Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Years Everyone

Just a short post to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I am unable to access the internet. I have no dsl. Thought it was a computer problem and got the new computer. Ends up being a server problem so unsure when I will be hooked up again. Posting from Moms.

Update--- Garter Stitch Gloves are done (show pics later) and a seed stitch scarf in progress. Kitten has been named Bandit because he stole our hearts .....awwwwwwwww! Still cute as ever and is getting spoiled rotten. Reminds us of Jess...will explain later on that.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

After Christmas Post

Did you ever say "never want" "won't get" "can live happily without" etc. only to have the words thrown back in your face. I did and my daugher threw them back at me.
Our cat Schnookums had to be put to sleep this year. I said I wouldn't get another cat. I don't mind the strays that end up at the barn you don't get attached to them. Well Jessica decided that we needed a kitten. Jessica asked mom to get a kitten but mom knew I didn't want one and wouldn't do it so Jessica got her boyfriend to get it. I guess she assumed we couldn't get mad at her while she is in Iraq or if we did we would be over it by the time she got home. How can you get mad at someone when all you want is them home. That kid knows me too well.
So I lived to eat my words 'cause he is the cutest all black, golden eyed, has to follow you all over and is presently sitting on my shoulder watching my fingers type and getting ready to pounce kitten. Like the kids did when they were little he sits outside the bathroom door. He is so playful it is unbelievable. I already knit him a ball from one of my new books but he also plays with bags,tissue paper....anything that moves. With the exception of the dogs. He quickly let them know he was not a play toy for them, so much fury in such a little ball. He is absolutely adorable and even won Curt over which is no small feat.
I was told his name is Junior or Jr. JR would work as it could also be Jessica's Revenge but I think we are going to change the name. He doesn't look like a Junior and it that name has no pizzazz. I am waiting for the kids to get back to decide a name.
In other area's...another present I made. I haven't been able to post about this before because she reads it. This was the most fun thing I have done, not useful by any means but really fun to do.....Cyndy kept saying she want's her own spinning room and I am sure she is not alone. I am unable to help in that department but made the best thing I could. I wanted to do a miniature spinning room inside a birdhouse gourd as she also gardens but when it came time to put it all together this proved impossible so I had Curt build a box and paint it in FleckStone. MaryAnn came up and while I was baking cookies played and played with how to arrange furniture, build a fireplace etc. I hadn't bought wallpaper because I figured I would just swirl paint around on the inside of the gourd and let the texture do all the work but now I needed wallpaper. I had Curt spray the FleckStone on for the walls. I was going to pour plaster in the base of the gourd for the floor and to give it some weight but now I needed a floor so I printed out a picture from PrintMaster of woodboards and then used clear contact paper to make it a little shiny. I handwove the rug using the square loom and some variegated wool I had (should have dyed the warp threads). Printed out the clock on the wall and the radio on the mantle from PrintMaster. Found the little metal embellishments ("dream big" located on the wood above the room kinda of an oxymoron) at Walmart. Made the little basket with the yarn and the triloom ( not very good but the best I could do. Thank God I actually weave better on a real one than I did on that one). The stool for spinning is a thread bobbin. Got the lights and gardening tote (behind the wheel) at A.C. Moore. The fireplace bricking, rocking chair, maniquin and spinning wheel came from Kathi Julio from She was so quick to answer all my novice questions and ship my items. If anyone does miniatures she has awesome customer service. The firelplace andirons are made from black plastic canvas with trimmings from the Christmas tree for logs. The candles on the mantle are nails. I had so much fun with this, actually way too much fun with this (Note to self...repeat after me ...we do NOT have time or room for another hobby. Curt would surely leave you!) I can't get a good shot of it right now but you get the idea. Cyndy hasn't gotten this yet but I figure she won't read this before she does so I am safe. Curt will drop this off tomorrow morning. I hope she likes it.

I haven't been feeling well as a stomach virus is going around so I haven't been knitting or spinning. Came home with a migraine today but that is feeling better so maybe I will finish the garter stitch glove tonight.
I hope everyone had a marvelous holiday and got everything they wanted.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Sing that like Fa-la-la-la-la-la- la-la-la All the homemade Christmas presents are done. In the photo there is JT's socks, slippers (out of his al-pooch-a), and mittens, Tori's slippers, her teacher gets the scarf, his teacher gets the shawl and the dishclothes go in a basket of homemade goodies for a friend. Other than the dishclothes and the socks it is all my homespun! The hat/glove set and scarf/glove set have already been sent. Not bad considering I also made 5 afghans and 6 stockings and sent them to Iraq already. I also made a scarf or two, socks for everyone and some other shawls this year. Damn I have been busy. How quickly we forget everything...or at least how quickly I forget. Age creeeping up... but I am still younger than my sister!!!!
JT's boy scout troop did a little skit last night and it was a comedy of errors but it was cute. I video taped it on my camera to send to Jessica. I will have to send a written copy of the skit so she knows whats going on because the laughing might have interferred with her being able to hear them.
And speaking of Jessica you may wonder how that computer job went yesterday....It didn't... I dismantled the old computer to make room for the new. Unpacked the new, set it up, turned it on and after 15 minutes of scratching/clicking noises the Microsoft screen came on, then the "e" screen 5 minutes later. Then it just sat there scratching/clicking. I was about ready to call them when the question part came up so I started answering the questions (time zone, language etc) when it froze while switching to the next question. I called Emachines (my dime) and gave them all the info and they had me do this and that and then said they would mail me a box and some labels. I asked for what and they said to mail the tower back to them for repair. I asked how long and they said 30 days or so. I said she bought it from Walmart and why couldn't I take it there. He asked if I had a sales receipt which it was a gift so I don't but I am sure as hell going to try to take it back. The box has their label on it and why would I wait a month for a repaired model when she paid for a new model? Duh! So I have to dig out all the Power of Attorney stuff as it has her name on it and go out there tonight. I would go today but Cliff has my car...again. I should start charging a rental fee.
Well I have more wrapping to do and I need to bake something so I will wish everyone a Merry Christmas in case I don't get the opportunity to post again before Sunday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winter Solstice

Living in PA we are entering into the Winter Solstice today and my sister is entering in to her Summer Solstice. Yes we are complete oppostites!!! Ever since Tori has watched Nickelodeon with Little Bear and the Winter Solstice we have had to celebrate this "holiday". We make pinecone bird feeders and hang them out just like Little Bear. When I went looking for more information on Winter Solstice I found this website which states .... "At the Winter Solstice, we celebrate Children's Day to honour our children and to bring warmth, light and cheerfulness into the dark time of the year. " I got excited because my children think that everyday is Childrens Day. So I told them that they only get to have it once a year just like the parents...Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Childrens Day. I really liked this idea but the kids decided to tell me to "not believe everything I read"....where do they get these things from?!
You would think that it was already winter with the temps that we have been having. First they were all above normal and now they are below. We have had 15 days out of 21 below freezing! A clear case of becareful what you wish for. I wanted it cold so I could stay in but forgot that it makes keeping the animals water thawed soooo much harder. Oh Santa bring me a heated barn.
With Christmas being only 4 days away the kids are getting antsy...even the older one. In a real act of Christmas spirit he (the eldest boy) has actually cleaned his room without (yes I said that and to emphasize how big of a deal this is I had to highlight, bold and italic it) without being asked!!!! Oh and here is something that truely amazes me...Christmas happens on the same day every year and they know this but they wait to tell you what they want. Then they give you a list of must have, can't live without, it's the newest, biggest, bestest thing ever. Then right before Christmas they change it, over and over and over again. Thankfully they don't add to it or I would be in even bigger trouble.
So my daughter Jess bought us a new computer. I have had this big box sitting here for almost a week and didn't crack it open. Today I opened it and have plans to put it together. I tried to use the old computer to create memory disc's of the kids girl scouts, boy scouts etc. But we had the same problem we did when I tried to copy a cd Jess sent me, which is why she bought the new computer. So when I am done here I am going to try to learn how to transfer all my stuff from this old computer to the new one the Transfer Wizard. Wish me luck as I am not completely computer illiterate but I am by no means computer smart. But I can read so I printed out the directions. If I don't update for a long time you know things didn't go as planned.
On the fiber front...I am trying to finish a pair of slippers for Tori and then I am done. Second slipper syndrome set in and I just haven't done it. I have sat and watched the lights blink on the tree which finally went up on Sunday. Guess that will have to be done after the computer or tomorrow...tomorrow, tomorrow there's always tomorrow it's only a day a mother would tell you that you are sooo lucky that I am only typing that and not actually singing it! It's not that I sing bad it's just she does not know good music when she hears it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Weather

Would you believe an entry two days in a row. The planets are aligning!!! But seriously I had to post a pic of this mornings thermometer for those of us (sis) who don't remember what cold is. Or mistakenly think that 60 is frigid!!!
Today is the 11th day where we have not gone above freezing. The future doesn't look good for it happening this week. In fact we are due for another snow storm Thursday night. Like last Thursday nights storm they think it will drop about a foot!
But this all works into my knitting...I love to knit small things which show progress quickly as I am an impatient person so we do socks, mittens, scarves, hats and slippers. Cyndy gave me a pattern for a glove that was in SpinOff years ago where it is knit from the side. I can't wait to start that for ME but first to finish the gifts. Actually first to go pick up the stuff that I have on lay away.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Hauling home the tree's Posted by Picasa

Running to find best tree Posted by Picasa

Long Week/Long Weekend

Wednesday Mom and I went shopping for birthday gifts for Jessica's friend. Then we went down to the local firehouse to bake cookies to send to the local soldier's that can't come home for the holidays. We baked batch after batch after batch. Spritz, chocolate chip, peanut butter, choodles and oatmeal. Two ovens, four trays going constantly from 10 am to 3:30.
Thursday we packaged up Jessica's gift and one we made up for her and mailed them. Then we went back and packaged all the cookies and sent them on their way. In one way it is hard (sad) sending them packages because they won't be here with their families and in another way it is nice because you are doing something for them to maybe ease the homesickness of not being with their families.
Friday found us with LOTS of snow and the kids having the day off. Tori is very much an outside person in the winter and doesn't seem affected by the cold and was outside soon after breakfast. Her younger brother on the other hand wanted to do nothing but play video games. Older brother left for work and returned within moments. I asked if he forgot something and he said "Yes my common sense, what the hell was I thinking?!"... sporty little low riding cars don't do well on unplowed roads with a foot of snow. NOW he is thinking a little S10/Ranger might be a good idea! Can't buy one of them unless you are able to get to work to earn the $$. By mid-morning Tori and I decided to go to the bank and decorate for them as I had promised to do.
Friday night we had plans with Tori's Girl Scout troop to go to a movie theater and get a tour of how things work and watch the movie The Chronicles of Narnia. The roads were pretty clear by then so they didn't cancel and we had a good time. The movie was pretty good. The trailers of upcoming movies were good too. They have Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and Ice Age 2 coming out and M. Night Shyamalan has a new movie coming out - Lady in the Water
Saturday Tori's friend came over and they went sledding. When they came in to warm up we decided to go shopping to buy groceries for the Soccer Dinner that night and get our tree. We shopped, then stomped thru the snow to find the perfect tree. Actually two perfect trees, one for mom and one for us. JT was not happy because I nixed his choice of a rather large (as in 10+ ft) tree. Then we had the kids drag them to the vehicle. When we got home I cooked for the dinner and the kids went sledding again. We finally finished the day at 9:30 when we arrived home from the dinner.
Sunday found all the kids out sledding for the whole day. They packed hot chocolate and snacks and would come in to change mittens and head back out. I sat inside where it was warm and baked two loaves of Orange Cranberry Bread. Mom hasn't made me any yet so I was forced to actually bake them MYSELF!!!!!! They didn't taste like hers but they must not have been bad as they are both gone. I also made a double batch of Corn Beef and Cabbage Soup and roasted two chickens for lunches this week. We took Alainna home about 4 and sat and had coffee and baked cookies. Then came home with enough time for the showers/pj's/Survivor finale. Then bed.
Jess called at 4 am and is in better spirits (for now) as her friend Erin got to come to her base and spend the weekend. She needed that! She was getting grumpy with Christmas coming and was not the easiest person to deal with while in one of those moods. ;=D
I woke at 6 long enough to find out there was a snow squall in the middle of the night and there was a two hour school delay. Curt brought me Tylenol and I went back to sleep to get rid of the migraine and awoke half an hour before the kids were to get on the bus, thankfully minus the migraine.
And during this long week/weekend I finished knitting a pair of slippers, a pair of mittens and made another pair with a matching scarf as a gift AND started on another pair with matching scarf. Today I will sit and relax and finish knitting this last gift. We all deserve days like today - I am very lucky to be able to take them. I will have to thank Curt for that.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My sister

My sister
/PersonalSpace.aspx?beid=cns!1pXFnLx4o7iaaQqgUO8CRi2A!105&d=1#postcns!1pXFnLx4o7iaaQqgUO8CRi2A!105 had the audacity to tell my mother this morning that I have to update my blog. My mother told her it was the pot calling the kettle black. Check out the last entry on her site.
I have actually written blog entries. The first one I typed and there were problems with dsl thru my ip so I saved the written entry in word. Time went by and the problem wasn't fixed and I couldn't get on the internet so I deleted it. Then when the problem was fixed I typed up this whole entry on Wordpad (Because blogger dumped mine several times during a post and I had to retype and Cyndy told me to do it this way/copy/paste which saves my wrists for knitting...Smart girl) and was called away from the computer. My oldest son came in and signed off my name and on to his without saving it and frustrated the hell out of me to the point that I didn't want to retype it. So now I finally got another chance to go on the computer with working dsl and I get to pacify my sister at the same time what more could a person ask for?! I just wish she was as concientious!!! YUP! I said that!!! Nothing like waving a red flag in front of a bull for motivation. I will have to have Cyndy's son (up and coming computer guru) put a link on the side to my sisters site so everyone can see what a SLACKER she is!!!
I could have used an excuse like it was soo cold my fingers wouldn't hit the keys properly. Last week it was almost 60 at 9 am today is the complete opposite. We did however miss todays snow. To bad because I could use a good blizzard to put me in the Christmas spirit. I was into Christmas but then we mailed all of Jessica's Christmas stuff out and now I am just in a lull where I am not interested. I guess I have to pull it together as Tori is complaining. Nothing that a little crazy glue in her Cheerio's won't fix!!!!! Just joking I have plans to start decorating today and we are making cookies at the firehouse tomorrow to send over to all the soldiers.
Speaking of the firehouse.....Everyone who knows Jessica knows that she LOVES glitter. Her makeup, perfume, hair gel, clothes, sheets everything has some shimmer in it. Well at 11 pm last night the President of the Ladies Auxillary of the Fire Department was opening the daily mail which included a letter of thanks for a package they sent Jess. Yes the letter was full of glitter and she was unaware of my daughters sparkling personality and unprepared for the contents!!!! Needless to say I got a phone call at 11:01pm but was blissfully asleep but I did get a toned down version this morning!!!!! I am still laughing!!!! She will know next time to open with care!!! One thing about Jess is once you meet her you will NEVER forget her!!!
Nobody in my family has really written out a list of what they want for Christmas so I will be the first to start and trust me I start at the top of the price list and work my way down. In my way of thinking you will never GET if you do not ASK. Also these are the selfish presents -the ME, MEMEME, MINE ALL MINE presents. So without further ado....Curt are you paying attention.........
Jessica home----- the house done before Christmas ----Ashford Traveler DT or the Baynes but Ashford wheel is 2 inches bigger (Curt go ask Cydny) ----A years membership to Curves for Tori and I so I can get some inward curve )( back instead of the outward curve ( ) :^D ----Wide-angle lens for the Canon PowerShot S2 IS Product # WC-DC58A about $160 Requires conversion lens adapter don't forget that ------Yarns to Dye For (Curt Mom knows where to get) ----Soup tureen, white nothing fancy as I am plain Jane -----Any books about knitting (socks, hat, gloves) or spinning and that is all I can think of right now but I leave the floor open for future additions. Some I realize are unattainable but hey you never know this is the time of miracles.
I haven't done much in fiber. I did an earwarmer for Tori in herringbone stitch that I saw as a scarf in a magazine at Borders and I spun a bobbin of merino from Rhinebeck. There has been talk on the spinlist of electric spinners and at first I thought ...I would miss the treadling. Then they said they spun as much in an hour as they use to spin in a that would mean some serious stash reduction! Which in turn would let you go buy more......Babe has a cheap one, ugly but cheap. This may be added to the list.
'Well I have wasted enough time making my sister happy so I am off to make my kids happy and start decorating. The ball is in your court sis. :^D ps I love you Mom that means very x9 big grin

Friday, November 18, 2005

Morning Treat for the Chickens

Just when you think you are straightening things out and you have put your foot down that you refuse to be a slave to family members the rooster lets you know who is boss....It has started to get cold and when it does I give the chickens a treat of some warm milk with bread/leftover veges/pasta etc. So for the past couple of mornings it has been getting down there and I started doing this. Usually I call them and they come be-booping over to the porch. This morning it is 7 am, the kids just got on the bus and I sat down with coffee and knitting and was going to listen to the news. Then Big Red started crowing...not just once but non-stop. I didn't think anything of it at first but when it didn't stop it dawned on me why he was doing it. So I got up warmed up his milk and added the rolls to it and took it out to him and his harem. As soon as he saw me he shut up and hasn't crowed since. Curt thought it was funny that I am now at the beck and call of a rooster. I should mention to the rooster that some people eat chicken on Thanksgiving and see what he does then.

I have been knitting mittens. I love them - they go so fast and I can use up yarn that I have spun as they don't take a large amount to do. My kids came home and said I could make a pair for ----- and for ----- and ----- would like them too. Then early this week my son came home and asked if I could teach him how to weave on the tri-loom. At first it was "oh cool he is getting into this" then I asked him what he wanted to make and he said he wanted to make a shawl for his teacher.....Last year I made one for each of their teachers and this year I have had the same one on the loom for over a month and he was starting to get anxious, figured if mom wasn't going to get off her duff and make some he would! The ploy worked, it did get me motivated and I started working on the 8 footer. I am about 1/3 of the way done using an alpaca sportweight yarn. I have asked Curt to build me a another 6 footer. It is quicker to do and he has made me some but I gave them all away. Hopefully this weekend he will make it for me and I can start another one which should calm JT's nerves!!!! After all Christmas is only 36 days away!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Snowflake Posted by Picasa

Puddles Posted by Picasa

Puddles and New Beginnings

Unhappy times at Happy Acres. Our goat Puddles had to be put to sleep on November 4th. He had urinary, kidney, bladder (whatever you want to call them) stones. He hung in there for a while and took his meds but..... His buddy Storm baaa'ed all night long and so on Saturday we went and got another buddy for him.
I didn't care if we got a sheep or a goat but it had to have the same personality of Puddles. He thought he was a lap dog instead of a goat. Also I wanted a female as the stones are less likely to cause problems in females. It came down to two jacob sheep (one with two horns and one with four) and a little saanen. The saanen won us over. She is 10 weeks old and was bottle fed. We named her Snowflake.
There was some initial pushing and shoving but they play beautiful together now. The kids love her and we have decided to breed her. So next year in September or October we will breed her and she will deliver sometime in February or March, 2007. MaryAnn has dreams of feta cheese. We shall see how busy things are then.

I have basically lost it and Thursday blew up like Mt. Vesuvius. Not one person in my house said "Bye I love you" when they left. They just ran to get away from the looney person. I went and gave my two week notice at work. I have been worried about Jessica (and she won't call me because of her brother), trying to do everything for everybody and basically driving myself insane. So I need time to regroup, reorganize and take some down time. Also I am going to start going to a group for people with people in the military. Right now there is just Pastor and two of us (which I like). Oh and I have to say "NO" to those who say can you buy/sell some of this to support this or that cause, type up this, come to this meeting etc etc etc. And the kids are going to do what they are told when they are told.
I learned alot while Puddles was sick I also learned what I was doing wrong with the goats. Just because I can be good to them doesn't mean it was good for them. Then I came to realize it is the same with my kids, just because I can do/buy for my them doesn't mean it is good for them. I shouldn't have to go into their rooms looking for laundry, tell them the same thing five times and then check to make sure they do it. They do what needs to be done in school. Well things need to be done at home also. I realize kids all over are like this but I was basically a door mat and nobody listened. Now I am the Drill Sergeant if you ask them but when they realize I am not kidding things should go alot smoother. I can't back down because I know they were driving me insane! Literally not just figuratively.
Since Thursday I have finished a pair of socks, knit a pair of mittens and planned out what I want to make next. Hope to start on it today. I also re-organized the stash alittle and have some lincoln in pokeweed dye which has to come out today.
Curt and JT went fishing up in Pulaski for the weekend. Tori and I went to lunch yesterday and are baking today. Things are getting to better.

So here is hoping that things are going to reach a nice balance.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Forest roving Posted by Picasa


Rhinebeck....You walk up the knoll to the gate and you can just stand and inhale...It did nothing for Curt but it sure got my pulse going!!! So to put it in other words....I went- I spent! I felt- I smelt! I ate- I drank! I rode home in fiber heaven. I have to contain myself as present living conditions dictate restraint because of storage space....unless I get rid of the kids which although the thought usually goes thru all our minds...I can't. If I did who would tell me that everything I make is beautiful?! Come to think of it they usually tell me that when they want me to put whatever it is I am working on down and help them with/get them something. Alas they learn so early!
So I got (to work on in the comings months of freezing weather).....
1) a shetland fleece from the fleece tent
2) 1/2 # Corriedale roving from The Sheep Shed at Misty Mountain Farm It is copper, blue, rust and gold. I also bought some camel/tussah from them to try.
3) Roving called Earthworks (green & purple..Jessica's fav colors) from Delly's Delights Farm
4) 2 packages of plum colored flax roving and 1 of lilac from Lamb's Quarter's
5) 8 oz of camel down, 1 # bleached Irish Linen, and a bag of Sari silk thrums from Little Barn
6) Roving in a color called Forest from Stoney Mountain Fibers
I am hoping spinning flax wont be toooo bad otherwise it goes in the closet to await the time my spinning abilities are capable. I will post some pics as soon as I get done. I haven't downloaded them but it looks like they don't show the colors right. I could wait for better lighting but then it would pry never get done.
I spun another bobbin of the shetland I got at Endless Mt. I love the color. I have two large plying bobbins full of two ply that I have to wind off and I still have about 1/2 a pound left.
On the home front, the rain has stopped after 8 days. Saturday was beautiful, Sunday too except for the high winds which helped dry everything including the laundry. Got a lot of laundry done today too.
I picked apples at my neighbors on Saturday and combined with mine will make applesauce and hopefully cider on Wednesday. Had a cup full of hot apple cider at Rhinebeck and it tasted sooo good so I really need to get those apples pressed. I love hot spiced cider at night and when your sick it just hits the right spot.
The kids lost another soccer game. This is only the second year this area has had soccer so we are new and learning along the way. We are playing against teams which have kids that played from age 6. The kids get a little bummed losing almost each game but still go out fighting. The only bad thing is the goalie on one team literally sat down in the goal while the game was going on. It was extremely arrogant and bad sportmanship. On that same team the guys that were not playing also had a mini side game going on amongst themselves. Our players have to show respect and watch the game if they are not playing. We play our last game this weekend and then my weekends will be free and two nights during the week!!! Curt is waiting until the second weekend in November when JT and him can go salmon fishing. They are making this a yearly event, which Tori and I don't mind. We get to stay home and cook soups to stock the freezer and watch movies and veg out.
So I am eagerly awaiting the cooling weather and snow to keep me inside.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Fall is here.

It is Sunday, the kids are with Tom, Cliff is working, and Curt is at a fire thing at Newark Airport. I am blissfully alone and only doing what I want. I know that might sound really mean and selfish but it doesn't happen often. Usually something is demanding attention but not today.
Yesterday was our mini workshops. I get very nervous before each class so I was exhausted by the time I got home. It went well and I guess we are going to do another in the spring.
Last weekend I went to the Endless Mt Fiber Fest. I got 1/2 pound of Shetland and 1/2 pound of wool/mohair/glitz in blue/purple (I was thinking of Jess when I bought it and then I realized why...She has eye shadow exactly like it with sparkes in it). Then because I can't spin fast enough I bought some yarn. I got a yummy varigated gray alpaca sportweight plied with black and a teal with mauve accents DK for socks (hopefully for me) :^D So I came home and spun enough of the glitzy one to make two neck shawls and started an 8 foot with the alpaca.
Next Saturday is the craft show and then.....Rhinebeck. I can't wait. Hopefully I sell lots so I have more to spend!!! Last year was my first year at Rhinebeck. I went in with no clue and was amazed. Then I went to MD S&W with a plan. Now I know what kind of fiber I want to try and focus on that while looking around and allowing some side purchases. Mine is a fiber hunt as I dont need anymore equipment. Although I have been looking at either a Baynes or a Traveler but not ready to buy just yet...Christmas is coming!!!
The garden is done except for tomatoes. I have to pick them as I am feeling guilty wasting the food. I have to plant garlic and I have a ton of apples to make apple butter/sauce/cider. When thats done it will be cool and I can clean out the garden. Oh forgot about horseradish gotta do that too.
We sheared the goats the other day and they look so funny now! Poor naked babies. I waiting for it to cool off and things to settle down so I can just indulge myself. After Oct 22 my weekends will be all free. Oh how I am looking forward to that.
Right now I am waiting to hear from Jess as she should be back on her own base today and what I consider safer. Well the bread is done so I am going to go help myself and since nobody else is here I don't have to share the butt of it!!!

Monday, September 19, 2005


I got a phone call from Jessica the other morning. I got to talk to her for about 1 1/2 hours!!!! Highlight of my week actually month. The only bad thing is she will be out on convoy for two weeks. I prefer her on base where it is safer! She is all excited because she got to work on a HEMIT which is a heavy expanded mobility tactical truck. Basically the difference is it weighs 10 ton. She usually would only work on a Jeep, Hummer or a Deuce and a half, with the deuce only weighing 2 1/2 ton. She is a light wheel mechanic.
I was saying to her that I would love to have the $$ to send over steaks, charcoal and everything to the whole group of mechanics (sixteen all together). I figure they would all love that- a nice big juicy steak with all the fixings. She said she had steak yesterday and it sucked. She said she knows it was camel! I told her they couldn't feed her camel steaks without letting them know and she says "they can do anything they want". The steak and the milk so far she says are from camel. I am scared to ask where she thinks the rest of the food she says tastes like sh*t comes from!!!!
She is crocheting in her spare time!!!! I sent yarn, crochet hooks and knitting needles and instructions over never thinking she would actually do it! She is not the type. She says it is relaxing which we all knew! I am glad something relaxes her. So more yarn is on the way to her...Lots more!!!!
I am crocheting afghans for each of them in their favorite colors and thought her one friend who she enlisted with had the favorite color blue. So after having bought some blue yarn and then realizing I wouldn't have enough (because I am using the same pattern on another one) calling the store to have them set some aside for me, finding out they sold out, having to make an emergency trip to another store to get it....I find out her favorite color is actually pink. So I have six pounds of blue acrylic yarn and still need to go buy pink. Jess said to just mail it all to her which will pry be what happens to it. I would have made them wool but didn't know if anyone was allergic....and I can't spin that fast and have used up almost all I have spun.
On the home front, here it is September and we are still canning tomatoes. For the past two years I was complaining we weren't getting alot and now I am complaining we are getting too much. Jess loved the salsa we sent over so gotta make more of that. She wants some tomato soup too with oyster crackers.
The apples are all ripe and falling off the trees and I don't have time to do them. I have stuff planned until Oct. 9. This past weekend we did the Small Farm and Rural Living Expo (, September 24 we have the Hoedown at the Firehouse, Tori has GS overnight camp and my nephews birthday party. September 25 we have to go pick Tori up and go to the Endless Mountain Fiber Fest ( October 1 we have our Fiber Fest at the Hatton Farm( and the craft fair at the Firehouse on October 8 and every Saturday until the 22nd of October we have a soccer game. And then the Holiday rush starts. I did this to myself, I am a sick, sick, sick person. I need a shrink! What in me makes me do this when all I really want to do is sit and spin, knit, weave, read a good book and hibernate? I really do hate that feeling of hurry, hurry, oops your forgetting something but I manage to load the schedule full so I feel like that all the time. My New Years resolution is to sit and do nothing but what I want to do......Will never happen but one can dream.
At the Small Farm and Rural Living Expo I sold three shawls. What is unbelievable is that it seems the woman that bought my three and one of Cyndy's shawls came back in and stole another one. As we were taking everything down and packing up I asked where "shitty shawl" was and Cyndy said you sold it to that woman who bought the shawls. I said no and listed the ones I did sell her. I am half mad because she spent what she did and I know she had the $ to pay for the "shitty shawl" and half baffled as to why. And then another part is saying be thankful it was shitty and not one of the others. I named this one shitty shawl because I thought it was a piece of sh*t! It was all the scraps of wool from various projects done in a plaid. I didn't like it but everyone else did. The why still has me though. I could understand stealing food if you were starving but a shawl when you have the $ and just bought four others. Maybe she thought we charged too much and was compensating herself, I have no idea. Humans are sooo strange.
So today I have to clean, clean, clean and then cringe when I go check the garden. Then when it is all done I have to get to work replacing stock. I have three weeks till the next show....Bob the Builder says "You can do it!!" I don't know if I like Bob the Builder right now or not!

Sunday, August 28, 2005


I am a victim of my own doing. See in the spring I have these pictures of gardens of grandeur. I dream of lush bountiful gardens. I plant and plant some more just in case the rabbit, groundhog, chipmunk, birds, bad weather takes some of those seeds/plants. Then the weeding comes, then bugs which need to be picked off, then......canning season.

My mother always canned. I had NO interest in it until about 5 years after I moved back home. Then I bugged my mother to teach me. So for approximately 10 years now my mother and I have been canning together. Each year she says " I stopped canning years ago"! Each year we continue to can. This year we have had a extremely good year. The garden has basically become the lush bountiful garden that I dreamed of (if you look behind the weeds). I had my doubts after the groundhog ate the broccoli and peas, and the potato bugs took over the potato patch while we were in MS but it rebounded in spades.

Now I work Monday and Thursday nights, and Tuesdays. She works Sunday, Monday and Friday. So Sunday, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays are no good because our schedules don't allow it. This week my sister was up for a vacation and surprise 70th for mom. Joyce left on Monday. I worked Tuesday. Wednesday we canned three batches of salsa, and 1/2 box of peaches. Thursday we canned the other half of peaches, a batch of chili sauce and a batch of pickles. Friday she worked and I had to take the kids school shopping. Saturday we canned another batch of chili sauce and tomato soup. Today she works and I am suppose to be cleaning my house. By Wednesday the garden will be overflowing again. We have become sick of seeing cucumbers and are picking and giving bags of them away to unsuspecting people :^D! The tomatoes are really coming in and will continue to become salsa, chili sauce or soup until we tire of seeing them and pass them on.

Yesterday when we finished canning for the day I started thinking the season is coming to a close soon. Then I was showing friends the cupboard shelves full of canned goods and started to say we still have to make the blackberry jam, elderberry jelly, green tomato relish, apple butter, apple sauce, apple cider and pear honey. Kinda scary! At least it has cooled down some. In July and early August it was so hot that even the a/c couldn't keep up with us canning.

So besides canning nothing much has gotten done. I said last time I posted that I would get lots done without the kids being here but I was so stressed that pretty much nothing got done. I had too much time to think about Jess so I tried to stay away from home by going to the fair/concert, going to visit friends and going to soccer practices even though my kids weren't here to play. But since the three kids got home I have woven a tartan with yarn from KnitPicks and another from my homespun blue faced leicester that I got in MDS&W. I have dyed some wool I had laying around and I got two pounds of cormo for my B'day which I have a spun a large bobbin of so far. I am still plugging away at the Irish Hiking and the Branching Out and I started crocheting an afghan. I am getting nervous as there is only 118 days until Christmas. So much to do and soooo little time. I told a friend instead of changing when the clock should be moved forward and back they should add a couple of hours to it. Cyndy said they would just add more hours to your work week and we would be right back where we started. She is probably right :^(

Labor Day weekend is fast approaching and "they" will all be going back to the city. "They" being the people who inundate this area expecing you to drive faster because they only have so much time to relax, wait on them first because they are in a hurry, expect you to pick up their bags of trash off the roadside because they didn't want to make a right toward the dumpster because the left turn was toward home and it would have wasted 5 of their precious moments. "They" being
the people who inundate this area expecing you to drive faster because they only have so much time to relax, wait on them first because they are in a hurry, expect you to pick up their bags of trash off the roadside because they didn't want to make a right toward the dumpster because the left turn was toward home and it would have wasted 5 of their precious moments. "They" being the we have $$ and you don't so you should be excited to see us. "They" being the same people who build huge homes that they only come to maybe once a year but force the taxes up so high that property that has been in the same family for 150+ years now has to be sold to cover them. And nobody around here has the $$ needed to buy the others out so "they" get it and build developments/mini malls which don't pan out but the trees have all been cut down and pavement installed so.........Little do "they" know but we count the days down from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I love that cartoon that shows tourists and says "if it is tourist season why can't we shoot them"

Labor Day also means the kids are going back to school. I usually hate them going to school but they like it and don't want to be homeschooled. The only good point being we are more structured during the school year. So maybe after the kids are in school, the canning is done, the garden cleaned up, hay put away for the animals I might get everything done that I want to do. I may complain but I would not change any of this. (Except "they" coming up)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Oh, where do I begin?

It has been weeks since I posted and have lots to say!! Nothing new for me :^D So let's begin and I am sorry for taking so long. Donni from had asked some ?'s about the spun dyed roving. I dyed the first one with Neon food coloring and then spun the roving, then wound on to a center pull ball and plied it. The second one I spun the wool, wound on to a center pull ball and dyed 1/2 then flipped it over and dyed the other 1/2. The third one is dyed in regular food coloring and then spun, wound on to a center pull ball and plied. I like the blotchy mix I get. It isn't good for everything but can make interesting shawls, which is what it will pry end up as. Either that or felted little bags. Next said she didn't know how much the Freeport Flag Ladies had done, such as going to the airport to send the troops off. I invite everyone to look at their website. They are truely remarkable women. You can find them at
Now onto what has been keeping me from blogging. On July 15, 16 and 17 we had our local fire departments fair. We worked from opening until closing. Then did clean up. Long hours but it paid off with the highest amount of money made in the kitchen and the highest net profit over all in the history of the fair!!! The only problem is that so few people actually help pull it all off. I am there so I know if anything happens to my house they will be able to help me. Financially I am unable to drop $100 + donation but I can always find the time to help which is worth more than gold in some cases.

Then on July 30 a friend hosted a mini workshop fiber fest at her farm and I said I would teach some mini classes. I was nervous, terrified, scared shitless, petrified, etc etc until I got there and started teaching. I did two triloom classes, a square loom class and beginning crochet. I had shown people how to do this before but I was getting paid this time hense the nerves. Everyone was extremely nice and so into learning as much as possible in the given time. So all went well and although I was exhausted from the stress of it I did have fun and agreed to come back again in October. The mini workshops are nice as you get an idea if you are interested in something before blowing alot of money on something that is not for you. There was spinning, triloom, square loom, nalbinding, alpaca fiber, sheep fiber and breeds, cardboard looms, knitting, and crochet. A little something for everyone.

Next is the garden which we have had to water due to lack of rain and unusually high temps. But so far the garden is producing well. We (mom & I) have been doing pickles and more pickles. We did plum jam and black raspberry. Yesterday we picked blueberries, did four batches of jam, picked the cucumbers did one batch of bread and butter pickles, then picked the blackberries and said enough is enough. They will wait until we have more so we can do more than one batch.

On the actually doing part of fiber I have started another Irish hiking scarf and the branching out. Both are somewhat neglected of late but not forgotten. I have been spinning and hopefully I will try the spinning with beads before the weekend is over. I have white alpaca that I am spinning and a metallic purple thread and metallic beads in green, purple, blue and other colors that I want to ply it with. Of course if this works it will end up as something for Jess who is a purple monster.

Speaking of Jess, I heard from her. Her and two friends are living in a little wooden shack now. They said they aren't complaining since it has electricity and a/c. They said they are working 7 days a week with a 1/2 day on Sunday. We have been sending her lots of packages as she said the food leaves a lot to be desired. She loved the food in Kuwait though. She has a fridge and microwave so it is fairly easy to send food she can cook. I asked if she needed powdered milk for coffee/tea and she said they were able to get little juice boxes with milk. She said she thought it was camel milk because "it is NOT cow's milk". Phone calls are hard to get as sometimes the static is worse than it was with the cell phone. Only 326 more days, so I am not complaining.

Now tomorrow I turn 41...and out of four kids-three will be gone. Jess in Iraq, and the younger two are going to their dads for a week. Just Cliff will be here and he leaves Sunday to drive his girlfriend to NC. So my actual present is all of next week ALONE. Think of the fiber stuff I can do ALONE for a week. I can disconnect the phone and cable and be in complete heaven!! Just three days until A-L-O-N-E!!! Ahh it even sounds great typed!!!!!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Schnookums Posted by Picasa


Many years ago (12) we got a cat who we were told was at least 2 years old. My daughter Jessica did everything to this cat. She painted the white on his head purple with magic marker. She pushed on it's pads until the nails came out and put nail polish on them. She dressed the cat up as a baby doll. She gave the cat a bath all the time. She would walk to her grandmother's with the cat inside her jacket. I made the cat it's own Christmas stocking with a picture of him painted on it with a plaid ribbon and bell around it's neck. Schnooks would find wherever you hid the catnip and break the bag open and roll in it. She would meow until she got her way (very annoying). This cat was the BEST. Well...on Tuesday sadly, we had to put her to sleep. It was not a decision I came to quickly. I have been putting it off but she was getting real bad and I didn't want her to suffer. In May while Jess was in training I had told her that the cat was getting old and may not last long. She didn't want to hear it. Now Jess is in Iraq and when she called today I didn't tell. I took the chickens way out and said if she asks I will tell her and she didn't ask this time. I feel bad but I want her mind there right now not on the cat. The younger kids saw how bad she was and although they were upset they knew it was for the best. Jess however will be devastated.
When I went to the neighbor's to give them the food and litter that I had left I saw a kitten that looked just like Schnookums but long haired. I was tempted but don't want to replace her this soon. I will let the younger ones decide if we should have another and when.
On brighter notes the fair is this weekend and I will be busy working it everyday. I frogged the sock again. The mock smocking didn't allow it to stretch enough to go over the heel. Did the potato chip scarf and started the branching out from
branchingout.html. Won't have time for anything until about Wednesday of next week. Till then keep cool!!! Hahahahahaha that's a joke around here!!!

Monday, July 11, 2005

dyed roving Posted by Picasa

Spun dyed yarn Posted by Picasa

Family Reunion

The second weekend in July is our family reunion. This year I got to see my 1/2 sister whom I haven't seen in 23 years. She is reclusive as my 1/2 brother hasn't seen her in 17 and our brother and sister haven't seen her in more than my 23. The last time I saw her she was introducing us to her fiance- she introduced our brother by saying "this is my brother..." but then when it was time to introduce me it was "and this is..." Not my sister but this is... I had been so excited because I hadn't seen her since our father had died. I was only 17 and it was like a splash of ice water and I never forgot it. Seems however that she doesn't even remember this meeting or that I lived in MD for 10 years which is where this all went down. In a way this is even worse than forgetting to introduce me as her sister. Half of me is like "what were you on drugs to forget that" or "did I really mean so little in your life that I could be forgotten that easily" but the other half says why are you worried about it. You don't know her and she has no clue who you are and doesn't care too. It is my own fault because I had put her up high because I didn't get to see her very often. She stayed with her mother after our father and her mother divorced. Our brother stayed with Dad and then met my mother and had my sister, me and my brother. Where as my sister was like the boss, a real "meany" and I had to put up with her, this other sister was the cool one, like a breath of fresh air so to speak that only came for short periods of time. Guess I should have looked up more to the one that put up with me and that really cared. I have no excuses except youth. So it was really weird that she showed up. It was like talking to a stranger. I can see parts of my "meany" sister in her which was strange that mannerisms can be the same between sisters raised totally apart from each other. The only thing we have in common is that we both knit. Now my "meany" sister and I are TOTAL opposites but at least I know she loves me and cares about me so I guess I owe her an apology for kinda holding it against her that she wasn't the "cool" one. Sorry sis and thank you for always being there. Family dynamics are extremely exhausting so I slept hours away after the reunion and on Sunday. I woke this morning rested and drove my son to get his new used car which means I get to drive my own car for the first time in about 6 1/2 months!!!!!! wahooooooo!!!!

I heard from Jess and she is still in Kuwait. She is suppose to leave there on the 15th now. Maybe they will and maybe they won't. But the food is good and there is a/c so it isn't as bad as being in Iraq so there is no complaining and the time is still counted.

We went and picked up 4 turkeys last week. The kids named them mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce. I saw two shetland sheep there for sale. I was surprised at how small they are, perfect for a small farm. I was tempted but held strong...maybe later as I already checked all the info out about them!!!

Garden is weed covered but has lots of green tomatoes. Corn was NOT knee high by the 4th of July...more like ankle high!!! Cucs are starting to produce, they will go crazy here shortly. We (mom & I) made 14 assorted sized jars of black raspberry jam. Blueberries should be ripe by next week.

In fiber news .. I have been on a dye kick. I go in cycles. Right now it's dye and it's crazy dye. I spun up some and took pics. One looks like the crayola factory blew up. Have no clue what they are going to be used for but had a blast doing them so they will find a place some where at some time. Started spinning up Diggers fur, the alpoocha as JT calls it. I am just grabbing it out of the bag and spinning it like that- no carding. It leaves bumps sometimes but it still looks good to me. I have to make JT something out of it but not sure what. I frogged the sock I started for Jess because I was using the wrong numbers. I started it over and I am up to the gusset part now and should finish it tonight.

Now I am off to turn on the a/c as it is going to be 93 today which is about 15 -20 degrees more than I like.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

365 and counting down

Jessica left for Kuwait last night so today will be her first day there and so we will count down till we see her again.

She called from Bangor Airport and said she was met by the Freeport Flag Ladies. They gave her a star (her favorite symbol) pin with a saying ... May the bright and shining star guide you and your loved ones, and always be a symbol of hope, happiness and peace in the world. In a week they will have pics up that they took last night of Jess and comrades. Ever since 9/11 these ladies go stand on the streets of Freeport, ME on every Tuesday and the on 11th of every month and wave the American flag. Their website is go check them out.
They drive 2 hours to Bangor to meet every troop either leaving or returning from overseas. Amazing women who have my thanks for making my daughter happy during her last hours in the states. I am going to make them "Hugs" and send them to them to help keep them cool while out there waving that flag.

So we made it to Camp Shelby, recruited a couple of people to the Hugs project along the way which was cool! Pun intended! I couldn't find my digital camera during the whole Salute and Sendoff but did get video. However after the ceremony and eating and shopping Jessica gave me...a Canon Powershot S2IS which was just put on the market in May. This camera's bells and whistles have bells and whistles. Here is all it's info.... It is an awesome camera! Thank You Jess!!!! I have learned the basics and was able to take some pics and download them so I know I haven't totally lost all my marbles. The day we were leaving MS I was digging through the bag of yarn I brought with me looking for a knitting needle and found the camera that I couldn't find the rest to the week.
But back to the ceremonies...they had the general inspect the troops and a fly over which gave me chills. Gov. Rendell was there and I wasn't impressed. I just wanted him to shut up so I could get my kid and go spend my last day with her for the next year. Here is a man who wants to take the guns away from the U.S citizens sending our U.S troops over to help people whose goverment took their guns away from them. He obviously doesn't see the irony of that. It was soooo hot everyone was using the programs as fans. Then as the MP directing traffic said..."it was all over but the crying" Butthead. We took Jess and Decker off base and went to eat. They had a pedicure and manicure done! And then they shopped! We dropped them off about 10:30 that night. They could have stayed out till 10 Friday morning but they hadn't done any packing and they were leaving Saturday. Decker was on her cell phone and told someone she met Jess's family and that we were "unique" but from the photo's below she seems to fit right in!!!

We left Friday morning and drove straight home. Cliff took care of the animals and kept the house clean the whole time. But just to show me he missed me he didn't do a single dish, cup, fork or any laundry.....He REALLY missed me!! :^) I spent Saturday cleaning and watering the gardens. The tomatoes have tomatoes on them! The flowers are all blooming and a frog is in the pond.

On the fiber front...I finished the orange stocking and made the red one and started a pair of purple socks for Jess with smocking on the ankle. Too hot to do much as the yarn sticks to your sweaty hands! This blog had the song they played as the soldiers were walking off the field. This guy is in the 2nd Brigade with Jess but with a different battalion but was going thru everything she did. It's a good read - wish he was going to the same place Jess was so I could read about what was going on that she might not tell me but he is going elsewhere.

Well I am off to the river to cool off.

The (purple in real life) sock with smocking Posted by Hello

The stockings Posted by Hello

Yupp!!! Definitely fits in!!! Posted by Hello

Decker fitting right in!!! Posted by Hello

Jess & Decker at the pool Posted by Hello

Foxglove Posted by Hello

The frog Posted by Hello

Clemitis Posted by Hello

Hollyhock Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Jessica leaves for Camp Shelby

Today was the last day of school for the younger two. They both passed and will be in 4th and 5th grade next year. It is also the day Jessica left to go back to Camp Shelby. She won't be back home for a year or more. She said she won't come home on her R&R because she won't want to go back and would end up going AWOL! Guess I can't argue with that although the mother in me is screaming. This past six months is the longest she has been away from home. She said she would like to go to Germany or somewhere - just to see another country while she is on that side of the world. My heart just aches because she won't be the same when she returns. She is going to face things and I won't be able to help her or hold her. Cliff is really shaken up. So sad that they get close when they get further apart, and that this is how I wanted them to treat each other all along. But on to other things before I ruin by keyboard with all the tears.

Fiber: Was too hot to really do anything. On Wednesday I finally got tired of it and when the morning was cool I disregarded the laundry, dust, garden and dishes and spun a full bobbin of slubby, took it off onto a ball winder, plied it and sett the twist. Got about 53 yards. That finished off a jelly belly I bought from Decadent Fibers at NY sheep and wool. Finished knitting guitar strap. Started knitting Christmas stocking for one of the girls in Jessica's company. I cut out 58 "hugs" and ironed them this morning. Tomorrow I sew (if you can call it that)!

Garden: Thursday was a hell of a lot cooler than the last two weeks and we were able to get in the zucchini and corn (I know it's late) and pepper plants. We also mulched around the cucumbers, all the tomatoes, peppers and beans! Back was killing me and I had to work that night but it is done. Hopefully this will cut back on the weeds we will have to face when we return from Mississippi.

Animals: The chickens arrived on Monday. I ordered 31 but ended up with 36...I am not complaining. On Wednesday I gave 6 of the ones we hatched to a neighbor. They (big mama and little mama chicken) are still sitting but haven't hatched any this week. One is sitting on 6 and the other 2 and a duck egg. Houdini getting big :^)! Goats are acting like terrible two's which they dont' out grow! When I go out to sit with them in the field, Storm tries to drink my coffee and Puddles tries to eat my knitting yarn. But they are so darn cute. Turkeys and pigs arrive after the return from MS.

Doubt I will get a post in before we leave but I did get my camera working so I will have pics. The one below is a picture Jessica painted before she left....You know that piece of plywood is going to get framed until she comes home.

Jessica's Plywood Art Work Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Jessica is Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jessica snuck in on Monday!! She didn't tell anyone she got out two days early except Ali who had to pick her up at the airport!!! It was a fantastic surprise to say the least. Per her request on Wednesday we had corn beef and cabbage with Irish soda bread on Christmas plates. So we covered St. Patricks Day and 1/2 of Christmas. On Thursday we had her Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and ham. So the ham covers the other 1/2 of Christmas. Before she leaves we just have to fit in Easter and we will have covered all the major holidays she will miss with us. Although it is all happy and party mode-ish now it will be horrible when she leaves and the actual holiday arrives without her being here.

But for now her dad showed up, my sister flew in from Puerto Rico, and her friends from Scranton (Jen and George) were a surprise for her. There were 22 who were stilled stuffed when they went to bed. This was a good thing as the fridge would have gone on strike had we tried to stuff any leftovers into it!

Cyndi's sister Nancy and her husband Jeff mailed her a beautiful Battlezone Bible to take with her. It has it's own metal case to keep it from getting trashed and to keep it dry. And Sunday we are going to the firehouse to make the cool ties (Hugs) with the money Cyndi's mom sent up. I am so lucky to have her as a friend. She of course started the fiber addiction and yesterday I was able to pass that along. Jessica's friend Jen heard that I was making shawls on the tri-loom said she wanted to learn. So Curt made her a loom and we gave it to her yesterday. We also gave her a drop spindle and some roving....I bet she gets a wheel for Christmas!!! "Come into my parlor" said the spider to the fly!!!!

I have been working on Jessica's stocking and she told me she doesn't want to see it until I send it to her and that I need to make one for each of her buddies, Williams, Fye, Hoover and Decker. I have decided to use a bulkier yarn when I make theirs so they go a little faster. She says it will take 2 months to get packages so they will have to be done and shipped by Halloween. Oops - we missed that holiday will have to plan something!

We are up to 19 chicks and the ones we bought will be here Tuesday! I keep trying to give a couple to everyone but they won't take them. I am trying to decide if we should get the pigs before or after the trip to Mississippi, after would be better for us but before would give them 2 extra weeks of good food (so they gain more weight before****time in November).

Tomatoes and beans are going crazy with this hot weather. Still haven't done the barn garden...Hopefully it won't be a bust this year and not get done because I have some really good seed to go in there but time is a tickin' and we may not have enough time left before frost for the squash. But Curt has a hernia (operation on 6/27) so he can't do much without it popping out so I may have to wait. Patience is a virtue or so my mother says.

Well need to go find sewing machine and see if it is working for Sunday. These poor women ... they have never seen me sew...there is a reason I spin/knit and don't quilt!!! They are in for big surprise!!!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Garden Finally Getting Planted

Due to the weather the garden was just sitting. We had frost until late May. I have been working on the greenhouse garden-planting a little everyday and we had planted the potatoes but yesteday we put the nose to the grindstone and dug and planted. We put in 54 tomatoes, 12 cabbage (6 red, 6 green),6 peppers and both raised beds were seeded for cucs. Today if the weather holds we will plant the seeds for the melons, zucchini and LI cheese squash.
I am more into the heirloom/open pollinated where as mom is into the newer varieties. She said if they were so good they would have lasted and not been replaced by a better variety. So the greenhouse garden is planted in my heirlooms like Amish Paste and Black Pear tomatoes, Forellenschuss lettuce, Charlevoix Beans and the big garden is planted in Better Boy, Big Boy, Early Girl tomatoes, Fordhook Zucchini, California Wonder Peppers but I managed to squeeze in the LI cheese squash and Amish Melon. Oh and the Beans are Kentucky Wonder - an heirloom but one she heard of so that was okay too! Now I just have to have Curt roto the barn garden and get that planted....maybe this weekend or else I will have to do it because I can't wait much longer.
On the fiber front. I had dyed some roving with easter egg dye in pint jars in all six colors running one into the other and I spun that and knit it in garter stitch. Looks cute but isn't very long as I navajo plied it to keep colors together so next time I will have to use bigger jars or more of them. Figure I will sew the sides together add a handle and then felt it for a small purse for Tori. I also added a couple of rows to Jess's stocking and Tori's guitar strap. I knit when I take the goats out into the field. They won't stay there unless somebody is with them! Cyndi e-mailed me that we need to get motivated on this knitting/weaving for the craft fairs we have planned. Funny thing is I am so procrastinating on that. I can think of things to make the family but have no inclination to make anything else. I need a serious kick in the butt.
We sheared Storm. Of the two goats Puddles is calmer and takes to the shearing easier. Storm is like trying to shear a tornado! Haven't done anything with the fiber yet as I don't know what I want to do with it.
Only four more days and a wake up as Jess puts it until she comes home. This is the longest period of time we have been apart. She is already trying to push people away so she won't hurt when she has to leave for Iraq. In a way I understand but it also hurts when all you want to do is hold her. Joyce is flying up from PR to have "Thanksgiving Dinner" with us while Jess is home. Jess doesn't know yet so that should be a nice surprise. Jess decided she doesn't want us to come down to MS for the Salute and Sendoff. Finally dawned on her how hard that is going to be but the plans have been made and we are going. I will pry be a basket case on the ride home - poor Curt and Mom!
We are up to 15 chicks now. No new ones for the past couple of days but she is still sitting. The ducks were a bust and we need to get them out of there but I am thinking of putting some duck eggs under the chicken.
Well I am off to start the days cleaning so they can come home from school and work and undo it all. I guess they think I need to feel needed and they all do their utmost to make me feel so!!! I feel sooooo loved!!!

Quick sketch of gardens Posted by Hello

Friday, May 27, 2005

And yes...more chicks

On 5/22 we had 6 as of this A.M. we have 11! You would not believe the difference in size between a one day and a one week old chick.

So far as the Salute and Send off - the reservations have been made and babysitter for the chicks scheduled. Cliff won't be going so he will take care of the dogs.

I found a blog from a guy in PA that is going to be going over with Jess. He is also from PA but he is infantry. By reading his blog I will have an idea of what is going on and he has alot of photo's.

Knitting- started scarf from SpinOff got about 30-40 rows done and dropped a stitch and got ticked and ripped it all out.

Gardening - disgusted! Groundhog ate all the broccoli plants. ALL! Weather sucks for planting. Have no time to seperate the tomatoes because I am running around trying to end all that end of the year stuff from GS, BS, 4H, school, soccer. I can not wait for school to end. So I can sit at home and veg. with the kids.

Can't remember if we did spinning last year during the summer. We may have to forgo the summer ones as I will have the kids and they will not sit for two hours and read. Tori maybe, JT never.

Well I should go get the beans in so they can grow and feed the groundhog or deer or rabbit.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

And more chicks

Friday night we found one more chick. Then Saturday afternoon there was one and then this morning there was one. We are now up to six chicks. We figured it might work like this (the one chick per day) as the mother stops laying when she goes broody but the other hens would get into the nesting box with her and lay one and she would sit on it. So far they are all doing great, took to eating and drinking as soon as I showed them.

And I have 31 baby chicks coming the week of June 13. So I am either going to be having alot of chicken dinners this winter or alot of eggs for breakfast depending on the sex of all of them.

Saw the fox yesterday and got a shot off. Curt thought he hit him but we couldn't find him when we walked up that way so I still won't let the chickens and ducks free range and they hate that. But the fox is usually around the barn about 2 o'clock so we are going to sit and wait today and hopefully we will get him. I feel bad because I would like to let him live but he has eaten 7 chickens and 2 ducks already. Don't mind sharing the land as long as he (the fox) isn't taking all of the harvest!

Friday, May 20, 2005

We have chicks!!

Last month the duck stared sitting and we let her. Then one of the Buff Orps started sitting and we let her. And then one of the Brown Leghorns started sitting and we let her. Well last night when Curt went to shut them in he heard peeps and sure enough the Buff had hatched some chicks. We left them in there last night but took them and brought them inside this morning. Mom is still sitting on a bunch of eggs and we didn't want the chicks falling from the nesting box.
Last night we thought there were only two but when we went to get them this A.M there was three. We may have more tonight. I don't think the ducks are going to hatch but I will give her a couple of more days. The Brown Leghorn use to be such a frazzle brain - running around like Henny Penny if you even looked at her but now is sooo calm she lets you walk right up to the nesting box and pet her! The kids are estatic of course and can't wait for more baby chicks. I on the other hand miss all the fresh eggs. With the fox getting them and then two sitting I am down to only five hens that are laying.
On the garden front- blah. We had frost Wednesday morning. We did get 5 rows of potatoes in and the leek. Garlic is looking awesome. I need to get the broccoli in. I need to mow the grass. I need to pour cement in pig pen (we ordered 4) and I need to finish barb wire for Houdini's field. I need another me and another Curt is what I really need!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Maryland Sheep & Wool

Sooo I went to the MD Sheep & Wool. I hate MD for personal reasons...only two good things came out of MD - Jess and Cliff and Jess was actually born in VA. But I put the personal feelings aside and took the trip. Stayed with Amie (best niece in the whole world). Got there Friday night just in time to watch the last inning of Becca's softball game (they won 6-2). Amie only lives about 1/2 hour away so we were there right when it opened (actually a little before). When I walked in there were the cutest little sheep. Kenny called the cell while I was admiring them and told me to just take the backseat out of the car and tie it to the trunk and throw the sheep in. It is so nice to have a brother that would love to go back to farming to come up with ways to support my fiber needs. I didn't do it though, I was good and maintained.
I had a list of kinds of fiber I wanted to try and was going to stick to it. I did fairly well....
8 oz of bluefaced leicester combed top from Misty Mountain Farm
(on the list)
4 oz of icelandic roving from HeartsEase Farm (on the list)
1 oz of cashmere and tussah silk roving (not on list but had to try this)
4 oz of cormo roving from Foxhill Farm (on the list)
2 lb of border leicester fleece (not on list but had some before and love the luster of this wool
2.5 lb of leicester longwool (not on list but may as well do all the leicesters)
and I got a canvas bag from Swayze Inn Farm (because Curt forgot the tote). While driving home and reading all the pamphlets I picked up I found out that Swayze Inn Farm has Jacob and CVM sheep. The CVM was on my list of fleece/roving to get and I didn't, but now I know were I can get it.
I also learned my Babe spinning wheel fits between the dash and me and I can spin while Curt drives...Cormo spins like a dream! I also learned that Maryland has trees with leaves on already, the lilacs have already bloomed and the azaleas are now blooming and driving home the leaves got smaller and smaller until finally arriving home we had bare trees with just a hint of green -that was depressing but gives me just a little more time to spin up some of what I bought before heavy planting season comes. So I am off to do laundry and spin!
Oh I would have pics of Becca and my purchases but left camera in MD!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Storm Posted by Hello

Puddles Posted by Hello

Lost & Found Posted by Hello

The New Additions

Tuesday a fox got Crackers (a khaki campbell) and her mate Ritz was getting beat up by the Pekin ducks so we decided to bring him down to the house and let him recoup. Wednesday we went to go get him a new mate and ended up coming home with two Indian Runner ducks instead. Thursday all was going well with them he was acting like a dad to them and then that night while we were up at the barn here comes the Ritz to go to bed up there...he walked about 1/4 of a mile to get back to his old pen!. We brought him back home and couldn't find the Indian Runners. This morning we looked again and nothing. Then about 10 I was going to Moms and they were both outside the pen trying to get in, so I have decided to call them Lost & Found. But there is more....Curt had to go back to pick up a female Khaki last night and while there he got two Angora goats ...(MOHAIR!!) so I have my first fiber animals. Their coats grow about an inch each month so they need to be sheared twice a year so I will have plenty to spin.
The peas are in!!! The asparagus is coming up!!!! Now I just have to plant the leek and the new asparagus. I will do that tomorrow nah Sunday. Tomorrow Tori has a birthday party and I have to go pick up the trees/shrubs I ordered and it is suppose to rain again.
OH!!!! After careful consideration and mind numbing deliberation we have decided we ARE going to the Maryland Sheep & Wool. I had decided against it as there is soooo much to be done but Cyndi found out she is going and "all work and no play" and all that and how in the world could I disappoint my favoritest great niece Becca and not deliver farm fresh eggs, so I am going, I am going. I will probably live to regret it but what the hell. I just read a book that said you can never have too much wool. I believe what I read.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Butt Ugly Rooster Posted by Hello