Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's time to Start Thinking Out-side the Garden

The temps this morning were a reminder, that fall has defiantly arrived. So now is the time to put the garden to bed for the up coming winter. The days have started out cold, but have been warming up to a nice sunny 55. I just spent the last three days canning the hundred pounds of apples I bought at the Saturday Market in Twisp. I got 8 qts. of an apple pie filling, that always comes in handy on a cold winters day for pie, or crisp. then the next two days it's been apple sauce, 48 pints. Every year I ask myself, "self, why do you do all this canning?" The answer came to me last night when, I had to run to the store to buy more cnning lids, the checker commented on the price, and that it doesn't seem to be that cost effective. My answer was,"you know what your buying and you know what goes into it, and the flavor far is more better than anything you can buy on the shelf". We love having the reminders of summer, on the shelf, to open and get a taste, or a memory of the garden. That brings me to my title, thinking out side the garden, and for me it's time to finish other projects
, and what the heck start some more. Besides Spring is only five months away, gee I wonder what kind of Tomatoes I'll be planting!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Surprise ! A little more summer

I really like some of these cartoons !

So it's officially Fall, but it seems that we're getting a second wind, so to say. The temps the last week have been in the high 70's, the Strawberries have still been producing, well and so has everything else. We are finally getting ripe Tomatoes, the Gardner's in our valley were sure this was going to be the year of no Tomatoes. I'm starting to mentally get ready to be done with the garden, all though I'll try to keep lettuce going for as long as I can. Earlier this month we had our Okanagan County Fair, and I had mentioned that our M.V. Spinners & Weavers Guild were doing a modified Sheep to Shawl. We found this to work out real well, the public enjoyed it, the day we did it was the day all the schools brought the kids to the fair. So we had lots of very interested children, they wanted to know all about what we were doing. It was a great success and we will probably do it again. This last Saturday, the Omak Spinners Guild came over to our valley and held there meeting here at Jan's house. We had a great time and of course great food too. I even pulled out my new socks I knit, they were knit two at a time from the toe. It's hard to tell in the picture, but their is some silver thread going through with the yarn. I also have been doing some spinning on my Lendrum Spinning Wheel, Some Alpaca I purchased from a local breeder. I think I still prefer Wool, I've got two of my spinning wheels going, and I'm spinning wool. I'm also working on a Table Quilt, I just got all the fabric cut out and placed on my design wall, to make sure I know were everything goes, then tonight I will be going to our new Quilt Shop "The Quilting Hive" to do some group sewing, we will be working on our own projects. Well my Dad has left today to go home for the winter, we're hoping he will be back next summer. Love to all Diana

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Alive and Well Here in the Methow

Wow, it's been six months since I've blogged, but I'm still here and happy that summer finally arrived, just in time for fall. It was a very slow start to summer, we had lots of spring rains, more than I can ever remember, it's still a little green on the hills yet. The rains did bring out the spring flowers, as my first picture shows, this was taken in the back yard. Last year was my year in the garden for cucumbers!

This year is the year of the berries! My raspberries out did them selves, and I made Jam till I was dreaming of it. Then we had some strong winds, and rain, along with thunder and lightning, and off came some of the last of the raspberries.
Now my Strawberries, they have been incredible, the plants have produce and produced, and their still coming, and will till the first frost. They are big and juicy, and I've gotten many batches of freezer jam, and frozen berries in bags. Of course, lots of berries for cereal, yogurt, ice cream and more. I couldn't be more pleased.

It was Lonny's B-Day this week-end, and I made him a pie from our berries, and boy-howdy was it good! Here's a picture of it before I put the glaze on it.

Now with the glaze!

I have had a very good garden this year, it's just taken a while for it to take off, but I have sweet banana peppers plants that come to my waist that I started from seed. I started most my plants from seed, the ones that take a longer growing season . It sure keeps me busy!

I planted some flowers that I mail ordered, they're called purple wave petunias. In person they are a brilliant color. Jens and Sam came for a visit in July, and we had a nice time. Sam turned 14 and is a very lovely young lady, and smart too, I'm not sure if she belongs to this family, LOL. One really neat thing that's new here in the Methow, we have a new Quilt Shop, called"The Quilting Hive" I'm looking forward to spending some time there. In the future, the fair is coming and my Guild here will be doing a modified Sheep to Shawl and of course as always we will be displaying our weaving challenge for this year. I hope summer has finally come to you. Diana

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Call me crazy?

Yes you may call me crazy, but I''m pretty sure about what I'm going to tell you. this was a fun week-end, Friday Lonny and I went to Wenatchee, just for a fun day of errands and shopping. The weather couldn't have been better, it was sunny and warm. We had plans to have dinner at the Olive Garden, since a new one was built recently, but when we got there it didn't open till Monday the 22nd. Oh well, so we went to Subway instead. So we got home just when it got dark, and when I came into the house, there on the breakfast bar were two gifts, one was from my friend Katie and the other was from my friend Jan, a very nice surprise, because the next day was my Birthday. Not just any Birthday, my 60th one, yes you read wright. So Saturday was not only my Birthday, but the first day of spring and so Lonny and I did some spring things, like take down the Christmas lights, and put away all the other Christmas stuff. Then we took the tarp off my Dad's trailer and took a look inside, just a couple of bugs, this is good. The best thing of the whole day was, while we were taking down the lights, something caught my eye, call me crazy if you like, but there were my blue birds flying in and out of the Blue Bird house, and you ask, "How do you know it's your Blue Bird" Well last summer. for those who may not know, I got very friendly with the pair that nested, I fed them worms, and when I did I would always call the female bird Mama, and she would fly to the fence post were the dish I would feed her in would have been. So when I saw them I said " Mama is that you, and she flew to the fence post and sat there waiting for some worms, and she wasn't afraid when I walked near by and talked to her. My heart is full of happiness, because I will be able to enjoy having Mama and Papa bird and their families to come this summer. We also added another nesting box for the off spring from last summer, ten live babies, lets hope all goes well for them this summer. Now I will digress, a week ago Saturday was spinning over the Mt. to Omak. This time it was at Diane's house. Now I had never been to Diane's, but I was really looking forward to it. She lives on property that was home stead by her Father's family, and Diane and her husband and kids have been building a house there near the old homestead. Well the road that you drive on to get there is right off of Hwy 97,but it's eighteen miles up the Mt. My friend Teresa drove, so her and her two little ones and I headed on up there. The land scape went through a lot of changes over the miles, but when you got to the top, and I mean to the top, it was awesome. Here was this big Victorian type house sticking up in the sky, and mostly nothing else around it, but a few out buildings. It was flat, and when you looked across the land you saw sky, and it was a beautiful warm sunny day with just a few clouds. This was a very nice adventure and fun to see Diane's home and she's a kind and a warm welcoming friend. So for a spinning project to take and do while there, I spun some fiber I got in Oregon, the fiber is Pygora. This is a breed that started out as a cross between a Pygmy goat and Angora got, which produces Mohair. So what you end up with is a small fiber producing little goat, and they are so cute and fun, and I really like their fiber. Another thing I had to say was one year ago this month, I join a weight loss club here in the valley, and a this point I have lost 42Lbs, I still have some to lose, but I'm feeling really good about the whole thing.
Lichen hangs off the cliffs to Diane's

Rock formations at Diane's, made by 1 mile deep ice glaciers

Diane's Ranch

1oz Skein of Pygora

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Won !

I won this Pendleton blanket, isn't it nice. I bought a raffle ticket from a friend to support the school districts bowling championship. What was interesting is, I have a Pendleton poster that is on the wall in front of my treadmill, it has all the blanket designs they have used for the last 100 yrs. So while I'm walking I can look at all the beautiful blankets, and this one I knew was called The Spirit Salmon. I love it, but won't be able to use it because I have a cat, and seems the cat hair finds it's way to everything. So this last week I went to the coast, to help my youngest son out. Many of you know that five and a half years ago, at the age of thirty two he had cardiac arrest, we almost lost him. He has now recovered, and the battery in his defibrillator- pacemaker was at it's end and needed to be replaced. So last Monday was the big day, and all went well. I just talked to him and our Grand Daughter, and they just got back from Hiking, he said it feels fine. So every Spring we get lots of Eagles, and this year is no different. When I got home from the Coast Wednesday we had about six adults and two immature Eagles. Unfortunately a deer had to die, probably from a car, and it was in the field below us. Our place sits on a bench above a large ranch, and in our sight from the back yard is a large Ponderosa Pine, that grows on the land below us, so we can see the middle and the top real easily. Yesterday they were just hanging out on the tree, and I just caught this on taking off. They are a beautiful sight to see.

On a different subject now, this is a web site that someone sent me a link to, and boy is it the greatest. She has developed hundreds of recipes, that are low calorie and has the points for those who follow Weight Watchers, give it a try,

I have also been doing some weaving, I have yarn that I got when I worked years ago for a local yarn store in Everett, Wa. Over the years I've used a lot of it up, or given it away, but this was a good yarn of worsted wool, called German town. So I think I had planned on an Afghan sort of thing but now I think it may become fabric. We shall see, and continue my stash reduction.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Holding Back

It's hard to hold back the urge to start planning the veggie garden. What I mean is, starting to till the soil. Well it's just not warm enough here in our climate. We still have snow on the ground, but it is disappearing rapidly. I had to stop at my gardening mentors business ,www.Local Her name is Tess and the first thing she said to me was, "Are you getting excited about gardening?" I said I'm really trying to hold back those feelings, because I know it's way to early. I have started my Walla Walla Sweets and the green onions from seed, and they are coming up, but these need to be started this early if you want them ready in May to plant. Soon, in about a month I will start Tomato seeds, and so on. I just purchased another blue bird house, because after my large family of Blue Birds we had last summer, I thought I'd better be prepared. This just gives me the goose bumps thinking about it. I have to remind myself about all the extra work I'll have when the time comes. So I should just do what I need to do now, and not jump the gun and get to excited. I have weaving to do, knitting to finish, books to read and so on. I've been trying to walk no less than three miles a day, and hope to add more on as the days get warmer, the ole body just doesn't want to move to fast in the cold. Thanks for letting me talk this out with you, I think it's helped me to think before I leap into gardening to soon.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What's up for this week

Well,tomorrow is "Spinners Monday" This happens at my house on the second Monday of the month. We get from three people to eight, I never know because I try to make it a non stress thing, so come if you can. I make a pot of soup, and this month its Black Bean. Most that come will add something to the table, Sandra's bring a salad. I'm making an old Weight Watchers recipe, Coconut Rice Pudding for desert. We have a great time. I'll have something to show, this sweater vest I knit from my home spun. This is some wool mixed with shredded denim blended in. An old friend of mine use to have a carding mill, and she would take Romney lamb's wool and mix interesting things together. This is the third project that I've spun this mix, each a different color.
this is a natural grey, with blue, white and bits of other colors that came with the shredded denim.
I find that it looks a little masculine looking at these pictures, I guess I'll have to try it on and see.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Some Catching Up To Do

Well I hope the lights don't go out in the middle of this, like last time.

We have had an unusual winter as far as weather goes. It's been rather warm, but we have had some snow and our share of rain, and this picture I took was on a day after a snow shower the night before. This picture was taken at the top of a pass called Loup-Loup, our only fast route to the east of here. This is the norm for us usually to have cold sunny days. It snowed just a skiff last night, just enough to make things look clean and fresh. Well I haven't been totally idle since New years, I've been spinning on a fleece I purchased a few years ago, at the Whidbey Island Weavers and Spinners Spin In. this is from a Jacob sheep, which is considered a rare breed of sheep. They are multi colored animals, so I had separated the colors after washing the fleece, then carded it on my drum carder. I had to think hard, but I believe this was a lambs fleece, because their wasn't much of it. So this is what I ended up with. I was very nice to spin and it's soft and springy. I'm not sure what I'll do with it , so we shall see. I'm just about finished with a sweater vest, that is made of my hand spun, and I'll have pictures of that soon. I'm also threading my loom for a wool blanket, and that will take some time before that's done. Just after the first of the year I took the quilt that I finished last year about this time, to be quilted by a long arm quilting specialist. I'm not sure when I'll get it back, maybe by fall of this year. Hope everyone is getting geared up for the coming spring, I'm organizing my seed, deciding what more to get, and getting my caledare out and deciding when will be a good time to start some indoors.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Imagination Was Running Wild in Seconds

Just an hour ago I was on my daily walk. I have been walking on this quiet farm road since we moved here almost 5 years ago. In the last year I have been walking almost every day and with a friend that lives on this road, but today she was feeling the cold weather just a little to much and just walk a little ways with me and then I was on my own. This road has one of the biggest cattle ranches in the Methow on it, and often I will talk to the herd. Like how much they have grown, or how much they stink and so on, when suddenly this white tailed deer came running down the drive way right at me, so I thought I shouldn't look it in the eye so I turned and started walking the other direction, and at the same time one of the neighbors was pulling out of his drive way, and I thought he'll rescue me. I would look behind me and the darn thing was trotting up behind me , then it was to my side and I started to yell and wave my arms, and it ran away. then as I caught my breath and my senses, the neighbor pulled up and said "That deer is tame and thinks your going to pay attention to it. I have never seen this Deer before and I wasn't about to hold still so it could pummel me to death. I was frightened by it. Well thought it might be an interesting thing to tell. I feel silly, but you can't trust a wild animal or a wild man. Ha Ha Boy it's hard to catch up since Thanksgiving, but I'll try. Of course there was Christmas, and we went to the coast, had a great visit with the family, especially our two son's and our sweet Granddaughter. The weather was perfect for traveling and we were grateful. To go back before Christmas, my Omak Spinners group had a party and a hand woven towel exchange, and I got the most beautiful towel that was made by my friend Diane, it was made of fine cotton and the weave structure is call Huck, she did a perfect job of weaving it.
What lovely ladies we are! Diane is next to me front row second from the left. Sandra got my towel, and she is the forth in the front to the left of me. Seems like a long time ago already. Well again, I must digress, just before this Christmas party, I did weave a cute little scarf.
Well darn I'm not sure how to flip it now that it's in the blog, but you get the idea. When I go to knitting retreat, we have a rummage sale, that's putting it loosely, no not rummage, but there are some really great buys of yarns and books, most stuff has to do with knitting. Well I picked up this knitting yarn with the idea I would weave it. I really love the little thing, and the weave structure, which is called "Undulating Twill ". I wanted to find a way of showing off the many pretty colors in the warp