Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's that time of year!

So yes, it has been ages since I've posted anything.  Yet again, I apologize.  We've been going through a lot of changes here (positive ones!) that have taken up a big chunk of our time. 

So let's do a quick run through of updates since the last actual post...

- We drove to my cousin's wedding in Canada and had a blast!  Eh?
- Went to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY! 
- Saw tigers on the way back at the Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge in Tyler, TX (very cool place)!
- Thanksgiving was great! 
- So was Christmas and New Year's!
- We actually got SNOW in 2014!
- I had a birthday.  Woo.
- The Olympics were on and I may have yelled a lot at the tv when bobsledding was on.  Noel is a patient man.
- I published my first book, Things In Sky: Life Looking Up
- I got a new job (but I haven't started yet!  I start Monday, March 17th!) 

I don't want to go into my new job on the interwebs, but will just say (1) it's a major industry change (from healthcare to food!) and (2) I am super excited.  :) 

Life has been really great lately.  Noel and I have so much fun. 

I've been working on crafty projects, including welding caps for Noel, tons of Christmas knitting (stupid phone SD card deleted itself and now I have no pics of the Weasley sweaters I made for the nieces - bummer), quilt for Noel (STILL not finished), and a sweater for me (finished!). 

For those of you in the Western NC mountains, in case you didn't know, there's a fiber mill in Weaverville now that sells gorgeous yarns! It's called Echoview Fiber Mill. My mom bought me some as a gift and I just finished knitting this sweater with it. It was so silky and has a beautiful sheen to it. And it's 95% wool but isn't itchy! Miracle. :)   I actually had enough left over that I'm also making a loose mesh scarf with it too. 


Noel and I also worked on the garden last month to get it ready for the weather change that normally happens in mid February.  However, something did change - the Arctic showed up.  It was bizarre how cold it got here!!

Now before everyone starts whining about how much colder it is where they are, let me just put it this way:  normally by mid-February, the heat is off and the occasional A/C is running.  We have no salt trucks.  We have no snow plows.  We have no winter coats (although due to my knitting addiction, we do have a surplus of scarves).  So having a real winter here is surprising to say the least. 

So I started planting seeds AGES ago.  We rented a tiller in early February and turned the soil (actually making the garden bigger while we were at it) and mushing in about 400 lbs of compost too.  Did I mention our yard is clay?  Because it is.  Know what grows well in clay?  Nothing.  That's what.

The little seeds sprouted, started growing, and the bottom fell out of the thermometer.  Again and again.

So today I was finally able to plant the garden!  This year I'm growing:
  •  Okra
  •  Cucumbers
  •  Corn
  •  Snap Peas
  •  Cotton
  •  Lima beans
  •  Sunflowers
  •  Herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, chives from Garden Bon Bons)
  •  Bell peppers
  •  Arugula
  •  Spinach
  •  Summer squash

You may have noticed something a bit different on that list - yes, I am growing cotton this year!  I've never grown it.  But Southern Exposure Seed Company, who has a bunch of really cool heirloom seeds (here), has different types of cotton seeds that grow fibers in different colors!  They were usually (according to the catalog) grown by slaves for their own use in pre-Civil War days because they're considered not as good quality because the fibers are shorter and not as smooth when spun.  They also said in the catalog they feel that everyone should grow cotton at least once in their lives, if for no other reason than to realize what backbreaking work it is to harvest.  But they grow in neat colors like yellow & green!  How cool is that?

Anyway, so yes, I'm growing green cotton (pic here) and hopefully will get enough off of it to spin it on my antique spinning wheel (thanks, Aunt Betty!) and can make...I dunno.  A pot holder?  A hat for Loki?  I probably won't get much of the stuff.  It'll be fun, if nothing else, to see how well it does.  :) 

Alright, time to go feed the kitties.  Hope everyone's doing well!!  Take care and Happy Spring!

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