Summer has been cooler this year, super intense heat one day followed by a cool day the next. We are not complaining. Whatever weather we get here we are grateful. It's a lovely place to live and we try to enjoy every aspect of it. You know the adage about life giving you lemons and making lemonade, well we add lemon marmalade, lemon pancakes and lemon curd on top of that because we really want to make the most of every single day.
My creative pursuits wax and wane with the moon - literally! I have been noticing an increase in fibre art as the moon approaches fullness then a few days of not even picking up a needle and thread before beginning again, but slowly.. just before the full moon it can get pretty frenzied. Proof that the moon is still influencing my life even though I no longer feel the need to mark it's course on the calendar. Every time of life has it's curiosities.
I phoned my shepherd to get more wool from him only to be told that he had sold all his sheep! So a few frantic phone calls later and I have sourced another supplier in the village. Which is a relief because I am very much wanting to keep things as local as possible.
At the moment I am practicing felting and embroidery on felt to make bags. It's all still a work in progress but these practice pieces will end up in the Etsy shop on sale eventually. I have had two launch dates for the Etsy shop already and not managed to get it live yet but with the arrival of my final piece of kit (a picker) this weekend I should truly be up and running. And then lots of lovely fibre goodies will be available to the world.
Of course I am not sure that the world is waiting for this but we shall see. The other option, one that I shall follow up at some stage, is the crafty/tourist centres of Caceres or/and Trujillo. They both take in work from local artisans and offer it up for sale. How many sales are made is anyone's guess - I've been here five years and not noticed many changes in the stock. But I am going to start producing stuff specifically for the Extremadura tourist market. Watch this space.
The figs are growing. At about this time each year I get the urge to write a cookery book of all fig recipes. Most years the feeling passes quite quickly. This year I've requested that Steve take some quality photos of the trees and fruit growing. Arty shots of fresh fig food will follow as soon as they are ripe. Dried figs and the actual recipes can be worked on anytime. Who knows.. maybe i'll do it this time.
I sent away for a new cookery book. As if don't have enough already. This is about fermented foods. It's a topic I have delved into before. I am already sold on the health benefits of fermentation but my issue is that I have a sweet tooth and I don't entirely enjoy the sour tang that fermentation produces. After reading this book so very carefully I am wondering if it's supposed to taste like mine does or if I have made them incorrectly. She makes everything sound so delicious. The only way to know would be to go to Texas and knock on her door and ask to taste hers! (I would do it you know!) But in a nutshell this is a lovely book full of sensible advice.
In the meantime I am trying to train my taste buds. Cutting way back on the sweet stuff. We cut out alot of the sugar a long while ago but simply replaced it with honey and like addicts our consumption has slowly increased as our tolerance grows. We now consume a litre of honey a week!!!! It's a work in progress and I suspect that it will forever need vigilance to keep the sweet stuff to a reasonable level. Why? Well I have a feeling it's bad for you but when I think on it my father was a really heavy sugar consumer and lived until just before his 94th birthday. He was never concerned by the amount of white stuff that passed his lips but it upset the rest of the family hugely. As my great aunt used to say "you can't go wrong with all things in moderation". I guess it's down to your genes really but if I need a mantra to go by then that is as good as any.
Simmering in the background through spring and into summer has been my mother in law's house move. Steve has been project managing this since his mother has short term memory loss which makes organising even simple things impossible. A long distance project without power of attorney has proved stressful at times so we feel the need for a holiday. Hopefully, as all his hard work is about to come to fruition we can get away for a week by the sea in September. We are just waiting on word from some Finca sitters who we hope will see living in our house and looking after our cats, hens and plants as a break from the stresses of their everyday lives. And so, we are fine and all is well and shall be well.
This is how we are.