Hello everyone: I had to take a little break from some social media. And I'm back, with a few good things as of late:
Denise and I went to see Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Cleveland Museum of Art two Sundays ago. It was absolutely fantastic. I never got to see his work in person back in the '80s. Gosh he was (we were) so young then!
I stopped by the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse on the way - what a serene and sweet place:
A few years ago, I promised myself that I would either use up a bunch of fabric I have sitting around, or donate it. So I started my first scrap quilt. I am going to make a few minor changes to the layout, and I am a bit nervous about sewing it - I am not at all precise so we'll see how it turns out. I also promised myself that I wouldn't buy any new fabric, and I did keep that promise. All I bought was spray basting and batting. Once it's done, I'll post the finished quilt. It's quite small - only 9 - 5" blocks by 10 - 5" blocks - it (will hopefully) fit on a piece of fabric I have had for years that I'm using as backing:
Another thing I have wanted to learn for a long time was fair isle/color work/stranded knitting. So I am knitting this hat - the pattern is here and yarn by Candice at The Farmers Daughter Fibers who I happen to follow on Instagram. It's quite fun and I'm happy how it's turning out! Since it's my first time, I am really twisting my yarn a lot so I'm knitting very slow. Between the quilt and the knitting, I am checking the news less often, which is good for my mental health. (I'm still making phone calls, writing letter, etc, though)
And last but not least!! Happy Valentine's Day (early) to us!! A darling new flock of chicks!!! It's so good to have chicks again - been too long (I think it's been over two years since we have had chickens Robert reminded me that it has been three and a half years since we have had chickens! Wow). We named them (and this is not in the order of the photo) Bettie, Hettie, Lettie, Nettie - and Myrtle! (I cannot stop laughing when I say "...and Myrtle!"). Beware that I'll be boring the pants off of you all by posting lots of photos of them in upcoming blog entries :)
EDIT: If you have never seen a baby chick fall over falling asleep - well, you have to!! When we first had chickens, and saw that happening, I thought the chick had died. Now I am laughing all the time when I see them do it. Ahhh good things :)
Friday was spent cleaning out the garden plots and potted annuals. I know I am supposed to scrub all the empty flower pots but we'll see if that gets done. I also need to put some old chicken litter on top of the empty garden beds (we haven't had chickens for a few years, so that litter is more than aged and will be a good addition to the putting-the-beds-to-bed process).
To the compost pile.
Last of the geraniums
The non-profit event was a success last Friday night, and I'm getting back to 'normal' work life. Pottery class is going well, and it looks as though the hand-building class in November is a go.
Oh, my 'scarecrow' won first prize in the category "Backyard Weeds"! I did not know that was a category when I made it. Seriously, I didn't! (Some of you know that I worked for the nursery where the Scarecrow Fest is held, but since I didn't work there in September and October, I wasn't on top of the categories) I have brought it home, and added some more hydrangea blossoms, and now it sits on the front porch, which was looking a little bare since the annuals are gone.
Yesterday, I had to unload and then load a kiln at the community arts center, so I stopped by the Farmers Market to find some spinach and chat with folks I know there. I also picked up some delicious Asian pears.
In between football and futbol games on television today, I'll be back in my downstairs art/pottery space finishing up some demos for tomorrow's pottery class that I started yesterday.
It's a beautiful fall day today - hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing Sunday!
Last night, our thermometer registered at -9 F. I was up until very late (3:00 am) because I was kind of freaking out, since two of the pipes to our downstairs bathroom froze, and the sewer line backed up (yuck!). My husband is still in California, taking care of his ailing mom, so I have been on my own for a bit. Of course, he received a call from me - fortunately there is a three hour time difference so I was only calling him at midnight! The downstairs bathroom, and the back porch, were added on to our house at some point after the house was initially built, and there is no insulation except for the inside wall which is next to the dining room. (Our house was probably built, or as I like to say 'was born' in the 1860s or '70s and in general doesn't have a ton on insulation.) But earlier in the day, when the temperature was going down down down, I heated up the house by roasting all those peppers from my bartering day. A full gorgeous quart of them, which are now marinating with oil and vinegar in the fridge.
Made me thankful that I didn't get baby chicks this fall - I would have been REALLY worried about them! We'll be getting a new flock in the next month or so. This should be the last really cold day - in fact, by Saturday the temperature may be up in the 40s! Hope everyone who is dealing with this Arctic Vortex is keeping warm and safe.
Here's a photo my husband took of me yesterday, while I was working at the local Farmers' Market. See I'm wearing one of my knitted cotton headbands!!
I'm soo behind on my own garden - and yesterday, after the Market and then after work at the garden nursery, my husband and I set to work on the trellis bean/pea bed.
D'oh! I know I planted the sugar-snap peas too late, but I also planted bush lima beans (instead of pole ones). Oh well! I'll think of this as an experiment. And that's one of our four hens, Bucket the Buckeye hen, in the background.
Just got home from work (at the nursery) - have to plant some seedlings in another bed! No rest for the wicked, I tell you!
Bucket, our Buckeye hen, now thinks it is appropriate to stand on the top stair of our back porch, peak in through the screen door (as you can see, the screen needs to be replaced - we put plastic trellis over the bottom to keep the cats and the dog from breaking through), and if she can hear or see me, yell for scratch.
And of course, I give them scratch. *shakes head* I know I know, I take full responsibility for spoiling them.
I asked my sister in Pennsylvania if she wanted some of the seeds I have, and she gave me a list.
Spent a little time this morning packing them up for her.
Knitted up two ponytail hats for a niece who's in her first year at college, and plays on a Quidditch team. Made the two slightly different sizes - one never knows exactly what size head another person has - plus she can always give away the other one that doesn't quite fit.
Went out and changed the waterer for the chickens as the water was frozen (the DH had given them fresh water earlier this morning). Then I warmed some left-over oatmeal and gave them some as a treat.
I have been working on painting the walls and floor of our second floor hallway. Also been doing a lot of knitting - mostly socks and a few hats. Once I find the perfect buttons for this one hat I knitted, I'll post a photo of it.
In the meantime, I hope everyone who's dealing with this cold snap is keeping warm and dry!
Here's a photo of the chickens, from a few weeks ago:
Today I am dehydrating the last of the garden's parsley, and cooking down the turkey carcass into stock/broth.
Here are our hens who were allowed to run and peck in our little vegetable garden today (during the growing season, I made sure the door was firmly latched) - I still need to clean it up a bit more, cover the dirt with some chicken bedding and leaves, and let it rest for the winter.
Hyacinth, Bucket and Violet (standard hens) with Guinevere in the background