Monday, December 31, 2012

synchronize and sync

It is time to synchronize the clocks...a few more hours and they will tick tock into a new year.

The key to this chore IS the KEY.

I started fine tuning the clocks about a week ago. It is a chore getting them all to keep time together. The bottom of the key winds the clocks, and the opposite end is used to set them to a slower or faster pace.

I don't normally run all my clocks all the time. It is a chore to keep them all going. And it can get a little noisy, what with all the tick-tocks, chimes and cuckoo-ing going on...

The cuckoo keeps time and chime with a series of weights. ..and they must be set at least every other day..tick tick tick...

The clock that my mother painted is battery operated, and requires the least attention to keep it on time. However, when the batteries need to be replaced, it is a big production to take it down off the wall and wrestle the old battery out and replace it with a new one without breaking the mechanism. Thankfully, I only need to do that about once a year.

We did not have a White Christmas...but we will have a snowy New Year. It is beautiful out there...but cold and icy.

When midnight arrives, we will keep with tradition...and send someone out the back door... into the night with the hunk of fresh bread, some salt, a piece of silver, a piece of coal and a bottle of wine. That person will walk around the house and enter with the gifts through the front door. (I hope it isn't me this year!) burrr...

Then we will ring the bells and bang pots and pans for the woodland critters....
Have a Magical Midnight and a Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Welcome 2013!

Monday, December 24, 2012

merry christmas

May goodness and light be yours! Glad tidings of comfort and joy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

walk with me wed...waiting for wisdom

"the hardest thing about the road not taken is that you never know where it might have led.” Lisa Wingate

The December skies have been rather bleak these days. The solstice approaches and I am reminded that the extent of daylight is almost six hours less than it was in June, six months ago.

And these very skies that seem to lack the sun, have been producing parhelia, or sundogs.

We are at the nadir of the year...and I miss the light.

While I'm walking, I have a lot to think about. There are decisions to make.

To decide is to walk facing forward with nary a crick in your neck from looking back at the crossroads. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon

There are things to consider..

Choices are the hinges of destiny. ~Attributed to both Edwin Markham and Pythagoras

and reconsider...

Reconsider, v. To seek a justification for a decision already made. ~Ambrose Bierce

....the decision will not be an easy one. ...there are so many reasons to decide one way...and on the other hand there are the other reasons...

Consider what you think justice requires, and decide accordingly. But never give your reasons; for your judgment will probably be right, but your reasons will certainly be wrong. ~Lord Mansfield

Then again, I've got a quarter in my pocket..heads? or tails....perhaps the choice has already been made for me. One thing for certain..the turning point has almost arrived and soon the sun will shine a little longer. Shine a little light on these dark December days.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

november 2012 phenological events

November 2012

2nd snow buntings arrive
15th rafter turkeys growing
16th eagles fishing over river
19th bare trees
22nd shadows lengthen
27th 4 inches of snow

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012


A Very Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends, both near....and far from here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

phenological events October 2012

2nd riverbirch dropping leaves
5th harvesting peppers
7th begin fires
8th jerusalem artichokes blooming
15th wooley bears hibernate
20th warblers migrate
22nd turkey walk
24th juncos arrive
29th Hurricane Sandy

Thursday, October 25, 2012


wooley bear hairs

turkey tails

stormy skies

pensive eyes

finely spun

nicely done!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

it brings happiness

words and spinning. an interview from Adam Dyess...

"It is not important how hard you are working, but what are you getting done?"

"For me the hardest part is to stop the spinning!"...."some days, fourteen hours..."
..."and I have to stop, but I like to spin more!"....

"If you have a good wheel, a good spinning technique, and a good fiber. Then it is just joy...nothing less, nothing more...just joy. And at the same time you are having joy, you are producing thread"... "...and you are producing joy and yarn."

That pretty much says it all!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

phenological events September 2012

1st Blue Moon

5th harvesting peppers

9th harvesting sweet corn

12th birch and maples loosing leaves

15th mushroom bounty

19th harvesting winter squash

Friday, September 21, 2012

squash bounty

This has been a very good summer for squash. Summer and Winter Squash vines have been producing, beautiful Cucurbitas!!

Our area has not had a frost yet, so the flowers and vines continue to grow.

We have been harvesting squash and herbs for winter storage. The horseradish had a good summer too. And the basil is bigger than recent memory conjures up.

The millipedes are on the march! I see them crossing the road, and take time out to sit and watch where they are going.

They are busy doing millipede things. They do not notice me. I place obstacles in their way to see how they behave. Mostly, they continue on in the same direction they are going. They are on millipede missions.

The Endless Mountains Fiber Festival has come and gone! My tea cozy took a blue ribbon! Nice pattern by Kate Davis, many thanks, Kate!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

of mushrooms and monarchs

The Pee Gee Hydrangeas are blooming. The air is heavy with their perfume.

Mushrooms are popping up everywhere. They cover the forest floor, they hide under the ferns.

Thoughts of venturing deeper into the forest to hunt for them, cross my mind. I think better of it. The bears and ticks have been around. I stay on the path.

A different view point makes me think of Alice.

It is September. The acorns begin to fall. The shadows are changing.

The color has started. The crickets chirp.

And the Monarchs begin to migrate.

Friday, August 31, 2012

phenological events august 2012

2nd picking sweet peppers
5th picking squash and tomatoes
8th Tussock Caterpillars
15th crickets and cicadas
20th spiders hatch
25th acorns abundant
28th hydrangeas blooming
31st blue mooon

Thursday, August 02, 2012


Most of the berries have finished out (except for the elder berries) and they have been enjoyed! Most found their way into bowl, but there were some set aside for jam, to be enjoyed come winter.

And a project is off the needles:

This is my version of Wingspan. This is a great pattern, one that I would like to do again.

The repetition of the stitch repeats made it a soothing project to work on.

It makes a great project for knitting while engaged in something else, such as conversation, or watching a movie, reading etc. The marker's remind the knitter when to wrap and turn. It is a good exercise for learning short rows.

Wingspan was a good summer project, one that was easy to pick up and put down frequently. The warm summer days were good for locking lots of warm summer rays into the stitches. I'm already thinking ahead to those chilly winter mornings, when I will enjoy Wingspan on my shoulders, and some mixed berry jam on my toast.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

phenological events July 2012

phenological events

July 2012

1st blueberry picking
2nd red raspberry picking
3rd weeding corn patch
4th temps in the 90's
12th day lily blooms
15th harvesting mints & oregano
18th harvesting basil & sage
24th harvesing parsley & dill
28th berries finish
30th harvesting first tomatoes &squash

Sunday, July 15, 2012

flax on the CPW

In reply to a question from a member of the CPW group on Ravelry, I decided to make a video:

I'm spinning flax strick from my sitting distaff - to linen on the Canadian Production Wheel. (the distaff is rigged up to keep the swivel post stationary)

My husband shot the video, and when I looked at it, the line seems to be invisible, so I added a close up shot of the draft at the end...using the tripod. It was difficult to get a good "over my shoulder" shot.

The question was "Anyone here have experience successfully spinning flax on their CPW?" now my question is: "How often were CPW's actually used for spinning flax?"

I imagine they were mostly used for spinning wool...but apparently...some of them have a hole on the table for a distaff..and a distaff certainly could have held wool, but maybe some flax from time to time.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

summer scenes

Summer is in full swing.

...and the fox kit is growing bigger ...and bolder. It visits each morning and evening. Occasionally, we let the chickens out in the middle of the day, and so far, there are no fatalities.

The Daylilies are in their prime now. I like to watch them open and close. There is a small patch just outside my window...

and the ones that Catena sent to me are blooming too. These are 3 years old already.

This summer seems to be especially good for the blueberries. I netted the bushes a few weeks ago. These bushes are probably over 20 years old. They came from my parents husband and I transplanted when my mother moved. They are so full of berries that the branches are bending down.

The red raspberries are starting to come too...from a patch we started about 4 years ago. The patch is really starting to produce. Fresh berries for dessert are a real treat...doubtful there will be any leftover to jam with.

I've been spinning for the Tour de can view my results on Ravelry, in my stash pages.

I finally decided to clear this spindle.

It is nearly two years ago that this was spun...I still don't know what I will make with it..but I wound off onto a storage bobbin. many memories....

Saturday, June 30, 2012

phenological events June 2012

1st blueberry fruit
2nd blackberry fruit
3rd red raspberry fruit
6th tilling garden beds
10th cedar waxwings nesting
17th planting corn
18th northern raven fledgling
27th red foxes and red rasberries
28th corn seedlings spotty germination
29th tiny green tomatoes

Thursday, June 28, 2012


There has been a little red fox cub hanging around the riverrim...the chickens are not aware that he/she is a threat because it is only the size of a house cat...and they are accustomed to our own kitty who has no interest in chickens.

Yesterday ..late afternoon...we saw the cub and at about 7:00pm, the mother was spotted as well, but I did not see them together....then again, early this morning...the cub was nearby. The chickens are in lockdown, poor things.

The foxes are good neighbors, they keep the rodent population down..but they are bad news for the poultry farmer. I'll have to keep the chickens locked up for a time. The fox will hunt all day I cannot risk letting the chickens out to free range.

In an attempt to spin a thicker yarn, I took off the drive band of my CPW, and moved the tilt tensioner all the way to the left, and strung a new drive band. It seemed to work very well for me. The Tour de Fleece is starting in a few I'm gearing up~

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

cotswold samples

Judy delivered a sampling of Cotswold for me to play with. After two good soaks in the basin, there was still quite a bit of lanolin in the fleece.

...of course I reached for the spindle to see how it would work out, and have decided to send it back for a third soak. The lanolin on the fiber left a residue on my hands, and subsequently, my combs and my spindle...and I was not happy with the handle of the resulting yarn. This small batch of Cotswold needs a lot of attention before it is ready to spin, but I think it will be worth it.

I'm still having some troubles with my blog template, photo editing etc. and have not gotten it worked out the way I would like, so thank you, dear readers, for your patience in the meanwhile.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

phenological events May 2012

May 2012

1st jack by the road
2nd cat birds arrive
5th phoebe nesting above window
8th pissants in abundance!
10th blueberry blossoms
11th cherry fruits on dwarf tree
28th transplanting tomatoes

Saturday, May 12, 2012

what's growing on


The month of May is green one around the riverrim. As the forest canopy unfurls, the ground beneath it is sprouting seedlings of all types. The early spring wildflowers are everywhere! After a rain, their perfume fills the air. Some of them, like the Jack by the Road, pictured above, don't always smell of the best perfume...JBTR smells of garlic.

Most of the fruit trees have finished their flowers already, and some have small fruits. The currant bushes are full of little green currants...and the cat bird, who arrived earlier this week, has already staked out his territory nearby.


No doubt, he and his mate have laid claim to the nearby blueberry bushes as well...


The blueberries are loaded with bloom, so they must have enjoyed the mild winter.


And the rhubarb is ready! I found a good recipe for a rhubarb cake that is made with brown sugar and pecans. Trouble is ...the resulting cake yields enough to feed a whole Platoon! I had to calculate and cut the amounts down to a manageable size.

Last summer, I allowed my lettuce plants to go to seed. This spring I have some very nice, though questionable, crosses. They are mixed in with weed, but will be easy enough to harvest. I have already enjoyed a fresh salad with them. I was surprised they were so mild and tender, I was expecting bitter or tangy and tough leaves.


When this little patch finishes out, it will be turned under to become the bed for this years carrots.


The success of the late summer or early fall sowing of lettuce seeds is always uncertain. I have tried it before with some success, but mostly failure. I don't know what to attribute it to..either it is the variety of the individual seed, or maybe due to lack of snow and long term freezing weather. I plan to keep trying...may allow a few of these plants to seed up and see what happens.

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