Sunday, February 14, 2016

making, doing

The beginning of Lent combined with a string of very warm (albeit very windy) days has me in full-on spring cleaning mode! I think this happens about the same time every year, this desire to fill the gap with doings - it's that strange in-between time where the pull toward the garden is still met with frozen ground and it's not quite (but almost!) time to think about baby chick orders. And yet, there's still the sense that more snow is surely due, and more time inside needed before the flurry of actual Spring arrives. So I fill the days happily tending my nest, doing all those things that if not done now, never will be, like getting at the cobwebs up on the ceiling beams. The knowledge that it won't stay this way - that the Very Clean is also Very Temporary hasn't thwarted my efforts yet - although the Very Muddy Puppy nearly did yesterday.

Sometimes I feel so incredibly busy taking care of these dear babes of mine, that it seems days go by where "nothing gets done." I have to capture these fleeting times where I'm in a groove and (perhaps it's all a delusion, but still!) the list is getting ticked off. This momentum also somehow - honestly, I have no idea actually how - has given me a little more time for crafting and a little more energy to put toward learning new skills. I even got a little sewing space set up for myself! I bought a sewing machine at a deep discount years (yes, years) ago but never moved beyond threading the machine. My husband actually saw a spot where I might set up a sewing table, and knowing how much I've talked about wanting to learn, declared "It's Time." Ah yes, and so it is!

(We've been reading a lot of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, which makes me want to write in run-on sentences, use the word "which" too often, and capitalize things which Ought Not Be). The desire to finish a quick, easy project led me to knit this stuffed sheep when I needed a rest from the intense intarsia vest knitting. Which I finished by the way! And which I also decided to just seam up the middle and make pullover style instead of buttoned and edged out like the pattern, and then couldn't figure out for nearly two days why the intarsia pattern didn't line up at the shoulder seam. Oops.

But I made up for that mistake with pretzels (this recipe worked beautifully). Oh, they are so good! I think I'm going to whip up a double-batch again on Monday to share with the neighbors, who very kindly gave us a couple dozen eggs recently. After what feels like a very long winter without eggs, we're starting to get one or two a day again, primarily from the Leghorns. I have two dark Brahmas who are nearly a year old and have yet to lay. I know they're slow to mature, but if they don't come around soon, I might give up on them. Although not give up entirely, as in Soup Pot, since one is my oldest daughter's most favorite chicken, the only one with a name, and quite ironically that name is "Enda."


  1. I just love this post! I really got how you were feeling just from the way it was written. Lovely!

  2. Wonderful post! The vest is adorable, and the sheep, and the baby boy:) Yeah for neighbors bearing gifts, and the pretzels look amazing!

  3. Wonderful post! The vest is adorable, and the sheep, and the baby boy:) Yeah for neighbors bearing gifts, and the pretzels look amazing!

  4. Wow. You've done quite well with that vest! An ambitious project! I am so pleased to hear of your sewing space--and your encouraging husband--and am sure you'll be well past threading the machine in no time. Having a space to get creative has been very helpful for me.

    We made soft pretzels a few weeks back--for Super Bowl Sunday--and they were so lovely I can't believe we don't make them more often! Yum! Yours are even prettier looking!

    Happy cleaning! The garden will be calling soon enough!

  5. So funny how reading Winnie the Pooh does that to us! Thanks for sharing the pretzel recipe - it looks delicious.

  6. I feel your pain. We didn't get any eggs for close to four months. We built a new chicken coop in their chicken run which I think stressed them out plus they molted. My husband frequently told them they were bound for the BBQ if they didn't get busy laying.


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