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Amazing, for January

January 14th, 2016

Well, I made what is probably my last harvest from the 2015 season garden, even if it was in 2016. On Monday, I went out and harvesting cilantro, kale, and spinach that I planted way back in the fall. For the past few weeks they have been covered by a blanket of snow. After rain all day Sunday, they were once again available for harvest.
harvesting spinach
I’m continually amazed by the plants that can survive very cold weather and being covered by a blanket of snow. Not only were the leaves not damaged by the cold, they will be sweeter because of it. Here’s to hardy vegetables that can withstand cold temps and snow and still be available for our plates!

What are you harvesting from the garden?

Getting There

January 13th, 2016

In our house here in Maine we have much more space than we had in Ohio, probably about triple the square footage if not more. For a while, we had two of the bedrooms set up as guest rooms and I had my sewing machine in a corner of the upstairs landing. It wasn’t great, not only are there no windows anywhere close, there was only one light, and old fluorescent fixture that was super dim.
sewing room 1
After we painted one of the rooms (both floor and walls), I decided it would make a lovely sewing room. I started moving all my stuff in there a few weeks ago. There’s still moulding that needs to go up, around the windows, by the ceiling, and baseboards as well. But that’s OK with me, because it’s a much better space than I had. In fact, in the few weeks I’ve had my machine in there I’ve managed to get a ton of sewing done. Probably having light is what does it, it is rather hard to sew without that.
sewing room 5
sewing room 2
I need to rework the furniture a bit as it consists of things that have been cast off from other areas. A counter height cutting area is going to be put in eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later. I also need a beefier table to put my machine on, as the one I’m using is warped and my sewing machine rocks as I use it.  I got a new thread rack to organize thread/bobbins and I plan on hanging a bulletin board and a few metal magnet boards as well. I will also need to get a few other bits to organize things in places they’ll be handy. I figured that using the space for a while would be a good idea before I invest in any furniture or organization items. Once I get a feel for the space, I’ll have a better idea of how I will work best in it.
sewing room 3
At the moment, I’m enjoying working on my vintage sheet quilt. It’s made with old pillowcases and sheets that I’ve been collecting. Most of them have been given to me or I have purchased them for a few dollars at the thrift store. This makes for a very inexpensive way to make a quilt, I will probably only have about $25 worth of materials in this kind size quilt by the time I’m finished. I like using sheets for the backing and flannel sheets on the inside instead of batting (I like a think quilt).

Are you working on any creative project at the moment? What creative pursuits do you do when gardening isn’t an option?

Balancing

January 12th, 2016

When you have birds, or any animal, it’s a balancing act. Finding the best way to keep them safe from predators while allowing them freedom to roam and be able to be what they want to be. The result is that my birds range fairly freely, but I lose some to predators on occasion. Yesterday was one of those occasions.
Turkey feathers in chicken wire
It’s always sad to lose a bird or two, but in the circle of life we can’t expect our animals to always win. Life just doesn’t work that way. My predator loses are very low, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking to lose an animal you’ve been raising and caring for. We lost two of our young turkeys Sunday night or Monday morning. It was their fault for deciding to roost outside not safely in the coop like they should have, especially now that the electric fences are down for the winter. It did teach all the other birds a lesson, every single young turkey was in the coop early yesterday afternoon, safely locked away from whatever nabbed their two litter mates.

UGH

January 11th, 2016

We moved this blog to a dedicated server a few years ago and it’s been nothing but a big hassle, especially recently. You’ve probably noticed that the blog is down here and there when you try to visit, I’ve been getting a few notes from people letting me know when it is. Usually I do know, because I can’t log in to write posts or respond to comments either.
Blog_screen_shot
We moved to a dedicated server in hopes to have better reliability, but that hasn’t been the case. We are in the process of once again moving host companies. All the photos are being moved to amazon web services and the blog will be moving to a new host over the next couple months. Sorry for the issues, believe me, I’m just as frustrated as you are about this.

Quote of the Day: Firewood

January 10th, 2016

“The truth of it was that he liked chopping wood. Quite different from the damp, backbreaking, foot-freezing job of cutting peats, but with that same feeling of soul-deep satisfaction at seeing a good stock of fuel laid by, which only those who have spent winters shivering in this clothes can know. The woodpile reached nearly to the eaves of the house by now, dry split chunks of pine and oak, hickory and maple, and the sight of them warming his heart as much as the wood itself would warm his flesh.”

Diana Gabaldon in Drums of Autumn (Outlander)

firwood 2
firwood 3
firewood
It is the season for getting wood cut, split, and stacked for next winter. Usually we try to be a little ahead, last winter was so long and so cold we used some of our reserve. We’ve been out every weekend for a day or two getting ready for winters to come. We have almost finished the task for the year, then we will move on to filling up the sauna woodpile. It really does warm the heart to see a warm winter ahead.

What chores get you out in the winter?

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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