Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Funny!!!

There really are a lot of times that I feel like this old broad.  I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, but when it comes to most electronic (or mechanical for that matter), I just don't get it.  I bought a timer a couple weeks ago for the chicks, so that they would get more "daylight" which is what they need/want in the winter months. Had all the little notchy things turned down just like the instructions said, plugged it in and it came on fine, but would not turn off later like it was supposed too! 

So Mr. Wonderful bought me a digital timer, cuz he's an electrician doncha know!  Well H*&L, the instructions were overwhelming, but I was gonna beat this thing, so I pushed all the buttons, in the correct order, and I'd be a sonofagun, but the stupid thing won't work.  He promised me that this weekend, he would look at it and get it set for me/the chickies, but we'll see.

If you're heading out to celebrate for the New Year, please be safe, I wanna see ya back here safe in 2012!!!!

Peace!  Kent

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Everyone at Tuckaway is dreaming of a white Christmas!!!!

Peace on Earth!!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Certainly not a word that is used nearly enough, and yes, it's not usually spelled this way, unless you're using a Knifty Knitter!!!!!  If you've never heard of a Knifty Knitter, you are certainly not alone.  They are made by Provo Craft and sold at most craft stores. I was lucky enough to find my set of four at an estate sale for four bucks, cuz ya know I'm cheap frugal!!!  I've tried to learn to knit before, but just couldn't get the hang of it, so for four bucks, and some yarn from the thrift store, what did I have to lose.... not much!

You basically wrap the yarn around the pegs and then with the included hook, take the first set of loops over the second.  The photo above shows only one row of loops.

Hats are probably the easiest items to make on the Knifty Knitter, but you can also knit flat items as well.

Doesn't Madge look sensational in her hat and scarf combo!!!!
The scarf turned out a little bulky, but I love the texture.
A few weeks ago my Mom was recognized at a luncheon as one of Mary Jo's Angels for her work with cancer survivors and with Hospice patients.  This was the first year for the awards, so very proud of her and the work that she's done over the years to make people's lives better during difficult and challenging times.

Not the best picture of me, but a great one of Mom. If you'd like to learn more about Mary Jo's Angels, just click on the link.  Mom was fortunate to have known Mary Jo Cropper throughout her diagnosis, treatment and battle with cancer.  Must have been a truly remarkable woman.

On the home front, the chickens are growing, and have graduated out of the cardboard enclosure to have the entire hen house.  They are really a lot of fun, and I'm glad we took the time with them when they were young to get them tame.  Now, they will come up to you right away and eat out of your hands, and peck at your shoes too!

There's been a little bit of weaving goin' on, but there's also been a lot of outside work to do to get ready for winter.  We've planted a bunch of spruce trees out back, tucked the garden in for winter, and also planted almost five hundred different spring blooming bulbs.  We intended to start a tradition of planting 100 bulbs every fall, but that just didn't happen, so this year it was time to catch up!!!! 

Honest, that orange is really more of a rust color.  Hopefully Santa brings me a digital camera so I can stop using my phone for photos!
While I'm downstairs weaving, Henry is usually on the kitchen floor at the top of the steps.  He's never to far from my side.
Maxi on the other hand, really could care less where I'm at, and at ten, she prefers to be snuggled up on the bed!  I want to be my dogs!!!!!
This week is Thanksgiving, and I can't believe all the ads and hoopla over the shopping on "Black Friday"!!!!  What a bunch of nonsense!.  I love Thanksgiving, because it's so much more about family and just being together.  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas too, but we tend to keep things much simpler.  We do very little gift buying, and tend to give gifts of time and togetherness.  For the last couple of years, we've gotten our parents tickets to go to the theatre with us, and that has been great, instead of more stuff that just sits around and collects dust.  My brother and his family limit gifts for their kids to three gifts each, representing the three gifts that Christ received from the Magi.  I love that idea.... what traditions do you have to keep the holidays more meaningful?

Happy Thanksgiving!  Peace!  Kent

Friday, September 23, 2011


Well, the chicks have arrived..... I have been waiting quite a while to get to this point, and this was the week!  If you remember back a few months to when I showed you photos of us moving the hen house from the neighbor's property to Tuckaway, the renovation and updating has been a long process!  Chicken Coop
The peeps were hatched on Monday and arrived at the post office on Tuesday morning.  I got the call from the post office at 7:40 am on my way in to the office, so I had to do some quick juggling of my schedule so that I could pick them up before the office closed at 5:00. 

We had been working really hard on getting the fence up, and in.  In meaning two feet of it is buried in the ground to keep digging predators out!!!!  So that means there is about four feet out of the ground and before the birds get to experience the great outdoors, we'll need to put a run of electric fence wire at the top.  None of this again, is to keep the chickens in, but to keep the varmints out!

The hen house also needed a new roof, but we both really liked the original metal roof that was on it, just too many old nail holes to keep the babies dry.  So off it came!!!!!
Fortunately the rafters (I think that's what they're called) were in good shape.
So the old sheets of metal are set aside in the same order they came off the roof and fresh plywood goes on.  The blue screen door in the background was another salvage yard find that we will use as a gate into the chicken yard.  Chris was a little taken aback when I painted it blue, but I wanted something bright to contrast with the brown of the old barn.
Then heavy weight tar paper went on and the metal roofing was put back in place.

Ta Da!!!!!  New old roof back in place!!!!!  Notice anything else different?
Two new windows!!!! These are actually basement windows where the screen is built-in to the frame, but the glass panel comes out when you want some ventilation.  Trimmed those babies out myself!  Egg basket was a yard sale or estate sale find, which by early March I hope to be putting to good use!

The chicks won't be using this for a while, but the roost is ready for them when they get a little older.  It's amazing how quickly they grow.  After only five days out of the shell, they are already getting their first wing feathers!!!
We decided to get a variety of chickens and based our selection on them all being brown egg layers, and cold hardy breeds.  We have three White-crested Black Polish, two Buckeyes (I am an OSU grad ya know!), four Buff Orpingtons, three Black Australorps, and three Dominiques.  They came from Meyer Hatchery here in Ohio.  They were most helpful, and I made sure to call Tuesday afternoon to compliment them on their fast service and quality customer service.  Do you ever make those calls?  I try to make complimentary calls when they are warranted, that way I feel much more equitable when I need to make a complaint call to a company.  Sometimes I even call a restaurant after we've received exceptional service.  Try it sometime, the manager or customer service rep., is usually quite taken aback that you called to compliment them.
Had to include a photo of Henry laying outside the chick enclosure that is within the hen house.  I wanted to make sure the dogs were introduced to them early on and learn that they were not to be mistaken for a squeeky toy or worse dinner!  Now, Henry will go over to the door of the hen house and whimper to go inside and say hello to his peeps!
Today marks the first day of Fall, and I was certainly ready for it.  So glad to finally be able to wear sweatshirts again, and looking forward to the colors of Fall.

Have a great weekend!  Peace!  Kent

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Birthday Bullets!!!!

Once again, I'm a little slow on the draw and blogposts, but better late than never!  August is a slow Birthday month for our family, but Annika turned 11 yesterday, so we celebrated with her and the family on Sunday.  I'll need to explain just a little bit of background.  My Dad is a pretty sensitive guy, even though he may come across as a "grumpy old man" at times, and one of his life's goals is to be eccentric.  Well, I think he's arrived!!!  Just kidding Dad, and I really think eccentric is a good thing and hope one day to achieve that status myself.  Anyhoozit, one of his past times is going to his 100 acre woods in Southeastern Ohio, and spending time at his little cabin.  The grandkids also like to tag along, and help out, as well as learn a bit about wildlife and nature in a unique setting and with someone they respect and look up to.  Dad has taught each of them about gun safety and a lot of times they'll target shoot while down at the mountain.  Miss Annika (don't let the cute haircut and sparkly clothes fool ya!) has turned into quite the little Annie Oakley, so for her birthday her Pa bought her a box of shotgun shells!  Nanny buys the cute clothes, but Pa really came through on this birthday, and I know they'll have a great time at the mountain blasting tin cans!

Happy 11th Birthday Miss Anni-belle!!!!!
Do you remember when you were 11?  Those were some good times!!!!
There has been some weaving goin' on around here, along with the garden chores and continued work on the chicken coop and hen house.  The goal is to be pickin' up chicks (the little yellow fluffy kind) on the 16th of September.  So this weekend will be a big one working on the windows and roof so those little peeps have a safe dry home.
This is the fourth scarf on the multi-colored warp.  Nice bold stripes, but almost came up short on the oatmeal colored rayon.  I need to plan better!!!!   

Don't you just love to see a box full of yarn arrive!
August was also a bit of stash-building, especially when WEBS had a great closeout on Rayon Chenille.  Got some bulkier weight this time to try out, and will be anxious to get the loom re-warped in a couple weeks.

The Weaver's Guild of Miami Valley is participating in A Wool Gathering in September and asked if I would contribute some rag rugs for them to display at their booth.  I gladly said yes, and only wished that I could help out that weekend, but my brother's stepson is getting married, so too many other commitments going on.  If you happen to be in Yellow Springs Ohio that weekend, be sure and look them up.  The event also happens to be held at one of the best ice cream spots in Ohio, Young's Dairy. Stop by if you can.

Have a great long weekend!  Peace!  Kent

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beans, Beans, BEANS!!!!

The garden is finally coming along, in fact I picked our first ripe tomatoes of the season tonight after work.  So late getting them planted this year, I'm thankful that we finally have some ripe ones.

Last weekend I picked about a bushel and a half of green beans first thing Sunday morning, then when it got too hot in the afternoon, I sat on the porch and got them prepped to can.  Lots of work for something you can buy already processed at the grocery for 59 cents!!!!  At least I know there are no pesticides on our beans and I use a simple recipe that my Mom has been using for years to can them, and the jars seal every time!!! 

Here's the recipe:
One Gallon of fresh green beans
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of salt

Put all of the above in a large stock pot and cover beans with water, just slightly.  Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until beans are tender.  While the beans are cooking fill six pint jars with boiling water.  (I put mine in the sink to prevent messes.)  You want the jars very hot when you put the beans in.  You also will need to have your canning lids in boiling water (I use a small saucepan) for a few minutes, and then keep them simmering until the beans are ready.  When the beans are ready, empty one jar at a time of the boiling water, and fill with the beans, packing them down as you go.  Fill with the liquid, leaving about a 1/4" of headspace.  Put your hot lid on and tighten down the screw band.  You should start to hear them seal within a few minutes.  

Because of the vinegar, when you are ready to serve the beans, rinse once in the jar, and once while they cook on the stove.  They usually don't need any additional salt, just a bit of butter and pepper.
Not the best photo, but I did two batches and got 11 pints!!!
I also took some time on Sunday to run into town to breeze through the Dayton Celtic Festival.  I had heard from a friend that there was a weaver that usually is demonstrating, and sure enough, this gentleman was dressed in period attire, processing flax for linen, spinning the fiber, and then weaving on this ginormous loom!  He actually was a speaker at one of our Weaver's Guild meetings this year, so I didn't stick around for long..... I had beans to can!!!!

Isn't that loom amazing!!!!  I'd hate to have to haul that puppy around!
I was able to get another scarf started at home...... still the same multi-colored warp, but this scarf is with bold stripes!  Be sure to speak up if you're getting sick of this warp!!!!  LOL

Have a great rest of the week!!!!  Peace!  Kent (and Chris)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blog Slacker!!!!

Well, it's been just way too long since I last posted, and I can't catch you up in one post about everything that's been going on around Tuckaway, at the looms and with life in general.  So..... I'm not even going to try!
The garden is finally coming along after an extremely wet spring.  This is the second year for the asparagus, so no picking until next season, although it was very tempting.  We did pick a bunch of rhubarb and had enough to share with Mom and Dad too.

Tomatoes and pepper got a late start, but are coming along nicely now that we've had some sunny hot days.  In fact last week's temperatures were the highest in any 7 day period since 1940..... and back then there was no AC!!!!  The sweet potatoes and Yukon Golds are both grown in large black nursery containers that have had the bottoms cut off.  We plant the seed potatoes at ground level and then continually pile leaf compost and hay into the pots until the plants reach the top.  We also don't roto-till our garden.  We continually add leaf compost and hay to the soil, and then just pull it aside when we need to plant.  The hay helps conserve moisture and control weeds. 
Spring is a busy busy time for me at work and that is one reason that there has not been any regular blogging going on.  But, as the saying goes, you have to make hay while the sunshine.... and the phone's ringing!!!!

We also celebrated a milestone birthday in our family the beginning of the month.  My Mom turned 70 this year, and the whole family celebrated with her at a quaint little restaurant near Cowan Lake.  We also celebrated my nephew Christian's 16th Birthday this month.  Hard to believe that he's already 16, and will be a sophomore at the Dayton Regional STEM School this fall.  He spent until the 8th grade being homeschooled, and his younger brother Cavanaugh and sister Annika are still homeschooled by my sister-in-law Loa.
One of the greatest things about summer to me are the flowers!  We do mainly perennials, but have to plant a few containers of annuals, and Chris has a passion for houseplants, me, not so much!

Zinnias are just beginning to bloom, but I love them for cutting and they remind me of my Gram!
This is in front of the front porch, the container on the left has a Kong Coleus (yes, one plant) a Bonfire Begonia and some Lysmachia or Creeping Jenny.  I love the orange and chartreuse colors!  The fern on the right is one of our favorites called a Macho Fern. 
This hanging basket has more of the Bonfire Begonias, but these plants have overwintered in the basement for the last two winters, so that means this is a three year old plant.  I have to confess too, that during the winter most of the houseplants come in to the basement and basically get ignored.  Amazingly, they usually perk right back up when they are re-located to the outside around May 1st or so.  Our frost free date here in Dayton is actually May 15th, but we do cheat a bit.  The basket hangs from one of the three large ash trees on the property.
Last week when it was so hot, even the dogs were not very motivated to move from the front porch! 

There has been a little weaving goin' on around here, but not near as much as I'd like.  Still trying to build up inventory to be able to have some stock to begin selling.  The beige tones and rusts really look sharp with the mixed warp that is currently on the Union 36. 

I've also been wanting to do a black and tan rug using denim, and finally got around to it with the same mixed warp as in the previous photos.  You'll also notice that on this rug I also used a temple.  That's the wooden tool that spans the rug and keeps the outside edges stretched.  Hilary at Crazy as a Loom uses a temple, and I had a couple but really never gave it a try.  Well now I am won over, and will keep using the temple, especially on the denim rugs!  Thanks Miss Hilary!!!!

On the upstairs Schacht loom, we've been using up the rayon chenille warp doing some great scarves.  As I've said before we put a lot of warp on the looms.  This means a lot of weaving before you can switch to another color combination or style of item.  But I do love, make that LOVE the colors in these scarves!!!!
Oh my gosh..... I almost forgot another huge event of the Spring..... we got to tour the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville Pennsylvannia.  We made the trip in for my cousin's wedding, and took the opportunity to make a little sidetrip.  

We even cleaned up for Kurt and Lyndsay's wedding!!!!  What a great time of celebration with them.  Will share photos of the happy couple in an upcoming post!

Well, that gets things caught up a bit.  Hope everyone is having a productive and enjoyable summer!!!!