Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things
The holidays are over, the decorations packed away, but the cold has really settled in. Cold is relative. There are parts of the world, even the USA that have the temperatures we are experiencing every winter and are prepared for it. There are parts of the US that are used to very mild winters that are experiencing temperatures that we consider normal for this time of year, but they aren’t equipped for it. It is cold here. Our nights for the past couple of weeks have all been single digits. The days in the teens, low 20’s if we are lucky. But it has been dry. There is some light snow expected tomorrow as another Arctic blast hits us, but no other real precipitation due as far as I can see in the forecast. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, if the forecast holds true, we will climb back up into the 30’s with mid 20’s at night in a few more days.
With the frigid weather, the dogs run out and back in. The chickens have remained cooped some days and if it is sunny and calm, let out to free range on other days. If it snows tomorrow, they won’t come out of their coop, no white stuff for them. The shortened days and extreme cold have seriously curtailed egg laying. Instead of 6 dozen or so a week, the 16 ten month old hens are providing less than half that a week. The days are beginning to lengthen and the cold will abate, so hopefully they will begin to lay again soon.
We rarely go out for New Year’s Eve, but this fall, we saw a billboard for a New Year’s Eve event at Mountain Lake Lodge, the site of the filming of “Dirty Dancing.” As soon as they were taking reservations, we booked one. This lodge is 5 miles further up the road our road descends from, an elevation change of about 2000 more feet and we were greeting with snow and frosted trees, a veritable winter wonderland, where though we are cold, we have no snow.
The event included a stellar buffet dinner, a room for the night, a grand party with live band, favors, and champagne toast, and topped off with breakfast on New Year’s Day. We met some wonderful folks, enjoyed their company, danced and partied, then walked upstairs to our lovely room for the night. Such a great event we will probably repeat it next year.
We got home on New Year’s Day to discover that the dripping faucet in the utility room had been turned off and the hot water line frozen. We have kept the cold dripping, the heat turned up in there and a hot fire burning in the wood stove in the basement near where the pipe enters the utility room slab. After three days of this treatment, the pipe finally thawed this afternoon and now both hot and cold are running at a slow trickle to prevent a recurrence. The washing machine drain is still frozen though the sink drain is not.
I was knitting a Hitchhiker scarf and hoping to wear it last weekend as my last project for 2017, but ended up taking it with me with only 8 rows to complete. Sitting in the tavern before dinner in front of a fire with a glass of wine, I saw an error a few rows back and had to rip those rows out to fix it. It ended up being my first finished project of 2018.
Knit with Freia Fibers Shawl ball
To get out of chronological order here, the past couple of weeks have been busy. Daughter’s family has been moving into their new house a trunk full or our 5 X 8′ open trailer full at a time. They have cleared the storage units that have held most of their belonging for the past three years that they shared our home with us, have moved toys, books, games, and shelving that held some of that in our rec room, and this past weekend, their master bedroom returning our furniture that they have stored. They are still staying here until some flooring is laid, then they will move the kids dressers and part of the bunk bed and a few more smaller items and their pets. The house is going to seem so empty after having the kids here. They are close enough for us to still help out when needed, but in a different school district and closer to work.
The month of December had us on the road a lot. We went to the coast to visit son the younger and his family one weekend, home the next for the second Holiday Market, then north to son the elder and his family, returning home on Christmas eve. Son in law is from an Italian family and their tradition is pasta and antipasto on the eve and we arrived home to a delicious meal. Christmas Day after gift exchange with daughter’s family and watching the children with all of their new things, I prepared a turkey and ham meal with all the trimmings.
The week after Christmas, our local yarn store closed for a week to relocate much closer to where I live and our spinning group that usually meets there on that Thursday of each month chipped in with other volunteers to help them with packing and actually moving so that they didn’t have to rent a truck. A friend volunteered her pickup, I volunteered our larger SUV and the trailer and with a couple of other vehicles and two days, all of the fabric, yarn, and fixtures were moved in sub freezing temperatures. They reopen on Friday and I am excited to see how all of the stuff we helped move will be displayed and so that I can purchase another Freia Fiber Shawl ball in another color way for my cruise knitting. Our cruise is only a bit more than a month off.
I hope my readers have a very happy and prosperous New Year.