Monday, July 21, 2008

Spinning and Waiting

Spinning gives peace and relaxation. Everyone says so. So while I am waiting for our house to sell, I figure spinning will help.

I resumed spinning some fiber I received in a Christian Artisans exchange long ago. I spun one bobbin of "frog hair" and never spun the second. It has been a couple of years so the time has come. This seems like a nice, long term project and I don't know how long this waiting for the house to sell phase of my life might last.

And when I say waiting for the house to sell, I mean waiting for the telephone to ring with news that someone wants to LOOK at my house. The housing market is slow right now. Really slow. We're going to need a miracle.

Speaking of miracles, I got my Wyatt Pegasus miracle. Apparently, Federal Express destroyed the mailing tube containing the parts to my spinning wheel. They eventually found the contents of the box and taped them into the remaining part of the mailing tube and forwarded it to me. The box was a wreck, but Mr. Wyatt knows how to pack and the parts survived. My Pegasus is up and spinning once again.

And since no one has bothered to look at our house so far, I went ahead and moved my Pegasus right into the middle of my living room where I can spin on it daily. When a buyer comes around, I might move it back to its place in the dining room. It depends on how long it takes for a buyer to come around. The way things appear, I might be too old to move it then. But then, the Lord is in control and Jesus has impeccable timing. That has been a recurrent theme in my bible study lately. It must be a lesson I need to learn. Waiting is not one of my strong qualities, unless we are talking about the kind of waiting one does in front of a microwave. And even that can be too slow for me most of the time. . .

I finished the silk I was spinning on my Journey Wheel.

I love Silk Worker silk. I got the urge to try some Navajo plying again. It started badly, but ended up better than normal in the long run. I usually over ply using this method. This time the skein looks good. Well, after I got rid of the first couple yards it does.

I have actually been knitting. On the same pair of socks I started back in December or there-about.

I don't know why some projects languish. These are a gift so enough said. I'm hoping to get them finished soon. At least before 2008 ends.

Lately I have been an equal opportunity procrastinator. I started an Easter dress for Gabrielle a couple weeks before Easter. It is still not finished.

I actually worked on it yesterday though. I got the sleeves done. All I have left is the skirt and the zipper. (I like zippers, even on heirloom dresses. They are so much easier to use.) Gabrielle probably won't like this style of dress too much longer so I need to get it done before she outgrows the idea. I'm just not sure what I want to do with the skirt. Gabrielle said to make it plain and be done already, but I'm thinking of scalloped puffing and a ruffle. And some embroidery. What to do, what to do. . .

After letting the garden go to weeds while I did the pre-market house cleaning, I finally got back into the garden to deal with weeds. I also picked some pink eye purple hull peas.

I love these things. I'm experimenting with drying the peas this year so I can store them in my pantry rather than my freezer. I need to store what I can in the pantry so I have room for the turkeys rapidly growing in our second coop.

Since things are going a bit slow on the house sale end of things, I got some chipped and shredded brush from the power company and am going to till that into my garden soil to improve it. And I am thinking about planting a Fall garden if I am still here. I just love fresh produce too much to wait until after we move, especially if this is going to take awhile.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Seasons of Change

It has been an interesting summer. We did a great deal of harvesting in June.

We froze a couple gallon bags of snap beans, dried a quart jar of black beans, froze some chopped up summer squash and discovered zucchini bread.

I've picked tons of cucumbers. We've distributed them to lots of friends and I have learned several ways to make delicious cucumber salads. I particularly like them with a ginger dressing and I have invented 2 different dressings this summer. I just need to write them down so I can remember them. I've also made several gallons of fermented pickles.

The lactic acid fermented pickles are very healthy, but must be refrigerated. I've got about 5 gallons in the fridge now and that is all the room I have - especially since I also have a couple of gallons of fermented salsa too.

We picked tons of dew berries this year.

We made more than a dozen pints of jam with them, in addition to many pints of wild black cherry jelly (we discovered we have a wild black cherry tree in our front yard) and our annual blue berry jam. We even had enough dewberries left over to experiment with a dewberry souffle cake for Gabrielle's birthday.

Gabrielle had a pretty nice birthday this year. Both of her grandparents sent her some fun presents.

And even some for the pool.

But it was a difficult day for Gabrielle. About a week earlier, we decided to move. Gas prices are sky-rocketing and Kurt commutes way too far for our budget. So we put our house on the market. We are all sad about leaving our friends and all we have invested into our home, but believe the Lord would have us make this change. We are trusting Him for a buyer and for the right house to be on the market once we sell ours. And we are hoping for a couple acres for chickens and gardening and hopefully goats one day.

It has been a bit stressful as we turned our focus to another round of spring cleaning, moving furniture, fixing little things and finishing the screened in porch. To keep sane, I have been doing some spinning.

I spun my first skein of camel (with silk). It is so soft and pretty. Of course I don't have any idea what to do with 336 yards of lace weight camel and silk. So naturally, I started spinning something else.

This is some Silk Worker silk I had in my stash. I love spinning silk on my Journey Wheel. I suppose it is pretty obvious that teal and purple are favorite colors. Especially teal.

Speaking of wheels, a part on my Wyatt Pegasus needed to be fixed and Mr. Wyatt generously offered to fix it if I sent it to him. I sent it, he fixed it and then Federal Express lost the part. The part may not be able to be replaced unless Mr. Wyatt has the wheel since each wheel is custom made. Shipping the wheel back to Mr. Wyatt would be difficult. I'm praying the part will miraculously be found and delivered. Mr. Wyatt is not so optimistic (and he is the one who has been dealing with Fed. Ex.). I am sad about the wheel being out of commission, but it has been a good reminder to pray for Mr. Wyatt who is having health problems. I do believe the Lord is in control, even in this.

Right before we put the house on the market, I had a delightful visit from one of my Christian Artisan sisters. Kate has 4 boys and our kids had a blast together. The weather was perfect for swimming. The big kids spent lots of time in the big pool and we set up a small pool for the little ones.

Michael loves his pool and learned to slide into it with a splash right away. Kate's boys discovered the joy of the water slide as well.

Geoffrey cracked me up. He would slide down the slide, make a splash and then tell us "this was SO much fun."

In the mean time, Kate and I brought our knitting and a couple of chairs outside under one of the oak trees and supervised "the littles" as she called them.

Cooking for such a large group was not without its challenges and we put the boys to work, literally earning their bread.

All of the boys ground flour that day, though Kate's eldest did the bulk of the work. I took his picture, but it looked pretty lame so I'm not going to post it.

Kate is a delightful person and has a wonderful family. I felt so blessed by her visit. I really hope we see them again this side of Heaven.