Sunday, April 28, 2024

No time to talk....

 No time to chat.  I took my machine in for maintenance and bought new thread. Things are going smoothly. There is hope.

Wish me luck, unbelievably, I am very close to having it quilted.

Hope you had as productive weekend as I did.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

It isn't going to happen...

 Meet our new alarm system.  Somebody drives by, they gobble.  We open the door, they gobble. We close the door, they gobble. Somebody walks by, they gobble.  

This picture is deceiving.  It looks nice and warm, but I promise you it is not.  The wind has been wicked cold.

We are not greening up as fast as I would like.  As you can see our alarm system is hard at work.
Back in the early 2000's, I had Black Current Honeywine from the Prairie Berry in Hill City.  It is a small winery that uses wild fruit to make their wines.  I was hooked.  It was amazing.  In 2010, I bought a small winemaking kit with dreams of creating wild fruit wines.  I planted an orchard and pick the wild berries that are plentiful on our property.  I have made 186 batches of wine, but I have never had enough black currents to make a batch of the wine that started this journey.  Today was a banner day, because after months of racking, I finally bottled my first batch of black current wine.  I am happy to say it was everything I had hoped for.
Unfortunately, not everything is coming up roses.  I have never missed a deadline in my life.  From 4-H projects as a kid, work related deadlines, to my quilting goals.  I am afraid my latest quilt is going to be the dealbreaker.  Everything was going well, up until the quilting part. Quilting is my favorite part of the whole process.  Until this quilt.  Nothing has gone right.  I have read every quilting article and watched every video that exists.  The thread keeps shredding, a possible bur, but I can't find where that might be. It could be the thread as other threads don't have tension issues, but the thread I'm using fights every effort to align the tension.  Today I did a whole row thinking I had figured out the problems, my thread wasn't shredding, all was well.  Then I looked at the back.  Hours of work for nothing.  It had started fine, but somewhere it decided to go funky.  
She graduates on May 10th and there is no way it will be done in time.  I am devastated.  I will figure something out, but not in time.   

I hope things are going well in your neck of the woods.  Have you ever missed an important deadline?  

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Spring is sprung?

I heard the frogs this weekend.  That means spring is around the corner.  The snow is almost off the lawn.  I planted Pak choi, lettuce, spinach, and peas in the greenhouse.  There is a smattering of crocuses blooming throughout the gardens.  My tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings want to be planted, but I'm giving them one more week.  The greenhouse is prepped and ready to be planted.  I moved some birdfeeders to the front as I am able to sit on the porch in the mornings with my coffee. 

The turkeys are ridiculous.  I spent all morning watching the tom's attempts to woo the hens.  Overall, the hens could care less. One tom hasn't left our yard all day.  He just struts and struts.  He must be exhausted. Sorry to show you my foot, but I just wanted you to see that my nail polish made it to see spring.  Every fall, on what I think will be the nicest last day, I paint my toenails bright orange.

My goal is to have it last until a fresh coat in the spring.  It was down to one little tiny dab on the top of the big toe, but it made it.  A fresh coat of polish it is.  
My husband and I spent Saturday exploring our property.  We found one antler shed and plenty of green.  It was good to get out, stretch our legs, and find spring.

The Pasque is our state flower.  I was very surprised to find a few of them blooming at the back of our property.  I have yet to see them anywhere else.  They really stood out with their lavender against a sea of brown pine needles.  
I love moss. Pictures cannot encompass how soft and vivid the little patches were.  Soon the whole forest will be green and they will blend in, but for now they were little flags of hope. 

I am still working on the graduation quilt.  Time is ticking.  
Have you planted anything?  Can you hear frogs yet? Do you have any snow in your future?

Sunday, April 7, 2024

In the blink of an eye...

 We came back from Nebraska in time for snow.  Things had been melted off prior to that and it didn't take long for melting to begin.

I have been seeing a lot of elk on the way to and from work.  It is kind of unusual to see them in the spring.  The bulls have yet to lose their antlers.  

The sun came out and it actually warmed up.  Life was good.
Better yet, the crocuses were out adding a beautiful splash of color to our very brown world. 

You had better believe on Saturday I was out raking and checking to see how my plants had survived the winter.  I was soaking up the sun, loving every minute of it. 
My Aunt Bonnie used to always say if she could just make it to rhubarb it would be fine.  Well, I made it to rhubarb.  I see them poking out from under the pine needles.  
The turkeys are keeping us serenaded.  The crows help also.  The crows caw and that makes the turkeys gobble.  Around and around they go. 

Then came the snow, slowly creeping up the valley.  It always gives us plenty of warning.  We can see it coming and there is nothing you can do about it, except mentally prepare yourself.

It is wet and heavy.  Shoveling isn't much fun (like it ever is). It is still snowing.  We got about a foot with another foot supposedly on the way.  Hoping the weather reports are wrong.  Glad there aren't leaves on the trees.
Of course, if there is snow, indoor activities are in order.  I found this recipe for slightly sweet unleavened bread.  I've never made unleavened bread, so now was as good as a time as any.  It turned out to be delicious. I found the recipe at:

Slightly-Sweet Unleavened Bread
2 cups of white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) of melted butter
1/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons of honey
1/4 teaspoon of salt IF your butter is unsalted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or grease it.
Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients and stir together (just a bowl and a spoon, no electric mixer necessary).
Dump the dough right out onto your prepared sheet pan and pat it out with your hands to between 1/4- and 1/2-inch thick.
Bake for about 17 minutes, until golden and mostly-set.
Let cool, then slice into strips. It should keep fine in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.

We also did a lot of bird watching.  I was surprised to see this flicker.  We usually get them in fall.  We have seen the flying squirrel a few times.  It is impossible to get a good picture of the little bugger.

There was plenty of quilting to do.  I am doing wandering flowers but have decided to add a bee once in a while.  I am getting better.  It does take practice.  
It is a typical spring with a blink of an eye the weather changes.  A few more days of snow and then we are supposed to be back in the 50's.  I sure hope so. My poor little seedlings have only had one day of sunshine.  I wish I had taken a picture.  Happier little plants you never did see.  
I am hoping you are having better weather in your neck of the woods.  Did you do any projects this weekend?  Are the wild turkeys parading for you?  Have you ever made unleavened bread?  How are your seedlings faring?  Any crocus adding color to your world?