Friday, January 27, 2017

Midwinter
















We're having a real January this year. I say real because it truly feels like winter to me, with numerous storms (both rain and snow have fallen, in decent amounts), frigid nights and plenty of the cold, sunny days that I really love. Our home rain gauge, the digital display for which hangs on a wall in the family room, says that we have had 1.27 inches of precipitation so far this month. The average total for January, at the Sunport, is under half an inch, so I'd say we're doing really well. Indoors, I couldn't be happier about the real winter we're having. It's the usual tea and afghans (you know me), but also a lot more reading and crafting than I have done in a while. I've just finished a biography of Joan Didion that I really enjoyed, The Last Love Song, and also recently read Bruce Springsteen's book Born to Run, which you really should read. Just read it.

Thank you for the kind words about our hen, Penny. I think we're all doing okay with it. The LB is not an emotionally demonstrative child, never has been, but we've talked a lot. Both children have experienced a pet's death before, when our dog, Angus, died in 2012. They were seven and four at the time, and probably didn't fully understand what was happening, but they were there when the dog died (we had him euthanized after a short but very serious illness). They were able to say goodbye to him. He'd always been around, from before they were born, and he probably seemed somewhat like furniture to them. With Penny, it's different because they're older, but also because they helped raise her from a chick. They're very excited for new hens and I think they'll remember their first ones fondly as they grow up. Betty, the surviving hen, is doing well. I think she'll be around for a while. I've been trying to take extra time to talk to her and pet her, now that she's alone. She's a little confused, maybe, but it's hard to tell with a hen. She's mostly been her slow, calm self.

Next door, there's a new roof being installed. The noise has been horrendous - hammering, sawing, shouting, trucks idling all day long on the street. There are old shingles all over the ground, in our yard too, and I hope they'll be picking them up. There has been endless work on this house for two years now and I can't wait for them to finish. I don't know what was so bad about this house to begin with, but it was sold to new people and I guess they have a vision for it. I've only seen the people themselves a handful of times, though I know they live there. They've certainly created a beautiful backyard if they ever decide to come outside to experience it.

I've been feeling poorly for a couple of days and staying close to home as much as I can. I'm enjoying life at home very much these days, as I often find in the winter. When it's cold outside, I feel more inclined to clean, for one thing, so the house is very neat right now. My little ivy plant is growing a lot and I'm feeling (perhaps prematurely) that I can definitely, for sure keep this one alive. I bought a cheap bunch of alstroemeria more than a week ago and it's still going strong. I put a few stems in the dining room and a few in the kitchen. Alstroemeria has become my go-to flower in winter, until tulips are more plentiful. As with tulips, I usually go for the bright pinks and purples. I've been trying to srpuce things up around the house, with new curtains for the living room and dining room (off-white sheer panels) and for the kitchen (ivory cotton valances), and new bedding for the small Bears (both got new comforter sets from Target, Pillowfort brand for kids, which has some really cute stuff). Next, I want a new comforter for my bed, but I'm still firming up those illustrious afghan plans, don't you know.

I received a package in the mail this week, something I'd been waiting for since before Christmas. It's a special-edition Misty Copeland Barbie doll! Maybe it's a little silly for a 38-year-old woman to buy herself a Barbie doll. It was unusually impulsive of me to buy such a thing. But the GB, a ballerina herself, adores Misty Copeland and I think she's pretty awesome too. I'll probably put the Barbie in the GB's Easter basket, but for now she's my secret treasure. There's just something about a brand-new doll, isn't there? Neat and tidy, every hair in place, and in Misty's case, every flame-red feather (she's dressed for her role in Firebird) beautifully arrayed.

I hope you have a good weekend! I'm going to continue taking it a bit easy while I get over this cold (my first in many months, thankfully). There will be reading and crochet, in between the usual weekend activities. For now, I'm staying warm, trying to ignore the hammering, and savoring the last little while before it's time for school pick-up. In the kitchen, there's a cup of tea with my name on it, and in the living room, a bag of new library books. If I get bored, there's a heck of a lot of yarn and a dazzling Barbie to admire. I'll all hooked up.

18 comments:

  1. We are definitely having a winter here too. Snow, ice and more snow and then more ice! I love all the flowers that you have around your home. Flowers certainly seem to brighten up a room don't they? I haven't been able to get to Trader Joe's to get fresh flowers, but the white poinsettias are still doing well from Christmas, so at least it's something. I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. There sure are a lot of colds and flu going around. I hope you'll soon be feeling much better. I hope you have a lovely and cozy weekend Jennifer.
    Blessings, Betsy

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  2. What inspiring photos and thoughts. Have a wonderful weekend and warm greetings!

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  3. Today finally feels like winter for us...it's the first good snow in weeks! I love your little alphabet cross stitch, very sweet.

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  4. I'm glad you're enjoying the real winter. We had quite the real one here too. But I'm pining for Spring now. I like your ivy - in the house in a pot - but hope you don't plant it outside. Ivy is a very destructive invasive plant here in the NW. It climbs up trees and chokes them to death and covers ground choking out anything in it's path. Whole forests are dying due to English Ivy. Volunteers go and try to pull it out but it's almost impossible to do so. Just a public service announcement! LOL! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  5. Sounds deliciously cosy with you. I love the picture of the mountain and it's lovely to see your cross stitch all beautifully framed and in situ. Sorry you've been under the weather, I do hope you're all better soon. Have a good weekend, and I hope you get some time to enjoy those new library books. CJ xx

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  6. I can't imagine living next door to a construction project for two years. We lived in Portland for a year and half and out of that time we lived through three new houses and one reconstructed house being worked on. Madness especially when the roofing was being done. We'd find roofing nails and bits of shingles in our driveway everyday. Portland new housing is crazy. They're building huge houses on lots that small family homes once occupied. And the prices have skyrocketed out of control. Sad.
    Hope you're all feeling better, soonest.

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  7. Oh, I love that Firebird Barbie - and never knew such a doll was available. I'd be treasuring it too Jennifer. It is always a pleasure to see your mountains, your sweet kitchen and the hens. I love how you enjoy your home and being in it - I have been doing much the same during January (since my visitors left) and adore the feeling of nesting, cleaning and sorting closets, trips to the Charity, and so on. Once the year gets going, not much of that happens!

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  8. Snow on the mountain! It looks so beautiful.
    Take care of yourself Jennifer and have a good weekend.

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  9. I know how hard colds are, exhausting! I hope you feel better soon! ♡ those flowers are lovely! And it is do nice to get new things for one's home! God's blessings!♡

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  10. just catching up with your posts and was sorry to read about Penny.
    Hope you are feeling better soon too. xxx

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  11. I'm a bit behind in blog reading, so didn't know one of your hens had died. I'm so sorry to hear that. I know how much you all love your chickens. I'm glad you finally got a dose of real winter! Enjoy it while it lasts, and I hope you're feeling better soon.

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  12. I bought a vintage barbie clothes pattern from Heidi this week. For her, for me who knows but it might be the start of her vintage pattern collection in the future. She loved it. Stay warm and keep crafting. Jo x

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  13. I was not allowed my own barbies when I was little but I was given a box full of old ones with clothes and my mum could not really say no to her friend so eventually I got some. It sounds lovely, winter at the Bears' house. Enjoy winter, it won't last much longer (first signs of spring here!). I like winter, too but ours is not quite as nice as yours at the moment, it is grey and wet. xx

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  14. Thanks for the interesting words and photos, Jennifer. The photo of the golden leaves against the blue sky is especially stunning to me. I am imagining you curled up and cozy with tea and books at the ready as you get better :) I drove a friend to a 50th wedding anniversary party today and am planning to be out and about Sunday. I think I''m getting over my cabin fever I developed during out snow and ice days! xx

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  15. I had a new roof put on a few months ago. I KNOW about the noise!! :)

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  16. Winter here has been all storms and fog and a bit of snow. I feel for you living next to a house project. I had to live through almost a year of major roadworks when I moved into the place I'm in now. Starting at 8am and finishing at 8pm, sometimes finishing at 2 in the morning. I bet you can't wait for the noise to finish.

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  17. Gorgeous photographs, and such a nice post about your every day winter routine. I like an empty diary in winter too, I enjoy being at home when it's cold and wet outside. It must be very disruptive living next door to the buiding work. I would have thoughht the new neighbours might have come to the door with a bunch of flowers and had a chat with you about the proposed work, but obviously not! Hope you get over your cold very soon X

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  18. I know what you mean about cleaning when it's cold - I do the same. It's as though all thoughts and efforts turn inwards, to the four walls that surround us. I hope your cold was over quickly. I've had about six this winter, it sucks. xx

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