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.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Yarn Along - Birthday Cast On

That top picture there shows a stone bench where we sat long enough to let the cold rock chill the sweat that dripped down our spines as we climbed up the ravine to that point. This was how I spent my birthday, scrambling up the sides of mountains chasing views of waterfalls and wondering how I became so out of shape and prone to aching. "More of this and more often," we kept promising to each other.

I bought a sweater's worth of Knit Pick Galileo in "gem" almost a year ago now with the idea of casting on a short row sweater only I never actually got around to it. The project starts off with a bang: 342 sts cast on and then an inch of K2P2 rib. I didn't like the idea of such a posh seeming sweater being edged with rib so I have now cast on as a birthday treat challenge to myself and I am going about it in linen stitch. Wow. Linen stitch.

It is 61F here today and we have anxiously watched about this hurricane. I think it now will miss us even though just 24 hours ago it was supposed to go right over us! I was on the schedule for the chimney sweep today but he has just called to say that he was incorrectly booked and is currently over two hours away across the state. I'd have told him what I thought a little more plainly but they are hard to come by in this neck of the woods - seems it is a dying art - so I was as polite as I could sand to be, knowing that we will have no glowing fires now for 20 more days at least.

What's keeping you busy? Want to show and tell? Join Ginny and the others for Yarn Along!