A weekly collection of photos from the centre of our home.
(joining up with Heather)
This week I'm:
READING (because a sweater in mainly stockinette stitch requires one to read while knitting just in order to keep one's sanity)
… brushing up on how to split my hive when the time comes
… and a yummy new book Adventures in Yarn Farming
LISTENING (because when you're on the part of the sweater that requires you to pay a bit more attention you have to stop reading and, well, pay more attention)
… to Elliot and his band-mates give a live interview on the radio
… and re-reading To Kill A Mockingbird but this time on audio book because hearing Sissy Spacek narrate Scout's thoughts in that southern drawl is just perfect – "Scout, I'm telling you for the last time, shut your trap or go home - I declare to the Lord you're gettin' more like a girl every day!” With that, I had no option but to join them.
P.S. Elliot's band has made it into the regional finals! Thanks so much to everyone that voted! This next round is a big one – nationals. Eek! If you could keep voting daily we'd greatly appreciate it. You can vote once per day until Monday at three o'clock.
We had such warm spring weather this weekend! The backyard dried up a bit – there's still a lot of mud, but at least it's not a lake anymore. I did a spring cleaning of the beehive. The girls are doing extremely well and were hard at work already. Some of the bees were so covered in pollen they looked almost entirely yellow! I think I may need to do a split this year but I'm not complaining. If all goes well I'll have two hives!
In the garden, the garlic is coming up and the cold-frame lettuce is doing well. Even though it's a wee bit early, I've got my eye on the aspargus patch, waiting for that first shoot.
Well, hello there spring! We're mighty happy to see you!
If you've been reading here for a while you know that my son Elliot is in a band called Safe As Houses. They've recently entered a song into the CBC radio's Searchlight competition and have made it to the regional semi-finals. Grant Lawrence of CBC has also put them on his 24 Standout Artists list (they're #21). Goodness, it sure does make a mama proud!
If you'd like, you can hear their new single We'll Be Dancin' here and if you enjoy what you hear would you do them a big huge favour? Would you click the vote button? I know they'd appreciate it an awful lot. If you're so inclined you can even vote once every day until the polls close on Sunday. Thanks a bunch blog world – you're awesome!
(P.S. Much appreciation to all who have sent warm spring wishes our way.I think it's working. Yesterday was incredibly warm and sunny. A huge amount of snow melted. Part of our backyard looks like this now. It rained a bit in the evening. I could smell spring.)
I've always been drawn to any sort of embroidery. I learned the basic embroidery stitches as a child from my mother (she grew up in the sixties – embroidery on clothing was practically a necessity) and have fumbled around with it here and there ever since.
The piece in the photo above is framed in Jeff's uncle's house (he's an antique collector) and every single time I visit I find myself staring at it, thinking about a girl named Mary working away at this when she was only eight years old. My goodness, eight years old! Incredible!
This past winter I was given a box of goodies that were found during an attic clean out (whenever someone finds yarn, sewing bits and bobs, or handkerchiefs they tend to pass them on to me. I don't mind at all). Within the box of goodies I found a bag of what I immediately recognized as crewel work embroidery. There was a small stash of crewel wool and three partially-finished projects (one even still had the needle in it, right where she'd left off). My mind immediately started imagining who this lady was.
I decided right then and there that even though I never knew this lady (I don't even know what her name was!) and even though I've never done crewel work, I was going to finish her projects.
With my trusty copy of The Reader's Digest Complete Guide To Needlework (practically an antique itself) at my side and of course a little help from google, I'm figuring out these stitches and slowly working at completing her art. I have no idea what I'll do with these projects when they're done but somehow they just feel like they need to be finished.
During one google session I came across this. Oh my goodness, how incredible would that be to work on and replicate those old crewel pieces in English castles! Me? I need a little more practice first.
It's been almost three weeks since I've visited this space! My goodness!
Where have we been? Well, we've been right here. What have we been up to? You know – I can't even tell you! Just normal, every day life. But sometimes that just takes up your whole day and the next thing you know a week (or two and a half) have somehow gone by.
According to the camera though, we've been up to this:
It's been snowing, and melting, and snowing, and melting...
In the garden I can see the cold frame and the lettuce that's survived the winter under there.
New things are constantly being revealed under the melting snow.
And on warm days the mud is unreal. Winter's wood ashes are being spread in and around the chicken coop to keep the smell in check.
And the chickens can be found wandering further and further from their coop to wonderful and adventurous places. You know, like the back door
or the window sill.
It's hard to tell from this picture, but this day was +10! Plus ten! I was able to peek under the hive cover and see my girls, all doing well after such a long winter, with several frames of honey to tide them over until the nectar flows.
Some days, I even get to hang the laundry outside without freezing my fingers off.
Inside, we are hopeful that the snow will truly melt at some point and a garden can be planted. There are grand plans (mostly by me) for backyard improvements to be done (mostly by Jeff) just as soon as the ground thaws out.
In the meantime, we are savouring every trip to the slopes and every quiet moment spent reading or knitting (not pulling weeds in the hot sun) because the fact that we are eating dinner every night to sunlight instead of electricity and judging by the sudden overflow of eggs on the counter, we know that one season is most certainly on it's last leg and another is waiting just around the corner.
Despite what day the calendar says it is, we are still very much under a good blanket of snow here. The sun has been shining brilliantly the past few days, however, and if you're lucky and look as hard as you can you may spot small patches of bare ground here and there.
The chickens have decided that enough is enough and have made the brave and bold move of leaving their covered run in search of the only other exposed dirt on the property. They spent all day yesterday in the new and exciting patch.
As for the rest of the yard – it may still be covered in snow, yes, but I assure you it is indeed melting. How can I tell? The patch of blue snow is visible again (Emory was dying something-or-other with blue ink one day and disposed of the leftover dye in the backyard. It was covered with more and more fresh white snow as the winter went on but now, surprise, the blue snow is back – which means we're at about the December mark of snowfall)!
Plus – we're finding treasures in the front yard, like the porch lantern that went missing (at some point it got mistakenly shoveled, along with unprecedented amounts of snow, from the porch to the front yard).
Well, it is the spring equinox today and my original plans were to get going on my list of spring sewing.
The snow is falling, yet again (I'm not kidding folks) and it's cold and grey. Perhaps a head start on the Christmas knitting is more appropriate?
Let me tell you a story about a girl – oh, let's call her Erin.
Erin plants a vegetable garden every spring and as far back as she can remember she's always planted marigolds around the perimeter of her vegetable garden (something her Oma once told her to do and we all know we should listen to our Omas). Well, one day (last Friday) Erin was starting her herb and flower and tomato seeds in the house, getting all ready for her summer garden when she realized that for some reason she did not have any marigold seeds. She went through her seed packets once, twice, a dozen times and nope – not a single marigold seed. She had completely forgotten to save her marigold seeds last autumn.
Erin was sad.
Just a few days later (Monday afternoon to be exact) Erin answered the doorbell to find the postman standing there with a lovely little package just for her and even though Erin is a grown-up and is not supposed to be enthusiastic about such things as gifts, the surprise package made her smile and she was very excited to open it! The package was from her blog swap partner and when she unwrapped it she found the cutest apron with a scalloped edge (I just love the colours Rosina!), an amazing burlap bag that went straight to use housing her latest knitting project, and a small change purse. Such treasures!
But what she opened next was the most wonderful treasure of all, for inside the little change purse was a little brown packet of marigold seeds! Her new friend Rosina had saved some marigold seeds from her garden and sent them to Erin, without even knowing that she needed some!
This summer, Erin's vegetable garden will be even more special with marigolds blooming from the seeds sent to her all the way from British Columbia! Thank you, thank you, sweet Rosina!
(in case you haven't guessed it, the above story is entirely true!)
This weekend started on Thursday evening, went straight through to Sunday, and was jam-packed with so many things it was crazy. But a good kind of crazy, know what I mean?
There was a birthday.
And the mixing of soil, and planting of seeds.
There was not one, but two shows and can I just say that it's got to be one of the best things ever to spend your fortieth birthday with family all together, watching your son perform.
Friday evening's show was out of town and the usual be-there-hours-before-for-a-sound-check had me wandering the streets of Guelph and wouldn't you know it – there was a yarn shop only two blocks away! Oh, how serendipitous!
Emory had a friend over for a slumber party and there was a lot of talk about horses,
she began her new theory classes at the stables (to complete her riding levels),
Jeff plugged away on the bathroom that's under renovation in hopes that it will be done soon (two adults, two teenagers, and one working bathroom are not ideal I tell you),
rock climbing (the kids climbed, I watched),
and I even managed to carve out a tiny bit of time for a wool blanket, a hot water bottle at my feet, some knitting, and a new book (I only got through the first two chapters but oh my goodness, I was crying and laughing and nodding my head in agreement)
Whew. What a weekend! Certainly not the laid back, restful kind that I'm used to but a wonderful one, full to the brim of goodness, all the same.
(joining in with Amanda)