02 August 2009

Weekend Edition

My off week was broken up by a shift on Thursday night I switched out in order to have next Friday off. Still, it wasn't entirely unproductive on the home front. I've been slowly adding blocks for the reversible Roman stripe quilt I'm making for our bed. I had two dozen fat quarters of oriental and complementary prints, so I divided them into cool(ish) and warm(ish) tones to give the two sides different feels. This is the cool(er) side:


And this is the warm(er) side:


These photos ended up with a bit too much of a greenish cast to them, but the colors are fairly close. Only another 106 blocks to go, then I can assemble these all with sashing strips, attach a border, apply a binding, and we'll have a queen-sized quilt. At this rate, I may be able to get it all done before December, though I'm really hoping for sooner.

Yesterday was also a good day for doing things outdoors. There have been precious few of those days this summer, so I kind of have to make the most of them. I got the side doors finished and mounted on the chicken coop and harvested these:


That's 44 bulbs of garlic. Some of them are the Russian red variety I've been growing the past couple of years and some are a Spanish red from our friends George and Rain at Green Label Organic shirt company. They live down in Barbara Kingsolver country in Virginia and the t-shirt company is their primary business (Great shirts, check them out!) - that's how we know them - but Rain sells garlic locally on the side. Both varieties are nom and have a bit of heat to them and I can't really tell them apart. What I do know is that I'm looking forward to cooking with them, though the big bulbs will likely be saved for planting this fall.

In other news, yesterday was a bad day for rodents Chez Tête-de-laine. David woke me up yesterday morning to deal with a rat who had gotten herself caught in the chicken wire while trying to go after leftover feed. Of course, just after I got to the scene of the crime, she expired, and I found after pulling her out that she'd managed to eviscerate herself, possibly by trying to chew her way out of her predicament. Had she been unhurt, she'd have been relocated far away. While we're not big fans of vermin, I do believe in giving them a chance if they're not too invasive/obtrusive. As it was, I was left with a much easier task.

Then this morning around 5AM, I went downstairs to let Tuck out one last time before bed. When I turned on the kitchen light, there were Cougar and Tolo with a dead mouse. Well, it was Cougar with the mouse - flipping the carcass up in the air and batting it about while growling at Tolo, who was hovering expectantly. While very proud of our predators, I decided David wouldn't enjoy dealing with the mess if they eventually decided to eat her and leave half lying around. So away she went into a bag, and then into the trash. I say she because it was an apparently very pregnant female, which means that's one generation of mice that won't be born in our walls, which is not a bad thing at all.


yarnslinger said...

A friend of mine here in Manchester has a long arm machine - I would be willing to bet that he would be willing to let you use it if you want to save some time on the quilting.

And if you happen to have an extra bulb or 2 of garlic for planting, I would be happy to plant them here!

Sheepish Annie said...

Yikes! Rats beware! I'd think the little critters would get the message and find safer hunting grounds!

I've recently developed a taste for fresh garlic and have been really enjoying it this summer. It tastes...crisper? I'm not sure what the difference is exactly, but it is so good!

Kathleen C. said...

Warning: question is a little gross...
A friend of ours raises chickens and one day found several with their heads gone (and not running aorund like...). He was told that rats will do this... have you heard of this?
My DH was gone for a long weekend this past, and the cats must have been worried that I was lonely... they brought me a dead mouse every day. Thoughtful creatures aren't they...?

Tallguy said...

Oh, I don't know if I could deal with rats. I hate mice in the house, and I've had those... for a short time. They were soon dispatched. I'm glad we don't allow rats in our province, and there is a general alarm should one ever be discovered. There are guards posted at the borders to watch for these illegal immigrants, and they are most vigilant! So far, none have made it through to us here.

I know we need to live with all creatures, vermin and all, but I wish they would stay very far away from me!! -- and my stash.

JoVE said...

That quilt is amazing. Very nice design.

I try to prevent the cats from bringing their conquests indoors. But if they catch them indoors, you don't have much choice. I agree that it is not a bad thing to eliminate a whole generation of indoor mice from the planet.

I think that feed I bought for the chickens is mislabled, btw. I think it should be organic chipmunk food. They mostly eat grass now, plus attempt to eat from the pig trough while the pigs are there. Hilarious.

Lisa/knitnzu said...

Maybe we should harvest our garlic soon... it'll be one of a few things in the garden the slugs haven't gotten to.

You will have to post answer to Kathleen's question, because you know you have readers that NEED TO KNOW THIS.

Had rats IN the house once... no fun at all. They even chewed through 2 inches of concrete. Thankfully they stayed in the basement, but it was rather an ordeal. I guess I didn't live in Tallguy's province. Where's that? ... going to visit his page.

Norma said...

Lovin' that garlic! Perhaps I can mootch one of those really red Spanish(?) bulbs from you for planting this fall? I'll send you some white German in exchange if you want. (the other one I have is Red Russian, but it sure didn't turn out as red as yours -- only a hint of purple, really, in a few of the bulbs)