I’m a groupie

Not sure if that is really a word or not. But after joining an online crochet group, I am learning a thing or two, I hope.

My first share was these lovely pillows for my daughter. Yeah there were two pictures, I just thought this one was most precious! The pattern is one of my favorites from the past year of crochet.

Of course finding the original proved a bit difficult. Who made the first pattern graph is beyound me. I tried to find it but failed. Nearly got kicked out of the group for sharing something that had a copyright. So my photo has it’s owner. ME!

It was a little frustrating to have someone answer the pattern possibility with something that was not even the same thing. Oh, well. At least it is perfectly okay to “dub” a pattern as my own if it relates to the creation itself.

Proof that there is really nothing new under the sun.

Some of my creations this past year came from old cross-stitch patterns. So I guess I may have to start writing out my patterns to share. The Christmas poinsettia was probably my most proud accomplishment. This pattern was very challenging to create. And I learned about the effect of angled overlay stitches. So the bottom half ended up different than the top. Because of my eyesight, doing this pattern into a graph is too hard. Maybe I can get my husband to write it out for me. Haha.

Today, it was a greenhouse day.

The growth in the dome is prolific. The fig tree even decided to start growing. So I cleaned out last spring/fall growth and started some more new geranium babies. I also finally got my lavender started. Growing the lavender from seedlings should be fun. I hope I can keep the seedlings just “barely” damp or a little dry. The videos all seemed to say that the grow light is the key to the lavender germination.

For a Monday, today was very productive. So much for the forecast of snow showers. The sun was out all day. So glad to be active and find some activity that really puts spring just around the corner.

Deuteronomy 32:2 NKJV. “Let my teaching drop as the spring rain, my speech distill as the dew, As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass.” Today was very refreshing. Just like cleaning out the closet and giving away our unused clothing, cleaning in the greenhouse makes me feel better. A day well spent is so very much spring in the winter.

Slippers season

Staying power

This week we spent the evenings in the recliner loveseat with our slippers on. The temperatures have reached their January postition. So why shouldn’t we take up ours. While the sitting is not winter worthy, we decided to watch “The Outsider.” It is a series created by a Canadian hand crafted log builder. I find the time relaxing. My husband choses to saw logs right with the constant buzzing that comes from the ipad.

So much for winter being a time to reconnect and feel closer together. Hubby missed all four series hours that we “watched.” Maybe it’s too much like bird watching or something. We did see a perfectly camouflaged quail though. Why a log cabin build series? Maybe knowing how one goes up the old fashioned hand-hewn way will help us in our dream cabin. Maybe.

The days though cold are predictably unfeeling. The wind does not care that the branches are bare. Fingers turn blue under the faucet. The dog does not know the meaning of below zero and my training sessions with her are limited to fifteen minutes before meal time. That makes it hard to be patient with her the rest of the hours in the day.

Staying power with my puppy has no purpose. Stay to her means two inches away. Stay when I am trying to comb her means nothing. She wants to rise up and take flight after an invisible frisbee even while I am trying to get her to relax and enjoy the combing session. I have learned much from constant attention to distraction. Sticking with some project or another involves some sort of magnetism that is stronger than the force of warmth that wants to keep me in the bed on these cold mornings. Duty calls. Honey has no sense of duty in all of the amazing sixth senses that she has. Maybe she’ll get staying power when she is old. Haha.

We are getting down to the last drops of hand soap. Ouch these poor blue digits. I hope the lack of suds and warm water to wash hands does not end up in another sinus infection. Standing at the sink to wait for the hot water to arrive certainly requires slippers or fortitude. You decide.

Along with the frigid air came the empty propane tank at the greenhouse. That makes me a bit discouraged. The last two crops have been a bit lacking and I am still looking forward to the February planting time. We may let the dome freeze off after all. Finding a home for all the geraniums might be difficult. wish I had a basement to haul them all into for a few weeks. There are eight, no maybe nine, and also six or seven other hanging planters that keep growing in spite of the lack of sunshine.

The split pea soup filled the house with it’s vegetable aroma yesterday. That makes the house smell emptier today. Except for the lotion on my fingers and the coffee in my cup, the lack of some warm vapors tantalizing my nostrils makes me wonder why the dog has to go searching for such awful smells sometimes. But a dog does not cook up some delightful stew when they feel like it. Proof that evolution is a sham once again.

Crocheting through the recent book reads passes the time for me. January is a great time to get caught up on the book list. And pick up and unfinished project. December had no time for such pleasure reading. From the Baker’s Secret to Doctor Zivago, my reading material has been so widely different that sometimes my head spins. The favorite so far was Being a Dog: Smell. It opened my eyes to what little we actually pay attention to in regard to our senses.

I feel the frigid water at the sink far to frequently.

I smell the coffee in my cup getting weaker with it’s decaffeinated grounds.

I feel the messy fur of my dog hunting for outdoors she brings in with her.

I taste the parsley from the greenhouse in my bowl of split pea soup.

I hear the cat howl after I tread on her softly once again.

I see that time has past once more into another weekend.

Just like that my mug of goodness is now cold. I ran outside with this finished shawl to get the sky in the background. There is nothing like a warm shawl to fight of the bite of cold. Maybe I should make a mug warmer. Back to the microwave with my coffee cup. Will this deep freeze never open its doors to sunshine again. Maybe in February. For now the cold wind and the distant sun will have to wear a shawl to warm up!

Pinning clouds to the sky

Today’s been a long week (7)

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so entangles us and run with endurance the race that is set before us.” -Hebrews 12:1 (my mixed up memorized version)

My emotions have been a little under the rug lately. One minute I am happy and excited about some miniature flower found in the greenhouse. The next hour the dog has paw-scratched my nose and there is no little Suga kitten to hug anymore.

Discontentment in the middle of snow filled winters can be a hard chunk of ice to stumble over. And there are a few of those around. The other day while putting all of my yarn projects in order, the weight of “having” to do something just really hit me, and the “wanna” just up and left. If have struggled with the get up and go and feel like there just might be a horse whip after me soon.

While the sun is high in the sky and the snow glares its blinding white reflection, pinning clouds to the sky seems to be my new aim.

What in the world would someone try to pin clouds to the sky for?

Well, when the sun is too bright, like during the hot summer days, a little cloudburst is just the answer. Pinning clouds to the sky is impossible. However the training mode in which we have now arrived is exactly that. Honey won’t drop a toy unless she decides. She grabs ahold of the leash and tries to yank it out of my hand. She seems to think gloves and mittens are toys rather than a cover for my fingers. Whenever I am on the phone, she demands play time or she’ll run away. Popcorn only works if it is fresh and buttery. She also has decided being with, if it is not her choice, then it won’t happen. I think she is more sick of winter than I am. This ninth month of exuberance has me wondering how to make her lazy. Once again I am feeling the discontent worm eat away.

Where does one find a place of peace and contentment when the sky moves on without the cloud that we tried to pin up there? Dreams and goals fail. Things go awry and the worms eat the cabbage. sometimes life just smells like a skunk flower ready to plant on the corner of the garden. Maybe I don’t want to go into a garden either if there is a skunk bulb ready to plant.

(By the way there really is a skunk bulb. It is the Fritillaria Lutea. It is meant to keep critters out of the garden and is often planted at the corners or near gate entrances. Get your hanky ready though! And the funniest part is the flower looks like it has a white Kleenex stuck up a nostril. How funny is that? The Bulbs are so pungent the moles stay out of the garden.)

Now that onion lore has bored the reader, perhaps there is more to this cloud pinning thing.

The kind of day that demands a second pot of coffee is long and busy. But the days that crawl by are just as demanding. Our present reality cannot be so easily checked out of like luggage for the flight. Putting the chores on hold until the weekend or leaving the garbage until the morning could be just the road to slothville. Winter is the perfect time to develop a bit of procrastination character trait. The do-it-now driven personality could learn a little from the hibernaceous creatures. With all the winter bugs there are to catch, being lazy and turning in for bed early might actually keep health as a focus. But sleeping and finding snooze too many times in a row, might best be left for the weekend.

Pinning doilies to my doily board is much more successful. My sister made a square one out of insulation board. but having so little wall space, I decided that using the largest embroidery / quilt ring would work for me and then it would be easier for my blind-self to hang it on a hook behind the library door. This cozily below was made from a ball of thread I rescued from the winter snows behind the house. Who put it there is quite a mystery. I still think Honey stole it alon with the roll of stamps that “cleaning” day awhile back. The doily turned out very pretty.

This morning we were finally successful with learning “Drop.” Honey ignores us grandly for the last few months on this command. Last night we put the soft in house flyers up where she could not chew on them. So with a hand full of popcorn, I brought out her favorite toy ever and began a training session. While in my book hands-on-hip means exasperated and angry, apparently she got the signal today to finally drop the frisbee so that she could play ‘our way.’ After five minutes and over a cup of popcorn, she dropped the cloth disc every time! Wow!

Success often comes after difficulty. This winter has been a cold one. Though it was too cold for many things to grow beautifully in the greenhouse, the lettuce that I planted directly into the grow bed finally decided to pop up. The sun can be convincing. Weeks that feel like months, and days that feel like weeks while demanding more than one pot of coffee can wear on the spirit. But do not be dismayed, victory comes for those who persevere. Patience really is a virtue.

Pinning clouds up in the sky would just block the power of the sun to help my plants grow anyhow. I’m not quite ready for the shade cloth days. Spring will be here soon enough with it’s wet puddles and muddy paws.

Tomorrow’s garden

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow -Audrey Hepburn

While preparing for the first cold snap that our enclosed garden would face, we spent evenings in the greenhouse sealing up the air leaks and getting the pond prepared to add its warmth to the environment.  This view of the dome lit up from the lamp within was worth taking a moment to photograph.  And of course the moon in the distance was spectacular that night. 

The garden at night in the country isn’t usually a place you want to be. During the summer the bugs are so numerous that we say, they’ll eat you alive. My vision door the garden in winter is no longer a place to pile the snow.  Tomorrow’s garden will be a warm place away from the bitter winds. 

Today’s garden is a storage shed filled with the supplies for the grow beds.  We measured our cubic foot area on Sunday and made a decision to begin filling the beds.  While learning about what different soils to best grow different veggies and herbs I have watched so many news stories about winter greenhouses that sometimes I feel booksnart and experience poor. 

Tomorrow’s garden will feed more than just the two of us.  Blessings of yesterday’s garden gave us enough canned goods to overflow our shelf space.  Though why it’s called canning when we put them in jars is still a puzzle.

Today’s garden holds the promise of spring.  The snow is swirling don the driveway as I walk back from the mailbox in the previous photo. That view gives me such hope for tomorrow that Audrey Hepburn’s quote rings through loud and clear. 

Inside the greenhouse the mum is laughing at the cold wind. “Spring is coming soon!” Cries the green foliage of my chrysanthemum.