Saturday, March 27, 2021

March, March, Go Away

The month of March continues to show its fickle colors.  Warm days of melting snow followed by temperatures in the 20s giving us nasty winds full of spitting snow.  One day the ground looks like it's drying nicely, the next there's a new batch of mud threatening to suck off my boots.  A good blogging friend of mine has labeled this month "Farch" and I don't know if that name is made up of a combination of February and March . . . or something else.
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Neither my dear husband nor I are sleeping well lately and we're stumped as to the cause.  Sure, there is the continued unsettled whole COVID situation which has caused so many upsetting (and sadly, even tragic) circumstances for all of us due to a myriad of factors, but we personally are blessed to have not been affected to the degree of so many others.
I'm feeling that as the old song says, "Times they are a'changing," and change is, more often than not, unwelcomed.
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It's my observation that most of the blogging world is currently suffering from lack of the usual enthusiasm and vitality.  Sad to say, you can count me in as one of this group.  I'm not happy about that, but it is what it is.
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In the meantime, please share how you're coping with the general malaise I hear so many folks currently feeling and voicing.  Your thoughts may shed a new light into someone's life or offer a coping mechanism that has worked for you.  We've gotta band together and support each other. 
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Enough of this down and droopy drivel.  I'm off to make my morning latte, attempt to shove my Eeyore outlook deep down into cold storage and have a good day filled with enthusiasm, personal satisfaction and enjoyment.  I may even come up with an interesting blog post.  Hopefully soon. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Off Kilter

Not only has the time change of a week ago thrown my body time clock for a loop, but I'm having trouble adjusting to the early snow melt we're experiencing this year.

This picture was taken of Papa Pea plowing snow on April 19th a few years ago when we had a normal winter.

And another one of the same morning showing the 2' high snow drift on our deck. 

This is the scene of our raised beds and part of the field garden today.  No wonder I can't adjust to the time of year or time of day change!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Winner of the Easter Drawing

 As you can see by the number on the slip of paper this little white rabbit is holding, the winner of the recent giveaway is:

# 10, the tenth and last person to leave a comment asking to be entered in the drawing.
That's you, LISA B., and I'm happy to send the two quilted pieces on to you.
I have your address so will get them in the mail to you today.
Thanks to the others of you who expressed an interest in this giveaway.  Happy (early) Easter greetings to you all!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Yikes! I Nearly Forgot This Giveaway!

 Woe is me.  I made these two small Easter themed quilted pieces weeks ago to offer here as a giveaway for the coming holiday  then promptly forgot about them.  Oy.
Even though I'm a bit later than I had planned on, here they are in the hopes that some one of you out there in Blogland can still use them as decoration for the fast approaching Easter season.  (Only two weeks from today!)
It's a "two-fer" giveaway.  The name drawn will receive both pieces.

The above is the smaller of the two.  It's 9-1/2" square, machine quilted and would be perfect to set a ceramic rabbit on or perhaps a fat, yellow candle.

This one is 12-1/2" square, machine quilted and if I were to keep it, I'd place my Easter basket containing the hand-painted eggs on it.  Or how about a spring plant?  Forced hyacinths?  Both of these quilted pieces can be yours to do with what you wish. 
Since I want to get these in the mail to the name drawn as soon as possible, let's make the time limit for entering your name short.  Tuesday night, March 16th, when I shut off my computer (about 9 p.m.) will be the deadline.  Wednesday morning I'll post the winner and run to the Post Office as soon as I get your snail mail address.  Is it a deal?
Enter, if you wish, by leaving a comment to this post.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

March: When Mother Nature Likes To Tease Us

We had a high temp of 52° yesterday which broke some records in our northern clime.  The past week, although not quite that warm, has given us balmy, sunny, snow-melting weather that has me wanting to stash away my winter decorations and pull out the ones for spring.
But wait.  Would that tempt Mother Nature to inflict one of her March blizzards on us?  One never knows about March weather, that's for sure, so I guess I'll just wait a while yet before getting too antsy about saying good-bye to winter.
My garden raised beds never got completely covered these past winter months.  Very little snow fell on us which we found gave a different and strange feeling to the season.

I found this shot of my raised beds taken a couple of years ago during the first week of the month of March.

I took the above this morning.  We've been fooled before thinking it's going to be an early spring because of the disappearance of the snow, even when we had more of it on the ground than this year.  But, whoa up there, even with bare ground the spring time temps have usually remained too cool to encourage an early start to gardening so I should know better than to get too excited this year.
I know we've got a lot of mud to slog through, ice-encrusted puddles to avoid and soil that will still have frost in it before the true warmth of spring will come to stay.
"March is the month God created to show people who don't drink what a hangover is like." - Garrison Keillor 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Anybody Else Having Trouble Sleeping?

It's now 2:50 a.m. Sunday morning, and I've been awake since 1:20.  This wakefulness in the middle of the night is not a new occurrence, but one that's been plaguing me for some time.  The cause?  Beats me.  Label it what you will.  I've tried to figure it out to no avail.
Tonight (this morning?) I'm trying a new tact.  Instead of lying in bed trying, trying, trying to fall back asleep, but not being able to do so, and growing more and more upset as the time ticks by, I've decided to get up and do . . . something.
Staying in bed has only caused my mind to run at warp speed, coupled with ever-growing frustration, during these middle of the night wakeful periods.
The added incentive to get up and away from the discontent of not being able to sleep is that I now have the ability to use my computer at this time.  (Hence, this post.)  That was an impossibility up until this past week when we moved my desk from our bedroom into the kitchen.

We coerced our daughter into helping.  And what a help she was.
Supposedly, it's not a good idea to have your desk and/or computer in the bedroom anyway, and I've always liked the idea of a homemaker's desk in a corner of the kitchen.  Now I have it.

So far, the new arrangement is working out very much to my liking.  And not solely because I can occupy myself in a way that feels better during these nocturnal wakeful hours, but because during the day being at my desk in the kitchen gives me the feeling of being more a part of the household goings-on than when I was at my desk secluded back in our bedroom.
But back to my inability to sleep soundly of a night and my new plan.  At this stage of my life, I don't have to rise at any particular hour (although I admit I am at my most productive mornings and love getting up early of a day) so I am trying to convince myself that I can be up and awake as long as I feel like it in the middle of the night, then croggle on back to bed when and if I feel the need and sleep as long as I want in the morning.  (Of course, this isn't possible each and every 24-hour period of the week, but most of the time it is.)
Or . . . I can stay up all night long and slide right into the next day if that is what my body is telling me I can do.
Then I should be tired enough the following night (still with me here?) to sleep like a log, all through the night.  And perhaps break the disturbing cycle I'm in.
Bottom line, I need to be more proactive in finding a way of breaking this cycle of waking in the middle of each night and totally frustrating myself by not being able to fall back asleep.  Well, my plan sounds good on paper.  Let's hope it might work.
It has occurred to me that it's a good thing I've never been one to raid the refrigerator in the middle of the night.  If I stick with this new plan, think of the calories I could pack in.  However, true confessions here, I am currently getting close to the bottom of a glass of wine which has gone down quite easily.
I'd be interested in knowing if any of you have sleeping difficulties and what you've done to deal with them.  Care to share? 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Wood, Racks and Tree Crumbs

In her comment on my last post, Goatldi asked if I would post a picture of the wood racks we have to hold wood for our two in-house stoves.  She says she battles "tree crumbs" from the wood and is trying to find a way to eliminate some of the flack caused by bringing heating wood into the house. 
Because I tend to over-explain everything, I'll start with the wood box we have on our enclosed, but unheated, entry porch.

In this box/bench is where we put the wood when it's brought by wheelbarrow from one of our wood sheds.  Having the lid closed makes a really handy bench on which to sit to put on or off outside boots or shoes.  Unfortunately, during the heating months, it's rarely closed.

Just for efficiency and convenience's sake we usually pile enough wood in the box that it doesn't close.  Often the wood is stacked much higher than in this picture.  We take the wood from this box on the porch to the two racks inside with a heavy canvas wood bag.

In the kitchen I designed part of a cabinet to hold both small pieces of soft wood for starting fires and the bigger chunks of hardwood for longer burning.  The above shows the top section with some small wood in it and the lower part empty and ready to be filled.

Gotta say there's not a whole lot of flack left in the bottom when all the wood has been used.  Before refilling I usually brush out what is in there right onto the floor and it gets picked up when I sweep the kitchen each morning.  

I don't have as much "tree crumbs" as I do those awful, gray dust bunnies.  I don't know where they come from but they must be part of burning with wood as I don't have them in the summer time even though we're in and out with outside shoes on many times a day.  One would think we'd track in more dirt then than in the winter.

                   When the wood is all restocked in the kitchen,    
                I close the door and the wood supply doesn't show.

This is the wood rack in the living room.  The top section is filled with the smaller soft wood and the bottom area holds the larger pieces of hard wood.
                                         Above is the filled rack.

As you can see from this picture of the empty rack, the flack from the wood used falls right on the floor beneath the rack and isn't as easily brushed up, but we do it each time we refill the rack even if it's only a partial filling.
We simply use the kitchen floor broom and dust pan to collect the debris.  We do the same in the area under the living room stove and the one in the kitchen as there's usually some flack there.
As usual, I've probably rattled on more than necessary and certainly have included more pictures than anyone might desire.  Hope this gives you, Goatldi, an idea of how we do it here and perhaps it will provide you an idea to implement in your own house.