October, 2011

...now browsing by month


NaNo 2011

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Tomorrow is the start of NaNoWriMo 2011. Those of you with us last year will know that this is national novel writing month, a chanceĀ  to write a 50,000 or more word novel in just 30 days.

This year, Brad is joining me in the fun. Very exciting.

What that means for this blogĀ  is that you won’t see much of us for a few weeks. Stay tuned though, we’ll be back December 1! If things go really well, we might post a quick update or two before then.

Kitty play

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Last night, just before sunset, the bobcat came around. Apparently, she was quite interested in the adobe. At first, she was trying to get under the pallets, where there are undoubtedly rabbits and mice that would make a tasty treat. When she couldn’t fit, she decided to climb on top.


The sandbags holding down the tarp were like big cat toys.



After play, some time to rest.


And finally a big stretch before moseying on.



Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

We have done everything we can think of to do with apples. This has been our big project for the week.

We both peeled and cored many, many apples.


We made and froze bags and bags of apple pie filling. We also made some apple empanadas, apple scones, and apple pancakes.
Then we moved on to canning — applesauce and apple butter.

The timing of the whole canning is tricky. I used a timer and a little chart to keep track.


And we got some new tools that made this all easier.

Here are some of the results. Some of you faithful readers will be getting apple butter in the mail. :)

apple empanadas

apple empanadas

homemade bread w/cream cheese and apple butter

homemade bread w/cream cheese and apple butter


Friday, October 21st, 2011

Windows for the main house were delivered yesterday. Yay!



Lights, Camera, Action

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

For most things in our new house, I don’t think I have been very particular (in the “picky” sense, I mean). There just aren’t a lot of things that I feel terribly strongly about. However, one thing my “dream house” must have is track-style halogen lights. :)

Except that halogen bulbs use a lot of power — not good for a solar house.

So for over a year, in our very-nearly-finished house, we’ve had bare bulbs on the ceilings in about half the fixtures, while Brad and I have both looked for lights that satisfied me.

And finally, a breakthrough — LED halogen replacements!

Aren’t the new lights beautiful? I think the Tumbleweed house is really finished now.




Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

We love our stained concrete floors, and they seem to be the envy of almost everyone who comes over.

Over the 18 months or so that we’ve lived in the guesthouse though, the floors have worn a bit. The finish coat is wearing thin in spots, and under my office chair, even the stain seemed to have worn off. (We thought is was permanent.)

In researching this, we found out that the finish we used (Polysoy) is no longer the recommended finish. Now there is a new permeating finish Acrisoy. However, Acrisoy can only be used on freshly stained concrete, never over another finish.

But there is also a new coating called Ecofloorz, so we decided to try that.

The spot under the chair really looked bad, pretty much like raw gray concrete, so we decided to try restaining it again with Soycrete first. The results were nothing short of miraculous. The stain took great, and now you can’t even see where the worn spot was.

We are very happy with the new finish with Ecofloorz as well. It’s glossier than the old finish, but not too much so. I’m sure it will wear much better.

Fall harvest

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Today was fall harvest day for the squash.


The big green striped squash are Sonoran squash. Believe it or not, we didn’t plant any. We planted all butternut. But the butternut these came from were growing close to Sonoran squash, and I understand that they can cross-breed. I guess this is evidence of that.

After harvest, we put in a second bed of garlic and shallots for next year. Brad is getting very good at the alliums.

While we were planting, we heard the first sandhill cranes of the season flying overhead. A definite sign that fall is here!

Our tomatoes are still producing prolifically, and I have fall crops of lettuce and spinach coming up.

It is also apple time.


We’ll be making lots of apple pie filling, applesauce, and hopefully apple butter in the next week or two.

That’s about it from here on the homestead for now! :)