Although it is a beautiful day, it is rather cold and the weather people still have a chance of snow in the forecast for this week. The temperatures are slowly moving upwards and it is supposed to actually reach the 60’s later this week and into next weekend. Around the house, my husband has a long list of things that needs to be done to ready the house and yard for spring.
Last weekend we made the first trek to the home improvement store for mulch and organic soil. The mulch is to spruce up the flower beds around the house and the soil is to start the prep for our garden that we will be planting. This weekend was the second trip for the rest of the mulch and to also start looking at brick landscape pavers. We would like to take out the stones that are in the front, which sort of blend into the scenery and replace them with something that goes more with house. That will be on the list for next spring. As for this year, the mulch is now finished so that is one item that my husband can mark off of his spring list. Our pug is happy because he has fresh mulch to frolic in and kick out of the flower beds, so tidying up the mulch will be on the list all summer long.
This morning, even though the temperature is only 38 degrees, my husband is currently prepping the lawn mower, as all of the weed and feed that he put on the lawn to help it grow is doing its job. The weeds are growing very nicely and the grass is too. It will need to be cut soon, so that will be on the list for next weekend.
So has spring finally arrived where you are?
Photo © Lenalee
The photos were taken one week apart. The first photo is the willow tree covered in snow from our last snowfall. It also happened to be on the first full day of spring. A week later, I took the second photo, which shows the willow tree’s buds starting to come out. The flowers and the trees seemed to have survived the snow without any issues. Of course, we have more snow in the forecast this week.
All photos © lenalee
One of the things I hear most often at work is how long winter seems to be this year. Looking at the calendar, we are about two-thirds of the way through winter. It has been much colder than previous years. It may have something to do with the fact that the temperatures were below freezing for several weeks. When we finally got above freezing, it made everyone think that spring wasn’t too far off. Of course Ground Hog Day happened and was anyone surprised that the little guy saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter? I wasn’t. Of course I can add and 6 weeks + 6 weeks equals 12 weeks. And if I remember anything from school it was that each season lasts 12 weeks.
While we have had several snow events so far this winter, many people have started complaining that winter never really showed up this year. The first event gave us the most snow, around 6 inches. Each one that has come after has given us another 1-2 inches and mostly made travel a mess. Two days resulted in icy roads, which meant taking it easy when driving and watching out for those that don’t. It rained on and off most of last weekend and the temperature warmed up into the 60’s. The good news is that we were in the 50’s for most of the week. This only makes people think that winter is over, which might be a good thing because the daffodils are blooming even earlier than normal and the grass is starting to grow. But as with everything, Mother Nature has other plans and it is supposed to turn colder and snow is back in the forecast through the middle of March. I don’t think I’ll be packing away my sweaters any time soon.
What has winter been like where you are?
So one of my wishes for the 2017 New Year was to teach myself how to crochet. Being left-handed, I continually frustrated my mother and grandmother when they attempted to teach me. I can crochet a simple single crochet stitch, but anything more than that and I am at a loss. So my search for crochet tutorials led me to tons of websites and YouTube. Yes, YouTube is now my friend. One of the first videos that I watched was Bella Coco from the UK. Shout out to Sarah Jayne!!! You rock in teaching someone how to crochet. She has a lot of videos showing left handed crochet. Yea!!! She also has a website, which you can find here.
I dug through my sewing box and pulled out the crochet hooks that I already had and then hit up the local craft store. My hubby is always my biggest supporter, so while I took in the yarn aisles searching for yarn for my first attempt at crocheting, he was picking out some yarn for me to make him a scarf. I thought it would probably be finished in time for next winter, but I bought the yarn and several others, as well as a few more hooks. The first stitch I learned from Bella Coco was the left-handed waffle stitch. I took notes, bookmarked the video and wrote down specific times when she transitioned from one row to another and I was off.
The first scarf took about 4 days. It was done to match my winter coat. Once I realized that it looked normal and not misshapen, I started the one for my husband. I kept checking the length and told him to tell me when it was the length that he wanted. His took about a week. Of course it was finished and the temps were in the 50’s and 60’s. The temps finally dropped and he was able to wear it for the long walk from the parking lot to his office building. His report was “it was warm and toasty and people asked where I got it from.” Mine will have to wait until next winter to be worn. I park in a parking garage and walk about 30 feet into the building.
Next up was several cowl’s to wear with some of my sweaters at work. They were my response to the no v-neck sweater policy at work, so this helps me cover up the “V” while wearing something I made. I did those in a light weight yarn and learned another new stitch. I have also learned the basket weave stitch from her site as well. I picked up two pillow forms and plan to use them on the couch. I completed the bolster pillow, which was done in the waffle stitch pattern, and I used the basket weave stitch to cover the second pillow. For my first attempts at making pillows, they came out better than I thought they would.
I then started working on an afghan to keep warm on the cold winter nights. The only issue was that winter turned into spring and by summer the yarn was too warm to work with so I put it aside to finish in the fall. I did attempt to make a pair of baby booties for one of my coworkers who was expecting and I have to say, they turned out pretty good for my first attempt.
When the weather turned cool, I started working on the afghan again and realized I was only three rows from the end. I could have finished it a lot sooner. My husband requested one for when he and the pug sit in the recliner at night, so I started working on his. I have six more skeins of yarn to go and we are only 3 weeks into the official winter season, so I am hopeful it will be done in time for him to actually use it. The photo shows the afghan and the two pillows that I made. Now I just have to figure out what I want to make next.
I am someone who enjoys winter. I like the cold temperatures. I love walking outside and hearing the crunch of the frozen grass and leaves underfoot. I love taking the dog out early in the morning bundled up in a wool throw and seeing my breath in the air. I love sitting on the couch with a fire in the fireplace and a cup of hot chocolate next to me. But this winter, I haven’t experienced much of that. Winter hasn’t really showed up to my part of Maryland.
We’ve had some cool temperatures and a few days in the teens, but most days have been in the 40’s or 50’s and last weekend we were in the 70’s. We had the windows open and I thought about putting on a pair of crop pants, but it is still February. Last year I wrote about the 37+ inches of snow that we received from the blizzard that dumped it all in one night. This year we had snow twice. The first snow was only about 1.5 inches. The picture to the left shows the snow from that “storm”. I use the term “storm” because all of the Weather people were making the storm out to be something major. Turns out it wasn’t much of one and they were even more bummed than me. The second snow was just a dusting. Neither of them covered the roads, so there wasn’t really problems from them.
The school children are upset that they haven’t used even one snow day. Of course they will get out of school earlier than they usually do, but when you want to play in the snow and there isn’t any, well, I can understand why they are upset. Also upset are the landscape companies that rely on earning money by plowing businesses during the winter. Some say that plowing is 50% of their income, so without it, they may not be able to continue. Most of all, a mild winter usually means that the summer will be especially buggy. Not a good thing for me. I am a bug magnet. If it bites or stings, they find their way to me. I’m not looking forward to being their snack.
So I caught a winter cold from work. One person has been sick going on three weeks. I am entering week two and my husband is still in week one. It is mainly a sinus and head cold. Not much coughing or sneezing. Just stuffed up and not sleeping well. At first I thought it was just due to the fact that we had been outside the day before raking and bagging the leaves. While I love looking at leaves, I tend to get stuffy when I actually play with them, so I hoped that it was just too much time outside, but I wasn’t so lucky. By the next morning, I felt horrible.
Before I made him sick, my husband asked what I wanted and I said I wanted Mrs. Grass chicken soup. It was what we were given whenever we were sick growing up and I even now I always want a bowl when I’m sick. There is nothing quite like being curled up on the couch in your pajamas with a warm blanket and a mug of Mrs. Grass’ soup. Unfortunately we didn’t have any in the pantry so my wonderful husband went to three stores until he found it. 🙂
He started to make it and I told him to make sure the golden nugget was dissolved all the way. He said there wasn’t a golden nugget. I thought he was joking. Mrs. Grass is all about the golden nugget. It’s what makes the soup taste so yummy good. And makes you feel better. He brought me the box and showed me there wasn’t a golden nugget anymore. The picture above shows the golden nugget, but my new box didn’t have it. I immediately Googled it and learned the company got rid of the golden nugget earlier this year. What the h#%l were they thinking??? Put the golden nugget back…..really. I’m sick and now this.
Of course the company wants you to know that it tastes the same. That might be a good way to spin it, but it didn’t taste the same. It just tasted like box soup. Not yummy. 😦 And I am sure that is why my cold has lingered. The little golden nugget would have made me all better by now.
Do you ever have one of those rare weekends where you stay home and do absolutely nothing? If you’re anything like me, those don’t happen very often and when they do, you almost feel guilty that you didn’t really accomplish all that much. This past weekend was one of those for us. On Friday, before leaving for work, I had put a pork loin in the crock pot with some Sticky Fingers Carolina BBQ Sauce…yummy, and my husband and son did the yard work that would normally be done on the weekend. Fridays are usually one of the days that we will eat out, but my husband had gotten off work early, so he started in on the yard and it was done before dinner. That left Saturday free and he was looking at his list to try to figure out what he wanted to do next. Washing the cars was on the list, so he figured he would tackle those on Saturday.
When he woke up, he said that his throat was scratchy and a little sore. As the day wore on, he began to talk like he gargled with gravel, and while he wasn’t running a fever, he didn’t feel good. So he made a beeline for his comfy chair and dozed off. Now usually, when the hubby is sick, he can be needy, so I tend to be busier. That wasn’t the case this time. I made him a cup of tea once in a while and offered to make him soup, but he said he didn’t have much of an appetite, so I found myself with time on my hands and not sure what to do. I needed to vacuum, but hubby was sleeping, and that can be done one night after work. I read for a while and searched the web for recipes for vegetables. Yes, I am still trying to find ways to cook veggies that I will eat :). And I did get all the laundry done. But mostly I just relaxed and enjoyed the quiet time. Well, as quiet as it is with a pug and a husband snoring in the background, but you get the idea.