hands on :: kitty

snow right now

this morning.

Yes.  I’m not going to talk about the beautiful amazing snow (which will soon be ALL MUD, but is still packed incredibly deep and solid in our yard and driveway, even after many days of temps above freezing – Holy Smokes folks, we are so unprepared for anything like a REAL winter down here, and  – THANK HEAVEN for the excellent county road grader that we are able to get out at all – whew).

Instead, I’m doing a ubiquitous cute kitty post.

Our youngest, Levon, has gotten the hang of asking Momma to knit or crochet for him.  He’s not shy at all.

“Make me one of those Momma!”  I hear it each time I look at patterns now.

snowy levon

and who could resist?

He wanted one of each of the amigurumi stuffed animals listed in the One Skein Wonder crochet book I had out from the library before Christmas.  I got him to narrow it down, and then I repeatedly asked him to re-confirm his choice.  He was firm.  He wanted the kitty.

Then we had to pick the yarn.  It didn’t call for wool or cotton.  If I could have found some wool, I’m sure it would have worked fine, but Levon found what he wanted, and that was that – a black cotton with cool sparklies wrapped into the yarn.  Again, he was firm.

Let me just tell you right now – if I ever give you an amigurumi it means I love you SO MUCH.sweet kitty 3

I got this kitty done by Christmas.  Actually, I didn’t get the eyes and nose on, because Levon wanted to choose those himself too, so they came a little later.  Because it was black, and the stitches were small (SO small), I could only work on it in broad daylight.  A fortunate day out with a grandma allowed me to put it together without little eyes looking over my shoulder.  Before that, I just let the tiny kitty pieces pile up in the work basket.  They looked like funny shaped black fruits.  The crocheting itself was rather painstaking, but watching the project come together was fun.

The black yarn meant that the white stuffing showed through, but I think it’s worth it. I sure didn’t want a floppy little kitty! Levon doesn’t care that he can see the white stuffing.  He loves the kitty.  And that makes me glad.  I like her too – she was a labor of love.  And just look at the way her tail curls.sweet kitty 1


while it lasted…

I’m not going to talk about the state of our road right now. Nor the yard. I’m not going to dwell on the oozing slush and the mud and the need for extreme caution with every single step. I’m also not going to discuss the state of our firewood pile. I’m just not going there.

Instead, I’m going to talk a little bit about this… IMGP2949 Wintertime in the mid-south is a roller coaster ride. There is really no consistent theme other than we will surely have a couple of really cold spells and maybe a few snows somewhere between November and April. The snowfall may not amount to much more than a dusting, but enough to turn these Kentucky hills sort of white. When we have a single snow event that accumulates to nearly a foot of the stuff, well, it is kind of a big deal.IMGP3021

I think I used to enjoy the winter months more than I do now. As I have grown older and my level of responsibility is so much more, the winter months can truly be a pain in the ass. With a house full of kiddos and a farm full of critters, there are many more mouths to feed and water now than there were when Eric and I were just getting started. I am grateful for all of those hungry mouths, don’t get me wrong, as it is proof of an abundant farm… but I have yet to find the “pause” button for all of those mouths when the weather takes a turn and the road is impassable and the water system freezes.  If you know what I mean.IMGP2941I know at some point or other all of us farmwives have mentioned that fact that our farms are not really set up for ease in dealing with extreme winter weather. We just don’t have enough of it to justify the effort in “winter-proofing” all of our farm systems. We have our ways of making things work just fine, but not without some effort. Seems we all have been caught with our pants down at some point, and curse ourselves for some stupid slip-up in preparedness. Or lack thereof.IMGP3010Typically, though, our winter weather leaves as quickly as it came, and we sigh and say “wasn’t that pretty?” and then grunt “now what a damn mess!” In the throes of the winter storm, when I could feel the beginnings of myself going buggy and my kids challenging my and each other’s patience, I decided to read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “The Long Winter” aloud to the family… just as a reminder of how easy we’ve got it. And a gigantic reminder of why I don’t live in North Dakota. 

My dear husband’s solution to the cabin fever problem was to hitch the kayaks up to the tractor and take the kids for a redneck-style-white-water-rafting-tour-de-farm sled ride. They had a blast. (And Elowyn and I got the house to ourselves for a bit.) The morning the temperatures were going to rise enough to begin the thawing of all that snow, Eric swept into the house from doing his chores and demanded that I get my coat on. The big kids watched the baby and I got my own Bugtussle style sleigh ride…IMGP3029I will say the snow was fun while it lasted! Now I suppose I’m ready for spring!

11 3/4 inches: a family photo project

snowed in. nature’s power and beauty all around us. we spent the days cooking, baking, playing and trying, each of us, to capture some of the majesty.

























it’s been cold and cozy and it’s not over yet. photo credits to mrb and svb, they have the eye. a couple of these are mine too. why not guess who took which photos?