Monday, December 29, 2008

trying hard not whine

i've been avoiding my blog lately. mainly because it would have been pretty pathetic. you would have found posts titled "kill me! kill me now!" or" just take me to vet and put me down!" i've been dealing with extreme back pain for over a week now. no position comfortable-unable to endour the car trip to town to get help as i have been unable to sit or lay down. standing has been semi tolerable and sleeping has been minimal.

the hardest thing for me to deal with is the fact that even though i have 2 weeks off from schooling i will not get any of my many planned projects done. i really wanted to put posts in for extending the hen yard and if weather and money permitted even buying the a few rolls of fencing and actually attemping to do it. varies aspects of house cleaning can't be done as lifting and bending is required. some of you may think -oh i bet you are knitting and reading and watching groovy old movies. i wish! but doing these things standing up is not very fun and gets old quik. i'm sick of standing and hate sleeping flat on my stomach.

oh gee-i sense this post is beginning to get whiney and pathetic. i better stop. one more thing...did i mention that i'm absolutely miserable? on to better things. i wanted to post a picture of the solstice cave our family builds every year to honor the return or rebirth of the sun. we light the candles at sunset on solstice eve.
we had a small gathering for the kids-cookie decorating and a solstice play were enjoyed. my favorite cookie..the black one-obviously done by an early teen!

here is blue wanting to the wear the sun costume.

sorry no good pics of the play.....but you get the idea. i took jeanne's advice after my felting mishap as spirits were low and decided to chill and knit myself something. being that my feet are always cold i opted for some coziness--wool socks! thick wool socks done on a size 3 needle. i haven't made the anguishing leap into doing socks on a size 1-anything on a size 1 is just wrong in my book. BUT(notice the caps!) i am willing to change. i'm willing to take the plunge and it is my new years resolution to not fear or disdain skinny needles-something i now use to clean my teeth with or check to see if baked goodies are done. i will go forth. but for now -here's my socks on size 3 needles. been into purples and green this season-purple is usually not a color choice i usually imbibe in.the green is more chartruesy in real life. gotta love it eh? okay-there's something i wanted to mention to you all-i know it's too late for this holiday season but..... for those of you non-fiber folks out there that have fiber fanatics in your family or circle of friends; i don't care how big you think their yarn stash is-gifts of yarn and fiber is all we fiber creatures want!!! check out my holiday haul...i'm a lucky gurl, eh? please, give the gift of fiber! oops! i forgot one! here's one from hubby...

happy new years everyone!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

happy winter!

i woke early this solstice day after having a small family solstice gathering last night. today is my dear friend Jeanette's wedding day. it will take place at the miner's foundry. the wedding is having a celtic flare and i'm in charge of making vegetarian Irish stew for those who don't imbibe in flesh. i found a wonderful recipe at yes, it includes guinness! very appropriate for nettie. it is simmering on the stove now and smells great. the marmite is a must! i may have a new solstice tradition. i omitted the red lentils(they didn't sound very irish to me) and added more root vegetables like parsnips and turnips- and way more potatoes! the rain is falling and it feels like an irish wedding day. i wanted to share the recipe with you. give it try! happy winter!

Vegetarian Irish Stew

2 medium onions, chopped
1/4 c. unbleached flour
4 c. water
1 c. Guinness stout (or other dark beer)
2 c. mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 c. carrot, sliced into rounds
1 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. split red lentils
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c. soy sauce
3 vegetarian bouillon cubes or 3 T. vegetable-stock base
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. Marmite
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. each dried thyme, marjoram and rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
Black pepper to taste
1 package of frozen or refrigerated vegetarian "steak" strips

In a large, lightly oiled, heavy pot, steam-fry the onion until it begins to soften. Add the flour and stir thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are done.

Serves 6. Serve with Colcannon (an Irish dish of mashed potatoes and greens -- generally kale, although some recipes use leeks or green onion) and Irish soda bread.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a series of unfortunate events

whew-i'm back on line. the snow in the satellite has melted enough to let the signal thru. it's amazing how addicting these machines are. i was experiencing ravelry withdrawals and sweaty palms not being able to check my email.

the weather was great. so happy to have precipitation of any kind. blue loved his first snow!
well, things have been out of sorts lately. you might say frustrating and trying on my nerves. making me a bit on the pissy side. things like too much cayenne on my dinner.

blue getting into one of my holiday gifts in the making-believe it or not-this is a hemp dish cloth. took me all morning to untangle it. damn! time is ticking for gift making. my fault-i left it in the blue zone!
while making liam his lunch today instead of adding cream to his annie's cheesy noodles-i added egg nog instead!!!

not a good thing.....heavy sigh! after a disastrous lunch i excitedly felted liam's solstice gift in the washing machine. i've been knitting nonstop for days. here's a before photo of the gigantic socks.
the felting process was taking rather long. the first time i checked them they had stretched gi-normously! so i kept felting. then they looked like they might fit me. so i decided to let them felt just a smidge more. i don't know what happened- i entered a time warp or something.....then when i took them out they were way too small!
oh how cute you say...they are indeed. but they might fit a 3 year old. liam is almost 11. he couldn't even get the first couple of inches of his foot inside! another heavy sigh! now i have nothing handmade to give him for solstice. i always knit holiday gifts for my family. now i'm even more behind in my gift making and stressing big time. oh well.... i guess gifts of yarn and needles...with a promise of what is to come will have to do.

after a day of heavy sledding-the boys are tired.

Monday, December 15, 2008

winter wonderland!

we really didn't believe it would snow. boy were we wrong. and it's still snowing a bit. i need to get out there and take more pictures. my computer goes in and out because of the snow in the salelite dish. i wanted to post this quick as i may be out of commission for few days. this picture was taken about 7 this morning. liam was up shortly after-all dressed and ready for more sledding. ran out the door before i could feed him! he loves the snow- so does Blue-i better get out of my jammies and get that camera working. it's a day for knitting!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

craft faire

last week as i readied myself for my annual craft faire at the north columbia school house i realized my spinning fibers were lacking in certain spectrums of the color wheel. i needed to dye up some new colors.i dyed about 8 new rovings. i think these two rovings would be awesome plied together.some of my new favorite knits for the sale are this baby sweater made from "JAZZ" yarn-50%alpaca 50% wool:this child size hat made from my handspun-i wish it fit me. i so love the colors.and this baby bonnet also knit from my handspun. the colors were inspired by the robes of tibetan monks.i still have this chartreuse baby sweater- the people who love it don't have kids. i knitted some baby socks that are too cute with it.
my friend and neighbor rhodie shared a booth with me this year. it was nice to have someone to sit with. here's our booth. rhodie is sitting there pricing her felted hats.

close up of my spinning fiber:

well, the sale for me was slow this year. economy? i don't know. no baby sweaters sold. it was the smaller socks and dishclothes. wish i'd made more of those. oh well. might have to focus on lower priced items next year. i'm going to be selling my rovings and yarn at meadowfarm yarn studio and i hope to get my etsy shop updated too.

now i have to get busy with holiday gifts. sneaks up on me every year!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

live and learn

last tuesday our fiber guild had a tie dye party at the local library! we were dying our guild t-shirts. what a blast! i usually don't dye cotton-i'm a wooly gurl. we mixed our colors and folded and twirled. We then had to wait....something i'm not good at... till friday to rinse. here it is before i rinsed.
see the green-it was blue when i mixed it and poured it on.... the alchemy of the color mixing turned it green. here is the unveiling-drum roll's a close up.when i washed my shirt....a lot of the dye washed out. it's still beautiful-just lighter. but i'm excited to do more-like dye the family's grody socks...yes-they like to walk outside in their socks. that soil just doesn't come out.we did a mushroom hike yesterday and found over 35 different kinds. when we arrived at our local secret mushroom spot-where no one ever goes. two cars were leaving. and we noticed lots of spots where mushrooms had been harvested. i'm sure the were harvesting boletes! you can get a good price for boletes and matsutakes-which grow around here. i only found one bolete. i did find an interesting cluster-that looked like "jack-o-lantern"-which is poisonous. but the spore print did not match up. i'm perplexed. here's a picture:i've been getting ready for my annual craft faire at the north columbia school house this coming saturday. as usual.. procrastination happens. heavy sigh. oh well. live and learn. i seem to have trouble with the learning part. i have all these great ideas and i never get them done before the sale. later.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

gobble gobble! (thanks sara!)

it's thanksgiving morning. the family is still sleeping. blue has grown out of two crates and i haven't been able to get a bigger one yet. so.......i have to get up with him. (or all hell breaks loose!) i thought i'd get caught up on my blog. but i'd rather be sleeping in. i haven't been sleeping well-so i'm feeling worn out and tired.

we always watched the macy's day parade on the tube when i was a kid-alas we have no tv. liam has never seen it. maybe carey watches it at his mom's. i hear the big smurf float was awesome. for those who also missed it.....
we finally got a little much needed rain yesterday. not enough though. i'm worried. i'm having to water the fall garden. i planted some soil builder cover crop in my raised beds. it is finally coming up. i love borage. it thrives in the cooler weather!

blue's not allowed in the garden-he loves to all the wrong places. sorry blue!

i planted onions and garlic for the first time ever. i'm very excited. it's been so warm look at my garlic already!my radishes are about 3 inches tall, i don't know if my beets are gonna make it. i planted everything too late. the lettuce is like half and inch tall. procrastination happens. on the hen front.....the gurls have been molting.....not a pretty site.egg production has been very low. but hey...i think they deserve a break! the stray dogs have been migrating thru the property a lot these days. free ranging days are over for the time being. i almost let them out yesterday. not 5 minutes later 3 large strays were there ready for trouble. my throat hurts from screaming at them. i'm going to expand the fenced in hen yard this winter so they have even more room to run around and give them more shade in the summer. i'm starting to plan some murals for the hen's gonna be fun! it's a bit plain right now.i have a new apron to add to my collection. i got it from joan at "ala mode" in grass valley. i wish i had a picture of her cute little vintage clothing store. maybe i'll do that another day. i've been visiting her store which has moved around; since carey was 4 years old- he's almost 17 now-gulp!close up of the pocket.....
happy thanksgiving everyone! i have much to be thankful for. i feel blessed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

for the love of old shoes

no time for post toastie this weekend...... it's courrier time!!! got to get the paper done and sent to the printers!! but i want to leave you with a picture i love. a picture that makes me smile, a picture that makes me feel good, a picture that says wow! i want to get to know this woman. i found this picture while cruising around ravelry. i added her blog to my list. please check it out. thanks for the wonderful picture magnusmog! enjoy. check out the hand knit socks!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

bring back the apron!!

i was going to try and post last night but my tired bod wouldn't allow it. you see we went on a hike not a particularly strenuous hike but a long one. at least 7 miles. we think it was longer-aching protesting hips say so. we decided to hike to the end of canyon creek trail which follows the north fork of the yuba river. we always seem to turn around before we reach the end. blue was very exciting as he had been sporting(much to his grief and embarrassment) an Elizabethan collar for 7 days and just had it removed on thursday. blue got neutered. when i picked him up he was wearing this! at least he doesn't look as miserable as morton the corgi-click on the collar link. the vet staff informed me i had to keep him quiet for 7 days-no running, jumping, stairs etc. i looked at them in disbelief. "helloooo what did you say? i've got a 5 month queensland heeler here and you are asking me to do what????" keep him quiet. that's a joke!!!!! they could have at least given me some doggie downers to bring home and aid me in this impossible task. so after a week of trying to restrain him-i was exhausted and at my wits end. hence the nice long walk.

what a beautiful day. temps in the 70's and scary but true no rain in sight! when we finally made it too the end of the trail we were excited to have our picnic. yet the place was already inhabited by others..1000's and 1000's perhaps millions! yes, we had to share the space with an orgy of ladybugs. this being their breeding ground. you couldn't walk without stepping on them. you couldn't sit on a rock with squishing them.this picture is just a few square inches-they were everywhere! we tried brushing off rocks to sit on and they would crawl all over you-and get under your clothes....kind of creepy. i don't want to bog down this post with too many photos but maybe i will share more pictures of our walk. liam did some mushroom collecting. here's some of his score as he was classifying them when we got home.
as promised here is a picture of the awesome hand woven bag i bought from bj at our farmstore spin day. see previous post. it holds my spinning wheel oil and my little hook. don't ya just love it!!!
i had started spinning some awesome naturally dyed fiber from tactile at the farmstore. i finished and i love it!!! i can't wait to make something with it-after the damn holidays-i've got way way too many projects going between gifts and stuff to sell at shows. here's my yarn: ooh la la and it's soft too~ i've decided to bring back the apron. i collect old aprons. i have a plethora of them.( i so love that word!) but they stay in a drawer. no one ever sees them. i've decided to let them out. i sported this one today.

yeah-i guess i wanted you to check out my boots too- remember these? flea market 8$ red wing effin boots! here's more of the apron.too sweet for words. i'll try and post a few more pics from the weekend during the week. blue needs another walk!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

guineas and geese

post election bliss bummed out by the passing of prop 8. taking away the rights of Californian gays and lesbians right to wed. very sad and unfair-what is wrong with people? it hurts! what can i say? i voted. heavy sigh.

on a lighter note today.... we had a spinning gathering at a local farm. members of our fiber guild met at jenny brown's farm store in oregon house. what fun it was to get together with friends spinning without guilt(as i was not at home plagued with chores.) the rain cleared for us and we had a splendid time.
i was spinning some marvelous natural dyed merino roving from tactile.
here was my little space.....

my friend sue had a gorgeous basket full of rovings from her own sheep. see it? all the beautiful natural wool. B.j. brought her weavings, lavender, yarns and hats too. i bought a handwoven bag from B.J. to hold my spinning supplies.. photo to come. i also bought a beret. knowing i could knit myself a beret....but when you fall in love with a chapeau made of alpaca, mohair and wool you just gotta have it. they were my colors.the picture does not do the hat justice. way more green..... i was trying to take a self portrait -ha! i have lizard eyes. slurp slurp!
there was a wine tasting of local wine. yum. i had to have local honey, local pomegranates, a bottle of ...something i can't pronounce unless i'm in mafia mode(hence the accent)-sangiovese. birdsong and sara said it perfectly. possible mafia connections? and yes, believe it or not i bought some beef. jenny raises her own grass fed beef and i bought a chunk of her summer sausage that was to die for. most of you know me as a vegetarian. but what can i say...when my body screams at me for meat and i start acting a bit too carnivorous for my own liking.. i need to imbibe. i don't want to be caught chasing deer down the road in a carnivorous frenzie. here's my score: jenny had a woodstove installed in the barn for warmth... but we had such a glorious day we took advantage of spinning outdoors. the geese and guineas hens supplied us with glorious music and entertainment. there were many more spinners and a weaver but i didn't catch it on camera. too busy having fun i guess..