Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Autumn To Do List Getting Done

I know the year is dying,
Soon the summer will be dead.
I can trace it in the flying
Of the black crows overhead;
I can hear it in the rustle
Of the dead leaves as I pass,
And the south wind's plaintive sighing
Through the dry and withered grass.
Ah, 'tis then I love to wander,
Wander idly and alone,
Listening to the solemn music
Of sweet nature's undertone;
Wrapt in thoughts I cannot utter,
Dreams my tongue cannot express,
Dreams that match the autumn's sadness
In their longing tenderness.- Mortimer Crane Brown, Autumn Dreams

While taking in the beauty of this Autumn it is hard to think these temperatures will end but even living in my happy world, I realize they will. With each passing day the leaves are thinning and my view into the woods gets larger. I hate the end of the garden but look forward to the break. I like winter because we tend to spend more time together and less running around.

So this weekend we had started whittling away at our very long to do list. On Sunday we almost finished rough wiring of the electric. We only need the smoke detector boxes so they can be hardwired in. We got the hot water line done. We got #1 daughters things moved up to the attic, mom's lights in, her swing stored in the garage for the winter, dug horseradish, made one batch Raspberry Chipotle sauce, got all the laundry done and made apple bread pudding.

Monday while he was working, I had to go to the school and spin for a speech report #2 daughter was giving. I only had to be there for 1/2 an hour and wasn't allowed to talk - just spin. Yeah that was rough!!! I drove home only to drive back to pick up #2 son who was sick. When I got home I made 6- 1/2 pints of horseradish sauce from a new recipe from Audrey (the man loved it), made another batch of Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, got the laundry off the line and put away and started insulating the chicken coop. The man came home and made plans for the pigs to go to the butcher on Nov. 3.

Then yesterday while the winds were blowing to cool me off and before the rain started, I was able to cut down all the corn, cut the flowers down by the mailbox and decorate with some of the corn stalks, dig up some marigolds and transplant them by the mailbox, pulled the beans plants, pulled the cucumber vines (found some cucs which we will eat for dinner) pulled the zucchini vines, harvested the red and green cabbage and pulled 1/2 the broccoli plants. I finished insulating the chicken coop and planted the garlic. I came in a little after noon exhausted. I took a hot shower, made #2 son some lunch and started doing some computer work for the man. Last night I started on a new Hemlock afghan and I am up to row 21.

Today I hope to get some s & s cabbage canned. I would also like to get a basket of home canned goods made up for the couple that let us get the apples from their trees. It is raining so no outside work will get done but I am happy with what has been accomplished. Now if I could only stop adding to the to do list the man and I would both be happy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Oh Decisions, Decisions

It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. ~Roy Disney

I had planned on being at Rhinebeck by now, however for some reason on Friday I started asking myself why I was going. I have four spinning wheels, hand carders, a drum carder, ball winder, swift and all the other paraphernalia. I didn't need a fleece as I have my own. I didn't need roving as I have already paid to have some of my fleeces made into roving for me. I didn't need yarn as I have a ton of it, I spin my own and I could always order what I don't have or what I want on line. I read a lot of blogs but don't usually leave comments so most bloggers don't even know I exist so I am not going to meet other bloggers. Crowds make me nervous so I never do stay long. So why was I going? I would be going for the ride, the time with the man and in the end I would buy things that I really don't need. At first the man argued that we should go, not that he gets anything out of it, but then we agreed we would skip Rhinebeck and go watch the sheep to shawl at the PA Farm Show.

So we stayed home and plan to spend the time together getting things done that will benefit both of us and the family. The man and I have a whole list of things that need to be done, some of which have already been crossed off this morning! Most of the things on the list could have waited but why should they. I complain about not having enough time so why go and waste it doing things that truely I don't need to do. And this weather can not possibly last much longer.

Not to say that fibery things aren't getting done. I took the Hemlock hat off the needles and onto a lifeline....let's just say alot more needs to be done. I finished the cuff on the bf's stocking and stared the leg and even did one repeat of the tree design I am putting in. And I skirted a fleece.

Now I am off to make raspberry chipotle sauce and horseradish sauce while the man is finishing the electric and running the hot water lines in the house. I will experience the NY S&W vicariously through other bloggers and maybe next year feel like going.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Week of our Lives

"Like sands through the hourglass... so are the Days of Our Lives."

And man are those passing quickly so it is ending up being a week of our lives.

So in family news...

...the man drove to visit his daughter this past weekend. He didn't want to leave her to come home, afraid she may disappear again. Next trip we will all go, but I thought that they needed this time alone to talk and work thru the seven year gap. Right now we are making plans for her to come up for a week in May.

...while he was gone, the kids and I made apple cider. We took it from this to this and then into cider. It is sooo good. Oops looks like someone other than the theif child that took this glass full thinks it is good also. #2 son has a huge fear of stinging insects! Needless to say once they came around he was gone. We try to do this every year and freeze it for use through out the year. I just read that you can let the mashed apples sit for 24 hours to get a better cider. I am going to try that next year as it is exhausting trying to do it all in one day.

...we called to find out what we need to get a marriage certificate. Come to find out we need our divorce papers. His are in the next county so even if I can't find them in storage, they will be easy to get. Mine, however, would have to come from MD. I know I tossed mine because I swore I would never marry again and I didn't need them to get his SS as we werent married long enough for me to have access to that. So my ex is going to get me a copy so the man and I can get married!!! If you would have asked me if we would ever talk about anything other than the kids when we got a divorce I would have said no. Hell I would have said he would be dead by now at the rate he was going but he straightened up and is doing good. I am happy for him and I am glad he is willing to help.

...I will find out for sure today, but they say think they are going to continue my PT. Which is good as it does seem to be helping but I hate the 40 mile round trip drive three times a week.

...The younger two have school dances tonight. #2 son has his right after school and then rides the late bus and will be home by 6PM and #2 daughter will have to be driven to school by 7PM and picked up at 9. Tomorrow they go for their dad weekend and I get to play on Ravelry (!) and then Sunday we are going to Rhinebeck! Oh yeah and Saturday we are going to look at another truck for the man. Little things are starting to go on his and he doesn't want to deal with it plus we don't need the four door anymore so we will downsize there. We will see if they have anything we like that we can afford.

...and my sister is coming home for Thanksgiving. My brother and his family are coming to my mothers also. This will be the first year that we are altogether for Thanksgiving since 1983 when I came home to show off #1 daughter!

...we all went for haircuts last night. #2 daughter cut enough off to give to Locks of Love again. She also had highlights added, she is just growing up too quick. But it is the first girly thing she has ever done also, she is so tomboy.

And in fiber news...

...I got my invite to Ravlery. I haven't had time to add a thing or even investigate but hope to this Saturday.

...when I was working on the Hemlock Ring afghan, everyone thought it was a hat at first so I decided to figure it out. I used the Trekking Pro Natura and hope to finish it today. Hopefully it will look okay as I wasn't sure when to stop lengthwise because it stretches so with the lace. Oh well nothing ventured nothing gained. My list of things to make by Christmas has grown and I should be getting a delivery from KnitPicks today to aid in that. I need to finish started projects first. OTN I have the Hemlock Hat, #1 D's bf's stocking and my sweater. Think of all the knitting time I am missing while driving to and from PT appts!!!

...Rhinebeck is this weekend. I am going on Sunday as it doesn't look like it is going to rain that day. I am not in need of anything so don't feel like being wet and cold. I might get some combs and some sock yarn but that is about it - there for the looking, touching and eating!
And in animal news...
...I think Fingerlickin Chicken has given up on setting as she was out with the others all day yesterday.
...we lost a rooster to a red fox. Two nights later as we were sitting outside he/she tried to get one of the ducks. I don't have a problem with wildlife until they try making my animals their food.
...the added light from the greenhouse and warm temps still have the ducks laying! I love it! I can't wait to see how long they continue.
And that pretty much sums things up. Busy and waiting for the snow so things will slow down but it doesn't look like it is going to show up anytime soon....Watch it wait until we have to go to the airport to pick up my sister!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A fall day

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
--Emily Brontë (1818–48)

And today was a day of true bliss. You know one of those rare days when everything is really perfect in your little world.

We got about 3 inches of much needed rain.
I walked outside to a crisp morning breeze and could smell someone's woodstove.
I got four duck eggs yesterday, one a small new one and today I also got four, two of which were small new ones so I know the spring ducklings have started to lay.
The sun came out and between that and the breeze all my laundry dried.
I went out and grabbed some turnips and carrots from the garden and some potatoes we dug the other day. Along with some of our beef and some store bought parsnips, a rutabaga, and onions we have a huge pot of beef stew. A loaf of mom's bread and we have dinner. I can't wait.

And to make things even better the pink star is done. I hit a snafu yesterday. I thought I had another skein but didn't and had to wait until I went to PT to stop at the store and buy the final skein. I did 41 rows. In the original pattern 15 rows would make a premmie afghan so it spreads across a full size bed with some to spare but not in all spots due to its shape.

I am going to cast on for the queen of Diamonds Gloves while I wait on #1 to decide what she wants on bf's stocking.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency. ~Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

Monday we had thunder and lightening but no rain. Tuesday evening we had a quick downpour and yesterday started foggy but rainfree. However, last night it started this nice soaking rain, a constant dripping which is great to fall asleep with. It has continued all morning. I had to drive the kids to the bus stop so I got in the car only to realize I had not shut my sunroof! A little shocking to my backside but easily fixed. I am so happy it has finally rained that I couldn't get upset.

Today is my last day of PT for this week. And while sitting here listening to the rain on the roof I hope to finish the star afghan. I only have 5 more rows to go and I have already cast on for the stocking she wants for her bf. Then to conquer my list!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Columbus Day

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. ~André Gide

Today is Columbus Day. The kids have already gone to school, the guys to work and I am having a second cup of coffee, mulling over the weekend and planning the week ahead. I guess because it is Columbus Day I was thinking of what new "lands" I have discovered recently.

Friday, I went to the feed store. It is such a nice ride with all the tree's changing. That night w went out to #1 daughters place to pick somethings up to put into storage for her.

Saturday the Boy Scouts hosted a flea market. I drove #2 son down, helped set up and then went back to help clean up. Then that night we went to town and did all the shopping.
Sunday the man ran the waterlines in the house. I use to do heating, plumbing and electrical work but I have never used the PEX tubing. It is indeed more flexible than copper but that doesn't mean it is easier to work with. It does however, make for less connections. While he was working away on that, I was carding some alpaca that I had dyed, driving #2 daughter to a bowling b-day party and then going back to pick her up and doing laundry. We washed the vehicles, called it an early night and came into watch some tv.
So basically I discovered nothing. So this leads to what do I want to discover? So far as fiber goes....I want to discover how to do the damn short row heel, I want to discover how to do a sock from the toe up, I want to discover how to use the combs to prepare fiber and how to do double knit. In non-fiber I want to discover what to do so that you don't have to drive a 25 mile round trip to drop off a Social Studies book at #2 son's school which what I am off to do now!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Some fiber content...

“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.” ~ William Shakespear

And the web of my life has gone into hyper-drive but for the most part it is all good. So because very once in a while I feel duty bound to put some fiber content into this blog, today will be one of those days.

Saturday I was able to spin up almost two full bobbins of yarn. Well I finished the second bobbin, plyed them and skeined it....I got approximately 288 heavy worsted yards.
#1 daughter gave me a list of fiber related jobs to do. She wants a pink star afghan for her friend, a green stocking for bf, and another stocking for her new cat. I might use the above yarn for the bf's stocking. But moving on... I started the afghan on Tuesday night and I am up to row 22 now. She wants it big enough for her friend to wrap up in.I have also been washing the finn fleece in small batches. I think I am going to wash it and then send it out to be made into roving. Now to just finish shearing.

Lets see...what else? I kool aid dyed some yarn and made a smple rolled brim hat. I needed a simple knit and this fit the bill.
I have also been raking up black walnuts. I am taking some to spinning today to share. I have LOTS. I might use some for dye but most will be made into Black Walnut Brittle. I found a recipe in a old cookbook years ago and decided to make it. Everyone loved it, so it has become a yearly thing. #2 Son does all the nut breaking but I get everyone in on the picking, make them work for their food!
And we had our visitor back for apples. He is being a pig. I have to get them before he does! Hope eveyone has a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Feeling the inner beast.

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms"
George Eliot

Yesterday my mother called to say the wild turkeys were down in the yard so I went to take some pictures and ended up with this.

The turkeys were on the driveway and my brothers cat decided to get in touch with his inner beast. He was now a lion stalking his prey...

Another cat thought about helping...
Then decided they were bigger than him and took off...
Oh that one looks like he wants to fight. I think I will go over this way and check out the other two said the cat/lion...
"Hey" said the deer. "What's going on over here?"
"Whoa! Is that a lion?" asked the deer...Maybe I better just leave..."But then again you don't look so big" said the deer...
I am not feeling your animal instinct...You don't look so tough either said the cat/lion in a wobbly voice...

I don't think you are a lion said the deer...

OK said the cat. I am not a lion...

Well then you better go say your sorry for scaring Tom Turkey said the deer. OK, Sorry said the now tame cat...Glad I could clear that up now I am off to glean some apples.

To bad I wasn't smart enough to hit the video button instead of just clicking away.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Old Spinning Wheel

Covered with dust and forgotten
Like the face upon the wall
There's one souvenir of the days gone by
I treasure most of all.

Turn back the years of my childhood
As you turn, old spinning wheel
Just show me a lane with a barefoot boy
As shadows softly steal.

There's an old spinning wheel in the parlor
spinning dreams of the long, long ago
Spinning dreams of an old fashioned garden
And a maid with her old fashioned beau

Sometimes it seems that I can hear her in the twilight
At the organ softly singing "old Black Joe"
There's an old spinning wheel in the parlor
Spinning dreams of the long, long ago.

I went to my cousins house on Saturday. She had an open house so people could come learn about the alpaca's. He didn't like the camera!All I had to do was sit and spin. Towards the end I met a man named Charlie and he asked if I had ever heard of the song about the spinning wheel in the parlour. I didn't so I had to come home and look it up. Come to find out there are lots of songs for spinning and weaving.... http://www.allfiberarts.com/cs/music.htm.

So I got two bobbins full and I hope to ply them today. In between all the running I have done some dyeing, washed some of the Finn I sheared and knit some. Still need to take pics.

Fall is definitely starting to show. It is 50 dgree's here now which isn't bad actually. I am enjoying it. We are picking up black walnuts on a daily basis now and soon I will have to start making some black walnut brittle. The apples still need doing also. The potatoes need to be dug. But we did get all the water line for the house! Oddly I am normally freaking because I am not sure we can get it all done....but I am not.
Turkeys went for their last ride and we need to go pick them up tonight, along with Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts it should be a busy one. And we thought we lost another chicken, we called her Finger-licken Chicken (Iknow that's bad) but anyhow we found her sitting on a nest of two eggs in the bushes. The eggs aren't fertile so they won't hatch so I am going to have to take her off the nest but she gets mean so I will let the man handle that! We also got two new additions. A neighbor has a revolving door when it comes to animals, this time it is two chickens. We got a rooster and hen supposedly Aracuna Bantams. They are still young but she doesn't know how young. Oh well we will wait and see how they do, the kids would love a blue or green egg even if it is smaller than they are use to. And now I need to motivate and get something productive done. Hope all has a great week.