Polar or Equatorial

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Spring in Virginia can never make up it’s mind. Usually by mid May it has settled into predictable days and nights, but this week it is yoyoing. We had two freeze warnings for Friday and Saturday nights, yesterday, I worked in short sleeves. Today it is mid 40’s, gray, and very windy again with freeze warnings tonight and tomorrow night, but we are expecting daytime temperatures in upper 70s to lower 80s by the weekend.

Today’s walk was winter clad, wool hoody, quilted long sleeve jacket, gloves. The wind blowing down the mountain burned my face and though after doing some steep uphill walking I could partially unzip the jacket, I never did warm up.

I came up the hill right behind this tree with clusters of purple bell shaped flowers and still holding seed/nut hulls from the fall.

I took a steep but slightly shorter walk, just because of the cold wind.

Last weekend, I did a spindle exchange with another spinner from Minnesota. I got the one I was sending in the mail promptly and she mailed the one I was receiving also on Saturday. Much to my surprise and hers, it arrived in today’s mail. I’m sure she won’t see the one I sent for a couple more days.

This one has the largest wingspan by about a half inch, but is 3 grams lighter than the next largest one. It is made of apple wood, next smaller is Osage Orange wood, the larger of the tiny ones is Purple Heart, the smallest is Olive wood.

I have thoroughly enjoyed spinning on these tools.

Another hint at spring

After the 3 beautiful days, the temperature dropped from near 80 to low 40’s and it rained. Two chilly, dreary days. Today the sun came out, the temperature recovered to the 60’s with wind and a mild night, but tomorrow and Saturday nights, we have freeze warnings. After the two days of being cooped up, I gladly got outside today. The tractor helped me push over the big round hay bale. I have spent the winter peeling as much hay off the top as I could and had to tip over to get to the layers underneath the bale. The wet, compacted layers were hauled a strip at a time over to the garden gate and put down over the cardboard, weed mat, and to thicken the layers in the other aisles.

This will help keep the weeds down and make maintenance of the garden easier once it is planted.

This is Ms. Broody. I spent last summer fighting her broodiness and it has already begun for this year. I am going to put a leg band on her to make sure it is the same one each time and if it is, she will not stay as part of this flock. It is frustrating to feed a hen that plucks her breast feathers out and sits but does not provide over and over all summer.

On Monday, I received a tiny spindle that I have wanted for quite a while. The little tool spins cobwebs. The thread on the bobbin was spun on that little spindle, the thread to the right is sewing thread.

After filling the spindle twice, it plied to 48 yards and only weighs 8.81 grams (.31 ounces).

Tonight’s walk was off to the cow fields and then off road on our farm, to areas that can’t be mowed, that have the native fauna and flora, set high between two creeks.

The bony white cow in the back with all the calves is neighbor’s oldest cow and she seems to be the baby sitter, every time I see her she has a brood of calves with her and only one of them is hers. The “angel” sitting on the point was given to me by a boss when she retired. Every year since, I have received a holiday card from her with news of her kids and grand kids, and of a few former co-workers. I didn’t hear from her this year and have no one to contact in the area to see if she is okay. When she retired, she gave every member of the counseling office staff an angel to remember her by, she loved angels. When we bought this property, the angel was put on the point and visiting the point is getting more difficult now that nothing grazes up on that part of the farm. The bottom photo is a wild sedum of some sort that was all over the damp area around the point.

Personal Reboot

When I was younger, I never had sleep issues. I have always been an early to bed, early to rise person, but as I am aging, the sleep schedule seems to be off kilter. I still want to be in bed by around 10 p.m., but often awaken around 1 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep for a few hours. Then when the sun comes up, I don’t feel rested and often stay in bed dozing and waking for another hour or so.

Determined to examine my habits and see if I can get back into a healthier routine, I have signed off of Facebook. I realized that too many of the posts were virus or politics related and that caused me stress, because of the total saturation on TV and social media. I found that where I used to just skip through it, I was making snarky comments or wanting too and refraining from doing so which then caused me more stress. I have avoided reading news feeds. I can’t totally avoid the news because I am not alone in the house and my husband is a television watcher and news feed reader and so I hear it on the tube or we have conversations about an article he saw or read.

Through out my adult life, I have quit caffeine and started caffeine again in the form of coffee or tea. That is an area I can control and have returned to a policy of not drinking a caffeinated beverage after lunch. With the stay at home orders, my diet has cleaned up considerably as all meals are at home and I am controlling the ingredients, the seasoning, the fat. I have never had a problem with alcohol or tobacco, so that hasn’t changed.

We were already in a habit of walking nearly every day, but generally on a mostly flat paved trail. Being at home, the walks are on our rural road or the fields and as we live in the mountains, I can challenge myself by going off road and climbing steep terrain or stay on the road, which still has some significant elevation change over it’s mile. I can now leave home and regardless of the route, keep walking without having to stop to catch my breath and let the blood pressure pounding in my ears settle. Though I enjoy walking on the flats with hubby, I can challenge myself more alone.

With spring here, there is garden work, a lawn to be mowed and edged, and those are added to the daily cooking, cleaning, laundry chores, so I stay busy which keeps me from nodding off in my chair. I do take breaks and spend the evenings in my chair with my spindles and knitting to keep my hands busy and allow my mind to focus on creativity instead of news and other stressors.

Maybe it will help. Maybe not. Time will tell.