Sunday, October 30, 2011

The first snow

Lo. sifted through the winds that blow, Down comes the soft and silent snow, ~George W. Bungay

Yesterday, it looked odd to see the bright yellow of the leaves in the drab grey and white world of the snow storm.

Even though the lights went off several times they always came back on. I woke this morning to see some residual damage…

a tree I had wanted down anyhow succumbed to the weight of the snow. If only the tree had gone through the shed as I want that taken down also. The tree is now cut up and stacked for later use…guess I would be pushing my luck asking for the shed to be taken down today too!

I went out about 6 am and measured. Down in the valley we are somewhat protected from the worst but we still got a fair amount.

Slowly daylight comes. It starts with a slight lightening of the sky above the ridge.
Then the sunlight touches just the tips of the trees on the top of the mountain.

On zoom they look like they are on fire.

Eventually the sun gets high enough in the sky to shine over the mountain on the other side of the river. The sunlight works it way down the hillside until it finally shines on the house. It happens every day yet I never tire of it and with the snow it was spectacular.

The kids did some small snowmen, had snowball fights and went riding down the mountain on a tube with friends and nephews. We had our taste of winter and enjoyed it but we are not sad that the snow is melting pretty fast. We can wait for more until later in the year!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Visit from Jack

The door was shut, as doors should be,

Before you went to bed last night;

Yet Jack Frost has got in you see,

And left your window silver white.

He must have waited till you slept;

And not a single word he spoke ,

But pencilled o'er the panes and crept

Away again before you woke,

And now you cannot see the hills

Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;

But there are fairer things than these

His fingers traced on every pane.

Gabriel Setoun

I do remember waking up, looking at and tracing the designs in the frost on the window panes. With today’s windows that is something we no longer have to deal with yet I miss it. I now have to get dressed and traverse outside to see the magical designs of Jack Frost on the hood of my car.

Yesterday we awoke to 42 degrees and the temperatures went down from there. We had rain and then our first snow flurries.

This morning the temperature was 27 and we received our first frost/freeze.

Turning on the TV I find that Old Man Winter doesn’t want to ease us in but wants to give us a rude awakening as this is our forecast for tomorrow…








I am actually excited about this! Sounds like it will be a great day for soup and homemade bread!

And as I was carrying more firewood I realized I never bought bird seed for the winter. Of course the stores will be a zoo today with that forecast so I think they will have to make do until next week!

Hope everyone has a great, safe weekend. Stay warm.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

As the weather changes there is so much to do and like when the holidays are looming I start to get antsy. Everything falls into place eventually so why all the drama? I don’t know! It is as traditional as pumpkin pie on the Thanksgiving table.

So when I was babysitting I was thinking of all the things that still had to be done. Coming home there was catch up. Then a sick kid, diagnosed with strep and given horse pills to swallow which always makes me just shake my head.

But I am calmer because amidst all the chaos things are falling into place. On the farm…the pigs go to the butcher on Saturday, the turkeys and broiler chickens are in the freezer, we have enough hay to get the animals through the winter and we have been stocking up on feed so we don’t have to make runs when the roads are bad.

In the garden/yard…the potatoes are dug and most of the leaves are off the yard. The trees still have to be wrapped , the garden completely cleaned and blackberry canes cut. One days work and it will be done so I have calmed down there.

The Vehicles…are as winter ready as they can be barring any unforeseen mechanical problems. The registrations have to be renewed before December so will be done with the next paycheck.

The house…my brother delivered more firewood, I had broken the glass in the woodstove and I got that replaced, I have stocked up on sugar and flour for holiday baking, the screens are off the windows but there is a whole lot of cleaning that needs to go on. But I am still canning…#2 and I started sauerkraut this weekend and that will take a couple of weeks to ferment. I did sweet and sour red cabbage and 28 quarts of potatoes (for quick dinners) this week. Someone posted a recipe for summer sausage and I made that and it is pretty good. Two pounds went into the freezer.

Yesterday I put most of the canning stuff away and will only pull out what is needed until my canning list is complete. I have started cleaning out which will not make the trashman happy! Now I have to turn my attention to cleaning up!

So for the most part I am ready for the flurries we are suppose to get today. I can’t say I am ready for Christmas but my Christmas club monies are in my account waiting for when I am. My Christmas cactus is in full bloom….

It seems the cactus is just like the stores, thinking Christmas and forgetting about Halloween and Thanksgiving! There is still 58 days until Christmas.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hooked for life

"I've learned that when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his fist, that you're hooked for life." ~ Andy Rooney

I spent the week with my grandson and if I thought I was hooked before , I have now swallowed the hook, line and sinker.

#1 and Sir T went away for their one year anniversary and I got the honor of babysitting. When they returned #1 fell right into a new job and instead of Baby O going to the babysitter for a day or two I continued to watch him. Yesterday was his first day at the sitters and I wish they lived closer so he could come here.

What a difference from only seeing him once a month from late Friday evening until Sunday morning to seeing him for a week in his own home. When they come for the weekend they have the long drive, his schedule is messed up, family, friends and dogs wanting to play with him ...its enough to make a baby cranky. When home at age five months he is rolling all over and just starting to realize he can crawl. And baby giggles are always infectious! Not that the precious little angel was all giggles…nope. He already possesses quite the temper when he is over tired. Hopefully he gets a rein on it before the terrible twos!

Although I could play with him or just hold him and watch him sleep I did lay him down occasionally and knit him things. For some reason I am on a hat kick and he does have a beautiful shaped head for hats. On outings he is donned in his pumpkin hat as the month dictates. Next month he will be wearing the turkey hat I pictured previously.

While there I knit him a Rudolph hat,

a snowman hat,

a Santa hat with ear flaps

It is un-decorated because #1 wants to see if we can get a small battery powered strand of lights to push through the knitting and add a pouch to hold the batteries on the inside of the hat. I have to see how much they weigh....not that he would be wearing it for long. #1 told me I have started a precedence and that I will have to make new hats for the next children if these don't fit. She said if I don't Baby O will be telling them "Grandma loves me best. First grandbaby #1 grandbaby"! She is truly horrible to me! And it gets worse!

After a week, they threw my things in their car and drove me home. Oh wait they did stop at Micky D's for some food where we got to see a rainbow

which was nice because after that it was nothing but tail lights.

Although glad to be home I do miss them. So much so that yesterday when I went to the farmers market I saw concord grapes, which I bought and came home to can grape juice for Baby O. Now I have to go pull pumpkins from the oven so I can freeze it for later use. Maybe if I catch up on all the chores I can go visit again.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Nutty Weather

“And close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.”
John Greenleaf Whittier; Snow-Bound

Now that we are almost done with the apples, we have been picking up nuts around here. I have hickory, butternut and black walnut on the property. Needless to say if you hear leaves moving you better get out from under the
tree…quick or get ice for the bump on your head! I also found a source of edible sweet chestnuts so have been grabbing some of them also. Well grabbing would be a bad idea as theyare painful.

The natives are in a race with me to see who can get to the nuts first. The deer have been coming down in groups to eat their way through the day’s droppings.

The squirrels which have been nearly invisible all summer now number 7 seen in one spot.

I have to keep Cooper out of the woods as archery deer season has started. If they can shoot a cow by mistake then they can shoot a 150 red dog.

Yesterday we had a day without rain! I know you are as shocked as we
were! I ventured out into the garden and picked some lettuce which with literally the last cherry tomatoes became my lunch.

I picked the one neck pumpkin the garden produced, the one Long Island Cheese the garden produced and one of the "can't remember what I planted and too lazy to go find the garden chart" squash. There are five more CRWIPATLTGFC squash left in the garden which are bigger.

Remarkably this squash that did almost nothing all summer is covered in blossom. Tonight I will have to cover them because the forecast states..."Temperature...lows as low as the mid 20's are possible in colder rural valleys. Lows of 30-35 are expected at higher elevations and in more urbanized areas." But during the day for the next week it will be sunny (read no rain) and in the 70's. You have to take the good with the bad so I ain't complainin'!

I have been trying to clear up lose ends as next week I will be busy. Hopefully I will be able to get a lot of knitting done too. We shall see.