Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

A Few Neighborhood Updates

A Few Neighborhood Updates

Happy Independence Day. It occurred to me this week that perhaps we should go back to the tradition—as described in one of the Little House on the Prairie books—of gathering in the town square on the Fourth of July to listen to the Declaration of Independence being read aloud. I think some people could use a reminder of exactly what that war was about and what the founding fathers risked to establish a new country. We seem to have lost sight of that.

Today’s blog post is full of updates:

• Something got the eggs that were in the nest on the ground. The nest itself was undisturbed, as was the tomato cage, which makes me think it was something other than one of the dogs that did it. They couldn’t have gotten in there with such surgical precision. I am betting it was a snake. And it happened in the middle of the day. I checked the nest just before lunch and the mama bird was there, but when I checked it after lunch, the nest was empty.

Ah, well. These things happen. The husband commented that it was a poor choice of real estate to begin with.

I do need to do a better job of looking out my office window periodically; some time in the past week, this condominium complex went up on the front porch:


There is another nest on the back porch, just outside the laundry room door, that has a couple of babies in it. I’ll be on baby robin watch for a while, clearly. The husband says that there are also some nests in the rafters in the new shop. It didn’t take the birds long to figure out that space was available. I’d rather they nested over there anyway, as it’s further away from where the dogs tend to hang out.

• One of our friends who works at the lumber yard/hardware store in the town just south of us—where the husband gets a lot of his job materials—dropped off the color cards for the metal roofing last night on his way home. He and his wife live just around the corner. We had a short visit and talked about suppliers and settled on a color. He is going to make some calls tomorrow to see what kind of price break he can get us because we’re ordering so much. (He also happens to be one of Margaret’s nephews and is part of the one of the big families that founded our church in the early 1900s.)

• A new family has moved into the neighborhood. They bought the 10 acres just south of and adjacent to our property. It’s a young family with several children, and the dad stopped here a few nights ago to introduce himself to the husband. I can hear lots of activity over there. Perhaps I’ll walk down some time this weekend and take them some eggs and introduce myself.

[I commented to the husband that once we get the slab poured inside the new shop, it’s going to be the perfect place to have a party. I’m thinking maybe something over Labor Day weekend. I can invite all the neighbors for a potluck. The husband is not blown away by this proposal—I don’t think he anticipated that particular use for that space—but he didn’t veto the idea, either. Some of our neighbors know each other but some don’t, and it would be the perfect opportunity for people to make some new connections.]

• Website construction has come a long way since the last time I built one. Putting together my online store a decade ago was a clunky affair and was part of the reason I was willing to turn over pattern sales to a third party. Squarespace 7 has a much more streamlined interface. It takes about five minutes to set up the listing for each pattern. I try to do a few each time I sit down at the computer. It’s still going to be a few weeks before the website is ready—there are over 100 patterns to list—but I am making progress.

• A new sewing project got added to the list the other day. I washed the cushions on the glider rocker on the porch and this happened:


I made those cushions at least five or six years ago; I remember that I sewed them on that vintage Kenmore I had for a while. Five years of exposure to the elements takes its toll, though, and the fabric disintegrated. I got some new outdoor fabric at Joanns and will make new cushions. I am pretty sure I can use the existing padding from the inside, and I also have a few more pieces of it upstairs in the stash.

• The Fika Tote is close to being done. I would do this much differently if I were going to make it again. The instructions indicate to sew the handles on after the exterior of the bag is assembled. First of all, I don’t like the way the handles are constructed. They are very bulky:


Secondly, I can’t understand why they weren’t sewn on while the exterior pieces were still flat; that would have been much easier than wrangling an assembled bag—and it’s a large bag—through the machine to sew them on afterward.

Now that I think about it, I may take the handles off the side of the bag that’s done and re-do them altogether. I won’t be happy with it if I keep going, so I might as well do it in a way that does make me happy. As my father used to say, “Anything worth doing is worth doing in excess.”

DD#1 and her boyfriend arrived last night. I think they have some hiking trips planned with the husband this weekend. I know they would like to go up to Glacier Park, too, but the park may be mobbed this weekend. The husband happens to think the views from the ridge above our house are just as nice as the ones in the park and there are far fewer tourists. We’ll see what they decide to do.

A Long Holiday Weekend

A Long Holiday Weekend

Hunting for Hucks

Hunting for Hucks