The Hermit

As an introvert, quiet appeals to me. Sitting silently in the mornings before the activity of the day is a good way to reset before the chaos and noise of the daily events begin. My hubby and children, I think, fear that if I am ever alone in life that I will become that hermit. As a result, they encourage me to participate in activities with folks that share my crafts. It is easy with the two ladies that live in the same village and we try to get together at one of our homes each week. Those sessions are relatively quiet, chatting, quietly spinning or knitting, but each of us comfortable enough with silence to not feel the need to fill it with talk.

Noisy environments have always been uncomfortable to me and now that I wear two hearing aids, even more so. Maybe it was more comfortable not being able to hear it as well, though most conversation was missed. This is where forcing myself to become part of the event is more of a challenge. I will commit to attending the larger spinning weekly group, stating to hubby that I am going, then finding any excuse to not attend, though I made it today and there were only a few of us present. There are a couple of retreats that occur each year, and at one, I know most of the participants and feel more comfortable attending. The other, I have backed away from as many of the folks I knew for various reasons are no longer there. It is difficult for me to try to fit in then even though we are all doing the same sorts of fiber crafts.

Son1 and daughter, helped me get set up to Zoom with an online group of crafts folk, but I find that type of interaction very stressful and our internet is not the best, so keeping a picture and sound varies, making it more stressful. I am thankful that by the time Covid sent the world in that direction that I was already retired.

The hermit tendencies are ideal for garden work. Outdoors with only the sun, wind, and bird sounds as company. Sometimes, help would be nice, but given enough time, it gets done. It is almost time to put the tomatoes and peppers out instead of moving them out and back in the house daily. And the beans can be planted. That may happen today. Yesterday after spinning with the small group in town, the beds that had previously been prepared or planted were given a light scuffle with the hoe. The first radish and a handful of asparagus brought in.

For those who read the previous post, the missing Marans never returned, so the raccoon episode resulted in the loss of two hens, one killed and one missing, probably caught by another predator while out hiding. That leaves a small flock of 7. Day before yesterday, they were too traumatized to lay, but yesterday provided 6. We may be okay with just the remaining flock, but there are no extras to share with friends anymore.

The nice weather, though very windy this week has allowed a profusion of Iris blooms. My bouquet from the Farmer’s Market last week was looking sad, so the remaining blooms from it were added to a bouquet of Iris from the beds around the house. They are a favorite spring flower with their sunny colors and repeat blooms.

So the hermit of the mountain lives on, not writing as much as some years, wondering if the garden will overwhelm this year with trying to keep it thriving, and with preserving it’s bounty for the cold months that follow. She will get out again with friends to spin, even attending an annual social/potluck on the porch of one of the members of the spinning group. As I age, the hermit tendencies grow and it requires more effort to be social, but I am working at it.

Sometime this month, the new bees will arrive and again, an effort to keep a couple of hives alive for the year. The son that initiated this project is having better luck.

I Let It Go

A half dozen years or so ago, my yarn making, knitting, soap and salve making grew beyond what the family could use and a small cottage business was born. Etsy was tried and abandoned due to the fees and rising postage cost, a website store initiated with the help of Square. It was fairly easy to manage, but generated very little in sales. A few in person events were done each year and some product made, booth fees paid, but still, barely breaking even each year.

The tax ramifications, hassle with the income tax, the personal property tax, and state sales tax caused stress every year.

Then COVID struck and in person events ceased for two years. Though there were a few this year, even with low or no entry fees, it just got to the point where it wasn’t fun anymore.

First the webstore was taken down, the last couple of in person events done with minimal sales, and the decision to just let it go. Some yarn was gifted, a shawl traded for some hand woven kitchen towels to be used as gifts, some knitwear gifted, and body products donated to the museum where my goods are sold in their gift shop. This leaves a few skeins of yarn for me to knit, soap that will be used in the household, and a few more knit items that need a new home. This week, the tax certificate was mailed back to the State with a letter notifying them that Cabin Crafted Shop is no longer in business at this location or any other. I have kept the domain name, just in case I change my mind at some point, but for now, I have let it go. The decision is bittersweet. Some of the events I used to enjoy became too expensive for my little business, some just not busy enough to make them worthwhile.

I will continue dressing in Colonial clothing and spinning at events as requested, but only for the pleasure of educating others.

Seasonal change

Halloween is done, jack-0-lanterns and ghosts packed away til next year. The wreath on the door was a grapevine wreath with fall ribbon and ceramic turkey and pumpkins shapes so it stayed up until yesterday. Our friends, the wonderful flower growers that come to the Farmer’s Market, Stonecrop Farms moves on from fresh flowers to dried flowers and wreaths this time of year. Hubby suggested that since I had expressed an interest in purchasing one, that I pick out one for my birthday still more than a week away. When we got to the market, there were still several to choose from and though I was attracted to two, decided this one called me the loudest.

It is beautifully full with fresh greens and bright dried flowers. As soon as it arrived home, the skimpy grapevine one was packed away and this beauty hung to grace the door until it fades and the Christmas one is pulled out for a few weeks.

Yesterday was above normal fall weather, following the extreme rain from the late hurricane remnants on Friday, and this morning we awoke to below freezing temperatures, light snow falling, but only accumulating in crevices on the coop, deck, and corners.

It continued with light snow showers throughout most of the day. We managed our walk in spite of the freezing temperatures, wind, and snow showers.

While we were out, a birthday card was needed as one had been missed earlier in the week. It’s purchase, caused me a head shaking pause. The clerk rang it up, told me the total. I handed her cash, she messed with the register, paused and said, “I owe you (long pause)…” I responded, 95 cents, having quickly done the subtraction in my head. She counted out the change and as I was walking out, she called out to me and said, I owe you more money. No, I responded, the purchase was x, I gave you y, the change was 95 cents which you gave me. “But the receipt says z” she says. No, you gave me the correct change, you rang it in wrong, your register is right, my change is correct. She looks confused and heads toward the manage stocking shelves in the back. Poor girl can’t even make change. I fear for her future in that job.

After arriving home, some dried Amaranth and Eucalyptus that I had purchased fresh many weeks ago from Stonecrop and hung to dry with the idea of making a couple of decorations to sell at the last Christmas Bazaar, the last hurrah for the cottage business, was pulled out. The two tobacco baskets that had been display pieces for yarn and hats at events were decorated with the dried plants and dried Baptisia seed pods from my shrub were bunched and tied with Christmas plaid ribbons and floral wire hangers on the back. Hopefully they will sell and grace someone’s home for the holidays.

At the conclusion of that event, all of my display pieces that can’t be repurposed here will be gone. Hopefully, the stock of hats, mitts, mittens, scarves, soap, salves, and lip balm will be reduced to only what can be used as gifts or for personal use. It will be bittersweet to end CabinCraftedshop, but also a relief to not have to deal with the website, taxes, and deadlines.