Summer Dew Point

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Busy Week, and It's Not Done Yet

Today we woke up to beautiful fog on the fields and a cool breeze. It was a perfect morning. Now the sun has come out, the wind has died and the heat is building. It is going to be another one of THOSE days. I will be working in the house today and staying out of that sweltering air.

But first I want to introduce you to my new spinning wheel. I don’t have a name for her yet, but she is the Majacraft Suzie. She is an older model with the older style wheel. What a beauty. Maybe I’ll name her Belle. Anyway, Detta (from Detta's Spindle) did it again. She had the perfect wheel for me at the perfect time. How does she do that? She let me try the Lady Bug, which spun nicely, and the Sonata, which is pretty. But the Lady Bug is plywood and I prefer real wood. And the Sonata has an orifice that is too far away for me. And I would have had to stand up anytime I needed to use the orifice hook. You can’t see the holes sitting down. So Suzie was it. This wheel was a trade in. The woman said she clanked. But Detta, in her spinning guru way, adjusted a few things and the wheel spins sooooo smoothly. As Detta said, “That Suzie is SWEET!" And sweet she is. I know my castle wheel is a good wheel. But no way is she as smooth and easy to spin as this new one. No wonder Majacraft is so well reviewed. I had not even considered a Majacraft for two reasons. One is the price. I knew that I could not afford one. The price is along the same lines as the Schacht wheels. And the second reason was the plastic bobbins. Now, I’m not too much of a spinning snob, but the idea of plastic on a wheel really bothered me. But I read that you can take the bobbin right off the wheel and put it in a dye bath. And that sounds like fun. I will be trying it soon. And as soon as I spun on the wheel, the plastic bobbin made no difference to me.
New Wheel
Look at the beautiful golden glow on the wood.

Sweet Sue
Now, what to name her?

Hubby went along with me to Detta’s for the company and to test drive his new toy. His van died last week, and he got a 2001 PT Cruiser. The car he has wanted since they first came out. What a nice driving car. Our trip to Maple Plain was very comfortable.

2001 PT Cruiser
Look at that grin.

Anyway, Hubby was very enthralled by the spinning wheels at Detta’s. In fact he fell in love with the little Kromski Prelude. So when we got home, he started trying to learn to spin. With his hands as gimped up as they are from arthritis and his UNKNOWN disease, he is having trouble doing a lot of the crafts he used to do. So he thinks spinning might be easier for him. And I have to agree. He is intrigued by the mechanics of the wheels and he is starting to get some twist on his wool. We’ll see if he continues to like it. I hope so. Then I (I mean we) can get even more wool in the house.

So other than picking up my new best friend, we have been very busy here at Anniversary Grove. The harvest is starting. We picked the first cauliflower, and I have started to pick my Peregion beans and get them drying. They are wonderful for soups. The squash is finally getting ahead of me; the onions are hanging in the basement in their pantyhose; the green and yellow string beans are STILL producing. And the tomatoes are finally ripening. I have baskets and bowls all over the house storing and drying the vegetables. It’s been a good year for the garden.
Beans Ready to Shell
Peregion beans before shelling. This is only 1/3 of the plants.

Drying Beans
Some of the beans shelled and drying.

Gracie and the onions
Gracie checking out the onions.

Hubby with the cauliflower. Can you say “bountiful harvest”?

Now I have to go start gathering everything I am taking to the Butterfield Thrashing Bee. Sister Connie and I will be demonstrating various fiber crafts. I think I’ll do drop spindle, wool combing, the blending hackle, silk flower embroidery and rug hooking. Maybe we can get some more crafters interested in our monthly Stitch in Time meetings. I’ll let you know.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Do the rest of you have so many robins? Our yard is filled with them every morning; bathing, sunning and stuffing themselves on mulberries. Some are so fat you’d think they couldn’t fly.

I just wanted to update everyone on a couple of things. In my July 19th post, right after I had gotten home, I showed you a picture of the tall corn. Take a look at it now!
Even Taller

Hubby’s stick is 10 feet tall, so some of the stocks are over 12 feet.

Tall Sunflower

And his sunflower is even taller.

And in the spinning wheel dilemma; I am heading up the Detta’s Spindle to try out a Kromski Sonata, a Schacht Lady Bug and a Majacraft Rose. The Rose is a used model, so it will be in my price range. She has each of these on the floor, assembled, so I can try all three and finally make my choice. I WILL be coming home with one of them. I imagine Sister Connie will be glad of that, since I have been emailing her night and day with reviews and photos of the different models, trying to get her opinion. She has been very gracious in answering all my questions, but in the end has reminded me that I need to make the final choice.

Detta’s is where I bought my Lennox Irish Castle Wheel. Detta has been very good to me, allowing me to make payments on Fiona for almost a year. And she is very knowledgeable about all types of wheels. Even fixes them if needed. If you live anywhere around the Cities and need spinning or weaving supplies, look her up. It’s worth the trip.

Just a few more updates: The broccoli is about done, the yellow squash is overwhelming, and the tomatoes are starting to ripen. I had my first tomato of the season last night (I refuse to eat store bought ones). It was delicious. I have frozen 8-10 quarts of green and yellow beans and they are still going strong. I have 8 big cantaloupes, but they are all still green. The onions are huge. I harvested the red ones last night. The yellow onion tops are still standing, so I’ll leave them longer. And the elderberries are starting to ripen. I can tell, because the birds are really eating them. I may not end up with any. I had thought that the birds would be so busy eating mulberries; they would leave my elderberries alone. BUT NO. I hope I can save some, Nancy. Or neither of us will get wine this year.

So for me the fun part of summer is now starting. With harvesting, thrashing bees, Stitches and a new spinning wheel, I will be as busy as I am happy.