Sunday, October 29, 2017

October is almost history.  I so dearly love this time of the year, and this year has not disappointed.  We have had a beautiful Indian Summer with temps hovering in the high 60's and low 70's, cloudless skies of cerulean blue and leaves that have outdone themselves in their glory.  There are a few streets near us that are completely lined on both sides with the most brilliant red trees I've ever seen, they literally glow.  Every time we head out anywhere we drive up and down those two streets first!  We have a bit of glory in our own yard, our snowball trees has turned a variety of yellows,reds and oranges.

With all this warmth, I still have a raised bed of lettuces, herbs, kale and a few die hard flowers.  I can't bring myself to do them in until the first frost threatens.

I even have a few sweet peas that finally decided to grow after sitting basically dormant all summer.  The heat was intense this year and they were not pleased and didn't start to grow and climb until things cooled off about 6 weeks ago.  Sweet peas in October...definitely a first for me!

The black-eyed susan vine is still going strong as are the roses.

And Wally has been in a race against the weather.  He has planned for months to put in a "sidewalk" all the way around the house so we have a way to navigate when the rains hit and swamp forms!  He's spent a lot of time measuring and figuring how many 12" cement blocks and bricks he would need to accomplish this task.  Gives me a headache just thinking about it.  But this is his forte, so he's a happy camper.  Thankfully the weather has cooperated and he's made it 3/4 the way around the house.  He's got 3 more days before the weather will change and by george, I think he's going to make it!

The start of the "path"along the back of the house.  Each of this sections has required digging up the sod and leveling out the base for the blocks.

Along the back behind the screened in porch.....

Turning the corner on the side yard......

 A little patio under the trellis that we're training fragrant jasmine vines up!

 The long stretch from the backyard out to the front of the house.

Along the front of the house, the hardest section so far, required a lot of digging and sorting out rocks before he could level it.  And will be finished....and before the rain

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Moving Day

Today was the day.  Susan, owner of the Oregon Knitting Company, had to be out of her old digs by midnight tonight.  Her "community"  assembled this afternoon, bringing with them wheelbarrows, carts, suitcases and in some cases, just arms, and we packed up all that yarn we packed into plastic bags last week and we marched enmasse down the main drag of McMinnville (better known as 3rd Street) the three blocks to the new...albeit inside the McMinnville Mercantile building.  Susan has rented a VERY TINY space in the back of this building that houses a variety of businesses.  We unloaded our containers into the hall of the new space and we were done.  It was a grand party complete with balloons and a photographer from the News Register, the local paper.  What fun and what a treat, for me anyway, to be a part of such a great community of people.  All week long people have been hauling all the shelving, counters, etc, that are necessary to make this business work into the new space.  The shelves have been reconfigured to fit the new space and all the counters have been redesigned to roll on wheels, which means they can push everything out of the way so we can set up chairs for........KNIT NIGHT which premiers in the new space on September 5th!  

 Lining up in preparation for the parade

No traffic laws were broken during this event, we walked only with the "walk" signals.  Cars tooted their horns in appreciation!

Again, this is not a gender specific event!

There were a lot of us!  There was a LOT of yarn!

Kids were involved!

No problem, we can improvise!

We're here, and bystanders are VERY curious!

Well, almost all of us are here, there were traffic lights involved!

And last, but not least, our fearless leader, Susan!

Who's got the key, we need to put all this stuff into the new space!

Which is in this building!  Come on down!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Many Hands.......

McMinnville has a wonderful local yarn shop called The Oregon Knitting Company.  Its owner, Susan, learned last spring that her lease would not be renewed.  She only learned this by chasing down the owner herself, who kept "forgetting" to let her know he was not renewing her lease.  

Last winter I began attending the store's Knit Night which occurs each Tuesday evening from 6-8.  I quickly became fond of this group which spans generations as well as gender!  It pleases me no end to see grown men knitting away along with us ladies.  When our group learned of Susan's plight....having to find a new space in a short period of time....we let her know we were committed to helping in anyway we could.  Susan found another space, albeit much smaller than the present one, so it will be a temporary move until something a little bigger and more adaptable comes along.  

Last Friday morning we all converged on the store and began the process of packing up all the wool, needles, patterns, books and other needlework ephemera.  We are a force to be reckoned with and we had it all done in about 90 minutes!  Some of the ladies' hubbies generously volunteered to take down all her shelving and will reinstall what will fit into the new temporary space.  We had a grand time, working seamlessly as a group.  Susan was overjoyed!  She's a neat lady and it was a joy to help!  Stay tuned for the actual moving of the's going to be a real kick!

All the yarn is packed in clear plastic garbage bags so it will be easy to see what's what when it's time to unpack.  We tried to keep brand and yarn weights packed together. 

Many hands make light work!

We couldn't have done without these wonderful men who did the disassembling of the shelving.

These lovely ladies were a big help, sorting all the shelf hooks into sizes!

All the needles and other needlework accouterments had to be packed as well.

Susan is beloved and one of her faithful friends brought posies to brighten up what was a difficult day!

Needlework is not an age specific activity and all hands were on deck to help this day!

We don't just work, we have fun too!

The pile is growing!!!

And there were treats at the end of our packing party, provided by another faithful yarn store friend!  Susan has a wonderful community of people committed to supporting her and each other!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

4 x 4 Is Not A Piece Of Wood

Our church has a wonderful women's ministry called 4 x 4.  Women sign up if they are interested in participating and then the list is divided up into groups of 4 women who will meet once each month for four months!  Each woman in the group is assigned as the person to organize the get-together for one of the four months.  I signed up for the first one last Spring and we had a wonderful group of women which spanned generations....I loved that.  There were two of us oldies but goodies and two young women with small kids.  We bonded big time, and we are still meeting, even though a new group of 4 x 4's has started.  And sadly, I never got a photo of the first group.  But there's still time since we will still be meeting off and on.  But I'm learning.  
So this month I was on board as the organizer and I decided to have the ladies come for afternoon tea, a ritual I never tire of.  This was the first get-together of this group and some of us knew each other, but for some of us it was the first time we had met.  How fun!  I kept it simple, made a fruit salad, some lavender scones with clotted cream and lavender honey, and a first time ever ground cherry torte.  We just discovered ground cherries a couple of weeks ago and I am in love with them and I am dedicated to bringing them back into vogue...I guess they were in the 30's but became passe somewhere along the line.   Of course there was tea involved, a choice of Yorkshire Gold (WONDERFUL British tea), Lapsang Souchong, Apricot Green Tea and Mango Green Tea.  

We had a fabulous time getting to know each other, and sharing prayer requests.   What a great ministry!  Here's our group at my humble table!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Friend Indeed!

Remember these cute guys:

These adorable goats belong to my friend, Leslie, who lives waaaay up in north Whatcom County.  These were taken in May of 2016 and since then Leslie has posted some wonderful videos and photos of this crew.  She knows I'm a farm girl at heart!

Imagine my delight when I sauntered out to the mailbox hub the other day and discovered a key in my mailbox.  The key means you have a surprise in one of the larger boxes set aside for packages!  A package!!!  Wait, what could it be?  I haven't ordered anything and it isn't my birthday and the box itself gives me no clue as to what might be inside.  I hurry back to my abode and open the box and look what I discover:

How cute is this?  And I love the card that came with it letting me know that Leslie is thinking of me and brightening up my day with a bit of farm life!  If I can't have the real thing, this is the very best substitute and a lovely testimony of a long-standing and ongoing friendship.  Bless you, Leslie!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Phase Three and Counting

Wally worked on the east fence all day yesterday, but now it's all up and the fun part...the planting...can begin!

The first set of trellises goes up. The hardest part is setting the bricks for footings, takes a lot of finagling to get them, as well as the trellis, even.

By 8 pm it was all finished.  A hard day's work, but it's going to look amazing when we get all the various fragrant vines planted and trained up and over!  And it's high enough the deer won't jump it.  Hallelujah! 

And the porch is starting to come together.  We had our first dinner out there last night, but it was too dark for photos by that point.  More to come!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Deer vs. Man Phase Two

Now to the south fence which is wide open and inviting for any four-legged creature that can jump!   We decided to purchase many wooden trellises that we will line the east and south fences with.  Each trellis will have a different vine growing up and around it.  We attached the first trellis to the south fence with plastic ties, but then we had to find a way to keep the Inexpensive (aka cheap) wooden structures off of the ground which spends much of its year as a sodden mess.  So...we lay bricks and placed the bottom of the trellis on the bricks.  Piece of cake, eh?  Not so much, the ground and the fence are not level, they slope a bit.  First Wally had to cut the sod to place the bricks.

Then he had to level the bricks separately, since the ground isn't level.....

Then comes the sand that has to be placed under each brick to make them level with each other and keep the trellis more or less level.

Next comes the placing of the bricks and the fine tuning to keep all things level...

 And finally the trellis is up.  But....we forgot about one thing, the front of the trellis (the part not next to the fence) is not secure and easily knocked out of line.  So next we will have to get some stakes that we can drive into the ground (easily replaced when the constant damp rots them) and attach to the front of the trellis.  We'll have to get some stakes.....if you give a mouse a cookie......

But at least the trellis is up. The rest of the trellises will go along the fence to the right, but they will be placed flush with the fence rather than perpendicular like this one.  But the rain is back, so Phase Three is on hold.......