As usual, life is busy with crafting, canning, Pathfinders, college, and making sure DH has everything in place to start his Masters in January. You would think that with the holidays coming, other than working hard on Christmas gifts, things would settle down a bit. However, that is not to be. I will be going in to work three times this week: 12 hours tomorrow, 3 hours Tuesday, and 4-5 hours on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving will have to be handled carefully as I also need to make sure and cook a full dinner. DS has volunteered to help and my BFF is giving advice on the turkey as this will be the first time I have ever cooked one. Usually DSIL takes care of the turkey, however they are eating elsewhere so it’s up to me. Wish me lots of luck. The rest of the dinner is easy as I have done all of it before.
Thankfully we don’t have any traveling to do between now and the first of December…but you never know. Plans have been known to change. And December more than makes up for it with the following Pathfinder oriented events: a 3-hour one-way trip and back on December 2, three appointments of 2-4 hours each on December 9, and a 3-4 hour one-way trip and back on December 16. That doesn’t include the usual Sunday work days and appointments in between for the kids. Oh well, let the busyness continue.
So to catch up from the end of October, I will try to just make some brief notes:
- Dyeing of fabric was done early in November with coffee grinds. It is light and I’m not sure I like the mottling, but it is a good first try. I may try to darken it, but not until after the first of the new year. Too many important projects ahead of that.
The piece on the left is a pale peach Aida that I included in my dyeing. I think I will use some tea to re-dye it. The one on the right looks better in the picture than in reality. However, with the right project, I hope it will be a good fit.
- On November 1, I started the latest Christmas ornament. It was completed on November 8 after many comments regarding the unique dress/robe on the angel. This ornament is by Little House Needleworks and found in the 2008 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue, stitched with DMC on the other half of the above peachy Aida before it was dyed.
- On November 13, I decided it was important to try for one more attempt at turning the rose hip jelly into actual jelly. It was still more like syrup despite appropriate pectin, so I recooked with more sugar–after tasting to make sure that it wasn’t too sweet already–and re-canned. This time I ended up with 20 pints and am hopeful that it will set up as I boiled it forever to reach the appropriate temperature. DH and I have determined that if this does not work, we will just enjoy it as really nice homemade syrup because it does taste really good.
- DS’s bedroom window that was warped and would no longer shut was also letting in cold air. DH measured the window, placed the custom order and we waited the two weeks for it to come in. When it arrived, we had to wait a week because of weather, however last Sunday DH and DFIL were able to put the new double-paned window in and it has made a world of difference. And just in time for the lower temperatures. DS is quite pleased and we hope that over time we will be able to replace the rest of the windows with the same type as was used for his.
- November 14 was quite productive as I was able to finish the baby blanket and also made my first batch of sour dough bread from my new starter.
There are two loaves of rising dough in the picture on the left and you can see my new Ball jar that is huge and perfect for my starter. I will be making another batch this coming week. The blanket is nice and soft, perfect for a baby. The intended recipient was born on November 1 and won’t receive the blanket for a bit yet as his mom is on maternity leave. I may call her however, and slip it by her house so baby can enjoy keeping warm considering our much colder temperatures (well below freezing quite a few nights).
- In an effort to keep getting all of my projects completed, I started canning the applesauce from the Pink Lady apples that DH and I had gleaned. The first five-gallon bucket of apples was brought in, quartered, cooked, processed through the Victorio, and ladled into hot jars. After lids were added and rings tightened, the jars were placed into the canner to boil in hot water for 25 minutes. So far so good. While the first canner was processing, I finished the jars for the second canner as I ended up with a total of 11 jars for the 15th of November. When the timer went off for the first canner, I proceeded to lift the hot jars out of the boiling water so I could add the remaining four jars. However, one of the jar lids decided for the first time ever in my life, to pop off, ring and lid, as it cleared the top of the water. Right behind the ring and the lid came boiling applesauce that hit my right palm and between my thumb and first finger. It also splattered on the stove and the floor, but the jar did not shatter and not quite 1/4 of the quart of applesauce was lost. I was not that much concerned about the mess as about the fact that my poor hand was burning dreadfully. I immediately began running cold tap water over it. Thankfully our tap water is very cold as it comes from our well. I filled the kitchen sink and kept my hand in it for well over an hour. I was home by myself and had to wait that long until DH got home from work. It hurt too much to take it out of the water for very long, but at least I was able to re-seal the jar, put the rest of the jars in the canner and process while I was standing in the kitchen with my hand in cold water. DH pulled out the first aid kit when he came home and after drying my hand, put something called 2nd skin and then wrapped my hand in gauze. That stuff is amazing because within 24 hours my hand was only a bit tender, with no scarring or blisters, and I was able to think about making bread on the 17th.
- The same day that I burned my hand, DH began burning the tumbleweeds, wood, and leaves in the back yard behind the garden. He was able to get quite a bit of it completed before the mist turned to rain. We are hoping that he can finish more this week or next so that after he sprays for weeds, we can shovel it into the raised bed, cover it with two bales of straw and maybe plastic so that it can compost over the winter. Then all we will need to do is add the diatomaceous earth and soil from the recycling center for our new raised bed garden next spring. We also have to drag out the old box springs, turn them upside down and make them into a bed that we will fill and plant next spring with strawberries. We are trying to repurpose things instead of dragging them to the dump when we no longer need them.
- My knitting has been limited as a result of the above, but I have been able to do some cross stitch. I have the next ornament by Prairie Moon started as of the 15th, as well as a Jane Austen inspired pattern from the Gazette94 website that I had printed out years ago. The ornament is part of my continuing effort to get some ornaments made for this year, and the Jane Austen pattern is for a Christmas gift.
There are a total of five girls with flowers above them, their names and more flowers below them. Then you have a border around it all. The colors were not specifically listed so a floss toss with the help of DD was necessary. I am hoping that I will finish that in time to frame for a Christmas gift. The ornament is another angel and I hope to finish it very soon. My hope is to be able to FFO most if not all of the ornaments stitched so far this y ear over the Thanksgiving holiday. I will use scraps on the back of each and ribbon from my sewing stash.
- Lastly is some knitting that I hope to finish by Christmas. This is the beginning of a headband and mittens for our niece. The headband is cast on and I have 17 more repeats before grafting the two ends together and then stitching the mittens. After that I need to cast on a pair of socks for her dad who will be in for Christmas Eve. Hopefully I can do the knitting in the car on the projected trips as well as spare moments here and there as I can’t cross stitch in the car very well.
And finally, new glasses have been ordered after a lengthy discussion with the eye doctor as to what I hope to accomplish with a new prescription. There is a definite change to the prescription bifocals, but this time I hope to have glasses that will allow my cross stitching without having to look over the top of the glasses with the project held really close. The new glasses should be in by the 27th of November and I have to admit I can’t wait.
I think this is plenty long and the dryer and washer are both beeping so I had best go get that done before sneaking off to sleep. If I’m not back to post before Thanksgiving, please have a wonderful holiday for those who celebrate! Enjoy your family and count your many blessings!