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Showing posts from 2014

Ready for Color in the New Year

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Christmas knitting...neutral and wearable
Charcoal cables for my daughter Blue Barley hat for my son The granddaughter wanted owls Her boyfriend got a Sockhead hat in Knitpicks' Thunderhead

But look at what's coming! Soft, rich, sophisticated COLOR! Not hot and flashy, not neon, baby pastels or candy colors... ...just lovely, warm and wearable!

Contented

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Spinning wool as soft and as white as Santa's beard.  Grandchildren with chubby cheeks to kiss.  Flowers from my husband celebrating the day we met.  Rows of owls on the brim of a hat, waiting for little button eyes.  Summer spinning, finally plied and skeined.  Apple sour cream pie for Thanksgiving.  Fluffy plied yarn, ready to knit or dye. A little red felted bird to keep me company while I spin. I hope everyone takes time to enjoy the wonders of the season.

Gifts from the Heart

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Herbed Sea Salt (Sala Moia)
Course natural sea salt, whirled in the food processor with chopped garlic, fresh sage and rosemary from the garden. Spread out to dry for two days stirring occasionally. Store in clean glass jars.





























Make your own Hydrangea and Herb Wreath

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First, I bent a wire coat hanger (which happened to be white) and bunched up branches of Sweet Annie that I bought at Rhinebeck. I wrapped as I went with green, light gauge wire, bending down branches and cutting off stray bare pieces. Then I pulled bunches of flowerettes from my Lime Light hydrangeas and wire them in small bouquets around the herb wreath with the same wire in one continuous strand. If you plan to make a hydrangea wreath, wait until around the end of October when the flowers have changed color - before they dry out completely. There are some brownish petals but most are still full of water - where the "hydra"angea gets it's name. My wreath is drying in my unheated garage where it's hanging out of direct light. I plan to give it a good spray with some extra hold hairspray before I bring it in to hang in my craft room. The Sweet Annie will scent my craft room deliciously!

Pink-tober and the "Girls"

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My OBGYN recently gave me an authorization slip for my annual mammogram. I told her that this year I was thinking about skipping it. I've been having one, almost without fail, for over 20 years. I've had false positives, been sent to the surgeon for evaluation ("You're going to stick a needle where? No, think not..."), been called back for re-checks ("Come back in six months and we'll look again."),  I've been told I had dense breasts. I've been told that they're not dense. I've been told that the type of breast cancer my mother had was not a genetic disease. I've been told the radiologist had to keep an eye on some calcifications. I've been told that calcifications are normal unless they're looking like they're getting organized. So far, they're not. My OBGYN felt no lumps and neither have I. I hardly take a Tylenol without being concerned about side-effects. What must 20 plus years of radiation aimed directly at…

Hidden Garden Jewel of Salem

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The Nathaniel Ropes mansion on Essex Street in Salem, Massachusetts was built around 1720 and purchased by Judge Ropes in 1748. Judge Ropes (a British sympathizer) was dying from smallpox when the home was stormed by locals who were infuriated by the Tea Tax - although some accounts of history indicated that it was the fact that the judge had been inoculated with smallpox in an effort to be vaccinated against it. There is some indication that there was anger toward the judge by people both not able to afford the procedure and those who believed that he brought smallpox to their village. Either way, the judge died very soon after the attack. Some believe that his daughter Abigail's spirit still inhabits the house because of the awful way she perished...burned to death after her night dress caught fire. In spite of its sad history, this beautiful home is now owned by the Peabody Essex museum. Our trolley driver pointed the house out to my husband and me and told us about the lovely…

Chouette chouette

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I studied the french language all the way through elementary school and high school. That's 12 years, and more than half of my life by the time I graduated at the age of 17. We didn't learn much slang. Conjugating verbs was challenging enough. I know, as time goes on, street slang is added to every day language. "Cool" describes the temperature but just as often it describes something nice, wonderful, awesome (ugh...), terrific. It's a temperature - something can also be smok'in hot. I get it. But where did the French ever get the idea that the same word for "owl" should also be used as an alternative to "cool" or "smashing" or ugh..."awesome"!  I knitted a little "Chouette" for my 2 year old grandson (at his mom's request). I assumed la chouette was the french word for owl...I thought perhaps it meant "baby owl" so I looked it up. It was not a vocabulary word that was filed away in my brain some…

Passive Gardening

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I did plant a few things in my garden this year. One was one hill of Charentais melons. They are a French heirloom that I bought from Baker Creek Seed Company. The reason I decided to try to grow Charentais was first, because they had a short growing season and I had a pretty good chance of ripening some before it got too cold. And second, because they were described as very sweet and a green market favorite. I'd never even seen one and wondered how I'd know when they were sweet. Have no fear - all you have to do is sniff. They are like a small, honey sweet cantaloupe without the netted skin. They have small seeds, they're very juicy and I had half of one for dessert last night.

Now this big boy was a complete surprise. It took me a while to figure out what he was and where he came from as I certainly didn't plant him. When I first saw the huge leaves and aggressive vines start to pop up, I thought for sure he was going to be spaghetti squash from the mistake I made a…