Saturday, November 29, 2014

". . . in the lane ------, snow is glistenin. . ."

I’m sitting in front of my fully decorated Christmas tree sipping hot chocolate while it snows outside. The old clock ticks. A fire burns merrily in the fireplace. It’s a peaceful farm holiday – just the way we like it.

Milo and Jenny (and Tate, her little Yorkie) arrived mid-day on Thanksgiving. Mike and I were grateful to have them with us. The weather was in our favor, but this morning (Saturday), Milo said he thought they should head back to Boise as soon as they could get ready. Regional snowstorms were predicted, and he was concerned about the roads. Also, an extra day at home would give him time to see his sons and get ready for the work week. 

So, they left at 9:30. As hard as it was to let them go, I was grateful they were on their way. By 10:30 it had begun to snow. Mike and I made a quick trip to Orofino to pick up a few things. We left Gilbert as it began to snow, but it was raining in the valley. By the time we returned to the farm, snow was sticking on. But - just to show you the way it goes, Milo sent a message late afternoon to say they drove in sunshine most all the way to Boise.

It’s just the greatest that we can enjoy this Christmas tree, courtesy of Jenny and Milo. Most every year I spend a day close to Christmas hurriedly setting up and decorating the tree. This year, since we spent Thanksgiving at the farmhouse, I wanted to put the tree up on Friday. “We'll do it,” Milo and Jenny readily volunteered. In fact, they said, this would be their third tree so far this year.

Bless their hearts! They set it up and then decorated it with Hallmark houses and various other ornaments. They didn’t argue a bit, and I could hear them discussing the ornaments and where to hang them as I fixed supper.

This evening we have just a skiff of snow, but it will be cold overnight. Bess and Nell are going to sleep in the house tonight, and Mike and I have our warmest clothes ready for the morning. KW

[We took more pictures. Unfortunately, we don't have them due to memory issues -- mine and the camera's.] 

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Little Canyon

One thing leads to another. I need my shoes from upstairs, so I make the trip count by carrying a stack of books as I climb the steps. Maybe I just set the books down; maybe I put them away. Maybe putting them away leads to cleaning out a closet. Then I’m thoroughly off on another tangent and still in my slippers. Maybe I’ll eventually remember I was after my shoes; maybe I won’t. I could do this sequence over and over again with dozens of different items. I flit from this to that. I’ll spare you the details.

We got up to steady rain on Tuesday, and I was grateful Mike had pressed for loading the pick-up on Monday. It didn’t take us long to pack the remainder of the food and get on our way. We traveled the Clearwater River in rain. We climbed the Gilbert Grade in rain. We unloaded at the farmhouse in rain, and it continued to rain well into the evening.
"The prettiest sight..."

I took care of the perishables, hung the holiday wreath on the door, and hooked my “Thanksgiving” lights into the kitchen window. And then I was about finished for the day – except for fixing supper, including baking an apple pie.

Mike read the low here at the farmhouse as 11 on Nov. 11. It’s warmer now and that’s a blessing. With the propane wall furnace and a fire in the fireplace, we soon had the downstairs quite comfortable. We had no plumbing problems whatsoever.

Bess gnaws bone in the rain
So I sat down to look over my Christmas granny square afghan, an unfinished project. It’s been stored in the closet of my sewing studio in town, but I decided to carry it with me this trip -- just to check it out, see what I need to do next OR IF indeed I want to do anything. I lifted out skein after skein of red, green, and white yarn, eventually coming to skeins of off-white. Then I saw it -- Arrgh!! The dreaded mouse sign!

Little Canyon at sunset
Two years ago, a couple of mice came into the town house, probably carried on the wood. I’m sure that’s what was happening because once extra precautions were taken the phenomenon ceased. Well, one of them found her way to the back closet and explored this very tote bag full of holiday yarn. Though I did clean the closet – honest! – I obviously didn’t think about the need to check this tote (or any other tote, for that matter). Or – maybe I just didn’t want to. Anyway, one block and one skein of yarn were obviously affected and went immediately into the trash. The tote is in the washing machine with a load of towels, and the rest of the yarn I’ll use, even though you may think it’s contaminated by association.
A view to the east

Now it’s Thanksgiving Day. Mike and I are grateful to have had contact with all five children. And we’re especially grateful that son Milo and Jenny will be with us for Thanksgiving dinner and the weekend. They’ll be here soon – but not before I make several more trips upstairs . . . KW

Monday, November 24, 2014


Mike loads the needful for Thanksgiving at the farm

Should I shop at Albertson’s where the “come on” specials are great? Or, should I shop at the long-awaited, newly-opened Winco where prices are undeniably less? The downside to Winco is that it’s located in Idaho (6% state sales tax compared to no sales tax on food in Washington) and we have to bag our own groceries.

Milo and Jenny are joining us at the farm for the Thanksgiving weekend, and that means stocking food. My shopping list was long and growing longer.

Initially Mike planned to accompany me on my shopping excursion, but looking at my list – and thinking how impatient he gets when the shopping drags on -- I gave him an out.

“I dunno,” I said, “this is going to take me a long time. I’m not sure you would enjoy it.”

“Okay, I won’t go” he replied cheerfully.

So, without Mike to be my "bagger," I decided to shop Albertson’s. They did have some excellent specials, and I knew I could count on them to bag my groceries and help me to my car. But the “big print” on the Rosauer’s ad announced turkeys at 59 cents per pound, and Mike said he’d ride up there on his motorcycle and get one.

Well, off I went. And suddenly, as I shopped, I realized I hadn’t read the “fine print” under the Rosauer’s turkey ad. I pulled into a quiet aisle, parked my cart, and fished my cell phone out of my purse. As luck would have it, I had it with me. And I was blessed again when I reached Mike, who said he was just preparing to leave for Rosauer’s.

“Read that ad,” I instructed. “What are the details.”

“One per family with $50 purchase excluding turkey,” he read. Wow! For once, luck was on our side. Not only did I reach him but saved him a useless trip!

Packing done except for cold stuff and electronics
Discussion ensued. The Albertson’s deal was a “BOGO,” and we don’t have much space in our chest freezer. However, they did have small turkeys in the advertised brand, so Mike arranged the space while I made the purchase. (We’re going to grill it, so we needed a small turkey.)

By the end of my shopping excursion, I could barely push the heavy cart and other shoppers were commenting on my load. The bottom line: $194 – a record high for me. But that’s okay. We just can’t go to the farm without supplies, but it will be a while before I need to shop again. KW

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Holiday Event #1, the P.E.O. silent auction, is now history. I made and donated the items pictured here for the bidding process. I almost left the little gingerbread house at home, thinking it looked a little too homely, but Mike said it was charming and I should take it. Indeed, bidders commented on how charming it was, but no one bid on it. The rest of my items “sold,” but I don’t think they were the source of “hot bidding.” In other words, they went for a dollar, and that’s food for thought when I consider the amount of time I put into it.

Sometimes when I’m sewing or crafting or crocheting, I come to a point where the project seems just a bit difficult and I’m tempted to set it down for “later.” If I don’t return to it in a timely manner, the hurdle looms larger with each passing day. That’s when it becomes a “buffalo.”

But as you can see, I finished things, and I take a lot of pride in that. Even the lopsided gingerbread house is finished. And I was working until the last minute. The morning of the silent auction, I made the little Barbie shirt.

And then it was on to other pressing things. Doll clothes for granddaughter Emmy have rotated to the top of my sewing list again. Last year I wanted to make a Pilgrim costume for her American Girl doll, but I didn’t have a pattern. (A drafter of patterns I am not.) Chris helped me find one for collar and cap online, but not having time to finish it before Thanksgiving, I packed it up and put it away somewhere and now I can’t find it. Wherever it is, it's a "buffalo," but it was okay because this year I purchased Joan Hinds’ book, Doll Costume Dress Up, which includes a Pilgrim costume. I just started all over with Ms. Hinds' simple design, and that was probably best. I finished the costume at 3:30 yesterday (Friday, Nov. 21), photographed my doll modeling it, quickly slipped it off her and packed it into a padded envelope, and then I dashed off to the post office to mail it. I hope Emmy receives it prior to Thanksgiving.

Here’s a photo of my Molly modeling the costume for “Blessing Warnock,” her part in the pretend school play. KW

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Before -- rear of Tudor with slider, deck, and stairway
This before picture of the back of Nick and Hallie's little Tudor cottage shows an update gone awry. The slider is out of character with the timeframe of the house (1929) and takes valuable wall space from a small bedroom. The wooden deck and stairway are poorly constructed, and note that the stairway, which leads from the kitchen, doesn't open onto the deck.

This photo shows the deck and stairway removed. The slider has been replaced by a wall and new window, and the new back door is installed.

The brick mason worked at the house yesterday (Saturday, Nov. 15) to brick the exterior wall. A mixture of bricks were used, including some Hallie dug up in the yard, some from a 1927 house in Seattle's University District, and some purchased from Portland. So, let's see how it looks now:

We can see that the wall has been reconstructed, but even so, it feels right. The house is at home with itself, so to speak, and is glad to be free of its encumbrances.

They hope an acid wash of the bricks will blend them some but the mortar has to cure two weeks before that can be done. KW

Friday, November 14, 2014


New wall replaces slider

Slider out . . .
“I’m so excited about this that I couldn’t wait to send some photos,” wrote Hallie on Sunday. “The energy of that bedroom is changed for the better with the new wall. Once it is complete with new lighting, trim, and a better color on the wall, it will be a great little hide-away.” 

This picture is really about the first coat of paint on the trim, but note the existing blue walls. Hallie says that none of her walls will be blue and that we can mark her words – NONE of the trim will be black. (If you think the blue is strange, you should see the pumpkin orange in the bathroom.)

The trim pictured here is the brick mold to go around the new back door and window and the white trim is to go around the window on the inside.
New back door

And here is the new back door. Personally, I love it! -- so much more in character with the house than the door without windows. I don't profess to be an expert, but I did grow up in an old house . . . KW