Sunday, July 31, 2011

summer's almost over

at least according to my huge sugar maple......which has had leaves dropping now since mid july.
the driveway is spangled with orange hued leaves.
i don't know why that big tree turns so early. it never used to
it would wait at least until september
maybe it's as anxious for fall as i am....... a nice long lingering fall.....crisp and invigorating
the kind of weather that makes you NEED to wear tweed sweaters and rake up multi colored leaves
then jump in the pile!
ok maybe that's just me
i love fall with a passion that borders on insanity.
i love pumpkins and october blue skys, apples, apple cider and anything else that says it's autumn
it's really an illness i think
so much so that Jack o Lanterns are around even in spring and summer at my house...(although they are ceramic or cast iron)

if we were ever to build our dream house.... believe me when i tell you, the kitchen would look the very best at harvest time.... and it would be the BIGGEST room in the house.....with an open fireplace to help preserve that whole halloween theme
NOTHING looks as good as pumpkins against the brickwork of an open colonial fireplace.....
oh be still my heart.....

ok so i am tired of the heat and the humidity and the sinus infections from hell
i still need the heat as my cucumbers are still dill is not anywhere near enough to persuade the cucumbers to turn into dill pickles----
so summer needs to be here for a while at least..... (this summer's garden was a mess- i have to learn how to garden through the spring monsoons now)

well that's sunday for you......
bernie's home, i am lingering over coffee and the laptop
and dreaming of fall
til next time


Saturday, July 30, 2011

i often wonder

if someone were to narrate the events of my life, what would it sound like?
would it sound like some sort of insanity like the documentary 'gray gardens'
or would it be cozy and homey and make you feel good?
my guess would be sometimes one, and sometimes the other, and oftentimes somewhere in between.

i think that is why i read so get a fresh perspective on the world
or to get a totally different voice in my head for a while

have you ever experienced reading someone and hearing their voice....feeling their slant on the world- seeing the world through their eyes for a while.

i was just wondering.................

today i have a funny smell in my nose..i can't shake it.
i suspect that it's due to the sinus issues that have laid me low for a few days
what ever it's in my nose
and it's awful.

odds and ends:
bernie's working today. making sure his services are getting caught up
i miss him.
he brought the ducks in for me last night
malcom keeps trying to make bernie his 'duck bitch'
poor bernie
poor malcom
while phoebe and lilli continue to fight.......
it's a true soap opera in duckdom here
'days of our ducks'
as the duck turns
or is it 'as the worm turns'?
either way it's always something here in the duck domicile
they have the most mood swings i swear of any animal i know
lilli loves her momma and wants to kill her sister
oye oye
amelia and prudence so far are cool...i don't know what i am going to do if those two get pissy
and i am hoping to get some pictures over the weekend
i can plead the weather and a raging sinus something or other......yesterday was mostly a wash cause of it (that could account for the really weird smell in my nose huh?-that and the buckets of snot dripping down my now hoarse throat)

i also realized that while we put UP the patio table etc......we really only used it about 4 times or so
which sort of sucks
i mean ....why bother putting it all up when we aren't going to be able to use it much?

ok me and my snot filled nose are going to get another cuppa


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

a link for vicki,


and some odds and ends-
today i am making stuffed peppers for the freezer and for supper tonight
it's cooler i think today so that's a good thing to do.
next i need to get 120 pounds of boneless chicken breast and do my whole freezer thingie on that
(breaded, marinaded, cordon bleu, strips.....canned etc)

right now i am concentrating on stocking the freezer and getting the wood in
i will feel so much better when the wood was in and stacked......and the freezers/canning pantries were all stocked
so then i can really enjoy the fall/winter
(at least until the point where the weather precludes cleaning crates and pens regularly..)

i got up late today, i thought it was really bright for seven
it was nine!
i guess i needed the sleep as the last i remember bernie was kissing me goodbye at 5
however it appears cooler today so maybe that was a good thing?

i can't get it in gear though right now..but then i am not through with this mug of coffee.

in duck news, last night i waited for bernie to help bring in the ducks and took care of amelia's little flying issue..... i had clipped her primary flights when they first grew in about 4'' past her coverts, but they had continued to grow so i took them all neatly off to the covert line.
bernie was flipping out....... he thought i was hurting her
how many years have i had birds and been doing this?
she then ran up the hill and played with my feet when i got up to the house.....
i left her the leading edge (the two outer most flights) so she looks pretty
i gotta say, she is a very tiny bird but for a tiny bird she's got the LONGEST wings i've seen in a while
long, silvery..... with a very pointed edge to them
not like lilli and phoebe
who are again fighting with lilli getting the worst end of the deal

in knitting: i am working on the 'featherweight' i am not quite to the place where i need to start short rows for the bust darts and add for the under arms.
i do like this yarn, 'comfy' from knitpicks
i realized that i would like it better if it was slightly varigated.....more of a semi solid...
but it may not like me once knitted up as a short jacket
i also joined up another skein of yarn.....i sort of wove it in as if i was doing two color knitting and weaving in the floats. it seems to be ok
we'll see when i wear it
i am more used to joins in wool yarns (russian, and spit join)

in cats: fawn seems to be responding to the thyroid meds....i have to take her to the vet as soon as it cools off....calpurrnia too
but fawn has gained back some weight, and is eating more normally as opposed to her inhaling everything!  her coat is better too.....we are getting the mats off her (slowly as she lets us) and they aren't coming back

in garden news......we got baby cucumbers... some small dill seedlings...... the pole beans are still not happy however if the weather cools off a bit they will spring into happy pole bean life.
i had to buy the peppers
i need to buy more peppers so i can put up my sweet pepper sauce

i know i owe you all pictures and if today continues cool that may happen now

i canceled the philly specialist appointment due to weather so instead i am going to get to a doc in the valley...... at least someone will see me and do something about the thyroid mass and renew my meds for the year after (what a concept......actually checking my t levels? and looking at the new masses)

in drawing news: i am still working on that one with the ducklings, i think i don't like it
so it's hard to work on, but i will finish it and then see what i think
i think it is time again to do some color work, i think i am getting a bit stale so color usually works to stop that

if the weather holds out, i am pretty sure i will get my energy back...... no?
the heat and the short days really do me in

ok now
i have to get going
have a wonderful day you guys

and please let me know how you like your rice cookers, if they heat up the kitchen?
how does the rice and grains come out?

til next time

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

we had rain but it's still hot

not as bad as before....but i am still drenched from putting ducks out
i am still not happy about staying out

and the ducks are still pissy
especially the drakes
oh and amelia can fly
imagine that,------so today we clip her wing again

today i have a lot of dishes to do..since bernie 'helped' me make homemade pizza
which btw was very good
we ate too much of it
just a tip though, use whey instead of water for the dough....makes it much better

today after i recover from the sweating of putting the ducks out...i have to go into the kitchen for the endless dishes
maybe some make ahead cooking
gee i swear i live a boring life
we were supposed to go see the last part of the last harry potter movie over the weekend but we both didn't want to deal with the heat.
we were thinking of going saturday, however bernie will most likely work to catch up on his services
he's a bit behind due to road calls during the heat wave and he does not like his fleet to be behind

me, i have a bit of the blahs......
maybe it's the heat
maybe it's just a point in a cycle....
i expect that the blahs will last a very short time and then disappear

i was looking into a rice cooker...... as i understand that grains come out very good, and you can even bake a cake in one

do any of you folks have one?
if so what do you think of it?
i am always looking for ways in the summer to reduce the heat in the kitchen or to reduce electric usage

and i do know i owe you all tons of pictures
i am behind due to weather
well today it most likely ain't gonna happen either
as it's all wet out there from yesterdays rain

so there you go!

til next time


Saturday, July 23, 2011

so it's already 80......

and we're not really awake......although we're up

and i told bernie he does NOTHING today
except maybe rent a movie at redbox for a buck
me, i will knit and i will cook and that's about it

and i will write more later

Friday, July 22, 2011

110 on the deck in the shade.....

i got the ducks out before 6:30am
but just brought phoebe in
i gave lilli and falstaff more cold water
i'll be bringing them in shortly

i am worried about bernie cause he's by himself and down the valley the heat index is 115
he's out on road this heat
on HOT diesel engines
on the side of the very hot road
all by himself

i am so very worried

the heat has gotten to me again too even though i  am not really out in it
it's got me trotting to the bathroom
over and over again

so i will return when i can (most likely over the weekend if it cools down?)

stay safe everyone

Thursday, July 21, 2011

knitting knitting cause...

due to the heat i am sweating sweating and can't do much else
i am working on my knitpicks comfy in blackberry
it's a dark purple (almost black purple)
bess (of likethequeen) kindly started to walk me through short row bust darts, which is a good thing because i don't think i am going to get a lot of help from the knitting group i posted at on ravelry....
and i haven't knit a sweater for me in oh........... 30 years...
(last time i knit me a sweater it took about three balls of yarn and a day...yup one day)

anyway if this works out well i am going to make a few more and at least one i am going to do some embroidery on.
i have decided that i reached the age ( and size....more so size) that i should be wearing more dresses.... to my ankles or the floor... so these sweatery type jackets would be a good idea
just how many damn shawls and scarves can you have? ( although i love to knit them)

now today, since it's so damn hot out..... i put the ducks out before 8
and i am planning on bring them in early... but i am just going to make egg salad..... wash dishes and knit a bit
maybe turn tiger direct into the CC company for none refund of my never received order.
i did wash the ac filter today (at 5am) and dropped it behind the doll cabinet thingie
i finally got it straightened out
then had to sit down for a while cause i couldn't breath!

i know i owe you all pictures
of the knitting
the shawlettes
the garden
the ducks
the flowers
my covino family
but it's going to have to wait a while ok?

i'm too hot and too lazy

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

happy 8th birthday to thaddeaus and calpurrnia!!!

this was supposed to post sunday which was their birthday, however i was busy and forgot it.....
then yesterday i got yarn at the post office and forgot EVERYTHING.......

and i mean EVERYTHING......i swatched instead

mommy loves you very much
even though you are peeing outside of the litter boxes with alarming regularity..
daddy loves you too ........
in spite of the less then lovable things you both do
which since mom is getting old....she shall innumerate for posterity
Thaddeaus my darlink boy...... please explain to me WHY you have to tap mommy on the mouth with your little paws? honey i know where those paws have been......
dad would like to know why you insist on sticking your head in his mouth and sniffing loudly?
we both want to know about those rifle shot sneezes of yours that end up drenching us
how come you only do that when we are all in the bed and you are in-between us?
and why my fuzzy little lovebunny........ why on earth do you insist on eating my hand knit socks......hats, scarves.....sucking on them until you felt them ......then stuffing them into your food bowl?
i am sure there is some deep physiological need......but frankly son, it's getting a bit old..
i have knit and lost at least 50 pairs of socks to your ......ahem.....fetish

but my boy..... momma loves you very much and when you settle down in her arms at night and purr loudly.....she forgives you everything
***dad not so much, really son, stop sticking your head down his throat***

and my little precious blue eyed darlink....... you who can do no wrong....
who growls like a demented pitbull when you catch (finally!) a mouse
sweetie daddy has a permanent crick in his back from you laying on his chair behind him and pushing him off.
and sweetie, you need to let me brush you please as you have enough fur for 40 cats.....which you leave all over my pillow ........
but of course my little angel faced kitten you can do no wrong....
and the fur does keep mommy much warmer during the winter.

now today, i have to finish cleaning the kitchen that do some knitting math
after that i should clean
but i will most likely knit

cause today is not off to the best of starts......i forgot to put coffee in the coffee maker....
filter check
water check
turned it on WITH IT PLUGGED IN check
(don't laugh, i been turning it on without it plugged in and wandering back there about an hour later only to find no coffee!)
no coffee grinds in it

let's hope the rest of the day goes better shall we?


Saturday, July 16, 2011

the much to do so little time

and i slept late because i didn't sleep all night
worried about where the cats have taken to peeing (as two of the three still don't want to use the litter boxes and they aren't peeing where they normally were)
then of course worry about IF they are peeing

i swear if there wasn't something to worry about, i would drop dead from not having anything to worry over!

i have to get ready to go to the valley, bernie ran to the PO.........he's picking up my speaker for the lap top, and i believe that there is some yarn there.......maybe a shawl pin (or 2-but that's it no more until at least the holidays)
i hope there is also a book or two on plus sized knitting
i am so getting sick of shawls all of a sudden and wish to knit sweaters
(i am so fickle)
any way i need to swatch for that jacket..i am going to ask bess (likethequeen) for guidance in the bust darts

i am thinking....even though i don't go to town that often, i may start wearing more dresses when i do... i am so disgusted with the way the pants fit me now
and i am also thinking they need little jackets or something

oops i forgot you guys
we went to the valley and now we're home
i am headed to the kitchen now
i got a lot to do in there today

til next time


Friday, July 15, 2011

bees, shawl pins, and painted (finally!) trim!!!!

sooooo first coat of front door trim... and a dab of paint on the door to see... i am so leaning to a lilac for the front door..but not a pastely one.. a gutsy lilac and not as dark as the english plum we have on there now, which i LOVE, it's the same color i have in my skin like for my lips!- but it is time for a change and lilac is the change i think....
i was even considering a periwinkle blue! but really reds and purples are more my speed
today i am going to give it the second coat.
bees nest
we also trimmed back one of the young sugar maples that shades the front, as well as the two irish yews, and the HUGE rhodo. while doing the rhodo we discovered a swarming nest of ......... what? vicky who is a beekeeper says 'pollinating wild bees but not honey bees'
can you spot the nest? it's round! (enlarge the picture by clicking on it)
and very beautiful. we had upset them but not one of them bothered us at all! totally non aggressive. so i feel very blessed to have those little helpers around here. i take that to mean we are pesticide FREE!!!!!!! and living in harmony with the planet
anyway we opened up some of the air and light to the front door so i am hoping that the seasonal mildew we always have .....will dissipate some what....i really hate having to get out there with the 10% bleach solution

yesterday i had a wonderful surprise in the mail- those shawl pins that i ordered from Inna at Ingo jewelry (i SWEAR they are like potato chips and i can't seem to stop at one!
(so i now have five and then she had a BOGO sale and two more are on their way)
how the packaging of my pins looks
ok so the next one i plan on getting is her moon......and i am going to look for some star shaped stones and a moonstone face to send her before i order really i'll have a custom order.....
i love her copper shawl pins. i like the silver and brass too but really i LOVE copper
just love it.
i like her presentation too.....Perfect, simple, elegant---i wouldn't have any qualms about ordering one to send as a gift.... she makes the packaging! i love someone that goes the extra mile. i feel so special when i open one of her packages. she also includes care instructions and these little black squares of anti-tarnish material.
NOW that is pride in your work, and the commitment to excellence. i can respect and relate to that. (can you all tell i am really impressed with her- i love her work and now i got to know her and i can tell you she is an exceptional person..) anyway i am thrilled to have these. OH and if you go to her links you'll see how affordable they are. i am snapping them up before everyone really discovers her and i won't be able to afford her.......she's already been in knitty and it's just a matter of time before the world beats a path to her door.

now today, i think we are going to finish whatever repairs we have to do on the deck, and i will finish painting the door...a bit more trimming back of the irish yews out front as well. tomorrow and sunday we have a bunch of other stuff to do involving errands etc so we'll have to make today count.

anyway i hope you guys enjoy the pictures. i so owe you more pictures- i will get caught up eventually. meanwhile try and spot the bees nest and drool over my shawl pins.....

til next time

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a high of 86.... well it's better then 96

it's still a bit too warm for me
today i have to go to the post office..... there is a package that i had ordered from tiger direct that got messed up so i canceled the order
after i did that they sent it to me!
so i am sending it back
and ordering from new egg
as the sales person just send whatever they had to push, it wouldn't fit my computer! plus stuff i didn't order
next time i order from tiger i will do it online not by phone
i never have had luck ordering on the phone from them....the people that answer the phone work on commission and twice now they've tried to screw me over

in the garden: i replanted the dill...... i am about to replant the beets
carrots sprouted
one set of cuc's are doing well but the others no
the pole beans are doing well and oddly......the chard is too!
i have to manure another bed

and my little manure factories.....with the white feathered butts? well malcom gets the a frame bachelor quarters again- he'll be in time out for unnecessary roughness on the girls- prudence's back looks like she doesn't have a feather left
phoebe is still in an extreme molt
lilli is lilli
amelia loves her mommy cause her mommy isn't malcom
and falstaff is a good boy (of course he's a good boy......he's 5000 years old)
fudgy and dulcette the chickens are still in the brood
henrietta the 5000 year old chicken is still laying eggs, crowing like a rooster (and a strangled dog)
while BLABette is still LOUD........still screaming..
colette is still mommy's special little chicken.....

they are as bad as CATS!!!

gee it sure looks like rain right now out there
(well duh if i have to go to town yup it most likely will rain no?)

i have decided to definitely go ahead and knit that sweater in cotton
i have to adjust it for my size and my bumps and grinds, which is the reason i am knitting it in the first place cover my bumps and grinds......(hell i don't want to look at that, why on earth would i inflict it on anyone else)
when i get done with that sweater/jacket/shrug/coverup thingie.....
i will have three sundresses with three shrug/jackets that all interchange!
so i think that will suit my extremely casual lifestyle.....on the rare occasions when i wear a dress i have some options. but i am going to try and wear the sun dresses a bit more often
if i like that..i may wear long dresses more....when i go to town at least
it would be cooler in the summer

ok so tomorrow bernie has off
friday too
we are hoping to finish painting if the weather holds.... then some other chores
he got the deck mostly finished..... as least the structural repairs
we have to fix the duck room doors
and i want to try and get some other small odds and ends done
looks like no kitchen again this year
oye oye.....
i swear if i ever get a decent kitchen i will drop dead before i get to use it .....the shock would kill me

ok i have to run
cause if i don't go now i won't go at all
and i hope for pictures for you all

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

i found another cousin!!!!

my aunt fortuna's branch of the family!!
that was one branch i couldn't find for the longest time.
i need to still find nonna anita's maiden name before she married my grandfather....
but still .............  cool huh?

ok the heat wave continues here.... i have malcom in with the girls but without a pond as he jumps them in the water and i fear drowning.
i realize i am a bit late posting today
bernie broke down in an older unit and didn't get home until way after our bedtime
today he's back in his regular fleet unit (there is a reason they want him in new trucks)
i laughed at him and said 'who you gonna call?'
cause he IS the go to guy

we didn't eat until after 10
so i slept in until about 8
then dawdled.......
it's very green out but very very hot too...... i am watering the garden at least twice a day
i am also drinking a ton of homemade lemonaide.....which means running often to the bathroom......from way out back and down the slope
oye being old isn't fun

i do have the ac on in the studio.... mainly because bernie would really yell if i didn't but until the sun swings over past the front i won't put it on in the main house
shhhhhh that will be our little secret ok?

i swatched up some laceweight on size 6, and i am getting 26 st per 4''
so for me i would now have to drop down a needle size
i am thinking....a sock weight yarn is the way to go......

as soon as i finish up this holden i am going to order the yarn and cast on this light sweater for my sundress i think

ok i have to run
i forgot to post this morning so i am posting now
but i'm in the midst of the day

Monday, July 11, 2011

without rain we water the garden.......

and so i did

now i am also apparently a duck pimp
not that i want to be
but malcom is really getting a bit out of hand
i threw two girls in with him
the girls are not happy
but malcom wants a ciggie.......
so to make up to the girls i ran an icy well water bath...... and stood in the sun with them while they bathed in peace
malcom even came out CALMLY
and ate flowers
so i guess things are ok now for a bit

i watered the garden....we have some kohlrobi
not too many beets which is pissing me off
some carrots
the radishes suck so do the turnips
one spaghetti squash
and only one part of the cuc's are growing well the others are stunted i think by lack of light
i have to water the deck garden

meanwhile over the weekend we helped fawn with her thyroid problem induced mats
we got a goodly amount off even though she wasn't too happy about us doing it
she coped
she is feeling a bit better these days and grooming herself again
so we are helping her a little bit
DA BOY is now about bald....we think it's mold allergies as he seems to get this way during rainy weather or when we start bringing in the wood for winter
i been giving him extra olive oil for the calories
cause he seems to always loose weight when he loses hair

ok guys i gotta go now
between knitting and drawing i am trying to get some stuff done here
stay cool everyone

Sunday, July 10, 2011

without rain the laundry dries!!!!

what a concept.

yesterday we were (i thought) to run an errand in allentown, turns out,(and we found this out AFTER we got down there to the place ...EARLY and had to wait an hour) it's next week


pretty much shot the whole day

so when we did get home, tired, annoyed and hungry........ nothing much else got done

and what does a knitter do when they are in that mood? ha........we cruise ravelry for a knitting pattern and yarn for a summer sundress shrug.......(say that three times fast with coffee)

and i found one
the 'featherweight'
now i am trying to decide on a yarn
i am leaning to one of the cotton blend knitpicks fingering in a color called 'blackberry' cause it will go with both the blue sundress and the purple one i think
it is simple, one peice, top down.... short and 3/4 sleeves, comes in a LOT of sizes from small to supersize me. THE BEST PART, it's for lace or fingering weight! yup yup
so cotton blend sock yarns are the way to go
i need to knit i think a 52 bust....i may make it smaller and add short row darts though
that really would be a better fit for me

that is where i am thinking knitting wise

now in garden news..... today i may have to water.
i may have to replant beets too
and i have decided where to plant the garlic for next winter
(in the bed that has leeks and squash right now)

and the vanilla extract? coming along very nicely...... i put it on the stair pantry so every time i go up or down stairs to the ducks/chickens i get to give it a shake so that's 4X a day
it's turning a nice brown color
i need more vodka to do the citrus and mint next

next week we're invited to a picnic, i am making my mostly veggie mac salad....
they are grilling garden surplus
i am thinking we are going to have our fiber quota for the YEAR
cause one serving of my veggie mac salad is at least two veggies and probably a days worth of fiber (for normal folks it would be a weeks worth of fiber)

i think you folks are sorta of caught up ( i am trying to remind me as well......actually this blog is kind of a diary for folks get to peek inside)

today i think we are getting stuff to repair the duck room wall......that was messed up when we installed the new door....
OH and btw
i think i do like that new oralb toothbrush......
it's taking some time to get used to it though

Saturday, July 09, 2011

what i am doing on my summer vacation

as you can see i am still working on this, in between the illness, floods, plagues of locust, frogs and assorted other's got a long way to go.....i have some areas of dark shadowing that am going to have to balance out and the ducklings aren't 'real' yet
yes,- why yes, i am still working.... plugging away ( or should i say 'dotting'?)
i think i need to rearrange not only the studio but my schedule and spend at least 4 solid hours at the drafting table and easel every day.
i am still trying to pull my drawing corner of the studio back together, the cats are still peeing where the liquid mask fell.
anyway i spent a good part of yesterday drawing as i figured that the electric was going to go out anyway (it didn't ) so why bother doing anything like cooking or cleaning.
although we had a salad supper with shrimp on top for supper, but remember i had already cut the greens off our crop on the deck and they had been crisping up in the fridge
btw, normally i just cut the lettuce, wash it and plate it..... if the day is warm the leaves are very soft.
what i started to do is crisp it up by putting it in icy cold well water and soaking it then draining it and putting it loosely in the fridge in a covered glass bowl

i checked the garden yesterday with all this rain, and i have a few carrots sprouted (vicki, these are the 240 day carrots that i hope to mulch over for the winter)
 i have a few more kohlrabi up too but the beets .......nothing
no parsley or dill either...however ONE spaghetti squash poked up........ just the one
and i pulled the transylvanian garlic out
i should have braided it but i just hung it under the deck

i have volunteer tomatoes out there .........................i've left them but really i should move them
next up i am going to do the multiplier onions and manure the empty beds from the garlic

i am also plotting how to get a hoop house up on one of the beds...(the one with the 240 day carrots)
it would make me very happy to have fresh greens all winter.....and some root veggies to dig
today is errand day so i have to run take my shower and get ready

have a wonderful weekend

Friday, July 08, 2011

storms, storms, and more storms

jen told me that we got over a half inch of rain in less then an hour
we're flooded again.....the duck pens are flooded again
we lost electricity during the storm too
bernie and jen told me that there are trees down all over town (jen lost three or four on her property too)
i realized that we need some battery operated camping lights here
and a generator
i couldn't see to read, i am at the stage of my shawl where i am beading lace so i couldn't see to do that either


now in fawn news.......i am going to inform the vet that she needs her meds cut back
she's now lethargic and doesn't want to eat
and her coat turned again
she's now on too much!

in ducks, malcom is deep in the moult and in no mood
he tried to attack my feet yesterday
i think today i am going to turn him out to graze for a while
i put falstaff in the girls crate, lilli is loose and poor phoebe is in with the chickens
i think falstaff was just bragging too much for malcom's teenage testosterone
anyway i am going to turn malcom loose and probably put him in the far back pen today
he needs his nails worn down anyway
and i have noticed that the drakes need to walk the slope up and down to keep their nails in good shape
malcom has been in the A frame a while as he's been fussy and it's easier to deal with him in there
but we'll see
i figure if i put everyone out then turn him out.......and let him wander for a bit it should take the edge off?

now i know i owe you folks pictures....... but with the almost daily rain it's been pretty hard
i need to show you knitting pictures etc

i will tell you that it's very GREEN outside
and we got the 'off' personal repellents as i am getting dined on every time i set food out that door- i keep forgetting to put them on
i harvested the last of the garlic yesterday, it didn't bulb up as large as i had hoped .....we ATE THE BIGGEST ONE......shit i can't believe we ate the biggest one
but i am going to manure the bed.......start something else fast and then we'll put in the garlic for the winter
oh and the pole beans have leaped into growth- i am so happy to see the strong fast growing seedlings as the rest of the garden struggled this year with all the rains in the spring.
i did see some small kohlrabi seedlings out there--not as many as i planted seeds for but some- so i am probably going to have to put some more seeds out.
the beets still haven't sprouted!
leeks are fixing to be harvested i think
and the spaghetti squash has not bothered to do anything at all so i will try a replant on that

ok folks i need some coffee now
and to start paying bills etc


Thursday, July 07, 2011

and the circle of life continues

two of my friends lost parents yesterday/overnight/today
one a mother
one a father
my heart goes out to both of them
i have lost both
the good news is....... they had their parent for a LONG time as these friends are my age
that's about the only good news on their losses
the circle continues

now me, i fully believe in an after life.....
well because i saw it
or more accurately glimpses of it-and got sent back
i also saw my mother's mom, my nonna anita when i was 8.....
she'd been dead for 16 years

she'd never seen or even heard of me in her life
as i was born so long after she'd crossed

i was told that she died when my sister was about 8, and my sister was about 16 years older then me ( my brother was 20 years older then me)

when something like that happens you believe
and you never forget

both of my friends were surrounded by loving family..... helping and supporting their parent to cross
that was actually a blessing to everyone
although their hearts are breaking

and while i am so sorry for their losses and their broken hearts i am so happy that their loved ones are no longer suffering

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

vanilla extract in the pantry

yup started the vanilla extract yesterday
i got a cheap vodka because i am not drinking it ( i don't drink) but i am going to cook with it
i added about 13 beans chopped tiny tiny (1/8'' pieces) to a half of the 350L bottle.
the other half was put in a jelly jar and about 4 beans added to that, however i am planning on adding many more to that as well.
my hands, the house and the extract all smelled like vanilla
next i am going to make lemon, orange and lime extracts and i am investigating almond
also pineapple thanks to my friend kacey who makes that one

today vicky is coming over. i have a few beans for her too. (we share stuff like these..... or trade i guess you could say)
and since i am feeling better, i want to start some other stuff for the pantry. mint syrup is high on the list

i started seeds for basil, dill, carrots, pole beans, beets, kohlrobi, parsley and spaghetti far i see only some sprouted beans. and the pole beans are all three of my very favorites
my italian venezia yellow bean, the heirloom turkey gizzard and the kentucky wonder green bean
bernie never did get me enough raised beds so i didn't get space this year for the bush beans (although maybe when the last of the garlic is out, which should be this week?)

i still need to get more mushrooms dried and i would feel an awful lot better if i had something like 3 dozen large and meaty sweet red peppers so i can roast and can the sauce.
oh and the chicken breasts....i am going to be down in that area saturday and i am going to see if i can get my 3 cases of boneless skinless.

oh i used that oralb toothbrush for the first time last was an interesting experience...... it HUMS
and it's just an odd odd feeling, but it doesn't hurt which i thought it would.

also health and energy levels depending. i am going to go back to my big batch cooking
i want to make sure we have whole meals in the freezer...... we had them then i was not feeling well for a while with limited energy so we used them all up.
now i need to replace them. i would like at least a three months supply in the freezers just in case
but really i am hoping that when i get to the specialist that she will figure out why i'm getting these episodes of extreme lethargy and all the other crap that's been going along with it- and maybe we can ditch it completely????????
if not can it be modified to not be as debilitating?
but either way i need to have more meals in the freezer for when i get exhausted like that

now vicky just called she's got to cancel for today, she's got too much produce to leave set (she'll be canning today-boy how i understand THAT)
she's offered me peaches as her trees appear to be overloaded this year...... you don't have to offer me twice.....i'd trade a kidney for a few trees worth of peaches.....
now if i could find that antique cooking pear i used to be able to get.......... (it tasted like vanilla!)

so folks, i am off to the ducks and kitchen today
(and a bit in the studio it looks like)
hope you all stay comfortable today

see you tomorrow, same place? about the same time?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

tuesday is the new monday? i can get used to this

and i CANNED!!!!!!!!
not a lot just my blueberry orange compote/syrup/sauce thingie
(6 pints of fresh blues, 4 cups of sugar, the zest of each of one lemon and one orange, peel off the pith and slice both into the kettle- one 3'' stick of cinnamon)
i got 13 jelly jars........ from the looks of the kettle i thought i would get 18-24 jars but this is ok too
i have about 1.5 pounds (fresh weight-i bet it's more like 1.5 oz now) of mushrooms in the dehydrator
and i was to can sweet red roasted peppers but bernie ate most of them....... one for breakfast, two for lunch and i only had about 7 so that isn't enough for a canner load of jars.
i love canning
i felt better this weekend and yesterday so i was able to do this
now today i have the dish disaster aftermath of the weekend
due to that new water faucet with it's low flow design, my portable dishwasher doesn't work much so i have to hand wash the dishes....... i just use the dishwasher to rinse and dry
so things get a bit backed up in there when two people are using the kitchen

in duck news, lilli is over her brood and loves mommy....phoebe is in the middle of the moult and is pretty sure mommy and everyone intends to eat her.....
amelia is over her moult so she's cool again
prudence is just prudence and wanders around after worms
the boys......well malcom is again challenging us
i wish he'd grow out of this hormone hell stage.....he's in the moult too so it's to be expected.

we are flooded again from the heavy heavy rain we had on sunday....standing water everywhere
but the pole beans have sprouted! (i planted them what? friday?)
i keep checking the kohlrobi and beets....and no they haven't sprouted, nor has the spaghetti squash or the parsley, or basil
i am going to be putting in more basil seeds, some dill and nasturtiums, along with some catnip i think.... i am having a feral or stray cat problem out back, the cat piss smell is getting strong, and my cats don't go out
speaking of my cats, they are back to marking territory in the house again. the new neighbors have cats that they let out....and i suspect that the cats are peeing on the house, also possibly out back but i am not sure yet.

we are behind again this year with getting our wood in
i will be calling the wood guy in about two weeks for 6 cords at least
although i want 10
bernie and i have been arguing about the wood... he is now 'over the wood thing'
ahem...........tough shit as we now heat with wood. i am not spending 6 grand a year on oil.....for a cold house!
so we heat with wood
poor bernie huh?
well i guess i am going to have to stack myself then
cause the wood needs stacking

well everyone i hope you had a wonderful independence day-
in between the hot dogs and potato salad, i hope we all remember how lucky we are that we are free
some folks aren't so lucky even today
and even today there are some americans that don't fully enjoy all our freedoms..... such as gay folk who can't marry.....
take good care


Monday, July 04, 2011

FINALLY busy busy,

i am feeling better but i don't want to press my luck too far
i got some shopping done, all loss leaders...
and put mushrooms in the dehydrator
today i am planning on starting my blueberry compote (blueberries, oranges, sugar and a dash of cinnamon) i am planning on making it syrupy for waffles.
i am also thinking of starting orange, lemon and lime extracts
i think i need more vodka
i got a little bottle that has been sitting patiently and waiting for the vanilla which should be here tomorrow.
(if so i am going to go get more vodka)
i also have some sweet red peppers to roast and can
not as many as i would have liked though.
plus the next batch of mint is going to become syrup....... or extract, one or the other

after this i so need to can chicken breast and watermelon rind pickles
i am hoping for a good crop of cucumbers too this year for kosher dills and garlic dills
my nephew ate almost all my stash from last years canning
i don't need bread and butter pickles
i could use tomato sauce and chicken stock, poultry stock and beef stock
i'm low on my stock of sugar too.......
how did i get this bad? (oh right, i wasn't feeling well)
well if my feeling good lasts i should get the turkey roasted (from out of the freezer) and canned ...then the freezers defrosted
and if the weather helps me out here the painting all done
double oye
i think i need help!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

rain rain as far as my eyes can see

and it's black as night out......too dark to put the ducks out!
it's almost ten am and ducks are not out


ok i have a surprise to show you guys- these are shawl pins that i got myself
the artist is amazing  and if you click on the picture you will go to her shop
 the top pin has interchangeable charms, the bottom one fixed charms
her work was just shown in knitty! (scroll almost to the bottom of the link)
i have to admit that the pins in person are even better then they look in the pictures........ so much so that (hanging my head in shame)

i ordered two more yesterday

oh man......but they are that amazing--- don't be a hater......
i can't WAIT until the cooler weather to wear them (and they are a bit like potato chips, you can have JUST ONE..... it's hard to decide too)
actually i am planning on wearing them not only on shawls and scarves but also on my knit hats..... even if i have to knit a few hats just to wear them on! as well as a knit/felted bag....whatcha all think?

i have to tell you that i got to know the artist of these pins, after i bought them and she is a very interesting person. her lifestory is fascinating, she comes from the ukraine originally, then was in israel, now in canada..... she's a very nice too
i love when genuinely nice talented people have good things happen to them....and i advise you folks if you are in the market for a shawl pin or something check her out
her prices and shipping are very reasonable, she does custom orders too ( she has one from me right now)

before the rest of the world discover her and we won't be able to afford her anymore.

now today, to get back to my little corner of the world... we had planned on painting the front door......
yeah i don't think so
bernie is all upset because he worked yesterday, which would have been a great day to finish the painting!
i did some minor work in the studio and plan on doing a bit more as soon as i finish my coffee
i really should recover my drafting chair, i have the toile for it....
and i need something for that window in the corner- i would prefer some lace, some frosted patterned glass and a sheer panel to hang with my ribbons (not up yet) and crystals (some are up)

 i really should go and buy a glass panel at the stained glass place huh? or at least some of that armour etch stuff and use a plain sheet of glass?
i want some lighting put up there as well so we are going to install some sort of bar with outlets for not only lights but things like soldering irons, my hot knife.....stuff like that

ok i'm off (yes i know i'm totally off my rocker.....but i am off to start my day that looks like night now)

take good care


Saturday, July 02, 2011

happy 4th to you all

bernie is working today.
he decided he had to go in for a few hours to make sure some of the fleet that's been scheduled for services got them today (tons of other stuff was going on for him at work, and often he wasn't even physically in the shop to deal with the routine services- and the routine services is what keeps the fleet running)

i am feeling a bit better (although i have strawberry envy- and you know who you are)
yesterday i planted some pole beans, kohlrobi, beets, overwinter carrots, spaghetti squash, and parsley
i pulled one of the transylvania garlics out and while it's BIG, it isn't big enough yet so a few more days or so i think until harvest.
i harvested a lot of mint that is in the dryer now.
but the next batch is for mint syrup or mint extract
and the vanilla beans are on their way for vanilla extract
if i can get a good deal on lemons, limes and oranges i will be making those extracts as well

today i need to water the elderberry, and the new seeds i put in, plus see if i can get more of the mint (it's all over the place, which i guess is good huh?) i have to manure some of the beds and turn one of my compost piles
phoebe is in a really severe moult- didn't she just moult? amelia is out of hers but pru needs to have one... malcom is moulting a bit as well
so are the budgies
feathers all over the place and it isn't even october!

i found that down the lehigh valley there is a women's health center part of the lehigh valley health network. so i think i found a endo, gyn, and possibly a cardio there......all i need is a gp and i am set
since i haven't had a gyn exam since feb 05, and i really need a complete physical as i haven't had one of them since 05 either. and i want an explanation of what is going on with the stomach pains, tiredness, dizziness, etc. it isn't acid reflux cause i can lay down and it gets BETTER!
so we'll see
meanwhile i am going to try and get as much done as i can while i feel better

work on my totally messed up studio has stopped. but i think this weekend bernie will give me a hand and i can at least get it back a bit, or restore some order........ i left it all pulled out when i started with the horrible neck pain and really painful sick stomach. (and it knocked me out, i was too tired to do anything)

i did however hang a chandelier crystal in the window...hahaha i have them all over the place
if there is a chance for a stray sun beam, i'll hang crystals.... i want rainbows all over the house!

now if you folks would....... either answer me here or email me (see the email button at the top right)
i want to ask about ereaders......some folks have already told me
i want to know which one do you have?
what do  you like about it
do you buy books or get the free ones or both
how easy is it to borrow books

the reason i am asking is, i am waiting for another (no shit.......again!) order of used books from
in a moment of weakness while i was sick and crazy, i ahem........ ordered a 'few'
i have run out of space
so i am thinking ereader for stuff maybe that i would only want to read once
not something i would want to have around
maybe i would load the ereader with a lot of the classics i have and then bring the actual books to the library books sale? (who'em i kidding, me give up a BOOK? but maybe i won't acquire more with an ereader)

so if you folks wouldn't mind giving me your opinions........???


Friday, July 01, 2011

this morning, i was woken up in the midst of a story dream

do you folks get story dreams?

i get them a lot
when the dream could be a book or a movie
it's a total laid out story

this morning's story dream was about a woman, her son and her husband……they lived in i think the mountains of china maybe 1000 years ago 
and the husband had to go into service to a war lord and the woman and son didn’t know where he was 
so they went to look for him 
and finally found out about him, he’d been taken prisoner and had forgotten her and the son 
she met a friend of her husband’s and he agreed to help her rescue her husband
i got woken up by the phone just as they were loading a horse and a donkey to make the trip over the mountains to where the husband was held prisoner- so i don’t know what happened! 
i don’t know if they rescued him or not!
i do remember at one point the friend cut the son's hair off as it was blond like his fathers. and dyed the remaining hair black so that no one would realize this boy was related to the man who was being held prisoner.
i also remember that when they were loading up the horse and the donkey they were wearing red and white short kimono type shirts with loose pants under also red and white. ( i remember thinking it looked like a target ad without the circles, as everything was square frames)
i really wish i had been able to sleep to the ending i would love to know how they planned on rescuing this guy, and if they all lived happily ever after.
now about these blonds in the china mountains........ wtf? where did that come from?oh well. it makes about as much sense as a regular tv show right?

ok folks have a nice day, i am going to get going