Hello dear friends! Happy Springtime! Several of you have written and told me that you have had problems with subscribing and commenting on my blog. I'm sorry about that, unfortunately, I am the least techie person on the planet, bordering on full-on Luddite status, so I cannot fix those problems, but I do appreciate you making an effort to let me know. I truly do appreciate all feedback, even the negative as long as it doesn't get abusive. Anyway, with that out of the way, here's what springtime looks like in my neck of the woods:
Not the prettiest season. No forsythias, no daffodils, no green grass, those things won't come until May, just mud and the remainder of the snow. It always looks so bad this time of year. So that is the reality of living "up North". But on a happier note, the robins have returned, and the morning was greeted with a cheerful chorus of birdsong. They are surviving on the wild grapes and crabapples left on the trees until the ground thaws and they can get at their worms.
Small-scale Maple Sugaring
I just read a news article that this year has been one of the best maple sugaring seasons Michigan has had in a long time. We are gathering a gallon of sap a day from the one tap on the maple tree in our front yard the past few days. We already boiled down enough to make a quart and a half of syrup. This year was just an experiment to see how we could do this efficiently, but next year we will tap more trees and put more than a single tap in each. Here's how our tap looks:
March is the month that we take stock here at Sweetbriar Cottage. We go through all our canned goods and see what we need to grow and preserve for the coming year. More tomatoes for catsup and salsa but we are good on beets and carrots. (I'm still having nightmares about having the flu while canning those bushels and bushels of carrots.) And we definitely need to make more sauerkraut this year. All the oddball canned goods and those that are reaching their expiration dates are put into a basket to be used for meals this month. It makes for some interesting meals; I can vouch for that. And we try to eat down our freezer, in anticipation of the coming fishing season. My goal is to use only the freezer compartment of the refrigerator and not even use the small upright freezer we have (a goal I have yet to achieve).
It is finally warm enough to go up into the attic and straighten things up. I can truthfully say, I needn't buy another skein of yarn or scrap of fabric for the rest of my life. I will need to live to be a hundred just to use what I have, and that is after donating bags and boxes of yarn and bolts of fabric to the local thrift store. I also go through my winter wardrobe and donate all the clothes that I have never worn all season and the ones that do not suit my lifestyle any longer. There's no point in having pretty clothes that are not practical, I never go anywhere to get dressed up. They are just taking up space and in a small home space is more valued than hanging onto things for sentimental value. My thoughts on the whole matter are that it is better to pass on these pretties on to someone who might enjoy them, then it is to have them sitting in drawers going to waste. Taking stock from time to time is a thrifty thing to do. After seeing all that I have, I can honestly say "enough is enough"!
I say all that, but yet, it didn't keep me from taking a jog through the thrift store yesterday when I dropped off some donations. Ha! I had this beautiful piece of an old overshot coverlet that I wanted to frame, so I was looking for a frame to cut down to fit the piece. And there it was! For $5, less than what I'd pay just to have the glass cut. I was going to paint the frame, but I thought the color brought out the golden browns in the fabric. It took less than a quarter hour, for Ran to have it framed and hung.