Friday, September 30, 2011


sometimes I don't know where she gets it from, Mark or me... but I am confirmed over and over that it is an 'interesting mix.' The humor and the deadpan together... it is hard to tell where one ends and one begins.

We were watching the older Fantasia Dance of the Hours and I was telling her the 'choco-dye-as' crocodiles as she says them were going to eat the hippo that was asleep and she told me no they love her, they love her they are super dragons, they are chocodyas, see they supers....(they have capes) the super chocodya going to love her and save her he coming to save her there he is!' And then the main crocodile comes up and holds his finger up like superman and comes 'to the rescue' and makes batted eyelashes at the lady hippo. Mark and I were laughing, and he said 'yes, she is a thinker....' because I have been saying that here on the blog often. And then when it was all done, she is saying 'they did it all safe they did it!' so I clapped. I hear a very serious little voice say 'no clapping.' and she is sitting over there disapproving at me.

I can see this alligator toy on the Christmas list from Mama.

Last day of September

bouquet of zinnias


A few tomatoes, two peppers, lots of black eyed peas and a few assorted other cowpeas. About two quart bags of green beans, and another of yellow tomatoes. I gave all the split yellow tomatoes to the dogs and they ate them right up. There were enough field peas shelled out to fill one of those larger sour cream containers, about a pint, I think.

dry whippoorwill cowpeas and provider green beans
I was impressed by the variance of colors

The Provider green beans that I left on the dying bushes are starting to dry and produce dry seed for next year. I am so happy I let them dry.

We have a HUGE cardboard box from work that I brought home last night - it is about four feet square. I intend to toss that out on the lawn after we get home from Grandma's today and let Esme go to town with it. I have some paint and a brush - I might even let her do that, but would need to look at which clothes she has on first! Mark said maybe let her do that on a warmer day and have a camera ready and a garden hose. It is a bit cold out today - don't know if we'll have another warmer day!

Esme cracked me up earlier with this: We were downstairs washing vegetables and she looks up at the ceiling. Daddy is upstairs coughing with his corncob pipe. She says: 'Daddy. He smokes. He coughs. *gets pouty look and shakes her head* He supposed to learn to be a dragon! Not good.' I had a really hard time not laughing out loud because she was so very serious about it. Mark said she hadn't told him that one before but she often tells him 'gesundheit' or asks him to excuse himself after he coughs and gives him the same sort of disapproving look.

Last night we were watching Fraggles and Moki was running off saying she had to go had to go and leaving a sad crying monster that wanted her to stay. Esme said 'She go to work!' She also said that later when another Fraggle disappeared into a hole and everyone was looking for her. I have had to do a lot of negotiating and explaining again about going to work to her - she wants to come, she wants to see - she wants to help, carry bathtubs and find parts to fix faucets. She is Super Esme, she can help. She doesn't know why she can't, only that Mama is leaving and she can't come with. She says she is a door and I can't pass through. She says she will get in my lunchbox. She gets all ready and then is mad that she can't come with. Every day she comes up with something else. She is such a thinker.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

46.75 months

Wanted to save these here for the future, even though we are a week away from the 47 month update. Esme has taken an interest in writing letters lately - which is good, because Daddy was afraid in the computer era she'd never learn handwriting at all! Here are her attempts at a few things. Mine are on the left and her (sometimes multiple) attempts are on the right. These are two sides of the same paper scanned in - so you can kind of see the other side 'bled through' on the scanner.

I get a day off tomorrow, and I think I need it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall progress

garlic, standard grocery store type

bumblebee enjoying the bean flowers

overall look...

The garden is coming along... most everything is growing. The beans from summer are still producing like crazy. The wheat and trial dent corn is coming up, and the garlic is coming up. My Mayflower and Shackamaxon beans are finally producing, and I got six lima beans off of one of the plants that is having a comeback... sweet to keep getting things out of there this late.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The garlic is up in the garden - tiny spikes! Not much else to report, just a bit of a rant.... I seriously need to get to the thrift store to find some jeans to fit me better. I was wearing a pair of 'pre-Esme' jeans today, hoping to stretch my wardrobe some. They finally fit again, but were old and not going to stand up to the kind of repetitive washing they are being put through and all of the physical work we do while lifting and climbing and walking miles and miles during the day. They tore in a noticeable place and I have to find something else. There is a 'new and improved' (not improved, my opinion) dress code at work as well, so we have to wear collared button-up shirts AGAIN that are long enough to tuck in, and well-fitting blue jeans or khakis. This was a rule they tried to enforce about six months ago, but backed off on. I wish they would stop yanking up and down on that factor - wanting us to work hard physically but trying to edge us into wearing as close to dress clothes as they can while we do it. How can we afford to replace such things since they can also not be worn stained or torn? With the economy the way it is - we will have to thrift or scrimp somewhere or risk a writeup and possible 'repercussions.' It feels like Murphy's Law is in effect sometimes.. when it comes to those rules.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A hippo and crew

button tea


I haven't decided whether this will be the 'larger' or 'smaller' version... Esme said it was the mama when I was thinking it was the baby.

The whole crew is having 'button tea.'

It is raining and dark again... who pulled that number for all of my days off? Anyway, no dress pictures for a while again.. just imagine pink and purple versions of this one, but the purple has a much more pleated skirt and the pink one has a lamb picture sewn to the front chest.

My mind's eye has an odd point of view

I have a very active imagination, and it doesn't stop when I go to sleep. Last night in a dream I was going through a fishing basket of small stuffed toys in a large sitting room that seemed right out of some magazine (probably was, I looked at several last week and my photographic memory does things like that). The little 'sitting room' was off of a larger 'antique shop' which is a common dream theme of mine, wandering through rooms of random things looking at things many of which I have seen elsewhere in antique shops, garage sales etc -- my brain saves them there ;) But, those toys were unlike anything I had ever seen. They weren't children's things in particular, they were just curiosities made up my brain? There were little 'people' figures and a boat, a few plain balls and squares and then I found this 'bird' toy. This is as close as I can get to it now that I'm awake, the one in the dream had more white on it and the lines were stitched in as embroidery and/or quilting. All the little blue things were floppy 'wing things' on the top level and the bottom level had several pointy triangles that made the toy bounce in your hand when you tossed it back and forth. In my dream I was struck by both a 'log cabin quilt' feeling and a 'totem pole figure' feeling to the object. I handled it for a bit until someone started talking to me (in the dream) about another room I had been in, which I thought was frankly strange compared to this one which was why I had come in there to sit down.

the finished first draft, looks a lot like a turkey
Esme likes it, it has a weird charm

It reminds me of this pair of toys I made for Esme when she was five months old. I considered them her 'mimsy' toys, and they were made while attempting to make something else ;)

I guess my brain is just wandering down the same kind of paths in different directions. I need to finish the hippo toys I am working on and take some pictures of the dresses I made this week... but a basket of soft 'curiosities' doesn't sound like a bad idea. I'd like to make up a few of the people, too... they looked like doll versions of old clicky playmobil figures I used to have as a kid.

Last night I put calamine lotion on my arm where I feel like I have poison ivy - and Esme wanted to get me a towel, or a diaper wipe, or anything she could think of to get the pink stuff off my arm. That was pink stuff. It should not be there on Mom's arm. She kept coming up with ideas, and looking it over to get more ideas. Earlier when I took a bath she told me she would get a doctor to fix me because I had owies there, or she would get some duct tape and fix it... or we'd use soap on it. She is a thinker I tell you - every day lately she comes up with all of these ideas. I'm still smiling inside about the hippo puzzle piece, as well.

She was writing letters for me in the bathtub with her soap crayon. She got 'o', 'i' with a dot just fine with no help or prompting. Then she said she was going to make an 'h', but it was actually a square. She got mad about that. We had to talk about 'h' having just a line in the middle, and she eventually got that - and made another 'h' on her easel for me later in the night. 'S', '3', 'Z' and '5' are confusing her. She can make one of them, and then thinks about the others and asks me to make one and looks hard at it, and cries because she can't figure out how to "change her hands" ie: make her hands do that instead of what they are doing... She worked on it for a little bit in the bathtub, and at the easel - and I had to change the subject because she gets so worked up about it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I was making a pair of hippo toys for Esme last night with an open mouth, finally getting back to this plan from way way back.....because I saw a Playmobil hippo that was aweseome, but didn't want to spend that much on it. She saw me looking at pictures to make the pattern from - pictures of hippo toys plastic and wood and fabric and real hippos, as well. Later I was sewing and she comes up to me with a wooden puzzle piece I haven't seen in ages - it has a hippo on it. Mom, look, a hippo for you! Are you happy? *love*

gotta run to work - still in that haze. Esme had a wonderful time at the birthday party and did not want to leave, of course. She roughhoused so badly with one of the boys they could have made their own football team!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

run by posting

bottom pattern, Simplicity 4333, size 3
made without darts

I've been sewing, and gardening, and doing laundry - and not much else. This is the 'hell week' we often refer to at work - no days off, up and down schedule, and a 'back to back' stuck in there somewhere, too... a back to back is having to be back at work twelve hours or less from the time you got home. Then Sunday I'll get a day off... and work five more days to get another day off. So... this is the rushed around can hardly make lunches and get laundry done type of setup we go through about every 30 days. It has either been raining or dark every morning and night when I'm home, so there have been no pictures taken.

I made the 4333 dress in purple, and didn't like a few things about it. Esme, however, loves it. The next night (late, no pictures) I made a pink version with alterations, and although the collar is messed up a bit on it, the alterations were a success and Esme also loves that one. I put a sheep printed picture on the middle of the chest - so she thinks she has gold, even though the dress itself isn't far from being a 'muslin'... plain pink fabric with purple thread and not entirely finished on the inside to last years... it will probably hold up a few months.

Esme goes to the birthday party tomorrow - so I have to coax her to brush/wash her hair out tonight. I have just washed and dried the purple dress for her to wear. Then I work super early tomorrow, have Mark bring Esme to me - take her to the party, and get to go home and have work at ten the next day again. Esme is very excited, she is talking about the balloon that will say 'Happy birthday Gwenifer.' It won't really say her name, but Esme thinks it will, and that there will be cupcakes. :)

So - that is where I've been, and where I'll be.. for the next few days. Take care and I'll see you when I come up for air! And then.. there might be pictures!

//note: I was treated to two hummingbirds in the garden early this morning. One came down to drink nectar from a bean flower, made a very happy cheep to the air, and immediately another one showed up and they started cheeping about the nectar. It was sweet... and then I finally had to move and scare the both of them! Also, our wheat is coming up! The rows I planted one inch deep all have little green spikes up in them.

mccalls 6134
I want one of these in a size 3

I have something similar in my collection... and the only one I found online was a size 2 and missing pieces :(

The dress was designed by Helen Lee, a famous designer whose designs really appeal practically (most of the time) as well as being very pretty. I have a few of her things in my collection. Here is a link to a wiki that shows many more of her dresses for children.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blue Shackamaxon and more

harvest this morning

Offhand shot of Esme that Mark caught yesterday

Blue or Black Shackamaxon beans

I see now why there is a disparity between those calling them 'blue' and 'black'. I had room-dried a few of the beans last week and the seeds inside those are black. I found one that had dried naturally outside - completely in the hull, and those two seeds have a definite blue cast to them.

Blue Shackamaxon beans
in pod, fresh shelled from pod, two from a completley dried pod

Blue Shackamaxon beans

A snail found in the garden
look closely you can see his eyes poking out looking at me

Zig zag pattern in knitting
This is the (yo,k1)*6, (k2tog)*6 version

Did the math and at 14 inches of width, I would need 6 strips as close to 86/90 inches wide as possible. Sew the strips reversed to each other and make a 'sine wave' afghan large enough for the bed. Considering I am at seven inches of length on this test script... that would take a long time. Hmm. But I could finish the strips in white, orange, yellow, light grey, dark grey and black. That would cover all the colors I have been thinking of. Hmm...


another quilt with nice colors
log cabin quilt

Saturday, September 17, 2011

of Pie Bread, sorghum and gardening

Two bits of the broom corn I've planted this year.

White popping sorghum, fresh from garden
I think I picked this too early... need to research more
There is more out there.

a good post about sorghum grain
definitely harvesting mine too early...
but if we had chickens they would still like it.

red sorghum broom corn
picked too early as well, but dried now
more of this out there, too

we go wheee on swing

We all went to the library this morning, and the grocery store. It was a nice day out. Mark found another Land Before Time DVD and now Esme is engrossed between that and Commander Keene Atari game. She has been out to the garden with me three or four times today, helping me plant and look at me use the 'bug salt' and draw in the sandy patch she has found. I told her the Sevin was 'bad bug salt' and she should not touch it so she would not get sick.

Esme and I made pancakes today - well, she helped me do some of the measuring and mixing. I told her it would be a pancake, and she said 'man cake?' I could tell she was thinking about a gingerbread man. When she saw the first one on the griddle frying up she said 'no man cake. you make a pie.' I let her taste some. 'It is bread. Pie bread. It is good.' So pancakes are pie bread. And it is one of the few things I've made on a whim that Esme has eaten all of what I gave her.

I was craving apple and carrot and garlic... so I made another 'Mama soup'.

1 small red delicious apple (Fuji would have been better), cored and diced
half a can of sliced carrots
a cup of fresh field peas and snapped green beans
basil, onion powder, 2 cloves of garlic
I wanted to put some green split peas in it but didn't want to wait on them.. should have done it.

I ate half of that without the broth alongside several pancakes. It was a good combination and there is the other half (and the broth) in the fridge with two more leftover pancakes. The dogs really enjoyed the pancake mix leftover which was mixed with some water to clean out the bowl and poured over their dry dog food.

Out in the garden I found lots of beans and field peas. There are enough of them coming in I am trying to freeze some now. I planted more dent corn and beans and also some garlic from my spice drawer. I need to put in the Sandhill order very soon so Grandma will get her garlic soon! I also put some Sevin dust on the garden, which I had hoped I wouldn't have to do - but I need to protect the small ones until they get big enough to survive all of the chewing insects.

I also bought a yard of purple fabric for a long-sleeved dress for Esme. That is in the dryer and I'm waiting on it to finish.

//candid photos Mark caught last night after I crashed. Esme crawled up into our bed and crashed down beside me after that. He snapped the picture before he picked her up and put her in her own bed.

like mother, like daughter...
That is our favorite warm wooly blanket with the diamonds on it...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Newspaper, moon, and singing

A bit nearsighted...

So, find any cars yet?

She doesn't know a lot of words yet, so this is mostly pretend. Notice the newspaper is upside-down? Ha. She does like to pick out the letters, though, and make comments about the pictures. Daddy says watch out, she'll want to buy the Ford.

I am still constantly amazed by the fact that Esme knows the moon no matter what phase it is in. When we are out in the garden sometimes, she also takes care to see if she can see the moon and/or the sun in the sky and tell me where they are. Whether it is a small thumbnail of a crescent or a full circle, she has always known that it is not something different, just the same thing looking a little different. She understands it is the moon even in the daytime. She has not *yet* asked me why it changes - or why it moves, but she knows that it does and spends time observing it.

To think back, she has almost always been able to see it from our windows - as we have windows all around the main room of our house. She has been able to see it from her bed at night and has woken me in the middle of the night in recent memory to talk to me about it.

I am reminded of all of this by something she did at Grandma's today. She had Grandma's flashlight (which I told her was for Grandma to watch out for big brown bears outside at night) and put it on the floor switched on and so the light was facing the floor. It 'glowed' and Esme called it the moon. She had a toy sheep and told it and us to come look at the moon. She had been playing that game the other day with the real moon. She was showing her toys that they could see the moon out the window near the door. Each toy would say 'oh I see it - it is so pretty' or something similar. Then the toy would go get another toy and show the moon to the next toy.. and so on, and so on. Then the next morning she still wanted to play the game - but it was daylight. She held up a silver round button out of her button collection to her baby mouse toy and played again that he was looking at the moon. After that she found a round white translucent button and told the mouse that it was the sun, so hot, be careful. It may just be coincidence but she was also holding the 'moon' on one side of the desk and the 'sun' on the other side. How much is coincidence, and how much is just instinctual observation? She surprises me so often.

//The other day I was in the post office for a LONG time. I mean long. I was trying to do international registered mail, and there is a lot that they require for that. Mark was singing the 'Go down to the river' from the soundtrack of O Brother Where art Thou, which was playing on our CD system. Esme was telling him 'no no no' and would not sing with him at all. I did not know what she was complaining about - what song had been playing etc.. Mark just said she didn't feel like singing. Later on (same day or not, can't remember) we were out in the garden and picking tomatoes and I hear Esme singing something and am trying to make out the words 'go don ta'da'ribber to play, stubbying about that ga'da way, and wear rose and crown and down to the ribber to play...oh sidders, let's go don..' I had to focus in and really think - because she was missing every other word and getting softer as she realized I was listening. Now we are working on the words and she is proud she knows some of the song ;) Other songs she is working on: 'I'm a sweet little bird in a gilden cage' (Tweety) and George of the Jungle (which she thinks is about Curious George) and Jingle Bells, which I hear almost daily. Farmer in the Dell is still a daily occurrence and I'm hearing more Happy Birthday, mostly sung to toys.

//also before I forget - a few weeks before that we were also picking tomatoes and she was singing 'I wish I had a robot friend' from South Park. *roll eyes* She made me pretend to be Awesome-o the robot while she was Butters. We have no reception on our TV, only a DVD collection, which she has mostly memorized. Match that with her telling me I can't 'take her beer' when I took a drink of the Sprite can we were sharing at the flea market. You might tell we have a huge Simpsons collection to get that one. Neither Mark nor I drink canned beer at ALL... and she often tells me she is Homer Simpson, or Bart, or Maggie, or rarely Lisa. She said she was Homer when she was floating in her green pool ring and that she was eating donuts. And she now calls her red baseball cap her 'lucky red cap' and says she is Bart when she wears it. I'm not complaining - there is much much worse she could be watching, and considering the amount of 'real world' interaction she gets otherwise, she has to learn some of that somewhere... or she'll not realize that some people ARE mean to each other, like last year when she let a younger child smack her right in the face and didn't even think to defend herself. She never imagined someone would ever do that to her. :( poor girl. Daddy and I have had to put up with a little of 'I don't love you' and 'I'm going away' from her lately, too.. but she always shows she is just trying it out and seeing what we are going to say about it. She is overall an extremely sweet and compassionate child with a lot of patience and focus when she wants to have them. Moreso, I think, than many her age.

//Grandma had some sproutable wheat berries in her freezer from 2008. I made an educated guess it was hard red winter wheat. Grandma gave us some, thank you! I tried out a small amount in a plot square in the garden. I have some coming in the mail in a bit and will decide what to do with that when it comes, based on what this does. Also, the knitted blanket reached 'halfway' last night. It is now half the size of the Indian patterned blanket I always wear around my shoulders when it is cold.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Green Goat

I drew out the pattern for this soft toy today. I did it all freehand, intending it to be a donkey. Then instead of using my gray fabric (of which there is little) I grabbed this green and came out with .. well, not a donkey!

She is a goat, or a lamb.
She is for Esme.
Maybe we'll call her Gertie, or Mabel.

And I think I will develop the pattern some bit further, to put up in the Etsy shop. It is all patterns there now, no toys. I no longer have the time or storage solutions to make items up for sale there - but I can make things for Esme and develop patterns and maybe one day put it all together in a book.

Maybe I'll be able to change the shape into a donkey still... but there may be no need as it is all smiles for this 'green lamb with a dress.'

Well, after I posted she now insists it is a green kangaroo, with a big tail, and a dress. I wonder what someone else would call it!

This zig zag quilt tutorial is amazing. I want to do it, in grey and yellow and white? In orange and grey and white? I am thinking. These Joel Dewberry Aviary fabrics in yellow and grey inspire me... but I'm not hot on the fabric itself. I see those same colors in grey with polka dots, plain yellow or honeycomb pattern and soft washed muslin. Oh wait... like Esme's Shirt de buzz buzz! Exactly. Hmm..

This quilt inspired me to look for the pattern : Namoo Orange Wave quilt. Beautiful. Nice shop description as well. I wish them happiness :)

// found a knit zigzag blanket tutorial that goes knit row, purl row, (k2tog)*3, (yo,k1)*6, (k2tog)*6, (yo, k1)*6, (k2tog)*3 on a multiple of 36 stitches. It actually looks like a lot of medallion-like shells, but does zigzag nicely. Also found a harder to remember but more zigzaggy style one, also on 36 stitches, knit row, purl row, k1, k2tog, k6, yo, k1, yo, k6, (k2tog)*2, k6, yo, k1, yo, k6, k2tog, k1, purl, knit, repeat. Have not tried that one yet. similar

crafting one day at a time

peach zinnias

Lots of little projects to pick up on a bit here, a bit there. I began putting a few more rows on my knitted blanket begun way back last Spring. I had put it up away when it began to get 'hot'.. and recently it is time to take it up again. Inspired by my browsing yesterday, I found my bag of old patchwork, once meant for a quilt backing for Esme. I cheated back then, and used a big piece of striped flannel instead. That worked, and she still has that quilt on her bed often. Esme saw the quilt pieces and remembered it was for her. She was so excited Mama was working on her quilt again. She even told Daddy she couldn't go to bed yet, because Mama wasn't done with her blanket. She doesn't know it would take months, even if I did work on it whenever I could.

the blanket in March
it is much bigger now

Sometimes I feel like I've lost my spark with crafting. Other days I know I'll get back to it when really important and/or seasonally important things have finished. With also working full time (which we are blessed with, I must remind myself) it is a wonder sometimes I do much else at all. Winter is approaching (after fall, Mark says.. remember we have FOUR seasons here...) There is always cleaning to do in the house, and I often do not do as much as would be good, but enough to be practical. Esme's wardrobe has mostly 'rode' during the late summer here - she has not been outgrowing things at the pace she was this Spring. Some things are getting in a worse condition and needing to be replaced. It is nice to wait until the end of a 'season' if possible, and that is what I have been doing. This fall or winter type dress caught my eye as inspiration to cash in on soon. I could see myself making two or three of those to replace several summer sundresses that are now too small to be saved and well.. not very fall/winter at all. The worn out clothes will likely become quilt piece fodder.

2 by 2 inch scrap squares... slowly growing patchwork
one of the reasons I do not let little fabric bits go to waste

I am slightly inspired to do more in patchwork. Cold mornings turn my thoughts to warm blankets and 'comfort' things in the house. I stare at full bed quilts and wonder 'why can't I get mine done?' Then I remember: I fear the big 'sheet o'fabric' needing to be bound to another big 'sheet o'fabric' laid out on a floor somewhere and mercy to the creatures of the household running around while I try to get something done with pins. It feels like something I should borrow the office for... someday when I have enough time to transfer such a project up there and get it done. And then it would have to be sewn - and I would have to keep my sewing machine there until it was done or transfer the whole pinned mess back down here and worry about losing pins onto the floor. I fear that will not be anytime soon, so I keep putting off the projects and never actually getting them to that stage. Awful.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

soup and bits and pieces of thought

split pea, field pea and tomato soup

Mama soup:
1 red ripe tomato
5-6 yellow cherry tomatoes
small bit of onion (I try to keep one cut and froze for uses like this)
a cup of field peas, assorted varieties, shelled and washed
onion powder, celery seed, dried garden basil, black pepper
handful of dried green split peas
set to a boil then about an hour on the stove at a low setting
half as much as this again was put back in the fridge for later.

Esme had bread, applesauce and milk, as is her usual, and Mark is planning to put together a homemade pizza later this afternoon, or sloppy joes on French Bread.

Take a picture now Mama,
let me see, let me see the picture!

Trying to smile big...too big look at those teeth!

I think we're raising a camera ham. Oh well.

Random patter:
overheard at the store: 'I don't know what people are doing with their money when and if they get it - they aren't spending it. Nobody seems to be buying anything. (second person) I know what my daddy is doing with it - hoarding it, papering his bathroom walls with it, or something. It's like he feels he is back in the Depression. (another person): I might just as well be putting it in a bonfire, for all the good it is doing me lately. (Me:) I'm putting ours into a four year old girl and some dogs and cats. (other person:) At least that will give some return ;)

It seems nobody has much confidence about the economy. We are trying to see where we can cut costs as well, hoping things will get better soon but not expecting them to, either. My decisions on things like learning to grow our own grain, think about preparing for chickens, use or preserve all the produce we are getting from the garden, be 'self-sufficient' in small but increasing ways... that shows we're getting ready to know how to get by with less money and more know-how. I don't know if it will help much, but we can try. We were out at the flea market this morning and saw increasing desparation among the vendors - barking to the crowd : 'give me ten dollars for anything I've got.. then I'll be even and I can go home.' etc... It costs 4 to 10 dollars to get in to sell, depending on what class of things you are selling and where you want to set up.

Went to the co-op and asked about the grain prices. They don't have any of the 'hull less' varieties of oats. Didn't expect them to, but did want to check with them first, as they are our local source. I guess I'll be ordering a small packet online from either Bountiful Gardens or Johnny's selected seeds. The co-op did have a decent price on regular hulled winter oats - but that would not do for anything but feeding real 'livestock'... cows, goats, horses ... which we do not have yet.

Today I am inspired by these links:
The Fabled Needle
Bloesem Kids, a design blog
Sunshine Yellow, a quilting blog

Monday, September 12, 2011

fall bugs and foxtail grass

Something is eating all of the new beans as soon as they put their heads up - and is now starting to put holes in the purple hull pea leaves as well, apparently they aren't quite as tasty, but they'll do. I had expected the new squash plant to get eaten when it came up - as those bugs are still prevalent out there. But, I hadn't expected the new beans to be eaten as soon as they put their heads up. There are a lot of things nibbling on the beans but it has not done anything to really stunt those plants yet. I'm going to need to put chemical on the garden for the second time during the entire season... if any new bean is going to survive. Hmm...

And my one lonely cornstalk is up, from the one lonely dent corn seed I put in the ground. They are very viable.

I was collecting interesting seed from some grass out by the roadside. The closest thing I can find to it online is yellow or green 'foxtail' grass. It has small seeds in a fuzzy caterpillar like head. The seeds become dry and fall off at a gentle touch or can be coaxed off in a threshing like process. I collected a small tin of them. Then I read that dogs often get the seeds in their nose, eyes or ears and have terrible complications from sniffing and burrowing around in it. Our dogs were right there next to the grass - and didn't seem the least interested in it. I am on the fence about spreading it around behind our garden, which I was going to do because of it's interesting 'grain' like potential and the fact that we have quail and turkey living back there now. It is liked by wild game fowl as a food source - which I could tell just by examining it in the wild. I would hate our dogs to get a problem from lodging seeds in themselves - but they seem smarter than that. It might be different if there was a whole field of it...

I need to look into other grains at our co-op tomorrow. I want to get a grain crop that I can grow for chickens and other animals - but that could also be threshed without terrible difficulty to store, either for livestock or for an emergency food supply. It is always nice to have something on hand that has multiple purposes. I have found a few good sources to buy seed online if our co-op does not have the hull less varieties of the barley or oats that would serve as that multiple purpose grain. Hull less oats would be the best choice, because it is easily digestible by humans, dogs and other livestock and is a good keeper, as well. I was also thinking about sowing common rye grass in a few places only for the fowl and livestock. It would be nice to get some of that growing wild out there.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And we are thankful for it

Remember what I said about every morning? This was what came in from our garden today. And we are thankful for it. But tomorrow morning I do have to skip the early show and harvest in the afternoon. That one insanely early day a month. Growl.

notes: The Jarrahdale squash 'test subject' seed did sprout. So those seeds are viable. That is good news! I don't plan for it to do much this late in the season, but knowing that seed is good goes a long way, especially if I trade it to anyone for other seeds. I also planted about a dozen more Mississippi Silver seeds out in the garden, in open places near supports the mature plants are on now.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

early morning garden clowning around

The sad little fall garden... inside the weed overgrown but
still producing larger garden!

It was 53 degrees outside this morning at 7:30 am. Esme and I dressed appropriately and went out to plant a small row of radishes and check on the state of all of the 'seed babies' in the garden.

Rodale article on black radish, with really good writing. Just as I am thinking about ordering a packet for next year's fall planting, and trying another set of radish out in the garden this fall as well.

I didn't get much done out in the garden this morning, just the row of radishes planted. I noted that the Esme cranberry bean is the only one of the three experimental 'cranberry' type beans up at the moment. Those were planted on Thursday. I chalk that up to it being 'wetter' ie: fresher, than the other two, as it was from this season's seed.

The lentils are looking interesting on day 8 from planting

This is similar to what the garbanzos looked like in this Gardenerd article.

The lemon marigolds are blooming beautifully.

The purple hulled peas on day eight

Esme had me draw Pocoyo, Ellie and Pato in the dirt the other day. It is still there, and I took a picture for her.

And there was lots of clowning around in the garden.

Look up... uh... not that much.

It's a leaf!

Hats off, go West young man
I have no idea how I got this shot - I love it.