Tag Archives: winter preparation

Olio – October 8, 2015

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

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The colors of early autumn, reds and golds are beginning to dominate the summer’s green on the mountainsides around us.  It won’t be long before the trees are bare until next spring.  The temperatures this week have been sweater chilly at night and in the early mornings, lots of morning fog, and warm, but not hot during the daytime hours.  I should be using this time to work in the garden, but I haven’t.

The cool mornings have encouraged me to bake with my nearly 4 year old helper.  She doesn’t have preschool on Monday or Thursday, so we made bread on Monday and this morning, one of my favorite recipe hacks, Maple Oat Nut Scones.  They were my favorite scones that Starbucks offered a decade or so back, but then discontinued, at least at all of the locations that I frequented before moving to the mountains and the ones locally.  I rarely go to Starbucks anymore, preferring to brew my own tea and coffee or supporting one of the two local coffee shops instead, but I did discover the recipe on the internet.  It is so similar that it satisfies me when I feel the urge to have one.  This morning was one of those days and we made a batch for breakfast.  She didn’t like the glaze on them, but did like the scone.

The little meatie Velociraptors aren’t so small anymore.  Chickens are stupid animals, but those gals are worse than stupid.  If I throw scrapes or scratch in their pen, they run to my feet instead of to the goodies that were offered.  A couple of days ago, when the layers were lured back into their pen from free ranging, to be able to let the dogs out, one of the Americaunas resisted and took off to the edge of the woods.  I figured she would fly over the fence later, so I just returned to the house.  Just at dark as I was preparing to lock them up for the night, she was sitting on the highest point of the fence, just above the pop door, settled in for the night instead of flying on over the fence and going into the coop.  I reached up to grab her to put her in the coop and she panicked, escaped through the gate I had left open and took off in the dark for the east field.  We looked for her for a little while and decided that she would have to fend for herself that night.  Late in the night, I heard a pack of coyotes too near the house and figured she was gone for good.  Not to be, the next morning, she was waiting at the gate when I went out, but took off again.  The other hens were fed, she spent the day free ranging.  In the afternoon when I rounded up the girls to lock them back in the pen from their free range, the errant hen decided to rejoin her flock.

Today was thoroughly clean the downstairs day.  The living room rug was sprinkled with baking soda and sweet orange oil and left to sit for half an hour before vacuuming.  The hardwood floors were vacuumed and damp mopped. All of the place mats and area rugs washed and hung to dry.  The kitchen counters were cleared and wiped down and all of the wood cabinets and furniture waxed with beeswax and sweet orange oil.  All of these efforts also set me to clearing off other surfaces.  The large market basket that was holding the ears of popcorn, a Burgess Buttercup squash, and piles of dried Pole Beans was on top of the dog kennel for daughter’s dog.  Taking advantage of the beautiful day, I sat on the porch swing and shelled the beans and stripped popcorn off of some of the cobs.  The squash and some of the ears, set out for decoration.  There are more beans in the garden that need to be collected and shelled.

My current knitting project is the Reversing Falls Shawl that I am knitting for a cousin that bought the yarn and pattern, but couldn’t get it knit for her where she lives.  After a few false starts with the pattern and trying to get the right needle size for the gauge, I have done one repeat of the pattern.  Once the evening noise of the household subsided last night, I decided that it really was an easy pattern to knit and with the large needle, it should not take very long to complete.  I don’t think that I will ever support the yarn shop where she bought her supplies, the pattern was a black and white photo copy on blue card stock of a color pattern that requires the color to follow the chart.  This means that both my cousin and the pattern designer were ripped off by this shop.  I did purchase the pattern on line, in color, before I started knitting it and let my cousin know what had happened.  She would like to learn to knit, if we lived closer to each other or had more time together, I would gladly give her lessons.