Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon at 35 degrees F and spitting snow mixed in the rain.
February used to be a really tough month for me. Back in the days of working and living in Northern Idaho, the sun was still low in the sky, the days were still short, the snows deep and tiresome. I had a tremendous dislike for the month, and when I would call Maryruth, my friend in California, all pissy about whatever, she would say, “Oh, Sue, it’s February. You will be fine soon”.
Somehow the old paradigm no longer holds. February can still be long and cold and tiresome, but not this year. I have no idea what happened to February. I have daffodils up in the yard, some even with buds on them. We haven’t shoveled snow even one time this winter. The tiny skiff that showed up on Christmas lasted for a long breath and was gone.
Last year we spent February exploring Florida, so that winter doldrums thing never had a chance of finding me. Last winter we had Abby and Jeremy with us as well. Still trying to adjust to not having them with us.
At the beginning of the month, Mo and I were thinking we only had a short time at home after our January travels to do some house projects before she would be leaving again for Beaverton for a couple of weeks caring for her brother’s dogs while he and his wife vacationed in Hawaii. We decided to paint Mo’s bedroom. It is a project that has been on the agenda for a couple of years now, and with all the goings on and traveling that we do, it just never seemed to get top billing.
Took us just two short days to get the job done, but going to town for paint was another day, with some color adjustments here and there before we settled on the pale spring green for the walls. Mo already had the Cranberry color chosen to match her original watercolor painting gifted by a friend a few years ago. We enjoyed the project. Felt good to be doing something around the house again that wasn’t just the everyday kinds of maintenance that a house in the forest always needs.
Immediately after we finished painting, a huge windstorm hit the Klamath Basin and knocked our power out for 19 hours. We pulled out the oil lamps, heated coffee and food on the wood stove and settled in for the duration. It was actually kind of nice, although I am glad it didn’t last any longer than it did. We were within minutes of packing up all our food in the freezer and heading over the mountain to Grants Pass and daughter Deborah’s freezer when everything blinked back on into brilliance.
The rain was needed, but again, it didn’t bring any real snow to our sadly deficient snow pack. The high winds and saturated soils did create a real mess. Many trees tipped right out of the wet ground and crashed on the power lines. The funny thing for us was that we were somehow protected in our little concave draw and the winds went right over us without causing any real trouble on our property. The worst damage was about 4 miles away where it looked as though a tornado had ripped through.
Another week was spent dealing with complex and tiresome business issues for Mo, with me acting as administrative assistant. Mo does the hard stuff, but I manage to keep the computers on track. I even figured out how to create some complex forms that were needed. That week flew by! It was almost like working again!!
Another tiresome time thing is an ongoing health issue for me. Not a big deal, but the surgeon I will be seeing is nearly 200 miles away over the mountain, and as things often go for these kinds of things, we have to make several trips before it will all be resolved. Tiresome, but I am glad it isn’t anything particularly serious, just irritating. And did I say Tiresome? Surgery in April, and recuperation will require no lifting of anything over 5 pounds for something like 90 days. I haven’t quite figured out how to put a stick of wood on the fire that weighs less than five pounds!
We enjoyed a day in Medford shopping for Valentine chocolate and having a late afternoon lunch at Olive Garden. And shopping at the quilt stores, of course. As I write, I realize that a big part of the past month for me has been finishing a quilt that I saw in Palm Springs when we were there and immediately coveted. I bought all the fabric and the pattern, and for once actually started on the quilt immediately, while the inspiration was still fresh and the fabric all new and shiny.
I call it “Sea Dreams in the Desert”. I started with an idea to make it a simple throw, but loved it so much that I decided to continue and make it a full queen sized quilt for my summer bed. First time doing something called a “pieced border”. I guess that explains what happened to February.
Mo left for Beaverton mid month, and on the same day my friend Maryruth drove up from California to spend 8 days of girl time with me. Her husband held down the fort at home, and Maryruth came loaded with her new sewing machine and lots of fabric for a quilt that she wanted to make. It was her first and she was excited.
Sometimes in the past we have managed girl time, with a trip to a B and B somewhere, or a meet in the middle kind of visit, but this was different. We had a whole week at home just the two of us and our sewing machines. It was like a quilt retreat for two that didn’t cost anything. We went to Medford to the quilt shops, and had a fabulous dinner at McGrath’s Fish House. Maryruth ordered the mile high mud pie, but missed the “mile high” part, and we burst into incredulous laughter when her dessert arrived. What fun!
One night at home we cooked up a fabulous Thai Green Curry Chicken with Pad Thai and it was wonderful. I had never made a green curry from scratch, so that was a first. All the traditional Thai flavors of lime, tons of cilantro, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, hot pepper, and about a dozen other herbs and spices went into the curry that was so fragrant and perfectly sweet and spicy. Mo isn’t all that excited about Thai food and Maryruth’s husband isn’t all that excited about spicy, so it was a food cooking adventure for the two of us that probably won’t be repeated till we get together again.
We took another break from sewing and went to breakfast at our local Harriman’s Resort on Sunday morning. It was cold and windy, but the sun streaming in was gorgeous and the food was fabulous. Maryruth has a nice little Nissan Hybrid and will NOT drive in snow, so this was an extra special treat. In a normal winter, she would have been unable to visit during February.
Maryruth managed to finish her quilt for her mother, and I managed to finish putting the last big border on my quilt on the day that she left. It will take 9 yards of fabric to back my quilt. At 12.99 per yard, that was a bit daunting, in addition to the cost of having it quilted. I certainly wouldn’t attempt something this big on my own. Found a perfect batik online for 5.99 a yard so problem solved.
With Maryruth gone, I now have five days to myself here at home, hoping to do some of the detailed chores that I don’t do when Mo is around. Who knows why. It is nice having alone time to catch up on details, but I will definitely be happy when Mo returns next week. Managing the fire alone is a full time job. It seems I am either starting, stoking, taking away ashes, or bringing up another load of wood all day long. Mo does most of the fire management when she is here and I help out a bit, but I can see now that what I do isn’t nearly enough.
Today I am dealing with “stuff”. We have a five year plan, and sometime during the next five years, I will have to move my stuff. I really need to get it more organized. I can’t believe how it gets away from me. I am fairly well organized, but there are places where that breaks down, such as the office drawers. I also have a couple of drawers for crafting, and of course I have bins of yarn for knitting and many containers of fabric for quilting. I am not quite sure how this stuff keeps multiplying, maybe it is those trips to the quilt shops.
So today, I decided that I would try to go through the office “stuff”. Most of it has been in a small set of drawers beneath my desk, but it seems that I never actually get into those drawers for anything. Scotch tape, scissors, a bazillion pens and pencils, who knows if they work, and a whole lot of other little thingies that I have no clue what to do with except I can’t quite bring myself to throw it all away.
I started the project, and then in frustration gave up. Here is the result! It is packed and ready for the next stop, and someday maybe I’ll get the nerve to try to figure it out one more time, or just throw it all away. I can hear you laughing from here.
As the evening progresses, the rain/snow/sleet spitting continues. Predictions of an inch of snow at our elevation for tonight, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Can you imagine, no snow all winter and it shows up at the end of February?