My garden grows

I haven’t had this much time at home to focus on my garden in a long time. And it has paid off. I’m sure the bees helped too.

Our apple tree is even producing misshapen apples.

I have two more days left of basement living to complete 14 days of social distancing. Quite a few grasshoppers were trying to join me there.

I sent them packing.

There and back again

It’s almost summer in the Adirondacks and my calendar is full. I’ve been here, there and will be everywhere.

This wool rug came off the loom just in time for warm weather. It was woven in double width and then unfolded.  It’s sort of mind blowing. You weave part of the top later, the bottom, then the top again and it’s connected on one side. I hope the obvious middle becomes less so over time.


I sewed this baby quilt for a dear friend’s new grand daughter.

2E0D0B60-78F5-4D50-88B2-93B6A416877CAll while finally getting to spend time outdoors. I’ve been walking to work, in the woods, and hiking with friends and family. Summer is a glorious time at home.

F9F14C3D-6896-40D1-A69C-03E551FC03A5 But I won’t be here much.

I traveled to NYC to see Bruce Springsteen in his Broadway show. I think he was singing and talking directly to me. Wonderful!

A88C78BF-91B1-44D0-816D-9FD5EC256CAD16A8DBCF-C88C-4370-AB85-F8579F7D0F8BWe came across these Lady’s Slippers in the woods and hiked around and to the top of this waterfall.



557F06EE-E55F-491D-8ECB-A46B5545A6A4And enjoyed ice cream from one of the many stands that open for summer.


Next I’m headed downstate to babysit grand children for a bit, then off to North Carolina to visit that dear friend, then canoe camping with more grandchildren, traveling to Guatemala, weaving camp in New Hampshire and back to Seguin Lighthouse in the fall. What have I done?? My head is spinning.

Hosts and hostees

We had dear friends visit for a day. We met them on shore, and they whisked us off to Olympic National Park, where we took a nice walk above Lake Crescent. We ate some marvelous halibut at Cest si Bon near Port Angeles, slept in an Airbnb, shopped without having to schlepp our food on our bikes, and brought them out to the island. It was such an easy, relaxed visit. That is except for a little boating trouble. We returned to the boat to find some oil had leaked on the transom. Of course my first thought was, Oh no! I didn’t tighten the dipstick when I checked it, but phew, that was not the cause. We didn’t lose oil from the engine, noticed only a drop or two the next morning and may be able to call it OK? Plus when these troubles occurred, naturally, the second motor acted up and conked out. Boats! All’s well, we got a seal of approval from our trusty captain, Chris Columbus, no joke, and we’re good to go. We will have to test the kicker engine again though.

Then we were invited to explore Port Townsend, with Jim Hayward, who has spent more than 30 years here studying seagulls. Their behavior has changed for the worse in some ways – they eat their own –  with only minimal warming of the sea temperature.  And we just withdrew from the Paris Accord!! Thank you former Mayor Bloomberg for pledging to invest what our President would not, and to all the cities and states that intend to continue world conscious, climate practices despite the fact that the leader of the United States does not believe climate change exists. I think he may have even lied to the Pope.

So it has been a slow couple of days on the island.


We saw lots of slugs on the mainland and found this one waiting for us at home.


We have beautiful, perhaps invasive, poppies growing outside the cabin. We saw plenty in gardens in Port Townsend as well.



To make us feel at home, there was even a seagull colony atop one of the buildings downtown.

The highlight of the day however was when the old Dodge truck, started up and tugged the van onto the ramp of the barge that took them away. I was a little slow on the trigger but caught the result.


Today, we’re off to dig daffodils.

Time to camp, reap and dye

Summer is almost over, the crowds have left and kids (and sorry, teachers) are back in school. So we took advantage of some time off and spent a few glorious days in the woods. We hiked to waterfalls, a gorge, lots of ponds and a mountain, with lots of swimming along the way.





I packed light with a pair of shorts with zip on legs. However, one zipper was broken and my exposed leg was enjoyed by many mosquitos at dusk. Luckily we had a bandage in our pack and I taped the leg to the shorts but couldn’t make any fancy moves for fear of another mosquito feast.


We returned to my bountiful garden where there is not much left to do except remember to harvest now and then.



I’ve used some of my flowers to dye yarn with, so far, mildly disappointing results. I used colorful zinnias, dahlias and day lilies (with an alum mordant) all of which produced a yellow dye.


I saw so many mushrooms during our hike, I want to learn about mycopigment. In the meantime, I’m soaking various lichen I have collected in ammonia to see what they produce. Early results are promising.


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.



Sew old, sew new

I used my new(ish) serger and my antique treadle sewing machine to make a portable toddler high chair. I found the pattern at Made by Marzipan. It won’t fit every chair but may fit most. I had something similar when my kids were babies and found it very useful.



My next one may use a longer wrap to accommodate all chair shapes. I ‘ll see how this one works first.

There was a coyote in the field across the road this afternoon. I’m usually casual about leaving my cat, Loki, out when it’s light but saw this disturbing video today and rustled him inside. They’re howling outside as I write.

Flowers are blooming. I haven’t had the heart to pull off their pretty heads to create dye baths.




Maybe next year. So far, I have only processed purple basil; there wereno flowers to sacrifice.

Birthday bounty

I am not a material person. Like a lizard (?) I have shed my skin and possessions more than once in my lifetime.

But I recently had a birthday – a big one – and am as pleased as punch with my gifts.

Here they are. To avoid any favoritism, they are listed in order based upon the number of years I have known the giver. My kids are very competitive; each one asked me if they were the first birthday wisher. Yes to the 6:00 am text message and yes to the 8:00 am phone call.

1) A beautiful bouquet of spring flowers, just when I am getting a wee bit tired of winter weather.


2) A beautiful floral blouse, fits perfectly and looks perky.

3) An extremely functional, handmade gift for my pepper mill. I have one of the older brass pepper mills, featured on the Frugal Gourmet years ago. It’s so tall and top heavy, it’s lethal around pottery or glassware on the counter because it frequently tips over. No more.

4) The sky delivered a beautiful sunset and should probably be listed first.