Wednesday, January 30, 2008

bernie is still very sick

we took him to the doctor today, he does NOT have a cold, the flu or sinus infection
she said that it was all from that tooth and the abscess from that
he was so ill this morning that in coughing and yacking....he shook the bed so hard it broke!
not the wood part
a Metal SLAT!
snapped in two!
we got it supported on wood blocks right now

he had a high fever and was shaking with the 'cold'
under a goosedown quilt and a heavy topper quilt

he kept telling me that if he could only go to work it would all be ok

his company is wonderful
his bosses are as worried about him as i am

he is eatting yet
but i am making him a lot of soups, pastina
tonights soup was ground beef with veggies and elbow macaronis
simmered until it was all soft for him
i had canned the meat with veggies during the summer
he's on his second bowl

he goes to the surgeon tomorrow
however if he gets worse tonight we take him to the hosptial

he can't even throw firewood on the deck
i will be bringing in tomorrows load in my wheel barrow

i also made him some honey with lemon for his throut
as this mess is draining it makes him sore and that has been helping

i am so very grateful to have learned to can
and to have canned so much food over the summer
we certainly are using it now
( we were using it anyway.....but the soup stuff really has me grateful)

i'm really tired...
i haven't gotten much sleep but i try to sneak a couple hours in the morning
when he is up and is feeling good

funny how FAST you get adjusted again to an ill person in the house
it's like it was when my father was living with us
i work around his good days and good times and his schedule

til next time
when i hope i have much better news

please wish bernie luck at the surgeon tomorrow
he needs this treated ASAP

Monday, January 28, 2008

bernie and the dentist

he's been there.... and now is a mess
he had one tooth extracted and now has got to have his impacted wisdom tooth out
and everything is covered with a lovely abcess!
oh man
WHY are they like that

so i have to run and get his RX filled
i hear his truck and yes he went to work and WENT BACK TO WORK

cause he is an idiot

and has me worried sick over him

til next time


Sunday, January 27, 2008

vote for MY babies.....PLEASE

no i am not bias...
yeah right....NOT MUCH

anyway the la perm cat club in Britain is having a La Perm cat of the year contest

i entered ( i was asked) my three

so i ask you all
go see the la permies

vote for mine ( as they are the bestestest...... but i am not bias)

there is the url again

And the matter of my archives......

if anyone can figure it out

i would be really grateful


ok i got some knitting to do now
and bernie has a very bad toothache and abscess tooth
which he is stubbornly refusing to go to the dentist for
now....where is that frying know the cast iron 12 inch one........

OH BERNIE....................

Saturday, January 26, 2008

HTML and my archives

i am having a problem with my archives
they get progressively smaller to the point of being unreadable

( that is just picked at random.....scroll down)

if anyone can help me figure WHERE i accidently put that progressively 'smaller' peice of code
i would be grateful

as i am trying to figure it out and so far haven't been able to

thanks to you all


i won i won i WON

i won a skein of lace weight yarn from Spirit Trail
i have never won ANYTHING in my life

so i am super super excited

i asked for magenta......or magenta and purple, red, yellow, orange

well i AM colorful you know

i am so excited!!!

now some (ha) progress has been made on the kitchen......he reversed the hang of the fridge/freezer door

still no built in dishwasher
so still no possiblity of counter tops

oh man........


a bit more

i guess the blistering blog post got that much what do i have to do to get the dishwasher installed?

it's a bit cold out
the woodstove is again for like the billiionth time paying for itself again

i love my woodstover

i talk nice to it and clean it daily

i highly recommend a woodstove to you all

ok i have to go
cause i am also drying clothes by the woodstove

til next time

Friday, January 25, 2008

i dreamt of turn of the century immigrants

i dreamt there was a family,
mother and father
two daughters
about 4 years apart
i was seeing this from the eyes of a young teacher who came to the house to help the girls
the family was not rich
but they were not scrambling poor either
it was unclear where the source of support came from as neither parent appeared to work
it was a patriarchal family, and a fundamentally religious family although the religion was not clear.....the father was disappointed however that he had daughters instead of sons
the mother submitted to the rules of their religion and her husband

and the husband/father ruled with a strict and heavy hand according to his beliefs

from the young teachers point of view, the father was abusive
although she did not witness anything other then the father ordering his family verbally.

the demeanor of the family members and the fear in their eyes said much more
the apartment they lived in was lined with shelf after shelf of books
and the daughters sat at the center table under the light of an oil lamp studying from these books

the crutch of the dream came when the young teacher in a quest to stop some of the abuse within the family......

instead of attempting to remove or 'reeducate' the father ( which really was not done at that time)

proposed a rather unique solution......

she asked the father if she could try to jump the girls ahead a challenge them

she informed the father that the girls were very smart girls ( which they were but not geniuses)
'let's challenge them just a bit, approximately half a grade'

from my vantage point in the dream i could see the father
he was so thrilled, and so proud and started to relax a bit
it did work in my dream

he had been driven to DRIVE his family out of fear that his girls weren't going to be perceived as 'good enough'
that their future life in this new country would not be as secure as he hoped
he was afraid that the community would as a whole look down upon them all
judging him and then his family inferior
that they would suffer and possible starve because of it

part of what i took away was the progressiveness of the thinking of this young teacher
in a society that did NOT have rules conducive to stopping abuse within the families.... she found a way around this

a way that everyone was a winner

and as i sit here and type this
i am starting to understand the father
which i could not do during the dream.......during the dream i kept thinking
'what a jerk......he needs to be gone gone gone'

i can see the thrill and relief in the eyes of the mother when the young teacher proposed this
i can FEEL the mood of the room lighten as they saw the young woman to the door as she was leaving

i can see the father......feel his fears start to drop away, being replaced by hope as he turned back to the center of the room and table with the girls, their books and the circle of warm light cast by the oil lamp

now i know that who ever this family is or was.............
or whatever reason this dream came

there is always another way

sometimes it is the opposite of what we think however

til next time


Thursday, January 24, 2008

hot porridge for all

it's cold

ok so all the people in the winter areas of the world know that already
it is obvious fact

(where the hell IS global warming when you need it???)

i'm cold

my toes even encased in woolen hand knit socks are cold

my ankles too

we won't even talk about my ass

i'm cold


beings that I am cold
i feed all the animals a HOT breakfast

the lot of them get a hot breakfast

I KNOW some of you besides shaking your heads.....are wondering

how the HELL do you feed chickens and cats and ducks a hot breakfast?????


cats get cat food with really really hot water stirred up into it
sort of like a kittie soup

chickens get mash with hot water and cooked oatmeal

as do duckies

my sheep and goat are out at the farm so i can't get to them
they get grain
and hay
here they would get porridge

so am i nuts?

well duh......that's a given

do the animals CARE?

who knows........ but i do

i'm cold so they get a hot meal

after all i don't have sweaters for the chickens and the ducks
just for the cats

til next time

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

we gotta stop meeting this early.....

ok ok
so i haven't actually posted this early lately....but i have been UP
heating with wood means getting up early and getting the stove going

so i literally keep the home fires burning

i am looking into alternative energy

i would like to find a method or systems ( plural even would be ok, say passive solar and geothermal)
that wouldn't be too expensive to do
and could possibly be integrated into an existing dwelling

for when we move

yesterday i was sort of kicking around the net and found some ideas on using manure.

now before you all go..........ewwwwwww
manure CAN be stored in such a way as the odor is not accessible.
and the methane gas can be used for either fuel for cooking or heat

PLUS the heat of the actual 'cooking' compost can be used.......

then the finished compost can be used in the garden

a side product could be a worm farm....... worms for bait and castings for the garden

ok that would take care of heating problems

now how about electricity?
i know windmills, and wind turbines........but they are NOT cheap
even with tax incentives, they are not cheap......nor if i understand it right....
could one of them provide the household with enough electricity to not only go off grid
but to sell some.....
hydroelectric would be one thing......but who has niagra falls in the backyard?

if done correctly...... evenly balanced, it is my belief that a person CAN live on small acreage
AND provide a lot of their own needs for living....
not just survival but really fine living

and it need not be a back breaking endeavor

i just know too that there has to be a truly affordable way to go about all this
and once in place, i believe it would not take too much to run the entire system

animals will excrete without any more intervention then feeding them!

that needs to be moved to a place where it can join other objects of excrement and work together to do what it does best..........COMPOST

these are the things that i think of at 4am while waiting for the stove to heat
so i end up talking about by 5am when i am waiting to wake up

and you all thought i was shallow.......

ah.......wait.......maybe i am!

til next time
and hopefully WITH coffee


Tuesday, January 22, 2008


oh man oh man

i am (like very very many of my friends) in menopause.......

now the classic definition of menopause is a cessation of the menses....
or the stopping of that annoying monthly nightmare called a period


it is truly the time in life......when your hormones (if you are female)
give you enough of a break.......for you to sit back and say.........





when your spouse or SO gives you grief........( cause they DO that.....they are after all MEN)
or says something totally stupid
instead of smiling and thinking in your head......

'what a freeken duffus, ........... we need to discuss this'

you turn around ( and if you are like me, a probably have a few very pointy potential weapons in your hands) and tell the MAN to back the F*** off
and get the hello out of your way

(NO???????????????????.....wait a good hot flash and you will be telling Iraqi terrorists off)

and if he has half a brain cell left........he will leap out of your way......

i see my husband aging.....
and i don't know.....maybe it is pms on my part
or MANopause.......

or the moon in aries.....

but i SWEAR sometimes i just want to crack his head open to see if indeed there IS something swimming around in what can only be the utter VACUUM of his mind

the thing is.......
he knows this about me

yet he still continues to tempt fate.......( and my pointed and very very sharp lace needles)
and says dumb ass things.......

like last night

his comment to me,

(when i mentioned we have to actually finish the kitchen if we want to actually SELL the house.......for MONEY)

" hey i do my part around here......i go to WORK every day"

now at this point he realized that the flames he was seeing was NOT from the woodstove.......
but actually from ME
getting seriously mad.......

two seconds before i exploded

see he's a workaholic

he will think NOTHING of working 60-70-80 hours a week

but ask him to install a hook on the wall........
that is way too much work you know

oh man

so now i got this kitchen....... no countertops
how many years?

and i am getting a tad perturbed.......
(not so anyone would notice)

and after 31 years of marriage........
and 98 years of no kitchen......

i am telling you all the REAL meaning of MAN o PAUSE is

the man better freeken PAUSE.....
get his sh*T together

and get the hell out of the way

or finish the damn kitchen


but i'm not mad or anything
i got MAN o PAUSE

Monday, January 21, 2008

is it spring yet?

ok i think i have come out of my mohair and silk
'ice queen' induced knitting fog...

maybe not
but i am reasonably sure i am awake at the moment

i have yarn for two more...i am going to knit two more
but first
i am sort of working on a fichu from the 'victorian lace today'
the harebell

it's gone from being a work in progress to a giant swatch

cause i messed up the initial location of the short row back shaping
but that's ok

i am going to play with this for a bit
i like a lot of it
but i think i would like it smaller around the neck.....and the lace a bit more open
so i am considering ...... size 1 needles for the neck band and go up to a 2 for the lace itself

like i said....playing

meanwhile i hand copied out the charts for it
but i have to replace my scanner before i do any big lace projects
there is no way i am going to be able to make a working copy by hand of some of the bigger lace that i am planning on doing


if anyone has suggestions for 100% silk lace weight with higher yardage and good prices
please let me know
especially if they are online and take paypal.......

even if i have to dye it myself

ok folks off i go

til next time


Sunday, January 20, 2008

really cold..... really really REALLY cold

ok not 27 below zero cold......but still

tonight it is to go down to 8

above zero

that's pretty cold no?

i fluffed up the hay in the duckie domicile
they have a snug little hay filled and hay surrounded duck house

so they stand OUTSIDE in the outer pen
ON one foot

and shiver

i know they go in their little duck house at night
they can't control their sphincter the evidence is RIGHT THERE
serafina.....she's even sat on the ROOF of the duck house.....under the roof of the duck domicile

(these duckies have not one roof but TWO roofs over their heads.....they are LUCKY duckies)

so someone PLEASE tell me WHY they want to stand out in the cold on one foot and shiver?

i do realize that their brains are the size of a shriveled walnut

but still.....??

the rest of the week should be warmer and warmer

and it's time to start thinking of seeds for the garden

i want to get the peppers started soon as some of them take forever to sprout

i don't have too much to say right now

i am knitting some lace.....
the harebell fichu from 'victorian lace today'

it's a test knit
so far the instructions are rather terse........
i figured out the neckband part right away, but the first couple of actual lace chart rows and how they join got me nuts

so i was on the phone with a friend of mine that is a lace knitter out in western pa
between the two of us we sorta figured it out

the way it seems to that you repeat the first two rows over and over for a few

but actually you don't
you knit the entire lace chart a few times..... (7 actually) BUT
you join them to the neckband differently

this is a knitted on border
and it's curved
so it took some talking about it and a bit of math

the instructions ARE accurate but where a big vague to me

i think that test knitting this was a very good idea

for two reasons.....
1) to work out the kinks for myself
2) to 'get inside' the author's head

i suppose i need to learn how she thinks and writes
looking at the charts
not one of the projects in this book are really hard.....
involved maybe.....
BIG yes
time consuming..... oh yeah.......

but really not hard

now all i need is a huge cone of cream colored silk lace weight
and i can play until spring

(well this is my reward for gardening and canning all spring/summer/fall

til next time


Saturday, January 19, 2008

and i am up so early!

i got up with bernie this morning
at 4:30 to stoke the fire
living with a woodstove is like having another have to feed it regularly

i have been winding silk spirit trail silk
more specifically....Photobucket
silk from Spirit Trail, from RHINEBECK this past fall ( 2007)Photobucket

and the pictures do not do it justice

it is a warm and glowing late-ish fall russet coloring
that blends softly through the golds, and russets and bittersweets and melons of late fall prior to all the leaves coming down

i am still trying to find a pattern that will make the most of it

i thought.....fichu.....
i have two patterns for them

or i could make up my own

i would like something suggestive of leaves
i probably would really like it beaded.....
in a sort of gypsy sort of way

i was originally thinking a sort of narrow shawl..../scarf

but maybe a fichu would be better.....
with a leaf boarder
and acorn shaped beads dropping of alternating points?



Thursday, January 17, 2008

ducks are amazing! and other small windows on life

it's not too cold this morning but apparently cold enough.
i watched out the window while the woodstove was heating up
to see falstaff my drake break the thin layer of ice on the top of his water bucket.....
he broke it out enough for not only himself to drink
but for his duck serafina to drink as well.
just when i think that drake really IS a falstaff.......he does something sweet, and human
and then i am so grateful i did NOT eat him with orange sauce in the fall........

right now
i am watching the thermometer on the woodstove stove pipe.
it is registering almost 500 degrees
every morning and every evening i try to burn the stove this hot to clean out the chimney and the stovepipe of any built up creosote
when i first come down, i rake the ash to the front, sift the coals out, remove half the ash and then stack the fire
large stuff in the back,
small stuff and kindling to the front
and get enough wood up high

( just in case anyone needs to know how to run a woodstove)

some folks hate to heat the chimney, but i found that it does three things......

1)it heats the room fast ( with a soapstone stove that is a plus)

2)it cleans the chimney

3)it sets up a very good draft for a good hot clean burn

now while that is heating, i feed the cats.....
it's funny how we have a routine

right now i am sitting with coffee.....
the cats are watching the birds at the feeder we put out on the clothes line JUST for the cats to watch the birds....
they are only marginally interested though

a few weeks ago they caught a mouse......
i have three la perm cats
the breed that originated in a barn out in oregon.......

three cats.....

one tiny little 2" long field mouse

the cats could NOT figure out how to kill this mouse

they only were interested in it if it

a) moved
b) AND made noise

that mouse naturally got away

after all.......
was there every any doubt?

oh man
three cats.....

and i PAY an exterminator to get rid of the mice



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

an embarrassment of riches..........

within the past week or so....
i have gotten three new lace knitting books


Victorian Lace Today
A Gathering of Laces
Heirloom Knitting

oh man i am in hog heaven
now all i need to do is get more laceweight yarn
( i am thinking of some zephre.......probably in the cream color so i can dye it myself, as i doubt i can afford full cones of all the colors i love...and i am thinking POUNDAGE here........i may need a fundraiser just to support my habit)

color knitting and lace knitting is one of my guilty little pleasures
neither is totally practical in my life.....
i wear that first ice queen i knit in mountain colors barefoot, out to feed the ducks

the ducks are not impressed
(tough ducks huh?)

i long to sit with a large and impressive lace project.....preferably with beads.....
but where would i wear it?
how would i wear it being only 5' tall.....

that won't stop me from doing at least one (that moraccan stole i would imagine)

mittens, socks, hats, neckwarmers.....
these are the knitting things that are practical in my life.....
and i do knit them quite often....( about to cast on for boot socks shortly)

now today i will do the dishes.....feed the animals.....
stoke the stove
put up the crock pot
and knit on that 'ice cream ice queen'
and feel incredibly guilty.....
and get lost in a foam of mohair and silk and beads.....

well.....isn't that what winter is for?
tufted titmouse on bernie's feeder

ok so that's what i keep telling myself.....
as i sit.....wrapped up in a guilty pleasure.....
knitting lace



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

have you ever had a dream you couldn't shake?

i just had one of those this morning
it woke me up

i dreamt i got annoyed with bernie at a shopping center
and told him to just go home

when i turned around to get in the van
it and HE was long gone....

i couldn't find a pay phone to call for a ride home
and i asked some young men to use their cell.....they informed me it would cost me 1.18
i had the dollar...but not the .18 cents

it's stuck with me all day

a lot of my friends are now widows
one is coming up to the anniversary of her first year as a widow

i think it is affecting me

i realize that this house
i can't live without bernie.
it isn't a dependant thing as in personality
it is a physical thing
the layout of this house
i can't throw wood on the deck
i am not strong enough to heft it that high
so i have to put a load in the wheel barrow and wheel it around to the front door and then make numerous trips through the house to the studio to put the wood in the wood barrels

numerous little things like that (not to mention that the kitchen isn't finished)

we need to move to a more user friendly house i suppose
probably a ranch would be the best idea
and much as i adore this soapstone stove
i think in the next house.....we need either a masonary heater or
a duel fuel ..corn/pellet stove
something that is easy for me in case it is just me
having to do all this

i have been thinking alot lately.....( and you all know that is never good)

about purposes etc....
it's said that your purpose in life will show itself in things that make your heart sing

some of what makes my heart sing is laughing with bernie
is making other folks laugh and laughing with them
is in seeing baby animals
making things with my hands
growing and canning our own foods

making my dolls
and writing this blog

so now
i ask all of you that stop by and read.....
what makes YOUR heart sing?????


Monday, January 14, 2008

nope no snow showed......

so much for the snow storm.....
i wanted to sit and knit and watch snow fall outside
while the woodstove had it's happy little dancing fire in it
and eat hot soup for lunch warmed up on the woodstove while i watched

i did eat the soup
the stove is on
the snow was a no show


the soup

start with some onions..... chopped really really fine.....and some celery too chopped fine

and slowly saute them in a bit of butter until they are transparent
then add chicken broth about 3 quarts
and diced yukon gold potates.....well scrubbed but unpeeled about 4 cups
boil until the potatoes are done
add diced up ham
and parsley
and a dash of paprika

and a LOT of garlic

then make a flour and milk roux and gentle stir that in
simmer do not boil

add shredded white cheddar.....extra sharp
and a 1/4 cup of heavy cream to finish

i love this soup..... i make it when we have ham

we get yukon gold potatoes in the fall 12.00 for 50 pounds so we get two bags
and i love them
i like them smashed and in this soup
and sometimes baked

yukon golds and lehigh potatoes are my very favorites.....mmmmm
lehighs are to DIE for baked
they are the BEST for potato skins or for using them as twice baked
or the scooped out skins which are nicely crusty when baked for soup or stew bowls!

i am knitting a third ice queen
the rowan kidsilk haze with beads i talked about yesterday

it's heavenly

i am going to make a red one, and probably that art yarn one
then i am most likely not going to knit anymore for a while
unless i knit a grayish one in fingering.....a heathered one.....maybe a silk blend
we'll see

i got my new book......
'victorian lace today'

yes i know.....i'm late to the party.... but hey.....

i also ordered Heirloom knitting by sharon miller.....

there are quite a few things i want to make out of those books
but knowing me.....i will take a bit from this one and a bit from that one and squish the bits all together.

now i need to get more laceweight
i love the idea of silk
and i have some
but i think i should stick with zephar for a lot of this

although i am wondering about colourmart.........and also about the 'gentle' yarn that fleegle recommended on her blog.....

i also need to figure what colors......
i don't think i would like a big round shawl
or even a triangular one
stoles are nice
but they can't be too wide for me
i am short and round.......
so think maybe..... sort of abrieviated stoles......not quite scarves?

oh my.....
now see if i was tall and dramatic.......
i would go for the over the top round or whatever 72 inch shawls.....
in dramatic colors or tone on tone heathers

with beads of course.......

but i am short so i have to make sure it is toned WAY down

but boy does it look fun to make


Sunday, January 13, 2008

good sunday morn to you all

and i just want to knit lace

i don't know why.....i just do

so in addition to yesterdays little border i showed you
i will be casting on another ice queen
this time in rowen kidsilk haze 'icecream' with bronze lined clear AB 6/0 beads......PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

I HIGHLY recommend this pattern and this designer, not only for experienced lace knitters but for newbie lace knitters
it's addicting like potato chips
it's easy to wear...
this is the first knitted anything i have ever gotten compliments on
( twice in one hour even!)
and i been knitting for over 40 years!
i am going to end up with one in just about every color you can think of
as i love to knit them so much

i am still patiently waiting for the 'moraccan days/arabian nights' shawl pattern....

that will be a perfect late winter large project....something to dig your teeth into so to speak

ok of course since it's sunday.... bernie is making eggs
from the 'ladies'

now i forgot to tell you all
i ran into jackass on the road....
i am not sure WHY i took that road either, i was to be on the other side of town...
but he flipped me the bird!
he swerved slightly into my lane (oncoming)
and flipped me the BIRD!!!
it all happened so fast that i wasn't quite sure what happened at first

guess he didn't like the newest papers he received no?

Thaddeaus Peabody continues to grow his hair (fur?) in
it is very silver pale cream, very very shiny......and still extremely short....about 1/4 of an inch
he is right now doing time out in his crate for beating on his grammie....
naturally she can do no wrong....although she does get into it with her granddaughter.....
and if they weren't cats.....we'd have an episode of jerry springer no?

we are to get snow.....yeah i heard THAT before
up here not too much
down in jersey 6-10
this is ski resort area......the 'snow belt'

oh well we have wood, we have food and we have candles and oil lamps
we should be ok

bernie just commented the other day that he thinks that we will have three cords left over from this winter
i told him.....that's ok
too much is ok
not enough is not ok

and if we have cords left over....that is then less i have to buy this year.

ok, i am off now
to eat breakfast and find a horizontal stitch pattern for the next part of that scarf thingie i showed you all yesterday

til next time


ps: yes i intend on posting daily again
i loved it when i did it
but had to stop for other things.........

but now.....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

i been doing THIS instead of working....

Photobucket Photobucket

shhhhhhh don't tell bernie

Friday, January 11, 2008

out of sorts, kevetching for a rainy day

as you all know.......
bernie has been remuddling the kitchen for i think......
7 years now....
could be 5 but who's counting.........
and i still don't have my

dishwasher built in.....

the sink moved


the floor done




a ceiling


the cabinets actually installed


and the fridge door reversed

oh and just so i don't forget


now, i have been reasonably good about this....... ok so i been whiny and cranky with occasional mood swings about this.....

but really come ON......7 YEARS ( or it maybe 5, but feels like 20)

now the latest one is.......'if you stop canning for the season, i will finish the kitchen'

i haven't canned anything in two months!
and i am having canning withdrawal ***

*** this is where you are considering canning WATER just cause you absolutely need to get something in the jars

see while i feel incredible guilt about opening a jar and in 10 minutes having my own homemade stew on the table, complete with yellow potatoes and mushrooms......

and while i feel incredible guilt about serving fresh homemade pumpkin muffins with apple or pear butter in 10 minutes

i do not intend on stopping canning........
we could win the lotto ( even if we don't buy a ticket........we could still win, someone could GIVE us a ticket)
and I would STILL CAN
and it must be an fiber arts

as i CAN in the 'kitchen from hell with no countertops'

YES, i must be a saint.......

now one more thing....i may have told you all

but just in case

this is a PUBLIC service announcement
print it out




nevah feed a man bean soup AND pumpkin muffins in the same day


unless you want to commit suicide by asphyxiation

from methane gas

don't ask

even the cat left



Thursday, January 10, 2008

simple pleasures

i came down early this morning
(that is not actually unusual
but i have been trying to sleep in lately )

mornings start (in winter) with stoking up the woodstove
now, we have a soapstone wood stove
which i adore
but as i found out now over the three heating seasons that we've been blessed with it.....
there is an art to burning one
between the chimney draft
and the wood available
you need to relearn part of how to burn a stove yearly.

but when you get good at it,
and i have.........
you can just come down in the morning
rake the ash and coals forward a bit.....add some logs
and in a few minutes.....FIRE

a cheery little blaze that warms not only the room but your soul
sitting by that fire with a cup of something hot
and knitting
is one of the most wonderful simple pleasures of winter

a quiet time to think
or dream
before the sun comes up

the cats taught me that

they love to sit right in front of the wood stove
turning to warm one side of their body then the other
gazing into the depths of the fire

i guess it is a primal thing
speaking to our very cells
i imagine that the plant kingdom does the same with stretching it's leaves to the sun

we stretch out to the warmth

this fire, safely contained within the stone and iron,
this is security
the storms can come
we are warm
electricity can go
we are warm and can cook
oil prices can rise
we have our winters worth of wood paid for
and stacked neatly outside

what are some of YOUR simple pleasures?


who maybe should wait til AFTER coffee to post?

EDITED to add yarn........................

i finally took some pictures of the mohair sooooooooooooooo

here goes

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

the north wind doth blow ***


and we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

only here we shall have rain

it's still freekishly warm here
but it suppose to start dropping to january temps soon
i will be lighting the woodstove again tonight
it's too warm for it to get a proper draft right now
also, it's too windy
cold and windy is ok
warm and windy...........nope not so good

in fiber news
i am putting thumbs on a pair of fast mittens that i knit just to make sure i have a pair
i must have 6 pairs of my mittens
but i lose them
or at least one of them
( well i do HAVE three little the la perms could have done away with them)

i am going to actually put a STRING on these i think
and thread the damn thing through my coat!

these are knit in worsted cascade 220 quatro
in a blue and red
match my coats for the most part

now in thaddeaus peabody news
he ate some sort of strip of plastic and puked ALL over from the very top of the cat tree
gee thanks thaddeaus, projectile vomiting at 5 feet
and i didn't get you anything

i was telling him this morning that he was a very bad chicken
as i attempted to again get him OFF the ceiling
(if 90 percent of the cat is on the ceiling............. i do'nt CARE if his feet are on a shelf.....said cat is to be considered ON THE CEILING...... period)

he spend yesterday which was almost 70 degrees.....hiding under the goosedown quilt

that's my son

he's intrepid to say the least.....
the very least

absolutely the least

oh man

meanwhile i am spinning my tunis up
every day i spin some
i have almost a 4 oz bobbin of the chocolate covered cherry roving
chocolate covered cherry singles
( i was aiming for burgundy.....i missed)
it's a laceweight single so plied should be fingering
i will guestimate maybe 300 yards?
i could be WAY all KNOW how bad i am with math

i plan on skeining it
setting the twist
and balling it to ply it

unless someone has a better idea??????

PLEASE someone have a better idea?

when that is done i have the cherry red to spin

then i will dye the blue, yellow, green, orange and purple

THEN it is on to latvian mittens
(which of course by that time will be SUMMER, and who the hell feels like knitting wool in summer???)

i am waiting for that moraccan days/arabian nights stole pattern to become available
i love the pictures of it so far
and i love the beading
so i am going to be knitting that
i may even follow the actual pattern in the sample YARN!

meanwhile i am going to start some other lace while weighting
probably just a sampler out of the patterns in the barbara walker treasureys

i mean
i have to knit lace

you know?

well maybe you don't but i have a real NEED HERE

til next time


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

high's in the 60's

it's to be warm today.

so warm that buggies are ALREADY woken up and flying around
the cats are going nuts with the buggies
which are apparently disoriented.....or so i like to believe
(in their little buggie brains)

pieheart said her windshield was a mess after taking her boys to school

so what is bad for her car.....
is very good for my ducks

as i plan on adding leaves to their outer pen today
it will give them some food, some entertainment and some extra exercise playing around in the leaves after bugs

plus it will help continue to keep their pen clean

while i am out there i will fluff up their hay too
not that it really needs it
but just because i like being around my ducks

if any one likes ducks, but worry about the noise......i can recommend muscovy ducks,

they aren't actually mallard derived ducks but 'duck like waterfowl'
and they don't quack!
they make the SAME noise a dog does when a dog is intently sniffing something

plus if you do decide to eat them..... they don't have the fat of a regular duck
that's why the resturants pay so much for them .....and in turn CHARGE so much for them

our ducks are pets
we feed them baby spinach, romaine lettuce, duck food, alfalfa pellets, cracked corn, sweet feed, bean leaves, pepper leaves, peppers, and bugs from the garden.

they meet me at the gate wagging their tails and lifting their little crests looking for treats
and they normally GET treats

for them and the chickens i hunt around and find as much green weeds during winter as i can

can you all say....'spoiled birds'

yes i knew you could.....

now with the heat wave here, naturally i realized that i have to get the garden started
EVEN if we move....... i still need to start the garden
just in case you know
i am going to put a few plants in large barrels just in case....
we can take them with us
i found a jam pumpkin from italy, which naturally being italian, AND loving pumpkins, i just HAVE TO's a real need you know

i will be very very glad when we are settled in a new place...i look forward to a much larger garden plus orchard there

ok one more thing
i put adsense on the doesn't cost you all anything.....
or me anything
so i figured it couldn't hurt
i also opened the blog up publicly again
last year was a rough year for us
and i noticed that i was being stalked by a rather unpleasant and obviously mentally ill person ( yes i 'know' who they are, but won't say publicly)
so i closed the blog.
if you didn't have a direct link you wouldn't find it
now it's open again
and i am back to posting almost every day

ps: today is NEW MOON

til next time


Monday, January 07, 2008

thaddeaus is growing hair back!!!!!!!


back in october..... little blue eyes got sick

we rushed her to the vet

it was some sort of a virus

she had medicine and after two visits to the vet she was fine

fawn had a light touch of it, the vet told me just give her calpurrnia's medicine

and yes that helped her as well

that brings us to 'the boy'

he wouldn't TAKE the medicine

and he started to lose weight

btw, cats lose weight VERY fast when they have the trots

after a very scary and extremely expensive office visit with thaddeaus,

plus shots, oral meds both pills ( yeah right) and liquid

thaddeaus wasn't getting any better

AND all ( and I DO mean ALL) his fur fell out!

my boy is losing his fur
that is a picture of him in the process of losing his fur

thankfully while he could NOT smell food.....he was so used to me hand feeding him that when i offered him HAM of all things, he ate it!

and then ate the cat food i hand fed him

after two weeks of many many meals ..... many many times a day

i finally got his weight back

and now thankfully his fur has started to grow back


two interesting side notes to this

one, he now sleeps UNDER the goosedown quilt between bernie and i.........


and two,

i got really funny pictures of him in his hot pink long johns........

which helped to keep him as warm as we could

even with keeping the woodstove burning on high

( and he loves his woodstove as you all know)

ps: he was mortified with the pictures so he's moving like crazy that's the blur but there he is pink

I TOLD him if he took his little sister's mouse i would post them........


'the boy' is fine..... sassy, healthy, busy, bad to the bone.....

his newest thing is attacking the clothes pins on the indoor clothes line we have near the woodstove

he has regained his love of banannas

and has decided the between mommy and daddy under the goosedown is THE place to be.....

except possibly when mommy feeds daddy beans and homemade pumpkin muffins.....

then it's probably safer to sleep in the hollow tree cat bed in the corner.....

Sunday, January 06, 2008

if it's sunday.....AND you have chickens

it must mean eggies of one sort or another

bernie loves to cook sunday breakfast

he has been cooking our sunday breakfast for 31 years now
( am i REALLY that old? or....... was i really that YOUNG???)

now in 31 years you get to try a LOT of different sort of 'breakfast' type foods

i would be content with a chicken leg but not bernie

he swears it must be 'breakfast food'

( what the hell is that? i thought breakfast was BREAK FAST inother words, the first meal in over 12 hours?????? your stomach doesn't care what is put in it at that point .....raw shoe leather would work.....just as long as SOMETHING is in there)

ok so we will fast forward to chickens.....
very fresh chicken EGGS
and my new poacher
(no not as in taking deer or rabbit out of season or off a private estate)
an EGG poacher!!!!!!!!
finally after all these years i got one!!!!!!

it's got little removeable cups and it is actually big enough for the orpington eggs
PLUS I got it at the outlets at a discount! it was 7.99 reduced to 5.99!!!!!
so naturally i am very happy about that

i butter the little cups
and sprinkle some dill weed and/or cheese
and add the eggies and in about 3 minutes turn them out on buttered toast

so bernie is doing the toast and now after all these years.....I AM DOING THE EGGIES!!!!!!!

but that got me to thinking.....
what if addition to the cheese etc.....what if i chop a bit of ham into the little cups and then add the eggies.....
or how about that sweet roasted red pepper that i canned this past summer?

i see a ton of poached egg ideas coming out of my little 5.99 poacher......

i may have to get more chickens!


Saturday, January 05, 2008

saturday, early evening

what a day

we went to town.......
new undies for me!!!!!!!!
cat litter for the la perms
the post office where the yarn fairy gifted me with TWO balls of kidsilk haze
one in 'liquor' and one in
you all KNOW i had to get the icecream one

then off to ac moore for beads

a lovely person by the ravelry name of 'jerseyknitter' told me that she had gotten a mix of beads there in metallics.....when i told her how much i admired them
and asked her about them

she made a hat with them on a cream yarn and it was absolutely wonderful
i fell in love with it
so i am thinking of using them on either an ice queen or
on a scarf and then also the cuff of gloves

while there i got a few more beads....
ahem.....not too many

ok so i didn't get the amber ones i was dying for...(in preparation for that Moroccan days/Arabian nights shawl i intend to knit, when ever the designer finishes designing it)

and i left the warm cream colored pearls there..........( maybe i need to go back after them huh?)

OHOHOH i wore my blue ice queen today to wears well after you pick the hay out of it ( i wear it out to feed the duckies )

tomorrow i will wear the trendsetter one if we go to town

bernie sort of helped straighten the kitchen
my shoulders have been killing me
and the right one is partly frozen
so he did the kitchen
i have to do some of the exercises mengela gave me, maybe i can unfreeze it before it gets totally solid?

it's warming up a bit here
so naturally i am thinking of the garden
but we want to move
oh boy do we want to move
so i am torn.......
do i put the garden together
or just pack and hope we move during the summer so i don't cry about my garden not being there?


i bought a LOTTERY ticket
my very first one i bought

how about that!

maybe i am a millionary and don't know it???????

til next time


Friday, January 04, 2008


let's see

rant coming on

today i am cold.
not just chilly and put on a sweater cold
but to the bones, 'not even wool from head to toe and being burnt at the stake will be able to warm me UP' cold

and today it was semi warm!
the ducks water was actually liquid the second time i went out to change their water for them

two to three times a day i have to change their water now.....
it freezes so fast,
plus i want to check on them in their straw filled manger palace

the inner pen ( with the metal roof)
is FILLED with fluffed up hay........
in the CENTER is their duck house...... that is also filled sorta with hay
hay is heaped over and around the duck house...... measured in FEET thicknesses
it's really very pretty
and i noticed that when it is really very cold they do stay in the duck house......
but mostly they are out in the outter pen
we did put tarps over that pen so they didn't have to stand on snow turned to ice

and i strewed some hay over that area yesterday because i can't dig their leaves they normally get

serafina is heart broken......she loves to root around in the leaves

they have to content themselves with the shredded romaine i bring them

i hurt my shoulder somehow takeing water out and bringing in wood

( ok so breathing hurts my shoulders.....they are so bad......but hey)

today i ended up with aspirin and heat packs on the one shoulder and i can't reach up with it......
mengela would kill me if she could see the shape that they are in now

spinning news........
the tunis i dyed in what was to have been burgandy and is actually more like chocolate covered cherries almost done

after that is the tunis dyed cherry that i have to spin
then the blue........the orange....... the purple......the yellow
and under duress......the green

but i will then be ready to start my latvian mittens
if my shoulders calm down enough for me to knit


did i say oye yet?????



it's almost 8:15pm now....i am waiting for bernie to get home
it's friday so the traffic is going to be pretty heavy

in other fiber news.....
i ordered two skeins of rowan kidsilk haze for two more ice queens
i need to get more beads

meanwhile my car knitting is some really tightly knit mittens
and a 'fidget' ( google it......trish sent me the link.......basically a stretch of knitting that just fits around your neck and buttons....i am doing it in leftovers from the mardi gras hat i knitted)

ok in canning and preserving news......
we still have about 4 pie pumpkins left....... and two neck pumpkins and a butternut or two
i have to can some of them up
i love having that much pumpkin around...... i bake one ( 350 degrees for 35 minutes OR until tender)
cool it down and peel it, seed it and it keeps in the fridge for quite a while

i make muffins, breads, and custards with it
i don't like pie crust so i don't put the custard in a pie
just a bowl of it

did i mention i love pumpkin??
and the fiber is very good for you

btw, pumpkin muffins are even better after they age a few days.....
so bake two pans of them.....and hide one batch

i have got to go and start the supper......we'll eat after 9 i suppose
and by 10pm I WILL be a pumpkin...........
til next time


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

how dumb do you think i am?

apparently pretty dumb.........

as some of you may know, we heat with wood......
it's really great, you know, friendly little warm woodstove
happy dancing flames that are glowing through the window in the door of the stove
keeps the house nicely toasty
saves us a HEEP o MONEY.........

well apparently my long suffering and hard working little woodstove is even more long suffering then i thought.........
as it had to keep the house warm over night ( 11 - 17 degrees outside and windy!!!!)
with the back door wide open!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yup yup
talk about dumb ass.......
i had told bernie to 'crack the door'
just so i could get a good draft going so i could set and bank the stove for the night
he forgot to shut it
i forgot to tell him

but i was the last one up sitting the stove until it was ok to leave it

( i swear this stove gets lonely, all day it behaves.... we start to either go OUT or go to bed and it acts either dies out....or the chimney temps go past's like a kid at bedtime....'read me a story, get me water, DON'T LEAVE ME)

so this 5am he tells me this

i came down..... it was STILL 75 degrees in the studio......
but there was not a stick of wood left in the stove....just some coals

so i got it going again and went back to bed with the cats

nice woodstove

very very good woodstove

i am so glad i have always loved you and talked nice to you...........

ok now to switch gears totally........

can we talk about menopause?

now my mom never said a word about this....even though she WAS in menopause during my lifetime ( she was 42 when i was born)
and of course she died when i was pretty young.........

but DAMN..........

so i thought.....

the pause has happened!!!!!!!
for months now i was all excited....
( see cause i bought like 15 packs of sanitary naturally, the pause occurred about ten minutes AFTER the check cleared for them)

until this morning

no wonder i have been so lazy and tired...........

just wanting to sit around and knit and spin
and swill eggnog
and eat pumpkin muffins and such.....
( i still got more pumpkins to bake....and a FYI-do not EVER feed a man bean soup AND pumpkin muffins on the same day....unless you have decided to commit asphyxiation by methane gas)

so i ask you.....

isn't it enough i have thinning ( actually bald) hair.... a mustache and a beard
excess weight
vaginal dryness
dry skin
mood swings
night sweats
hot flashes
heart palpitations
crying jags?

do i also have to suffer the pangs and pains and discomfort of a period
with cramps etc?

i really really need to talk to customer service about this
this was not in the manual.....
or the brouchures

*but then they didn't mention the tender breast thing...male farting....
and acid reflux either....... not even in the small print.....who you gonna sue for breach of contract????????? GOD???????????

oh man

til next time

my bloated pmsing self bids you adieu

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

new years day 2008

today is rain, it's washing away a lot of the snow

it's not too cold out but it is still icy when you first step outside
that sort of midwinter chill/thaw icy feeling
i knit a mohair blend scarf for keeping my neck warm when i got and feed the ducks
(for the knitters, it is 'ice queen' from knitty)
i made a second one for me to wear to town, and probably will knit a few more

still no decision on the legal matters against the neighbor.......we are waiting for the judge, who no doubt is about to hand the decision to the clerk as soon as the court is back from the holidays.

i have started to plan this years garden, although i had really hoped that it would be at ANOTHER house
well we'll see what this new year brings won't we

the garden in brief:
more sweet red peppers
not as many tomatoes, and the ones we do have will be two slicers, the rest colored paste tomatoes, black, white, yellow, orange and green
more fresh greens
more winter storage: carrots, leeks, brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions
and a few fruit trees i think
i am thinking of putting in at least an asian pear, a peach, and a cooking pear

along with blueberries

i am also going to try and find somewhere closer to board my sheep and goat
i miss them and can't get out to see them
i was going to see if i could bring them here.....maybe make a paper agreement with the uphill neighbors to 'rent' some space for zoning purposes so i can keep them here
i would need a total of 4 more consecutive acres..... leasing pasture is a time honored endeavor so i think it may be ok.

Thaddeaus is slowly growing his fur back, he looks like a weird unearthly alien bat creature........
calpurrnia is not quite as bald and has striped skin so she still looks normal.
fawn thinned out but never actually lost her coat.
I am so thankful that they are over whatever this was.
The vet is too, as he was worried about thaddeaus as much as i was

the upshot on thaddeaus being sick........he now sleeps BETWEEN bernie and me under the goosedown quilt.......
i do have some pictures of him with his hot pink long john suit on......that helped him alot during the day.
i have to remember to post those pictures later

the chickens are mostly in a molt, except marguerite
who is currently the only one laying
the holiday baking was mostly using serafina's eggs.
i had an entire drawer full of them in the fridge
duck eggs really ARE the very best for baking

the dryer broke.
bernie is getting around to fixing it
he thinks it is just a belt
so meanwhile i am hanging clothes by the woodstove
i love it
and i got him also talked into an outside clothes line

but i need a few of those spacer thingies to really use it
i have two and could use about 8 i think

this year, i hope to accomplish the following list

  1. move us all to a farm
  2. get a second freezer
  3. establish an orchard
  4. write more, for all the people who say to me 'you should write a book' i am going to try
  5. get back to MY work, making dolls and pretty things
  6. sew more
  7. save more money for retirement

that is my personal list of goals.
these as anyone may notice are not INTENTIONS
just hopes and goals......
and the list is fluid, as stuff either gets accomplished it drops off making space for the next,
it may end up not important enough to pursue......
again dropping off and making way for something else

well that's it for now

happy happy new year to you all

til next time