Saturday, January 30, 2010

it's cold

***picture from longwood, so i remember it will get warm again***

we spent the day lazying around, eating, making food, and sleeping.

bernie went out this morning to bring in wood and when he came in, he told me.....'its nasty out, don't put the ducks out'
so we didn't

meanwhile phoebe has a new thing, she climbs the stairs and waits at the top for me i think she likes the cuddling she gets when i open the door
i miss spending a lot of time with them, i miss cuddling ducks for a while sitting in the shade of a tree while other ducks are taking baths
i miss watching them graze like a couple of duck billed dinosaurs
i miss watching them splash happily in the water of their wading pools and the sunlight flashing off the water drops they are spraying all over
momma and lilli are getting a bit used to each other again i think
i carry them in and out together, one under each arm.
phoebe is laying marble sized eggs and has me worried
falstaff is about 7 now, and we are thinking we need to retire him, and get a second drake, unrelated to anyone...... he's going to be really upset but he's starting to really show his age.

i made bernie relax, and take a nap.........and he did....oh BOY did he
he went up at about 3:30 and didn't get up until after 6pm
so i am sure he's had some rest

i borrowed a book from georgie up the hill 'the time travelers wife' i been wanting to read it
i plowed through it, it took about 6 hours
i hated it
i couldn't put it down
but the guy freeken DIES at the end...... with guts and blood and gore all over

i was a mess
so much for that
now i remember why i hate fiction........ and i like non fiction
at least with real life you don't have magic going on then a really sucky ending
you sorta know from the beginning that the ending eventually is going to be sucky

ok i am outta here for now
gotta stoke the stove
this time of year i live in a sort of dream like land which is one part sleep depravation, one part dreamland, and one part denial of the cold.......

Thursday, January 28, 2010

still waiting for the results, snow days, and little blue eyes

so far i haven't heard from the doctor, but genetic testing i think takes a bit, no?
ok so here is our world today, snow, and calpurrnia's little pink tongue and blue eyes....she's half asleep there, basking in the heat of the woodstove
i am finishing knitting that willow cowl, and i do like the sock yarn, it's patons kroy FX and it's called copper colors.
i think that patons changed their wool blends for this however, as it doesn't feel like the old patons, it's a bit coarser.
very pretty though and if it's rough, then i have some merino i can knit an under cowl for it.....or i can line it with silk or something soft.
i made a gallon and a half of yogurt today, it's still 'cooking' by the woodstove.
we stayed up to listen to the president's state of the union and the rebuttal from the gop
i really wish these folks would all grow the F*CK up
i do feel that both sides are just saying no no no no no, like petulant children that didn't get their way
our entire country is at stake now
they are fighting over who is the better whatever.....
oh man
i don't agree with some stuff the president said, and i do agree with some stuff the gop says
if i was homeless i would sure as hell want my government to not only CARE, but help me, after all i am a citizen, i have equal rights with every other citizen, and i have paid my dues, and my taxes.
especially if i was homeless because i lost a job to outsourcing..........
now do i think anything will come of it......nope, not from watching the people that were in that hall.........even the cheerleaders i have my doubts about
i do think that obama said almost everything i would have said to them all!
but they are not going to listen
as being 'right' is more important to them then the future of the american people
and they are more concerned with being reelected
they should all be made to live on 40 thousand a year....... have our social securty system and our current health care
after all why should people that don't have to deal with our problems be the ones to solve them?
i want them to have some common sense
off the soap box
btw, todays snow is mostly gone now, however it really screwed up this morning's commute for everyone i know

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

some knitting, some ranting, some raving

i am knitting the 'willow cowl' a free download available at ravelry. with a picot hem
that i reknit 4 times
it's finally flat
thank goodness....of course then i proceeded to go on to knit 12 rows of the WRONG part of the pattern missing the first lace part completely...... so tinked that back and am about to start the lace part again
now the ranting
it's a political thing,
does anyone else see the infighting with the democrats and the republicans as so many children desperately trying to cover up the fact that no one knows completely how to fix our economy by pointing fingers at each other?
i want to slap them all silly and demand that they remember a few things
1) they work for US.....the collective US, that includes the poor, the rich, the educated, the illiterates, the sick, the old...... voters and non voters alike
2) everyone appears to be missing the point........ that we are in trouble and we MUST work together for the benefit of ALL
3) both sides have good and bad ideas.... we need to listen to both sides
4) both sides need to state the ideas..without any added bullshit
5) we need plans A, B, C and we need to know....ok if plan A doesn't work........when and how do we switch to plan B
6) we all need to remember that our economy and other problems are pretty complex and intricately entwined, so we can't fix one thing without expecting to tweek in other areas........
7)NO ONE PERSON can do it all or alone......
i am so very angry with all the party's now, we NEED both parties and we need them to balance, we need to temper wisdom with action
and we all need to work together
i think also even if you don't agree with this president......... we need to work with him
just as the folks that didn't agree with the last came together during 9-11 and supported him
and most importantly the politicians need to put their careers and personal agenda's away and ask.....what is best at this time for the entire country?
me personally, i am interested in health care, as i am most likely losing my insurance,
retirement, as i am getting there
and jobs, as in if we don't have one we will lose the house
i do understand that for the country it's bigger then's where we stand in the global economy, how much we are in debt etc
but i am pretty sure that the average american is right now terrified that they will be sick, homeless and starving at the rate things are going
this president had a huge nut to crack with these problems
can we all ALL at least hear the man out
and offer solutions not accusations
and if he screws up...... we all need to help him to a plan B
and you know.....he may just be the right man at the right place at the right time IF
he is able to say,
'we screwed up, and are trying for plan B now...with input from the other side'
now that being said, i do feel that there could be real progress if both sides actually worked together as there are some good ideas on both sides......
if they all could be adult enough to admit it

Monday, January 25, 2010

i needed to see living plants.......

this is from longwood gardens last spring, when my sister in law, colleen came to visit.

it's raining.......

heavy horizontal rain, with high winds (duh, that would account for the horizontal)

it's warm out too..... 55 degrees i heard!

the woodstove isn't happy but i cleaned it and got it going

i doubt i am putting all the ducks out today due to the sucking mud out back

wow that wind is HIGH

meanwhile snowy the cat will be joining our little laperm family, he is coming directly from linda' kohle our breed founder!!!

he is a cream point blue eyed boy about a year old......neutered already that linda calls 'snowy'

so i would imagine he's pretty light colored

i informed bernie by email......... i don't think he actually really READ the email however

deb is flying in with him in about a month

i would imagine that he's pretty light colored and almost white......with BLUE EYES

did i mention the blue eyes???

i'll post a picture as soon as i get one

with the grey weather, i needed a green picture so there is one up the top

stay dry and warm everyone

Sunday, January 24, 2010

alternative energy, solar? biogas?

what can we do at home?
and by home i don't mean 'america's shores' i mean HOME like out back?
will bamboo be a viable replacement for wood in the woodstove?
should i replace the oil furnace with a coal furnace?
install a solar greenhouse?
install solar well pump, and hot water heating?

where do i start?
and cold frames and hoop houses..... is it better to get a commercial frame for a hoop house or diy?
coverings are plastic........which means petroleum you know.....that's fossil fuels....
is there any common sensed unbiased EASY to understand research out there ( there is overwhelming research but it's pretty complicated for me at the moment)

can we efficiently produce enough food and energy from our own waste products to continue a life? i don't want to live like the mega rich. i would however like to not toil until my back is broken every there a balance?

now the other thing is, how much can a little old lady like me do by herself...
bernie works so many hours, i can maybe get some help from him with making a cold frame or some raised beds and possibly doing a frame for a greenhouse.....but he isn't available for a lot of other stuff
so i need to figure how to do it all by myself.......
i think with a thoughtful approach and some strategic help it should be able to be done...right?

i am thinking that until we all are on the same page with renewable energy, and we are using it exclusively....... things are going to be a bit rough.....

i am also trying to wade through understanding solar...... i found a place that explained you need to find your daily kwh usage***....(ours apparently is 36, i don't know if that is high or not) *** i found it on our electric bill! you can call your electric company and ask them if you can't find it on your bill or at your account online with them***sorry donald
and then you figure a solar system based on providing that or a bit more so you can sell back
with goverment grants and tax breaks you actually end up paying about 30% for it
but either way, if there isn't oil to heat or fuel to fire chain saws to cut wood to heat..... having energy for free is looking pretty good no?

well anyway this is the thing that's been going on in my mind lately
in addition to maybe adding meat rabbits.....and more chickens


ps: anyone know from experience with solar please please post here and tell me how you did it
PSS: hihi dorothy and her son

Saturday, January 23, 2010

the light has FINALLY dawned

damn that took forever.......
i realized i need a few multicolored hats! like in rainbow colors
i am thinking.....color knitting with noro........
oh man..... what took me so long to figure it out?

now yesterday, i got 10 nice angus roasts for the 1.49 pound, they ranged in size from 5# down to 2.75#, i cut steaks and grilling cubes (or chunks, as they are pretty large)
i also picked up milk and made more yogurt while i was cutting up the meat
i would like a bit more angus since it's so cheap, and i would like also to get some mushrooms to dry as they are about 2.00 a pound, which is a dollar cheaper then normal.

i bathed the ducks the other day, but phoebe still needs more.....lilli looks good still
and i am thrilled to have gotten the crates done
momma stood for her wing clip....she actually let me do it without fighting me at all
she'll be here a year soon, and it's amazing how tame she became from totally wild
too bad i can't get to handle falstaff like i can momma
falstaff is limping on and off.....i think he's got arthritis, as he is pretty old for a drake. i think he's 7 now.

now with the fence partly up, i am going to add some cold frames there and expand the duck runs and maybe i will have space for a second drake? in that case i need a total out cross drake. but either way i need to set momma duck up in a secure predator proof area this year for babies, which should be nice and healthy even with falsaff as the sire.
anyway i am hoping for decent babies, and i am hoping he isn't too old to produce healthy offspring

i am planning out the garden, i realized i need to put the grow lights in the basement, as it's cold down there and i want the plants to grow slow and that is a good light and grow them cold situation....
i'll keep peppers and eggplants up here though.... maybe that will help them
any one got any thoughts?

ok more wood on the fire and i am going to go up and lay down for a bit more

Friday, January 22, 2010

night crates cleaned and ducks bathed

(bath time when the ducks were babies)

so if there IS crap weather......we're ok

i couldn't get phoebe (WHY is it always phoebe???) to finish her bath so maybe today she'll get a shower when she comes in
yesterday i did angus, i picked up 9 roasts that varied in size from 3# up to 6# At 1.49 a pound!
i cut stew meat and steaks and grilling chunks i am going to pick up another 12 or 15 today i think and put them away, as roasts and steaks
we should be set on that stuff for a while, i really should get another 20 and grind it up into chopmeat too but i don't know how to use my parents meat grinder (that's next on the list...a meat grinder)
i will need to stock pork and chicken next but i have some of that so no rush
seeds: i am going to start leeks i think over the weekend and impatients, i still need to put up the seed starting plant lights ( here and in the basement, as i want to grow them all cold)
btw, i found evidence that the chickens DO keep the pipes from we had a bottle of dish soap in the room without chickens and it did freeze......! yeah for chickens in the basement in the winter
i need to get back to the studio organizing, as i have all these drawings backed up in my head and they need to get out
however, since the drafting table lights don't have electric run to them......ahem..makes it hard you know....
maybe over the weekend?
i did get the kitchen partly done yesterday along with the meat, and today i am going to finish it after the meat is here
(i am leaving in a few to go and get the next batch of meat)
meanwhile i have to say, the 'warmer' weather is great for my sleep and also for the wood supply
it's conserving both
this is a very good thing
oh and thaddeaus is finally growing his hair back again
at the END of the winter.....has anyone noticed that?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

wow i had a blast

i met a friend of mine from when i was a kid yesterday
she hasn't changed
she's still as great as i remember
we had fun
at least i did and i hope she did as well
and i got some more knitting done on the pink harmonia rings while i waited for her to arrive

in duck news..... they all seem to be getting over (it's about damn time too) the pms
i also clipped momma's wing
she just held her wing out for me

we are going to have to start working on the new pen again soon as they will be healthier out there over night

i also have to blitz the kitchen got away from me again
this wait for the results is really killing me

meanwhile it is cold out but warms up enough for sucking mud in the afternoon
and i desperately need to empty the ash bucket for the woodstove

mid january thaw huh?
so i want to do night crates which i again didn't get to and bath ducks

ok now i am going to stoke the stove up as it's rather dark in there so talk to you all later

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the waiting is killing me

(the top bird is captain cuttle and the bottom one is mrs fezziwig- both out of dickens)

i have at least another week or so to wait for the results of the genetic testing done last week in philly
the doctor is so positive that i have ncah due to the secondary symptoms of me and what i remember of my brother (my brother was 5'3'' and had 'low fertility' his only child was born 17 years ago..... we all thought he was sterile and we were told that he was sterile)
two kids in one family with terrible fertility?

i still think my sister isn't one of us as she had no problem at all getting knocked up

so i am not doing much of anything lately really
it's funny how that goes here
i normally pudder around doing this and doing that
but it would seem my pudder is sluggish lately

the weather has for a time, warmed up
i should be doing day pens and night crates
i should be grazing ducks
i should be laying cardboard down in the gardens
everything is a bit too much for me right now
i did manage to clean the budgies and chopped them carrots
and did supper
some dishes.......really not a lot of anything

while i continue to wait

Monday, January 18, 2010

i don't remember a lot of stuff sometimes

like today is MLK day, (i wouldn't know unless someone said but i read it on google this morning)
i don't remember a lot of birthdays
i do get close to important dates for people i care about, but i am normally off a few days

someone once told me that it is because i don't pay attention... i don't think so, because i forget even if i do pay attention
somehow things like that just float away from me

so anyone's birthday or special days i have forgotten, i am sorry
i will most likely forget again

now on to leeks
i want to grow leeks again this year, as the last time (2 years ago) i didn't trench them in to blanch the stalks so this year.....leeks in trenches
bernie and i also priced some wood for the raised beds, for 2x12x12 untreated it was 13.00 a board
that would be about 50.00 for a bed..... for that price i think we need to go with the recycled engineered wood and do 4X8 foot beds...i would like them about 18 inches deep if i can get it
and we will do the lasagna gardening
now if i could get some 'hot' manure...... really good horse or cow
i could also do some hot beds like i've done with tomatoes in the past

i want to hoop some of the beds as well
and put in some by the duck/chicken pens since i got that nifty new fence and all it will be great to grow beans and cuc's on they love growing up in front of a south facing wall or tarped fence i think i'll put some cold frames there for the winter too

my head right now is full of garden plans
the mid winter warm up isn't helping much
it's SO warm out i just want to get out there in the dirt
i have a lot to do in the garden some i can just do myself
some i need help with
but i want to get a good start on it
i do know that if history repeats, in about a week we will be frozen again

so this week i will plant the leek seeds in the house and a few pots of swiss chard
and the impatients and some pepper seeds
all those take forever to come up
(ok not the chard but it will be happy in the cold)

i would really really love a greenhouse

Saturday, January 16, 2010

just a tease

of spring, in the warmer air with the bit of frost
in the mud
i can see some small growth on some super hardy plants like my mints

the fence is now up
thank goodness
more will be going up soon
now even if the 'houseguest' of our uphill neighbor can't understand that you don't curse at neighbors just because you are pissy.......
they understand that we've put our foot down
and if they don't well we have the fence

today we did errands
feed store, (chicken, duck, seed starter, scratch)
hardware, (electrical outlet extension, window box, african violet soil)
pet store (cat food)
grocery (milk, chopmeat, tomato)

the most expensive store? the feed store.......damn, chicken scratch ain't cheap!

we have to go to a different pet store this weekend for a 'kabob' for the budgies but if we don't get there, i'll go next week
ditto sam's club for a cordless phone, which is my one and ONLY concession to everyone trying to get me to get a cell.
this phone has like three handsets so i will leave one on a charging base by the duck night crates and grab it on my way out to the back pens

i just finished putting the yogurt by the woodstove, so tomorrow morning......we got yogurt for breakfast.

i will be starting leek seeds this week, in a window box so i can trench them up as they grow until transplant
i want impatient seeds too and i forgot to get them when i saw them at lowes

our veggie list for this year is tentatively as follows:
beans: both pole and bush (bush for freezing and canning)
cuc's for pickling...... i am out of my kosher dills
sweet peppers naturally... why else garden?
eggplant for canning and drying
squash for drying and fresh eatting
pumpkins for pie and jam
cabbage for cole slaw and stuffing and saute cabbage (oh man that's good with butter)
tomatoes cause bernie likes them.... and i make salsa
brussels sprouts cause i love them
my deck salad garden
snow peas
swiss chard in ample amounts and for a cold frame
beets, carrots, turnips, rutabaga....... i love these
and most likely a few other odds and ends
leeks oh yeah....... leeks for leek and potato soup

last year i threw my back out cause of edmund my tunis wether
the year before the weather was a nightmare
THIS year i am planning on raised wooden beds, hoops houses, plastic and organic mulch
protective plant covers
etc etc etc
we need a good harvest this year

so what's your garden planning looking like?

Friday, January 15, 2010

seed catalogs, hoop houses, a NEW fence! and an old friend

the fence went in.... i think we need at least 3 more panels up at the top of the driveway.
now the ducks won't be bothered,
the house guest next door can curse at me all he wants, i don't have to see him
and i am going to see if i can grow cucumbers up the fence! or even beans....
plus make a chicken yard there with netting etc.

meanwhile seeds catalogs cometh..... i am looking at johnny's select with a small hoop house (the short one, you can't walk in it) and i am thinking......yes i better do this
at least for the peppers and some maybe for the pumpkins and squash, since i am sick of losing to squash vine borer, and that whole 'inject the stem with BT' thing was an unmitigated disaster.
(for those who don't know, the vine evidently does not like to be injected with bt and spit it back at me, BT is a virus that resembles and smells exactly like pond scumb)

now i reconnected with a friend of mine from when i was a kidlet, she moved when she was 12 and i lost track of her. i found her tonight, and the freaky thing is ..........she's here in the stroudsburg area! how amazing is that?
i spoke to her on the phone, she's smart, sweet, articulate, just amazing....(very pretty too, as i found her on facebook and her picture is her avatar)
i suppose that really since 40 years have gone by since i last saw her, i don't really know her at all, nor her me.
but it was still totally amazing to me
i caught up on her family, she's a mom, and a wife and one of her two sisters is here as well.
i am still in shock.

now as to the tell the nephew etc, yes i am and had figured i would do the right thing and let them all know about this genetic thing that could really affect thier future families. ( after that affect/effect post on facebook the other day i am STILL not sure i am using them right)
meanwhile i wait for my test results

bernie appears to be getting yet another fleet under his care, there is one happening in south jersey between edison and maryland... and one up here
ok make that two more fleets
he gets home around 8-9 at night
he leaves at 5......... he works long days
he tried to get home a bit early yesterday as i hurt my leg or something and i couldn't walk. ( it may have been my back, and it may have been from NOT falling but slipping on ice)

let's see what else, ah, falstaff. he's limping. so this weekend we are going to try and hold him so i can see his leg.... it may not be successful.
i am pretty sure that, given his age, it's arthritis, but we'll check for bumblefoot as well
it doesn't really seem to have quenched his libido however, he still is struting his studly man duck waddle in front of the ladies.
and for the record in case anyone is interested, the ladies still seem really interested.......(NO we are NOT going there until spring and until a secure 24/7 duck pen, maybe make that TWO secure duck pens)

now i am drinking my coffee, and i have some aspirin laid out waiting for me.
it's to be warm today, so the weather people say, but they've lied all week......if it is warm i have night crates to do today.
i could use one more night crate.
i know if i buy one more night crate, a duck will spend ONE night in it, poop all over it, and the 24/7 pen will be finished by elves overnight
these girls have got to learn to get along, i may turn them out in the garden and let them duke it all out amongst themselves, as long as they dont' take a wing or something off one of the others
oh man DUCKS..........

but two out of three now love their mommy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the dead hath arisen

for the moment
i think that doctor in philly is right about her suspicions, she is positive that i have the cah or a form of it
monday and yesterday were an in and out blur
i know from the shot for the adrenal test
it was like i hadn't slept in weeks
and i could (still can't) get enough fluid in me
i am up stoking the stove now but i could have slept until noon believe me

if the ducks didn't have to be taken out today no matter what, i would keep them in again and sleep

thursday, mike the fence guy is coming.......... he'll be putting up the privacy fence... we may extend it another 50 feet up the driveway
i'll grow vines on it
actually if we do extend it......... i am soooooooo going to put some small gardens there

i dreamt that the jackass neighbors were fenced in by the other neighbor
but when i woke up i discovered that it looks like jackass neighbor is finally moving out
now i am thinking...... maybe bury a st joseph on the other side facing the 20 year old punk that cursed at me
i still can't get over that...
how could that kid think that it's ok to curse at a neighbor? the homeowner let him get away with it
and yelled at ME?
oh man

now i am hoping that this stove is warm cause i am ready for bed again
and i think thaddeaus is too

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

yesterday was rough.

maybe almost nightmareish
the doctor was late
the file didn't contain the information to start the tests

the tests were a nightmare
they couldn't get decent veins (hahahaha so what else is new?)
so they did the one ok-ish vein in my arm...... then did my hands

the shot hurt like hell, it caught a nerve
then the hormones in it made me shaky
i'm still shaky
i ended up dehydrated, weak, weepy........
the doctor came in and told me to watch it and take it easy as they took a LOT of blood
either 5-7 viles in each draw.....they draw 3 times

i drank tons of fluids before....but the blood didn't flow but dripped out....slowly

i drank tons of fluids after and i am still all dried out
oh man

she's sure of the non classical adrenal hyperplasia, and at this point so am i
which means most likely my brother's son either has this....or is a carrier
my sister may have been the luck one and not gotten this
although my nieces did have menstruation issues of sorts....if so they may be carriers
i doubt that their spouses are from the at risk ethnicities so their kids may be spared, i hope so

that's the scoop from philly
i didn't get my pretzel but after i was too exhausted and in pain
before i couldn't have it

it was also freeken freezing down there and i was DRESSED for the weather
most of the city folk i saw were not

Monday, January 11, 2010

today philly

we're leaving in 20 minutes
or so
i think mr peabody (the bald one) will be ok, at least it seems to me he will climb under the goosedown and stay warm as we won't be home for a bit

wish me luck

Sunday, January 10, 2010

cold and tomorrow philly

wind chills -17 overnight
no wonder my toes are always cold,

and the felted clogs are more then welcome....those things are blessings
if you are cold, trust me, get the fiber trend felted clog or alpine boot slipper pattern
get some of that dip it stuff
some feltable wool yarn and some size 15 circular needles.......and knit you a pair....then felt it

knit you several pairs.......
once they are done, felted and dry, your feet will thank you, thank me, thank the universe and thank the academy.............

now onto the winter boot experiment...
i got one 90% should felt down to my size foot and go up to my knees!
if this works the next pair will have a tongue knitted in and some grommets for laces...
i could get into this if this works well
and just think
WARM feets outside
i am using brown sheep lamb's pride
it also is moth proof which means a bit of insecticide......after seeing what wool moths did to my felted clogs......i prefer the moth proofing
it also has mohair in it
talk about warm
now if these experiments work, i will also make a boot that is got mohair, wool (preferable something like cheviot or a russian breed) and something like alpaca mixed in to give me a really really WARM boot
i'll store them in the freezer during off season.....just one -degree temp day and they will pay for themselves no?

ok that is that more or less on the boot experiments
tomorrow is philly which means..................... WAITING ROOM KNITTING
what shall i knit...lace?
i am waiting for new sock needles having lost/broken mine
although i do need more socks.....and i am going to get the lamb's pride for them too i think
a new hat?
i could use a new hat too, that means i would have to do the latvian braid here... as it is too much for a waiting room or the van
but i could do the corrugated ribbing there and maybe some of the crown?
i may end up with a cowl on the needles or even a triangle scarf.......
gaenor is a good possiblity
ok off i got to add wood to the fire
be warm everyone

Friday, January 08, 2010

a ceiling fan makes a HUGE difference

in how comfortable the room is
we normally do run the fan in the studio most of the year
this heating season we hadn't as due to the studio reorganizing, the cat tree was directly under it....and our mr peabody was a PITA about trying to play with it
in light of NOT having a decapitated hairless cat running around (or not running around as the case would be)
we hadn't run it
i got fed up during the really cold weather and moved the cat tree and put the fan on
it is working nicely thank you
(dorothy, i think that ceiling fan could use a solar panel all of it's own)
i have found that the studio stays warmer and the stove burns better, and if the stove does burn down, it doesn't go so low in heat as to kick the furnace on (which WAS happening even with the stove surface temps at 200 degrees!)

now this morning, bernie got up at 4:30 as usual...... (after us sleeping most of the night, broken only by repeated interruptions by the said mr peabody, and not having to get up to stoke the woodstove) to SNOW......
yup it's snowing
the overnight snow came this morning
i do have enough wood in i believe
but i hung felted clogs out on the line and i am pretty sure they are going to be wet after i dust the snow off and bring them in

i am currently knitting what will become the second experiment in felted boots... the first was the red ones from last year..which are now house slippers
i have knit this current experiement 4 times... ripping and reknitting
this is in brown sheep lamb's pride, in charcoal gray
i started with the narrow sole from the fiber trends alpine boot pattern, and then moved on to the top from the fiber trends family classic slipper
with some adjustments

i am also knitting a shawl i think...or a fichu..... (i know i know, but the name is inside the protective sleeve and i'm lazy)

i am still not on the road, as the van isn't registered or inspected, however it is insured
bernie is to take care of the inspection tomorrow
and then philly monday
i hope
meanwhile today vicki is coming over
i should find the table huh?
i don't have to bring wood in today i don't think unless i get a good break in the snow
i do however have a bit of dishes left over to do, as bernie brought his stuff home from work......(two weeks worth of containers etc, gee and i didn't get him anything.....)

bernie is got big news, ......he's trying to quit smoking!
so far about a week and a half...... i will be so happy if he manages it

now i have to run..... ttyl

Thursday, January 07, 2010

yarn acquisition expedition

me, jen,.........yesterday

ok in the mail, mountain colors bearfoot in 'ladyslipper'
and silk and ewe in 'indian corn' which i thought would have yellow in it but doesn't

i got 840 yards of 'gray wool' for felting
and a few skeins of sock yarn, (some patons kroy)
and a skein of caron for a present for deb in WA

i got a book 'knitting lace triangles' by evelyn clark
then i was exhausted
boy was i exhausted

and after THAT was midnight at the oasis......ahem.......i mean stove....
followed by blissful sleep
or more like nightmares

so i got up late,
cause that is the only sleep i finally got
with fawn on my head

now today i have wood
pots and pan ( where the hell did they come from?)
dinner and canning i think....
at least when i wake up.......

Monday, January 04, 2010

if you told a friend

that you were without a car,
that if the snow came, you would be alone as your husband wouldn't be able to get home from work
would you expect them to offer you to call on them if you needed anything?

is that a reasonable expectation?
especially if they lived within a stone's throw?

at least would you expect a reply even to the effect that they would try but may be too busy to help you if an emergency arose?

i am just wondering.....

ok during this brutal and unseasonal cold, i have tried to windproof the pens, without any real success on the back pen
i got the two smaller pens done ok but the back one is too hard for me to reach, too tall and too wide
i did what i could today with string (which i then lost) and plastic but there is a 10' by 5' apex opening that i couldn't do as i couldn't reach at all
so much for's in line with the bad prevailing winds

so the birds will have to rotate the smaller pens
and the basement
i can put them out alternate days and alternate areas
so much for this cold snap
i may however give one of them a bath meanwhile
and phoebe and lilli had a knock down drag out fight today, so there goes my dream of the three ducks able to share the smaller by the house pen and falstaff goes into the a frame

why these ducks want to make me crazy with their pms is beyond me

in other news.......i have wool moths
i found a pair of felted clogs that i was going to put new soles on..........
forget that as they are totally tunneled.........i should post a picture before i toss them into the compost no?
ok the other fast highlights
bernie cleared part of the studio for me while i was cleaning in the kitchen, cooking a cassoulet and making homemade the new 1.5 gallon double boiler....which works like a charm and NO MORE black teflon specks in my yogurt ...(yogurt finishes up turning into yogurt by sitting overnight next to the towel just works)

i love the new staub 3 quart, i made the rice pudding in it and it's to die for
i want some more of these enameled cast iron as they are wonderful
i made the cassoulet in the 6.6 quart red one from sam's club, and i want to pick another one of them up next time i'm down there
so now i got a 3 quart and a 6.6 .....i would like maybe an 8 or 1o quart
something large enough to roast a chicken in

i am thinking of meat rabbits......... i need to buy some rabbit first and see if we like it
if we do
i am getting meat rabbits
or planning to get meat rabbits

and that brings me to the garden, which is got me worried....
i am going to do a mix of lasagnia gardening, and container gardening this year
and hopefully some raised beds as well
i am also hoping for either a smallish homemade greenhouse or a hoophouse
we haven't had a decent harvest in two years, we need blockbusters this year

in knitting news....good news after the wool moth issue
is i started the felted boots, knit a boot foot twice and ripped it out realizing that it isn't quite right
i am going to do the narrow sole from the alpine boots pattern by fiber trends
and then add the family classic felted slipper top to it, and a leg shaft instead of a cuff
that should work
i hope so as it's getting to the point where i need it to work
like right NOW
so with luck it will be done this week......hopefully before the snow
and if it does work.........i will be doing a few more
ok my little chicklets, i have to run now......this is actually for tomorrow but i'll post it tonight

take good care and stay warm

Saturday, January 02, 2010

seed catalogs cometh

tis the season of dreams and hopes and wishful thinking...
for the seed catalogs fill the mail box!
now i garden, (not last year cause edmund my wether threw my back out but good) so seeing the seed catalogs fill my soul with a rush of emotion
and empty my wallet very fast
i read the descriptions, and drool over the pictures
i imagine us lunching on the deck under the umbrella on colorful mixed salads or grilled veggies interspersed with hunks of chicken or our own home grown hard boiled eggs

of course since i think in pictures, the salads are in hot colors of reds, oranges, magentas, yellow, greens and purples, set off by slices of yellow centered white hard boiled eggies.
the lettuces are even colorful as i like red loose leaf lettuces
and all this abundance is heaped on platters
which we eat from with glasses of pink lemonade with frosty sides and cracked ice
and a sprig of mint fresh from the garden
(are you dying with envy yet? .........i am..cause lately it hasn't been like that)

ok so back to the seed catalogs, this year i am adding some hybrids.........yes i know....i am normally totally anti hybrid but i am going to test a few against my heirlooms
especially eggplant and brussel sprouts
the peppers and tomatoes and lettuces will all continue to be strictly heirlooms
but i need to figure a better way with eggplant and brussel sprouts, which in the case of the eggplant is going to be a hoop house
and who knows in the case of the brussels sprouts

i liked the way the bannana peppers did in the garden, although this year i want to have a thick layer of manure under their beds ( i do that with tomatoes that's what my folks always did) i am thinking though that the 4 ducks and the 4 chickens aren't enough for the amounts of manure i need
i really could use a cow at this point

i would like raised beds, bernie has been promising me
i am almost to the point of pounding nails and using zip ties to get them too....
i would like them about 12-18 inches deep
and even if i can't yet have all the beds raised, it would be nice to have the pepper and eggplant beds up so i can cover them easily

as to what i am putting in.......well my favorite white seeded merchant of venice yellow pole bean......tastes to me like vanilla and is never a problem even if you harvest it at 10 inches or so
one of the ky pole beans......either blue or wonder
of course snow peas, i love them
lettuces and greens naturally

the peppers and eggplants are a problem...... of course banana peppers, and some italian sweets
i like sweet peppers like some folks like tomatoes, i wouldn't mind putting in 300 different sweet pepper plants.
i want patty pan squash, as i love it.....i want the orange and the yellow (baker creek rare seeds has the orange)

pumpkins......well duh....... this year i think italian jam and the long pie pumpkin
butternut again duh, as is acorn
zucchini is san pasquale.......the BEST tasting, and it's a bush type (although this one i wish was a viner)
cuc's: northern pickling, boston pickling, and homemade pickle
cabbage, just red ones i don't know which yet

probably kohlrobi, and i would love spaghetti squash too
broccoli no, as i have too much button heads due to weather
brussels sprouts oh man...... i love them and they hate me it would seem
i am putting them in for a fall crop

and i am going to do lasagna gardening this year
since i am having trouble with my back still, and i don't see any help from bernie.
(he's not a gardener)
so this year i am going to experiment with a bunch of stuff.........i hope that a lot of it will be good, (if my back holds up to it all)
i want some hoop houses, and container gardens
in addition to the normal beds i have,
and i want some raised beds
i think i am going to mulch the pepper bed with black plastic again AND maybe with dark rocks or even milk containers painted black and filled with water!
ok so what are you're garden plans?

Friday, January 01, 2010

wow 2010....... i never imagined!

i remember in the 70's when i was a teenager, i was asked what year i would turn 65.....
(2022) it was soooooo very far away
i doubted i would make it that far as i had always been sort of a sick kid
i would get these major life threatening things happen to me... so i figured one of them would do me in long before now.....or retirement

here it is 2010 and i am still around!
surprised the hell out of me!

anyway, happy new year to all of you and yours, please accept my wishes for a happy, healthy, and secure new year
i wish you all worry free time, hearty heartfelt laughter, and not too much sorrow.