We have had snow on the ground for almost three weeks now.  Every time it starts to melt, a fresh batch falls.  Yesterday was the sunniest, bluest-sky day we have had in ages, and our roads and yards were finally dry and clear.  Spring was definitely on my mind.  But when we woke up around 5 a.m. it was snowing, and now at almost 3 p.m. it is still snowing.  The thing about living in a small town, though, is that you really don't have to travel very far to get anywhere you need to go, and unless you're on the highway the max speed around town is 35.  People here know how to drive on snow and ice, and everyone takes it easy.  No one seems to ever be in a rush here, and that's such a nice change from Portland's traffic. 

Snowy days seem like the best kind of baking days, and as such I've been experimenting with sourdough.  After trying and failing miserably with the saddest loaf you have ever seen a couple of years ago, I decided to give it another try.  After several days of feeding, a vigorous starter was bubbling away and my first two loaves came out of the oven looking better than I could have hoped for.  I read several different sources before I got started and realized how many slightly different methods there are and how little I know about all of the elements that come into play, but I'm really excited to learn about whole process.  These loaves were half whole wheat, but I think I'll pick up some different flours this week to experiment with. 

My husband has convinced me to sign up for a knitting class at our local yarn shop.  I picked out some lovely yarn when I registered and am feeling good about committing to do something I have always said I wanted to do but have never actually taken the steps to do.  I'm a bit (ok, a lot) nervous about the social aspect of the class, but I'm trying to say yes to more things.  As a truly introverted person, it is a very big deal to say yes.  (I find myself thinking of ways to get out of it, even though I really want to do it.  I know.)  

As for today, we got our grocery shopping done early this morning, had my Dad over for visit, and then went into town for some very spicy turmeric chai.  I'm thinking it's about time to get the starter out to feed, to find a new book to start, and to settle in for the rest of the day.  But first, a walk through the snowy neighborhood with my husband.  I hope you're enjoying wherever you are today, too.  ♥︎

waiting for the hummingbirds


January 12, 2019 / Milton Freewater, Oregon

January has, well, not exactly flown by, but it has felt a bit like a gray blur.  I have been trying to learn to knit, which would feel like a huge accomplishment after years of trying and giving up.  I  feel incredibly lucky and grateful that an Instagram friend has offered to help talk me through things when I need it, and I am sure I will be taking her up on that in the not-too-distant future.  So far I have only made a few dishcloths, but I'm eyeing a hat pattern to tackle as a first real project.  I will become a knitter yet.  Maybe even before the hummingbirds come back.

The first week of the month I was under the weather and read four books one after the other.  The only one I really liked was Miquel Reina's Lights On the Sea.  (I also binged a few series on Netflix and Amazon these last few months.  I know it's unpopular to admit such a thing, but I am not at all above lots of quality screen time.  Can we talk shows in another post?  Do you have any recs?)  

We have been talking about making some house interior changes and drawing out yard/garden projects.  Nothing major, just some cosmetic things, and, oh, completely replacing all the back yard grass we have with garden beds.  Sounds drastic, but it is a very small strip of grass.  We have very limited space and it is more important to us to be growing vegetables and flowers than watering and mowing a lawn we don't really care about.  I miss walking out the back door to beds of herbs and kale and tomatoes.  I can't wait to have homegrown tomatoes at our fingertips again.  Lots of them.  Lots.

My husband has been working in Portland most of this week, so I have gotten a little more time with Thor.  Last night we went to see Green Book.  I love, love going to the movies with him, especially now that he's old enough to be interested in movies that aren't specifically made for kids and can watch something that is entertaining and makes him think.  He doesn't say much about anything right now, so I just try to be present with him.  I love him so much. 

We have been getting outside as much as we can, but some weekends other things seem to take over.  I have yet to try out the snowshoes that my nephew's wife loaned me, but I really am hoping to do that before the snow season is over.  The Washington/Oregon state line is  five to ten minutes from our house, and we are very lucky that we can be in the forest of the Blue Mountains in about 40 minutes.  Pictures above show a favorite hike on the South Fork Walla Walla River Trail a few weeks ago.  I have been remembering all the beautiful flowers that were there last spring and getting excited about the change of seasons.  

Daffodil and hyacinth greens are coming up at my folks' house.  Our clematis is loaded with buds.  The finches are back at our feeders. I'm just waiting for the hummingbirds.  Then I'll know we've turned a corner.
by mlekoshi