Tuesday, November 20, 2018


ice on motherwort

None of that shilly-shallying, dusting-then-a-warm-spell, off-and-on easing into Winter this year! Our first snow was the night of the 15th, and it was a heavy, wet snow requiring the tall boots. Since then, we've had more and more snow but often right on the edge of freezing rain, so it's a bit of a mess out there.

Still plenty of color, though! Doesn't this Rubus look lively despite it's icy snowcap?

After the most muted Autumn foliage season I can recall in all my New England years, my eyes are reveling in shrub colors right now. I painted this watercolor the day after the first snowstorm, when the sun was reflecting off the snow and backlighting the Kerria japonica between the porch and the stilt barn:

The kids are taking this new snow situation in stride, and of course the rest of the herd is very familiar with all aspects of Winter. All is well, as long as there are plenty of sheltering options when wanted - such as during the freezing rain episodes - and Management keeps the hay coming.

 My boy Betula, reaching out from under the stilt-barn to have a bite of hay.
What? Doesn't everyone recognize their animals just by their noses?

This past week, despite the weather - and the fact that the zipper on my work coat broke completely so I'm now wearing multiple fleeces and moving like the Tin Man - a long-delayed barn project is finally seeing progress. The doors - which have been a headache/backache for a long time - are now 80% functional again. A little more effort and they may be perfect. If I can avoid wrestling with them every day this Winter, it will be a BIG improvement!

Campion says, "Doors are all very well,
but let's focus on that hay you mentioned earlier."

It's definitely Stone Soup time, and the crockpot has been on a constant simmer. Do you keep a soup pot going, and add different things to change it up as you go along?

At this point in it's evolution, my current soup has beef, onions, mushrooms, bone broth, carrots, rice and chick peas. I sometimes add shredded cheddar or curry seasoning when I dish up a bowlful. Yesterday I also cooked a pot of lentils, so now there's an option of roasted squash and lentils with soup poured over. I am eating well. We all are. Bonus: at the feedstore Saturday I bought a new kind of chewbone that Piper seems to enjoy - huzzah! It looks like a rolled rawhide bone but it's not rawhide or bone, it's completely edible. I gave it to her Sunday afternoon and she worked on it for four hours, non-stop, before she had to stop for a nap. Today she was back at it again, so if it retains it's allure and lasts more than a week, I'll order a whole bag.

Time to paint #324 of the DailyMarkmaking2018 and call it a night. Here is a group of one-inch squares I've done recently as a change of pace between "regular" sketches:

Always something new to explore, isn't there?
Amidst all the other stuff we do, and deal with,
let's not forget to have some good fun.