I’ve been perusing historical documents posted to the internet, from the area where my Mom grew up, where my maternal ancestors were settlers. One image, of an adult man, standing in the snow beside his horse drawn sleigh, in the 1940s, brought my Grandpa’s presence to me in the here and now. Such a richness of experience, the past presence of my Grandpa, the present presence, the fleeting moment of then, and now. Gone but not lost, to my memory, or to human history. Not written history of course, that is a narrative of conquest and violence, edification for the few. There is another human history, the history of love and survival, it is rich and vibrant. It exists in us, and in the energy all around us. Therein lies our wealth as a species.
It occurs to me that I have no clear understanding of time. I have a glimpse of bits of its many facets, now and then, here and there. This, however, has not given me a rich and full understanding of its mystery. I am am enraptured by, and in awe of, how little humans perceive, and understand.
The weather is very pleasant. It isn’t particularly warm, right now it is 14C, but is sunny, and it will be warmer later in the day. I plan on spending some time on the back porch later this morning.
Before basking in the sun though, I have some projects to complete. This morning’s to-do list includes baking bread, washing laundry and hanging it out to dry, washing the kitchen floor, continue organizing the closet in the bedroom, sorting through old keys (who knows what lock the open!), and perhaps doing a bit of weeding in the garden.
Attila spent his long weekend working in the garden. He has two small greenhouses setup temporarily on two of the raised beds, with hundreds of little plant starts. He planted onion sets, and potatoes, and beans (thanks Joannie for those bean seeds), and many other things I don’t know about. He mowed the lawn, the dandelions are mostly gone to seed now, so time to get those long green stalks trimmed.
We had a chat about the summer projects to be tackled. The last dead Ash tree on the property is partially felled, but the most challenging high branches have yet to come down. There will be a good supply of firewood from the dead tree, once it is down. Attila plans on getting the tree completely down after he plants the garden. To that end he has purchased very heavy rope.
Attila has thought to build a wood shed for our firewood. That construction would take up most of the summer. I suggested that I would prefer that we finish upgrading the back porch, and Attila agreed. Instead of a stick built wood shed, we will purchase a small garden-shed-in-a-box from the local big box store. This will adequately protect the firewood from the elements for a few years at least, and is comparatively inexpensive.
I spent my long weekend with my usual set of tasks, milling flour, baking bread and muffins and squares, and continuing on my quest to organize the household. The documents have pretty much been sorted through, I am moving on to organizing linens.
At last I am back in front of the sewing machine, working on bowl cozies. We cook a lot of food in quantity, so that heating up a bowl of soup, or stew, or casserole, is a daily activity. Bowl cozies are handier than hot pads. The bowl of food is placed in the bowl cozy, which is then popped into the microwave, heated, and the hot bowl can be removed with bare hands.
The first bowl cozy made was experimental, to see if the pattern and material would produce a cozy that we liked. This project called for all materials to be 100% cotton. Rummaging through my fabric totes, I decided on using some blue material that was purchased in 1991. At that time I bought six 100% cotton tea towels to make curtains for my bedroom. They haven’t fit any windows since I moved away from that apartment. Some I transformed into pillowcases, the rest were stored in a tote. Now they are suitable for bowl cozies.
For lining, I used pieces of the cotton sheets that had been used as sun curtains on the back porch. These sheets are “rotten”, they fall apart when washed, and rip easily. I thought they were a good idea for an experimental project.
The pattern called for cotton quilt batting. I have some batting here, but it is polyester, so unsuitable for bowl cozies. Instead I pulled out some older 100% tea towels, to see if they would provide enough insulation to keep the heat away from out hands.
The first bowl cozy was a success. It fit one size of our bowls perfectly. So, the pattern was a go!
But I discovered that the using the “rotten” cotton sheets was a poor choice. The cozy was fine, but the amount of disintegrated cotton that ended up clogging my sewing machine was not. After the first cozy was completed, I had to dismantle the sewing machine and give it a thorough cleaning, and oiling. It is back to working well now.
So, since I was not going to use the “rotten” cotton sheets, I needed to find material suitable for lining. This led me down an organization rabbit hole for a day or two. I have a lot of old sheets. I don’t throw out fabric, so there are old sheets stored here and there and all over the place. It was time to find them all, gather them together, sort through them, and choose one to sacrifice for my project.
It was amusing to witness my reluctance to sacrifice any of those sheets. Some had not been used in almost 50 years, and yet, it seemed wrong to cut them them into pieces. I had to sleep on it, this was a hard decision. In the morning I decided to use the material from a cotton pillowcase to line the cozy, and save the sheets for bigger projects, such as my next apron.
Mist Cottage is small, there is no room for a sewing room, so equipment sits in prominent position when I am sewing. Luckily the sewing machine fits on my desk, so there it sits. My cutting table is the dining table. My sewing supplies are in a tote at the other end of the house. Sewing projects involve a lot of walking from one end of the house to the other for items like scissors or pins, and a lot of moving things temporarily out of the way. This adds a lot of time to any sewing project. The more I sew, the better I get at navigating these little complexities.
The goal is to complete the sewing projects before canning season begins in earnest, which will be late June when the strawberries are in season.
On my sewing list are:
– two more medium sized bowl cozies
– four large sized bowl cozies
– an apron the same as the prototype but using good fabric
– a pair of loose fitting summer trousers
– a loose fitting summer top
It is unlikely all this will be achieved, but none of it is essential, so it matters little.
Oh dear, I do ramble on. I find great personal comfort in committing my thoughts to the page. It is my way of celebrating life. I am delighted if and when anyone reads it!
Updated on Tue, May 23 at 9:55 AM
FEELS LIKE 14
A few clouds
Wind 5 E km/h
Humidity 51 %
Visibility 26 km
Sunrise 5:33 AM
Wind gust 7 km/h
Pressure 102.4 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:36 PM
“We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine.”
H. L. Mencken
1880 – 1956