Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas Week

We had a terrific snow/wind storm on the night of December 22nd.  All in all, not much snow accumulation, only 3" if that.  But the wind!  Oh, my.  Supposedly gusts of 70 mph were recorded.  No downed tree damage for us, but we did have wood stove chimney damage.

Of the three wood stove chimneys on the roof, two were affected.  The stove pipe on the stove in the heated part of our attached garage lost its cap.  No big problem there.  But the complete chimney on the wood stove in the kitchen went down.  When Papa Pea went up on the roof to survey the damage, he found the whole roof covered with glaze ice.  Ugh.  Carefully crawling where he had to go, he made temporary repairs which he feels are quite safe until conditions change and he can secure the chimney with guy wires to insure this doesn't happen again.  

The storm left a drift of snow at least two feet high, maybe more, along the south side of the house.  This meant I needed to shovel it off the deck (we keep this clear all winter as a safety precaution in the event we wouldn't be able to get out of the back door for some reason) and walkway for a good distance.  I was very thankful the snow was light and not the heavy, wet stuff.  But, yes, my lower back was a smidge bit ouchy and grouchy before bed that night.

The blowing snow made the wreath on our (protected, if you can believe it) back/main door picture card perfect.

The morning after the storm, Papa Pea was out on the tractor moving drifts of snow when Chicken Mama and her little charge stopped by to open a couple of presents.  He LOVES big machinery of all kinds and begs to sit on the tractor at times even when it's in the shed and not moving.

Chicken Mama had a new fox suit for him (He's outgrown the old one that he dearly loves).  Here she's reading him the Little Blue Truck book we gave him.  The series of Little Blue Truck books are great for little ones.  Especially if they like trucks, bulldozers, tractors, dump trucks, etc.!

I'll close with a picture of the mints dear daughter made for me at Christmas.  Each year she makes her dad "healthy" Mounds bar candies and when asked if there was a candy I'd enjoy, I told her some nights after dinner I'd like just a wee little mint to end the meal.  She came up with these and they are WONDERFUL as witnessed by the immediate taste testing.  The good news is that there is a double layer in the tin.

Hope you're all able to enjoy this coming week between Christmas and New Year's.  Stay warm, safe and healthy.  Sending hugs. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Warm Wishes to You All!

May your holidays be filled with the joy of living and the love of giving.




Monday, December 21, 2020

Here Comes Susie Snowflake . . .

Yep, 'tis the season and I have Christmas music, from classical to pop, going on the player in the kitchen just about all of our waking hours.  Nothing puts me into the holiday spirit like listening to all the old favorite carols and tunes.  My head-shaking goodhearted husband is being very indulgent, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him walking around with his noise-cancelling ear muffs clamped to his head soon.
Speaking of snowflakes, this weekend I finally put to use a blue x-stitch embroidered snowflake I've been shuffling from place to place in my quilt room for over a year.

The snowflake itself is about 5" square.  I chose a deep royal blue fabric for the narrow inner border. 

To that I added a 2-1/2" outer border.

And here's the piece sandwiched with batting and backing, quilted and bound.  It finished up at 10" square and I'm very pleased with it.  I think I know just the spot for it when my January decorations go up.  The colors remind me of the traditional colors used in Swedish homes to help brighten the dark winter season. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Blog Post

Catchy title, eh?  That's about as creative as I can get, folks.
If I feel these days I have nothing about which to blog, how come my days are filled to the brim from wakening (slowly and with much grumbling and stumbling) to having run out of steam and the need to put my body into a comfy bed (usually around the complete darkness of 5:30 p.m.) at night?
Yesterday was butchering day here.  Never what I call a fun experience, but after all, we do raise our poultry for eggs and meat.

The operation went very well with our small crew of Chicken Mama (at scalding tub above just outside the garage door), Papa Pea and me.  We did only six ducks and were done with all but a little clean-up by noon.  We tend to like the looks of the black Muscovy ducks and it's proven they suffer less attrition by hawks and owls than the lighter colored birds.  But, oh my, those black pin feathers remaining on the carcasses are, to my mind, simply a culinary turn-off!  Next butchering, Papa Pea wants to try duck wax which is said to be more effective than scalding and plucking.  We shall see how that turns out.
As per usual, someone keeps locking the door to keep me out of my quilt room.  (Or maybe that's just my imagination.)  The time I've managed to spend in there recently (short periods with lots of starts and stops) has been spent organizing my embroidery floss onto spools and into designated containers.

Methinks this is going to pay off in the future and certainly looks much more organized (duh, ya think?) than keeping the skeins in plastic sandwich bags.

Our cookie bake of a week ago was a success, and I've loved having a nice assortment of baked Christmas goodies to give to friends, but it's hard not to snitch one or two (or more) goodies from the selection at various times during the day.  Maybe I should put the tins containing same behind that locked quilt room door instead of on the cool back porch where they are currently stored . . . much too conveniently.
This week just past has been much too busy so I'm yearning to take some downtime today and tomorrow.   Someday (when I find the time) I'm going to analyze why two (basically introverted) people living on a small homestead in the woods (during the restrictions of COVID, no less) always have long lists of daily duties which are rarely completed and never need to wonder what we should do to fill our time.
Oh, bunkerpoo.  I know I have nothing, not one diddly-sqwat thing, about which to complain.  We're living the life we've chosen, in a location in which we feel safe in a myriad of ways, our lives are truly blessed and never do we experience long days of "I'm bored, Mom, what can I do?"  Right now, I am free to toddle on into that lovely quilt room I'm so fortunate to have, put an interesting audio book in the player and busy my hands, heart and head doing that which feeds my soul.  It's a great feeling. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

It's About Time I Got Up A New Post!

Each and every year, I declare I'm going to start enjoying the down time of winter somewhere around the first of November.  Don't know what happens (each and every year) but before I know it, it's Thanksgiving time and then the decorating, gift buying (or making--- oops, too late again) and baking of goodies fills the whole month of December.
There.  That's my feeble excuse for not posting here at decent time intervals.
Of course, this December and holiday season is going to be different as has been most of the year.  Way back in the first of the year, plans were discussed for our California family to be here for Christmas of 2020.  No chance of that happening now.  At least technology these days makes it easier to stay in touch with friends and family that we won't be able to be with in person.

Our decorations are all up (phew!) and we're enjoying all the indoor colors and lights and our little tree.  I always said I'd never have an artificial tree but after getting this one a few years ago, boy, have I changed my mind.  Both Papa Pea and I really, really disliked the task of putting lights on a "real" tree and finding one the right size for the small space we have for it . . . what a chore.  This "cheater" tree is the perfect size and shape and came with lights permanently attached.  Oh, joy!

This is a little X-stitch pillow I recently finished that sits on the back of our couch.  The design itself is only 8" x 8" and worked up fairly quickly using 7-count Klostern.  I'm really enjoying my X-stitching right now but am very much looking forward to spending many happy hours quilting later on this winter. 

I finally purchased the materials to organize my embroidery floss and know it will make a big difference once I get the organization done.  Previously, all my floss was kept in small baggies and it was a chore to hunt through trying to find a color number I needed.  Good thing I have some good audio books to listen to while winding, winding, winding the floss onto the holders.
There will be a Christmas Cookie Bake here this coming Saturday.  I've gotten out of the habit of making holiday candies (only doing cookies) but have a craving to do so this year.  Chocolate Rum Balls?  Yum, let the sampling begin!
Warm pre-holiday wishes to you all with hopes December is going well for you and that you're all staying happy and healthy.