Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Some nice fall things going on around here, new colors, new endeavors and surprises abound!
I have been taking a daily early morning ramble with Ella; she is good off-leash, and relatively harmless, unless you are a bunny or a squirrel, so we walk a little loop of hiking trail back behind the house. She is more often than not a little limpy these days, but being outside in the crisp autumnal air livens her right up! We have returned from our stroll and in spite of being a bit sweaty out on the trail, I am now chilly - enjoying the last of the coffee.

Here are the current colors in the woods right now. November is Georgia's October, I've decided. It really doesn't get going around here, leaf-wise til November, which is kind of a treat for those of us who like to take things slowly.
There's been some knitting - more than a little, most of it for Christmas, but I am sneaking a little mindless sock action in there for me. I taught myself the Turkish cast-on and started a new toe-up sock. My gosh, where has this cast-on been all my life? So easy, so unfiddly. I am going to experiment with an afterthought heel, as well, as one of my knitters assures me that this, too, is an uncomplicated thing to do. I love these fall colors! The yarn is Spirit Trail Fiberworks basic sock yarn, marinatating in stash since 2006, and the toe is done in Knitpicks Stroll. I am renewing my commitment to knit socks for myself this winter; slowly but surely.
Finally, a seriously surprising surprise.About a year and a half ago, I grew some shitake mushrooms on a log from a kit I gave myself for Christmas. This was an easy little project, and I kept it up for a few months, and then, last fall, as the job ate my life, I harvested the current crop of mushrooms off the log, and put them down under the bed in the guest room to rest (the log has to have a period of dormancy for a couple of weeks between fruiting cycles) and simply forgot about them. The 2 little logs lay under the bed collecting dust and dozing for a solid year. This weekend, I was cleaning the guest room in an attempt to set it up as a sewing room, and discovered them there, with a fresh (though dehydrated) crop of 'shrooms!! Nice to know that Nature goes on doing her thing, even as we are sometimes oblivious to it.
I've harvested my dried-up shitakes, gonna rehydrate them for some miso later on, and have soaked and set up the mushroom scheme again. The logs are springing a new coating of mycelium even as I write this. I can't wait.

Other things not photographed, but worth mentioning: I've been applying for jobs, with no real movement forward, (merely notes from school districts saying "hey we've got your application - be patient") I've made homemade pizza, I went to the apple orchard with Jessie again, to get some Arkansas Blacks, a favorite apple variety. The orchard had harvested all the apples, so the only picking we did was picking up the bag of apples off the shelf, but still, they were locally grown and a good keeping apple, or so I hope.

Even though the time has changed, and our days are ending an hour earlier, I'm trying to take full advantage of this Indian summer, it's been in the high 60's this week, and is just glorious. Planting bulbs, long walks with Mr. Cricket, who is back in his boot camp-esque training class on Tuesday nights. Project Z is more or less successful; the real challenge will be whether or not I can sustain it if I were to find work. I am feeling good, though, and not napping; in bed around 10 most nights, and up around 6 most days. Much easier to do with an early hour of daylight!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

moving forward

Fall is most definitely in full swing, now, with leaves turning golden, and acorns raining down upon us. I have never seen so many acorns as this year - a "mast" year, I believe they call it. In truth, this pic was taken at the Atlanta History Center, but our front yard is much the same situation, and all over Atlanta, we are covered with the bitter nut. I wish I had some pigs to fatten up on my little 1/2 acre. Though Mr. Cricket enjoys munching a particular tiny acorn from our Willow Oak in the backyard.

Ms Acornbud's visit to The Atomic Lodge was a blast. We managed to do a lot; thrift shopping, eating Indian and Korean food, a trip to Asheville,NC to meet up with my sister and fellow Atlanta Knitter Jessie for SAFF and general Asheville joy. There was a visit to the Atlanta History Museum, and plenty o' spinning and knitting. And probably a lot that I'm forgetting to mention, including a Malabrigo hat that Ms. 'Bud whipped up in no time and left for me to enjoy. I will post SAFF pix (mostly llamas, alpacas and sheep) later. Project Z was slightly abandoned for the week, though I think I got a fair amount of rest; didn't really suffer. Now I'm back on the horse, though, and am feeling fine as frog's hair with all the sleep.

I ended my physical therapy a couple o' weeks ago, and am on my own with my mostly recovered knee now. It is pretty much back to normal, though hours on my feet, and a change of weather causes it to flare up with shooting pains, and I can't do Virasana or any of its variations, without putting a rolled up towel behind my knee for support anymore. It was never my superstar pose, but I was always working hard on it, and now I'm just a lot more careful. I made my physical therapist some fingerless mitts. She's also a "Game of Thrones" fan, and we spent a lot of therapy hours deconstructing "A Song of Ice and Fire" so I thought some black fingerless mitts to wear on The Wall would be appropriate.
This was such a quick knit. I used this pattern, and a skein of black Cashmerino Aran, and whipped them out in about 3 hours. A short snort for a gift, and equally important, that grrroovy FO feeling that seems to be so rare in my life these days.

And now, something from the "Weird Stuff in My Woods" category:
An appropriately named Bigleaf Magnolia leaf. For the record, I wear a size 7 1/2 shoe. Supposedly, this tree boasts the biggest flower in the USA, as well, though I have not seen it bloom.

As part of the upgrade of The Atomic Lodge, we ordered some Adirondack furniture, which I had the pleasure of assembling. I do love to build things - easy things, mind you. I wish now that I had taken wood shop in high school instead of art, even though I was an art major in college for a whole year. I think shop might have gotten me farther in my self-sufficiency path, whereas I can reasonably assure you that I didn't learn a whole lot that I didn't already know, in my high school art class. Which made being an art major in college something of a challenge, though I did okay - changing my major more because of changing interests and the desire to take a whole bunch of psychology and anthropology and other -ology classes in hopes of getting a job in my field. Anyway, I digress, and here is one of the chairs, modeled by the handsome Mr. Cricket, who really likes to hop up on things.
I am starting to do a little agility with him, not because he has had a renaissance in temperament that will allow him to enter a trial, but because he is a smart dog, who needs to learn things beyond barking and aggressing.

More good times, and I am creaking along in my job search for flexible, part time work, being told by 2 school districts that my subbing application is "in progress" and I should hear something soon. Gah, these people are slow!! Meanwhile, I'm still enjoying not working (I saved a LOT of my salary last year in preparation for the possibility of unemployment) and doing the domestic goddess thing. Dog training, cooking, decluttering, yardening and knitting take time. Still, it will be nice to see a paycheck again, someday.