Sunday, October 26, 2008

Turn, turn, turn

As the weather turns cooler and the leaves fall from their trees, it seems a time for 'drawing' in. A settling down for that long winters nap if you will.

I love the fall. The way the leaves look on the ground, the cool nights and mild days. Makes me want to get outside sometimes and play like I did as a child.

Way back when, fall was a time for the last minute things to prepare for winter. The final harvest was gathered in, put up, set aside and preps were made for the sleep of winter. I guess we are doing that here.
We've been catching sales and buying extra, I'm still reaping the last of the garden harvest with bell peppers and banana peppers. The gourds are hanging and the sweet potatoes are almost ready to be dug.
I've put up pears recently, and still have more to do. It's a tiring, long process with the peeling and the cutting and the coring, but I LOVE to look at the end result. It's a good feeling looking at the larder and seeing mostly home canned products instead of store purchased ones.

I've dried some hot peppers this year, and they hang on the peg in the dinning room. They look very nice as well as knowing, should I need a hot pepper..I've got it! (not that I use that many of them and I've probably got enough for the next 4 years or better, but even so, I like the way they look!)

I think the final harvest of bell peppers and bananas I get, I'm going to dry. In the oven. Dried foods do take up less space for sure. I've dried blueberries and figs and chilli peppers before, so it's time to give something else a try.
I remember a time, sitting on my grandmothers (we called her mamaw) porch and literally stringing beans. We'd take each green bean and run a needle and thread through it till there were long ropes of green beans. She'd hang each rope on a nail on the back porch so the sun shone on them each day till they were dried and shriveled. Some people call them 'leather britches' me, they were just sun dried beans.

So tell does your larder look? When the trees go bare, the larder should be full! Want to learn more about 'larders and 'thrawls'..take a look here:

I guess most people don't think about the larder and harvest season anymore. The stores are too easy to get to now-a-days. If you run out of something, you simply run down to the local market and get it, but back in the day, that was not the case. You had to prepare for every season you had and the summer and fall seasons were a big time to prepare to keep you in food for winter and spring, till the next garden could be planted and produce started coming in.

Ahhh, the seasons, they do turn as does the times. Convience is the 'larder' of today. It's a shame too. I truly think people were closer when we lived closer to the earth. We had a dependence on the earth and each other that you can't find on a grocery shelf today.

Till next time..

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's been a while

But I sure have been busy!!
Let me catch you up.

First of all, I had several 'gigs' in the past month, a Bar Mitzvah and an annual fall party to do. In between all those, I just happened to have a vile evil demon that had to be exorcised...otherwise known as a 'gallbladder'. IT was happily exorcised on Sept 29th. WHEW!

After a few days recovering from that I started immediately on my latest project. The new baby quilt for the upcoming grandaughter Kaylee Ciannon (pronounced Shannon). She's due to arrive in this world on Nov 21. Sooo on Saturday October the 4th I began cutting out and sewing the top together. (I know, late start and all that), but finished getting the top together that night, 7pm.

The next day, the daughter and I laid it out, sandwiched the backing and the batting together with it and basted it all together. On Monday I got it on the frame. Here it is.


Now, I did not work on this every day, nor for many hours in each day. When I did work on it, I worked about 2 hours or more, but fit the quilting time in between all the other things I had to do around here..such as..PEARS!
It's still pear season here and I had a 5 gallon bucket full of them that had to be canned up. So that's just what I did several days: Here is some of the finished project!

...Now, remember, in between all this I'm still recouping from surgery, doing two gigs and quilting (along with all those other mundane daily chores!) OH yeah..and I had another 'ride along' with the local law inforcement too! Wanna know the top speed we hit..well, let's just say we took the car to it's highest..130. I don't think I EVER want to go any faster in my life! (OOOHHMYYWORD!)

All quilts have a history and this one, even though it's new is no different. So, here's the history. Since my son and daughter in law have decided to give their first born daughter an Irish name I decided that a "Irish Chain' pattern was the ticket for this quilt. So, the center is the Irish Chain. Most Irish Chain patterns however, only use two colors but they are doing the baby's room in a theme of a 'celestial fantasy' if you will. Stars, moons, dragons and the like as well as the babies room being purple. So I decided on three different colors for the Irish Chain. The star material, the purple and the black. Since they live in upstate NY where there are many Amish families and I was already using some of the classic Amish quilt colors, (purple and black) I decided that the outer edges would be similar to the patterns you see on the Amish quilts. Thus the final result you see here. A Celestial Amish Irish Chain! What a mouthful!
Anyway, without further ado, let me show you the finished product of the quilt above. I finished quilting it, took it off the frame, snipped all the 'tails' of thread, bound it and washed it last night.
It's ready to roll and to keep little Kaylee warm when she arrives. (and since she will be living in upstate NY..I'm SURE she'll need it!)

Well, there ya go! Finished, washed and ready to be packed up and shipped to NY! Which, by the way, I will be going to NY to hopefully see Kaylee come into this world. My plane arrives on Nov 17..I'm cutting it close I know, but we're going to hope for the best!

Till next time..see ya..
down on the farm!