Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A couple of days a week, I leave my mountain and pastoral scenes for work in the city. 
                                                    (we have to pay for all that farm serenity!)

The views of DC looking north from the apartment are quite spectacular.

But my favorite those days are from the spot that my head hits the pillow to welcome the night's dreams.

The George Washington Masonic Temple, Alexandria, Virginia
Looking SW from our city condo
 Sleep Well, my Friends

Sunday, January 27, 2013

An experiment gone right.
Dried Globe Amaranth from my summer garden.

Happy Sunday!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Learning Curve

By now I had hoped to have baked many loaves of bread from my successful wheat growing experiment. We cut down the beautiful hard spring red and kamut wheat and I winnowed some.
Then stored the rest to process as time allowed.
In the barn.
 Bad idea.
 BAD, BAD idea.
 It seems that all the mice in Page County heard the news of my novice mistake and had quite the grand feast. No doubt laughing at me while gorging themselves silly.
So with just few cups of kernels to mill into flour, I decided to wait for just the right moment to bake my lone loaf of bread. Bitter cold temps predicted for the week seemed like that perfect moment.
Enter mistake # 2.
As I was showing visiting friends my lovely jar of wheat, we noticed moth-like critters flying and crawling around through the glass.  
 So bird feed it will be.
Still lots to learn it seems.
I will try again.
And keep at it until I get it right.
This incident reminded me of the first adult sized sweater I attempted to knit. I was so proud when I finished that second sleeve. Couldn't wait to try it on. Then came defeat and tears when I realized this:
Not only is the length off, there's a good two inch difference in the diameter of each sleeve from top to bottom. HOW did that happen???
The sensible thing to do would have been to rip out the offending sleeve and re-knit, but I was so disappointed and embarrassed with the error that I shoved the whole thing in a dark corner. After a time, when the sense of defeat subsided, I picked up the needles again and went on to successfully knit many, many sweaters, learning a little bit more with each, getting better with time and practice. I've kept the lopsided cardigan as a reminder that mistakes are nothing more than opportunities to learn.
 To try again.
It's a good thing to pull and error out of the dark corner of a room, or a barn...or the mind.
And smile at the gift of perseverance and second opportunities.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy Sunday

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Follow the Leader

The Neighbors
That's a lot of responsibility.
Hope the big guy knows what he's doing.
And that they are all headed in a good direction.

 Linking with Camera Critters

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Sunday

sooc from my front porch
Good Morning.
Here's to the start of a Beautiful Day.
Peace to All,
~ Joan

Friday, January 11, 2013

January Projects, Part 3

A little Knitting.
Kroy FX
BabyCocktails' Gibson Shell in Mulberry Merino

a hat made from scraps
A little drapery making
For the city condo
A little learning something new.
Heirloom sewing.
The style of delicate table linens, camisoles and Christening outfits.
So while the men in my family have been on their computers getting the latest up to the minute ...er I mean up to the millisecond ...news on RG3's knee surgery, or fantasy Football stats, or 4 wheelers for sale, or videos of silly boy/man stunts,
I have been overcompensating the opposite direction absorbing pictures of fine Irish linens, beautiful monogramming and delicate lace.
So, I've bought a bolt of white linen...


*Sharing with Fiber Arts Friday

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January Projects, Part 2

The Farmhouse Master Bath
The duct tape over the crack in the bottom of the tub just wasn't working any longer.
So out came the power tools and it was soon in a heap behind the chicken coop.
I will not miss it
Or its lovely broken companion.
And if we are doing away with those, the related blue sink and it's vanity might as well be ripped out.

I will not miss it either. I am sure you can understand why.
And since the layers deep wallpapers of past lives did not come down quite so easily, it seemed just as well to tear down the wallboard.
And while we are at it, might as well reconfigure the doorways.
And Update the plumbing since it is all exposed.
Which all of course requires that the floor tile be replaced. 
It will all be worth it I am certain.
Despite my dining room doubling as a bathtub instillation staging area.

the new one is so nice and deep, with elbow rests!

And demolition dust ev.er.y.where.

With company coming this weekend.

Good thing there's always reason to laugh.
  Like when my husband said that he was going out to the man-shed to get his wall adjustment tool, and came back with the biggest sledge hammer I have ever seen.
Yes, It will be worth it.
This I will keep repeating to myself.

Monday, January 7, 2013

January Projects, Part One

White Bean and Ham Soup
What could be better for a crisp winter day?
2 large carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1big onion, 2 cloves of garlic all chopped up and sautéed a bit in some olive oil,
along with a quart of beans dried from the summer garden.
Toss in a smoked ham hock, a bay leaf, pepper and add 3-4 quarts of water.
Simmer 1-2 hours or so until beans are tender. Mash half of the beans and veggies together into the broth for a creamy texture. Chop up the ham from the bone and
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the farmhouse, there was a bit of demolition going on...