After what felt like innumerable days of rain and grey skies we have finally had some sunshine!! Oh happy day! I have never minded the PNW grey dark days until this year. I believe it is definitely connected to the loss of my sweet Piggy boy. My heart was so heavy with dark sadness and the dark dreary weather just compounded it. Seeing sunshine and being able to get outside was heavenly. I have been walking daily, even in the rain. But when gifted with a sunny day those walks extend beyond my usual distance. It was such a lovely week end last of sunshine and just perfect to take Jackson out to explore Minto Brown park. He on his scooter and me with Misha in tow. We explored several different paths and just enjoyed being out in the fresh air and feeling a bit of sun upon our faces! One thing I enjoy doing when I am walking alone is listening to audio books. I am currently listening to another book by Atul Gawande. I loved Being Mortal so much I listened to it twice. I am currently listening to Complications. Atul is a surgeon and offers his perspective on the ethics involved in medicine and the medical field. He is both an excellent author and amazing human!
With the sunshine I also have been doing a bit of this and that in the yard. After years of failed garden plots in the back, I finally am giving in and declaring the shade has won (this even after paying out the nose to have two trees cut way back). So I am moving my raised beds to the front yard and my herb pots will reside on the back patio where there is just enough sunlight to sustain them. I am also moving around and ditching some poorly placed plantings and concentrating on putting in plants for food in every square inch that has adequate sunshine. A bit of pottering about here and there is slowly showing results. This looks like such a mess but it is on its way!
Oh how absolutely lovely this being at home is! I am baking and cooking regularly once again. While I enjoyed Hello Fresh I canceled my subscription this week. The vegetarian options were far to heavy on dairy and included too many pastas. I am not a huge pasta fan and prefer to avoid dairy. So I am giving Green Chef a go, my first box will arrive next Thursday. I have had some fun baking bread, cookies, and cake. I freeze bread and cookies and they will go into care packages to be sent off. I made a lovely spice cake that I have been enjoying with my afternoon tea. I used homemade applesauce in place of oil and it is so wonderfully moist and delicious. I find that for baking I still refer to the good old Better Homes and Gardens checkered cookbook just like my mother and grandmothers always used. I find it is easy to just substitute nut milks and applesauce for milks and butter. On a blustery wet and grey day I whipped up a batch of my mom’s chocolate pudding and found such comfort eating it warm right off the stove. She always let me do that with a topping of whipped cream. It is, to me, the ultimate comfort food. With all this food, I need those daily romps!! But it is a joy to be back in the kitchen baking again.
With the holidays over and life back to routine, I once again started up my bag making for the Etsy store that is run by Becca. I enjoy making them and it is a nice way to make a bit of extra fun money. I am thinking of adding a line of bags for essential oils, but need to make up a prototype and do a bit of playing around. Please excuse the bad words….yes they do sell and quite quickly!
I also finished up the darling Valentines pockets, got them stuffed with goodies and out into the mail. They were an easy and fun project that took absolutely no time at all to complete; a nice afternoon project. Now to find a fun and easy Easter project… Here is a link to the pattern for the Valentine pockets. http://thehappyzombie.com/pdf/penniepocket.pdf
I am currently hooked on embroidery and finding these dish towels absolutely addicting. To add a bit of pop I used crayons and colored in the figures then outlined and highlighted them with the stitching. I set the color in with a hot iron. I intend for these towels to get a lot of usage and not languish away in a drawer. I just love these whimsical pots and pans. Notice my lovely Cadbury Roses tin? That was a Christmas gift from Christina and once I enjoyed all the lovely chocolates, it is just the perfect size for my floss, needles, and scissors!
Popping out to my mailbox the other day and what a delight to find letters from my sweet grands in Ireland! Oh the joy!! Included were a few crystals that Charlotte had gathered from the beach. I savored the letters and placed the crystals on my desk where I can hold them each morning during my journaling and meditation. Oh how dearly I miss the grands and these letters just made my heart sing! There is just something special about a letter that calls, text, and emails cannot capture. I have thoroughly enjoyed sending letters to all the grands several times per month. Taking that time to sit down and focus on each child as I compose a letter, makes me feel so much closer to them even though they are all far away.
While embroidering and knitting I like to watch tv programs. I have completed numerous Brit series and while browsing youtube after viewing my favorite podcast, Voolenvine, I came across The Elliot Homestead. I was hooked and have thoroughly enjoyed binging away on this podcast. From there I discovered The Fairytale Cottage and The Parisian Farmgirl and my new favorite Girl in Calico who is vegan and shares the best ever recipes. The sky is the limit and there is so much to explore on youtube! I have learned so many things just watching lovely podcasts!
lWell after a huge kerfuffle I finally have a working range! What a fiasco this was. See I purchased a lovely Frigidaire range from Home Depot as the current one in the house no longer had a working oven. What should have been an easy process turned into hiring an electrician and a plumber only to then realize the cut out for the stove was too narrow. So after some makeshift carpenter work finally had it in and hooked up only to realize…..the oven didn’t work…..aaarrrggghhhh (well it works but first it shuts off and beeps for 5 minutes after preheating. It can then be reset after 10 minutes and will work)! Called Home Depot and what a run around. No they would not just pick it up and replace it, they sent out a repair man who said it was a factory malfunction but still they would not just replace it. In the interim I found that we do have an appliance store!! I had no idea or I would have never chosen Home Depot to purchase an appliance. Long story short had Home Depot refund me the money and called my local appliance store. They delivered and installed with no hassle! Crazy but the old one is still sitting in my doorway waiting for Home Depot to schedule a pick up. It has been 3 weeks since we purchased the original range…. But oh oh oh the beauty of this range. With the convection feature it can air fry in the oven. I already purchased the rack and basket to do just that! So all’s well that ends well and so it is.
And now little Misha and I must off for our daily walk.
Basking in the bits of sunshine,