Entries in life (360)



In the machine shed on the mountain, we have a loft.  We sleep on the loft.  We have a long counter so we cook there.  My Beloved decided that he wanted to add counter space in the "kitchen."  It really is not a kitchen but it is always protected from the rain which really helps.  Wind not so much but I am okay with that.

He and Koda Bear went foraging supplies for this build.  There was a maple tree of the right size that was not in the right place.  Or the best shape.  There was a butcher board type counter top from the ReStore.  Boards and screws from other projects.  The chainsaw came out and the boyos went to work.

The wood glue had curdled and did not stick.  There was discussions that maybe lumber should have been placed differently.  The shelves were probably installed in the wrong order to make life easy.  But in the end there was is a counter.

Due to the end shape of the counter and the colors of all the wood, it has an Asian or modern feel to it.  It reminds me of the angles in some of the roofs and stools I have seen.  Or the lanterns.  I like it.  Not bad for time and ingenuity.  The counter top was the only thing that we had spent money on and not even this trip.  We had purchased it a while back.  So you could say the cost was $25 plus time.  And trees and leftovers from other projects.  

I do have to admit, the boys were bored due to the broken tractor.  I mostly helped with design, holding pieces in place as they were screwed in, and supervising.  I worked on my sweater in my rocking chair watching them.  

I have been doing a lot of resting since we have gotten back.  In some ways, it is still like I am on vacation.  I have three appendages with blisters so my normal morning walk has been difficult.  We have also been doing some video watching and reading late into the night.  Next week will be more normal.  I am just hoping the allergies are better too.


back to the city

I am back to the city after being on the mountain for five days.  I have not been back to the city for a full 48 hours and I have already had frustrations.  But I am trying to remain calm and deal with this life.  I know part of it is that I did not sleep well last night but part of it is truly frustration.  

When we travel, I may have mentioned in the past, I drive to audiobooks.  I like Kerry Greenwood's Earthly Delights series a lot.  It is about a baker who solves mysteries.  By the time I get back, I am really in the mood to bake.  I wished to make bara brith.  It is not hard.  The recipe is here.  But a main ingredient is buttermilk.  

I now have a small grocery store and a WalMart that I can walk to.  With my state of mind, I knew the WalMart would be too much so I went to the small grocery store.  It really is not that small.  No buttermilk on their shelves.  Fourth largest city in the United States and no buttermilk.  Every other grocery store would have meant longer away from home and I just could not deal.  My Beloved suggested that I make butter and use the leftover liquid.  The recipe calls for cultured buttermilk and that would take days.  I used a mixture of yogurt and milk.  I made do.

There was a lot of upgrades to the mountain.  One of my favorite is that my Dad gifted me with a very basic pressure cooker.  The manual looks like something from the 1950's but the gasket was nice and fresh so it was not that old.  I now can cook dried beans in about a half hour after soaking them for eight hours.  I think this is lovely.  By the end of a trip, I am always craving a bowl of beans and rice.  I now can cook it on the mountain.  It is just way too easy for me to cook too much!  It is what I do.

More pictures of my week away are to come.  It was a good time with the boyos.  Lots of work.  I did take a tumble so that slowed me down for an afternoon.  And there was a long walk.  It was good.  I am not ready to be back.  



There are days that this is as creative as I get.  I cut the skirt off a linen nightgown that the bodice was giving up the ghost.  The skirt of the nightgown will become a skirt with some alteration and dye.  Part of me wishes a lot more linen and wool were in my wardrobe but only the linen truly makes since.  I have a linen sheet that will meet the scissors sometime soon.  That dress or skirt will start out being mended!

My days are currently full of learning to sharpen, feeding people, mending, moving people around, coaching, and watching Koda Bear and Blue.  I have some large projects going on that are just not very interesting to photograph or talk about.  And the truck cabin will soon be on the radar.

I am just trying to be gentle with myself when the only thing I feel like I have gotten done in a day is some food being made, errands run, and people moved around.  That was yesterday.  And I am dealing with anemia again.  Which is just a sigh.  I have started to go down some creative rabbit holes, mostly researching but the time and energy is limited.  

And on top of that, I have a quilt to quilt and a quilt that is waiting to be made in my head!  But that is how life goes somedays or weeks.  The quilting is always a good meditative place.


playing with quilts

I decided to do something different with the quilts I am making.  This is it.  I still really love the nine squares so they are a component but I wanted to see what happened when I added larger pieces of fabric.  I have done some of the backs of my quilts this way and people seemed to really like them.  

This is the top.  I had thought about just using a large piece of thrifted flannel for the back but decided to piece it as well.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

I am also dyeing fabric for my quilts.  I have purchased used 100% cotton sheets at thrift stores and have started to put them in dye pots of dye made with plants.  I am very curious what will come of that fabric and quilts that will be put together with those fabrics.  I have a feeling they will be quite harmonious in a strange way.  Combining two things I love will be so cool.

I am hoping my schedule for this week goes better then last but we will have to see.  I am starting to count how many bowls of dough or just dough I have going at any one time.  I will have to share Koda Bear's favorite bun soon because it is pretty fabulous as a cheese sandwich with prosciutto.  That and some fruit, veg, and tea, I could drive cross country.  Yes, ice cream and cookies would also make it pretty spectacular but I could go many miles before I sleep with his favorite buns!  

Life has not slowed down any at all but I have adjusted to the current new normal.  It will change when we start building the sharpening truck.  I will be helping to design and build that before I start doing mobile sharpening.  I am actually very excited.  I could put a small stove top in it for making tea and plant dye.  I have thought of this.

The sharpening truck could mean never again stepping into an office!  In some ways, I hope the truck cabin takes off too!  I just feel like I need to hold on to life because it is going different ways then I could every forsee!


no longer working in an office

Thursday was my last day in an office situation again.  I have to admit that there is a lightness to my being by not being in an office.  It does not mean I have any less work, because that is not true.  I just think it comes down to I am happier and I am around happier people.  I definitely do not make as much money this way but what I have I appreciate more.

I was hoping to jump right back into the making I do for my shop but that is not what is going to happen.  I have a pile of mending to do for Koda Bear.  I still have making for three for Christmas.  And I am still finishing two blankets for Blue. 

My Beloved asked for four shirts.  He has work shirts that are wearing out so he would rather use what he has and I can make him new.  He gets more color that way.  His shirts are always commented on positively by other men when he is out and about.

But it means I can go forage pomegranates and see what color they dye silk.  I can go forage the same types of greens that are coming up and see what happens.  I am curious about spinach because I am told it makes a cool green.  I can sew.  Maybe I can finish one of the sweaters I am making for myself or my own mending?  Too many things for me!

And my yarn boxes!  I can work on my yarn boxes!  Blue slept in his cradle while I dressed today because, even at two weeks, he wants to move.  And I was watching him so I needed the sides.  That small boy knows when I walk into a room. 

And it is almost time to plant a garden.  I am thinking of staggering plantings so I can do a little bit at a time.  But I know that broccoli and kale needs to go.  Cauliflower would be good too.  More bell pepper plants!

Small steps.  They work.  And this is a life that makes me happy.