Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Beautiful Autumn Afternoon

What a gorgeous day, today! Upper 70's, light breeze, and plenty of sun! I could go for many days like this one!

But, Autumn is on it's way: The trees are starting to change colors,

Some of the trees are raining leaves down already!

Stud Muffin had the day off and helped me with the Never-Ending-Weeding Project, this time on the far side of the driveway.

Shrubs! Who knew!

We weeded, laid cardboard, and moved mulch, until we ran out of cardboard... again! And there is still more to go.

But the mulch pile IS shrinking! Before:


Cr*p! Forgot to go wide angle again!

The vegetable garden is starting to wind down. The basil is flowering and going to seed. I'm going to let it and collect the seeds for next year!

The cucumbers just won't give up,

but the grasshoppers have all but stripped the beans! And the "stuffing" peppers are going gangbusters, but they are still only the size of golfballs. Maybe I should pick them and learn to play the game!

The marigolds still look good!

I have been working in my studio, cutting down some sheer curtains for the windows (it's only been... mmm...a year and a half?) Nothing to show on that front, but I have gotten four log carriers listed in the shop.

Studly, my hand model!

Hey! If you gotta do the work, you might as well look good doing it!!

And that's all tonight from Feet First Farm!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The State of the Economy: Something's gotta change!

I am very worried about the direction our country and economy are going right now. And something has to change, on a personal level, if we are going to survive this and come out with our lives intact!

Effective immediately, the following changes will be in force at the Colors Outside the Lines house:

1) In order to save batteries for when the power fails completely, all smoke detectors will be replaced.

Photo source unknown.

These will be changed out as necessary to ensure safety and whenever we need a snack!

2) Gasoline will be conserved by reducing the use of gas-powered tools. Lawns will be mowed "the old-fashioned" way.

Photo at www.bradrand.com

Studly prefers this model, though.

Photo at www.hotrodscustomstuff.com

3) As clothes no longer fit or something different is needed, refashioning of what is already on hand will be the order of the day.

Underwear tank top. Photo at www.ebaumsworld.com

Photo at www.oddpic.com

4) Vacations out-of-town will no longer occur. Instead we will have the neighbors in to swim in the pool and have a large cookout.

Photo at http://members.lycos.nl

Photo at http://jokes.justsickshit.com

5) When important electronic devices fail or become obsolete, we will resort to a low tech alternative.

Palm Pilot. Photo at www.lilligren.com

6) We will not forget our pet friends, and will insure their safety whenever travelling is necessary.

Photo at www.joe-ks.com

7) Most importantly, we will be aware of opportunities as they arise, not be asleep at the wheel, make hay while the sun shines, and all the cr*p!

Photo at http://media.ebaumsworld.com/


In all seriousness, I am extremely concerned about the current state of affairs. Based on reports I have read, we shouldn't expect our government to come to our aid if the need arises due to weather, economic collapse, or other disaster. The FEMA response to Gustav hasn't been much better than for Katrina and supply lines are still clogged and sporadic. I think we should all be doing whatever we can to prepare ourselves for the future... whatever it holds!

End of diatribe!

Monday, September 22, 2008

New storage pantry!!

Since Not Quite Grown loudly objects to me turning her Shabby Chic bedroom into a pantry, I used the last day of my steroid-fueled energy to finally outfit the closet under the garage stairs into a canning and storage pantry! (Was that one of the longest sentences I've written in awhile??)

I didn't take any pictures of the "before", but it pretty much was a dumping ground for pictures that had no home in the house, and a galvanized trash can to keep mousies from the bagged dog food.

I used mostly recycled wire shelving from other closet projects, bought one 6-foot shelf, and brought a three shelf rack up from the shop. The closet is long and skinny, so pictures are kind of choppy!

Top, looking straight in. Note to self: Get more TP.

Trash cans hold dog food and a 50 pound bag of rice.

Looking around the corner into the back of the closet.

It's great to be able to see all the produce I put up this summer (so far!) This shelf holds four kinds of pickles, beets (need more!), four kinds of tomato products, and apples. I think next year, I don't need to plant pickling cucumbers or any more tomatoes than I can eat fresh!!

Rack holds food grade plastic bins of sugar and flour, plus extra canning jars.

I'm so happy with my new storage area!!


I have spared you all the reports of Sassy's little poop-fest this week, but I think I have figured out what she's been eating out of the backyard. It's just that I don't know what it is!

She went zooming out to this particular tree this afternoon and starting sniffing around the ground excitedly.

On the ground, I found a pinkish-orange fruit, about the size of a golf ball.

Inside,the flesh was soft and orange with large, flat, brown seeds, much like watermelon seeds. These matched (exactly) the decorations on the piles I picked up in Sassy's private corner of the yard!

So, anyone know what this is?? It smells sweet, but not anything I recognize. Is it something I can eat?? Or do I need to cut the tree down to keep it from killing my dogs??

Any suggestions welcome!!

Edit: I think I have identified this tree as a variety of persimmon!! Now to figure out what to make with all the fruit!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Random fragments from my alleged mind

Just a bit of this and that today.

First up, slow learner that I am, I have just stumbled on the neatest knitting tools!

So the background of this is that I decided to try to knit my next Farm Fresh Christmas stocking (an eggplant) on a circular needle to eliminate the seam. Never having done this, I did not know that not only do the needles come in sizes, but different cable lengths. I was thrilled to find the needle size I needed on the third stop, but not knowing the above information, didn't notice that the cable between the needle heads was 29 inches long. Once I cast on the stitches, I was stumped as to what to do with the enormous coil of nylon cable that refused to contain itself to the 50 or so stitches.


Frustrated, I headed back to town the next day, fuming that I would never find a size 11 needle with a short 12" cable, and that if I could invent an interchangeable system of needles and cables, I could retire... yesterday! Imagine my surprised (and dismay, sort of) to discover that the folks at Boye have beaten me to it with their KnitMates system.

Okay, this is the instruction pamphlet and since my needles are in use, I can't show you the parts!

You can see a picture of the needles here, and the cables here. Well, you can't actually "see" the cables, but what you do is pick the size of each you need and screw them together! Neato!

And here I go! Since I am just making all of this as I go along, you will be bored interested to know that I am using two strands of yarn at the same time and cast on about 55 stitches.


Did you know that if long-term used Prednisone wouldn't cause your liver to explode or your ears to drop off or your boobs to bang on your knees, they could definitely sell it as an energy pill!!

I am on day 3 of a 5 day course for my pinching spine, and I'm getting so much done!! Of course, sleeping at night is a b*tch, but at least this time, I'm not eating everything that can't outrun me!!

Plus, since Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory, ALL your aches and pains go away... but it won't shrink your caboose, darn it!

With my drug-induced energy, I've been busy in my studio making log carriers. One for the girls, who we all know, do all the work no matter what "they" say!

And one for the boys, so they can sneak up on the firewood with their Mossy Oak Duck Blinds camo print log carrier.

Stud Muffin has promised to be my "hand model" for pictures for the Etsy listings, but I won't make him hold the pink one!!

The Wiener Collection has been added to the shop!

It took forever to find packaging for them, since they are large (18" long) and weigh about a pound apiece! I decided to wrap them in bubble wrap and then put them in the most enormous bubble mailer I've ever seen!!! This way, I can hold the outrageous postage down to reasonable.

Now, I need some friendly person to order one, and help me make sure that this packaging is protective enough! With the understanding that I would make everything right if it came by way of a trip through a pasta machine or stomped on by renegade pachyderms!

Guess that's all the brain flashes I have for right now. Hope everyone has a good weekend!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nick and the Pot Roast

I know!! Right?? Two posts in one day!! Shocking.

This one is for my girls, who need their doggie fix, even though they both work at a vet clinic!

I made pot roast tonight for dinner, and as usual both dogs offered their cooking skills to the preparation of the meal. No dice!

But after the meal was served and the leftovers were put away, the wannabe chefs got to enjoy some meat trimmings and the cutting board. Now, don't faint! The board gets scrubbed and run through the dishwasher too.

Sassy is game as long as there is some actual meat or drippings to enjoy, but Nick, the connoisseur, revels in every nuance and atom to be had.

The evidence:

Hard at work?

I called his name.

He must think I'm going to take it away!

Nick usually works the cutting board into a corner, so it won't escape. But this is the first time I've seen him lying down to enjoy this!

Livin' in a small town ... and lovin' it!

Just popping in to say how great it is to live in a small town. Where else can you leave the house, and in 30 minutes, have:

Driven to town on roads through corn and cotton fields (with occasional cows meandering about)

Parked in front of the courthouse and renewed a car registration (County Clerk Johnny was sitting reading a magazine!)

Courthouse with ample street parking in front.

Popped over to the post office to mail the new car sticker to the Not Quite Grown owner,

And still made it to your doctor's appointment with time to spare??

Where else can you:

Waltz (and I do this a lot) right into the examine room and see the doctor,

Drive two blocks to the pharmacy to drop off a new prescription,

Drive two more blocks to McDonald's for a really healthy lunch and Diet Coke,

And by the time you get back to the pharmacy, your prescription is all ready bagged and waiting... and only costs $5?!?!

Livin' large in a small town!! *Sigh of contentment*

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Goodies from a broad abroad

I was having just a so-so day today. There was a painter here doing some touch-up work (and will have to come again tomorrow...sigh) and I was busy making some stupid mistakes on some projects in my studio. Then I walked to the mailbox and the clouds parted, the woodland critters frolicked, and I thought I heard the angels sing!

In the mailbox was a parcel wrapped in brown waxy paper, dotted with pink polka-dots (some decorated as snails or smiley faces) bearing postage from the Royal Mail. Royal Mail! Can you believe it? Not the usual Royal Pain in the *ss mail.

I got some great goodies from the world famous Marmite Toasty. Just looky!

It doesn't even all fit in the photo!

I so love the chocolate theme of this gift! What we have here is a calculator in the shape (and smell) of a chocolate bar!!

A knitted chocolate bar for emergencies! Marmy, did you knit this yourself?? Great!

A liquified Cadbury bar, which is regaining it's composure and turgidity (that's a word, right?) in the fridge until I can't stand it anymore and go bite it! Oh, and everything was wrapped in neat brown tissue printed with dragonflies!

Some cool postcards from the villages surrounding hers, as well as a local newspaper. I will have to read that carefully to find the police blotter noting all the high-jinx Marmy has been up to. Not pictured is a cute little keychain of a man with floppy legs and a British flag on his chest.

Thank you so much Marmy! This really perked me up!! And will continue to do so as soon as I eat that candy bar!

Everyone should run on over to Marmy's blog for her Marmite goodies giveaway! If you fancy a jar of something that tastes like toe jam, plus other edibles (?) with the same flavor (?) go there and enter to win!!

Also up today is the first basket of green beans from the garden!

And to end this post, a few gratuitous photos of me working the tractor yesterday.

Coming out of the woods after mowing.

Have a good night!