Sunday, February 21, 2021

Alive, Well and Busy

When one goes outside on a twenty degree day and it feels balmy, you know you've made it through a cold spell.  While I realize other parts of our country are still struggling mightily with unusual weather conditions, we have had a break in our couple of weeks of frigid temperatures.  The more tolerable conditions allow us to do more things outside without risking frozen fingers and toes.
Papa Pea and I remind ourselves on a daily basis how fortunate we are and appreciate our physical location and lifestyle here on our little homestead in the woods.  Nary a day goes by when we find ourselves with time hanging heavy or wondering what to do to fill the hours.  The one disadvantage of having a full life is making sure it's a balanced life.  Seems as though we wrestle with the concept of keeping it balanced continually.
On the handwork scene:

I finally finished my latest crocheted rag rug.

It ended up a bit smaller than I wanted at only 17" wide by 26" long, because (dang and drat) I ran out of fabric.  But it fits in with my blue and white decorating theme for this time of year, and I'm happy with it.  (Even though I wanted to have it done and on the floor at the beginning of January.  Sigh.)

This little experimental quilted piece is sandwiched and ready to be machine quilted.  Like so many I make, it has had to hang on the quilt room wall for a while until I figured out just how I want to quilt it.  That decision has now been made so I'll get on with it as soon as I can.
I think I've spread out my notes, charts and lists of seeds to plant all over the kitchen table three times now intending to get the garden plan for this coming spring nailed down.  Each time something comes up and the scattered mess project has to be gathered up and shelved for another time.
Making sure I have a good rotation of crops each year is vital for our garden soil and the nutritional needs of the various plants so that in itself takes a bit of shuffling before all is to my liking.  I still have time to get this done, but I always feel better if it's completed before time to start seeds inside.
And the way times goes by, that will be here before we know it.  Right now, I need to go resupply the wood rack in the living room and the one in the kitchen.  Milder weather, yes, but still a need to keep the home fires burning.   


Granny Sue said...

It was almost 40 here today, after a very cold start. Tonight rain is forecast, which will continue the melting of snow and ice begun today. Tomorrow, more snow, rain, sleet...the beat goes on.

Mama Pea said...

Granny Sue - Looks like you're already heading into the kind of spring weather we'll have around here in a month or two. Be careful walking or driving on that icy stuff.

tpals said...

Isn't it amazing how getting above zero makes such a difference in how we feel? The snow we got this morning just begged to be made into a snowman, but I walked on by.

Mama Pea said...

tpals - We got just another dusting of snow over night. Still not enough on the ground to totally cover my raised beds. Our daughter made the comment yesterday that if we end out the winter with so little snow cover, one good spring rain and we'll be down to bare ground . . . which usually doesn't happen around here until sometime in April.

Now you get back outside and make that snowman! ;o)

Tami said...

Love your rug, MP.
Thought you might enjoy knowing that the local gardening group I follow on FB was talking about how they planted peas, carrots and potatoes this past weekend.
Too wet for me to plant just yet.

Mama Pea said...

Tami - Good grief, such a HUGE difference in our climates! Even when we lived in Illinois, the very earliest I put anything in the garden was one year when I planted potatoes on March 20th. I had a friend who said she always got the best peas if she got them in the ground by St. Patrick's Day. Last year (just checking my garden notes), I planted our peas on May 24th. (And why is it I keep thinking northern Minnesota is a good place to garden?)

Goatldi said...

What is the average inside temperature when you have a cold spell inside the house?

Also could you share a photo of your wood racks in the house? One of my biggest challenges is storing enough wood inside in a tidy way. It gets old with tree crumbs all over the area by the stove despite my best effort’s.

Also please refresh the planting tips for the squash seeds you shared. I want a bumper crop lol!

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - Well, you're just all full of questions and requests this morning! ;o) No problem, I'll use your suggestion for a blog post showing our wood racks.

Even when the temp outside is well below zero, we have no problem keeping a high 60s or low 70s inside house temperature. Of course, we have to keep the stoves corking away, but they are efficient stoves and have great dampers on them to regulate the burning of the wood. During those frigid times (and only then, we put what we call a piece of night time wood in each of the two house stoves. This piece is probably about 8-10" in diameter, solid wood and well seasoned. It's placed on top of a nice bed of coals, the stoves are shut down almost completely and will hold a fire for us until the next morning when the inside temp will be in the high 50s or low 60s. (We like to sleep cool.) Then we re-stoke the stoves and bring the inside house temperature up to whatever we want.

When I plant the Red Kuri squash seeds, I make a mound of soil in the garden and plant about 5-6 seeds 1" deep in kind of a circle in the upper part of the mound. When they germinate, I thin to the three sturdiest looking plants and let them grow out in different directions away from the original mound. You can start the seeds inside, but I find they suffer from the transplanting to outside when it's warm enough. The seeds planted directly outside (for me in my climate anyway) do just as well as those that I transplant and seem prone to transplant shock. Wait until your soil is warmed up to plant the seeds. Let me know if you need more info.

Cockeyed Jo said...

I planted my seed potatoes just in times for our first snow fall this year. Go figure. I should have known better, but the winter had been so mild. I did heavily mulch them though so maybe they'll sprout.

Mama Pea said...

Cockeyed Jo - Well, we'll just say that the snow on your potatoes are good fertilizer! Being mulched heavily, I'm betting they had no damage.

Vera said...

Love your crochet rug,....... I would love to make one as well and am I right in thinking that you did a blog at one time showing how to make it? Would you be so kind to send me the link if you have time? Thanks.

We hope to get some raised beds going when we move into our own home, and you continue to be our inspiration!

Mama Pea said...

Vera - If you go over to my right hand side bar and scroll way down to the Search box and enter "Crocheted Rag Rug Tutorial" that should lead you to what you want.

Thank you so much for your kind words!

Rosalea said...

That is a lovely little rug and your pretty quilt is so cheerful and spring-like looking. Finally got out my garden plans, which I made last fall, and got some seeds ordered that I needed. Some of the seed houses are restricting access to their portals because they are overwhelmed with orders! We got a nice deep layer of new snow over the last 24 hours. Lots of shoveling and aching bones this morning! Did you get any more snow? said...

The rug looks so perfect. Mind seem to come out a little out of shape. I keep your turtorial on the rag rug. The quilt looks very nice. Looks like your having fun with your hand work! Can't believe the month of March is in a few days! Got the first shot of the vaccine today, finally ! Stay safe!!

Susan said...

Since I still cannot see the garden beds for the snow drifts, I am trying mightily to keep my expectations in check. It is raining as I type, but the temperatures will be dropping - or plummeting - to low single digits tonight. That rug is a perfect oval - how do you do it???

Mama Pea said...

Rosalea - We are still pitifully lacking in snow. Rather than getting more, it's been melting! This has been a very strange winter in our neck o' the woods. I'm thinking many folks are going to find it hard to get the garden seeds they need and want this season. I, too, have heard that the seed companies are absolutely overwhelmed. I guess that's a good reminder to always keep a good back log for our own use, eh?

linnellnickerson - Oh, I really struggled with this rug to keep it from either cupping or rippling! I must be out of practice. Fortunately, it's easy to rip out to a bad spot and fix it. I did A LOT of that on this one!

Susan - You're getting your amount of snow and ours! My raised bed frames keep showing more every day. Whadda winter. As I said above, getting one of the rugs to not only look oval but to lie flat can be a real challenge. I may or may not have thrown this one on the floor several times during construction and stomped on it.