On downtime


Aunt Jean’s Pole Bean pole beans (a lovely heirloom soup bean): so much time on my hands, I even took time to shell them, plus about another 8 pounds of dried beans.  These lovelies were left on the vine to dry a bit too long, so they automatically become seed stock for next season.

A few days off:  it’s something we all wish we had more of, isn’t it?  (I should clarify by saying a few paid days off.  Nobody willingly wishes for days off without pay.)  I will admit, though:  days off mean trouble for me.

I suppose it’s good trouble.  I get things done.  But it’s bad trouble too as it’s in this downseason, this between-betweens, that I have time to…set lots more work up for myself!  Yes.  So I did things like begin the cure on a couple of hams, make lots more milk-y things (out of the regular repertoire of the biweekly yogurt; we made more kefir, some ricotta, even some ice cream), make entirely too many cookies and baked goods, and plant (in my head) the entire garden plus another half-acre at least.  I inventory, I categorize, I conquer.

And then I wonder why I am so exhausted in the evenings.

10 responses to “On downtime

  1. ahhhhhhh you are not alone dawwwwww-ling. there are many of us day off overachievers out there. take heart.

    sounds like a great list of tasks accomplished. you should feel good.

  2. Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife

    Pretty beans, El. I know the feeling of overcommitting oneself and making grandiose gardening plans. You just need to discipline yourself to get into bed by 10pm, and lights out by 10:30!

  3. You need to throw a nap into that schedule.
    I’ve been organizing my kitchen, which has been tremendously amusing. When that’s done, I get to start planning my dream garden. Anything is better than constant after Christmas shopping.

  4. Two requests, if you don’t mind…..I need ideas for eggs… I have lots and lots of eggs and not enough egg customers.

    Also, have you ever heard of a bean call Robin’s Egg beans? My great-aunt raised them every year. They remind me of a lima. I would so much like to have some of these beans.


  5. Could you let us know where we can purchase those Aunt Jeanes beans? I am looking to extend my use of heirlooms and want to have a tasty bean for ministrone soup.

  6. I am very impressed that it only took you a few days to sort out all your garden plans. I am still immersing myself in catalogues and am completely unable to make rational decisions. I hope that in the next month, I can get it all sorted out. Now I want to go look at the bean section of the catalogues again!

  7. I tend to work harder on my days off than I do if I’m on the (paid) job. If I have time off at home I usually need a vacation from my vacation.
    I ‘m impressed that you’ve got all your garden plans done. I’m with Claire, I’m still studying and looking.

  8. You just reminded me that I still have a big bag of black turtle beans that need shelling. I suppose I should be doing that rather than checking blogs. 😉

  9. Hi Shelly…yeah you’re right I should feel pretty good about accomplishing all this stuff, and I do. But it’s like I have set this big thing in motion that will now require my time: time I don’t have when I am working…oh wait! Another 4 day weekend coming our way!!

    Kate, no problem with getting to bed early around here! It’s getting up again that’s the problem. But yeah, bigger plans afoot for growing this year and I am okay with that. Really.

    Pamela, urk! organizing a kitchen! That requires real discipline, which I completely lack. On the other hand I did take some time and organized the pantry this fall (hard to do). But yes it’s better than shopping.

    Linda, well, people have suggested to me that you can freeze them: shell them and put them in small ziploc bags. But me, I am a fool for souffles and custards, so that is where I would go. There is a website that lists lots of veggies through Cornell U. but I didn’t see it listed. The only egg-type bean I know is Lina Cisco’s Bird Egg beans which are a bush bean. You could check seedsavers.org to see if someone grows it. Like I’ve said before, we’re losing varieties really quickly because we’re no longer a nation of seed-savers so we’re losing out on some of these old varieties.

    Bobbi, I got mine from Fedco. There are other outfits that sell them, and if you’re a seed-saver not everything Fedco sells is open-pollinated (and easy to save seed from then) but these beans were fine, if stingy with the harvest. Their germination rate was only fair, but the company warned us about that by telling us to soak the beans overnight first.

    Claire, sorry to mess with your plans 🙂 ! Frankly I never have everything figured out until after I have planted it all. And even then I forget things, so perhaps having a real plan helps??? But actually we are bean fools here at the house so I always undergo a bit of bean madness, especially when they are not growing.

    Judy I so agree with you. I tend to be a bit of a wreck after vacations. This year I am doing a bit of seed-trading so my to-buy list is kind of slim. (This was what I was aiming for frankly!) But nah, I don’t have the beds planted or anything, it’s more like how I can expand the holdings to grow some nontraditional crops.

    Liz, well, time to make some tortillas, I see tacos coming to your place soon! I enlisted the kid on the sheet-stomping bean-shelling session. I made her take her cowboy boots off first though 😉

  10. Sad that so much of society has come to this: Nobody willingly wishes for days off without pay.
    Days off without pay and a schedule can be a blessing, but we seem so busy and worried about the money that we have forgotten how to relax…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s