Last week the honey was extracted and bottled– almost 60 pounds worth from a single hive! Not bad for a first honey harvest. I also have a bunch of wax to melt down and use for candles, but I'm saving that for a rainy day project. I splurged and got some labels printed up, too. Pretty cool!
The house has been spook-ified for Halloween since the beginning of the month. I didn’t go as crazy as in past years; I just love decorating for Halloween! On the actually day we will do our annual visit to the cemetery to lay special stones and fall flowers on the graves of loved ones who have passed on, set up our ancestor table (one of my favorite things!), light candles in the windows, and put out the jack-o-lanterns. Anyway, just wanted to share a few pics of some of the spooky/fallish embellishments I managed to get around to this year:
This guy DH bought last year and it freaks me out! I don’t like it one bit. I’m convinced one night I’m going to wake up to find those eyes peering at me from the side of the bed. **shiver**
The infusions I've had percolating for several weeks (picture below, right) are finally ready! Today I made up a special salve for my Mom. She had knee surgery in September and has had a tough time recuperating. I used some of the comfrey oil for deep healing, plantain for healing the skin/scar, and calendula oil to soothe the area (equal parts each). I added a little lavender essential oil for fragrance, as that is Mom's favorite.
Meanwhile, the last of the summer herbs are drying in the kitchen rafters. Lemon Balm, Verbena and a little mint (not pictured)– that is all. Though I do still have some huge bunches of raspberry leaves (still on the stalk) hanging in the barn. I'm going to move them to the green house this weekend but I'm not sure when I'm going to get around to jarring the leaves… it's been a busy October! But, since I have a bunch all ready put up I'm not really in any rush.
I’ve been knitting like a mad woman lately. I finished a poncho for my sister for her birthday, a beret to use as a stool cover, a pair of fingerless gloves (my first!), am working on a scarf for Peep #1 for his birthday and a pair of socks for my SIL for hers. I love knitting socks and try to have a pair going at all times. Below left is a picture of SIL’s sock, though I have made quite a bit of progress on it since this was taken. I’m on the foot now, about to start the toe decreases.
Poor Peep #2 has had the worst luck with the socks I’ve knit for him! He’s growing too fast… by the time I finish
he’s outgrown them (Peep #1 has benefited from these cast-offs). I also knit a beret to use as a stool cover that came out really cool. I used a really thick yarn (Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in “Spice”) and size 13 circulars so it knit up in a few hours. It’s perfect!
Thumbs! I’ve mastered the thumb… it’s a huge knitting hurdle for me and you have no idea how exciting this is! (Unless, possibly, you’re a knitter and have experienced a similar thrill). I’ve been wanting to knit mittens and fingerless mitts for eons but was always intimidated by the thought of doing a thumb. I felt like knitting it flat and sewing it up was cheating. I was going to knit it in the round, dammit! LOL Anyway, I found a really easy pattern in Interveave Knits that I was able to modify. I used super chunky yarn (Sirdar Stampada) and size 10 DNPs. These knit up quickly as well– also in a couple of hours. Now I can’t wait to start whipping up a bunch of them to give as gifts at Yule. Peep #2 has been asking me for pair for the longest time (which is why I knit the “finger” area so short–see photo below), and I am just busting to give these to her! Her birthday is next month so I’m going to be patient, and in the meantime I’m going to start up a pair for myself on the sly….
So our homeschool Co-op is going really well. I wasn't sure what to expect but so far we are having a blast. Friday mornings we arrive at a few minutes before 10 a.m. (not a little slap dash of dress, let me tell you… we're so not good at having clothes ready, packing up lunches and assorted accoutrements the night before…why do that when you can you experience that searing adrenaline rush in the morning?) Anyway– they go into their first class: Writing Workshop. They are LOVING this. I hope it keeps their creative juices flowing. As I mentioned in a previous entry, we have struggled with writing, especially of the creative kind, so I am very happy. After Writing Workshop Peep#1 goes into Chess, and Peep#2 into Fun with Fractions. I sit in on that class so it's been interesting to see how she's progressing. Peep #2 is actually quite good in math, but it doesn't come naturally; she's not a "numbers" gal like Peep #1 (she gets that from me). The mom teaching the class was actually a math teacher B.K. (Before Kids) so that is cool. At noon we break for lunch, which as long as the weather holds we are enjoying outside on the picnic tables beside the playground. The Peeps wolf down a quick bite and then it's off to climb or swing or play a game of kickball while I eat and chat with some of the other moms. It's a good group. I normally feel so out of place with other moms…. oh who am I kidding, I feel that way with everyone!… sigh… but I digress… These moms are awesome. It's an eclectic bunch but similarities definitely outweigh the more obvious differences, and I really enjoy spending time with them.
Sometimes we do Drama Games at 1p.m., and sometimes we just head home. Last week was their once-a-month Monopoly and More class but that wasn't a big hit. I don't think they'll do that one again next semester.
So, we have dipped our toe into the Co-op pool so to speak, dabbling with a few classes; but I think next semester we will go whole-hog and sign up for as much as we can. There are some really interesting offerings and I'm looking forward to seeing what will be available on the next go-round. Pretty impressive for a Co-op in its infancy!