Thursday, January 5, 2017

Beginning January--A Return to "Normal"

2017 marks our 7th winter in Kentucky.
Each year has brought a different weather pattern, from that first chilly season with frequent light wet snows, other January days balmy enough that daffodils foolishly pushed their heads out of the sheltering earth only to be frost-nipped in February. At our first address we harvested carrots and kale from the garden one January. More recent winters have brought days of below freezing temperatures and blizzards of snow.
This year the weather over the holidays was capricious--warm, balmy, rainy, with several midnight thunderstorms.
Monday morning was grey, but no rain was falling. The air was not balmy, and I pulled on a heavy old jacket and my boots to go out.
I carried veg scraps to the goats, leaving my bucket near the fence to be collected on the way back up the lane. 
I decided to see how the creek had fared with the recent rainfall.  The long rainless autumn had left the creek bed dry for many weeks. 
The new owner of our fields across the road was working in the barn, his young daughters playing underfoot. 
I stopped to visit for a few minutes, interested in his ambitious plans to return the crop land to grass, to put up a series of gates and fences so that he can run cattle.

By the time I struck off toward the creek the air was thick with mist that caught in my hair and left a bloom of dampness on my face.
I walked the length of the nearest field along the replenished creek, but turned back when the mist threatened to become rain.

Purple sage has flourished in the herb garden, unshriven by frost.

Lavender billows over the walk, fresh new growth visible at the base of the plants.

A dianthus near the side steps is wearing tight cold buds.

Jim, in shirtsleeves, moved his latest restored tractor out of the shop to make room for another.
Tuesday morning he announced a number of errands: a large tractor part to be dropped at a machine/repair shop, paint for the latest restoration, bits and pieces needed in the shop.
I was invited to go along. 
The paint purchase took us nearly to Campbellsville and I suggested a ramble through Peddler's Mall, a large indoor flea market. 
We pottered about for nearly an hour.
Jim found some shelving; I brought home another quilt rack--another piece on my list of items to sand down and refinish.
Lunch in town and home to an afternoon going dark at 3:30!

Wednesday morning was clear and decidedly colder.
Daughter Gina arrived mid-morning for an outing we've had to postpone while she worked a staggering amount of over-time during the holidays.
We had a brief tussle over who was to be the driver [neither of us feels quite secure with the driving style of the other.]
In the end I conceded that she could drive and we headed to the South Fork community of Mennonite shops. We took our time considering the items available at the discount food store, staggering out with a load of groceries and such.
On to the whole foods market several miles up the winding road, and almost home, a look around at the Beachy Amish up on the ridge.
Gina's plan was to treat us to lunch at the Bread of Life Cafe.
Jim was the driver for this outing!
When we came out of the restaurant we were struck with a cold wind, although the sun was still shining.

Temperatures dropped overnight and we woke in a grey late dawn to flurries of snow.
I went to bed last evening firmly telling myself that I was not coming down with a head cold.
So much for positive thinking!
I have snuffled through the day, a box of tissues at hand, washing my hands repeatedly, drinking herbal tea.
I made soup, which we ate in the warm kitchen while wooly grey dusk crept up the valley.

Snowflakes caught in a sprawl of lemon thyme look like tiny blossoms.

Jim keeps a fire in his workshop. I tend the fire in the big black kitchen range. 
I gloat over the laden pantry shelves and the full-to-the-brim chest freezer in the washroom.
The cats sprawl on the rug in front of the fire, waking to tear through the house, up and down the staircase, heralding the wind and the changing temperatures.

As winter settles in, my creativity flourishes.
I've cleared a lengthy and absorbing genealogy project from my desk. I am ready to pull out folders with older notes, to update, to sort names and dates into readable order.
My stash of fabric, neglected while we undertook the renovation of two houses, is calling to me, and I've had a rootle in bins, rediscovering colors and patterns, rounding up tools.
That however, is a post for another day!


  1. This was so nice to read. Such a nice life you are living!

    1. Nan; Living in the country I can always make a pleasant life! Not sure how I would fare as a town-dweller.

  2. Sorry to hear that you have a cold. A pox on such germs! I hope that the soup gave you comfort. That's something I shall be making shortly, probably in the electric pressure cooker as that gives such flavour to a soup or curry.

    I too have been blowing the dust off of ancient genealogical scribblings in an attempt to fix my link with the Smerdon family and my distant relative who was a school teacher in Widdicombe (Dartmoor). I have a Literary talk to research and write also and have made a tentative start on that.

    How I would have loved to wander round the Fleamarket at Peddlar's Mall!

    I look forward to seeing your next quilt. I dare say the weather is not going to do balmy again for a while and so you will be glad to be indoors in the warm. Have you got your designated sewing room properly set up now?

    1. Jennie; No designated sewing room! I have a sewing table in the kitchen alcove--which means I'm warm and near the 'hub' of things--it also means when I need fabric or tools I go upstairs and rootle in bins. I have wasted SO MUCH TIME trying to locate what I need.
      Peddler's Mall has a mish-mash of things--some stalls have good vintage pieces and are attractively arranged. Others appear to be a landing place for someone cleaning out an attic or storage shed.
      I've had a look at some of my on-going genealogy projects--too many scattered notes, updated info that needs to be put into an organized format. Also lots of fragile vintage photos that I should scan and copy to CD's. We should live long enough to get it all done!

  3. Sounds good, though not the cold you have. What a busy life, storing food and yet being comfortable when the snow hits, and also what a different life you lead. Lovely to read your blog it takes me to far away places.

    1. Thelma; You have me pondering whether our lifestyle is 'different'--we've always been country dwellers with a heritage of putting food by. Having lived where winters are very long we probably haven't adjusted to the milder, shorter winters in Kentucky with perhaps less need for preparedness.
      I like to be busy--wish I had the energy of former years!

  4. You sound quite relaxed now that you are settled in and its good to know that you are thinking about the fabrics again.
    Who should drive is a dilemma I know well, my daughter looks in horror if I am in the driving seat and likewise I do if she is driving. She thinks I am too cautious and I think she is recklessl, lol
    So far this year we have escaped any snow and it has been unseasonally warm, saving on the heating but no good for the wild life as there have been bees and butterflies about and that should not be.
    Thankyou for a lovely post

    1. Briony; Its taking a while to get ourselves sorted after this last move and renovation--there are still things I should organize, some I should get rid of.
      You have described to a 'T' the situation re who is going to drive. I spent the outing telling G. to slow down, mind the curves in the road, wondering if we might land in the ditch on a sharp corner.
      It was a long and warm autumn here--nature is a bit off kilter.

  5. As always your days sound so full. Our weather has been quite warm, but I've been too ill to take advantage of it. Hoping to plant some bulbs today to get in ahead of the cold weather they've been threatening us with.

    1. Janet; I'm sorry you've been ill. So frustrating when we have 'things to do' and simply can't until we are well.
      Our cold weather has arrived--sounds like some parts of Georgia are in for it as well. Hope you were able to plant the bulbs.

  6. Hope you are soon feeling well again.

    Enjoyed reading about your life there again. To me it's always interesting and you inspire me with all that you do.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; Your beautiful crafting always inspires me, as well as your gardening and the work you undertake to keep your home going without your dear helpmate.
      Isn't it nice that via blogs we can share bits and pieces of other's lives.