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!!!!!