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.