Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Snow, Pinecones, Knitting and Other Good Stuff

Our days lately have been a delightful mix of busy-ness and quiet times.  In theory this time of year is our "quiet time" - the time of year when the pace of our life slows down naturally due to the change of season and...I'm forced to admit, in large part, due to the shorter days - one just can't work as much outside when it gets dark so early.  For me this is a good thing,  I'm the sort of person who needs external forces to slow me down (I'm working at learning this on my own). I feel pretty much "done" at the garden for this year,  certainly there is more I'd like to do but I am content with what I managed to get done before the snow.
The garden is mostly all tucked in - some under fall rye, some with garlic planted and mulched, some with a blanket of chopped leaves and some, very sad indeed, with no covering due to lack of rain to sprout the rye seeds and very hungry birds (who ate up all the unsprouted seeds).  Still, I'm pleased with how it looks and I've still got lots more bags of leaves to compost with manure that can be added in the springtime
(or next week if the weather cooperates!).  I'm looking forward to seeing loads of worms under this leaf covering come spring and really realizing how much of my love of gardening comes from the joy of building soil.
So with gardening come to a close that leaves me with a lot more time for relaxation, rest, rejuvenation...OR...


And decorating for winter.  And baking!  Musn't forget baking.
(E finally got to make us some caramel apples - he has been wanting to do this for ages)

Actually I love all these things and find them very relaxing.  Over the years we've managed to whittle down our holiday preparations to the things that are most important to us and it makes this time of year much more enjoyable for us.
(E's first mini snowman of the year last week)

On our afternoon walk earlier this week we started collecting pinecones and greenery for our decorations - it wasn't quite the same as the last two years (where we lived in the woods) but I think we'll easily manage to find enough greenery in our neighbourhood to decorate our home.

Usually at this time of year I do a big clean up before decorating, this year I've been going a bit further than usual.  For several months (ahem) I've been working on the virtue of orderliness (you can read more about these virtues in Pace of Grace  or try doing some virtues picks on the right sidebar of this website - I love these cards and find them extremely inspiring ).  Orderliness does not come naturally to me and so what I had thought would be a 3 month virtues pick is still with me.  ;-)  At any rate, it means that my usual pre-holiday season clear out has taken on a deeper meaning.

I've been continuing my work on decluttering but also focusing on putting what's left (as well as my habits and our routines) in order.  And since I like to always include some fun in any project I take on, I'm making sure that decluttering remains interesting and leaves me with a feeling of being productive.  Hence...
trying to use up as much of my thrifted yarn stash as possible in each gift I make. ;-)
I also have plans to us up the rest of my felted sweater bits to make another one of these patchwork quilts.  This one gets used constantly and with four of us and a cat there is always someone wishing we had another.  And so this month is passing quickly as we work towards being Orderly before our busy time next spring.


LindaSue said...

Thanks for the info on Nettle. I will look into it.

A bit of info, I am still reading thru your older posts, what a lot of info you share. On the corn on the cob and freezing. An old farmer told me to take the unshucked ears of corn and put them in a paper bag or plastic and just put them in the freezer. I cut off a little of the silk and cut the stalk off to the bottom of the corn. Took off a couple of leaves and put 10 each into a quart bag. They stack nice in the freezer that way. I put up almost 3 bushels this way and had to go any buy a new freezer. What a bummer, right. So to cook, I wrap in aluminum foil and put on the grill, now I am putting them in the toaster over. About 375 for about 45min to an hour. I just wrap them up tight and let them cook. Taste like they were just picked. I think maybe, and I may be wrong, if you try to boil them like they were fresh they would get too soft. Freezing them and then wrapping in foil has just enough moisture, but not too much. I cut off about a bushel and froze them in plastic bags. I didn't blanch or anything. So maybe you can try that way. I don't think I will ever put corn on the cob in boiling water again. This way is so much easier and a lot less hassle.
Try it and let me know what you think.

Thank you so much for all the new recipes. I think if I can this weekend we will try pumpkin muffins for breakfast or snack. Later.

sheila said...

Oh gosh, I'm doing the Virtues Project with the twins right now, how funny. I love it. It's so simple but it's also a lesson they remember all week over and over again. That alone charms me.

snerr: A sneer with poor spelling.

daisy g said...

It sounds like you are enjoying your slower pace. How wonderful to be able to create a warm blanket for your family to enjoy!
Orderliness certainly frees up time and energy for other things!
Continued success with that!

LindaSue said...

Meant a gallon size bag. LOL

AMOffenwanger said...

I have leaf envy.

And that pumpkin, next to the snowman- oh my goodness. Cruelty. Not to mention hilariousness.

Happy snowcone-knitting day! (or wasn't that what you said you were doing?)

moment to moment said...

Mmmmmmm, it all sounds so lovely.

Reginas Cottage said...

hello heather,
lovely photos. i like the little snowman,he looks cute.
mmh caramel apples makes me hungry.
nice wool.the last photo looks wonderful....i love the color-combi.
i think you enjoy your quiet time.
i wish you a wonderful week,
love and hugs,

LindaSue said...

Had to write again. Thanks for that pumpkin muffin recipe. The bag had almost 3 cups of pumpkin after I pureed it. I added about 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour, also about 1/2 tea. vanilla, about 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, and about 1 cup oatmeal. I followed the recipe with a cup of oil, a cup of brown sugar, not white but unbleached whole flour, 3 jumbo eggs, and the rest what you used. Oh my goodness, they are so good. I topped with real butter and a little bit of apple jelly. I ate 3 before I knew it. Looks like it will make almost 2 1/2 dozen, hubby ate 2, but he is in the kitchen right now so no telling how many he will eat. I can't wait till tomorrow morning. A hot cup of tea with some more, maybe 4 this time. LOl Thanks again for the recipe.

Mary-Sue said...

oh yes yes yes! these colours will look GREAT with those. gorgeous! lovely lovely.

cargillwitch said...

yes- external forces that MAKE us slow down are really what compels me to take a break and rest between Samhain and Winter Solstice. Whether I like to admit it or not I really need this time to regain a bit of energy and focus.
Do so love the effect of multiple yarns together!

erin said...

i love how you used up the last bits of yarn like this, so creative. i suspect after this year's yarn buying sprees, i made need a project like this come february!
you would be an excellent companion to knit alongside, i am learning ever so slowly, but furthering my experience if nothing else!

my hat-turned-scarf came unravelled completely by me last night, the wool wasn't cooperating (too much splitty acrylic in the berrocco i think) and i will try again today. if nothing else i am learning that i like the natural fibers best...

i'd love to explore the virtues project...looks timely and prefect!

erin said...

hello Heather!
how did I find your blog... someone else's blog! (?) but I LOVE it!

From gardening addictions, to hauling home bags of other people's rejected leaves to close up the garden, the joy of saving seeds, pumkin bread and soap making.
You and I have a lot in common!! I like your ideas. :0)