Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The prettiest thing I ever made...

I am completely smitten with this shawl. I had to crochet part of it and everything - but I am totally in love.

It's always fun to complete a lace project and block it. It starts out as an indistinct clump, but a few days pinned to the guest bed and the result is delicate, open lace.

And by "always fun," I mean that I've done it twice.

But I'm pretty sure this is love.

The pattern is Haruni. The yarn is Yarn Chef's Bouillabaisse, color: Sage Brush. Knitting it took about two months. Two months that were totally worth it.


Bill's room

We've been working on Bill's Room/The Overflow Guest Room in anticipation of summer guests (who are arriving Friday...THIS Friday. We are apparently procrastinators).


There are a lot of issues with water around the chimney. The wall and ceiling have been plastered many times. We plastered them again and plan to call our trusty chimney sweep to come take a look this summer as well as install our third wood stove.

In progress. White room, black puppy.

Friday, before the painting and plastering, we spent much of the evening pulling up those stupid carpet tack strips and gobs of floor staples. It was a lot of work and made no real noticeable difference in the room. It's nice that my sister can eventually enter the room without providing a record of her last tetanus shot (ours were during the Great Bat Incident of 2008), but it's not as rewarding as painting.

So, we rewarded ourselves with mint juleps. In Ball jars, cuz that's how we roll.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

WWKIP out takes and behind the scenes.

My favorite is ferocious Bernie snuggling my toes.


This month there have been many World Wide Knit in Public celebrations around the globe. Today was the WWKIP scavenger hunt for Sock Knitters Anonymous (it's a 12 step program) at Ravelry. For the scavenger hunt, Bill helped me tell a fairytale of a little piggy. The point system is terribly boring, but the resulting photos are here for your amusement.

This little piggy went to market.

When he got home to the barnyard...

...he noticed the date. "Oh Goodness!" He exclaimed. "It's already June and I need to start building my house for winter."

He built a house of straw.

But a big, bad wolf appeared!

The wolf blew the straw house down and sent the piggy flying through the air!

So the piggy built a house of wood.

But as the house was completed another...wolf (!?) appeared and blew the wood house down too.

The piggy decided to build a house of bricks.

The wolf couldn't blow the brick house down.
So...he walked in the front door. Fortunately, the wolf and the piggy became good friends.

And lived happily ever after. The end.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Green, green garden

Our garden is growing and being eaten - but not yet by us. A deer has been sleeping in our field. She seems to feel protected by the tall grass and our newly installed fence and in exchange for our hospitality, she's been munching on our peas, corn, and tomatoes.

We've attempted to make part of the garden deer-resistant with twine. (All the plants that have been enjoyed by deer in the past are grown inside a second fence, while the plants that were previously untouched (squash, corn, tomatoes) are in an unsecured patch in front of the barn.) At first, we made the 4 foot fence taller with the classy addition of saplings and twine, but the deer found a weak spot and got her second taste at our strawberries.

Now, we've made a nearly impenetrable maze of twine.

It keeps the deer out of the garden, but it's a big barrier to us too - hence the ever expanding weeds.

The beans have been protected though. There's three types of beans here:

In the foreground are Jacob's cattle beans. I don't know who Jacob is, but his red and white drying beans are speckled like little Holstein cows.

In the middle on the trellis are yard long beans (which I keep calling Mile-long beans. Bill is impressed with my optimism). I think we got the red noodle variety. They have developed a fuzzy orange fungus that is of mild concern. Fortunately, it does not seem to be affecting their vigor - yet - and, as these beans are a totally different genus than typical garden beans, it doesn't seem to be spreading to the others.

In the back, along the fence, are pole beans. Much adored by me and our chickens.

Our potatoes are growing too. We're making a box for them out of our old barn doors. Unfortunately, 2 of the 4 varieties may have blight.

Mulberries are growing in abundance too. They are a favorite of the chickens and Sugar Pie, who snorfs fallen berries up from the ground with great enthusiasm.

Though it's raining today (which means jam making!), we've had a lovely spring with some beautifully blue skies.

Monday, June 7, 2010

For the birds...

It is possible we have an addiction to mail order poultry.

Three times in the past 15 months, the nice lady at the post office called at 6:30 am to tell us there was a package of chicks waiting for us to pick up.

This morning, that nice lady actually gave our chicks to someone else by mistake, but Bill remedied the situation, and 29 new babies are now living in our barn.

We have 15 Dark Cornish chicks, which will eventually live in a chicken tractor. These are meat birds, but not icky meat birds. They're naturally growing birds that won't die of a heart attack at 7 weeks because they overate. Bill is very excited about the chicken tractor. It is possible that the only reason we are raising birds is so that Bill can have a chicken tractor.

Also included are 7 Partridge Cochin. They will hopefully be excellent setting hens. The problem with our current flock of Barred Rocks is that they refuse to go broody and hatch out some eggs. It is possible this is because Alby, our rooster is an ass and they don't want to raise babies in that environment.

Though, it is more likely because they are cruddy at brooding, despite my attempts to goad them into it - "hey there momma hen, you've got a big fat butt, how's about you go set on some eggs." Nothin. Cochins are known for their broodiness, so hopefully we'll get a good mama hen out of the batch.

We also have 6 Columbian Wyandottes, a pretty heritage laying breed.

And lastly, a free random rare breed chick, which will be a surprise. Right now, he's just a little black puffball.

But what about the turkeys, you ask??

They are doing well in their new home - The SR 71 Turkey Coop. This coop, which was built in our barn, is named in honor of Bill's dad (Bill, Sr) who assisted in its planning and building.

The 71 refers to some airplane(?), the SR 71, that boys like presumably because it is loud and fast. Ironic, because our turkeys really stink at flying. They are like adolescent drivers - wibbly wobbly and crashing into walls.

They're growing though!

And pretty soon, they'll be allowed out in this beautiful field to eat all our ticks. Yum!

Coming soon...garden update

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One of the many reasons that I enjoy living in Indiana...

In anticipation of visits from family and friends this summer, we have begun stocking up on necessities.

There are mortars, repeaters, fountains, candles, parachutes, rockets, spinners, crackers, sparklers and more. Based upon the names alone, my favorite is "Red, White and BOOM!!!"
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