Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays!!

This is a picture I took a few days before Christmas, I believe they call it a snow dog. It was sunrise and misty snow, in some ways it resembles a rainbow. I have tried to take pictures of these before without success, so was happy to capture it.

Jim left about an hour ago to return to work. We had a nice quiet Christmas, time to relax and enjoy. Jim also did a little more work on the place.

We are still trying to make the little room off the kitchen livable. I finished putting up the insulation on the wall, I believe I mentioned that we were just stapling it up for now. Over the summer we will tear out the walls and put in proper insulation and probably a new roof on it. It is much warmer, but in the basement there is a crawl space under that room. Jim has gone under there several times trying to insulate it. He put up thick slabs of insulation and taped it all and foamed around it but we still had a breeze coming from under there. You have to climb on a ladder and then through a hole in the basement wall to access this space. I had shoved all kinds of things in the hole in an effort to block the wind. So Jim, bless his heart climbed under again. This time he was able to spot some places where the dirt was frosted so he could tell where the wind was coming in. Have I mentioned that much of the "improvements" were not done with an eye toward good workmanship?? This space is so low you have to crawl or sit. So here is my poor husband,all scrunched up mixing up cement to put over these places. It was a success, as soon as he put the cement along the one side the wind stopped. Next time he is home he will put more down, covering the dirt will make me feel good as well as warm. I think he goes back to work to rest up from all he does here.

Watching the news can be very depressing, having Good Morning America and Evening News with Charlie put good stuff out there is nice. They showed so many people doing good things, made ya cry. A young girl spending time with the residents of a nursing home, and sponsoring a pajama and robe drive. She saw them in the hospital gowns and thought they should have something nice to wear. A man giving up his job so a younger colleague would not be let go. The younger man had four children and one is autistic, so the family really needs the insurance. Losing his job would have been a disaster. Each of the stories gives brings joy and hope that others will be inspired to do helpful things. It does not take that much to do something good or helpful, just a little bit of time. (Sorry about the change in script, blogger is being naughty)

We are in a heat wave, was up to almost 40 yesterday, 21 right now. What a mess, melting snow everywhere, and ice. I even turned the heat down in the house as it is nice and warm, will be a shock when the cold returns. What is even nicer is that I will be able to get more done in the attic. I am trying to organize my craft and sewing supplies as well as my office space, slow going as i keep dragging more stuff up there.

Have a great weekend, enjoying family and all the loot Santa brought.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blizzard Warnings

Thank goodness I don't need to go out for anything. Checking the weather on Yahoo reveals that it is minus 11, -11 holy cow. More likely frozen cow. According to the little guy in the television that translates to a wind chill of -38. I know that other places are recording even lower temps so am glad for what I have, I think. Trying to take hot water out to the girls yesterday evening was a bit of a struggle. The drifts were sometimes almost up to my knees, so trying to pull the sled with the buckets of water was a real workout. I don't even want to think how hard it would have been without the sled. Their water buckets are heated so the water does not freeze in them, but I like to put fresh water in and hot. The animal shed is not heated, so just makes me feel good. Jim did help me finish stacking hay bales all along the south side of the shed so no wind can come in that way. There are only half doors which swing down from the top, so bottom half is open. The girls are all fat and sassy and have grown shaggy coats so they probably are fine. Jim also picked up a heated water dish for the outside cats, they live in the barn. I piled hay and feed bags under some stairs for them and they seem to be nice and cosy. Then we have a heated dish for the wild birds, I see quite a few coming to get drinks which is good. I had read that more wild birds die from lack of water then they do from lack of food or shelter. The suet blocks I made are also a hit so put some more of them out and bought a nut and fruit mix of seed for the feeders. The blue jays and woodpeckers especially like it, so mixed it in with regular seed and everyone should be happy.

I took some pictures yesterday afternoon to show the white out conditions. You know what they say about pictures being worth thousand words. This view is looking across the street, trust me it is out there somewhere. Driving over to pick up my share order and then to the store was an adventure. Very little traffic which is a good thing as it was hard to tell where the road was. Nothing had been plowed and I don't think I went over 35 miles an hour. Today is to be the same with higher winds, extending the blizzard alerts. We will remain nice and snuggy inside, thank you.

I had planned to bake on Friday, notice I said planned. When I went down to the kitchen I decided to move some shelves. Sounds simple right? No, I am still trying to get things the way I want them. After moving the shelves I decided to open a few boxes that I knew contained kitchen things. One crate was a jackpot, lots and lots of my cookbooks as well as two binders. One contains some of my special recipes that I used in my shop and the other one pet treat information. This of course caused disruption in my kitchen straightening as I had to browse through everything. Have I mentioned I am easily distracted?? So, hopefully today will be a baking day, the bananas are even riper which is the up side of things being delayed. It is so hard to find over ripe bananas, they toss everything out at the stores, silly!!.

Thank you for all the Christmas greetings and wishes, they make my day. For all my blogger friends I wish you days filled with laughter, love and lots of good eats. Making good memories is such fun.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow, Snow and more Snow

We have had days and days of bitter cold, finally it warmed up and now we have snow. Somewhere around 6 inches and more to come tomorrow.As you can see the dogs just hate it!! Every once and a while they would hit a really deep drift and be over their head. They were so much fun to watch. You can see just back of them where the ground is clear, gives you an idea how strong the wind was. Some areas have blizzard warnings, not sure how close that will end up being. I am prepared, food, water, back up heat, hopefully I won't have to use any of the emergency stuff. Something nice came out of this, went out to take care of the goats and found my drive was all cleared. Called around and found out one of the neighbors had done mine and the folks across from me. He would not take any money, so nice of him. Gave me lots of smiles and good feelings.

I finally finished my mice, so now they are singing in the front yard. Of course, looking at them I see all kinds of things wrong, but figured I had spent enough time messing with them. I also did over a yard sign that used to belong to Jim's Mom. It was getting a little worn, so gave it new coat of paint and slightly different personality.

This was the sunrise the other morning, I am always intrigued by the patterns the frost makes on the windows.

Hope all is well for all my friends, lots of good plans for the holidays.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside

As I write this it is 9 degrees and I am not sure what the windchill is, but I do know this, it's cold!!! I bundled up in one of those jumpsuit things that you see the guys wearing. I bought it on ebay so we would have some extra for the cold weather. Now it is back to the drawing board as this one will not work for me, it is too short in the torso, does not allow for any curves and was not all that warm. My plan was to take the dogs for a nice long walk, allowing them to use up all their excess energy. The walk was cut short as I was getting really cold. I took off my glove to click on the dogs leashes, had to hold my hand under warm water to thaw it out.

Once back inside and somewhat thawed out I decided to tackle putting film over the dining room windows. Bad idea. The windows and frames were so cold the tape would not stick, and when I finally got it somewhat stuck the flim would not stick to the tape. I brought down my hairdryer to warm tape and film up, this sort of worked but then the wind picked up more and blew the film loose from the tape. Mind you, I am inside the house doing this. I used the hair dryer to try and warm things up and it worked to some extent. Of course I burned up the silly thing, so now on my to do list is new hair dryer. I finally stapled a large sheet of the film over both windows and was done with it for now. Informed my husband that his job for the weekend was purchasing 3 more storm windows and putting them up.
Quite often I mention projects that I am starting or working on. Ususally I either forget to take pictures or get off track and do not finish. So, I am trying to be good here and show you what I am working on. I have mentioned on several occasions that I do not like the kitchen. Very near the top of my wish list is the gutting and doing over of the kitchen. The cupboards are done in this dark wood which adds to the overall cave like feeling of the room. The other day I had an urge to brighten things up, and here is my start. It is not finished yet, but as the spirit moves me I will finish my sunflower and eventually have flowers on all the doors. The door next to it has the start of some purple tulips and a butterfly, on the other side what I hope will be a branch of lilacs. You probably get the idea that I work quite often on impulse rather then having things carefully planned out. I do find with my artwork that if I force it, the end result in not to my liking.
So, on that note I leave you for now.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

This and That

I was trying to get a picture of Molly so you could see how much she has grown. The big challenge was getting her to stay still long enough. Today Molly is 6 months old, in some ways she is larger then Charlie, her head is larger and she is longer and almost as tall as he is. I wanted to get pictures to show the contrast but he was off chasing birds in the woods. Jim was talking to the man we got Molly from and mentioned how big she was getting. Andy said , "Well, you remember how big her dad was don't you?", then it dawned on Jim, the monster dog. Apparently Molly's father was about the size of a Great Dane. Good thing that we are working on manners training for her. Maybe I can make a harness for her and she can pull me around the yard.
Speaking of harnesses, my friend Carol from Minnesota was kidding me about harnessing up the goats. I went on line and found that it is a big deal. They have a wide variety of carts for the goats to pull, many kinds of harnesses and clubs to join. One site even mentioned a cultivator for the goats to pull. There were pictures from the early 1900's of children with their goat carts, then I remembered that I had seen pictures in the past of that. In the clubs the people dress up in period costume and drive around in their carts. These are not just everyday carts either, think mini carriages and covered wagons. They did show a 4 wheel garden type wagon that had been converted so that it could be pulled by the goats. I am thinking that will be a big help as I go around the yard picking up sticks or planting and hauling garden supplies. Presently I use one of the mowers, so am using gas, polluting the air and have to climb off and on the mower all the time. Having one of the goats pull the wagon will give me exercise and be green. Laura had talked about having goats pull wagons and I had wondered about it, but then it floated on out of my head. Things tend to do that, float in and out of my head.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, lots of leftovers and love. Jim was home and that was super, but then he had to leave early as one of his mechanics was ill. It was all in all a good time, lots to be thankful for. I try not to take things for granted and really appreciate all that we have and are able to do.
I leave you for now, wishing you peace, love and your hearts desire.