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The beginning of autumn

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Cool, breezy, crisp, and clear.  There is an excitement each year as I anticipate the arrival of fall.  The lighting is very particular in autumn, shadows are long and lean, sun light is heavily speckled as it cuts its way through thinning leaves and elegant branches. When I was getting to know my husband via email, back in early 2006, in describing the area where his farm was located, told me that more than a few days in autumn here "look like some Disney idea in technicolor of what 'harvest season' should look like" (please forgive the direct quote honey, but it was too perfect).  His description was very accurate, yesterday was such a day. We have had regular rain showers over the past few weeks with sunny days of deep blue skies full of white fluffy clouds in between.  The rainfall has left our three acres of lawn a vibrant, glowing green.  The contrast of deep blue sky with vibrant green lawn is a deeply satisfying aesthethic sensation to behold.  When I see the environment shaping up into a technicolor autumn display, I cannot help but remember my husband's description ... one of many things that lured me into the leap of faith that brought me from Los Angeles to upstate New York. As autumn has approached this year, my daughter and I have taken up our knitting needles and begun to knit with each other a daily basis.  This is truly the first time I have been able to knit this entire year.  Sweet Pea has kept us all busy as she has grown through the many stages of development between an almost one-year old and a now 18-month-old baby.  I realized recently that in a year or two it will probably be all three of us sitting together having a knit on an early autumn morning.  My, oh my ... what a delight that will be! We take daily walks about in the yard to visit the barn, the willow tree, the Sincere Pumpkin Patch ...
Side Bar: The Sincere Pumpkin Patch is empty this year, but we will be "importing" pumpkins from a local farm market to populate our patch as a surprise for Sweet Pea's before Halloween comes around this year.  Next year we will get back to growing our own again.
So, we take our daily walks about in the yard and lately we have been able to show Sweet Pea some of the beautiful treasures that make such lovely dried decoration elements each fall: milk weed pods, the luminous money/silver dollar plant (Lunaria annua), grape vine tendrils, and willow whips; I made her a little willow whip wreath which she has studied in detail a few times since.
This year has been full of many time-consuming activities including many completed oil paintings for my show that ran this summer, home improvement and repair projects (still on-going with much work ahead for all of us), and projects for our church and community. Mostly though it has been a year devoted to family, and continues to be so. That is the way with children and grandchildren --joyful moments and times but much hard work. Over the weekend my husband and our dear friend Roger began putting a new roof on the house here at the farm. It is a metal roof and they are doing an excellent job, in my humble opinion. I am impressed with how crisp and new and professional it looks. They have only completed one section so far--perhaps one sixth of all of the roof that must be covered--but already I feel that our home is more secure from the elements. You see, over the past few years there have been a number of leaks showing up and it will be quite a relief to know that those leaks are behind us. My daughter and I have been working on clearing, cleaning, painting, and decorating our enclosed sun porch. This the first room in the house that I am tackling, and it was a good starting point. We are already beginning to spend time out there playing and relaxing and I just set up some of my materials for working on small oil paintings on the sun porch as well. I chose a old-fashioned looking blue for the walls and a color called "horseradish" for the trim. Everything was painted white before so the new colors are a bit warmer and more inviting. We retrieved three wonderful, chunky old benches from storage that were built by my husband's father many years ago from floor boards he rescued from the General Electric plant where he worked at the time. They are simple, almost like something that might have been made in a woodshop class, but I love the simplicity of their design and the fact that they were made by someone who I have come to love and respect, even though I never had a chance to meet him. I am painting two of the benches in the horseradish color and the other, a smaller one, in the blue of the sun porch. These benches are handy to have around on the porch, easy to take out onto the lawn and, as it turns out, perfect to straddle in front of a propped up easel and sit on while working on a smaller painting. Our little corner of the world is even quieter than usual today, and will be for the next several weeks because the bridge over our river has been torn down and a new one is being built. As of today they have completely closed the intersection at our place and so I hear ... absolutely nothing in the way of traffic coming from any direction at all. It is a pleasant new quiet added to an already fairly quiet and very peaceful world. I almost wish they would never restore that bridge to service. Oh well, sigh ... life goes on. By the way, my apologies for failing to conduct an August Sock Yarn giveaway. It became an impossibility. However, September is different. We are definitely doing one this month. This month's give away will be based on participation in a simple survey. I will launch the survey via my blog and Facebook page by the end of this week. If you are on my email mailing list I will be sending out a notification about the survey via email at that time as well. Otherwise, just come back here or check the Facebook page. I am currently working on a new pattern to release for the Teddy Bear Tea Party blanket you see featured in photos today. This is a soft and cuddly little blanket featuring an easy to work cable design with a modified bauble border. Use the finished item as a security blanket for a baby or as a doll or teddy bear blanket. I think it would make a lovely little Christmas or other holiday gift for a baby or child, and the pattern should be available by the end of this week (if all goes well and somewhat on schedule). Meanwhile, if you are looking for knitting patterns for holiday projects be sure to visit my website or Etsy store for printed versions and online downloads. As for upcoming patterns to look for, I have started on my Rhoda socks and a luxurious wrap ... also featured in photos here today. More info is available on my Ravelry pages and Facebook if you are interested. I hope you have a productive week as autumn begins to show itself here and there in your life. ~firefly Copyright © 2010 J. L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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