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Friday, July 17, 2015

Time just gets away from me!!

I can not believe it has been that long since I last posted. May 20th was the last post!....the tomato plants were still in their little cups under the grow lights....where has the time gone......look at them now!!
This is just one side of the greenhouse.
And the tomatoes are starting to appear!! I still had some tomatoes in the deepfreeze frozen from last year so got the big pot out yesterday as we had a rain day and put the tomatoes, peppers, celery and onions in and stewed them down then run them through the blender added some spices and simmered for a bit and put the sauce into containers and froze for later. Think I have enough tomatoes frozen for another pot. Can not wait for the new tomatoes to ripen...there is nothing like picking and eating vine ripened tomatoes! We have had it so hot for so long and no rain so it is a daily chore to keep all the garden's watered. We can not use our well water because of high sodium, so we have three big tanks to catch rain water....well no rain...means no water..we are lucky enough that the town near us has a good water well we can get water from to use, we put a small tank on the truck and hubby hauls water to fill the tanks. Since we moved here I had to rely on gravity feed to get the water to the gardens then water everything with a watering can...well this year hubby asked what I wanted for my birthday...I said I need a water system for watering the gardens...I went online and found the pump I wanted then found a store that had one and sent him on his way. So now we have all three tanks hooked up together and hose to the front and back gardens and all I have to do it flip a couple of switches and I have pressured water to water things, what a treat! It was still a chore to pull hoses around with all the hot weather but I could not have had the garden this year if I had not had the water system.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Going Crazy with Dealing with the Weather and Computers and the loss of Brain Cells!!

Almost crazy dealing with our weather....look at my poor tomato plants! They have out grown the lights but it has been so cold, have been moving them out during the day this week...last week was cold and drizzly....have to put them in my patio greenhouse as the winds keep blowing....should be thinking of getting them planted in the greenhouse but every night is a chance of frost as temperatures are near zero every night.
And here are the peppers...they need heat to grow...and it has been too cold! Are we ever going to get warm enough weather to get things growing! too stressful. of course there are things growing...weeds are growing!! So that is what is going on, weeding the flowerbeds. My poor lilies, what a job finding them in the grass and other weeds, took ages and an aching back but have finally got them cleaned out. We usually do not have such a weed problem in the flowerbeds but last year we did not put enough bark mulch down so weed seeds blew in. Today RH spent the day hauling in bark mulch and putting it around the plants now we have the weeds cleaned out. Now to get the garden planted....thought I would get most of it planted today as beds are worked and ready...no could do...had wild wind all day...can not plant seeds when the wind blows like that. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!! Then of course computer problems....I left my laptop open on the dining room table....one of the cats must have walked on the keys and the powers that be thought someone was hacking the computer...so they shut it down for hours. Note to self...always close the computer up when leaving it!!! Then our printer died so RH bought a new one when he went to town and I got it hooked up to the lap top he uses and the old computer and was so relieved when everything was working and we could print things again.....then the next day...could not get into the laptop...RH could not get into his iPad and he could not read his book...so the world was coming to an end at our house!! Funny thing was when he said what book he was reading...I said just a minute...I think I have that book on the book shelf (now can you imagine that ever happening??) there it was so gave it to him and he found his place where he was reading and his world was o.k. for a bit, then off I was trying to figure out what was going on, thank-goodness I had not hooked my Mac laptop up to the new printer....I thought the hooking the printer up had caused the problems...passwords were not working. Could not get anything to work except my iPad and my computer. Did not want to send an S.O.S. to grandson as it was Sunday, so Monday morning I sent him a help! help! your poor Grandmother message and he came back not really knowing what the problem was so off I went at my day trying to think of things it could be....then I thought of the caps lock key...maybe it was on...but no it wasn't on.... I punched it on and off a few times...and here the screen came up and it took my password, then I went online...and I could get on the library website...maybe it wasn't the printer that was the problem...it might have been our internet provider having problems!! Now how many brain cells did I burn off trying to get things working. Could not get RH's iPad working but it is an old iPad and he does not need an iPad as all he does is read ebooks on it and I have wiped it off and re programed it for him I do not know how many times, so told him it was toast and we would get him a reader for his books...and that is my story and I am sticking to it...do not want to deal with it anymore! Did get a few more fingerless mitts knit, spun another bobbin of the alpaca/wool/silk so I can get that plied up tomorrow. And I started knitting a pair of heavy slipper socks, almost have one finished and knit a few more rows on the multicoloured scarf and trying hard to keep my sanity!! Now a happy note....some more of my rockery plants are blooming and here are is of my favourites!
And here is another exciting thing!! My yellow Begonia survived over the winter and here she is growing!!
Every spring I wait hoping she survived...and here she is for another year! Tomorrow is another day...and hopefully it will be warm with no wind....if anyone needs me....I will be in my padded room...trying to grow more brain cells.....

Friday, May 8, 2015

Computer is finally Co-operating and Plant Drama Rules my Days!

I can not believe I can add a photo and actually write a blog entree!! The powers that be decided to upgrade everything on my computer and I could not get anything to work properly for days and thought I would give it another try and here we are. Last post I decided I would try to pull out a pailful of weeds from my flowers gardens a day......well there are so many weeds coming up I graduated to the wheel barrow pretty fast....too many trips to the compost pile using a pail. Had a day off from cleaning up around my plants today as we had a good rain last night, actually at six this morning there was a bit of snow on the ground but it disappeared pretty fast. it was getting so cold last night we turned the heater in the greenhouse on high and with a small fan going with the heater plus I find open pails of water sitting around keep things from freezing and everything survived, all my little plants are still in the shed with their little heater so they have been safe....from the cold but not from a mouse....six pepper plants got munched!! I was just thinking after having most of the pepper plants munched last year I better get the clear plastic cups on them...well now have them on the plants...if it isn't one thing it is another! I have one of those small greenhouse shelf things and thought the other day I would set it up out beside the shed on the east side where the wind usually does not bother things....by the time I dug out all the pieces and fooled around trying to remember how it went together...finally got it all set up and got it outside...was just going to put a few of the tomato plants in it and the wind hit..so decided it was not a good idea, had a pail with some soil in it so put that in the bottom of the little greenhouse thinking it would keep it from moving in the wind and it stayed good until the next day when the wind came from the other direction and over it went....did not do any damage so struggled with it and got it back in the shed. What would I do with myself if I did not have all this drama with my plant children. No more spinning done but knit a couple pair of fingerless mitts while being a cat pillow...have to save some time out of my day to spend time with these old cats, they drive me crazy but then I remember they are fifteen years old and one day they will not be here and I will miss them...RH says he is sure they are going to outlive us...Had not sewn anything for ages but younger son's fiancée had a bag she bought when they were on holidays and wanted me to put a lining in it, so after getting sewing machine oiled up and gathering up thread, scissors etc. I managed to get that project finished this afternoon so that is another thing off the list. Do not know where the days go...first it is Monday...then here is Friday. But this weekend it is Mothers Day...off to the plant stores!! But wait...is it going to be warm enough to get plants...that I might have to baby if the weather does not warm up.....tomorrow is another day...hopefully without snow......

Saturday, May 2, 2015

I am Running in Circles.....Knitting...Spinning....Gardening.....

I decided to keep knitting with the multicoloured yarn for a few more rows and see if I liked it any better and actually I think it is going to be o.k. now to find the time to knit some more on it. I seem to be running in circles doing a bit of this and a bit of that and not getting anything finished.
This evening I spun some more of the alpaca/merino/silk I had carded up and am going to say this bobbin has enough on it and hopefully tomorrow I will get a start on another bobbin.If I could just find more time in my day for spinning!
The tulips are finally blooming! They are usually the first thing to bloom but for some reason they were later than a lot of the rockery plants which have started blooming a couple of weeks ago...but you have to forgive them for being late because they are so beautiful. And of course with the flowers starting to bloom there are all the pesky weeds coming up too. I have to make a list to try to get things done....first on the list.....dig out a pailful of weeds every morning......spin for a couple hours every evening.....and the list goes on... We can not use our well water for watering plants because of the high sodium so have three large tanks we catch rain water in plus we have a tank for the back of the truck that we can go get water from a well to fill our tanks when there is no rain...which as it has been so dry here the tanks are not filling. I had a birthday a few days ago and RH asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said I want to get a pump system going so we can have water pressure in hoses to water the gardens because I just can not water everything with a watering can again this year. So I went on the net and found the pump I wanted and found a store that had one for sale and off he went to get it!! So we have been working to get the pumping system working all week and what a treat to just go around with the hose and water everything! We are going to also put a system in so we can water all the raised beds down at the garden by just flipping the switch on the pump! The raised beds are almost ready to plant, just a few more to work up and the planting begins. My pepper and tomato plants under the lights are doing so well, have moved a few of the plants I kept over the winter out to the greenhouse with a small heater for night time just incase the temps drop. Will get them planted into planters just in time for the tomato plants to be planted in the greenhouse. I better get the tomatoes I froze from last year made into sauce before the new ones arrive. So between the outside work and trying to do some spinning and knitting I am running in circles. Add in some computer problems the last week I wonder if I am still sane. But tomorrow is a new day! A day with a water system! I am so thankful!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

I am Socked out....am off to Knit Something else!!

Look what I found in the flowerbed, could not believe she was blooming before the Tulips, the Tulips flower buds are finally showing but they are so late this year. Every Tomato and pepper plant I just transplanted are doing great and are getting new leaves. We have the greenhouse all ready for me to move out the Geraniums and other plants I held over but the weather is either really warm or there is a chance of snow so will wait a bit longer but they need to be clipped back and repotted in new soil. I spent a day cleaning up all the old leaves that our winds blew onto the front deck and dumping the soil out of the three big pots I always have on the deck, now have to get them filled up again with new potting soil and ready to put the plants in them.RH has the garden area all tilled and now will wait until the weeds start growing again then will give it another till before we plant, I have the raised beds which are covered with straw from last year and just need to pull the straw back and dig the soil up a bit and they will be ready to plant. So it is getting closer!!
I had said I was going to stop knitting socks and knit something else after the headache I had with the last pair of socks....but then I had this ball all wound and ready to go so thought I would knit it up....well am having a terrible time....I am really socked out!! I have to knit something else for a while!
I have been trying to remember what pattern I used for a scarf I made a couple years ago to be auctioned off....I loved the the way that scarf knit up...and I just can not remember the stitch I used. I know it was an easy one and would love to knit some more, it only had one or two rows to it...this is going to drive me crazy looking for it!! I came a cross a pattern for a one row scarf thinking maybe that was the pattern but it isn't, but am going to knit it anyway. I knit a swatch in white yarn and it looks great so started with this multicoloured yarn I had left over from the toes of the headache socks...hmmm.....I think I like the swatch better....the one colour shows the stitches off better. So now have to make a decision....should I knit it in a solid colour or the multicolour??? Or should I knit one of each?? Did not get much knit up today as yesterday I was off to get my eyes checked to see if I needed new glasses and the Dr. put these yellow drops in my eyes which irritated them and I have a headache and hard to do much today...but the thing about those yellow drops in my eyes......when I left the office...I went shopping...and my eyes were watering...when I got back to the car...RH said you have yellow stuff running out of your eyes....I looked in the mirror...good grief!! Yes there was yellow stuff running out of my eyes and down my face and here I was walking around...and talking to people.....tomorrow is another day....

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Another Snow Day...And potting up Plants....

Here we have Another Snow Day! it would have been nice to have a nice warm rain but we will take what we can get to stop the grass fires, will be glad when the farmers get their fields worked up. It has been so dry and windy lately.
The poor Robins were just sitting there in shock, tonight it is all melted so tomorrow should be a good worm day for them....unless we get more snow tonight. So what have I been doing....not much knitting....have not gotten back to spinning...and only a few swipes at pulling the guard hair out of the llama fleece I have been working at....came to the conclusion that the fleece is Posy's, looks different sheared than it does on her. I have been potting up the tomato and pepper plants I had started, I have thirty-eight Tomato plants, seven varieties and Fifty Pepper plants and have run out of space under my light in the shed, if it warms up I will be able to put the Geraniums etc out in the greenhouse with a small heater for the nights, do not want to get an unexpected frost like last year where there was frost damage.
Here they are...and so far everyone looks great! Last year I had such beautiful Mini Roses and wanted to keep them over the winter, a friend of mine said she always keeps hers over the winter in the ground, I had mine in large pots so last fall I buried the pots in the ground and made a fence of chicken wire around them and filled it with tree leaves, the wire thank-goodness kept the leaves in place or the winds we had would have blown them away. I just removed the leaf mulch yesterday and there are little leaves coming out on all three pots!! I have tried to keep them over in the heated shed with the other plants and while they would live they did not look good and never bloomed the following year.So am hoping to have them bloom this summer!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Finishing the Headache Socks !!

The weather has been so nice the last two days I have been working in the yard. Love to see all my perennial rockery plants turning green and some starting to bloom.
Forget the name right now, will have to check it out. Washed and bleached the pots I want to plant my little seedlings into so they are ready, sat the bag of potting soil in the sun to warm it up but did not get the potting done today, hopefully tomorrow.
i am calling this pair of socks my headache socks...they are the pair I ran out of yarn on so ordered another ball and finished the toe on the one sock.........look at the toes.....the colouring in the yarn does not match!!!!!! It knit in stripes...they must have had a new dye lot. This was getting to be too much...have started hating these socks!! What to do...what to do.
Finally decided to rip the toe back on the other sock and knit a matching toe the sock I had finished with the original yarn, do you think someone will think it was a planned design feature??? At this point I could care less...think I am going to go back to knitting fingerless mitts again for a while. Tomorrow is another day......

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Weather is making me crazy!! But a little Butterfly saved the day! First of the Season!

I wanted the snow to disappear....but not like this!! We had gale force wind for two days, I could not stand to be upstairs so spent the days...with a headache downstairs in my work area....pulling the guard hair out of the llama fleece I had just washed plus carding some very soft alpaca fibre with some merino and silk and it is so beautiful, have started spinning it and can not wait until I can get some plyed!! What should I make with it? What should I make...have to wait and see how it turns out.Finished the pair of socks I was working on and got my yarn order with a skein to finish the other pair I was short of yarn, just have the toe to finish. Now today was a nice sunny day, not much I can do outside as yet so did some house cleaning and I had gone out to shake a rug and look what I found....
She was flying around and landed on the flowers and I ran for my camera and she stayed until I got her picture! Is this a sign that spring is really here, I would sure like to think so but weather forecast tonight was...some areas getting snow tomorrow...and some areas getting rain....YUK..Yuk...I should have spent my day outside today and did my house cleaning tomorrow. I did spend a little time outside checking up on my plants that have started growing, was so worried as there was ice on the garden pond two mornings in a row....but everyone is good...no frost damage that I can see and the new rose bushes I bought last year have a few leaves coming...so excited about that. I had moved my little tomato and pepper plants out under the grow lights and they are doing well, the tomatoes are getting their second bunch of leaves so will be ready to pot up into individual pots in a few days. hoping that the wet weather holds off until around noon tomorrow as RH has the truck full of bags of feed for the animals, hopefully he has it covered...he seems to think it will be dry until later in the day...like...after the weather we have had....he thinks the weather is going to wait until he unloads the feed.....Tomorrow is another day....a cool wet day...after he gets the feed unloaded....

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Where did Friday go?? I thought Tomorrow was Friday!!

Our snow is not going away! It was so cold today with the breeze blowing off the snow.
RH cleaned the snow off the decks but the ground is still covered and the strange thing about it is, a couple miles on either side of us there is no snow......Mother Nature...what did we do to upset you...is it because I started my seeds too early!! I promise I will never do it again! Please take this snow away....I moved my tomato and pepper plants I started in the house out to the heated shed under the grow lights today...so I have been so nervous...this is their first night out of the house....I know I need to get a life! What have I been knitting? I hate to show you...it is so boring....
I finished the dish cloths for the lady that ordered them.......and I could not stop making them!! I forced myself to get the socks out I was working on before the dishcloths and knit on them tonight, just have a toe to finish on the second sock and will have another pair finished.What I have been doing since I finished the skein of the dog/alpaca/wool is cleaning up my work area, cleaned the picker...cleaned the carder...and today I washed a fleece and have it drying on the screen, have a fan on it and is surprising me how fast it is drying, will leave the fan on all night and it should be dry by morning.
I had sorted this fleece and had it in bags ready to wash for a while, was actually wanting to dry it outside but the way the weather has been thought I would just get it done and dry it in the house. Now....I thought it was an alpaca fleece......but it is a llama fleece...and I have a mind blank on who the llama is that gave me this fleece....this is going to keep me awake all night!! It is a fleece from a young animal..and it is beautiful...but whose fleece is it? I will be out early in the morning to try to figure out which llama gave me the fleece....Tomorrow is another day...which I thought was Friday.......but it just dawned on me...today is Friday!! So guess tomorrow is Saturday!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Finally!! The skein of Dog/Alpaca/Wool yarn is Finished!!!

Here we are finally! The skein of Dog Hair/Alpaca/Wool is spun...plyed...washed and hanging to dry, if it is dry tomorrow it will be off to the dog owner. Here she sits in the bag of dog hair just before her bath. She turned out great after the hard time I had finding time to spin, the cat not wanting me to spin, plying it this afternoon and now washing it and hanging to dry. Will have to tuck the dog hair away now for a while and get some more fibre cleaned and sorted as pretty soon it will be shearing time again.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Was it Christmas....or...Easter this past Weekend????

It started to snow Saturday night....and this is what we woke up to Sunday morning!! And it snowed all day! So there was no coming or going for Easter so was a lazy day...eating turkey all by ourselves...and eating turkey for the rest of the week. Making turkey pies to go in the freezer for another day. Was it only last week that it was so dry there were grass fires, one thing we do not have to worry about for a while. The poor birds who had been so happy last week whipping around the yard finding places to build nests were now trying to find some place to perch and food to eat!
The Doves went from Sunning themselves to flopping through the trees trying to find a place to sit and this poor bird hanging onto the truck of a tree. Bird feeders were covered with snow so RH put some seed out in a large flat pan on the ground and we could see the birds helping them selves all day. Now this morning the sun is out and it is supposed to warm up....and then we will have water all over the place. Decided yesterday I had to get the rest of the dog/alpaca/wool spun up if it took me all night, spun a bit in the morning, a bit after lunch and finished up just before midnight...had no cats helping until the last half hour then here came grey Kitty with her howling and yowling but I ignored her and finished up the other bobbin and today it will be plying, washing and hanging to dry and tomorrow it will be in the mail and I can get at something else. The tomato and pepper seeds I had planted are coming up so the first thing will be to get the plants in the shed organized so I can get at the grow lights and get my little plants under them. Right now they are sitting on the dining room table with a small light on them.

Friday, April 3, 2015

It is so Pitiful when you have to hide from the Cat!

I wanted to get some more of the dog/alpaca/wool roving spun...I so want to get this finished...so...when Grey Kitty was not looking....I quickly went downstairs...and hid behind the cutting/blocking table...and spun. I could hear her yowling up and down the stairs running here and there....and she did not find me, what saved me was RH was in the shower and she thought it was me so she waited at the bathroom door to ambush me when I came out.....
As you can see....she is not impressed at all....she is not speaking to me...and it does not upset me.... as for me it is a treat. Now for the problem of the ball of yarn that was sucked into the central Vacuum hose and was stuck....I tried the clothes hanger that I took apart, bent a hook into the end....did not work...just could not hook the yarn. Finally tonight RH brought the stock blower from the barn that we use to blow the dirt and as much debris from the animals that we can before we shear them, it is powerful...and he stuck it in the end of the hose and turned it on high...and boy that ball of yarn came flying out!! All I can say is thank-goodness. Note to self...if you even suspect a ball of yarn is hiding any where near where you are vacuuming....do not take the attachment off the end of the hose!! Tomorrow is another day.....

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Some Flowery Cheer...and Another Problem to Solve

I think this Christmas Cactus thinks it is an Easter cactus!! I think I heard somewhere there is an Easter Cactus that looks much like a Christmas Cactus.
Will have to google Easter Cactus.....
And look who else does not want to be left out. And here I have forgot her proper name...is called the Wax Plant too. Well onto the spinning problem of yesterday..finally got that sorted out and spun a bit more...really wanted to finish spinning but too many interruptions today, did get two more dishcloths knit so am finished with them and can get them off to the lady that wanted them. Disaster of the day...there just had to be one....I was vacuuming the furniture....a never ending job with these cats, I was using the central vacuum and I must have somehow left a small ball of yarn tucked in one of the cushions.....which was vacuumed up...and plugged the hose...thank-goodness it was the hose because for a while I thought it had went into the pipes in the wall....that would have really been a disaster. I think it is up close to the beginning of the hose, so the job for tomorrow will be to try to fashion a wire clothes hanger with a hook on it to hook the ball of yarn and get it out. Tomorrow...is another day!

Where is that Easter Bunny!! I need some Chocolate!!

Well I was determined to get enough of the dog/alpaca/wool carded and pulled into roving and start spinning it yesterday......I did not have time until later in the evening but I was determined to get some progress made before I went to bed! So I started carding....and here came my two old cats who protested that they wanting me to come upstairs, grey Kitty yowling and running around...so I went upstairs and gave them something to eat...these two cats are fifteen years old and can only eat a little at a time...which means eating all day..which means I am their servant...and they know how to work me. I thought once they had eaten they would have calmed down and forgot I was downstairs...but no...here they were again...howling...under my feet... I tried to ignore them and carried on with carding...Grey Kitty thinks she is the boss downstairs so she smacked poor Sheba around and chased her upstairs, then came back down to carry on with trying to get me to go upstairs...I got the fibre carded and pulled into roving and sat to the spinning wheel to spin...well she was not happy at all and yowling away almost getting her tail caught in the spinning wheel...bumping my leg...and I was spinning along, thinking I would just get a good start and then finish today...and then...if you are a spinner you will cringe....I lost of end of the fibre I was spinning and there it was hanging there and had lost all its twist.......
Now it is midnight...Grey Kitty is still doing her yowling and running around.....and I am trying...with no luck to get enough twist in the loose end so I can pull it back through the orfice so I can continue spinning.....I sat for a minute..and calmed down...then went upstairs...gave the cat a bit of food and went to bed!!! And no Chocolate Easter Bunnies were harmed....I did not get down to solve the problem today...I was going to as RH was going into town to pick up his new glasses and had a list (which I reviewed with him before he left so he knew what he was getting)and I thought good I will have all this time with no interruptions, cats usually sleep and I just have to mix up some muffins and then will be able to go down and get spinning again.....nope did not get done....RH phoned me...seven times...SEVEN TIMES!!!!! before he came home with questions on what he was getting. The last phone call....I said...bring me home some chocolate!!!!
I did accomplish one thing today......I made a dishcloth....one dishcloth....I made the other one yesterday...and of course the muffins......please let tomorrow be a better day......The old cats are smacking each other as I type this and I am on my way to bed!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A bit of this....and a bit of that....

Was super busy all day but did not do anything that was news worthy. Woke up to the sun shining and all the birds chirping and whipping around looking for the best place to build a nest. Have to remember to get some fleece out and put in the trees for them to use, the baby birds will be hatched into soft alpaca nests! Flipped mattress's on the beds and washed bedding...this is what the first warm sunny day does to a person! Was on my way out to say hello to the barnyard beasties but sister phoned...she was walking the dogs and we ended up discussing our trees, she walking through hers and me through mine, me checking wind damage...and there is damage! Picked up some branches but some need to be cut down, both of us checking to see what was growing...the joy of cell phones. Then I seen RH heading for the house for lunch so in I came. Then watered the house plants I did not get watered the other day.Carded some more of the dog hair/alpaca/wool. Will recard it tomorrow and I can start spinning it up, then the day was going fast and it was time to find something to have for dinner. I had a lady phone and want some knit dishcloths and I said o.k. thinking yes I can just whip them up...and then...why do I do this....I remembered a new pattern to make them so they are a little more sturdy....why oh why did I not just knit the cloths I always do because the new pattern is sturdy but is a pain!! I could have had at least two or more knit in the time it took me to knit this one! Tomorrow...back to the original pattern!
It has been over a year since I finished knitting this sweater, finally got all the ends worked in and washed and blocked it, was just going to sew the zipper in it....and had this thought....maybe I should make a lining for it....so there it is waiting until I can get some fabric. I see a lot of the heavy knit sweaters have lining sewn in, sweaters probably hold their shape better.Well that was my day!! Tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Doesn't Everybody go out and lecture their Plants???

Everything is starting to come up in the flower gardens, look what I found this morning!!!
Two of my Delphiniums are already poking out of the ground!! I have never seen them so early! I am so afraid it is going to get cold enough to freeze....so I gave them a good talking to this morning! Silly girls!! I better find something I can cover them up just incase. I spent the morning planting tomato and pepper seeds in flats in the house, so I have nine different kinds of tomatoes planted, eight kinds I planted five seeds each and one variety I planted ten seeds and I planted three kinds of peppers...one is a chocolate coloured pepper...should be interesting. Most of the tomato seeds came from my Aunt in the U.S. and are heritage seeds. Do not know where I am going to plant all of them...the greenhouse only holds so many. Once the seeds sprout I will have to get them out under the grow lights in the shed and the warmer matt for under them...if I can find the warmer matt......guess what RH used it for this winter.....he put it in the barn cats bed to keep them warm.... And I did find a few minutes to knit a bit, have the one sock finished and got a start on the second one. Tomorrow is another day...which.. could be interesting...RH is going to build a wooden picnic table that folds up into a bench......remember the stress of the bluebird houses.....send me survival vibes please...and Lord...send me patience.....

Friday, March 27, 2015

Where did the day go?? It is almost over and I am still looking for it........

The day is almost over...and I really do not know where it went...what did I get done today....
I know this is what took my whole morning, I added the sugar to the Choke Cherry juice I spent the day yesterday cooking up berries and straining the juice off them. I put the kettle with the juice on the stove to heat up and added the sugar, while it was heating I got the canning jars out and.......I do not have new lids to fit the jars!! Why can I not get my act together!! RH was on his way to town so I gave him an old lid and he was going to see if he could find some in one of the stores....I was worried as it is not canning season......I said call me if you find some and I will get the juice cooking and be ready to put it in the jars when you bring the lids. He did find some and called me so I got the juice boiling and he came with the lids and I have it all finished. Now the recipe I found said add the sugar to the juice and boil for five minutes......five minutes...you got to be kidding....I cooked it for at least two hours before it was the right consistency. The syrup is sooo good, the berries were off the bushes my sister planted in her yard and I have never had such flavourful Choke Cherry Syrup, it is amazing, will have to ask her where she got the plants. Two days to get these few jars of Syrup but when you taste it...it was worth it! O.K. that took care of the morning.....and part of the early afternoon. Then I went out to the shed where I have all my plants I saved over the winter and checked to see if any needed watering.
Look what I found on another of my little vines.....the littlest yellow flowers...I kept the vines over in the shed last year and none of the vines bloomed. look at all my plants I kept over...they all need to be clipped down...what am I going to do with all these plants until I can get them into the greenhouse and then outside in the yard?? I am sure we are going to get some freezing weather before it really warms up. I can put a little heater in the greenhouse but will it be enough if it really turns cold, my plants are like my children so I would be out in the greenhouse all night worrying about them. I also checked my flowerbeds and so many plants are already coming up...do they know spring is really here? Now on the fibre scene....I did get the sock I was working on finished except for finishing the end of the toe, just have a little more dog hair/alpaca/wool to card so I can spin it.....I have to admit...I am not enjoying this! The dog hair is quite short so really sticks to the carding cloth...but am working at it. Tomorrow is another day!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Little bit of Everything but not Accomplishing anything......Really...But will do Better Tomorrow....I Hope....

It was one of those mornings that you wake up too early...then finally fall asleep and end up sleeping in so you are running behind all day!! Last fall my sister picked the Choke Cherry berries off her bushes and froze a couple of big freezer bags of them for me. it has been years since we have had Choke Cherry syrup for pancakes. I decided this was the day I would get them cooked up and the juice strained off the berries. Now this took me most of the day....that wasn't taken up with sleeping in and running behind. So they are cooked up and juice is in the pot ready to add sugar and cook until it is syrup!!
I cooked up two pots of the berries and when they were mashed and juice strained off......I only have about three quarters of a pot of juice. Have the juice tucked into the fridge and I will add the sugar tomorrow and make the syrup which I will preserve in small jars so we can have a little treat occasionally. The Choke Cherry Syrup is so good on pancakes. I really dislike picking berries...unless I am putting them in my mouth as I pick....so sister and I have come to a decision....this fall she will pick the berries and I will make the syrup and give her half for picking them...so will be win..win.. for both of us. The berries are off her bushes in her garden and they are beautiful, not a blemish on them. So that was the big accomplishment of the day! Plus the mess of the clean up in the kitchen. I know...I am pitiful!! Now the partial accomplishments.......I carded some more of the dog hair/alpaca/wool fibre to spin for my niece, I almost finished the sock I had started knitting yesterday and I had a lady phone and ask me to knit her a few dishcloths.....yup dishcloths.....so I started one....and I thought about...and laid out the seeds pkgs I want to start some seeds of indoors.....does thinking about something count as an accomplishment???? I am going to say yes.....tomorrow is another day.....

What else....more sock knitting and I did get some of the dog hair/alpaca/merino Carded

Snow was disappearing today but it was still pretty cold because of the wind so not much I could do outside. Did get to the shed and watered the plants out there and brought some empty pots in to wash up that I need to put some African violet slips in to start new plants, the parent plants are older and their crowns are getting too long, not blooming great anymore so better get new ones started.
Look what I found, could not believe it, another little vine had a bloom on it, this is the first year I have had them bloom, did not realize they would bloom!
Here is the new socks I started, did not get a lot knit on them today! one of my favourite colors!
And I managed to get some of the dog hair carded, mixed it with some alpaca the same colour as the dog hair plus this time mixed a bit of merino wool with it hoping it keeps the dog hair from shedding so much, will maybe have to put more twist in the singles when I spin it, thought I had spun too much twist in the singles on the first skein and when I plyed it it looked great and was so soft, will try to get more twist in this skein and get my niece to go down a size in needles when she knits it up. Will finish carding enough tomorrow to spin up. It is supposed to warm up the next few days and hope they are right as I am almost crazy finding a project to keep RH busy until he can get out and do something in the yard. I suggested he build some bluebird houses, so off he went to get the lumber, I had given him all the instructions with the measurements and he got started today...and I thought good...it will keep him busy for a while which worked until he came in for lunch....then he was upset because the inside of the birdhouse was smaller than the instructions.....and he kept fussing about it!! Finally I said....I do not think that the birds carry tape measures around with them for goodness sake!!! He just looked at me and went back outside to work on his birdhouse...he spent all day and never got one birdhouse finished! Well I wanted him to make four of them....so that should keep him busy for the rest of the week...right??? I think I have to find him some little friends to play with.......Kids grow up and leave...and then you are left with husbands!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yarn and knit socks because it is still Winter at our House!

It is still cold and wintery looking at our house so I reskeined a couple of the skeins I dyed yesterday, it is funny how different the colours look when the yarn is reskeined.
The skeins I reskeined are in the center of the skeins as they came out of the dye pot. I think my friend will be happy with the colours, she knits mitts that look like the stained glass mitts with the colour showing through on the plain colours, have to take a picture of a pair so you see what I mean, the bright colours will be great for ladies mitts and the muted shades men might like.
Here are the St. Patrick socks all finished! Love this yarn, the different colours in the yarn knit up making a great design with the different colors. Will start another pair tomorrow. Time is going so fast and it will soon be time to get out in the yard so am trying to get as much knitting as I can done now. Am also still sorting fibre to get to the mill plus wash and card up some alpaca making into roving for the summer sales. I said I would never process dog hair for anyone......but my niece sent out some of her dogs hair wanted it made into yarn...so ok will give it a try. The dog hair is so short so mixed some alpaca fibre with it, carded it together and spun a skein for her...and for got to take a picture of the skein before I sent it to her, I said to knit it up into fingerless mitts and wear them and see if the dog hair would shed out. She knit the mitts up and has been wearing them and they have shed a bit and really look fuzzy. I am going to mix some wool with the dog hair and alpaca hoping that the wool might hold the dog hair in the yarn better. no sense in spinning it all up into a yarn that does not work, so will experiment with some different combinations first. Got my garden seeds in the mail the other day so should get some seeds started under the lights. These are all heritage seeds and I want to save some of the seeds in the fall for next year, they had a booklet on how to save the seeds......I have been reading it....am not going to complain about the cost of seeds again after reading what you have to go through to get seeds off some of the vegetables, I did not realize plants like carrots are biennials and you have to keep them over so they bloom the second year for you to get any seeds......plus how you have to plant some seeds far enough apart so they do not cross pollinate. Really.....do I really need this in my head...all I think about now is what I would have to do to save seeds from plants...along with trying to fix problems on my computer...spent all day today trying to download a program...either working on the computer or thinking about it while I did other things, trying to solve the problem. and I finally did get it solved!! If I thought it would not have killed me I would have done a cartwheel!! I did a cartwheel in my mind...safer that way.....well tomorrow is another day...right!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Well.....Do I have to mention Snow again!!! But I did dye today.........

Well here we were again...and it snowed all day. But it was not bad here as compared to north of us, highway turned into ice instantly and what a mess, cars and trucks and semi's out of control...major pile up. So can not complain at what we got.....(but you know I want to...)
I know it looks like the same picture as I posted before...have to take snow pictures out of different windows.... The good thing was I finally got the dye pots out! It has been a year (I think) since I have dyed more than just a couple of skeins, last summer I had pulled all the muscles over my ribs on my right side so could not lift the dye pots.
I soaked three skeins of what I thought was merino wool but found there was one skein that was a mix of merino and mohair in warm water with a bit of soap, then put them in the dye pot with water, vinegar and a bit of salt, on a rack with a large jar of water in the centre to try to keep the dye separate, I used three colors Red with a bit of magenta, blue with a bit of turquoise and lemon yellow.
I let the pot simmer for about thirty minutes, then let it cool down, soaked the skeins with a bit of soap then rinsed them and here they are, they were still wet when I took the picture, I have them hanging to dry right now.
Will take better pictures when they are dry but there are some beautiful colours in the mixture. Then I put another pot on, I had soaked three more skeins of what I thought was merino and ended up with one skein of merino/mohair, I did not separate them with the jar of water and I only used the two colours Red with a bit of magenta and blue with a bit of turquoise and let the pot simmer for about thirty minutes and it looked like a disaster!! I let it cool down then washed the skeins with a bit of soap in the water then rinsed them......and they turned out not too bad!
I am always stressing out when I see a pot like this, trying to calm myself down saying to myself...I can always redye the skeins black....I can always use more black.......There are some beautiful burgundy colours. Will take pictures when they have dried. I will not be dyeing them black...........