Week end Olio – 10/31/2022

Every morning that there isn’t extra family in the house, I prepare myself a protein/berry smoothie. As I only make about a cup, the equipment of choice is an ancient (more than two decades old) Magic Bullet. This morning it quit. The motor still runs, but the plastic cog that spins the blade in the jar exploded into many tiny shards, contained below the blender cup, but rendering the motor useless. I can’t say it owed me anything, but this morning’s smoothie was not stellar as the frozen berries did not get blended into the liquid, ground seeds, and PB2 powder.

When I told hubby of its demise, he suggested I should replace it. Yesterday while in the grocer, I saw a “smoothie” maker that was basically a plastic jar with an attached immersion blender. This morning as we were headed to town to try to get our daily walk before the rain resumed, a look at that tool was in order. As I was about to add it to my basket, sitting back on the shelf near it was the newer version of the Magic Bullet (twice the price of the immersion blender). I hope the new one holds up as long as the old one did. It comes with one less blender blade and one more blender container, but otherwise looks very much like it’s predecessor.

Though not a big fan of electric small appliances, this one certainly gets nearly daily use.

And today was soap making day for us, and to have a few bars available at the Christmas Bazaar at the museum in early December. A couple of batches were made and are curing. It is a messy proposition that even after cleaning up requires an additional day for the pot and tools to finish saponifying before they can be cleaned tomorrow.

With daughter available to check in on hubby, I was able to attend a Fall Festival at a local State Park on Saturday to be the demonstration spinner in Colonial Costume and sell some of my wares, the next to last event before the cottage business shuts down in December.

The day was gorgeous, a couple of hats, some fingerless mitts, and a skein of yarn were sold along with a few body care products. November’s spindle challenge is using some of the yarns that have been spun and a couple of hats and more fingerless mitts will be knit from some yarn that has been previously spun and made available at the Christmas Bazaar.

Another routine week ahead with two trips to “the city” for appointments. Today is rainy and no walk was done, but time to clean up from the weekend and make the soap that I have been putting off for a couple of weeks.

OLIO – Oct. 8, 2022

Olio: a miscellaneous collection

We made it another week. Yesterday was the cardiology team member meeting, who has referred us to an at risk cardiology specialist and we await that appointment. This upcoming week is a return to the Urology team for update and discussion on how to move forward. Appetite is improving and daily walks, albeit much more slowly than a month ago and not nearly as long, but up to a couple of miles per day are happening. The walks wear him out, but stamina and muscle mass take time to rebuild. We strive to enjoy every minute we have together, never knowing if it will be 15 minutes more or 10 years more. Hug those you love, express to them your love for them. Don’t take life for granted.

The berry box was mulched with another 4 bags of Cypress mulch over the cardboard. Hopefully that will keep the weeds at bay while the ones outside the box are continuously hacked back, hand pulled, and removed from the garden. Tonight there is a freeze warning in place, probably signalling the end of the season for the vegetable garden and most of the flowers. Some poppy seeds and milkweed seeds will be sown for spring germination in the flower garden. The bed that hours and hours were spent pulling grass and weeds is sprouted back up. Since more soil is needed in that bed, seeds won’t be sown there this fall for the spring, but rather in flower barrels. Perhaps that bed will eventually just be very heavily mulched and the perennials and spring sown seed just placed around the bed on the mulch in barrels and large pots. It would certainly be easier to care for it, but the grass in there needs to be gone first.

Because one of the vending events that I thought I would participate in this fall didn’t happen and a second one is occurring as I write this, that I wasn’t comfortable attending yet, there is only one more event to try to sell off the remaining Cabin Crafted goods. Forty bars of soap went home with Son 1 last weekend for him to use as gifts, some soap is saved for a local friend that always gets her soap from me. Because the CabinCraftedShop.com is gone, remaining goods are being relabelled without the shop name. I wonder if I should maintain the domain name so that the blog doesn’t have to have a name change. As long as I own the domain name, it should be good. There are a couple of braids of wool that should be spun before the Christmas event to place in the sale basket of yarn.

The end of the month is scheduled to be busy as a living history spinner and as a “Spirit” at Wilderness Road Regional Museum and at a heritage event at Claytor Lake State Park. Each of these events are just a few hours each. My wheel will be dusted off and brought out to play as only spindles have been used for the past couple of years. At the Museum, I can generally borrow one of the spindle wheels and not have to carry my wheel with me.

The past month has really made me re-evaluate what is important to me and has resulted in some major destashing 0f goods for sale and donation. It has made me realize that we don’t need “stuff,” we need people. I am ever so grateful to my children for their support, for my friends who have reached out offering emotional and physical support.

To end on a more positive note, we noticed a few days ago, that the bronze frog that is one of the 16 Frogs of Blacksburg has been replaced with a new one. We were angry and upset when the one on the Huckleberry Trail was stolen after a Virginia Tech Football game a couple of years ago and never found. It was amazing that it could be taken as it was on a concrete pier about 8-10″ in diameter and a couple of feet long. The new one is on a slab. Hopefully it will remain there for walkers to enjoy.

Olio 7/22/2022

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things

There hasn’t been an olio post in a while, but events and photos have been gathering so let’s throw them together here.

I don’t use family names in my blog, but those of you who actually know me will identify this one. Son 1 has been working very hard to complete his PhD, and yesterday he successfully defended his dissertation. His defense was able to be watched via Zoom and hubby did watch it and shouted out when the congratulatory announcement was made. We are so very proud of his achievement that he has worked so hard to earn while also teaching and being the Director of Communications of the Honors’ College at the University where he works.

The very hot weather and intermittent evening thunderstorms have produced some delightful sunsets lately. Because the hens need to be secured each night, many of these sunsets have been appreciated and a few photographed by me. Here are two of the better ones.

The peach tree and berry canes have been providing delicious fresh fruit this week. Most of the berries go into the freezer for breakfast smoothies, but always some enjoyed as they are being picked. The peaches are just coming into their period of ripeness and several have been enjoyed fresh. A batch of some sort of peach jam will soon be made, though most jam making is going to be skipped this year. Last year’s jams were not a consistency that I liked and most of them ended up in the compost this spring so the jars could be washed for reuse as they sat unopened all winter. Very little jam gets eaten here and with not doing many craft shows, it isn’t getting sold either. I do make a couple of jams that are used as meat sauces, so they will be made in smaller quantities. Perhaps, canned peach halves or slices will join the shelves this year. They aren’t freestone peaches, so getting clean halves or slices is more difficult, but doable. Next up will be the apples and Asian pears. The deer have eaten all the lower apples and leaves and there seem to be fewer Asian pears this year, but enough for some fresh eating and some Pear Marmalade. And the deer have denuded the grape vine leaves that aren’t netted, the chickens having eaten all the grapes except one cluster they can’t reach. Before next year, a means to keep them out from under the vines needs to be formed. If it was downhill from the garden, the fencing could be expanded to protect it, but it is uphill and the chicken coop is in the way. Perhaps training the vines up a taller trellis so the hens can’t reach the hanging fruit. The deer are so bold they come right up to the house, into the walled garden and graze the flowering plants in pots and half barrels down. Just as I thought there would be flowers on some seed sown late spring, the plants are nipped off. Netted tomato cages can prevent that but it is so unsightly.

The bees need tending. They have been neglected for the past couple of weeks while I healed from the Bald Faced Hornet attack that hubby and I suffered on the back deck. That giant nest is now dead and removed and the deck is again useable, the swelling in my hand and arm and the itching have subsided from the 5 stings I received, so the bees need tending. It is just too hot to go out midday when they are foraging, wearing the bee protective clothing and they are all in the hives late in the day and early in the morning, but with two weeks of extreme temperatures ahead, it will have to be done anyway, one hive at a time so outside exposure is limited.

Some of the fall planted seed is up in the garden, though I still don’t see pumpkin seedling. More careful tending of the weeds is in order so it doesn’t require so much effort later.

The mower still sits without diagnosing whether the belt broke or jumped the pulley’s. With it so hot, the grass won’t sprout up as fast, so there may be a couple weeks before it becomes an issue, but it should be addressed and remedied before it is needed.

The spindle group scavenger hunt this month has been a fun diversion and has kept my spindles busy and the knitted tribute hat is coming along nicely too, a few rows at a time, which is all the arthritis in my hands allows. Spinning doesn’t bother them, but knitting does. Maybe I should return to crochet and see if that is painful. My fiber arts began with crochet, about 60 years ago. Crochet was lost to smocking, to counted cross stitch and crewel, to knitting, then spinning and a little weaving. Weaving doesn’t bother the arthritis, but warping the loom is stressful, so not as much weaving is done as it should be.

The randomness of the Olio posts is fun at times. I hope you enjoy them as well.