Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Story

Scituate Lighthouse
This is our story of Hurricane Irene.
It happened that a dear friend of ours had invited us to her son's wedding.  It was the 27th of August which worked out perfectly for me.   I got home from my wonderful vacation to Scituate on Thursday, washed my clothes and did housework on Friday, then Saturday we headed over to the White Mountains of New Hampshire for the wedding.  Originally we had thought to have a weekend getaway by going over to the coast after the wedding, then taking a leisurely trip home on Sunday.  Annie was staying at the house for us to watch over all the critters so we weren't going to be in a hurry to go home.
However, Hurricane Irene changed all that.
Ty and Alyssa
Knowing that the storm was coming up the coastline we decided to go right back to Vermont early on Sunday.  The wedding itself was very nice with the weather being warm with just a few clouds.  But when we woke up Sunday at 6, it had already been raining for a while.  We went to 7:30 Mass at the little church where Ty got married and headed west immediately.  Stopped for breakfast in Littleton then drove out into the storm.  At that point, and for most of the trip, it was more rain than wind to deal with.
Jeff decided that if the wind was going to come up the Connecticut valley that it made more sense for us to drive over to the middle of the state before we headed south.  If we went through the mountains he figured the winds would be less.
We didn't factor in Torrential Rains.
As we got closer to home the accumulation of water was becoming scarier and scarier.  There were one or two instances of hydroplaning which were slightly unnerving.  The rivers were absolutely raging--even the brooks were wild.  Still, we just kept on driving as it only seemed to us like a fierce rainstorm.  We arrived home safely at about 12:30.
The raging Poultney River
Only to be met by a slightly wild daughter who had been a little frantic not knowing where her folks were. You see, we don't have a cell phone.  And she had been watching the news. Evidently almost as soon as we had crossed many of the roads they had been washed away.  Literally.  Poor Annie viewing the TV coverage of this flooding had no way of knowing we were sailing in ahead of the destruction.  But angels were surrounding us.
Now I'm watching Vermonters digging out, cleaning, coping and making me proud to be a resident of this valiant state.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Just a short post today to say how my heart goes out to all those who are cleaning up today after Irene's pass through.  Here in Vermont we have such heart breaking losses of property and so many damaged roads that it is hard to comprehend.  The blessing is that only one person is known to have lost their life, not the many that it could have been.  Here on our little homestead all is well.  I will write more another day, to tell the story of our escapade.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Sunrise over the Lake on the Cape
Am getting ready to go on vacation with my sister-in-law, Pam.  She and I used to take our kids camping every summer as soon as school was out.  First it was locally, then we went to a wonderful place in Maine.  But eventually all the children grew up.  So the first year with no kids we went bed and breakfasting in Maine.  That was lots of fun.  We actually haven't been off together for a couple of years--the last time we were at her cousin's place on Cape Cod.  It is an "on a lake" place, not an "on the ocean" place.  Still, the ocean is not far from anywhere on the Cape.
The cottage
This time we are going to her family cottage on Scituate Harbor.  I haven't been there since 2007, so I am looking forward to it.  It is still a very rustic cottage, with very few amenities.   A bathroom with a wonderful old claw foot tub and a makeshift shower.   Narrow stairs, bunk beds, one open room downstairs.  It is still very much a summer cottage, unlike most of the places around it.  Those have all been winterized, enlarged, reworked and generally made into showplaces.  I think I like the old place, better.
We always find lots of things to do when we are out and about.  I am looking forward to lots of knitting time, as she will be driving.  That and eating good things.  We like to visit bakeries and candy shops!  The smell of the ocean, looking at birds, sleeping in til 6:30, drinks on the porch at night.....Oh ya, I'm ready!
View from the porch

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One Never Knows.....

Our booth for the day

East Poultney Day was a lot of fun.  The weather was perfect for that kind of day--partly cloudy and warm without being too hot.  There were a fair amount of people about.  Not as packed as it has been some years.  The focus of the day is undergoing change.  It used to be a huge flea market affair on the green, with a few people dressed in "colonial" garb leading tours, or acting as hosts, for the three museums that border the green.  Now it is given over to artisans, handcrafters and locally produced items.  Antiques, as opposed to yard sale stuff.  This year they erected a tent so that there could be continual programing--things like short lectures on the history of the town and demonstrations of different crafts.  The band played at some point, as did a local folk group.  All seeming to be the quintessential Vermont summer experience. 
The book
I got to talk to lots of folks about spinning and weaving.  There was one gentlemen who, a weaver himself, was very willing to chat about the art.  He suggested a book that he said was invaluable for patterns.  Because he couldn't remember the title exactly, he took my card so that he could email the info.  I was so happy when he actually followed through.  He raved about this out of print book, saying it would be worth it for me at any cost.  So I immediately started to search online for it.  Found an image of it and something went "bing" in the back of my brain.  I ran upstairs and lo and behold, I already own it!!!!!! How bizarre is that??? This was one of a couple books acquired in the usual way  ("here, found this, thought you might like it") and I had not really looked at it since.  It is old, it is in black and white.  Well, now that I know what a treasure it is, I am anxious to read it and give it some attention.  A quick glance let me see it is as the gentleman said.  I think it will become my source of inspiration for a long time.  I'm wearing my happy face!
Which just goes to show, you just never know what can happen at these outings. 
P.S. And I did sell a hat.

Friday, August 12, 2011

All Ready

Back of shawlette
I feel like I am just about all ready for East Poultney Day now.   I finished my little shawlette.   It came out just as I wanted it, being lightweight warmth for the shoulders.  Sometimes a person only wants to keep the draft from a fan or air conditioner off them, not really needing a sweater or heavy shawl.  Or perhaps just a touch of color, as this has the pretty ribbon in it.  I also got my scarf off the loom, but that was much harder as the warp keep breaking.  Most of my time was spent fixing instead of happily weaving.  It was the fault of my spinning the fleece too softly.  The warp really needs to have a firm twist to it.  The overall scarf is fine, it was the weaving experience itself that suffered.   Now the rest of the morning is going to be spent making sure I have everything labeled, the inventory list is accurate, etc and so forth.
It is a gorgeous day today, much like yesterday.  Sunny, cool--only in the 70's--with a little breeze going on.  My perfect kind of summer weather.  Not sure if the sudden change from "sweating a bucket a minute"  to "ahh, almost need a sweater" has the girls flummoxed or what, but there was not one egg to be seen yesterday.  Nary a broken shell or, what I call, soft egg. (Those are the ones that fall out before the shell hardens, for various reasons).  Maybe it was a chicken holiday.  Hope they make up for it today.
Brisco, Daisy Mae and Roscoe
We read a letter in one of our magazines which told how the author tames her unruly roosters by picking them up every day and cuddling them.  She claimed that it was a foolproof way to keep them from getting mean.  So every night I have been trying that with the three Littles.  Brisco hardly struggles, but Daisy Mae and Roscoe fight like mad.  They are going to take a lot of taming.  The two boys spend part of every day sparring.  I think that Roscoe is getting to be the top guy.  Maybe he will have to go into the pot when they are no longer cockerels, as we can only have one rooster.  The gentle one! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy Day

Package, ready to go
Am just off to mail out an Etsy order.  It is such a wonderful feeling to make up my little box and send it out.  How I wish I could find out what made this item appeal to this person.  Out of the millions of handmade items on the Etsy site, why my shop?  Why this particular thing?  For what ever reason it is, I am so happy I was found! 

East Poultney Day is this Saturday, the 13th.  Glo and I will be there with a booth and our spinning wheels.  I used to volunteer to dress in colonial garb to demonstrate spinning, now, however, I am in my regular clothes and demo at the booth.  I think I must get just as many people stopping to watch and ask questions.  There are actually quite a few of us who spin at our booths that day as the entire green is filled with people selling handmade things, antiques and many other fine items.  Throughout the day there will be a lot of things going on as Poultney is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year.  A fun time can be had by all, as the museums are open, there is lots of good food, and there is all kinds of stuff to look at.  You should come on over!

Friday, August 5, 2011

More musings

Fun to knit, not my design
I think that what I really want to do, in my little fiber world, is only produce original designs.  I have been thinking about the whole idea of using other people's work after I have gone through the entire processing of the fleece, and it doesn't seem right.  It  is not too difficult to design something, once the yarn is in the hand.  By the time I reach that point, I have worked with it enough to know what it is going to be suited for.  To then tamely knit it up into a pattern someone else has thought of seems to be the wrong ending to all my work.  The last few things I have knit are all my own, and it was such a good feeling to look at them and know it was all out of my head and hands.  The weaving has always been mine, as weaving is a different ending than a knit piece.  There is such joy in deciphering and knitting a pattern that someone has designed.  I won't stop doing it.  It is just that I will save those patterns for gifts, or my own wearing and using.  They won't be in my shop.
All my own

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summertime, and the Livin' is Easy

Jeff's garden
The garden is producing lovely veggies at a very nice pace.  We have had just enough zucchini  for a few suppers and then to make my zucchini relish. I am grateful that we are not being overwhelmed with them.  I also made zucchini brownies which are always yummy.  Put up many green beans for the freezer.  I have a bowl of beets he pulled that I am trying to decide what to do with.  I may try pickling them.  I've never made pickled beets!  It would be an experiment.   We have moved on from raspberries to blueberries.  Yesterday I made my molasses and blueberry cake--a yummy recipe I got from a fellow spinner probably 15 years ago.  Mostly the blueberries get frozen for winter consumption. The lettuce is all done, so Jeff planted some more for the fall.  He put them where the two remaining eggplants were struggling.  I have no idea why they were so pathetic, but they were never growing and it was evident that they would never fruit.  So, goodbye to them and hello to lettuce.
Ladies who want breakfast in bed
In my little chicken world I had a funny thing happen this morning.  Jeff came in to say that two of the hens were still on the roost.  Everyone else had left at least three quarters of an hour before that.  Concerned, as there had been an episode of pre-dawn egg drop this morning, I went out to investigate.  Sure enough, two were sitting on the roost.  They didn't look ailing, so I held up a handful of grain to see if they would eat.  The ladies sidled over to each other and began to nibble out of my hand.  I held up another handful which they gobble right down.  By the third handful I began to see that, really,  what they  wanted was to have breakfast in bed!!! Well, I told them that they had to get up as it was a beautiful morning.
They did, but not until I heard Lil'Roxie giving someone an earful.  I don't think she was happy about something.  I found her ten minutes later in a nest box, looking grumpy.  Yes, chickens can look grumpy.  Hopefully she will lay me an egg and get on with the day.
Besides, I have a lot of spinning I want to do today. Don't want to be fussing with lazy chickens.  I'll bring the wheel outside to keep them company.  That will be fun!