Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Take a left on Memory Lane

Nothing is more memorable than a smell.  One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town.  Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years.  Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once.  A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.  ~Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses

There are certain smells that will transport me back in time.  Oddly enough Liquid Gold is one of them.  I grew up living in a trailer.  Every Thanksgiving we went to a friends house but Christmas was when people came to ours and mom went to work cleaning.  Since the walls were all paneling, everything got a coating of Liquid Gold.  So in my mind Liquid Gold is forever connected to Christmas.
Well today it was not a smell but the sight of something that took me on a trip back in time.  I have been trashing things left and right recently.  Today I found a box of magazines which were my aunts.  Inside of a 1972 Flower and Garden was a picture of Goats Beard. 

So what you say…well my neighbors Lou Lou and Pop Pop, who were like grandparents to me promised me if I passed first grade they would take me on a cross country ride to Montana to see an Indian pow-wow.  And I did.  Now I was six at the time.  I know it was a yearly celebration but don’t know why they decided to take the trip.  I remember we were gone for weeks.  I can remember coming down the mountain road and  in the valley on the right was were the pow-wow was with the tee-pees all set up.  I can remember the cabin we stayed in was on the left of the gravel “main” street and there was an unmowed hillside behind the cabin.  We ate across the street in a building with saloon doors (and I have always loved them since).  The proprietor gave me a watch when we left which I had until high school.  I have a glass swan I bought my mom .  I got to see the guy heat up an old glass bottle and make it.  But one thing I don’t have any more is a flower.  Lou Lou and I walked up the hillside and picked these giant dandelions and spray painted them. 

Very carefully we toted them home where my mom displayed them until they were falling apart.  I have never seen a dandelion that big since…. and today I find they were not dandelions but goats beard.  Which explains a lot!

Mom, Lou Lou and Pop Pop are all long gone but finding that article “stalking the wild goats arranger’s prize” triggered a wonderful trip down memory lane.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow is in the forecast

"A speculator is a man who observes the future, and acts before it occurs." Bernard Baruch 

And since they are calling for 3-6 inches of snow the stores  were busy with everyone going for milk and bread.  I don’t like to shop on a normal day so you know I wasn’t there.   It has been such an unbelievably warm and snow free winter that I am looking forward to it.  It wont last long anyhow since it is suppose to be in the 40's on Monday.

I have been knitting.  I finally finished the vest I started for Baby O.   I hope it fits him.

Then I decided I needed a long pair of fingerless mitts.  I wear Walmart gloves to the barn because I have more dexterity with them.  However, they are short and my wrists get cold.  I like a coat without the knit cuffs so after I raise my arms I don’t have to tug the sleeves down.  This pair of fingerless mitts is just k2p2 so were done in no time with some old handspun dye experiment yarn. 

Then I received an email stating my name was mentioned on Pinterest.  I go to check it out and there is a leprechaun ski hat for Baby O with instructions from his mother to make it for him.  There was no pattern so I just winged it and came up with this… 

The “belt” should have been wider but it was done in a day.

Now to just finish this cowl…

It should have been done in a solid color to show the detail but I was watching a show with the man and that yarn was sitting close by.  While the snow is falling and the kids are involved with their friends that are spending the weekend I will be knitting and spinning....and maybe a snowball fight if it is good packing snow.

And just to note...I sold my Ashford Traddy.  She came east  many years ago with her previous owner but will be heading to Arizona soon.  I wish her and her new owner many hours of enjoyment.

Monday, January 16, 2012


 “Cold? I'm freezing my royal Rastafarian nay-nays off! “  ~ Sanka Coffie in Cool Runnings

This morning it was a brisk 2 degrees on the thermometer on the side of the house.  It is cold but it isn’t going to last that long.  In fact, midnight tonight we are suppose to be above freezing.  So unlike last year which was such a nonstop damp cold that you felt like you would never be warm again.

During its brief visit the cold has taken the water and turned it into something beautiful…well in my eyes….

Stay warm

Thursday, January 12, 2012


An  anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday and the hopes of tomorrow. ~ Author Unknown

While the man and I were married four years on New Year’s Eve, the blog and I have had a much longer relationship.  
We have been going steady for seven years today!

Seven… as in seven days of the week, seven continents, seven colors in the rainbow, lucky number seven.

And what is a proper seventh anniversary gift?.... copper and WOOL!!!!  Now to get the blog to pay to process all my wool!  Oh well …seven and wool….it still seems like 2012 is going to be a really good year!

Even the sheep to shawl was awesome this year.  The winning shawl was gorgeous. All of this years shawls were unbelievable.   Pictures of the PA Farm Shows sheep to shawl and fleece to shawl can be found here.  and
The man said I am going next year so monies are getting stashed away.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mr. Bluebird

Mr Bluebird's on my shoulder 
It's the truth, it's actual 
Everything is satisfactual 

Wonderful feeling 
Wonderful day 

Yes sir 
My oh my what a wonderful day 
Oh plenty of sunshine in my way 
Zip-a-dee-eh  ~ Disney

On the walk back from the barn what did I spy…yup! A bluebird.   And how can you look at a bluebird and not be happy?

It is a horrible picture but my camera batteries did not like the cold so I was only able to get one shot of him/her before they died.  But they served me well prior to that as I got some shots of the animals which have not made an appearance on here in some time…

Bozo says “ I hope you remembered the apples”  Sure did!

Tomorrow will find me glued to the tv as the PA Farm Shows Sheep to Shawl is televised.  Yearly enjoyment to which I had hoped to go but the truck decided the monies should be spent on it.  As much as I hate the truck it really hasn’t cost much in up keep so I can’t complain because it needs new tires to pass inspection.  There is always next year.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Useful or Beautiful

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to beautiful. ~ William Morris

When I took the everyday things off the mantel for Christmas, it sat empty for two days until I put the Christmas things up.  During this period I was talking to my daughter and said I was liking the minimalistic view…which brought a snort from my daughter who thinks I have too much stuff. 

I do admit I have “stuff” which is not useful (even in my loose terms) and in some instances it isn’t even beautiful but it belonged to people who are no longer with us so I keep it.

But I have started to minimize my stuff.  So far I have gone through the acrylic yarn which I have either bought or most of which I have inherited from one person or another.  It has it’s uses but even after keeping some, I have a 50 gallon trash bag full of yarn to go to the Salvation Army.  My handspun wool all stays period.  I also decided to stop talking about it and try to sell two spinning wheels.  I am going to sell my Ashford Traditional because my woolie winder doesn’t fit on it and my Babe Pinkie.  My daughter would tell me I can sell more but I am going to keep the Babe electric, Traveler and CPW.

Obviously can’t take things out without bringing things in because a friend gifted me 6 cases of pint jars, 3 cases of quart jars and a bag of flats and rims -which means I need to get looking in the seed magazines to grow something to fill those jars.  And oddly enough while walking back from the barn I stopped at one of my gardens and for shit and giggles I pushed some of the leaves that never got raked aside and there were daffodils coming up already! 

2012 is still looking pretty good.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Home Life

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home."  Edith Sitwell        

And January is the bare bones of Winter.  The ravelry of the holidays have past and the yearning for the gardening season has not begun.  I am just enjoying the peace of the season. 

Oh the difference between December and January is huge.  It is like looking at a black and white photo vs a colored one.  The black and white may be stark but it makes you pay more attention to the details.  The colored one just amazes you with its color.  Both are beautiful and both are appreciated for their differences.

December was fast, furious and loud…always busy making things, baking things, cooking, shopping, wrapping, parties, company visiting, music and a December 24 deadline.  Very much like the colored photo, amazing you with it’s color.
January is much more sedate….no holiday, colder weather  making people want to stay home, relax and appreciate the past holiday you had with family and friends.

The kids returned to school on the second and the man to work on the third.  Christmas was packed away and normalcy (hahaha!) returned.  Sometimes when I have to do things they feel like chores and I don’t enjoy them as much. Since I didn’t have to bake I made three loaves of white bread and two loaves of rhubarb bread.  We worked in son's room.  I started a batch of vanilla extract. I am dehydrating about 4 pounds of venison jerky.  I organized my desk and filed everything.  I sorted through fleece deciding on what I want to wash and what I want to send out.  I spun some and started knitting the squares into the first row of an afghan.  

I also enjoyed the time of just sitting as I watched the birds  congregate by the feeder during the cold snap,

the turkeys walking the ridgeline and the dusting of snow falling by the light on the porch. 

If all of 2012 goes as well as this first week it is going to be a very good year.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Another fresh new year

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and  fear, 
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!
- William Arthur Ward

I actually made it to midnight and watched the ball drop, usually I am a sleep as we transition from one year to the next. 

According to folklore one is suppose to enter the new year with full cupboards and all the bills paid.  So we did that.  Supposedly you are to eat pork on new years and the man wants  BBQ pork ribs so we got that covered.  Not that I am superstitious but hey you can’t take any chances can ya?

So what has filled the blank pages of my 2012 life’s book so far?  Well I woke early and spun while the rest of the house slept.  Then my nephew woke up crying because his stomach hurt.  When his parents woke up I sent him and his brother home….and Lysol-ed the heck out the place!!!  Scrubbed the bathroom, stripped the bed and threw the sheets in the washer.  Unbelievably it is a gorgeous New Years Day so the sheets are line drying.  Another load and the blanket was in the dryer, another load and the bedspread went in the dryer.  I can handle getting the common cold but I have a phobia of stomach virus and vomiting. 

Now, I have the ribs on to parboil and a nice pot roast cooking which I will use for roast beef sandwiches for the kids lunches this week.  Yes they start back to school tomorrow.  The man has the day off so we are moving son’s room around.  He has a king size captains bed so it takes some doing…doing meaning man muscles.
Now I am going to spin a little more wool … check out the year long crazy quilt squares they are doing on Holiday Mystery Gift yahoo group…and I downloaded Steven Kings 11/22/63.

How has your new book started?