Friday, November 30, 2018


I've been whining incessantly, it seems, that I desperately want (and need) to make some changes in my priorities in order to have more time for doing the things for which I feel a real need.  At my leisure.

Winter arrived in our neck o' the woods a little early this year, and I'm taking it as a signal for me to jump into this time of hibernation with both feet while clutching knitting needles, a stack of good books and a lot of fabric with which to create.

I keep telling my husband (the man who never stops thinking, reading, researching, planning, gaining knowledge) that he doesn't have enough time in one life to pursue all of his personal interests let alone accomplish all the projects we'd like on our little homestead here.  It's time I took my own advice.

To this end, one of the changes I have to make is to step away from the blogging world for the indefinite future.  I will miss it.  Terribly.  (Oh, the withdrawal . . . I can feel the symptoms starting already.)

Having stated this need for a hiatus, you may get a good laugh when you see a new post from me in a week.  Or less.  Could well be.  Or it may be possible for me to stay true to my intensions.

I don't know, but the only way for me to actually make some changes toward a more balanced life is to try.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I've Said It Before . . .

And I have to say it again:  The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!

I had eight items to accomplish on my list today.  I crossed off two of them.  Yeah, just call me a Lazy Lump.

Of course, as so often happens, one little project that wasn't even on the list did take a bit of time.  But it's all part of what goes on around here.

We were able to get two of those monster bales of hay (or I should say good swamp grass in this case) to use as bedding for our livestock this winter, plus it should provide me with enough for mulching needs in the garden, under fruit trees, etc. next year.

Both bales were loaded onto our flatbed trailer where we got them, but then we had to figure out how to unload them here.   The flatbed does tilt, but we assumed they might tip and roll who-knew-in-what direction and end up who-knew-where.

Papa Pea figured we could put a chain around one and pull it off the trailer with the help of our tractor.  (Sounded much better than the thought of the two of us trying to push them off.)

My dear husband knew better than I, because I even wondered if pulling with the chain would work considering they each weighed between 1200 and 1500 pounds.

First the one on the end came off with no trouble at all.  Once it was on the ground Tractor Man pushed it into place with the bucket on the tractor, and the second one followed suit quickly.  Whew, no problem!

I really shouldn't whine (but I am so feel free to cue the violins) about what I didn't get done this day.  For as my husband always says, "It will be there tomorrow," which most of the time makes me want to smack him because I find tomorrow The List not only contains the old undone items from today but also several new items that seem to magically appear the second I look the other way.

I guess all this rambling is to say I apologize to those of you to whom I owe correspondence.  I care about you so each morning I vow to make my latte and plunk myself down here at the computer and not leave until I'm. all. caught. up.  To heck with the ankle deep litter on the kitchen floor and the coffee table and end table in the living room that are bending under the weight of piles of detritus waiting to be sorted through and put away.  Let's not even think about the state of my quilt room as it's the one room in the house that seems to function as a haven for all kinds of stuff that I'm going to deal with . . . ummm, later.

Some time (heck, a LOT of time) has been put into decorating for the holidays during the last couple/few days.

So considering it's not even December 1st, I'm way ahead on that count, right?  Right!  I shall now quit the grumbling and remember that tomorrow is another day.  (Okay, if you say so, Scarlett.)


Friday, November 23, 2018

The Holiday Past

Our dear daughter made such a nice Thanksgiving Day for me by preparing much of the meal.  It was so good to eat cooking other than my own.  I never even asked just how she prepared each delicious dish, I just ate it with gusto and total enjoyment.

She even provided adult beverages for each of us.  I got my favorite Bailey's Irish Cream on which I could easily get hooked if I let myself.  We never touched the pumpkin pie I had made, but plan to do so tonight when she joins us for leftovers.

Still and all, the day after a major holiday always is kind of a let-down, isn't it?  A little bit emotionally, sometimes physically, too

It's the physical tiredness that's affecting our small household today.  Even though we had a low-key, relaxing, very enjoyable Thanksgiving Day yesterday, neither Papa Pea nor I could fall asleep last night.

We both tossed and turned, got up, came back to bed, got up again and, I think, finally laid down for the last time somewhere after 1:30 a.m.  Then I woke at 4:25 and had a hard time falling back asleep.  Was it the full moon?  It wasn't from over-eating . . . or drinking, I know that.

The night before, for me anyway, wasn't much better. I woke after midnight (you know, when you feel like there is a switch that makes you go from sleeping to wide awake in an instant) and decided to go out to the couch to read because I didn't want to wake my soundly sleeping husband.

I was there reading for an hour or so when I was startled by a loud bang and crash.  I couldn't tell exactly from where in the house it came, but it sure was enough to get my heart pumping.  After a few minutes lying there with all senses on red-alert (and deciding that no, I wasn't going to go investigating at that hour, by myself, in the dark house), I got up and scurried back to the bedroom where I woke Papa Pea.  I told him what had happened and he said he had heard the noise, too.  Then he mumbled there must be some simple, logical explanation which we would discover in the morning.  At least I was able to get back to sleep by snuggling close to him and assuring myself he was right.

What was the thing that went bump in the night?

A window in hubby's upstairs office shattered.  You can see (I think) the shards still clinging to the frame in the above picture.  Most all of the glass in the lower portion of the frame landed on the floor.  This is the third of these particular windows we put in the house when we remodeled/built some twenty years ago that has shattered.  Inferior glass?  The previous two broke while bright sunlight was on them, but this one happened in the dark of the middle of the night.  Did the full moon have anything to do with our nocturnal wakefulness and the window breaking?  Who knows.

I do know that if I don't manage to get a good night's sleep tonight, I'm going to turn into a creaky, cranky, grumpy-dump old hag by tomorrow.  And that's fair warning to all in the near vicinity!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It's Thanksgiving Week!

We had a beautiful snowfall this morning.

Our driveway going out to the left,
the drive back to our 
wood working area to the right.

It didn't last very long and only gave us a few inches but, none the less, it was so pretty to watch the big flakes coming down.

 Standing at our back door
looking across the

The last several winters we haven't gotten the amount of snow Papa Pea and I would like to see.  I sure would be happy to have heavy amounts of snow return to our area.  In the meantime, we'll enjoy what we do get. 

A few days ago I wrapped all the Christmas presents we've already accumulated.  Yep, being a smidge bit ahead this year (both in obtaining gifts to give AND wrapping them) feels great.  How do you feel about the task of wrapping presents?  I used to love it, took the time and was very creative in doing so.  Then a couple few years ago, all of a sudden, I found I wasn't enjoying it . . . was actually dreading the chore.  I have no idea what happened but my wrapping mojo done left the building.  (And shows no sign of returning.)

Something else feels different this year.  As much as I like winter time for the slower, more leisurely lifestyle it gives us, fall is my favorite time of year.  And I love decorating the house, inside and out, for the colorful autumnal season.  I think it may be because we got a bit of snow (and cold weather) early this year, but for the last few weeks, I've been itching to take down and pack away all the fall decorations and replace them with Christmas/winter ones whereas most years I actually mourn saying good-bye to all the fall colors.  I have a feeling this coming Friday, right after Turkey Day, I'll be switching the decorations and being mighty happy doing it.

Starting last weekend, I've felt I'm finally beginning to wind down and relax.  (Or I may be just unraveling and falling apart.)  At any rate, it feels good.  I've even started to put in time on making handwork items for Christmas . . . some sewn, some quilted, some embroidered or cross-stitched thingies that can be used as ornaments on a tree.  Going through books and finding new holiday-ish recipes is appealing.  (Although this morning I tried one that took way too much time and fussing, tasted nothing but ordinary, and made more pots and pans and dishes than I wanted to clean up.  No matter.  I'll never come across a new fantastic, delicious dish if I don't try new ones, right?)

I'm cooking our fourteen pound turkey tomorrow.  In the past couple of years, I've started roasting it one day ahead because I have only the one oven and with the turkey in it, there's no room for any of the other hot dishes being prepared.  The big bird gets carved up, then I warm up all the slices and parts of the turkey needed on a rack in a pan with a little water in the bottom and covered with foil on Thanksgiving.  Works great and also enables me to make the gravy the day before with the turkey drippings which is then so easy to heat up before serving on Thursday.  Not the Norman Rockwell way of presenting the beautifully baked turkey on the table for all to see, but it works much, much better for me.

I probably won't post again before Thanksgiving so I want to send Thanksgiving wishes from across the miles (and through the Internet!) from our home to yours.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November Is A Good Month

But going by so very quickly that I'm almost panicking.

Today is Wednesday, mid-week already.  Zoom, half another week gone.  Right along with half of the month, too.

I don't know how it can be possible, but this time of year goes by faster for me than busy summer time.  With our earlier than usual cold weather and a snow cover on the ground, I feel farther into the winter season than perhaps we actually are.  But then again, Thanksgiving is next week.  Yikes.

With the onset of temperatures hovering near the zero mark and our blanket of snow, the poultry isn't interested in leaving the confines of their shelters.

"Snow?  You expect us to walk on bare feet in the snow??"

The chickens are showing their displeasure by refusing to lay eggs.  Well, they're still laying but two or three a day from a dozen birds?!  Come on, girls, I've got Christmas baking coming up shortly, and I'm gonna need a plentiful supply of eggs.

The mundane, but important, everyday tasks can keep me busy throughout the whole day, and I have to make a conscious effort to take/make the time to do the things my creativity and imagination yearn for.

Between a couple of hours last night and a short time this morning weaving in yarn ends, I've finished the latest pair of socks for my daughter.  Now on to another pair for my husband to add to the two pair I've already knit for him.  No doubt about it, knitting socks has become an addiction for me, especially when those near and dear are so appreciative of having them. 

I'm thinking of making up the doughs for various Christmas cookies and stashing it in the freezer in anticipation of baking the cookies closer to holiday time.  Can't say I thoroughly enjoy that part (the mixing of the dough) of making cookies, but forming the already mixed dough and baking and the wonderful aroma the house gets filled with while seeing the different colorful varieties pile up on the kitchen table and counters . . . that's the fun part for me.

I realize many people don't like, even dread, the gray, cold, monochromatic, dark month of November, but I've always been fond of it.  It gives me a warm, fuzzy, hibernation-is-coming feeling and signals the true end of our busiest outdoor season.  It brings the anticipation of the holidays, and the (yearned for) approach of the slower winter months ahead.  

November is a good month.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A Winner . . . and Winter!

So nice of so many of you to be interested in receiving the pair of Thanksgiving-themed potholders I offered as a giveaway early this past week.

I numbered and wrote the names down on a tablet as your comments came in.

You filled every line plus one more at the bottom off to the side of the list.

This morning I put the numbers 1 - 24 in a hat bowl (recognize the bowl, Susan?) and drew one out.

 (Ugh, blurry picture.  Sorry.)

The number drawn was #10 which corresponds to:


So, wyomingheart, if you will send me an e-mail with your mailing address, I'll get the potholders off to you asap!

Thanks to all who entered.  Wish I had a set to send to each and every one of you.  (I think I'll do another giveaway in a couple/few weeks for a set of Christmas-y potholders.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Old Man Winter certainly arrived in a hurry in our neck o' the woods!  We had light snow and heavy winds all day yesterday which rearranged the 3-plus inches of snow we had upon arising.  Grid power went off for about two hours last night when (reportedly) a tree fell on a power line.

This morning the sun is shining . . . at least we think it's the sun.  I mean, it's been so long!  Our temp is only at a lowly 8 degrees above zero as we speak.  Good thing we've got that sun!

I'm off now to bundle up, go outside and do some shoveling where the wind made drifts.  In walkways, up against doors, gates, etc.  Why is that always the way?

Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 9, 2018

I Am Excited!

It feels as though this wonderful winter season has begun!  We woke to 3" or so of snow completely covering the ground this morning, and it's still snowing.  Yippee!

It's been hard for us to "knock it off" for the winter when not only wasn't the ground frozen, but it was still sporting a lush coat of green grass everywhere one looked.  (It could even have been mowed for a final time.  But wasn't.)

View of our pond this morning
taken by me hanging out of Papa Pea's
second story office window.

I'm thinking the deer hunters will be happy to see the tracking snow, too, as last weekend when the season opened the ground in the woods was littered with crunchy leaves and dry weeds.

While Papa Pea was outside yesterday moving a compost bin to a more convenient winter location, taking down the spring/summer/fall configuration of electric fencing, etc., etc., I was inside doing a thorough house cleaning, making a big batch of Salmon Chowder and baking a Lemon Pound Cake.

A friend of ours is arriving from the Twin Cities today to spend the next week or so based at another friend's house for some serious deer hunting.  He'll stop here for lunch and a visit on his way.  The chowder with a tossed salad and warmed biscuits I pulled from the freezer will make an easy lunch.  Oh, and a slice of the pound cake with a small plop of vanilla ice cream and some haskap berry syrup drizzled over the top for dessert.

The rest of the day you'll find me with my knitting (I'm on a tear to finish this pair of socks for our daughter) on the couch in front of an open fire.  A glorious way to start the official (in my book, anyway) start of a lovely winter season.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Let's Have A Giveaway!

I made a couple of autumnal/Thanksgiving themed potholders that I'm offering as a giveaway here on my blog.

Are your present potholders so dilapidated you'll be embarrassed to let your guests see them at Thanksgiving time?

Or have you been invited out for Thanksgiving Dinner and would like to take these as a small hostess gift?

The front of the potholders.

And the back.

They are machine pieced and machine quilted.  There's a layer of heat resistant fabric, along with a layer of batting, inside so you shouldn't worry about burning your little fingers while using them.  (Although, I did once try to take something out of the oven with one of my potholders that was wet.  Baaaad idea!)

The potholders are washable and dryable when needed.

This is Tuesday, the 6th of the month.  If you wish to have your name put in the hat for a chance to win these, please let me know in the comments section before Friday, the 9th, at 9 p.m. when my computer will be shut down for the night.

I'll draw a winner Saturday morning and post your name.

Even if you've never commented on my blog before (or comment regularly -- thank you!), feel free to enter your name for the drawing.  Anybody interested??

Friday, November 2, 2018

Two Projects For Show And Tell

No time in the quilt room for the past three days.  Just didn't work out with other things going on.

But early this week I did finish a winter-themed table runner for our coffee table.

It's a pattern, fabric included, I ordered from Connecting Threads.  I altered it a bit as the size was too big for my space and also substituted one fabric I had in my stash for one they included which I didn't like.

I machine quilted the runner (thought the quilting would show up more on this close-up, but it doesn't) and the three snowflakes were machine appliqued.  Ha, the most time consuming part of the whole project was cutting out the snowflakes!

This small wall hanging I did to decorate the side of a storage cabinet in our entry room.  You see this area when you come into the house proper from our enclosed porch.

This close-up shows the true colors of it more than the first picture which makes the background look gray.  It's machine pieced and hand quilted.  I got the idea for it from a piece in one of Kim Diehl's books, and chose the Sawtooth Star block for each of the six 4" blocks.  I used all reproduction prints from my stash.

Two small projects done and completed!  Now I'm determined to finish a full-sized quilt I started quite a while ago.  The blocks are fairly complicated to construct, then they're sewn into strips, and lastly the strips are sewn together to complete the top.

When I first started this quilt (just how long ago was that?), I had the first half done and hanging on my design wall when I noticed (eeeek!) I had put one 16" block, made up of four 8" blocks (each of the 8" blocks made up of a multitude of smaller pieces) in upside down.  Was it near the end of a row?  Was it in the first row on the top?  Was it on the last row I had joined?  Nope.  It was right in the middle which entailed lots of careful ripping out and then the patience of Job stitching it back in right side up.  How could I have not noticed that?  Arrrgh.

I did make myself do the work of fixing it, but then was so disgruntled with it that I packed it away and didn't look at it until a couple of days ago.

Fortunately, I've kinda sorta forgotten how much work it was to rectify my stoopid mistake and now am enthused about finishing the whole quilt top.

Believe me, I'm carefully scrutinizing my work (more than once) with each and every step now.  Don't want to have two really bad oopsies in the same quilt!