Thursday, June 23, 2011

Needles R Us

nickel circulars - most addi turbo and knit picks
10 - long
8 - long
8 - short - 2 pr.
7 - 2 pr.
6 - 2 pr.
5 - 2 pr.
4 - 2 pr.
3 - 2 pr.
2 - 2 pr.
1 - 2 pr.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BSJ - you don't say

This is my all time favorite pattern for knitting sweaters.  I usually have to start it over at least once because I count wrong.  The only seem is along the top joining the arms together and then sewing on buttons.  I love to search through my mothers old button boxes looking for just the right ones. 

Made using two stands of sock yarn

Gave this to a doula client.  Their little one just seemed a perfect fit.  Hope you enjoy it Benjamin.

This worked up as one of my favorites.  The yarn was a DK weight and made a nice "coat" like knit.
Baby Surprise Jacket 
Baby Surprise Jacket Size Chart

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Grave Yard

Because I have always loved walking through cemetery - even back when I was in the single digit years - I find planting letterboxes in them especially nice.  They have a name for people like us - Taphophiles. (we even have a web site).  I also like history especially about my family in terms of genealogy. Many of the boxes I plant have a theme.  And graveyards in no exception.  I started by picking cemeteries where my ancestors were buried but then branched.  I even found a gggrandfather's gravestone by accident.

My series started out in Northville, NY.
GY #1 Foundery at Prospect - Northville
GY #2 Lakewood Cemetery - Cooperstown
GY #3 Flowers in Remembrance - Rome
GY #4 Under the Oaks - Lee Center
GY #5 Family Leaf from a Family Tree - Verona Mills
GY #6 Long Lost Grandfather - Ilion
GY #7 Stanwix Cemetery - Stanwix
GY #8 Always Remember - Rome
GY #9 A Flower to Remember - Rome
GY #10 Another Day, Another Leaf - Greenway

Boxing in Pennsylvania

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Boxing in Richfield

Any boxer knows that a sunny day is a great day for boxing and today was just one of those days.  So, with iced coffee (thanks to John) in the cup holder, David Neuve on the CD player, my lap top (for clues), and atlas (for directions) I struck off on a long overdue LB adventure.

After being without a car for 6 weeks, it was good to get back in the driver's seat.  With a clean trunk it was a breeze setting up for LBing.  I downloaded all the clues onto my desktop before leaving.  Brilliant.

First stop was a sweet little unkept cemetery in Warren.  I kid you not,  those stones are really leaning that way.  Check out the tree.
I was treated to the song of a mockingbird which surprised me because I haven't heard them east of Syracuse but why not.

Warren is a beautiful countryside town with large populations of beef cattle.  An occasional farmer would drive by with a friendly wave from their tractor.

After leaving Warren, I meandered around and ended up in Van Hornesville, one of the prettiest villages in Herkimer County.  Stopped at a cemetery there hoping to get two more letter boxes but both escaped me. So, on to Monticello for my last cemetery stop.

Can you identify this leaf?  Cause I can't.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer's Past on Tom Kettle Lake

Summer always brings back memories of the times I spent at our family camp in Ohio, NY.  
My dad bought a lake with the land surrounding it and sold off lots keeping 26 acres
 for himself.  He spend weekends and vacations building a one room camp, putting  
in a well, an outhouse and eventually a generator for electricity.

My mother sold the camp sometime in the 70's.  The new owners made lots of changes but a "catwalk" or boardwalk is still necessary if you want to reach the edge of the lake.  We had a floating dock a short distance for the edge of the bog - peat moss base so when we would swim we wouldn't feel the little dangleies of the bog.  It was like "monsters" trying to git you.  I was only 9 so what I couldn't see was - well you know - out to git me.

I learned a lot during those years on the bog. 
I learn about bull frogs and how they stay tadpolish for a year.  
That bullheads sting when you take them off the hook.

We learned all about bog plants that eat  insects - pitcher plants and sundew.  

Wild Cranberries grew in the bog too.  Not a lot but it was fun hunting for them.

What we did have a lot of was blueberries.  Some grew down near the lake but our 
biggest haul was across the road.  We were able to pick quarts and quarts of them there 
in the most beautiful little haven I have ever been in.  The moss cover was so thick and spongy 
just waiting for someone to take a nap in the summer sunshine. 

We had spatterdocks that you could find if you canoed over to the of the little "coves".  
One day my friend Sandy and I, in one of our exploring modes, pulled what we
 perceived was a tangley monster out of the water.

Be honest - doesn't this look like a relative of Nessie.

We name it "Harvey" and brought it home. 

Of course, our excitement waned but only a bit when we found out it was "just a lily root".

On dry land, there was other things to learn about.  I think this was really the start of my pursuing a career in Horticulture.  My mother would find lady slipper orchids, dig them up and replant them 
in the woods just off the path on the way to the lake.  Yes,  we know now that is an illegal pastime 
but back in the 50's she was just doing her thing.  It was one of the first things we would do on 
Friday when we got to the camp in the summer - look to see if the lady slippers we in bloom. 

Out on the bog pink orchids and cotton grass would blossom during the sunny days of summer

Canoeing around the borders of the lakes - looking for adventure - 
is something lurching there I've never seen before. 

This is the camp as it looks today.  
Not too much different, new windows and a coat of brown paint. 

Beautiful even in winter. 

A little blurb about the town of Ohio which is located in Herkimer County on Route 8.   It is really a very nice drive  through Cold Brook and Poland, and farther north to places like Hoffmeister, Mountain Home and French's Vly.  Route 8 in the Adirondack Park is especially nice because it hasn't gone the way of the other touristy towns like Old Forge, Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and many others.  It was never developed, in fact, the small inns and restaurants had a hard time surviving once other Adirondack Towns became popular with water attractions and other newer forms of recreation. 
Driving up route 8 is almost like stepping back into time where you could still meet old time guides and fishermen. Growing up we investigated a swinging rope bridge and a cable car system spanning one of the many creeks and valleys in the Black River Region. There really wasn't a day we could say - we're bored.  Hikes around the lake reveled all log cabins and a beaver lodge.  We knew we wouldn't get lost as long as the lake was on our right.  We were woodswomen in the 1960's out on an adventure. Of course, no one mentioned the possibility of bears.  We knew they were around because 1. they live at the dump up the road 2. we saw what they left behind 3.  we had proof on our front door.  We just didn't think about it. 

If you are into letterboxing there is a very nice one near the sign as you enter the Adirondack Park. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My mom would be so proud of me....

My mom, born in 1920, grew up on a farm during the depression and even when the depression was over, things were financially challenging. Mom was practical, frugal, creative and hardworking. Since summer is upon us my chores turn to mowing (the manor as it is lovingly called) which is an all weekend event. The front lawns aren't so bad but mowing around all those apple trees with their lovely draping of poison ivy is another story.

I thought I was being very very careful but apparently I wasn't because come Monday morning I had itchies up and down my arms and I was starting to see little bumps beginning to appear which I knew would soon become blisters etc etc. Since I wasn't going to spend the week scratching - a big no-no and I certainly wasn't go to spend money on some sort of concoction at the local pharmacy, I turned to my ever present knowledgable one - my APPLE - she always has a good answer.

 What I found really surprised me and that is what brings me back to my dear mom. You see when ever my sister or I stepped on a nail, or got stung with a bee, or had a few too many black fly bites or fill in the blank she would get out the gallon jug of CLOROX. Yes sir, that was her cure all for just about everything. So, while researching remedies for my itchies, one of them was to wash the affected area with straight CLOROX.

 My first response was, come on, don't tell me my mom was right all along. But with the itching getting to the unbearable stage I was ready to try anything. And guess what..... ta da.. it worked. Once at night and then again in the morning and well the itchies are history. Now I know that one time doesn't make good scientific evidence but I know what I'll do the next time I get caught in the ivy patch.

Following is a nice web site so I won't hear,  "but I didn't know it was poison ivy."

NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION has a nice web site with photos and great descriptions about poison ivy and poison oak.

Some other plants we have learned to stay away from through our many travels.

This is HOGWEED.  It really is a beautiful looking plant.  Big leaves and large white flowers.  And that's what I thought we we gathered the seeds from it on our way home from Old Forge one year.  Spread them in the back of the orchard and then......found out what they really were.  Not a good idea. 

You might not recognize this plant but if you have weeded a garden and ended up with itchy buring stinging fingers you have found STINGING NETTLE.  Dried and encapsulated it has tremendous healing properties but in its natural state it a touch me not no no plant.

Another nice flower that grows along the roadside and looks pretty in a wildflower bouquet is WILD PARSNIP and can be really nasty to some people, leaving blisters and then brown marks that can last for weeks or months.  We found out about this nasty little weed when one of my boys was playing outside shirt less.  Three weeks later when he went for a well child visit the doctor looked at the marks quite suspiciously.  You see they were little 1/4" circles that looked like cigarette burns scars.  Fortunately, he believed my explanation of what caused them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

NPR says it all

As you may or may not know but will - I have a huge heart for my refugee friends. When I heard that NPR was doing a radio episode I was quite excited. Take a chance to listen to the broadcast and learn more about the city I have called home for 58 years and where my family has lived since 1820 themselves coming as immigrants from Wales (1800) and Germany (1850)




Amina Osman, A Somali woman resettled in USA, in a supermarket in Utica, New York

State of the Re:Union
Utica, NY – City with a Warm Heart
A couple of decades ago, Utica, New York, was dying, by even its residents diagnosis: a popular bumper sticker in the ‘90s read “Last One Out of Utica, Please Turn Out the Lights.” Once a bustling textile city perched on the edge of the Erie Canal, Utica lost its mills in the mid-20th century, and has been losing population ever since. But something has changed in recent years, with a surprising influx of refugees to this part of snowy, cold upstate New York—the newcomers have given Utica hope for a second chance.