Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Fall is here, with a bit of frost some mornings and a delightful whiff of harvest in the air.  Sometimes the whiff is a bit pungent, with the punge of a thousand hogs, as the farmers inject slurry into the harvested fields while they turn under what's left of the beans and corn.  (Why is it beans and corn?  Why not bean and corn, or beans and corns?) 

Vir and I took the annuals out of the garden this past weekend, leaving just two Swiss Chard plants and some hardy herbs.  We're in good shape for hibernating, and not being sorry about it when we want to get into the garden next spring.  A bevy of jalapenos went to a neighbor, green tomatoes are ripening in the back room, and Filia and I spent an hour or so on beans -- separating the dry from the not-dry, and the Calypso from the Green from the Lima.  I've three little pots of dried beans, and two trays of beans drying in their pods.  I'm fairly sure that a cup of dried beans is not worth an 8-ft row of pole beans, so beans will probably not make an appearance in the garden next year.  More room for sweet peppers! 

In just twelve days, Offinger Management will cease to manage the knitting guild (TKGA).  We've been busy working on the website, and records, and I am looking forward to our launch!  I love getting records all tidy and in order.  It's one of my happy places.

Another happy place is my bookcase, and things are started to get close to activity there, too.  The electrician is coming this weekend to move two outlets, and the builder is making calculations ... and I will be so thrilled when it is done, and I can organize my books, and sit downstairs to work at the computer, and just bask in all the book-y, organized glory of it.  Actually, I can just sit here and bask in the imagined glory of it all, too.  Hmmmph.  Need to spend more time doing that with respect to heaven, rather than my own wee creation here on earth. 

The doily got finished, and I am now working on a pair of socks in CoBaSi.  I do believe that I like the yarn, and will probably be ordering more to make myself some socks.  The pattern is Maudie, by General Hogbuffer.  I do hope his parents didn't choose that name!  The socks are for a gift, but I am contemplating making myself a stocking-length pair.   

Yarn is in the mail to me, from Cornwall, to make Grace's Cardigan.

Filia is working 3 days a week, Filius is in college, Vir is keeping busy with counseling AND discovered last week that he is a Mavericks hockey fan ... and we are all well. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

A picture-rich blog

It's been a week full of activities.  Amazing how much organizing one can find to do when one is working to build a database of guild members from a variety of partial sources.  I can spend hours, poking away on the computer.  It's wonderful to bring order out of chaos.  And I'm trying!

But, life continues on.  Women's Prayer Fellowship was at my house this Saturday, so I made some cinnamon rolls.  They did not cooperate. 
Cinnamon Rolls after rising in the fridge overnight

Cinnamon rolls after baking
I thought that the yeast might be faulty, so I looked up how to check one's yeast.  I mixed a half-cup of water with however much yeast the web page said, and some sugar, and waited 10 minutes.  Was there some foam on top?  Indeed, there was!  But was it enough?  Another web page came to the rescue ... the foam should reach to the 1 cup line.  My foam reached to the 1/32" line above the liquid, measured in the center. 

The culprit.  Yeast that had aged beyond viability
In the afternoon, it was time to continue prepping the garden for fall.  The weather can turn to Cold, Damp, and Unpleasant-for-garden-work any day now, so it's good to get the work done while it's warm, sunny, and, well, workable. 
Clearing the garden ... a Trophy Kale!
I've been wondering why all my kale was of the fuzzy, prickly kind.  I had 5 kale plants this year, and each was supposed to take up one square foot of my garden.  One or two were of the prickly sort (all of them came from the seed packet ... must be a variant), but as the season went on, they ALL seemed to be prickly.  I figured out why when I pulled this single, solitary kale.  That's a gallon bucket in the picture for scale.
The beans live on

A good year for Basil
Knitting has been happening around the edges of life, mostly because I don't have anything with a deadline or a serious purpose.  I cast on for a doily, because I had thread and small needles.  I should have used larger needles, I supposed, because the doily - per the book - measures 15.75" across with 000 ndls and size 70 thread.  I'm using size 30 thread and the doily may make it to 10" after blocking. 
000 needles and a doily.  33% smaller than other doilies knit with the same yarn and finer thread
And I retired my 2014 slippers! 
Retiring slippers (these are the soles)

The new slippers

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

In which I surface after not blogging

I've been living life off the computer (or at least off the blog) and when I went looking for a photo of a project to use, realized that perhaps I should surface, upload some photos, and then dive back down into life. 

The garden is saying farewell -- at least, the tomatoes and cucumbers are.  I really should pick some jalapenos and figure out what to do with them. 
Some friends took a photo of my State Fair entries, and I had a suprise viewing of Summer Nights, by Arenda Holladay. So did she.  She had no clue that anyone else had, or would ever, knit the sweater.  I'm curious to know if the knitter followed the directions and worked the stranding back and forth, without steeks, like Arenda did.  

My State Fair entries came back, and the next day was BEAUTIFUL weather for wearing a wool tunic, so on it went.

The yarn for my clogs came in, and they are now finished.  Except for a bit more felting. 

I finished a pair of legwarmers, too.  (Are you noticing a winter theme here?  Unfortunately, those legwarmers need to be at a photographers in November.  On the plus side, they match, in color, a sweater which is at another photographers, so I will be all toasty warm AND coordinated when they're back at my house.) 

I have a new refrigerator, whose door closes.  My heart is happy every time I hear it not running.  And I'm also happy to think of all the new organizational possibilities.  We lost 2 cu ft, a shelf, and a drawer (and somehow, the dimensions are almost identical -- an inch taller, and a half-inch narrower.  What did they do with fridge design in the past 21 years to make that possible?)  Now I get to hunt for nifty wire shelves to make good use of the vertical space just LURKING in there. 

And did I mention, the door closes?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More Pickles

I'm running out of pint jars around here.  Actually, I have run out of pint jars.  I have one, single, solitary widemouth pint jar that I just unearthed from the back shelf of the bottom of a cabinet this morning ... but I could have used 12 pint jars yesterday in my canning adventures, during which I put up salsa (3 1/2 quarts), garlic-honey jalapeno pickles (5 half-pints) and bread and butter pickles (2 quarts). 

The gallon of tomatoes - washed, cored, quarters, and squished in the hands, then put in a cloth-covered time-out for 5 days...

became a half-cup or so of tomato conserve. I am still figuring out what to do with the 3 quarts of juice - fermented tomato juice, I would assume. Tomato wine?
A brioche cowl that came off my needles

Julie's Slippers, drying

Comfrey leaves
And now, I've spent so much time wrestling with the pictures I forgot what I was going to say!  Lots going on -- knitting, learning new things, transportation, gardening, etc, etc, etc.

Until next week...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


More pickles
Gentle reader, my pickle cabinet overfloweth. 

And my tomato conserves are thinking about fermenting on the counter.

And my "to-knit" list is expanding.

And my family is healthy (since seasonal sniffles and lung-wrenching coughs from Jalapeno fumes do not interfere with health)

And I have 5 lbs of locally grown honey.

God has richly blessed me.  For, even more than those things which are going well, He is with me. 

He will be with me when the cucumber vines die.

He will be with me when the tomato conserves are gone, or grow pink and green mold instead of white mold.

He will be with me when the knitting deadlines are looming, or when the yarn runs out.

He will be with me when my family is not healthy (and through the sniffles and wrenched lungs)

He will be with me when the honey runs out. 

He is more than enough.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

In which I post pictures, comment briefly, and run

Gloves, the ends for which are now woven in

This is why my Zinnias have issues.

This doesn't help any. 

Today's Garden Haul

The squash

The Cucumbers (Orange?  Really?)

Boothby's Blonde Cucumbers

Why am I commenting briefly?  Because I suspect that the items on my kitchen table, pictured above, (let us not forget that huge 21 oz tomato.  Twenty one ounces) might take over the kitchen if I am gone too long.  And because God has seen fit to keep my days from being idle. 

First - let there be a trumpet fanfare - Filius passed his road test last Wednesday, and is now a Fully Licensed Driver in the state of which we are residents.  Ahhhh --- HOME DAYS!  He can get himself to/from work on the three days a week when Filia isn't volunteering at the historical society.

But wait!  Let the fanfare continue, with great putting-together of heads.  Just scant hours after he left on his first solo trip to work, Filia received a job offer!  Two Filii.  Two jobs.  Starting times of 8:00 and 9:30, ending times of 2ish and 4:30, in towns which, for simplicity's sake, form a lovely triangle with our town of residence, 12 miles per side.  (give or take a few miles.) 

What was I thinking about home days?  I am not thinking that any more.  I am thanking God for my mother, who has loaned us her car to ease the logistics and remove 80 minutes/day of transportation duties from my regular schedule.  Life is, shall we say, in flux.  Filius has 7 more days of work before the college term resumes, and we can manage flux for that long.  Right?  Of course right. 

The project on the needles is Hitofude; slippers are still awaiting yarn.  Two items have been shipped off to the Minnesota State Fair.   Many projects on the computer call me.  The Conference about the Bookcase should happen in 2 weeks or so.  Service Dog Project saw 8 newborn pups born yesterday.  Life is full.

Until next week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In which I have knit slippers

I love weeks with scope for usefulness.  I also love schedules, and being tidy and organized, and having everything go as planned.  This past week had quite a few dubious moments. 

Since it was too hot for bike rides, I knit a lot.

Filius' first pair - Too big


Filius' 2nd pair - just right

Still waiting for my slipper yarn

The garden is flourishing, and there's always kale and swiss chard for a salad, and cukes for whatever I might want cucumbers for.  There's a quart of quick dills in the fridge right now (made with today's haul) and another 2+ pounds of sliced cucumbers waiting to become bread and butter pickles.  And a pound of fresh cucumbers for lunch.  The squash is flourishing, but not producing much fruit.  LOTS of flowers, just not many female ones.  It is very space-greedy, too.  While I weeded the garden today, I determined that the volunteer vine on the bean trellis was a watermelon.  And I pulled it up.  If it's Minnesota, and the biggest watermelon you have is on a female flower bud that hasn't even opened, and it's almost August ... chances of seeing it live to edibility are not good.  I've got lots of jalapeno and black hungarian peppers, though, and  a few bells, and my Orca Beans are happy, and the pole beans are just about ready for picking (although I don't see any Christmas limas yet).

And it's hot, and humid.  I am so glad that God made seasons.  I can enjoy this one and know that winter is coming.

Until next week!