Week of July 4

A week of trying to get back to normal after Charlie and I were sick last week. Lots of playing catch up, but I’m glad to report that Charlie went back to daycare and Amanda and I got back on normal work schedules.

A couple things I’ve been trying to get back to doing each day:

  1. Listing three things I’m thankful for. Good to keep gratitude in focus.
  2. Going for a walk, preferably with Charlie and Amanda. Spending a bit of time outside when it is cool in the morning or evening is restorative and grounding.
A shadow of a dad with his 1 year old son on his shoulders.
Charlie on my shoulders

The wineberry patch I like to pick looks like it should be ready by Wednesday or Thursday this week. Not sure what I plan to do with them yet, but I’m sure I’ll decide in the next couple of days. Most likely another flaugnarde.

The Swiss Giant Snow Peas I planted are finally blooming and producing pods. Looking forward to munching them in salads and stir fries!

Made some progress on my current batch of orange bitters I started back in April. They should be ready to bottle later this week. Let me know if you’d like a bottle!

One of the best parts about doing a veggie share is being challenged to think creatively about how to use the veggies you get each week and eating something not in your regular rotation. We’ve been having lots of salads, sheet pan dinners, and grilled meals full of vegetables. Also lots of sautéed greens (turnip, chard, kale, beet, etc) with garlic scapes as a quick side dish.

Charlie LOVES blueberries, which are in season around here right now 🫐

Farmers markets local vs food terminals

I love going to farmers markets on Saturday mornings. There are two really good ones that all of the best vendors go to about 20 minutes away each (Cold Spring and Tarrytown), but the local one here in Peekskill is gaining some steam. We usually go to the one in Peekskill, but occasionally make the drive to Tarrytown or Cold Spring if we have the time.

I love buying from local growers, bakers, and makers, which is what keeps me going back. I do get really frustrated by a certain type of vendor commonly found at the smaller second-tier farmers markets: The truck with “[Generic name] Farms” painted on it that clearly buys produce from the food terminals, puts it in baskets, and tries to pass it off as their own. Things like sweet corn and plums in late June that clearly aren’t in season locally yet. Stickers painstakingly peeled off before the cucumbers get put out, the broken down waxed Andy Boy boxes stuffed out of sight behind the tables. Stuff that is no different than what is being put out at the grocery stores. There is probably money in it, but I refuse to buy stuff from those booths. They go against the ethos of the small local farmers markets. One thing that makes the Tarrytown and Cold Spring markets really good is that they keep these kinds of vendors out and give the actual farmers and producers a chance to shine.

Saturday was a day to fix things around the house:

  • Reversed the gate on the back porch so it only opens in to prevent Charlie from falling down the stairs
  • Fixed the pin going into the ground on the secondary fence gate. It isn’t normally used, but I had to move some big stuff into the yard last month and needed to pull the pin so I could open the second gate and make the opening large enough for a wide landscaping dolly to move through. When I tried to open it, I discovered that whoever put it in before we bought the house put it in wrong, so it was impossible to get the pin out. They must have put the pin in and then screwed the brackets on without trying it. I took the brackets off last month and tossed them aside, so I finally took a few minutes to put them back correctly so the door could be opened.
  • Screwed a few loose deck slats back down.
  • Screwed a shelf back in place in a bookshelf.
  • Put wall anchors on all of our bookshelves now that Charlie is mobile.

I got two of these umbrella clamps to put the umbrellas up on the deck railing instead of needing to be in a table. They free up a lot of space and give Charlie more room to play on the deck without being in direct sun. They were one of those “I wonder if this exists…” purchases and I’m delighted they do.

Logging out of Twitter in my browsers and deleting the app off my phone was a good idea. Having instant access to the news around the world (negativity gets pageviews!) and everyone’s hot takes about it is not healthy. I’m not ready to say goodbye to Twitter forever, but I am glad to have less time on it.

I’m currently reading:

  1. Odalisque, book three of volume one of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. Currently listening to it on audiobook while I run errands and do dishes.
    1. I’d love to have a Stephenson book entirely about Enoch Root, who appears in the Baroque Cycle, Cryptonomicon, and Fall.
  2. English Creek by Ivan Doig.
    1. I love reading books in the same season they are set. Part II of English Creek takes place over the July 4 holiday, when I started reading the book.
    2. I’ll probably finish it in my next reading session.
    3. I’ll definitely pick up the other two books in Doig’s Montana Trilogy, and probably some of his non-fiction, too. I’m hooked.
    4. Some characters play the card game pitch, which I hadn’t heard of. Time to get out my 1970s “Hoyle Up-To-Date” book and learn how to play.

I learned this week that you can install a non-current version of a plugin pretty easily via wp-cli.

--skip-plugins --skip-themes plugin install SLUG --version=VERSION --force

This is pretty helpful when an update breaks something. Make sure to turn off autoupdates for that particular plugin, though.

Toronto’s major internet and cell service outage this past week reminded me that I still need to get a store of cash to keep at home in case of just such an outage. Credit cards are so convenient, especially when you pay them off in full each month. But cash is king.

Virtually any business or service that relies on Rogers for internet or mobile connection is warning customers that debit machines, ATMs or phone lines are not working.

Music I encountered this week for the first time that I’m digging:

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