On Monday this was my view from our sun room. When I first saw this creature hanging from the screen my immediate reaction was--oh, no a rat! But as you can see it has a hairy tail. It turned out to be a chipmunk. I was going to don my heavy leather gloves and remove it to the garden, but chickened out because I know chipmunks bite. Surely, it will go away! Sure enough a couple of hours later, it was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief. Later that evening there was a commotion out in the sunroom and the cats were all on alert. You won't believe it, but the chipmunk was in the house and in the mouth of one of the cats. Mack rescued the poor thing (it was still very much alive) and released it in the garden. Probably a mistake, but at least he didn't have to carry it far, and it was biting through the glove. How on earth did it get in? Why would a chipmunk try to get in the house when it is 80 degrees outside? Maybe it knows something about the winter to come? Who knows, but I hope it is doing O.K..
Well, the spider webs are all gone from the Blue Spruce a whole 30 days before Halloween. We have had an influx of spiders the size of quarters into the house. We have evicted some and the cats have taken care of a few, but I don't want to talk about Halloween or spiders--maybe closer to October 30.
Today, is the day in between National Coffee Day (September 30) and International Coffee Day (October 1) so we will talk about coffee. Personally, I never touch the stuff, but lots of people love it and my interest was peaked by the story of Kalid, a 9th century goatherd in Ethiopia. Allegedly, he noticed how excited his goats became when they munched on the leaves of the coffee plant which is endemic to Ethiopia and Sudan and we have the first mention of coffee. (I love goats so immediately I was interested.) Sheikh Omar was the first to use coffee. For some reason or other he was starving in the area and tried to eat the beans off some coffee trees. They were too bitter and tough so he boiled them and, voila, coffee was invented. He lived as a result of his coffee experiment and started using coffee as medicine to heal others. The stories reached Mocha in Yemen and eventually his work made Sheikh Omar into a Saint. Coffee spread throughout the Arab world through Egypt and Yemen. The use of coffee as a drink spread round the world and was introduced into Brazil by 1727. It has become the primary export for several African and Central American countries. By 1920, half of all coffee produced was consumed in the United States.
The Dromedary yarn (30% camel, a luxury fiber) pictured below is a tenuous link between coffee and yarn. Camels were used in the early transport of coffee, they still are used in the Arab world, and sometimes it seems as if their irritable tempers might be improved with a sip of coffee. Have a great International Coffee Day and enjoy your coffee!
I always thought that the spider web decorations people used at Halloween were a little over the top and wondered who decided spider webs were a special feature of Halloween. This year I learned that it was spiders themselves. The morning was foggy and there was lots of dew. This is a picture of our blue spruce tree. Once the sun burnt off the fog, the spider webs were no longer visible. Today the tree shows no signs of spiders, but I am worried about the effects on the tree. I have never seen anything like it. It sure looked like Halloween!
This week we get to take a peek at Sandy's completed quilt. Yes, pieced and quilted by Sandy. Didn't she do a lovely job? The back is as pretty as the front!
Finished objects (FOs) for August! The picture below is of Kim with her baby afghan. She has been quite diligent and began and completed her project this August and finished in August! What a lucky baby!
The picture below is the pair of socks I finished in August--still keeping up with my New Year's Resolution. We won't talk about how long these have been started and lying in the cupboard, abandoned and forgotten. Does finishing in August count if I started these in August two or three years ago--so long ago that I don't remember?
A picture of the Building with Lace class before everyone was checked in. Students had their materials all spread out ready to go and Michelle is giving some advice before class . We had a full class, lots of food and one of the best instructors ever. Class went fast and the two hour class was over before we knew it. Now it is time to put our new skills to work and start work on the beautiful lace stole.
My stole is finished before Michelle Hunter gets here for the Building with Lace class on Monday, August 28. I am thrilled that she has agreed to come to the store and that the stole is finished. The picture is of the stole being blocked. It came out a bit wider than MIchelle's recommendation, but I am very happy with it and it is done, done, done! It took two months with a quota for each evening. The patterns changed every 40-50 rows and I never got bored with it. I am sure there are some mistakes, just don't point them out, unless I can fix them.
My New Year's resolution may be in trouble!! Why? We got a new puppy and he is eating up all of our time. Do we mind? Not at all. He is a delight and brings much pleasure with his clever little ways. For example, he was chewing on Mack's camera bag. I distracted him with his pretzel chew toy. Back he went to the camera bag, distraction. Repeat and repeat. Then I look over and what is he doing. He put the pretzel on the camera bag and was chewing through the holes in the pretzel on--guess what--the camera bag. His name is Rory, short for Tuscarora, and he is an 8 week old standard poodle. He is cuddly and gentle and sweet in addition to being smart. I have been enjoying cuddling him, but he is all dog. He came in this morning smelling like a rotten egg. Yuck! He got into the remains of a guinea nest. She hatched her babies on Monday, but there were a few eggs that didn't hatch. Guess who found them and was playing with them--and yes one exploded covering him with a horrible stench. He loved it! Ah well!
"Look, we appear to have a new bird", Mack was saying. "What, what are you talking about?" But I looked out the window and there in Merlot's day pen was a horned owl. It was trying desperately to get out--flying into the plastic netting and hanging by its claws, then trying again. We were a bit surprised because after the Morgan incident we don't leave birds in the outdoor pen at night and we made the pen a lot more predator proof. The birds are always locked in a wooden chicken house. On inspection it appeared that a guinea didn't go in the chicken house but roosted on top of the outdoor pen. Apparently the owl attacked it and they both fell through the roof into the pen. Unfortunately, the guinea is no more, but we did get some good pictures of the owl. We barely made it to work in time, because it took us longer to coax him out of the pen than we imagined. Note how one pupil large and the other small--I wonder why?