Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where The Oaks Grow

   This little house sits in a little clearing in a growing woods.  The oaks and hickory trees get bigger every year and this year we seem to have a large crop of acorns and nuts.  The wind, birds and squirrels cause the acorns to fall on to the roof and deck...and every thing in the yard.  The other night it sounded like someone was on the deck but no, just the acorns falling.  The dog is terrified and will hides when a steady volley starts.  This morning the weatherman called for rain and wind...and that means acorn showers which started about an hour ago.  An acorn hitting and bouncing off a wheelbarrow...or rain barrel...or lawn chair is not a sound you want to wake up to.  But it is better than the dog snoring.
   Today I want to finish some autumn sweaters and hats for the shop.  The yarn color
of the one in the photo is cafe latte.  The one I'm working on is cornmeal.  I'll also try to do a couple of extra pumpkin hats... before Friday when I have to take these things over to Steve so he can take them to the shop when he works this weekend.  That should be enough for the rest of the month.  If they sell I'll do some more.  I couldn't find pumpkin buttons at Wal Mart (surprise??)  and didn't really want to spend the time, gas and energy to go to Jo Ann Fabrics so I ordered these online...from the website on the back of a button card and if you spent $10 the shipping was free!  Got 5 cards of buttons for $11.97...and they arrived in my mailbox in 3 days!!  Of course, it limits how many sweaters I can do with pumpkin buttons but I can always order more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


   Today is Pickle Day!  We've been blessed(?) with cucumbers and today we're making pickles.  We did 15 pints of zesty bread and butter pickles and there are 8 pints of dill pickles waiting for their brine.  Pickles are easier than canning.
   In the next couple of weeks we're going to have a new dry well added to our septic system.  The guy says it looks ( puddling around the top of the septic tank when I do laundry) like the pipes may be full or crushed  or the well itself may just be full.  Pencil that in for roughly $2500...with another $300 for pumping out the septic tank when they do it.  Homeownership...such a delight.  My mother always said don't damn anyone...just tell them to buy a house... and the older, the better.
  The garden is winding down.  Jeff dug potatoes this week and was satisfied with the way the boxes worked.  The plants in the greenhouse are going well and that should extend the season a month or two.  He's already planning for next year!  In-between gardening, he's started cutting wood again so there will be a lot for me to stack.  Oh, so not looking forward to doing that!
   The shop had a fantastic season this year.  Both July and August sales were more than expected.  I had a hard time keeping my area full!  Things have slowed down and I've started working on Harvest and Pumpkin designs.  There will be a Fall Festival in Cooperstown Oct.4th with Main St blocked to cars and vendors set up all over.  Hope the weather is nice that day!  I'll post photos of  my fall sets as soon as I finish one!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


   I still have not kept my promise and mowed the lawn....  It's been raining off and on and the grass is so long it takes more than a couple hours of dry weather before I could start mowing.  Besides it's been too cold for me to work outside.  (Remember, I take rat poison (Warfarin) and I'm cold when it's 75 out!  Sunday it's suppose to get dry and warm up and stay that way until Wednesday.  That should be time...and warm...enough for me to mow.
(photo added 9:18am 8/17/2014)
In the meantime, I've stayed busy knitting (what else?!?).  In the last day and a half I made 3 ladies hats--2 with rolled brims and 1 with a flat brim--they just need their roses and bows.  Today I'll knit the roses but I'm all out of ribbon. That will have to wait for a trip to Walmart. I've got to get milk and Rx's so maybe later today. For some reason the hats are appealing to customers and they are selling quite well...twice the  the customer bought 2!  I don't like wearing hats so I don't really understand the attraction but ....  A lace-y baby sweater set sold yesterday so after the roses I'll do one of those.  That should keep me busy until Monday.  Then I can do more baby hats... baseball, apple and between mowing the lawn.

  Jeff had to tie up  one of the tomato plants after an especially hard rain the other day.  The fruit was so heavy the branches had bent over and started to break.  He gave it a dose of compost tea (yes, even after all that rain!) when he did and yesterday it looked pretty sprite.  There are so many tomatoes on it they were too heavy for the stem!  Hope the plant can make it.
   I decided to split my bundle with TimeWarner and get DISH.  You get HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz and Blockbuster free for 3 months!  The only channel I'll miss is the Smithsonian.  I'm going to keep the phone and internet with TimeWarner.  Jeff's sister has DISH and loves it.  I don't like the movies I can get for free on TimeWarner  so maybe I'll watch more least for 3 months!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How the Garden Grows

    Jeff's garden is doing well.  He thinks it should be doing better but from what I hear I think it's doing ok.
Here are some of the peppers in one of the boxes...with red inpatients to attract the bees .  That's sweet potato in the corner of the box in front of them...with beans  ready to go over the side.
  These are the first tomatoes to vine ripen.  We've been watching these 2 change colors for the last couple of days.  You can see how full the plants are!  Jeff had to tie the plants to the poles again yesterday.  He's pruned the plants several times...something he saw on a You Tube video...and we don't have any blight...yet!  He's also been watering everything with 'compost tea' about every week, too.  A chipmunk or squirrel got the 1st tomato to ripen in the greenhouse but Jeff doesn't think that will happen with these 2.
   I've been promising all last week that I'd mow the lawn today...Wednesday...but it started to rain yesterday and poured all night so I guess I can't mow lawn.  Aw, gee wiz.  I'll have to keep knitting.  Which is a very good idea since I worked in the shop yesterday and every time I put a finished item on the shelf something sold! That left me with a lot of empty space.  (I know it's a case of 'crying all the way to the bank' but I'm about out of yarn and very tired of the colors I've been using!)  Generally business has been brisk and I forgot to take photos of my new sweater! It's Spring Green with pink and lavender flowers
embroidered on the fronts and has lady bug buttons. I'm afraid if might sell before the next time I work and I can take a photo of it so maybe I'll call the girl who's working today and ask her to do me a favor and do it today.  In the meantime, it's back to a red baseball sweater....
(Thanks, Dawn!)

Here are some more photos of the garden taken from a bedroom window.  You can see the 'bean tower' with cucumbers in the upper corner behind the greenhouse.  There's 
squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and beans in these boxes. The dwarf apple tree in the upper corner of this photo is in a cluster of wildflowers and has 
a red hummingbird feeder hanging in it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What A Beautiful Summer Day!

  I finally got to drive home my 'new' Subaru...this one's an '04 Impreza Outback Sport.  Very Sporty! And fast...for me...ol'lead foot...zoom zoom!  So far, I like it...very much.  Jeff's got to get the Outback wagon inspected and then have new rear struts... and the trailer hitch that he had taken off the Forester... installed.  But it means we can go to different stores...or the same different times. Freedom!!  Matt, the guy who bought the Forester for parts, was very patient while I got together the money for the Impreza.  This makes my 7th Subaru. Wouldn't drive any thing else.
  July ended up very well in Cooperstown.  This was the 1st year I was knitting alone and it was difficult to keep up at first but I learned how to do it.  (Just before Induction Weekend I found a couple of pumpkin hats that Mom had made for the last Pumpkin Fest that hadn't sold so I put them in the shop and they sold, too. A little gift from her!)  August is going strong and I keep knitting!
  Jeff's garden looks great! The boxes are lush with tomatoes, beans, zucchini, and peppers. The carrot tops are tall and bushy, too.  Last week Jeff dug potatoes! 
This week he's been busy  setting up the gutter gardens in the green house.  This year he's using reusable shopping bags in plastic buckets. He learned about them thru Larry Hall on YouTube.  Can't wait to see if they work for Jeff.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Little Mysteries

   I lost my glasses.  And if you know me, you realize how difficult that is since I wear my glasses all the time. Even at night to find my way to the bathroom without tripping on dog toys!   But yesterday I went to Fran the Optician to order new glasses and he asked why I was wearing an old pair of glasses and not my current ones.  I know there's a pair of glasses in a brown glass case but I can't find the glass case.  They must be the current glasses.  The mystery...or at least one of the how long have have the glasses been switched.  They were new in 2012 so have they been missing that long??  I saw the glass case a couple of weeks ago but can't find it now.  It's probably in a bag with yarn...but where???  (Mystery solved!  A project bag in the sock yarn box had the missing eyeglass case and glassess!! @3:01pm 7/31/2014)
   Fanny and I went to the store this morning for dog food and got back home just as it started to storm so we got comfortable and dozed while it rumbled. When I woke up there was a mouse on the floor in front of the tv.  Fanny nosed it a little but it didn't respond so I got a plastic bag and picked it up and tossed it outside.  It's not on the deck any more so maybe it survived...another mystery?
  Judy just called to say I sold another sweater set but the sales person didn't put the color of the flowers on the sales slip.  Could I tell what set sold without them?  Oh, well, a third mystery.

Monday, July 28, 2014

What A Garden!

   Can't wait to start posting photos of the garden I'll take with the new Kodak digital camera I'm treating myself to this week! Jeff's been working all hours...last evening he was still weed-whacking after the sun went down! The rows between the boxes are cleaned up and ready for bark mulch. We're suppose to get 3 days of rain so it will be Thursday before we can get a load of mulch to spread between them. I still find it hard to believe that an inner city boy is such a farmer!  The zucchini and cucumbers are doing well and the beans are ready to pick.  Jeff's been pruning the tomatoes ...following a guide on YouTube...and the stems are thick with clusters of fruit.  He used reusable shopping bags...again, following a YouTube grow bags on the gutter garden and yesterday set up the gutters in the greenhouse.  Massaro's, the florist by our house, had the last of the veggie flats on sale this week so we got the 4 tomato plants...complete with fruit...for the bags.  He's got a couple of large bags he wants to try to grow potatoes in, too.  The best part of the box garden is the flower box with geraniums and red silvia...that the hummingbirds like. (They're avoiding the feeders. Hummingbirds can be difficult.) Now if we could just get rid of the mosquitoes.
   Last Saturday was a good day for me sales-wise (but Sunday-actual Induction Day-was a dud) so I have to knit-knit-knit this week to be able to refill my space on Saturday when I work in the shop.  I have to do a red v-neck cardigan with baseball buttons and hat, (why the Red one sold and not the Yankee Blue ??) and a lot of hats (baseball, apples, pumpkins and flowers). As long as it's raining today I should get busy and KNIT!