Friday, May 29, 2009

Simple Living is Just Plain Hard Work!

I love wood heat. There is nothing like the tangy smell of wood burning, and the dry and efficient heat that comes from a homely wood stove. But going from the dumped wood in our yard, to realizing the visualization of wood stacked neatly in the basement, takes perseverance and hard work. Lugging wood isn't a light chore. However, it needs to be done, and we don't mind because of the end result.

Gardening is fun.. but hard work. It isn't just putting in the seeds or transplanting tender little plants. That is only the beginning. Sure, we get a reprieve right after we plant before the weeds come up. Then the routine of weeding begins. It continues until the food is harvested. Even then the work isn't done.. there is preparation and canning or freezing to preserve the food we grew. That is hard work, but very satisfying.

Some things aren't so demanding, but just as satisfying. For example, a friend of ours gave us 7 lbs. of red kidney beans. He said we could plant them or just cook them up. Our gardens are full, so today I cooked them up. I will freeze them and they will be ready for use in a quick casserole or chili or soup.

I also have a huge bag of black beans to cook up. Those are especially good in chili.

For some reason quilting to me has always been a symbol of living simply. Maybe it is the thought of after making clothing that I can use up the remnants in something useful and pretty.

Then there are special quilts for special occasions where I buy the fabric just for a quilt, like the one for my niece's wedding. I have been enjoying this rare luxury. I prepped the fabric and started cutting out and sewing this week. I have been working on this little corner blocks for the Ohio Star blocks in the quilt. The quilt has a combination of two blocks. The Ohio Star, and Shoo fly.

I have to do 52 of these little blocks for the Ohio Star blocks. The method I am using to do the quarter square triangles is foreign to me. It is using something called the Bias Square method. I can't say I like it very much. I prefer using the layered square technique. The author claims the Bias Square method is more accurate than any other method, but I beg to differ. The layering technique is much easier, faster, and has way less waste, plus I find it is just as accurate. Other than that, I am pleased with how it is going together. At least I can say I learned a new method.

Our days right now are pretty relaxed. We have had several rainy, gray days in a row, and though I expect some restlessness to start settling in, everyone seems okay for now. We have had a few hours here and there where the kids could go outside, though it was pretty soggy out.

The kids have been enjoying "Meerkat Manor" on Netflix. The episodes are 20 minutes long, so they are easy to insert here and there throughout the day. The pool is almost ready for use, but the weather hasn't been cooperating. The kids are impatient, but I keep telling them not to worry, there will be plenty of hot, sticky days we will enjoy cooling off in the pool. Now, I wonder if I can get Dale in? He is not a swimmer. In fact, I can't even get him to walk barefoot on the beach when we are in Maine. So, we'll see. :)

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