My son came home with 2 bags of fresh corn from the local farm produce stand. They have delicious and very fresh corn. Sometimes there are people milling about waiting for the shipment to arrive and the estimated time of arrival is announced on a blackboard. They stock 3 types, peaches and cream, yellow and white. You'll see people crowding around the peaches and cream type and a few at the yellow corn bin. They white corn bin is usually ignored. It's our favourite kind though. The cobs and kernals are a tiny bit smaller than the other varieties but the corn is so sweet and tender that it's well worth it. I didn't even bother cooking any of the corn for dinner. I just started blanching it, cutting it off the cobs and ended up with 12 packets for the freezer. Corn season will be done shortly and like beans, home frozen corn tastes so much better than commercially frozen.
Once a year, the grocery store gets in 25 lb boxes of plum tomatoes for a low price. This year they were $6.77 a box. That's cheaper than I can get them at the farmer's market or at the farm gate.
25 lbs is about 1/2 bushel of tomatoes. I picked up 2 boxes of tomatoes or 50 lbs. My daughter had dropped off some canning jars that someone had given her, that she decided she no longer needed, so I had plenty of jars, including the ones from last year's tomato canning. I started canning on Saturday afternoon and after 21 jars, called it a night. I'd finished up a whole box and the rest weren't so ripe that they wouldn't last until the next day. I added all the tomatoes that were ripe in the garden to the pile. There weren't enough to do a whole load by themselves, but enough to make a different in the final jar numbers.
I realized as I was loading the canner with the second set of jars that I was using the ones my daughter gave me and a lot of them seemed to be pre-metric sizing. They hold 1 pint instead of 500 mls and are just slightly smaller.
I've got 42 jars of tomatoes put up this year, really 43 but one jar leaked. It seems like there is always one that misbehaves. There are 2 1/2 jars of tomatoes leftover but my canner is large and I didn't feel like keeping it boiling for another 45 minutes or more, for 2 measly jars. Instead, I'll use them and the jar which leaked, to make tomato sauce for dinner tomorrow.
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
A good look at it in the daylight shows that we might have gotten a deal with this purchase. It really
It's said that joinery of this style easily dates a piece of furniture. So I'm guessing that this is an Eastlake style chest from the latter part of the 19th century. It's probably Oak, though I don't really know anything about identifying wood. I'm going on the fact that I read that much Eastlake style furniture was made of oak and walnut. You know, oak is light coloured, walnut is dark. At $35, it was a real bargain. I've priced replacement hardware, both originals and reproductions. It's going to cost me more to replace the hardware than the price of the chest itself. There there is that teal paint. That might be a job for next spring.
I'm still looking for my Yarnoire though. As pretty as this little chest is, it won't hold all the necessary fibre.
Saturday, 23 August 2014
Toby was a pound rescue who came in with a box full of what looked like purebred Newfoundland puppies. He had a Newfie tail, and webbed feet, but was obviously sired by some sort of collie by the looks of him.When we brought him home, he was 16 weeks old and had rarely been outside. He was afraid of almost everything. He was great inside and with the family, but outside, even a bird call he'd never heard before would send him running back in to safety. The neighbour used to babysit a huge yellow Labrador Retriever and one evening she asked if we'd like to go with them for a walk. Toby walked carefully by the Labs side and soon started imitating his behavior. It was really interesting watching Toby suddenly not be quite so afraid of things. After that evening, he was quite the brave little dog.
While he enjoyed agility work, his favourite thing in all the world were tennis balls. He was a mouthy dog and chewed them after he'd played with them for a while. We never pursued flyball for that reason. He didn't just want to chase the balls, but when he was tired, he liked to chew them. The expensive ones would last forever but once a week, the two of us would climb in the car and go grocery shopping. Beside the grocery store was a dollar shop. I'd pop in there, pick up a packet of cheap tennis balls. I'd leave them in the car and he'd stick his nose in the bag, just touching the packet of tennis balls and not move the whole way home. He'd carry his packet of tennis balls into the house or wait excitedly until he got one to play with.
He was a good was a good pet. He was good with people and kids. He never did figure out that he was bigger and stronger than the cats though. While I never had to do formal obedience training with him, he learned so quickly that it seemed he was well behaved without training. His house manners were impeccable. When we lived in town, the neighbours once asked me if he actually was able to bark as they knew we had a dog, but had never heard him bark in over 2 years. He did bark, when it was necessary but only then. He was active up until the last couple of weeks of his 13 years. He will be sorely missed.
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
I'm teaching a couple of friends to tablet weave later this week. I'm using a 10 card, simple backwards and forwards design, which accommodates the continuous warping or fast warping method. I thought I should brush up on some skills and make sure my pattern draft was accurate. There are 2 metres of the green and white trim here. I used an inkle loom and it really isn't worth spending the time warping it up for a small sample. It doesn't take all that long to weave off the whole length. I could have done another 1/2 metre or so but broke a warp thread and it wasn't worth tying on a new one for that short extra bit. I mean, it really is just a sample.
The inkle loom is made of Walnut and is quite heavy. That means that it doesn't move at all when in use. It's beautifully finished and works like a charm. I've been playing with the two shuttles to see which I prefer. I've a couple of other styles as well, which I'm hoping to have tested by the end of this length. I didn't put as much warp on the loom, so the tape should be a tad shorter than the green one. It's pretty though. I'm also playing with arborite cards which Maureen's handy husband made. They have a slight curve in there, but it's a non-issue. They work beautifully. I only have a few though, so I'll have to see if there are leftovers after the fact. I'd hate to see them languishing in some drawer someplace, when they'd be awesome for wider project experiments.
Peach jam, with sadly floating fruit. Since I've still not managed to replace my food processor, I chopped these peaches by hand. I think the pieces were still larger than they should have been. In hindsight, I'd have run the peaches through the grinder. The good thing is that the jam tastes just fine. It just looks a bit ugly. For family use though, it will be fine. If I go to make more jam this year though, stop me. There is plenty in the pantry: apricot jam, peach jam, raspberry jelly, strawberry jam. Plus, there is almost a kilo of currants in the freezer. I really don't think I need more jam this year.
Friday, 15 August 2014
I asked my sweetie to put up a couple of shelves over my desk. After much discussion about whether we would attach them to the wall or have it free standing, I let it be his choice. After a brief discussion about what it might look like, this is what I received. There was a complaint that it would have been cheaper to purchase an antique shelf, after I tallied up what the milk paint would cost to finish it. However, I've been using leftover paint here. Not quite the same finish, but it's looking pretty good. Just a bit more painting to do, and I'll post a finished photo.
Playing around with greens and yellows, plus slogging away on my homework. It takes me longer to spin up the fibres I dislike. Soy silk was one of those. However, when blended with some Merino, it turned out to be something quite yummy. It still took a bit to spin, because I ended up blending a bit more than I'd anticipated, plus other chores got in the way. It's so soft and lovely. Because there is about 60% Merino, I was able to use a long draw, which was also a nice change. So far, all the man-made fibres I've used have required a short forward draw with lots of twist. A bouncy, squishy, soft longdraw yarn was almost like a holiday.
Sunday, 10 August 2014
Not only is there enough to last us the winter, but I'll have lots to give away to my kids as well. I should weigh the garlic because there is a lot and it's heavy. Maybe over 5 lbs of it! The string I used to tie the bunches and hang it up with is handspun rayon leftovers from my Master Spinner level 5 homework.
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
The August holiday is sort of the holiday that isn't. It isn't an official holiday so everything is open and only some of the people have it off. My sweetie is one of the lucky ones who had a 3 day weekend. He dragged me out to Stratford for the day where we wandered through antique stores, (nope, I didn't purchase anything!) and then for a walk through the park, along the riverbank. It's a lovely park, full of people using it. There were kids playing, people sitting at benches, on blankets and picnic tables, with picnics, coffees or just reading and enjoying the day. I saw a crazy tourist getting awfully close to the swans, trying to get the perfect photo. I'm not that brave!
This swan arched it's neck for a pretty photo op although I think it's really looking for some sort of interesting tidbit of food. Swans are huge, with monsterously large webbed feet. They can be cranky too, although there were no young cygnets around so that would help. As well, these swans aren't wild, so they are used to people.
The big boys were out playing with their toys. There were 4 or 5 remote control sailboats out in the water. They launched them from the full sized boat launch, which was a bit amusing. They looked so sweet out there on the water though, playing tag and racing along. It was fun to watch.