Tag Archives: cleaning

And So We Endure Jan. 14, 2018

After the nearly 3 weeks of Arctic weather, we were due for a reprieve.  Daughter and family had moved  out nearly all of their furniture that had been moved in for their period of house sharing with us and our furniture that had been relocated to other parts of the house or stored returned.  Jim and I dismantled the bunk bed, storing the full size bottom bunk in the garage until they could pick it up yesterday and the twin size top bunk set up in a corner of the basement to provide another place to put family members if we have too many for the other beds.  The smaller south bedroom was scrubbed down, vacuumed, dusted, and the full size bed, tall chest, nightstand, and rocking chair returned to it.  New Navy blue curtains were hung, but once out of the package, I realized that they are not lined, so some lining fabric will be purchased and I will make the lining and sew it in.

Monday was supposed to be the first warmer day and the grand’s first day at their new school, but Ole Man Winter decided to play a trick and instead of a warmer dry day, we got an ice storm warning.  Schools closed throughout the region in anticipation and we ended up with the grands with us.  Grandson arrived in a too small knit hat that looked like a mouse had chewed it.  He helped me pick yarns and I told him I would trade him a new hat for the one he was wearing

Though initially we thought that it was unnecessary to close the schools, we did indeed get ice.   We got the grands home before it got too bad, but Monday night Jim went out to try to get the two male dogs back in and slipped, landing hard on his hip.  I didn’t hear him calling for help until he had crawled back to the front porch in pain.  As the night wore on, his more intense pain subsided, but he has continued to have a lot of soreness, not enough to keep us from our walks when weather permitted.  Tuesday the schools were to be delayed two hours to give the roads a chance to clear, but by 9 a.m., they again closed.  We were unsure we could get down our mountain road to get the grands, so SIL had to wait for the alternative care program to get straightened out and took the kids there, going in to work late.

The week did finally warm up and we enjoyed a few nice day, enough for the ice on the creeks and the blocks from the chicken watering pan to thaw.  Each day the pan was dumped and fresh water poured in and the yard and chicken run were littered with blocks the shape of the pan or the bucket.  Friday we got much needed rain, and mud.  The dogs come and go through the front door as the deck repair is still in progress out the back.  Late Friday, the rain turned to sleet then to snow and the temperature dropped.  It was 40ºf colder yesterday than Friday.  We got no more than a dusting as the snow blew horizontally until early afternoon when the wind died down, the clouds broke but the thermometer didn’t rise.  Our high yesterday was 21.  Last night to 10.


The cold, blustery, snowy day encouraged me to continue putting the house together, the front bedroom received the same treatment that the other one got last weekend.  The walls swept down, windows and floor vacuumed and mopped or wiped down, fresh linen on the bed, the heavy quilt that has been stored for 3 years was returned to the bed and new insulated, room darkening curtains hung.



Friday night when they came to pick up their dog and two housecats, he got his new hat, just in time for yesterday’s frigid weather.


He had it on yesterday when they came to get the bed and a few more boxes.  I hope it keeps him warm as we endure another week of subfreezing days and bitter nights before the next break.  In the meantime, I am again accumulating blocks of ice from the water pans and buckets and though I thought I only got 1 egg yesterday, this morning when I let the hens out into the yard, I found 4 more, frozen and cracked in a corner of the coop, not in nesting boxes where they could be found.

The Empty Nest

When I moved to the mountains, leaving hubby to work on the coast for a couple more years, we still had one young adult at home and he and hubby shared space for those 3 years.  I was in an apartment for about 15 months, solo except for visits by hubby, son the younger,  or daughter, then moved into the house that we were building with son the elder, daughter in law, and grandson #1.  They shared the house for a couple of years then moved to town as hubby retired and moved to the mountains, leaving son the younger on his own, soon to become engaged and then married.  We had an empty nest for a few years, adding two dogs to the household.  Three years ago daughter and her two kids and their dog moved here while her husband stayed to sell their Florida house and find work here, he joined them in May of that year, bringing their two house cats.  The house has been full of life and energy for the past three years.  We have gotten the kids up  and ready school,  home from the afternoon bus and to Taekwondo a couple days a week for a couple of those years.

In November they bought a house about 18 miles from here in a different school district, but probably 30 minutes closer to work.  They continued to stay here while they got the house ready to move in and while they moved their household furniture and other accouterments from storage  and to allow the grands to finish at the school they started this year up to the Christmas break.

On Thursday, they spent the first night in their new home.  On Friday they got to go to see their new schools and grandson got to meet his teacher.  As their furniture has been removed from two bedrooms, ours has returned.  One room has been cleaned from top to bottom, the bed set up with a brand new mattress, the chest, night stand, rocking chair and lamp that have been stored or relocated for the three years , and that room has been sealed off from the cats.  Tomorrow new curtains will be purchased for that room as one of the Roman shades has been broken and the other two  shades are dirty and faded.

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The other bedroom needed new bed rails and though it has been put back together, their animals are still here until the end of this week to allow floor installers in their house without the dog and cats trying to escaping.  Once they are moved to their new house, that room will be wiped down from top to bottom and the decorations and heavy quilt returned to it.  It will get new curtains soon also as the decade old shades are dirty and faded.


With them gone, the house looks and seems empty and quiet.  I miss them though we will still see them often, but the quiet is nice.  It is going to take some time to readjust to the empty nest.

Grandson #1 will be happy to have “his” bedroom back when he visits.  For the years he lived here and when he visited until they came, he slept in the south, smallest bedroom that the resident grands have been sharing.  While they have been here, he has slept on a futon in the basement during his visits.  Son the elder and his wife prefer the 4th bedroom in the basement as it is quieter and away from the animals that aggravate allergies.

With the basement, bathroom, two bedrooms, and kitchen cleaned up and reorganized, I need to tackle the loft and our bedroom.  Since hubby got me a nice Dyson vacuum for Christmas (yes, I asked for it), a thorough deep cleaning is in order.  Spring cleaning in the middle of winter.  Come spring, screens need to be repaired or replaced and windows cleaned, but that will wait for warmer weather.




The morning dawns gray and damp. The last “spring” day before winter begins to show it’s true colors. The forecast is for seasonal days and chilly nights. Quilts and sweaters will become the norm.

The morning dawns to a very quiet house, SIL at work, T and family returned to their non holiday lives in Northern Virginia. K, N, Mountaingdad still slumbering. I am grateful for the quiet today as I awoke with a headache,, probably due to the thick, damp morning.

The morning also dawns to the Herculean task of taking down the 12′ tree that has graced our living room for the past several weeks and packing up the ornaments and Santa collection until next year.


Then we rearrange the furniture to the non holiday mode,vacuum, dust, and scrub as the week’s end will bring K’s MIL for a 4 day visit as she brings L home from visiting his father. She is good to do this living in the same town and having the necessary leave time to be his air escort.

Life slowly returns to routine, the end of a month of sadness, stress, love, and family. I am a fortunate woman.

Olio – October 8, 2015

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.










The colors of early autumn, reds and golds are beginning to dominate the summer’s green on the mountainsides around us.  It won’t be long before the trees are bare until next spring.  The temperatures this week have been sweater chilly at night and in the early mornings, lots of morning fog, and warm, but not hot during the daytime hours.  I should be using this time to work in the garden, but I haven’t.

The cool mornings have encouraged me to bake with my nearly 4 year old helper.  She doesn’t have preschool on Monday or Thursday, so we made bread on Monday and this morning, one of my favorite recipe hacks, Maple Oat Nut Scones.  They were my favorite scones that Starbucks offered a decade or so back, but then discontinued, at least at all of the locations that I frequented before moving to the mountains and the ones locally.  I rarely go to Starbucks anymore, preferring to brew my own tea and coffee or supporting one of the two local coffee shops instead, but I did discover the recipe on the internet.  It is so similar that it satisfies me when I feel the urge to have one.  This morning was one of those days and we made a batch for breakfast.  She didn’t like the glaze on them, but did like the scone.

The little meatie Velociraptors aren’t so small anymore.  Chickens are stupid animals, but those gals are worse than stupid.  If I throw scrapes or scratch in their pen, they run to my feet instead of to the goodies that were offered.  A couple of days ago, when the layers were lured back into their pen from free ranging, to be able to let the dogs out, one of the Americaunas resisted and took off to the edge of the woods.  I figured she would fly over the fence later, so I just returned to the house.  Just at dark as I was preparing to lock them up for the night, she was sitting on the highest point of the fence, just above the pop door, settled in for the night instead of flying on over the fence and going into the coop.  I reached up to grab her to put her in the coop and she panicked, escaped through the gate I had left open and took off in the dark for the east field.  We looked for her for a little while and decided that she would have to fend for herself that night.  Late in the night, I heard a pack of coyotes too near the house and figured she was gone for good.  Not to be, the next morning, she was waiting at the gate when I went out, but took off again.  The other hens were fed, she spent the day free ranging.  In the afternoon when I rounded up the girls to lock them back in the pen from their free range, the errant hen decided to rejoin her flock.

Today was thoroughly clean the downstairs day.  The living room rug was sprinkled with baking soda and sweet orange oil and left to sit for half an hour before vacuuming.  The hardwood floors were vacuumed and damp mopped. All of the place mats and area rugs washed and hung to dry.  The kitchen counters were cleared and wiped down and all of the wood cabinets and furniture waxed with beeswax and sweet orange oil.  All of these efforts also set me to clearing off other surfaces.  The large market basket that was holding the ears of popcorn, a Burgess Buttercup squash, and piles of dried Pole Beans was on top of the dog kennel for daughter’s dog.  Taking advantage of the beautiful day, I sat on the porch swing and shelled the beans and stripped popcorn off of some of the cobs.  The squash and some of the ears, set out for decoration.  There are more beans in the garden that need to be collected and shelled.

My current knitting project is the Reversing Falls Shawl that I am knitting for a cousin that bought the yarn and pattern, but couldn’t get it knit for her where she lives.  After a few false starts with the pattern and trying to get the right needle size for the gauge, I have done one repeat of the pattern.  Once the evening noise of the household subsided last night, I decided that it really was an easy pattern to knit and with the large needle, it should not take very long to complete.  I don’t think that I will ever support the yarn shop where she bought her supplies, the pattern was a black and white photo copy on blue card stock of a color pattern that requires the color to follow the chart.  This means that both my cousin and the pattern designer were ripped off by this shop.  I did purchase the pattern on line, in color, before I started knitting it and let my cousin know what had happened.  She would like to learn to knit, if we lived closer to each other or had more time together, I would gladly give her lessons.