Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Look what I found!

So last night was my first Bernina sewing machine class. My back was killing me, and I was having terrifying thoughts of carrying my machine upstairs where the class is usually held. I ran by JoAnn's to see if they had a case with wheels so that I just had to pull the machine most of the way, and hope that April was right and some guy would be at the class and chivalrously offer to carry my machine up the stairs. But alas, no wheeled bags. So they called another store close by who said they did have the cases I was looking for, and at a reasonable price. BUT there was no time to get the bag & get to class by 6:30, so I decided I'd dash up there after class and save my back next week.

Class went well. It was held on the main floor, so there wasn't any stair climbing. The other ladies were cheerful and fun. The instructor and lesson was easy to understand, and I came out of there knowing more about the buttons, controls, and able to take apart the bobbin case, clean it, and oil it. Success!

After class I dashed up to the other JoAnn's, who would be closing in 15 minutes after leaving my class and was located in another close-by town. They were open! So I grabbed the case I liked and left the store. Another success!

By now I really had to go to the bathroom. Home was 1/2 hour away, and I couldn't wait. So I decided to go to Barnes and Noble bookstore. My plan was to hurry to the restroom and afterward pretend to browse so that they didn't think I only went in there to use the bathroom, and then hurry home to get the kidlets to bed. As I walked down the middle isle there was a sign on a table: "Homesteading" and the table was covered with homesteading classics: Back to Basics, Encyclopedia of Country Living (10th Edition?!), Chickens in Your Backyard, a book of square inch gardening for those with small plots of garden space, a few on beekeeping...and then I saw THEM!

Ball: Complete Book of Home Preserving; 400 delicious and creative recipes for today, and The Backyard Homestead edited by Carleen Madigan!

I tried to leave the store without them, because I had not budgetted money for books this payday. But looking through them I was so enamoured I just couldn't. So I bought both of them. What treasures! Probably the Ball book doesn't need much commentary, since the name speaks for itself, but The Backyard Homesteader is filled with great stuff like (listed on the back):
Learn how to:
milk a goat * prune a fruit tree * dry herbs * make dandelion wine * bake whole-grained bread * tap a maple tree * make fresh mozzarella * brew beer * mill grains for flour * save seeds for next season, and a whole lot more!

I was impressed with being taught which grains are easily hulled, which are hardy, which are difficult. How to check out a goat and find which will be the best milker. Planting fruit vines and trees and how to care for each. Making your own vinegar - even the fun herbal kinds. How to start a hot bed to extend the growing season - even through the winter! *All* about herbs. How to braid garlic which makes it cute & practical storage. How to make cider, ale, and wine. Best variety of crops for beginners. And much more! It is the best of lots of other books combined into one! And how jealous I was to learn that the woman lives on an organic farm outside of Boston! Life doesn't get much better than that, does it?!

So I came home toting my unbudgetted purchases totally over $100 into the house, and Steve, without criticizing, just starts looking at the books (he glanced at the sewing tote, but he wasn't really impressed, the MAN! :-) and then he fell in love with the homesteading book too. He sat and looked at it longer than I did. Good thing for me that he never thinks books are a waste of money!

I see more preserving in my future! With 400 recipes, how could I not! Looking at the pictures makes me want to fill up shelves and shelves full of delicious and beautiful food from my garden.

And maybe I'll try to sew a bit today too. I *hate* cutting out the material for my quilt blocks, and my friend told me about charm packs with precut material. That might be something right up my ally! But for now, get out the rotary cutter, here I come! ;-)

Have a great one!


  1. Ooh, Melody, I am excited for you. Those are on my wish list, and I am totally with you on how great it would be to have an organic farm in Boston! Wow!

    And also, how fun that you have a new machine! I am excited to see what you turn out with it. I know you love quilting - it seems so complicated! You are so impressive. :) Have fun!

  2. Those books definitely sound like keepers. I would love to take a sewing class and just learn something new to do with my machine.
    Love your pictures you put at the top of the blog. It looks so springy.

    Glad you found a case to carry your machine in.


  3. That second book looks great! I'm going to have to get it. I took a sewing class a few years ago and it was one of the best things I've ever done! I now have many pairs of shorts to make for Logan.

  4. I want to finish my quilt! I would LOVE to have an organic garden.

    Yay on the machine!!