Ideas! Plans! Wine!
Not presented in that order!


Here it is, and here it will be for the next three months before bottling. So, don’t hold your breath for the next Dandelion Wine report.

And here are the things I have planned for the summer:

The Yarnival
…not to vend or teach at, just to enjoy and elbow-rub.

Twist: Festival de la Fibre…to TEACH! My new photography workshop geared towards shooting better photos for your online sales or portfolio. I’m really excited about this one and will also be working on an online version of the class to be released in July.

And here is the thing happening very soon: Trunk Show at Madison Wool in Madison, CT on Sunday, June 2nd from 11am-2pm. Come celebrate Dayna’s 2nd anniversary with MadWool and bring your spinning wheel! I’ll have lots of new dyed fibers for sale and handspun yarn and wearables, too!

And then there’s the right now, right this second stuff: the shop has been updated with new handspun yarn, hand dyed yarn, and art rolags. I want you to enjoy 20% off everything in the shop, including fiber and yarn clubs! Use the code: LONGWEEKEND to receive your discount at check out. Yeah!



And since I seem to be working somewhat backwards in time in my announcements, I was over at Luminous Traces the other day. Embracing lilacs.

That was all very business-like, but long overdue. The ideas, I’ll let percolate a little while longer because I’ve shared enough Monkey biz for one day.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. If you need me, I’ll be in the garden prepping (but not planting). Frost warning tonight…aaaaaaahhh, New England. At least we avoided the potential snow in last night’s forecast.


Twenty: 52





 the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every week.


O, this week you…

…keep asking me when kitty will come home and all I can say is that I don’t know, that he may not, but we can still love him forever.

…took apart your old bike, just to do it. You broke it down completely, dividing up the parts into piles of what you might like to keep around for repairs and what you will repurpose for building projects, like that robot you keep talking about. Nothing is trash, and I think that’s pretty great.

…were really interested in the process of getting our bees situated this time around. We’ll enjoy watching them work this summer.

C, this week you…

…made it through, even though it was a tough one. We are stretched thin and feel a lot of pressure from many sources. We’re strong for each other, and I am grateful.

…felt disappointed when you didn’t get as far with the garden prep as you wanted to this weekend. Breaking new ground with only hand tools…it’s punishing, exhausting labor and, being the observer, I’m amazed at how much you were able to change the landscape. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

…set up the beeeeeees, and they seem happy in their new digs.

…kept yourself distracted and busy, as did I, so as not to constantly wonder if kitty will ever come home again.


Petal Play


Then came the day on which I picked ALL THE DANDELIONS. It only happens once a year, if that, because it’s quite a tedium, de-petaling the darlings. Usually, I just make biscuits or some such, but this year I got a bee in my wool hat (still wicked cold ’round here for bonnets), and decided to make a batch of dandelion wine.

I’ll send you here for the recipe, as I’m following it to the letter. I trust Sandor Katz with all my soul, and I’m not going to experiment with my first batch. I’m in the stirring-it-whenever-I-think-of-it-for-the-next-three-days stage of the proceedings. It’s an awful lot of work plucking a gallon’s worth of petals and I admit I was a little shy of the mark, and it seems a big to-do for just one gallon of finished product, but there is loveliness potential in a year’s time and the joy is in the process (especially for me, since I don’t metabolize alcohol very well and won’t be partaking, anyway).

For immediate consumption, these are fun:


I tweaked the only dandelion flower cookie recipe I could find so that I could use coconut flour and therefore triple the quantity of eggs. We have an abundance of the latter.

Dandy Cookies

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
6 eggs
splash vanilla
scant 1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 to 3/4 cup dandelion petals

Preheat oven to 375º. If coconut oil is not liquid (it was too cold in our house), melt it with the honey and let cool a bit. Add the eggs and beat them in. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. The coconut flour will absorb the liquid and thicken the dough. Drop by tablespoons onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it because liquid sugars tend to burn quickly. You could also double up your baking sheet to prevent the bottoms from getting too brown.

Protein-packed and gluten-free, yo. Enjoy.



Nineteen: 52


 the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every week.

I do believe they are plotting against me.
And, um, O…dude, I can see your cards.

I planned the usual sort of post, but long days outdoors, preparing for potential frosts the last two nights (meaning the gooseberries are covered in Felix the Cat sheets, and pillowcases are staked over the blueberries), and then a bizarro power outage for several hours yesterday afternoon/evening meant I didn’t get a whole lot done involving the glowing box.


There were moments squeezed in for dandelion-picking. These petals are destined for a batch of dandelion wine. We are using this recipe, but I had begun to follow another at first and already have the flower petals steeping without any of the other ingredients. I’ll just heat it up a little today to dissolve the sugar, and continue with the Katz recipe as written. More on this process to come!

Oh, and the duck eggs? I found those in our neighbor’s yard. We had noticed the girls weren’t laying in the coop anymore…it seems they are just dropping them whenever and wherever they get the urge. I also found one on the driveway.

Oh, and the goats? They were reunited with their mamas and cousins to pasture out on a neighbor’s land. A great escape was made at midnight and now they are all back up here on the hill.

I am surrounded by silly, exasperating creatures.


Good thing they’re cute as buttons.

In which I also play with fiber…

In the sunshine, even!



It may be a little while before this happens again, as we’re headed into a cooler, wetter spell of weather, but I was pretty darn pleased with the Spring-sweet colors that resulted. In fact, I probably won’t turn on a dye pan again until Fall…why bother when I can have rainbows under glass on the deck railing?

I promised some updates, and they’re coming, throughout the weekend. Here’s one for tonight:


Click on the pic for a link to the listing.

Back to FSF (Five Senses Friday) next week!

Oh, and I am also here today.


Enjoy, and happy Friday!



Eighteen: 52





 the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every week.


O, this week you…

…ate breakfast with your bike helmet on because you were so excited to get out there and ride.

…dug right in. To everything. When the old pine crashed through our garden, you were there with the wheelbarrow to help remove the debris. When the compost was delivered, you helped shovel our neighbor’s share. When I finished turning a garden bed, you were there with the hose. Spring has turned up your Helper Monkey Frequency to an awesome degree. I love it! And you seem to be having so much fun…bonus party.

…did most every task with a thick layer of dirt crusted onto you. When we started on your homework, I couldn’t help laughing. Look at those hands! It’s all about the warmth of brown earth right now…gotta wash away all those memories of bright, clean snow! Good riddance to that!


C, this week you…

…cared so sweetly for all our green babies. I love how you call me during the day to make sure I’m keeping an eye on the greenhouse and making sure our future vegetable friends have everything they need.

…bore it all with grace when things didn’t go according to plan this weekend. Somehow we’ll get it all under control, one day at a time.


Later today…fiber post!

Seventeen: 52



 the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every week.

Keeping on task, better late than never. This was a week of recovery, of too much on our plates, of feeling really, really tired at the end of the day. No one wanted a camera in their face.

Experiencing joy in the freshness of Spring has been temporarily replaced with the Herculean tasks of reworking fencing for the beasts and birds, readying the garden for planting and babying the seedlings in the greenhouse, felling trees and general clean-up. It’s busy, busy, busy time before the mellowness of early Summer can set in. At the end of each work/school day, we are taking advantage of the extra hours of daylight. It’s a rewarding sort of exhaustion, but this week it made for grumpy photo subjects, especially after several days of dealing with the sicko. I wrote about waking up from that haze here.

And about the ridiculousness of piling the plate so high here.

And a Luminous post about mornings here.

Oh, oh, OH! And don’t forget THIS: there are handspun yarns, hand dyed yarns and a few other special treats by The Spun Monkey hanging out at the Cloverhill Yarn Shop booth THIS WEEKEND at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. GO!

Sixteen: 52


 the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every week.

O, this week you…

…waited patiently, and not so patiently, for me to get better.

…did not come down with it. This is a beautiful thing.

C, this week you…

…took such good care of me, even though you had only just recovered. You drank the fire tonic that my stomach couldn’t handle and I watched you get better while I drifted further into fever-land.

We’re all better now, today I really feel it. So, running clothes on, I’m going out to bathe in the healing light of Spring sunshine. I may not actually run this morning, but I could surprise myself. The human body loves to make a good comeback.

So, in the spirit of easing gently back into the pace of things, here are my loves together. Nonna and Nonno were here all that week before our collapse into the clutches of Strep A, and we took a most delightful trip to The Book Mill. We had a pretty hilarious lunch and enjoyed an afternoon playing around in western MA. I have more to share about that, but in a near-future post.

I have two days left to prepare for the Wild and Woolly Weekend in Proctorsville, VT and then the following day I’ll be shipping my remaining inventory to Clover Hill Yarn Shop, where the lovely Jolene will be taking my wares for consignment at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. A few new things I have had up my sleeve will have to wait, as I lost five important days of production time to bacteria. Oh, well. Spilled milk. Moving on.

Oh, and I managed a Literary Traces post yesterday…a little thing about coming through the funk and breathing in a new day.


Fifteen: 52



the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every Sunday (or Monday…oops).

O, this week you…

…had the sickies and ickies, which is rare for you. It gave us a quiet, cozy day with lots of story time (we finished The Porcupine Year…so good) and there was a decent bit of laying on the floor pushing cars around in a listless sort of way. Just one quiet day, though, and then you were right as rain and bouncing off the walls again.

…delighted in the freak snow that fell on your sick day. It was such a perfect time to snuggle, really, however annoyed I was to see our garden beds disappear under a white blanket. April snow is a fleeting thing, thankfully, and almost every trace has vanished.

…welcomed some strange new friends into your life. They like to watch us watch them.

C, this week you…

…put up with my bringing home of the above-mentioned strange friends with grace, even though the last thing we need right now is another set of pets.

…humored me when, after a long day of work, you came home to find me tangled in webbing, trying to get the goats on their leads. We took them for a bit of an evening walk…okay, I guess they took us for the walk. Okay, I was dragged along while the goats walked us. Ahem.