of my bonsai trees for the Bonsai for Beginners series. We’ll see.