The unpredictability of this winter has left us bundling up tight in snow boots, mittens, and hats one day and then donning our rain boots the next to avoid muddying our feet. Subzero temperatures one day. 50-something degree weather the next. Which explains the photos of the kids with their sleds in the midst of huge driveway puddles. Just the day prior they were riding those sleds down our snow-covered hills!
We've been keeping our days busy with schoolwork, housework, board games (this one was a gift for Christmas and we all love it), and visiting friends and family. Now that I'm feeling much better, it feels so good to actually have energy to do the things that I haven't been able to do over the last six months. I have definitely learned not to take certain things for granted, like energy and the ability to enjoy the small things in life. I still have some ground to gain back, but it appears as though I'm heading up the other side of this long battle. I'm even back to enjoying time in the kitchen which I couldn't even think of doing when I was at my worst.
Thankfully, despite the short days and the cold temps, our chickens are still happily and abundantly producing their fine eggs for our family and friends. Almost two years later, I still find such great satisfaction when I collect their eggs. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to feed your family from your own land.
And speaking of just that such thing, this is the time of year when my garden dreaming starts to bubble up in my mind and heart. Honestly, planning my garden is one of my favorite things to do. I love to look through the seed catalogs that I've been collecting, picking out seeds that I may try this year, admiring the beautiful photos. It does a heart good to think of the warmth and growth of the growing season in the midst of the frozen time of year. My favorite seed catalogs right now are Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Territorial Seed Company, and the good old, classic Burpee catalog. And new to me this year, I'm planning on trying one type of heirloom seed. Not sure which seed I will try yet, but I'd like to learn about seed-saving and storing. That's one of my gardening goals for this year.
What's on the needles and hooks right now? Well, I've been working on restocking my Etsy shop with some goodies since I had a fairly successful selling season prior to Christmas. I'm working on some chunky cowls and some infinity scarves. And in the knitting department, I'm making Brad this hat. It's my first hat. I'm just starting the decreases and they are making me a bit nervous. However, I did figure out how to switch from my circular needle to the double-pointed needles, so that was a hurdle I was happy to successfully tackle. I know it probably sounds so silly to be nervous about decreasing a hat to someone who's been knitting for years, but my adventures in knitting are relatively new (it's been about a year since I started to teach myself), and I still spend a lot of my yarn time crocheting as that is my business and so is a priority.
The sweet photos of the adorable little baby boy are of my nephew. My sister and her kids came for lunch last week, and I took probably 30 pics of him. He's so scrumptious. Really. He's one of those babies that you just want to eat up! And he's such a cuddly little thing. He burrows his face into your shoulder and wraps his chubby little arms around your shoulder and neck. Oh my. I can hardly stand his sweetness.
Midi's been home with us for four days now, and she has settled in quite nicely. Molly seems to be getting used to her now, and even playing with her, but she's still quick to put Midi in her place when she crosses the boundaries. The kids are realizing now what I meant when I said that training a puppy is hard work. Taking her outside to "go potty" every hour, never taking an eye off of her lest she chew up a book or basket. It's been interesting. And there has been a little bit of complaining on their part, but mostly they are enjoying her and are learning a lot of responsibility in helping to care for her. And that's a very good thing. And little Midi seems so happy and content to be at home with her family now. I love that.