Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Harbingers of Fall

Amazingly, cool breezes and falling lows announce Fall comes early this year to the Gulf Coast. The weather is glorious, even if my allergies prevent me from enjoying it. The kids have found reasons to spend time outside once again and I keep wishing I could do likewise. It is actually cool. Comfortable. Amazing weather for September. The weather people report we are to see a low of 53ยบ tonight. But they also inform we are under a high pollen alert. Sigh.

It wouldn't be Fall without something to harvest. Rising above even the most determined weeds produced during the hot months of summer when we simply could not keep outside long enough to keep up with them, the sugar cane looks ready to harvest.

Of course I am assuming the sugar cane is ready to harvest since I've never actually seen it growing before. But it is a good 10 to 12 feet high and surely must be tall enough.

And I remember the farmer from whom I brought my original cane telling me it would be ready in late September to early October.

Now I just have to figure out HOW to harvest sugar cane and what to do with it afterwards. Growing sugarcane sounded so cool last Fall. Now, I'm not sure what I am going to do with piles of the stuff.

While trying to get a good picture of the sugarcane, I inadvertently stepped in a fire ant mound.

These things are a terrible nuisance. And they are everywhere this year. Rain makes them swarm and Fall makes them swarm and sometimes they just swarm. It gets to the point where we can barely walk across the yard. There are some good bait products for fire ants, but I dare not put them out because our chickens will eat anything sprinkled on the ground. Fortunately for my sandaled foot, this was a relatively new and small mound. When you step on a fire ant mound, the little monsters will instantly swarm all over you and then in seeming answer to a secret command, they will begin, all at once, to sting you. For me, the problem is compounded by my grass allergy. The feel of grass, especially grass seed heads, on my skin is about the same as fire ant stings. So sometimes I don't look right away if I am standing on grass. Like this morning when I snapped my sugar cane pictures. The fire ants began their assault before I took my last picture. I figured the wind had merely blown the grass against my bare leg and foot. Wrong.

Our turkeys have grown big enough that I started thinking about a butchering schedule.

Then I had the opportunity to pick one up yesterday. (I let them free range from time to time and getting them back into their coop is not always the easiest chore.) The little runt couldn't have weighed more than six or seven pounds. I suppose it will be a few more weeks until they are ready for our freezer. Since I made the mistake of getting attached to them, I'll admit I am rather relieved to put the task off to an indefinite date in the future.

After piling priority knitting projects onto my "to-do" list, I did very little this week. I got sucked into "editing" novels for the children. I think I went through six 300+ page novels with a black permanent marker. They were delightful stories about dragons and the people who care for them, but every once in awhile the author stuck stupid stuff into the story. Stuff unnecessary to the story line, but stuff my kids didn't need to be reading. But in all, I had very little marking up to do and only ripped out one page. The kids had a grand time reading their new books. They are insatiable when it comes to reading. Of course they get that from me which explains how I got sucked into the task so easily at such a bad time.

I did manage to complete the third installment of my first MS4 stole.

I really like this pattern, though I would have liked to see more beads in the middle parts. I can't wait to see how it turns out. Blocking will make a huge difference too.

I also started the weaving for my brother's scarf.

I had a bit of a time getting my picks per inch straight. I think I've got it now. Since my struggle produced an obvious stripe, I decided to turn it into a design detail and will attempt to make 8 tighter repeats on the latter end of the scarf too.

I'm having such fun with my weaving that I am already thinking I might do a couple woven Christmas presents in addition to my normal knitting. That is the one rough part about Fall. It reminds me Christmas is coming. And there is so much to do. . .


The Gingerbread House said...

Deborah "The Phenomenal Woman", Girl you are on a roll in your adventures...everything looks grand, the sugar cane growth WOW!
I haven't even started with the Mystery shawl< all bogged down with the weaving that doesn't seem to be going well..the scarf your weaving is coming along great, it's very encouraging..Is that Margaret's pattern? it's lovely..

Deborah said...

Yes it is Margaret's pattern. It is quite pretty though I can't make out the crosses. I still like knowing they are there.

Theresa said...

I love that you are posting so much now!!! :o)

I can't wait to see what happens next in the sugar cane adventure thought I'm finding it difficult to believe you are "close" to those turkeys! lol I really don't think I'd like doing butchering. I'm not squeamish but it sure seems like a LOT of work.

The weaving is gorgeous and you are smart to make the "mistake" into a "design element". I think your brother's going to love it. I love watching your weaving. It's just not even a remote option for me at the moment, so I love seeing you and Kimberly and Margaret work.