Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hens and Hats

Hello my friends!  How are things going along for you?  We're cruising along.  I am happy to report that ONE of our hens.. and I know which one.. has started laying eggs again after a... SIX MONTH VACATION!  Gracie is an Ameracauna which lays aqua eggs.  I named her Gracie because she has a lot of grey feathers.  I wonder when the other slackers will get busy?  I am so happy to have home grown eggs again.  Do you remember this wooden egg holder?  I saw Lady Mary use one on Downton Abbey after saving the pigs - did you see that episode?  I got right on eBay or Etsy and found this.  So, now I can cook like Lady Mary.  :-)


I figure that the the one with the darker blue top was her first one in 6 months so there was lots of blue saved up in her egg maker.  What do you think? :-)


I went out in the farmyard to get a photo of the girls.. but only 2 of them would come out to see me.  The big black hen is the Cuckoo Maran named Hershey - as she lays milk chocolate colored eggs.  Both of these two look gorgeous and very feathered out.. 


Gracie and her grey tail.


The roses are leafing out!


I'm fascinated with the colors in these tulip leaves!


I got my 2nd gold colored cotton wash cloth done.  


I'm going to try this as a face cloth.. I've always used them as kitchen wash cloths.  


I got a third hat done for Taci's charity project - hats for new babies in Brazil for underprivileged expectant mothers.  Taci's mother puts together bags for the new mothers with hats, sweaters, booties and other necessities.  Isn't that nice?


I am halfway done on a 4th hat using my organic cotton.  


I really like how the little variegated one turned out, I used the shell pattern after I got the crown increase part done in double crochet.  I think Betsy or Gracie gave me that cotton.  


I snapped a photo of our moss covered garage barn.. yes, Oregon is green. :-)


More Snowdrops are showing white buds.


Behind the garage was another round of wood from some of the trees we had felled as they had died.  The entire end of this is covered with those Turkey Tail mushrooms!


I sauntered down our driveway and snapped this image of the pastures and forest across the road from our place.  A hazy day.  Soon they will be planting fields of flowers there.


Our Black Bamboo stand needs trimmed up - many of the branches have bent over.  We'll have to work on that.


I am in love with the black canes of this plant.  I used the branches as stakes in other plants, which is neat.  I wonder what else I could use these for.  Any ideas?


A snap of the bamboo and our barn.  I have 5 varieties of bamboo on the farm and each one is a clumping bamboo and not a running bamboo - each has stayed very nicely in one spot.  They do get big and bushy, but they do not run and take over.


Well, Dayle and I are going on a jaunt together - we're both in the mood for a healthy salad and we have a favorite restaurant that makes a killer shrimp salad.  I might remember to snap a photo.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

False Spring and Baby Hats for Brazil

Dear friends.. we are in the middle of a "false Spring".  Here it is, late January and yesterday it got up to 63 degrees F. outside and it was so warm inside the house that we had to open the front door and kitchen window!  I grabbed my camera to get a photo of the Snowdrops that I had spied in early bloom lately.  


Soon there will be many more in bloom!  They have spread all over the farm yard.  These are under the apple tree.


The branches of the apple tree are covered with mosses and lichen.  I doubt that the tree likes this, but it sure makes for an interesting look.


Pretty greens, eh?


I said hello to the hens.. we finally got 3 aqua eggs after they went on strike for 6 months!  I've never had chickens go that long without laying eggs.  Next to the chicken yard there are some large rounds of the old maple tree that died and we had taken down a few years ago.  I was amazed to see it was covered with "Turkey Tail Mushrooms"!  (Thanks to Google for giving me the name of this!)  These are quite amazing looking.



This is a huge round of wood.. at least 3-4 feet across.  


Talk about natural colors.. cream, brown, greys.



Aren't these amazing?



The Daphne Odora buds is getting bigger.. I think they're afraid to open up.. it knows what happened last year.. after this false Spring weather we had a terrible snow and ice storm which ruined all my tulips that were halfway up.


Yesterday we relaxed all day inside which was really naughty of us.. not to get out in the sunshine more.. but Dayle was watching "Cleopatra" and it went on forever.  So, I kept him company and began making a baby hat for Taci's "hat project".  She is going to visit her family in Brazil and wants to take 200 baby hats for the poor women who don't have many clothes for their babies.  If you want to help, you can go to Taci's blog and leave a comment to get her address to send them to her.


I got a baby girl hat done in mauve with a purple flower (I'll add a button center today) and a denim blue boy hat.  2 hats in one day!  I used a simple "beanie" pattern but added my own spin to the design on both hats.


Chef Dayle made homemade teriyaki sauce and baked 5 lbs. of chicken wings in it for 3 hours yesterday. He also made homemade fried rice with veggies, scrambled eggs and sausage to serve with it.  We had a yummy dinner!



Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Heat oven to 300 degrees

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
t tsp ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
5 lbs. of chicken wings 

In large baking pan, put ingredients above and heat to dissolve sugar, add the chicken wings, stir to coat wings with sauce, put into oven, turning wings occasionally.  Bake until caramelized, 3 hours.

I might want to make another baby hat!  What are you up to today?  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jewels and Marshmallows

Hello my friends!  Thanks for visiting!  I'm nearly done crocheting the jewel toned Queen Anne's Lace scarf for my oldest granddaughter, Jenna!  The colors in this skein were way longer which gives bigger pools of color, my favorite parts are where the ruby turns to turquoise and it turns purple.  :-)


I'm making these not too long as they will be more decorative than warm on the girls.  I just thought they'd enjoy wearing these to school.


I'm nearly done with the gold cotton wash cloth, it's amazing how much smaller it is on size 7 needles than the one I made on size 9s.  


I was worried that KnitPicks would discontinue the "Simply Cotton Worsted" -- so I got 10 skeins.  I know.. don't tell my DIL who told me "NO more yarn!".  :-)


But this stuff really is the epitome of luscious cotton -- unbleached, organic, soft, dreamy.  I can see some thick hot pads, wash cloths and who knows what in the future..  what would YOU make with this?


While I was looking at cottons on the KP website I saw this.. how could I resist just ONE of these to see what it was like?  Well.. you know me.. I could *not* resist.  


I will withhold judgement until I knit or crochet with this, but from my initial perusal of it.. it's quite natural and rustic!  What would this make?  Hmmm!


Wild and wooly!


Well.. I need to get on the phone and reserve some rooms and a car for our trip to New Orleans in April.  I will share our itinerary with you soon.  We're going to spend several days in the French Quarter and do as many things as we can, then we're renting a car and driving to see Oak Alley antebellum mansion on our way to stay a night in Lafayette, LA.  We'll go see where Dayle and I lived at first in a little old town called Milton, then the house we had built where our first 2 kids were born.  Then to dinner at our favorite restaurant called Riverside Inn where I want to get the Crawfish dinner!  LOL!  On our way back to New Orleans we'll visit Avery Island where Tabasco sauce is made.  I'm so excited!  OK, off to swim again.  Talk to you later!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vintage Faux Tortoise Knitting Needles

Hello my friends!  How is your week going?  Things are well here, we're having more sunny warm days which makes me happy.  I found my size 7 vintage faux tortoise shell knitting needles that I *love* to knit with - and am over halfway done with my 2nd golden washcloth - as I sent my first one to my daughter Amy as a gift.  I have a *thing* for variegated colored things.  I thought I'd share my collection with you as you may have never seen these needles.  I first saw them on an Australian blog years ago and fell in love right then and there and began a search on eBay to find a set of my very own.  Instead I found a whole collection for a very reasonable price!  I love how there are several different designs on the top.  The big one is called a Beehive design.  I like the ones with the bone inlay.


I stuck all my knitting needles in an old Ball jar with some antique marbles in the bottom to hold the jar from tipping.  My tortoise needles are below.



I usually use the shorter ones as I am not a super knitter, so I stick with wash cloths.  Although, I did knit my most complicated item - the little pink dress for my Maggie Maria Rabbit (from Alicia Paulson's kit collection).


These needles are made of "shellonite", which was registered as a trademark in Australia in 1930 and manufactured artificial amber, horn and resin.  So, almost all of these needles are to be found in Australia and I feel honored to be the owner of this small collection.



If you ever see any in an antique or thrift shop, I recommend that you grab them.  I've never used such a delightful needle.  It's warm to the touch, is flexible and looks FAB in your knit project.  :-)



It's just a joy to knit by the fire while watching TV shows.  Just a head's up - I got this wonderful organic cotton from KnitPicks but they discontinued ALL THE COLORED YARN.. argh!  But you can get this spectacular yarn in unbleached off white and I can attest.. it's the softest, best cotton yarn ever.  If you like off-white.  Luckily I do.  :-)


Do you love the tortoise look of these needles?  No turtles were harmed in the filming of this episode of "The Lady Who Collects Stuff".


I just had to show you my little Narcissus which are bringing happiness to those of us who live in this little old farmhouse.  I need to photograph my garden daffodils which are coming up and we have little white buds on the Snowdrops!


Look at this little old Polaroid photo I came across - it's me after returning from living in Hawaii for 7 months right after I graduated from high school.  If you're wondering why my hands are like that, it's because I was striking a "hula" pose.  I think my bangs needed trimming, you can't see my eyes!


OK, time to pack my swim bag and head off to the pool to swim in the sunshine with Gracie!  What are your plans for the day?  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Visit to the Woolen Mill Store

Dayle and I took a drive west along the Columbia River, crossed the river headed north, then headed east on the other side of the river, to Washougal, Washington.  There resides an unassuming old building that houses the Pendleton Mill Store where you can get good deals on their products and discontinued patterns, plus yardage of their beautifully woven fabrics.  


They have the most beautiful display of blankets!  These are all Chief Joseph designs in different colors.


See the old style striped blankets?  



The colors are wonderful.


What blanket design is your favorite?


I tried to talk Dayle into getting a vest.. but he said "it isn't me".  I think he'd be cute in this! :-)


We got a couple things, I'll show you below.  Then after we left the store we drove through the old town of Washougal and then drove on to Camas and checked out their historic old town.  I liked this old theater.  That is a lot of movies, how small are the film rooms?


On our drive home we traveled up the Sandy River and I pulled into Dabney State Park where I hopped out of the car and walked down to the edge of the river to get a photo of how swollen the river is with all our recent rains.


This morning I took a few photos of my bargain purchases.. a laptop bag and a notebook.  I wanted to downsize what I took to my meetings and the notebook was just the thing.  And who doesn't need a laptop bag in beautiful colors? :-)



I've got this notebook all set to attend the Friends of Multnomah Falls board meeting this evening.  Now that I am not president any longer I have a LOT less paperwork to take to the meetings.  :-D



No more piles of agendas and reports - just a handwritten report.



Well, I have to rush.. pack my swim bag and meet Gracie for our lap-swimming.  What plans do you have this week?  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)