Monday, February 15, 2021

"February makes me shiver...." (American Pie)



Good morning! I sit here, pre-dawn in the comfort-cloud of an old quilt... Even though our house is basically warm and cozy,  the furnace has questions about this weather. Our high temperatures have hovered sub-zero for days, Frankly I am tired of the promises I have made to my soul not to bad-mouth the weather--- ever. I ask Alexa often, "How many days until Spring?' 33, I think was her latest answer. I tell everyone I will be ready for Spring mid-March... however. when I finished my latest junk journal called "Winter Sunshine," I realized its theme would not be welcomed by any of my friends. 






I do love the sounds of the trees in winter when they offer no leafy barrier to icy blasts... I love to look out at gray or white mists with skies and earth all blurred into smoky baby blues... I love to see the squirrels jump from one drift to the next, bobbing and disappearing. I hope they don't mind... they never seem too daunted really... 






Last night I packed away the Valentine decor. My son and I treated the day almost like a little Christmas with chili summering and several presents for each other. I gave him keto treats, but he slipped me a medium bag of Hershey's Valentine mix... which has just about done me under... lol Sugar--- after months of none? My dad had a coworker who often proclaimed, Not no, but He** no!" My body is screaming the same this morning! 








I finished a seed stitch green ombre scarf, that rainbow granny afghan, and several journals. I made 35 Valentines for family and friends. And I believe I have done 65,000 loads of laundry since we last chatted. I might be wrong about that laundry, but I have done a ton! I have been sitting on an order from Aldi Instacart because I hate to bring the drivers out on the prairie with the temperatures at -6 degrees! I keep trying to tell myself they want to work, and it isn't the Siberian desolate tundra... 






We are having a new kind of coffee called "Hissy Fit Fudge" this morning. It is delicious. My son is a good sport right now. Earlier he went through his... "Only Folgers" phase. lol... bleak times indeed. I have packed away the cardinal mugs and welcomed my extra-generous and lovely Pioneer woman cups for a few weeks. 





It has been ten days since my last big battle with Vertigo. I blamed sorting boxes on the floor, but newer research says dry sinuses and dehydration can cause it. So out in full force came our little fox humidifier... He is a fogger! Well, Bingo! Fingers crossed. Vertigo is so unwelcome, right? 




My cat lives either on my lap or tucked high up where heat has risen to her comfort level... These old wooden floors are chilly on her little "beans. "





Have a cozy week. 


Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, January 25, 2021

I'm here...

Oh, my... Talk about AWOL! I have not posted in a while because frankly, it has not been very attractive around here... except my kitchen. It has become my life's guiding star to go to bed with a clean kitchen. My son is on a roll, and I will not even cringe because I want him to continue!!! However... while his room is becoming that spare, lean, clean, "NASA meets Rambo" thing he has going on., I have not decided to become minimalist just yet... lol... Shocker!  

 *I tossed together a Valentine tree and decorated a small bit of the house.. more on that later.


We donated this dresser, and I  had my hauling crew take some dolls and keepsakes to a room I plan to transform this summer. Right now? It is pretty promising to become a doll room. However... I wish for some help from my Amish magic workers. I have to wait on COVID... aren't we all waiting on that?

So I have been reorganizing my art and craft supplies... my Studio is going to be so fun! I moved in a huge hutch with a lot of Mom's dolls and favorites... Actually, I hate to share any photos because they all look like this! Trust me... Good Lord willing, this week will see a transformation in there. 

My son, However, announced we were doing the hall closet this week. He plans to tote it all to the kitchen---  a huge cavern loaded with decades of stash... I am secretly hoping he loses just a little steam until I can catch up. 



So More of this (hopefully categorized and stashed) later. In the meantime I have been so blessed with flowers! My cousin called last Sunday to say she had a porch delivery. Soon I saw her standing there with a huge bouquet of Astamaria lilies! I love those and was able to replace the roses I had bought a couple weeks ago. Beautiful! We are missing our sit and chat coffee parties at my kitchen table. 


Then my son surprised me with an early Valentine gift of two dozen roses delivered by UPS!!!! He said he forgot to check the box for delayed February 14th delivery, but I am fine with some early cheer. I think it is the first time for me to get two dozen roses! My son's dad bought me a dozen when we had our little boy (almost 40 years ago), and my dad bought me a dozen when I retired the first time (around the turn of the century! lol)... These roses are so huge and lovely!




Big breakthrough! I chose a really pretty quilt my mom had cross stitched, and my grandmothers had both set together and quilted.  -----And I am sleeping under it! I came to that decision when I woke up cold and rather cranky this past week... You know?  I am the last girl, last handwork appreciator, last sentimentalist in this long, long line of women... I have just been  reading through some letters from my classmates this week who all had some real, alarming and sad medical problems.  I just decided
it was time... 




I cannot tell you how warm and cozy -- how like a cloud of memories and love --- this quilt just wraps me in the memories I have of watching Mom, Ma, and Gramma work with their hands. It rather feels like a hug when I fluff it over my shoulders at dawn... In this lonely time of COVID, I really can use the comforts of that kind of embrace.

I've been crocheting up a storm... I finished this little baby afghan for my friend's new grandbaby coming today!  After I know the gender, I will order a little outfit to go along with it...  (She just texted it's a boy! Little Alec joins his big brother Braxton!)




And I decided to do a cheerful granny block afghan with all kinds of summery colors... just for the joy of it! I do grannies because... I love them... and they are just perfect automatic stitching for watching tv... 




Icy weather again this week, so ....I made a new recipe on Sunday for

  Keto Tuscan Soup



Oh, my! It warmed our spirits and has been added to our rotation of menus! 

Ingredients:
1 # sausage
2 tomatoes
1/2 c. sun dried tomatoes
1 onion
garlic
Italian seasoning or parsely, thyme
6 c. chicken stock
fresh spinach or kale
2 c. heavy cream
salt, pepper to taste

Directions:
I browned  a pound of medium breakfast sausage (It called for spicy Italian, so I added a pinch of red pepper flakes)

Drain, and add a diced onion, 2 T. minced garlic, 6 cups Chicken stock, 1/2 c. chopped sun dried tomatoes, 2 chopped fresh tomatoes, 1/4 c. Italian seasoning...  I simmered all that about 30 minutes 

I added a whole bag of fresh spinach and 2 c. cream after I had turned the heat super low.  Salt and pepper to taste (I had used stock with salt so mine didn't need a thing in my opinion.) I would have maybe added cannelloni beans and a thickening slurry if I had not wanted it keto... but it was fine without... 

Add a generous amount of Parmesan cheese at serving time. I like to use both kinds (shredded and powdered) for each bowl. 

Have a super week and stay safe!

 

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Whew!

Well, this year has been whizzing by in a fashion of blurring days and nights, cleaning, laundry (always laundry!) and decisions. I started the project with some excitement. It seemed perfect to have stacks of "stuff" brought out to the kitchen... However, as I clear one load and look about the kitchen with a sense of order and satisfaction, it is with a sigh I realize tomorrow will bring yet another mountain of "treasures." My house, as you shall see, is a maze of stacks and boxes waiting for the big move to another level.

Last night I decided I had forgotten to have supper. I know, right? That is not something I ever do. (Obviously). I sneaked into the kitchen and made a little Sandwich Skinny with chicken and pepper-jack and stone ground mustard. I wanted to sneak so my kitty didn't see... and beg... and pester... and finally be given even one bite. She never asks my son because he refused to ever give in... But, you guys know me. I give in, of course.... tiny bits of the best part on her own little napkin...  Well, I was super quiet, and she did not come in to the kitchen. I slipped into bed and took a bite. Yes. I eat in bed and watch TV, YouTube, and movies on my computer. (Remember. Whimsy!) So far, so good. I took a bite, and then... how spooky. I felt watched. 



"Do the right thing!" she whispered. So I shared.

------------------

My son once said, "Mom, if the world ever needed blankets and covers to save the planet, they would come to you." Yep. The higher the stack, the happier the kitty. She looks like those pictures of "The Princess and the Pea." 


And finally  Do you remember the big catastrophe of breaking my great-grandmother's china doll? I told about it here...  Well, she was stored in a bag deep in the closet being emptied. I have since told my cousins who didn't seem to recall the doll or hold it against me that I killed her. I started to examine the pieces, but they were tiny, twice-trashed flecks of porcelain china dust, and I threw her away... Except oh, that dress! and that beautiful body with china hands and feet... I couldn't. Santa is so mad at me that he said he was going fishing until I found a better spot for her... She is eerie in the corner of my living room, for sure. I think I might "lose my mind... up in here... up in here." She said with a sigh... (and she would be in good company. Whew!


Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Have a Lovely Weekend


I decided to reward/comfort myself with six roses from Aldi's... ($6). I remember the day my dad bought this Dr. Zhivago music box for my mom... It was about 1967, and we had just seen the movie at the theater. I was about 12 or 13 and did not follow the history, but I loved the snow, the eyes of Omar Shariff, and that music... Still sorting through the contents of my mother's room. Luckily my son brings it out to the kitchen... and of course, Miss Callie is so much help!  Weather hovering in the clouds between 18 and 32. Good time for cleaning and dreaming. 






Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

I Absolutely Lied... I guess...

Just a quick post to update you about a lie I told... Mainly to myself because I believed it! I have stayed out of my son's room for the three and a half years he has lived here. One afternoon in 2019 I ventured in to create a little order, but... mainly I have focused on my own mess and let him do or ignore at his own discretion. However, I have told him repeatedly his closet was empty. I also told anyone who asked that I had dealt with all my mom's clothes the first week after she died. Everyone seemed a little surprised but agreed it was a good thing. I felt so relieved of that burden. 


Cut to today. My son is really getting serious about emptying his room. He told me earlier he didn't think I was right about any of that... so I did what my mom always did when she thought she was right. I bet him a hundred dollars. Um... You cannot imagine the stack of clothes he brought out to the kitchen... All manner of shoes and sweaters and tops and coats... All of it. I was telling a friend how shocked, and she said I must have done something with the sack of clothes from the hospital! I don't know... But here were the little suits, the familiar, the new with tags, the old with stains... the whole 900 yards of usable fabric? donate-worthy items? trashable junk? Then he started on the shelves.... and here came my Barbie stuff,  doll stands, and dolls ---- and my 4-H ribbons... I called a truce, a halt, a cease-fire. 



Not like my mother, who once actually paid my son for a silly hundred dollar bet,--- I don't intend to actually hand over any dough unless he sends in the collection squad... But ... I hate decisions, sorting, organizing, thinking about crafts vs. thinking of a cleaner house...



So... what a heart-breaking, sad, no-good, very bad day... Clothes are just so personal.




And I topped it off with a little bedtime snack of sprouted grain toast, butter and teensy bit of peanut butter---- which sounds wonderful but actually broke a tooth... My teeth are horrible. I didn't take care of them very well, but mainly baby boomer me (can't blame anyone)  ruined them with childhood antibiotics. 


Tomorrow will be a better day. Right, Katy Scarlett?



Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Fixers...

When I watch crime scenes on TV, the bad giys always call in "fixers" to straighten up the place and clean up messes. When they leave, the scene looks as if nothing ever happened. I attempted that today as I packed up Christmas from everywhere and cleaned up my bedroom. I put out the quilt from my son and enjoyed the entire day of going back to normal around here.


My son is making room for his new bed, and he moved out some more of Mom's dolls. Soon I hope to get them all relocated. but today... I helped pack up all, and I mean all of the Christmas and Holiday Barbies. When Covid finally wanders off, I will hire the Amish to help me set up all the things we've toted down to a fairly large family room. It is basically what my gramma called a "plunder room." I would auction or find loving homes for these because they are still perfect in the box (with what Ebay calls shelf wear). However, minimalism and all that seems to have drilled holes in the collectibles market. I let Miss 2003 stay out a bit... She is gorgeous! They all are! Just not what my young feller wants in his room.


So here and there are a few touches of wintry goodness.


My dear friend texted we would see the sun twice this week. Those are the two days I will probably find my mojo to dust!





Meanwhile, we do a lot of squirrel watching! Ours are fat and sassy!


Have a cozy week. Think I will get some sleep tonight possibly... 

Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

First Post



Good morning! We were watching an ice storm outside our window yesterday... The cars and Road crews are still crawling along, but the worst may be over. I just hope we keep our power. One thing I really miss would be the real fireplace my dad used to keep through the winter. It was such a secure feeling, despite the dirt and the never-ending trips to his gigantic woodpile. He loaded up the long back porch with inside cords of cut wood and he had a giant reserve woodpile farther out for replenishing when he caught a warm afternoon. We have four burners atop our gas stove for backup heat and questionable pieces of equipment here and there that might be accessible in case of power outages. It is the time of year when I forgive the power company for taking their huge aerial chainsaws and butchering the forests... lol... 

New Year's Eve I made keto crustless quiche (Bacon, cheddar, spinach and onion)... We had all kinds of keto snacks and a charcuterie for the evening meal... Then today I made Pioneer Woman Cowboy chili (I miss the beans) and chocolate chip peanut butter keto mug cake. 



I did not get my projects started yesterday, but if I get to bed here in a little bit, tomorrow will be better for that. Today was a dark one... Good for snoozing, movies, and planning...  2021 is here. 
The only way out is through.
Take care!

Whimsy and Hugs!