Saturday, February 15, 2014

Late winter, at home














We've had such a pleasant winter. There was snow in December but January was mild. February, so far, has been fairly mild too. We had snow last week, but it's warm and sunny now. The weather lately, and in the forecast, seems more like early spring than waning winter. I've even had some of the windows open the last few days, letting in fresh air and chasing out the germs from our recent illness. I'm starting to feel really excited for spring, especially now that some of my bulbs are sprouting in the yard and the days are getting longer, with brighter mornings.

I love spring, but I don't really mind winter. We have lived in places with serious snow but here it isn't usually a major problem. And though it can be very cold, it's almost always sunny. The sun can be deceptive. I often go out - or send my children out - woefully underdressed. It doesn't help that I haven't had a proper winter coat for the last couple of years. I got rid of one I'd had for many years and never found time to shop for a good replacement. I finally bought one online this fall, but it was back-ordered and still hasn't shown up. I should have that proper winter coat ready to go for next year. Something to look forward to, I guess. In the meantime, I pile on scarves as necessary and am still enjoying my Slouchy Daisy hat, especially on the rare wet or snowy day.

Staying home is our favorite thing, year-round. There's so much to do, from yard work to cooking to crafting. Winter is no exception, though it also brings the opportunity to hunker, to eat soup, to bake and to work on warm projects like crocheted afghans. I've been sewing too. Was there a baby boom in the winter of 2009? We're attending birthday parties for the GB's friends almost every weekend; it's becoming a lifestyle. The small Bears are busy with school and friends, music and dance. Homeschool is humming along; we've been using our ancient microscope for fun and learning. The LB finished a kids' needlepoint project! He's so proud of it. It's made with printed plastic canvas and thin yarn. He worked so hard on this thing. He sat down to stitch in unlikely places, like the kitchen floor. He concentrated deeply, for a long time. I liked to watch him.

Everyone seems to be feeling better now. We appreciate your kind words about the illness we dealt with around here. In other news, we're now the proud owners of a real, live chicken coop! Oh, yes. We decided to buy a kit, instead of building one ourselves, after we priced all the materials and estimated building time. The cost difference was quite small, as it turned out. And this way, we know it's sturdy and comfortable for them. The coop has a built-in run; our yard is not quite spacious enough for free-range girls. The Bear assembled the coop last weekend, first leveling the ground underneath. I'm wondering if I can decorate it. We'll get chicks this spring, when the local sellers have them available. I'm so excited about this! I think it will be educational. I'm also looking forward to caring for animals again.

On TV: the Olympics, of course, and Everybody Loves Raymond on Amazon Prime (we just got a Blu-Ray player; what a picture! Is this what it was like when color TV started?)
On the radio: Stories and reminiscences about the Beatles' arrival in America fifty years ago this month.
On audiobook: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

46 comments:

  1. I Must buy some pore tulips - yours look great. I even have some in bud in the garden. Please Spring, hurry up! More storms here over the last couple of days, which left us without power this morning. It's all ok now, which has meant plenty of time for crafting.
    Matt would love chickens - good luck and enjoy the rest of your weekend. x

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  2. So glad to read that you're all feeling better :)

    I have the same problem when it comes to a coat ... I have been meaning all winter to do something about it, but am still just wrapping myself up in shawls and taking an umbrella when it's wet!

    Lovely to think that you're seeing signs of spring already :)

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  3. I am intrigued by your microscope and wish we had one, too. So much fun! The mushroom soup looks so so tasty, I must go and find some food right now. It is so nice to see your daily doings Jennifer, you have a wonderful home and family. I bought a down winter jacket in November, it nearly reaches my knees and is super cosy. It is really too warm for Glaswegian winters and Sam says it makes me look fat. But I love it anyway. I hope your coat arrives before it is too late for this winter! Cx

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  4. Lovely pictures, love LB little butterfly, glad you hear you are all better, have a great weekend
    Clare x

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  5. You and I have shared something this winter that not many can claim - we both live in places where the winter was mild. I don't know about you, but I almost feel guilty as I read about the about the horrific snowstorms that keep hitting so much of the US and Canada, along with the rain and windstorms that have struck the UK.

    The chicken coop looks great! You are going to have so much fun with it!

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  6. Chickens! I'm so jealous... they're on my One Day list!
    Our winter has been fairly mild - in fact, we've had lots of floods but luckily this part of the country hasn't been too badly affected. I do miss a good snowfall, but there's still time yet.
    Staying home is our favourite thing too. And much as I love winter, the lighter days make everything seem so much more hopeful somehow.
    Keep warm - and start looking up lots of recipes to use your eggs with!
    Sarah :)

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  7. Chickens, I'm green with envy! Me and my eldest are desperate for chickens. One day, one day... I love how your littlest bear has taken her toy with her to look into the coop. Your son's sewing is fantastic, well done indeed. Glad you're all feeling better now, I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend. CJ xx

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  8. Beautiful pictures and oh my the snow......at least I felt a bit cooler here lol hot hot.
    How exciting...chickens ☺

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  9. Such calm and soothing pictures! I love the tulips - they're such a good reminder of Spring!

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  10. Wonderful photos...aren't you proud of your creative little one and that butterfly! You'll just have to link that up to Stitching Sunday tomorrow! ;-) I'm envious of your chicken coop, a friend gave me fresh eggs this week from her chickens, I always go crazy over fresh eggs, they are wonderful! Loving your truly home comforts! Chrissie x

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  11. Sounds like you have all been making the most of your time, I love the sound of getting chicks, such fun.

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  12. What a delightful post filled with family goings-on, and such a lovely butterfly from your creative LB. Your tulips are beautiful, as are all your pics, Jennifer, and it's going to be wonderful for you all having real chicks in that very smart chicken coop - we kept little bantams at our previous home but don't have space here unfortunately, but it's such a wonderful thing to do and great experience for LB and GB especially - roll on spring!
    We also have mild winters here in our part of Western Australia, with only the occasional really cold day, which is very nice, and although we have hot dry days and not much rain during summer, it's still more comfortable than in Perth, our 'capital' city where summer days can be 10 degrees hotter than here.
    Have a great Sunday, hugs, Joy x

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  13. Many lovely pictures in this post Jennifer and it is no surprise you like to be at home in your special place. I like being at home too - and enjoy home-making! The chicken coop is great - very classy, and not at all like the old chicken run we had when I was a little girl. It is great you have the little bear stitching already - I am wonder how to start my 4 year old grandson stitching in some way. He asked me to teach him to make clothes on the sewing machine!! As always, loving your snowy photos, which are eternally beautiful. x

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  14. Oh I'm so happy to hear that you got your chicken coop. -This is wonderful news. The start to an exciting adventure. :) Your Tulips looks beautiful. I came across some in the store today,- beautiful! I'm so happy to hear you are all feeling better. Today I was able to eat a decent amount of food without feeling nausea. -It was wonderful. Have a beautiful weekend, Jennifer.

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  15. So happy to be back reading your beautiful blog! Those lovely wintry pics have me craving a proper winter! We've had so much rain this year. Sorry to hear you've not been well & I hope you are all on the mend! x

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  16. I was happily scrolling down through your photos and BAZINGA! A chicken coop! WooHOO! You are going to love the whole chicken thing! We didn't do chicks, though.. we got pullets nearly ready to lay. Have fun with it and I can't wait to see pix! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  17. I was so glad to read that you're all feeling better. All of your pictures made me smile-so happy. I especially loved the soup, (mushrooms)??? And the chickens. I would love to have chickens but don't think that will happen. Enjoy your days of coziness.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  18. I think I need to move to NM...mild winters are the kind of winter I could handle! I bet the kids are so excited about getting chickens. I think all of you will learn a lot and enjoy them. Looking forward to hearing about them and seeing them through your blog!

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  19. So love that you got a coop! This is going to be awesome for your kids and you!! There is nothing better than fresh eggs! And your photos are just lovely friend! A wonderful weekend to you!! Nicole xoxo

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  20. I love your chicken coop and can't wait to hear all about the chickens when you get them! Have a lovely weekend. Julie x

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  21. gorgeous photos, love the coop, looks like you are all enjoying yourselves- glad you are all feeling better. have a good weekend.

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  22. What a wonderful collection of photos. They are great, and what's better is that you are all feeling much better. What fantastic sewing from your little man, something to be very proud of indeed :)

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  23. Very nice cosy photos. I love the LBs sewing, bless him. I'm excited about your chickens! X

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  24. Such a lovely happy homely post! Beautiful photos and I love your bright and cheerful tea towel in the last photo. A pretty tea towel is an essential in a kitchen I think.
    Marianne x

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  25. The sewing project is wonderful, well done to your son. Chickens, how exciting. I shall look forward to hearing of their arrival and following their progress.

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  26. Such a picture perfect post. Chooks are the very best. My son had the happiest times with his and your baking will be extra special x

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  27. What a time to catch up with your blog... chickens!! Tea towels!! Snow!!
    Seriously enjoyed the simple but BRILLIANT pleasures you shared. Enjoy the week x

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  28. Lovely photos Jennifer and I have to say Everybody loves Raymond is one of Tonys favourites too.

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  29. Hi Jennifer,
    I love the photos of the snow since we don't have that here. I'm happy to hear that everyone is feeling better and you're enjoying your late winter days in the comfort of your home with your wonderful family. I can't wait to hear more about the chickens. The coop looks great!

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  30. Always great to catch up Jennifer, we had chickens last spring and our children have really enjoyed caring and watching them. They look a bit wet and soggy at the moment but they just don't seem to go in even if it is rainy! Jo x

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  31. The needlework butterfly really popped off the page for me. I am delighted that it was LB who stitched it. I admire young boys who do whatever they like without thinking something like this is "for girls!" I imagine that's one of the benefits of being brought up with such love and support. High self esteem and creativity is the inevitable result!

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  32. Sweet post! Love LB's butterfly, he did a great job. The chicken coop is wonderful. Our friends also purchased one after factoring in the expense and time to build one. Anxious to see yours filled with decorated and filled with chicks in the spring. I love the "nesting" factor is of winter, but not the cold of winter. Spring next month!

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  33. LB's little tapestry is so pretty, he did really well! I hope that you have lots of enjoyment from the chickens and that all goes well with them, I am sure that the small bears will enjoy them a lot, and you will have lots of eggs for all your cooking needs! Here's to the signs of spring coming along before too much longer! xx

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  34. What lovely photos Jennifer! LB's tapestry is so cute, he did really well. I remember doing those when I was a kid and how much I loved seeing them take shape. Yummy looking soup, I make so much vegetable soup in Winter, it's such a comfort food when it's cold out. xx

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  35. Jennifer, your home is such a playground for your family's passions, both indoors and out, and with the addition of the chicken coop, I can only imagine the stories you will have for us very soon! Glad you are all doing better and hope you get your new coat before the winter's over!

    Poppy

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  36. Hey Jennifer,
    I think that home is the best place to be too. Even our camper Betty is our home in miniature. And chickens!!! How exciting. Jean is in moult at the moment, poor thing. I feel so sorry for her in this awful weather. She must be freezing. I must say I loved the peek insode the cupboard. I'm so nosey!

    Leanne xx

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  37. Your home looks so happy and productive. A perfect environment for your children. Congratulations on the chicken coop!! xx

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  38. Glad to hear you and your family are feeling better Jennifer! More gorgeous photos here, I particularly love the cupboard picture, I pinned it to my 'shelves' board on pinterest! Also loving that jug and your beautiful little ice cream flowers from your previous post. Have a good week, x

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  39. I grew up on research poultry farms, but never got to experience productive pet chickens. I have forever friends who I get to visit from time to time who do have them, though, and have read about how to manage such a commitment. I am excited for you, and hope to enjoy news of your chickens, Jennifer :)
    We are still getting lots of rain, but may have some sunshine this weekend! Wishing you and yours more happy healthy days xx

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    Replies
    1. PS. I stayed up last night and watched the first Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. It was fun to hear him mention Saugerties, and to see his parents in the audience even though I never met them...that I can remember at least :)

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  40. I love your photos! What are you shooting on?

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  41. So glad you're all feeling better now Jennifer. It's lovely that you've had a mild winter so far and here's hoping it remains so. Lovely photos, as ever and enjoyed reading what you've been up to.
    Patricia x

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  42. A super photo journal, Jennifer and I'm glad you and the LB really are feeling better now. I love the idea of young children learning crafts like needlepoint - so much better than the endless computer gam es so many seem to play. I do hope spring really is arriving for you.

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  43. I am so excited that you are getting chickens! Your children are going to love them. Your tulips look so pretty... I love the color. My husband gave me pink tulips for Valentine's day, and I am still enjoying them. Everybody Loves Raymond is one of my very favorites shows. I watch an episode every night on TV Land. And yes, I believe there was a baby boom in the winter of 2009. My daughter was born in March of 2009!

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  44. You have had a much better winter than me Jennifer! But I think the sunshine would help, over here it has just been grey and dull (although it has been very mild, for that I am thankful for!) :) I love Everybody Loves Raymond too, the reruns are on all the time here and I can't resist watching them again. :)

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