Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Yarn Along

The sweet friend for whom I am knitting the purple Elder Tree prayer shawl is due with her fourth baby on Dec. 2 but will be induced this Friday due to complications from BP/preeclampsia. It is her fourth baby and second round with preeclampsia so it's not a panic but it is a bit disheartening for her. This means I am monogamously knitting to "finish" that piece by Thursday morning and I am hopeful I can send it in her hospital bag come Friday. It is supposed to have about 12-13 leaves down the middle spine and I am currently at 10 1/2. Beth, if you're reading this, save room!!

I'm not reading much at the moment though I have started so many books! I am trying, as I knit, to catch up on lovely podcasts, Handmade and Woolen and Crafthouse Magic being two of my current favorites. There's also Meanwhile at the Castle still in my queue.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Apple Days

Laird's Applejackery :: natural apples :: hennypenny :: sweet Mary :: by the bucket 
 Buster the orchard dog :: saving for later :: guinea hen

Now that I have resurfaced from the deep dark depths of apples, I can tell you all about it. 

My sweet friend Mary is currently renting from a friend who has apple trees, bearing more apples than he can possibly use in even this bad {late frost} year. He doesn't spray them, so not only are they "organic" they are completely chemical free!

Julian and I traveled to a commercial apple orchard early in our marriage, at my insistence, regardless of the fact that Julian said I wouldn't enjoy it. I didn't. No, not one bit. It was a complete tourist trap, with apples so heavily laden that they hung there perfectly on the trees with not a divet, a dimple, with nary an imperfection to be seen. And not a bird in sight because there was not a bug in sight. Because bugs and birds and bees like apples just the same as we, and don't they have a right to? 

That ain't right, folks. Apples grown in nature LOOK like things that grew in nature. (End rant.)

You can imagine how much fun this was for me.

I grew up on homemade applesauce throughout the winter and always try to acquire apples enough to put up one quart per week of winter (13). In addition, if I can make a few apple pies or put up enough sliced apples for a few winter pies, I'm so much the better. So I picked and picked, enjoyed my time with sweet Mary, and came home with about 80lbs of apples. 

Into the freezer went apples enough for three pies, fifteen quarts of applesauce, and four quarts of grated apples for breads or cakes or fritters. I made a fresh apple pie and THEN took 30lbs to my sister in law and made at least one batch of apple sauce with her, put sliced apples in the freezer for a winter pie AND baked a fresh pie!

How about yourself? Have you had a chance to enjoy apple season before pumpkin season swamps us entirely?

Friday, October 7, 2016

For the shore...

Birds pictured in order: yellow-crowned night heron, juv.; gulls, mixed flock; brown pelicans; american kestrel; ruddy turnstone, non-breeding plumage

There's so much to worry about in life these days -- no one needed a hurricane, I can tell you that. While it looks like much of Virginia will be spared the brunt,  we still will get wind and rain while our friends to the south aren't so fortunate.

I am reminded of when Katrina hit New Orleans and my best friend was living there at the time. She evacuated with a basket of laundry and not much else only to come back to nothing. I cannot begin to imagine what I would take if I needed to do the same? What would fit? What would I take only to then regret taking because it took the room of the thing I did not take and wish that I had?

There's nothing to be done now but pray and wait, so here's hoping for the best for anyone impacted, especially sweet Tracey whose home on the ocean has buoyed many a spirit and fed many a soul.