Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Cat Picture

Couldn't resist a cat picture. Chas on the left and James III on the right just looked so cozy on their favorite box.

Oh, and Joel got the garlic planted today. So the gardening season is underway. Seed inventory is almost done and soon the new seed orders will go out.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Visitor from Afar

We just had a lovely week's visit from our daughter, Siri, who is currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Yesterday we took her over to Friday Harbor so she could catch the ferry to the airporter to the airport back to NYC. Crossing the country is simple, getting to the airport from here can take all day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


In spite of all the rain and cold and wind the flowers know that spring is coming. The snowdrops are up, there are several violets in bloom, and I found grape hyacinths and little blue anemones in sheltered corners of the garden.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Windy Night

It was a windy night last night. the weather station on Saturna Island north of here registered a gust of 75 mph and a steady wind at one point of 60 mph. At about 2:45 AM I woke up to hear a huge gust of wind coming through the trees followed by the crash of a big tree falling close enough in the nearby woods that we felt it when it hit the ground. Next morning Joel and his brother were out clearing the roads. If you are planning on driving anywhere on the island after a windy night it's smart to toss the chain saw into the back of the truck. The tree above will go to one of the sawmills on the island to be made into lumber.

Most of the wood gets cut into stove lengths and left by the side of the road for anyone who needs it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Rugs of the Year

I got started on this year's first batch of rag rugs today. A friend gave me a really pretty plaid flannel sheet. it has stripes of blue and green and red and yellow and purple and I've found three solid colored sheets to go with it. I think it is going to be pretty nice.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One project Off the Loom, Another Ready to go on

I finished a project today that I have been working on, well, off and on, since last summer. These are natural colored organic cotton baby blankets for a baby that was actually born last fall but will finally get it next week. The mom is an organic farmer so the choice of the yarn made good sense. There are 3 different colors of yarn in this basket weave look pattern. A friend of mine from San Juan Island, Kathy, made baby blankets using this pattern and exhibited them at the Fair last summer. I was really taken with the pattern which comes from the March/April 1987 Handwoven magazine (for any weavers reading this).
And I needed to get them off the 8 harness Harrisville loom so I can put this warp for fine cotton scarves on it. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I can start on that.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Too Much Water

There's a small marshy area on the north side of the island. When it rains a lot it fills up and overflows onto the beach. This temporarily creates a neat stream on an island with no streams or rivers. It's a lot of fun to go down to the north beach and watch the water run out of the marsh. Yesterday morning this cut in the sand wasn't there. Come summer when the water level stays down, the tide will bring all the sand back and fill it all in and you won't even be able to see where this stream was.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


The toast on the stove this morning just looked so homey I had to take a picture. Shortly thereafter it was spread with my new marmalade. Joel makes such good bread.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We're in the News

Check us out on the San Juan Update. Good picture of us and our vegetables at last Saturday's market.


Monday, January 4, 2010

A Start at the New Year

Vacations are all fine and well but I have to admit that I start getting twitchy if I spend too much time not really doing anything. So today I dragged out my boxes of old sheets and started designing new rugs for the new year. For rag rugs I put on warps that will make 7 rugs at a time so I have to find a bunch of sheets that will coordinate with whatever colors I make that warp. So I pile lots of them up on the bed (I developed the habit of using my bed as a workspace in college in a very small room and still do it) and start selecting similar color combinations. The first warp will be stripes of green and dark blue and that leaves a lot of leeway. The above pile is one combination that I think will work well with those colors. I wound that warp today and tomorrow will start on another one of aquas, bright green, lavender and pink. It is exciting to get back to serious work at the loom.

While I was playing with piles of fabric in the bedroom I was running back and forth to the kitchen where my batch of Delia's Dark Chunky Marmalade was simmering on the back of the stove. It came out lovely, dark, rich, tasty. And it set up perfectly.

Such a nice day. Meanwhile it was pouring outside. In spite of which I donned my Wellies and went for a walk. The ditches along the road are full and flowing (the closest thing to a stream we get on this island) and the fields are full of puddles.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Making Marmalade

I love marmalade. Real English marmalade made with bitter Seville oranges. My family once spent all out leftover English coins at Harrad's duty free store at Gatwick on marmalade. Sigh, in these days of heightened security they probably wouldn't let us on the plane with a dozen jars of marmalade.

I've made marmalade from regular sweet oranges and so has my daughter, Jennie, and it was good, but I've always wanted to make it from Seville oranges. So did my friend,Betsy and I could hardly believe it when she found them at a grocery store in Seattle. Pricey little jewels but we both decided to make the splurge. Betsy found a great recipe from Delia in the Uk.

She found the recipe through a neat blog, the Cottage Small Holder, from England, and also a link to the annual marmalade festival in Cumbria, England. It's held in February so we won't make it this year but we can dream about next year.

Anyway I am having a great deal of fun with this marmalade recipe which is one where you simmer the stuff for hours on the back of the stove. I'll let you know tomorrow how it turns out.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Island New Year's Party

My friend Betsy wrote about our New Year's party so well that I'm not going to try and emulate it just send you to her blog: Celebration

P.S. I'm having trouble getting the above link to Betsy's blog to work and I'm about to run off for the Farmers Market. If that link takes you to her home page click on the link to her blog. If that doesn't work at all go to http://www.bendingtreearts.com

When I get home I'll try and fix it so it works better.

Happy New Year to you all.