Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy


Winter gives many of us cold climate gardeners a lot of down time. What on earth are we supposed to do with all of that time anyway? Well, let me tell you I have been finding many things to keep myself busy with.

One thing I like to spend my winter doing is reading. Somehow I just seem to have way more time to read when it's cold out rather than when the temps warm up. The last time I went to the library, I only checked out three books. One was about organic gardening, there was the all new square foot gardening book, and a book about a homesteader who shared her experiences with her readers. Since I had gotten all three of those books finished in less than two weeks time, I decided to check out a couple of extras this time. I wonder if these will keep me busy enough? I checked out two books that will help me to decorate my garden inexpensively with home made accessories (I want to make some different signs for my berry patches and some more bird houses), one about healthy skin naturally, one about herbal remedies for better health (Maybe I'll find out about a couple of plants I need to grow in my yard?), and a book about chickens. Hmm, I'm sensing kind of a theme here...

As many of my regular readers may know I also taught myself how to crochet last winter. It seems to take me way longer than it ever took my grandma so I just know I'm doing something wrong, I just am not sure what it is. Since none of my projects have really turned out all that well anyway, I haven't made much with yarn lately. The last few scarves I attempted to make were turned into belts or purses or something, I just didn't have the patience required to finish when my pieces end up looking like something that may have looked nice at some point but shrank in the dryer. I found this great contraption in the craft department while I was visiting Cheesehead in Antigo the other day. It's the round nifty knitter set. I don't know how to knit, but I have PLENTY skeins of yarn. It's idiot proof, meaning even I can make a good looking product! I am almost done making a baby hat and it looks like something I could have bought from a store. There are four different sizes, I could easily see becoming addicted to this. I just MAY have to go get the other set that you can make afghans and sweaters with, I'd adore a hand made sweater. Then there were a couple of books of patterns, I wonder if our local library has any of those...

Winter is also a great time to get organized. To keep all of my projects close at hand, but out of site, I found this great organizer that everything fits into. My family likes to help our home to become unorganized, so I'm always searching out new ways to be able to find stuff. I put this together in just a couple of hours worth of time and I just LOVE it! All it required was a philips head screwdriver to put it together and a few reading and matching skills for the proper sized screws. I also condensed the endless piles of movies and video games in some inexpensive cd wallets which fit perfectly into one of the openings. Most of the time the kids put the wrong game or movie into the wrong case anyway so why not just eliminate the cases altogether? I put them all into some plastic storage totes that will be kept just in case we ever want to set up a nice big movie library or something. You never know...

Yet another great things to do is go window shopping. Usually I just browse through the stores to get ideas of things I can make myself at home, but I found one gem that I just couldn't resist! The best score of all though was this wonderful bread maker that I found at Goodwill. Unfortunately I didn't get one for Christmas (though I DID get the camera I wanted), so I had to buy one on my own. I've been holding off on making the purchase though since they do take up a bit of space, seem pretty complicated if you don't have instructions to go with them, and they are somewhat expensive to buy brand new. This one was "used" (I say that because it looks brand new and had all of the pieces including the instruction manual but had no box) and it was $19.99. So far it seems to be working great, it's an hour into the cycle and it didn't puff out smoke or explode or anything. Thank you God! The bread is now on it's second raising cycle and I am happy to say that it looks like Cheesehead will be coming to a fresh loaf of bread when he gets off of work. Another great way to cut chemicals and preservatives out of our lives without the work of doing all of the kneading and stuff myself.

Busy, busy, busy! I hope everyone is managing to keep themselves warm!

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