Even rainier Sunday

another halloween card complete

What a weekend for getting things done!  It seems like we are sitting a lot between projects, yet somehow, another card got made, and grape juice is being strained through cheesecloth as we speak.  And the most amazing thing – the planter box is complete at last!  Of course, it was pouring rain when I finished it, so A and I carried it out to near its future home and dropped it.  Next nice day off from work, I will get it set and begin filling it with lovely rich dirt. In these photos, you can see the fine soil we have – rocky gravel.  Not lovely, and the reason for the need for the box in the first place.  Once it is filled with asparagus, I think it will make a beautiful screen for the pool.  That photo is about 11 months away, I guess.

A is planning on spending the afternoon in her workshop today – working on the infamous bed (now that I am out of her hair!) It is REALLY close to done – maybe in the next few weeks?  All the boxes are made, and now she is just working out the trim dimensions.  Once that is done, she will calculate the depth of the drawers and affix the drawer glides.  After that, she just has to attach the bead board drawer fronts, and then I paint the boxes.  Last step is to bring the boxes upstairs and then build the deck that holds it all together.  I can hardly wait!  Not just to see the bed, but to get my hands on the drawer space! And, I can’t wait to show you the photos of that project complete. The bed is a copy of the Stratton bed from Pottery Barn, and we got the directions from Ana White’s blog.  It is not as easy as she indicates it is, but maybe if we just did this for a week or so, it would be faster.  But we don’t.  We do a million other things in between long workshop sessions.  However, it is empowering A and she is now looking forward to building the bookshelves in the loft, some for her office, and picture frames.  She has subscribed to a few woodworking magazines – a couple of which are for people with her skill level (novice) and Mom gave her Fine Woodworking, which has such elegant things, but when I ask about them, I am told no, way too hard.  But still, I think inspiring, that they can be built.  So maybe I will add furniture making to my list of crafts that I love.  Certainly I enjoyed making my cedar box, which is not square or level in any way, shape or form.  I decided it didn’t matter because it isn’t like the ground is level, so I can make up for it when I put it in place.  And I thought that all the way up to putting on the last piece of trim which is NOT straight as compared to anything.  I am pretty sure the plants will hide it…  🙂


31 pounds of grapes and 6 hours of work

After the grapes cooled some, I put them through the foley food mill, and then set the resulting juice in the fridge for its first round of clarifying.  Sister in law L not only is a gem for getting all these grapes, but also for tutoring me over the phone on what to do with them!


Rainy Saturday

Yesterday went pretty much as planned, EXCEPT I almost forgot book group!  We haven’t met in so long, and we rarely meet on Fridays, so it really slipped my mind.  Luckily, one of the group emailed me about a ride, and I saw it in time!  We met in Cherryfield, and everyone was there – very rare.  the book we read, Gold by Chris Cleaves was a fast read, but we all struggled with the black and white characters. So we didn’t really talk about it much.  But we did pick our next several books, and dates, and I will write them down! Next is Quinlan’s Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake.

Today, as it is RAINING AND COLD, instead of going sailing, we are sitting in front of the fire watching all the season premiers of our favorite shows.  However, earlier today, I processed the grapes wonderful sister-in-law L brought to us last night. Her neighbor is cleaning off his grape vines for the winter, and said she could take all she wanted.  She gave us two huge bags full to make jelly.  This morning I picked them all, mashed them and cooked them.  Now they rest, and chill, then tomorrow they go through the food mill, then in the cheese cloth overnight.  After I picked them over, I weighed the pan – 31 pounds!!!

I took photos, and you should be so proud – same day I did it and took them, they are coming off the camera!

A also helped me rip the boards to complete the planter, but I haven’t gone back down stairs to put it together. there is still more weekend left for stuff like that!

fresh picked grapes
ready to clean
one collander at a time; canner almost full!
ready to mash!
after simmering, new color of grape mash cooling

It finally got here

I am so glad it is finally Friday!  A got home from a week in Jackman last night, the kittens and I were all happy to see her!  Between work and her being gone, the week was a wee bit stressful.

Today is a beautiful morning, but they promise a change in the weather, so we might not go sailing tomorrow… which leaves our 2nd back up date of Columbus Day for the big sail.  I am sort of hoping tomorrow is just a bit gray so we can go while it is still sort of warm.

I have to spend a little time in the craft room this morning  (shucks!) to finish up some October pumpkin themed things for the bulletin board at work, which I will be heading off to do later this morning.  Staying for pizza lunch and then coming home, hopefully, to work on finishing the cedar planting box – I have the wood, just have to cut it and put it on, then the box is ready to put out! There WILL be photos of my first woodworking project, do not worry.

I also have to finish putting the pool to bed – not sure if this will happen this weekend, because I need some dry days to do it right – there is just a skim of water in the  bottom to get out, and then it has to dry and get folded up for storage in the cellar.

So it promises to be a weekend full of fun things to do, and I don’t even know what A will add to the mix!

Hump day of a long week

It has been a week of really long days – none less than 12 hours – all on budgets and contracts. My brain is fried.  I am so tired I am actually looking forward to a couple of hours on the road to a meeting tomorrow!  I do have to go in on Friday – if you follow this blog, you know I really resist letting that happen.  But this is for a fun activity – a party for a coworker and to put up the October Wellness bulletin board – my turn.  That means I get to spend a few evenings in the craft room before then.  Which means, I guess, that I should go there now!

Is it Friday yet?

Day started early, had to get ready for visit from our contract officer, and that went well, I think, but prepping for it was stressful.

Then I looked at my calendar, and there are some big deadlines this week.

Been worrying about an old friend who told me a lump that was removed recently is cancer.  Now she has to wait and go through all sorts of tests to see what kind, is that all there is, what to do about it.

It just seems to be shaping up to be a long week. But A just got home, and we are headed out for a walk before it rains, that will be good.

E? or D? It matters.

“I will draw you 1 PROFESSIONAL fashion sketch of dresses you want or need for weeding or others special occasions for $5”

I saw this on www.Fiverr.com, and I just had to laugh. The dresses I wear for weeding have never required anything like a professional drawing… in fact, I can’t recall wearing dresses for weeding, although my grandmother used to.

And this also seems to assume that weeding is one of my special occasions, but that weeding is not special for other people. Interesting concept… I don’t think of weeding as being that special. But maybe it is a cultural thing?

hat attack!

All summer I have been working on hats for the winter wear project at work.  Tomorrow I will empty my stash by bringing it in to join the pile of warm clothes we give to folks each year.  I thought I would take a photo of them all before they left us. My deal with myself to reduce my yarn stash is that I have to knit one hat to give away for everything I knit for friends, family and myself.  This pile of 28 hats in a variety of sizes is the result of this summer’s knitting.  Sometimes I do more than one hat, if I have a lot of meetings, say – since I can knit these in my sleep, they are good for keeping my hands occupied.

Most of these are made with Lamb’s Pride worsted weight, although there is plenty of unknown origin stash yarn in them as well.  I use left over yarn from other projects, and occasionally will buy yarn to make hats – like, when I realized I had lots of pink, purple and blue, and that things were looking pretty feminine in the hat pile, I bought some more masculine or gender neutral colors.

Now that I have emptied the storage bag of these, I’ll have to start filling it again.  Gotta keep Maine heads warm this winter! And my hands busy…

If you have hats, mittens, scarves to contribute, just send them along to Winter Wear, c/o Washington Hancock Community Agency PO Box 299 Ellsworth, ME 04605.  If you have yarn you want to get rid of that you think someone else could make into warm accessories, you can send that along too, we have lots of knitters and crocheters who would be glad to make things up for the program.  Your contribution will be much appreciated.

This summer’s hats – 28 of’em

biggest loser week 5

A lost two pounds, I lost 4.  I finally beat her, but came in second in the office contest.  Sigh.  At least we were consistent in our exercising!  I did the liquid protein diet for two days (the one the doc’s had me do for two weeks before my surgery two years ago)  I forgot how hard it is to do!  After two days I felt quite hollow.  I think, though, that as it works so well, I will try to do it during the work weeks – maybe add soft protein to breakfast and dinner.

I was so sure I would win this week’s contest, but L must have lost a pound or so more – which is super for her, but only means I will have to work harder!  I have to win at least ONE week.  🙂

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