Monday, October 31, 2011

Something new ...

I took this picture early this morning, before the sun had a chance to finish melting our snow.

I think the way it froze after starting to melt away yesterday is interesting. Looks like the "snow" icing on a gingerbread house, doesn't it? I never realized it happens in real life that way.

Here's New Red, with her mama, Big Red. Late this morning, Big Red broke through a fence in order to make her way down to the bottom of the pasture where she prefers to have her calves. I knew today would be the day, because before I even went out for chores early this morning, I could hear her "talking" to the calf. So far, everything seems to be okay, except BR doesn't seem to want to be confined inside the barn. She's a HUGE animal, and if she decides to break a door down, it won't take much effort on her part. Let's hope she can settle down for a few days, until the little 0ne gets the hang of things. I have to go give her some nice, clean bedding. Maybe that will help.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Well, then ...

We live in a place that I'm pretty sure rivals Siberia when it comes to weather. Our first frost date in the Fall is September 10th. Planting anything here save the most hardy things before the very end of May is risky. This year's weather was one for the record books -- and not in a good way, because of way too much rain.

But we actually got a reprieve this month. We had only light frost until last night. Having heard the weather report earlier in the week, I ran to fetch the last of whatever was lingering in the garden. I found a zucchini plant with six good fruits, a plastic grocery bagful of peppers, and eleven cabbages.

The cabbages were last, and got snowed 0n before I grabbed the last of them:

So now it appears that Winter is going to make up for lost time. The National Weather Service is saying we can get up to six inches of snow tomorrow. That's okay for me, though. I've got a good book to read, a knitting project on the needles, the apple pie I promised DH in the oven, and a pot of hearty soup on the stove. I hope those who don't have the option of staying home will at least be safe wherever they are.

It’s all I can stacks, ‘cause I can’t stacks no more!

The pile is big. It's two layers deep, and over my head. DH came home yesterday and asked how I got the wood up that high -- with a ladder?!? No, actually I tossed it up.

He's always amazed when I do something that requires Amazonian strength. Still. After all these years. It reminds me of one day he came home thru a blizzard. We had about three feet of heavy, wet snow everywhere. He went upstairs and glanced out the window, then called to me. "Look! The snow all melted off the kitchen roof! No place else -- just the kitchen roof!" (The kitchen is a one-story addition at the back of the house.)

Well, du-uuh! I had worked my tailfeathers off, shovelling the snow off that roof before he got home. He said that, knowing my fear of height, he would never have suspected I'd get up there and do that. Well, yes. I am afraid of heights. But I'm even MORE afraid of having the kitchen ceiling collapse upon my head from the weight of that snow.

So ... back to the wood pile. He admired it for a bit, and then asked me how I was going to get it back down when I need it. Good question. Well ... we DO have ladders.

And here's my latest project:

I started it with yarn from my stash, only to discover that even though I had way more than was called for, it was going to run out before I got finished. Of COURSE, it had to be yarn I had purchased a couple of years back and that the color is now discontinued. (You KNEW it could be no other way with me, right?) So I went online and searched. And searched. And searched some more. Nobody has any more. In fact, I found a request that had been posted on a forum a couple of years ago by someone in the exact same predicament. I was tempted to send her a message asking for any scraps she may have left, in the event she was able to get the additional ball she needed back then. But, this story has a happy ending: I e'd the manufacturer who put me in touch with a vendor who happened to have some left. Of course, the last ball cost as much as the rest all put together, and I had to pay a hefty fee for S&H, but ... I'm happy. The project is for my littlest GD, and it looks like I'll be able to finish it before she outgrows it! Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If Iceland can do it, why can’t we?

I just read that in Iceland, one can purchase wool yarn for knitting right in the grocery store. Knowing that Dr. L (my dentist) has travelled there, I asked him if it were, in fact, true. He confirmed it. Now THAT’s my kind of place!

Speaking of the dentist, I paid my visit on Monday as I said in my last post. Dr. L earned his fee from me that day! In fairness to myself, I have to reiterate the fact that I, upon my first consultation with him, gave him fair warning that I am the kind of patient that made other dentists break into a cold sweat when they worked on me. He laughed. He thought I was kidding. Until Monday.

Hitherto, I’d been just breaking him in with the small stuff, like root canals. He kept his cool through those, so it was time to really test his mettle. When he began to hum mid-way through the procedure, I knew his resolve to stay strong was beginning to waiver. (FYI: It’s NEVER a good thing when the dentist begins humming in an attempt to make it seem like everything’s going smoothly during a procedure. If you want to know how it is REALLY going, watch the chairside assistant’s face. If she goes pale, no amount of humming will mask reality. If she turns aside, as if she suddenly remembers she has to polish up a tool or re-stock the gauze pads in the cupboard, you can bet the doctor will break into a sweat any minute now.) So where was I? Oh, yeah … Sure enough, Dr. L finished up the job at hand and then hurriedly made off for his next appointment. He was swiping his brow as he tossed me a “Ta-ta!” and fled. He has two weeks to recuperate before I go back for my next appointment.

I took the rest of the day off, myself. Then yesterday, I quilted the largest wallhanging I’ve ever done:

It’s Laurie W’s, and she made it for a friend who, she affirmed, has a very large wall to hang it on. This photo shows just a small portion of the quilt, but it’s really large enough for a queen-sized bed. With overhang.

And here’s Julie N’s quilt, ready to be delivered to a grandchild: (It’s not really shaped like an hour-glass, it’s just draped over a chair for the photo shoot.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Leave some for seed ...

As of Friday:

I left some for seed:

It worked!

Must go ... much to do today. (The dentist hasn't seen me in a little over a week, and is having withdrawal symptoms, so I must go pay him a visit. Then I can come back and quilt. Unless today's visit does me in. Hopefully, more quilt photos tomorrow.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How nice ...

These pansies were the first flowers to greet me this year when they first blossomed in the earliest Spring. They were kind enough to re-seed themselves from last year's garden. And they are still holding up, even though our weather this year has been torture for most other living things. I just think they're so pretty! And like happy little faces that bring their own sunshine. Hmmm ... there seems to be a life lesson in there, no? I think everyone should have some pansies, somewhere.

And look at this tree. It is having it's own little party! A celebration, for sure! I wonder what secrets it has and is not telling, except for this sudden burst of excitement. Everyone should have such a secret.

And here's what was printed inside a card on what should have been my son's birthday, given by a dear friend who makes a point of "being there." Everyone should have a friend like that.

Although we smile and make no fuss,
No one misses him more than us;
And when old times we oft recall,
That’s when we miss him most of all.
-- author unknown

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Incoming ...

This is next in queue:

It's Jean R's quilt, but DH thinks it should be mine. He says it looks like something I would have done, and I suspect that's mostly because it's basically pink and green. Some people think I have a proclivity toward all things pink-and-green. Hmmmphf!

(for best effect, one should utter "Hmmmphf!" in the highest pitch possible, while spinning 180 degrees around on one foot, to emphasize indignation)

From the Leaps and Bounds Department:

(note: I'm caught up, so far. And at this point, there's enough to last through December. We'd better get a move on if we're to have enough to get through till mid-April, at least. We often have our worst snow storms in April here, so it's better to be prepared to hold out until mid-May.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

He cuts, I stack, we burn ...

... and so it begins. Firewood season. So far, we've resisted starting a fire, but got close a couple of nights last week when the frost was on the pumpkins. Hey! That's what we knit wool sweaters for, right? But one of these days -- and I'm guessing it won't be long now -- we'll have to close some windows and start a fire in the woodstove.

We're way behind in gathering firewood this year, since the weather has been a bit much for the most part, since early Spring. We're on course to have a record-breaking year for rainfall. It's an absolute horror to get the tractor stuck in mud up in the woods, so DH hasn't risked it.
So far:

Don't scoff. It's a start! My goal this year is to stack it as fast as he can cut it. I know I'm dreaming, but it's good exercise, and one where immediate results can be seen. In the woodpile, that is. It is very satisfying to see it grow by leaps and bounds.

Wanna see the best woodpile ever? click on the link:
Some people are so clever!

And did you ever see the NYC traffic cops on TV who look like they're doing a specially choreographed bit directing traffic thru the busy city? I wish we could get one of them to come work in Wysox/Towanda. The traffic there is soooooo annoying lately. At least it would be entertaining to get stuck in traffic if we had one of those dancing cops here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Add ten for accuracy ...

DH, the dog and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon. DH wanted to check on the progress of the well on the farm next door. I just wanted to get some movement after sitting on my butt most of the day. Tuck wanted to be free to re-mark his territory, after the neighbor dogs used his favorite spots.

I had been to the dentist and told DH what has to happen there next, for me. (Don't ask.) I relayed the message the dentist had for him: "Tell Andy it looks like he's going to have to work until he's 85 to pay for all this." We -- the dentist and I, knowing that DH has started a somewhat premature countdown to retirement -- thought it was very funny. DH: not so much.

All of that chatter led to a discussion about how annoying it is to be getting older and falling apart at the seams. Conclusion: we'd both be better off if we'd just lose 20 pounds. Each. DH said we need to buy a new bathroom scale. Being the cheapskate that I am, I said, "No we don't. If you just add ten pounds to whatever it reads, it's right in line with the doctor's scales."

He: "WHAT?!? That means I weigh ___ (number omitted, for obvious reasons)?!? I've NEVER weighed THAT much!"

Me: "So what does THAT tell you?"

The poor man ate a light supper when we got back, and went to bed early.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What? Say that again ...

Long ago and far away, there was a little boy who liked to talk on the telephone but didn't always get a good grip on the receiver. It would slip away from his ear, and he'd miss a part of the conversation. He'd then say, "What? What did you say? Say that again to me?"

That's what I felt like saying the other night when a commercial for some kind of medicine came on during the nightly news I was sorta watching (albeit half-heartedly, while paying more atention to my knitting). Did you ever notice that at that hour, most commercials are aimed at the older crowd? AARP, laxatives, prescription medications you should run and ask your doctor to prescribe for you, etc., etc. Often, they'll run at warp speed through a list of side effects for these wonder drugs at the end of the commercial. During one, I heard them say something like, "ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take this ... if you ... live in an area where certain fungal blahblahblah is prevalent ..."

What? What did you say? Say that again to me? WHAT fungal (something)? And WHERE is it prevalent? Are they talking about North America? What part? HOW prevalent IS it?!? Who knows this stuff??? Am I supposed to be aware? Should I worry? Why didn't they just say, "don't use this product if you live on the 100-block of Main Street in ___ City" -- or something? Why are they so vague? For crying. Out. Loud. Off with their heads! (DH's new favorite cry when anyone annoys him.)

Cathy B was here Monday. She got two quilts done and expects to put them in her guild's show that will hang the whole month of November. This large twin-sized one, believe it or not, was pieced by her 8-and-a-half year old granddaughter! She did all but the outer borders by herself, Cathy tells us.

And this is Cathy's queen-sized:

Nice work, Cathy! I'll plan to visit the Biennial Exhibition at Steele Memorial Library, 101 E Church St. Elmira, NY to see it and the other quilts there.