Weekend Things – Nov. 16, 2019

November is birthday month in our family (we sneak into early December too). In a month’s time, we celebrate 2 grandchildren, 1 nephew, 1 daughter, 1 daughter-in-law, my stepmom’s and my birthdays. It is mostly card exchange as except for the two grandchildren, all are adults. Grandkids get gifts of some sort depending on age and interest.

If you have followed this blog for a while, you know that I am a spinner, knitter, sometimes crocheter, weaver. Because of this, I am a definite yarn snob. But, sometimes it is necessary to use yarn that I don’t spin for a project. Granddaughter local is one of the birthdays. She is turning 8 and has grown many inches and many pounds since last winter, she needed a new winter coat. Her Mom found a real bargain, a very neutral gray coat that granddaughter loved. To go with her new coat, and because she seems to love her handmade gifts (last year a string backpack for her music lesson items with a colorful binder to hold the music), I decided to make her a knit hat, scarf, and mittens to go with her new coat. Because they will get hard use and need to be washed, I bought a giant Caron Cake of acrylic yarn in shades of purple to make them.

I had finished the mittens, hat, and most of the scarf a week or so ago, but didn’t want to add fringe to the scarf and it didn’t look finished as is, so this afternoon, I crocheted a triangle on each end and added a small tassel, maybe less appealing to their 3 cats if it is left out. A year or so ago, I found the little wooden buttons that say Handmade with love by _____, so I added her pet name for me and sewed one on one end. Her birthday is next Sunday, so after we go to the farm where our turkey has been raised to pick it up, we will have a family celebration for her birthday.

Last night, I finished knitting a pair of fingerless mitts from some Romeldale CVM wool that I spun for the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em challenge. They were given a soak and blocking last night and are currently drying. Here they are before their bath.

They will go in my shop and be taken to the various Holiday markets until they sell. I am toying with sewing a row of small deer antler buttons to the backs of the hands.

Saturday mornings, when I am not at an event, are breakfast out followed by the weekly Farmers Market. Today I was seeking yams for Thanksgiving as I didn’t grow any this year. Also seeking some ground beef to make dinner for daughter and her family tomorrow night, and other than that, I just browse and make decisions on what is available. I was able to get nice turnips, fresh spinach, Daikon radishes, potatoes, breakfast sausage, and Mozarella in addition to the yams and ground beef. As I finished the last of my fermented dilly beans last night, the Daikon radishes were purchased to make kimchi. Once home, they were peeled and diced, sprinkled with salt, sugar, and crushed red pepper and set to weep while I put everything else away and finished the scarf for granddaughter. It is now packed in a jar with a fermenting lid to sit for a few days.

Next weekend begins the holiday markets. There is still one scarf that is about half done that I would like to get finished and blocked, then I will begin a pair of fingerless mitts or glittens for me as I lost one two weekends ago when I did the Harvest Festival at Booker T. Washington National Monument. There is no real hurry on them and I can knit on them while I am vending.

Changes in Plans – Nov. 11, 2019

Sometimes plans change. My audiology appointment was at 8 a.m. and the new hearing aid is definitely a learning curve. My voice is an echo in my head. When I arrived at the office, the reflection of my car in the windows showed I had a headlight out, again. After my appointment in a very quiet office, standing by my car in front of AutoZone was a major assault on my hearing, almost causing me to remove the new aid until I was in a quieter place. I have made it all day without removing it, but have avoided noisy environments.

After lunch, we took advantage of the nice day to take an exercise walk. I could hear people behind me on the trail talking, hear the squirrels rustling in the leaves off the trail, and only bothered where the trail crosses a roadway via a footbridge with the cars below was I assaulted by too much background to continue conversation with hubby.

When we got home and I was going to go work in the garden to finish what I started yesterday, the farmer that hays our fields showed up with his big tractor and 10.5 foot brush hog to finish mowing our fields. I didn’t want to have to deal with the noise or the dust that would be the environment, so I postponed the garden until after the approaching Arctic Blast. We should awaken to light snow in the morning and temperatures falling into the low teens by tomorrow night. It may be next week before I can get out there with a hoe, a stack of old newspaper, more cardboard, and the bale of hay, but it isn’t going to grow now, so it can wait.

Sometimes the best of plans must change. Instead of garden, it has been a knitting, cooking, and reading day after a nice walk.

Another pair of fingerless mitts and a few more inches on the scarf, both for the Holiday Markets.

And You Thought Garden Posts Were Done for the Year – Nov. 10, 2019

The last few nights have been very cold for this time of year. A couple hovering around 20 f but today the day time temperature is above 60 f, the sky clear and very little wind. With one more day similar to this due tomorrow, it seemed like a good time to prep the garden for winter and to get the perennial onions and garlic planted.

The bed that was designated for it is a 4′ x 4′ raised bed that had sunflowers and cucumbers in it this past summer. It was cleared of stalks and a few weeds. Each time I put straw or woodchips in the chicken run, they scratch them into wonderful compost mixed with their droppings and some of it gets kicked out the low end of the pen. I was able to gather a full wheelbarrow full of this rich compost to add to the bed.

The alliums were planted, a thick layer of hay spread over the top and mesh fencing laid over the top to hold the hay in place in the wind and to keep the chickens from digging that bed up when I let them scratch in the garden during the winter.

While I was in the garden, I pulled the Creeping Charlie from the Blueberry bed, removed the deteriorated tarp from over the mint bed, grabbed armloads of mint, dead pepper plants, and weeds to throw to the chickens. Cardboard was placed over the mint bed. I am going to add another layer to it when I can get some, place heavy rocks to hold it down and put hay over it too. Maybe I can regain control of that bed.

Each morning, I go to the coop to let the hens out. They get free range time for several hours until the dogs need to go out again. Once I release them from the coop, I look in to see the cleanliness of the coop, to check to see if their water is frozen, and make sure their 5 gallon feeder still has feed. They have been only providing 1 or 2 eggs each day now for a couple of weeks, or so I thought. When I looked in the coop this morning, I saw an egg in the back corner opposite the nesting boxes so I climbed up in the coop to get it. Tucked in a neat nest there were 11 eggs. Sneaky birds. And I actually bought eggs yesterday at the Farmers Market.

Having an extra dozen around with Thanksgiving coming is a good thing. Eldest son and family will be here for a couple of days so breakfast will be needed for 4, hubby doesn’t usually get up for it. Pumpkins pies will need to be made, so more eggs will be used than the usual amount. I cook an egg for the dogs each morning and sometimes one for me for breakfast or dinner. Now that I know they are being sneaky, I checked the coop while out in the garden and sure enough, there were two more in that corner, plus one in the nesting boxes. I guess I am going to have to check daily.

If tomorrow proves to be another good day as forcast, after I go for my hearing aid fitting tomorrow morning, I will weed a couple more beds, cut back the asparagus tops and get hay on that bed as well. It is fenced off so the hens can’t get in it. Then the hens will be given time in the garden to scratch for bugs and seeds to help keep the weeds down in the spring. I still want to get help to redo the fencing and posts, but the garden is getting bedded down for winter.