At the moment, however, everything seems black and white and shades of gray with a little bit of brown and green thrown in here and there. January is gone and February has returned, as it usually does every year. In spite of my usual feelings about dreary February, this year seems different somehow. Maybe because our winter has been so mild, or maybe because I seem to have surrounded myself with RED.
Mo was away for two weeks, doing her annual dog sitting for brother Dan near Portland and I kept myself busy with three weeks of soil survey work to make up for the last trip and filled in the spaces with knitting, sewing, quilting, and baking. Even with the lack of snow, the temperatures still call for keeping the fire going and an occasional shoveling project to keep the driveway clear. With Mo gone, I really hoped to be spared any big snowstorms since I don’t drive the tractor and wouldn’t have a clue how to plow our road. Abby stayed with me for company and that soft little feeling of safety at night that seems to go along with having a dog by your side. She was good company.
Back in December, we happened on a great sofa sale and the delivery happened while Mo was away. Our old sofa (not THAT old actually) was big and sloppy, perfect for the huge living room we had back in the California mobile, but here in our cozy house it was just too massive. Once again, Melody and Kevin were the happy recipients of our hand-me-downs and we filled the living room with a perfect brick red sofa and loveseat. Still comfortable, but scaled more to our style, our bodies, and our room. Kevin is thrilled to have the huge sofa with two recliners added to his living room, and now they have enough seating for all the dogs, cats, teenagers, and adults that hang out at their house. I love the color of the sofa, not really red, but a brick color that is almost impossible to capture in a photo, and believe me I tried!
On a Saturday weekend I drove the hour and fifteen minutes to the well known and fabulous quilt shop in Merrill, called the Tater Patch. What a delight for the senses! I picked up some red and pink and white fabric to go with what I already had and managed to find a heart quilt block on the internet. I filled more gray days with brilliant fabric, following internet tutorials, and dropped in to the small neighborhood quilt shop as well for instruction and encouragement. I even managed to hand quilt the hearts and just finished the binding yesterday after Mo returned home. When I tired of quilting, I picked up the sweater I am knitting for Deanna, making progress, but just bit slower since I discovered playing with fabric and cutting it all up and sewing it all back together. Nutty pastime!
On the previous Monday, daughter Melody had three days off in a row, an almost unheard of delight. She cleaned house like crazy for two days and on the third day she piled into the car with my granddaughter and a LOT of baking supplies and headed for Rocky Point. We spent the day making an incredibly decadent cake she had seen on the internet last year called, “Lincoln’s Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cake”. The cake is filled with an entire cheesecake between two layers of rich red velvet and frosted with cream cheese frosting decorated with white and milk chocolate. Sinful!! I cut a slice, cut another one for Jean the local quilting lady to thank her for her help, and sent the rest home to the previously mentioned houseful of big men, teenaged boys, and assorted others. Good thing! That cake could destroy a month of dieting in one day!
Speaking of teenagers, my youngest grandson turned 13 last week. Another day in town searching for just the right thing yielded a sporty athletic jacket that seemed to hit the spot. How in the world do you have a clue what to give a boy turning 13 that isn’t a video game or money! I was sure to include the gift receipt with the jacket, but it wasn’t needed.
I’m happy to have Mo back home. Somehow her way of having a regular routine keeps me happy in a way that I don’t manage myself. I wander aimlessly, doing things at all different hours of the day and night, eating strange things at the wrong time, and waking up at four am to sew with no one else to consider. Dogs and people like routine I think. Abby and I are both happy to get up like normal humans around 6am, and eat dinner in the evening, and go to the hot tub at the same time most nights.
I have been reading about folks traveling in Texas, at Quartzite, in the desert southwest, and down in Florida. Much as I love the desert, those Florida beaches and crystalline rivers are calling me hard for next winter. I really do hope we can be there. In the mean time, we are planning a coast trip again, this time traveling north as far as we feel like going, and fully expecting rain and storms. The Oregon Coast can be so gorgeous and dramatic during stormy whale season. Should be fun, and we will leave the first of March.
We are also planning the mid-summer trip to Colorado for Mo’s family reunion near her sister’s home in Denver and just got excited when we looked at the map and realized that we could leave via the northern route and finally get the MoHo to the Black Hills and fill in that South Dakota hole on our map. Should be a fun trip. Again, we don’t want to be gone for more than two weeks or so because this year for sure we are going to camp at some of the fabulous places right here in our own beautiful Oregon. I still remember Laurie talking about the beauty of Joseph Oregon, and that is on the summer list as well.