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 time...so 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.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Summer Keeps Rolling Along

   It's August 1st already!  When did that happen?  Half of the summer is gone already and we've had only 1 day over 90!  I'm taking so much Warfarin the heat doesn't bother me.  I may be the only person who was comfortable on that 90 degree day!
   I worked in the shop today and found my hat display ravaged by customers.   I had sold 20 hats
My Hat Display this morning 8/1/15

during July!  Good thing I brought hats today to restock!  The display looked much better by the end of the day.  The Pumpkin Hats were back in the Halloween display
and the Baseball and

My Hat Display at the end of the day
Flower Hats had been
replenished.  I like that
light blue Bucket hat on the left side of this photo but no one seems to agree with me enough to buy it.  It's cotton and would make a nice sun hat for a toddler.  Oh, well, somewhere out there there is a shopper looking for that hat.  Hope they make it to Cooperstown soon.                      
 I also brought 2 sweaters that got a lot of compliments.  This (L) is the 2nd Black Sheep Sweater I've done this summer. (The black sheep is on the back.) 
The first one sold quickly.  Hope this one does, too.  The other sweater I took down today is  this Blue Flower on Lemon Sweater (R).  I like this sweater but I wasn't too happy when I ran out of yarn near the bottom and had to buy another skein to finish it.  Much to my surprise, my Pin Stripe Sweater sold today!  I keep saying I'll only do one a year but it didn't last on the shelf very long and I'm tempted to do another...maybe a smaller size.  It might stripe up faster!  We'll see.
   While I was in the shop Jeff and Fanny were at home together.  He was busy cutting wood and Fanny was busy collecting mementos of me...one of my Crocs, a pair of panties...you get the idea...and taking them to bed with her.  Since she hasn't slept on my bed in 3 or 4 nights it seems strange she should use my bed to store her treasures.  At least she won't forget me!
Blue Potatoes
Baked Blue Potatoes
   We've also started to enjoy the garden.  Some of the potatoes may not be large (so I just cook extras) but they all have been good!  We have a very colorful potato patch...red, white and blue potatoes.  Here are some of the blues which stay blue when cooked...except when fried, then they turn black.  The white potatoes are still the best...they get the biggest but we're enjoying them all.  Jeff's also picking zucchini...that's on the menu for tomorrow!



                                                                           



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How I Spent My Day Off

     I had my annual ophthalmology exam yesterday at the clinic in Cooperstown and since I was going to have my eyes dilated, they suggested I bring a 'driver' so Jeff was drafted to be my chauffeur.  The total time I spent with the tech, the doctor and in the waiting room was about 1 hour and 15 minutes (not bad).  I have small cataracts on both eyes and many floaters.  I no longer can read the bottom line on the chart...but nothing changed that much since last year so no new glasses.  I did get a pair of those disposable sunglasses that they have rolled up in a basket by the receptionist.  And I really needed them yesterday!  It was a beautiful day and with Jeff driving we came home the scenic way! We drove through Cooperstown (stopping at the shop to restock), fighting our way through traffic to Lake Street and then north along Otsego Lake.  We had all the windows open and it was a beautiful ride along the lake.  If I had been driving, I would have turned onto Allens Lake Rd and gone to Richfield Springs but Jeff was at the wheel so we stayed on Rte 80, crossed Rte 20 and headed to Fort Plain.  The farms and the hills looked beautiful and the while the sun was bright there was a breeze and the air cooled off.  We went through Van Hornesville and Starkville, Fort Plain, turned west onto Rte 5S and then crossed under the Thruway and went through St. Johnsville and onto Rte 5.  We ended up having supper at McDonald's in Little Falls...and it was pretty good, too!  During supper we talked about how clean and neat...almost pretty...the houses and farms had been.  So far up the 'curb appeal' scale from Herkimer.  Even the small hamlets whose name signs we didn't see were better looking than our Main St.  It seems those people still have pride in their homes and property.  Jeff said maybe because it was theirs.

    Before going to Herkimer we stopped so Jeff could check the garden and I could release/rescue Fanny from the house.  It was almost 5pm and she had been alone inside since 1pm.  I was a little worried about what she had been up to but all I found was one Croc (an old one) and a night shirt on my bed. (She collects things to keep her company.) She had been good so we let her run outside for a few minutes and then she and I took Jeff back to his place.  We just got back home when Jeff called and asked if I had found something he left on top of the car.  I checked...nothing.  So Fanny and I re-traced our route and I found a young man walking on Main St asking those he met if Jeff's property was theirs.  I stopped and he gave it to me.  Jeff was surprised he got it back.

Hats, hats, hats!
   When we stopped at the shop to restock I realized I couldn't...didn't want to... list the hats in the display so I took a photo of it as reference.  Now I know what I need to knit this week. I did a flower hat...just the hat, not the flower... last night watching a BBC program on the history of the House of Windsor.  This afternoon it will be a white hat that will become a baseball.  The hats are mindless knitting, it's the details that take time and attention.  Friday will be Detail Day.   I'm suppose to work in the shop on Saturday, I should be able to get 6 hats done by then...but I better get started! 












Friday, July 24, 2015

Potatoes and Sweaters


Hey, that's my bone!
    Jeff...with help from Fanny...dug potatoes on Wednesday while I worked in Cooperstown.  He's been trying all season to get the pH in those boxes down...and he did...just not low enough for the red potatoes to really like.  The white and blue potatoes are good size, and some of the red ones, too, but they all could be bigger.  Oh, well, there's always next season. 
    This is the geranium that Joanie gave me in 2009!  Isn't it beautiful!  Couldn't resist taking a photo of it. It has lived longer than any other geranium I've ever heard of!
   I took a couple of apple hats and the 2 sweaters I finished to the shop with me Wednesday.  This (r) is a Flower Set.  They sold well last year and this spring but seem to have slowed down.  
   And, I finally got the pin-striping finished on this size 2 baseball sweater.  I thought I'd never finish!  Each pin-stripe is embroidered
by hand...I worked on them for 4 days!  I wish I had blue baseball buttons instead of the regular red ones.  Oh, well.  I make one Pin-Stripe Special a year...no matter what price I put on it, it takes too much time to finish it.  
   Jeff picked the first zucchini of the season and that will be for supper tonight,  Can't wait!  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

That Part Goes On Like This...Doesn't It?

The Welcome Committee:  Sunny and Max (l-r)
      We finally went to Utica today to Jeff's sister's house.  Sherry had asked for some help from Jeff with yard work.  She and her next door neighbor want to alter the fence between the houses and the weeds, etc on Sherry's side of the fence had to be taken care of first.  Of course, today probably wasn't the best day to do yard work...the temperature was over 85 and who knows what the humidity was!...but it was the day we got there.  We would have made it there sooner but the trailer needed a new hitch and that took longer than Jeff anticipated.  In fact, he took it off and put it on 3 times this morning alone before everything fell into place!  (He even checked with a YouTube video to make sure he was doing it right!  Directions do not seem to come in English with a hitch kit.) We came home with a full trailer load, too.  Jeff's been bringing tools, etc back from Sherry's garage every time we take the trailer to Utica and today was no exception.  And we made it home just as it started to rain!
   Fanny got to play with her canine cousins, Max and Sunny and got some rawhide treats from her aunt Sherry, too.  Max is a miniature Schnauzer the same age as Fanny, and Sunny...short for Sunshine...is a miniature Schnauzer-Cocker Spaniel mix a year younger.  Max and Fanny get along a lot better than Sunny and Fanny but they all co-exist pretty well. 
   
    My Lemon Picchu is 
finished with a sunflower button and ready to go to the shop on Wednesday.  I've got a white one about half done...maybe I'll get lucky and finish it tonight.  I've still got to finish the PinStripe Sweater, too!  And I sold 4 hats yesterday so I have to replace them!  I got an Apple hat done while at Sherry's today and there's a Flower Hat in the project bag so maybe...just maybe I'll be able to replace them.  Remember, the Baseball Hall of Fame is holding it's Annual Induction Weekend next weekend, July 25-26, and that means many, many people will be in town.  If you're one of them, be sure to visit the shop, too:  Cooper Country at 2 Double Day Court, adjacent to Double Day Field.  We're open 10am-5pm, 7 days a week.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

More Garden Updates

    This is the first blossom on the melons ... a cantaloupe, Jeff says.  Another plant also has a blossom.  Whether or not they'll actually form and ripen into a melon remains to be seen.  No sign of a watermelon.
   I started out the season by planting pre-seeded 
flower strips (that had been a gift) in the tops of the corner boxes. The directions said to water them often but they all
rotten from too much rain except one...it's suppose to be Painted Daisy's and has quite a few flower buds but the yellow is the only one that's opened so far.  Hope the others open soon so I can get another photo.
  Jeff started to pick some of the veggies today ...these are flat Italian
beans...and started one of his monster soups for tomorrow's supper.  Besides the beans, there
are greens and peppers
from the garden in the soup.  There was too much greens for us so he took some to the friends who
gave me this HP computer.  And Jeff said if he goes to his sister's house tomorrow to trim some of her yard, he'll bring her some of the beans.  That's one of the problems with a garden our size...everything ripens at the same time so you really need friends you can share with.  I did sausage, potatoes and peppers for supper and the sweet Italian peppers from the garden tasted so good!  You can really tell the difference between home grown and store
bought.   Jeff even took some of the peppers home with him to cook for himself!  I overdid it with the greens last week...and my MD agrees.  She's increased my daily dose of Warfarin in an effort to get my INF back into range.  I'll eat the soup tomorrow and then lay off the greens for while until I get my INF checked again.  Maybe greens 3 or 4 days a week isn't the way to go.  At least not the 3 or 4 days before a blood test!
   The strawberries are still blossoming and baring fruit but we haven't gotten any yet.  The critters and birds keep beating us to them!  They got most of the blackberries, too!
 
My Joanie O Geranium
   This is the geranium that came home from camp with me in the fall of 2009.  Our neighbor up there, Joanie, always 
gave me the biggest geranium she had at the end of the season rather than let it die.  This one winters in our living room getting watered once a month.  In late May it moves onto the deck...as far as I can move it alone!  You can see in the photo that it's got over a dozen flower buds ready to open.  I have never heard of a geranium living so long! It is an annual, after all!  Jeff gives it a shot of compost tea once or twice a season and that's all the fertilizer it gets.  I'll get another photo of it when it's in full bloom. (One fall it was so bushy a mouse was hiding in it when I brought it inside and we scared each other when it jumped out and found itself in the den!  I quickly shooed it out the door before it got any ideas about spending the winter with us.)
   Don't know if I'll go with Jeff to his sister's tomorrow or stay home and knit.  I'm working on a 
size 9-months baby's surplice cardigan called Picchu.
My Lemon Picchu needing a button.  Any suggestions?
It's suppose to be done in 5 pieces and sewn together but I changed it and did it in 3 pieces with just the sleeves sewn in because I hate sewing so! I'm using Red Heart's acrylic in lemon and since it calls for only 1 button I  think I'll look for something cute. I think the next one may be done in one piece with just the underarm of the sleeve needing to be sewn.
My PinStripe in Progress
  I've also got to finish embroidering the pinstripes on my yearly Pinstripe Cardigan.  It took just 2 days to knit the size 2 sweater but so far I've spent 4 days on the embroidery!  I'm scheduled to work in Cooperstown next Wednesday and I'd like both sweaters to be ready to take down.  The Baseball Hall of Fame's Induction Weekend is July 25-26 and the more I have on display the more better! 

(We stayed home today...my Imprezza got new brakes both front and back...and had that great soup for supper.  Fanny dined on one of the soup bones and totally enjoyed herself!  update 6:30pm, 7/17/2015) 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Garden is Flowering!

     Yesterday Jeff watered and fertilized the garden and of course, it rained about an hour after he finished.  This morning the plants that had tight flower buds yesterday...like the squash in the top photo, had opened...like the zucchini in the lower photo.  Jeff was surprised and excited!  We should have quite a few zucchini and butternut squash...both favorite of ours!  The corn has started to 'silk', too.  I can't wait until the ears are big enough to pick!
 And the green beans...in this case...the purple beans...are  starting to fill out.  Jeff thinks in another week or so we'll be picking beans, peas and peppers.
There's still nothing to report on the melons.  Jeff thinks the pH is still too high for them.
   Last week Jeff put a 2nd water filter on the house system and moved the outside faucet to the other side of the house closer to the garden.  This change means the water for the garden comes directly from the well without going thru any of the filters.  Since the garden sometime uses the majority of the well water it should extend the lives of the filters...both charcoal whole system filters and the Berky that we use for drinking water.  It also adds sulfur to the garden...which helps to lower the pH...without having to add too much powdered sulfur.  We'll see what it does for the veggies.
   I had my monthly INR today and my number was down a little...just out of range...so I'm waiting for a phone call with my MD's instructions (probably stop eating greens).  The nurse suggested I have a test for Lyme's, too, since I pick ticks off the dog occasionally. We both think I was bitten by a tick on my left forearm (halo mark), I'm tired all the time and my joints ache worse now than they do in the winter.  She was going to talk to the MD and let me know.  Jeff's in the same shape as I am and he's out in the garden more than me!  Ticks are a natural hazard out here in the little woods that have to be coped with and I'm doing the best I can.  Fanny gets a treatment every 30 days and I spray the chairs, rugs and beds every week.  Now if Bambi and her relatives would find another area to live in that might help, too.
   I've been hearing noises at night, Jeff's found footprints in the garden and Fanny's been hesitant to go out alone or stay out very long even if Jeff's with her.  Today we may have found out why.  A cat...a nice size black and white cat...was sitting in front of the garage when we came home.  It wasn't too friendly...ran into the brush.  Jeff couldn't get close enough to see if it had a collar.  There are plenty of chippies and mice around for it to catch and it can get into the garage if it wants to so we'll just wait and see if it stays around.  I don't think Fanny will track it but she might chase it if she sees it.  I don't need a cat...right now.