Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tonight is Halloween

Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,

Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"

~Dexter Kozen

The kids were all excited about tonight. The little man is sick though and will not go, so he is upset. I know his darling sister will be glad to share her bounty but it is just not the same. It is not that we go far...we do less than 20 houses because of all the driving and in/out stuff... but it is something they look forward to each year. I like the costume part of it. They have gone as Pebbles and Bambam, bride and groom, towtruck driver w/ truck, shower and a bar of soap, Dorothy, a sack of potatoes and a table with head in frame to look like a picture. Tonight #2 daughter will go as Grandma got run over by a reindeer (her favorite song).

I have been having my own howling good time.....
Yesterday I spun up a bobbin of my own finn

wound it on the ball winder and plied it. I love it! I guess I have to wash up more of it. I spun it into a worsted weight yarn and it is sooo soft.

Then when I finished with that I started weaving on the loom. I am not packing the weft in tight because I want the warp to be seen. I have only done about a 3 foot piece on this before but I loved it. I have tons to learn which is why I haven't done much on it. Time is too tight to learn another addiction. But this goes so fast after you get it warped. I have an idea for a Christmas gift but I need to go buy cotton and finish what I have started. Hopefully it will be done tonight.

I have also started crocheting an afghan for my daughter to give as a present. I told her to buy the yarn and I would make it. I so seriously have got to shut my mouth. She came home with a bag full of yarn. Yes there is enough for an afghan but it is LionBrand Homespun. They make beautiful colors and it is soft, but I hate working with it. She is sending it to a friend she made years ago during basic training that has been sent to Iraq. They go thru a lot worse so I should just quit my b*tching.

Now I am off to get weaving so I can finish today. Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Windy Weekend

I hear the wind among the trees
Playing the celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The severe wind that they are predicting has just started to blow. The rain was one thing but the wind makes you glad to be inside where it is warm and something good is cooking. In this cause it is haluski and homemade kielbasa. The kids will appreciate it as they had a soccer tournament in the rain today and they just got home all wet and tired. They have another round tomorrow at noon.

I have had a cold so I didn't go because I didn't want to make it worse. This cold was accompanied by a headache which was actually more irratating than the cold. But after I got rid of the headache I did get somethings done....

such as the trim on the tree skirt

another pair of mittens
and an apple dishcloth
and I got to spin!!! I spun up two bobbins of the gray mohair/BL and plid them and then I spun up the green/purple mohair/BL that I had died. I don't know if I want to navajo ply that or ply it with purple or just use it as a single. But more fibery new... today while the kids were gone I was able to do the math and cut the threads for the rigid heddle loom which I have wanted to work on but didn't find the time. Tongiht I want the man to help me warp it and then I can get working on it. I want to use the gray mohair/BL and I am using a softer gray wool as the warp. I hope it works out.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Winter is winning

“Winter is an etching,
spring a watercolor,
summer an oil painting and
autumn a mosaic of them all.”
Stanley Horowitz

Today fall and winter seemed to be battling. There were times of blustery cold wind and rain and then the sun would shine. The wind has just about blown all the leaves off the trees so autumns mosaic is almost done.

I started feeling sorry for the birds and put out their seed, hopefully the bears will leave it be. I think they appreciated the easy pickings because as soon as I came inside they were already at the feeders.
I have had a migraine that will just not go away and so I have just sat and watched them.

Mr and Mrs Cardinale showed up. She must have been having a bad feather day because she did not want her picture taken. Trust me I tried and tried and tried.

The little black capped chickadee

Is it a grosbeak, finch or a redpoll. Somebody please let me know.

The tufted titmouse

The thought of picking up the knitting just makes my head hurt worse. I did finish a pair of slippers which I gave to a friend of mine and I am now working on a pair of gloves. I just started the thumb gusset on the second one, so if I get rid of this headache today I should be able to finish them. So to have something fibery, I have been reading about Rhinebeck. I could have gone but I didn't. I didn't need anything but it is fun to go just to be by that much fiber all at the same time. Next year the house will be done and I can do MD, Endless Mt. and Rhinebeck till then we need to work thru the stash. So I need to go take a nap and get rid of this migraine so I can start.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Mr. D

Family faces are magic mirrors.
Looking at people who belong to us,
we see the past, present and future.
We make discoveries about ourselves.
~Gail Lumet Buckley

I think this is true of people who aren't family but have always been with you. Mr. D was a neighbor. He and his wife put up with me so much during my childhood. I was best friends with his daughter and I went out with his son and yet I have no idea how our families met. They were just always there. His wife (who is still alive but has alzheimers) I call Ma D.
Here is what has been bothering me since I got the call saying he passed away...Why didn't I call him Pa D? Dumb I know but still. My father died when I was nine. My mother is still alive and yet I called someone else "Ma" but even without a father I didn't call him Pa D. Why? He would have done anything for anybody. He never hurt me in any way shape or form. His daughter said I could do no wrong in his eyes. I even remember Ma D chewing my butt out for something I did and I pry deserved the chewing for and he stepped in and told her to leave me be. So why? I still don't know. But I hope he never took offense at that and thought he didn't earn the title because he did. So rest in peace Pa D you will be missed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


"The radish is worth its weight in lead,
the beet its weight in silver,
the horseradish its weight in gold."

Years ago http://riverrim.blogspot.com/ gave me some horseradish roots. I built a raised bed and filled it with a sandy soil and plopped them in. Whenever I harvest the roots I take the tops and replant them. Yesterday morning , seeing as we had a couple of mornings below freezing I decided it was time to do the horseradish. So at 25 degrees we went and stuck our hands in wet sand and pulled and pulled and pulled to get this....

Not much you may say but enough for us. So after washing, peeling and chopping into pieces we needed a box of these....

We put it in the food processor and ground it up then added a little salt, sugar and vinegar. We ended up with 5 pints of fresh horseradish. That last one was full but we took a 1/4 pint jar and put some in for a friend.

You can find lots of useless horseradish facts at... http://www.horseradish.org/homepage.html

The first time we made our own horseradish my uncle said he would be the taste tester. He said he loved horseradish. We gave him 1/2 a teaspoon to try and his whole bald head broke out in a sweat so we knew we did good!

Another time my oldest son had a cold and he hates to take medicine. He just kept sniffing and sniffing, which drives me nuts, and complaining he couldn't breath. I told him I had something for him and I gave him a teaspoon of horseradish. He had said "what's that gonna do" but then he took it and said in dripping sarcasm "wow mom that really worked" and went to his room. A short time later he came out and could breath just fine and admitted that maybe I did know something. (When your teenager tells you that you might know something you NEVER forget that moment) Now when ever he gets a cold that is what he uses to make him breath!

So after our hard work we rewarded ourselves with a ham dinner with potatoes, squash and yes we used some horseradish because Cyndy said it was really good on ham, and it was!

Monday, October 16, 2006


Well the guys went fishing this weekend, leaving us girls all alone!! We went to the soccer game on Saturday and froze. It was 49 degrees with 10-15 mile per hour winds which means it felt like 36-40 degrees....cold. She quickly recovered from the cold and went with her friend to a school dance. I sat at home and thawed out.
Sunday, she went to her friend's bowling tournament and I walked up to the top of the mountain with my oldest daughter and my brother. The color's weren't there but the view was still awesome. Their is a small cabin on top of the mountain. In the early 70's a man from New Jersey bought an acre off my neighbor and my father put in a road thru our pasture to this site. The man built this kit cabin on a cliff. He probably wanted to get back to nature (no water, no sewer, no electricity or cable can get to it) but he was not a builder. He use to buy lots of firecrackers and throw them down thru the cracks in the floor to scare the rattlesnakes away. The road washed out time and time again and he had to walk up to his cabin. I remember he would park his car in the pasture and when he came back the cows would have licked the heck out of it! I also remember he carried a pistol and killed any snakes he saw on his walk to his cabin. This house was to be his retirement home but he never did retire there. Eventually my cousin bought the property as it abutted his, and they use the cabin to warm up during hunting season. Other than the running water I would love to live there. It has a field right behind the cabin for a garden and my goats could eat all the brush. My kids would hate it!!
But you ask did I do any fiber while they were gone...yes, I did. I had a pair of sideway gloves that needed to be sewn and I did that. Then I finished the main color on the tree skirt. I have to get the yarn for the trim to finish that. Then I picked up a keyhole scarf that I started and worked on that! I guess I am over the fiber funk!
And then you will ask did they catch anything...Well my brother did but he only wants a couple of steaks from it and gave us the rest of the 42 inch salmon. My boys had a great time. This was the oldest ones first time and he was awed by the size of them. The little man went once before and following tradition he spent most of this time in the water...they now call him Slip and Trip. They may go again this year depending on time and weather.
Well it is 25 degrees outside and since I am out of my fiber funk I need to go knit something to keep us warm!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The first frost

Jack Frost took his paintbrush
as he sailed across the sky
so every morning as the sun comes up
his artwork greets the eye
there’s reds and gold’s and yellows
all of a breath taking view
but no matter how hard he tries
he can never make leaves turn blue
so when you’re in bed sleeping
and outside everything seems faint
just remember at midnight
Jack Frost begins to paint
© By Carl Jessee

We have been very lucky this year and didn't have frost before now.
The http://riverrim.blogspot.com/ didn't get any yet but thinks they will tonight. Our average first frost date is September 24 but we have had it well before that some years. My sister who lives in Puerto Rico is up and it is quite the shock to her system! I don't think I have seen her with less than three layers on while outside. You would think we were in Buffalo with the 21 inches of snow!!

The guys have left on their salmon fishing trip to Pulaski and #2 daughter and I are going to have a girls night and watch the movie Click. Stay warm!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The last of the leaves

Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all;
Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
Singing the glad little songs they knew.
~George Cooper

We got rain this morning and a cold spell is coming so I decided to get what will pry be the last shots of the season. Unless I walk to the top of the mountain on Sunday when there are no hunters in the woods.

The reds...

The yellows...

The oranges...

The greens...

The purples

The white/tan

For your amusement, NOAA just released their predictions for this December to February (You can find your predictions here http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2006/s2716.htm ) My area supposedly has a 33 % chance of being warmer than normal. Now on the precipitation...we have an equal chance, which means there is a 33.3 % chance of it being wetter than normal, a 33.3% chance of it being drier than normal and a 33.3% chance of near normal, very decisive wouldn't you say!

On the fibery front...I finished the "Five hour baby sweater"It took more than five hours for me but it is done. Then I started crocheting a tree skirt. I am on a fiber blah. My mind is seeing all the good things to make, and I am feeling the wool and mohair and loving it but the doing it part has gone on strike. And I mean all parts of it, the knitting, spinning, crocheting, dyeing, carding, you name it. I actually force myself to work on the tree skirt in the morning and when waiting in the car for the kids. But the guys are going on a salmon fishing trip this weekend to Pulaski, NY and little girl wants to go to her friends house at least one night which means I will be alone with no demands for my time...hopefully I will be out of this funk and will get something done. And the leaves will pry be off the tree's and I won't be wasting my time getting pictures!!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Harvest moon

Listen! The wind is rising,
And the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
Now for October eves!
-- Humbert Wolfe (1885-1940)

And last night we had our Harvest Moon.

I was exhausted but when I got into bed it was so light out and then I remembered the moon. So I grabbed the camera, shoved my feet into slippers and ran out to take a picture of it.

Here's a picture of something that didn't get home before the sun rose Friday morning. The dogs were barking at something up the tree and we went out and looked and there he sat. We put the dogs inside and the man got him out of the tree and he went on his way. We were told we should have shot him since we have chickens and ducks but we couldn't do it. If he were in the coop with them that would have been different. We live right next to the woods so we have animals walking in our yard all the time. This guy just had bad timing!And here is a picture of what I am doing today. That is a piece of the fleece I got off my sheep. They are little finn girls that I got from Grace http://antique-spinning-wheels.blogspot.com/ . This was their first haircut and they didn't particularly like it! But it is gorgeous and I love it. I was going to send it out to be processed but today I took it out to skirt it because I didn't have time when I sheared them. Then I had to have some of it to play with. So I started washing it and now it is drying and tonight I will spin! :^D I might still send the other one and the goats out it depends on the time I have to play.I actually got to spin yesterday. I did a craft fair at our fire house. There were four craft shows within a 1/2 hours drive from us so I didn't make a fortune. I sold enough to pay for the table, my meals and take some home. It was a day out and a day of spinning so I don't mind. If I would have been home I would have been doing all that homey stuff that has been keeping from spinning so I will say it was a good day.

Now I am going to fluff my fiber so it dries fast!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Farm country

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm
country slowly changes from the summer
cottons into its winter wools. ~Henry Beston

Yesterday while sitting at the barn waiting for a friend with a trailer to come and take the pigs and steers to the butcher I had time to take notice of these changes. The road to the barn with leaves brushed to the side by the truck...

The evergreens full of pinecones...

The back field holding it's own...The squirrel getting ready for winter... And back at the house the nature daughter has successfully "hatched" her monarch butterfly....And for some reason this time of year makes me think more of family, even those that are gone. These are hops that my grandfather planted. I found them after I had gone out and bought some. I don't know what kind they are, why he bought them or if he ever made beer from them I just know they have to be over 50 years old and they will stay where they are. I tried to make a simple hops beer with mine....I need a better recipe, enough said!These are farm implements that we found while cleaning up the farm. I didn't want to throw them out as they remind me of those that used these tools, so I started hanging them on the side of the milk house. I am the third generation to have animals on this farm. The barn, most of which fell down and we cleaned up, was a one room school house. The chicken coop was the coal shed for the school. My mother has the deed from the school board to my grandfather, it was only a couple of dollars. Alot cheaper than today's prices!!So the food is canned, the garden is done except for the weeds. The sheep and goat are sheared. The pigs and steers went to the butcher. And now the frost and snows can come and I can sit inside and spin and knit. Another good harvest year put to bed.