Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I just got back from the visitation for Charlotte. I am actually not home. I just didn't want to go back to my house full of life just yet. I think that I need a few minutes to readjust. I found my self rather short tempered most of the day and figured out why on the way out the door. I don't deal with death very well. I don't deal well with it at all.

Why am I the only one that can't stop the water works? Everyone else seems to be able to keep it together. There is something in the air of funeral homes that gets me going. Maybe I should hire myself out a a professional mourner. I could just sit over to one side and sob quietly. Blow my nose gently. Take a few gasping breaths and get everyone going.

Something else I noticed tonight....There were 16 boxes of tissues, but no trash cans. The tissues were even in lovely marble tissue box holders. Do you think that I could find a place to deposit my used ones? Nope. No equally lovely trash receptacles. I just had to take my grief with me.

It was a closed casket and so I am still having a hard time believing that she is gone. I know that she was in there though. Her casket was draped with one of her tapestries. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of weaving that I have ever seen. I had seen it before and though so then, so this is not some knee jerk response caused by an out pouring of grief.

And she has given me her loom. It is a hand built 12 harness countermarch. It is huge. And I mean HUGE. The fellow that built it for his wife didn't really know a lot about how a loom works. Charlotte and a mutual friend Jack have been working on it on and off for a number of years. Charlotte brought me on board this spring and I added my input. It worked well with 4 harnesses , and between the three of us making adjustments and suggestions, we have it up to 8 with a passable, but not great shed. John said that I could come and get it anytime with in the next 10 years or so, which is good because I really don't have any place to put it right now.

Charlotte, you weren't suppose to die this soon.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Goodbye Charlotte

It is with great sadness that I note the passing of a friend and fellow weaver, Charlotte Glencross. Charlotte was a huge supporter of the Arts and weaving community. She was instrumental in transforming an abandoned school into a center for the arts.
Charlotte's woven creations were always stunning for her use of colour and materials.

She had cancer but had been doing better lately. I am having a hard time believing that she is gone.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Guess What I'm Having for Supper Tonight

The first night that I went to Bill's for supper we had Spicy Chicken with Peanuts. I got there about 6 and didn't leave till 3am. We ate, yakked, and drank wine (and also went through a copious amount of kleenex because we both had nasty colds). So some were around 1 or 2 am Bill hauled some of this out of the fridge because he had made it a couple of nights before and there was some leftovers. It was sooooo good. He said that he stole the recipe from a magazine. Stole, because he never actually bought the magazine but went back three times to the store to stand in line at the check out in order to memorize it. It was a bit on the dry side, so when he made it, he added the wine.

Chicken Fettuchini with Sundried Tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil
3 large chicken breasts
1 onion diced
1 clove garlic thinly sliced
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 medium carrot grated
1/4 cup olive oil soaked, chopped, packed sundried tomatoes
12 oz fettuchini
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (do not use the stuff in the plastic shaker)
1/3 - 2/3 cup white wine

Cut chicken into thin strips. Saute in olive oil over medium heat. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon to thoroughly drain the oil.
Saute onion, garlic, and fennel seed in the oil for about 6 minutes or until onion is soft.
Add the carrot and tomatoes and cook until carrot is soft.
Have pasta cooking in a separate pot at the same time. When it is ready, drain and put into a large bowl. Pour the wine over the pasta and stir. Add the chicken, and sauteed ingredients and stir. Sprinkle the cheese a little at a time and stir.
Enjoy this dish with the leftover wine.

And speaking of leftovers, When I make this dish now, I always make a double batch because that way there will be leftovers. This dish is wonderful as a leftover.

And now on to other things....

Finished spinning and plying Mermaids Dream the other night. Looks much like my other skein, except that it is 450 yards.
I have put down the shawl for no other reason the I have started mittens. It is getting to be that time of the year when our fingers start to get a bit cold and our thoughts turn to mittens. This is my first pair of mittens in years and they are going surprisingly quickly. I just started them on Monday or Tuesday and I am already halfway through the increase for the thumb gore. Unfortunately, I may have to put them down for a while because I seem to have a bit of bursitis in my shoulder. Maybe if I can stay away from as much shoulder irritating activities as possible this weekend, I have a chance at letting it clear up quickly. Sigh. Maybe I'll try switching to knitting right handed for a while.
I am halfway through threading a new set of shawls on a loom at the school. And I have my next set of shawls all planned out in my mind. I should have been doing this months ago, but somehow lost the initiative to do any weaving beyond my handspun scarves. They are so quick to do up that it makes weaving seem effortless.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Holy Tomatoes Batman!

This is our stash of sundried tomatoes. O.K., dehydrated tomatoes. It all works out to the same thing. I think that we have enough for the winter. Even if we use them every day. Unlikely, but a nice thought. Most of them are dried to quite a crispy consistency although some of them are a little more malleable and are packed in olive oil. We also ground some of the extremely dry ones into a powder and mixed them with some olive oil to have tomato oil for salad dressing.

So I think that I am looking for a few new recipes that use sundried tomatoes. Any suggestions of fish free recipes?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Home free (I hope)

It looks like our Vapona strips have done their job! The yarns all look pretty good. Of course only time will tell. But in the mean time, I have started bagging everything. All cones are in their own baggie (those thin kind that you find in the grocery stores), and all skeins are slipped into Ziploc bags. I am about 3/4 of the way through the process of bagging and shelving everything. And I am actually having a great time! Everything is getting organized. Before, everything was loosely organized into colour groups with no regard to yarn size or type. I am grouping everything according to weight and colour. This is actually something that I have wanted to do for a while but have put off because it is such a big job. Huge job.

But with everything being off the shelves and in bags from necessity, it is not a big deal to dump one of the bags on the felting table and start sorting. For those of you who haven't seen the felting table, it is basically a 4'x8' coated table with two inch sides to keep the water in and a drain at one end to let the water out. The sides help keep the various cones and skeins on the table while I sort and bag. Perfect.

I spent most of my day yesterday running between the felting table and the shelf with a few minutes here and there helping one of the FVA (Foundation Visual Arts- aka. First Year) students getting a warp on a loom. Thankfully she is one of those people who you can show how to do something once and say "call me when you are done" and she will complete the task correctly.

It was really nice to sit down last night, after, of course, I had prepared supper. I have started roping the kids into doing dishes and for the most part they are doing a great job. All that nagging is finally starting to pay off. And after supper, we sat down to watch a movie so I was able to do a bit more spinning on Sailors Delight and I am happy to say that I am almost finished spinning. And then comes the plying.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The battle continues...

Yesterday was yarn day at work. I got to haul all of the bags of yarn from storage and let them air out a bit outside. Thankfully it was a beautiful sunny day. A little on the cool side, but that is to be expected in October in New Brunswick. I had to do some running around to find bags in which to put all of the yarn before putting it on the shelf. I finally settled on large Ziploc type bags for skeins and balls, large freezer bags for the larger cones, and produce bags from the grocery store for the smaller cones.
So far, I have gone through 60 Ziploc bags, and 10 large freezer bags. And emptied two garbage bags of yarn. Only 10 more to go. Plus all of the cottons that were on the shelves with the wool which I had to bag up and bring down to storage after bringing all of the wool up. We only had 12 of the Vapona strips and so things ended up having to be done in batches. I also had some student yarns to do.
I hope to get most of the rest of the yarn on the shelves on Friday, and the last of it on Monday. But that timeline is dependant on me having nothing else to do at work. Which may happen, but is highly unlikely.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy Wednesday

We're halfway to the weekend!

What are your wild plans?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Knitting on my lace shawl. Just in case you though that I had abandoned it. I am into the second repeat of the body chart with 75 stitches on the needles. I do a couple of rows at night before heading off to bed. I am actually beginning to remember the repeat part. Which impresses the hell out of me. The stitch markers that I made myself are working well. In fact, I made a few more, just cause they are fun to make.

My head cold is still with me and seems to be getting worse instead of better. Blocked sinuses, sore throat, fuzzy head. Ugh.

Still spinning the second half of the second 4 oz of Sailors Delight. Although I looked in my bag of split roving and the colours reminded me of candy corn. Hmmmm. Time for a rename? Nah. Just a reaction to the season. And what am I going to do with 800+ yards of slightly heavier than lace weight yarn? I'm sure that I'll think of something.

I finished fringing my noil scarf. I did it the other night while waiting for clothes to dry. Twist a few fringes, go and tun the drum. Repeat. Which means the dryer is still not behaving in a way that it should. At least it is easier to start with the top off. I just turn the start knob and push the top of the drum with my hand.

And for those of you that have gotten this far, here is your reward. This is my latest hand spun scarf. Of course the colours are a bit washed out because I still haven't gotten the whole picture taking thing figured out.

Monday, October 15, 2007


The cacti are blooming in my house. Every summer the plants go out to live in the sun porch and every fall they move back into their winter residence. My rather dark living room. This simulated the light change that florist do in their mysterious back rooms to make them bloom. And so without further ado, here are 3 of my 4 different coloured cacti in bloom.

Oh my. After looking at those photos I realize that my poor plants are rather dusty. Washing them is on my to do list. But now I have to go wake up the kiddies and get everyone ready for school and myself ready for work.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What happiness is not.....

My dryer has been acting up lately. As in it won't start. Bill has taken it apart and "fixed" it three or four times. And it always has not quite been the right thing. Not that all his hard work has been for nothing. The back bearing did need to be greased. The motor is much happier with it's contacts cleaned. And there was a lot of lint in various places. But the thing still won't start. In case you forgot, I have 4 kids. Kids mean laundry. 4 kids mean a lot of laundry. For a while, I was borrowing my neighbours clothes line. Unfortunately, it has been raining or we have had extremely high humidity for the past 5 days. No line. No dryer. No clean pants for my boys. As Bill said, the nag factor has taken a dramatic increase in the past few days.

But he thinks that he has it now. After much testing he thinks that that little beast seen circled below is the problem. He has gone off to consult with his friend Elmer. And hopefully will come home with a fixed circuit board.

Update: Still not working. Actually, it can be made to work if you reach inside and turn the drum with your hand and then quickly slam the door and turn the start button. This only works if the load is not so large that the weight of it will stop the drums rotation before you can get the start button turned. But seeing as this was how it was working before, it is not an improvement. The other fun thing about this dryer is that it will stop after 5 minutes and change direction. Or at least it used to. Now it just stops after 5 minutes.

Although something was discovered that was wrong with the small black rectangular thing in the lower left side.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happiness is....


Making bamboo baskets.

Like I mentioned the other day, I went to a Bamboo Basket workshop yesterday. It was an all day affair and was also wonderful!

There were 12 of us and most everyone was a first timer and made a random weave basket like mine a few days ago.
Here Jiro is giving a demonstration.

Because I had already made a random weave basket, I wanted to try something a bit different. This was I wanted to do. Linda had also been in the workshop a few weeks ago and also wanted to make one of these. Jiro said that was no problem.
First you start out by making a base with the hexagon weave,
Then you make three more for a total of four. The basket has four layers and the bases must all be made first. You then measure them all and chose the smallest one for the inside layer. A metal tool is heated up and applied at the edge of the hexagon base and the spokes are bent up. You only have to do this with the first layer because the bend is so sharp, if you don't use the hot tool, the bamboo will break.
Then you cut three pieces of thicker bamboo and place them in the base. This will hold you hexagon together while you start to weave. At this point, I got so into making the basket that I forgot to take any more pictures until it was almost time to go.
And here is where I got to. The first layer is complete and the second is started. When I got home, I continued to weave and have the second complete and the third layer almost done. One more layer and then the rim.
Here is my table mate Carol. She is an artist who was taking the workshop to see if she could incorporate basketry into her art. Alas, she has decided that basket weaving is not her thing.

But here is her basket. And what, pray tell, is the white stuff that is covering her basket? Gut. As in pig intestines. You know, like sausage casings. The stuff is amazing when it drys. It looks like hand made tissue paper. She says that it dyes beautifully. It has a bit of stretch to it and shrinks a bit when it dries. I will hopefully be able to get a look at this when it is dry.

And remember earlier in the week I said that I wanted to get two scarves woven and one fringed. Well, one is woven and fringed and the one I wanted to fringe is cut and knotted. So I managed to get half my goals finished. I was laid low with yet another head cold. Ugh.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Check it out!

A glass spinning wheel!

Thanks to Laritza from Yorksett Arts & Crafts for this amazing link.

The makings of a new Bamboo Basket in the morning.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bamboo Baskets

I mentioned the other day that I was going to take a workshop from Jiro Yonezawa. And here are the results......
The first is a plaited twill basket. We started out making a flat 3/3 twill structure that was 30 bamboo pieces by 30 bamboo pieces. We then shaped it around a piece of PVC pipe that Jiro had cut to size and put a bottom in. Once we finished weaving the twill structure, we finished the top and bottom using pieces of half round reed and caning to hold it in place. We also did a decorative arrow stitch on the top again using the caning. I understand this structure perfectly.

The next piece that we did was a random weave basket. It starts out with a hexagonal structure and once you have the basic basket form you randomly start adding pieces of bamboo to the form. We used medium sized bamboo strips for the base form and thicker and thinner strips for the random part. My grasp of this form is some what shakier than for the plaited twill. Probably because the twill structure is one that I am very familiar with and the hexagon structure is not. There is also a strange locking thing that needs to be done each time you add a new weaver. But I have a chance to learn a little more because Linda had arranged for another workshop tomorrow. I can hardly wait! Except that I wish that I was feeling a little better. I have a bit of a head cold. Again. School's in and the viruses are out. Oh joy.

And I suppose that while I am here I should give you a moth update. I have bagged all the wool on the wall and put Vapona strips in the bags. I ended up with 12 large garbage bags full. And I am not done yet. There are still some yarns that students have had lying around that may or may not be infested. And all of the cottons that the larva may not be interested in, but if eggs are stuck to them and they hatch next to some wool, I am back to square one. All of the left over yarn and any student yarn will be dealt with next week when the first batch is ready to come out. And then I have to put all 12 garbage bags of yarn back on the shelf in some sort of order. Oh my.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Nice Matters

I was quite tickled to receive a "Nice Matters" award from Davimac over at "Wish I Were Baking". The award states that

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded, please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

So here we go (seeing as I can't just pass it back to Davimac as I would like to)

1. Teyani from Intrepid Fiber Wizard. Teyani is a very knowledgeable and talented fiber wizard and has always been very helpful with any questions that I have had about spinning or dyeing. Thanks Teyani.

2. Dave from Cabin Cove. Dave is a wealth of knowledge and talent. It seems like there isn't anything that this man can't do. Word of warning though. If you don't like seeing photo's of, how do I put this, errrm, ahhhh, male behinds (usually well covered- last week was an exception I assure you) then don't go visiting Dave on Wednesday's. The other 6 days are all respectably crafty. I, however, always visit Dave on Wednesday. Thanks Dave. (I'll be by in the morning)

3. Jessie from What Housework. Jessie is a woman who knits, dyes, sells, and has a collection of animals that just keeps on getting bigger. Thankfully both her heart and barn are big enough to accommodate them. Thanks Jessie.

4. Kansasa from Canadian Crafter. Kansasa doesn't stop. Ever. I'm sure of it. In addition to having 3 kids, she and her husband run a farm that has a bazillion animals of all kinds, and the woman processes enough food to feed a small army. I first found my way to her blog because, firstly, I am Canadian too, and secondly, I thought that I would see some more knitting or spinning, or what not. No knitting to be found. She doesn't have time. But she is a wealth of knowledge and so nice. I don't know where she finds the time to blog or e-mail, but she does both. Thanks Kansasa.

5. Christine from Spin, Weave, Knit, and Cake. Christine is a weaver and I have to admit that I take great pleasure in hearing of her adventures in weaving. A lot of the time i can say "been there, done that". But other times are purely unique. Like the time she had to wrap her entire front beam and warp in plastic wrap because the cat wouldn't leave it alone. I've never done that and I hope that I never have to. Thanks Christine.

6. Erin from Skein Street. I've been visiting with Erin for a while now. She has shared her adventures of moving several times, finishing school to be a vet, as well as her residencies and classes in various zoos. She is an awesome awesome knitter. And a generally nice person who always has something positive and encouraging to say as I stumble slowly through my various knitting projects. Thanks Erin.

7. Leigh from Leigh's Fiber Journal. Leigh is a talented weaver who shares all of her knowledge quite happily. She is also an amazing spinner and her knitting blows me away. I'll never be as good a knitter, but I'd like to have even a quarter of her spinning knowledge. Thanks Leigh.

8. Leah from Homework. Leah has funky tutorials and is a recycler of old sweaters. You should check out her Etsy shop for all of the neat things that she does. She also sent me a bunch of stamps from various places in the world. The kids and I have really enjoyed looking at them. Thanks Leah.

Thank you all for making the blogging world a brighter and better place. Nice does matter.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

No, I didn't get that wrong. In Canada, our Thanksgiving holiday is a little earlier than in the US. Here the harvest is a bit earlier and I'm sure that our forefathers were very thankful for full larders when heading into the harsh Canadian winters. According to the Farmers Almanac, we are in for a mild fall and winter. I can only say that I am thankful for that. Shoveling is not my favorite task.

We had all the grandparents over last night for dinner. It was the traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings. And for the first time, we also had a "kid table" in the next room. It actually worked out better than I could have imagined. No major squabbles. No food fights. No huge messes. Just the sounds of the kids enjoying each others company. Wonderful.

All the plants have moved inside for the winter now. This is my indoor herb garden. On the bottom shelf, from left to right are lemon grass, rosemary, and bay. They all seem to enjoy their summers outside and tolerate the move inside rather well. I have another shelf like this one that has even more plants on it, but there is some stuff piled in front of the shelf, and I like to pretend that I live in a clean, organized house. So we won't show that shelf yet. But you can see the edge of it in the photo below.

The last to come in was the grapefruit tree. I had to do some pretty severe pruning before bringing it it or it may have taken over the living room

Yesterday I also made two warps for my next two scarves. I didn't have quite enough (in my mind) to make a full scarf in Patchouli Dance, so I added a few stripes of black.
And, of course, here is "Mermaid Dreams". I hope to get both of these on and off the loom by the weekend. I also have a silk noil scarf to fringe before then. But maybe I'm being a little ambitious in light of all the other things I have to do.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Woah Nelly!

Well! That was a busy day! Saturday is usually market day for me, but not today. Last week, I had a bamboo basketry workshop to go to and I had so much fun that I decided to have fun this weekend too.

First came the Farmers Market. I was there early enough to stand in a small (10 people) line for samosas. There is a lot of history that is attached to the samosa vendors at the Farmers Market. They actually made National news in Canada because there was a fight between the Samosa vendors and the market managers. The samosa people were/are so successful that other vendors complained that their customers were blocking their stalls and the samosa people were eventually kicked outside where they have set up shop in a trailer. For now. They have said that they will probably not occupy the space in the mid-winter because being an outside vendor in January is a rather painful experience.

But I digress.

After my purchasing at the farmers market (I did get a few other things) and did a bit of socializing, I made my way to the place where my market takes place and had a coffee and did a bit of socializing there too.

Then it was back home for a bit and then S came and picked Mira and me up and we went off to a fiber farm that started out as a rescue farm and has ended up as much more. The farm is run by Kim, who is also a nurse and has 3 kids and is pregnant with a 4th. The woman astonishes me! She is one of those people who has managed to find a way to stretch the number of hours in a day and has the energy of 6 of us lesser mortals.

Here are two of her three rams. They are all of different breeds and of course she knows all of their names. They are like her children.
Then we went on to see the ladies of the house. She had Corridales and Shetlands (of many different colours) and Jacobs. And here my brain hit overload. I know that she has other types, but I couldn't tell you what they are to save my life. I couldn't even count them. I'm going to guess that there were about 20 or so. Including the babies.Sooooo cute!
And speaking of cute.... here is one of her Pygora goats. This little fellow is a few months old. She also had Angora goats. I can't begin to describe my reaction to these little guys. All I can say is "I want". I want a few of these goats. ME! Who has enough kids and responsibility and not enough room. I will have goats in my life some day. Not for a number of years. And not until we live close enough to someone responsible enough who is willing to trade critter care so that we can each get a bit of a vacation in the summer. I am not willing to give up our time at the lake, but I want fiber goats.
And she also had an alpaca. I want one of these guys too. This fellow gave Kim three garbage bags of fleece this year. And of course the first thing that ran through my mind was "Baa baa black alpaca, have you any wool?" Apparently, he also bites. She said that he never used to bite until she got word that there was a lady alpaca that she could have. She told this guy (sorry, I forget his name) that he was going to get a wife. Told him all about her and then a few weeks later, the man that had the lady alpaca told Kim that he wasn't going to sell her the gal and Kim told her man, and shortly thereafter, he began to bite. Coincidence? You decide. And I haven't mentioned the rabbits and chinchillas.
Here is part of her fiber room. More continues around the corner and .....
Into the front hall. Right about here my mind stopped working altogether. And my allergies kicked in. She likes to spin "in the grease" and most of the fiber that she had was straight off of the critter. And my allergies really let me know that raw fiber is not a good thing for me to be around in such massive quantities. I bought a sample pack of bits of different types of cleaned processed roving, and some processed mohair roving.

Then when we got home, mom came and took us apple picking
We got quite a few. The kids and I picked 3 1/4 bushel baskets. Mom picked 8. And them Liam asked about the apples on the ground. The lady that ran the orchard said that the ones on the ground were free. So Liam, Mira, and Simon ran off and picked a couple (or three) grocery bags of windfall Macintosh. In about 3 minutes. Some were given to my brothers Belgian horse team (only a few) and the rest will be made into sauce (or hard cider, if we get our act together). This is one of the times when I am actually glad that Liam is a bit of a scavenger. Small boys, eh?

Then it was back home where Bill had been working on chili all day (among other things). Last night it became a family effort to deal with all of the tomatoes at hand. I had suggested a chili for today and the idea received unanimous agreement. Last night we washed, peeled, seeded (or de-seeded) and chopped any tomato that was in any way, shape, or form compromised, and boiled all of their little carcases in a large pot. Today the simmering continued all day and the volume was about half by the time Mira and I returned from the fiber farm. When we returned from apple picking, it was almost ready. Tonight, supper was a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

All fixed

I ripped back my lace to the ( thank heavens and all of the powers that be) a straight simple knit row just before my ..... mistake. I considered trying to weave in a life line. I decided that that would be like thinking of buying a PFD after you fell into the water. Just a little to late to be of much help. I abandoned that idea. I considered tinking back for the 5 rows and thought that I would rather just go for it and rip it back to the row before my mistake. Which I did. Carefully. Very carefully.

I was able to put all of my stitches back on my needles. After which I went through and corrected the few that I put on the wrong way. I counted my stitches and miracles of miracles had the right amount in the right places. I found my row on the chart and knit the next row just to make sure that I had done it all right. Once that was finished and I found that everything was alright, I put it all away and cracked open a beer and here I am telling you all how I saved myself from having to knit that %@#$*&^ neck chart again.

Did I mention that I made the mistake while knitting when I was a bit tired. Knowing myself, I set out conditions under which I could not, or at least should not knit lace. And of those was being tired. Lace and fatigue are not a good combination. But I was getting cocky. "This is easy now. I know the stitches. So what if I am a little tired, I can follow the pattern". Famous last words.

As they say "Hoisted by my own petard". I always wondered what a petard was. Now I know.

On Closer Inspection

I noticed that my lace had a dropped stitch about 4-6-8 rows back. So much for my progress. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Look! Lace!

I told you I was going to work on it! I have finished the neck chart and have started on the body chart. And it is actually starting to make sense.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Touch of Frost

Jack Frost paid a tiny visit last night. Bill and Liam went out this evening to investigate the damage of a few hours at 0 C and came back with a rather positive report. Jack kindly left the tomatoes alone and touched his frost brush on the tips of the squash plants and a few of the pepper plants. But only on one side of the garden. I guess that when the weather man says "patchy frost" he really means it. So they picked all of the tomatoes, yet more broccoli, a few cucumbers, and heavens, could it be? Crimson hot peppers that were actually starting to become crimson!

Every year in January, the Stokes seed catalogue comes. January in my neck of the woods is bitterly cold and outdoors everything is frozen and covered in snow and ice. It will remain that way until usually the end of March. At which point we will have a few teasing weeks of spring like weather before getting hit by yet another snow storm. In January, spring seems a long ways away. But there is the catalogue of all the vegetables spread out like..... well.... only a northern gardener could really know what I am talking about... but .... I call it Garden Pr0n. You know what I mean. Some people take the Lee Valley catalogue to the bathroom. I take the seed catalogue. So there you are looking at page after page of plants. And variety! The last year that I counted there were 76 different types of tomatoes! 76! Sigh. And they also have a good number of peppers of both the hot and the sweet variety. The hot ones even have the Scoville rating so that you know what you are getting yourself in for!

But I digress.

So one January, a number of years ago, I was drooling over the various plants and came across the pepper section. "I want to try something new this year" was the thought that popped into my head (we are, after all, experimental eaters. At least we older ones are). So I started to check different pepper types and their Scoville rating and found that the crimson hot offered a fairly decent rating without my fearing the punch that some hot peppers can have. And lets face it, we have all had one of those experiences where something that went into our mouth was just a little too much to handle. The crimson hots were a respectable 1250-2500 on the Scoville scale, well bellow habenero's and well above some of the, ahem, wimpy peppers.

To make a long story longer, they were ordered, planted, tended, harvested, and then processed in to the most wonderful hot sauce that could be imagined. Go look. I know you want to. There is even a picture of the sexy little beauties. Sigh.

Wow! Was that ever a tangent! I think I need to go knit a few rows on my much neglected lace shawl. Remember that? I have almost finished the first 20 rows of the neck chart and will soon proceed to the body chart. Pathetic. I know. But I have a finish deadline for this thing of December 2013. I think that I will make it.

I love achievable goals.