Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Quiet Month

January was a moody and capricious month here in South-Central Kentucky with weather that was never bitterly cold, instead giving us some chilly nights, several noisy night-time thunder storms, wind, and days that shifted quickly between clouds and sunshine.
December, no matter how quietly one keeps the holiday, is unsettling.
I have always found January a time for hunkering down, to read, to ponder projects I might undertake, a time to be quietly creative.
The month just past has been an inward-looking time for me, fostered in part by a bout of insomnia that didn't want to let me out of its clutches.
Sunny hours have found me outside, squelching about in my tall boots, marveling at the signs of early spring.
The Yellow Simplicity roses have tiny new leaves on the lower branches--leaves of palest green
edged in crimson.

Deer have left the imprints of their pointy hooves in the lower garden. Coming home after dark Monday evening the headlights of the old truck picked up their fleet forms bounding away across the front lawn.
I think a stout fence around my perennial beds and extending to enclose the veg strips is in order.
The high fence which J. established around the big upper garden has kept all would be munchers at bay.

Except for a few exuberant cold-blasted blooms the daffodils remain in bud.
When we viewed this house during the first week of March, 2010, the daffs [called March lilies here] were at about this stage of prebloom--in full bloom when we returned March 21 with our worldly goods in tow.

I am delighted to see that the self-sown poppies are standing winter temperatures.
The seedlings are much too close together, but I've found that poppies don't transplant well.  Where the seed falls is where they prefer to grow and bloom.
The weeding of the flower strips, so meticulously carried out in September is all to be done over as soon as the soil warms. The most invasive weed is one called 'hen-bit', described as a 'winter annual' which sets seeds in the fall.  It surely did that!
With the red, white and blue quilt finished and handed over to G. I brought out a project that was underway at the time we had to pack for the move from Wyoming to Kentucky.
I have taken this up again with real pleasure.  The fabrics are fine quality and the colors are perennial favorites.
Another evening or two should see the blocks finished. This pattern comprises two of my favorite patchwork elements--"Sawtooth Star" and the 'logs' which are added in the manner of 'Courthouse Steps.'
Several of the cats have shown great interest in the project---Willow the small tabby, climbing into my lap to watch the sewing machine needle go up and down--up and down.
With my research as finished as can be on my father's ancestry, I was still in the mood for history, so resumed compiling the details of my son-in-law's family--he and I had worked on that a bit
several years ago.
His maternal line springs from my home county, so the names of locations are very familiar.
Thus a quiet January has been spent and with spring just around the corner the days for such projects are numbered.
J. is chaffing at the bit to be off to Lowes for materials for one of his projects, so I'd best gather myself and head out to the car.


  1. We've essentially had the same weather here in NJ. A very strange January, no time to "hunker down" as you mentioned. But that's OK, got to spend more time outside planning the garden. Happy late winter/early spring!

  2. Good to catch up on your news again. I love the new quilt and thought to myself, see, it's not that difficult a pattern - even (as in me!) could do that! I love the colours.

    I have the cats "helping" whenever I sew too. The black girls and Ban are currently keeping us company all day in the sitting room here (warmest room at present) and I was going to do the edging of the hexagon quilt tonight, but am not in the mood now.

  3. I love those star blocks, they are very much my colours.
    I always enjoy little stories about the cats antics, they are all so lovely.

  4. We have had such a warm January! Some of my roses have full blown leaves on them! It has been in the 60's some days. Friday we are to get snow and I am sure all of those new leaves will be dead. My poppies are 6 inches tall! They are protected next to my front porch and always seem to grow early. My daffodils are just starting to grow.
    It was fun to see what things are growing there. Are you enjoying your milder winters?
    I have such fond memories of you sewing.


  5. I am glad January has passed, and look forward to the Spring now too. I cannot pick up any crafting without a cat sitting on either me or it!

    Leanne x

  6. Your patchwork is a great help to me, pretty colours and a source of inspiration. We are expecting our first snow here in the east, being nearest to the continent which is having terrible cold weather at the moment.....

  7. John; Your gardening always looks so well planned and tidy--not hap-hazard like mine. Isn't this a wonderful time of year for plant and seed catalogs--one can dream!

    BB; One does have to be 'in the mood' for the bigger crafting projects--I need to assemble the bits and pieces for some smaller ones that can be picked up and worked at in desultory fashion. [With help from cats, of course!]

    Kath; I sometimes feel that my quilts have too similar a 'look' due to buying too much fabric in those favorite colors, but no doubt if I was turned loose in a quilt shop again my tastes wouldn't change much. Its a good thing we love the cats--they surely do complicate matters!

    Shanon; I was always amazed when we traveled 'down' to grand Jct, CO or to Logan, UT to see how much milder the winter was than our WY mountains. YES! to the enjoyment of warmer winters--my grumbling comes in July when its so hot and humid here!
    It does seem that my sewing goes back a good many years.

    Leanne; I am sometimes ignored by the cats if I am merely reading a book--getting out fabric and such seems to draw their attention!

  8. Thelma; Your recent photos of patchwork in soft pastels has me eyeing some similar fabrics I bought several years ago. I find it very inspring to see what others are making, even if they work in a different medium.

  9. LOVE those quilt squares! The pattern and the warm, rich favorites.