Saturday Morning Routines

The big pup has been reluctant of late to do the stairs. He is almost 9 years old and over 200 pounds with weak or painful back hips or knees. Once in a while, his urge to be with us overcomes his reluctance and he comes up after I’m in bed, sits with hubby, then comes to our room to the doggie bed pads. Yesterday he was very hesitant to come down in the morning, whining and putting his front feet on the top step, then backing up and whining more. When he did finally work up the courage to come down the steps, he stumbled some but caught himself. I figured he wouldn’t come up last night, but he did and this morning, as I was getting ready for the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market run, dressed, called the pups and headed down the steps. The German Shepherd came right down, was leashed and taken out as the hunters had arrived only minutes before and I didn’t want her chasing down the field or exploring around their car. The big guy stood at the top of the stairs and whined. I cooked their egg, filled their bowls with kibble and his meds, topped with half a scrambled egg each and tried to urge him down with that. No go! I put the leash on him hoping he would come down with me, but he tugged back instead. I feared we had a major problem on our hands, two senior citizens with a 200 plus pound dog upstairs that needed to come down stairs. Hubby dressed and got in the act without much luck. We were about to just leave him upstairs and go on to the market, hoping he would come down on his own while we were gone, when he finally came down. He was taken out on his leash and both pups fed.

It was right at freezing when we left for town, the car windows had to be scraped. Because we were still in the first hour, the market wasn’t crowded in the frigid morning air, the guest CSA bag of veggies picked up (I really need to take a large bag with handles as it is in a large plastic bag with no handles and is heavy), turnips and red onions from another vendor, some beef, some pork, and lots of Chevre as this is the last week for it from them and from the local dairy that serves the Natural Foods Store. From market to breakfast to the Natural Foods store for more Chevre (it freezes great), hard extra sharp cheese, sweet potatoes, and a few other supplies, then on to the grocer. I don’t like going in the grocer with the number of Covid cases in the area, but I also don’t like the curbside store shopper picking certain items, so a quick run through there supplied us with some non perishables and a small turkey. Even though it will just be the two of us, I am going to make a real Thanksgiving meal for us and as cases are rising, I may not want to go in the grocer in a few weeks, so I got what I needed now and stashed everything aside once home.

The garden took a hit as expected last night. The peas were uncovered this morning after we returned from shopping and they did fine. The ground cherries are done in, the marigolds are burned. The peas will be covered every night now and uncovered during the day as we harvest fresh peas for a while. I am hoping to have fresh peas for Thanksgiving dinner.

The mountains look stark, the wind ripped the last of the leaves from the trees, so the drive from town has no color, just the bare skeletons of winter already. The hunters were gone when we got back. They apparently took a shot at a huge buck but missed. They left to get food and mourn their missed shot.

For now, I need to go process the basket of hot green peppers bought in yesterday. Some are going to be pickled. some dried as thin slices.

Last night I finished the sleeves on grand daughter’s sweater and knit them on to the body. I see an end in sight.

Pre Freeze Salvage

Yesterday was in the 70’s and pouring rain from Zeta going just south of us. In the afternoon it partially cleared with some sun peeking out, a gorgeous nearly full moon last night until just after 9 p.m., then the wind kicked up and it poured again as the front moved through to drop the temperature into the mid 40’s where it is staying under thick cloudy skies today. Tonight it is going down to around 30 f. The peas have pods and they can take that cold if it isn’t too windy. The peppers and ground cherries won’t, even covered. After a run out to grab drive thru lunch and go to pick up my sewing machine that was kindly repaired by a friend’s Mother-in-law, a former “Home Ec” teacher, I pulled up my hood on my wool, grabbed a basket, clippers, and sheets of plastic and headed to the garden.

The fig was covered again, the figs still aren’t ripe and may not ever ripen, but I’m going to keep hoping. The peas were covered to protect them from the wind tonight. The pepper plants stripped of all the ripe Thai’s, all of the Serranos and the Jalapenos. The still green Thai’s were cut in branches and all brought in. I am a popsicle, though I need to go do a better cover job on the peas.

The basket was sorted, the ripe Thai peppers will be strung, the ripe Serranos were strung, the Jalapenos and still small green Serranos will be pickled, maybe a few chopped and frozen for winter use.

The green Thai peppers still on the branches were strung across a rod and hung over two hooks in the windows on the north side of the utility room to ripen or dry green. As they ripen, I will pull them and string them. The red Thai peppers become the crushed red peppers and used whole in stir fry, ground to make chili powder as a substitute for cayenne. As there will be 8 or 9 strings of them, Son 1’s family will get a couple for their use. They had a new garden this year, but somehow ended up with mild Jalapenos, mild Habeneros, and very hot Ghost Peppers, so some hot peppers will be welcome in their household.

This morning, I emptied my 4th spindle onto the bobbin of singles and chain plied the yarn on the bobbin. I haven’t measured it out yet, but it is 7 WPI so Aran or Bulky weight, a good weight for a Monmouth style hat. And while my spindles were idle, I decided on November’s spinning challenge fiber.

The two Aegeans, the larger two will be used to spin the “Apple Picking” braid of Merino/Baby Camel/Mulberry Silk. The Honduran Rosewood Finch will work on the Alpaca/Coopworth fiber that is white and burgundy and I want to learn to ply on the fly with it. The Olive wood Finch will continue on the rare breed mixed Jacob. I want to end up with enough of it to make a Monmouth hat and a pair of fingerless gloves. I had decided that those 4 spindles were enough to keep me busy when the Jenkins group posted a pop-up lottery of 11 Masur Birch spindles and two of them are Aegeans in the weight I like, so needless to say, I put my name in for the two I would like a chance to purchase. The drawing will be Monday. If I get lucky, I will have to decide if I want to keep all three or let one go, that is going to be a difficult decision because I love the two I have.

In the meantime, I will knit on grand daughter’s sweater. The sleeves need another inch plus then knitted on to the body and continue on up to the neck and the hood. When it is done, the Christmas stocking for Son 2’s youngest born January 5 needs to be made. Each grand gets a Grandmom made stocking for their first Christmas.

Who needed electricity?

The leather drive band for the old treadle sewing machine arrived today and since it is gray and drizzly out, I fought with cutting it shorter and putting in the staple that holds it in place. I think it is still a bit too long, but it was adequate to tackle the last three masks for hubby. Because the belt was a little loose, it caused more work on my part, but there are three completed masks.

I would love to know the age of this machine. The machine is a Minnesota brand from Sears, Roebuck Co. The wooden cabinet has the Sears tag in it. I have tried in the past to figure the age based on the Model number. I can identify that is was manufactured by the Davis Company in Dayton, Ohio in the early 1900’s, as a catalog sale for about $18, but that is as close as I have been able to get. It works beautifully when the band is tight enough and it is clean and oiled. There is a box of attachments in the cabinet drawer, but as the needle hole is a single hole, I don’t know that it can do much more than straight sew.

Somewhere along the way during one of the moves from the house we sold to a rental, to storage, to here, the square knob on the right hand drawer was lost. The veneer on the top isn’t is perfect shape, but the machine works. So it is at least 100 years older than my electric singer that is broken for the 4th time though it gets only light use.

I think I will just keep using my foot power when I need to sew. When not in use, it is a downstairs hall table with a sculpture done by DIL 1 and a small wicker sewing basket that belonged to great grandmother atop.