What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Winter Woods


I've been trying to kick myself out of doors more these days, knowing that my tendency in winter is to curl up and hibernate, and recognizing the need to get some crisp, fresh air into these lungs of mine.

Filling up your lungs with air helps you breathe.

So, I bundle up myself and these chickadees of mine and we go wandering about in the woods.  Which is an amazingly fascinating trip after a freshly fallen snow.  Tracks and traces of animals everywhere- scurrying about all around us but completely undetected.  A whole forest, teeming with invisible life.  The resting spots of deer, snow melted where their warm bodies lay.  Scurrying feet, in all sizes, from one spot to another and stopping to dig down under the snow to find something to eat.  Perfect holes in dead trees where birds feasted.  Life- all around us.

It makes us feel quite small and the world, unbelievably vast, to realize that we Newmans are not the only ones living on this hill~ in fact, we are quite outnumbered.  It's a big, lively world out there.  In our woods, under our feet, over our heads.   All around.  And to think- God sees it all.

What an amazing thought.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Quiet



Well, the computer problems that have been plaguing this household for almost two months seem to have all been stemming from a bad outlet that the computer was hooked up to.  As I understand it, the bad outlet kept shorting the computer.  Matt was finally able to replace the outlet last night (and get the computer back in working order working his magic) so, I really hope that was indeed the problem- and that it is now fixed.

Back a few months ago, while in the throws of gardening/canning season- when I had no time for anything but stuffing food in jars or bringing in another haul from the garden- I comforted myself by telling myself over and over "Wait until January to be creative.  In January you will have time to make things." And I would chug along dreaming of that day when I could curl up in a warm house with a big yarn project and crochet by candlelight.  I would dream of getting out the sewing machine and spending the quiet evenings making skirts, a dress for myself, and a few quilt tops.  Ahhh- come quiet January evenings!

Enter: reality.

January is a few days shy of out the door and it has been very unproductive in the creative sense of the word.  No major yarn projects completed.  Zero sewing since Christmas, though my machine stands at the ready, even now, at a makeshift sewing table right in the living room for that elusive "quiet moment".

I think in the midst of spring planting, summer tending and autumn harvests, I forget how busy winter actually is.  A different sort of busy- more of a being busy just surviving than anything else.  But still busy.  Winter goes something like this:  Bring in wood.  Haul water for animals.  Feed animals.  Feed fire.  Snow removal. Feed people. Repeat ad infinitum.  Thankfully, I have a hard-working husband who does much of the above for me much of the time.  But my own chores are leaving very little time for creating either.  One good lesson learned from being without a consistent computer for a while is that I now know it is not because of 'computer time' that my to-do list never gets done.  It is because there is a finite amount of time to work with and an infinite amount of things to do.  Mathmatically speaking- it would be impossible to accomplish everything that needs to be accomplished.

This is good news!  It means I am not a failure! (Which is what I often find myself believing.)

The beginning of January brought a stomach bug in the house which made for several putrid days and nights, many quilts and sheets needing laundered and a sign on our front door that said "SICK HOUSE-NO VISITORS PLEASE".  I will say, anyone whose house is in the unfortunate throws of a stomach bug need only to run to the store to get (or better yet, have their husband bring them) a blooming hyacinth to make it alright.  It was my saving grace.  (Remember this, husband!)

We took down our Christmas decorations a few days after we celebrated our Christmas with Matts' side of the family on January 10th.  I took it all down while Matt was sick.  The next day both littles came down with the same  and I felt the house too drab and dreary and unpleasant a place to be (whether it was the lack of Christmas shine or the sickies, I'll never know) so I marched back to the granary and got a few strands of the newly packed up Christmas lights and brought them back into the house.  I needed a bit of...sparkle.... so we still have Christmas lights up and I don't feel bad about it.  Not a bit.  In fact, I brought in a strand of red and white lights from our tree and will use them for Valentine's Day.

I still hope to get some creative juices flowing outside of my head and into my fingertips.

Despite my January track record, I still fully intend to MAKE something.  I think I'd like to make something clothing-ish.  Something vintage-y or maybe a bit Scandinavian.  Something for myself though little girl projects are always easier.  Come to think of it, I did stumble upon a tweed in my fabric stash that would make the most darling pants/vests sets for my boys for Easter.  And- I can't stop thinking about making a stripey quilt using subdued colors- rose, gray- interspersed with a few bits of embroidery that I can never seem to pass up.  I have quite the pile of embroidered bits that I need to get out of my drawer and into the world.

 I have exactly four days to get a Christmas present made, write three more letters and somehow figure out how to have a date night with my Mister in order to keep my monthly resolutions on track.  Can I do it?  I bet I can!

I am happy to be back at blogging, my friends, and dreaming with you.  Hopefully, I won't be staying away quite so long from now on. xoxo

Friday, January 09, 2015


Frigid winter days.

I lament, scorn and resent those moments this past fall when I contemplated purchasing a gas insert for the living room but was too much of a skinflint to actually do it.   This non-insulated old house atop a hill whipping in winds of -20 is no pleasant place to be during bitter winter days (and nights).  An inefficient woodstove down in a nasty old farmhouse basement doesn't really cut it.   Right now I have on a shirt, two sweaters and a coat and the tip of my nose still threatens at breaking off.  (Is it still there?)

Our bedroom, being the coldest of all bedrooms upstairs and three stories away from our only heat source, is hardly a welcoming place to lay our weary bones at night.   Our nightly ritual is thus:  Matt and I run quivering into bed and hastily squirm down low, closing off the opening of cold air and hiding our heads under the five quilts that cover our bed while we talk in shivery, quivery voices until our confined breath finally begins to warm us.   Those brave enough (me) take off clothes while writhing under the covers...those not so brave (Matt) threaten that not a speck of cold air can come in while writhing is occurring.

I always like to have ice water next to my bed for when I wake up thirsty and in the morning- the ice is still in a nice tidy cube.

In winter, though I love to read in bed, I can't convince my arms and fingers to be exposed to the bedroom air for any length of time so my reading is done instead during the day, standing by the woodstove or, if I am lucky, in the arms of a tired and napping Matt.

Best place.

In. The. World.

On second thought- it is a rather pleasant place after all.