Sunday, February 3, 2013

Winter Blues

Watch your step, Quarry ahead.
No, I don't have the blues, well, not really.  Oh, I get a little bit glum once in awhile.  Like today.  I had to clean house.   Did I ever tell you cleaning isn't on my Top Ten List?  (I really shouldn't admit that in print, should I?)   But there it is.  Cleaning makes me a bit blue.  It just never stays done, does it?  In the summer my excuse for not having House Beautiful is the garden work and the winter, of course, is stained glass season.  I do dishes on a daily basis and all that good stuff, but gee whiz, eventually, I have to do something with the dust.  At least rotate it or something. 

Another reason I'm seeing blue is because I finished foiling the last piece of the Pony Wisteria late Saturday morning. 
890 pieces of blue (and green and orange and pink)
We had the repeats all propped up in the window in the living room checking to see if the colors work or not.  (And yes, the window needs washing, too.) 

They call it a 'Pony Wisteria' because it is a smaller size than the full-size Wisteria. 
I guess this is the look I was going for with this shade, different hues of mottled blue-purple ending in pink/purple blooms on the bottom.  I chose the background of an orange and green-yellow mottled glass, which I hope looks like a sunset. The thing about stained glass for me is I never know for sure if the colors work until the shade is done.    Being in a circular shape and depending on where the light bulbs are located all makes a big difference in the final appearance as does the 'color' of the light bulb used to light the lamp.  Cool white bulbs or warmer sunlight bulbs can bring out a completely different color palette.  Things didn't look exactly the way I hoped so far, but after cutting a few new pieces, I guess it's done. 

The next step is to put the glass on the form for soldering.  But first, Carl had to work on getting the    bronze crown and branches straightened a bit before he can start putting the glass on the form.  His part of the process has a long way to go yet, but as for now my part is done, at least until the soldering is complete.     I felt a little bit of a let down now that I've finished the layout and foiling.   I like having a project to work on, it gives me something to look forward to when the dishes are done.  (And a reason to delay my Dust Rotation duties.)

So, after lunch on Saturday, Carl was down in the basement working on the branches and I was face to face with the fact I had nothing else to do but clean.  Sigh.  Go get Dexter.  (Yes, I call my vacuum cleaner 'Dexter'.  He's a Serial Cleaner; hates dust with a passion.)

Then it dawned on me, there was something else I could do.  I hadn't exercised yet today.   We just had a good snowstorm a few days ago and the snow is back and the temperature was finally above zero for a change.

Time to go cross-country skiing again.  It's around 4PM, I'll have plenty of time to clean when I get back, right? 

See ya later, Dexter, I'm outta here.

Here we go.
 None of these pictures are going to be all that spectacular but there are so many shades of blue.
Skiing by the hosta garden.
The Lane Bed
We had a snowstorm on Wednesday with a total of about ten inches of new snow which covered up the treacherous ice very nicely.  My snowblower trails are obliterated, but the skis work very well.  The snow is extremely dry and powdery. 
We moved this rock late in the fall, along with the park bench after the cedars were limbed up.  Let's hope it looks better in the spring.

Through the Egress Gate, Aaargh dead ahead.

Snow does a great job of hiding the messy pallets of stone

As long as I remember where the rocks are, especially when snow blowing, we'll be ok.

Skiing past the Quarry.
Past the Aermotor windmill.
Around the corner and down the lane to the Back Eight.
Heading north....Joel had plowed me a trail a day ago, but it all drifted in.

Looking back to the windmill and home.  The snow is hard due to the below zero temperatures we've had, but I still broke through constantly.  The next time down the trail will be a lot faster and easier.
Looking west to Mom's house and the setting sun, there's a faint sun dog in the sky.  More snow to come?
Getting closer to the north line fence on the farm.
My father and I planted these white pines about twenty years ago.  Those in the background were transplanted by yours truly.
Now that I've reached the northern line fence, the lane bends to the east, along the neighboring woods, past the pine trees I transplanted here a few years back from the more tightly planted area farther south.

I wasn't sure these trees would survive the move with our tree spade, but out of the 40 I moved, only three died.
Looking back west again, must go faster since my feet are really feeling the cold. 
It was about five above zero when I went out which is cold, but not too bad, since there was barely any wind.  Wind makes everything colder.

There's the eastern view, I know, just a bunch of corn field stubble, but it's Home.
Going back west one more time, the sun is going down.  And my feet are getting colder.
Might as well go around the farm in the other direction now.  Heading west.

Going back west on the line fence.  Having fun yet?

This old oak tree was almost a chain saw casualty, but since it was on our side of the line fence, I told the neighbor I'd limb it up so he could farm under it and he reluctantly agreed.  It's one of my favorite trees.
The sun is sinking lower and my feet are really getting cold now.  Ski faster.

This big cottonwood tree is much larger than it appears.  It marks the boundary of our farm on the northwest side.  I know it's a dark picture, but if you notice the white stripe up the middle of the trunk, the tree was struck by lightning several years ago and the bark was blown off.  This tree has seen its share of hard times; when our barn was destroyed by an unconfirmed tornado back in 1981, the tree lost a major part of it's canopy.  But every year without fail, new leaves grace the branches.
By now, my feet are really starting to hurt from the cold.  Way off in the distance can you spot the white blob in the picture?  That's how far home is away yet.  
There, I zoomed in a little.  But I'm not any closer and ouch, my feet! 
Snow drifts abound on the west line fence.  (There's no 'fence' left any more, just trees and shrubs.)

Only ten inches of snow, but a good three feet of snow drifts have formed.
I ski in front of the drifts, I'm lazy.
 Getting darker now, and the solitude is wonderful.  I love this farm; the peace and quiet, the same views I've seen all my life.  You'd think I'd get bored with the scenery (and I'm sure you all are by now, sorry) but it never fails to make me happy.  I could easily stay out for another hour and another trip around the fields, but I'll spare you the monotony.  (And my feet are at their limit, I can barely feel my toes anymore and my fingers aren't far behind.)
But wait, maybe I'm not so alone after all.
Hard to see, I know, but there are headlights on the horizon.  Snowmobilers, out having a good time on this calm night.  Their trail doesn't cross our land, but zips right by my mother's on the neighboring farm land.   Earlier this winter, the trails were bustling, but then we had the thaw.  I guess the snow still isn't the greatest yet, but there's a chance of more accumulation this weekend.  I hope so, I enjoy watching them. 
And away they go.
Time for me to head for home, I have about a quarter mile to go yet.  My camera's battery went out so that's the end of the pictures of my mini ski trip.  I was glad to get back in the house and defrost my feet, but I felt refreshed and ready to face anything.

 Even housecleaning.

The dust has been rotated one more time. 


Missy said...

Those photos are magnificent. Having no snow whatever here I find it fascinating and magical, though not sure if I'd cope with the cold.
I love that lamp too.
You should get a robot vacuum cleaner maybe, then he could do it withou you.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Good morning dear Karen ~ I loved this wintery ski post. You are one trooper that's for sure. I love your farm and think it is beautiful in any season.

Your stained glass work is beautiful!!!

Dust is a must, didn't you know that?

Have a lovely Sunday ~ FlowerLady

Larry said...

It's definitely still winter and that's a good thing... nothing like the -30 degrees of forty years ago and hopefully no spring in March like last year! The wisteria looks great and I must say,,, you have way more patience than I do!! Larry

Rosemary said...

Bored of your photos of your farm Never! stained glass looks great to me.... Perhaps if you think of Dexter as exercise it might be easier? LOL .

Indie said...

Ha, Dexter the vacuum.. Well, I always figure that when I'm on my deathbed I don't think I'll be wishing that I had spent more of my life cleaning (unless I'm dying from inhaling too much dust or something!) Your stained glass is beautiful - I really like that wisteria piece. Five above zero sounds pretty cold to me here in NC! I think I've gone soft living here! The snow makes everything look lovely, though.

Junebug said...

What a beautiful trip around the farm!! The snow makes everything just gorgeous and what a great way to exercise. Your glass work is outstanding like usual!!!!

I think it is time I get off my you know what and go for a walk. It isn't raining so that is a plus!! My dust needs rearranging but I sure can find any excuse to put it off. Ugh!

Lisa Sall - Sall's Country Life said...

Hi Karen I enjoyed your winter blue photos! Looks like we have about the same amount of snow. I was so happy to see some sunshine and clouds yesterday I got out my camera and started taking pictures again!!(will be posting soon) Your stained glass work is so awesome it makes me jealous of your productivity...all I've accomplished this winter is catching up on book work (now there's some depressing work!) Take care and stay warm!!

Alison said...

Thanks so much for taking us on this trip around your farm, even if it was in the bitter cold. The pictures look very cold, but all the blue is very calming and serene. Some of the shots are especially lovely, the one of Castle Aaaarrgghh, and of the Aermotor. I had to look up the term sun dog, never heard it before. As always, so nice to see a post from you!

africanaussie said...

I love that wisteria pattern and think the colouring is beautiful. Obviously more goes into it than I thought - thinking about the different bulbs etc. thank you for taking us along on your ski trip. I love the gentle light, and things looks so different with snow on them :)

Bonnie K said...

I got tired just reading about your trip. Wow.

Beth said...

Karen, I admire your enthusiasm and dedication for exercise. It sure is paying off in terms of health, wt. loss, and housework procrastination! And it gives the camera a nice workout too. I enjoyed your photos. Your pony wisteria is lovely too. Have a nice week, Karen.

HolleyGarden said...

Loved all the blues. I think of snow as white, but I guess it reflects the blue sky. Exercising sounds much more fun than house cleaning - especially if you get to get out in such beautiful country doing it. (Except for that part about getting your toes cold!)

Lana said...

It's amazing that you can ski on your land! I guess some people wouldn't even be able to put those on and go ten feet in their backyard! The snow shots are magical. There is a purity to snow that cannot be compared.

All the shots were such fun to see!

And the wisteria stained glass is BEYOND stunning.



Betsy said...

I love all of the blue pictures. I am envious of all of your snow, we want some here. Raining tonight. Your stained glass is so beautiful. Your fingers must be sore after all of that foiling. I can't wait to see it finished.
You sure do get exercise in that snow. I heard that we lose more calories shivering than sweating like in a sauna. I think I probably need to freeze some.
Loved your beautiful post.

mudderbear said...

Hi Karen...I was so delighted to hear from you at my blogsite. It was very nice 'talking' to you. We could have a lot to talk about...we have so much in common.
Your post here is just spectacular...the colors and all the blues. I would love to be where you are with the awesome country to see. And I know I have no credntials about your work but I think it is very beautiful. You really should feel very's just wonderful. Thank you so much for our visit. I hope to hear from you again very soon.

Tufa Girl said...

Hey, when you are out and about in the winter weather I would love to see one of those snow snakes. I was about to be really shocked until I realized what you were describing. ("Those snakes must be fierce") Hee hee.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Beautiful pics!!

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