Thursday, January 31, 2013

last day of January 2013

As January has sped to its finish, the month has offered all there is in its weather arsenal. Sunday's ice storm gave way to steadily rising temperatures. Monday night we were nearly shaken from our beds by thunderstorms. (Actually, Dovey did shout and jump right off the bed in a panic.) The fog was so dense on Tuesday that school was cancelled and I was not needed for my day's volunteer work at the school's book fair. I put my free time to good use by napping and finishing Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker. (For more information see this link.)
Tuesday night's steadily dropping temperatures and rising winds brought snow which continued in earnest all through the day Wednesday and once again school was cancelled.

This photo was taken early Wednesday morning through the upstairs deck door. By late afternoon the snow had slowed and I managed to get a bit of shoveling done. The plows had left heaps at the end of the drive, but our good neighbor, Steve, came with his pickup and plowed our drive just before dark.

This morning there is the slightest hint of sun behind gauzy clouds and though it's quite cold, and there is light snow falling from the thin layers of cloud above the farm house, I'm cozy within. Tomorrow after I turn the calendar to a new month Dovey and I will be watching our road for an old, rusty red Jeep to pull into the drive. Jerome will be arriving with Mya and new adventures will begin.
But for today, I'll put away my snowman collection and add the final notes to my January log.

Thank you, January for the delights we've enjoyed on your watch and the opportunities we've had for nourishing rest.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

mental photographs

I, like perhaps millions of others this late January Sunday, am dealing with a head cold. Energy is low and interest in projects that require concentration not so keen. I'm reading Jenniefer Chiaverini's new novel "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker," and dozing from time to time. Mother Nature is dealing a hand of snow, sleet, ice and rain blown about with gusts that cause some rattling and an ice buildup on the east side of the house. Just now, as I checked on the chickens for the last time before they sleep, there was considerable ice on their gate latch and food canister. Happily, all was snug and comfortable for them within. And now I can remain snug within as well.
I've been exploring the updates on my computer, thank you Matthias. A good way to spend time inside on a miserable weather day with only a cat for company. Before long I drifted to my photo collection. Not surprisingly there emerged a clear pattern: the cats, the sky, plants inside and out, quilts from many shows, projects, planned,  in process, and completed, the chickens, the landscape outside the farmhouse windows, a little bit of travel, and people I love. I was surprised, however, by how many moments I had forgotten and that I have 10,955 photos just on this computer. This does not include those I've already sent to the remote drive. Holy cow. Many of these are terrible photos. But each is representative of a moment in my life that I felt I needed to capture and cling to. That I couldn't bare to let disappear. That spoke right into me.
How fortunate, then, that I have a simple digital camera and a reliable computer that make it possible. If I had access to these tools when I was younger, when my children were young, throughout my creative life! Staggers the mind.

In the days, weeks ahead I will return to my photos again and again, organizing galleries and perhaps choosing some to make into greeting cards. And I'll continue to add to the collection as each day brings countless opportunities to take more pictures.  For today I have found grace in bounty, riches. I've been reminded once again just how blessed I am.
I wish the same for each of you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

last week of January

Been crazy, happy busy. Been down to the city and have returned. Here Jerome and I are at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Will post again soon. This is really just a trial as my "genius" son-in-law has just spent the entire day upgrading my computer and I'm putting it through a few paces.

It's really cold here in the midwest. Hope all of you are keeping warm and well.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

something old, something new

For nearly two and a half years I have been looking for a table for the farm house. For a while I thought seriously about having an Amish builder make us a new set, table and matching chairs. Somehow that just didn't seem to fit this old house.
I saw a table in a local antique shop in 2010. When I saw it again in my friend's home last summer, she told me it would be perfect in my house but she wasn't going to sell it. She and her husband recently decided to redo their kitchen and the table would need a new home. Was I still interested??

I can't think of a better home than ours. Antique library table, solid oak, two drop leaves, one  in place one to be made into a side table (ingenious idea of mine!) and 4 drawers on each long side. I look forward to years of projects, chats over tea or dinner with friends and family, bouquets of flowers from the garden. Some things are worth waiting for.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

hoar frost

Just before dawn this morning the sliver of a moon was smiling over the back gardens, a mist hung in the valley to the south, and everything wore the most amazing garments. When the sun cleared the horizon it was almost too bright to look for long at the uncountable crystals. 

the chicken fence
asparagus ferns and Minerva exploring her yard
last spring's robin nest in the Cortland Apple tree

another look at the asparagus ferns

The sun has finished her sojourn across this Wisconsin sky for today and has left one more bit of grace for any who care to claim it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

kings day

I've never been in a rush to put Christmas "away" after the 25th. I've always felt it wouldn't be fair to pack away the creche before the wise men arrived.
And so, today I took one last look at this year's beautiful tree.

The wise men found the child once again lying in the manger.

Then, with a full heart and happy memories, the farmhouse shifted from holiday cheer to order for the new year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Every day's a new day

Happy new year. Fresh beginnings. Eager plans. Anything seems possible.
I am fully energized.

Dovey is a bit worn out from having to organize a staff of three for Christmas and two of us until just this morning. She does so love having company here at the farm.

The cold, minus 4 last night, and the deep snow haven't slowed the chickens down much. I still find one or two eggs a day despite the short length of daylight. They seem quite content in their snug, dry house. They've ventured outside a time or two since Jerome shoveled a clearing for them, but prefer not to stay out too long. Their eyes are bright, their feathers full and even Miss LadyHawk seems totally recovered. filling out nicely and regrowing her tail.
We've noticed a tiny gain of precious daylight in the frosty afternoons. Delightful.
Wishing each of you some measure of delight as you move through the opening of this gift of a new year.