Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. The weather had tricked me into thinking we had more time.

The news is frightening, the world is spiraling out of control and there is talk of WW3.

Thankfully the poets have found the words that I am unable to find as my thoughts are all a jumble.

So this Thanksgiving besides my wonderful family, I am thankful...

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

And I wish for all of you to find the peace of the wild things....

The Peace of Wild Things ~ Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Apples R Us

"Take the fruit I give you," says the bending tree.
"Nothing but a burden is it all to me.
Lighten ye my branches; let them toss in air!
Only leave me freedom next year’s load to bear."
~Lucy Larcom (182493)

We seriously took this to heart. It was an amazing year for apples. The man got me this load....

and I made apple butter, applesauce, apple pie filling.
Then he went back again for another load....and the whole family got to work making cider. The grandsons loved making and drinking it. It has been deemed a new yearly tradition to do with them.

Then a guy hubby works with gave him 6 bags and a tote full of apples...and I made him some apple cider

Then same guy came in with 6 more bags....and I made him some apple fruit rolls ups, apple/cherry fruit rolls ups and apple/blueberry fruit roll ups.

And then same guy came in with a 4 ft long ice chest of apples and 3 more bags...... I am not making him a thing as every time I do he brings more! I asked my husband why he didn't just say no and he said because the guy went through all the trouble of picking them. When the snow comes and I am sure of not getting anymore apples I will make him a basket of apple products as a thank you.

I must say he has some beautiful apples, they are so red that they are almost black,

but I am exhausted trying to find things to do with them. I have dumped some on friends but they are sick of them now too.   I can't stand to see waste so we will be eating a lot of applesauce and drinking a lot of cider....198 quarts that I canned for apple juice so far.

The colder temperatures had us lighting the woodstove for the first time Saturday night the 17th. It was our first frost and freeze and officially ended the garden. We had a fire again on the 18th and now we are back to 70's during the day and 40's at night so no more fire until needed. The freeze made a lot of leaves drop but I was able to get pictures of some of their glory.

I put apples aside and went to Rhinebeck this past Sunday. I had not been there since 2013 and I must say I was disappointed. Vendors I was looking for have folded up shop, a lot less spinning oriented and more yarn. I was use to seeing shelves with roving balls, tub after tub of roving, booths with several wheels to test drive, loads of carders/skeinwinder or bags upon bags of fleece. Outside the building with the fleece competiton/sale there were only a few that had a fleece or two for sale.

I did not walk away empty handed....I procured 12 oz of cormo pencil roving, some rootbeer float fudge (for #2 daughter), clover honey, small container of feta pesto, and a pair of alpaca socks for the man.

The weekend before we had the grandsons for a sleepover while their parents celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. It went very well. They painted two pumpkins each and took them home. Toddler B is very diligent and attacked his pumpkins with such focus and complete coverage. Toddler O is very tidy and didn't like it when he got paint on his hands when turning the pumpkin. They helped with the morning chores and ate like horses. It has been along time without little kids underfoot so we were exhausted when they left!

And time before that I was trying to get pictures of the eclipse. I was able to get some regardless of the clouds until almost full eclipse and then it was total cloud coverage.

So we are about ready for the snowy weather. The sheep are sheared and there is hay in the barn. The turkeys took a short ride. #2 son said they would weigh in at 25 and 18...they ate well and weighed a shocking 37 and 24!

The only thing that has to be done still is butchering the pigs and the longer the weather is above normal the longer they will be with us. This year also saw a bounty of acorns and they are eating their fill. They have an acorn fairy that leaves feed bags of acorns by the milkhouse for them. 

I have been knitting very little but I expect that to pick up once the apples are done.  So until I have something fibery to show I will leave you with this little anomaly....

a road in PA without potholes....or political advertisements!



Thursday, September 17, 2015

OMG A year has gone by!!!!!

The mind ought sometimes to be diverted that it may return to better thinking. ~ Phaedrus

I find it funny that I should return to this blog almost a year to the day. Diversion didn't produce any better thinking but I guess it is true that I do love this time of year. Summer keeps me tied to the garden or the stove canning but when September rolls around I know the end is in sight. I have only to do apples
and sauerkraut and then I get a much needed rest.

Unlike last year the temperatures are above normal. The mornings however are wonderful. A cool fog shrouds the mountains.
Unexpected visitors were resting in a tree above the chicken coop. 
He did not like his picture taken so flew to a fence post,
when that didn't stop me he finally flew to a tree on the mountain. While the pigs were too busy doing their pig thing to notice,
the coop residents would not have liked the visit.

Not much has changed since a year ago. I am still working on the genealogy. I missed a family reunion because the car's (7 more payments but no more warranty) engine died. I also missed the Endless Sheep and Wool again but will be at Rhinebeck.

I did get a great deal on a 30 x 100 foot greenhouse frame. While too much space for my growing purposes, we intend to put part by the garden and the rest will be used for housing animals and storage for tractor and implements.

#1 daughter and Sir T are house hunting. They found a great house but the owners will not work with them, to the point that even the homeowners realtor thinks her clients are unreasonable. So the hunt goes on. The grandkids are getting so big. O starts kindergarten next September which seems impossible. B will be lost without him.

#1 son had a horrible snowmobile accident this past winter while riding with A.....seven broken ribs, three were broken multiple times, broken sternum, broken collar bone, two punctured lungs one collapsed, and a concussion. He subsequently sold his snowmobile but when Spring came they bought the fastest side by side quad to ride. He turned 30 this Spring so healing wont be as fast something he should keep in mind.

#2 son had long wanted to join the marines. Unfortunately he is PDQ because of his hearing. He was always getting ear infections as a kid and had ruptured his ear drum multiple times because of them. He tried for a waiver since he is only off by one frequency but the Marines are not offering waivers at this time. So he started working at the same place #1 son and husband work and will celebrate his one year anniversary there in a couple of weeks.

#2 daughter is working as a CNA at an area nursing home. She loves it but being the mom I worry about her driving as she works 3-11 pm and during the winter they don't always work on the roads at night. In a little over a month she turns 21. How time flies.

As with all gardening years, something's grow and something's don't. It was a great year for peas and summer squash but tomatoes were indecisive. They are loaded with buds now that it is time to pull them! A new thing this year is cotton!!!!!
I was given three plants and they had gorgeous flowers and then the boles started. I can't wait to harvest and plant more next year.

Even the farm is pretty much the same. We got three pigs to raise again this year.

We got a couple of turkeys.

A friend got chickens and ducks but his landlord nixed the ducks so he gave them to us.

I am in the sporadic funk with knitting but I have been spinning a lot. I washed a fleece today so as the weather gets cooler I will have plenty to card/dye/spin.

And that about wraps up the year! Pretty boring to put on paper but in real time it has had some pretty good moments.