Tuesday, November 17, 2020

17 November, Journal

Gusty winds on Sunday, blowing great puffs and shreds of clouds across the sky.
Intermittently the sun ducked behind a billow of cloud turned grey around the edges and the air suddenly felt cold--hinting of winter weather to come.


Dawn had an errand at Lowes on Monday and invited me to ride along.  I've not been in Lowes in months since [for once] we aren't building or remodeling a house of our own.
I wandered out to the garden center--rather bare except for some tired-looking potted shrubs, faded mums, trays of pansies.  The store was gearing for Christmas with trees and wreaths, both real and artificial.  
I came home with another amaryllis bulb and a package of paperwhite bulbs in a 'kit'--a plastic pot and  a cake of compressed growing medium to be soaked until it expands.

During my Vermont years I could buy paperwhite bulbs from bulk bins at Agway [a farm store] or shops that catered to gardeners.
It was a treat to choose the bulbs one by one, bring them home in a small paper bag to be planted in a shallow bowl filled with smooth pebbles. Staggering my plantings I had the joy of watching the green shoots stretch tall, form buds and open into exotic blooms. The very intense perfume wafted through the rooms, almost too heady.
In Wyoming I had to order the bulbs online. This is the first year that I've noticed them available in Kentucky; I'll take them, kit and all.

A run this morning to the South Fork community and a favorite store, Misty Mountain.
Like most of the shops in that area MM is an emporium owned by a Mennonite family.  It reminds me of an old-fashioned general store: several aisles displaying fine quality kitchen gadgetry--non-electric--supplies for canning and cooking, small tools, wood burning stoves, fabrics and sewing notions favored by Amish/Mennonite women, stationary, children's books, Bibles, shoes, ready-made Mennonite clothing.
The beautifully crafted horse and cart is a new item.  Lucky child who can have one!

The quilts on display at Misty Mountain showcase fine piecing and hand-quilting workmanship.
The same quilts have been on the rack all summer--no doubt the covid-19 crisis has diminished the number of tourists who are the potential buyers.

Detail of hand quilting.

This is a vintage applique quilt on display. All the quilts are covered with a sheet of heavy clear plastic to keep them clean--making for odd reflections in a photo.

The last colors of sunset--and the chill of evening very evident.

A sliver of new moon hanging in the treetops over the south ravine; the scent of woodsmoke, a crunch of drying leaves underfoot.
Such are the quintessential elements of late autumn, so often mentioned in prose or poetry as to be near cliche status, and yet so dear in memory of other autumns in other places.

The western boundary at nearly dark. When Howard drove in an hour later there were several deer grazing under the stars.

Last night's animal visitor was not as pleasant--a skunk, unfortunately spotted by Dixie when Howard took the dogs out after their supper.
Old Katy-dog ignored the skunk; fortunately Mudgin ran back to Howard when he shouted.
Dixie, typically recalcitrant, chased the skunk--with predictably unpleasant results.
She was duly hosed down, scrubbed with white vinegar, followed by an assortment of shampoos.
She now smells a bit odd, but not rankly of skunk.
A great assortment of towels and bathmats, as well as everything Dawn and Howard had been wearing have been laundered and hung out to dry in windy sunshine.



  1. I am SO glad we don't have skunks here!! I can imagine it's like Tom Cat only 100 times smellier. I dare say Dixie smells like a Perfume Counter now!!

    What fabulous quilts (especially the vintage one - I should love to replicate that floral applique. The feather quilting is very reminiscent of North Country/Durham quilts here. Many MANY years ago, when the children were small, I would quilt feather designs on cushion covers for family gifts. When I was going through my sewing room at the weekend, I found all my old quilting patterns, many of them based on the feather designs. When I move I am hoping to have more time for my sewing again.

    We have been having a wet and windy time of things in recent days, but the sun set tonight on a clear blue sky, but with temperatures plummeting, as they said they would. Scotland has been predicted to have snow.

    I found some Paperwhites in the garden centre last year and grew them. Gosh, what a strong perfume they have. I thought of you all the time they were in bloom. Even the garden centre is somewhere I am avoiding these days (I just had a couple of furtive visits in high summer for compost and bedding plants). I would love to go to the garden centre near Bronllys, on the way to Hay-on-Wye as they put on a Christmas display to rival Harrods, I should imagine. I doubt we will feel safe enough to go there this year though.

    1. Jennie; A newer paperwhite variety, Ziva, seems to be most available here--a bit less over-powering.
      Garden centers lure me in a way that no department store can do--garden centers and quilt shops, with a flea market venue now and then.
      Skunks--very irritable creatures! Dixie has had another bath--the skunk odor lingers as a 'base note' to her 'perfume.'

  2. You captured our Kentucky skyline perfectly! Great shots!

    1. WY Heart; I'm intrigued--would I recognize your name? I'll always be a very amateur photographer, but I keep trying to record my surroundings. KY is such a different landscape to WY!

  3. Oh the memories of that distinctive smell of frightened skunk! We had to close our windows a couple nights ago, but luckily by early morning we could open them up for fresh air. I have finally convinced dh that outside air is better than stale inside air. Glad the pups are okay.

    1. Kim; From time to time a breath of skunk wafts in--there had been one notable blast of the scent several weeks before Dixie's encounter.
      I like the bedroom window open a crack unless there's a cold wind or rain whooshing in.


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