Friday, September 29, 2006
The yellow soft ones might not be very salvageable because they are early ones and we waited until the girls could come and harvest them.
But the red and green ones are perfect – and the red ones are very good for eating, since we’ve had our first frost. There are more of both on the tree that we will harvest in a couple of weeks, after our event in Albert Lea.
We also got a few crab apples. I think we waited too long to get them. The tree had been loaded a few weeks ago, but we got just enough for one batch of either jelly or sauce. The girls each want something different, so I will have to see if I can do both.
Here are a few pictures of the girls harvesting.
Joy left yesterday morning to do some errands and get ready for Jessica’s eighth birthday party on Saturday.
We will take the girls home today, have a family party tonight, then head back here tomorrow morning for a llama play day – we are both demonstrating there. A fast trip, but worth it, as we can’t miss Jessica’s birthday and we can’t miss the play day, as they seem to really be excited to have us come join them.
It’s a nice day, today, in the 50s and sunshine, with little wind. You have a beautiful day!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Yesterday was the first day without any rain for five days. A wonderfully warm day, but cool in the shade. Candy, Wayne, Norm and I went to the auction – this was a farm one, as the couple had sold the farm and moved to a retirement home of some kind.
Ladies!!! (And Gents, too!) Be careful of what you keep! This was soooooooo junky, in my mind!! The auctioneer was begging people to buy boxes of junk for a $1.00!! I got some lovely stuff, but they were combining boxes so I also got junk. A wooden stand of some kind that might (maybe) hold a plate with a cup beside it? Some plastic dolls that will either go to the second hand store or to the grandchildren. There were coffee tables that didn’t sell cause they were in such bad shape. A dishwasher that didn’t work that they used to store things. She even had a box of empty yarn cones … couldn’t even burn them! Norm threw one plaque away in their dumpster because it was so ugly, but it was put in with a lovely pie plate that I wanted (for a $1.00). I wanted some flower decorated bowls that will be perfect for pasta bowls, but had to take some milk white dishes – a very partial set… 3 berry bowls, 1 saucer, 2 desert plates.
However, I DID get some treasures… a cast iron waffle iron, a cast iron Norwegian dumpling pan (now I need a recipe), several crocks, a wonderful clock. Norm got another ‘sad’ iron and holder.
Candy and I had numbers right next to each other (mine was 109, hers was 108). It was confusing to the auctioneers at times. Normally you hold your number card up to show what number you are. But our auctioneers are very good at remembering numbers … John had mine down before I had bid on 3 things! Candy’s was a little longer because she didn’t start bidding for a while. At one time, Candy was picking up a crockery jug (“Little Brown Jug, how I love thee!”) and the teller thought it was my number. John corrected her and said “108 … they are sisters!!” Got a laugh and the teller never got us wrong again. (One way to tell us apart is our hair – she usually wears hers down, I usually have mine up.)
It is amazing to me how much alike we are, though. We got nearly the same thing at the cast iron – crock table. We had to agree which waffle iron we wanted so we didn’t bid against each other. Same with the crocks.
Now, I normally don’t get cast iron or crocks at an auction .. they are so expensive, normally, but can go higher in the heat of battle at an auction. However, there were not antique dealers there – the prices were phenomenally cheap! We got more crocks, both of us, than we had planned on getting, just because of the price.
I heard the owners talking (why did they come to their own auction? I wouldn’t have!) asking each other “Where were the antique dealers that bid against us when we bought these?” So they must have bought them for future gain … they certainly had a lot of each! Candy and I, both, however, bought ours to use .. it will take a bit of time, as I hadn’t planned on so many – got 3 crocks and a jug for Norm – but they will be used!! I think I’ll use one for my homemade Bisquick when we go to the next demonstration, as I will be cooking for 5 days, and want to make waffles on our new waffle iron, as well as make dumplings for our soups that we’ll have most nights.
Anyway, we had a great time – tired, though – my knees hurt from too much standing – and sitting didn’t help them, either. Didn’t get the little dry sink I wanted, or the wash stand or the little dresser; Norm didn’t get his mower he wanted … those went higher than we wanted to go!
Here’s a picture of my lovely new clock --- will have to research and see just how old it might be!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Candy and Wayne are going to join us at the auction – which will make it double fun. You can’t go anywhere with Wayne and not have fun! And just being with Candy is heart-warming as well as fun.
Speaking of Candy, she came yesterday for her second lesson in weaving and took the loom home. This is a small ten inch loom that has only two harnesses – she has learned to warp and dress it and is now in the process of making placemats with one-half inch strips of calico material. Once she gets this done, she will decide if she wants to borrow one of my bigger looms to work on or get one of her own. She loves rugs and wants to make them in all kinds of ways. She already hooks rugs, has learned “locker hooking,” is learning wagon-wheel weaving and wants, now, to do some on a loom. I think she’s addicted to rugs!
Lovely little Peanut is worming her way deeper into my heart. She loves to sit near me and snooze while I’m embroidering or watching TV or napping. She sleeps next to my feet while I’m on the computer. Yesterday she found a blanket on the floor (surprise) and napped while Candy and I were both weaving – and stayed there while I worked on another six inches of my table runner that seems to never get done!! Peanut does NOT like rain and does NOT like her tummy wet in long grass, so getting her outside for potty time has been a struggle. However, I have made her some liver treats to encourage her. Also, Wayne had suggested hot dogs as treats, so I made them first. She loves both and would probably jump through a burning hoop for one. This has allowed me to take her outside without a lead on – she comes when I call because she knows I have a treat in my pocket. She also gets a treat when she pottys, which encourages her to go outside, not in (remember, this was a breeder, so she probably spent most of her life in a kennel and didn’t have to be house-broken).
Hot dog treats for dogs:
Slice hot dogs into quarter-inch thickness
Bake or microwave until crunchy and dry but not crisp.
Give one to the dog for a treat and watch your fingers!
Liver treats for dogs
Raw liver, cut into approximately fist size pieces (small fist)
Simmer in water with garlic powder sprinkled in until the liver is no longer pink
Drain and cut into pinkie size (or smaller) pieces
Bake in the oven at two-hundred fifty degrees for about thirty minutes until soft and dry but not crispy or crunchy.
These can be frozen, stored in the fridge or put in a cupboard. They are dry enough to put in your pocket. Again, watch your fingers! I am trying to get Peanut to take them gently so I don’t lose a finger!
It will be a beautifully sunny day today – you have a beautiful day!
Saturday, September 23, 2006
But it’s raining and Peanut doesn’t want to go outside. Wonder if I can paper train her for these inclement days? I put her new coat on but she doesn’t like her feetsies to get wet, either! And they are so close to the ground!
Thursday was the fall equinox and also the dark of the moon. So it’s not surprising that the weather has been “inclement” for the past few days and will be, it seems, for at least three more. This is the time for the change of seasons, heading into the lovely Indian Summer that I love so much, before the winter sets in.
I don’t know where this quote came from, but my sister sent it to me to celebrate the turn of the seasons.
"Fall Equinox is a balance of light and dark, night and day and therefore is truly an outlandish moment in time: equality, a equal balancing, an actual moment of balance. I draw on my roots in the darkness, yet revel in the kiss of summer breeze and sun. I face the darkness of the fall and winter ahead and so face mysteries."
Today, Candy is coming over for lesson number two in weaving; we will have French Onion soup today on this overcast, coolish day!
You have a beautiful day!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Ken’s brother was in the cities from California, so the kids came home to be with him. Seems like everyone knew that the family would be there but me. I suspected, but wasn’t sure until I saw the car! But was truly surprised, anyway.
We had a great time; Jill and Eric came over for dinner and we had a table full of nine people.
The next day we went pet shopping with Peanut and Candy’s dog Cricket. The girls had a great time helping to chose a harness for Peanut, coats for both dogs, and treats.
We got home to plan the rest of our day; Norm called to say that I was mistaken about the doctor’s appointment – it was Tuesday, not Monday (not surprising … I often make that mistake), so we had lunch, had naps or rests and then went fiber shopping. Yarn for Joy to knit sweaters for our little girls (the four legged ones), cotton thread for Candy to crochet some things for her daughter, Brook, fleece to make pillows and blankets for Peanut.
Joy had a meeting Monday night, so the girls baby-sat Candy and I. We ended up not watching a movie or even playing card games, but sitting and cuddling and talking and telling stories about our childhoods. Joy came home and joined us. Then the girls ‘camped out’ in the family room and slept in sleeping bags on the floor next to the sofa I was sleeping on.
On Tuesday we headed to Shakopee, where we stopped at a Quilt Shop – Eagle Creek is a shop that was started by two women, at Historic Murphy’s Landing before our tragic fire in 2005. The two moved the business to a train depot; picked up from the fire and never looked back. They have remained friends with us, especially Norm, who had helped them get their first shop up and running (before the fire). Candy wanted to see what they had for rug hooking; she fell in love with needle punch and got some material and a needle to try that. I told her I thought it was miniature rug hooking. Then to a great Chinese buffet for lunch and the doctor’s office.
I won’t bore you with my two hour visit, but I did try to convince my doctor to move to Windom. (“Great place to raise children!”)
After that, we headed to Detta Spindle, where this amazing woman has a shop in her house. She has thousands (well, maybe not THAT many) of wheels to chose from. I ordered a rigid heddle for Katie’s loom (she paid $5 for the loom) and got a drop spindle for me… a cool one that I can actually use easily. She also showed me what I was doing wrong on my drum carder, which I plan on practicing soon. And I fell in love with a dream wheel … this looks like an 19th century wheel from Scandinavia and spins heavenly! Candy fell in love with an Irish Castle Wheel (and she doesn’t even spin – YET!) … So we are both starting funds to get our dream wheels. Want to donate??
It’s a beautiful day – 61º and sunny. You have a beautiful day!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
This Wednesday, we took 47 young cockerels to the butcher, where they charged only $1.50 per bird for butchering!! Can’t do that ourselves for that price!
Collected about 128 pounds of chicken yesterday and divided them into 4 groups for collection from the families in our co-op. The family that does the butchering does ALL the work, packaging and freezing, as well. We had a chicken last night (it’s easier to eat the first one when you haven’t done the actual work), and it was very good.
After all the money stuff was figured out, we found that it cost $1.80 per pound for the chickens, and cost 54¢ more per bird than the Cornish Cross ones, even though we kept them a month longer! And that includes the butchering price!
The roof has been re-done … we had about 12 hours of rain and no leakage in the mud room. My brother says I can’t call it the “mud” room any more … just the entry way!
I am making a ‘shopping’ list for Monday; this list is of places to visit. Sister Candy and I are going to the Cities for two days. I have a doctor’s appointment (annual physical – yuck) and so we are going to make that event a play time. We are taking her dog, Cricket, and Peanut along, as we are going to a pet store to get sweaters –Cricket has out grown hers and Peanut has none. We will visit quilt shops, yarn shops, a spinning / weaving shop, orchid greenhouse, pet shop and lots of places to eat (yummmm). We will leave Sunday night, stay at Joy’s house (she has one in the Cities, as well as the one Florida) and come home on Tuesday afternoon sometime. We will meet daughter Jill and son-in-law Eric for dinner Sunday night – the rest of the time (minus the doctor’s appointment) will be just fun and play-it-by-ear as to where we go next!
We discovered, in the rainstorm last night, that Peanut is afraid of thunder … she just shakes and quivers when it booms! There is a stuffed rocker in the family room – she jumped up and buried herself under a pillow that was in the chair. Too funny! But she slept with me last night because she was constantly asking to come up and be comforted from the big booms she was hearing.
This morning when I woke up, I found my lovely dead tree was down! This is the tree that I have my honeysuckle starting to grow on .. it made such a neat contrast, as it was in the middle of the kitchen window when you looked out. Norm is probably going to get a new tree – Red Maple or Red Bud – and then make a separate trellis for the honeysuckle that WAS growing on my dead tree.
I finally found the dish towel I was working on at the State Fair .. my first redwork! So here it is, in all it’s glory! (Morning Glories!!! Hehehehe)
It’s windy and overcast, but it looks to be a beautiful day. The weather is changing and going to be down-right chilly for the next week. You have a beautiful day!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Sherrie is a spinner; she raises and sells rabbits, sews sunbonnets and is a wonderfully caring, friendly woman. Her husband, Steve, is a blacksmith.
Roger you have already met from the State Fair. He goes to Pepin and does his spring pole lathe bowls there as well as at the Fair. This is a better picture of the bowl side of his work.
We have a foot-powered lathe, but I can’t remember the young man’s name. He was new last year.
His wife and daughter joined him for most of the weekend. The daughter is an adopted sweetie from China; she is only about 2 ½ but so very fluent. Mostly says “What you doing?”
Oldest is Jamie – he is the goat man and wants to be a veterinarian. However, the cost is prohibitive, so he is teaching himself to be one (will never get licensed, but people are already coming to him for help).
Mellissa takes care of the garden and has a small heirloom seed business. We buy seeds from her when we need new ones that she carries. She purchased a rug loom that they carry to demos in the back of the pickup; she taught herself to weave – I helped her learn to warp. She sells rugs right off the loom and they sell like hotcakes.
Tyler is the horse man – he is always drooling over or critiquing any horses he comes across. He trains their horses and works them.
Ryan is his right hand man and is learning horsemanship along with Tyler. Ryan rides, Tyler drives the horses.
Aaron is learning woodworking – he sells walking sticks that he makes on the shave horse.
Bethany, now 5, is a charmer. She wanders and smiles and tells stories (she told me that she was going to stay over Saturday night in the tent – or maybe in the motel. The boys laughed at that! And she fell asleep being carried by one of the boys before they went home.) She is actually starting to do some real work on the shave horse!
This family is awesome. And really sweet people, all of them. They are simple, homespun people that have one foot in each way of life and are comfortable with how they live and work. I could write pages and pages about them but will stop, now!
Melissa and Bethany
This weekend the boys had a pit saw set up to saw logs into planks. They worked all weekend with a new saw that needed to be sharpened and set quite often. Several of the others in our group came to try their hand at this skill. Norm did not, and I was watching him closely in case he wanted to try – his neck is not that good, yet!
Tyler (on top) and Jamie (on bottom)
I can’t forget Jasper … my bowl supplier! He has become a very close friend and I generally either order something special or pick something off the rack. I am addicted to his pottery!!
Norm and I went to see the Ingalls’ reproduction cabin. It’s about 18’ by 20’ and they figure it’s pretty close to accurate. The local quilt group had a quilt show for the weekend; we met some of them and got our picture taken by the door of the cabin because we “belonged.” It is not in the actual location, as historians have not actually found that – but this one is in a convenient place for tourists to come see.
It was a COLD weekend but a wonderful one, just that same. You have a beautiful day.
Monday, September 11, 2006
It now takes four hours to get from home to Pepin, and we came a different way than we used to take, when we lived at Historic Murphy’s Landing. This time we went through Wabasha, the famous town in “Grumpy Old Men” and “Grumpier Old Men.” We stopped at a scenic over-look to get a good shot of the Mississippi River before heading over to Wisconsin and Pepin, just upriver from the Wabasha crossing.
We arrived on Friday afternoon, got setup in the park and went to Tom’s house for the traditional pizza supper. Tom is a world-class blacksmith that lives and works in Pepin. He started the Traditional Craft section of the festival many years ago and began by inviting friends to come demonstrate. It is starting to really grow into a large affair. People bring beer and pay for frozen pizzas which Tom’s wife, Kitty, cooks in the oven. The gang arrives anytime after 7:00 at night, after their tents are set up and hang out until the last one decides to head to bed.
Saturday morning, people are still setting up, but guests start wandering though to see what’s going on. There are about twenty different demonstrations, anywhere from a flint napper to the Hilsgen family doing several styles of woodworking, candle dipping and weaving. We have a swamp willow basket maker (I did NOT get a basket this year), two blacksmiths with two different styles of smithing, many different woodworkers, two spinners (myself included) and a full kitchen with three (or more) cooks.
The demonstrations run until about 5:30, when the potluck supper starts. Most people bring ingredients and the cooks do the cooking. This year we had chickens on a spit among many other dishes with ice cream (hand cranked) and apple crisp. All these were cooked (except the ice cream, of course) on a open fire.
Sunday is Pancake Breakfast at the local elementary school. A lot of us gather and walk to the school, eat together and walk back. Another bonding of the gang goes on at this time. We start demonstrating at 11:00 but many people come earlier, so if we are ready, we begin early. We go until 4:00 or so, then tear down, say our goodbyes for another year and head home.
This year promised to be chilly, but ended up down-right COLD! I started out the weekend with a hint of a cold that went into a full-blown miserable one. Norm started his cold on Sunday afternoon and suffered his on the way home and today.
We had plenty of blankets, so we slept warm, but I had to bundle up with a blanket on top of my normally warm shawl to keep warm. I understand it stayed around 50º most of the day on Saturday and it started drizzling and raining on Sunday.
We took Peanut, but there wasn’t room for Goldie, so she stayed home and went to visit Candy, who took care of the chickens. Peanut is pretty smart and soon learned that when she was in the crate in the tent, she needed to “hunker down” and be quiet. The crate is a fold-down one that travels well; we covered it with a blanket to help keep her warm on the cold days. At night she slept in my bed, usually at the foot of it, under all the covers. Kept my feet warm as well as herself. There were times that I put her on my lap; she would nestle down under a blanket and most people would not even know she was there unless she put her head up and looked around.
We are very happy with the way that Peanut has fit into our family and the way she travels. Good choice on a nearly perfect dog for us! Norm, big softie, calls her “Pencil Nose.”
We got home late last night to find that Candy had put the chickens to bed, brought Goldie home and even collected our mail! Today was a non-day .. we got the essentials in from the truck, hung the wet canvas up to hopefully dry in the next few days, took cold pills and many naps. That’s about all we got done, so tomorrow is wash day, unpacking day, repacking to make sure things get put where they belong so we can find them for the next trip and getting back to a semi-normal life here at Ash Lane Farm.
I will put more pictures up tomorrow about the weekend.
It should be a beautiful day tomorrow; you have a beautiful day!
Friday, September 08, 2006
We are grateful that most of them never find Heritage Square – it’s too small an area for that many people. Most of the vendors, though, had a pretty good run and were happy with their total sales.
We have fireworks every night after the grandstand concert. I have never cared for them because they start off about the time I am just about asleep in my bed. But the last night they shoot them off at 9:00, closing time for the vendors and the end of the fair. We all stand in the yard and watch the fireworks go off, cheer for the beautiful ones and cheer the end of the fair.
We walked around and said goodbye to everyone before we headed home for bed. We tear down on Tuesday, but some tear down on Monday night so they don’t have to come back.
Tuesday morning we picked David up, went to a nice leisurely breakfast at a non-State Fair restaurant, then tore the camper down, hooked it to the pickup, checked out of the campground and headed to the Square to tear down the cabin. Everything except a corner cupboard and a stove are ours and have to be stuffed into the pickup somehow.
This year was a little different, as I had a car to help with the packing. Daughter Jill and son-in-law Eric are moving to Seattle (sigh) in October, so they gave me their second car, a Buick, to use and have ready for them to use when they come home to visit. With David’s help, I got everything of mine in the car except one chair, a table and one small loom. So Katie’s truck was not as stuffed as normal.
This year, also, I was more antsy to get going, as I had made arrangements to go look at a Dachshund on the way home. We got finished about 3:30. I said goodbye to Katie (for a while), took David home and headed to Faribault, where I would meet the foster mom and Peanut, the Dachshund.
Some of you might know that I was looking for another small dog after Meggie died this Spring. I finally decided I ‘needed’ a miniature dachshund. I started looking on line to see if I could find a rescue one.
I firmly believe that I, personally, should adopt a rescue dog rather than get a puppy. Puppies are adorable, surely, but there are way too many dogs out there that need a loving home that may never do so.
Of course, ‘mini-doxies’ are not in the general group of dogs having a hard time finding a home. Usually it’s hard to find a ‘doxie’ to put in your home. But I had found one on the net before the State Fair. Circumstances were that she was adopted while I was at the Fair. Her foster mom called me with the sad news. But she called me back in a week to say the adopter had returned Peanut because the gal was NOT a dog person and didn’t like having to be responsible for one.
So I headed down, found the foster mom, talked to her, played with Peanut and popped her into the crate I had borrowed from Joy. Although Joy is in Florida, they still have their house in the Cities and had one of Tasha’s crates there. I had been so confident I would get Peanut that I had brought a small piece of furry fleece to put in the bottom of the crate!
We now have a lovely little eight pound “doxie” and she is delightful. This picture is the one that was on the Net … I have not taken one of her since we got home.
We are heading, today, to Pepin, Wisconsin, for Laura Ingalls Wilder Days, and are taking Peanut. We do not have enough room to take Goldie, unfortunately, but sister Candy will be caring for her as well as the chickens.
It looks to be a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day!