Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Fast February

For the most part, it's been The Winter That Wasn't, here in central Ohio. There has been no measurable snowfall the entire month of February, allowing my spring bulbs to pop up mid month for an early arrival. We even had a couple of 70 degree days, which I used to do a little early gardening. Legend says this means true spring will be cold and snowy. I sure hope not. But in the meantime, it's been nice to have an easy winter. By calling this post Fast February, I was thinking that we were fast forwarding towards spring. As a matter of fact, we had tornado warnings today! Now that really says spring. 


I spotted my first crocus on February 13, and my cute little iris reticulata shortly after that. Soon, I found hellebores and violas in bloom, then more crocus and more iris. Right now, I've got little purple flowers popping up all over. They're so tiny, I doubt that anyone realizes they're there except for me. Today, I found my Jetfire daffodils in bloom! I don't think I've ever had daffodils in February before. 

Even with mild weather, it's still usually too chilly to do much outside. I still spend a lot of time following my usual pursuits until more consistent warm weather arrives. Remember the spinach and lettuce I found growing in the garden last month? I finally picked some, and made this beautiful salad with it. What fun to have fresh greens in the middle of winter! I often find salad to be a photo worthy meal, with all those colorful vegetables. And I did make us some valentine cookies for a treat, since we don't usually celebrate the holiday much otherwise. 

Needless to say, I have continued working on my crafts. First I tried watercolors. I'm not much good at it, but it doesn't matter. It was fun to play with the paints, and try new things. I have some more watercolor inspiration to try later. Next I completed an earth tone afghan that I made just because the yarn colors inspired me. Then I finished up a beach pebble birdhouse that I started last summer. I also painted myself a polka dot monarch butterfly, just for fun. I'm currently working on a Christmas afghan, in shades of red and white. It's working up quickly, so I'll likely be able to show it off next month. As usual, I decorated my little tiered tray on my kitchen island, first with an everyday look, then for St. Patrick's Day. 

And so February went quickly by, while I mixed in several good books to read, some yoga, some shopping, lunch with friends, and other small outings. The pleasant weather sent me down to Pickerington Ponds for a few sunsets, plus I enjoyed more of them out the back door. Can you spot which one of these is actually a sunrise instead of a sunset? Sure glad that you stopped by my blog to see what's happening in the Nest. Come back again next month!


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

January at Home, Mostly

January is a fresh start kind of month. Holiday decorations are packed away, there's no garden to care for, and plenty of time to pursue my hobbies. The weather has been very mild and rainy, with very little snow, despite what my photos below have to say. Others are pleased at the mild temperatures, but I prefer snow in the winter. Wet gloom isn't as pretty as fresh snow. 

We don't see the sun very often in winter, so I find it necessary to keep fresh flowers around the house. It's not the same as having a garden full of summer flowers, but it will have to do for now. They do bring me smiles! 

January is also a good month to stick close to home, when the weather is unpleasant. Of course I tend to work on my craft projects, but sometimes I actually cook. I finally figured out how to make a tasty batch of non dairy creamy potato soup. It was such a pleasure to have this kind of treat again! I made up this recipe, but I thought I'd share a similar recipe in case you'd like to try it. I'm a fan of using NutPods brand non dairy creamer as a dairy substitute in soups. Be sure that you use the plain flavor! Non Dairy Potato Soup recipe

I often show off my little tiered tray with its seasonal decorations. This month I did a generic non seasonal set first, then recently changed over to Valentine's Day. I have the most fun decorating this small spot in my house. It allows me to be festive, but keeps it low key while not spending much money. 

On a rare sunny day, we went out to see what looked like greenery in the veggie garden. Imagine our surprise when we found viable carrots, and a small patch of fresh spinach and lettuce. The amazing part is that we recently suffered a polar vortex, when temperatures dropped below zero. But it just so happens that snow drifts from that storm piled up right on our vegetable garden, protecting it from the bitter cold. The carrots are just slightly more tender after being out in the cold, but still tasty. I haven't harvested the greens yet, but will likely make myself a nice salad soon. And I have to admit that it was fun finding a few dandelions in bloom! 

Crafts are always a big part of my life, but I do them more frequently in the winter. I tried a couple of new painting techniques, which were fun, but I'm not really thrilled with the results. I also finished up a crochet pillow, and started a new blanket. If you think that I must have an awful lot of crocheted blankets in the house, you would be correct. Sometimes I make a new one just because I see pretty yarn that cries out to be made into a blanket. 

Recently, it snowed all afternoon, and it made me giddy with delight. First, I ran out to snap a few photos in the yard. 

But I wanted more snow photos, so it was off to Blacklick Woods Metro Park. It's absolutely my favorite spot to watch the snow fall. I find softly falling to snow to be a magical experience, because it makes me feel childlike wonder again. 

Unfortunately, the snow melted away soon afterwards, and we went right back to gloomy gray days. That's the perfect reason to go visit Franklin Park Conservatory. It was quiet there this time, and lightly attended compared to my Christmas visit. I went to see the annual orchid display, and to have fun in the gift shop. Mission accomplished! 

And so January goes quietly by. I've also spent time practicing my piano, doing yoga, and catching up on my reading, although those activities don't often get photographed. And whenever there's a visible sunset, I do like to end the day that way. Sometimes I just look out the back door, but it's even better to pop down to Pickerington Ponds for a better view. 

I do appreciate those of you who come to see what's happening in Robin's Nest each month. I often think I won't have anything to post about in the winter, while my garden is sleeping. Yet life goes on, and there are plenty of other activities to keep me busy in the winter. All that being said, I still miss my garden, and anxiously await its return!