Snow Inside and Out

The snow started up around 1:00 p.m. yesterday, just as predicted. It snowed hard all day long and into the night. In contrast to last week when we got the big fat wet flakes, these were tiny and dry. The wind blew them all around, and so there wasn't a lot of accumulation. Nevertheless, we awakened to a blanket of white and a few falling flakes.

Smitty, tired of being cooped up inside, took the first tentative steps out into the elements this morning. Here's the documentation.

Since he's become accustomed to the catio, he doesn't spend as much time out as he used to. We've kind of decided that he only goes out long enough to do "his business" and then he comes back in. He headed over to his favorite potty spot, but found it not suitable for digging.

That was enough to convince him to hurry back inside for a bowl of hot catchocolate...no marshmallows, please.

Yesterday I was able to quilt two more blocks for Gingerbread Square.

All that dense pebbling makes for slow-going, but it hasn't felt tedious in the way the fine stippling for Cats of a Different Color did.

That leaves one block remaining, which happens to be the first one I stitched when I started embroidering the blocks for this quilt. For sure I'll be able to get that one finished today, and I'm hoping to get the white inner border quilted. My plan is to do a sort of candy-cane stripe there, and the spacing for the nine-patch blocks is just about perfect to help me keep the spacing right...at least, I'm hoping so. Here's a picture to give you some idea what I'm talking about.

The printed motif is spaced a little larger than the blocks, but I'm hoping you can get the idea. I'll spend some time practicing before I commit it to the quilt. Also, I'm going to switch back to a regular white cotton thread for the remainder of the quilting. The white metallic was to give a little sparkle to the snow. There's no reason to continue babying the metallic thread. It has performed fairly wall, but it has been very picky about the needles I use, the thread tension, and the position of the spool.

Yesterday, it was time to feed the barm cultivated over the past couple of weeks. I scooped off the excess and froze it with what was frozen from last week. While I was doing this, it occurred to me that I was going to end up with enough barm to bake a loaf of bread the size of Los Angeles. And where would I find an oven that big? Just now I went looking to see if anyone had actually attempted such a thing. Perhaps that's what happened here:

So anyway...I decided that I would alter my original plan of making the loaves as they appear in alphabetical order in the book. If I stuck with the original plan, I would be making bagels next, and I will...soon. For now, however, I decided to make something that would use the barm...something practical, something a little easier than the Christopsomos...plain old basic sourdough. Besides, Mike really likes sourdough. With that in mind, I scooped off 4 oz. of barm from the whole. It's now sitting on the counter warming for the next hour.

When time is up, I'll add 4.5 oz. of bread flour and 1-2 oz. of water, mix it up well, and then let it ferment at room temperature for around 5 hours. Through this process, I'm creating a "firm starter" also known as a levain or chef. When it's ready, I'll put it back in the refrigerator. Tomorrow, I'll get to work making some sourdough bread.

For today, I'm focused on quilting. Mike is home from work today because the roads are unbelievably treacherous. Click on this link for some pictures of yesterday's traffic. There were stories on the news last night of people taking 7 hours to get home from their workplaces. At one of the local high schools, students were at the school until 11:00 p.m. Our son, Erik, didn't get home from work until around 9:00 p.m. Yes, it's a good day to stay off the roads.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

We have another storm, too - with high winds. I had to deliver our guild's pillowcases and bibs donation to the community gift boxes early this morning. NOW I hibernate!!

Quilting Babcia said...

This morning's local news out of Buffalo featured a piece about road conditions in Portland, and Buffalo was having blizzard whiteout conditions yesterday too. Today the snow is coming down sideways and the windchill is in the minus digits. I'm waiting til Saturday to leave the house when it's supposed to be 40 degrees again. Sourdough pancakes or biscuits are mighty tasty too.

WoolenSails said...

Izzy will not go in the snow, she tries to jump over it if she gets out, lol.
They are quite happy staying in the warm house now.
Love the quilting on your quilt, that really looks beautiful around the stitchery.


crazy quilter said...

I predict a nice blue ribbon on this one in the show it is entered in. Poor Smitty all cooped up because of the snow. He needs a nap by the fireplace.

Brown Family said...

Angel and Kirby got to go out in the snow once several years ago. They did not seem to mind it so much. We have never had much snow since to try again.

quiltzyx said...

Mmmmm, sourdough! I brought some home from our work party yesterday, fresh baked at the restaurant. Lucky me, no one else wanted the leftovers.
It's raining right now, started about 5:00 and is supposed to go through tomorrow. Hooray!

Dana Gaffney said...

I really like that border quilting design, it's perfect for this, but it will work with lots of quilts.

Wendy Tuma said...

We have a winter storm in our forecast today and tomorrow, so we'll see how much snow we get. Yum -- sourdough! Your gingerbread quilt is coming along nicely. Hope you have a fun, productive day of quilting! Wendy at piecefulthoughts@gmail.com

Warm Quilts said...

Those Gingerbread Squares are adorable and I love the look of the red and white 9-patches on point. Those cute paw prints in the snow are so precious.

Dar said...

I like your proposed candy stripe for the border. We are getting the sleet and cold temps tonight and through the day tomorrow and our roads were like yours in Portland. It took us 1 1/2 hrs to go 5 miles and cars were sliding everywhere. Snow is in the forecast for later this weekend. Your sourdough bread sounds good. I'd like a piece right now, please. lol

Kate said...

The snow is so pretty, as long as you can work from home. Looking forward to the finish of The Gingerbread Square quilt. The quilting looks great, but very time consuming. Luckily, My Guy is coming home tomorrow rather than Wednesday. I may get some freshly baked bread before Christmas. Seeing all your efforts really has made me miss My Guy's weekly bread baking.