kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Friday, October 28, 2011

The PA Dutch Market

Lately when I have called Mom her phone beeps with a low battery halfway through our usual 20-minute conversations.  She tried to get the back off the phone to see what kind of battery she needs but with limited strength in her hands, wasn't able to do it.  Zip and I decided that after his music lesson yesterday we would take her to get the new battery.  He was to drop us off at the Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Hagerstown while he had his lesson.

The lesson was cancelled at the last moment, but the plans went on anyhow.  I must add here that family outings are not without stress.  Mom is a perfectionist and is always right.  Always!  She likes to make moral judgments about people based on their physical appearance and many times voices them out loud within hearing of the offending person.  This makes me cringe!!!  She and Zip get along fine, so I usually let them walk along ahead and talk and I slink behind them trying to be quiet,  hoping for invisibility.  So that was the scenario yesterday.

This is a nice market!  Clean, neatly organized and well run with quality products.  (thankfully it was CLEAN, or remarks would have been made!)  It isn't huge, but is as nice as many of the larger markets found in Lancaster County, the heart of our Amish country.

We'll start in the dry goods and grocery section and work up to the really yummy stuff last.

A nice selection of specialty flours and pasta.

Pickles and jellies of every description.

Zip checking out the ingredient labels.  Yes, he looks like he ran into an Indian scalping party.  He went to the salon to get a 'trim' and returned home with inch-short hair!  Not his best look!

Mom checking out the chocolates.  She kindly bought me a box of dark chocolate raspberry jellies for bringing her along on the market excursion.  Sugar Free!  This was a hint!!!  (see what I mean???)

They are excellent and you can't tell they are made with no sugar.  I bought myself a small box of dark chocolate with mango puree.  Also yummy!  But how did I miss that espresso truffle???

There is a very impressive meat counter.  I wanted to get a picture of the wonderful selection of sausages, but there was a crowd in front of that area of the case.

The steaks were a thing of beauty!  We had to try two small filets.

A lovely selection of cheeses.  When we talked to the young man in charge of the cheese counter, we found that he lives only a few miles from us near Newburg!  I forgot to ask if they sell from their home.

My favorite part is the bakery.

Even if I don't buy, I love to look!

They are mixing up dough and making these treats right there on the spot so you know they are fresh.

There are several lunch stands, a section of Amish-built furniture, handcrafts and seasonal decorations.

Just as we were leaving we ran into Jill, my rughooking friend from Grant Street, her husband and son.  Jill was the kind person who offered us Penny for adoption.  That gives her a special place in my heart!
It was nice to get a chance to chat with her for a while.

We all had a great time at the market.  I went home physically and emotionally exhausted!  All I could manage in the evening was some knitting.

I've been working on a lace knit beret in a silk bamboo yarn that is sooo soft and nice.  I can't show a picture because I got up this morning and ripped it all out and am going to start over adding more stitches after the ribbing.  I want it to be a bit more pouffy.

The rughooking meeting of the Cumberland Valley hookers is coming up on Monday.  I guess it's time to start another project.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Scent of Apples

Aren't these fall days lovely???

We took a ride down through Adams County, our local orchard country, to view the leaves and pick some apples.  We don't actually go to the trees and pick.  Hollabaugh's Orchard staff has already done that.

But every year they have huge bins of apples from which you can fill a pre-purchased bag as full as you wish with apples of many varieties.  Of course by the time we get home we forget what their names are!

They have their fruit stand decorated with lovely mums in vibrant colors.

Gourds for sale in all shapes and sizes.

Indian corn in a rainbow of colors.

Pumpkins.  Lots of pumpkins!

And best of all, inside is a nice selection of honey, herbs, and yummy baked goods.  All kinds of gift items too.

Unfortunately, through the whole trip, Zip was having an allergy attack.  He had been outdoors helping Brad work on his front porch remodeling all morning.  We no sooner started down the highway to the fruit stand when he started coughing and sneezing.  Our stay at the fruit stand was severely shortened.  I took over the driving and got him in to Shippensburg by the fastest way possible.  We made it to the walk-in clinic just before it closed.  He is now using a once-a-day inhaler and hasn't had an attack since.  He goes for some breathing tests next week.

Here are about half of the apples we brought home.  We will be eating our apple-a-day for the next several weeks.

When we had the Animal Shelter  benefit hook-in at Joan's a while back, one of the ladies brought the most delicious home made caramel popcorn.  I asked her about the recipe and she replied that it was a oven baked recipe.  I have been hungering for more of this delightful treat so I looked up recipes on the net and found many, all basically the same.

So how hard can it be to make oven baked caramel corn???
I made two batches of air popped corn and cooked up the caramel syrup.  After pouring it over the popcorn, I decided it was way too much caramel for the amount of corn so I popped up another batch.  Now all of this is supposed to go on a pan and in the oven and bake for about an hour.  I now had such a huge batch that I didn't have a cookie tray big enough.  I had to dig out a large disposable foil turkey roasting pan and it was filled to the brim.

My stove is an antique gas stove from the early 1940's.  The oven temperature regulator no longer works.  If I want low temps, I have to vent the oven door with a wooden spoon.  Even with this venting system, it got too hot.  Instead of my corn becoming caramelized, I had burnalized corn instead!  But in the end, I discarded the burnalized stuff and the rest turned out delicious.

This bucket is about half of the huge batch.

Zip complained that it got stuck in his teeth.  I did the good deed and gave Brad and Kami a big bag.

Last week I noticed that Penny seemed to have an ear mite problem.  She and Isabel were due to go to the vet for vaccinations anyway, so we made the appointment.

They were such good girls!  No complaining in the carrier on the car ride.  No one seemed intimidated by the vet tech taking temperatures and weighing them.  She even dug in their ears to get samples of the possible mite infestation without a complaint.  They gave Isabel her injections first and left her down on the floor so she could go back in the carrier.  Penny was taken to another room to have her ears cleaned and medicated.

Zip and I heard scratching in the cage and I thought, 'oh no! she's going to the litter box in the carrier!'
Zip went over and looked in and this is what he saw.

Isabel was not going to the bathroom.  The towel had been folded neatly and was lying flat in the bottom of the carrier.  She had torn it all apart, fluffed it up, and constructed a barrier so that no one could get in and find her for more vet torture.  We both laughed and Zip folded the towel and laid it back in place.  Minutes later, more scratching and scraping, and she had re-erected her barrier.  Apparently her good humor and patience had reached it's limit!

This time we left it stand until Penny was ready to get back in and head home.
All done for another year, we hope!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!...

Yes, Sharon of Moosecraft, you're the winner!!!

I'll be sending out your mat in the next day or two, the chicken dinner may have to wait.  hehe!
Please send me your mailing address.

Since Sharon of 'I Forget What I Forgot' was the actual 100th follower, I will be sending her a handmade item also.  Sharon, I know now is not a good time so I will get back to you later.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the give-away.  And thank you to the new followers as well as the people who have been reading my ramblings since the beginning.  I do appreciate all my Blogger friends!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Give-Away Time!

Two months ago this blog reached the 100 Follower mark!  So it's time we celebrate!

I just finished the star runner, so let the give-away begin!

                                                                 Star Runner   9 x 21

First, I want to thank all the people who follow this blog.  Some of you have been with me since the beginning and others have just joined, but whichever you are, I'm grateful for your support.

The guidelines are:

For this give-away you will need to be a Follower because that's what I am honoring this time.  So before I hear cries of 'No Fair!',  there will be at least one give-away in the near future when I reach my Anniversary or The 200 Hundreth Post and that will be open to everyone.  So if you would rather not to be a Follower, I appreciate your reading the blog and there are still chances coming up.

Simply leave a Comment on this post.  Or email me at if Blogger's comments aren't working properly.

When Comment Moderation begins after three days, the contest will be closed.  I will announce the winner early on Friday morning.

That's it!  Good luck!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Battle for the Box

This week I worked on and finished a uniform for Brad and Kami.  The bolt of wool fabric comes from Woolrich in a nice handy box that is great for keeping the fabric from getting messy during storage.

But the minute I open the box and start unrolling fabric to cut, I have COMPANY!

Hey, Mom!  I love this box!!!

Wool is nice to snuggle in.

I can hide under the flap.

 And act a little silly!

Oh no!  I think I see trouble coming!!!

She is not welcome here!

HA!!!  Look who's in the box now!

She's a feisty little thing!  Look at those angry eyes!

Best to casually back off.

The box is MINE!  (it takes a while to settle down, my tail is still whippy!)

I'll take a victory nap to calm my nerves.

And through it all, Isabel crouches on the back of a chair and watches with great interest.

Life settles quietly back to normal.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rugs and Another Finish

I just changed my comments to a pop-up box instead of 'imbedded' to see if it helps for those who were unable to leave one.  Thank you, Lauren for the info!
I want to get this problem under control before the give-away!!!
So please email me if this still doesn't work.  or wengerweaver@

On Monday I took the scenic drive down through Adams County to Biglerville to the Blue and Gray hook-in.  The weather was delightful, the trees are just starting to show their wonderful colors, and there was the fragrance of ripe apples in the air at the orchards.

We had a small group, everyone must have been out enjoying the weather.

Our featured hooker for the month was Becky M.  She is an expert at choosing colors and textures for the primitive look.  Her rugs look like antiques from the start.

Aren't they great???

Here is another one that impressed me.  I'm not sure now who was working on this.  Aren't the colors lovely.

Hard at work on a big one.

I'm almost finished with my little star runner.  All done but the whipping for which I need to dig out some navy blue yarn.

I finally finished the sweater that I started in January.  The knitting part has been done for months, I was dragging my feet on the blocking.  I decided instead of soaking, spinning dry and pinning it out on a board, I would press it with the steam iron.  It's not a perfect job, but it will have to do.

I don't know why.... well I DO know why I bought such a boring color.  I thought it would be practical and go with anything.  Now I'm contemplating whether or not it will fit in my big dyepot.  Maybe I'll wear it in it's present state for a while before I take drastic action!

I need a new project.