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Vintage buttons for knitted projects

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Fireflys Cottage FoilageSaturday was a busy and productive day. In the early afternoon we drove over to our cottage on the river--five miles down the road from the farm--because my husband needed to pick up some tools. He suggested I come along with him because he thought it might be my last opportunity to see and photograph the brilliant foliage of the maple trees growing on the bank of the river. He has been telling me how glorious the maples are on the river bank when their leaves go to full yellow color; he had a hunch Saturday would be the day to witness and capture them at their peak. His descriptions, though vivid, did not prepare me for the sight I saw as we approached the cottage, Instantly I saw a mass of glowing yellow leaves stretching all along the steep river bank. When we pulled onto the lawn in our pickup truck, I saw the little foot bridge leading over to our old gutted farm house, and the sweet little pump for the well beside it. Umbrellas of glowing yellow light hung magestically over everything, and leaves lay strewn in a gracious, growing carpet on the ground. I ached inside, wanting so much to share the visual excitement of this magical world with my loved ones and with you, my readers. As I write today's blog, I am simultaneously downloading the photographs from Saturday so I haven't seen them yet and am not certain how well I captured the nearly overwhelming beauty of the day. Fireflys Cottage FoliageOur elevator that takes us down to the river provided a unqiue vantage point from high up within the tree canopy, creating a backlit effect with the leaves against the sky beyond. The tree limbs and trunks were dark, almost black in contrast and bits and pieces of grey sky shown through. I mentioned in an earlier post the possibility of hosting a retreat here on our farm sometime for several readers of my blog. I am convinced autumn would be the perfect time of year for such a retreat, should we decide to have it. The climate is perfect for cozy knitting and visiting and eating scrumptious foods and increasing beauty unfolds every single day. By the way, I posted the recipe for my butternut squash soup today, in case you would like to check that out. Saturday afternoon (after the cottage) I made a double batch of peanut butter cookies as our contribution to the hayride fare. I'm in the midst of tweaking my peanut butter cookie recipe and will post it as soon as the cookies are as scrumptious as I want them to be. Fireflys Cottage FoliageWe went to the church an hour early Saturday night so I could make several batches of popcorn on the stovetop, which was a first for me (I have always used an air popper, but we don't have one here). My mother used to make popcorn in a big sauce pan on the stove; I loved the excitement as a child of watching her shake the pot to keep the popcorn from scorching and the rapid fire pop, pop, pop of exploding corn inside. I followed the directions on the popcorn jar (pretty much) and the popcorn came out very good indeed. We filled a number of one-gallon ziploc bags with the popped corn (buttered and salted) so everyone on the hayride would have something tasty to munch on as we rode along, singing and laughing and trying to stay warm. I wore the Lavender Hat I knitted last week and it did keep my head very nice and warm, even though it was a fairly cold night and a bit of rain fell on us here and there along the way. There were several children in the wagon and I sang a few Halloween songs for them I remember from my childhood. Fireflys Cottage FoliagePeople can be such a surprise: a rather quiet gentleman from our church who no one knew could sing, sat in a corner of the wagon singing quietly to himself. I noticed he had a very nice singing voice, and told him I thought he sang quite nicely. Encouraged, he increased the volume and started singing all kinds of show tunes. It was a great medley, which I think we all enjoyed very much. The roads had many dips and bumps and pot holes from recent snow and rain, so our ride was at times a bit like a roller coaster. Of course, that made the children laugh and squeal with delight. After an hour of hayriding, we returned to the church for hot corn chowder, freshly pressed apple cider, hot cocoa, coffee, various cookies, and apples and pears from local trees. Sunday after church we went to vsit with our friend Dorothy and her husband; I have mentioned Dorothy a few times in earlier posts. She is a wonderful older lady who has taken a particular hand in making me feel very welcome here. Recently she took me to a couple of local yarn stores in a nearby village. I purchased a few vintage buttons that day, and she told me not to do that any more because she has a large button collection from her mother and grandmother that she is willing to share with me. So, on Sunday we went to Dorothy's house for a pancake lunch and button sharing. I never would have thought a person could have a collection of buttons so huge ... jar upon jar of buttons in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Dorothy definitely has buttons. She very generously gave me an entire tin of unsorted buttons plus she allowed me to look through those that were already sorted and pick out any I liked to bring home with me. I promise I was not greedy, but even so I did come home with some real treasures. Fireflys Lavender Hat and ButtonsI need a couple of buttons for the finishing on the Lavender Hat, and am certain to find what I need somewhere in the hundreds of buttons I came home with. What a treasure; what a treat. And, so appropriate with Halloween just a week or so ahead! I have a little bit more work to do on the Lavender Hat, stage two so please be patient with me. I had hoped to post the directions for stage two of the pattern today, but that will have to wait until Wednesday because I have five or six more inches to knit. In the photo you can see a bit of the removable band I am knitting, which is the essence of stage two and is the feature that makes the hat truly match my Lavender Scarf. That is it for today. I wish you a wonderful day and week and will bring more to you in a couple of days. ~firefly

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