Saturday, January 19, 2019

Nanook

Wind chill? -17. Eeeeeek!


I am happy our electricity is on and it is the weekend, so my son can stay cozy! My cat has developed a deeper love for me... Wait a minute. Can it be she just likes me because I am warm? Hah!


I have seen a few cardinals, although they stayed in and watched Turner Classic movies today, I think. This guy hopped right up to peer in at me Friday.


Good weather for crochet and soup, although today I decided to make canned chicken boats, which are kind of a Spring/Summer fare... Tomorrow is Sunday, so I plan to do something wintry and comforting.




I have Audible from Amazon, so I can cheerfully say it is really fun to sit with a mug of hot tea, crochet, and watch it snow.  In fact, if my son didn't sleep in the living room, I would crochet through the night. We don't have any beds (except mine) and he is rather partial to a sofa half the night and a recliner the other half. The rooms he occupies are cold as ice in the winter and super hot in the summer anyway.  


Lost a lamp last week. It was a beauty, an antique, and it just fell off the wall in the middle of the night. The blow also broke a plate glass table topper. I will give you a peek at the clean-up. The one above works only when someone slams the door just right. What do they say about old houses in winter? Aw.... we love this one, drafts and all.



I wish you cozy days and snuggly nights. The forecast is just a bit dreary for the next couple of weeks. People sure do talk a lot about the weather, don't they? Take care and be safe... 


My old friends, Tom and Viv.... I love them....
Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Snowy Days...


Heavy snow curls over the corners of the roof, and our house appears foreign to me with its shadows and surreal Alpine contours.


The big snow of 2019 started about noon on Friday and kept up the solid layering of heavy, wet drifts. We had about 16 inches here... a recent high level of accumulation. 


I had made these woolen felt coasters for Mom, so it was time to work in my new yearly planner and drink hot tea. I purchased this hot water brewer from Walmart (Pioneer Woman), and I really REALLY love using it. Dear friends in Ireland sent me the teapot... 



I feel such peace every morning as the blue hour brings the light of day to our home... The snow stuck and layered on each twig. This was the stuff of Christmas cards.



Not just a little miffed at the absence of HER birds and squirrels... She is NOT impressed with the big thumps of snow thudding off the roof. 



Poor, bedraggled faux silk flowers. Only the brownest of thumbs can grow geraniums and zinnias in January. I overheard some friends talking about me as they came up the walk. What can I say? I am not a botanist. They just grow for me year round.... like they do for Cassie Nightingale, The Good Witch on Hallmark. lol---  So much in common! ha ha! 


We put ourselves on three lists for driveway cleaning, and even so it was Monday at 1 before they got here with their Magic (and extremely costly) skid loader and blade. Our driveway is about a third of a mile, rocks a nasty curve, and lies a little low... Drifts as deep as three feet were here and there with a constant level of the 16 inches...  Even so, in typical workplace fashion, my son's boss thought he coulda-shoulda walked to the highway and hitchhiked a ride so he wasn't late. Seriously... It was just "unacceptable." lol...  Big sigh...



Weather forecasts here include another snow, some freezing rain, and a dip in temps to below freezing. (Another color opens up on my weather afghan! lol) Seriously, stay safe and warm.











Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Weatherghan/Temperathread Project.

I am embarking on a super little fun project for 2019... I want to join the crowd of crochet lovers who reflect the temperatures in a piece of work. I just don't want to do  it the usual way... (shocker!)


Normally a person does this huge blanket called  "temperature blanket or weatherghan" over the course of a year with a line of stitching representing the high, the average, or the predicted temperature mean for each of our 365 days. Now that's a blanket! I don't really want a king size blanket that weighs 30 pounds... (almost!) I also do not want to buy that much yarn, but I do just love weather....and my fidgety fabulous nature dictates a real dedication to the letter of the law in this project. That means if I am doing it, I want to reflect both the high and the low temperature each day.


So... I think I will commit to a series of weather projects. Or I might weave them all together in a blanket as monthly blocks with a black border of crocheted lace.  I bought some scrumptious Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn to start, and it arrived today... Looking back at the past 8 days I am past due on 16 rows of highs and lows! However, JoAnn's had some fabulous sales, and I scored 12 skeins for a bit over $26, so I just had to wait for Mr. Fed Ex to swoop in with my order.




I also chose some metal Tim Holtz charms to signify the months and the moods... I can stitch those in, along with with some of my and Mom's jewelry to add texture, bling, and melody. Of course, their main purpose is to identify the months.









I am off to choose my colors and set up my first project... Already in our little Missouri climate, we've used 7 of the 12 colorways. Our temperature fluctuation here is wild. We have had lows in the 20's and one day it was in the 60's! So I have a solitary stripe of burgundy for that!....

Now all this sounds really frivolous, as if I had nothing to do. Well, shoot! That is NOT the case. I just usually get some stitchy time during the day, and I have always loved chasing the weather (from here, not like the storm chasers in  that 1996 Adventure movie Twister.) Shut my eyes and I can see the stormy wind ruffling through my dad's hair and flapping his loose cotton shirt around him. He loved to go out and raise his face toward the skies during turbulent weather. Little Mrs. Careful Fussbudget, AKA my wonderful Mom, wouldn't join him (and wouldn't let me!) I always had that mingling of worry and pride in him.

So I am caught up for 8 days in January. I found a basket for the yarn, and a book for my notes.




Whimsy and Hugs!  P.S.  I just saw a different project, and I am doing it....  instead... Fickle My Heart.... lol  I will post an update when I do that.... 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Practical Magic


I love a new year! Today was just that slow-paced kind of day that was filled with... nothing. And that was perfect, I thought. You know, the Grover's Corners Our Town kind of ordinary/extraordinary day that Emily couldn't handle...

Nobody came today, which meant  there was sure a lot of cheeseburger soup! I decided I was just too "fabulous" to stand another night in the crowded, messy, unorganized, (insert ugly descriptor here.) bedroom. No scary before pictures... You can imagine. I have alluded to the Mt. Vernon cleaning method. I read a neat book by Pam Young and Peggy Jones (Sidetracked Sisters) years ago in the 80's.They detailed the method used to clean George Washington's home for tourists. Simply begin in a corner and proceed to clean really well in a circle, floor to ceiling (pie shaped wedges), until you navigate the circumference of the room.... And of course, I move a little furniture to make cleaning seem worthwhile. I ripped out all my cabinet drawers and sorted yarn, crochet, cross-stitch, clothes, and more.





My sister/cousin made his cute pillow for me. I couldn't settle on a spot for my hen to roost. She's a gift from my sweetie in Florida. My kitty just couldn't decide if she liked that old hen or not.  That was funny.






My favorite hobby right now is crochet. It is in my nature to hoard stock up... So I decided to enjoy my vibrant stash of yarn a bit before I work it into projects. I moved my quilts (which really didn't ever fulfill my vision of what I thought they would do), and I piled lovely skeins of yarn into that
spot.



Have a scrumptious week. I have started the process called "Christmas Take-down." I don't want to finish before January 6. (No danger! Never fear!)


I had a watcher for most of the day... Guess I just looked squirelly to him!



Love this!





Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019

It is officially New Year's Day! So grey and chilled today... A perfect opportunity to have the pot of soup I made yesterday. I hope you and your family entered the new year with health and happiness.



My son's friend came out last night to wish in the new beginning. He has recently moved back to the area and had to spend the holidays apart from his wife and family.

He brought a satchel filled with games. We played Once Upon a Time. It is a game I think could work well for all ages. The English teacher who still lurks in my spirit and inhabits many of my nightly dreams....? She loved it.



I worked all day yesterday to ensure I entered new digits with no laundry... a sure sign you will not be dragging last year's dirt into your life... (although technically the clothes on our backs might qualify as laundry, and my son almost always has a stash not included.) We lit candles in 2018 to leave burning into 2019, bringing the fires of our lives and passion for living right into today. I had to smile at my interpretation/translation of these customs from my dad. He always kept wood cut for a fireplace fire. It was fun for him to "keep" a fire going for the whole winter. I can hear him joking about last year's fire (embers and coals).One year in particular we carried those glowing jewels from the old year right into March. I don't use the fireplace and would need some flue repair to build a good, hot fire. So I just nod to the tradition with some delicious candles instead.

I made a Pioneer Woman iron kettle of Bacon Cheeseburger Soup. It will really fill the bill for today's blustery sub-freezing day. I made it with what I had on hand. -----Chicken broth, hamburger, Velveeta, dried hash browns (which I love and recommend), bacon pieces, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, sour cream, and flour/water... 





My cat and my son are both sleeping in. With very little persuasion I could easily start the year with a "bit of a lie-in" as well. (My English friends call it that if they stay in  bed past usual time.)

I enjoyed a delicious cup of tea from Mt. Carmel in Israel. It was brought to me by a dear friend as a souvenir from her recent trip there. So, it begins. Hello, 2019. Be kind. 


Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A One Pot Meal. . .

I cook for two guys almost every Sunday, and I am so grateful to be able to do that. This week I also cooked for another friend on Saturday night... It is super chilly in Missouri. and the wind has been fierce. Soooooo. I opted for spaghetti and garlic bread Saturday.... and Navy beans, corn bread, and copycat Colonel Sanders coleslaw today. Easy peasy comfort foods. Right?



Well, it appeared as if an explosion went off in my kitchen... I clean as I go if I have time... It went great, and the guests were appreciative.... But even though I "looked" and soaked my beans all night and put them on on my slow cooker at 5:30 this morning, they were shocking little bullets at noon. There sat my two guests, telling me how good it all smelled... So I moved the beans to a never-tried Pioneer Woman Instant Pot (a gift from a dear friend). After a bit of technology crash course, they were done in 25 minutes plus warm-up. (10 minutes maybe). But that lovely big sink of mine was overflowing with appliances! No complaints here.

I am going to look for my mother's method of fixing steak in a pressure cooker. It involved flour, browning, vegetables, water, seasoning, Kitchen Bouquet, and a splash of ketchup. Her pressure cooker was scary, so she always herded me right out of the militarized zone. Thus, I am not sure how to fix this... It is truly fit for kings if I get it right... not wet and soupy. but moist and ooooh! la! la! I hope there is a card with instructions in her recipe file. I don't count on it because she cooked by "heart."





Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. Stay cozy and safe.





Whimsy and Hugs!