Tag Archives: country life

Away, back, away, and back again 3/2/2018

Finally settled back home from a couple of weeks of flurried activity, first with our cruise and as soon as the laundry was done and the dust settled, I was off to the winter version of the spinning retreat. We enjoyed a couple of weeks of very nice weather, enjoying the western Caribbean toward the end of their rainy season, so not too hot and only a few random showers. There were two nights of heavier rain, but it occurred after we had settled for the night. For the most part the seas were calm, though I tend to motion sickness and had one bad evening when I had failed to take Bonine in the morning, did a water excursion and back on the ship just as we were about to leave port. The ship store sold motion sick bands and a couple of Bonine and I was okay after a few hours. We had a great time on a much needed vacation.  And we returned to spring like weather at home.

The spinning retreat is an event that I look forward to, rejoining friends that I see infrequently, laughing, eating, spinning and knitting. The motel at Hawk’s Nest State Park lacks a restaurant at this time, but Tudor’s Biscuit World is just down the road and Pies and Pints Pizza is only a short drive away, so many of us go out for breakfast and lunch. Dinner started as happy hour and morphed over the years to a grand pot luck. This year the pot luck was so immense that one night we had 5 or 6 crockpot dishes, plus salads, crackers, cheese, dips, and desserts. Though I had not asked prior to the event to vend as I was unsure having been away, I took some soaps, salves, yarn, and knitwear and because there were few vendors, I did get to set up and was able to sell enough to pay for the weekend which is my goal.



This retreat did take a negative twist though as I awoke each day with a few more itchy spots, unsure if I was reacting to their detergent or if I was being bitten. Sunday morning, I was pretty sure that they were bites, notified the office as I left, washed my bag and clothing in hot water as soon as I arrived home. By Monday, it was apparent, that I had had a bed bug encounter, something I have feared in hotels, but not expected there. I have always been over reactive to insect bites and have broad itchy bands surrounding the rows of bites, characteristic of bed bugs. Now a week out, I am still on antihistamines, anti itch creams, and trying not to scratch. I am hoping that I did not bring them home with me. My spinning, knitting, and vending items remained in the tiled conference room for the weekend, but traveled home in the back of my car with my suitcase, though in a plastic box crate and in trays strapped to the top of the crate.

The week remained delightfully spring like until last night. We have howling wind and woke to snow flurries. The upcoming forecast is more seasonal. We lost our power briefly last night and again this afternoon for a couple of hours. Fires have been lit in the wood stove and fireplace in case of another failure. It is supposed to go down into the twenties tonight and we want the house to stay warm.

I am continuing to knit on the new shawl that is a design on the fly that I will probably never write down.  The yarns are lovely though.  It is a mitered shawl of a Freia Ombre Shawl ball and a craveyarn Santa Fe solid.


I am nearly to a point where I need to make sure I have a multiple of the number of stitches needed for the fancier lace that will be the bottom lace band.

Also on the needles are Log Cabin squares for a gift blanket in the works.


The warmer weather and longer days have the hens producing generously again.  My egg buying friends were all grateful today when I was able to bring them the quantities they desire.  Each day gathering 8 to a dozen from the 16 hens.  I’m still unsure whether the two with the pale combs are laying, so I may be getting them from just 14 hens.


The power has been restored and flickered off and back on again, so I should get our dinner going in case it goes out again.  Until next time.

Snow on snow

It snowed again.  Not really snow, just a dusting of granular pellets, enough to coat the deck, the driveway and dust the bare spots from last week’s snow.

It didn’t affect school this time.  Our county, still on a 2 hour delay.  Some local counties back on schedule and others using what they call “snow routes” where they don’t even try to traverse some of the more rural roads and the students (or their parents) are required to get to a more major, aka paved road to catch the bus.  We already have to do that, going almost a half mile up to the paved road where the school bus picks up our grandson and sometimes, the high school aged girl from farther down our unpaved road.  Sometimes she gets dropped off by her teacher mom at her grandparent’s house along with her baby sister, sometimes down the paved road to catch the bus with a friend.  The bus picks up all ages on this route at one time and they either get off at the elementary/middle school, or stay on the bus as it continues a different route to the high school.

The morning temperature, right around freezing with gusty wind is going to hold until afternoon, then drop back to the upper teens tonight before we are served with three beautiful spring like days near 60ºf.  These delightful respites happen during the winter, but we know not to count on it staying around.  We are really just reaching the time of winter when we will see our snowfalls.  A few will be like today, with light blowing clippers and flurries.  Others will coat us with a few inches to a foot.  Each year, we have one that locks us in our hollow, like last weekend and we again remember, that we should leave the cars at the top of the driveway when snow is predicted to give us a fighting chance to get out once the state plows our unpaved but state maintained road.  Each year, we discuss how we need to get our driveway regraded and more gravel added to it.  Each year, we consider how to put space at the top for multiple cars.  It used to just be our two, but with daughter and her family living here, it is 4 and one of them a low two wheel drive sedan.  With them both working and us doing grandparent duty of getting the grands to the bus, to and from preschool, to occasional doctor’s appointments that couldn’t be scheduled after school, to pick up from dance class after preschool, we need to be able to get at least 3 of the vehicles parked up there and accessible in bad weather.

For now, our driveway is again snow coated, frozen solid after the days of melt off.  The ruts in the mud are solid tracks today.  For the next few days, they will thaw and be muddy as more snow melts off, then hopefully, dry and flatten again as we drive up and down until the next predicted storm when we will park at the top and walk down.  We have had our annual reminder.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Home at last.  I love my visits to babysit the eldest grandson.  I truly appreciate that they trust me with him so completely and that they appreciate my helping out.  I am glad to be home though.  After almost 8 years of living here in the mountains, the city makes me restless.  At night here, we have total darkness, billions of stars and quiet, only night animal sounds.  Their apartment complex has bright flood lights on the end of each building shining on the parking lots, Sodium Vapor lights in the courts, lighting the walkways and the apartment is never totally dark.  They live near the street end of the complex with one row of buildings between them and a busy Northern Virginia road, so there are automobile, truck and emergency vehicle noises all day and night.  After a few days up there, the city lights and noises don’t bother me as much as when I first arrive, but I am glad to be back in the rural mountain quiet.

It was spring break and the District of Columbia attracts tourists, so grandson’s and my visits to the museums and the zoo were frought with thousands of people.  For the first time in the 3 years they have been there, the volume of people was so high that we had to wait in a block long line to get in the Natural History Museum.  We had hoped to get a glimpse of the just delivered T Rex bones in the fossil lab, but they weren’t visible anywhere that we were allowed and there were so many other folks there because that display is about to be closed for a 5 year renovation, that we couldn’t even see the displays.  Grandson wanted to go to the SPARKS lab in the American History Museum and it is closed until next year for renovations.  There is a lot of renovation going on at the Smithsonian.


This was the crowd waiting to get in when we left at 2:45 p.m. on Friday.

We stayed so busy that I never even opened my spinning wheel, knitted, or took my carders out of my suitcase.  I did read a book and a half though.

My journey home was uneventful, fortunately.  The weather was good, the traffic tolerable.  My first task after greeting hubby and the pups, and unpacking and checking on the chickens, was to put fresh clean sheets on the bed.  It will be a delight to sleep in my own bed tonight and have crisp clean sheets too, they needed changing when I left.