(fill in the blank)! Since losing my car to suicide, I have been bouncing between rides. The price you pay for living way out in the sticks. (Where did that saying come from? Do they mean sticks as in trees? Sticks as in burrs that stick to every surface, furred or clothed?) I was thinking that it would be very livable to be car-less if I were retired. I would, of course, occasionally need a car, but, for the most part, I could get along pretty well without one. (Queen of Denial here - lalalalalala)
I borrowed my dad's 1996 Dodge Ranger pickemup for the first part of my car-less life. This old guy (the truck) is a reliable back-up and runs like a top. It does, however, have a wonky speedometer and will only start in neutral. And it is traction-challenged. This presents a problem in the present season. I went from the truck to my friend, Melanie (aka my third sister)'s extra car, a Subaru Baja. All this bouncing around from vehicle to vehicle has made me realize a few things: I have the best family and friends in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE; I have reached a point in my life that I crave an automatic transmission; traction is everything. The dead carcass of my car sits in the mechanic's lot, waiting for me to make up my mind. Do I continue to hunt for an affordable engine? Do I scrap her? I have given myself a deadline of Friday to decide one way or the other.
In other news, the Polar Vortex From Hell continues to plague us. The chickens are miserable and bored, and even Little Bit has been allowed to stay the coop during the day. He had been shunned and forced to live out his days in one of the outbuildings, until just about dark - when he edged his way to the door and darted inside, made a beeline for an empty nesting box, and maintained a low profile until he was booted out in the morning. The sheep and llama are all packed in the run-in shed. The goats are very vocal about their displeasure at the unending frigidity of the weather. Scrappy spends all his time wrapped, burrito-like in his fleece blanket - refusing to budge in case Kramer darts in and takes the warm spot.
I am getting a lot done inside. I tackled my pantry closet and sorted out everything that I had not used/would not be using. Everything was either recycled to the hens or passed on to my parents (ginger spread, fig preserves). I finished knitting a pair of socks, only to find that they are child-sized. Sigh. Stay tuned for a giveaway. I am 99% finished with a new cotton/linen hand towel that hangs on the oven door handle. I find this works best for me, as the cats like to yank them down and then bat them around. This was a new pattern and one that I will not try again. For some reason, my brain would not grasp it, so instead of being a piece of light knitting in between heftier projects, it was a pain in the ass. I have the cross strips of my potholder rug sewn together. Now all that's needed is for me to find the picture I took of the layout (thank goD I remembered to snap it!) so I can complete it. I finished a lap duvet - my first limited attempt at quilting - for a friend's birthday and will "wrap" it in a feed bag tote. Of which I have many... Next on the needles are a new pair of heavy-duty mittens. Or maybe I will put some rustle in my bustle and felt the mittens I knitted two years ago. This week I plan on hauling out the first of many fleeces to skirt. I have to sort them out - which ones I will clean and process myself (doncha love how confident I sound?) and which ones will go to the mill.
An interesting end result of the IFH (Influenza from Hell), is that I no longer crave coffee. I have turned into a tea drinker. It's weird.