Thursday, October 30, 2003

to kraut or not to kraut

Thanks to the generosity of my good neighbor and friend and gardener extrodinaire, I found myself with a counter full of fresh picked cabbages! (There were potatoes to go with it too!) Now I had a I or do I not turn them into sauerkraut? I knew that I had trouble, as I have not replaced my old crock that has a crack in it. I tried messing around with lining it with plastic...but had visions of gallons of sauerkraut and broken pottery pieces on my kitchen floor. I opted out, and packed them in zip lock bags. We will eat fresh cabbage every Wed. for weeks to come! The river is running high and fast. It looks beautiful and sparkling against the blue skies we had today. It sounds so nice to fall asleep to these days. I am almost finished with my October Triloom Weaving.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

garden chores

With heavy rains expected tonight and tomorrow, today seemed like as good a day as any to get some garden chores accomplished. The garlic is in (that was easy)...and then I turned my hand to heavier work. Hubby helped me get the bonfire going, and we heaped up big piles of weed and spent morning glory vines on top of it. I cleared the tomato beds, and the bean beds, I lifted the cornstalk roots and raked up what was left of the peppers. Then I planted the winter rye. There are still a few more beds that will need doing. We are still harvesting broccoli and kale and cabbage, but the hard freeze will come eventually. The chickens really enjoyed the Quinoa...I was disappointed in it. As the sun started to set (all to early today), I raked around the outside garden path where the chickens had been kicking up the bark chips. I saw a beautiful walking stick...the biggest I have ever seen. It was on the fence post. It must have measured at least 9 inches! It was a grey brown color. A lady bug was walking all around it, but it did not move. I thought about catching it and bringing it indoors to show everyone, but was to busy. While I was researching it online, I was glad that I chose to let it be. Come to find out they can give you a defense spray that can cause temporary blindness!! WoW!

Friday, October 24, 2003

bear raid

Early one morning this past week, I peeked outside at dawn only to discover that the bear had been here. My Octoberfest Decorations had been torn down and thrown all over the place! My cornstalk had been ripped apart, my pumpkins tossed around. If I did not know better, I would have thought the neighborhood kids were up to mischief night pranks! At the dawns early light, I ventured out to see what else had been rifled through. My rabbits and chickens were all still tucked in tight, but the trash cans had been raided, and the trash was carried up the hillside and into the woods. I put on my work gloves, and followed the trail with my plastic glad bag in tow. The footprints of the bear are large and deep. Suddenly, I don't feel so safe. The thought occurs to me that perhaps the bear is watching me from afar, and I am picking up "his food". I decide to leave this chore for mid-afternoon when the bear might be "sleeping it off". He/ or she is not a dummy. The bear raid was just another sign of the changing seasons. The very next night our temps dropped to 26 degrees and the very next day we had our first snowfall of the season.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

harvesting wool

I managed to get many fibery tasks completed over the weekend, one of which was harvesting the wool off the back of my gray doe. She was very tolerant of the plucking, and I think she is getting used to the schedule. I should have started a few weeks ago when I noticed the hair starting to shed and blow around the hutch. I worked with her for almost 2 hours and got a large basket full of top grade angora. After 2 hours we had both reached our limit (although she still has more wool to be pulled), so I returned her to the hutch with a reward and sat myself in front of the wheel to promptly spin what I had just taken off my bun. I spun it as fine as I could- about 22wpi-(needs improvement) and filled approximately 1/2 of my smaller bobbins. I will be able to harvest more wool this week and possible next and I hope to have enough to ply. She has so much wool around her neck ( I believe they call this area the dewlap?), however, she does not like it when I try to remove it, hence, I don't do the dewlap. She has wool that is a grey color that is so soft that it looks exactly like the fog that sits on top of the river each morning. It really is so beautiful.

Friday, October 17, 2003

foiled fall foliage

I have tried to jazz up this blog with some beautiful pictures of the riverrim, however, the powers that be have seen to it that I cannot. The leaf peepers have been coming in droves. The train is full of them, providing two trips per day. Due to the heavy winds we had, most of the color we had is currently on the forest floor! Time to don the rake!

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

chicken alarm

On Sunday, we were working on the Pontiac Safari in the driveway, when suddenly, I saw several chickens run by. They were really hauling a--! A second later Mark yelled to me to look up the road. There was a black bear (approx. 350-400lbs)coming our way. We hollered at him (her) to get lost and he turned up mountain and waddled into the woods. Never underestimate the brain of a chicken. When you see one hauling a--, there is a good reason for it! PS....The Pontiac Safari had the break line replaced and is now back on the road...this weekend...we shall attempt the radiator.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

raven moon

Enquiring minds want to know, "What is the name of this months full moon?" So far, I have heard several different names...making me wonder why there is a discrepancy. I have learned that most names of full moons have their origin in Native American or European folklore-as the naming of astronomical items do, even into pre-history! Take for instance the names of most of the northern constellations. They can be traced back as far as the Greeks! As far as I know, it is impossible to prove the definitive origin of these names, but it is fun to wonder. I prefer the Algonquin Tribe Moon Names,(gee I wonder why) so I will call this months beauty "Raven Moon"

Saturday, October 04, 2003

stocking the river we had a freeze. The temp. on the "how low did it go" thermometer logged in at 28 degrees. There are still a few flowers hanging on for a slow death....mostly marigolds and a few sunflowers. They stocked the river with trout on Friday. This always causes a traffic jam on the towpath. People follow the fish truck around and watch them set the trout free. I remember the days when this was a thrill for me too. Now, I wonder where the fish came from, and the level of PCB'S in them. Guess what? The sales for 2003 fish licenses are WAY down. Could the pcb's have anything to do with that? I for one lost all interest as soon as they posted the consumption warnings. Still, the trout stamps are just a beautiful as they ever were. 2003 STAMP Subject Trout Fishing Artist Christopher Leeper Medium Acrylic 2nd Place Susan Bankey Yoder 3rd Place of 48 Paul Fenwick More about the 2003 contest...

Thursday, October 02, 2003

the ice man cometh

The forecast for tonight is calling for a FREEZE...nothing like a quick death! Just get it over with fast! Drove M home from work today (the pontiac safari is off the road)...came over the mountain because the bridge is still out, and drove right into a snow and sleet squall! We have the stove cranked tonight...and so ends another summer.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Black Walnuts

I was just outside putting the chickens away, and I could see my breath! I glanced skyward and saw a bit of a cloud cover, so tonight will most likely NOT be the night of the frost. In some ways this is good (still have some black-eyed susans to try in the dye pot). The cabbages and broccoli are still coming in, and there are still flowers on the green peppers. But the frost will come, and then the big garden cleanup bonfire. The pile is already growing, as I have been "frogging". Frogging is a knitting word that means to tear out (or rip...hence rip it...ribbit..frog, get it?) Anyway, I was ripping out the morning glories (grandpa ott's) that grew on the fence. They were really pretty, but hurricane Isabel blew so hard on them that they took part of the fence down. Good thing it is autumn, we will have some time to mend it. Worked on jarring apples and pears today, also, filled the galvanized tub with black walnuts and water for a dye bath. A squirrel came along and was bobbing for them. He looked so amusing, I let him take a few. Tomorrow I will have to rig up some sort of cover for the tub before he steals them all.
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