The Steps and Knitting

Remember all the painting that’s been going on?  I finally got to the steps.  Here is the before, with the lovely green shade:

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And here is the AFTER:

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It may be tough to tell, as it is hard to get the light just right in the stairwell, but they are now black.  The walls just got a fresh coat of White Dove (Benjamin Moore) paint to freshen them up.

Knitting update – I almost finished a scarf for one of my children (shhhh!), as well as a little eyeglass case because my glasses tend to get broken in my purse.  I can’t use a case from the store as those tend to be too big for my bag.

Here is the scarf(fringe to be added):

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Here is the eyeglass case:

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I did not use a pattern for either one.  The scarf is straight knitting and nothing else – easy peasy.  The eyeglass case is a rectangle in stockinette that I just folded over and sewed up two of the edges, leaving the top open.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  We traveled to be with one of our children who lives far away.  It was absolutely wonderful.

Enjoy this wonderful season!

Wendy

 

 

 

Renovations

Yes, I have been off the radar a couple of months.  I have been working as a Gardener for a Nature Preserve and Educational Center.  This has been wonderful as I am learning so much about Native plants.  I am spending a lot of time there because there is no end to what needs to be done.  My job puts me in charge of the decorative and educational gardens.  They have a summer day camp there as well, and it is delightful listening to the sounds of children enjoying the great outdoors! (Along with the birds and other wildlife, too…)

Farmer Joel and I are attending a monthly Permaculture class, which has been an amazing experience.  Our final project is to come up with a plan to re-design a local, organic farm.  This is keeping us quite busy.  We have met some very nice people who have so many types of knowledge and expertise.  It is  inspiring – makes me want to take more classes!

We have also been renovating our beloved Country Mouse House.  Here are some things that have changed thus far:

The back of the house with the siding taken off:

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The new extension on  the left side with French-look doors:

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The new extension from the side view with siding and roof – They did such a good job matching everything up:

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There is still much to do, but we are getting there – “Slow and steady wins the race!”

And have a look at the garden:

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Somehow we are managing to grow things in the midst of all the chaos.  The extension is nearing the finish line, but then the kitchen adventure will begin.  I’m very glad we are able to do this.  We are fortunate to have a very good contractor and team of builders.  They are not just skilled, they are polite and tidy, too.

It is another brilliant, sunny day!  Off to the Nature Center I must go to do what I love best- be the caretaker of a small portion of Mother Earth.  I am honored to have this awesome responsibility.

Have a lovely, happy day!

Wendy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuezday

Happy Tuezday!

Since we moved to a different Town Mouse House, our views have changed.  We literally went North, “up the river,” for those of you who get the joke! (ahem)

It has been a TRUE WINTER this year;  more so than in quite a long time.  The view of the river is still breathtaking and spectacular.  Here is the view out of my living room window:

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Do you see all of those trees?  They will be covered with leaves sooner than we think.  The trade-off is, we will no longer see as much of the river!  Hmmm….food for thought.  I wonder if we will be complaining about the heat and the mosquitoes, too?

Stay warm.  If you have to go outside in our neck of the woods, at least the sun is shining today!  Remember to breathe deeply.  The cold air can be very invigorating.

Wendy

Funny Friday

Howdy!  Getting back into the swing of things since we got back from a short trip to see dear friends in Florida.  I don’t know about y’all, but the doom-and-gloom feeling due to the COLD, SNOWY, GRAY weather here has to stop!

Have a few laughs – you have to watch this to the end.  Enjoy!

http://blog.petflow.com/i-cant-believe-how-funny-this-is-i-am-in-tears-make-sure-your-sound-is-turned-on/

Have a lovely weekend!

Wendy

Garden Dreams

Happy New Year!  Even though I am a few days late….

Have seed catalogs been pouring into your mailboxes these days?  I have been receiving them and all I can say is that I can’t wait to get my garden underway again!

Here is one of my favorite catalogs:

http://www.rhshumway.com/

They offer both plants and flowers, which makes for convenient shopping.  This year, Joel said he wants to plant corn and cauliflower, two things absent in last year’s garden.  I have to figure out how to do this.  Corn will take up a fair amount of space – I will probably dedicate one whole 4′ x 8′ bed just to corn, but then, I read that the Native Americans used to plant pumpkins next to corn and/or sunflowers so the vines would have something on which to climb.  Hmmmm……..

Cauliflower used to be a big crop in the little pocket of Northeastern USA where we live at Country Mouse House.  In fact, every Fall, there is a local Cauliflower Festival!  That’s right!  There are rides and treats for little ones as well as flea market-type merchandise for sale.  It is an awesome celebration complete with a Cauliflower Cook-Off, where local chefs prepare and share their Cauliflower Culinary Competence.

I don’t know if our future cauliflower will meet any sort of Festival Qualifications.  I will first have to see if I can even grow it at all.  I tried it once before, with very poor results.  I am more hopeful this year, given our better fencing and critter prevention methods.

What helped me this past year was the Mother Earth News Vegetable Garden Planner.  I highly recommend it.  It has a very comprehensive list of plants, plus you can customize it if you don’t see your particular plant choices.  This is a big help because I often plant more than one variety of the same plant.  I planted 5 types of tomatoes and 3 of eggplant, for example.  The planner helped me keep track of what was where.  It works for any type of garden, and best of all, you can try it for 30 days for FREE!  After that I believe the cost was $25 for a whole year.  I think it is worth the $25, personally.   Here was my very imperfect plan for 2013:

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You can also print out a list which gives a key.  Here was my little back-door kitchen herb garden plan last year:

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If you don’t do your planning this way, then good ol’ fashioned paper and pencil works great.  I have used graph paper in the past because the squares are an especially stupendous tool for the Square Foot Gardening method.  I use a modified variation of this method.  (I don’t mark all the squares in all the beds, and I use 4′ x 8′ beds instead of 4′ x 4′ or smaller.)

Here is my sketch for the coming year:

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Looking closely, I have practiced crop rotation wherever possible, adding the cauliflower in the bed upper left, which is really lower left if you quarter-turn it once to the left.  I left it this direction because I wrote on it across this way.  Does that make any sense whatsoever?  Now, I placed corn and pumpkins upper middle, which is really middle left.  I can’t move the grapevine, hyssop, or mint.  They are all perennial.  But then, I might play with the mint a bit.  It is very hardy and will need to be thinned anyway.  Notice, also, that I have some daffodils and allium growing OUTside the fence, along with sunflowers.  We’ll see how that goes with my birdie friends!  I also plan to plant the castor plants again.  They are annual, so I have to start them anew every single year.  I think it’s worth it, though.

Again, I wish you all a very HAPPY HEALTHY 2014!  Stay warm!

Wendy

Merry Christmas from Finn

I know I said “…….until 2014,” but Finn wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

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There he is!  Wishing y’all a Merry Christmas!  Dig his spiffy new pajamas?  We got them from Pajama Gram.  In fact, the whole family got them.  I will, hopefully, be able to get a picture of all of us in our matching jammies one of these days.

In the meantime, please be safe.  Have a happy and healthy Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.  And THANK YOU for stopping by and reading!

Wendy