Trying New Things

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered,

you will never grow.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Even though I have known the man I am now privileged to call my husband since I was 17 years old, I discover new, interesting things about him almost daily.  I could gush endlessly about the innumerable reasons he is amazing to me; for now I will give you a snapshot of one endearing quality of his:  curiosity.  He is a perpetual learner, and he actually puts the knowledge he acquires into practice.  This contagious thirst of his has unearthed  wonderful things around our little farm lately!

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This is our big barn.  Right now it is brimming with all the stuff we can’t fit in our little cottage until the remodeling is done.  The barn was leaky in a few spots, so David decided to find the problem areas and tackle the repairs himself.  The Kansas wind made the job more challenging, but he did it.  (Did I mention that my husband is also brave??)  He also turned our barn door into a drive-in movie screen a few weeks ago!  Rigging up an old projector, DVD player, and speakers, we recently had an outdoor movie night with a fire pit going nearby to keep about thirty friends and family members warm, stuffed with s’mores, and entertained.  (I often wonder if there’s anything this man can’t do.)

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See that thing?  For $7 I rescued this cherry stained night stand from a garage sale a few years ago.  One of the drawers was less than cooperative, but I knew I could use it for something.  I primed and painted it and asked my brilliant hubby to figure out how to make it into a bathroom vanity.  Without hesitation, he did.  He cut a hole for the drop-in sink I snagged for $10 at Habitat Restore (my favorite hangout).  I marbled the top with leftover paint and glitter to add whimsy (don’t judge).  Soon it will be fully installed in the bathroom after hubby applies his self-taught plumbing skills.  Pictures of the finished project will be shared.  Hands will be washed. Good times will be had by all.

David enjoys gardening, which is a skill learned from his father.  Even on our 1/4 acre city lot, he was able to have a garden that over the years produced lettuces, onions, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, tomatillos, herbs, cucumbers, melons, and other delicious gifts.  He also planted a grape vine whose fruit was usually pilfered by birds before we could enjoy it.  A few weeks before the big move, we decided to see if there were any grapes on the arbor.  Lo and behold, we harvested a few small bunches!   Hubby’s curiosity kicked into high gear, and he promptly read anything he could find about wine making.  We didn’t have quite enough of our own fruit to make more than one bottle, so he supplemented with some store-bought grapes.  We started the fermentation process while still at the city house, becoming familiar with wine-making jargon like Camden tablets, racking, and hydrometer.  We sanitized some old bottles and corks in our city kitchen.  We carefully transported the wine-in-progress during the big move.  One of the out buildings on our little farm came equipped with a cellar, which was the perfect place to store our two bottles of precious cargo.  We hoped against hope that it hadn’t turned to vinegar after two months; if it had, we were of course prepared to make a darn good salad dressing with it.  A few weeks ago, it was finally time to learn the verdict:  did we make wine?  The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”  We enjoyed very drinkable, pleasant wine!  Kansas is no Napa Valley, but hubby’s first foray into vintner territory was successful.  We drank the first potent bottle over the course of 2 nights, enjoying each drop.  With great satisfaction I saw curiosity turn to effort and come to fruition (pardon the pun).

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This is life on September Farm.  It can be hard work, but it’s good.  We question, dream, learn, brainstorm, research, discuss, plan, jump in, rework, sometimes stumble, and eventually accomplish it together.


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