Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday miscellany - 345 days

in which our plucky heroine wonders where the deep end is, and if one can tell if one has gone off it...

in some ways this last week has been a real struggle, and I've not wanted to blog, or write, or anything. But, there was an assortment of small progresses made in various aspects of life

Yesterday, cooked what is argueably the best lamb stew I've ever made... Extra mushrooms, because earlier this past week I needed to cook up the pound of mushrooms that there just wasn't room for in the coolers when we lost power.... so the stew started with a good sized dollop, (about a cupful) of well-cooked mushroom/garlic/onions (Sauteed in butter and seasoned with herbs, spices, and sherry) then added a pound of the good stew lamb pieces from Su-Dan Farms, and more chopped onion, carrot, and celery, and some broth from the freezer. And about midafternoon I added in a handful of pearl barley. That was yesterday's supper, and there was enough left for another two meals. So nom and warming...

Not only was it a lot of fun to participate in the Virtual 48 hr An Tir Backlog Scribal Challenge Contest earlier this month, but it was also a chance to learn some new skills and data about scribal arts. Then this weekend I re-learned how to create a Google Slides presentation, so that I could share what I learned with our local scribal group.  Google Slides is a good and fairly intuitive program, and I was able to put together a 26 slide set of images. Now I want to refurbish the only other slide presentation I created, on the history of enameling, so that I can do more to share what I know in these still difficult times

Last weekend the power went out in the ice storm. It was not great, because the house gets really cold (no furnace without power to run the blowers, no insulation in the walls, no ready cooking appliances and the temperature outside was in the high 20's) It gets dark early here, because of how far north we are, and the first night I relied on my candle lanterns, but didn't want to leave them burning through the night. The second night, I remembered that I have solar camping lanterns! Doh!! ... my Luci Lanterns, after being shut in the closet for the last two years, lit right up when inflated and clicked on. An email will be written to Mpowered, letting them know how impressed I am with their lights. (Also I think that a checklist of emergency actions for cold, or hot, or fireseason weather would be good)

After the power came back, friends and I were chatting about what went well, what went okay, and what Needed Improvement. Using snow and ice to keep food cold went well. Light in darkness went better when I remembered my lanterns. The two things that were most in need of improvement were that my lower legs and feet got cold and stayed cold, and that getting the bed warm enough to sleep was a challenge; the cloth bags of rice that get heated in the microwave are useless without electricity. Piling all the various wool blankets atop the bed was insulative, but felt rather like being squashed (am not a fan of the "weighted blanket" that is so very trendy).

Wanda and I were chatting about ways to keep warm during the power outage, and the topic of metal hot water bottles came up, which led me down an interesting rabbit hole...
Other friends suggested using Nalgene bottles, which seal superbly and can handle boiling water, though the idea of a large metal hot water bottle is also appealing. As far as the feet and legs go, my thought is some tallish multi-layered insulated slipper boots for indoors...

missed the live presentation last week, but here is the YouTube video:
and here is the knitting pattern!

~ 100 day creativity challenge - day 89 ~
Our plucky heroine was cold, and so I put my handknit cowl on my head, like a hat, sort of folded over with the lower edge forming the "brim". It looks rather fetching... (or maybe isolation has just gone on so long that I have gone over the edge)

February SMART goals (x=extra)
1 original SCA scroll
pruned persimmon
yard waste bin
2 -saved my food using snow
some of the branches
3 -buttonholes on partlet
all the branches
4 - - -
5 -- -
6 x x -
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - I have the best neighbors ever! On Sunday morning, while I was up early, sitting in my bathrobe and watching a lecture videocast from Finland on Iron Age and Viking Age textiles, I noticed that my neighbor was in the front yard cutting up the fallen branches from the ice storm. By the time the class was over, my entire yard had been cleared, including the large massive branch that had been still attached to the tree. (The branches were probably 20 ft long and about 5 inches at least in diameter!)


  1. That is a lovely little gryphon. The shading in the feathers is really nice.

  2. So cute!!! just adorable with the cowl hat.
    I'm sorry you were having troubles, what a week it was!
    Hopefully we are past the worst and spring is sproinging.