Lost events

This weekend marks another lost event and another event at which I will be represented by some of my crafts, but not my person. For several years, we have gone north to the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, spent the weekend at a hotel with lots of social time with Son 1 and his family. Together, we all go to the Shenandoah Fiber Festival, visit a couple of vendor friend, see all the wooly and furry critters, and always leave with goodies. Yarn to knit first birthday sweater’s for a granddaughter that turns 4 this year, a spindle one year, fiber always.

That yarn became the sweater below for granddaughter.

Last year I was in the area to help Son 1’s family move into their house and we didn’t go to the festival as there were too many other things on the agenda that weekend.

This year it is virtual. There is no festival to attend. I have trouble buying fiber or yarn without seeing and feeling it, I don’t need any more spindles or wheels. I will miss the trip, but understand the safety of not holding it during the pandemic.

The second event is at the Museum where I do living history. They are having a fall festival with reservation only tours of 6 per half hour and 6 allowed to wander the outbuildings and grounds per half hour, but I am still not comfortable staying in a closed area other than my home for any length of time and wearing a mask in costume wouldn’t work, so my crafts are there on an honor system sale, but I’m not. I am hopeful that everyone will be honest and if anything takes a walk without payment, that it is really needed and will be loved.

We daily check the department of health’s website and see that the number of cases in our rural county have jumped more than 10 fold in about a month. For a very long time, there were only 7 or 8 cases here, then the students came back to the Universities in the area, the public school kids returned to a modified face to face school week, and we now have 88 cases and more reported each day (about 15 of them are public school students and/or staff). That doesn’t sound like a lot, but this is a small rural county with a handful of small towns and villages and no cities. This is also a mask resistant county, so we only go out when necessary and generally go to the next county to a larger town with more mask compliance, where we can get curbside delivery of groceries.

Today our adventure is to go get our curbside grocery delivery in pouring rain from Beta. I watched the pups this morning go quickly into the rain in belly deep grass to do what pups do first thing in the morning. Last evening, I called and the mowers are ready, but they have to be closed today (not that I want to load mowers in the rain), so we will go over in the morning before they close at noon. The weekend is predicted to be drier, so maybe set on the highest setting, I can reduce the height of the yard growth. We keep putting off going to get the brush hog because we will either have to pay for delivery or I will have to drive the tractor down the mountain road, about a mile down the highway edge, then return trip after we attach it to the tractor. I really should do that and have them change the oil and transmission fluid while they have it, that is a job I haven’t learned to do and have no interest in getting on the ground under the tractor to learn.

Until the deluge slows to a trickle, the chooks will stay in their coop with food and water. I will have to toss down hay in the run when I can get out there just to keep from sliding down the hill and to help keep them from taking mud baths. Chickens are stupid. I am toying with the idea of repairing the chicken tractor, removing it from the collapsed log raft and setting it on 4 blocks so the chickens can use it as a safe shelter when free ranging. It would give them a place to go if a dog or hawk threaten. There is no floor in it as the log raft was the floor, so they could get up into the perches or dust bathe under it.

The trees are beginning to color, we are seeing the yellowing of some and reds of some of the “trash” trees. I’m not ready for the woods to be bare yet.

Spin, knit, cook, read, walk, and vote

The bulk of my time with the garden in Autumn decline is to spin on my spindles.

Knit on a project I can’t share yet, as it is a gift.

Cook at home. When you want Lasagna and it makes way too much for two, get creative. If Stouffers can do it, so can I.

One for the oven, three for the freezer to be enjoyed on other nights. Made with local cheese, my pasta sauce.

Re-reading for about the 10th time my favorite book that recenters me each time I read it and reinforces my belief in buy local, eat local, grow it yourself if you can.

Take walks at the pond, there is always something new to see. The wildfowl have been absent for the summer, but there was a pair of ducks, an 18″ long garter snake, the usual plethora of turtles, and lovely light play in the woods.

One of these causes seasonal allergies, one does not, do you know which?

We had decided to vote absentee ballot this year due to the pandemic, but today when they came, we drove them straight to the county seat unopened and voted early in person.

No crowd, no line, two masked workers behind a shield wall, so safe and no chance that our ballot would be dismissed for whatever reason. Then we got home to find an article from Forbes on how the Trump Campaign is actively considering how to bypass the results if he doesn’t win. What happened to free and fair elections in this country? What will happen to this country?

Another Glorious Day

It is clear and crisp, cool enough for a light wool in the mornings and evenings, and a light long sleeved shirt when working outdoors during the day. This is my favorite time of the year, after it cools off, but before it gets cold.

The Asian Pear Marmalade was made yesterday afternoon. It took forever to cook to jam consistency, but it is thick and a beautiful golden color. The 3 pounds of pears and an orange, filled 4 half pints plus a quarter pint jar with just enough left over to enjoy warm on a biscuit remaining from Friday night’s dinner.

Last week, I began a ferment of some of the small Eggplants that I had gotten at the Farmer’s Market. It has been sitting on the back of the counter all week with the ferment weight and ferment lid, all covered with a small towel. I hadn’t even peeked at it all week and decided to check it this morning. What a gorgeous color it turned and the ferment is so good. I have to thank a local friend for introducing me to fermented eggplant many years ago, and a distant online friend for reminding me of it now that I ferment so many good foods. I bought zesty salad mix and radishes at the Farmer’s market yesterday and a block of goat milk Feta cheese last week. I think a salad with those items and some of the eggplant and a tomato if I can find a ripe one will be a nice addition to dinner tonight.

As soon as the morning sun and wind dry the garden leaves, I will pick beans and any other produce ready to come in for the freezer. Soon, the remaining beans will be left to mature and dry to save for planting next year. I have planted this variety for a couple of years and they perform very well here. Last year I didn’t save the seed and had to purchase seed, but bean seed is so easy to save. When the peas start producing, I will harvest to enjoy and also let them mature and dry for saving. Some packages of seed I use have so many seed in them that the package will last two or three years, and some seed is so tiny and difficult to save, I just purchase when I need more. I suspect I will have volunteer tomatillo all over the place next year and have in the past, dug them and relocated them where I wanted them to grow.

Since my newest spindle arrived during the week, I have been spinning mostly on it to get used to it’s size and weight and because when it spins, the wood grain of the figured Bigleaf Maple makes the most interesting concentric circles, very mesmerizing. This is the second turtle of fiber on it. It would hold a lot, but I am trying to keep the colors of the braid consistent enough that the plied yarn will be similar to the first half of the braid that I finished last month.