We had about two hours without rain today.
I tried to make the most of it.
After sporadic posting altogether, and only postcards in months, it is time for a February Update. One of my goals is to post two times a week in February, so you should be seeing a few update posts not related to postcards in addition to the regular postcard posts.
Now that we are past Groundhog Day, we have 45 days until the official start of spring. We have not seen much sun lately, and February is supposed to be a bit colder than average. The starlings at the shelter did return to the nest earlier in the week, which is a good sign. We have one robin sticking around, but I saw him in December so I am thinking he just lives here year-round. Still, I have heard the male chickadees singing their spring song a few times. I am still hoping I can be out on the paddle board April 1, but that may be a bit early.
The past few days have been hot, hot, hot! I finished the second book in the series fo Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, Hollow City. It was just as good as the first. And, on thinking on it, I’ve determined that the writing and the way the tale unfolds sort of reminds me of the My Father’s Dragon books by Ruth Stiles Gannett. I will be getting the third in the series, but probably won’t start it until after summer.
I’ve been working on another project as well.
You may remember that I did an ill-fated land paddling thing summer of 2014. This new project is safer, if you don’t count drowning. I am wearing a life vest and a leash, and sticking to the shallows. I looked back on my notes from the land-attempt and found this “First, the balance thing. Try standing on one foot for more than sixty seconds. You might not enjoy it. Your foot might hurt. And your knee. And your shin. And your calf. At first, I could only do ten minutes and it was agony.” Um, yeah. Same thing on the water, although my first attempt was 15 minutes and involved suddenly sitting down on the lake bottom twice (I was only in up to my knees, so it was no big deal). Last time around I was getting better by the fourth time I did it. Loving it by the 11th. And unfortunately the whole thing finished up on #13.
Anyhow, I am reaching out and grabbing a firm hold on summer. Hope you are, too.
Summer Reads 2016 list:
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel by Elizabeth Poliner The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel by Dominic Smith
Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander
Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman
Like Summer Reads? More here:
Thought it was well time for a garden update spring 2016. Things have been growing quickly! I planted radish, carrot, beet, lettuce and arugula seeds on May 6. Planted all the flowers on May 21, and the cemeteries and vegetables on May 25:
We had our first squash blossoms and the start of peppers on May 29:
And by May 31, things were really starting to look good. It’s been a fantastic year for hostas for some reason.
The Siberian Irises are in bloom, and the salvia looks great.
We had our first white globe radish out of the garden over the weekend and should be able to start pulling them regularly this week, along with the arugula. I did some supplemental lettuce planting, and added more beet seeds where they all didn’t come up. We have the start of tiny tomatoes and a good four peppers coming. It’s been hotter than normal, with lots of sun. I’ve been watering every night.
Here we are, at year-end, and I haven’t done a good job of posting anything other than postcards. Today’s a good day for Misc. December Updates. First, it’s been unseasonably warm this year. Freakishly warm. 60 degrees on Thanksgiving. Bob and I took two walks downtown that day, and had a wonderful dinner with all our family at Mom’s house. That’s the Elizabeth Building above. It was built in 1912 and named for the builder’s wife, according to this. For as long as I remember, The Hair Shed has decorated this window with their wigs. I’ve always found it fascinating.
It’s supposed to be warm this week, too. How warm? According to Accuweather:
We’ve had some amazing sunrises:
And fantastic sunsets, too:
Bob installed my cat weathervane on the new shelter pole barn. Don’t you love it? I do!
Last night, the winter solstice came at 11:49pm. We are celebrating the first day of the return to the light tonight, with taco soup, cheddar jalapeno bread and a steamed pudding. I’ll be sure to take a photo of the pudding if it turns out. I’m posting regularly on Instagram if you want to see what I’m doing on a regular basis. I’m sitting on a ton of new postcards for the new year. Wishing you and yours much joy in the year ahead.
Wooooo dog, this post has it all. It’s been months since I’ve done a general, non-postcard update. So here it is, the fruits of the summer.
Our veggie garden did great this year. I made two batches of salsa verde (tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapeno).
In addition to tomatoes for eating, I made a batch of sauce and cooked down two batches of tomato paste (boil and peel tomatoes, puree, cook down, put in pan in 350 degree oven and bake until paste).
And I made a batch of sauerkraut. We got a fair amount of radishes. Three heads of cabbage. Lots of tomatoes. A few carrots. Good lettuce and arugula. Next year we’re planting more green beans and more peppers. This year we also got a compost barrel (and inside bucket) and we’re composting our kitchen waste. Right now I also have a batch of hard cider cooking. It’s exciting!
I’ve been crocheting up a storm. I made a mint lap blanket for a friend. Then I made this lap blanket with a ruffled edge. LOVE the ruffled edge. The yarn is Simply Soft Paints Yarn in Rose Garden.
I loved the yarn so much (and overbought), so I made a scarf and sent it to a friend who needed a scarf. Now I’m working on another scarf for another friend.
What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir by Abigail Thomas The Bone Clocks: A Novel by David Mitchell American Ghost: A Family’s Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest by Hannah Nordhaus
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
The Wishing Thread: A Novel by Lisa Van Allen The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews
All but two done, but I made up with two others. Not bad.
I’m getting ready to start sewing again. I have to make my Halloween costume for Howl-O-Ween at the shelter. And I have a new pattern to make a dress. Just need to pick up the fabric and I’m ready to go.
How about you? Can you believe summer is over and we’re well into autumn already?
This lovely vintage postcard, postmarked September 17, 1917, was sent to me by my fantastic cousin Angie. It features what is now Battle Creek Central High School. Our little community has many school districts – Lakeview, Pennfield, Harper Creek and Battle Creek Central. I went to Lakeview.
Written in pencil, it’s a little hard to read (and no punctuation). Here’s what I can make out:
Am in Battle Creek in a furnished room with one of my boarders have been here since Monday she goes to Chicago next Thursday and I am giving out to Ruth LaPrints in the country for a short visit – she found this and she would send auto after me Friday. We are going to Camp Custer today and to Marshall County Fair tomorrow. Oh I am having a fine time but will have to find a job soon am so glad you could go to Lulas. With love Margaret – will write a letter soon.
It’s an interesting message for sure! Camp Custer was built in 1917 for military training during World War I. I believe Bob’s grandfather has photos of Camp Custer being built. It became a much bigger deal in World War II. The wiki is here, if you are interested. And the fair in Marshall…well, the Calhoun County Fair is Michigan’s oldest continuing operating fair!
The school on this card, the current Battle Creek Central High School, was built on Van Buren Street in 1909. They greatly expanded onto the building a few years back. Here is the Google Street View now:
Thank you Angie, for sending this great card!
More Battle Creek here:
My amazing cousin Angie sent me this card, featuring the Post Tavern in Battle Creek. Postmarked June 5, 1914 using a green 1 cent Washington stamp. It was mailed to Miss Mabel Shrestall in Tipton Iowa. I’ve scanned the back, for your viewing pleasure.
The original Post Taven was opened in 1901, a six-story hotel with 135 rooms. The ten-story addition was built in 1913, near when John thought it was the swellest hotel he ever was in.The oldest part of the tavern and the bridge across the street were torn down in 1960. I snagged this screenshot from Google News:
More Battle Creek here: