Saturday, September 29, 2012

harvest time

i really do love the time when i can harvest from the plants i've put so much time and love into thru the summer.  it also brings me incredible sadness to know that with the harvest and autumn comes the end of summer.  i love the colors of fall and the changing of seasons... and i SO don't look forward to month after month of rain and grey after that.

i have one lovely eggplant in my garden.  from 3 plants that went in at the same time.  one goal for next year is to find the secret of successful growing of eggplant.  i need to know.  i love eggplant and sometimes am tempted to just buy 'em at Trader Joes and at farmers' markets and not anguish over trying to grow them myself.

and grape harvest is coming soon.  the muscat and gewurtztremeiner (sp?) will be ready really soon and are 2 of my faves.  the daily sun and warm are helping with the ripening.

ETA  - this is a pinot noir grape... not one of the above-mentioned faves.

some of my newer roses are totally breathtaking.

sunflowers!  also a favorite of late summer.  i'll try to collect the seeds for the birds for winter feeding.

at this point, it's going to take an act of harvest goddess to get any kind of tomato harvest.  this is ONE gigantic melded tomato and it's finally showing some promise of ripening.  i'd thought i'd have enough to put some in my new food dehydrator to dry for soups etc this winter.  not so sure now.

hmmm - seems to be a tone of sad here and yep, i'll own it.  time for an attitude adjustment......

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

fiber again! OFFF

it was a spectacularly beautiful autumn weekend for the fiber fest in Canby!  this year, for the first time, Kate and Chris had their Woolgatherings inside the main building... and it was lookin' good, as were the owners.  and check out Kate's boots!!

Jim and i took the to the fairground midday to hook them up with their parents.  this was actually J's first time at a fiber festival... shocking, i know,  after all the years i vended at these shows.  and he seemed quite surprised at the number of cars in the 3 parking lots and then the number of people milling about among the many booths and groups of spinners on the lawn, plus the many vendors in the 2 buildings.  i guess i was just too busy to take photos outside... occupied with my mission of finding friends and fondling fiber.

i found Dicentra right away and grabbed myself a nice hunk of BFL/silk from Lisa.  Kate very generously let me have my choice of one of their braids so i got a BFL, silk and glitz!  it was really difficult to get a good clear photo and i think that's because of the shiny silk and glitter.

and from the Whimsical Ewe this adorable and fanciful little felted bag.  i had seen and admired her work at BSG and was happy to find her again at OFFF.  and i know i'll be looking for her again at future shows!

there was some truly amazing work on display in the fiber arts gallery.  some very imaginative and well-done pieces.

 this is a close up of a portion of a felted shawl--->        

a beautiful and tranquil quiet inspiring hanging.

and i couldn't help myself!.... it was marked down 30% because of a tiny dye spot on the front that was considered a defect and which i can fix easypeasy.  really, i couldn't help having it for my own!

so, i had a fine time at OFFF, was very happy that i'm thru with the vending thing, and enjoyed seeing so many friends and appreciating so much beautiful fiber.  next event i'll attend is Fiber Fusion in Monroe WA october 20 and 21.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Alaska - Glacier Bay

Alaska - Glacier Bay by namztis
Kate's photo which i grabbed from her flickr acct.
 Glacier Bay was spectacular and one of the major highlights of the cruise, for me!  it was one of those quiet and majestic places that reminds me that i'm a tiny speck in the whole spectrum of time and space.  that's one more thing i can cross off my "bucket list".

and it was C-O-L-D.  the ship provided warm and wooly blankets, strategically placed around the deck, which we took advantage of!
Kate with glacier in the background .... or glacier with Kate in the foreground....

at some point, a forest ranger boarded the ship and gave us wonderful descriptions of what we were seeing and the history.

and, by the way, these colors are true.  not photoshopped or edited to look blue.

Alaska - Glacier Bay

Alaska - Glacier Bay by namztis
Alaska - Glacier Bay, a photo by namztis on Flickr.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Calertne entrelac cuff mitts - on

i'm so excited!  Knittyspin at just put up a new pattern from Lynne Vogel, my dear and very talented friend.

it's called Calertne Fingerless Mittens.  entrelac cuffs.  free pattern.  lovely photos!   

story about it and photos will follow here later. 

also, check out Lynne's blog at
she has also put up 3 new patterns that you will LOVE!

the story of how this pattern came about in on Lynne's blog, along with photos of my original entrelac cuff mitts.  i love how this all worked out!

loving the harvest

as satisfying as it is to gather in the harvest of what i've planted and lovingly tended during the summer.... well, dealing with it is lots of work and time, and dare i say it... gets damn boring.  Jim brought in this big (and deeper than it looks) basket of green beans today... all of it the first harvest from one row of pole beans.  and, oh dear goddess  this means there's much more to come.  i do love having garden produce in its frozen form to eat during the gray days of winter, but the abundance is killin' me.  suffice it to say that the local food bank receives the overflow.  and that is a good thing!

most of this batch is headed for the food dehydrator that i'm borrowing from my neighbor.  will be good in soups and stews and etc during the winter.

so... first wash, then cut up,  put on dehydrator tray and fire up the noisy beast.  (it's an Excalabrator which cost them around $350 or more and which i will never buy... because of the price, size and NOISE)

and after about 4 to 5 hours the beautiful green beans become way decreased in volume and are hard little nuggets which will live in a jar until needed.  ah, yes, a mere shadow of their former selves.

and the muscat grapes are getting close to being harvestable.  there is some critter out there that seems to be reaching up and pulling off the lower-hanging sweet nuggets... damn their retched hide! so Jim netted them yesterday and maybe we'll have some left for wine.

the u-pick peaches from friday are suddenly ALL ripe and ready for processing.  so, most will probably end up frozen in quantities perfect for the "peach crisp" we both love.  if dessert can't be chocolate, then this will do.  i'm pretty sure the recipe for this is in a post about a year ago.

i know that J would love to have lots of them made into jam, but i'm such a friggin' jam making failure that i'm just not going to go there again.  i already did my "pioneer woman" routine... long ago... and i'm finished with that and canning and long hot nights slaving over the canning kettle.  i'm at the place where it's just too much work, and boring besides!  i could be spinning or knitting or taking a nap.

also harvested basil and made a couple of batches of pesto.  and tomatoes are very SLOWLY
 ripening, but did have some juicy ones for BLT yesterday... yummmm.

and the sunflowers!!  they make my heart sing.  love 'em.  they are just so perfect and impressive and it's fascinating watching the bees forage for pollen and gather so much they can hardly fly away.  i think of them as kind of a reward for all the labor that goes on around them in bringing the harvest of vegetables in.

there are more Alaska photos to come.  i'm still in awe of the beauty of Glacier Bay and have the pics to prove it!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mt. Roberts tram, Juneau

we took the Mt Roberts tram up to the nature center in rainy Juneau. lots of interesting things to see, including this impressive eagle who had been injured and was getting rehab-ed.

the view thru the rain and fog down to the harbor in Juneau.

                                quite large trees in Alaska, huh?

the view from the ship as you come to Juneau is shop after shop after shop with opportunities to buy jewels, gems, diamonds, and more diamonds!  we passed on all the glittery stuff and walked around in the rain for awhile.

imagine my delight at being able to have my photo taken with the bright and beautiful Sarah!!  she got a big fish... but i got a bright and beautiful new sweater.

Friday, September 14, 2012

sled dog/musher camp - Alaska

one of the things i enjoyed the most on our cruise thru the inside passage to Alaska was the excursion to the musher's camp outside of Skagway.  most of the excursions were ridiculously expensive and this one was less ridiculous than most, so Jim and i took the grandkids and had a great time.  Zylie is over-the-top crazy about animals... especially baby animals, so she was ever so happy with this day.

 our musher giving some special attention to one of his team of 16 huskies.  this dog looks so much like our husky-mix, Tasha, that they could be sibs.  these Alaskan sled dog huskies have been bred thru the years for their work and look nothing like our Siberian Husky.  they are lean, and short-haired to keep them from over-heating while they work.  they were all very receptive to attention and petting from us.... so that's what we gave 'em!

for their training at this camp, when there is no snow, they pull a sled with wheels and it was a quite exciting ride!

our musher was ever so accommodating about picture-taking and took several with my camera and with Z's.

the ride to the camp was thru beautiful wooded areas over some quite rough and steep roads, so we rode in a Unimog... a vehicle first developed for use in wars.  seemed like it could go just about anywhere, whether there were roads or not.

we went from this part of the camp to the area where
the puppies were kept.  this was Z's favorite part of the excursion!!  in order to get the puppies socialized, they encourage visitors to hold them and play with them.  i liked this part, too!!  they were SO cute and wiggly and kissy and nibbly.  nope!  i do not want a puppy of my own.