A Break from Isolation

With a socially distanced, outdoor adventure with daughter and her two youngs, and hubby. She owns two tandem kayaks and wanted to take her kiddos out for a fun afternoon. She asked us earlier in the week if we wanted to join them for a socially distanced outing. My car has the kayak rack that can be easily attached and she had borrowed it to see if it could be adapted to her car, but to do so would have cost her as much as a new rack and she wants to be sure of what to get, so we drove over and wrestled the two monsters up on the racks, tied them down securely and took off for the river. We were in my car, she and her kids in her car, and all 5 with masks for the loading and unloading. The river is still very full and muddy from the heavy rains.


We had a grand time. It has been years since we were out on kayaks, we loaned ours to Son1 as they live near the Shenandoah River and enjoy going out. The local lakes here have too many power boats to feel safe in a kayak and if you do the river, you need two cars for put in and take out and that is too difficult for us as seniors so this was delightful.

As we came out of the river while I waited with kayaks and kids and daughter and hubby went to get the car from the put in point, I found out I had been one of 14 people who won the chance to purchase a new design spindle from my favorite craftsman.

After we arrived home, I treated hubby to his favorite meal of homemade tacos, enchiladas, and guacamole.

Dinner is enjoyed and cleaned up, we have both showered and laundry started, and the spindle email has been sent. I am now awaiting my invoice to pay for it.

Rainy Day Activity

Bertha has been providing us with rain all day long. Another front has stalled over our area and we are looking at 3 or 4 more days of rain on our saturated soil and full creeks. Another flash flood warning is in place. We are high above the creeks and sloped, but flat enough hopefully to not have mud slide activity, though there has been a lot of that including destroying a property and making a home uninhabitable in our tiny village.

With my spindle spinning, I am participating in a spin along using only the Jenkins spindles. Since I had filled them all a couple of days ago, I elected to report my results for the month and wait until June 1 to work with them again. I have a new to me spindle due in the mail tomorrow or Friday and received a gorgeous braid of wool a few days ago that I am anxious to begin spinning. To occupy my time, I have been using my wheel to try to make a bigger dent in the pound of gray Shetland that I have been spinning on spindles for two months. And knitting on the shawl that has been on the needles about that long. The first Shetland bobbin is nearly full and I will fill another before plying. The shawl was finished tonight, soaked and is pinned out to dry. I played a bit of yarn chicken with it and finished with only about a yard left, not enough for another row.

I have enough yarn spun to begin my sweater, but knitting a sweater when the weather is hot is not something I want to begin. With the current pandemic cancelling events daily, knitting more items for my shop seems futile, there won’t be craft shows and holiday markets this year. Most people don’t want to buy knitted or woven garments online without being able to handle them, try them on. I have a knitting request from a family member, but it will need to be superwash wool, which I haven’t purchased yet, and it is another sweater. Maybe I will just work on the Shetland, perhaps even one spindle that I can clear before the first of the month. We are going to be indoors for a couple more days, but I did get a bit of weeding done in the walled garden between rain showers today.

When the rain ends, I plan to make a compost bin to put in one corner of the garden. If I can make it sufficiently large, I will gather the composting material from where I moved the chicken run and use it as a base to finish composting along with kitchen scraps to have it ready to supplement beds as they get harvested and replanted. I really hope to fill the freezer and the canning shelves with homegrown produce for the winter season.

It’s done . . .

. . . now it is just maintenance, harvest, and putting by for another year. After taking down the inner fence and mulching that area, I realize how much space there is that could have more beds. I already planned on putting a 4 by 8 foot box where the three sisters bed it this year, a 4 by 4 foot box where the mint was and where the asparagus is now. Looking at this photo, I could easily put a 2 or 3 by 8 foot box along the near left beside where the peas are this year.

Once upon a time, the raspberries were there but threatened to take over the garden. They are contained in 3 half barrels that are rotting away and no longer have bottoms so the raspberries are starting to escape. Maybe a couple of shallow feed troughs with drain holes buried half way would allow the raspberries to be moved back to that area safely and another 4 by 4 foot box added where the barrels are now. I would love to have 4 galvanized panel long raised beds that run the width of the garden with the southern edge the fruits. The blueberry bed is the southern most bed with the raspberry barrels off the end of it.

The chicken coop was cleaned, some of their fouled bedding put around the comfrey plant. Soon the comfrey will be cut and the leaves put in water to produce excellent fertilizer for the garden. Once cut, they send up a second growth of leaves. The leaves can also be used as mulch around plantings. The large green patch that looks like it has a birdhouse in it is a large patch of comfrey and there is another patch in the breezeway garden. I used pelletized horse bedding in the coop this time, they probably won’t like it for a few days, but it takes a whole bale of pine chips which quickly begin to smell of ammonia. For some reason straw has been hard to come by, but a straw bale will usually last for a couple of cleanings and usually doesn’t smell until it is very dirty.

Mulch did get put around the flowers planted a couple of days ago, but I only needed one bag. The second one will be spread around the Iris once they are thinned.

There is still more cardboard from daughter’s donation and she says there are a few more boxes soon. That will all go in the walled garden that will become the herb and dye garden eventually.

For now we await the next round of rain. It is thick and gloomy outside now, but warm and close. Rain is expected off and on for the next three days. At least I’m not having to water.