Mike was home from work yesterday, but he went in this morning. Often when we have snow on our hill, there is none in the valley. It's cold everywhere right now, however. If you look off in the distance in that image above, you can see that there's snow all the way to the valley floor. By now, the roads have been sanded, and so he was able to drive in safely. I expect him home early, however. The five o'clock commute is always horrendous on snow days.
In the image below, you can see my boot tracks. I ventured out yesterday to fill the bird feeders.
It was terribly cold, and my hands and fingers were frozen within just a few minutes. Nevertheless, I took a few pictures while I was out. The snow decorating the landscape is always beautiful to my eyes.
It was cold enough to produce hoar frost on things. Here's some of the dried up catnip from this year.
It was also on the peanut feeder.
These are bunny tracks. I spotted them near the bird feeders, and then again as they headed off over the field. I suspect the bunny was visiting the compost pile.
Even the catio had a little bit of frost, but what I really wanted you to see is how the snow has drifted on the floor. Also, you can see the little kitty house on the middle right edge of this image. There were kitty tracks all around the opening, and so I'm pretty sure Smitty is spending his time in there. With that in mind, we decided to invest in a little indoor/outdoor heating pad to put inside. That should arrive in a few days...weather permitting. The UPS man is a weenie and won't come up our hill when there's snow on the ground.
Getting a heating pad will probably ensure the warmest winter on record from here on out.
So, it was a good day to stay inside and quilt the last block on Gingerbread Square.
When that was finished, I took it downstairs where I could spread it out in front of the living room windows. Here are all nine quilted blocks.
Of course, it was only about 12 seconds from hitting the floor when the quilt inspection crew showed up.
Saaaaaaaddddddiiiieeeeeee!!! Come look at mom's quilt! We have work to do!
Geez, Smitty, you don't have to yell. I'm sitting right here.
Sadie, I've looked all over this quilt, and it's just as I suspected. There's not a single cat on the whole quilt. I'm pawsitive our mom overlooked this impurrtant detail.
Smitty, I care less about the pawcity of cats than I do about the purrpawderance of snow. Kitties who have lived outdoors full time do not care for snow. Why, I used to trudge barefoot three miles in the snow just to catch a single mousie to feed my furmily, and it was dreadful.
Besides...you're not supposed to touch the quilts. It's considered impurrlite.
What? Who says so?
Smitty, haven't you ever been to a quilt show?
In purrnt of fact, I have been to many quilt shows, and I never touch a quilt without furst putting on my white mittens.
After having quilted almost non-stop for days on end, I thought I might be finished for the day. But then I decided to practice the candy-cane stripes for the inner border, and one thing led to another, and then...
They aren't as consistent as I would like, but this is free motion quilting...emphasis on the "free," as in, free hand. If I had a computerized machine I could make them perfect, but these will have to do. It's the best I can do, and I live by this motto: My best is good enough. Besides, I figure when I see them all the way around the quilt, they'll be perfect in their imperfection. Hopefully, the blocks will be the focal point of this quilt. I didn't do any more quilting the rest of the day, but I'm hoping to get this border finished today, and perhaps get a start on the green border. It's getting very close to being finished.
This morning I took the "firm starter" from the refrigerator in preparation for baking sourdough bread.
Being a "firm" starter, the dough is the consistency of spackling paste, and so I was instructed to cut it into ten small pieces and allow it to warm for an hour.
They remind me of "little piggies" as in, this little piggie went to market, and this little piggie stayed home.
After an hour, I added flour, water, and salt, and then mixed it into a ball in my electric mixer.
Then I switched to the dough hook and kneaded it for a total of 12 minutes with two periods of rest in between. (The book advised me to let the dough rest, but I actually think the mixer is getting a rest. The dough is stiff, and even at a low speed, the motor heats up.)
As I'm writing this, the dough is proofing. That will take about four hours (or maybe longer at our cold temperatures). Then I'll shape it into "batards" and give it a second proofing before baking it in a very hot oven. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion.
For now, let's get back to some slow stitching. I filled the first hoopful on Hocuspocusville.
I've moved the hoop now and tomorrow I'll start with a new blank canvas of stitching. Today I want to catch up on a little bit of housework, and then I'll get back to quilting. It's another good day for staying inside, but the sunshine might draw me out for a few minutes.