Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hooray for Pumpkins..

PS- Chickens love pumpkin goop... Just in case you were wondering... : )

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cabin No. 23

You'll know when you have reached Cabin Number 23.
There will be a smile waiting for you at the window.

Where little houses grow from the camp table.

There is a seat for you and me by the river.

Where we can knit and watch the water roll by.

Hiking deep through prehistoric woods will take us down to the beautiful Clarion River.

My heart shall rest when the day is done.
And I'll welcome the time of my setting sun,
If I only can that woodland goal
Where the fragrance of pine is good for the soul
On the banks of the beautiful Clarion

~ Irene Furman Rodgers
From On The Banks of The Beautiful Clarion

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just call us the Gehrke's...

We took a special little trip to Colorado this past week.

The date stamped in my Park Passport Book couldn't be any closer to my heart.

It was our 15th wedding anniversary!

West Horseshoe Park with Alluvial Fan, RMNP.

Once we made it to Rocky Mountain National Park I could think of was Margaret and Edward Gehrke (More here from the National Park series). A childless couple from Nebraska who began traveling together to the national parks in 1915. Rocky Mountain National Park was their favorite. I had to choke back the tears. How could we be in this amazing place on our anniversary?

We did some hiking on the trails that were not already closed with snow.

It was blowing snow sideways when we arrived. So much for Pikes Peak.
That's okay. It was Colorado snow..

View across Bear Lake, RMNP.

My most favorite view: Moraine Park, RMNP.

We saw Elk, Mountain Goats, Mule Deer, beautiful Trout, and a pack of Coyotes. It was all I could do to get back in the car. I found myself thinking of this passage from Margaret Gehrke's diary:

Diary entry June 24, 1934: Sunday at Rose Den. The twilight hour is here: I look out to dark clouds on the mountain sides... Towards evening we have gotten our things together for quick packing in the morning. Our stay here in Rose-Den comes to an end. Will we come back again? I wonder.

I hope we get to go back again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Today Outside


What was that? Sun? Hooray!
Forgive me. Really. I just needed some sun today.

So did the bees.. who were quite busy and happy to be out.

So did the chicks - who were also happy to have a long run in the yard while I changed out the sand in the coop. This is our little A-Frame Woodland Coop. Forgive us. We had no idea what we were doing. The chickens were coming and they needed a coop. The run detaches and can be pulled around the yard (wheels at another time...) and the top comes off the base, if we would need to move it. Built it out of left over garage lumber. Painted the tar paper green so it would blend in.. maybe? Mission control to pine tree..

Voila! The back opens.. to get the eggs... and scoop. There is door on the bottom below where I can put in the food and water.

Fannie was worried I was messing with her nest. Decided she'd better keep an eye on me.
Just in case...

Saturday, October 17, 2009


A quick snap from the back porch this morning. It is damp 34 degrees here. The trees are dark. I hear dripping from the leaves. The sun hasn't been out for what feels like weeks. The woods are quiet. I feel like I am at camp. All that is missing is the river and the rocks.

Mom had some old single pane storm windows she set up last week in the hoop bed. We need to look for some cold frame windows at Construction Junction the next time we are down that way. The lettuce seems to like it so far.

The garden is pretty much tucked in for winter. There are a few rogue beets I need to pull. A friend suggested we cover the carrots and dig them as we eat them this winter. Thought I'd give it a try? Still need to pull the parsnips. Not sure what to do with them yet?

Radishes are growing well under here. I only managed to break one window (numb fingers) before Mom drilled a hole in the frames and wired them together so they would stand.

The guys busted out the wood shed this week. I am so ready to start filling it! Shingles are next and we are thinking of maybe building a more permanent chicken coop off of the back. Wood first..chickens later! Happy Saturday to you all!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who knew?

Knitting class was wonderful.

It is hard for me to put it into words. I felt like I had been swallowed into a soft den. A magnificent room filled with the most amazing yarns swimming in color and texture. There was my very own soft spoken teacher gently coaxing the stitches off my needles. I must have looked like a wreck in the beginning, because one of the other ladies looked at me from across the circle and said - BREATHE. Oh yea.. breathe.

I sat there in this den of women listening, learning, knitting, relaxing and before I knew it - three hours had gone by. I was off working on my first project. A little bag that will be felted. Who knew these stitches were capable of coming off my needles?

If anyone out there is thinking about giving knitting a try... go for it! Find a class, group or friend. Having someone start you off on the right foot is worth more than I can say. I can't wait to go back this week.

My thanks to all of you for all of your kind words and encouragement. I feel like I've found a long lost friend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Knit Wit

CO 44 sts on dpn.

Knitting code.

I swear - Morse Code would be easier.

That little sentence was the last straw. Pushed me right over the edge.
Cast on 44 stitches on double-pointed needles.

Who's idea was it to knit with not two, but FOUR needles at one time?

All I want to do is knit a pair of (skill level ONE) FINGERLESS gloves.

So.. a lot of you knit out there. Believe me, I've noticed. Caps, caps with patterns, SWEATERS, wool, wool spinning... my head was spinning. Dreaming of sheep. Drooling over patterns that may as well be written in another language. I dug out my needles and well.. after sitting in the orchard CASTING-ON for an hour and a half (fingers white and numb by now), I packed it in.

So tomorrow - I am going to a knitting class. I can't wait.

Maybe now someone can explain why my right index finger points like a irish setter when I hold the yarn? I'll keep you posted. At this point I am just hoping I can make it through with out injuring myself!

k1,p1 or bust!!

(I need that on a tee-shirt)


The mornings have been cold and the maples are starting to turn. Actually, the weather here has been gray pretty much all week. We started working on the woodshed.

After all the work on the garage, my poor hubbie broke down and rented a machine for half a day to help dig the holes for the support posts. All was well until he hit shale shortly after he got started. We got deep enough though to set the posts and took the drill back. Same thing happened when we dug the foundation for the house. Hit pure rock. At least the house isn't going to go anywhere..right?

Learned how to mix concrete that day. It's fun!! Kind of like making cake batter.. with a hose and sand...

The posts have since been set (partially done here). Had a load of gravel delivered today for the drive. Some will go on the floor in the shed too. We borrowed a tractor with a bucket to spread the gravel... it also has a backhoe...

Oooooo...No one ever told me how much fun a backhoe is!

Snuck off with it for a bit to dig out a nice big hole in the south bank. Cold frames. Dreaming of cold frames. You know, a girl could do serious damage on a homestead with a backhoe...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shelter House

My dad's company went on strike that year. During his time off he and my grandpa built us a picnic shelter out by the garden. My grandparents had one at their house. I can still remember all the wonderful picnics they had in it. Soda on ice in the big orange pail. Shuffle board on the drive-way. Grandma's ginger cream cookies.

26 years later...
..that little shelter house is still one of my favorite places to go. We spend time out there all year round. It's the heart of the garden.

Jars of light.

The trees have grown since then. So have the memories. Neighborhood corn roasts, pumpkin parties, apple butter marathon, birthdays, holidays, good days, bad days... ordinary days. No one wants to be the last to go in.

Nothing helps sort plans, revive memories, soothe a bad day, ignite dreams, warm your heart on a cold one - better than a campfire.

Had one this afternoon for a bit, just because....