Saturday, February 22, 2014

It's not that warm!

So there we were, Hubby and I, having a conversation about whether or not 45 degrees (7 C) is cold!  "Of course it is" you say - however there is some question about this.  We may be dealing with relativity here - not the Einstein stuff (obviously-it is us!) - but the part about if it has been a long cold winter and the sun comes out and you are comfortable in your long sleeved shirt without a coat working in the yard is it warm?  See?  We are acclimated now, we have kept the house at about 60 all winter long and worn warm clothes, we have gone out on days when it was so cold you thought you might never get warm again!  So now we went outside and the sun is out and I just think our subconscious minds were so excited that they told our bodies to shut up!  Look at that blue sky!
The corkscrew willow is more interesting when you can see it without its leaves!

We did go outside to work today - definitely have a case of spring fever!  We have been taking a long look at finances and food costs and our plans for the gardening and did a little rethinking!  (funny how that happens!)  While the really nice expensive raised beds are still the goal, for now we are going to increase the size of the area for 'in ground gardening' (I am calling it 'freestyle') and the time to do that is now as the ground is not soggy but soft and damp and we have grass to cut out.  We think we will dedicate the raised bed we currently have to tomatoes and peppers as we are running short of canned tomatoes now and that means we need more this summer!  It is exciting to plan the planting after a long indoor spell - I don't like heat and am not looking forward to summer but I think I am looking forward to spring!

We will use the sod we cut out to make a berm to keep the flood irrigation water out of the garden and add about 5' x 40' to the garden area.  This will give us a space for the raspberries, strawberries and blueberries we have been wanting to plant, and more room to put in a lot of beans and corn which are two of our favorites,  room for a section of root crops and another whole row of peas this year!  (If you are going to dream - dream big I always say)

Can you see in the photo the shovel and the row of holes even with the end of the shed - Yes, yes it is a big job - fortunately hubby is just about stir crazy and ready to have outdoor jobs!  

And look, apparently the weeds think it is warm as well - isn't that lovely....sigh...gotta take the good with the bad, or the bad with the good..sigh....there are always weeds!

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I have a tendency to discover something that I like to do and then do it until I get tired of it and move on to the next thing and the next etc.  I will come back to the first thing (eventually) but I get going and then I can't stop!  This has happened to me recently with crocheting.  I learned to crochet many years ago with my grandmothers, both of them.  It was way too sedentary for me at that age and it became one of those 'oh I used to know how' things.  I 'rediscovered' the skill when our friends came over just before Christmas and asked if I had made any progress on my re-training program - when I replied that I had not and was having some difficulty they said "go get your hook and yarn" and spent a good amount of time helping me with hands on advise (hold it like this, stick your tongue out like that) and by the end of the next day I had a little beanie for the cancer ward (which was the charity thing that got me wanting to do this again in the first place)
I was so jazzed that I wanted to keep doing things and then there I was obsessing again!

I decided that I needed to learn another stitch or two so started a dishrag
and then I liked the looks of those scalloped edges so put one of those on the dishrag,  just practicing and using stash yarn that didn't quite match,

then to learn the next stitch I made a pair of slippers for myself, then one for Hubby using two strands of yarn, 

then the different slipper pattern with new stitches in it and then ....deep breath....I found the baby yarn and fell in love and started a thick soft baby blanket for the new granddaughter

and then I decided that she needed to be raised correctly and rooting for the proper football team is a big part of that so I started a blanket in the Denver Bronco colors and I have a pattern for booties and a sun hat (the sort of thing every well turned out Bronco fan needs even when your team loses the Super Bowl!)

I think that I am relieved that I did not rediscover this fun thing earlier, my kids would have suffered irreparable harm from the kind of neglect that this would have caused - but this has been a long winter and this was just the kind of obsession I needed to have to keep myself entertained! (those silly Calvin Kline Obsession ads and their underwear...ha!)

Oh and I needed to buy more hooks in many sizes because...
...just because, I won't even try to justify it, I will however point out that I really don't have any other vices, and I cut my own hair and do my own nails...sigh... I'm sounding defensive aren't I ?

I am having fun and it keeps me out of trouble so there it is.  :)


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Groundhog predictions....

So on February 2 every year a bunch of strange men with top hats gather in Pennsylvania to stare at a small marmot type creature and urge him to come out of his hole and then tell us how much of winter remains.  I did a little research (because with 6 more weeks of winter I have the time!) and the story is that the German settlers used to look at the ground on the 2nd and if small varmints could see their shadow it meant a late spring.  This sprung from the druids (who, by the way, left no written records so one wonders how we know what they thought) and the mid date of winter solstice and spring equinox, the Celts called it Imbolc, and then it became Candlemas.  I was curious - how often is the groundhog correct?  Turns out he has historically been correct 40% of the time.  Then I wondered how often the weather guys on the news are correct and was astonished to find that they are only correct about the same amount beyond 3-5 days!  Beyond 5 days they are no more accurate than climatology which is taking and averaging over 50 years of recorded weather patterns!

So what is the point of this information dump you ask - well there really is no point it was just something I was thinking of as we got another 6 inches of snow in the last 2 days! 

I'm really not complaining, I have a whole list of things I still hope to accomplish before the garden takes over my life and it is once again uncomfortable to have yarn on my lap!  I was just curious.  This probably should serve as a cautionary tale though - these little forays into the ethernet can just eat up an afternoon!

 So I am posting a picture of the cabbages in the ground as I plan my dinner of homemade sauerkraut and pork chops tonight and settle in in front of the fire with my baby afghan, watch the Olympics and thumb through seed catalogs.  Yes even a real winter lover can anticipate spring!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January Slow Living Monthly 9 Link Up

Starting off on a new year I like the new name and am happy to continue this little exercise.  I like being pushed a little to take a monthly inventory like this and it keeps me focused on the positive rather than the stack of unfinished whatever!  The coffee is hot and fresh, the fire is warm and cozy and the snow has been falling all day.  I'm comfortable so here goes....

Nourish - Still doing lots of soups and stews but are now getting our meat from a local meat and seafood shop and are so pleased!  The quality is awesome and the service is as well and we have been happy with the amounts as well.  Prices are about the same as the market and we like the buying local.  The couple is one from our church too so we are helping our local economy and eating well at the same time.  
I have also bought my first jar of coconut oil and am going to follow some advise and try it.  If it is half as good as the hype it will be worth the price!

Prepare - Still in the grip of a long winter here so I am doing less preparing and more eating of the prepared goods.  It is nice to have the homemade sauerkraut, canned tomatoes, frozen squash etc.. I have noticed the price of food has gone up significantly and am so grateful for the things we canned and froze last summer that we no longer have to buy.  This summer we will have an even larger growing area and will preserve even more.  Oh and hubby's salsa experiment turned out very well and he is thrilled!

Reduce - I am making a 'door curtain' for our back double glass door.  It is double pane glass but still is chilly near it.  The quilted curtains for the kitchen turned out well so this was to be my new project.  I chose 3 block patterns and used fabric that I had on hand (some I had since the late 70's and living at home with my folks!  We call it vintage!) The curtains will end up costing about $7 total for supplies - yeah!  I am always thrilled when I can use something I have on hand or have had around for a long time in a really constructive way.

Green - We always try to have water stored for emergencies, we are on a well so if the power goes out we are without water, we have a small generator but it is a hassle to connect etc. so we have started washing out our soda bottles and storing water in them.  They are clean and food grade and hubby had seen some websites that used it so our plastic is being reused before we recycle.

Grow - The only things that are growing at our house right now are the occasional thing in the back of the fridge!  I try to not have these but every once in awhile something hides well and grows...sigh!

Create - I spent a large amount of time in the baby yarn section and bought something called 'baby clouds' yarn and am in the middle of my first baby blanket for our upcoming granddaughter Lily and I just am in awe of how soft this stuff is - I may have to make something for me when this is done!  Something for sitting in front of the fire reading!

Discover - I am now addicted to history documentaries on you-tube!  I started watching the ones that fit in with my genealogy research and now I am hooked, I used to sit in front of the TV and crochet or do needlework but now it is my computer and BBC history! 

Enhance - Our quilt group at the church is ready to start quilting on the hand quilted 'masterpiece' we will be donating to the church-school auction.  We are now having work days on Thursday afternoons and those that are not interested in quilting are bringing their needlework or knitting etc. and just visiting - it is a real time of fun and fellowship.

Enjoy - I truly enjoy winter and have just wallowed in the whole 'too cold to go out' period and spent sinful amounts of time in my studio with my projects - hubby doesn't have as many indoor projects as I do so he busies himself vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms! (seriously when he's bored he cleans - I bake!)  I have to admit though even I who love the gray gloomy days was glad when the sun came out two days out of the last 16!  I went outside and just stood in it and then came inside and stood in front of the fire - it was pretty, it was not warm!

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 link up - Grab my button!