...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Preparing to Hibernate

Green Roof Tour at Milwaukee Central Public Library
I'm finally feeling a definite slow down in my seasonal schedule.  Classes are thinning out, the garden is winding down, and my preserving list is just about complete.  I have two urban homesteading classes this week (see my schedule for my details).  I planted garlic for next year and I squeaked in a couple batches of pear preserves last week (Pear and Lavender Jam as well as Brandied Pears).

Vera and I also made time for an outing last week.  For some time I'd been wanting to take a Green Roof Tour at the Central Public Library.  We choreographed the nap just right last Monday and arrived just in time.  I suppose I was expecting a garden up on top of the building.  Though that amount of greenery wasn't present, there was an impressive solar array as well as a diversity of sedum and grasses that help keep the roof cooler, retain enough moisture for the plants to grow, and provide a percentage of the library's electrical energy.  And what a view!  After this tour we popped over the Milwaukee Public Museum where Mondays are free for Milwaukee Country residents.  Add parking and this whole afternoon hanging downtown cost us less than $4.  You sure can't get that in Chicago!

Observation Deck on Green Roof
Looking northwest to the Courthouse
Various sedum growing on the Green Roof
Underwater display at public museum
So many amazing butterflies!

Wooly Mammoth bones at MPM
Hooray for the new couple!
...Though much fun still abounds in the windy city where we spent part of this past weekend gathering with friends at a wedding in the western suburbs.  The Christian Orthodox ceremony combined with huge reception featuring delicious dishes of Iraqi and Slavic family recipes (awesome pickled herring and to-die-for bacon-wrapped dates), traditional dancing, an Arabic band, and plenty of ululating provided us with a priceless cultural experience.  It was one of the best weddings ever and a great time with close friends.

Now we start preparing for Halloween, which means what for us?  I don't really decorate in or around the house though we do have our token pumpkins on the front porch and Vera and I just picked up some suctioning spider webs today on a trip to American Science & Surplus (we keep saying this would be a fun place for date night.)  So getting ready for the holiday this year simply means altering a borrowed homemade costume, going to the neighborhood Pumpkin Pavilion, making sure we have enough candy for the droves of costumed kiddos that will hit our block for trick or treating, and hopefully drinking a hot spiked beverage or two (though I should take a break between that and the aforementioned wedding.  Ugh!)  I don't start ramping up the holiday preparations until I plan my Thanksgiving meal, but I have a couple weeks before that is "due."  Sounds like I finally have a little down time to sit and relax, do some knitting, and--believe it or not--work on some handmade Christmas gifts. 

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