Thursday, October 20, 2016

It's Been HOT This Week

We've had temperatures near and exceeding 80 degrees.  Pretty amazing for this time of year.  Sam and I have been able to eat dinner on the deck, as long as it isn't dark yet.  We had a very light frost last week, but not enough to kill anything.  As a matter of fact, I have still been harvesting tomatoes and basil and peppers from the garden.

Tuesday I picked all the banana peppers there were and pickled them for Sam.   The peppers did not do well in the heat we had in August, so they have come on rather late.  There are now a lot of green peppers, but I don't think they will ripen to the red peppers which I prefer.

I cleaned out the corn stalks and gathered up all the butternut squash into one place to let them harden off.  I still have some arugula growing and swiss chard. 


 I wish we liked the swiss chard more.  It seems to have a long growing season.  But while we can eat it, we're not crazy about it.  I probably won't plant it next year.  

I have a new crop of arugula, lettuce mix and romaine coming up in the cold frame.  We have only covered it one night so far.  

Despite the warm temperatures, it is time to think about the coming cold weather.  So Saturday morning Sam and I cleaned the wood stove and the chimney in preparation.  This is a pretty involved process as the stove insert needs to be pulled out from the fireplace  to clean out the chimney pipe.  

It is big and heavy and awkward and it is difficult to get the pipe put back together when we are done.  But it had been put off long enough.  It's nice to know that now when it gets cold we can go ahead and light the woodburner.

This week my studio got steps up onto the deck.  Sam closed off the back, so this is now the only entry to the building.

Sam has also been pulling logs out of the woods to cut for the siding.  On our walks lately he has been sizing up trees that are already down in the woods for their potential as siding boards.  He thinks he may still have to cut a tree or two, but has has pulled a lot of logs over to the sawmill.

 I have not done any knitting I can post on here as it has all been gift knitting.  Both my looms are about ready to weave on, but I really don't have any progress to show.  It has been so nice outside that I have not wanted to be inside when I've been at home, which leaves little time for weaving.  But the weather will be changing soon, as will the clocks and it will be getting dark much earlier.  

Grover and I are off to an agility trial tomorrow in Zanesville.  It will be our first one since August and I hope we do well.  We are about due for some clean runs.  I know we can do it.  

We have found several of these large puffballs in the woods lately.  They are so odd looking.

And the colors are at about their peak right now.  I know by next week all the leaves will be gone and everything will be shades of grey and brown again.  So I will enjoy it while I may.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October is Here

I carried my camera with me a few times over the past couple of weeks, but I don't seem to have gotten many good shots.  October has really had some ups and downs weather-wise so far, with the last 2 mornings being in the 30's.  Yesterday there was even a film of ice on the car windshield.  But the days have been lovely with bright blue skies and highs near 70.  Except for Saturday.  There was a huge hurricane coming up the east coast on Saturday and it was very overcast here all day until evening when the edge of it started to slowly pass over on its way east.  There was a very definite line between the far edge of this vast storm system and the clear skies from the west.  The clear skies brought the first cold overnight temperatures on Saturday into Sunday, but more pleasant weather.

Our garden is still producing tomatoes. There were even new blossoms on the vines yesterday.  But there are a lot of green tomatoes that just won't ripen.  This past weekend I used fresh tomatoes, fresh peppers, basil, arugula and  parsley.  I have over 2 dozen nice butternut squash which will get us pretty much through the winter and I just planted more arugula, romaine and mesclun lettuce mix which we will be putting the cold frame over, hoping to enjoy fresh greens through the end of the year like last year.

My studio now has electricity to it, as well as gas and a door and windows.  Next will be the steps up to the deck so Sam can close in the back of the building.  Right now there is a 4' X 8' opening that was left to make access easier before the deck was added. The door and all the windows came from the auction at Rogers, Ohio that Sam and his dad go to every month, so they don't all match, but that's ok.  There is a window on each of the 2 sides that are not visible in this photo, so there should be plenty of light.

 I took this photo from inside looking out towards the house.  I think the deck will be a nice place to sit and spin or knit.  It will have a railing on it eventually, but the steps and siding take precedence at this point.  Sam will be milling wood for the siding from trees on the property.  Most are trees that are already down and just need to be hauled to the mill.  There will be a variety of woods.  I will be using a stain, but I have not yet decided what color I will use.  I think I have time to think about it.  It will not likely get done until the weather warms up in the spring.

Wetland area created by the beavers

Saturday afternoon Grover accompanied me as I finished clearing my walking trail on Wayne National Forest.  I have come to the realization that Grover and I need to get out on more strenuous walks than Rowdy can keep up with.  We need to do it a few times a week, which means leaving Rowdy at home and just doing it.  It is almost physically painful mentally for me to leave Rowdy behind.   All his life our days have usually included a nice long walk in the woods in all seasons.    Rowdy is 11 1/2 now and I know the hills are just not good for his joints.  There are 1 to 2 mile hikes we can go on that are easier on an old dog.  However Grover and I both benefit from more challenging hikes.  So on Friday morning Grover and I got in the car and went to Lamping Homestead and did the 4+ mile hike over there that I love.  It was very enjoyable, even without my other best friend along.  

I have been doing some spinning, still working on the alpaca/shetland blend that I plan to knit sweaters from for both Sam and myself.  I plan to start his no later than November 1st.  The only knitting I am doing currently is gift knitting, so it will just have to remain a mystery for a while.  And both my looms are waiting to be dressed with warps which are already measured out.  This loom will have baby blankets on it using a peach warp and white weft.  No special baby in mind, I'm just trying to use some of the cones of yarn I have on hand.  I had to purchase additional heddles for this project as it has over 700 "warp ends", which are the threads that go from front to back on the loom.  Each end needs to go through a heddle and I was 20 short.  But as of today, they are installed and I am ready to start putting the warp on the loom today.  I have warp ready at home for the other loom for some Christmas table runners.  This is a green warp and there will be a pattern in natural of trees and snowflakes. I am only waiting for time to start putting this warp on the loom.  I probably won't get to start it until Thursday this week.  I have nothing on the schedule for the weekend, so I may get in some weaving time.