Thursday, September 2, 2010
Frogs, Dogs and Apple Pie!
Wow! It has been a busy couple of weeks. Where do I begin? I guess I'll start with the frogs! In an earlier installment, I talked about all the bugs and stuff we were encountering. I mentioned that it was a bit like being in Ancient Egypt with its plagues! Well, last week we were invaded by frogs! No joke! We had them in the bathtub, the bathroom sink, climbing the walls, the doors, the windows! They had these funny little suction cups on their feet which allowed them to climb. The dogs would go nuts when they'd see one. Greg stepped on one in the middle of the night on his way back to bed from a trip to the bathroom one night. Whenever I'd come across one, I'd grab a tissue or something, carefully pick it up, take it outside and release it. I haven't seen any for a few days, so maybe the invasion is over!
We have been letting the puppies run around free outside lately. They absolutely LOVE going out there. They just run and run. And, since the hay has FINALLY been cut and baled, they now have the run of the pastures, too. They barked at the bales at first, as if they were startled by these alien things that suddenly appeared out of nowhere when they weren't looking! They often come back to us covered in burrs. Sheba was the first to get into them. She came to me with the hair over her eyes all matted with them. It was so bad that her eye was completely covered. I tried clipping enough off so that she could see, but once she could, she kept pulling her head away whenever I got close to her eye with the scissors. Greg was finally able to get them out with a brush...but she was quite a sight while they were still in there!
Our red apple tree has produced quite a lot of apples. Last week I put up 12 pints of sauce, 8 pints of butter, 6 qts of pie filling, plus an extra-large apple pie. There are probably that many apples still left on the tree. I think we will pick it clean tomorrow, then I will do up the rest of the apples next week.
I took my first spinning lesson this week. Marva Ann Ross from Jamesport, MO is teaching me. She has also loaned me a GORGEOUS spinning wheel. It is made from a walnut tree off of her property by a well-known spinning wheel maker. I really didn't want to bring it home, but she said, "You won't learn to spin if you don't practice. And you can't practice if you don't have a spinning wheel." So she buckled it into the front passenger seat of the pick up and I nervously drove it home. I kept it in the bathroom the first night. The second night I left it in the bedroom at the foot of the bed, but I kept waking up and thinking the dogs were chewing on it! I checked it all over the next morning, and that night it went back in the bathroom for the night! Needless to say, I slept much better that night!
Marva also sent me home with some tomatoes and hot peppers from her garden, and two bags of concord grapes from her orchard. I have spent the past few days making homemade spaghetti sauce, salsa and grape jam! Oh, and after mentioning that, now that the hay was cut, I wanted to get down to the pond to cut some willow branches and try making some willow baskets, she talked me into setting up a table next to her at the Jamesport "Heritage Days" festival at the end of the month. She'll be spinning, and I'll be making baskets. I told her I wasn't even sure if I could get enough made to sell, but she thought I should do it anyway! I did get down to the pond this morning and cut some willow. I formed 7 rims and 4 handles, plus have quite a good pile of weavers cut. I am feeling pretty happy with the rims and handles...so maybe this will work out okay after all! I'm anxious to get one made to see how it comes out. If I make small ones, I might be able to get quite a few made. We'll see!