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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Snuggling In and Hibernating for the Winter

This cooler weather is making us feel like winter is really on it's way.  Warm sweaters and woolen socks are the wardrobe choice now.  We have had nights down in the 20's and days only as high as 38, so the winter season is upon us.  Only a few flakes here and there but nothing on the ground.  Yet.  

But we know it's coming!

Steve has our rig all winterized, and tonight he is going right after work out to his dad's place to finish winterizing his motorhome too.  Winterizing means removing all the water from all the lines and faucets and tanks, and replacing it with pink RV safe antifreeze.  They had done part of his dad's rig last Saturday, but a broken valve on one portion delayed the rest of the process.  So now he can go back and finish it up.   Then it's removing any and all things can freeze or attract mice.  We plug in three of these small mice deterrent devices that really work well.  They are called:

Victor Mini PestChaser Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent

You can find them in most hardware and home improvement stores, 
but also here is a link to them on Amazon.

Our RV friends Fred and Sharon told us about them.   They live in the woods and battle nasty mice sneaking into their RV all the time. Mice do horrible damage, chewing wires in the walls, or into the pex tubing water lines.  (that happened to us on our last motorhome, the Coachmen)   Since our friends bought these devices, they have no problem at all.  Fred said in a light snowfall, he could actually see the little mice footprints hopping up to the motorhome all around, but stopping about a foot away and turning around.. and going back into the woods!   They get close, hear the ultrasonic sound, and run away from it!   (they also have a dog who isn't bothered by it)   We put them now in our house too, and our dog doesn't seem bothered by it either. No mice, so we are good.

Last Saturday while Steve was helping his dad,  I had a delightful afternoon!  I had some special visitors come over. See.... back at the end of December, we bought our home from three sisters, "The Baldock Girls" I call them.  Their father, Jack passed away in 2009 and their mom Joan passed away in 2010.   They sold us the house at the end of 2012. They all live out of town.  Although Paula has been here a few times since we bought the house, the two other sisters, Debbi and Laura decided the time was good to come see the house again.   I know I would LOVE to get back into my childhood home in Cedarburg and see it again.   So I gladly arranged the afternoon for a bittersweet and emotional visit for them. Also one husband and one daughter came too.

This home has been in their family for four generations, since it was built as a wedding present from their great grandfather Anton to their great grandmother Mary.  Both who are resting in the cemetery less than a mile up the road.  We are the first "non-Kopf/Baldocks" to occupy this home.

As they toured around the house, looking at all the stuff we "changed" but yet I think they were pretty glad to see we preserved the charm and character of the house.  We didn't do much real remodeling or modernizing, just more cosmetic and enhancing what makes up this wonderful sturdy 100 year old German house!  The kitchen is the biggest change, with all of the antique cabinets we put in there, but the girls seemed to like that change.  They went through the house, room by room, reliving their childhood years and sharing stories.

I brought them downstairs to the root cellar room to view the back side of the root cellar door!  I noticed this one time when I was down there, usually the door is in it's open position and we didn't see this until recently.    It's full of some silly teenage graffiti of the sisters, and some they remember is made with their mom's "flocking spray" for the front porch windows at Christmastime!  Sure enough, you can scrape it off with your fingernail and see that is exactly what it is!   LOL   What is poignantly sweet is also the name of their fourth sister, Carla, on there.  She had passed away a number of years ago.   It was great to be able to show them the door is still painted with their silliness, and it will remain that way.  I will never paint over it.

It was so nice to visit with them all, hearing the stories of their childhood and all about their parents and grandparents.  They are welcome to come back any time.  

We really like the root cellar room, it stays cooler than the rest of the basement when we shut the door.  The girls said their mom (and grandparents and great-grandparents) used this room for produce that would last through the winter.  The sturdy shelves are now being filled with MY canned goods, and bit by bit I will add to my stash of home canned goodies.  So far I have jams, beets, apples and tomatoes.

I pulled all of the green tomatoes off my vines 2 weeks ago before the first frost.  Bit by bit they are ripening up on flat trays inside of the house.  Every other day there are enough to can up a few more jars of stewed tomatoes.   I simmer up a few jars full after supper, and they are singing their song of ping ping ping of sealing lids before bedtime. 

Another prep for the winter was digging up six pots of my coleus plants from outside.  I have kept these same strains of plants going since the late 80's early 90's from my friend Connie when she had a house in Green Bay.   Last winter, my friend Juanita kept some of them going at her house until we got all settled in later in January.   Then while we were on vacation, my friend Sarah came and watered them each week so they would be ready to go back out into the yard in the spring.  

Right now they are in a south facing window (the guest bedroom)  to get all the winter light they can seek.   Sometimes they get rangy and tall, but can be snipped back to fill out, and all the snippings are easily rooted in jars of water to make MORE plants!

I am feeling the Hibernation Feeling already with the cooler temps.  I feel like hunkering down and getting some weaving and other fiber stuff done.  My loom room is so pleasant and sunny facing the south too.  (it's located right under the guest bedroom)    The light coming in through the leaded glass window makes rainbows across my tasks...  how delightful!

My loom room has nice carpeting on the floor, but it's a bit slippery when I beat hard on the looms for rugs.  The looms kinda slip forward and about every 15 minutes I am getting up and pushing them back again.   I saw this great idea from my fellow weaver Hilary in New York  (www.crazyasaloom.com)  to use heavy duty door stops. They work great and the loom don't budge when weaving on it.  But I can flip them up out of the way when I do want to move the loom. 

(dang, I have to get that masking tape off the loom yet, I HATE when people do that!  
It's been on there since I bought the loom last winter) 

Now I have to get another set of door stops for the Union loom next to this one. 

And one more thing for my fibery friends who read my blog...   I bought an applique wool wall hanging pattern back in the spring during the quilting shop hop I was on with friends Linda and Paula.  I finally decided to work on it. The original pattern had stacked half circles around all the edges, but I didn't like that.  So I changed them to triangles!   I never follow patterns exactly anyhow. 

I cut out all the pieces and arranged them around the base piece, then fused them all into place.  It was supposed to be hand-stitched all around the edges with a blanket stitch and embroidery thread.  Well, after 10 minutes of that I said HECK NO and tore that out.  I did a feather stitch design using my sewing machine!  LOL 

 It is now complete and hanging from a rod in the hallway upstairs. 

Tonight I have my fiber guild meeting, we are going to felt some wool. 
We meet out at Hidden Valley Fiber Farm in Valder's, WI
Sheep Farm and Woolen Mill in Valders, Wisconsin
I will take pics of the evening and report back tomorrow on our creative efforts. 
With these cool temps, it will feel good to mess around with some warm wools. 

Looking at the weather report on the news right now, it's not looking too good.  
I think Winter is coming.... 

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  1. I love hearing about the visit from the 3 sisters who once lived in your house. I'm sure they feel good about you and Steve owning the house now, and cherishing it.

    While the temps don't get as cold as where you are, I am beginning to feel winter coming on in Sacramento, and taking stock of my winter clothes. I love winter from the clothing aspect!

  2. It's snowing here today in NE Nebraska, so it really feels like hibernation weather. Time to put away the summer clothes and put the flannel sheets on the bed.

  3. great fiber work! Tell Carol "hi" from me. We know each other from fiber festivals and Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival. Small world.

  4. Those door stops seem like a great idea. Bet it don't move much with them down.

  5. What a Turd we are - its been a long time since surfing your blog. I really need to learn and start canning - we took a class and now waiting on getting our supplies so we can be as cool and smart as you - but omg love all your picture and so want to touch all your work... hero to us!! Evielynne

  6. Your fiber art room is very interesting. I like the idea of weaving but would have to use a very small loom. I'm shopping for one, but don't know anything about them.

  7. We use the electronic mouse plug-ins inside the RV and the office, but reading this post gave me the idea to put some in the basement of the 5er and to plug one in outside, too. Last year we had field mice visit in the basement, so maybe the devices plugged in outside might keep the wee ones from coming in at all. Thanks for the idea!


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