Saturday, October 30, 2010

Strange Weather.......................

Yesterday the high winds stopped (which should have been a warning to me!) and the skies were a glorious blue and the temps were in the upper 60's. Hmmmmmmmmmmm Instead of questioning the change, I just enjoyed it.

By late afternoon, the hills were turning a golden wheat color and everything still was absolutely perfect.

We even left the pellet stove off when we called it a night. Then, out of nowhere it began............. The first gust hit the house and you could actually hear the walls gasp. By the third hit, I made my husband climb out of bed and we walked down to the pump house to turn off the wind turbine. It took awhile because you have to wait for a lull with these turbines. If they're spinning too fast, you can't throw on the braking system without causing major damage. I stayed outside with the flash light on the blades while my husband was ready with his hand on the switch. We did it and hurried back inside. The winds were so awful that even Mac refused one last potty break outside!

I thought it couldn't get any worse out there, but I was wrong. Only once before have we had winds like this coming from the south - downslope. That was last January when 5 wind turbines broke up here, including ours. Those winds were exceeding 80 mph. I have to think last night's were awfully close to that. Then at 1:30 a.m. it was like a switch went off and all went still. Later, I heard a light rain.

This morning we woke to this - our first dusting of snow at the top of our 7,000 foot peaks. I hope this isn't any indication of what our winter ahead will be like!

Think I'll stay in today and close some sock toes and work up a new design.

If you haven't left a comment on the post, "October Sock Give A Way" be sure to do so because tomorrow is the last day. Monday, Nov. 1st, I'll announce the lucky winner of a pair of women's hand cranked socks.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Fall Sunrise in Tehachapi......

It's worth getting up early in Tehachapi, just to witness our spectacular sunrises. Yesterday the Santa Ana winds started and they bring such a clarity to our mountains. These are usually high winds that come from the desert and bring very dry air. We always expect them at this time of year. To me, they are filled with high energy and just make you feel alive. The downfall to these winds, is the extreme fire danger that they bring to the southern California mountains.

I also turned off our wind turbine for most of the day yesterday - believe it or not, too much wind is not good for these contraptions! If you look closely in the photo, you can see all the giant turbines that line the hills to our east.

Today just might be a good day to finish the "deep" housecleaning. Just our bedroom and bathroom left. I think it would be a great day for that, and then maybe a brisk walk outdoors later.

Oh, and don't forget - Sunday is the last day to leave a comment on the "October Sock Give A Way" post. Monday, Nov. 1st, I'll announce the winner of a pair of hand cranked women's socks.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday's Activities.....................

This past weekend was windy, cold and rainy, so it seemed only fitting to start the day off with homemade cranberry/orange scones. I could live off these delights!

We made it to the pumpkin patch and had a tough time deciding which one was the perfect pumpkin. They all had oodles of character and Rick kept saying that he wanted to plant a patch just like this one on our property.

My husband even found the time to finish up my "plank" valances for the kitchen. It's amazing what you can use for window treatments.

Just a tad bit of knitting news - time is almost up to enter our October Sock Give A Way, so be sure to read that post for all the details.

Today, I have some special socks to knit and then I will start "deep" cleaning yet another room. I've almost made it through the entire house!

Have a super great Monday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"The Tea Bag"

The last handle was knitted and sewn in place yesterday on "The Tea Bag." I've had such fun with these characters! I've placed the pattern on both our Etsy and Ravelry sites. So keep your fingers crossed!

Today I'll take a break from knitting and designing and just enjoy this cold blustery day. Our house is in need of a pumpkin, so we're headed to a local pumpkin patch after breakfast. We might even stop at one of the apple orchards along the way. I can almost smell an apple pie baking in my oven!

I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing weekend. See you on my next posting.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The "No Fluff Zone"

Many months ago I was reading a fun blog and she was showing the new sandals that she had gotten - which were very, very stylish. With that, I looked down at my boots and realized for the first time that I live in a no fluff zone. 7 months out of the year I'm in these snow and mud boots and the rest of the year I wear these green crocs with socks. What would I do with a pair of sandals?

Now, I'm not complaining because I totally love my lifestyle here in the moutains. Besides all the snow and mud, we deal with a ton of wind. Many of the women I've noticed (like me) wear a ball cap everywhere they go. No more problems when it's a bad hair day - just put on a hat! And when running to the store or something, no one dresses up. I realized that everyone looks as bad as I do and it's just a way of life up here. And style? A good pair of jeans and a white t-shirt work just fine. Good bye city life - I'll take country livin' any day!

And now I'm off to complete the last handle for the "Tea Bag" and try and get a picture up for you on tomorrow's post.

Have a great day out there!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Sock Monkey for Aadyn

Last night we had hour upon hour of rain, thunder and lightning and so it was a good evening to work on Aadyn's sock monkey. I finished both arms, tail and his face in one sitting. Cute, huh? If you're wondering where to get this darling pattern by Carol Wood, you can visit her Etsy store where the pattern sells for $6.00.

Before I forget, if you haven't entered our October Sock Give-A-Way, please read that post for all the details. Someone's going to win a pair of women's hand cranked socks that were made on our antique sock machine, "Doris."

See you next time................

Monday, October 18, 2010

Deadline Met.......................

Doris cranked out the last of the 50 socks over the weekend and they're now ready to ship out. With that, she's probably due for a good cleaning and some fresh oil. Thank goodness my husband always helps me with that project. It's definitely a two-man job and a messy one at that. Just as we all schedule our cars to have an oil change after so many miles, "Doris" gets one after about 250 socks!

Since all deadlines are now completed, it's time to get back to Aadyn's little sock monkey. I added his mouth and ears and just need to make two arms, a tail and add his facial features. I promise to let you see him when he's totally done.

After that, I'll get back to the "Tea Bag." That project is sooooooooo close to being finished.

Yesterday I started my "deep" fall house cleaning. Every nook and cranny will be in my path! Yesterday I started the kitchen and washed all 5 windows and their blinds. All the countertops got scrubbed and everything on top re-arranged. Even the top of the cabinets were vacuumed. Now, I'm not trying to make any of you feel guilty - this is just one of my quirks. I just love to go over the entire house before Thanksgiving and before the house is buttoned up for the cold weather. Then I like to do it all over again when spring arrives. There's just something about knowing that every drawer, cabinet, floor and crevice has been cleaned.

We've been in this house now 2 1/2 years and I still hadn't put any type of window treatment on the kitchen windows. I finally decided that valances were not going to cut it, so a new game plan was come up with. I wanted wood planks over each window! Yup, that's right. The kitchen needs a rustic appearance, so my husband (saint that he is) is distressing 1 x 6 pieces of wood to place at the top of each window. One is in place and looks mighty good. Once they're all done, I'll share a picture.

Well, better get back to my housecleaning.....................

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Perfect Cookie for Santa..................

Last week I went to our local library's book sale - "buck a bag". Now that's a real deal. I love to buy old Christmas magazines because you can find some great ideas for the holidays. One of them had these cookies that had my mouth watering.

I tweaked the recipe a bit and decided to call them "Spice Crinkles." I got to thinking of poor Santa and all the sugary cookies that he has to eat on Christmas eve and decided that these cookies might really delight him. They're more for adults and would be wonderful with a nice cup of hot tea. I bet Santa would go for the tea, also.
If you're like me, you've never used cardamom and you're in for a real treat.

So, here's the recipe for all of you to try:

3/4 Cup softened butter
1 Cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Cup mild molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 Cups flour

Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Add the soda, cardamom and cinnamon and mix well. Add the molasses and egg and beat together. Then beat in the flour.

Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in white sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes or until done and the tops are nicely cracked. Cool on a rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

You better write out the recipe now on little cards because everyone will ask you for it!

This afternoon I took a short walk so that I could snap a picture for you of the wild buckwheat that grows all around up here. Apparently, California has many different varieties. Some even call this plant a weed. It's wonderful for butterflies and small animals and insects use it as a cover. In fall it turns a deep rusty brown color.

Hope you enjoy the cookies and if you haven't left a comment on the post, "October Sock Give-A-Way" be sure to do so. You don't want to miss out on a chance to win a pair of women's hand cranked socks! See you on my next post.............

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday - a Catch Up Day

I love Mondays! It's the start of a new week that always holds great expectations for me. I know it's also a holiday for some of you and that will make it even more special.

I like to do sheets on Mondays. If I had the energy, I'd change them everyday. What is it about getting into a nice clean bed with crisp linens? Especially ones that have been line dried. It's one of life's greatest pleasures.

I had an unexpected knitting job offer present itself that took up quite a bit of my weekend, but it was very fun and my husband even pitched in with some of my chores. I even managed to continue with cranking socks for this 25 pair order. (they're almost done, JoAnne!) The "Tea Bag" and Aadyn's sock monkey were put on hold, but no worries, they'll also get done.

My middle grandson's birthday party was a huge success.

Mitchell had the best of times and he and his little buddies had a backyard campout with dad being a real trooper and spending the night outside with all the little campers.

Today is normally "Dump Day", too. But, I had to overnight the finished knitting project to the yarn company and by time I stopped to splurge on a donut (my treat for getting the project done!) I decided that it would be better to stay home, do laundry and crank out 4 socks. YES! Four socks is my goal today! My self-imposed deadline is still October 17th, and I just may make it.

Lots of changes are happening here on the mountain now that fall has arrived. We've had the annual turkey vulture migration. Have you ever seen one? Oh my, they're huge and quite ugly looking. Literally thousands soar through this passage heading south for warmer weather. Because of their size, they need the warm winds to lift their large bodies.

The hawks have returned and also my favorite - the Western Meadowlark. Oh, what a song they sing each morning. Of course with fall, our gorgeous summer sunsets are gone, but here's a picture of one to remind me.

I'm enjoying all your comments so much. I wish that all of you could win a pair of hand cranked socks. And if you haven't entered this month's sock contest, be sure to read the post "October Sock Give A Way" to learn all the details.

Now I really better get to some serious cranking! Have a wonderful Monday.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Special Day....................

Today is our middle grandson's birthday. Happy Birthday Mitchell! He's a big 7 years old today. Where does the time go? I just love being a grandmother - it's God's way of giving us another chance to get it right. The other day Mitchell asked, "Grandma, I know that you love to knit, so can you knit me a monster?"

"A monster," I said. "Yes, and I'll show you what I want him to look like." With that, he proceeded to the computer. Sure enough, staring at me was a bright green stuffed toy with a dazzling smile!

Now who can say no to a request like that! I assured him that I would do it, but had to finish up these 50 socks.

I've been enjoying all your comments and hearing from new friends. Marjorie said she's working on Level I of the Master Knitting Program. That is so, so great. It's a fabulous program and worth every swatch!

Vanessa's socks arrived and I'm so tickled with her response. That makes my day!

For those of you who are new to our blog, be sure to read the post, "October Sock Give-A-Way" for your chance to win a pair of women's hand cranked socks. I don't know what the weather's doing at your house this evening, but we've had to turn on our pellet stove because it's so chilly and we're expecting 37 tonight. I think it's time to start wearing some hand cranked socks!

Well, I have several toes to close and ends to weave in, so I will bid you a good night. Til next time..............

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dump Day.....................

Living off the grid in a rural area means that there's no trash service. Now I know that some of you are going to think I'm a bit strange, but I rather enjoy the weekly trek out to our local dump.

And Bo is his happiest on Mondays because the dump is his all time favorite destination. I have a feeling it's the aromatic smells that permeate the entire facility.

For some weird reason, it always reminds me of Kingman, Arizona. I think it's the hills and rock formations that make me feel that way.

It was a good thing we went early, because a nice rain storm moved into our area today and we had thunder, hail and major downpours. This storm came from our north, so it was much colder than last week's that came up from Mexico.

So, with a stormy afternoon, I cranked out 3 socks and made a nice pot of homemade potato cheese soup and even tossed in some of our garden squash. YUMMO!

And before I forget, be sure to read the post "October Sock-Give-A-Way" so that you can have a chance at winning a pair of hand cranked socks.

Now I'm off to work on Aadyn's sock monkey. Til next time...............

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October Sock-Give-A-Way

Are you all up for another give-a-way? We'll do another pair of women's hand cranked socks for this month. Please just leave a comment on this post and on November 1st, I'll randomly draw one name. I'll email that person to see what size they'd like and will surprise them with one very fun pair. (the socks in the picture aren't necessarily the ones that will be given away)

I emailed Vanessa (last month's winner), but haven't heard from her yet. If you're reading this post Vanessa, please email me, ok?

Yesterday I took a short break from cranking socks and just sat and enjoyed making another little purse on a key ring.

The sock monkey that's for little Aadyn is also coming along.

Just finished his "bum"!!!! It's done with short rows and works up very quickly.

Wanted to show you too, the gorgeous clouds that have moved into our area. They're from the tropical storm coming up from Baja and we've had tons of thunder, lightning and rain. No worry about fire because of all the downpours. Wish you could smell how amazing these rains make our mountain air - you can really smell the sagebrush and other plants. And after the rain stops, the birds just sing and sing.

Good luck with our next give-a-way and I hope you all have a marvelous weekend.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Drum Roll Please..............................

I can't believe October 1st is here. And you all know what that means - one lucky winner! I placed all the names in a hat (knitted of course) and I mixed 'em up nicely and slowly pulled out one name. Congratulations to Vanessa! I will email you to ask what size you'd like and then you can email me back with your address.

Since this was so much fun, we better do it again, right? So, be watching for the next post that will give all the details.

Thanks to all of you who entered our give-a-way and I'll probably post tomorrow about the next one.

Have a wonderful day and do find some time for a little knitting or something you enjoy doing.