Friday, December 31, 2010

Come for a Boxing Day walk with us!

We had quite a nice snowfall on Christmas day and throughout the night. As usually happens after snow, high winds were due to come in, so we decided to head out for a walk while the landscape still had that pristine, magical calm over it.
                                                     We went out of the gate...

                                                and down the road...

around the mountain past the "house" next door.

Cheyenne, you said you always dreamed of living in this area, well, here's your starter kit honey! You would be welcomed by a colony of about 12 cats, a family of racoons, a stray dog and sometimes a bear!
The illustrator's house.
 Posted by Picasa
the old church. I mean to write to the current owners of this building and see if they would like to sell it. They live out of state and never come here as far as we can tell. I'd like to clean it up and rent it out as a knitter's retreat or place for local quilters to meet and sew! Just hate to see it standing forlorn and forgotten.

              The creek and another abandoned home.

interesting rock formations...

The creek winds its way from one side of the road to the other. Not too long ago these little low-water bridges didn't exist and the road went right through the creek. Even now when the water is high it covers the bridges and sometimes washes them out altogether.

long stretches of nothingness.

all the way to the very end ...

 where our dirt road meets the hard-topped road. Here, our creek meets a larger creek and continues its journey to the river and the ocean a few hundred miles away.

The main road up the mountain...
The long winding road down the mountain.

Looking back to the rickety bridge at the entrance of our road.  I always hold my breath when driving over it!

Posted by Picasa

Heading home.

Abandoned farmhouse.
The creek and the church.
And we got back just as the wind started to pick up!

Time for hot soup and a cup of tea.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Sending you all warm Christmas greetings. Thank you so much for reading my ramblings and leaving comments. I really appreciate it.

Love, Polly
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's beginning to look...

... a little bit like Christmas!

After working in a nursing home where my dept. was responsible for decorating all three floors for every holiday on the calendar, I swore I never wanted to decorate again!

Up until 2006, Ken was usually deployed to some foreign land at Christmas, so I managed to get away with not doing much at all. The last few years, he's been the one putting up the tree etc. This year, I'm feeling so good I actually want to decorate a little. But not the usual gaudy mess!

Thanks to Alicia, at Posie Gets Cozy , I got the idea to make these little Swedish style hanging wreaths for the windows.  We have a row of Leyland Cyprus trees growing along the fence line by the road and their branches turned out to be ideal! I Love simple and natural! 
That little tree on the coffee table was a  three dollar Christmas Eve clearance item at Walmart. It was the  year that Ken was in Saudi Arabia, and my MIL, on the phone, was appalled  that I hadn't "put up a tree for Joshua". I felt really guilty, and  hauled Josh off to the store to see what could be had. Wow, now I know why guys like to shop on Christmas eve! We got the tree and a beat up box of  tiny broken wooden ornaments for five bucks. Joshua thought it was the greatest thing, finding all the little wooden parts and gluing them back together.  
Poor kid. I was a baaad mama! 
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cat TV

Not much blogging getting done lately owing to frantic knitting. I'm trying to get a sweater finished for Ken in time for Christmas. He knows about it, but since we are having a very spartan Christmas this year, I thought it would be nice for him to have something to unwrap.

We really don't go all out for the holidays as we tend to buy things we want or need throuout the year. In fact we've accumulated so much "stuff" over the years, I need to be getting rid of things, not bringing in more! Ken already got what he wanted, one of those tripods with a pully for hanging deer or pigs etc. for butchering. I bought all that yarn a couple of weeks ago and paid the bill for the kidney stone surgery. A pain free Christmas and a pile of knitting is all I want. That leaves Joshua. He just wants a scope for his rifle. He's also been hankering to learn blacksmithing, so I'm going to enrol him in a course locally. Our nearest town, about 20 miles away has a population of only 450 people, but it's a very unique place, full of artist, artisans and musicians and an arts center offering courses in a wide variety of skills. I imagin next year he'll be wanting an anvil and all the blacksmithing tools!

Below are a few pictures taken over the weekend...

Dexter discovers "talking cat" videos on youtube!

It's Sunday, so here are this weeks  'through the kitchen window ' pics.

This is Ken cutting kindling for the stove. Kin'lin' as he calls it. Still a couple of inches of snow on the ground. The storm last week wasn't as bad as we'd expected. The power stayed on, though it doesn't affect us much when it goes out. We just light the oil lamps and transfer the milk and other perishables from the fridge to a cooler outside on the porch. If it's out for more than a couple of days Ken fires up the generator for an hour or two to keep the freezers cold. We kind of enjoy going back to 19th century living once in a while.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Pictures

Below are few pictures from around the farm this last weekend when it warmed up a bit outside. Before we degenerated back into arctic conditions.

I haven't been blogging much beacause we've been experiencing such fierce winter weather this week. The day's have been a blur of slogging back and forth with feed and water for animals and keeping the woodstove going, - with a bit of knitting in between. The winds were so high it sounded  as if  there were jets sitting on a runway outside the back door!  The house was shuddering! I slept in the recliner by the stove so that I could keep it going all night. It will hold a fire all night with no problem, but when the winds are so high and variable, if there isn't a good blaze in the fire box  it will suddenly belch smoke right out of the blue. I think it's when the wind swings from the North. The lights kept flickering and we eventually lost  power on Monday afternoon from about 4 until midnight. Just a short outage by our standards. When it goes out, it's usually out for a good few days. Our neighbors across the road lost their water and called for help around midnight. So Ken had to go over and work on the pump in their spring house. Thankfully, he was able to get it going for them.  

Right now we are hunkering down for a snow storm which may be mixed with freezing rain, so there's a good chance we will lose electricity again if ice accumulates on the power lines, or trees fall on them. Never a dull moment here in the winter.

                            Looking back toward the house while taking a walk along the creek
                                                             The pigeons at feeding time.

                                                           Crystal Palace eating her hay.

Through the livingroom window, the sun coming around the mountain at three in the afternoon. Lady bugs on the window frame! (They're now in the vacuum cleaner :)

Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 13, 2010

One horse and another

I took this shot today. Shady up on the hill eating her hay with her reflected image in the icy pond.

We've had a little break in the weather with two days above freezing but now it's 20F, breezy and snowing again. More high winds and very low temperatures for the week ahead. Yuk! I really don't like wind: it makes working outside very miserable. Nice to listen to while tucked up in bed or sitting by the woodstove though.

I spent the weekend working on the cardigan I started last week, and managed to get it finished a few minutes ago. It's the first (adult sized) cardi I've ever made, due a fear of collars and button bands. Once I got down to it, picking up the stitches for them both was really easy. All those years of avoiding cardigans, now I want to knit a whole closet full! Tomorrow I'm going to cast on stitches for Ken's cardi. It's kind of like a smoking jacket, with a shawl collar. I'll post pics tomorrow because it's really late now and I can't keep my eyes open any longer.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Presto Chango Knitted Baby Sweater

Thought I'd post a picture of this little baby outfit I knitted a few months ago. I still have it because the baby it was intended for, grew faster than the knitting! Had to make another one two sizes larger for him to grow into. So now this is earmarked for another little one that's not yet born.

The hat is just something simple I made up as I went along, but the sweater pattern is called Presto Chango and you can download it for free here:  ( I think I added extra moss stitch on the front for some reason,- probably to make up for a mistake :) It's a nice easy knit with quite a lot of room for improvisation.

The yarn is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes but I can't remember the name of it. It's no longer in their catalog. I think it was Mocha Twist.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 05, 2010

We have snow!

                                            The view from the kitchen window last Sunday

                                       Here's the view from the kitchen window this afternoon.

The wood stove and my knitting.  And a BIG pot of soup. Guys get hungry when they're hunting!

I lost my blogging inspiration for a week or so and now it's hard to get back to it.

Last week was Thanksgiving. One of Ken's brothers came up to stay with us from North Carolina. He always comes up here at this time of the year to go hunting. We had a nice weekend but there wasn't a deer in sight. T. sat up on the mountin for five hours and didn't see any. They are usually wandering around in the yard, at least in the early morning and evenings, but this year apparantly, there's a huge crop of acorns and other goodies that deer love to eat, so they are staying deep in the woods.

As you can see winter has finally arrived. It snowed lightly all day yesterday and now we have a lot of wind. Ken and Josh had to rig up a better house for the goats. Yes, it consists of the usual blue tarps that I'm so desperate to get rid of, but at least the goats are cozy and protected from the howling winds. The man was supposed to have been and fenced the mountain side by now, and I thought the goats would be out of the temporary pen and up on  the mountain by the end of October. We remembered that fence man wasn't feeling well when we last talked to him so we are getting worried that he is still not doing so good. Will have to call and find out.

So, while the weather outside is awful, once the farm chores are done, we're staying inside, cozy and warm by the wood stove. I finished knitting a sweater for Joshua. Just a plain one for working outside in. There's nothing like pure wool for warmth. Now I'm working on a cardigan for me. Yarn was on sale at the store in town so I kind of got carried away and bought enough for sweaters for all of us. Since the doctors and dentist appointments are all done with, we probably wont go to the big town again for a few months.

I'll try to blog more this coming week.