And I had not covered the grill and stored it for the winter.
But the first snow is always so beautiful—and means the arrival of real winter.
Here’s a picture from ”Coffee on the Porch,” a local business that publishes beautiful local pictures on Facebook. This one was taken at dawn from across the harbor. The lights are inside our beautiful library. And the town will slowly come awake now to find this first snow.
Here’s a picture taken by gifted photographer Judy Berk, also on Facebook, of her farm field covered by snow. I love the soft colors of the sky and snow-covered field. This picture heralds the peaceful quiet of a winter morning.
Before I wrapped and stored the grill, I cooked one last steak on it.
Delicious—and there are leftovers for another salad lunch.
The placemat is made from the non-printed selvages of quilting fabrics. I just knit them with a garter stitch when I get enough strips to make more rows. It’s kind of an ongoing project.
I love these funky placemats. They wash well and are super sturdy. Whatever bright colored napkin I choose seems to resonate with them.
I have enough placemats now, so maybe I’ll try knitting some sort of small rug for the kitchen or a doorway or, even, a bathroom…
There have been well water issues—which are slowly getting resolved. The well pump removal and new pump installation likely caused a coliform bacteria overload, alongside all the rain we’ve had this summer and fall. The water tables are really high these days. Coliform bacteria are NOT e.coli bacteria, which derive mostly from animal feces contaminations. Coliform bacteria come from plants and other vegetation. The well test didn’t show e.coli problems. It did show way, way too much radon—which is a colorless and orderless gas that comes from granite and can dissolve into water—and emerge when you use water, like in the kitchen sink or the shower. A “bubbler” filter will be installed soon now. High radon levels are associated with lung cancer.
But, the GOOD NEWS is that my oldest son visited for a long weekend recently. I had not seen him for 2 1/2 years, so we had a grand and sweet visit. We cooked, ate, talked, binged watched WICKING and MANHUNT, on Acorn, talked and cooked and ate more, and took some sightseeing drives off and on.
Mike took this video of AC putting a flock of turkeys into the air. Note that if a turkey turned on AC, I’m quite sure that he would run the other way. The turkeys were in a neighbor’s roadside field up the hill from me.
And Mike took this video of me after I pulled out the apple corer to process some apples we were going to bake for dessert. Mike loves lamb like I do, and it is hard to get in South Carolina, so I roasted a leg of lamb for him while he was here.
I had forgotten how fun the apple corer is—so I may buy more of these Black Oxford apples and make some applesauce. They are a Maine heritage apple and are delicious.
The past few days have been an Indian summer festival—warm and sunny and delightful.
The Ladybugs gathered on every warm surface of the house—and if you opened a door, they tried to fly inside. Some of them succeeded. Some come through cracks in the house upstairs and settle in to winter over in the dry storage spaces upstairs. They land on you. They are just…everywhere.
Not all Ladybugs are the original ones we know from pictures and our childhood experiences of them. They come in different colors now, as there have been some mixing with other species from abroad. Some can ”skunk” you with a really bitter, rank smell.
Porcupine has been very present this past week.
AC remembers what a bad word ”porcupine” is and clearly associates it with his puppy experience of getting tangled up with one late at night. The outcome was a mouth and face full of quills that I had to pull out. That little dog stood so still and let me do it. There was no way I could take him to the emergency vet clinic on my own as he would have scratched his face to ribbons while I was driving. I got buried quills out of him for several days afterwards.
Anyway, porcupine has been noshing on most anything green left in the garden—including all the strawberry leaves. It won’t hurt them permanently as a hard freeze would get them any minute now anyway.
Today it is raining—so I will be able to sew. Yesterday was too busy. But thanks to David Hannan, the last of the outside tasks is done, for which I am really grateful.
Today, Sunday, emerged as sunny and as cool as the rest of the past week. But I have not had a hard freeze yet.
I set the clocks back late last night, so when I awoke in the dark at my normal waking time, I turned over and went back to sleep until the clock and the sun said it was time to switch over the body clock and get out of bed. What was 6:30 am on Saturaday morning was now 5:30 am. And that meant ”no,” just ”no.” I woke again at 7:30, which was really 6:30, and so it goes for a few days. Or, longer.
The past week was busy, but easy. Monday meant an EARLY trip to Rockland to the Toyota Dealer for ”Girlie’s” first checkup and the installation of snow tires while there. Girlie is a Rav4 Prime plug-in hybrid acquired at the end of April. She plugs into the 110 volt outlet in the garage. I don’t think I’ve put even 3 full tanks of gas into her in the past 6 1/2 months. I use the gas feature when I get out on a highway, but otherwise she stays in her electric mode. And, no, my electrical bill has not risen.
I voted on Tuesday, and the referendum that interested me most was refused by the Maine voters: the building of a pipeline through Maine forest that benefitted Canada and Massachusetts and not Maine. Once shrinking wild forests are cut, they can’t really be replaced. Our Maine energy company is not American; it is foreign owned. Time for some changes there I think. And that possibility is simmering.
Friday saw AC doggie and me headed to Augusta for AC’s 3-month checkup for the Lyme infection he got. He was totally cleared, so the herbal tinctures worked. And his urine was also healthy. I’ll use up what is left of these tinctures as the ticks have been really bad this fall. His bloodwork will go to a bigger lab to make sure there aren’t any other issues. You may recall that AC reacted to his 1 year rabies booster so that he could not eat any meat protein without terrible allergic reactions that caused himto chew at himself constantly. The holistic vet in Augusta was able to stop the reactions—and we put AC on a fish diet. His favorite fish is the local farmed salmon (ugh!), but it goes on sale every 3 weeks, so I buy it then and freeze it. The next step in terms of diet may be trying some hamburger.
There was time for late afternoon quilting this week. Here’s the log cabin quilt now—it will be 8 rows square, or 96 inches—so I am getting right along with it. I will move around blocks to balance out the more dramatic fabrics before sewing blocks together.
The fabric palette on the longarm bars is from the first project from The Color Collective, season 4–a quilt designer Tara Faughnan is calling ”Sunny.” Resisting making more and more of these blocks is hard—so I’ve limited myself to making two a day and cutting out two more. LOL, I now have 4 cut out and ready to sew. But I need to get the log cabin off the design wall before setting up ”Sunny” there. And that is why my quilting is always endlessly engaging for me.
I’ve added the soft grey and Kona ”snow” to the mix in the fabric palette. I’m not exactly sure what the Kona grey is…Lighthouse maybe. Part of the joy of this project is seeing how different fabric combinations work out visually—and then how they work in the quilt when near other blocks or how they work in the overall quilt. The prepped blocks involve the darker navy and the soft lavender—in part—so then I will have used all 12 colors at least once.
The blocks can be combined in many, many ways of course. In that way, ”Sunny” is like the ”Tenderoni” block Latifah Saafir designed for last year’s guest designer project in the 7th month. Tara set her blocks like the red and pink blocks in the picture above—like rising ”suns” made with half circles. And her quilt is…Sunny…so lively and bright.
Here’s “My Tenderoni” quilt—which is very different from Latifah Saafir’s—and that is what is fun about The Color Collective. The creativity that emerges from people is just awesome.
And, oh my goodness, what a visual impact this one has.
To remind, this is Tara Faughnan’s wedding ring quilt pattern, and Tara Faughnan is also the designer for 7-month The Color Collective online class hosted by Amy Newbold at Sewtopia. Indeed, season 4 starts TODAY, and, LOL, my fabrics are washed and ironed for the first project, but the design wall is FULL of the log cabin quilt at the moment.
I quilted with a light grey thread by using the 40-inch Innova ruler equipment on the new Innova longarm. There is a basting line crease in this photo that is gone now as I express washed and dried Joyful to remove the basting lines.
Here are some close-ups. The quilting is not 100% perfect all over the quilt as this ruler was a learning curve. Now that the quilt is bound, washed, and dried, one would not notice the kinds of things I note about the quilting. It’s all good, and I’m happy with the results.
After Joyful was dried and while she was all warm from the dryer, I brought her up to my bedroom where she is going to live for this winter at least. I almost took a little nap to bask in the warmth, but thought better of it.
Joyful is a treasure. For sure.
When I checked the rain gauge yesterday, it showed FIVE INCHES of rain from the wild storm.