Is this thing on?

Oh…hello there!

I needed a summer, I guess.

A short, very wet, magical and tragical sort of summer. It was challenging and inspiring, but I am ready for it to be over. There was just a little too much of everything. Especially the water.

Most of the magical bits about summer were the result of intense tragedy. Here I sit in my kitchen, filled with herbs drying…the ones that I frantically picked the day before Irene devastated Windham County. This kitchen is also filled with my gratitude…for our house on the hill, for the safety of my loved ones and friends, for the sunflowers that still bloom even though they were pelted to the ground along with the corn. I am so much more aware, so much more completely in love with the blessings in my life…and just as much anguished for those of my friends and in my community whose homes and businesses did not fare as well and who face long roads of recovery ahead.*

I have a hard time with the idea of saying anything more about it. There is so much and yet there is nothing. It is all very raw, and all very personal. How about a tour of some of the good things? I like distractions.

This is Augoostus. He is a good thing.

These are fairy watermelons. Also a good thing. They might really be sour gherkins, all pickled up and pretty, but I know the fairies bring them to all their summer parties.

All the pre-flood green things. The tomatoes eventually ripened and became sauce. I have since experienced my first fried green tomatoes and now I will never let tomatoes ripen again, if I can help it.

My boy, in the setting sun. A very, very good thing.

We are looking forward to autumn sunsets and stars out before bedtime, stews bubbling on the woodstove and hot apple pie in the oven in our tummies, digging up the last potatoes and planting garlic, kissing summer goodbye and welcoming the crisp breezes and acorns under foot.

What are you looking forward to?

* btw, shop updates are coming tomorrow thru the weekend. A portion of profits will be donated to flood relief in VT.


Forward March

It comes to a point where there is just not much more you can do…you say goodbye in all the ways you know how and then you try to fill the hole, to answer all the existential questions, to weave this new thread into the fabric of your life and then…go on. Life is rich and life is sweet and if I must, I will place notices all over my world to remind myself that I will only be nourished if I take a big ol’ bite out of it every day.

Thank you, Gavin.

So much to move through, and now I am drawn back to this space. I sense there will be a shift here, perhaps not noticeable to anyone else, but I feel very open and vulnerable and this has brought me quite a flow of creative project ideas and the desire to share without fear.

March, I am so glad you are here. So far, you are a calm respite from the wild ride that was the entire month of February. Ups and downs, joy and heartache and all to the extreme of what I could take. March, though…you give me hope. I can feel winter releasing its grip and there is so much to look forward to. The studio, some secret things, seeds sown in trays, songs in the treetops…

In the meantime, keeping up with the ferments…

…last week was pineapple vinegar, made from the skin and core of a pineapple I bought for the bunnies. Well, we shared it. A little oregano, red pepper flakes and whey…I added it to my cortido (Latin American sauerkraut) when I jarred it up the other day.

A very special treat sent from back home provided me with the opportunity to try something new…a pile of beautiful meyer lemons from my in-laws tree. They arrived in perfect condition.

I preserved five of them in a quart jar with a helluva lot of salt, bay leaf and cardamom pods. If I had known how amazing it would be to cook with preserved lemon (some of this has already found its way into a Moroccan stew), I would have done this to all of them. Not that I regret the lemon meringue pie that happened to the rest.

In shop news, I will be vending at the Twist Fair in Northampton, MA on May 6th and 7th, am working on a mountain of yarn for Purl Jam in Califon, NJ and have sent a heap of mitt kits to Gather Here in Cambridge, MA for their Monkey Mitt knitting class tomorrow night!


night all.

Baste the world. It’s raining!

After lights-out, the Boy often shares a Deep Thought or two. Sometimes he asks for my input on an Important Question…

Tonight he wanted to know why the stars are like tiny glowing lentils.


In other news, the rain hath given us a LAKE!

So, of course, we ran outside with a turkey baster.

Usually, there would be grass behind him, maybe some leaves and pine needles. Once pails and jars had been filled and dumped and filled again, and the baster sufficiently clogged with muddy water, we moved on to lake soccer!!!! We were sopping, dripping and bedraggled with glee when we finally came inside for some hot soup.

Sledding it ain’t, but we dig the H2O in all its forms. All our favorite haunts will be quenched and lush.

I have been enjoying the dark, damp days, but the low light level did not help me get a decent shot of the most recent batch of kimchi put up in the crock today. This time, C used watermelon radishes, kale and dragon carrots. The colors will seep and blend as the mixture ferments, but the bright pink disks of radish, deep green of the kale and the blood orange colored carrots made for quite the mouth-watering vision of loveliness. The Boy had a blast choppity chopping.

Tomorrow I will be fulling a batch of long-draw 2-ply yarns. I have been loving this method of spinning batts, whether textured or smooth, but it is quite time-consuming. They are, however, quite fine and would be lovely for lacework. I’m getting about 90+ yards per ounce.

I’ll leave you with something tweedy (Dijon Tweed):

Don’t forget to enter the ‘Tangled’ GIVEAWAY! Scroll down or click here to comment on yesterday’s post before midnight Friday. I’m enjoying everyone’s comments and questions! Off to answer some. 🙂

Oh, and thank you, AmpuTeeHee, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing Pride and Prejudice as told using Emoticons. It brought a smile to my face, too.

Burble. Gurgle.

My Busy Fermenting Bee…

…otherwise known as C the Fabulous, has become obsessed with fermentation. To the left in the crock is an improvised kimchi, and in the jars are a traditional sauerkraut, sauerruben and onions with dill and mustard seed. Fortunately, my in-laws kitchen table is long enough for us all to share our dining space with the Fermentation Station. The kimchi was jarred up today, just about eight pints and it is DELICIOUS. We bought fresh, organic savoy from a local farm, carrots, garlic, daikon and ginger…I think a whole jar of chili paste. Part of his passion is to provide me with foods aplenty that will help heal my LGS and eliminate my food sensitivities. Anyway, I think the kimchi went for about a week in the crock. It was so active that we had to keep the crock in a pan to catch all the liquid rising up and out of the top.

I love how festive the sauerruben looks with a handful of radish throw in! Otherwise it is mostly turnips, a little celaraic and the extra savoy we had leftover from the kimchi and kraut. This one is still doing it’s thing, so we haven’t tried it. The onions will probably go for three or four weeks yet.

Today we worked on cards, tomorrow we dip candles and every day (and into the night) I have been working on items for the Shop…mostly felting but there will be new yarns this weekend and some crafting fibers, too.

Right now I’m offering a free upgrade to priority mail shipping through Monday, and free first-class shipping until the New Year.

Back later with a Hike Report. It was awesome.