Cardinals are such a treat to see at the feeder in winter when the landscape is comprised of shades of grey. The first photo doesn’t really capture the bright red hue the males display in winter.

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I may have gone a little overboard with my photo editing. But it makes me smile.

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There’s a chill in the air

Woke up to a temperature of -16 F outside and 56f in. Brrr. Cold enough to form ice on the inside of the windows. (This happens quite a bit, not sure if it’s the window or heat’s fault).

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It framed spring flowers’ reflection nicely. I bought a bouquet for myself and the geraniums and violets are also in bloom. It is a nice contrast to the white and gray outside, which is pretty in its own right.

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I hope you caught the almost full moon on Saturday. It was gorgeous.

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My fingers are crossed that the snowblower parts arrive before the next snow.

 

I injured my thumb snowblowing

6E97AB03-F7BB-46DC-A0DF-96F4446703B4Actually this is great news because, until yesterday, I thought it was caused by too much knitting. There can never be too much knitting.

The skies dumped about 15” of snow on us yesterday and I did the first pass with the snow blower (thrower)? I squeezed the drive control, muscled it into a u-turn and there was that pain. Must have happened the last time I used it mid-January.
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Then the wheels seized. Now I am up to my thumbs and elbows in gear grease from disassembling the drive train to get to a broken bearing. I needed a rest anyway.
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Unfinished Business

I am making my own memory quilt. I cut up all my old logo T-shirts, that were important to me, but no longer wear. The scraps became a rag rug. I  printed pictures of my favorite places onto fabric. Then assembled the whole shabang with my treadle sewing machine.

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When I went to look for batting in my quilt box, to my surprise, I found a quilt I had pieced and sandwiched that was just waiting to be quilted. When? How? Hmmm. So while I waited for more fabric for my “memory” quilt, I finished a(another) quilt I had forgotten.

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My sewing prowess continues. While I was looking at the courses Harrisville Designs is offering this year, I found me featured in a photo. Another 15 seconds. That’s me and my 1951 Husqvarna green machine a few years ago at Daryl Lancaster’s class.

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On New Year’s Day, we attended a bonfire at a neighbor’s that is an annual event. In addition to burning scrap wood you are encouraged to burn bad memories, deeds, etc. I know now to wear my old barn coat because sparks fly.

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We’re tucked in for a few days of snow – 12-18″ predicted. This is in contrast to last weekend when we spent a lovely day in Burlington.

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Temperatures have been cold as expected in February. Here’s ice on the hot tub cover. I’m wearing spikes on my crocs to walk to the tub again. At least with a decent snow cover we can play outside. If I remember.

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Lost my voice

I try to remain upbeat. No news is good news. Worldwide. And then wordpress lost my draft of this post. I persisted.

We spent Christmas in Quebec City where the first of the season’s viruses coursed through me. I missed dinner at my favorite restaurant where Tim dined alone. Instead, I watched the movie Madagascar in French in our Airbnb. Cartoons are a great way to learn a language. There is so much physical comedy and pantomime. No photos from that trip. I did manage to order a sandwich completely in French though.

Our bridge work at home continues without causing any hardship. Where there was one, there were two, and now there is only one again. We are using the new temporary bridge. The old temporary bridge has been taken apart.

My daughter and I compared cranes at job sites. She won.

Cold weather moved in. I hunkered down. We are celebrating the holidays with the extended family next week so I have been making and creating. Weaving really provides solace these days. Chinese dumplings will be on the menu.

And I knit a clock! What fun.

The cabin provides a nice escape and the views are wonderful.

We have had enough snow to cross country ski from home. But it’s getting warmer this weekend, with heavy rain and flooding in the forecast. The first test for our temporary bridge.

I’ll hold my tongue.

Winter break

Winter came early this year. We have already had two significant snowfalls while it is still officially fall. The weather has hindered our bridge replacement but at least we can drive to and fro without difficulty for the moment.

Just before the first snow

We ventured north for a concert in Montreal and enjoyed some of the lights and delicious food.

But Montreal is north of home and even colder.

I jumped at the chance to attend a conference in Arizona and to my sheer joy, my daughter joined me there. It was wonderful to spend some time in temperate weather. We enjoyed spa treatments, hiking, southwestern food, a butterfly museum and a night exhibit in the desert.

We certainly left the rattlesnakes alone. The butterfly camouflage is astounding.

Just the boost I needed to soldier through the holiday season.

Community

It amazes me how a small town pulls together. If someone becomes sick, there are various fundraisers to help the family, a meal chain is created and a village rallies.

We have no real emergency except we won’t be able to drive our own cars anywhere due to the bridge’s washout. Yesterday a neighbor’s friend built a temporary walkway so we can at least somewhat safely cross the gap.

One of our neighbors’ cars is already on the other side of the bridge at the repair shop. It has been offered up as a vehicle for us all to use. Another friend offered the use of their car. Our UPS driver called the house and asked if I wanted my packages left at work!

A neighbor across the road from the bridge said we could keep a car there. Construction engineers were here scratching their heads figuring out the best way to tackle this new development in the midst of replacing the bridge anyway. Obviously we would like five minutes to scoot one of our cars to the other side.

I’ll be able to at least walk to work but will probably cancel other plans. Tim will catch a ride to his concert today.

And why haven’t the bluebirds left yet?

Maybe they want to get their fill of these beautiful berries.

Stranded

and we are not even on an island. Eight years ago Hurricane Irene stalled over the Adirondack mountains and dumped umpteen inches of water into the already swollen rivers. There is a bridge on our road that crosses the mighty Boquet (pronounced Bo-kwet) which is usually a serene stream.

With all the rain that bridge got washed out. For one month we could only cross the river to the “mainland” on foot. We have had a temporary bridge since then. This month work began on the replacement bridge. Ah, but Mother Nature had other plans.

The mighty Boquet in full force

Yesterday we had another storm that dumped 3 inches of rain overnight, the river flooded the banks and roads, washed out the replacement bridge, and almost took a large backhoe with it.

Now there is a large gap between us and the road.

My son suggested I try to jump it. I don’t think so. This and a large sinkhole in the road will have to be repaired before we have any hopes of driving out of here again. Plans are afoot to walk to work on Monday.

Within an hour of discovering this, all our neighbors had been in touch with one another to make sure everyone was OK. We saw the Sheriff when we walked down to the bridge who suggested we call 911 if we needed anything. Anything?

Now there’s a new pond in the field.

And all is well at home. There’s a loaf of bread proofing in the oven and I have a loom to warp and perhaps a zillion other projects to keep me busy.

High Peaks are peaking

We live in a region of the Adirondacks called the high peaks, named for the 46+ mountains over 4000 feet in the area. They have been ablaze with color. People pull over on the roadside to try to capture the colors with their phones and cameras. It’s not always so easy.

There was smoke over the pond on an early morning venture.

Looks pretty drab after all.

Yesterday we wanted to swim but found the pool was going to be full of kids and no lap lanes would be available. Instead we went for an afternoon stroll out back. Holy cow!

Tim blended in quite well with the trees

The colors were stunning. Even the ground cover was bright red.

Next year’s blueberries?

Tim took me to a lookout with great views of our little home sweet home and the mountains. What a beautiful place.

Time to get out the woolies.

A trip to the University health center brought a surprise. A sculptured sewing machine and quilt, three stories high. Perfect fall colors.

Road work

Travel means more time to knit. My last trip enabled me to finish a mitten and knit two hats for friends’ birthdays. It was fun to design one hat on the fly. The mittens have a clever cuff, you turn the knitting inside out after half the cuff is knit. A little mind blowing. (It doesn’t take much these days). Although these projects will only pass through my hands, many things I have knit on the road become my souvenirs and remind me of a time and place.

Milet mitten by Ysolda Teague

This little froggie is lucky I didn’t have to take the car out the other morning. He was hanging out on the garage apron. He looks a little stern anyway.

Our travels took us back to Montreal last week to see a fabulous concert by the Montreal Symphony. It was a matinee and we spent the afternoon walking around Mount Royal. The population is almost four times the number in Quebec City you feel it. No bonjours, hellos or even head nods. Every one is on their own mission in their own thoughts. Been there, done that.

Small town living is the life for me.

A table set for friends

Monarchs are getting ready for their big trip south. Their numbers have fallen by around 75% over the past 20 years, largely due to reduction in milkweed. Our food chain depends on the birds, bees, butterflies. This is serious. The larvae need the milkweed. The adults enjoy nectar, or so it seems to me. Fort Ticonderoga and Saranac Lake shops provided plenty of nectar for the butterflies.

We’ve had frost at night. Time to hit the road butterflies.