Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fire, Lunch and Compost Pit

It was a gray but warmer October day - the perfect day for a fire in our little backyard. Mama was the master fire builder. Looks pretty good huh? Fires always remind me of camping, one of our favorite activities, which we don't do enough.

Lunch was a simple affair of goat cheese on Wasa crackers for the adults, cheddar cheese and crackers for Sam and apples.

Sam, who usually is all over the place during meals, focused on the fire, sat still and ate. Maybe we should have fires everyday?

I imagine Sam is thinking - "Is she taking my picture?"

The fire made a dramatic collapse after about 30 minutes.

Align CenterDan's project for the day was to dig a compost pit which we could put our compost bin on top of to increase it's capacity. We seem to always run out of room for our kitchen scraps mid winter, so this effort will hopefully solve the problem. I feel we still need another bin, but space is such an issue in our little backyard. We already have a shade garden, kitchen garden, raspberry patch, sandbox, playhouse, fire pit and tables and chairs. Oh ya, there is a bit of room left to play - thank goodness!

Before the hole was filled and covered, Sam had such fun getting in a out of it! All by himself no less - what a three year old!

Daddy and Sam together in the compost pit. I love this photo as it really captures the fun of the afternoon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What I'm Knitting Now...

As you may have read from my SOCKS! post, I had to purchase a whole skein of yarn for the 2" of toe I was short. So, now I needed a way to use a partial skein of yarn (normally enough to make 1 sock.) What I came up with are these "almost" knee high socks. I used some green sock yarn my mother had left over (no idea what brand) and purchased the blue yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas. I'm pretty happy with them except for their length. Probably I should have checked their length one last time before I started ribbing - sigh. Sock number 2 is underway and I will increase the length; going back to increase the length of the first. I took a pattern out of Socks From the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson and just knit in garter skipping the lacework. They are so quick with the stripes adding all the interest. What I'm not looking forward to is weaving in all the ends - yuck.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Harvest Orchard

I meant to post this in September when we visited the farm, but writing hasn't been happening too much as you can very well see. We took our niece Alex and nephew Tyler to Fall Harvest Orchard in Delano, MN for apple picking and good old farm fun! It was a gray day, but warm and good times were had by all. Oddly enough when I went through my pictures of our day there were none of us picking apples. The big hit with everyone was burying each other in the corn bin and holding the baby animals. Here's a few photos:

Nephew Tyler fully buried. Later he even let his head be covered with corn.

Everyone chipping in to cover Dan.

Sam just loved the tactile quality of the corn. Hmmm...maybe we should have a cornbox instead of a sandbox at home?

Tyler, who is allergic to cats, was so enthralled by picking up the baby goats and the different breeds and ages of chicks that he just couldn't stop himself when it came to the farm cats.

Sam did manage to pick this goat up; I did not manage to get a picture of that moment.

Dan holding the special fluffy breed of chickens they raise.

We all feed the goats oats, played tether ball, ate brats, picked gourds, took a tractor ride, picked apples thoroughly enjoying our day at the farm. I wish the weather stayed warm enough so we could have gone back, but we'll just have to wait again until next year. It was a wonderful day with my family.

Oh, I almost forgot to include the ubiquitous tractor photo. Here's Alex - isn't she lovely?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sheep Shearing Day

On Saturday we went to Misty Meadows Icelandic farm in Minnetrista, MN to watch the sheep get sheared, the fleeces skirted, and play with wool! Here are a few photos of our day.

This woman who did the shearing was amazing. She was gentle, firm and quick. Just a few minutes was all it took her to shear off a fleece and all in one piece!

Dan with the HUGE pumpkin!

Dad and Sam at the" helm" of the tractor. Where are you going Sam? It was so great to have a warmer sunny day as Fall here in Minnesota has been cold and wet this year.

Time to go home. It was a fun day and mom bought lots of yummy fall wool to make wool felt for our Centerpiece and our Nature Table. Here are the results.

This was such a fun and EASY project. We had just learned how to felt in our Parent/Child class "Seedlings" held at Sam's school Spring Hill Waldorf School in Excelsior, MN. I might do a tutorial on it for when I make some felt for our winter displays.