Summer

I suppose an update is long overdue!  It’s been a busy year.  I started full time at the little art gallery/event center I work at and that has kept me very busy.  Fortunately, I love what I do!  Some things have taken a back seat during the transition though: most notably, my garden.😦 I was really disappointed to have to let that go, but it’s just too difficult to find the time and motivation and with so many awesome farmer’s markets in the area, it’s easy enough to find locally grown fruits and vegetables.  I still like to spend plenty of time outside, I just don’t want to be doing back breaking work while I’m enjoying it!  That said, there are a few things I’m not giving up: my trusty bed of garlic and right next to it one for zinnias, that robust producer that gives me fresh flowers from July to the first frost.  Of course I still also have my medicinal and culinary herb bed just outside the kitchen and a couple of ornamental beds in the courtyard, but that’s enough for the time being!  The orchard is in a sad state; it’s pruned but never produces anything at all.  The blueberries and blackberries are the only thing that sometime spit out a few handfuls of fruit, but the apple and pear trees… nada.  Instead of toiling in the soil, I’ll be enjoying a little reading time in the hammock or painting in the shade of a tree.

Speaking of which… painting! About a year ago, sifting through some piles of rubble in my office, I came across all my old sketchbooks and started going through them. It rekindled my love of art and I’ve been doing some form of sketching, painting, or pottery creating every day.  I have enjoying it so much and have improved immensely with daily practice.  Expect to see a good amount of that on the blog from now on– you were warned.  I’ll start with this little watercolor sketch of one or our Buff Orpington hens, the aptly named Buffy. (Sadly, Willow and Cordelia are no longer with us.😦 )

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Bringing Home a Box of Nuggets

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It’s that time of year again!  The greenhouse is hosting chicks and new tomato seedlings.  I love getting new chicks and never tire of their adorable antics.  This year we decided to add a couple more Reds to the flock.  We only have one left and she’s getting way up there in years, so… she’s really not laying as much as she used to.  Typically we rely on our Reds to get us through winter with eggs, as they’re known for being good winter layers; but this year for the first time in a very, very long time, we had to BUY EGGS!  *clutches pearls*  It just doesn’t seem right to have a flock of 8 hens and still have to pay for eggs.  Sigh.

So, we also decided to add another blue egg layer, simply because they’re so darn pretty and we love our Dr. Seuss-ian colored eggs.  And for those observant readers who say, but that’s only three, and that there is a six-piece box of nuggets!… We are splitting the chicks with my sister.  Hers are the Buff (yellow chick) and the spare Red and Aracauna.

Let It Snow

Summoning a little snow.  Perhaps I should have been more specific...

Summoning a little snow. Perhaps I should have been more specific…

I’ve been complaining that it’s been a woefully snow-less winter to date, and decided to write this on the kitchen chalkboard as a sort of pictorial rain dance… er, snow dance.  Well, it worked!  Apparently, all the snow for this winter came in one fell swoop as nor’easter settled over us in the form of a blizzard.  Here are just a few shots from the adventures of Snowpocalypse 2015.

Bedding the hens down with fresh pine shavings and hay.

Bedding the hens down with fresh pine shavings and hay.

Piles of wood waiting in the greenhouse.

Piles of wood waiting in the greenhouse.

Narnia!

Narnia!

Before...

Before…

and after.

and after.

Snowy dog.

Snowy dog.

There are few things in life better than hunkering down during a snow storm.  Inside it’s warm and toasty, with nothing to do but knit and drink tea while I wait it out.  Both school and work have been cancelled for the next two days… huzzah!  Love the winter.  And now, it seems the worst is over, so time to enjoy some tea and Moroccan Stew.  :)

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Free Pattern: Quick & Easy Toddler Size Throw

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Quick & Easy Toddler Size Throw

Yarn:  Bulky Yarn, holding 4 strands together

Needles: US Size 50 (a.k.a. vampire stakes ;))

Directions:

CO 28 STS holding 4 strands together. Work in stockinette stitch  (*K1 row, P1 row*)until blanket measures 36” long. BO. Adding a fringe is optional.

Finished dimensions are approximately 2’x3’.

For the blanket pictured I used Lion Brand Jiffy Solids in Blue (“Slate” 151), Purple (“Grape” 138), Gray (“Dark Gray Heather” 159).  I’m normally not a fan of acrylic but for a blanket that’s going to suffer all kinds of toddler abuse, it’s nice to have something that can be put in the washer and dryer as often as needed.

Smashing Pumpkins

Feasting on Halloween.

Feasting on Halloween.

I ended November with finally getting around to winter prep for the chicken coop.  Aside from squeaky clean roosts, nesting boxes and feeders, the girls now have a nice thick bed of shredded leaves in the run.  Much frolicking is to be had rifling through the leaves when I throw a handful of sunflower seed or cracked corn in there. I also took the remaining pumpkins from the porch and cracked them open in the run… the girls love pumpkin seeds!  With that done, now it’s time for evergreens, holly, warm wool mittens and snow.  Fa la la!

Mabon (Autumn Equinox)

Tuesday marked the autumn equinox and the official start of my favorite time of year!  It was a perfect fall day:  cool, dry, and sunny.  On the way home from work I stopped at our local cider mill and picked up a gallon of cider;  then,  I took a walk in the woods and gathered some things to make this simple Mabon mobile.  I’m very much looking forward to the cooler days ahead!

autumn path

A path through the woods.

mabon mobile

Leaves and feathers (and a seed pod) in the wind, anchored with acorns.