Saturday, August 29, 2015

A New Road to Take

     Jeff and I are starting down a new road together today with Fanny joyfully leading the way.  We've spent yesterday and today moving furniture...with more to move!  It's difficult for any couple to combine households and at our ages it may be even more difficult.  I suggested we each have a private corner...chair, table and separate rooms.  This house is small and we have to be careful not to spend all our time together.  Above all, we're friends and we don't want living together to spoil our friendship. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What's Growing?

    Some one has decided one of the empty potato boxes makes a nice front porch for their home and dug an entrance.  A chipmunk?  Haven't seen anything use it but we haven't been sitting outside much lately.

    Jeff calls this tomato a 'volunteer' because it just appeared in a box one day in with other plants.  He transplanted it to this corner and it took off.  Currently there are 2 tomatoes and about 6 other flowers.  Hope they all mature before the season ends.  We decided not to plant tomatoes this year after losing most of our crop to blight the last 2 years.  Maybe our luck has changed?!?
    These are super hot Ghost Peppers that Jeff planted to use for bug spray and to dehydrate and crush to use as a garnish.  They have to change color before we can pick them...supposedly turning red.  Exactly where we'll run the dehydrator when these are in it is still being discussed.  The garage is one possibility...just not in the house! 
    Jeff's had great success this year with other peppers, too ...sweet frying peppers, long Italian hots, bell pepper (green and purple) that we've
enjoyed eating ourselves and sharing with others.
He wants to dehydrate some of these, too, if there are any left.  Last night's supper included
fried peppers and potatoes with leaks and garlic all from our garden.

    You just can't beat how great fresh pick veggies taste! Our sweet corn has proven that hands down...even if the ears aren't that big!  In fact, the ears are good size but something clipped the silk and the nibs don't fill out along the top 1-2" of the ear.  So we've been eating 2 mini ears instead of 1 full ear.  Taste good anyway!  
   The eggplant is still flowering...we've picked one, and the butternut is spreading out like crazy...starting in a box and running all over between boxes...and getting big.  Jeff keeps wondering what the crops will be like if he ever gets the pH right. 

   And just when you think Jeff is spending all his time in the garden here's proof he's still hitching up the trailer and bringing home pallets that he's cutting apart.  Soon these will be ready for me to start stacking in the woodshed.  Unfortunately, this is only 1/3 of what we'll burn this winter...but the more wood we burn the less oil we use.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

This and That

     Just back from the medical center where I had a regular visit with my nurse and scored a 4.8 on my INR test (my normal range is 2.5-3.5).  The only thing I've been doing different is taking hydrocod/aceta at night for the pain in my right hand...and it is a prescribed med!  (In fact, I'm prescribed '1 5-325mg tab 2x/day as needed' and I'm only taking 1/2 a tab at bedtime.)  Now I'm waiting for Jen to call and tell me how the doctor's going to change my warfarin dose.  I can't wait.  I'm already wearing a flannel shirt over a long sleeve t-shirt.  If they up my warfarin I'll be adding a sweater in a day or matter what the temperature outside is!  I don't understand why they can't come up with something easier to live with than warfarin when you have an artificial heart valve.  Can't eat greens...hey, I'm Italian!! and now, can't take pain meds.
      The last few days I've been cleaning house and not knitting but that is getting old fast!  I think this afternoon will be spend sitting in the sun knitting a hat or two.  Nice mindless knitting:  63 sts of worsted yarn on a US7 in stockinette for 4", then decrease down to 7 sts, pull thru and sew the seam.  I left enough baseball hats in the shop Monday for the week but need flower hats.  And pumpkin hats...but I'm out of orange yarn.   They will have to wait until my next trip to town.  After my blood test this morning I wasn't in the mood to go to Walmart for yarn...or anything.   I've got to wash the windows in the bedrooms and I'm out of paper towels so that can go on my shopping list, too.  I ordered new curtains for the small match the master bedroom...semi sheer whites.  Hope they get here soon...just after windows are washed!  Hey, I just might get my fall cleaning done while it's still summer...then I can spend my free time stacking wood.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

More Than Knitting

   I was cleaning out some of the stuff from Mom's room today when I came across these old bus tickets from a trip from Carlton Place, Ontario to Ottawa that we took nearly 47 years ago with  our friend Fran and our                                                                                                                                                                                                        next door neighbor, Thelma.  Thelma and her family had a small cottage on Mississippi Lake where her husband, Bob, and my dad liked to fish.  Bob had a home fuel oil business and a gas station in Herkimer and worked hard 6 days a week.  When he suggested a trip to the lake my father always said yes and off we went...about 4 hours to the US/Canada border and then another 4 hours to Carlton Place and their camp...but the men always felt it was worth it.  (Sometime we did round trips in 1 day!)  This trip was going to be a week's vacation so the adults planned something special for us...a trip to Ottawa, Canada's Capital.  We took the bus and toured the city.  We were 'College Girls' and between us we had about 8 years of French but when that person stopped us on the capital steps and asked French...something or other...neither Fran or I could say a word! Talk about feeling stupid!!  I'll never forget that day.  And to top it all off, we missed the bus back to Carlton Place and had to take a one and only $50 taxi ride!  
The Little Tramp?
 I also came across some old photos of me including this one taken on Main St in Herkimer.  You can just make out the old cars across the street in the photo!  I'm about 3 years old (so it's about 1953) and I think it was taken near the Alvaro Building where we had an apartment on the 2nd floor at the time.  We didn't stay there long after Mom found me on the fire escape looking down at the street one day.  I didn't mind moving...the shadows on my bedroom wall from the dead air shaft were giving me nightmares.  (I still remember that!)  We then moved to S. Bellinger St...heaven on earth for a little kid if you ask me...and stayed there until I was about 8 years old.  (This photo is now my profile photo for this blog.)  Mom knitted the hat and sweater...I think they are light gray with white angora trim.  And I think the sweater is still in mom's cedar chest!  I asked one of my cousins if she can enhance the photo before scanning it to clear it up some. Sure hope she can!

   My Sunflower Hoodie sold yesterday in the shop along with several hats. I'm working Monday and trying to finish another hoodie to fill in the space.  This one's going to have a train going around the body above the waist and I always seem to forget to remember how much work it is.  I have to stop and untangle the yarn every few rows.  Tried working with bobbins but that doesn't help much.  Oh, well, the design is almost complete so I shouldn't complain too much.  Just got to work in all those loose ends, sew on the buttons train's wheels) and the back zipper and it will be ready to photograph and post here. But not tonight!! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

On Saturday...

      Fanny and I went to Cooperstown Saturday to stock the shop.  Jeff didn't feel like taking the trip in the hot humid weather, but we girls just rolled down the car windows, turned up the radio and enjoyed the trip.  The traffic was brisk so I set the 'cruise' at 58 mph and we rolled along with the crowd.  Fanny had her head to the window...with her nose in the breeze catching the farm and lake smells.  Good thing we slowed the cruise control down to 38 mph along the lake coz we passed a trooper leading the traffic going north! (It's a 35 mph area!)
    Anita, one of our jewelers, was working in the shop when we got there and she had the earrings I had ordered to go with the scarf pin she made me in June.  Beautiful, aren't they?  Now I just have to
find time to make a scarf or cowl that really shows them off.  She makes
some fantastic earrings but I can't wear french wires...I have a short, fat neck and tend to flip them out!
   I put the 2 hoodie sweaters and this flower sweater (all are size 2) on display but I forgot the clips to hang the hoods correctly.  (Oh, well I'll put them in my bag and if the sweaters are still there next week I'll hang them then.) The embroidery is a little different on this sweater, too. Gotta keep changing things, keeping them fresh. I also put out 3 baseball, 1 pumpkin and 1 flower hat.  When we got home I started a Black Sheep sweater...again, a size Frosty Green.  Instead of another flying trip to the shop, I'm going to mail this one to Judy...with a couple of hats.  The postage will be less than gas and a trip to the post office will be shorter than to Cooperstown!
   We topped the trip with a stop for ice McDonald's coz I wasn't sure Fanny liked ice cream.  I had them flip her cone into a cup and she gobbled it down, totally enjoying it!  I did, too!! Jeff said he's never met a dog who doesn't like ice cream.
   Yesterday Jeff switched computers on me/for me again.  His sister got a new all-in-one and handed down her 2 yr old Dell.  Jeff's PC is only 3 yrs old so I got a new PC...again.  And I had just finished downloading Windows 10 to the rebuilt HP!  Anyway, this Dell has great contrast and hooks up to the TV so we can watch programs streaming from the internet...which I have been doing on the HP!  Jeff hasn't figured out how to get the TV to play the audio from the PC but since they're about 5 ft apart we can just turn up the audio on the PC until he does.  We've got the speakers to the Dell we can use if Jeff can figure out where to plug them into the TV. 
   Supper last night was very good...if I say so myself.  We had Angie's Chicken (boneless, skinless chicken breasts, egged and breaded in her special way but done on the RONCO instead of fried), hot Italian sausage (also on the RONCO), blue potato that was kind of weird because blue potatoes stay blue almost purple when cooked, and breaded and fried zucchini...from our garden.  There was just enough leftover for Jeff's late night snack! Supper was so good there wasn't any need for dessert!!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Keeping Busy

Why do people keep coming into this place?
      We went to Sherry's last week to help move some furniture for her. You should of seen Sherry and me pushing her couch thru the porch door while Jeff pulled it! Jeff wanted to stop at the Pro Bass Shop at Riverside on the way home and they're 'dog friendly' so Fanny and I sat in their lounge area while Jeff drooled over...looked at... boats. The sales help was very taken with Fanny and kept offering her dog treats but she wasn't too sure she wanted to be friends and after this photo she spent her time between my legs and the chair! 
   Yesterday we sat by the garden and enjoyed the weather.  Jeff checked the plants before starting to water them.  The of 3...had grown
One of 3 zucchini doing well.
 very fast and we'll be picking them soon...before the critters get to them!  The yellow squash has died back...something got to them but  the acorn squash has spread like crazy but this squash (below) is the only fruit we found on it so far.  Hope
Kind of cute...for a squash!
we get some more soon.  This is my favorite squash Looks like an old fashion light bulb hanging there, doesn't it?  As long as the critters leave it alone....
A Bean Tower...or Christmas Tree?
Farmer Day checking his crops

   The bean tower is full and we'll be picking beans next week.  Jeff's planning to move the bean tower closer to the house next year.  He'll have to decide which boxes will have potatoes next year, too, so he can add sulfur to the soil this fall in an attempt to lower the pH.  Between powdered sulfur and water straight from the well, the pH has gone down but not low enough to get large potatoes or large red and blue potatoes anyway.  The white potatoes did fine.  The cantaloupes don't seem to like growing in the shade of the bean tower.  They're flowering but so far no melons have formed.  Nothing on the watermelons on the other side of the garden, either.
   While Farmer Day has been busy I've been busy  too, knitting.  I've done 2 hoodies, both size 9 months with back zippers and Henley fronts.  

One is lemon with sunflower buttons and the other is a red, white and blue baseball sweater with baseballs buttons.  They're ready so Steve can take them to the shop when he works later in the week. Hope they sell! 
(edited 8/10/15)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hello, New Refridgerator!

      A couple of years ago we replaced our normal-size refrigerator (it had died from old old age) with a 3.2cc dorm-size unit.  With just 'us', having the chest freezer was enough freezer space and the refrigerator space was usually large enough...except when Jeff bought beef, pork and chicken to can all at the same it seemed like a good idea.  It really cut the electric bill!  Last week...just about that 90 degree day...our little refrigerator decided it had had it and gave up the ghost...or ran out of gas!  Jeff tried to buy a gas kit to replenish it but couldn't find a tap for the line.  We spent a couple of days looking on-line and in the stores for another dorm-size unit and found a 4.5cc Kenmore at K-Mart that had to be ordered, a 4.5cc no-name brand at Walmart and a 4.5 cc Kenmore at Sears that we could just pick up and take home.  We ended up with the Kenmore at Sears that came with a 3 year replacement warranty.  (We've had good luck with replacement warranties having gotten one on the reciprocating saw we got at Lowe and replaced 3 times just for the cost of the warranty!) We got it today and Jeff 's just finishing switching the way the door opens and making sure it's level. 

Since it's larger than the one it replaces there's less room on top so I'm going to have to find a new home for the junk that lived on top.  The Pyrex 9x13 pan will still fit and the square CorningWare dishes can nestle inside the Pyres but the cereal boxes  and nut chopper will have to go somewhere else.  Oh, the Berkey still fits next to it and they look good together since they're both stainless steel.  Now we're looking at paint chips for the cupboard and walls but that can wait.  There's always something.  My mother said there was a saying in Italian that said don't bitch at somebody, just tell them to buy a house.