Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How to stay sane in the long, cold, and snowy winters of upstate NY

For some reason, 
when my ancestors arrived in Canada and the USA
in the early 1900s

 (my maternal grandfather on the far right,
 from a town in Russia, now in Belarus)


they chose to live in climates similar to the ones they grew up in...

(my paternal grandmother on the far right, born in NYC, 
her parents from a city which is now in Belarus)

And for some reason, 
Mr. U and I chose to perpetuate that absurd decision!!!



Yes, it is still winter in upstate NY ...


much to my chagrin....


It is getting very old!


It has been long, cold, and snowy!



Mr. U tells me that he thinks that our last cold snap is about to be over for the season.
I hope he is right.

Not being much of cold weather gal,
I have been hunkering down inside
(anything to maintain my sanity!)


Luckily, there are a lot of birds in upstate NY


who enjoy being here in the cold
(what is up with that?!)



and so I watch them on Nature Boy's homemade bird feeder


right by our kitchen table


and I take lots of photos. 

There is even a lunchroom bully!


and lately,



some non-birds!!



When I am not sitting at the kitchen table...


I am at the gym before the sun rises

(so my muscles don't atrophy from being inside so much)

....spending endless hours on the telephone
with our newest health insurance plan
trying to secure much-needed diabetic supplies for Sugarbaby...


(my recommendation: write a letter about your dissatisfaction to the CEO,
that seems to get things going... with a direct line to their executive office
that I can now use anytime I have problems! but I suspect those have now been ironed out!)

knitting!!!

socks for me!

socks for Mr. U!

and a wrap for me!

trying to stay caught up with Life Book 2014...


but for kicks, 
and always in search of the ultimate journal/diary project...

(and in an effort to make yet another huge mess in my studio)


I added another project!!!




which I need to catch up on!

I have also been sewing
but that project is ...


sorry!

So like those hibernating bears...
I will emerge when Spring comes!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Coming up for air!!!

I keep thinking that I must blog!!! 
Clearly, thinking and doing are two very separate actions!!!!

I have been so busy lately
that I barely have time to breathe!!!

Where to start?!!!
Well, after I snow dyed some fabric, 
I decided to use this piece.... 




(I think there is a shadow from the dried up remains of our hosta plants... but I didn't dare venture out further into the snow!)



I haven't made a pillow for sooooo long and like so many of my projects,
 it is not for me,
 but rather for a special friend. 


Then....I have also been working on Life Book 2014...
learning some wonderful drawing techniques 


and having so much fun!

(hmmmm... this one has a copyright on it! How did I do that?)

I also made a birthday post card for my mother's birthday
with machine applique/free motion stitching, stamping,


and a little photo editing printed on fabric...


But I am not always at home!!!
Nature Boy and I went to our local art museum
to see a wonderful exhibit...


Ansel Adams "Early Works"-
gorgeous photography!!!

There was also an exhibit of "Photo Secession"-
a technique used by photographers at the turn of the 20th century
to make their photographs look like paintings.

And...
I am knitting my second pair of socks...

(these are for Mr. U)

As for the rest of my waking hours....

well, Sugar Baby decided a week ago
to return to public school after 4 1/2  years of homeschooling...

So what have I been doing with my newly acquired 
free time (Nature Boy doesn't require too much of my time)???!!

Cleaning the house!!!! 
Seriously???!
(well it's either spring cleaning a lot late or a little early)


 My cousin thinks our house looks Brady Bunch like..


not surprising, since this is a 1970s kitchen that still looks like the 1970s!

I am still going to the gym before the sun rises...


and when I have a minute,
sitting in my clean kitchen
I  enjoy watching the birds share meals at the bird feeder...



(handmade by Nature Boy)

and finally, when Mother Nature dumps on us,
I have been known to pick up a shovel... 




So you see, I may not have blogged...
but I have managed fill my waking hours with enough stuff to make blogging worthwhile!!!

Now, I'll just take a deep breath and off I go....!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Murder and Mayhem in Siberia!

Bet you didn't know that I had moved from upstate NY to Siberia!

Well...
antarctic air has settled in our neck of the woods 
and it is frightfully frigid!!!

Yesterday, taking teen (aka Sugarbaby) to work (at a frozen yogurt shop no less!!!),
the temperature was a balmy...


but surprisingly,


even Siberia can have a pretty sunset!



And by the time said teen was done toiling...


which, by the way, was past my bedtime,
I decided it was best to travel toastily 


in my pajamas, bathrobe, winter coat and boots, of course!

Today wasn't much better...

on the way to the gym before the crack of dawn..

(yes that says -2 F!)

and by afternoon, I was almost sweating at a rousing


8 degrees FAHRENHEIT!!! 

So, when the surroundings begin to glaciate
it is definitely better to be playing inside the igloo!

And that is what I have been doing (mostly).

Sometimes, I like to get comfy on our couch and knit..


The thing is, there seems to be a chesterfield vortex
(not to be confused with the perilous polar vortex!)

as a variety of objects seem to be devoured
into the creases of the said divan...

like this knitting needle I was using to knit my first pair of socks...


As I reached down to clutch the bamboo stick from 
imminent evaporation,

something awful happened!!!!


I killed my stick!!!

 If I had only taken care


to store my sticks in a nice, handmade knitting needle roll!


Like the one that I now have!!!

Of course, nothing goes as planned...


especially when you leave your pins near the edge

and 


you staple the directions in the incorrect order
after they are spewed out of the printer onto the floor!


But now I have a new needle nest!
I did manage to create this week's activity 


for Life Book 2014

even if it spilled over


onto all surfaces!


And that is how one might keep engaged in Irkutsk
if you are going to survive the ice!

(warning: some brain cells may have atrophied in the arctic in the act of authoring this article)