A change is in the air

I usually think of August as being one of the hottest months — not so much this year. The temperatures have been pretty mild and comfortable for most of the month. We’ve had a few warmer days here and there. And with the leaves starting to change, I can definitely tell that fall is just around the corner.

Enjoying the porch swing on a mild August afternoon

I’ve been busy with food preservation. My tomato crop may be sad this year (the Cherokee Purple, that is — not the cherry tomatoes), but my parents have had a prolific season. They’ve been giving me their tomatoes, so I’ve been making crushed tomatoes and tomato juice to freeze. I make a lot of vegetable soup in the colder months, so I like having a bunch of homegrown tomatoes in the freezer.

I tried canning for the first time ever in my life yesterday — blackberry jam. I almost set the kitchen on fire. (True story: I was pouring sugar into the saucepan and some of it got on the burner and burst info flames). And molten jam kept splattering on me. (Note to self: Use a bigger pot next time.) But I survived and have six (and a partial) jars of jam to show for it.

Fresh out of the canner

The partial jar is in my fridge and I’ve already been eating it. Not bad for my first attempt. Though it set maybe a little too well — it’s not as spreadable as jam should be.

I also discovered some lemon balm in a weedy area I recently cleared. So I’m planning different ways to use it. I stumbled on a recipe for rhubarb-lemon balm simple syrup, which also made great use of the rhubarb I had in the freezer that I had no idea what to do with. So I made half a batch to try with some club soda I had in the fridge. (Note: the recipe I linked to is for margaritas, but I just made the simple syrup and skipped the rest.) It’s very tasty and also pretty.

Rhubarb-lemon balm simple syrup

Concerning other changes in the air, I have been working with a business coach this month. We have a 3-month contract, and we’re already 1/3 of the way done. I’ve made so much progress in terms of narrowing my focus to a specific industry (travel & tourism); brainstorming what kind of packages I can put together to promote for new clients; and tweaking my unique selling proposition, elevator pitch, etc.

Because of these changes, I’ve made some more revisions to my website, including the design. I am by no means done. It will evolve as my business evolves.

I should add that I think I found the perfect coach. It’s ridiculous how much we have in common, and I feel she totally gets me because she used to be exactly where I am now. To use a travel metaphor, she is my compass to guide me to where I want to go. This journey is so hard. But she’s holding my hand along the way, metaphorically speaking.

Also, we’ve gotten a head start on some of our fall tasks around the farm. The to-do list is long, and time is short. So I’m happy for anything we can get done before the weather stops cooperating.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. I’ll now reward you with some recent photos.

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