About The Country Wife Blog

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mr. Cardinal Came To Visit

Late in the fall one day Mr. Cardinal came to visit.  It was such a treat to see him brightening up the naked apple tree branches.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Knitting: Mini Knitted Football

A nice little boy came to visit the other day.  There was a big soft knitted ball in the "kids' basket" which he found interesting.  He knew I had knitted it.  I asked if he would like me to knit one for him since he was going to spend the afternoon. He did want me to knit one.

We went to Ravelry.com to look for patterns.  We found a large list of balls of many types.  The mini knitted football was the one he chose.

As it is moving up to Super Bowl season perhaps others would like to knit the same pattern in favorite team colors.  This would make a nice decoration for the snack table.

The yarn I used was Peaches and Cream worsted weight cotton.  It took less than two hours to knit and stuff. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Munchie Monday: Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate

A nice treat on a cold winter afternoon is a cup of hot chocolate. I tried an experiment using coconut milk.  It worked.  At least for me.

In a small saucepan place 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup water.  Stir very well then, over medium heat, bring to a simmer.  Simmer one minute.  Add 2 cups coconut milk (NOT coconut water).  Stir well.  Continue heating until hot chocolate is the temperature you enjoy.  Pour into mugs and sip with pleasure.  This is not very sweet. If you like it sweeter, add 1 or 2 more teaspoons sugar.

This makes two regular-sized mugs of hot chocolate.  Dear One drank his...!

Just another try at not using dairy.

Art Painting: First Attempt at Acrylic Painting

The new Michaels store that is opening nearby soon has been so kind as to hire me to be a teacher...actually a knitting and crocheting teacher.  Maybe a painting and drawing teacher, too.  As it happens, so far I have only done a little watercolor painting and barely dabbled in drawing, so a lot of work and learning has to happen.

An hour-and-a-half's drive away from home is another Michaels store.  They had a free acrylic painting class offered at a time I could do it.  As luck would have it, that day was a bright sunny day and the roads were clear and dry...not something that often happens in the middle of winter here.  I signed up for the class, dashed out immediately at the end of a wellness class, and tore down the road to the class, stopping at a convenience store for a sandwich since I realized I could not eat the salad I had brought from home while driving.  Duh....

Arriving late  by five minutes, I had to ask where the class room was located.  Found it and discovered the class had six students all set up with paints, easels, brushes, and palettes.  The teacher was already into her spiel.  Yikes!  She loaned me two brushes, gave me a palette and easel, but told me to go buy the canvas 5-pack. Quickly I did that but by the time I got back to the room all the background/sky had been painted.  She was a nice girl but she did not come tell me what I needed to do,  so I just tried to catch up by looking at her painting over the shoulder of the nice lady sitting next to me. 

Acrylic painting is a totally new medium for me.  I scurried to catch up but did not grasp that acrylics use a VERY little bit of water SOMETIMES....There is so much to learn that I will need to take some more classes, at least on YouTube.  That can certainly wait until the new store opens and we see what is what.

Well, I had fun anyway.

This is the picture I painted:

Some things I learned about teaching a class to a group of disparate individuals:

1.  Show what the end result could be
2.  Describe the steps that will need to be taken to reach that result at the beginning of the class, go over again if there are late-comers
3. Inquire about the experience class members have had prior to class
4.  Go over each step carefully, reminding them of the other steps that will follow
5.  Explain the various steps in understandable language
6.  Acknowledge the efforts of each class member, encouraging them to show off their work to other class members

Friday, January 13, 2017

Food Friday: Sweet Potatos from Delaware

Finally I have a picture of one of the sweet potatoes that we purchased from the back of a pickup truck in Delaware in October.

These are so delicious.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Garden: Actual Final Photo of Garden 2016

At the very end of December I harvested two last plants from our side garden.  The kale was still in good shape and made some wonderful kale chips.  Next year I will grow more kale for sure and plan to pick even longer.  If I keep the snow from the kale, it will last a long time, I am certain since we had multiple days below zero.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Grandchild Art Makes Grammie Happy

Quite some time ago I was gifted with a drawing from a grandchild.  I loved it.  I thought it was brilliant for a 5-year-old.

So impressive to see the stem end which adds volume to the apples.  I would never have thought of this.