Sunday, October 19, 2014

Winter Already??

   I worked in the shop today...a  cold, wet day with a little snow (!UCK!) and not much business.  I finished the baseball hats I had brought with me...probably the last ones for this year...but didn't do any of the knitting I brought.  There were 3 (yep, count 'em) empty sweater hangers and all the flower hats were gone.  Good thing I had 6 more flower hats with me.  I switched days with another member and have to work again next Monday giving me a week to do a couple of sweater sets.  If the weather cooperates and it rains I can easily do it.  If I have to stack wood, it will be a little more difficult.  There were only 2 Ladies hats left so I'll have to do a couple of them, too.  The rest of the day I spent reading.  It was a nice change.  Would have been better with a pot of hot tea.
    We're suppose to get a hard frost tonight so Jeff picked the rest of the cucumbers and eggplants. Since there are peppers and tomatoes in the greenhouse he left a Coleman lantern lite as a heat source.  In 15 minutes the temperatures went up 10 degrees inside the greenhouse!  He's not sure how long the lantern will stay lite...there's enough fuel but it may lose pressure and eventually go out.  Right now (12:15am) it's been lite for over 3 hours!  If it lasts for a couple of more hours it may be warm enough inside to hold off the frost.  We have to just wait and see.  Wonder what Wally from next door will say about the lighted greenhouse?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Remembering Mom and Other Things

   Yesterday was the 1st anniversary of my mom's death.  There were a lot of things that happened this year that she would have enjoyed...like watching and hearing about Jeff's garden, how well the baby hats--flowers, baseballs and pumpkins have been selling in the shop (one year she had made and sold 18 pumpkin hats in 1 day at PumpkinFest!) and of course, the dog's antics.  I don't think she missed the septic tank being dug up!  These photos were taken at a family party.  In the photo on the left, I'm wearing a velvet vest that she had sewed for me...one of my favorites and I still have it.  In the on the right that's her sister, Fran and brother, Pete.  They're gone, too. XXOO  Thanks to the Keeper of the Family Photos, my cousin Mary Morgan, for the photos.  She was able to scan and email these to me.  I think, no, that decides it, the next printer I buy has to be able to do that.  Hey, Santa, are you listening?
    Yesterday I planned on finishing up more baby hats and sweaters....sewing on flowers and buttons until Jeff decided it was a good day to cut and stack wood.  He wasn't outside with the saw for more that 15 minutes when he was back in the house.  We had to go to Lowe's.  The 'foot'...the part of the recip saw that you rest on what you're cutting had broken off.  Now this was the 2nd recip saw he had gone thru.  We got them at Lowe's, both Bosch.  Nothing wrong with the saw, it's just the foot that broke off both times.  Luckily, we bought the protection plan with each saw.  For less than $20 if anything goes wrong with the saw, Lowe's hands you a new one, no questions asked.  Well, it's worth it.  The price for the saw has gone up over the years and saw #3 would have cost $129.00.  Of course we got another 2-year protection plan.  For $19.46 how can you not?  And Jeff really likes the Bosch saw!  Anyway, he went back to cutting wood and I thought I'd be going back to buttons and flowers but it didn't work out like that and I ended up stacking wood.  He'd fill a wheelbarrow and I'd empty it.  Since I would empty them faster than he could fill them I got to sit and relax in between.  I was doing well, keeping up until I got tangled up in a fallen branch and some leaves and fell.  Managed to scramble (?) back up and was sitting in a chair rubbing my sore knees when Jeff looked up and noticed me.  No cuts or bruises, or tears to the jeans, just dirty pant legs...and they were clean jeans!!  I was just lucky he has been removing the bricks I had used to outline/covered an old dry well or instead of falling onto  dirt and leaves I would have hit bricks!  Jeff put the 2 wheelbarrows...full of cut wood...in the woodshed last night because the forecast called for rain and it did!  No sense in creating a swimming pool for the wood!  And, lucky for me, they're wedge into the shed so well, he has to take them out for me to get in to empty them.  Oh, well, guess I'll just have to stay inside today and knit...maybe with a nice fire in the wood stove.  I wonder if there will be a Notre Dame game on TV today?

 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Autumn at the Little House in the Little Woods

   I think this is the last week for the garden.  A hard frost is predicted for Saturday night and Jeff wants to pick the rest of the beans, squash, peppers and whatever before then.  There's carrots, sweet potatoes and beets (yuck) but since they're root veggies they should survive.  He bought some celery and broccoli and a whole chicken yesterday so I think a pot of so-ew or st-up  (soup-stew) will be brewed.  He promised some friends we'd take them to the farmer's market in Little Falls on Saturday morning so lunch here on the way home is a probability...you need more than 2 people to do justice to one of his pots of soup!  Maybe I'll do some bread...my Italian bread has been as good what you can get in the store since I started using the Cuisinart his sister gave me to mix it.  Much easier on the hands, too!
   The Harvest Festival last week in Cooperstown was a little damp and chilly but still a success.  The Chamber of Commerce provided the tents and several people from the shop did demos.  Nobody wants to watch me knit so I stayed home...nice and warm and comfy next to my wood stove with a book and my knitting!  I had taken quite a lot to the shop when I worked the Thursday before and my area was well stocked.  About half a dozen hats sold over the weekend and a couple of sweaters, too.  I managed to finish a replacement set in a couple of days and mailed it to Judy.  Now I've got to do some hats...again.
   My clotting factor has been out of control most of the summer...warfarin is such a joy to live on...but finally has gotten back into line.  My doctor increased the dose so I could eat greens (yes, greens are a no-no.  That means no lettuce, spinach, greens and beans...hey, unfair!!) and I've been having my factor check nearly weekly.  Then we managed to edge it up to every other week and now it's up to a month!  The doctor kept the dose high so I can indulge if I get tempted so we'll see what kind of number I score next month.  Never thought that greens would be a diet no-no.
     The furnace just came on...the second time this morning!  I think I should take it as a hint and go start a fire in the stove.  That and it's mighty cold sitting here in the bedroom at the computer.  I've been posting some photos of my sweaters on the shop's Facebook page (Cooper Country Crafts, check it out!).  We're going to move the computer to the living room but Jeff wants to rewire that part of the room, first moving the wall outlet and putting in another one.  That's "inside" work and there's still lots of  "outside" work to be done!  Now that the trailer can be hitched to a car Jeff's been hauling...wood again!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Life in the Country

   Life in the country's been mostly good this week.  We've cut and stacked wood...there's a lot more to do...visited the health center, auto center, and grocery store.  The weather's sweet and what's left of the garden...carrots, green beans, green peppers and yellow squash...are doing nicely.  
                  
The greenhouse is doing even better!  Here are the tomatoes and peppers, and there are potatoes, beans and eggplants in there, too! It's about about 10 degrees warmer inside the greenhouse than outside...and there isn't a heater!
  
   Jeff finally got the trailer hitch installed on the Outback today. It's been 6 weeks since this process started. (He's not too happy about that.)  This week he was told the hitch we have...it was on the Forrester...won't fit the Outback.  Since that was the 1st question he asked...before asking that the hitch be taken off the Forrester...and was told it would...he wasn't happy.  On top of that, they ordered the new hitch without asking him if that would be ok.  The assistant manager cut us a good deal ($234/no labor) but we've talked about it and decided this would be the last job Mavis/Cole did on our cars. 
There's still a lot of wood, compost, and manure we need to haul...that should have been done already!!
   In the meantime, I'm knitting happily.  I finished my 2nd Christmas set, called Snowflakes.  It's
a size 1 circular skirt and short sleeve sweater set in soft navy and white, decorated with a large duplicate stitch snowflake and small snowflake buttons.  (I didn't knit in the snowflakes because
the sweater is done in the round on a circular needle and it would mean loose ends each row on both sides of each snowflake...what a mess to clean up!)  I want to do a matching cardigan and hat with all the snowflakes worked in. OTN:  this week's project list is hats...and more hats!  I'd like to do at least 3 flower hats, 3 pumpkin, 3 apple and 3 baseball hats...by next Thursday...when I'm scheduled to work in the shop again.  And if I get the hats done before then,
Got 6 Flower and 6 Pumpkin Hats finished! posted 9/29/14
maybe I'll do that snowflake cardigan!  In the meantime, it's back to stacking wood!





Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Christmas Design

Here's my 1st Christmas sweater for this year.  No buttons/buttonholes yet.  Should this be for a boy or girl?  Click on the 'comment' at the bottom and vote.  If it becomes a girl's sweater,
the hat will be red with a white
flower and dark green bow, a boy's
sweater the hat will be solid red, 
both will have rolled brims.

Jeff's Greenhouse

   Here's Jeff's greenhouse.  These plants are all either stragglers or volunteers (seeds that came up on their own without actually being planted by him where he found than).  They are all doing well...in fact, much better than they were outside in the garden!  Some of the tomatoes and peppers
   
have fruit and the beans have flowers!  This week...with the predicted frost...will tell if they will survive much longer. Right now the only source of heat is
is the water barrel and the sun.  The temperature was running about 20 degrees higher inside the greenhouse than outside.  We'll know this week if that will continue or if it will need a secondary sourse of heat like a kerosene heater. 

Septic Tank Day

   Yesterday we had the 'septic' problem fixed.  Jim...the boss...said the guys would be here 'first thing' so I set my alarm for 6:30 figuring it would give me enough time for a shower before they arrived.  Fanny started her 'guard dog' routine around 6am running from window to window barking and making fierce sounds.  It got me out of bed but I couldn't see anything and the motion lights hadn't come on but I took it as a sign and hopped in the shower.  I was just finishing up when she started up again...this time I heard the truck.  They were here!  Fanny retreated to the bed and I called Jeff and made coffee.  We all waited for the pump man and worked got started.  The tank was full to the top!  No one had ever seen a
septic tank like this!  It's two tanks
each  about 4' across side by side...and deep...the pump man had to keep adding hose...15-20'There once had been 2 caps but they had been replaced long ago (more than the 52 years I've been here) with the single cement slab.  Before the tanks were even empty the guys started looking for the dry well.  Eventually they found it and 
it was...dry!  They don't know why but nothing had
flowed into it in years.  They dug it out and enlarged the hole so the new cement dry well would fit.  Then came a couple of loads of crushed stone...pushed in by the
machine and pretty soon the hole was filled,
leveled seeded covered with straw...and Fanny finally got outside to inspect!  There will be a lot of stones to 'harvest' in the spring before this part of of the yard can be mowed again but the job is done and shouldn't  have to be repeated again in my lifetime!  Even the septic tank cover is now under
ground and not something to avoid when mowing!  Oh, and something I didn't expect, there wasn't any aroma...sewer gas...when the tank was pumped!  (I could have done with out the cost...seems it was by the size of the tank...$302.  Haven't gotten the bill for the dry well yet. Dry well cost $2200.  Total for the day $2502.  Better than Jeff expected! 9/20/14)