Saturday, March 25, 2023

Back in business...

 I am back in business.  I had technical difficulties and accidentally erased my sidebar with all of the blogs I follow.  It was no easy feat putting that back together.  On a positive note I was finally able to add some blogs I follow.  On the negative side, if you didn't ever comment I couldn't find you.

It has been a busy two weeks.  I saw the bighorn sheep today.  I was able to get a few pictures as we drove by.  The rams have really grown.  
It is still snowing and doesn't show any signs of warming up in the near future.  
At least it is tolerable now.  My husband got the ATV with tracks up and running again.  It is perfect to pack down snowshoe trails for Ella and I.
We are back to getting some exercise, which really improves our mood.  That is probably why my husband worked so hard to get it fixed.
We were finally able to use our fire table on the new deck.  I love it.  Perfect for roasting marshmallows, one of my favorite things to do.
I am making progress on the graduation quilt.  I think the border really adds some pop.  I was hoping that this graduation quilt challenge would improve my quilting abilities.  I'm not sure that is happening.  Still, it does make the winter go by.  Good thing it has been a long winter the year I had two due.
After 20 years, we were able to see the northern lights from our balcony.  Words cannot describe how happy that made me.  These are not my photos.  They are from a friend of my husband.   The lights above are what we saw.
This is what almost everyone else saw.  I don't know why we weren't able to observe the colors like everyone else.  Those pictures were only taken about five miles from us.
 

Winter is still here and doesn't seem willing to give up any time soon.  This was my Sunday walk with Ella.
I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.  It seems like time flies by.  Have you ever seen the northern lights?  Did you see them Thursday?


Sunday, March 12, 2023

Someday...

I'm beginning to wonder if someday winter is going to end.  It just keeps snowing.  More is forecasted for Wednesday.

I have a dream that someday I will be able to enjoy the deck.
Someday, I will be able to get in the Tomato Taj Mahal.  The lower door is iced shut right now and one must wade through waist deep snow to get to it.
I did and opened the top door to peek in.  I wish I could climb inside. 
It is a mess in there.  Someday, I will be able to get inside and tidy it up a bit.
Someday, I might even be able to plant some lettuce and spinach seeds.
I suppose I should be happy the snow is keeping me inside because someday I need to finish my graduation quilt.
I'm done with the feathers and so disappointed in myself.  I can't fix it so I need to keep moving forward.  The flying geese around the outside is next.  It must be an omen as the geese have been flying over.

Oh well, someday it will be hotter than heck outside, I'll be exhausted from trying to keep up watering everything, and I'll be wishing for winter.

What someday are you hoping for?


Sunday, March 5, 2023

I'm back in action...

Despite constant snow, I have moved on from my winter blahs. 
We have several feet of snow on the ground and it is snowing again.  I have succumbed to the fact that it will be awhile before I can consider starting seeds.
This was actually a productive  weekend.  We gave the cabin a good cleaning.  I bottled some grape wine and made a chocolate cheesecake.  We even helped an extremely lost traveler.  Poor guy was looking for Mt. Rushmore.  That is an hour from here. He had Florida plates (could be a rental) and was terrified about driving on snow. As you can see from the pictures this isn't the place to be if you don't like snow.  

I worked on the graduation quilt.  I am a little disappointed.  I put one of the feathers in the wrong spot.  Then to top it off I had a terrible time appliqueing it on.  That is one of the reasons I haven't quilted for the last two weekends.  I'm frustrated, but must move forward.  There is one feather left to applique.  Then the flying geese around the border.  Speaking of flying geese a big flock flew over today heading northwest.
 It is good to be back on track.  Being unproductive brings me down.  Yes, sometimes a person needs a break, but life is more fulfilling if you are active.

How is your winter progressing?  Have you had the blahs?  Are you thinking about starting seeds yet?

Sunday, February 26, 2023

The winter blahs...

I'm afraid I have a bad case of the winter blahs.

I didn't accomplish anything this weekend except get a good night of sleep.  Something I haven't been able to do thanks to constant snow.  All week we had to get up early to shovel.  Temperatures ranged from -5 to -25 with three to four inches per night.

I take that back, I did read two excellent books.  They were both second books that were just as good as the first ones.  On the Bright Side the New Diary of Hendrik Groen and Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi are both very optimistic about life.  I highly recommend them.

For Valentine's Day my husband got me a S'mores kit from the North Mallow company in Minnesota.  Wow!  I love s'mores and the kit is fabulous.  Even more amazing are the roasted homemade marshmallows on homemade hot cocoa.


https://www.sugarandsoul.co/smores-hot-chocolate-cocktail-recipe/

Campfire S'mores Hot Cocoa 

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

 2 tbsp honey 

1 tbsp marshmallow syrup 

1/4 cup chocolate syrup 

1/4 cup chocolate pudding mix powder

2 oz. whiskey

marshmallows or marshmallow fluff. 

I don't have any whiskey, but it is in the original recipe so I left it. 

Wrapped up in a blanket with a delicious cup of hot cocoa out on the new deck looking for Northern lights isn't the worst way to spend a winter day.  Maybe it wasn't so blah.,.

I hope you have avoided the snow and cold.  Do you like s'mores?  Hot cocoa?  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Monday, February 20, 2023

The grand unveiling

 I didn't think it would ever happen, but our deck is done.  They worked all weekend trying to finish before the next snowstorm.

Sorry, the pictures aren't the best.  The crew worked until dark and then it snowed all day today.
We were able to get the table and chairs on it.  The grill is surrounded by snowdrifts and at the bottom of an icy slope.  Not sure when we will get it moved.  We also have a picnic table.  
This deck is double the size of the old one.  Most importantly it is as solid as a rock.  Our old one was hanging by a thread.
Hopefully, next weekend there will be a break in the snow and we can get it decked out.  Pun intended.
My bird feeders were the first to go up. I missed being able to see them from the window.

It is good to have this project checked off the to do list.  It took forever, but the contractor did a fabulous job.  We couldn't be happier.

Do you have a big project in the works?  What has been your biggest home improvement?  I hope it is warm and dry where you are.  We have lots of snow and negative temperatures in our future. 

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Let's talk turkey...

 I ran out of thread and was unable to finish another feather this weekend.  I'm making good progress, so I'm not too worried. 

It was pretty nice out.  Kelly and I did a lot of little things outside.  We had choir practice with the local turkey population...


I'm still on my cleaning binge.  This weekend I went through the cupboards.  It was much needed as I found 3 containers of bay leaves, two of chili powder, two of oregano, and many more duplicates.  I also crushed all of my tea leaves which minimized containers, thus maximizing space.  


I also went through my seeds.  It doesn't look like I will will need to order many new ones this year.  I'm still looking for the perfect sweet corn.  I also need some more bumblebee tomatoes.  They are my all time favorite.  


Are you getting ready for spring planting?  Do you order new seeds or save seeds?  Hope you had a fabulous weekend.


Sunday, February 5, 2023

I think I am in a rut...

 I'm afraid this is the extent of my weekend.  I added a feather.  Was also able to put doors on my brother's Jeep and two out of three soft top windows.  There is nothing easy about that soft top.  you are supposed to put them on in warm weather so the top has some give.  It is not warm and there is no give.  I made peach cobbler and deer stew with dumplings.  

Guess I am in a rut.  I think I will be stuck here until February is over. Somewhat like the movie "Groundhog Day."  I did pop my head in the greenhouse.  It was nice and warm.  

How is your winter going?  Are you in a rut?  


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Wintering...

 I'm actually wintering now.  This weekend I stayed in the house and didn't do much.   It was -9 this morning and every day we get two or three inches of snow.  Since one neighbor went down our hill backwards and another went down sideways, we chose not to go anywhere.  

I finished another feather.  I really enjoy the process.  I'm doing pretty good.  The back looks almost as good as the front.  That is an improvement, as usually it is a mess.
I was pretty proud of my winter meal this week.  I made some wild rice soup, homemade rolls, and homemade chocolate cake.  Perfect meal on a cold winter day.
The soup is easy.  

Wild Rice Soup

1/2 c. Wild rice cooked

4 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled

1/4 Onion chopped and sauteed in bacon grease 

1 can Cream of Potato soup

1 c. Milk

1 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Mix everything and heat until the cheese melts.  


Serve with Texas Roadhouse rolls.  I cut the recipe in half and it was perfect for 2 people.

 2 c. Milk

3 T. Butter

1 T. Yeast

1/2 c. Warm Water

1/2 c. Sugar

1/2 c. Honey

7 1/2 c. Flour

2 eggs

2 t. Salt

Heat milk in sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Melt 3T. butter and cool. Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 T. sugar in a mixing bowl and allow to bubble. Add remaining sugar, honey, milk mixture, and 3 ½ c. flour to yeast mixture. Add melted butter, eggs, and salt. Slowly include rest of the flour ½ c. at a time and mix well. Let rest. Knead in five minutes. Add to greased bowl and allow to double in size. Punch it down, roll into a big rectangle, flatten to ½ inch thick. Fold over into itself so it is one inch thick. Cut into two inch squares and allow to double in size. Bake at 350ยบ for 15-20 minutes.

The chocolate cake recipe is here:

https://iambaker.net/chocolate-craving-cake/

It is a good time to stay inside, take a nap, and eat well.  Hope you had a peaceful week.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Perfect...

I relaxed this weekend.  My only project was oiling the wooden countertops and wiping down the cupboards.  Each weekend I managed to seriously clean a part of the cabin.

Progress on my second quilt was an enjoyable way to spend the day.  My goal is to add a feather each weekend. I have two feathers appliqued on.  Four more to go.
Probably my favorite part of the weekend was my husband dusting off the DVD player and attaching it to our TV.  We found our old Northern Exposure DVDs.  We cuddled up and re-lived one of our favorite shows.  Something was hooked up wrong and the picture was black and white, but it didn't matter.  It was nice to watch a show that was positive, entertaining, and quirky.  Marilyn's character cracks me up.  She can't say a line without that little smile.
I also finished reading The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen.  I absolutely loved it.  The author does a fabulous job of explaining the key to life.  I looked up the author and I guess it is a bit of a mystery.  He hasn't revealed his real name.  Once I finished that, I read How to Hug a Porcupine.  It was a good reminder for dealing with difficult people.  As the mean old principal, I deal with a few difficult students here and there.

We even managed a walk in the snow.  I really appreciated a peaceful and uplifting weekend as last week was awful.  

What is the best book you have read this year?  What is your favorite TV show?  Past or present.  How do you unwind in the winter?  Quilting does it for me.


Sunday, January 15, 2023

So much for wintering...

Last year I read Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May.  It talked about winter being a time of rest and rejuvenation.  It wasn't the best book I ever read, but her point made sense.  I really looked forward to relaxing and rejuvenating this winter.  I now realize I am terrible at "wintering.". Today will be my example.  It is Sunday a 'day of rest.'

After my two cups of coffee, I start working on my niece's quilt.  I put the feathers together yesterday and planned how they would go on the quilt.  Today I started the task of appliqueing them onto the quilt. 

After Sunday dinner, I cleaned out the freezer in the cabin and the chest freezer in the garage.  

Next, my husband and I started putting the soft top on my brother's Jeep.  We got it on, but now the doors won't shut.  We will solve that problem another day as it started raining.

I then hauled everything from the freezer to the dumpster.  I feel so much better having that cleaned out.  I found a bag of chokecherries which fit into my next project raking my wines and making a new batch of chokecherry. I bottled my sour cherry wine and I'm afraid it tastes like cherry cough syrup.  Drat.


 I didn't dare sit down or I would never get up again. My last endeavor was to make apple crisp with some of the apples I found in the freezer.


I finished reading Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. I have never been one for time travel stories, but this one was very unique. Now I'm reading The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrik Groen. So far, it is humourous.

I am now cuddling on the couch with my husband and I don't think I could move if I wanted to.  


Are you 'wintering' or are you going a hundred miles an hour like me?  I have tomorrow off and I am forcing myself to relax.