Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday

           Ten Thankfuls
Faaaaarm Livin' Is The Life For Me !

        As I work on various stitchy projects I've been watching Green Acres on Youtube. Hand needlework and high-tech entertainment. Let's call it Rural Life for Primitive Moderns.
     I fearlessly (or heedlessly) left the big city to embrace this down-home life with The Manimal (who assures me the only way he'll ever leave this place is when 'they' come to carry him out feet first). It is only natural that I heartily identify with the perpetually lovely Lisa Douglas.

    (Although  with my age and unerring fashion sense I fear I look a bit more like Mrs. Ziffel).

     At any rate, this feels like a good day to list some thankfuls related to the miriad joys of living in the approximate middle of nowhere.

1-I am thankful that there are seventeen acres here for our dogs to run free. Also the cats, who love to chase small wild critters but usually don't catch them.  I tried to get you a picture of Pandy running free in a countrified manner, but all I got was a blur. Here he is contemplating his freedom in a countrified manner.

2-I am thankful for three creeks we can wade in when it is wet, and also thankful that in the heat of  late summer when the creeks dry up we can collect the geodes that wash down from the hills.

3-I am thankful for a good woodstove to keep us warm and a forest full of good firewood.

Here's about a week's worth of home-grown comfort.  We've almost got enough wood cut and stacked to get us through the winter, and there are enough standing dead trees for several more years that we will cut and split as we need them.

4-I am thankful for clotheslines and clothespins and the fresh-off-the-line smell of sun-dried sheets. But I'm also thankful for the electric dryer which does a great job of removing dog hair. Cat hair. Rabbit hair. Tiny baby chick fluff.  Sawdust. Our lint trap gets a good workout.

5-I am thankful for the forest around us, and that the gravel road to our house is almost impassable, and that the blacktop road is half a mile up the winding and steep gravel road.  I'm thankful the highway is a mile further up the blacktop road, and towns are twelve to fifteen winding and hilly miles further. I'm thankful the only neighbors further down this dead-end road are gone to work in town all day everyday.  All of this creates a level of privacy unknown in town.
Pesky things like rules about proper neckties and matching shoes and handbag do not apply here at all.
 Clothing can be optional here when the weather is good.

                                         (Thank me for not posting a picture here.)

6-I am thankful for bonfires, and that we can have them here any old time we want. I do like burninating the countryside. I need to learn to make vegan marshmallows for our bonfires. Yum.

7-I am thankful the deer, coyotes and wild turkeys drop by often to entertain us. I especially love it when the coyotes (there are at least ten) sing together up on the ridge at night, their voices are hauntingly beautiful.

8-I am thankful that no project is vetoed here on the grounds of "we don't have enough room to do that."  Anything can be done-made-fixed outside, where space is unlimited.  Inside any room can become a workroom as needed. We are not of a nature to fret about sawdust on the kitchen floor or paint splashes on the bathroom sink. A jar of paintbrushes is in permanent residence right next to the kitchen sink and two chainsaws rest just outside the front door, a step away from my big ol' bucket of walnut dye. Creativity Central, that's what.
       I'm extra thankful for my regular studio space in the loft where I can look out the windows at the forest on three sides and down into the livingroom on the fourth side. It's a dandy place to "go to work" each day.

Why two sewing machines in the studio? Because the Viking is in the closet and the treadle machine is downstairs. Of course.

The quilt I promise to finish one of these days. A longstanding work in progress. It is amazing the amount of sewing I get done that is NOT on this quilt.

Comfy craftiness everywhere. The little sewing table in the lower right belonged to Grandma Pat. I lusted after it from childhood onward, but it never occurred to me that someday I would inherit it. 

9-I am thankful for the cheerful white schoolbus in our driveway that will someday be a rolling home.

We got all the seats stripped (very hard on the fingers) and have half of the seat frames out.  The remaining half have bolts so rusted we'll have to cut them out with an angle grinder. This makes a very satisfying display of dangerous looking sparks, which makes us feel like we're DYI superheros.

As you can see to the right, there's a vintage travel trailer we're working on too. I've got the 18 cabinet doors painted in shades of blue and green. There's some water damage inside from  a leak on one edge, so we need to do a bit of  interior wall replacement in that spot before I can continue decorating.
 Someday we'd like to have a fleet of these little trailers as guest cottages, Tres chic, no? I think of them as miniature interior decorating projects and there's nothing I like more than nest building!

10-I am thankful for scraps. Scraps of cloth, of paper, of wood and metal, extra things and leftover things and used up things just waiting to be re-used in some way.  It is said that God created the universe out of chaos.  Occasionally I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of STUFF we have here. That is a good time to remind myself  that chaos is just material waiting to be used creatively.
Here's a patchwork bottle I'm working on for my future Etsy shop. Water bottles are a modern fact of life, but I hate for my water to taste like plastic, and am not much more keen on having it taste like metal. Water carried in glass tastes best to me. 
 In a vintage household hints book I read that mommies should slip a little sock over baby's bottle (always glass in those days) so that if  (when!) baby drops the bottle  and if it breaks the broken glass will be neatly contained in the sock. Safety first, plus easy clean up. 
 As a grown up artsy version of this handy tip I've started crafting bottles covered in hand-stitched patchwork. If you drop and break your water bottle the glass won't fly everywhere. Of course the patchwork gives a bit of cushioning which makes the glass less likely to break when dropped, and the cloth covering also makes the bottle less slippery so you're less likely to drop it. Win-win-win.

There Ya Go.  Ten Thankfuls on this sunny crips Thursday.  Ze Life She iss Good!


  1. Mrs. Ziffel's got it goin' on!

    You have much for which to be thankful; I love that sewing table, too.

    I think the Dragonfly Quilt needs some kind of deadline; it's been claiming valuable real estate for a long time.

    I love your thankfuls! I may start posting my own... or I may go watch a movie. 1. I'm thankful for Netflix...

  2. 2012 is the Year of the Dragonfly Quilt. I will finish it in 2012. Hopefully not taking the whole year, either.

  3. I like the Year of the Dragonfly Quilt idea. Maybe you could blog updates?


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