More Olio – July 28, 2020

Years go by faster as we age, but this year has flown by, locked in and frustrated that simple measures that would have slowed, possibly contained the virus are not being heeded by many. Frustrated that basic simple procedures are being pushed back on as “violations of my rights,” a false claim, when they don’t think twice about heeding the “No shirt, no shoes, no service” messages, or the wearing a seat belt when driving or helmet when riding a motorcycle laws.

It is so hot and humid that outdoor activities are not inviting. The pick your own berry patches are either not opening or hours are so limited that instead of spreading out the crowds, it concentrates them. The garden is supplying us with good nourishment, but the items that require my attention in the kitchen for more than a few minutes are still maturing, so there has been only one canning session. Cucumbers, other than the first batch, are being fermented or quick brined. A half gallon jar of dill wedges were started in a refrigerator quick brine a few days ago.

Mornings are still mostly pleasant enough to enjoy my breakfast and coffee on one of the porches. This morning it was the front covered porch where I watched the Hummingbirds and spotted the web in this photo, stretched from the spider plant to the porch post.

The hens production is up again finally. All three Olive eggers are laying again, so I’m getting blue, green, and pink eggs from them. One of New Hampshire Reds is laying very small rough shelled eggs. We are back to getting 5 or 6 eggs most days instead of 2 which is nice.

Because we still don’t have a brush hog, there is a section of the yard that has not been mowed all year. It winds through the evergreens that we have planted between the end of the lawn and the barn. When I walk to the mailbox, it is interesting to see the deer paths and deer lays that are in the tall grass.

I finally finished spinning the Sea Glass green fiber that I was spinning during the Tour de Fleece and the mini challenge the following week. It adds 96 more yards that I can include with the nearly 400 yard skein that I spun with it. Now I’m trying to decide which braid to spin beginning in August for that month’s challenge. One choice is BFL/Silk Redbud color, another is an unknown fiber that feels like Merino called Baltic. I ordered an Elderberry colored braid of Shetland and Silk that will be spun at some point. In the meantime, I’m spinning a Merino/Bamboo blend of yellow, blue, and white called Sky Flower.

The mobile vet made her visit and drew blood from the pups to check for heartworm and other parasitics and they both are ok, but the big guy is showing signs of his age. We will try some supplements recommended for his joints and his tummy upset. It is hard watching him slow down, he is such a big lovable gentle giant.

We see many of our friends doing some travels, hopefully safely and socially distancing. Maybe some day we will feel safe enough to do so. Stay safe everyone, wear your masks and lets get through this together.

Olio 7/25/2020

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

This morning as I was taking the feeder out to the wild finches, I realized that the 3 days of thunderstorms encouraged these pretty fringed silver mushrooms in the compost put down in the walled garden. There are dozens of them in clusters. I’m sure as soon as the day heats up, they will all wilt back.

After doing the morning chores, I stood in the dining room to do my 15 minute daily challenge spinning on one of my Jenkins spindles. From there I could watch the House Finches ravage that feeder and the Hummingbirds dancing around their feeder on the opposite side of the house.

The fiber I was spinning was the last of a braid of fiber from Inglenook, it was a beautiful braid of blue, purple, teal, and some white Merino and Silk. It spun like a dream and was one of the fibers I was spinning during the Tour de Fleece and this week during the 15 minute challenge. It took me about 35 minutes to finish the braid.

After spinning it, we decided to go in to the outdoor Farmer’s Market which we have not visited since the pandemic caused all the lock downs. They have it set up with moveable fences to control how many people can enter at a time, directional signage in chalk on the walkways, no touch payment, and if you plan ahead and know exactly what you want, you can order ahead. I was hoping for some sausage, cultured butter, cheese, and veggies I don’t grow. When we got there, the line wrapped around two side on the outer sidewalk and people though masked were standing close enough to put their hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them in line. Many kids running around in the grass in the middle not masked though there is a mandate to wear a mask within the fenced area. I was unwilling to stand in the line, so we left and went to take a walk on the old rail grade. After our walk, we drove back over toward the market and the crowd had thinned down to no line and fewer people within the fence. It was good to see the vendors I have missed. The vendor with the butter and cheese wasn’t there and the only vegetables not sold out that I don’t grow were a couple of cabbages. There was squash, but that isn’t a favorite here, and salad mix which I had just gotten from the same vendor’s supply at the local Natural Foods Store a few days before. I did talk to those vendors and got on their preorder list/info with the suggestion to come during the first hour when they more strictly limit the number of people for the seniors and when supply of items is greater. I will start doing that. I miss that weekly trip.

The hay in the lower field still stands. We are still parking three tractors and four pieces of equipment besides our own tractor. Last evening, after dinner, we went to the village market to get ice cream and saw the farmer that does the hay. He relies on two younger men to help him and last weekend they decided to move all the hay already mowed instead of finishing the mowing, then there was a forecast of 50% chance of rain so they didn’t mow and it didn’t rain. This weekend, one of the younger men is away, but Randy said he might come mow after his shift at the stockyard today. We will see.

I ended up with 342 yards of 21 WPI lace weight yarn weighing in at 69.6 grams (2.45 ounces). I guess it will go in the shop after it is soaked and dried. Lovely soft Merino and Silk.

Busy, mostly away, socially distanced day

When my hearing aid began to bother me last week, I did all the at home troubleshooting that I could. I called the hearing clinic on Thursday as that was a day that the audiologist was in that office before COVID. The assistant suggesting that I bring it in to have it checked out on Monday, the next time the audiologist was in that office. My audiologist is furloughed and the owner/chief audiologist is rotating in the offices. I took it in Monday morning and didn’t hear anything back only to learn that the hours there are short on Monday. Yesterday I got a call back that the Doctor couldn’t “hear” anything wrong with it and I should come in to see if it was wax in my ears, so an appointment was made for today at a different location (actually closer to home). We went in to town earlier than the 2:30 appointment, did drive through lunch and took a 2.3 mile very brisk walk on the old rail grade trail. A few times, we had to mask due to the volume of people in the area, but it was a good walk. Masked and over to the audiologist’s office, my ears are fine, my hearing aid needs a new amplifier and they didn’t have one in stock. I have it back until the part comes in and they will get it repaired.

The last week or so, I have been knitting the last of the yarn spun from fiber from the estate of a friend. The yarn was all spun on spindles.

The pattern is Close to You, and is now blocked and drying.

The morning started with a tiny bird flying into the garage and right into the lift door window. Poor little thing knocked itself silly, but I set it in a planter and it flew away later.

Still no corn, tomorrow is day 7 and hopefully, I will see it emerge soon.