Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Place To Call My Own

I stumbled upon the most interesting thing on Pinterest the other day. I was scrolling through the "Popular" feed and saw something that was captioned "Woman Cave".

I think the axis of my universe just shifted.

A woman cave. I've never given it much thought, but yes, come to think of it, I would like a place I can retreat to. Chuck has the now requisite "Man Cave" in the basement full of his military paraphernalia. He's even got a sign on the lintel going down the stairs.

My son has the entire top floor of the stone part of the house. It's just a fluke of past renovations that all the separators were taken out so he's got a large airy space for a bedroom which is also quite separate from the rest of the living space and he's happy there.

And me? Well, um, I have a sacrosanct spot on the couch. My spot and only I sit there. Or at least I did until the dog decided he liked it too.  Chuck's first comment when I suggested I'd like a space of my own was that I had the rest of the house and how much more did I really need?

Joking aside, typically women retreat to the bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. My bedroom is for sleeping - end of story. I'm not one to lounge in the tub so while the bathroom is very nice, I don't consider it a retreat. The kitchen is out because it's a work space and more to the point, it's a public part of the house. I want a place where I can leave my knitting out, a book open to a page and decorate without consultation with the others who live here. If we lived in a more forgiving climate, I would have tried to take over the shed (a freestanding building with power) but since it is neither insulated nor heated it isn't really usable as living space from October to May. I don't have a perfect space, but we do have an unused area on the main floor of the house. The living room/lounge is an odd C shape. The only entrance to the room is from the top of the C and that area at the top is what we use. The bottom of the C is unused.

So for now, this will be my space. It's a work in progress but there is a closet to store books, lots of light, the stereo and space for the spinning wheels (you can only see one).

The only thing I'd really like to add is a divider - something like a Chinese screen that I can easily remove to really separate my space from the living room.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Time Flies

I'm not sure what happened here - seems it's been six weeks (give or take) since I've written anything (and honestly, I haven't read much either so I'll be going back and reading blogs that you've written too) but in my mind I've had piles of things to share with you. I know I think of posting something a few times a week and for one reason or another it just never gets done. A big part of that is because the battery in my camera always seems to be dead.

So here I am, forcing myself to sit down and show you what's going on.

There's been some travel - I went to Chicago on very short notice (like 24 hours notice) at the beginning of the month.  I really liked the city and would quite happily go back.

I stayed down on the river and was able to find time for the architectural river tour.  If you ever find yourself in Chicago with a few hours to spare, this is something worth doing.

I have part of the vegetable garden planted. Most things are growing well including the weeds. Curiously, squash isn't growing well at all. I made a decision earlier in the spring that I wasn't going to plant the entire space that I have available. It's too much and I can't keep it weeded and I end up losing produce and patience.  Last year, when I was dealing with depression I tried to get it all done and more than once I was in tears while planting something because I was just so frustrated with the space and how quickly the grass and weeds would take over if I so much as turned my back.  Couple that with the grasshoppers who moved in with the grass and I was ready to just plow the entire thing under. This year, I decided to be a little kinder to myself and reduced the size of the planting space. I have less, but the space is easier for me to maintain. So far, I'm enjoying it a lot more as well. The other thing I learned is that if you're going to plant purple fingerling potatoes, that you need to take them ALL out of the ground in the fall - even the little tiny blips of tubers the size of your finger tip, the half eaten ones the mice dined on and the ones you cut in half with the shovel while digging up the others. You know why?  Because these damn things can survive a winter - even a really hard, cold one like what we just had (remember this is a Canadian saying it was a long, cold winter) and they'll grow the next year. Currently I have "wild" potatoes growing among the onions and the lettuces....

I also spent some time working on the ornamental bed at the front of the house.  It's not all done, but I've gone from this:

to this.  It still needs some work and the edging needs to be cleaned up, but at least I can see what I'm working with now.

I've been knitting as well, although at a much slower pace due to the gardens.  I've finished a(nother) pair of socks.  These were knit using Lorna's Laces yarn.  The colour is Lucky Stripe.  I think I'm in love.

I've also started a new sweater.  I've decided I really like working sweaters in a rather fine gauge so I've cast on another one.  The sweater will have a folded hem and be very plain but is a shocking fuchsia - a colour I can wear quite well.

There are a few other things that have been happening too, but I need to save something for next time!