Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Even when my garden isn't magazine perfect, it is still so beautiful!  Even with weeds and sometimes dry, dead lives, my tomato plants and kale and lettuce and brussel sprouts and everything else, it is a source of amazement for me.  My garden at the end of the summer never quite matches up with the garden I had envisioned at the start of the planting season.  At the beginning, I had no trouble keeping up with the weeds. At the beginning, I always plan out the number of things I will plant.  But at the end of the season - once again - my garden are is jammed full.  With tomatoes I started from seed that I couldn't give away and just couldn't bear to throw away, with the extra pepper plant or brussel sprout plant that I didn't really need but the deal was for a 4-pack, with volunteers that grew as a surprise from last year's compost.  

My garden is a beautiful mess.  It is chaos and unstructured. There is a half-full fish pond in its midst along with my little greenhouse that currently has its own crop of weeds growing in it.  But it is lovely. And to me, it is calming.  And the tomatoes (the few that have ripened) are delicious!    Next year, my garden may be a little more organized. I may draft a plan that only includes 3 tomato plants.  I may grow cabbage at the side of the deck along with the hops that climb up the deck posts.  I don't know.  But however I plan it, my garden will look totally different when all is said and done.  And I'll love it.                                                                   

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

On hold.

The construction of the new chicken emporium has been put on hold.  Only for a week or so (I hope!)  The goats are not impressed.  They have gotten used to me working on their turf and enjoyed the treats that I would bring them to keep them out of my way.  I love my chickens but I really love my goats!  Goats are like dogs in that they are always happy to see you.  Mine are like that anyway - maybe they all aren't!?  And they always look so happy!  No one can tell me that they've ever seen an angry looking goat!  Even Bucky, who was the world's biggest pain-in-the-arse, looked happy.  And the fact that he could say Bbbbb----eeeeeee---tttttt-hhhhhhhh almost endeared him to me.
And baby goats?!  Well they are the best!  I don't know how anyone could spend time with a baby goat (or one or two or three) and be in a bad mood.  The way they hop from here to there and back again is the best cure for sadness you can find!

Monday, August 31, 2015

August goodbyes.

I have an infatuation with old things. Which works for me because I'm old.  One of my daughters also likes old things - she aspires to be a nurse and specialize in geriatrics.  I will be a good project for her.

But I do love sewing machines - old ones, new ones - I love them all.  I bought a  Singer 66 Redeye treadle machine on Saturday.  I love the feeling of knowing that I can sew even without electricity.  How often does that happen? Not at all!  If the electricity goes out, I take it as a sign for a nap.

Something about those machines is so basic.  Well, of course, there wasn't much to them.  All one needed was to be able to sew a seam.  Which is all that I do.  The simplicity of it all is what attracts me.  Call me lazy but to me, the less steps, the better.

When I use my machine - I had to order a foot for it - I will think about the persons who used it before me.  Did she quilt quilts that were beautiful or quilts out of necessity? Was she rich or did she take years to pay for her machine? Did she sew by the light of a fireplace? Did her husband keep her company? Did she have a husband? Or a cat at her feet? And the longer I think, the more bizarre my thoughts become.

I love to sew and I look forward to having some time over the next couple of weeks to finish a quilt I've been working, to start another quilt that I had hoped to have done about 2 weeks ago and to maybe - maybe - get a Christmas quilt done.  Oh - and a tree skirt for my brother and his family that has been 18 years in the making - gulp.  And then there is the row of the month quilt - also Christmasy from about 15 years ago.  I guess I'll stop now.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Closing night.

Tonight was the last night of the Grange Fair.  And as the week ended, I was 0 for 5 in the world of pierogies (insert sadface here).  Some back story, there is a place at the fair that sells the most amazing pierogies (or so I've heard).  I've tried to get to the stand before they sold out each night that I was at the fair.  No luck. Yesterday, I thought for sure that I would have pierogies for dinner but I could tell by the lack of a line in front of the stand that Grange Fair pierogies were not on the menu for me this summer.  I guess that if going pierogi-less for a day is the extent of my tragedy for the weekend, I'm doing well.  

The moon was just gorgeous last night - I really wish I could fix these photos so that they were a little smaller and that I could actually insert them into the text.  Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't.  I just need to figure out what I am doing differently when I am able to access the menu to adjust photo size and location.  
So off I go for an hour before church, to work on my chicken coop.  Not my chicken coop really although with the blood, sweat, tears and colorful language used on it, I feel as if I should move into it.  Pictures to follow.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Work, work, work.

I have some awesome helpers.

Leslie and Cindy are incredibly helpful as I am trying to make a new chicken coop. 

They taste test the tools, the wood, the wire, everything.   I never feel lonely when I’m outside.  Tonight though, they pretty much ignored me.  Apparently they find my cursing at the chicken wire to be offensive.

If my little longhair cat Dirt isn’t following close to my heels then Casper is jumping and dodging, trying to nip my hand or my butt – apparently this dance is code for something only he knows. I estimate that of the time I've spent so far on this coop, 50% has been looking for tools and things, 49% has been chasing animals off of, away from, and out of, 1% (if that) has been spent actually working on it.

But I shall persevere in spite of my helpers......if only they had opposable thumbs.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

One Day.

There is a poem I love, by Mary Oliver that pretty well sums up my feelings right now. Changes are a'brewin'

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
--Mary Oliver

Monday, August 17, 2015

Life's a beach.

And it really was – is.  I’m reading the book ‘Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven’ by Fannie Flagg.  If you’ve never read Fannie Flagg, you need to grab a copy of one her books right now, take the afternoon off and read it.  Especially if you are feeling down.  There is something so simple about this book yet it isn’t simple at all.  It is one of those books – just like ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ or ‘Redbird Christmas’ or  ‘Welcome to the World, Baby Girl’ –that makes you feel like family. You live in the book.  Or at least I do. 
At this time in my life when I’m not quite sure how to feel, it’s always so nice to have my books.