Friday, February 27, 2009

44° and windy

The sky was red this morning and we shall take warning. The rain is due to commence after noon. Yesterday I asked Brady to come up this morning to clean out the barnyard in preparation for the monsoons. This is the absolute worst/best time of year here in southwestern Vermont. The days are getting longer and the bird song in the mornings portends of things to come.

I'm waiting for my seed order to be delivered and although it is a bit early to be starting tomato seeds I'm still very much in anticipatory mode. I've ordered a packet of Caspian Pink ..... an Heirloom Russian variety that we really enjoyed last summer..... and several others whose names I've forgotten.

On a knitting note, there has been significant progress on the EZ Tomten Jacket. Two of the women in the Pownal Library Knitting Group are swatching for the Tomten Jacket and I wanted to knit up the jacket as an example for them to follow. Granted, EZ's instructions are impeccable BUT these women are beginner knitters and reading a pattern is a new exercise for them. I've marked all of my increases and decreases for them to be better able to understand the shaping process. As of now, they have purchased the yarn for the project and are in the process of swatching to determine the appropriate needle size.

I am nearing the end of WJ's Six Pack sock#2 in Smooshy merino. It has been a fun knit and I do love that Smooshy. My only concern has been. Will I have enough yarn to finish sock #2 ? My current thought is 'just barely winnona'. By the end of today I'll know for certain. Perhaps THEN I'll feel inspired to get back to work on Fulmar??? It is such a beautiful pattern and I am really loving the fabric and color!! The yarn is Jan's Frangipanni gansey yarn in the Ocean Deep colourway. Ocean Deep is just that .... the color of the North Atlantic in winter.

The Red-bellied Woodpeckers have been at the feeders several times this morning. This year I am determinded to locate their nesting tree. Wish me luck!!

Pictures later.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

As promised, a little knitting content. Below is the progress on my Sixpack socks in Smooshy yarn ... Pansy colorway. The color isn't quite as light as it appears here. I love the yarn!!

Yesterday I drove over to the Pioneer Valley with a friend. We took Rte 2 (Mohawk Trail), the scenic route. As we passed through Charlemont we were both struck by the beauty of the dammed up ice on the Deerfield River. We made our way down Rte 91 and eventually over to Hadley where our first stop was Trader Joe's. I stocked up on nuts, dried fruit, brown rice, etc. We then headed over to Whole Foods to pick up some fresh produce and have lunch. What a wonderful supermarket !

Nexet we headed over to Webs to buy some yarn for Wendy to knit her grandson an EZ Tomten Jacket and for me to find a button for the wee baby kimono shown below. It is made from Noelle's Noodles fingering weight yarn , lovely and soft. However the colors aren't 'true'. In real life they are much softer. The perils of photography using a flash.

Here we have Brady and his brother over in the meadow where they have been trimming the old apple trees and are now burning the brush. I think that they are hoping that the trees will produce more fruit and therefore more feed for the resident deer population.

Today started out sunny but things have been heading downhill since late morning. Guess we are due for a few showers tonight and tomorrow.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A February Thaw

It's been a bit of a gloomy afternoon as is evidenced by the pic taken this afternoon from the kitchen door.
I spent most of the day in the kitchen. We are having friend's for dinner tonight and I made Osso Bucco. Yum!!! Next I was faced with the 'dessert' challenge...... never my 'long suit'. Decided to try Julia Child's version of Apple Charlotte. I've had a tinned Charlotte mould for years!! This was a labor of love and it doesn't look all that pretty but I'll bet it'll tast pretty good covered with whipped cream!!!
'himself' took Cicero for a lovely long walk this afternoon and has just made a fire. Guess I'd better get a move on and finish up dinner preparations.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Finally Friday

Our resident Red-tails are enjoying the sun and the view just off the end of the barn. In the second photo one hawk is about to launch!!

And here we have a column of monks traveling through the snow to heaven knows where. I noticed them while I was out doing errands yesterday afternoon .... heads down, moving along with great purpose.

The ailing tractor is no longer occupying space in the garage and that is excellent news!! We can only hope that it will be returned in excellent running condition and SOON !!!

After I finish up here and throw out more hay for the horses I'll be heading over to Brattleboro to have lunch at the Riverside with my lovely friend Ann Firestone of Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue in So Acworth NH.

Our local public radio station WAMC in Albany, NY has just accomplished what I consider an amazing feat. Their fund drive started on Monday morning with a goal of $800,000.00 Goal.

It is now Friday morning and they have raised $700,000.00 minus just a few dollars!!!

All for now as I seem to be running late.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Just an Ordinary Day

This is what it looks like 0°'s this morning! Brrrr

The bird feeders are empty which means that I will be heading out in a bit to replenish our supply of sunflower chips. This year we have been through well over 300 lbs of seed.... so far and it is only February.

One of the seals on our tractor 'let go' last week while 'himself' was doing diligence in the snow removal department. Since then it has been residing in our garage with buckets beneath it to catch the transmission oil/fluid??? And a couple of bags of cat litter on the floor to absorb that which missed the buckets! I am waiting for a friend to show up with his truck and trailer to winch it onto his trailer and drive it off to the tractor repair guy in Bennington. Thank fortune for good neighbors!!!

On the knitting front. I have just started the second SixPack sock using Smooshy sock yarn in the Pansy colorway. Pictures later.