Tuesday, October 7, 2014

M. I. A.

I've been absent from here for almost two weeks.  It's all been good ... working on stuff and getting things done. 

Grab a beverage of your choice and settle in, while I tell you about some of the things that have happened here in Hartwood during the past two weeks.

1.  Early fall is time to harvest the grapes in the vineyard next door at Hartwood Winery.  Friends of the winery gathered when the time is right, and we spent two days laughing and picking grapes ... Chambourcin red grapes on Saturday two weeks ago and Seyval white grapes last Saturday.

Morning sun shining through the Seyval grapes.

The Chambourcin vines were loaded with fruit!

2.  On the suggestion of a friend, I downloaded the Purina Cat Fishing app to my iPad ... it's a video game for cats.  Dorothy loves it to the point of obsession, and she will sometimes go over to the iPad and stare at it to let me know that she wants to play.  Her high score so far is 580.

3.  I tried a new flower in my garden ... fall-blooming giant Colchicum.  They are blooming right now in a part of a new garden by the driveway that I'm working on.  Colchicum produces foliage in the spring that dies down in the summer, and sends up flowers without leaves in the fall.

4.  After a lull during the summer, Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg is back to working our booth selling dog-related wares at events and raising money for canine cancer research.  My main responsibility in this is MAKING a lot of the merchandise that we sell.  I restocked our inventory of martingale collars, added a new design to our hand-painted leather wine glass lanyards, and made some new Tiny Dog Totes,  I am pleased to say that sales have been brisk!

Martingale collars.

Hand-painted leather wine glass lanyards.

Tiny Dog Totes ... like the one that I use to carry Winnie when we are out and about.

As I started making the totes last week, my sewing machine's pedal died ... it's probably a broken wire.  Thank goodness I have a vintage machine on hand, which worked flawlessly!

You can see how I found this beautiful White machine in THIS post from 2012.

4.  We have a large wild Persimmon tree in the back corner of our pasture.  It's not the kind of Persimmon that is good for cooking or eating.  The fruit is too small and full of huge seeds, and it never really gets sweet enough for humans to enjoy.  The tree is loaded with fruit this year ... more than I have ever seen on it before.

I set up my game camera in this spot last week, to see what kind of critters come to feast on fruit as it falls.  With this bounty available as bait, I hope to get some good images.  So far, there has only been one opossum show up in the photos.

Persimmon-eating 'Possum.

5.  We have a new vehicle parked in front of our house ... our Deputy Daughter's patrol car.  She graduated from the Academy in May, and finished her field training last month.  We are so proud of her!

6.  With the digging and destruction of replacing our water main behind us, I have begun to lay out the new shade garden in our backyard by the deck.  It's going to be a simple affair, with Hellebores, Hostas, and other easy-care shade-loving plants ... it is designed to cut down on mowing and give something nice to look at in this area.  

7.  What I have mostly been doing is enjoying the lovely fall weather, getting out often with the dogs.  We walk the property to give Ruby and Winnie some exercise and a taste of life in the country, and to try to keep Winnie's weight in check.  (Now that she's healthy, she's starting to get a little heavier than she should be.)

Ruby loves to roll in the grass.

Winnie found a small pile of wild animal poop to sniff ... eewwww.

Winnie has had enough and is trying to head for the house.

8.  My birthday was last week, and husband's birthday is at the end of the month.  Our daughter came up with the most wonderful idea for a combo birthday gift for us.  Inside of a beautiful rhinestone gift box (that she made), underneath a handful of silver jewels, was a slip of paper that detailed flight arrangements for our middle daughter to fly from Montana to spend a week with us!

This was my reaction ... I still get teary just thinking about it.  Happy tears.

Finishing up ... here are some gratuitous Winnie images for you, because she's so darned cute!

As you see, stuff here was normal.  I kept to my usual pace of making and doing things.  In addition to all of this, I took time to watch football, visit with friends, go on a garden tour ... I just didn't take time to come here and share stuff as it was happening. 

I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying whatever happens in your neck of the woods in fall.  (Tell me about it in the comments, if you are so inclined.)


  1. You have been busy! Love catching up with you and your world. Love the birthday gift...it's so sweet when our kids surprise us! Winnie is adorable. Hugs, Linda

  2. I enjoyed reading your post! I am so thrilled to see how Winnie has a weight problem, Hah! I remember how tiny and scared she was when you got her... you live your life with compassion and kindness... it is such an inspiration to those of us who read your blog, Thank you for sharing.
    Your daughter's gift was so thoughtful! How wonderful!!
    We are still waiting for Fall in California... 90 + degrees.
    Last week I left my administrative job of 5 years.. working 50-60 hours a week, now I am focusing on friendships and simple living... "working" in my greenhouse and garden!

  3. Belated "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" and happy birthday to Steve, too. What a WONDERFUL gift!

  4. Happy belated Connie! What a lovely and thoughtful gift! no wonder you were teary. Winnie gets cuter with every photograph,such a little sweetie!


  5. Awesome gift!.. enjoy the visit. and jeez, is that ALL you've been doing?? :-)

  6. So I poured a beverage of choice...and than another, It was a lot of catching up after all.
    Happy Birthday. Enjoy the moments with your girls.

  7. What a happy, busy post!

    Happy Birthday to you and your dear husband. Enjoy your daughter's visit and what a sweet idea for your other daughter to do for you. (Congrats to this daughter also for becoming a deputy.)

    Winnie is always a cutie pie to see!

    Your contributions to the sale are really nice.

    Happy Fall to you ~ FlowerLady

  8. You never worry me with your absences, Connie. I know you will come back with a bounty of inspiration and the gift of your ingenuity. You out did yourself this time. Birthday wishes for you and yours. Must add Winnie looks great!!

  9. Connie, normal is so very good! Love the first photo of grapes, excellent! Please thank your daughter for serving; it's a dangerous job and I'm always grateful for Sheriff's and Deputy Sheriff's. My brother is a retired Deputy from Louise County.
    The cat game makes me smile, how cute. I do adore the old White Rotary sewing machine; it's lovely.
    Some say it's going to be a dreadful winter; we've lots of fruit hanging on trees here.
    So glad your other daughter is visiting, what a delightful treat.
    Winnie is darned cute; bless you for saving her.
    Do you know anyone who might want a female, Redbone Coon Hound, about a year old? I rescued her about a month ago; she's had all her shots and it's time to find her a "forever home". Not around here though; she'd be kept on a chain and beaten!

  10. Awww--you made my eyes well up at the picture of you opening your present.
    Really nice post -and-
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear friend!

  11. Nice to catch up with you. Seems like a lot if going on. Happy B-Day to you & your hubby. What a great birthday surprise.

    I love that first shot of those speckled grapes.

    Congrats to your daughter to for her new position.

  12. You've been busy, my friend. LOVE the kitty fishing app, and what a lovely birthday gift for you two!

  13. So much great stuff going on with you guys! What a lovely birthday present, and tell your daughter congrats on that new ride, and for her to stay safe!

    xo Kat

  14. A Purina Cat Fishing app? Off to the app store! And your daughter's gift is too precious for words. I got happy tears just looking at you.

  15. You have been busy! I enjoyed catching up with you. Happy belated Birthday! And what a wonderful present you received.

    Things around here are still miserably hot....although i hear next week comes a big cool down. Thank goodness...... i'm ready to have summer in my rear view mirror. We truly have not been up to much.... just too darn warm. This coming weekend promises an Antique Faire we enjoy and the next weekend a trip to Apple Hill for some cider and festivities... I refuse to take part in Fall activities while sweating...crazy. Hugs! deb


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