February 15, 2015

Snow, snow, and for a change... snow!

In the last few weeks we have had a seemingly endless series of snow-storms and blizzards.  It is winter... we live in NH... this is not horribly unusual.  However, it is a tad wearying and somewhat exhausting to be dealing with FEET of snow on the ground and a repeating cycle of snow, clean up, snow again, clean up again that happens with annoying frequency.

My dear husband has been working tirelessly after each storm to dig out our home, clear the deck and multiple staircases, make paths around the yard for the animals and us to care for them, clear up the road edges- which is private and we have to have plowed by a local farmer and his giant John Deere tractor, and help clear some for the neighbor on occasion.
This morning was a much larger snow amount than forecasted and the crazy wind and hovering-at-zero temps made for a very long day.

My chickens are surviving and thriving in spite of the weather.  Their pen is surrounded by well over knee deep bankings and even their plastic sheeting to block the wind is partially buried in snow so they are generally below wind-level if they venture out.  I've been keeping them happy with food treats at least every other day or so - growing sprouts for them and giving them veggie scraps, etc.  They are mostly all still laying every day and everyone seems pretty fluffy and happy.
The cats are keeping entertained by the birds frequenting the feeder out back and Piper (the dog) just LOVES the snow and will roll around in the drifts snowplowing with her nose any chance she gets.

I am plodding on, trying not to complain too much as I know each day and even each snowfall is a gift from God for us to enjoy.  Thankfully we have the ability to clear up, the means to pay the plow guy, and Steve working from home is a tremendous blessing!

Stay warm!
Blessings on the journey,

January 28, 2015

Big News

Announcing....  Applewood Quilts Etc. real presence on the web!

I took the plunge and now have my own domain & site for my sewing!

I still have a lot to learn with getting a site up and running and all that jazz - but I'm making progress!

January 20, 2015

Random Life

There are times when my life feels sort of random and disconnected.  That there is little flow of continuity from one area or subject that requires my attention to the next.  Sometimes it is almost amusing.  This fact is clearly illustrated by these photos from my phone.
Curved quilted pillow I made testing out a new ruler & book of patterns

Buckwheat sprouts on the window sill - growing for my chickens

new quilt rack Steve found for me at a local consignment shop

my brand new quilt labels!

Books I'm reading right now - on the coffee table

My newest fur baby - Gypsy

January 2, 2015

First Project of 2015

We've been fairly quiet on the house projects since early summer when we did the hang-out space for the kids.  I've been busy with lots of sewing projects and we've had a fair amount of just regular life happening around here.
Since we generally have a two week vacation with Christmas and New Year's, Steve wanted to tackle something good sized with the time.  He knocked off quite a few smaller projects last week and this week we did a really fun photo wall in the living room that I just love and then we started working on painting Jessica's bedroom.  This might be a record... we started on New Year's day in the afternoon and I finished it today (Jan 2nd) just before dinner time.
Of course I don't have before or after photos because it was a marathon of painting and I didn't stop to take any.  Bad excuse, but I'll try to get some shots after we put the furniture back tomorrow and update this post.
The one fun thing we did tonight was this neat little art photography project.
Photographs of signs by my amazing hubby
Sorry for the really awkward picture, but I took it with my phone and it's on a tiny wall just by her door that is awful for trying to photograph.
Steve went out this afternoon and photographed all the street signs in a few different towns and we printed, framed and hung them tonight as a surprise.  She actually hasn't even been upstairs to see it yet.  Hopefully she's going to like it. :-)

Her room done is the 8th room painted in the house and leaves us just 2 more rooms and 2 hallways to paint - all since we moved in less than 2 years ago.  I'm stunned at the progress we've made in such a relatively short space of time.  
Actually her room wasn't awful as it was painted and was fairly neutral in color, but she wanted a light, brighter color on the walls as a backdrop for her eclectic style.  She chose the same light color she'd had in our Merrimack house (Creamy Buttermilk - by Glidden) and we had the very nice paint guy at Home Depot color match it in Behr paint for us.  
Now to figure out some window treatments, and get some things hung on the walls.  Then Steve is going to build her a custom book shelf & storage unit against one of her knee walls (she has a windowed dormer on one wall).  A great way to start the new year and the last semester of high school! 
Praying that God blesses all our projects in 2015 to be as fairly easy as this one. 

Blessings on the journey~

December 21, 2014

A Hello

Late last week I lost my much loved cat Grace after 10 years.  As sad and heartbreaking as the loss of a beloved pet is, we are thankful that it was a swift and peaceful goodbye after a long love-filed life.

Because my dear husband knows me so well and knows my heart needs often better than I do, Steve took me to the Monadnock Humane Society on Friday afternoon to look around.  These are the wonderful people we thank for Ben's little fur-baby Fender.  It's an amazing place and the staff is outstanding.

In my head I thought we'd look for a long-haired kitten, as we had seen with Fender and Saffron that a kitten introduced into a new household is a fairly easy thing - albeit a lot of work on our part for care and supervision, etc.  They only had one little bitty baby (short-hair) and she was on hold for another family.  So we wandered all around the facility and discovered several good sized rooms full of adult cats.  One room seemed to have an abundance of long-haired beauties lounging around, so we went in to visit.

We read bios taped to the wall and matched name tags on the fuzzies to their stories.  Then a volunteer came in and explained to us that this large group had only come to the shelter at the beginning of December as a transfer from Canada.  There had been about 100 cats seized from a hoarding situation and they had been held as 'evidence' in the legal case for a very long time.  The wonderful people at MHS had taken a portion of the group to find loving forever homes for these beautiful cats.

After petting and holding a few, we found her... they called her Tabouli, but I call her Gypsy and she seems to like her new name.

She is very petite (just over 7lbs) and has green/gold eyes and beautiful black fur marbled with caramel colored markings.  They say she is a black & orange Tortoiseshell but I think she's just plain pretty.  Adjustment is going to be slow for everyone, but I think we are all going to get along just fine eventually.  

A Christmas blessing to swell my heart from the man who loves me so and always wants to make me smile.  I am a most blessed wife.

Blessings on the journey,

December 18, 2014

A Sad Goodbye

10 years ago this month we brought Grace home from the ARL shelter.  She was a unique cat, beautifully fluffy and petite and though shy at first, obviously a people oriented cat that had chosen our family to be her own.
Grace's first Christmas with us - 2004
Today she went to wherever it is that good pets go when they pass on from this life.  I like to think that there is a special place in heaven for our animals, though scripture doesn't speak to that specifically.  I trust that the one who loved me enough to let me enjoy Grace's company in this life will possibly allow me to see her again at some point.... God is good all the time and He comforts those who mourn.  A promise for which I am very thankful today.

Grace will be missed dreadfully... our hoity-toity beautiful fur-baby.

I'm thankful for my dear daughter who came with me this morning to the vet and to our awesome vet Dr. Nancy who was so kind during a very difficult morning.

December 17, 2014

Almost Ready

Happy Almost Merry Christmas - less than a week to go!

This is our new Christmas tree.  We bought a pre-lit one this year and are happy with the fact that that we didn't have to fight with light strings and all that this year.  We did have a minor kitten mishap where Fender ate through one strand on the tree 2 days after we set it up, but thankfully Steve is handy and was able to strip out the bad section and re-wire so it all works again. Yay!

I'm way ahead of myself this year with all shopping done and all but 2 gifts wrapped - even the stocking stuffers are bought & wrapped already!  This never happens and I'm not sure what I did that God has so thoroughly blessed this year in these areas.  I'm beyond thankful for this gracious gift of not stressing about these things.

I managed to finish two special projects and it's killing me to not post photos.  Sometimes being done ahead is a nuisance when you really want to share. :-)

Today I did the first of my holiday baking things and had a minor mishap getting the cake out of the pan.  Thankfully there is a nice glaze that goes over the top and it'll be sliced onto a platter to go to work with Steve tomorrow.  So no one will notice a few cracks and given that it is a rum cake that I only ever make for Christmas, I doubt anyone would care anyway.  Win-win!

Tomorrow and Friday I'll do a few batches of various other yummy goodies to send a platter to youth group with B for the Christmas party on Friday evening.  Then I'll be making a batch of cinnamon rolls on Saturday for our church Christmas breakfast on Sunday morning.  This is our first Christmas at this church and I'm feeling very blessed to be able to offer to do something useful to share.  

Enjoy the last week... be kind to yourself and don't stress!  Things will get done or they won't... but none of it impacts the true love and gracious gift we've already received - Jesus!