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I drive a tractor

country living food knitting socks stockings

Well, I drive a tractor now. I should clarify one point though ... my husband owns a farm, but he is not a farmer. He is an engineer and works in a village about nine miles from our farm. A local farmer rents about 40 acres of our land from us and plants it each year. This year he planted corn on all 40 acres. From what I understand he sometimes plants wheat on one section, corn on the other. Sometimes even soybeans. But this year it is all corn. The corn is gorgeous right now, a deep almost blue green and standing at about six feet tall. Firefly drives a tractorMy husband has a tractor which he uses for mowing the three acres of lawn we have around the house and barn. He also used it recently with some impressive attachments to dig a trench from the house to the street so we could hook up to municipal water. Prior to that, the water here has always been a combination of cistern and well water. We had to not ever consume water from any of the hot water faucets in the house because that water came from the cistern and potentially contained bacteria and sundry other impurities ... guhross. But, I digress ... my husband has this tractor and it is his favorite toy. Mowing the lawn is a chore that takes about three hours total, so I volunteered to pitch in and do some of it for him. He has me mow about one acre on the tractor while he uses a hand mower to get the area around the house. We finish up about the same time, and then he gets on the tractor and finishes up the remaining two acres or so. By pitching in and helping out, I save him about an hour of work. Last night was a lawn mowing evening, so I got out there and mowed. This is my third time. I had to skip the last time because it was too soon after the kidney stone incident. I was feeling up to the tractor ride last night, so I got on it again. Here is a photo my husband shot of me the last time I helped mow, which was a few weeks ago. If you look in the background, you'll see one of the corn fields. That corn is over six feet tall now, as I said above, and a very dark, dark green color. Very healthy and vibrant looking. The sock project I'm currently knitting is coming along. Last night I knitted another couple of inches in the foot which means I'm still on track to finish this week. Oh, I also made Southern Style Corn Bread last night with Martha White corn bread flour ... I cook in a cast iron skillet in the oven and instead of mixing the butter into the batter; I melt it in the pan in the oven. Then, I pour the batter into the hot butter in the hot skillet and bake it that way. I haven't had that in a long time, because it can be fattening. However, my mother sent me a couple of five pound bags of the Martha White stuff, and my husband had not ever had Southern Style Corn Bread. (I'm from the South originally and love corn bread even though I don't eat it very often.) He loved the bread. We had it with left over Lentil Soup from Saturday and it was a delightful meal. My favorite meal in all the world, thanks to my Southern heritage, is corn bread and pinto beans. A completely simple meal, but so delicious, summery, and wholesome. Miniature Handknit Christmas Stocking 1I wanted to share a photo with anyone who is interested of a miniature Christmas stocking I knitted a couple of years ago. I've made quite a lot of miniature stockings and given them away to family ... especially to little nieces and nephews ... to hang on their Christmas trees. They come out so incredibly cute, and are very fast to knit up. You can have so much fun choosing the yarns to use. I like using a fur yarn for the top cuff, and then some kind of soft wool with a bit of texture to it for the rest of the piece. I call them Elf stockings; I even made up a little story about them. As the story goes, Tree Elves like to go and hang out in Christmas trees. They are very shy little elves, and so you aren't likely to see one. However, if you hang a Tree Elf stocking on your tree, and especially if you put a miniature candy cane in it and a brand new, shiny penny you are likely to attract a Tree Elf who will hang out in your tree through the holidays before returning to the North Pole. The idea is to put the candy cane and the penny in the miniature stocking and hang it on the tree. Then, on Christmas morning, the candy cane will be gone as well as the penny and you might even find a cookie or a little trinket of some kind in the stocking for you ... something the Tree Elf left to say "thank you" for making him/her feel welcome. People seem to like this little bit of magic, and children especially enjoy the game of it. I'll include a second photo of another miniature stocking I made to look like a work sock that sock monkey dolls are made out of. (I made a large stocking with the same yarns for my son, and we call it the Sock Monkey Stocking even though it only looks like the work sock a Sock Monkey would be made of.) Miniature Handknit Elf Stocking 2Today is my birthday, and I have work to do for some clients now, then must get ready to leave by about 3:30 this afternoon because my husband and I are driving to a village a ways from here to meet up with his sister and her husband for dinner and a Guinness at a cool little Irish pub. I'm a vegetarian, and they make me a Rueben sandwich there with a veggie burger patty on it that is too delicious for words. Later I get to go on an online shopping spree at my favorite art store. I have to get a good sized studio easel for my oil paintings and also stock up on some brushes and larger canvases. I've painted watercolors for many years, and just started painting in oil last summer. Now that I have an actual studio with lots of space in it, I am going to get set up for doing some larger pieces and the shopping spree will be thrilling. Wishing you a sweet day, I am... ~firefly

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