Most of my friends live far away, but a few have been made through my various fiber arts and two of them are very local to me and women that I have taught to spin, one on spindles and a wheel, the other newer and just on spindles.

The main group of spinner/knitter/weavers that gather in the adjacent town are more casual friends and with Covid and then hubby’s health issues, have been seen only very sporadically. My plan had been to attend the annual holiday social with them last Thursday and the freezing rain/ice storm caused it to be postponed until this week. There is another storm brewing to potentially cancel or postpone it again and family obligations might prevent me from attending anyway. I had planned to take one of the local friends with me last week, the other was away midweek, but neither of them are available this week.

We try to get together as often as possible to spin, knit, chat, and have a cup of tea. Sometimes it is the three of us, usually at our home, sometimes just two of us, but always a pleasure. Because of the week’s foiled plans, we decided to have our own little social yesterday. The house is decorated, I baked another small batch of Ginger Nut cookies and the house was fragrant with the smell of fresh baked ginger. The tea kettle hot when they arrived and we gathered to visit and craft together. Some small gifts exchanged, my first Christmas present, a wax coated Amaryllis bulb almost in bloom. It doesn’t require soil or water, just placed in bright light and allowed to bloom.

Once it has bloomed out, I will remove the wax and treat the bulb in a more traditional manner and hope it will bloom again next year and the year following.

The afternoon was a treat, the two ladies, true friends. The cookies enjoyed. We will gather again when we are all available, likely not until after Christmas, but the anticipation of further gatherings tides me over.

Taking one day at a time.

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.

Rain and Ice

It seems like all we have had for a couple of weeks is gray gloom and rain. One day of sunshine slipped in and the temperatures have stayed just warm enough for it to not be frozen rain or snow, but cold enough to make the daily walk an uncomfortable affair. If it is really raining, not just gray mist, we forgo the exercise, but miss getting out. The walks have necessitated extra layers in the form of long underwear and wool knee socks, but they have even been welcome in the house. Age plays tricks on the internal thermometer and higher power bills discourage turning up the thermostat.

Yesterday morning with the threat of an ice storm, we woke to rain again. Deciding to go on into town for lunch and errands, we passed into freezing rain and ice covered trees on the 12 mile drive. The roads were still fine and VDOT was out to make sure they stayed that way. When we prepared to take our walk in town, because the forecast appeared that the precipitation should stop around lunchtime, it was still coming down hard. When we arrived back home, the ice had moved with us and the mountains across the valley were coated trees.

It did finally end and as we had to meet someone in town near dark to deliver an item, we took a later walk on the Rails to Trails paved path we often use prior to the meet up. The path was wet, not icy, but the trees were dripping and dropping little ice pellets on us.

It was like walking in a wonderland, but cold and damp. Today there is some sun off and on. Taking advantage of the drier day, a layer of hay was spread in the chicken run to make it less treacherous to navigate. The round bale needs to be rolled uphill a bit so I can roll more off and deepen the layer before we are possibly getting our first significant snow next week. It may take the tractor to accomplish that task. And though it is colder than preferred for working outdoors, the coop needs to be cleaned to give them a clean dry layer if they are confined for a day or two. If the sun stays out, that task will be tackled as well.

The sun came and went and came again. We got our walk done, slightly warmer than yesterday, but windy. And the coop got cleaned, but the wood shavings are a tad thin, so another bale will be purchased and another layer added to the coop. The spoiled, shavings full of molted feathers was dumped in a raised bed that needs more soil. A layer of soil will be added over the shavings, the fertilizer will be hot now, but should mellow out by planting time.

It is definitely turning toward real winter and we continue to take it one day at a time.