Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy Friday morning, my friends. The week is almost over. Oh yes, and Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'll just drop this little Irish Blessing here to celebrate. 

It was another lovely day yesterday. It will be again today. Mike said the temperature is expected to get to 60°F today. We haven't seen temperatures that warm since last fall. It isn't my day to walk, but I might get outside anyway. 

Yesterday I took a little walk around the house. I was happy to see the poppies survived the recent snow. There are no buds yet, but I expect those to come a little later.

Amazingly, I found these blooming mini iris in one of the whiskey barrels. It was very surprising to see them so soon after the snow melted.

There's still snow piled in different areas. This is what fell off the roof at the front of the house.

As I walked along, this guy was shouting four-letter words at me. He's probably mad about being shut out of the greenhouse (hopefully).

There are daffodils all around. These look close to opening.

These are the poppies growing in the whiskey barrel near the greenhouse. 

We noted with sadness a few days ago that two of our five whiskey barrels are disintegrating right before our eyes. There are three more that aren't far behind. We're going to have to replace them this year. It will be a trick transferring the growing things into new pots without killing them. Mike is usually pretty ingenious when it comes to that sort of thing.

Moving on, I was happy to see shoots on all the peonies. I'd seen them before the snow, and I worried the cold temperature might have done them in. They all seem fine.

This year's crop of daylilies has popped above ground.

These are chives. Have you noticed? There's a lot of yard clean-up to do. The chives were inundated by a huge sage plant last year. I didn't have even enough to make chive blossom vinegar. Mae gave me some from her garden, and I've been coaxing them back to their previous numbers. It's hard to know if I'll have enough for vinegar this year, but I'm hopeful.

There are signs of life on the blueberries. I worried about these too because the plants have only been in the ground for one season so far. It looks like they'll survive the winter. I'm really hoping we can get some blueberries in numbers since it's really the only berry Mike can eat.

Across the driveway is a melting pile of snow Mike scooped out of the breezeway. It's about half its former size.

There's still a small patch that accumulated after he cleared it.

Here, you can see how the heavy snow bent our rain gutter. I believe it can be bent back with no harm done. We still have some of that green paint if it needs touching up.

Looking out in the other direction is another remaining small patch of snow. Melt, and be gone with you!

I noticed some tulips coming up in the whiskey barrel by the front door. I'm hoping the critters will leave them alone.

Speaking of critters, we had four black-tail deer in our field yesterday. I noticed this one near the birdfeeders.

Walking outside, I could see another down in the woods. As I stood taking this picture, two more came from behind me and ran toward the woods. I imagine they're hunting for their annual tulip ration.

Heading back inside, I had dessert on my mind. After making the orange rolls the other day, I had two nearly completely denuded oranges in my refrigerator. I decided to make an Orange Upside-down Cake for Two. This was originally a test recipe for America's Test Kitchens. Mine was scaled down to make a "for two" version. You can find the "for two" version at that link. If you want to make the whole cake, you can find that recipe right here.

With that finished, it was time to get after my sewing. I found Smitty surprised it took me so long. He'd already sorted through my scraps for the makings of the day's "painted ladies."

My goal is to make four complete houses and one partial with each go-round. I'd already made one the day before.

So, using the scraps Smitty pulled, I went to work making more.

I kept forgetting to sew the background strip to the top of the roof. Smitty needed to sit near the sewing machine to make sure I didn't repeat my mistake.

Then, I made two more whole ones.

And then one incomplete one. All the parts are made, but the roof and the house are not sewn together.

And here are the five I have so far.

Okay, so I'll set those aside for the time being, and get to work making two more blocks for My Whimsical Quilt Garden. Here are the six blocks I have for this quilt so far:

I've already copied the applique templates so that I can reverse them. I still need to make a wax paper placement template, and then I can get to work with the fabrics. 

There might not be much time for sewing today. I need to do some laundry, and I need to get an early start on a new recipe I'm trying for some Irish Beef Stew. I'm also baking some Irish Soda Bread to go with it. Aside from our menu, we're not doing anything special for St. Patrick's Day. How about you? Any plans for the day? I'm just about to go do some slow-stitching. I'll be stitching with green floss, if that counts. And I'll for sure be wearing my St. Patrick's Day socks today.

My socks came all the way from actual Ireland, and I only get to wear them once per year. Ya gotta strike while the iron is hot, right? And I'll just bet my bread will bake up nicely if I'm wearing my Irish socks. We'll see if I'm right. Time will tell.


Barbara said...

Geographically, Ireland is a medium-sized rural island that is slowly but steadily being consumed by sheep. ~ Dave Barry

Sara said...

Cute socks! The houses are so adorable with the fun prints. I used that pink cat print a couple years ago to make an apron for my niece's daughter. I bet the snow was actually good insulation for all those tender new plant growth.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I'm astounded at the fact that you have flowers blooming even after all that snow...amazing.
Love the green socks. I forgot it was St. Pat's so am not wearing any green (but I wore a green top yesterday...does that count?)

Jenny said...

It must be so heart warming to see the growth popping through in the garden after all your snow. The colour of thise little irises is so striking. So nice to see the deer nearby too.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Love those mini irises, we have those around town but I don't have any on our property. Our daffodils are done, and the two nights of temps in the 20s took care of some buds that were forming on some of the trees. In our county, it is thought that we will lose the peaches and two early blooming apple varieties for this season. In a county that is the 7th largest in the nation for apple production, this is a blow to our economy for this year.

Karen said...

Happy National Quilt Day!!
I finished a wall hanging quilt yesterday, so now I can celebrate by starting 6 new projects.
Lovely to see your every blooming thing. It snows 2" again last nigt. You are usually 2 weeks ahead of our growing season. Our daffodils are just peaking out of the ground.
love the expression on Smitttys face.

Carol in Texas said...

Barbara I love your sense of humor! We live with 3 indoor cats and many outdoor felines. I love reading about your two. If Mike finds a good way to recreate your whisky barrels, please share how he does it. I have some huge black pots that were originally cattle syrup that I’ve planted and starting a new one seems daunting. But it is a good way to grow things in the country with not-so-hot soil and deer and armadillos and raccoons and cats that love to dig in newly planted beds.

I am so impress with your steady work on so many projects. You are truly a stitcher. I’ve fallen into the Flosstube hole, and it’s easy to watch and listen and do nothing…..just enjoy seeing others’ output! You inspire me.

Vicki W said...

I lvoe the gray background for your houses!

Kathy said...

My pittsburgh chives are up, too. I didn't get to try chive vinegar last year because my "gardener" "chopped the heads off of all them weeds". When he did the same thing to my forsytheia and rose of sharon, I fired him. Maybe this year...
March 17 is also St Gerrude's day. She is the patron saint of cats and gardeners.