Sunday, January 11, 2015


From shaggy horses looking unkempt in
their winter coats to. . .
January seems to draw out the restlessness in wayward gardeners who can't get their hands in warm spring soil. I can see that restlessness in your words as you write about January, cooped up in your house, desperately wanting  needing to be outside in the warm sunshine. Oh, we have had sunshine here, but the temps are cold, hovering below freezing with another bout of bitter cold on its way to the plains of Northern Colorado.

As I write today's post, the Head Gardener is upstairs on his computer. As I cleaned up the breakfast dishes, he kept coming into the kitchen to check the calendar. He asked what day Mother's Day was. I got all warm and fuzzy. He was planning something special? Or planning a fishing trip with his buddies? Wrong on both counts. Even he has that January restlessness. He was planning his planting guide. Having planted potatoes so late last year and failing to get the garlic in, he has a plan for 2015: Garlic March 20th, potatoes April 20th. I feel better. He has a plan. We buy potatoes early then wait to plant them for who knows why when actually I do believe that when those early sets appear in the garden centers they can go in the ground then well before they rot in the bag.

. . .frost covered trees and crusty, dirty snow,
leaves little to brag about.
Raise your hand if your gardening plan begins to take shape in January?

With crusty, dirty, old snow hiding a layer of ice underneath from the thaw/freeze cycle here, just walking across the lawn can be perilous. So I have retreated to my basement work area where I sew, craft, work on the dollhouses, write. I can last another month or so.

The little granddaughters were here yesterday. They always want to craft. I have been sewing, so they decided to make something too. They are rather specific in what they want make until an new idea pops into their little heads and then "Grandma, let's make this…." 5 minutes into the first project. The biggest challenge, then,  is keeping them focused long enough to finish a project.

Lucy wanted to make a blanket for Ellie, so I dug in my stash of flannel so that she could make a blanket big enough to wrap Vern the teddy bear in. I had her iron out the wrinkles. She was rather wary of the heavy, hot iron, but I convinced her that she could iron, cautioning her to keep her hands away from the hot metal. "But grandma. . . ," she tried to whine. "Hey, look," I said, "when I was your age [6] I was ironing all the clothes. That was back when clothes had to be ironed." I got a rather blank stare in return, but she did manage to iron her flannel flat. I turned and pressed the hem, then showed her how to use the sewing machine.  I explained to both of the girls that using the foot control was much like pushing the accelerator on the golf cart, which they have both driven: the harder you push, the faster it goes, so don't push too hard. Both girls did very well. I'd show you Ellie's project, but I took her photos on her mom's camera and didn't get them downloaded.

I think that is very important to teach children to iron and sew and bake and clean. The home arts are getting lost in modernization. Children have so little clue or interest in creating, making, or doing. Ellie made a lace edged cape for her sister that required a button. She came up with idea and with some help, Lucy went home with a cape.

Today's photos were taken by the girls' mother. She got a new camera, a Canon Rebel, for Christmas.  She thought I should be outside taking photos of the hoar frost covering the landscape, too, but as I told her, I have dozens of hoar frost photos. And then there is the little Miss Frozen Princess in her Anna dress, a nice contrast to the cold, frozen, ice covered landscape.

And so this all I have to write about today. The Broncos play the Colts at 2:40 this afternoon. I don't know why I get so anxious about a silly game, especially since I probably won't be watching much of it. I have laundry to fold and a messy craft area to clean up.

I am not sure what the week will bring. I have finished Drums of Autumn and will go to the library to get the next book in the Outlander series this week. I do hope that you have a good week planned.

Thanks for dropping by. I love your comments, too.

Be sure to visit Judith at to see this mosaic and all of the other cool mosaics posted. 


  1. You seem to have a lot to keep you busy, the little princess is adorable.. And I love the horse. The frosty images are beautiful. I agree about teaching the young ones to sew, iron bake and clean... Wishing you a happy week ahead!

  2. I've had the January blahs, didn't even post since last week's MM. Sometimes you just have to give blogging a break I guess.
    It's good to mentor young people with domestic skills, wish I'd learned how to sew.
    The little princess with the pretty pink coat looks like her feet might get cold but mom has a new Rebel too and she's posing nicely. I checked my old D40 and it had 10 mp, the new Rebel has 18, so that's encouraging.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Ann. Don't know how long my blogging funk will last, I'm reading posts but not commenting. Maybe I just need a holiday! :-)

  3. Frozen seems to have captured the hearts of many little girls. Our 4 year old granddaughter sings "let it go" constantly, complete with hand movements and it appears that her 11 month old little brother is learning to do the hand movements, too, although he doesn't sing yet.
    January blahs are a great excuse to just hunker down and read or stitch. I've been struggling with photography and blogging this past week. This too shall pass.
    How fun to think of all the things we have in common (regarding your reply to a comment I made.) It would be fun to chat over tea!

  4. Hi Ann, I think it's WONDERFUL that you're teaching your little granddaughters to sew. Truly. I took a sewing class a few years ago, but unfortunately, I haven't touched the machine since. I never learned to sew when I was growing up or as a young woman. I agree with you that too many domestic, homemaking skills are falling by the wayside.

    I love the picture mosaic you created with your daughter's photos. My husband uses a Canon Rebel, too, and really likes it. I love seeing hoar frost, as we don't typically get that in our area. As far as planning a garden, my husband just purchased the Farmer's Almanac so he could plan when to plant our tomatoes. :)

    I have barely blogged at all in January, but I'm trying to get cranked up again. I've just had too many other things to focus on lately. I've enjoyed your post. Hope you have a great week!



  5. A most enjoyable post Ann - this time of year can be so frustrating being stuck indoors when all we want to do is be outdoors. At least you have plenty of things to keep you busy and spring isn't that far away now.

  6. what a good way to teach the kids . . . . . . like pushing the accelerator on the golf cart.

  7. How lovely that you are teaching your granddaughters to sew, it's a useful skill to have - I still have precious memories of my grandmother teaching me to embroider and knit. Enjoyed your blog post - hope it's soon warm enough to get out into the garden!

  8. You are a good grand mother!! Your granddaughters are learning to sew, but maybe more importantly is that YOU are teaching them and they will never forget it. That is very special!

  9. Ah yes, I am more than ready for Spring. The seed catalogs are arriving in the mail. But we still don't have a plan. Well maybe Bob does--he's veggies and I am flowers.
    Teaching children the home arts today is a very good thing. They do have to learn that everything does not come ready made from a store. I have only one granddaughter and she is glued to her horse.

  10. Such an enjoyable post, as always! I believe your granddaughters love visiting your home.
    Thank you for sharing, Ann! Have a lovely week!

  11. Not bad to retreat to your basement area with that cold winter weather. And about the ironing and sewing of the children we have the following saying "Young learned, done old". You are a wonderful example grandmother for the granddaughters.

  12. Yes, I was looking at photos of the garden in full bloom and I am craving the sun, too. How fun to craft with the little darlings!

  13. I get restless and it is hard since it isn't until April when I can garden here...we didn't even get to 5 degrees today. And yes I start planning now.

  14. You have sweet little girls there! Your photos are beautiful. The horse is so cute. It's warming up this week here in Texas! It's suppose to be in the mid 60s this weekend. Finally! I don't know how you do it in such a cold place. I intend to move to an even warmer place later this year. I can't take the cold! Have fun planning your garden!


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