Sunday, June 29, 2008

I've been FLEECED!

Yep... with real fleeces... 4 of them! and the best part was the price... can you say FREE!! (thank you FREECYCLE!)

I stopped and got some store brand woolite on the way home, then read in the net where dish detergent is ok for washing it... so oh well... I am sure my bottle of woolite won't do the whole mess. But I now have a project for the day (or two... )

Anyone need some wool?? I am not making any comments on the spin-ability of it at present, they were presented as "mixed breed sheep" but I would be glad to share the wealth.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

of FEMA, house hunting and other adventures

How's THAT for amazing! I've been in Maine not quite 4 months and have already received recognition from FEMA (for whatever THEIR opinion is worth! LOL) for my support. I have been helping my friend Robin, editor of Maine Nature News with her seasonal Black Fly Report map graphics. Black Flies, if you have not been blessed to know them, are a biting menace here in the north woods from spring through early or midsummer. They look like 1/8 scale houseflies, are inclined to swarm around your face and bite like the dickens. Unlike mosquitoes, they are of several species and have slightly differing seasons, breeding in moving -- rather than still -- water. Apparently FEMA and other agencies use the totally volunteer reporting effort when they respond to disasters and other conditions. I offered to help Robin when she was fussing in her farm blog about doing the maps. What is relatively quick and easy with my professional Photoshop program was much more difficult with her lower-budget programs and that added to the detail of having to locate the individual reporting spots on the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer each time and make a dot of the correct color to indicate the severity of the flies -- on top of this all happening at a very busy time on her farm -- was getting to her. So now she sends me the reports, I make the graphic and send it back to her ready to place on her site with the Tuesday update. And for that, I get official recognition. WOO HOO.

Meanwhile, back in the house hunting department, I stirred the pot again today. I am still hoping for good news on the Brownsville Junction place... they get nudged tomorrow... but meanwhile I stirred up a couple of places to check on (one I forgot to call back as I was out looking at others...) two of which are owner fi but don't really appeal and one which may be, and does. This old tractor is sitting in a field next door to the one we like... an older trailer with some older outbuildings, 2+ acres... along the road, not deep but with privacy and good feelings. Cross fingers that it will owner fi and that we can get internet! This is the least expensive one, too!

One of the owner fi is a trailer plunked down on fill... in better shape than this but no privacy and just nothing much to recommend. The other is also a trailer with add-on, on a lot in town next to folks who do race cars, as evidenced by the several in the drive and a large garage/shop. No place for a garden and decidedly non-optimal.

On the way back we drove by one of the hex signs (not mine) that I had seen and will use to begin my "hex signs of maine" page on

And it was "baby animal night" on River Road, as we startled several young/baby wild rabbits and a young squirrel on our way home.
And even more amazing, K decided to try eating my split pea soup (a dish he had only tried once before, out of a can, and had not liked... in general soup is not really his thing.. ) much to my surprise... and even more surprising, he LIKED IT! says it can appear on the menu again.

Now I had best get some work done...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First full moon of summer

"On the porch, by the campfire, 'tis the time to share stories of days gone by. "Firefly times" will be long remembered. " -- Words of Wisdom

Full Moon Tonight...
Though we may not see it here... my garden loves the rain so I will not complain.

I think of this as the first moon of summer... the sun has been getting up at the same minute (4:47 where I am) since June 10. I wonder if it will stay at that until Equinox this weekend and how long after... We will see in due course.

I will be honoring the moon tonight, whether I can see her or not.

I wonder how many families will spend the kinds of evenings I remember in the summer when we visited with my grandparents each year. The adults would sit on the porch (screened against the bugs) or if the mosquitoes were fewer, in chairs in the yard, under the tree after supper... Some would smoke (this WAS the 60s...) or have a drink... the cousins would run in the yard, chasing "lightning bugs" and playing tag until, eventually, we would flop down on the ground or the floor of the porch and listen to the remembering of times past.

My kids and grands live far away and will not be here to listen... and I am not settled in a neighborhood (yet) where there might be others who would come by -- as I did with the older folks in my neighborhood when I was a kid -- but I will likely spend some time sitting and telling tales this summer... while I ply my new hobby as a spinner.

Be well...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thinking GREEN

One of my blogging daughters did a post recently about "being Green" and it got me to thinking about doing a similar post. I mentioned quite a few of the things I do in a comment on her blog but then realized a few more.

She had mentioned that -- once they move to their new home, where curbside recycling is offered -- she is going to become a "recycling nazi." I was reminded that I have been called a "bag Nazi" and I didn't ONCE mention my zero-bag fetish in my comment... so I will start with that here.

I don't buy bags, generally speaking. Oh, we have storage bags (washed and re-used) and a single box of "contractor bags" that I got when I moved to NC as a precaution (for putting electronics in for hurricane evac) that are ever-so-slowly getting used for overflow clothing storage in the storage unit and such. But as far as trash bags, yard bags, etc. the word is a resounding NO.

And I do my best to always have one or more of my cloth shopping bags in the car or truck (herein lies the difficulty... multiple vehicles! LOL) But despite my valiant efforts we get enough bags of various sorts to totally eliminate the need to buy more; instead waste is used to deal with waste.

The ubiquitous grocery store bag fits the kitchen trash can (yeppers, I found a small one on purpose). The cat and dog food and kitty litter bags hold the outgoing kitty litter and other household trash. When there was just me, even with all the kitties, we were able to put out a 10 gallon trash can each week and have it contain everything except on spring cleaning weeks.

And yes, like my daughter I am a recycling nazi. I even pick up recycleables I find on the street and bring them home to recycle. I also pick up street trash, but it goes into the street trash bin. I am most frustrated these days that I am unable to get away from #1 plastic as much as I try, as I have yet to find a place here in Maine where it is recycled. Now, they thought they were doing a good thing by requiring deposits on beverage containers -- many of which are #1. But somehow, the rest of them slipped through the cracks (that is, except for the growing accumulation riding around in my pickup waiting for me to find a way to recycle them!)

We don't have a place to compost here and we were both upset at throwing out veggie peelings, etc, stuff that the dog wouldn't eat, so we have of late began saving such for a friend's chickens. We get eggs from them regularly, so why not give back to the flock? I haven't found a good "chicken bucket" with a lid but I have recycled paper ice cream cartons... so far none of them have soaked through.

Just a few thoughts...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Shrubs I have met

This is Hawthorne, locally called 'thornapple' - picked and photographed 05-29-2008

This one I haven't a clue.. it was picked and photographed as week or so earlier.

Neighbors in the yard

This one I know... Dandelion of course...

This one I am not sure... notice the leaves are smooth and there can be more than one head on the flower stalk.

Not sure about this one either, but it looks VERY familiar...
and a close up - blossom is about 1/2 = 3/4 " across

tiny litte one

and there is "wild mustard" by the house...

Help IDing the mystery plants would be appreciated...