Cold winter weather continues to dominate our lives.
The warmest spot in the house is near the living room fireplace which has an inserted stove.
My rocking chair is on one side, J.'s recliner on the other side.
The north end of the house, where the bedrooms are located, is uncomfortably chilly.
My desk and PC are in the smaller 'guest room' so much of my online reading and writing is curtailed.
The house has central heat and air powered by a 'heat pump'--we don't often use the heating feature, feeling that it would be pricey--and seldom necessary other than for a few minutes on a chilly morning, or if we have been away on a cold day and the fire has languished.
Today, needing to be at my desk, I have kept the thermostat at 65 F--not luxuriously warm, but bearable.
Yesterday I lugged one of my sewing machines upstairs from the basement 'family room' [which has its own wood stove] and plonked it on the dining area table.
Faced with the need to crowd in the ironing board, space for a cutting mat, the necessity of trudging up and down stairs for such fabric as I might need, I became faint-hearted.
Bundled in a thick 'hoodie'--in addition to several layers of clothing, I trudged back downstairs to hem a pair of trousers and stitch the borders to the above small quilt top.
Hands and feet were well chilled when I finished these tasks.
The appliqued quilt was constructed using fabrics from an old line by Robyn Pandolf--'Folk Art Christmas.'
The small hourglass blocks which frame the applique are rather more attention demanding than I anticipated.
Don't know yet how I will have this one finished, as I can't bear to have my careful handwork rampaged over by the local quilter's looping patterns.
The quilt above utilizes the same line of fabrics--created when I lived in Wyoming.
It appears far more subdued in coloration as the reds and pinks are featured in small snippets and the background fabrics are quiet.
Detail of the applique--poor lighting, so not the best photo.
Nellie and Bobby, who rushed in from the cold when M. stopped after work.
These two, along with Charlie-cat, feel that they must go outside about 4 A.M. regardless of frigid temperatures.
They hurtle inside at breakfast time and spend the morning hours crashed on bed or sofa, recovering from the chill, then they are out again.
They are not meant to be on the work island, but there they are, basking in a spot of late afternoon sunshine, doubtless covering my apron and oven mitts with fur.
Thursday offered brilliant sunshine, a bright blue sky and a bitter north wind that made going
outside a misery.
J. drove to one of the local Amish sawmills to collect a bundle of ash slabs he had asked to have put by.
The slabs, added to our usual firewood, make for a quicker, hotter fire.
J. has rootled out a heavy cap with 'earlappers', his long johns and a variety of thermal-knit long-sleeve T's--most of which have not seen use since our move to Kentucky.
Some of us are wise enough not to stir away from the warmth of the fire.
J. folds an old puffy vest into his chair when he vacates it--it is meant for his elderly cat, Raisin--at the left and bottom of the pile.
Her sister Eggnog cuddles with her.
Both of them, elderly and fragile-bodied, are weighted down by Teasel's considerable furry bulk.
The long range weather forecast for the coming week isn't inspiring.
There should be a few days with temperatures above freezing--an improvement--but still cold for the
time of year.
Jim builds a fire in his shop, putters out there, comes in for a hot drink, hearty comfort food.
I braved the assembly of my new food processor, made a batch of pimento cheese.
I hadn't eaten pimento cheese in decades, recalling it as a rather nasty concoction which came packed in small glass jars when I was a child.
Visiting our niece in October, we became quite partial to the home made version.
In early December, recovering from a cold/cough, I reread a favorite series of novels with a southern setting.
There was considerable mention of southern-style foods, including pimento cheese.
A google search turned up a number of suggestions using various cheeses and some quirky additives [pickle juice, anyone?]
G. and D. assisted me in the first few batches [I was intimidated by the instructions which came with the food processor!] and I quickly settled on a brick of Colby/Jack as the main ingredient, with an addition of cream cheese and mayo for spreadability. And, of course the pimentos.
J. dished out a portion of the latest batch and added a dash of Tabasco.
It is good stuff on whole wheat crackers and makes a nourishing addition to toast.
Lentil soup, scrambled eggs, a casserole, lemon squares, home made chocolate pudding with whipped cream---it seems to me that we must keep up our strength to deal with the weather.
The laundry is caught up--thanks to the use of the electric dryer; the bed is piled with quilts and the charity shop comforter; Jim carries in wood; I bundle up to deal with litter boxes and walk to the mailbox.
The cats continue to hope that freezing weather which greets them at the back door may revert to balmy temps if they try the front door.
Jim isn't likely to run out of Netflix to watch [sigh] and I have books stacked by my chair.
Best of all, the house is scented with the cinnamon loaves cooling under a cloth on the counter.
I think a mug of tea is in order!