What ho, what ho!

So much for the predicted 40+ degree weather.

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Believe it or not, this was perfectly clear ground when I went to bed last night. I haven’t been outside yet to see how much is there, but even with the wind blowing a lot of it away there’s gotta be at least an inch.

Oh, well. My dreams of spring continue a little while longer…

In other news, I have continued in my crocheting storm, cranking out a finished what-have-you every couple of days. Not bad for an hour an evening! I won’t share everything, because that would be a lot of pictures, but here are a few:

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My morning hour (also called “when the girls are napping and LK is otherwise occupied”) has been spent on other pursuits than crochet, namely, Project Emerald. I don’t have updated pictures yet, because I told myself that the next picture set would be of finished blocks. That will probably happen today, so that means pictures for you in the next post! Since I had a bad week in the pregnancy brain department around Valentine’s Day, I managed to not get the Dearliest anything for the holiday and felt rather horrid about it. Thusly, I gave him a peek at the progress, which previously I managed to keep from him entirely. He really likes how it’s coming, and now that he knows how it’s put together I can ask him stuff about sizing and patterns and colors (since the quilt is for him, he might as well like it as much as possible, right? :-D).

So WordPress just sent me a happy anniversary note, and I was all “Whaaaat?” because my anniversary is in May (and WP wouldn’t know that anyway), but then I actually read it. Apparently it was a year ago today that I started this blog! Happy Birthday Creative Wending!

Yesterday I was on my feet way too much making stuff like cheesecake brownies, cinnamon rolls, a chicken crescent ring for dinner, and folding/ putting away six loads of laundry (I’m partially ashamed to admit that I did, in fact, have 6 loads of clean laundry piled on my couch, but it’s a Truth and Reality of my life…it’s just normally not quite that bad :-P). I’m hoping to make up for it today by keeping my feet up as much as possible and drinking lots and lots of water. And tea. But mostly water. Maybe my feet and back will forgive me then?

The sprouts in the window planters are doing well. Every morning it’s the first thing we check, and we’ve been spotting 1-3 new sprouts a day. Except for the radishes (which are taking off rapidly), nothing is over 1/2″ tall. Doesn’t make for spectacular pictures, but I’m hoping another couple weeks will present a more interesting sight.

The kiddies are getting restless, which means if I don’t sign off now I’ll start discovering things like Squeaky covered in marker, sheets stripped from the beds, and random water puddles about the house. I’m not really in the mood for that right now, so until next time!

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Window Planters!

Living out here on the mountain has many, many advantages. One of the areas where it’s not so advantageous, however, is gardening. Between the rocky soil, deer, rabbits, and shorter growing season, nature is simply not very conducive to it. For someone who loves green, growing things, this is sometimes a point of frustration for me, but I’ve learned to accept it as a challenge (at least until we get our planned greenhouse, then nature can do whatever it wants and I probably won’t care!). The Dearliest and I have tried different things each year in our approach to growing plants, and each year we come a little closer to the bountiful harvest I would so love to get!

This year the Dearliest announced plans for window planters, made from leftover gutter pieces. No deer to worry about, no freak freezes to combat, and the ability to grow little lettuces and things indoors? I thought it was a grand idea, and apparently he did too because it was just a few days after the initial mention that I caught him actually assembling it all. I started snapping pictures, and since I found the process interesting I decided to share it with you all!

Window Planters from PVC Gutters

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The Dearliest started out with 10′ sections of pvc gutter, which he cut down to the width of the chosen windows. Gutter end caps are insanely expensive here, so he fabricated his own from the bottoms of the gutter pieces he had left over and then glued them on with Seal-All. One of his first observations is that the tube of glue was about the same amount as buying ONE gutter end cap, and he had over half the tube left over by the end of the project. Definitely worth the hour of his time, he felt, to make his own!

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I’m not sure what order he did things in, as he was well into assembly by the time I started paying attention, but here’s what I do know:

  • For water drainage, he drilled a 7/8″ hole on one end of the gutter. To give the soil some air, he cut pvc pipe in half lengthwise and drilled 3/16″ holes about an inch apart down the length of it.
  • The chain keeps water flowing where you want it, in this case, straight down into the recycled milk jug. The drain chain hangs from the gutter hole at the top via a u-shaped loop of 12-guage brass wire.
  • He made wooden brackets to hold the gutters. Each one is attached to the window frame with two screws.

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The recycled milk jug, cut down and attached to the gutter with 12-guage brass wire. Easy to lift off and empty as needed!

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Here you can see a little of the brass u-loop at the top of the chain. It’s the only picture I got with that part in it.

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The Dearliest and LK fill a planter with potting soil. Dirt on the kitchen table = a little boy’s dream come true!

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Finished!

And, a few days later….

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After 10 years, a mystery solved.

When I was little, I was given at some point a ceramic angel music box. I played it often, and I loved the song, but I had no idea what it was. Any indicator of the origin of the song or the music box was removed (either by the giver or by my very young self…see sticker, will peel, etc), and as I grew older the song haunted me. Every once in a while I’d try to discover it, either through music books, musical friends, the internet, a few years later the internet again (after it had grown some)…all without success. My last attempt was perhaps 3 years ago, though I’d been searching more seriously for about 7 years before that.

Today the Dearliest caught Squeaky staring at the angel in the curio cabinet (As a side, I don’t know what it is about that angel, but little children like it. I’ve caught all of my children and I think all the cousins staring at it at one time or another.), and it reminded me of how much the music touched me. I pulled it out to share it with Squeaky, only the poor music box barely sang and I handed it over to the Dearliest to see what he could do with it. He opened it up, oiled it, and in the process discovered the manufacturer’s name with a model # on the music drum.

I did a little searching with this new information, but after about half and hour I got frustrated with my lack of results and went off to wash dishes. Some time later, the Dearliest called me back to the computer and said, “Is this it?”

He’d found the manufacturer’s website (translated from Japanese), along with an incredibly long list of all the music box movements that they currently had available (that is to say, several hundred), and he found the movement in my angel!

Once we had the name, a quick search turned up lyrics, and then YouTube videos, and suddenly a childhood favorite music box became a blooming, glorious piece of song with lyrics and an origin and history.

I was excited, to say the least.

“Bless This House”

Bless this house
O Lord we pray
Make it safe
By night and day

Bless these walls
So firm and stout
Keeping want
And trouble out

Bless the roof
And chimneys tall
Let thy peace
Lie overall

Bless this door
That it may prove
Ever open
To joy and love

Bless these windows
Shining bright
Letting in God’s
Heavenly light
Bless the hearth
Ablazing there
With smoke ascending
Like a prayer

Bless the people
Here within
Keep them pure
And free from sin

Bless us all
That we may be
Fit O Lord
To dwell
With Thee

Bless us all
That one day
We may dwell
O Lord
With Thee

Nearing the Finish Line, We Are

I’ve been slowing down a lot in the last week, but the flip side is that I often feel busier because there’s so much to do and now it takes me twice as long to do tasks. It’s something I have to adjust to every pregnancy, and it’s good for me, I think. As long as I can keep the kitchen clean and the laundry caught up, right now that’s good enough for me. The local family have been very generous in offering their time to come out and help clean, watch the kids, or whatever I need, and I’m so grateful for that!

My “to-do before Baby comes” list is insanely long, but I have a few crafty things I would really really love to finish, because I know if I don’t do it now, it’ll be at least 3 months before I can look at them again.

  • Project Emerald–I have all the blocks made, I just have to assemble and quilt it. (Note: get batting)
  • Make a handful of bibs using a bib given to me some years ago as a template. (Note: get tracing paper)
  • Empty one drawer of yarn stash. This is almost done. Wanna see what the yarn went into? 😀

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Most of that went into the FC shop, but they say that’s good for business. 😉

In other news, I started a tumblr strictly for pictures (yarn projects, food, maybe the occasional video). It’s the same stuff you’ll see here, just no (or very little) text. Interested parties can see it here. There is a lot about tumblr I still don’t really understand, but as I have time (haha!) I plan to get to know it a little better.

The other day my dad sent me a video that I thought was neat so I’m going to share with you! The gal in the video is someone I’ve known for years and years. Her family owns and operates what is (in my opinion) THE best Thai restaurant in my home county. This is her first recording that I’m aware of, and I think she has the most delightful voice!

 

Chicken Taquitos

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A few weeks ago, the Dearliest brought some chicken taquitos home. They were of the frozen variety that you bake and enjoy, and they got my body craving them. Since I have difficulty indulging regularly in frozen foods while expecting (indulging, in this case, means devouring an entire bag of what-have-you in a single sitting), I decided to set about finding something I could make myself with all-pronounceable ingredients. It didn’t seem like it would be that complicated…

Pinterest has been my first stop for recipes recently, and I found this recipe for chicken taquitos there.

I have made it twice and thoroughly enjoy them, even though both times I had to improvise a little to accommodate the ingredients I had. Or didn’t have.

The rolling of the tortillas can be a little time consuming, especially if you make a double batch in anticipation of wanting to eat lots and lots. Actually, my plan was to cook a double batch and freeze a bunch to reheat later, but sadly that didn’t happen because the kids decided they liked them too. Bye-bye extras!

The good news is I currently have lots of chicken in my freezer, so there is yet hope!