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the cow jumped over the moon

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dinner with friends / illumination

Sunday was a full day. Worked at the nursery from 10-5, and even though I was exhausted, we had been invited to dinner with friends at 8.  Dinner was at the town's new hotel (which I dislike - I may blog about it next time around), but I was really looking forward to hanging out w/my pals and walking through the town square.

Dinner itself was very fun! I got to dress up, and wear my fancy dress-up glasses. And although I'm not a big go-out-to-dinner person, it was a blast being with L and T, and P and M (the artists, not the gardeners; though this P&M also garden, but you know what I mean). The food was tasty, too, and the chef gathers as many ingredients locally as possible.

The college's commencement/reunion weekend was early this year - usually they schedule it over the Memorial Day weekend. Sunday night is Illumination, where they string lanterns all over the square, and people gather and listen to music.

So enough of my blabbing, here are some photos:
 
dinner with friends / illumination
On our way to dinner (we were recently gifted new fancy phones with lots of fun features)

dinner with friends / illumination
The town square on our way to dinner at the new (ugly) hotel
dinner with friends / illumination
Me, L and P. I had no idea Robert was taking this (hilarious) photo, especially
in light of my last post.  In case you think me a total hypocrite,
I did stash my phone away once dinner began.
dinner with friends / illumination
On our way home after dinner, through the square  - that's R in the middle, looking back.

autumn days

Friday was spent cleaning out the garden plots and potted annuals. I know I am supposed to scrub all the empty flower pots but we'll see if that gets done. I also need to put some old chicken litter on top of the empty garden beds (we haven't had chickens for a few years, so that litter is more than aged and will be a good addition to the putting-the-beds-to-bed process).

autumn days
To the compost pile.
autumn days
Last of the geraniums
The non-profit event was a success last Friday night, and I'm getting back to 'normal' work life. Pottery class is going well, and it looks as though the hand-building class in November is a go.

Oh, my 'scarecrow' won first prize in the category "Backyard Weeds"! I did not know that was a category when I made it.  Seriously, I didn't! (Some of you know that I worked for the nursery where the Scarecrow Fest is held, but since I didn't work there in September and October, I wasn't on top of the categories)  I have brought it home, and added some more hydrangea blossoms, and now it sits on the front porch, which was looking a little bare since the annuals are gone.

autumn days

Yesterday, I had to unload and then load a kiln at the community arts center, so I stopped by the Farmers Market to find some spinach and chat with folks I know there. I also picked up some delicious Asian pears. 

In between football and futbol games on television today, I'll be back in my downstairs art/pottery space finishing up some demos for tomorrow's pottery class that I started yesterday.

It's a beautiful fall day today - hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing Sunday!

stick to the schedule

Let's see - so right now I have about a zillion things on my plate, and I have to make sure that I stick to a schedule, and that the schedule has down-time factored in.  Because me with no down-time = not a good thing for anyone. It can get ugly.

Everything I'm involved in is right up my alley (and in town) and I couldn't be happier or feel more fortunate. Part-time work with a local non-profit, the pottery room gig, and back to the garden nursery for the season this week or next, depending on the weather. Included in the mix are my volunteer projects - Meals on Wheels (every other Tuesday), two city commissions, and a few other community garden/food rescue/food preservation projects.  (Edit:  I totally forgot to say that the non-profit is somewhat flexible hours, and the pottery gig so far is flexible - it's the flexible hour thing that can mess me up!)

This week, I'm plant sitting - taking care of seedlings and a garden - as friends are away on vacation (I cannot believe they trust me as I killed all my seedlings last year due to over-watering!). Wish me luck.

stick to the schedule
There are seedlings in the shed, and in the house - seriously, wish me luck!
Now that I typed this all out, it seems a bit overwhelming.  But honestly, it really won't be if I follow a schedule (all the volunteer stuff is just an hour here and there; and non-profit and pottery is flexible hours but I need to make them scheduled hours just to be on the safe side) and schedule in time when I turn off the phone and the computer. Today I'm confident- mid-week, well, it may be a different story! Plus, I'm not going to say 'yes' to anything else for awhile.

It is Spring, and life moves a little bit faster.  Right?

winter market

Husband dropped me off at the market today - I wanted to see everyone.

Even though it's still snowing (well not today, but it did yesterday and will again next week), a few of our local farmers have been able to grow some greens and root vegetables in hoop houses and under mulch.

winter market
From George Jones Farm

winter market
spinach from Chet's Black River Organics
Here's me and my Plum Creek Agricultural Cooperative (PCAC) 'brothers' - Peter, Paul and Chet.
winter market
And yes, I'm wearing both a necklette and a cap I knitted ;)
After some delightful conversations, husband and I left with some chorizo from Justin and Roseanne, a jar of bread-and-butter pickles from Jackie, and a shrunken wool sweater that Ann has been meaning to give me so I can try making my own Katwise sweater.

What a nice way to start the weekend!

jamming, jamming...

"Jamming" by Bob Marley always reminds me of being 17 years old, and working as a waitress in a restaurant/bar in University Circle in Cleveland.

Saturday, I took the morning off from my duties at our Farmers' Market so I could go see my Mom who lives on the east side of Cleveland proper.  We went to another Farmers' Market that morning.  The Coit Road Farmers' Market was where I worked when I was a young teenager, back in the '70s.  I absolutely loved that job, and couldn't wait until Summer so I could could work both on Wednesdays and Saturdays.   During the Summer, I worked for Elsa and Joanie, who sold apples from the farm they worked at.  During the cooler months, I worked for a family that sold eggs.

Mom and I had a good time visiting that Market.  There has been a group of dedicated people, trying to keep that Market alive, and it shows.  Mom bumped into someone she knew, I bumped into people I knew, and met some of the Market's organizers.

While I was gadding about in Cleveland (after I dropped Mom back off home, I went downtown Cleveland to see what was happening at The Cleveland Flea, and then stopped in the neighborhood called Tremont -where I lived in the early '80s - to visit a friend's art gallery), my husband had stopped by our Farmers' Market and picked up some goodies for us.  One of the things he brought home was a huge bag of peaches.

He made a beautiful peach cobbler, and then I made some plum/nectarine with allspice jam with fruit left over from the week.

jamming, jamming...


Now I'm off to the kitchen to use up the rest of the peaches for some sort of peachy jam


spaghetti sauce

spaghetti sauce

The last of our frozen cherry tomatoes - a huge bag of them.  Threw them in the crock pot (they reached the top!)  and cooked them down.  Cherry tomatoes are quite watery, so I let them stay in the crock pot for four hours or so.

spaghetti sauce

We bought some local ground beef the other week at the Indoor Market....

spaghetti sauce

... with some onions (I'm hoping to grow my own onions this year), dried basil from my garden last summer, and the usual suspects - oregano, garlic, a little tiny bit of sugar, salt and pepper, and extra tomato sauce from the can.

spaghetti sauce

Other than some dehydrated tomatoes (that I use to make 'sun-dried' marinated tomatoes), all our garden tomatoes are gone for the year.  Looking forward to the upcoming growing season!

dehydrating Golden Delicious apples

Second batch (meaning second 8-tray full load!) of Golden Delicious apples getting ready for the dehydrator.  I just let the slices sit in a bowl with a little Fruit Fresh until I have enough to start loading the dehydrator trays; I don't add anything else to them.  I have heard that adding sugar or cinnamon or both can be good, too.

dehydrating Golden Delicious apples

I'm not a big fan of Golden Delicious apples, but I have to say, they do taste wonderful dehydrated.  I haven't been able to find any of my favorite Winesaps at any local orchards yet.    Though I did find some Melrose yesterday!

Other than knitting, I haven't been doing any other art/craft things.  But now that my garden is done for the season (well other than some chard in the home garden, and a few squash in the community garden), I forsee some time spent in my little art room in our basement.

sweet n' spicy tomato jam

I found this recipe from another blog that linked to this blog:  White on Rice Couple (scroll down on the page for the Sweet n' Spicy Tomato Jam recipe)

Because I had soooo many tomatoes sitting around, I actually tripled the recipe.  But then because most of the tomatoes were not paste tomatoes, it took a long time to cook the mixture down, so I only ended up with five 4 oz little jars.

But aren't they cute?  And the jam is really tasty, too.

sweet n' spicy tomato jam

First batch of dehydrated Fuji apples are done; I didn't take a picture of them.  REALLY good, too.  I'm so glad that I bought that dehydrator.  We're getting a lot of use out of it.  Right now, another eggplant jerky batch is in.  Now time for bed - it's after midnight!
dinner with friends / illuminationautumn dayswhole lotta fermenting going onstick to the schedulewinter marketjamming, jamming...spaghetti saucedehydrating Golden Delicious apples over-dried plumssweet n' spicy tomato jam

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