Tuesday, July 31, 2007


August, the eighth month of the current Gregorian calendar and the third month of Summer’s rule, derives its name from Augustus (Augustus Caesar)

August is a big month around here, all the good family members were born this month (just kidding sis! aka the only one that isn't) And since the gladiolus is the flower of August I present....

I haven't grown any for the past two years. I picked up an assorted package at Walmart and I even though I didn't plant them all I am happy with the colors I got.

In fiber news one sock is done and I am at row 63 on the BSJ. Here's to hoping the month goes slow and that lot's of things get accomplished in a stress-free enviroment! One can dream!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Summer's Time

Louis E. Boone~ I am definitely going to take a course on time management... just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.
Oh, were does one start...
My younger two came home from their dads on Friday. And....my son moved home yesterday!!! I missed him something awful and I am so glad he is home…he will of course be driving me crazy in about a week. He seems to have missed me too because he actually walked into a knitting store and brought me home treasures! He brought me a skein of Jitterbug in Toscana colorway
(absolutely gorgeous and I will start a pair of socks from it today) and a skein of Trekking Pro Natura color #1606 The Trekking is wool and bamboo which I have never knit with before so it was hard deciding which to start first. He also bought me a leaflet on how to make Embellished I-cord chokers (his girlfriend loved them). He went to Angelwing Needle Arts in Southport, NC and said the lady helped him out and talked to him for an hour about home and me spinning and knitting. I emailed her to thank her for taking the time as he was feeling homesick and being around the fiber made him feel closer to home….and I made out pretty damn good too!

I also got a new book in the mail from Knit Picks… I have read so much about the Baby Surprise Jacket that I had to try it. I mentioned it to Cyndy who said she was getting the book from the library so we are off and running with this project. At first I was just going to buy the pattern but I am so glad I bought the whole book. I love the little tidbits of her life and I am amazed at the ingenuity behind her patterns. I saw this site http://www.knitting-and.com/wiki/Baby_Surprise_Jacket and followed the directions for lengthening the sleeves. I am doing it all in white to figure out how it works before I decide how I want the stripes to come out.

My cousin goes home today. The whole month of July there was family at the mom’s. I realize it is not my house but I go to my mothers everyday. Although it is great to see them, it messes with routine. I go to mom’s to check on her and end up on the internet showing them something. I go to give a tour of the house and we just continue talking until hours have gone by which seriously cuts into the spinning/knitting time( I'm really not complaining). Which brings me around to the Tour de Fleece which ends today. I should never have signed up for it knowing that I had the family reunion, company and the garden coming in. I was only able to spin up 735 yards of two ply yarn. I didn’t spin every day and felt guilty…I hate guilt. In future I need to remember to realistically check my schedule before signing up for anything.

I emailed the seed company which I talked about in the previous post and they called and left a message. I need to get back to them so they can help identify the other beans.
I have already bought some school supplies/clothes which is making the youngers cringe as the summer is going so fast.
I walked thru the garden this AM, picked some more zuchini and have to return to pick more broccoli and beans. And so I must start managing my time by getting off the net and back into the garden!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Garden Surprises

If there's one thing I can say about my garden, it can always surprise me. - David Hobson, The Mad Gardener

Yesterday I went out into the garden and look what I found....
The very first tomatoes out of the garden which were quickly disposed of! These are Reisentraube plants which Cyndy gave me. Soon we will have more than we can eat, I hope.

I planted some kolrabi and turnip seeds and weeded the carrots, radish and kale while the ground was wet and letting me take them out without a struggle. When the small garden had dried enough that I could get to them I went to check the beans. This year I planted Cherokee Wax Beans to use as a dry bean. Now I have been watching them and some of the flowers were purple and some white. Now I have to say these are verrrry prolific this year but (you know there is always a but) here is what I am getting....

Some of the beans look like regular green beans, some look like the yellow wax bean which is the Cherokee Wax, and some of them are flat green beans. These are the only beans in that garden. The other garden is 200+ yards away. So I go on the internet to read more about this bean and here is what I get-

58 days. Phaseolus vulgaris. Bush type plant produces excellent yields of 6" long yellow wax beans. Beans are black.

Tasty, string less 6 inch pods are light yellow in color and straight. Upright plants are productive even in adverse weather.

Phaseolus vugaris 18-24 in. Tender and stringless in all stages. Good soup bean. Vines bear straight, flat, 6-7 inch deep- golden-yellow pods. (shows dried inside beans as red)

CHEROKEE WAX hardy 1 ½ foot plants will reliably produce a stringless crop of oval, golden yellow beans. A vigorous, heavy yielding variety.

There seems to be some discrepancy in the color of the dried bean (black or red). All say the plants are 1 1/2 - 2 feet tall (some of mine are vining to 6 feet). But they all say 6 inch yellow pods so where are the green ones coming from. At first I thought maybe they started green and turned to yellow but no the small green are green and the small yellow are yellow. Now I bought these from a very reputable seed company and now I need to contact them and see if anybody else is having this problem.

In the larger garden I picked zucchini. I made some fried zucchini and froze some. I also got 1/2 a shopping bag of broccoli and 1/3 of a shopping bag of green beans which I have to process today. The cucumbers are right around the corner.

And I also was able to produce this yesterday, 175 yards of two ply finn. All in all a good day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rainy Days

God made rainy days, so gardeners could get the housework done.- Author Unknown

Or so that they could read a book! Yes I was one of the people running to the store Saturday to grab my copy of Harry Potter. I didn't get to read any of it on Saturday.

Sunday we were able to get the lawns mowed and weed whacking done. Late that afternoon I started reading.
Yesterday when I woke up it was raining so after I got the man off I picked the book up and didn't lay it down again until I was done. I emerged about 1 PM yesterday, turned on the computer and went thru the emails, cleaned house and started another afghan. I was happy to be working on something that was going to keep someone warm because it was a cold day.
#1 Daughter has asked for an afghan for her BF. I have started several and then she doesn't like them. So they picked out the yarn....when it arrived she didn't like it as the colors were different close up than on the computer. She wanted a crocheted shadow box but the blue looked dirty and it didn't look good with that pattern so I switched to a double strand, one blue and one cream. I started knitting last night and if she doesn't like it tough...I do remember saying that before....I have three afghans that are about 1/2 way done that I started for her. I need to finish them and get them out of my way as they take up alot of space.

And no I haven't spun...maybe today after I check what all that rain did to the garden

Friday, July 20, 2007

Annual Family Reunion

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe,call it a family:
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard

Last Friday the family started to arrive. After going to see some fireworks at the town fair, we finally got to bed. Saturday was the reunion, it went so well, everyone had a blast and ate more than they should have. We didn't leave until 11PM and woke up early again the next day. Some of them were to leave for home at 11 AM, they didn't leave until 5 PM. Monday other family members were to leave but never made it, they left late Tuesday afternoon. Sister left Newark airport at 8 PM. It was an awesome weekend although exhausting...we all need to remember we aren't as young as we once were.

Wednesday I spent helping prepare food/serve food after the funeral for a town man. He was a vet and 85 y/o. Sadly there were not alot of people as most of his family and friends had already passed away.

I came home and took a walk to see what had happen in the gardens while I was ignoring them...lots of broccoli which I processed yesterday along with yellow squash. ( I pulled some to make room/slow down the production). Yesterday was a great day for canning. I had to go to town and it was such a foggy cool daythat it really didn't heat up the house. It was so good that I pulled some Hopi red dye amaranth and simmered that up. I didn't get the red dye like they said but did get a nice yellow but still wanted the red. I still need to get pics of it.
Like the vege garden the flower gardens are going crazy....

So did that make you forget that I am suppose to be spinning? No?... well here is proof that I have been...That is another 200 yards of two ply and I spun up 2/3 of a bobbin last night. And since today is spinning, I just might finish that one and get another one filled!

Friday, July 13, 2007


Paraskavedekatriaphobia is fear of Friday the 13th. While thinking about that I realized I am not superstitious about the 13th but always knock on wood and won't walk under a ladder. It is funny what makes us all tick.

And speaking of ticking, this week just flew by.
Friday night we drove to Newark to pick my sister up. She is visiting from Puerto Rico until the 17th. Our family reunion is tomorrow and she is going to surprise our oldest brother by actually being at this one. The ride down to Newark was uneventful but we got lost on the way out..we asked a couple of people for directions and then finally a cashier at Shop Rite knew where she lived and told us how to get where we wanted to go.

Saturday Cyndy and her hubby invited us to go see the Steve Miller Band. (Thanks again you guys) It was awesome! I was surprised at the number of people in their 20's because one guy the man works with said "only old people will be there". Somebody needs to slap him! They say you are old when you know all the elevator music and it has started to sound very familiar recently!

Sunday the man had an abcessed tooth and after moaning and crying we finally convinced him to go to the emergency room where they gave him meds to help get rid of the infection and kill the pain. Now to just make him keep a dental appointment.

Monday my sister and I weeded the garden. She got sunburn...you would think someone who lived in PR would know about the sun. She came here lighter than us and will go back looking like a lobster!

Tuesday I made up for not spinning and spent the day behind the wheel while catching up on laundry and housework. I was spinning my finn which I had sent out for processing. I have to card up and spin some to finish the sweater.

Wednesday I had to go to town and do my house cleaning job. Stopped and bought all the stuff we would need to bring to the reunion and got home in time to make dinner.

Yesterday I plied what I had spun. So I have not spun every day of the Tour de Fleece, but I have spun enough to average about 30 minutes per day which is as good as it is going to get this week. I forgot about the reunion when I signed up for that one. I got 360 yards of two ply. After that I weeded the small garden and then went to check the large one. I came back with a load of broccoli and yellow squash. I gave some broccoli to the SIL and some to the pigs as it had started to flower then I blanched and froze 10 quart bags and the rest we had with dinner. The larger squash went to the pigs but I still had some with dinner and blanched and froze 4 quarts. I also made and froze 2 cups of pesto for the man. Then I waited for the man to come home. He left work and picked up a new Finn ram lamb for me from Grace. We called him Smuffin, as he is going to be our Stud Muffin. Isn't he a hotty?! I was going for Elvis since he came from Grace's Land but the man nixed that! So Smuffin went in with Storm and we will put them all together this fall and hopefully have little ones in March/April. Or at least that is the plan.

We took the kids to the town fair last night as it was a pay one price night. It was a bribe to make them work their butts off today! My neice and her family are coming for the reunion and they like to camp out in our field. We need to get the tents up and the wood stacked and ready for them. In other farm news the small turkeys we bought are walking around with the larger ones and eating their weight in bugs. The pigs are getting big and we still have about 3 months more to go. The sheep are growing their wool back for their fall shearing and the gardens are right on the brink of exploding. The beans are all flowers and so are the cucumbers.....I think the wheel is coming to the reunion with me...maybe hook some others into the obsession!
Hope everyone has a safe and happy Friday the 13th and weekend.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Just a Day

“Learn to pause ... or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.”~Doug King

I am not complaining-it has been raining every afternoon and evening for the past two days. This is great for the garden and great for me...it gives me an excuse not to go into the garden. This little reprieve has taken some of the weight off. Then yesterday I got one of those rare days when everything is working like you want it to work, everything is getting done.

It is funny how just one day can change you. I was frazzled. The list of things to do was getting longer and longer and it seemed like I was on a treadmill. Once some of the pressure was off I was able to focus and get the others done. I am not delusional enough to think this will last and that all will go as planned for the rest of the summer. I do realize the garden will explode after these rains and I will have to deal with that but for now I am happy. I am able to breath a sigh of relief and to look around and realize why I do all of this.

I caught up on the broccoli by making cheesy cream of broccoli soup and freezing the rest. I got the yellow squash blanched and frozen along with the pea's. The laundry got done and floors washed.

I got some wool carded for the Tour de Fleece and my finn roving should be here today so I will have lots to spin. However, I used up all the yarn I had spun for my sweater so that will have to be spun first or I will not be able to knit. Pictures of it next time, I should be able to take the sleeve parts off soon.

Just some pics of what it looks like now....ducklings almost as big as their moms, turkeys getting bigger (one is a tom) and things that are blooming....

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July 4th

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. We went to see some fireworks

this weekend before the masses congregated. We don't do fireworks or go and see them at any other time of year as in my mind they are reserved for the celebration of independence. I get chills watching them and thinking of what it has taken to get to this point in time.

They say if you can read, thank a teacher and if you can read it in English to thank a soldier. So on this Independence Day you can follow this link and just send a word of thanks for all they do, the time away from their families, the holidays they miss just to be on call......

Thank You, I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday.