April / May catch-up

Oh my poor neglected web site … I blame it all on Facebook! Evil Facebook.

Things have been going really well. I’ve been enjoying the midwestern spring. Everything is growing like crazy. We have some amazingly fragrant roses in bloom right now near the house, and one single flower is potent enough to influence the air for six feet in all directions. Working for Athens Electric, I’ve helped another couple of families reduce their dependence on fossil fuels (namely coal in both cases). I did quite well, I thought, in the solar course I mentioned in the last post. Getting the certificate of completion from that course won’t necessarily open any doors immediately, but it has increased my competence and understanding on the job, and I have gotten a couple bumps in pay as well. Mostly, completing the course and passing the test puts me firmly on the road to NABCEP certification, which is the whole point.

Fermenting is going well. The batch I took the video of turned out great and is already mostly gone (consumed!). I did start a 5-gallon batch and it is bottled and conditioned and just about ready to drink! It will be nice to have a lot more stock to pull from instead of just 10 bottles from a one-gallon batch. Yesterday I started my first mead. There’s a local guy here, Bradley, who has been doing a lot of mead making. Even scaling up to 200-gallon batches and licensing from the state and all that. He’s serious. But … really only does “sweet” meads. Although they are very good, I’m not a fan of sweet drinks. I’m going to try and do a “dry” mead. I was going to do a straight mead, just honey and water, but those fragrant roses made me wonder if anyone has ever done a rose mead. A quick google search did find a recipe or two, along with quite a few people with the name “Rose Mead” and a city in California called Rosemead … so, I had to try it. 2.5 pounds of honey and a pint of rose petals, a few other ingredients and some yeast and hopefully I’m on my way. Because I’m making a dry mead, though, it will be 8 months to a year before really drinking any of it. It will be worth it.

One really cool thing that happened in the past month: the Nelsonville Music festival – where I volunteered on the recycling crew and camped out with friends for a weekend of music, relaxation and fun – it will definitely be an annual destination.

It was really a great festival. A few groups really stood out and I’ve got some new music to get into: Givers, the Ragbirds and Drakkar Sauna. I certainly didn’t get to see all the music at the festival, but pretty much all I did catch was good stuff. Loretta Lynn was there, arguably the biggest draw of people to the festival, but I was on a volunteer shift and had absolutely no desire whatsoever to watch. It’s just not my thing.

Later this week I’m heading up north – picking up my Brother at the Detroit airport and heading further north to do some camping and catch up with family a bit. I’m looking forward to getting out of town, but I already know I will be looking forward to getting back to Amesville …