Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Blogging On My New Tablet

 My laptop is dying so I went and got a tablet computer. I was worried that I wouldn't
be able to do all of the things I could before, but it looks like  that is not the case. I even took this silly picture of me pretending to eat my dog with the built in camera. It works!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Granny Squares, Crafty Books and Robots

Yay, it is time for another Yarn Along !

For the last couple of weeks I have spent some of my spare time looking at fun crochet projects that can be found out there in Blog Land. Everything looked so fun and colorful that I decided to break out my crochet hooks. I found a few free dish cloth patterns and got to work. It was not long before I realized how limited my knowledge of crochet really was.

When I was little my Mom taught me to crochet chains and single crochet. Over the years I learned how to make the Half Double Chain, the Double Chain and the Treble Chain, but I really never went beyond very simple scarves, purses and  hats.

I decided to start with Granny Squares. They are fun and easy and playing with color is great! I plan to try more challenging  patterns in the future. That goes for knitting as well. I have always played it safe and have chosen simple projects, but I think I am ready for some challenge. 

Okay, Granny Squares are not super difficult, but it was new to me. I look forward to trying new things!

I am reading two books right now. I am just finishing Handmade Marketplace, How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally and Online. It is a handy little book if you are just making your way into the crafting business. Lots of good advise can be found in this book. I would recommend it to folks who were brand new to the crafting biz. I found the chapters about online marketing really interesting! 

I am also reading more Isaac Asimov. The Robots of Dawn has my favorite robot, R. Daneel Olivaw and his human friend and plainclothes investigator, Elijah Bailey. They are heading out into the galaxy once more to investigate a crime. The crime involves the destruction, or is that murder, of a robot - the only other robot as close to human as Daneel himself! I am hoping to find more time to put into reading this one because I cannot wait to find out who dunnit!

  Lots of Hooky Fun!

There is a photo happening here? Why then, Mr Snuffkins wants to be a part of this!

So what are you reading and knitting (or hooking)?

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Finding Gratitude

You can find it when you look for it.

The cob oven floor collapsed because of the foundation we built but . . .

It is a fun thing to knock down with a hammer, especially if you are pretending to be a minecraft dwarf . . .

And it is nice to imagine the new oven we could build in the summer! How much fun it will be to get our 

hands and feet in the mud!

I find gratitude for the clay in our soil, usually a bit off a curse to the farmers . . . 

But it is great for cob building projects.

And the garlic seems to like it just fine . . .

Besides, we can improve the soil with plenty of manure, which we have lots of.

I find gratitude for the abundance of poo! 

I find gratitude in this warm windy day. It might have blown some tin loose on the roof . . . 

But it was easily hammered back in place.

And it was a fine day for a bit of crocheting and hanging out with kids and trampoline jumping and farm 

working and garden puttering and food cooking and eating.

It is easy to find gratitude if you look!

Gratitude Sunday

Friday, April 05, 2013

Some Days Are Just Like That

Some days are just like that. Some weeks are, too.

Some days you find time to do cool things with your kids, like make a rock candy experiment. I wonder when the crystals will form?

Sometimes your laptop does not want to work and it needs updates that keep you from looking at patterns and blogs and ideas.

But the time is well spent crocheting a new wash cloth.

Sometimes you reach for a measuring cup while getting ready to bake bread.

But then a cup seems to jump out of the cupboard and smashes your glass stove top.

My nephew told me that they make emergency kits for cars with automatic windows. They include a ceramic hammer because ceramic smashes safety glass. We seem to have proven this!

Some weeks seem tough because you burn the bread and get a speeding ticket and now you are achy from trying to stay at EXACTLY the speed limit.

But there is new dough rising and a big cup of coffee. There will be an evening of playing video games with the younger kids and tomorrow will be a day of book browsing and cafe mocha with the older one.

And I hear there is plenty of sap to make syrup so if all goes well perhaps there will be that?

That is just the way it goes sometimes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Wiener Dog Sweater

So, I finally finished knitting the sweater I was making for our wiener dog, Beans. I bought the pattern from an Etsy artist here, Cute little wiener sweater.

It turned out nice. I decided to lengthen the front since she is a girl and doesnt need the open belly area. Maybe it will get too wet this way??? But she is not much of an outdoor type cutesy poo. She is more the snuggle in your lap under a blanket kind of girl. I think it will be useful when we go camping though. It gets chilly at night and like I said, she is not very outdoorsy - she gets cold really easily. Now she can have a nice warm sweater to keep her toasty!

I really wanted to get a good picture of her wearing the sweater but she kept moving (she is a wiggly wiener!), so I got pictures that turned out like this,

and like this, 
(oh lordy, please ignore Mt. Laundry in the background - how humiliating!)

and like this!

 Finally, the best I could get was this,

But really, this does not show the sweater as much as her cute face!

Maybe I will actually take her out in the yucky weather and get a decent picture of her sweater, but there it is! Fin!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Farmie Goodness

I'm joining Deborah Jean's Dandelion House for  Farm Girl Friday

How quickly I stopped my regular posting, but instead of making excuses, I should just continue on as if I had not disappeared for 3 months!

My oldest daughter eats a vegetarian and no dairy diet and on Saturdays when everyone else is having a take out night, Josi and I try to create a vegan treat for ourselves. My favorite was this lovely mushroom pie - oh sooo GOOD!!! We agreed that it must be the perfect Hobbit pie. Hobbit's love mushrooms!

Here's a link to the recipe we used yummy mushroom pie.

We modified the recipe by using the mushrooms we had on hand and the herbs and spices, too. We love rosemary and it was a perfect herb for our pie. It was one of the most earthy savory dishes I have ever made!

Every December and January we start new flocks of chickens starting with day old chicks. A nice cozy barn with  fresh wood shavings, heated to a drowsy 30 C and full of cheeping fuzzy cuteness feels like holidays to me! The icy wind may blow outside, but it's comfy and cozy and adorable just inside this barn.

Our newest winter flocks are settled in and growing bigger every day. And when spring arrives they will be ready to start laying beautiful brown eggs. This is one of my favorite things about farming!

Tell me about your farmie goodness!

Tasty Treats

Josi snapped this picture on Willow's 8th birthday last October. They made another rainbow cake and here are the lovely colours that go into it. Any picture taken in our kitchen turn out either glowing white, when the flash is used or this weird yellow without the flash. Someday I'll learn to edit pictures, but I still love this one.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reading and Knitting - The Perfect Thing for a Gloomy Day

I`m joining Ginny

I started working on this sweater for our dog in the fall but then work and family and holidays consumed me in a swirl of activity and I haven't picked up a set of needles until this week. Beans is a miniature dachshund and it is impossible to find clothes that fit her. But she has really short fur and a sweater would be so useful! She really loves to be warm and snug. With the exception of the hottest summer weather she spends her days and her nights sleeping under piles of blankets. I just need to piece the sweater together, sew, and do some work around the leg openings and it will be all done. I bought the pattern from an Etsy artist - I can't wait to take some photos of Beans in her new sweater.

In the summer and fall, I usually want to read fantasy like Tolkein or Lewis or Rowling, but in winter I love science and science fiction!!! My mother loaned me this book, The Robot Novels by Isaac Asimov at least 10 years ago! I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading it. I LOVE it! R. Daneel is my new favorite robot! Seriously, I have favorite robots - I keep a separate blog for my nerdiness, but it may ooze over here occasionally. I've already ordered the next book in the series and I just might be reading about Asimov's world of C/Fe culture (humans and robots - humans being Carbon based and robots being Iron based) for the rest of the winter!

And with all this gray gloomy weather, snuggling up with a weiner dog and a good book or some knitting seems like the most perfect way to spend a morning (or an afternoon, or an evening!)

I would love to hear about what you have on your bookshelf and on your knitting needles!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baking Pies,A Hayride and A Walk in the Woods

Today I am linking up to the Thursday Eat Make Grow Blog Hop
I am also joining Deborah Jean's Dandelion House  for Farm Girl Friday. 

The week before last was Thanksgiving here in Canada and we celebrated in a big old farm family way! My mom asked if we could make the dessert. My cousin was making her prize apple pie, so I decided to make a couple of pumpkin pies and a couple of raspberry pies. 

I didn't grow any pumpkins this year, but the grocery stores are loaded with local grown pumpkins, so I started by roasting a couple of pie pumpkins for homemade pumpkin puree. I bought some fondant cutters and had a  lot of fun decorating the pie crusts with the them.

Aren't they pretty pies?

Last summer I picked so many raspberries that I am still making pies and smoothies from them. I didn't pick more than I needed for jam this summer, but now I am almost out and I wish I had put more in the freezer! Next year I will do better!

There was enough left after Thanksgiving that we were eating pie for breakfast for a week! We love pie for breakfast in this house - I usually add a big scoop of plain yogurt on mine - it is unbelievably tasty!

Every Thanksgiving my whole family - kids, grandparents, cousins and so on - go on our traditional hayride and walk in the woods. Living on a farm is great. We already have the tractor and wagon, we have straw for the sheep, lovely country roads and fields and acres of woods to explore.

Josi showed us a special place in a far away field - a giant oak tree with thousands of acorns scattered on the ground all around it.  Willow found some interesting bones that a hunter left. 

On the hayride, willow made a leaf hat for Beans. Beans doesn't look too excited about it in this picture, haha!

Beans and Willow are both wearing hats

We keep finding tons of this really cool fungus. It looks like coral, doesn't it?

Here is the whole herd. My whole family. We sure know how to make some awesome traditions. Can you tell which ones are us (Kathy, Peter, Josi, Niki and Willow)?

Poetry for Handspinners and Weavers

Song for the Spinning Wheel by William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

SWIFTLY turn the murmuring wheel!
Night has brought the welcome hour,
When the weary fingers feel
Help, as if from faery power;
Dewy night o’ershades the ground;
Turn the swift wheel round and round!

Now, beneath the starry sky,
Couch the widely-scattered sheep;—
Ply the pleasant labor, ply!
For the spindle, while they sleep,
Runs with speed more smooth and fine,
Gathering up a trustier line.

Short-lived likings may be bred
By a glance from fickle eyes;
But true love is like the thread
Which the kindly wool supplies,
When the flocks are all at rest
Sleeping on the mountain’s breast.

Tewa: Song of the Sky Loom    

Oh our Mother the Earth oh our Father the Sky
Your children are we
      with tired backs we bring you the gifts you love

So weave for us a garment of brightness

May the warp be the white light of the morning
May the weft be the red light of evening
May the fringes be the falling rain
May the border be the standing rainbow

Weave for us this bright garment
that we may walk where birds sing
      where grass is green

Oh our Mother the Earth oh our Father the Sky