The joys of winter

Hi Everyone!

Hello to the new readers. Welcome. How is everyone doing? In my part of the world winter has arrived in force. We were snowed in over the weekend and expecting more snow and ice tonight. Hopefully not much this time. I am very tired of slipping and sliding my way to the goat shed every morning.

Our temps are not supposed to reach above freezing all day. Yuck. The wood stove is working hard! Even both of my kids who live at different parts of the East Coast are expecting significate icing tonight. One is having to spend the night at the hospital where she works and I’m sure my firefighter son will be busy with wrecks and possibly space heater fires.

I have been trying my best to use my winter confinement wisely. We won’t discuss the cookie baking and biscuits and gravy that have been happening! I finished the blouse I had started last week. The original plan was for long sleeves, but I did not have enough fabric so it became a summer blouse. I am happy with the pattern (the fabric was a beast and I will avoid such slipperness in the future) and am planning a dress in the future from it. If anyone is interested, it is the Rhapsody Blouse & Dress from Love Notions pattern company.

I am still working on DH’s sweater and am playing a serious game of yarn chicken. There are going to be some creative sleeves on this baby if the beige yarn runs out too early. Sewing and knitting have their share of drama! I am using the Flax pattern from Tin Can Knits, but not doing the garter panel on the sleeves.

For a long time I have been wanting to learn stranded colorwork, but have been intimidated. I have enough trouble controlling one ball of yarn much less multiple. But the time has come. I am joining a Knit Along in February to see if I can master it. I have visions of Fair Isle sweaters in my closet, but I’m starting with a hat. I will let you know how it goes.

Artwork is limited because it’s just too darn cold in my attic studio. I am still slowly working on a drawing. If I get this post done soon enough I am going to work on it today. The puppy is down for her nap and I have a heck of a time accomplishing any detailed projects when she is awake. We see glimmers of hope that she will eventually become a big, squishy puddle of pit bull lazy in the future, but we aren’t gonna be there for months yet. She is losing her baby teeth and that has been exciting. I haven’t had a puncture wound for almost a week now!

That’s about it from the frozen wasteland of North Carolina. We won’t discuss the mud levels either when the ground thaws. Double yuck.

Stay safe and warm out there!

Faith, Hope, Love and Peace,

Christel

Hello 2022!

Hi Everyone!

I’m pretty sure some people gave up on me. I have been missing since mid-October so I can’t say I blame them. Life got CRAZY. My last post was on October 21st. Halloween weekend we took off to South Carolina to visit my daughter and her family. Their neighborhood is something to behold on Halloween. We didn’t get to go Trick or Treating with my grandson, but we had a nice visit and took in the ghosts and goblins.

The following weekend we hosted our annual family chicken stew. I pulled it together this year, but not at the level that I have in previous years. Normally I have the weekend before to get the last minute stuff like decorations and games for the kids, but barely got the food this year. For the record, I do not consider myself an Event Planner. I enjoy the people, but not the planning.

Our chicken stew was on Nov. 4th. On November 5th we went and picked up the newest member of the family. Meet Miss Phoenix aka Pheeney. I couldn’t stand it without a dog. It was too quiet in the house and I was getting depressed. I had Dinah, our niece’s dog, but honestly any dog that weighs less than 15 pounds just doesn’t count as a dog in my world. Dinah is also very squeaky and needy. Phoenix is a American Pit Bull (though we do not know what Daddy was) and is probably going to top out somewhere between 60-70 lbs! DH and I just adore her. She is smart, full of personality and very snuggly. If we can survive the puppy stage Phoenix is going to make a great dog. Right now we are in the toddler stage and having to take her out once or twice a night and keep her entertained and out of trouble. We are exhausted!

The following weekend DN was supposed to be gone on a trip so DH and I planned a weekend of fun for us. Then the trip got canceled. Well, she’s old enough to take care of herself for a while now so we packed up the pup and went hiking that Saturday morning. It was a gorgeous day and Phoenix made the 3.5 hike mostly on her own four feet. Saturday night DH and I went to a local theatre and saw the band Sythian. We NEVER get to go out to see live music so this was a huge treat. A much needed evening of fun. If you haven’t heard of them, look them up.

November 19th was the long awaited graduation of my son from the firefighter’s academy. DH and I loaded up the car with the pup and my ex-mother-in-law (we are still good friends) and headed to the coast of North Carolina. DN had the opening night of her theatre class’ production of Frozen Jr. She stayed with my sister and BIL who also got her where she had to be on time and was in the audience for opening night. At the same time we were sitting outside for the graduation freezing body parts off. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but you just don’t think the coast of NC could be that freakin cold.

After a nice celebration dinner we headed back to our Airbnb, got up the next morning and toured the house my son and his girlfriend were closing on three days later. I’m very proud of them. They have made some serious lemonade out of lemons in the past two years.

Back in the car before noon for a 4 hour drive home and settled in the pup, dropped the niece off at the school, a quick dinner and off to see her in the play. By this point we are thinking we are getting too old for this kinda crazy schedule and by the next week our bodies were telling us the same thing. It started out as a head cold that put DH to bed for Thanksgiving. My daughter and family came in, but he didn’t get to enjoy the fellowship. I served him Thanksgiving in bed.

By the first week of December I had the head cold and we were both on our way to bronchitis. Yes, we tested for the CV19 and it was negative. The rest of December we struggled to just do what we had to do. DH worked, slowly. I managed minimum decorations. DN took on most of the Christmas goodies. We got through but I can’t say we were thriving. Let’s just say there are a few Christmas presents that have not been given yet. They may be Valentine’s Day presents!

So, that’s where I have been. We are fairly recovered, but I don’t yet have my normal energy level back yet. It was fun and we got to spend time with both sides of the family, but I’m ready for life to slow down and get back to normal.

NEXT WEEK (as long as crazy doesn’t set in again) I will fill you in on my 2022 plans. Wishing you all a wonderful 2022. I can tell you that my one resolution this year is to take things a little easier and add in more fun. I worked too hard last year.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace and Peace,

Christel

Puppy photo credit Hope Animal Rescue. House photo credit Sam Hittle.

Babies, Puppies, Flowers and Bees

Hi Everyone,

Yes, I went MIA last week. I believe I mentioned that we would be keeping one of our grandkids over the weekend. What I did not know until Thursday (when I normally write my posts) is that their new puppy would be coming along too. Now, I can usually juggle normal chores with a baby, but a baby and a puppy is a whole different thing. Add to the list that the puppy has some health issues and requires medication and baby + puppy = full time job. So last Thursday I went into high gear to finish any major projects/chores before Friday evening.

Even with DH and DN to help out, we had our hands full because the puppy kept us up several hours Friday night. Saturday we were exhausted all day but you can’t rest much with a baby and a puppy. Luckily both got a nap or two in. The baby was easy peasy the whole weekend. She was just the normal active 9 month old cruising the furniture and crawling around. The puppy on the other hand was cruising around trying to find more things to get into than the baby. He especially seemed to like chewing on our kitchen cabinet pulls! If you have ever had a baby/toddler and/or a puppy you know that if you can’t see them or hear them then you better be finding them ASAP!

Saturday night was slightly better. DH and I were out walking puppy and our dog at 3:30 am, but we got some sleep. Sunday night there were three people and one old dog that slept like the dead after baby and puppy left. Our dog, Odie, was a trooper the whole weekend. He tolerated the baby pulling his ears and poking her fingers up his nose and the puppy not only sat down on him, but took his bed part of the time. Odie just gave me a look that said “I didn’t sign up for this!”.

This week I am in gardening mode, attic work and beekeeping. I really think the months between April – October I need to call this blog “Bees, Babies and Blooms”. That pretty much covers most of what I am doing instead of artwork. I have a list I am trying to get to, but it’s a challenge right now. Next weekend we have another grandkid coming to stay so if I’m MIA next week then you know why.

Yes, it is really this purple!

The photos are of many of the lovely blooms happening here. We have spent almost a year and a half of uncovering flower beds and shrubs and trees from layers and layers of ivy (poison and English!), honeysuckle, and wild grapevines. Under all these vines have been so many lovely plants and flowers. This Spring has been more surprising than last Spring as we have uncovered more irises, lilies and old roses. We still have more to go and I have lots of thinning to do because these plants are so excited to see daylight again that they are bursting at the seams in places.

Have a great week and I plan to be back next week, but you know…babies, blooms and bees are happening here.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace

Christel

Life has gone to the dogs!

Hi Everyone!

Hope your August is off to a great start. It’s hard to believe that school will be starting soon and summer will be over.

I got a quick visit from my son this week and his new puppy, Rainey. What a cutie and he is just as laid back about life as Arden is. 


This week has been all about dog training. My dog, Kato, has become a Master Trainer over the year.  He has managed to turn my fearful other dog, Odie, into an almost well adjusted dog.  Kato has taught both of my daughter’s dogs a good dose of social skills in the limited time they have visited and he taught Rainey the fine art of tug this week. Kato is also Master Tugger and never loses that game. Kato lives for the tug!


During all the dog chaos I decided we should go ahead and bring Miss L’s dog, Dinah, into the mix.  Odie does not easily make friends and has had difficulty dealing with small dogs in particular. Now why would I do this you ask?  I have learned that when Odie is overwhelmed with new people and/or dogs he just gives up his bravado and hunkers down to watch the insanity around him.  Dinah is too small to continue living outside, especially out here where she would be considered a snack for some of the wildlife. 

Like most small dogs, Dinah makes up with attitude what she lacks in size.  After three days of being inside with two big dogs she has essentially convinced them she is a force to be reckoned with. Though she is slowly warming up to them, all she has to do is show her little teeth and both dogs retreat to the safety of the sofa.  This morning though, she seems to be allowing Kato to be in her personal space more and is taking some interest in playing with him. Hopefully in about a month I can post a picture of all three dogs happily snuggled on the sofa. Of course, I will need to find a new place to sit. Now if we can get her properly house trained. Miss L is learning all about doggy parenthood and the responsibility that is involved in proper care and training of a pet. 

Other than visiting with my son, lots of home cooking while he was here, and wall to wall dogs, I managed to finish the commissioned drawing of the barn. All done and delivered to its new home!  This is one of THE MOST DETAILED drawings I have ever done. If you have seen my work in the past you know that is saying a lot. 


My clients wanted to have the details of the old construction and the old boards plus some of the surroundings. The finished size was 16″ x 20″. I’m very surprised it did not take me longer. I gave up trying to keep up with hours. 

Since I do not have much space right now to work, I think I am going to concentrate on drawings but want to add some color without dragging out lots of paint. Some experimentation is in order I believe. 

The upcoming week may very well turn into another crazy, on the road week. I am supposed to be getting some of he legal paperwork I need and there is school shopping and soccer sign ups to do.  Hopefully I will get to check in but forgive me if it doesn’t happen.

Have an awesome week!