Despite feeling poorly with this sore throat, runny nose, and ringing ears, I’m very thankful that we’d settled on having a low-keyed Thanksgiving this year with just our daughter’s family coming for dinner. Several times during the morning preparations I dreamed of crawling into bed but kept managing to move from task to task.

I’m thankful that Ed helped in small ways which seemed big in the scheme of things. Aurora arrived a few minutes before the turkey was ready to come out of the oven, just in time to help with the last 20 minute round up of food. Clean up was manageable with her “lets-get-this-done” attitude and efficiency.

I’m thankful for the warmth of family, the blessing of good food, a place that we’ve called home for 28 years, relatively good health, and the abundant grace of God.

I’m hoping that I’ll have a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling much better tomorrow.

I’m thankful for a hot shower that is waiting and a comfortable, warm bed to sleep in tonight as the temps again drop into the 20’s F.

I’m so very grateful for the relative peace that we enjoy and earnestly pray for all those whose lives are torn apart by people wanting power and control. My heart goes out to those who don’t have a home to keep them warm and sheltered, with food at hand for nourishment and easily accessible water to quench their thirst. It is humbling to know that but for a different birth or circumstances I could be facing such hardships.

I’m thankful for all the friends worldwide who still read, and leave comments on this blog.

Thank you!
Picture taken early one glorious morning a few weeks ago.

Rolls and a pecan pie are cooling on the table. The list of dishes and a timetable for when each one needs to be started is clipped to the fridge. The turkey is about all thawed out and will be put into the oven early in the morning.

An unplanned trip to Salem to pick up a new lens for my glasses, necessitating an hour’s wait while they were fitted to my frames took a huge bite out of a carefully planned day. When Ed and I picked up our new glasses a couple weeks ago it wasn’t until we were driving home that I discovered the vision in my right eye wasn’t nearly as clear of that of the left eye. I took them back last week when we were in town and was told they probably wouldn’t be ready until after Thanksgiving.

Yesterday afternoon I had to take Ebo in to the vet to get checked and shots. Another unplanned excursion which we’d planned to take care of next week but he’s had the runs for several days. The vet gave him a dose of worm medication as well as his first vaccination and set us home with some probiotics to help his gut.

So, I’m not nearly as far along with editing spindle pictures and uploading them to the webstore to be scheduled for appearing on Friday and Saturday. That task was supposed to be finished by mid-afternoon today so I could concentrate on fixing Thanksgiving Dinner and then relaxing with family tomorrow. Now I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get to them. I know it’ll all work out in the long run.

For the most part I am feeling thankful for all our blessings, and I’m looking forward to having our daughter’s family come for dinner tomorrow.

Unfortunately by mid-afternoon my throat started tightening and now it’s developed into a full-blown sore throat, along with a very stuffy head.

Heading to bed now and hoping for a good night’s sleep that will have me waking up at 5am feeling much better.

I very thankful for the snow that’s been falling on the mountains! To the left is Mt St Helens, Mt Rainer is in the far distance towards the right.


Zooming in across the miles for a closer glimpse of grand Mt Rainer in the glow of the early morning sun.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! If you live where it’s not observed,  it’s still good to be thankful!

Tasty Tuesday.

The smell of the Brownies just removed from the oven is wafting through the air, a fire is in the wood stove, Ebo is curled up on Ed’s lap.

Last month a friend mentioned making simple paneer cheese. A quick internet search yielded a recipe, a jar of milk and I was on my way to making a cheese. These pictures were from the first attempt.
Note: I’m still very much a novice. These are instructions come from my own experiences making the cheese.DSC00778
1 – 2 Quarts/Liters of milk
3 – 5 Tablespoons of Lemon juice or Apple cider vinegar. You may need more or less; start out with 3 Tbls then add more as needed to get the milk curds to separate.
Pinch of sea or Himalayan salt   The recipe I looked at didn’t include salt but the first cheese seemed almost tasteless so now I add it.

You can use any type of whole milk though it works better to avoid milk that is labeled as “Ultra-pasturized”.

The quantity doesn’t need to be specific. If you want lots of cheese, use 2 quarts (2 liters) of milk.  1 quart will render a small chunk of cheese.
I used about 1.75 quarts since I needed to keep some milk on hand.

Heat the milk in a pan over medium heat, stirring slowly and often across the bottom. You do not want the milk to scorch on the bottom of the pan!

Have the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, the measuring spoon, and a sprinkling of salt at hand. Once the milk begins to froth and simmer  remove the pan from the heat and pour enough juice or cider to make the milk solids come together into curds and separate from the whey.  Stir, cover and let it sit about 10 minutes

The first time I used cider and it took 5 Tablespoons to do the trick. When I made it again several days ago I used 4 Tablespoons of lemon juice. The lemon juice seemed to do a better job of bringing the solids together quicker.


This picture shows it close to being finished. At this point pretty much all the milk curds had separated from the whey. I expected the whey to be a mostly transparent watery liquid but it stayed a  milky-white.

Pour the contents over a towel lined colander placed over a bowl to drain off the whey. Sprinkle the sea salt over the cheese and massage lightly with your hands to work in the salt.

Briefly run the bundle under cold water to remove any cider or lemon residue. The first time I made it I didn’t rinse it off and it had a slightly cider/sour taste.

Bring the four corners of the towel together and squeeze out all the remaining liquid. Put the cheese, still in the towel onto a plate, pat cheese into the shape and thickness you’d like then fold the towel firmly over the cheese and place a heavy plate on top to firmly press it down for 30 – 40 minutes. This step is important to make the cheese firm enough not to easily crumble apart. If you don’t have a heavy ceramic plate put a jar filled with dry beans or any heavy, clean container on top of the plate.

During the 30 minute wait Violet played the piano.DSC00783
Perhaps someday she will be able to play the music in front of her. :)

Pat off any remaining moisture with a clean, dry cloth and let it set in the air for an hour or so then wrap in plastic wrap, or place in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. It should keep several days.

A simple, mild cheese.  We like it sliced into finger lengths and eaten with rustic breads, or cubed and added to soups or salads.

When Allison was here this past weekend she told us about eating it when she visited India several years ago. Paneer doesn’t melt and is often used in curries.

With future batches I’ll experiment with breading and frying pieces, as well as dusting them with seasonings and briefly toasting on a hot skillet.

The pay-off with the price of good milk  might not be worth the small amount of cheese. I enjoyed making it and like having it on hand.


This summer Ed & I each bought a recurve bow for target shooting.

We picked up some bales of straw from our son-in-law and stacked them in the center of one of the seldom used path/roads through a stand of trees on a friend’s property. A livestock grain bag serves as a target.

Stringing the bow using a handy gadget.
We both had lost our touch for shooting an arrow. I struggled to regain the feel though within a few shots Ed was hitting the target. My arrows were randomly all over the bales of straw with one or two, (who counts?) sailing over the bales. Fortunately the feathers made them easy enough to find in the grassy path.


That’s the closest we’ll ever come to shooting at animals. We have no desire to hunt, only to shoot inanimate targets.

Our daughter-in-law shot her first deer yesterday using her compound bow. MJ and our son. JJ have been avidly bow-hunting for the past few years but one has to be very stealthy and skilled to get one with an arrow. JJ has managed to keep his family supplied with the meat they eat every year for they like the healthy, non-processed aspect of wild game. He’s been successful a few times with his bow but most years he resorts to using a rifle after bow season.

Once I stopped trying so hard, perhaps old muscle memory began to resurface, shooting an arrow started feeling more natural again.


It may be Spring before the bows and arrows get much use aiming at plastic targets.


It’s been a good day. Church service was followed with a nice Thanksgiving potluck.

There was more chatting, some knitting, and  spinning this evening with our friend, Allison.

We looked through my basket of top-whorl spindles. It’s a lovely collection which, sadly, are rarely spun as I usually gravitate to one of Ed’s spindles. There’s just something about the Turkish style that I love.

Allison is still threatening to slip Ebo under her coat when she leaves in a day or two.

Feeling very grateful, for many blessings, this evening.

A good friend is staying with us for a few days. The evening passed in a flash as we chatted and shared. She too has a passion for spinning, is artist, and a skilled woodworker.

She too fell in love with the new kitty, even threatened to sneak him off with her when she leave.

He has been named:  Ebo  (Long E)
A spur of the moment, mis-heard, made-up name. We were at a bike shop gathering information when the salesman mentioned a certain bike brand. Hearing the word as Ebo I repeated it aloud to remember it. He countered, “Evo, with a v.”

But Evo struck both Ed and I as a great name for the kitty with a sweet, loving personality and wild paws. Just look at that hind paw. Doesn’t it seem like it’s on backward?


His front toes are just as odd and adorable.

He loves being wherever we are. When I’m in the office he’s either on my lap or curled up on the fleece next to the desk. At night he’s on Ed’s lap when he’s sitting in his easy chair, or on the bed with us.

He totally relaxes like a typical feline. No matter where he is, or what position he happened to be in when he nodded off. Tonight when Ed got up from his chair, Ebo continued to sleep, face smashed against the arm, hind legs dangling over the edge.

We’re hoping Ebo has a very long, happy life with us.

This morning the temps hit below freezing for the first time this autumn leaving a layer of frost on the exposed yards.

This evening an email set me to thinking about why I spend so much more time spinning then weaving.

Opportunities to weave were squeezed into any free moment possible, even a five minutes of waiting for tea to brew was time to throw the shuttle. I even enjoy the slow work of hemstitching the ends while the web is still on the loom.

Whenever spinning flirted with me I quickly turned my back on such a thought. When presented in a tantalizing way I’d remember my mom’s hilariously dismal attempts to learn how to spin from a Navajo friend. No way! Not when I could buy wonderful yarns perfect for weaving from a local source just up the road from where we lived in Portland.

Ed practically hauled me over to a vendor who was selling a beginner’s spinning kit AND was willing to get me started. He decided there was no way I should pass up the opportunity to broaden my fiber world.


My loom has seen far too little action these past few years. As I go about the daily tasks, dreams of weaving flit through my mind. Right now two projects are waiting in the wings including a simple one that shouldn’t take more than a few days.
The other project will take hours of planning and preparation before the warp is on and the actual weaving can begin.

Therein lays the main reason that spinning has taken over.

It’s easy. Grab some fiber, a spinning tool and you’re spinning.

With a spindle it’s also portable. How I love that aspect! Sure, weaving with a small loom is sort of portable.

Snort. Not in the easy way of spindle spinning.

While waiting for a concert:DSC00220
Sitting on the porch at McMenamins Edgefield passing time before a concert, people watching. When I returned from a stroll this woman was asking Ed about the spindle which was peeking out of the small tea canister sitting on the arm of the Adirondack chair next to Ed. A knitter who wanted to learn how to spin.

Getting fresh air and exercise:

I have no idea how many miles spindles have accompanied me during walks. Well over a pound of BLF has been spun as have other smaller projects.

Spinning is a soothing tactile way of relaxing. It can also be mindless; a productive hands-on activity which allows me to listen to audios, watch a movie, think, or pray.

Weaving remains a passion. My goal these next few weeks is to manage my time better in order to carve out a regular weaving routine. In my dream world I’d spend a certain amount of time each day spinning, weaving, playing the violin, practicing the piano and walking. Someday.


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