The Yellow Fellow

Hard to believe because we’re still, technically, in July.

Goldenrod-July 2014 for web
But the first wave of goldenrod are starting to bloom.

There are over 50 separate varieties of this wonderful plant (yep, I love ’em) and there is one called August goldenrod. But these guys are pushing the boundaries here.

And nope, they are not the cause of sneezing. That’s ragweed which is so innocuous, we never notice it. But it blooms the same time as its showier yellow friend here so goldenrod gets the blame for this annual spike in the ah-choo season.

Piecing for Parkinson’s

In addition to writing books, author Sonja Hakala is also the founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project.

And a quilter and designer, etc. etc.

Red button bag made for the Parkinson's Comfort Project
Red button bag made for the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

The Parkinson’s Comfort Project is growing and Sonja has decided to combine outreach with fundraising by choosing to vend at two quilt shows in 2015.

There will also be objects that folks can own in exchange for donations, handmade items plus books and patterns.

This bag, number one in a series of 19 (each a little different) is designed to wear across-the-body and has an adjustable strap. These are great for shopping, roomy enough for a wallet and other smallish items that leave your hands free.

The outside is sturdy canvas, the inside is fully lined, and it’s just so darned cute!!!

Don’t you want one?

Would Any Garden Smell as Sweet?


Every summer, Paula Boutin (Carding’s erstwhile town manager) makes a point of walking all of the town maintained trails.

Joe Pye weed and bindweed
Not only does she consider it a part of her job (she’s the one who signs the checks for the trail crew), it also gives her the world’s best excuse for getting out of the office on a nice day.

Ted Owens (do we hear wedding bells in their future?) often accompanies her, especially now that the USPS, in its finite wisdom, has cut Carding’s post office hours even more.

In winter, Ted’s usually got a pair of skis in his hands. This time of year, it’s a camera.

Ever since Hurricane Irene, the Joe Pye weed has spread along the Corvus River, making a great climbing pole for the bindweed that’s just coming into bloom.

As Paula, who’s not much into gardening, likes to point out: “A walk in the woods equals beautiful flowers, no weeding, no mowing.”

—posted by Little Crow

A Weed Is Just Another Name for…

Ruth Goodwin and Edie Wolfe are the best of friends.
Queen Ann's Lace for web
Under most circumstances, you can be sure that one of them thinks, the other does as well.

About cooking, child raising, Carding politics, quilting, dogs…the important things in life.

But there is one subject on which they seldom agree.


Ruth, you see, is a woman born to believe that the botanical denizens in her yard are there to be controlled. In high summer, you’ll see her in the yard plucking weeds out of the ground before the sun has completely cleared the horizon.
To Ruth, items not planted or planned by her are weeds—no matter how low-care they are.

Edie is far more relaxed.

To her, violets are a welcome spring present. Ferns add an airy quality to her primroses and bachelor buttons.

And Queen Ann’s Lace should be part of every summer garden.

“After all,” she reminds the apoplectic Ruth whenever she sees this white princess growing among Edie’s bee balm, “a weed in the garden is called a perennial. And where else can I find something so pretty that takes care of itself.”

Lovin’ That CSA

Carding’s town manager, Paula Boutin, is a busy lady. Between her job, spending time with her (at last) squeeze Ted Owens and his niece Suzanna, kayaking, hiking, skiing, etc. she’s just never had time to garden.
Red cabbage for web
But she loves nothing better than fresh—veggies, fruit, eggs, milk, cheese, beer—all the things you can buy local here in Vermont.

This summer, she and Ted decided to buy a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from Honey Locust Farm over in Bradford. When you buy a CSA, you buy a weekly allotment of a farm’s produce in season.

Fresh without all the dirt, you know.

This red cabbage found its way into coleslaw with grated carrot, some sunflower seeds, and a dressing of mayo and horseradish.


More Bookshelves in the Future?

Not that Edie Wolfe needed any more books in her house but who can resist a book sale set in a garden on a cool summer morning?
Norwich book sale 1 for web
Not Edie Wolfe. As a matter of fact, her friend Ruth Goodwin was just bragging about how she’d managed to find a little more shelf space for books in her sewing room.
Norwich book sale 5 for web
Hmmm, maybe not any more.

Anyhow, the two friends had a wonderful time prowling through this sale, knowing that all the dollars they spent would help support the Norwich Public Library.

And as Edie observed: “There was a lot of good stuff there. And one can always find space for more books.”
Norwich book sale 2 for web

Author of the Carding, Vermont novels, quilt books, and book publishing guides.