04 February, 2019

Early bloomers and learning new tricks

January clung to us, didn't it, keeping us chilled to the bone. I do live in the South so I can't really complain considering what the Midwest and Northeast have experienced. If any of you reading this are in areas hit by that monstrous snow storm, I do hope you're safe and warm and that you'll experience a good thaw soon. Brrrr! I know I've been cold down here with our below average temperatures. I simply cannot imagine what it's like to walk outside in negative 20 degree weather (and colder!).

Despite the cold, there are some plants that thrive in this kind of chill and actually bloom when the temperatures dip below freezing. Camellia bushes keep lovely, glossy green leaves most of the year but as soon as it starts to cool down (usually mid-December) the large buds burst open to reveal gorgeous blooms of either pink, white or red. When we first looked at this house I was keeping my fingers crossed that the tree in the back corner was, indeed, a camellia bush. It is and it gives the most gorgeous hot pink blossoms!

Another early bloomer is the forsythia or as the older folks like to call it, yellow bells. They've always been some of my favorite  flowers. When I was little, I remember how amazing it was to see the huge bushes that blocked my parents' house from the street. My sister and I would clip huge branches and cram them into vases, putting them around the house, imagining they could somehow bring Spring in a little bit sooner. Not that we were ever in too much of a hurry. Cold weather meant that there was still a chance for snow. Fleeting chance, yes, but it was there and we believed all the way up until the Easter Bunny came.

I've been doing a bit of blooming in the house. When I haven't been exhausted from the extra work load, I've put together the first rows of fabric for my very first quilt! I've never put together a quilt before and I've been using the remembered directions from a magazine article I read a year ago BUT so far it looks great. I've got to pin the rows together and stitch them to make the quilt topper, but I'm happy at how it looks.

Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, I've taught myself how to knit! Now, don't get too excited yet. That's literally all I know how to do: the knit stitch. I made a very wonky pot holder and now I'm working on a scarf. Once I finish that off (after learning how to bind the edges off) I'm going to learn how to knit AND purl! 

Look at those colors! The yard is by Lion Brands and I think it's called Coney Island. It's super soft and the color gradient is gorgeous! I can't wait to finish it up and wear my very first scarf. I also can't wait to start on some other projects that I've found on the same website. If you, like me, have tried to learn how to knit and just couldn't seem to wrap your head around it, check out Sheep and Stitch. If you Google it, you'll also find a bunch of YouTube videos. The one labeled "How to Knit a Scarf for a Beginner" is the one that taught me. I can't impress upon you how clear her instructions are and how easy it was to cast on and get to knitting.

Aside from all that, I've been working, doing laundry, moving the plants inside and outside depending on the weather, trying to keep the floors clean with two Siamese cats and generally attempting not to collapse from exhaustion. Living with auto-immune diseases makes life a bit more challenging. Things that most people wouldn't bat an eye at can land me on the sofa for a week, only, I can't spend a week on the sofa. Instead, I go to work feeling rotten and come home only to sit on the sofa until it's time to go to bed. No fun, trust me. But I'm thankful that I have as much energy as I do have and that I'm able to do what I can. It's not as bad as it used to be and it's certainly not as bad as it could be. Still, I get frustrated and tend to retreat into myself. Hence the erratic blog posts these past two weeks.

But here I am, posting on a Monday just like I want to -- later than I'd like, but it's still Monday! I hope you have a fantastic week. Have you learned anything new this year? I know it's just February, but there's been 31+ lovely days in which to teach yourself something you've always wanted to learn. If not, why not use the rest of February to learn something new. Choose something simple, choose something you've always wanted to do and go for it!

Happy learning!


31 January, 2019

Is it Thursday?

Good morning!

I've been away from social media this week due to a huge load of work at my day job. If you follow my other blog, you'll already have read this and to you, I apologize for the repetition. The server went down in our office and everything I do is connected with that device. So I'm a week and 1/2 behind on my usual workload (whilst continuing to build the incoming workload of a normal week). Needless to say, I don't have the energy to blog about anything really meaningful but I wanted to check in and say, "Hello!" anyway.

I snagged an off-day today because I'm feeling the stress in my joints and muscles. Fibromyalgia/M.E. make for an interesting work-life relationship. A normal work week isn't normal at all and usually ends with me on the sofa all weekend with pain, brain fog, trouble breathing and a malaise that is Victorian fainting couch worthy only I don't have to walk up a flight of stairs in a corset to feel it!

If you need me today, I'll be home, somewhere cozy, maybe in the nook pictured below, taking it easy and trying not to over-over do it to the point I can't go back to work tomorrow or enjoy the upcoming weekend. Mr. Hedgehouse took the car today so he wouldn't have to ride his bike to work in below freezing temperatures so I am happily stranded! But fear not for me. I have tea and books and cookies and cheese. I'm quite comfortable and in no capacity require any assistance. Unless, of course, you wish to bring chocolate, in which case I'll happily admit you and offer you a cuppa.

Take care, Gentle Readers,

21 January, 2019

Settling in

A month has gone by since I feel we truly moved in. The first few weeks were unloading and unpacking and shifting and sanding. Furniture found comfortable spots; books joined ranks on shelves. I dug out the Christmas decorations and let the lights twinkle and shine. The moment that springs to mind, though, that really made me feel I was HOME was a Thursday, the 20th to be exact, when I was off and spent the entire day in the corner of the living room, next to the space heater with tea and books. I didn't open a box. I didn't move a chair. I didn't have to dig anything out of anywhere. That's when I knew I'd finally arrived.

The Christmas decorations are put away until next year. I've got a few Winter items that are going up to the attic today. The house is freezing, though the heater struggles to keep it at - what it claims is - 68* [I know, chilly, but it's expensive to heat a house!] And here I sit, same arm chair as that lovely day a month ago, same space heater, cup of tea and a couple of cats roaming about. They've finally accepted the house as home and love scattering their toys about and wallowing on the wood floors as they play with catnip.

I dug out my quilting squares from the craft closet. Closet...I should call it the War Room! It looks like a bomb went off in a JoAnn's and I kept all the spoils! The closet is a wonderful storage area in the bonus room that we've turned into a den and a craft room. The shelves, however, are woefully lacking space and some aren't even attached to the wall and, even if they were, it wouldn't be enough for the plethora of fabrics and ephemera we have magpied away over the years. So, with phone in hand should I topple into a corner and get stuck upside down amongst the Tupperware, I shifted and clambered my way into the back corner to find --- my squares! I cut these out last September! Right before the whole "You've got to move soon" phone call came. 

The first five rows are sewn and hanging in the War Room, labeled as to what goes where, and I hope to get to work on the remaining rows today. This is my first quilt, Gentle Readers, so as I post it, do remember that! I've excited, though. It should be large enough to wrap around my shoulders and stay cozy in the brief Winter hours we have here. It's all in shades of blue and green and peppered with white, all from fabrics I've gathered over the years, was given, or snipped from old clothes long since unworn.

There's a couple of other projects going on around The Hedgehouse. A few experiments and a few that wait for me to get outside in the freezing cold and get moving! And last night -- with the eclipsed moon coming out of shadow -- I asked for clarity in focus and as I lay down to go to sleep I got a little vision of things to come. No details yet. It's too embriotic and tremulous right now, but as it solidifies, this will be the first place I share it <3 Funny how things follow us until we pay attention and give them the space to grow, to hatch and come into their own.

Have a beautiful, wonderful week, Dear Readers. I hope your days are filled with joy and peace and that you find a way to incorporate a bit of what you love into everything you do. Take time for yourself, be gentle with yourself and those around you. Listen deeply. Stay kind and know you're not alone. And if you feel you are, send me a message : ).


14 January, 2019

A Little Piece of Heaven

We officially moved into our home on December 06. That's the day we signed the papers, ripped up the carpet and started shoving boxes into the bonus room. The next four days were hectic: getting everything out of the old house - with only one day of help from friends to get the furniture and other large items - and cleaning the old house so that it passed the final inspection (Read: we really wanted our deposit back). All was well and, after I went over and grabbed everything from outside except for the kayak harnesses which I couldn't reach, we were out with the old and in with the new. I think that was sometime around the 10th.

For four more days we slept on couches in the bonus room because we had to shift all the stuff out of one place into others, finding homes for furniture and books and all the lovely little things that make a home. That weekend, we moved into the guest room and finally slept in our own bed again. Talk about relief! our couches are comfortable but after four nights it was time to enjoy the comfort of a mattress and quilt.

I remember the day it finally felt like home. The Thursday before Christmas, December 20, day before the Solstice. I'd unpacked everything. I'd moved everything that I could move. Every room was a done as it could be and I spent the entire day in the arm chair by the front windows reading and drinking tea and watching the leaves fall from the oak trees that guard our front yard. After that we were engulfed in the whirlwind of peaceful Christmas and the joy of family coming down and - WHOOSH! - the New Year was here and I spent the day after New Year's Day raking up all those oak leaves that fell and shielded our yard with two feet of leaves. There was pain after that day but it was good because it meant I'd done something in MY yard and I didn't mind the two weeks it's taken to fully recover.

And here I sit, on a Monday afternoon, lunch in the over, clothes in the washer, tea growing cold at my hand. The cats are so chatty with the birds and squirrels that come to the feeder. The sparrows are puffed against the chill and there are lovely black, iridescent starlings that flock the crepe myrtle and cause a riot in the branches. Finally I feel like I'm home. Finally I feel like I'm starting anew. This Monday feels like it should, with errand running and sitting before working, pounding out this little update before I dive into the writing that calls.

I hope your weekend was wonderful and I hope you're sitting somewhere peaceful, with tea and something sweet at your hand. I hope you have a good book at your side or some knitting. Maybe a quilt or a bit of scrap fabric just to needle-doodle while daydreaming.

Wherever your Monday takes you, I hope you find moments of joy and a bit of home in your heart.


07 January, 2019

Oh the things I need to do!

Hello out there!

I know it's been rather bleak here on the blog-front but wonderful things have happened since last I wrote:

> We finally CLOSED on the HOUSE!
> We are settled into The Hedgehouse as well we can be but there are, of course, renovations that need to be made.
> The holidays were gloriously peaceful and calm.
> I've got a load of creative plans for this next year that I can't wait to share with you.

One of those creative plans is to post regularly on this blog. I've chosen Monday as the day for Gatherings from the Hedge and I do hope you'll bear with me as I eek through this first Monday of the new year with this wilted little post. Expect pictures and a good, long, tea-drink the next time we meet.

Until next week, take care, Gentle Reader.


29 November, 2018

Still Waiting...

Buying a house is something I've dreamed of since I was a little girl. Dad built my sister and me a playhouse deep in the pines of our back yard. We loved that old building, sweeping it out, hanging curtains, putting books and dolls on the shelves. I was happiest there, even more so than in my room. That little house was a haven and it was ours. We invented entire mythologies that swirled around it and songs we sang while raking the pine straw from the front "yard".

The boxes are beginning to close in on us. Just this morning I told Jon that I felt
they were growing, moving, rearranging themselves during the night. I swear I
haven't gotten them wet nor have I fed them after midnight.

Realities are far more complex and frustrating. I got my first apartment when I was 23. Since then I've lived in lofts, houses, even a garage. Several of these places were wonderful but they came with that nagging truth: they weren't mine. Even when we rented a house with a large yard our landlord gave us go ahead to garden to our heart's content I was still haunted by the longing of a place of my own.

Of course, the cats are perfectly fine with the new living arrangements.
They are convinced that the boxes were brought in and stacked for their
amusement. They haven't slept on either of the couches in a month, preferring
to perch on the top of boxes or nestled somewhere in the empty bookshelves.

When we moved to Savannah four years ago, the plan was to rent the bungalow for a year and then buy a house. The best laid plans, as they say. Four years and many detours later and we are mere hours away from our closing appointment. And yet we still wait for the go-ahead. I'm not saying anything other than the appointment is tomorrow at 3pm. If that shifts, well, let's just say it still could happen.

Pssst: This is my new dining room <3

And I'm not going to say otherwise for now.


26 November, 2018

As the winds of Autumn blow

Oh things are shifting!

You've noticed a new name. Yes, Hedge House sums up my aesthetic and my current journey perfectly. It sends a shiver of comfort into my toes and I wriggle them in anticipation of the grass in my soon to be back yard.

Yes, Dear Ones, we're buying a house and the closing day is FRIDAY!

Hedges are magical places. They're nestled in most folklore as mysterious borderlands where woodland creatures dwell, women of the forest build their cottages, and they guard the doorway to another world. Many of your magic hedges are hawthorn hedges and there's a slew of folklore surrounding the hawthorn.

We don't have a hedge just yet, but all in good time. I've got garden plans and paint schemes all laid out. I'm sure they'll change, but one thing is certain: after many, many years of hopes and dreams, tears and struggles, broken hearts and false starts, come Friday we're finally going HOME.

The beginnings of a wee hedge <3

Check back, often! I intend to post more here. I've put it off due to the hassle that's been buying this home. Who knew it was such a struggle? Soon, soon, I'll put away the stress and breathe the free air of a wild soul come home.

I hope you'll join me,