Goodbye Tappan Zee

The old bridge was demolished last week in a controlled explosion with very little fanfare. My daughter sent this Reddit link from an engineering site she follows.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, winter moves on. I managed to adjust the chain saw helmet so it fit like a glove. The chaps were warm as anything and now all of our wood has been cut. Tim even helped move wood with the last batch. More importantly, he had surgery to correct his wrist and it was a smashing (he he) success. All systems go for our February departure.

I’ve sailed through my projects: Birthday quilt and pillowcase, done; New baby gifts, done; 5/7 boat cushions recovered; Leg warmers, done. Several of these left the house so quickly, I never got a photo. Even squeezed in a deer hat.

Yesterday, I put work and projects aside and walked with the ladies’ hiking group. This is an intrepid group of women who hike year round in the Adirondacks. Yesterday’s group was large, probably due to the several weeks we’ve had cooped up indoors because of icy and frigid conditions.

Champlain Area Trails’ new Vail trail

One loop had several cattle skulls as fence posts. I tried to take a photo through the eye socket but my phone did not like the cold.

Now we brace ourselves for the next winter storm this weekend. It’s been called a major snowstorm with “plowable” amounts greater than six inches. Greater than 6 inches? 7? 50? Time will tell. Better fire up the snowblower.

I’m not at home until I’ve waxed the floors


It’s true. On my hands and knees. My kids will tell you how treacherous life was after I applied butcher’s wax to our wood floors. A brief walk in socks could send you flying.

Same is true here on Deal Island. What struck me the first time we were here was how the floors shined. They were clean this visit but not gleaming. While Tim was off clearing nasty nettles off the track to Winter Cove, I got busy.

First I washed and stripped, the floors. I looked forward to using the 1950’s era home floor polisher again. Just like the ones used in commercial spaces but smaller, and fun!


Then I applied two coats of wax. Now I can call the Caretaker’s house home.


We had some fair weather and aired the lighthouse and buildings. I took some nice shots of the living compound during our walk.


We stay in the group of buildings in the distance, to the right of center. It’s about a 40 minute walk to the lighthouse from there.


Today there’s a gale wind from the northwest. I’ve done the best I could to protect the plants in the garden. Time will tell.

Reaping and sewing

My latest gift quilt has been delivered and used for a few nights.

20140815-081141.jpg I managed to prevent Tim from running off with it and installing it in his cabin. Patience.

In a mad rush, I thought I would sew a dress for the weekend wedding (the day before). I hesitated when the pattern had 13 pieces and should have stopped when I realized they all had duplicate lining pieces for a total 26 pieces. I got all the way to the hem and decided not to wear it. Now I can leisurely hem it and restrict wearing it to when I clean the house.

The garden is providing plenty of green beans, arugula and tomatoes are just starting to ripen.



And the flowers are to dye for.



Eleven down

Two to go. Boat cushion project almost complete. Lucky for me I am working on the cushions this season because when we uncovered the boat, there was two inches of water over the floor boards from? Snow melt thorough the hatch? Leaky oily cloth tarp? It’s unclear and we thought we did the best cover ever. Goes to show me anyway, less is more. Luckily, I was too busy sewing to get involved in the clean up project and the Captain had to tackle it on his own. Silver lining?

I’m ready to cover anything now. I’ve covered a porch swing cushion, which I previously had pinned together – how tacky. I’m stymied by a boat pillow though because I didn’t plan my cutting well and will have to piece one of the pillows, creating a seam on the face. Probably getting a little compulsive but don’t want to place a fourth order with Sailrite, even though they are my new favorite online site. Amazon watch out!

My 1951 Viking Husqvarna sewing machine has been the perfect machine for the task. With the zig zag feature, I can move the needle to the left or right and don’t even have to change the presser foot to install a zipper. And it’s so cute.


My knitting needles keep me occupied at night. I finished a pair of socks to send to my BFF. As soon as my cushions are done, I want to warp the loom for two baby blankets, since she just became a grandmother too. I know, I had nine months or so to make something but this is how I fly. And I’m a little superstitious about baby gifts.

Last night I finished a pair of gloves for me knit from a blend of merino and mohair I spun a few years ago. They should be warm and strong and perfect for man handling the wood pile.


I serve on a local board and yesterday was our annual retreat. I volunteered to make breakfast for 25. I made donuts, my new favorite treat, cherry, chocolate almond scones, cranberry scones and blueberry muffins. They were a hit. During the meeting, I cast on for a cardigan for a fall wedding. I think I’m their first physician board member who caters and knits!

Airing my laundry.

Finally! The last time I hung my laundry to dry, everything froze solid. Spring! Still no sign of my 200 daffodils but my cold frame arugula looks good and rhubarb is sprouting.

Here’s my favorite quilt before it is put away for the summer.


You know you have cabin fever when

The thermometer says 16 below 0 F when you wake up and you discard any plans of playing outside. What to do? I know. It’s time to clean the grout between the tiles.

It started off with a sort of spousal challenge. In any relationship, one party has a lower tolerance for mess. In our house, that someone is Tim. I pride myself on cleanliness but may have piles of stuff – clothes for future donation, things to sell on ebay, wool for future projects – lying around.

It drives Tim crazy, especially because I request they remain in place. So we made a deal. He vacuums and tidies and I scrub. And scrub I did today.

It began innocently enough in the bathroom; first the shower, then the toilet and then…the grout between the tiles. I was off.

Once I tackled the bathroom, I headed towards the kitchen. Apparently, I’m not so clean. The grout was black! Yuch!


I made short work of it with Oxy Clean, a little scrub brush and lots of elbow grease.


Now even though it’s below zero, I wear my sunglasses at night ! I’m compulsive enough that the little dark spot is history.


How to get spring fresh laundry in winter

I found the perfect solution to fresh smelling laundry. Remove any and all dead rodents from the dryer vent! Voila! Spring fresh again. It was a nasty task but I meant to see what was rattling in the vent for a while. And I found it. Along the way, I found the perfect use for duct tape: repair the duct. My dryer vent hose was unraveling at the dryer, hopefully not because a mouse was trying to claw its way out. Oh the horror! Like a flash, the idea of duct tape, which I use for everything else, came to mind. Worked like a dream.

On a lighter note, I’m weaving a set of overshot placemats in linen and cotton. I had some linen on the shelves and boldly moved forward, despite reading the difficulty of working with linen in low humidity. My loom is near the wood stove. I’m learning to love the warping process and do it mindfully. Less snarls and hassles and misthreading. Previously, I tried to rush through so I could get to weaving, which forced me to become adept at repairing errors. Now I take my time, understanding that the loom prep will take several days. Then it’s off to weaving.


I’m a big fan of hats. My whole body stays warmer when I wear a hat. But some hats are just wrong. This is one of them.


Which way did they go?

Apparently the deer like our cedar and juniper the best. They have a big take out party and invite all their friends while we sleep.


I started and completed the fastest project today. I’m getting ready to recover the boat cushions and spend a lot of time on the Sailrite website. They carry a wide selection of marine fabric and have great how to videos. I watched one and learned how to spiff up a lampshade. So I did.



To(o) Organize(d)

I hit a breaking point. My work area was a disaster. I knew I had crossed a line when Tim cleaned around my work area because there was so much stuff in piles on the floor. So I got to work. First I moved my weaving and spinning equipment off the floor. I haven’t committed to where I want to permanently install my warping board so I hung it with my rigid heddle loom for now. Wreath hooks hold it over a door when I measure a warp.

I was feeling pretty good after that first step.
My work table was cluttered with all my works in process. I considered two ways of organizing a work space. Leave everything out to remind me what I am working on or hide everything. Looking at all my plans was paralyzingly me so I chose to hide them away. I hope I remember all my projects. I left the quilt in process on a shelf with its quilting hoop; found a bag for my braided rug and material; stowed my yarn, alpaca and llama fleeces; put my quilt pieces and batting in a tub; and found a place for my rope collection for future rugs. I had a pile of tee shirts I plan to make into a quilt for me but they made a big pile. So, I cut out the logos out for the quilt and saved the bottoms for future rug strips. Somehow, the same amount of material seemed more organized.
I went from this

To this


Feeling real good!
To think all my quilting fabric used to fit in this little trunk.

I’ve come a long way. Now where is my measuring tape?

No rest

I love Sundays. The end and the beginning of the week. I’ve had a chance to mull over our farm share and start cooking: bagels; chicken pot pie; and brussel sprouts to freeze. There’s a rhythm to working with a weekly bounty.




Next I hit the books. You will be happy to know I had to answer this question to remain Board Certified:

I answered it correctly and only have four more articles to read. Most of the articles are relevant and interesting but the questions? Not so much.

So I took a break and wound the Malabrigo worsted yarn on my nostespinne. Luscious.